Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Good Eats Newsletter - December 17, 2014


Localvore Members 
& Veggie Only Share Members
take a TAN / LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag will contain:
Claytonia; Potatoes; Carrots; Daikon Radish; Onions; Kale; Watercress; Napa Cabbage

Localvore and any share with pantry items Include:
Tullochgorum Farm organic White Lightning Popcorn
McFarline Apiaries Honey
VT Creamery Fresh Chevre


Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
Claytonia; Potatoes; Daikon Radish; Onions;
Kale; Napa Cabbage
Happy Holidays from all of us at the farm!

We will NOT deliver next week, 12/25.
We will deliver the following week on Tuesday, December 30th for all Wednesday sites, and Wednesday, December 31st, for Thursday sites.
Please email me if you need to make any delivery changes to your share.

Around the farm

Yesterday's spinach picking crew: Emilie, Felipe and Molly.


Storage and Use Tips

This week's salad greens are claytonia. We've had a good response this share with the claytonia - members are enjoying it in their salads, on sandwiches, or cooked like spinach. Enjoy this vitamin C loaded green.

Fingerling potatoes are a family of heritage potatoes that naturally grow much smaller than conventional potatoes. They tend to be elongated and slightly knobbly, making them very finger-like in shape. The unusual-looking, flavorful potatoes can be used just like regular potatoes in an assortment of roasted, broiled, baked, grilled, or boiled dishes.  Store in a paper bag in a cool, dry place. No need to peel, just scrub clean before cooking.

Carrots can keep in the refrigerator for up to three months if properly prepared for storage. Remove all the green stubble to prevent the carrot from rotting. (carrot leaves left attached draw moisture from the root and dry it out quickly). Do not wash until ready to use carrot. Place carrots into refrigerator.

Everyone will get some daikon radish this week. This large root looks like an overgrown white carrot, but it is actually a radish.  In Korea, cubed daikon radish is used to make a type of kimchi. Its mild taste makes it an excellent palate cleanser. In Japan, strings of daikon marinated in vinegar typically accompany sashimi. Try serving the radish in light salads where its own flavor won't be overwhelmed by the other ingredients.

The yellow onions are again coming to you from Riverside Farm in East Hardwick. Riverside is an organic vegetable farm in East Hardwick owned by Bruce Kaufman and Judy Jarvis.  Together they cultivate 20 acres of organic vegetables. We are lucky that this year they had a beautiful crop of onions because ours was not so good.  We are grateful for the many excellent farmers in our region. Onions are best stored in a cool dark place.

Everyone will get a bunch of either red or lacinato kale. Both kales are extremely nutritiuos and can be enjoyed steamed or sauteed, or added into soups or stews.  A longer cooking time is usually best as it tends to bring out the natural sweetness of the greens. I love to use lacinato for kale chips and roasted kale (the flat leaves make them perfect for chips), and the red kale for things like soups and stews.

Eaten cooked or raw, cress has a very mild peppery flavor. It may be eaten raw as in a simple salad with oil and vinegar, or wilted in soups or other dishes. I love it on sandwiches and in salad. Watercress is a very powerful antioxidant. A two year study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 determined that eating watercress daily can significantly reduce DNA damage to blood cells, which is considered to be an important trigger in the development of cancer. It is brimming with more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals. Gram for gram, it contains more iron than spinach, more vitamin C than oranges and more calcium than milk.

Left raw, the leaves can be chopped and mixed into a salad, tucked into a sandwich, or tossed over broiled fish as a garnish. Use a food processor to blend a handful of upland cress with a cup of creme friache or sour cream and a few garlic cloves for a zesty side to grilled meats or blend into soups. Store in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer for 1-2 weeks.

Napa cabbage is an Asian vegetable that resembles regular green cabbage, but is much more tender with large cruncy ribs and has a long, slender shape. Napa cabbage has slightly more protein and fewer calories than regular cabbage and a unique taste like a mild celery or bok choy. It is delicious raw or cooked, and can be substituted for regular cabbage in most recipes. It is extremely popular in China partly because of its versatility. In Korea it is pickled, salted, and flavored with ginger and chili peppers to make Korea's national dish kim chi. Store in a sealed plastic bag in your refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.


Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section.  I am sure you will find it useful.

