meatless monday
notes from maggie's farm

©from maggie's farm 2011
the beach is not the place to work; to read, write or think.
anne morrow lindbergh, gift from the sea

we headed to the coast over the weekend.  this post will be brief.  see above.

there were days past where a trip anywhere required a great deal of planning.  the clothes, the accommodations, the menus, the stops, the attractions, the agenda.  we were exhausted before we even began. 
these are days of present.  no planning.  whatever is clean.  wherever we land.  whatever we have on hand.  wherever we want to stop.  whatever we want to see.  no agenda. 
we brought leftovers for our first stop.  brunch on the road.  meatless.  peachy.  it was delicious.

©from maggie's farm 2011
balsamic pan roasted peaches in beurre noisette
serves 2-4, as a side


2 tablespoons browned butter
4 whole peaches, washed, halved, pitted, skins on
aged balsamic vinegar (1/4 c) or, reduced balsamic vinegar, see note below.
handful fresh arugula
freshly ground black pepper

beurre noisette, or browned butter, is as simple as it sounds.  butter, simmered slowly, to yield a rich, nutty flavored batch of righteousness.  it can be used immediately, or stored for future use.  i like to make a large batch and save it to use over steamed vegetables or even on toast on down the road.  i'm going to leave the directions to one's who aren't vacationing at the beach have already done the heavy lifting: how to brown butter.

©from maggie's farm 2011
to approximately 2 tablespoons melted browned butter in a heavy skillet, place halved peaches, skin side down.  brown peaches slowly over medium heat.  turn browning an additional 3 minutes.  pour aged balsamic over peaches, lower heat, allow to simmer 5 minutes.  turn off heat and remove from burner.  let sit until cooled, 10-15 minutes.
gently transfer to arugula lined plate, sprinkle with ground pepper.  serve. wonderful side dish, or a terrific meal on it's own, sprinkled with fresh minced herbs like thyme, sage, or rosemary, and served with your favorite cheese.

note: nothing compares to the flavor of a fine balsamic vinegar aged for 5, 10, or 20 years.  and sometimes, nothing compares to the price, either.  if you, like ourselves, have not considered it fortuitous to raise your own debt ceiling,  and you wish to dole out your bottle of gold by the teaspoonful, rather than by the cup, reducing a standard balsamic vinegar may be a good-enough substitute, here.

©from maggie's farm 2011
simply simmer one cup of standard balsamic vinegar slowly, until reduced by 75 percent.  (I actually use a ruler in the kitchen to help me 'measure' the reduction).  drizzle over peaches.  if additional sweetness is desired for other uses, you can add honey or brown sugar to the reduction during simmering.  serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.

©from maggie's farm 2011


next up, we enjoyed
peachy pilaf with roasted butternut squash

©from maggie's farm 2011


©from maggie's farm 2011
1 box favorite wild or brown rice blend  (we used this one.  see? we don't make everything from scratch.  we admit, now, that we do not grow rice.)

stock (we used our picnic ham stock) substituted for half, (or all, if you're living on the edge) of the required water, plus 1/4 cup.

2 ribs celery, sliced, 1 small sweet red pepper, deveined, seeded, and chopped, one peach, peeled, chopped, tossed with lemon juice,

©from maggie's farm 2011
1 small butternut squash, halved, scraped of seeds, roasted at 350 degrees until soft, about 45 minutes, then cooled, peeled, cubed. 

with all of your ingredients prepared and collected, you're really already over half way completed.  in one tablespoon of neutral flavored oil,  saute celery and chopped sweet red pepper, until slightly wilted.  add rice mix.  toss with vegetables and saute until slightly browned.  add stock and water (if using), and peaches, and cook according to package directions.  when tender, toss with butternut squash., and recover. remove from heat and allow to sit undisturbed, covered to allow flavors to marry, about ten minutes.  toss with a fork, and serve.  yields 4-6 side servings, 2-4 main dish servings.

©from maggie's farm 2011

we had it with our roti de porc, and then we carted it off for our roadside picnic as a main dish and it was even better the second day.  what we'd change about it next time?  we'd double the batch. 

©from maggie's farm 2011
did i say this was going to be brief?  yeah.  right.
join us tomorrow on tips for tuesdays, on notes from maggie's farm where will share in the garden--august, for all those gardening tasks that will have to wait until we get home.

we hope you have a fabulous week, no matter how hot it might be.

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