Tag Archives: cheesy

two lunches

Sorry for the lack of updates lately! The internet has been a bit wonky for the past few weeks. Food on the farm right now is still a bit monotonous. Lots of kale, kale florets (taste like broccoli!), and eggs. However, we harvested our first bunch of asparagus last week and the rhubarb is coming in strong. Spinach is nearly ready for harvest and we trellised the first succession of peas today. Spring is definitely in the air!

Lunch is an important event of the day. These are two sandwiches that I have eaten a couple of times now and highly recommend these combinations, especially if you have access of farm fresh kale and eggs.

Grilled Cheese with Greens and Avocado

Saute a generous handful of kale (or kale florets if the kale is bolting fast) with a small clove of smashed garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. When the greens are wilted, add a splash of apple cider or balsamic vinegar and pinch of salt. Stuff the greens into your favorite grilled cheese sandwich; mine has a layer of grainy mustard and half an avocado. Enjoy! Here, I enjoyed it with a side of yogurt with kumquat marmalade.

Egg Salad aux Fines Herbs

This was the first time I have made mayonnaise/aioli by hand, and I have to say that it was way easier than I expected. Just keep whisking! Or, use an immersion blender. I used a couple of egg yolks because mine were small and used half olive oil and half vegetable oil. Also, I know everyone knows how to hard boil an egg, but I like to bring the eggs in cold water up to a boil, remove from the heat, cover with a lid and let stand for 10 minutes. This results in a perfectly cooked white and a still slightly soft yolk.

For two sandwiches, hard boil four eggs. Cool, peel, and chop coarsely. Combine the eggs with a spoonful of mayo, a dollop of mustard, and small handfuls of finely chopped herbs of your choice. I used chervil (tiny, fine leaves with a slight licorice/anise flavor), parsley, cilantro, and sorrel (large-ish leaves with a lemony tang). Season well with salt and pepper. Serve on grainy bread, open faced or not. Once again, I added slices of avocado on top.


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Filed under greens, lunch, quick

summer squash gratin

After our trip to the u-pick vegetable farm over labor day weekend, we came home with 10 pounds of summer squash and zucchini. Summer squashes seem to be priced somewhat high here in Seattle so I haven’t had the chance to get tired of my usual ways of preparation. Gratins are a good way to use up lot of vegetables, especially if you like crispy breadcrumbs and melty cheese. I really liked this recipe because it added flavor with a salsa verde and not with lots of cream or butter. The only unfortunate part about this recipe is the amount of dishes involved to make seemingly one dish (food processor x2, mandolin, colander, several bowls, a small skillet), but the results are so tasty that I wouldn’t mind making this again at all.



Summer Squash Gratin

adapted from food52

note: I didn’t have any gruyere on hand and instead used some soft goat cheese (chevre) and delicious goat gouda. The gouda is not super melty like gruyere, but I really liked the combination of the pillowy soft goat cheese with the sharper, earthier gouda.

Also, I used a bigger gratin dish to accommodate more squash and more crispy topping, but the recipe recommended using a 9″x9″ pan.

2 pounds summer squash/zucchini, thinly sliced on that mandolin

1.5 c fresh breadcrumbs (i used whole wheat)

2 tbsp butter

handfuls of your cheeses of choice; i used goat cheese and gouda

small handful of capers, roughly chopped

sprinkle of thyme leaves

salsa verde:

1 stem of oregano with the leaves stripped off

1 stem of mint with leaves stripped off

1 large bunch parsley, destemmed

small handful of basil

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 hot chile pepper of your choice, seeded

1 tsp miso paste (i use this a lot for some umani)

1/2 large lemon, both zest and juice

olive oil

Toss the sliced squash with a generous pinch of salt and set to drain in a colander, about 10 minutes. Drain and shake off excess moisture.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small food processor, make the salsa verde. Combine the herbs, garlic, chile, miso, and lemon juice and zest. With the processor running, stream in the olive oil until smooth. Sometimes, in order to save some money and calories, I use a bit of veg broth, but don’t tell anyone! Season well.

Toss the sliced squash with the salsa verde in a large bowl. In a small skillet, brown the butter and toss in the bread crumbs. Butter the gratin dish and layer in the prepared squash. Sprinkle with capers and thyme leaves. Dollop on the goat cheese, if using, and sprinkle on the firmer cheese. Finish with a layer of breadcrumbs. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the squash is tender, cheese is melted, and the breadcrumbs crispy.

