Recipe page # 9

Wobbly Cart Recipe page #9                                                      8-16-10

Fresh Basil Vinaigrette: (from the Joy of Cooking.)

Mash to a paste 1 small garlic clove, and 2 to 3 pinches of salt. Remove to a small bowl and add ½ tsp salt, 1/8 tsp ground black pepper, ¼ cup red wine vinegar or fresh squeezed lemon juice, ½ tsp Dijon mustard. Whisk until blended. Then add gradually, whisking constantly after addition ¾ cup olive oil. Then add ¼ cup freshly minced basil. This is best used immediately and it makes about 1 cup.

Fingerling Potato, Carrot, Fennel, and Bacon Side dish:

Chop up 5 big strips of bacon into 1-inch chunks. Cook the bacon in a pan until done. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Meanwhile chop the leafy parts off of a bulb of fennel, chop up the bulb part into small bite-sized pieces. Saute them in the bacon fat with a dash of salt for about 7-10 minutes to soften. Then transfer the sautéed fennel into a casserole dish, add a small splash of white wine, and transfer to a 375 degree oven for 30 min. While the fennel braises in the oven, take your pan of bacon fat and add some fennel seeds to it, fry them for a minute, then add 1 lb of fingerling potatoes that have been coarsely chopped, and 4 coarsely chopped carrots. Add a dash of salt and pepper, sautéing until cooked through. This could take 15 to 20 minutes. Once the potatoes are complete, empty the pot into the fennel casserole. Add the cooked bacon from earlier and toss well. Adjust the seasoning as needed and let the casserole finish its time in the oven if need be.  Garnish with chopped chives or scallions.

Lemon Cucumber Salad:

Cut 2 lemon cucumbers into 6 wedges each and set aside. Peel 2 regular cucumbers and slice. Cut ½ onion into thin slices, place in a small bowl and toss with 1/3 rice wine vinegar, set aside. Cut ½ pint cherry tomatoes into halves and sprinkle with a little salt and fresh ground black pepper. Set aside. Rub 2 sweet yellow corn cobs with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the corn on a hot grill for about 5 minutes; turning every minute. Remove from the grill and cut the corn off the cob, set aside. To serve, chop 1 head of oak-leaf lettuce and toss with about 5 Tbsp of the basil vinaigrette dressing (from previous recipe), Top the lettuce with the cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes. Then sprinkle on the grilled corn and serve.

The following recipes are from the August 2010 issue of Sunset Magazine.

Summer Squash, white bean, and pesto soup:

Saute chopped onion and cubed summer squash in olive oil with salt and pepper until tender. Add chicken or vegetable broth, drained and rinsed canned white beans, and chopped fresh oregano and parsley. Bring to simmer. Top with a dollop of homemade pesto.

Grilled Summer Squash with lemon crème fraiche:

Brush lengthwise slices of summer squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat (about 450) until tender crisp, 5 to 10 minutes. Mix crème fraiche with lemon zest and chopped fresh dill and serve with squash.

Lemon, Basil and Walnut pesto:

In a food processor, whirl 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, 1 garlic clove, ¼ cup olive oil, zest and juice of one lemon, ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, and 1/3 cup toasted walnuts until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss the pesto with cooked pasta and a little pasta water. Add more pepper and parmesan to taste.

Basil Syrup: Simmer 1 cup sugar, ¾ cup water and 1 large handful of basil in a saucepan until sugar dissolves. Let steep 20 minutes; strain. Use to sweeten iced tea or summery cocktails.

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