Last Log Lunch!
We enjoyed perfect weather and a picnic outside for our last lunch. The senior concentrators were honored and generously given a copy of The Virtues of Ignorance, ed. Bill Vitek and Wes Jackson by the Center for Environmental Studies.
Also, we announced next year's head chefs: Susannah Emerson and Lucy Rollins, both rising seniors! Julia and I are truly excited to be leaving log lunch in such capable hands. Thanks everyone for such a rewarding, memory-filled, and delicious year.
On the menu: Herbed Spinach Soup, Sunshine Bread, Sweet and Savory Spring Salad, Oatmeal Raisin Sandwich Cookies, and Maple Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
Herbed Spinach Soup
adapted from epicurious.com
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 russet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth
3 green onions, chopped
20 oz of fresh spinach (you can also easily use frozen-- thawed and well-drained)
1 cup chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp Hungarian sweet paprika
Heat 1/4 cup oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add potato and garlic and saute 5 minutes. Add broth and green onions, and bring to boil. Cover and simmer until potato is tender, about 15 minutes. Add spinach, mint, and cilantro. Simmer for 1 minute. Puree until smooth. Thin as needed and season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Also try with a drizzle of honey-- this really makes the flavors shine.
Makes 1 large loaf
adapted from Beth Hensberger's "The Bread Bible"
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
a pinch of sugar
2/3 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 tablespoon salt
2/3 cup fine or medium grind cornmeal
3 to 3 1/2 cups white flour
2 large eggs
4 T milk or cream
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1. Pour warm water in a small bowl, sprinkle yeast and sugar over the surface, stir to dissolve, let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisky together half and half, honey, butter, eggs, salt and cornmeal. Beat until smooth, add yeast mixture, beat again. Add white flour 1 cup at a time, until soft dough that clears the sides of the bowl is formed.
3. Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth and springy, about 4 min. Dough will be grainy and slightly sticky.
4. Place dough in greased bowl, turn to cover top with oil, cover and let sit until doubled, about 1 to 1 ¼ hours.
Deflate doughs and turn onto lightly floured work surface. Mold into a loaf. Cover loaf loosely and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Brush top with egg glaze. Sprinkle with seeds.
Preheat oven to 375, bake for 40-45 minutes or until brown and crusty and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with your finger. Transfer immediately to cooling rack.
Wash and slice 1/2 lb strawberries
Toast 1 cup almonds (in a thin layer on a baking sheet in the oven for 5-10 minutes until dark golden and fragrant) and chop.
Toss berries with 5 cups of rinsed garden greens and cooled wine glazed mushrooms (see below) top with 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (distributed), toasted almonds, and poppyseed dressing (see below).
Wine glazed mushrooms
just barely adapted from Elise's simply recipes blog
1 lb fresh button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup red wine
pinch of dry thyme or tarragon
To dry sauté the mushrooms: heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Put all the mushrooms in the hot pan and stir.
Reduce the heat to medium-high. Stir often. You may hear the mushrooms squeak. Just when you think the mushrooms may start burning, they will begin to give up their moisture. Water will seem to just seep out of the mushrooms.
Stir so that the mushrooms are coated with their own sauce, and sprinkle salt over them.
Cook until most of the liquid has boiled away, then add the oil to the pan and stir to combine. Add a pinch of thyme or tarragon.
Sauté the mushrooms on medium high heat until they begin to brown, about 4-6 minutes.
Add the wine to the pan and increase the heat to high. Toss to coat the mushrooms well. Boil this down vigorously until the wine is nearly gone.
Let cool before adding to greens, etc.
Poppyseed salad dressing
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon dry mustard powder
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
mince garlic; whisk all ingredients together
Oatmeal Raisin Sandwich Cookies
yields about 40 sandwiches
inspired by Espresso and Cream blog
1 stick plus 6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup raisins
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup honey
Heat oven to 350°F. Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely.
Cream cheese filling: soften cream cheese. Mix thoroughly with honey. Spread about 1 tablespoon on 1 cookie and stick another on top to make a sandwich
Alex's Maple Peanut Butter Cookies
yields about 30 sandwiches
inspired by 101 cookbooks blog
2 cups spelt flour (white or whole grain, your choice)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup natural peanut butter (crunchy)
1 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
8 oz dairy-free chocolate chips
1/2 tablespoon vegetable shortening
Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate larger bowl combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla. Stir until combined. Pour the flour mixture over the peanut butter mixture and stir until barely combined - still a bit dusty looking. Let sit for five minutes, give one more quick stir, just a stroke or two.
Now drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Press down on each one gently. Bake for 10, maybe 11 minutes - but don't over bake or they will be dry. Let cool five minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.
melt the chocolate chips and shortening carefully over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to combine evenly and prevent burning. While still warm, spread on one cookie and sandwich another on top.