September 1, 2010

More Summer Bounty

Another couple of lovely things we got from our food coop last week were these Mars red onions and Chesnok red garlic. Both come from Sunrise farm in Woodward, IA. I've blogged about the elephant garlic from Sunrise, and these were just as perfect and tasty as the elephant garlic.

I used my mandolin cutter to slice these Mars onions for hamburgers and other recipes. Just beautiful!

One of the recipes using the thin sliced red onions was a simple crock-pot beef dish. I peeled and sliced a couple of pounds of tomatoes (given to us by a generous co-worker of DH), added a whole, sliced red onion, and a half dozen sprigs of fresh oregano to the crock-pot. (I tied the oregano sprigs together for easier retrieval at the end.) I gently stirred in one package of taco seasoning mix, and added a three pound beef chuck roast. I set the crock-pot to low and cooked it for about 9 hours. You can check your own resources to see what the minimum cooking time may be if you don't want to wait 9 hours! I took the meat out and shredded it with two forks and it was ready for soft tacos. I used a hand blender to smooth out the cooked tomatoes and onions for a sauce in which to moisten the meat. Good stuff!

Another beautiful purchase is this wonderfully fresh basil. This too came from the Divine Word Farm. This one is called "Super Sweet Chen". I purposely ordered enough to make pesto. Our efforts to grow it in a pot on the deck were disastrous but I am determined to grow my own basil again next year!

Using this basil and the garlic pictured above, I made pesto with a recipe from "Tasty Kitchen" called, Simple Pesto. I really liked the straightforward recipe and the way the author mentioned several alternatives to make this more flexible. One notable thing is that this does not require the toasting of the nuts before they are ground up. If that's an important flavor component for you, then don't forget to do it! Also pictured here are my new favorite containers - seems like I'm always finding another one! As you can see these are Ball freezer jars. These are nice and sturdy and the plastic lids screw on neatly - great little product.

We're still cooking and having fun - more to come!


  1. The pesto is beautiful! I've never seen those plastic jars before, but they look great.
    Thanks for the tip!
    Rita P

  2. Hi Rita! I forgot to mention that these are half-pint jars and I think they'd be perfect for freezer jam!