Recipes & Rants

First, the Good Food News. Below find two great recipes for the Labor Day Weekend from Gail Smythe of Earthly Kneads. Most of the ingredients for these recipes can be found right at Sweetwater Market this Saturday!

Then in the Bad Food News category, a few words to the wise about the FDA’s latest craziness. Please to go to register your dismay (and disgust) with the FDA for allowing lettuce and spinach to be zapped with radiation before coming to your favorite supermarket. Let the buyer beware – and have a great end of the summer holiday!

Gails Labor of Love for Labor Day Recipes

Shiitake Mushroom “Burgers”, Makes 4

6 to 8 ounces fresh Shiitake Mushrooms, stemmed, small dice

3 large eggs, beaten

1/2 cup oat bran, wheat bran, or bread crumbs

4 to 8 ounces of your favorite cheese – the amount depends on the strength of your cheese. For something like blue or parmesan, use 4 ounces. For a mild cheese, use 8 ounces.

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, chives, basil, or other fresh herb, optional

Salt & pepper, to taste (you may not need much salt depending on the saltiness of your cheese)

2-3 tablespoons Olive oil

Directions: Combine everything except the olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Form into 4 “burger” patties. Sprinkle patties with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the patties in the oil for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. For a real outdoor treat, toss the cooked patties onto a hot grill for just a minute per side to get those great grill marks and some grilled flavor. Serve with a good red wine or some stout beer!


Gail’s Grilled Potato & Vegetable Salad

This is a very flexible recipe.  You can substitute all sorts of vegetables for the ones I listed below.  Carrots, snow peas, snap peas, broccoli, tomatoes, artichokes, and sweet potatoes would all be welcome additions or substitutions.


3 Tablespoons Vinegar, Use something lighter, like Apple Cider, White Wine, White Balsamic Vinegar, or try the Leek Vinegar we sell by Food For Thought

1/2 Tablespoon Honey or Dijon Mustard

1 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, I like tarragon, but basil, chives, marjoram, or parsley or any combination of them would would well, too

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound potato, I like to use large red-skinned potatoes, but any variety should work

1 medium zucchini or summer squash

3-4 bell peppers, mix of green & red

1 large or 2 small onions

1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed

1/2 pound eggplant

fresh chives or green onions for garnish, optional

To make the dressing, whisk together all the dressing ingredients except for the olive oil.  Whisk until the salt is dissolved.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Be sure to slowly drizzle in the oil, otherwise the dressing will separate.  Set aside and cook the vegetables.

Heat the grill on high.  While it’s heating, wash and dry the vegetables.  Slice the potatoes, zucchini, and eggplant thinly, lengthwise, 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  Slice the onions into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices, crosswise.  Don’t slice the onions too thinly or they will fall apart while grilling and disappear through the grate.  (OPTIONAL:  Sprinkle the eggplant slices generously with salt and put aside.  This step draws out liquid from the eggplant that can make it mushy and bitter.  Let the slices sit for about 30 minutes.  Rinse well & pat dry before using.)  Seed the peppers and cut them into 3-4 large pieces each.

Blanch the beans in boiling water for 1 minute, drain, and plunge into icy water to stop the cooking.  Drain well & set aside.

Brush the potato, zucchini, peppers, onions, and eggplant lightly with olive oil.  Grill for a few minutes on each side until tender.  The peppers will cook quickest, followed by the zucchini and eggplant, and then by the potato and onion (may take 3-5 minutes on each side).  Remove from the grill and set aside until cool enough to handle.  Cut everything into bite size pieces, throw it all into a bowl along with the blanched beans, and toss it with the vinegrette.  Top with chopped chives or green onions and serve immediately.