Localvore Lore

The organically grown White Lightning Popcorn comes from Tullochgorum Farm in Ormstown, Quebec, situated in the beautiful Chateauguay Valley of South-western Quebec.  Because popcorn requires a longer growing season than most types of corn, Steve and Loraine Lalonde consider their area to be at the northern limit of successfully producing this crop. To their knowledge, they are the only commercial producers of certified organic popcorn in Quebec. Once popped, White Lightning possesses a delicate, crispy texture, and a slightly nutty flavor, vastly different from the more common yellow popcorn varieties with which most people are familiar with, and a world away from microwave popcorn!

A whirly-pop machine is recommended in the 2 recipes below, but if you don't have one try this stovetop method.

A special treat for you this week is raw Vermont honey from McFarline Apiary.  Tim McFarline is a beekeeper from Benson, VT.  Tim's honey is raw, and has never been heated so it retains all vitality and enzymes.  His website is filled with interesting information about bees so be sure to check it out!  We are grateful for the bees without whom our crops could not be pollinated.


VT Creamery's Fresh Chevre is a great addition to a pizza, salads, egg dishes, dips, souffles, or cheese plate. This award winning chevre recently won a bronze award at the 2014 World Cheese Awards.  It's made with fresh goats’ milk from family farms that is naturally coagulated overnight, drained and then shaped into logs.  This cheese is distinguished by a simple, mild, fresh goats’ milk favor and is highly versatile as an ingredient or as part of a cheeseboard.

There are 2 flavors- Classic and Cranberry, Orange, Cinnamon. I thought the classic would be a good all around cheese to add to anything and the flavored a great addition to a holiday cheese plate or fancy salad. Choose just 1 cheese.

I just love the story of how VT Creamery got started. Allison Hooper, one of the founders and owners, was working as a dairy lab technician in Vermont after a year abroad on a farm in France. Bob Reese, the other founder and owner, then marketing director of the State Agriculture Department, was in need of fresh goat cheese for a state dinner at the request of a French chef. Chèvre was virtually unheard of at the time, but Allison was able to craft the cheese for the dinner. Energized by the response they received, Allison and Bob decided on-the-spot to create Vermont Creamery. The rest is history!

Bob & Allison with an original sign for Vermont Creamery


Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.



Recipes


Curried Carrot Soup
This is a great recipe for when you have lots of carrots to use up.

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon curry powder
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Heat butter in a Dutch oven or large (4- to 5-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, curry powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

Add broth, carrots, and 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.

In a blender**, puree soup in batches until smooth; transfer to a clean saucepan. Add more water to thin to desired consistency. Reheat, if necessary. Stir in lemon juice. Serve garnished with cilantro, if desired.

**Hot liquids will expand when blended, so be careful not to fill the jar of the blender more than halfway. To prevent the liquid from spattering, allow the heat to escape: Remove the cap from hole in lid, and cover lid with a dish towel when blending.



Napa Cabbage Salad with Peanuts and Ginger
This recipe from Martha Stewart is a great way to use your napa cabbage.

2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 piece fresh ginger (1 inch long), peeled and grated
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 medium napa cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and cut into bite-size pieces
1 red bell pepper (seeds and ribs removed), thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh, cilantro
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, ginger, and oils until dressing is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, bell pepper, cilantro, and peanuts. Add dressing to taste, and toss to combine. Serve.

 


Daikon Radish and Napa Cabbage Slaw
To make this slaw more colorful, add a grated carrot or two. To toast the sesame seeds, place in a small frying pan over medium heat and cook until lightly browned, 5 minutes, stirring often.

1 to 1 1/2 pounds napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 pound daikon radish, peeled and grated in large holes of grater

Dressing:
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon honey or sugar, or to taste
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the cabbage and daikon in a large bowl.

Combine the dressing ingredients, then pour over the vegetables and toss with plenty of salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or chill for 1 hour before serving.



Napa Cabbage and Daikon Stir-Fry
Napa and cabbage go so well together. I liked the idea of this as a hot dish and think that adding some chicken or beef to this would be amazing!

2 daikon, shredded
5 carrots, shredded
1 napa cabbage, shredded
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 14-oz can straw mushrooms, drained

Heat the oil in a wok or large pan. Add the carrot and the daikon.  Stir-fry until softened, about 2 minutes tops. Add the cabbage.  Stir-fry until tender. Add the mushrooms.  Stir-fry until heated through. Serve.



