27th February 2010

    Roasted Root Vegetable Bread Salad, a la Essential Baking Company

    Local, organic bakery The Essential Baking Company has a few cafés around town, and I’ve been enjoying their bread salad on a pretty regular basis, so much so that I decided I had to recreate it at home. I love the mix of roasted yams, beets, and leeks (!), and when tossed with big chunks of crispy-on-the-outside bread, mixed greens, and balsamic vinaigrette, it’s a salad I just can’t say no to. In a wonderful instance of kismet, our CSA box this week provided both the yams and beets for this recipe.


    Lisa says:

    Hey, this looks familiar!

    Chris says:

    Yeah, I think I did pretty good recreating it…

    Lisa says:

    What kind of greens are these?

    Chris says:

    Well, I meant to pick up some mixed baby greens, but accidentally got this mix of mustard greens, kale, and chard…

    Lisa says:

    Whoops…

    Chris says:

    Yeah, but it’s actually fine, I think — it may have been overwhelming if it was all greens, but most of this salad consists of the roasted veggies.

    Lisa says:

    It *is* totally fine; actually, it’s pretty good. I heart kale and chard.

    Chris says:

    I heart these leeks. I may want to just roast those up on a regular basis; maybe add them to mashed potatoes or something — they’re really good.

    Lisa says:

    I love it. Hmmm, I’m going to come up with a list of other dishes to recreate at home!

    Roasted Root Vegetable Bread Salad
    Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
    3-4 medium beets
    2 medium/large yams, peeled and sliced 3/4″ thick
    2 leeks, washed and sliced on a bias into 1/2″ thick pieces
    favorite day-old bread (we used Essential Bakery’s Rosemary Diamante), cut into 1″ cubes
    mixed salad greens
    balsamic vinaigrette

    Preheat the oven to 400F. Arrange oven racks so that both can be used during the roasting process. The beets take the longest, so you should be able to swap in the remaining vegetables to roast while the beets are going.
    Wrap each beet in aluminum foil. Place the beets on a cooking sheet and into the oven, on the lower rack, for 45 minutes to an hour, until a knife pressed into a beet gives little resistance. While the beets are roasting, toss the yams in a bowl with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Turn out onto a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, flipping once, until soft on the inside but still a bit crisp on the outside. Set aside to cool. Toss the leeks with just a little olive oil and turn onto a baking sheet, and roast for about 10 minutes, until soft and just starting to brown. Set aside to cool. When the beets are ready, remove and open the foil packets. When cool enough to handle, peel the outer layer and cut into chunks.
    Meanwhile, toss the bread cubes in a little olive oil (sounding familiar?), place on a baking sheet and bake just until crisp on the outside — you don’t want to make rock-hard croutons.
    Now you can just throw everything, including the salad greens, into a bowl, add enough dressing to your liking, toss until coated, and serve! Season as desired.

    2-3 servings.

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    posted in Salads and Light Soups, Vegetarian | 4 Comments

    14th September 2009

    Zucchini Bread

    zukebread

    Like many gardens out there, ours has been pumping out the zucchini out as fast as we can eat it. When you turn around to find a forearm-sized zucchini that simply wasn’t there ten minutes prior, you know it’s time to use zucchini in just about every meal. This recipe for zucchini bread is based on one Lisa found on the Whole Foods website. She reduced the oil and upped the applesauce in this already healthy recipe, and replaced some of the sugar with agave nectar. It had great flavor and was great for dessert, breakfast, and anytime I walked by the plate. The only downside? Barely made a dent in our zucchini bounty.


    Chris says:

    Wow, it smells great in here.

    Lisa says:

    I can’t wait to eat this — I’m so impatient!

    Chris says:

    I’m sure it’ll be great, how much longer?

    Lisa says:

    Just about done… yep! Done.

    Chris says:

    Gimme-gimme-gimme!

    Lisa says:

    Geez, I thought I was the impatient one.

    Chris says:

    Yummm! Wow, you can really taste that nutmeg. I like the crunch of the walnuts.

