Panzanella (Tomato Bread Salad)

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It’s bread… it’s salad… it’s bread… it’s salad! Two words that don’t typically go together, but we think should. And really, who’s favorite part of their salad isn’t the croutons? This recipe for panzanella, or Tuscan tomato bread salad is a great way to use up old bread and use all those tomatoes and peppers from the garden or farmers market. It’s incredibly simple to make– the hardest part is letting the salad rest for an hour while it absorbs the dressing.

To make the panzanella you will need:
1 baguette or loaf of 1-2 day old bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves or quarters
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear or chop bread into bite-size pieces and coat with two tablespoons of olive oil. Spread bread in a single layer on a baking pan and toast for 10-15 minutes. Let cool. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, oil, garlic, salt and pepper until well combined. Place bread, tomatoes, peppers and basil in a large bowl. Pour dressing over the top and toss gently to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for at least an hour, or until the bread has absorbed the dressing.  Garnish with more basil.

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Cucumber Salsa

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Our kitchen’s made-from-scratch products are ever changing and growing as we develop more relationships with local growers and this cucumber salsa is a perfect example. We’re able to use local cucumbers, herbs, onions, tomatoes and peppers to highlight the flavors of the season. And now we’re sharing the recipe with you!

To make this salsa you will need:

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded & diced
1/2 pound cucumber, peeled, seeded, & diced
1/4 pounds red onion, finely diced
1/4 pounds fresh tomato, seeded & minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely diced
1/4 cup fresh mint, finely diced
1  fresh jalapeno, seeded & minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon safflower oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Peel the cucumbers, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds with a spoon. Then finely dice them. Prep the rest of the vegetables as directed and place them all in a large bowl. Whisk together the safflower oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Toss with the vegetables, adjusting salt and pepper to taste. Serve with tortilla chips or as a refreshing topping for tacos.

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Chocolate Ch-ch-ch-chia Pudding

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If you’re used to Chia Pets and Chia Heads you may never have thought about eating chia seeds… before now. These tiny seeds pack a punch of nutrients in very few calories, they’re full of protein and fiber, deliver plenty of antioxidants and can help with heart health– they’re also a great source of calcium for people who follow a dairy-free diet. Native to South America, chia seeds were consumed by the Aztecs and Mayans and were praised for their ability to provide sustained energy. Only recently have they made in a surge in modern diets, as people are recognizing their health benefits.  This recipe requires that the chia seeds soak for several hours, so take that into account when making this pudding.
To make this Chocolate Chia Pudding you will need:
1/3 cup of chia seeds
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
3 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, agave, cocoa and vanilla until well combined. Add chia seeds and let soak for 2-3 hours. Enjoy!
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Preserve the Season: Spicy Dilly Beans

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Dilly beans- cute name, but they sure can pack a punch. These are a simple, quick pickle recipe (we don’t like to work too hard) that use local beans, local garlic and local peppers. WARNING! The cherry bomb peppers are pretty dang spicy, as one staff member can attest to, so either omit them and opt just for chili flakes, or prepare accordingly! Dilly beans, while delicious straight out of the jar also make a delicious addition to cheese boards and, our favorite, Bloody Marys.
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To make these Spicy Dilly Beans you will need:
2 overflowing handfuls of beans (enough to fill 2 jars)
1 cup distilled vinegar
4 teaspoons peppercorns
6 sprigs of fresh dill
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 cherry bomb pepper cut into rings
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons salt

Divide ingredients in half and place in jars. Add vinegar to each jar and cover the rest with water until ingredients are submerged. Cover with lids and gently shake to dissolve salt and sugar and to move the ingredients around. Let stand in refrigerator for a couple days. They’ll be good for 2-3 weeks.

Preserve the Season: Fridge Pickles

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If tang and crispness is what you crave and simplicity is your style, then we have the perfect recipe for you! A bunch of our local growers have a ton of cucumbers right now (along with garlic) and this fridge pickle recipe is an easy way to put them good use and to make them last a bit longer. Although after we made them, the jar was gone within the day!
To make this recipe you will need:
8-10 firm cucumbers
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3-4 sprigs of fresh dill
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon peppercorns
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
Slice cucumbers into very thin rounds, about 1/8 inch thick. Place them in a large jar with a lid. Add all ingredients then add enough water to cover the cucumbers. Place the lid on and gently shake to move the ingredients around. These were delicious even about 15 minutes after making them and became more delicious as the day went on. And they’ll keep for about 3 months in the fridge (if you can keep your paws out of the jar!)
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Grilling Guide: Pork Chops

PorkChop2We just got in a huge delivery of locally raised pork from Jason and Margaret over at Omache Farm. Our Meat Department has a case full of chops and this recipe for Grilled Lemon Rosemary Pork Chops is delicious!