Black Kale and Black Olive Salad
This salad calls for lacinato kale, sliced thin and served raw, and it's delicious. It combines the kale with black olives and a little shaved Parmesan for a full flavored, earthy, briny salad. It's also a sturdy salad that can be dressed an hour or two ahead of serving.

1 large bunch Lacinato kale (about 1 pound), cut into thin ribbons
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Salt and black pepper

Combine the kale, olives, and Parmesan in a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and vengar, sprinkle with salt (not too much) and lots of pepper, and toss.

Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to an hour.



Kale Chips
If you haven't made them yet, do try.  They are delicious, fun, super easy to make.  They come out crispy with a very satisfying potato chip like crunch.  You can try different toppings ...  chili powder, parmesan cheese etc, to flavor them further, but the simple oil and salt I have given below really is great.

1 large bunch kale (any kind, but Lacinato is great), tough stems removed, leaves torn into pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Position racks in upper third and center of oven; preheat to 400°F.

If kale is wet, very thoroughly pat dry with a clean kitchen towel; transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle the kale with oil and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, massage the oil and salt onto the kale leaves to evenly coat. Fill 2 large rimmed baking sheets with a layer of kale, making sure the leaves don't overlap. (If the kale won't all fit, make the chips in batches.)

Bake until most leaves are crisp, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through, 8 to 12 minutes total. (If baking a batch on just one sheet, start checking after 8 minutes to prevent burning.)



Vietnamese Daikon and Carrot Pickles Recipe
Traditionally served in Vietnamese street sandwiches called Banh Mi. These pickles would be great with anything that would typically be served with coleslaw or sauerkraut, like hot dogs, or barbecued pork, or even with salad or wrapped into a spring roll. Or just eat them straight.  For a lower glycemic option, you can substitute the 1 cup of sugar with 3/4 cup of agave syrup. Yield: Makes approximately 5 pints.

 
2 pounds carrots (about 5 medium sized carrots), peeled
2 pounds of daikon radishes (about 2 large daikon), peeled
1 cup plus 4 teaspoons of sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
2 cups warm water (warm enough to easily dissolve sugar)
About 5 pint jars


 
Julienne the carrots and the daikon radishes. Cut them first crosswise into 2 1/2 inch long segments. Then cut 1/4-inch thick slices lengthwise. Stack the slices and cut them again into 1/4-inch thick batons.

Place the carrots and daikon radishes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 4 teaspoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt. Use your clean hands to toss the carrots and daikon with the salt and sugar until well coated. Continue to mix the carrots and daikon with your hands until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. They are ready once you can bend a piece of daikon all the way over without it breaking.

Transfer the carrots and daikon to a colander, rinse with cool water and drain well.

In a bowl (a 8 cup pyrex measuring cup works great for this) mix together one cup of sugar, the white vinegar and the warm water, until the sugar dissolves.

Prepare clean jars. Pack the daikon and carrots tightly into the jars. Pour over the pickling liquid to cover. Seal. Refrigerate.

The pickles should sit at least overnight before eating; their flavor will improve with time. They should last 4 to 6 weeks in the refrigerator.



Honey and Lemon Dressing
It's amazing what a little bit of honey does to this basic salad dressing!

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon good honey
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Mix everything together in a bowl and season to taste.



Potato Pancakes [Latkes]
This classic latke recipe is a keeper.

1 large baking potato (1 pound), peeled
1 small onion (4 ounces), peeled
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Peanut oil, for frying

In a food processor or on a box grater, coarsely shred the potato and onion. For longer strands, lay the potato sideways in the chute of your food processor. Transfer to a colander or wrap in a cheesecloth sling, and squeeze as dry as possible. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze dry again.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, egg, salt and pepper together. Stir in the potato onion mixture until all pieces are evenly coated.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering. Drop packed teaspoons of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten them with the back of a spoon. Cook the latkes over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes; flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.

Do ahead: Latkes are a do-ahead-er’s dream. You can also keep latkes warm in the oven for an hour or more, if you’re waiting for stragglers to arrive. Cooked, they keep well in the fridge for a day or two, or in the freezer, well wrapped, for up to two weeks. Reheat them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven until they’re crisp again. Bonus: If you undercooked them a bit or didn’t get the browning on them you’d hoped for, you can compensate for this in the oven.



Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn
Need a tasty gift? This popcorn fits the bill, especially when presented in pretty little package. These 2 popcorn recipes are from one of my favorite blogs, Annie's Eats.

