Rapini and Gemelli with Pecorino Romano

rapini and gemelli with Pecorino Romano
With a bit of cheese, perfect!

Remember last Wednesday when we talked about rapini? About how it could be bitter, especially if not cooked correctly? And that we’d let you know how to cook up that bunch of rapini that you picked up at a farmers’ market or CSA to perfection? Today’s the day!

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Are Your Ready For Mardi Gras?

Kings Cake
An easy Kings cake for Mardi Gras.

For some reason, Mardi Gras will be on a Tuesday this year. Maybe we’re wrong about this — you can double check — but, we’re nearly positive that it was on a Tuesday last year, too. Go figure. Regardless, it comes just before Ash Wednesday, and it’s often celebrated with a cake. A Kings Cake is our choice, and we have just the recipe for it right here. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Lemon Meltaway Cookies

Lemon Meltaway cookies
Melt in your mouth!

We love the name. Doesn’t it sound delicious? Cookies that melt away in your mouth as you eat them, who could resist? Between the name, and a recent request for lemon cookies, we had to try making up a batch of Lemon Meltaway Cookies. Now, for this recipe, a batch makes only a dozen cookies (you can scale it up, of course), but that’s because it comes from a great little book: Dessert For Two, by Christina Lane (her blog is also called Dessert for Two).

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Trenette Al Pesto Trapanese

Trenette al Pesto Trapenese
A delicious reminder of our trip!

This is a dish we had when we dined at Mercato, in New York. We enjoyed it so much that we had to make it at home, and thought that you, fellow scratcher, would like to try it, too. Apparently, it’s from Trapani, Sicily; hence, the name. As with many Italian dishes, this one is easy, yet tastes delicious. And, it has an upside for us: trying a new technique, that of blanching and peeling almonds. It’s not difficult, so, let’s give it a try together, shall we?

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The Vegetable of a Thousand Names

weekly CSA produce share
In the back, behind the cauliflower, you’ll see the vegetable of a thousand names: rapini.

As you can see, we’re still getting a lot of greens from the farm this week. The abundance of greens lasts pretty much until it starts warming up around here, then we move towards spring and summer crops.

About rapini, or broccoli raab, or broccoli rabe, or broccoletti, or cime di rapa, or, well, probably hundreds of other names: if you’ve had it, you may have noticed that it’s bitter. If so, it was probably raw or cooked incorrectly; we’ll show you a dish that uses rapini sometime next week, and, by cooking it correctly, no bitterness.

This week’s share:

  • Rapini (1 bunch)
  • Cauliflower (1 head) — with a purple tinge
  • Broccoli (1 head)
  • Lettuce mix (1 bag)
  • Carrots (1 bunch) — perhaps Nantes?
  • Sparkler radishes (1 bunch)
  • Red Russian kale (1 bunch)
  • Bok Choy (1 head)

Shaping Trenette Pasta

We’re leading up to another dish that comes from our trip to New York, so bear with us. Today we’re going to make a new pasta shape: trenette. We’re always on the lookout for new pasta shapes to make, and this one’s pretty easy. As easy as fettuccine, mainly because it seems to be nothing more than a thicker version of fettuccine.

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Lentils and Olive Oil (For Bread Dipping)

lentil olive oil dip
Easy, and tasty!

This is one of the ideas we brought back from our recent trip to NYC: a dipping sauce of lentils and olive oil. On one of our nights out, we stopped at Mercato, a small Italian restaurant just down the street from where we were staying that specializes in southern Italian dishes. Here, instead of serving bread with olive oil and garlic, or olive oil and balsamic vinegar, they served bread with a small dish of lentils and olive oil. We loved it and vowed to make it once we returned home.

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