August 20, 2008

Locavores, Rejoice!

A Bounty of Fresh, Local Produce Available NOW

Blueberries, peaches and cukes, oh my! Local gardens, farmstands and farmer's markets are bursting with fresh produce from apples to zucchini, so take advantage. Home Depot recently reported a surge in freezer sales this past quarter so folks are certainly thinking ahead to the coming winter. But don't overlook fresh treats too. The following recipes are adapted from my Frugal Family Kitchen Book.

Fresh Taste Blueberry-Peach Pie

An unbaked pie with a glace topping, this combines two of our best Maine fruits for just-picked flavor.

4 c blueberries
1 or 2 peaches
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c water
2 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 8" or 9" pie shell, baked and cooled

Over medium heat, cook 2 c berries with the sugar, water and cornstarch until clear and thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, add butter and lemon juice, stir and cool. Pit and chop peach(es) - the huge peach I used was smooth-skinned so I didn't peel - and add to the remaining 2 c berries, pour into pie shell and evenly spread the glace mixture over the top.
Can be served at room temp or chilled.

Pasta Primavera

A perfect way to dress up bits and pieces of any veggies in your garden, the sauce - which goes together very quickly - also makes an excellent veggie dip.


2 TBSP basil
2 TBSP parsley
2 TBSP butter
1 8 oz cream cheese
2/3 c boiling water
1/2 grated parmesan cheese
2 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 c scallions or chives finely cut

Cream togehter the basil, parsley and butter, blend in the cream cheese, parmesan, oil, garlic and scallions or chives. Stir in the boiling water and blend well. To be honest, I usually just throw it all together in a bowl and stir until smooth.

If you're adding broccoli, cauliflower, carrot pieces, summer or zucchini squash, lightly steam and drain well before adding. Things such as tomato chunks, cucumber slices, peppers, even radish slices can go right into the sauce.

Cook up whatever you want for pasta, arrange on a platter, top with the veggie- and herb-rich sauce, a sprinkle of cheese to top and enjoy!

August 12, 2008

A Simple Summer Supper

Inexpensive, quick to put together, colorful to serve, nutritious to eat, this puttanesca has it all. When my daughter first gave me this recipe it actually looked...well, kinda' boring. In its orginal form, it's delicious, with the extras I added, downright delectable.

A puttanesca is an olive-oil-based pasta sauce. The very name has a colorful history (look it up!), and there are many, many variations on the basics. Some recipes call for anchovies, others suggest adding a variety of veggies. Let me give you the original simple recipe, then my additions, and THEN, you add what you'd like.

Simple puttanesca

1 c chopped or finely cut parsley
1 c sliced scallions ( I often use chives or green onion tops)
1/2 c olive oil
2 TBSP drained capers (in brine)
2 TBSP caper brine

Mix and add to a big bowl of freshly cooked spaghetti or other pasta. I added chopped fresh tomatoes, black olives, and garlic. Another time I'm going to try it with some grated asiago cheese or maybe even shrimp. Serve with a nice red wine, chunks of French bread... ahhh, good stuff.

This is served at room temp, keeps well in the refrigerator and makes a wonderful lunch.