Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer of Sweet and Savory

It's CSA time again, and that means my daughters and I are heading to the farm every two weeks to pick up our family's share of fresh local organic vegetables, and self-picking anything on the U-Pick list. (We split a farm-share with friends, and alternate pick-up weeks.)

And in between the kiddie soccer and the toddler swimming lessons and the park and the splash pool and the snacking on cool treats and--OK, yes--too much chocolate, I've been cooking. You know me and the CSA: set me up with a pile of zucchini and greens and fresh-picked strawberries, and I'll make your stomach happy. So here are two recently requested recipes, celebrating the crop of tall, fat scallions and glossy, ruby-red strawberries we're getting these days. (Because I am not a food blogger, I do not have photos of these dishes. I'm so sorry!)

So far the summer is sweet. It might be the pool and the friends and the playdates and the running, or it might be the cobbler.

Fresh Berry Cobbler
6 to 9 servings, depending on how large you want the pieces

4 T. butter
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. plus 2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. milk (skim, 1%, or 2%)
2 heaping cups fresh (or frozen) strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a combination

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in a 8-inch square pan or a 9-inch pie plate, and place pan in the oven until butter has melted. Remove pan from oven and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, 3/4 c. of the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add milk and whisk until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the pan; do not stir and do not worry about how the melted butter moves around or bubbles up around the batter. Scatter the berries over the batter. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake until the batter is golden brown and the berries are bubbling, about 45 to 55 minutes (watch carefully at the end). Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Savory Scallion Muffins
12 muffins

1 c. all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. yellow cornmeal
1 T. brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 c. buttermilk
1/3 to 1/2 c. sliced scallions
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried or 1 T. fresh dill
1/2 tsp. dried or 1-1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a standard muffin tin with cooking spray.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the cornmeal and brown sugar and mix well. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Add buttermilk, scallions, mustard, all herbs/spices, and cheese. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just enough to incorporate. (Do not overmix, or muffins will be tough.)

Spoon batter into muffin tin. Bake about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.Cool in tin for 5 minutes, then remove muffins to cool on a wire rack.

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