Cornmeal, Parmesan & Thyme Crackers

Crisp and crunchy, these crackers from PCC’s Cooking from Scratch cookbook are delightful served with a schmear of cream cheese on top.

Ingredients:
1 cup medium-grind cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¾ cup warm water
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
Fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, divided

Method:
1. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine the cornmeal, flour, water, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper. Blend until the mixture forms a ball. Remove the ball from the processor and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 4 portions, covering the pieces you are not working with in plastic wrap.

3. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll out one piece of dough to ⅛-inch thick. Sprinkle the surface with ¼ of the thyme and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Gently roll the dough to embed the toppings. Cut the crackers into your desired shape and size. (A chef’s knife, pizza cutter or cookie cutters all work well here!) Repeat with the remaining balls of dough.

4. Put the crackers fairly close together, but not touching, on the sheet. Bake until edges turn golden and crisp, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely; store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Baked Fennel

This classic Italian finocchi gratinati is simply sublime.

Ingredients:
4 fennel bulbs, cored and sliced
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup Grana-style cheese, grated
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. In a frying pan over high heat, sauté the fennel slices with the butter for about 15 minutes until tender, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Transfer to a baking pan, sprinkle the fennel with the grated cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 350° for 10 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and melted.

Mushroom Risotto with Roasted Squash

Mixed with our own duxelles and sautéed mushrooms, then topped with roasted squash, this creamy and delicious risotto is a favorite here at the farm.

Ingredients:
1½ cups Arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock
½ cup white wine (if desired)
½ finely chopped onions or shallots
1-2 tablespoons chopped garlic (if desired)
8 tablespoons butter or olive oil (can use a mixture)
1 cup duxelles
¼ cup grated Grana cheese
2 cups cubed and roasted Black Futsu squash
1 cup Hedgehog mushrooms, sautéed in butter
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Method:
1. In a saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil and then turn down to a simmer to keep hot.

2. In another large saucepan over medium low heat, melt 4-5 tablespoons of butter and cook the onions until soft but not brown. Add garlic and continue cooking for about 2 minutes. Turn the heat up and add the Arborio rice, stir for about one minute. Add a ladleful of stock to the rice and continue stirring until almost absorbed.

3. Add another ladleful of stock and the wine (if using) and continue stirring. Repeat until all the stock is gone and the rice is creamy and tender.

4. Stir in the remaining butter, the duxelles and grated Grana until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add generous helpings of the roasted squash and sautéed mushrooms to each portion of risotto, and sprinkle with fresh parsley and a grating of Grana-style cheese before serving.

Broiled Heirloom Tomatoes

Topped with crispy Panko bread crumbs and Grana-style cheese, these beautiful tomatoes are a worthy supper side.

Ingredients:
4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced into rings
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
¾ cup freshly-grated Grana-style cheese
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to broil.

2. Lay sliced tomatoes in a baking dish, overlapping a few if needed. Sprinkle tomatoes with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. In a bowl, mix Panko, cheese, garlic and parsley with a spoon until combined. Evenly sprinkle the mixture over top of the tomatoes.

3. Broil for 2-3 minutes, or just until cheese and crumbs are golden. Remove and serve warm.

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