To make these pork chops you will need:

6, 4-ounce boneless chops
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped finely
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

 Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Place pork chops in a shallow dish and pour marinade over top. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate 4-12 hours. Prepare and heat grill. Place chops directly over flame, grilling 5-7 minutes per side, flipping once. Let chops rest 10 minutes before eating.

New Brew News: Gluten-Free Edition

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This edition of New Brew News will be focusing on some of our Gluten-Free selections.  Hopefully this will shed some light on what it is you’re drinking, and also maybe help you out when you want to try something different.
1. Redbridge – Anheuser-Busch
Sorghum Beer 4%abv

Redbridge is brewed in the style of a classic American Lager.  The smell is malty, the pour is a golden-brown, caramel color, and the body is crisp.  Upon tasting you get the light malty-ness of the lager with a quick hop(ish) bitterness in the way, way back.  There is nothing really crazy about this one; it’s just…well, beer.  It’s not bad though.  What else would you expect from Anheuser-Busch?  They certainly have consistency down to a science, and that is an admirable trait. There is one thing about this beer (not the beer itself, but the labeling) that strikes me as odd.  Nowhere on the package does it bear the “Certified GF” symbol.  This doesn’t mean that it is not a gluten-free beer, it just doesn’t have the symbol, which, I would think, AB would be all about showing off.  Also, corn syrup is listed as an ingredient for this beer, for those that are paying attention to that part of it.  On a positive note, Redbridge is partnering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA).  Their website doesn’t give any specific information about this, but they’re doing it. So that’s cool.
2.Dark Ale – Harvester Brewing
Porter style – 25 IBU’s, 5.6%

Unlike the previous three beers, Harvester is a legitimate micro-brewery.  Based in Portland, Harvester is a dedicated GF brewery and all of their equipment was purchased brand new and never used for anything but brewing gluten-free beer.  Oh yeah, and as much of their ingredients as possible are locally sourced.  The Dark Ale is in the style of an American Porter pouring dark brown and almost deep red color.  Very roasty, earthy, and nutty to the nose.  It’s brewed with chestnuts instead of barley so there is a very specific nutty taste combined with a little chocolate and coffee.  The flavor is carried all the way to the end with a little hoppiness and just lingers there on the back of the tongue until the next sip.  Harvester’s Dark Ale is definitely a different kind of beer with a very unique taste, but it’s one that I think you can get used to.  I chose the Dark Ale for this just to kind of round out the selection for these reviews, but the Harvester IPA’s are also very good, and it seems I can barely keep the seasonals stocked.
3.New Grist – Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

Pilsner Style – 17 IBU’s, 5.1%abv
New Grist was definitely my favorite out of the beers chosen.  Pours a straw yellow and smells of sweet malts and a whole lot of fruit.  like a lot a lot.  New Grist tastes a lot like it smells; malty and fruity.  Green apples galore.  Of course, you get the hops after everything to finish it off.  A very admirable pilsner for they are working with.  Fun fact: New Grist is one of the first gluten-free beers to be federally approved for brewing by the U.S. Government, officially creating the gluten-free category.  So yeah. New Grist. Light, crisp, apples, gluten-free.  Good stuff.

 

Celebrate Summer with Gluten-Free S’mores

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We have so many great camping spots available to us in this area and what is camping without s’mores? Just sleeping on the ground, outside really. It’s the s’more that really bring that camping feeling. And if you’ve recently cut it from your diet it can quickly feel like you’ll never eating anything delicious again. Well, fear not gluten-freers! We have put together these gluten-free (and vegan, to boot) s’mores that are so good, you’ll never miss the gluten-full version. We made them with Smoreables graham crackers from Kinnikinnick Foods, which specializes in gluten-free foods, Dandies gluten-free and vegan marshmallows and Alter Eco dark chocolate with sea salt.

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Apricot Peach Milkshakes

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There’s nothing better than celebrating the tastes of summer. We mean the kind of celebration that involves sweet, juicy, drip-down-your-entire-arm peaches. While simply eating a peach is wonderful, we, at the Co-op, like to take things a step further- what can we say? We’re overachievers. This recipe for Apricot Peach Milkshakes takes the freshest seasonal flavors and combines them with delicious, locally produced milk and ice cream to create a treat that is out of this world.

To make these milkshakes you will need:
1 juicy peach (overripe is ok too), cut into chunks
2-3 apricots, cut into chunks
3 cups good vanilla ice cream (might we recommend Sticky Fingers Farm?)
1/2 cup of milk (from either Little Bear Dairy, available in the store or Tourmaline Farms, available at the Tuesday Growers Market)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. We like to serve ours with these great paper straws that we’re now carrying.

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