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. butter
2 tsp. brown sugar
coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate, or chocolate chips

Line two baking sheets with wax paper.  Pop popcorn in an air-popper (a Whirley Pop is highly recommended) Spread popcorn in an even layer on prepared baking sheets.  Combine peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave in 20 second intervals and stir, until melted and drizzle-able. Drop the peanut butter mixture in spoonfuls over the popcorn and gently toss to coat evenly (I find this is best done by hand).  In another microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate in 20 second intervals until fully melted.  Drizzle over the popcorn.  Let the chocolate set before serving.  Store in an airtight container.



Parmesan Thyme Popcorn with Browned Butter
If you're looking for a more savory, grown up popcorn, this is a great bet!

2-3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, grated (or finely minced)
½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 tsp. olive oil
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
2-3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Melt the butter completely.  Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the butter foams, bubbles slightly, and begins to brown.  Continue whisking until the butter is evenly browned, being careful not to burn.  Just before it is finished, stir in the garlic and thyme.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

In a popcorn popper, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the kernels to the pot, cover, and cook, stirring, until all the kernels are popped. Remove from the heat, add in the browned butter mixture along with the grated Parmesan and stir well to coat evenly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir once more.

 


Salty Honey Pie
This recipe, also from Annie's Eats, is a new holiday favorite of ours. It's sweet, creamy filling with the crunchy salt topping and buttery flaky crust is truly a perfect combination.

1 recipe basic pie dough
1/2 cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. white or yellow cornmeal
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup honey
2 tsp. white vinegar
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise (or 1 tsp. vanilla paste)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1-2 tbsp. large flake sea salt for finishing (such as Maldon)

To blind-bake the pie shell, preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Roll pie dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch disc.  Place it in a 9-inch pie plate, trimming away the excess and creating decorative edges as desired.  Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with the tines of a fork.  Line the crust with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with baking beads.  (If you don’t have baking beads, dried beans or rice also work.)  Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove the baking beads and foil and bake about 5-10 minutes more, until light golden.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350.

To make the filling, combine the butter, sugar, cornmeal and salt in a bowl and mix well with an electric mixer until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Blend in the honey, vinegar and the seeds scraped from the vanilla beans. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then blend in the cream. Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie shell and transfer to the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until just set and only slightly jiggly in the center. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 1 hour before topping with the finishing salt, slicing and serving. Serve with fresh whipped cream, if desired.



3 tablespoons butter

    1 large onion, chopped

    2 ribs celery, chopped

    1 cup pearl barley

    1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)

    1 green bell pepper, chopped

    2 cups chicken broth

    salt and ground black pepper to taste

Check All Add to Shopping List

    PREP
    15 mins

    COOK
    45 mins

    READY IN
    1 hr

Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    Melt butter in a 1 1/2-quart Dutch oven or oven-safe pot over medium heat and cook onion until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add celery and cook until starting to soften, stirring often, about 5 more minutes. Mix barley into the vegetables and stir until coated with butter. Fold mushrooms and green pepper into barley mixture; season to taste with salt and black pepper. Pour chicken broth into barley mixture and bring to a boil; cover casserole dish.
    Bake in the preheated oven until barley is nearly tender, about 30 minutes; uncover casserole dish and bake barley until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 more minutes. Adjust salt and black pepper before serving.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Good Eats Newsletter - December 10, 2014

STORM NEWS for 12/10 delivery - we are planning to deliver tomorrow as normal. I will be in touch with you all as the day progresses to let you know once we've delivered to your site so you can avoid an unnecessary trip out. Please stay tuned to your email tomorrow.

Localvore Members 
& Veggie Only Share Members
take a TAN / LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag will contain:
Spinach; Potatoes; Carrots; Beets; Onions; Fennel; Kale; Sweet Salad Turnips OR Mustards; Lettuce

Localvore and any share with pantry items Include:
Pete's Kitchen Pizza Dough
Pete's Kitchen Pizza Sauce
Butternut Mountain Farm Maple Sugar


Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
Spinach; Potatoes; Carrots; Onions;
Fennel; Kale; Lettuce
 Holiday Delivery Schedule

We take one week off a year at the farm and it's coming right up!  Next week Dec 17/18 will be the last delivery for 2014.

We will NOT deliver
Dec 24 and 25.