    Lisa says:

    Wahoo! It’s pretty moist, too — and it’s made with applesauce instead of a bunch of oil.

    Chris says:

    Well I gotta say, it turned out great. Does this count as eating your vegetables?

    Lisa says:

    Of course!

    Zucchini Bread
    Cooking spray
    1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    1 egg
    1/4 cup canola oil
    1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
    2 tbsp plain yogurt
    3/8 cup sugar
    3/8 cup agave nectar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 cup grated zucchini
    1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

    Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray an 8-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

    In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, oil, applesauce, yogurt, sugar and vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir until well combined. Fold in zucchini and walnuts then transfer batter to prepared pan and bake until risen, deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.

    Cool in pan on rack for 30 minutes then remove bread from pan and continue cooling on rack.

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    posted in Breads and Muffins, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

    9th December 2008

    Apple Bread Pudding

    applebreadpudding

    Lisa made us personal-size apple bread pudding in ramekins the night Carrie came over for dinner.  We had a ton of apples from previous CSA shipments, and Lisa has recently been experimenting with Agave Nectar as a sweetner, so this recipe that Cathy found on About.com fit the bill.

    Lisa says:

    So, this recipe is actually supposed to be pretty healthy. There’s no dairy, and it’s sweetened with agave nectar!

    Carrie says:

    Wow, this does sound healthy — usually when I make bread pudding there’s a bunch of booze in it.

    Chris says:

    Ooh, good idea! Put Maker’s Mark in mine!

    Carrie says:

    It smells *really* good…

    Lisa says:

    Well, we’ll see how it tastes.

    Chris says:

    I do like that the top got all carmelized. Looks good — now, let’s eat!

    Carrie says:

    This is really good, Lisa!

    Chris says:

    Ooh, yeah, I like it. You can totally taste the almond milk.

    Lisa says:

    Really? I don’t get that at all.

    Chris says:

    Yeah, it tastes really nutty.

    Lisa says:

    Well, there’s also walnuts in there… where are you going?

    Chris says:

    I’m getting the Maker’s…

    Carrie says:

    Are you really going to pour… yes you are.

    Lisa says:

    Wow. Usually you put that in before it cooks.

    Chris says:

    Whatevs — I heart bourbon!

    Apple Bread Pudding
    2 cups 1/2 ” whole-grain bread cubes
    1/2 cup finely chopped apple pieces
    1/8 cup chopped walnuts
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/8 tsp nutmeg
    1/8 tsp salt
    1 cup vanilla almond milk
    1/6 cup and 1/2 tbsp agave nectar, plus more for drizzling

    Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil 3 6-ounce ramekins. Set aside.
    In a medium-sized bowl, combine the bread cubes, apple pieces, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well mixed. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the almond milk and agave nectar and allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes.
    Split the mixture into the prepared dishes and bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Broil for a couple minutes to carmelize the tops. Drizzle with syrup, and drink with bourbon, if desired.

    3 Servings

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    posted in Desserts | 4 Comments

    16th March 2008

    Taste & Create VII: Whole Wheat Potato Bread

    I’m not sure how this happens, butevery single Taste & Create event ends up with me baking. This month I was paired with the truthfully-titled Heaven is Chocolate, Cheese, and Carbs, a relatively new food blog featuring a bunch of baked breads and treats. I was really close to making the awesome-sounding Double Chocolate Caramel Brownie Tart that was featured for Pi(e) Day, but decided instead to make something I’d never attempted, a hot, fresh loaf of bread. This particular loaf is a potato bread, one of two (so far) featured on HICCAC. We had a bunch of wheat flour on hand, so we used that instead of regular bread flour. For a first attempt, this was a homerun — the bread was delicious! The recipe makes enough for two loaves, and for my second I made a long free-form loaf, adding freshly chopped rosemary to the dough and sprinkled sea-salt on the outside before baking. Wonderful!

    Lisa says:

    Whoa, you made bread!

