Summer Cooking Part 1

I did a lot of cooking this summer and I feel very blessed I worked with wonderful groups of people. I wanted to post the recipes and photos as I promised I would.

Summer Cooking Part I started with a 2-week camp: Farms, Food, and Photography designed and led by me at the Arts Center of the Capital region sponsored by Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA) . You can read all about on this amazing blog. It was great pleasure to work with Holly Rippon-Butler, to put it together. She did all the work posting and editing. Holly, ASA’s Outreach and Communications Intern, provided amazing support and also helped teach during the camp. Holly is a graduate student studying sustainable land use and agriculture and lives on her family’s dairy farm in Saratoga County.
Bellow you can see a video of my student’s work!

“Cooking–of whatever kind, everyday or extreme–situates us in the world in a very special place, facing the natural world on one side and the social world on the other. The cook stands squarely between nature and culture, conducting a process of translation and negotiation. Both nature and culture are transformed by the work. And in the process, I discovered, so is the cook.” 
–Michael Pollan, Cooked

This quote came to me from ‘From Scratch Club’ post from Jennifer Haworth Wilkerson, I am now reading the book.
The quote became one of my summer food reflections in addition of how media and food literacy are at the heart of my work.

(Vegan) Produce Project Herb Aioli

aioli exclamation

3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup lemon juice
3-5 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup water
One handful of basil leaves
One handful of parsley leaves (about a cup)
7-10 chives
Fresh ground pepper

In a blender or food processor:

1) Add garlic and salt, pulse
2) Add almonds
3) Drizzle olive oil in a stream alternating with lemon juice
4) Add herbs, blend or process for about one minute
5) Finish with another drizzle of olive oil (for creaminess)
6) Plate, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt (for looks!) and DIG IN! (we used crackers as our vehicle, the options are nearly endless).

ASA Camp Stove Top Mac ‘n Cheese

Mac 'n Cheese

serves 12
1 pound of elbow macaroni
1 stick of butter
4 eggs
2 cups of whole milk
1 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of dry mustard
1 tsp. of smoked paprika
3 cups of grated cheese (mixture of Mapledale Farm raw milk Farmhouse Colby and Farmhouse Cheddar cheeses and Cabot sharp cheddar)

Cook pasta according to package directions, reserve.
Melt butter and milk.
Whisk eggs and slowly add hot milk to temper the eggs – adding it slowly prevents curdling.
Add the eggs back in the pan with the milk, add the cheese and mix well until the sauce is thick.
Add sauce to the macaroni, sprinkle with more paprika if desired.

We served ours with a raw corn, summer squash, scallion salad (with veggies from Ellie’s garden!) that was seasoned with lemon juice, salt, pepper and cumin along with a green salad.

Denison Farm Millet Tabbouleh


by Ellie Markovitch

Serves 12

2 cups of millet, cooked al dente*
4 cups of water or broth
3 cucumbers, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 radishes, grated (radishes and turnips should be lightly scraped not peeled)
2 small turnips, grated
1 fennel, grated
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1. Pan roast the millet, stirring until golden on a cast iron, Dutch oven, or heavy buttom pan.

2. Add boiling water, a drizzle of oil or butter if desired and salt to taste.

2. Turn the pot off, cover it, and transfer to preheated 350F oven for about 30 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the grain is al dente. Let it cool to use for the salad.

3. Transfer millet to large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, adjusting salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

*Millet is a gluten-free grain, therefore suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. One cup of cooked millet has around 200 calories, 2 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 3 milligrams of sodium, and is cholesterol-free ( Millet has a similar texture to cous cous, is a similar grain to quinoa – but much cheaper, and has a delicious light, nutty flavor.

Denison Farm Pesto


In a mortar and pestle, sprinkle about 2 tsp. of sea salt. Add ~2 cloves of garlic (less of it’s as fresh as ours was!), a few handfuls of pesto leaves, and a bit of lemon juice and pepper to taste. Grind (making sure you can hear the clinking noise of the stones or wooden pieces hitting) and drizzle some olive oil on top to emulsify once the leaves are ground. It’s a rough recipe, but there aren’t many hard and fast rules with pesto!

Elihu Farm Frittata


by Ellie Markovitch

Serves 12

1 medium onion, chopped into small pieces
1 small zucchini, chopped into small pieces
1 cup of scallions, chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
6-8 eggs from Elihu Farm, beaten vigorously
1 1/2 cups of grated cheese (we used a mixture of Mapledale Farm raw milk cheeses and Cabot sharp cheddar)
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Set oven to broil to preheat (just a note that many wiser than myself probably already know – for the broil function gas ovens apparently need to be adjusted correctly to either natural gas or propane, whichever you’re using – if you live in an urban area you probably have natural gas, and your oven is probably correctly adjusted. I learned over the weekend while re-creating this recipe at home that our oven was not set properly for broiling when large orange flames started coming out on the inside and the whole kitchen took on a very strange smell. It’s a simple adjustment if you know what you’re doing. I clearly did not, but luckily had the right friends in the kitchen at the time).

