Edible Jersey Throws Itself a Party
I was there as EJ magazine celebrated its 5 successful years with a shindig in this gorgeous barn at Terhune Orchards. Here’s my report on the good food and fun time, in today’s Princeton Packet.
Along with my party eavesdropping I reprinted this recipe from a past issue of the magazine, just right for the current overflow of bounty from our gardens, farm markets, & CSAs:
SUMMER VEGETABLE GRATIN
Christopher Albrecht, Eno Terra, Kingston (Reprinted from Edible Jersey Magazine)
“[Use a] 7″ x 11″ or 2-quart Pyrex or earthenware dish. Since this dish will be the serving vessel, the more rustic and visually appealing it is, the better.”
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 sweet onions (cut into 1/8-inch slices, sliced with the grain)
2 fennel heads (cut into 1/8-inch slices, sliced with the grain)
6 zucchini, green, medium (cut into 1/4-inch slices, on a slight bias)
6 yellow squash, preferably gold bar (cut into 1/4-inch slices, on a slight bias)
12 plum tomatoes (cut into 1/4-inch slices)
8 sprigs thyme (leaves only)
2 sprigs rosemary (leaves only)
4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons good extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and fresh black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the sliced onions and fennel in a heavy pot with about 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, season with salt and pepper, and cook them slowly, for about 40 minutes, until their crunch is gone.
2. Place the fennel-onion mixture in the bottom of the baking dish. Add about 1/3 of the thyme and rosemary leaves.
3. Layer the raw zucchini, squash, and tomato slices on top of the fennel-onion mixture. “Shingle” the vegetables to expose about a third of each row, so that the color of each is visible. (It’s OK to pack the vegetables tightly since they will shrink during cooking.)
4. Once the vegetables are shingled, season lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese, and another 1/3 of the thyme and rosemary.
5. Bake in oven for 45 to 60 minutes. Be sure the juices are bubbling and starting to brown. About 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, break up the goat cheese over the top and continue baking.
6. When finished, add the remaining herbs and drizzle with good olive oil. Let the gratin rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Note: This dish can be prepared a day in advance – just leave off the goat cheese, finishing herbs and olive oil until the final bake. Serves 8.
New Reads for Garden State Food Lovers from Edible Jersey & Pete Genovese
Edible Jersey has issued its first recipe collection, a magazine-format cookbook of 30 of the best finds from farmers’ markets across the state. You can order it at the magazine’s website, or buy it for $7.99 at many of the same places that carry the magazine (which, in case you don’t know, is free).
Pete Genovese of Star-Ledger and Munchmobile fame has published the 3rd edition of his evergreen and everchanging Food Lovers’ Guide to New Jersey. If you don’t have any edition, what are you waiting for? And if, like me, you have either of the previous editions, you know how rapidly the best restaurants, markets, farms, wineries, microbreweries, food festivals, and local culinary offerings change. (I’m happy they do: that’s what keeps me working!) As Genovese writes in the introduction, consider the book “a culinary roadmap to a state that leads the nation in highways – and, very likely, restaurants.”
This site is too good to be believed. Click on the heading above and see if you don’t agree.