By Lindsay Wallace, FRESHFARM Deputy Director of Programs 

This addictive puree is a perfect condiment for tacos (especially roasted cauliflower or breakfast tacos), but it also works well on a sandwich, as a dip, or swirled into rice. You could even blend it into guacamole. Bonus: it's vegan! 

INGREDIENTS
3 poblano peppers
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and cooled
1 lime, juiced
3/4 cup cilantro leaves, packed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste

METHOD
Preheat the broiler.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place peppers on it. Broil for 10-15 minutes, flipping over halfway through, until skin is blackened. Remove and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the skins, stems, and seeds. Coarsely chop the peppers.

Pulse the toasted and cooled walnuts in a food processor until they become coarse crumbs. Add chopped peppers and remaining ingredients. Pulse until thoroughly combined, then run the food processor on low until the pesto is semi-smooth. Taste and adjust for salt. Pesto will keep in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
 

Tomato Conserva

09/30/2016

 
Adapted from The Los Angeles Times

This recipe is neither easy nor quick (in fact, it will take most of a day to make). But if you want to capture the essence of gorgeous vine-ripened tomatoes (while you still can get them at market), this is your recipe. By slowly cooking tomato pulp in a low oven, you end up with an intensely flavored, homemade tomato paste that is sweeter with a more pure tomato taste than the canned varieties. Add a tablespoon to any pasta sauce, stew, soup, or gravy to impart a concentrated tomato depth of flavor. It is also a great condiment; spread it on toast instead of butter, serve with a cheese board, scramble a teaspoon into eggs, or eat with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich. Top each jar with a layer of olive oil, and the conserva will keep months in the refrigerator (if you scale up the recipe, keep the extra in half pint jars in the freezer). Just be sure to always use a very clean utensil when scooping it out, and adding more oil to the top before returning it to the refrigerator.

Make about 1 to 1 1/2 cups

Special equipment:  food mill, half-pint canning jars, rimmed baking sheet ( a.k.a. half sheet)

INGREDIENTS
5 pounds ripe good-quality tomatoes - meaty Romas work great
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for storage
1 teaspoon salt

METHOD
1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Chop tomatoes roughly. Warm the olive oil in a large pot, add the tomatoes and salt, and bring the tomatoes to a rapid boil. Cook the tomatoes for about 2 minutes, or until they are very soft. Immediately pass them through the finest plate of a food mill, pushing as much of the pulp through the sieve as you can. Note: If your tomatoes are very ripe and you have a strong arm, you can skip the cooking step, but it will require lots of elbow grease. 

2. Lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil. Spread the tomatoes on the pan in an even layer. The tomatoes will spend 4 to 5 hours total in the oven, evaporating liquid and reducing considerably. 

3. Allow tomatoes to cook for 90 minutes, remove from oven and use a spatula to the turn the paste. Return to oven and cook, turning every hour, until all the liquid has evaporated and the paste is turning dark and thick.  This should take 2 to 3 more hours (depending on your oven and the water content of your tomatoes).  

4. Once the paste is thick and dark, reduce the oven to 250 degrees and continue to cook another 2 hours, turning it with a spatula every 45 minutes to an hour. The paste is done when it is thick, shiny, and a deep red and may be ready to come out of the oven in less than two hours.

5. Transfer the conserva to two to three clean half-pint glass canning jars. Tomato conserva holds for a long time stored in glass jars and topped with one-half inch of olive oil. As you use it, maintain this level of olive oil on top. When not using it, store conserva in the refrigerator. 
 

Pickled Red Onions

09/02/2016

 
Juliet Glass, Communications Director

These easy pickled onions add flavor, crunch, and color to just about any savory dish. We love them with hamburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and tacos, tossed with salad greens and a simple vinaigrette, or folded into potato salad.  Put them in a mason jar, and they make a nice hostess gift. These will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks, but good luck keeping them around that long! 

Makes about one pint.

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon salt
2 whole peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 large or two small red onions, peeled and sliced into rings

METHOD
Place all the ingredients except for the onions into a small sauce pan. Bring to boil over high heat.  Working in two batches, place onions in pot, return to boil, and cook for 3 minutes. Remove onions and spread out on a plate to cool. Repeat with the second batch, placing them on the plate to cool. Turn off heat and allow the onions and the brine to each cool completely. 

Once cooled place in a pint jar and store in the refrigerator. They can be eaten right away, but if you wait a few hours the color will deepen to a bright pink and the flavors with develop nicely. 


 
 
FRESHFARM Staff

Oven-roasting summer ripe tomatoes is a great way to bring out their sweetness! Meaty Romas are the best variety for oven roasting, but anything soil-grown and vine-ripened will do the trick. We eat these with poached eggs, on a sandwich, or folded into hot pasta with chopped herbs and grated cheese. They keep for about one week in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them and use them this winter in a roasted tomato soup or pasta sauce. 

Makes approximately  one quart.

INGREDIENTS

3 pounds sun-ripened tomatoes, preferably Romas
5 unpeeled garlic cloves
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary 
2 teaspoons salt


METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 325 ºF. Wash tomatoes and slice in half length-wise. Place them cut side down on a rimmed cookie sheet (a.k.a  half sheet pan) lined with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone baking mat. Tuck the garlic cloves and herbs among the tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. 

Bake for one hour, remove pan from oven and carefully turn each tomato over so it is cut side up. Bake for another 45 minutes and check on them. I f you want to cook them longer, lower oven to 300 ºF and cook another 30 minutes.  The tomatoes are done when they are shriveled but still moist. 

Allow them to cool completely and store, along with garlic and any accumulated liquid, in an airtight container.