Fresh Apricots are tangy yet sweet and not something I purchase on a regular basis. Last year our CSA delivered a large bag of apricots week after week. This recipe was a delicious way to use the fresh apricots and have a chewy, moist dessert or breakfast treat.
FRESH APRICOT BARS
2 lbs ripe Apricots
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier) or orange juice
1 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup old fashioned oats
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 2 quart baking dish.
- Combine the apricots and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the apricots are soft (will vary tremendously depending on the ripeness of the apricots-very ripe apricots will only take minute or two). Stir in the orange liqueur.
- Puree the apricots in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into a bowl and set in freezer to chill while you make the crust.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda. Pinch in the butter pieces into the flour mixture (or cut them into the flour with a pastry cutter), until it resembles coarse sand. Pinch in the oats until well combined.
- Press 2/3rds of the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread the apricot puree over the crust bottom. Sprinkle the remaining crust over the top of the apricot puree.
- Bake for 1 hour or until the crust is golden brown.
- Allow to cool, then slice and serve. Store in the refrigerator.
Cold winter nights mean hearty soups in my kitchen. Broccoli Cheddar Soup is always a favorite when dining out but I’ve rarely made it. This is a great recipe that has become a family favorite.
BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP
1 tablespoon + 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 small/medium sweet yellow onion, diced small
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced finely
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups fat-free half-and-half (I used regular half-and-half)
3 cups broccoli florets, diced into bite-size pieces
2 large carrots, trimmed, peeled, and finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika, optional and to taste
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder, optional and to taste
pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
8 ounces grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese, with a small amount reserved for garnishing bowls
- In a small saucepan, add 1 tablespoon butter, the diced onion, and sauté over medium heat until the onion is translucent and barely browned, about 4 minutes. Stir intermittently.
- Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and set pan aside.
- In a large heavy-bottom pot, add 4 tablespoons butter, flour, and cook over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until flour is thickened. You are making a roux and it’s very important the mixture is thick or soup will never thicken properly later.
- Slowly add the vegetable stock, whisking constantly.
- Slowly add the half-and-half, whisking constantly.
- Allow mixture to simmer over low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened some. Whisk intermittently to re-incorporate the ‘skin’ that inevitably forms, this is normal.
- While mixture is simmering, chop the broccoli and carrots. After simmering 15 to 20 minutes, add the broccoli, carrots, and the onion and garlic you previously set aside.
- Add the salt, pepper, optional paprika, optional dry mustard powder, and optional cayenne. Stir to combine.
- Allow soup to simmer over low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened some. Whisk intermittently to re-incorporate the ‘skin’ that inevitably forms, this is normal.
- Optional: I used a Braun hand blender to blend the vegetables into a creamier consistency.
- While soup simmers, grate the cheese. After simmering about 20 to 25 minutes, add most of the cheese, reserving a small amount for garnishing bowls. Stir in the cheese until melted and incorporated fully, less than 1 minute.
- Transfer soup to bowls, garnish with reserved cheese, and serve immediately. Soup will keep airtight for 5 to 7 days in the fridge. Reheat gently in the microwave.
Recipe slightly adapted from Averiecooks.com
This is the first year that I have participated in Grant Farms Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). My older daughter, Megan, and I decided to try it this year and we’ve enjoyed the fruit and vegetable surprises each week.
Kohlrabi was not a new vegetable to me but I haven’t had it since I lived at home on the farm. My Mother would slice it and eat it raw with salt. It reminds me of a very crisp, slightly sweet, potato. However, I wanted to try something different and decided to roast it with a few red and gold beets, also in my CSA delivery.
The leftovers were equally good served chilled. Is this my favorite vegetable recipe? No, but I’m always up for a new adventure and I enjoyed it.
ROASTED KOHLRABI AND BEETS
3 medium to large Kohlrabi, peeled and chopped
5-6 medium beets, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Kosher or Sea Salt
black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or generously grease with olive oil.
- Place chopped vegetables on baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, add salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir vegetables. Bake another 45 minutes under tender.