We WILL deliver a day early for New Year's Eve on 12/30 and 12/31.

If you need to make changes to a delivery please email me.

A quick reminder for any share changes

In order to make any schedule changes I need at least 5 days' notice.

Please email me with any changes by the Friday before the week you'd like the change. Thanks!
Need a holiday gift idea?

Many of our members say that picking up their CSA each week is like Christmas so why not give a CSA for a holiday gift? We offer a number of different options:

  • A gift certificate for your loved one to use towards a CSA - they could choose when to collect on their share
  • A share for the remainder of the fall/winter share - there are 7 weeks left of the share after the holiday
  • A spring share which starts on February 18th
  • A gift of our bulk veggies and/or meats - order form here

We also offer gift certificates to our Waterbury Farm Market for that shopper in your life.

A gift of organic food is always appreciated and the gift of a CSA lasts a long time.

Email me if you'd like to purchase a gift certificate or get further information.




Storage and Use Tips

This week's salad mix is all spinach.  Spinach is great in a salad, added to scrambled eggs, a sandwich, or even in a morning smoothies. This healthy green is loaded with vitamin C so enjoy it!

This week's potatoes are a nice mix. These will be great for all of your potato purposes! Store potatoes in a cool dark place.  Storing your potatoes in the refrigerator can make their starch turn to sugar and therefore should be avoided as doing so can give your potatoes an unpleasant, sweet taste.

Our orange carrots are sweet and crispy. They can be enjoyed raw, steamed, added into a casserole, cooked into muffins or cakes (see recipe below), or also added into a smoothie. Carrots should be stored loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer, where they will keep for a couple of weeks. Store them away from apples, pears and other produce that create ethylene gas, which causes them to become bitter.

The large share is getting red beets this week. Do you know why these beets are red? This is because of betalin pigments such as betanin and betacyanin. Betaine has the property of lowering homocysteine levels within the blood. Homocysteine promotes platelet clot as well as atherosclerotic-plaque formation, which, otherwise, can be harmful to blood vessels. High levels of homocysteine in the blood result in the development of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and peripheral vascular diseases. Beets are also a rich source of B-complex vitamins such as niacin (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5), pyridoxine (B-6) and minerals such as iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Red beets will bleed when cooked so if preparing with other veggies be mindful of that fact that you will end up with a uniformly technicolor dish.  Beets may be eaten cooked or raw. Grated beets make a fabulous addition to salads and slaws. Grate some early in the week and place them in a tupperware and then sprinkle them into salads all week.  Roasted beets are extra delicious, roasting carmelizes the sugar in the beets. Cube beets and roast them in the oven with a drizzle of oil at 400F until they are tender and just browning at the edges. If you don't eat them all right away, cool and toss into a container and add these to salads.

The yellow onions are coming to you from Riverside Farm in East Hardwick. They are a certified organic farm who cultivate 20 acres in vegetables. You may be wondering why we are sending these onions out and not our own - we are just about out of our supply so we are buying these in. Molly will have a good explanation about this in next week's newsletter. Onions are best stored in a cool dark place.

Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with the flavor of anise. It is delicious and slightly sweet served raw but is just as often served cooked on its own or in other dishes. Though most often associated with Italian cooking, it has an uncanny ability to blend with other flavors adding a light and fresh note. It is delightful in many dishes, and in soups and stews and sauces. Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. The stalks are topped with feathery green leaves near which flowers grow and produce fennel seeds. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. To prepare, trim off the fronds and stalks and reserve them for garnish or seasoning. Cut off the hard bottom and slice vertically or into quarters. Or cut the bulb in half lengthwise, cut out the core, and cut into strips. Add it raw to salads or try some thinly sliced fennel on your sandwich. Top thinly sliced fennel with plain yogurt and mint leaves. Or braise, roast or saute' it. It is done when tender enough to pierce easily with a skewer.

Red kale is just as nutritious as it's green cousin.  Kale is great steamed or sauteed, or added into soups or stews.  A longer cooking time is usually best as it tends to bring out the natural sweetness of the greens.

Sweet salad turnips are a raw, tasty treat. Slice them and mix in with salad greens, or dip them in dressing and eat them on their own. The greens are still attached, so chop those off and store separately from the turnips. Chop the greens and mix in with other salad greens for a peppery bite. Or, serve the greens chopped and steamed or sauteed. Both greens and roots can be kept loosely wrapped - seperately - in plastic bags in the fridge.

