Thursday, June 17, 2010

How'd we do? Plus Bing cherries star in a cherry clafoutis.

Here's how we used up all our box ingredients this week:

Sugar snap peas - A simple tofu and sugar snap pea curry, over rice.

Strawberries - Smoothies

Arugula & Spring Onions - Food on bread*, i.e. Greek Flatbread Pizzas with Grilled Onions, Zucchini, and Feta.

Chard - Food on bread*, i.e. Braised Greens & White Beans on Toast

Parsley & Spring Onions - Played supporting roles in Spelt Salad.

Lettuce - Big Salad!  Our mix included dried cherries, carrots, green onions, parmesan, chickpeas, and hardboiled egg.  Tasty!

New potatoes & Parsley - Potato Salad.  Yummmmmmmm. 
  I also had to pick up some cherries after I saw the bag of glorious Bing cherries that a co-worker bought at our Wednesday downtown farmer's market.  The cherry season is fleeting, and those fruits beckoned.  I have never cooked with cherries, and I worried that they would be difficult to pit.  Not so!  I meant to pick up a pitter while I was out and about last Saturday, but I never did.  So I took matters into my own hands - literally - and pitted the pound of cherries all by myself.  And it was really easy!  The only bad thing was that the dark cherry juice stained my cuticles for a few days, but that was just the price that had to be paid for succulent, sweet, and juicy cherries.  Here's what I made:
Cherry clafoutis - a traditional French dessert/breakfast.  It's like a baked custard dish, and with all the almond extract I added (twice the recommended amount!), it tasted like my Southern favorite, Chess Pie.
And here's the link to the base recipe.  I made the following changes: doubled the almond extract, didn't do the almond-pulverizing-milk-soaking step (I just used plain milk), before baking, topped the clafoutis with about 1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds.  This was a super delicious and relatively healthy dessert, and it made an awesome breakfast the next morning.  Three cheers for cherries!

P.S. You can make clafoutis with other fruits, such as raspberries or plums.  Yum!

Make this now: If I had to pick just one recipe to recommend you try, it would be ... drumroll please ... Spelt Salad!!  Everything that I cooked this week was delicious, so it's hard to pick a favorite, but I think it's important to experiment with new ingredients.  I'm betting that most people have never cooked spelt in their home kitchen.  Try it!  You will be pleasantly surprised.  If you can cook beans (and believe me, you can), you can successfully cook this ancient form of wheat.  You can find it at your health food store and probably at Whole Foods or another health-focused retailer. 

*Food on bread sure had its moment this week, didn't it???

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