2. In an oven safe pan (we used a 12 inch cast iron), add olive oil to coat the pan and cook vegetables and oregano until soft, a couple of minutes.

3. Add beaten eggs to the cooked hot veggies.

4. Place the oven safe pan under broiler in the middle rack of the oven, for about 5 minutes until golden and eggs cooked. Check around 3 minutes as ovens may vary in temperature.

5. Serve hot or at room temperature (we served ours with white whole wheat flour ciabatta bread from Placid Baker downtown).

Hot and Cold Tapas

5R9A2429hot cold tapas2

by Ellie Markovitch

Serves 12

For the tapas, cut the bread in diagonal shapes, grill or toast if desired.

Hot Tapas

*Preheat oven on broil

1 large summer squash
1 red onion
1 green bell pepper, all cut into 1/2-inch slices and 2 1/2 to 3 inches long

1 bunch of rainbow chard, cut into ribbons
Juice of 1 lemon
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Cheese to serve, we used Mapledale Farm raw milk Farmhouse Colby

1. Toss vegetables with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a bowl.

2. Place into a shallow baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste.

3. Roast the vegetables 5 to 10 minutes. Check half way to avoid burning.

4. Top bread with roasted vegetables and sprinkle cheese on top.

5R9A2370byEllie Markovitch

Cold Tapas

1 cup of Cabot Greek-style lowfat yogurt
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced or to taste
1/2 cup of dill, finely chopped, plus some for garnishing
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
3 cucumbers, round slices

1. Mix yogurt, garlic, dill, and lemon zest well.

2. Spread yogurt mixture on bread and top with cucumber slices.


3-2-1 Crepes by Amy

5R9A2472by Ellie Markovitch

photo by Ellie Markovitch

recipe by Amy Halloran

3 eggs

2 cups of milk

1 cup of flour

1. Mix all ingredients

2. Ideally, let sit 10-30 minutes (any more than 10 min should be in the refrigerator)

3. Heat griddle, turn down to low

4. Pour/spoon batter onto griddle and spread around by holding griddle up and tilting it until crepe spreads out evenly

5. When bubbles appear across the surface it is time to flip (this won’t take very long with crepes)

6. Fill with your favorite fruits/veggies/meat/whatever you want! Crepes can be savory or sweet.

Our filling:

Filled crepe

A cucumber salad with strained yogurt (which you can easily make by heating milk to 180F, letting it cool to around 110F, adding a few tablespoons of plain yogurt, and then keeping it insulated and letting it sit overnight – seriously, it’s that easy), dill, the Japanese herb shiso, and chopped radishes.

Traditional Brazilian Feijoada

Recipe by Ellie Markovitch (can also be found here

Brazilian Feijoada, Vegetarian Version


Recipe by Ellie Markovitch

2 kg (about 4.4 pounds) dried black beans (Ellie cooks hers in the pressure cooker)
8 medium carrots, sliced
4 sweet potatoes, cubed
2 eggplants, cubed
6 bay leaves
3 large onions
1 head of garlic
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch each of parsley, green onions and cilantro (“cheiro verde” or green smell)
Malagueta pepper (can sub with other hot pepper if desired)
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 tamari suace
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1. The night before, soak the beans in a large bowl with water to cover at least 3-4 inches.

2. The next morning, drian the beans and place in a large pot with bay leaves and water to cover by at least 3 inches. Bring the beans to a boil in medium heat. Cook until soft.

3. Option 2: cook beans and bay leaves in the pressure cooker until half done, about 5-7 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, cut all the vegetables in about 1-2 inch pieces. Sauté in oil until brown on all sides.

5. Add the vegetables and onions to almost cookd beans to simmer, stirring from time to time, adding water as necessary to keep beans covered. Add garlic and half of the cheiro verde, simmer for a couple of minutes.

6. Decant a few ladlefuls of the sauce into a separate saucepan and add the Malagueta pepper, garlic, cheiro verde (parsley, green onions and cilantro). Heath through and serve separately.

7. Continue to simmer gently for at least another hour, adding water as necessary. Remove the bay leaves.

To serve feijoada, put a mound of rice on your plate and place a ladelful or two of feijoada on top or on the side. Arrange oranges (in this case grilled peaches and pineapple) and collard greens around the sides.
Couvre (Collard Greens)


2 tablespoons of olive oil
6-8 collard green leaves, cut into chiffonade
1/2 cup onions, chopped

In a frying pan, sauté onions for 1 minute then add the collards and sauté until tender and bright green.


“Pão de Queijo” – Cheese Bread


Grilled peaches and pineapple for dessert!