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Filed under cheesy, gratin

cheese or veggie enchiladas

i have not been posting as much as i have been wanting to lately.  it seems like all of the food that i have been making as of late has been really, really ugly.  These enchiladas are no exception.  here in san francisco, there are a lot of burrito joints.  lots of really good burrito places are within a 5 minute walk from my house.  however, i have been missing those cheese enchiladas from tex- mex places in houston, especially in this colder weather.  with no tex- mex in california, i would just have to make them myself.  and this being california, i would have to make the cheese enchiladas just a bit healthier.  instead of just mountains of cheese, i sauteed some leftover veggies (onion, kale, corn, and black beans) and used them filled the corn tortillas along with some cheddar/jack cheese.  the most important part (to me anyways) is the chili gravy.  i based mine off of the chili gravy from homesick texan but added about a half can of tomatoes that were sitting in the fridge.  if you are a homesick texan or just pining for some tex- mex, make yourself some enchiladas tonight.

cheese or vegetable enchiladas

adapted from homesick texan

chili gravy

this is key for that sort of tex- mex flavor.  i used some homemade chili powder with dried new mexican chilis, ancho chilis, cumin, smoked paprika, and oregano, but you can use a store bought blend.  traditionally lard is used as the fat, but since i am vegetarian, i used vegetable oil.

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

1 clove garlic smashed

2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp dried oregano (Mexican oregano is preferred if it’s available)

3 tbsp chili powder

2 cups vegetable broth or water

about 1/2 can diced tomatoes, pureed (this is optional and perhaps even sacrilegious for chili gravy, but seeing that i am filling the enchiladas with vegetables, i guess i can’t really talk about authenticity)

heat the oil in a skillet and whisk in the flour to make a roux over medium to medium high heat.  cook the roux until light brown add the pepper, salt, garlic, cumin, oregano, and chili powder and cook until you can really smell the spices, taking care that you don’t let the garlic burn and constantly stirring.  added the vegetable broth and tomatoes and stir until the sauce thickens.  let the chili gravy simmer over low heat for about 15- 20 minutes.  taste and sdjust the seasoning and add more liquid if needed.

enchilada assembly

you can ignore the vegetable part and just use cheese if that is what you want.

8 corn tortillas

your choice of sauteed vegetables or black beans

shredded cheddar cheese or monterey jack cheese

1 recipe of chili gravy

preheat oven to 400 degrees.

heat the tortillas in a lightly oiled skillet or (if you have a gas stove) directly over the burner until they are all softened.  pour about 1/2 cup of the chili gravy into the bottom of you baking dish.  stuff a small amount of vegetables and cheese or a large amount of cheese in each tortilla and roll up.  place this seam side down into the pan.  repeat until finished.  pour the rest of the chili gravy over the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese.  bake until everything is hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted.

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broccoli, cheese, and rice

this was a requested dish at thanksgiving, but also good for this time of year.  it is a sort of retro creamy casserole dish that i tried to make a bit lighter and healthier with a bit of modern spicing.  and very tasty!  leftovers keep pretty well and make a very tasty lunch.

broccoli and rice casserole

1 cup brown rice or white rice

1-2 tbsp olive oil or butter

1 or 2 stalks of celery diced

1 smallish onion finely diced

1 large head of broccoli cut into small florets

4 oz neufchatel cheese or cream cheese

1/4 -1/2 tsp smoked paprika (i think this is my favorite spice right now)

parmigiano and/or nicely aged cheddar


cook the brown rice in your favorite manner and drain.  while the rice is cooking, in a deep, wide skillet, sautee the celery and onion in the olive oil or butter until soft and starting to brown.  sprinkle in the smoked paprika.  add the broccoli and a splash of water or stock and cover and steam for a couple minutes.  cut the neufchatel cheese into small pieces and drop into the veggies and stir until everything is coated.  add the cooked rice and grate in your desired amount of parm or cheddar.  mix well and pour into a baking dish.  melt a bit more butter and toss in some breadcrumbs.  top the rice mixture with the butter breadcrumbs and slide the casserole into a 350-375 oven and bake until bubbly.

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Filed under cheesy, grains, vegetables