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Friday, July 22, 2011

Chef Kathy Gunst Gives Leftovers A Summer Spin

What to do with leftover rice or pasta? Or with a pile of zucchini or a bucket of berries about to go moldy?

Here and Now‘s resident chef Kathy Gunst has ideas for using the bounty of summer to perk up leftovers as well as what to do when the bounty gets too plentiful. Kathy has written a book on leftovers, as well as an essay defending the often maligned zucchini and says “what you want to do with leftovers is to introduce fresh, vibrant flavors, so there’s nothing old about it….and in summer, it’s just so easy. Everything is ripe, everything’s out there”

Garlic Scapes, Zucchini, Corn, and Ginger Fried Rice

2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 large egg, beaten
2 ounces garlic scapes, cut into ½-inch pieces to make about ½ cup, or
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 cup cut corn, cut off two fresh cobs
½ cup ¼-inch diced carrots
3 ounces sugar snaps, cut into ½-inch pieces to make about ¾ cup
4 cups cold cooked long grain rice
4 ounces roast turkey or chicken, cut into ½-inch cubes, about 1 cup
1 or 2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

1. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of
water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 2 teaspoons
of the oil making sure the bottom of the wok is completely coated in
oil. Add the beaten eggs, and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, tilting the
pan so that the egg covers the surface as thinly as possible to make a
pancake. When the bottom is just beginning to brown and the pancake is
just set, using a metal spatula flip the pancake and allow it to set,
about 5 seconds before transferring it to a cutting board. Cool before
cutting the pancake into bite-sized pieces.

2. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, add the scapes and
ginger, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 15 seconds or until the
ginger is fragrant. Add the corn, carrots, and sugar snaps, and stir-
fry 1 to 2 minutes or until the sugar snaps are bright green. Add the
rice, and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes breaking up the rice with the
spatula until it is heated through. Add the turkey, soy sauce,
sprinkle on the salt and pepper, and the reserved eggs, and toss to
combine. Serves 3 as a main dish or 4 as part of a multicourse meal.

Cold Zucchini Soup

Make the soup several hours ahead of time to leave time to chill properly.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 pounds zucchini, chopped
1/3 cup white wine
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock

Optional: 12 cup cream, creme fraiche or yogurt

In a large pot heat half the oil and add the onion, over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper, the chives and half the basil. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add the zucchini, raise the heat to high, and let cook about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil; cook 3 minutes. Add stock, bring to a boil, and cook over low heat, partially covered, for about 15 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. Remove from heat and add remaining basil.

Puree in a blender or food processor and add to a large bowl. Chill for several hours. Serve cold with a dollop of cream, creme fraiche or yogurt. Serves 8.

Mint and Toasted Pine Nut Pesto

½ cup pine nuts
2 packed cups fresh mint leaves
1 cup olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
A few grindings of black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the nuts on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown, making sure they don’t burn. Remove from the oven.

In the bowl of a blender or food processor, whirl the mint until coarsely chopped. Add the toasted nuts, the oil, salt, and pepper and process until all the nuts are chopped and the pesto has a coarse texture.

Transfer to a bowl. The pesto can be made several hours ahead of time. Serve at room temperature.

Coriander-Cashew Pesto

2/3 cup chopped fresh coriander
¼ cup salted cashews
1 small clove garlic, chopped
½ cup olive oil
A few grindings of black pepper

In a food processor, puree the coriander and cashews and garlic. Slowly add the oil and blend until almost smooth. Season with pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The pesto will keep for at least a day or two. Serve at room temperature.
Makes about ½ cup.

Raspberry Syrup

1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh raspberries, stemmed

Boil the water over high heat. Add the sugar, stir, and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce to moderate heat, add the berries, and cook 10 minutes. Cool off the heat for 5 minutes. Place the berries and liquid in a strainer set over a wide heat-proof bowl and strain the berries through, pushing down to extract all the liquid. Let cool.
Makes 1 1/4 cups.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

16 ounces orzo pasta (about 1 1/4 cups), or other small pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups chopped Kalamata olives
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise, or 1 large yellow or red tomato, cubed (about 4 cups)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded (optional) and chopped
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup drained capers
1/2 cup lightly packed chopped fresh parsley leaves
Freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the orzo, and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use a fine-mesh strainer to drain the pasta well. Transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl.

While the pasta is still hot, add the olive oil, vinegar, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Let the pasta cool for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the olives, tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, capers, and parsley, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste (you probably won’t need much salt). Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.
Serves 6 to 10.


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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