Green Gazpacho

I had a soup like this years ago in Michigan, the ingredients in the menu listed sourdough- huh? Then I had another version in Maine this summer and had to give it a try. So different and so delicious! A great way to use up a slice or 2 of day old bread. Adapted from a recipe by Alexandra Stafford who wrote Bread, Toast, Crumbs. An excellent old bread recipe resource!

  • 1 -2 cucumbers finely chopped
  • ½ pound seedless green grapes, halved
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, Diamond, or 1/2 tsp Morton
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 slices bread, torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup almonds, toasted then chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  1. Combine the cucumber, grapes, and garlic, salt, vinegar, ⅓ cup water, and bread. Let rest for 20 minutes.
  2. Pulse almonds in a processor until finely minced. Add the cucumber mixture, soaked bread, mint, oil, yogurt, and a grinding of black pepper to the processor bowl. Purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I garnished with a little more finely chopped cucumber and some orange bell pepper because -it looked so pretty!- and added more nice texture, and a touch of red pepper flakes. Chill until ready to serve. It's even better the next day.
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Chachouka!

I dream of having a little extra time, someday, somehow, to make this for 'brunch'. Jesse and I love it, and it's a great way to use the heels of your aging loaf of the week!

Serves 4.? or a hungry 2

  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 (14 oz) canned tomatoes and juices crushed up a bit
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 large eggs

Find an oven proof, flame proof big fry pan, and heat over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the cumin seeds and fry gently for a couple minutes, add onion and cook gently for 8-10 minutes or until soft and golden. 

Add garlic and peppers and continue to cook over low hear for 20 minutes, stirring often, until the peppers are soft. Add paprika, tomatoes and their juice and salt and pepper. Cook gently for 10-15 more minutes and preheat your oven to 350. 

Make 4 hollows in the pepper tomato goo and carefully break an egg into each. Bake for 10-12 minutes but watch carefully, you want the whites to set but the yokes to remain runny. 

Remove. Grab your bread crusts to soak it up, the paper, and a beer or bloody mary and enjoy! Happy weekend.

( I take no credit for this recipe, slightly adapted but all credit to River Cottage Veg)

Jesse MayhewComment
Homemade Ricotta

Now-I know, I know, you can buy this in the store. To me, it was an ingredient in recipes and nothing special. Let's say you bought a little too much milk for the week and have a little cream on hand, give making homemade ricotta a try and you'll never go back. It's very quick and easy and yet the results astound me. Creamy, rich, and I could stop tasting it while it was still warm!

 

4 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

1 tsp fine sea salt

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Set a big mesh strainer over a bowl and line it with a couple layers of cheesecloth, so that the cheesecloth hangs over a bit. 

Bring the milk, cream, and salt to boil (in a non-reactive stainless steal pot) When it comes to a boil, remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice until just combined. Let sit for 2 minutes, until the curds separate from the whey. Pour into the lined sieve and let sit to drain for 15 minutes to an hour, the longer, the thicker. 

We loved this on toast with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

There are many recipes out there, but the credit for this one should go to Lily Diamond, it's in her Kale and Carmel cookbook. 

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Ribollita (for 6ish)

It's supposed to be warm! These cool days make my fingers cold and want to hold onto a hot bowl of soup one more time... so here is my go-to cool weather soup. Rebollita literally translates to -'reboiled' and can be made with the veggies listed, or is really excellent with whatever leftover cooked veggies you have. 

Basically, it's a great way to use up the heels of your loaf, given new life from your delicious broth. 

1/4 cup olive oil

1 onion finely chopped

1-2 carrots finely chopped

1 celery stalk finely chopped 

1 leek, trimmed, thinly sliced

1 14 oz jar canned tomatoes, ( or 5-6 fresh skinned and chopped)

2 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, 1 jars worth mashed up a bit

3 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

a few thyme springs and 1 rosemary spring

10 oz kale (ripped up a bit ) or other dark leafy green

salt and pepper to taste

Crusty bread

 

In your stockpot, heat the oil on medium low, add the onion and saute until soft, 10-15 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, and leek and continue to saute for 5 more minutes. Then add the tomatoes and beans, stock, and herbs and simmer for 45 minutes. Then add the kale or other greens and continue to cook just for 10 minutes until the kale is glowing green, cooked, and tender.  Pop out the sprigs of herbs, and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

 

Pull out your old bread, rip it up to bite size pieces, and place in the bottom of the bowl, then ladle over your soup. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil if you feel fancy and a little parmesan if you feel really fancy. 

 

Adapted from "River Cottage Veg"

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2 Hour Delay Chocolate Orange French Toast

I was trying to not put any obvious 'old bread' recipes here, as I'm sure you know the classics. But... the storm gave us a little extra time one morning this week and so I made this for the wee ones. 

 

 

Serves 3 small people and 1 adult, or 2 hungry adults.

 

4 slices at least day old or more sourdough bread. If not a little dry to the touch, toast a little before soaking

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk

zest of 1/2 orange

chocolate chips

 

Mix eggs, milk, and zest, pour over sliced bread in a pan just big enough to fit. Turn slices over every 10 or so minutes, but try to not cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until all the liquid has been absorbed by the bread. 

Crank up your skillet to medium high, and place toast on, pouring in any extra liquid- but before you flip, insert chocolate chips into those sourdough holes of the bread, your kids will thank you. Or your friend. Or whomever is receiving this bit of sweet love toast.

Cook each side until golden brown delicious. 

Serve warm with maple syrup or jam, and of course, "snow" of a little powdered sugar. 

Jesse MayhewComment
Asparagus and Chive Toasties

We were thrilled to see our first asparagus coming up this week! So- when you reach the end of your loaf- slice it thinly and toast it right up- instead of old bread- crostini! We used our multigrain sourdough, toasted, smeared on a little goat cheese, sliced up an asparagus and some chives from the garden, a touch of olive oil...and voila! There you go. ( We're trying out recipes for crackers too- also tasty on the 'everything bagel' sourdough rye cracker!)

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Garden Pesto

After all the toast and sandwiches are made, if you're like me, you might find yourselves with some bread ends to use up! Sourdough bread can be used for many different things, whether a day or a week old, the sourdough will add a wonderful tangy complex flavor, and nutrition, to whatever you make. This week, we're posting a fresh sauce for spring, to be made with old bread torn into crumbs. I love to make this and have on hand to eat with roasted chicken or fish, or dress salads or sandwiches with extra zing.

 

Garden Pesto

 

Start by tossing together in a small bowl

  • 1 cup old bread, torn into bite size bits
  • 1/2 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water

Then coarsely chop

1 cup herbs. I love parsley and cilantro for a more traditional Bagnet Vert style sauce, but you can use whatever combination you have of fresh herbs- oregano, mint, basil, and tarragon are also delicious

 

In a food processor or mortar and pestle combine the crumb mixture with the rough chopped herbs with the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and salt and pulse/pound until combined and pureed to a sauce consistency

1/2 cup olive oil

1Tbs lemon juice

zest of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp salt- or to taste

 

If you would like to, (I love anchovies, so I usually do) add a few capers and/or anchovies to the mix

adjust acidity to taste, with more vinegar or lemon juice 

 

Keeps in the fridge for 1-2 weeks

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