Monday, September 29

A Vegetarian Dish for the Meat Eaters: Garden Vegetable Stew Topped with A Poached Egg


 
This is one vegetarian dish that even the die-hard meat eaters will enjoy! The quality of your veggies will turn this from ordinary to amazing and full of flavor. Its filling and incredible versatile based on the vegetables and herbs you use. This veg stew is perfect over a boiled potato or polenta. With the eggs from our hens, we love poaching an egg and placing it atop this gorgeous garden stew, adding a little protein and making it into more of a meal. Plus, eggs are hot right now!! Which just cracks us up (who comes up with these things?! By the way kale is out and cauliflower is in!) 

Remember with simple dishes like this its important to use the best quality ingredients. This is just the base for the veggies - use what you've got /like/grow. Add in potatoes if you want, etc.

Garden Vegetable Stew
serves about 6

This is just the base for the veggies - use what you've got/like/grow. Add in potatoes if you want, etc.

1 long eggplant
1 onion
1 pepper
1 zucchini
1 bulb of fennel
2 cloves garlic
olive oil
salt & pepper
a couple of large tomatoes, diced or 1 jar of whole crushed tomatoes
herbs of your choice (rosemary, thyme, bay leaf etc)
optional: capers, olives

Dice all your vegetables in a large dice, keeping them separate. Since its a stew the sizing isn’t exact. But don’t mix all the veggies together in a bowl.

In a large heavy pot, with a little bit of olive oil on medium high heat, sauté the onion for a few minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Then remove from the pot. We are just looking to start the onions cooking.

Repeat the same process, a little bit of olive oil, salt & pepper, sauté for 2 minutes or so and then remove, with each of the remaining vegetable except the tomatoes.

Keep an eye on your pan heat - you don’t want it too hot or too cool: too hot and they will burn your vegetables, too cool and you’ll sweat instead of sauté the vegetables.

Then return all the vegetables to the pot, together, along with the tomatoes and your herbs (and capers/olives if you like). Bring the pot up to a simmer and let slowly simmer until all the vegetables are tender. OR I like to pop it in a 375 F/190 C degrees oven, uncovered for about 45 minutes to an hour or until the vegetables are soft and the liquid has reduced some.

Check your seasoning, remove the herb stems and finish with good extra virgin olive oil on top.

If you like, poach an egg and place atop or serve with boiled potatoes or grilled polenta. Makes a great hearty vegetarian dish. It will get better as it sits in the fridge. Change up the vegetables as you like or play with the spices.

Monday, September 22

Quick Pickled Peppers, Carrots & Onions


A favorite way to keep veggies a bit longer into the season is a quick pickle - that great briny flavor with a crunch without the wait of a month or more for a proper pickle. A dish of these puckery peppers makes a perfect antipasti/appetizer through the fall, I love adding heaping spoonful to my plate with grilled sausages (or dunked into a Bloody Mary) while watching football!


A Quick Pickle for Peppers, Carrots, Onions, etc.

Use any vegetables of your choice, sliced thin - carrots, green beans, peppers, onions, etc. Most often we use a mix of peppers, carrots and onions
water
strong vinegar like white wine, red wine or apple cider (don’t use a soft vinegar such as balsamic)
salt
fresh herbs/aromatics of your choice - thyme, rosemary, dill, peppercorn, cardamon, etc.
chili of your desired strength
honey or sugar
whole head of chopped garlic

This is a ratio recipe. In a pot on medium heat, combine 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water. Add a couple tablespoons of honey/sugar, a couple tablespoons of salt, aromatics, chili, etc. - everything BUT the vegetables.

Once the sugar and salt are dissolved give it a taste. Make sure its not too puckery or too bland - just nice and briny, slightly acidic with a nice taste. Adjust as necessary with more salt, water vinegar or sugar.

Bring to boil.

Begin adding your vegetables based on hardness - for example:  carrots first, after 20-30 seconds add onions, after  about 20-30 seconds add peppers.

Bring to a rolling boil.

Once soft but still with a crunch, shut off the heat and strain out the vegetables and herbs (Do NOT throw out the liquid!!).  Place on a baking sheet in one flat layer and place in the fridge to cool.

Keep the pickling liquid/brine in the pot to cool as well.
Once both the veggies and liquid are cool, place the veggies along with all the garlic and herbs into a jar and cover with the liquid. Keep in the fridge and it will be good for up to 2 weeks, getting better as it sits.


Tuesday, September 16

London Times: The 30 Best Autumn Escapes...Includes a Gastro Holiday at La Tavola Marche!


It's not too late to plan that last minute autumn getaway! The Times has compiled a well rounded list of 30 of the best from leaf peeping to mushroom hunting, grape picking and beach-bumming there is something for everyone. And to toot our horn, #8 of 30 includes a stay with yours truly -

"La Tavola Marche is a traditional agriturismo, tucked away in the hills between the Apennine Mountains and the sea, specialising in gourmet weekends and cookery courses. Their Flavors of Fall break runs throughout October and includes a "wild edibles" walk and mushroom hunt, half-day cooking course and five course dinner with wine..."

September is fully booked but we do have a few spaces/classes available in October!  
 For more details email: info@latavolamarche.com or visit our website www.latavolamarche.com


You can read the article by Annabell Thorpe in its entirety: The London Times

Thursday, September 4

Taste of Italy Video: 400 Heirloom Tomatoes (Part 2) with Blight


Due to a rainy summer, blight has set in on our 400+ heirloom tomato plants in the garden. Farmer/Chef Jason Bartner explains what blight looks like, why it happens, how to try to prevent it organically and what your tomatoes will taste like...if they are even edible. It's been a disastrous year for our tomatoes but we've learned a few lessons nonetheless. Watch til the end for a preview of our next episode -

Be sure to watch it in HD!! 

Filmed & Edited by Ashley Bartner
Music by Spencer Dahl

"Taste of Italy" is our webseries of shorts (under 2 min.) of life on our farm in Italy, the food, cooking classes, garden and more! Subscribe to our youtube channel!
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