Easy French Ratatouille
Makes 8 to 10 servings
3 medium Blue Sky eggplants
2 Blue Sky yellow onions
6 small Blue Sky bell peppers
8 Blue Sky zucchini
5 Blue Sky sauce tomatoes
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
3 to 4 cloves Blue Sky garlic
1 bay leaf
3 to 4 sprigs Blue Sky thyme
1/4 cup loosely packed Blue Sky basil, sliced into ribbons
Extra basil for garnishing
Salt and pepper
Peel the eggplants and chop them into bite-sized cubes. Transfer them to a strainer set over a bowl and toss with a tablespoon of salt. Let the eggplant sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Dice the onions and roughly chop the peppers, zucchinis, and tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Mince the garlic. The vegetables will be cooked in batches, so keep each one in a separate bowl.
Warm a teaspoon of olive oil in a large (at least 5 1/2-quart) Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions have softened and are just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the peppers and continue cooking until the peppers have also softened, about another 5 minutes. Transfer the onions and peppers to a clean bowl.
Add another teaspoon of oil to the pot and sauté the zucchini with a generous pinch of salt until the zucchini has softened and is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the zucchini to the bowl with the onions and peppers.
Rinse the eggplant under running water and squeeze the cubes gently with your hands to remove as much moisture as possible. Warm two teaspoons of oil in the pan and sauté the eggplant until it has softened and has begun to turn translucent, about 10 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to the bowl with the other vegetables.
During cooking, a brown glaze will gradually build on the bottom of the pan. If it looks like this glaze is beginning to turn black and burn, turn down the heat to medium. You can also dissolve the glaze between batches by pouring 1/4 cup of water or wine into the pan and scraping up the glaze. Pour the deglazing liquid into the bowl with the vegetables.
Warm another teaspoon of olive oil in the pan and sauté the garlic until it is fragrant and just starting to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, and whole sprigs of thyme. As the tomato juices begin to bubble, scrape up the brown glaze on the bottom of the pan.
Add all of the vegetables back into the pan and stir until everything is evenly mixed. Bring the stew to a simmer, then turn down the heat to low. Stirring occasionally, simmer for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 1/2 hours. Shorter cooking time will leave the vegetables in larger, more distinct pieces; longer cooking times will break the vegetables down into a silky stew.
Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Just before taking the ratatouille off the heat, stir in the basil. Sprinkle the extra basil and a glug of good olive oil over each bowl as you serve.
Leftovers can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to 3 months. Ratatouille is often better the second day, and it can be eaten cold, room temperature, or warm.
Kale and Goat Cheese Fritatta Cups
Makes 8 individual cups
2 cups chopped Blue Sky Toscano kale
1 Blue Sky garlic clove, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
8 Blue Sky eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Blue Sky thyme
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 350°F. To get 2 cups kale, remove the leaves from the kale ribs. Wash and dry the leaves and cut them into 1/2-inch-wide strips.
In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook the garlic in 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add the kale and red pepper flakes and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the salt and pepper. Add the kale and thyme to the egg mixture.
Using a 12-cup muffin tin, use the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to grease 8 of the cups (you may also use butter or non-stick spray if you’d prefer). Sprinkle the tops with goat cheese. Bake until they are set in the center, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Frittata is best eaten warm from the oven or within the next day, but leftovers can be kept refrigerated and reheated for up to a week.
Eggplant Caponata Sandwiches
makes 5 cups of caponata, enough for about 10 sandwiches
1/3 cup olive oil
1 medium Blue Sky eggplant, peeled and cut into small cubes, about 4 cups total
1/2 Blue Sky green bell pepper, diced
1 small Blue Sky onion, diced
4 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
3 cloves Blue Sky garlic, minced
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon Blue Sky oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Baguette or ciabatta bread, to serve
Fresh mozzarella, about 2 thick slices per sandwich, to serve
Fresh Blue Sky basil leaves, to serve
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or wide, deep sauté pan and add eggplant, bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are soft.
Add the olives, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, and oregano. Season again with salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Stir a few times during cooking, and add a tablespoon or two of water (or olive brine) if the mixture is too thick and sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Allow caponata to cool. Spoon on bread, top with mozzarella and basil, and serve. Or, serve warm as a dip.
Potato, Squash, & Goat Cheese Gratin
2 medium Blue Sky summer squash, about 1/2 pound
4 small to medium Blue Sky rose gold potatoes, about 1 pound
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces goat cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon thinly sliced Blue Sky basil or thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 1 1/2- to 2-quart casserole dish with a drizzle of olive oil.
Use a mandoline or chef’s knife to slice the squash and potatoes into very, very thin slices, 1/8-inch thick or less. Toss the sliced vegetables with the 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl.
Place a third of the squash and potato slices in the bottom of the dish — no need to layer them squash-potato-squash; just spread them evenly — then season with salt and pepper. Top with half of the goat cheese, scattered evenly in large chunks. Repeat with another third of the vegetables, seasoning again with salt and pepper and topping with the other half of the goat cheese. Finish by layering on the final third of the vegetables and seasoning with salt and pepper.
Pour the milk over the entire dish. Top with the Parmesan cheese. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 more minutes, until the top browns. Scatter on the fresh basil, if using.
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
40 Blue Sky garlic cloves (3 to 4 heads), unpeeled
1 whole Blue Sky chicken (4 pounds), rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
Coarse salt and ground pepper
6 sprigs fresh Blue Sky thyme
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place garlic in a medium bowl; cover with another same-size bowl, creating a dome. Hold bowls together tightly, and shake vigorously until skins are loosened, about 30 seconds. Remove and discard skins; set garlic aside.
Place chicken in a large ovenproof skillet or roasting pan. Rub all over with 1 tablespoon butter; season with salt and pepper. Add thyme, garlic, and remaining tablespoon butter to skillet.
Roast, basting occasionally with juices and stirring garlic, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees, 45 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a platter, and let rest 10 minutes.
Carve chicken, and serve with garlic and pan juices.
Potato-less Potato Salad with Poached Radishes
This recipe comes together in about 10 minutes. You can serve it warm, but I definitely prefer to serve it chilled like a traditional potato salad. Refrigerate after cooking for about 2 hours.
◦ 3 bunches Blue Sky red radishes
◦ 2 tablespoons olive oil
◦ 1½ cups water
◦ ⅓ cup good quality Mayonnaise
◦ ½ cup Blue Sky celery, diced small
◦ ¼ cup Blue Sky white onion, minced
◦ 2 tablespoons fresh Blue Sky dill, chopped
◦ 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
◦ ½ teaspoon black pepper
◦ ¼ teaspoon salt
◦ 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Wash the radishes, trim the leaves off the top and halve. In a large pan combine the radishes, olive oil, water and a heavy pinch of salt and pepper in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil uncovered. Then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Now the radishes should be soft and tender, and most of the water should have been absorbed. Remove the radishes from the heat and set aside.
In a small bowl mix together the Hellmann’s Carefully Crafted, celery, shallots, dill, mustard, pepper, salt and lemon juice. Spoon the mixture over the radishes and combine well.
Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.