Basil

It’s basil season on Edgecliff and we’ve got lots…

I grew four kinds this year. The standard genovese variety…
…a red variety I forget the name of – different than the one I usually grow (and don’t like it as much)…
…thai basil (going to try thai basil mojitos this weekend)…
…cinnamon basil – too pretty to pick.
If one has lots of basil then of course one needs to make pesto:  One huge load of basil…
…about three heaping cups once trimmed and cleaned…
…about 1/3 cup of pine nuts…
…a couple cloves of garlic (this beautiful garlic is from our CSA and is so much fresher and such a huge difference…who knew)….
Swirl it all together in the Cuisinart with a healthy dose of good olive oil et voila.
Pasta with super fresh pesto and lots of herbs, zucchini with lots of basil and some really cool purple carrots (sauteed in butter and maple syrup).  A beautiful summer plate of freshness.
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Roasted Cauliflower

A chartreuse cauliflower

We had this beautiful green cauliflower that we got from our CSA sitting in the refrigerator.  I didn’t quite know what to do with it so I searched around and found a recipe for roasted cauliflower that had glowing reviews.  The recipe is very simple and it was tasty.  It tastes good cold the next day too for a nice after work snack.

cauliflower still life
Not particularly good looking…but tasty. I threw on some Parmesan during the last couple of minutes.

Roasted Cauliflower

Gourmet, April 2007

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), cut into 1 1/2-inch-wide florets (8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.

Toss cauliflower with oil and salt in a large bowl. Spread in 1 layer in a large shallow baking pan (1 inch deep) and roast, stirring and turning over occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.

Stuffing

NOBODY makes better stuffing than my Mom.

I have tried the last few years, but never can quite match it.  Kathryn observed this thanksgiving and took careful notes.

in goes the stuffing…

Stuffing

Linda Holzheimer – as observed by Kathryn Purcell

  • 2 loaves of stuffing bread…unsliced…cubed
  • 2 packs of rolls from freezer because she needed more
  • Filled up 2/3 of roasting pan
  • Cubes it day before and let sit in roaster to dry out
  • 4 cups each of chopped celery, chopped onion
  • 1.5 pounds of bulk sausage
  • Chopped fresh parsley,  about a cup
  1. Sauté onions, celery, sausage in butter and canola oil….we did it separately
  2. Add all to cubed, dried bread
  3. Mix well
  4. Add poultry seasoning and salt and pepper to taste
  5. Add sage, if you like sage

Liquid:

  1. Melt stick and an half of butter in 3 cups of chicken broth
  2. Beat 2-3 eggs with a little chicken broth to thin it out
  3. Add 2 egg mixture to stuffing mix
  4. Slowly add broth/butter mixture to stuffing, while mixing

Stuff in turkey! Yum!

Thanksgiving 2011 side note: I was very lame and didn’t take ANY pictures all thanksgiving.  We we’re busy cooking all weekend.  All of Courtney’s family came to Cleveland.  We had 16 for dinner on Wednesday, 18 for dinner on Thursday and 32 for dinner on Saturday when both tribes joined together.    Menu for historical reference:

Wednesday Dinner: pomodori al forno, olives and cheese for apps, eggplant, sausage and ziti casserole, macaroni and cheese, salad, bread, and ice cream sundae bar for dessert.

Thursday Dinner: turkey, ham, stuffing, vegetarian stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, roasted root vegetables, brussels sprouts, green bean casserole, bread, orange-cranberry sauce, regular cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and apple pie and cookies.

Friday Dinner: chili and vegetarian chili will lots of toppings, pizza, orange jello, spinach salad, bread and ice cream sundae bar back by popular demand.

It was a fun weekend.

Ratatouille

Evie Davis

serves 6-8

Tastes best sitting on the lawn at Chautaqua.

  • olive oil
  • 2 medium eggplants, cut into 1 ½” cubes
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered and into 1” lengths
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 green peppers, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 lbs. Fresh tomatoes, cut into 1” cubes
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ½ t. dried thyme
  • 1 t. dried basil
  • lemon wedges

Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté the eggplant until it’s lightly browned on both sides. (adding oil as needed) and until soft.  Remove and place in large casserole and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Briefly sauté zucchini, add to casserole, salt and pepper.

Add more olive oil to the skillet and sauté the onions and green peppers, cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, bay leaf, and tomatoes, stirring occasionally, and cooking about ten minutes more.  Add to the casserole, sprinkle with herbs, gently toss, cover and bake for 20 minutes in a 325 oven.  Serve hot or cold.  If cold, serve with lemon wedges.

Marinated Vegetables

enough for a crowd

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 large bunch broccoli
  • 1 package fresh mushrooms
  • 1 basket cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cans artichoke hearts
  • 1 can french style green beans
  • 1 can each black and green pitted olives

marinade

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 T. dill weed
  • 1 ½ cups salad oil
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 T. Accent
  • 1 t. garlic salt
  • 1 t. pepper

Cut the cauliflower, broccoli and mushrooms into bite size pieces.  Mix marinade ingredients thoroughly and pour over vegetables and allow to stand overnight.  Toss several times.

Junky Potatoes

serves 10-12

great for pot luck

  • 1, 2 lb. bag frozen hash browns
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • ½ cup minced green onion
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups crushed corn flakes
  • 1 stick melted butter

Combine first 6 ingredients and put in greased 9 X 13 pan.  Combine corn flakes with melted butter.  Top casserole with mixture.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving

Italian Potatoes

  • 4 large (or 6 medium) Russet potatoes
  • ½ cup fine, toasted bread crumbs
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ t. oregano
  • 1-1 ½ t. salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ – ¾ cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 350

Peel and cut potatoes lengthwise into wedges (about 6-8 per potato) and drop into a bowl of cold water

Combine bread crumbs and grated cheese.  Do not dry the wedges before coating them well with the crumb mixture.  Place them in a shallow, 9 x 13-inch baking dish, sprinkling any remaining crumbs on top.

Top potatoes with sliced tomatoes and onion rings.  Sprinkle with oregano, salt, and a generous grinding of pepper.  Drizzle with oil just before baking.

Bake, uncovered, 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until potatoes are brown but still retain some crunchiness