    Chris says:

    I know, what’s up with that?

    Lisa says:

    I’m all for it — wow, this is good. Is there anything better than a freshly baked loaf of bread?

    Chris says:

    The act of eating said loaf?

    Lisa says:

    True! I like these T&C events, you make things you never would have tried otherwise.

    Chris says:

    That’s certainly true — wow, that second loaf with the rosemary is awesome.

    Lisa says:

    I’m taking the pieces with the most salt on the crust. I love it.

    Whole Wheat Potato Bread
    ————————
    2 cups water*
    5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    2 teaspoons instant yeast
    8 ounces mashed potatoes (8 ounces by weight — about 1 1/4 cup mashed)
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon salt

    *You’ll use the water from boiling the potatoes for this.

    Peel and cut potatoes and boil for approximately 30 minutes, or until soft enough to mash. Measure out 8 ounces of potatoes, and two cups of water, plus a little more on the side in case you need it. Mash the potatoes in the potato water and allow to cool until approximately 100F. Add the wheat flour and yeast to the potato/water mixture. Add the butter and mix until well combined. Mix in the salt.
    Spread the all-purpose flour onto your work surface and begin to knead the dough, adding more flour and water as needed. Work that dough, baby!
    Grease a large bowl and put the dough in, greasing the top of the dough. Cover the bowl and let rest for approximately an hour, or until doubled in size. Punch down, cut the dough in half and let rest for a few minutes. Form two loafs and put them in greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise another hour, or until doubled in size.
    Preheat oven to 375F.
    Cut two or three slits in the top, lightly flour the tops and bake bread approximately 20 minutes. Turn and bake for another 15 minutes* or until tops are golden brown and a thermometer inserted inside reads 200F.

    * Note that the loaf in the breadpan actually took about 10 minutes longer than my freeform loaf. If the top of the loaf starts to get too brown and the inside isn’t done, you can make a foil “tent” to cover the top of your loaf while it cooks through.

    Makes 2 Loaves

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    posted in Breads and Muffins | 2 Comments

    14th January 2008

    Blueberry Bread Pudding with Lemon Curd


    Tonight Lisa made another successful dessert from a recipe she spotted in Cooking Light. Individual lemony bread puddings, with blueberries and a sweet-tart lemon curd.

    Lisa says:

    So lemony! That lemon curd totally puckers me up.

    Megan says:

    This is really good, where’d you find fresh blueberries?

    Lisa says:

    The frozen aisle…

    Megan says:

    Really? They taste totally awesome in this.

    Chris says:

    I swear I could eat this for dessert every night.

    Lisa says:

    You hated bread pudding like two years ago!

    Chris says:

    Mostly because I didn’t know what it was. I just imagined banana pudding with hunks of bread in it or something. This rules.

    Blueberry Bread Puddings with Lemon Curd
    —————————————–
    Puddings:
    1 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
    3 large eggs, lightly beaten
    4 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed French bread (about 8 ounces)
    Cooking spray
    1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, divided

    Lemon curd:
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    2 teaspoons butter

    Combine milk, sugar, lemon rind, and egg in a bowl and stir well with a whisk. Add the cubed French bread and toss to coat. Cover the bowl, place in the refrigerator and chill at least 30 minutes, preferably longer.

    Preheat oven to 350°.

    Spray 8 6-ounce ramekins with cooking spray and fill the cups using half of the bread mixture, then half of the berries. Layer the remaining bread and remaining berries on top, and cover each with foil. Place in a deep baking pan filled with hot water to a depth of 1 inch. Bake, covered for 15 minutes, then remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes or until set.

    To prepare lemon curd, combine the sugar and egg in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, while continuing to stir. Add in the lemon juice and butter; cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly with the whisk.

    Place saucepan in a large ice-filled bowl for 5 minutes or until lemon curd cools to room temperature. Serve lemon curd over warm bread puddings.

    8 Servings

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    posted in Desserts | 2 Comments


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