Thursday, July 29, 2010

Potato Crust

When I was a kid my mom used to make a cauliflower cheese pie from the moosewood cookbook. It had a crust made out of grated potato and it was always one of my favorites. Years later when I was in college I recreated it and have been making my own variation of it ever since. Not only is it really delicious, it is hearty, easy to make and gluten free!

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Wash and grate with the large side of a cheese grater, two medium sized potatoes. As you grate the potatoes set the grated pieces in a colander over the sink to let any excess liquid drain out. When you are finished squeeze the excess liquid out of the potato one handful at a time, placing the dry potato into a medium sized mixing bowl. To the grated potato add one egg, fresh ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt and a hearty handful of chopped parsley (any herbs can be happily added here). Mix all ingredients well.

Grease a 9 inch pie pan with olive oil or butter and evenly pat the potato mixture into the pie pan and up the sides. Bake the crust at 375 degrees until the top edges of the crust are golden and the potato is cooked, this takes about 25 to 30 minutes depending on the oven. Allow the crust to cool for a few minutes before adding your filling. You can also make the crust up to a day in advance and add the filling just before baking. This crust is great as the base for any savory pie!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sun Dried Tomato Dressing

I never used to like sun-dried tomatoes because they always seemed too sweet. So, I was surprised when one day this spring I had a real craving for them. It was the season for fresh baby romaine and I dreamed up a dressing that tickled the fancy of my salt loving palate while fulfilling my craving for a sweet and acidic bite. I kept the left over sauce in the fridge and finished it off on a quinoa salad with radish, beets and peas. I served the dish to my apprentices last Monday and they encouraged me to share it with the rest of you. If you just can’t wait for tomato season, give this a shot! Enjoy and happy summer!

Soak ¼ cup of dried tomatoes in ½ cup of organic extra virgin olive oil for 8 hours or overnight. Once the tomatoes have softened somewhat add 2 cloves of fresh, juicy garlic, a few twists of fresh ground black pepper, fresh basil leaves (or oregano if you don’t have basil) and 1 Tbs. of naturally fermented tamari sauce. You can also add a few shavings of lemon zest if you wish. Blend it all together in the blander until most of the tomato chunks are gone.

You can use this sauce fresh on salads, with steamed or grilled veggies, bread and cheese, over hard-boiled eggs or tossed with grains. It will also keep well in the refrigerator for later use (the oil will solidify at colder temperatures, but it will become liquid again once removed from the fridge).