Farmer’s Cheese (Ricotta)

IMG 4903

Recipe based on one by Jennifer Wilkerson on the From Scratch Club website

About .5 pounds of cheese and 1-1/4 quarts of whey

1/2 gallon whole milk (we used Battenkill Valley Creamery)
1/4 cup white vinegar
Dash of fine sea salt, up to 1/2 teaspoon
Juice from 1/2 lemon

– Mixing bowl
– Heavy bottomed pot
– Thermometer (optional)
– Wooden spoon
– Colander
– Length of cheese cloth (an actual cloth rather than cheese cloth tends to work just as well)
– Jars or small bowls for storage

1. Set the colander

2. Set the pot on the stove, attach the thermometer if using. Turn heat on to medium low. Place an ice-cube or two in the bottom of the pot. Swirl the pot to distribute the melting ice over entire bottom, this helps keep the milk from scorching the bottom of the pot. Gently pour the milk down the side of the pot. (Your goal is to not disturb the water.)

3. Without stirring, let the pot sit undisturbed until the milk reaches a temperature of about 190 degrees. If you aren’t using a thermometer, heat until small bubbles appear and the surface rolls a bit but the milk does not boil. (Note from Jennifer “The boiling point of milk is close to the boiling point of water, which is 212 degrees F at sea level, but milk contains additional molecules in it, so its boiling point is slightly higher.”)

4. Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the vinegar and lemon juice. The milk should begin to curdle and separate into curds and whey right away. If it doesn’t, add 1 teaspoon of additional vinegar. Let sit for 15 minutes undistrubed.

5. Pour the curds and whey into the cheese cloth lined colander. Sprinkle with salt. Tie up the cheese cloth around a wooden spoon and let it hang over a bowl or pot for 30 minutes to one hour. Check the curds every 5-10 minutes starting at the 25 minute mark for your preferred constancy. You should have a nice spreadable, firm yet still wet, cheese. If you drain too much of the whey off, you would have a very crumbly spread.

6. Store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to a week.

We tried our ricotta right away on bread two ways: peach slices with agave syrup and tomato with basil.

IMG 4923

IMG 4925

What to do with Whey?!

Here is a great list of ideas for things to do with your leftover whey!

We saved ours to use tomorrow in our pizza dough, but were intrigued by the idea of whey lemonade. So much so that we were inspired to make some (more traditional) lemonade ourselves…

IMG 4914

1. Put the juice of half of a lemon in a quart-sized mason jar (the juice of a whole lemon would be better we think, but we only had half of one left over from the ricotta making)

2. Add some Agave syrup (to taste)

3. Slice about half a peach and put each slice through a garlic press into the jar

4. Fill the rest of the jar with water, screw the top on tightly and shake!

5. We garnished our lemonade with chopped basil – mmm refreshing.

1 cup of sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp of tapioca starch (Yuca flour)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and combine ingredients in a mixing bowl.

2. Make small balls by rolling about 1 heaping tablespoon of dough in the palm of your hand. Use the extra yuca flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.

3. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet or silicone baking sheet liner and bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes (Remember no peeking!)

Easy Camp Pizza

5R9A3060ebyEllie Markovitch

Recipe and photo by Ellie Markovitch


1 cup of Howard’s whole grain wheat
2 cups of white whole wheat flour
1 cup whey (saved from our ricotta making)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. raw sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp. yeast


Savory pizza – ricotta, basil, tomatoes
Sweet pizza – ricotta, peach slices, basil, agave


– Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and roll out dough until it becomes the size and shape that you would like for your crust

– Transfer to a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper underneat

– Add sauces and toppings desired

– Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes (we baked on a pizza stone)

5R9A3069ebyEllie Markovitch
Cocoa Date Truffles

5R9A3048ebyEllie Markovitch


2 Tbsp. to 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste) or peanut butter
1 cup of chopped dates
1/4 cup cocoa powder


– Mix all ingredients by hand, with a mortar and pestle, or in a food processor.

– Roll into small, truffle sized balls.

– Coat in cocoa (or coconut or crushed nuts or anything you want!)

– Keep refrigerated.
Bonus: Pasta From Scratch!

Recipe by Angelina Malatesta

1 egg
1 cup of flour
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. of olive oil


– Make a mound with your flour, then make a hole in the flour not going all the way through.

– Crack your egg and put it in the hole. Also put the pinch of salt in the hole.

– Now break the yolk and start to mix together.

– Once you start mixing, put olive oil in.

– Once you get a dough, if there is still some dough notsticking together put some water in it.

– Once you have a whole piece of dough put it in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for 30 min.

– Then roll out the dough and get your pasta machine and flatten it to number 5 then pick the pasta you want.

– When your pasta is ready, get the water boiling and put the pasta in. Wait until the pasta rises then wait one more minute. Strain out the water and the pasta is ready!


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