Archive for the ‘Sage’ Category

Amy’s Herbed Carrots

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

A great tasting dish fragrant with fresh sage, thyme, & shallots, plus a dash of freshly grated nutmeg.

3 pounds carrots, peeled
1 cup chicken stock or broth
salt & black pepper
1/2 pound shallots, thinly slicked
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or olive oil)
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Cut carrots into 3-by-1/2-inch sticks.

Bring stock to a boil in a heavy skillet. Add carrots and simmer, covered, until just tender, about 15 minutes

Remove lid and boil until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Transfer carrots to a bowl and wipe out skillet.

Cook shallots in butter (or olive oil) with a little salt and pepper in skillet over medium heat, stiring occasionally, until deep golden, about 6 minutes.

Add sage, thyme, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and return carrots to skillet, tossing to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Pasta Dressed with Creamy Sage and Pumpkin Sauce

Monday, November 28th, 2011

My good friend Amy makes this luscious cream sauce for pasta. Made with pumpkin, this is the perfect cold weather comfort food.

* 2 parts pumpkin (about 1 cup per person)
* 1 part light cream or half-and-half
* Fresh sage leaves
* Generous grating of parmesan or locatelli
* 1 pat butter
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 2 oz. pasta (fresh linguini or fettuccini from Talutos in the Italian Market is especially good)
* (optional) tablespoon or two of calvados, sherry or Grand

Cook the pumpkin however you like — boil, steam, bake — then whirl in a blender with the cream till smooth and unctuous.

Return to the pot and heat gently over a low burner. Chiffonade the sage leaves, add to the pot, and gently simmer till it begins to look thick and sauce-like. Add the grated cheese, which will thicken it a bit further.

Boil a large pot of salted water and cook the pasta until al dente

Drain the pasta and combine with the pumpkin mixture. Cook for a few seconds to combine flavors, then melt in a pat of butter. Finishing with a tablespoon or two of calvados or sherry or Grand Marnier gives it an elegant taste if you like that sort of thing (I used calvados). Serve immediately with a fresh grating of pepper and a nice salad.

NOTE: I first made this with oriental pumpkin which you can buy by the slice at the Sunday Farmer’s Market at the 2nd Street Shambles, but a flavorful orange winter squash also works. Just be sure to blend until the texture becomes creamy and smooth.

- Barb McKenzie

Herbs to use when cooking dried beans…

Friday, July 1st, 2011

I am currently cooking my way through “Fagioli: The Bean Cuisine of Italy” by Judith Barrett. Since dried beans are the basis for so many salads, soups and entrees, I was interested in which fresh garden herbs Italians traditionally use to flavor dried beans during the initial cooking period.

The general idea is to soak the bean of choice overnight, then drain, rinse and add fresh water, herbs, & sea salt, and simmer slowly until done. Beans are usually stored in the fridge with their cooking liquid until used in another recipe Here’s a summary of what herbs go with which bean in the initial step:

White beans (cannellini, navy, great northern) — sage only, sage & whole garlic clove, bay leaf only, whole garlic cloves with bay leaf, or rosemary.

Cannellini only: Rosemary alone or rosemary & garlic are good, as is sage and garlic. Cannellini are also good with fresh marjoram.

Chick Peas — bay leaf goes surprisingly well with chickpeas, and lots of Italian chick pea recipes call for bay leaves during the initial cooking period. Cynthia Rafferty’s bay leaf tree is a good source in the garden. Sage and garlic are good alternatives to bay leaves. Rosemary and garlic also go well with chick peas.

Split and Skinned Favas (available at Claudio’s in the Italian Market) — bay leaf

Red Kidney beans go well with bay leaves and garlic

Lima – sage

Dried beans in general– Summer savory