Vegetable Lentil Soup

This recipe is extremely simple and everyone who’s eaten it has loved it. This recipe came from Lincoln Stevens who was the catering chef for the Woodruff Arts Center and served this recipe at the High Café. Adjust the herbs to suit your household’s preference. I’m not a big fan of rosemary, so I’d have more parsley. The leeks, shallots and garlic are all ways of adding onion flavor to the soup. You could substitute a white or yellow onion for the leeks and shallots and the soup would still be delicious. Leave out the butter, obviously, if you need a vegan dish. We’re running this recipe next month in the AJC.

Squash and Corn Tacos

Do you know how to roast peppers? I roast poblanos (and other large peppers) by just putting them on the gas burners on my cooktop. You want to brown the skins, so just leave them in the flames and turn them to get all sides blistered. Then drop the peppers into a paper bag, fold down the top and let the peppers steam. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove from the bag and remove the stem, seeds and skin. Easy! I do this periodically and store the roasted peppers in bags in the freezer to pull out as needed.

Summer Squash Pizza

This is basically a white pizza with squash. Thinly slicing the squash will help it crisp up in the oven. You could use red sauce and mozzarella if you prefer – it’s just another take on roasted squash.

Pizza can go together really quickly. Once you have some pizza dough, you should be able to assemble this one in about 10 minutes, and it bakes in just 5 minutes in a really hot oven.

Make your own dough (mix dough together, let it rest about 15 minutes while you prep the rest of the ingredients), or you can use one of the refrigerated or frozen doughs. I understand that you can buy pizza dough from a pizzeria, too; haven’t tried that yet, but it would be worth a phone call to see if your local favorite will sell you a ball or two.

If you don’t have roasted garlic on hand, just sauté a little minced garlic. Or … if you love garlic and don’t need the flavor “tamed” … just mix it in raw.

Raw Thai Spring Rolls with “Peanut” Sauce

And then there’s the arrival of that other green – collards. I was reminded that someone once demonstrated dolmades – grape leaf rolls – where collards stood in for the grape leaves. Makes perfect sense. And given the small bunches of collards we’re going to get right now, that idea might be just the way to use up the dozen or so leaves that are in our boxes.

I also ran into lots of raw food recipes using collard greens to wrap “spring rolls”. Here’s one from Adjust the vegetables, the amounts and the sauce ingredients to suit your household. You can substitute peanut butter for the almond butter if you’re not a stickler for a raw food diet.

Arugula and Asian Pear Salad

Arugula in our boxes, two weeks in a row. Hooray! I love this peppery green, but it can be really bitter. When you’re getting ready to use it, nibble on a leaf or two. If it’s tasting really young and sweet, the less you do to it, the better. I love it tossed with a vinaigrette and then put on top of hot (homemade) pizza.

If it’s more on the bitter side, you might give it sweeter accompaniments.

I love salads with fruit (you may have noticed this already) and believe it or not, I just ate my first Asian pear this week. I’m not sure why I never tried them – just happy with “regular” apples and pears, I guess, and maybe that rusty-looking skin meant I’d have to peel them, and I absolutely hate to peel anything. Turns out the peel is just fine, no need to pare these pears.

What a revelation. Juicy and sweet, I was an instant convert. Locally grown Asian pears are at farmers markets right now, so how about pairing them with the arugula? (ok – way too many puns. sorry.)

Apple Chutney

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat; add onion. Saute over heat until translucent and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add apples; sauté 4 minutes more. Add vinegar, raisins, ginger, mustard, and cayenne. Stir well to combine; cover. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until apples are very tender but hold their shape, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cool and store in the refrigerator. It should keep for about a month.

Apple, Ham, and Cheddar Melt

I’m looking for a way to use these apples. Some are really the wrong texture for eating out of hand, so I needed inspiration for other uses. Here are two. The first is basically a grilled cheese sandwich fancied up a little by the folks at Martha Stewart with the addition of ham and slices of apple. That’s what I’m having for dinner tonight. Tomorrow I’ll make the apple chutney. I think it would be a great addition to my next apple, ham, cheddar melt.