The mustard greens are Red Giant.  Related to kale, cabbage, and collard greens, mustard grens are the peppery leafy greens of the mustard plant.  They are delicious in steamed or stir-fried dishes. They also make an amazing addition to any pizza - saute the greens with some garlic until soft, and then spread right on the crust.

We have a number of varieties of red lettuce going out this week. You will get a head of butterleaf, salanova, or red oak leaf lettuce in your share. All varieties are great in a salad or added to a sandwich, or even thrown into a smoothie.

Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section.  I am sure you will find it useful.

Localvore Lore

It's a pizza week!

To start you off, we have Pete's Kitchen pizza dough. This was made recently and frozen for easy delivery. It's made with Quebec organic flour from La Meunerie Milanaise, olive oil, water, salt and yeast. Use within four to five hours of thawing (ready to go the night you pick up share or store in freezer for later use). Coat a smooth surface with flour and cornmeal (just flour is ok) so that the dough does not stick to the surface. Form dough into ball and flatten with heels of palms. Stretch dough with hands or use a rolling pin to form shape of baking pan (I use a cookie sheet so I form it into a square). Once dough is slightly stretched on surface you can stretch dough in the air with hands by making two fists held together with dough on top. Move each hand up, down and out turning the dough clockwise. Each dough can be stretched to a 16" round, for thicker crust make smaller. If you like light fluffy crust I put my baking sheet on the top of my oven while preheating and let rise. Otherwise set aside in neutral area till oven is ready at 425F. Cook 12-14 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese bubbles.

We also made our pizza sauce to go along with the share using our organic tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, salt, sugar, oregano, thyme, basil, & black pepper.  It's coming to you frozen for easy delivery.  You can defrost and put on your pizza right away or freeze it for later use.  You can of course use this on pasta too.

Here's a little something special for Thanksgiving - maple sugar from Butternut Mountain Farm in Johnson. Maple sugar is produced simply by boiling all of the water out of the syrup and mixing it into a granulated state. Some cooking tips from Emma Marvin:

Maple sugar is highly versatile. I use it when making chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies in place of the brown sugar and some of the white. I use it on salmon sprinkling maple sugar, ground sea salt and pepper over the top just prior to cooking. It makes a great maple salad dressing! Mix approximately equal parts of olive oil, maple sugar and vinegar (cider or rice wine works well). I’m sure there are infinitely more ways to use maple sugar, but these are just a few of my favorites. We'd love to hear about any recipes you find yourselves using our maple sugar in!


Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.



Recipes


Caramelized Onion, Sweet Pepper, Kale Pizza
I made this pizza last night and it was fantastic.

1 onion, sliced
several cloves of garlic
1 package frozen sweet peppers
1 shallot if you have it, minced
around 10-12 leaves of kale stripped from stalk and chopped into ribbons
1/2 log goat cheese or feta
oregano
crushed red pepper

Preheat the oven to 425F.
Stretch your pizza dough with well floured hands and place on baking sheet, let rest.

Heat a skillet, and add oilve oil to coat.  Add the onions and cover and simmer first on medium for around 5 minutes.  Then add the peppers (frozen is fine) and cook on medium til the water evaporates from them.  Then let onions and peppers simmer together a while to very soft and starting to color a bit.  Add youur shallots (if using) and garlic and saute a bit more til these soften but don't brown, and then remove to a plate.

In same skillet, toss in a bit more oil, some water, and the chopped kale and saute the kale til it softens.  Steam will help achieve this and might take 5 mins.  Then turn off.

Build pizza.  Start with a smear of olive oil on the crust.  Then spread the pepper mixture around.  Then the crumble the chevre between fingers and spread over crust.  Then the kale.  Then drizzle half the oil from the feta container and the yummy sundried tomato bits around.  Next give your pizza a good sprinkling of oregano, crushed red pepper, and a bit of salt.

Bake for 10-15 mins until bottom is nicely baked and top comes together.  Remove to a rack, slice  and enjoy.



Whiskey Glazed Carrots
These fancy carrots would be a nice addition to a holiday dinner or other special occasion.

2-3 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into thick slices
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup Jack Daniels, or other whiskey
2/3 to 1 cup sugar
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet or pot with a lid, heat the butter over medium high heat until melted.  Add half of the carrots to the pan and cook briefly just to sear, 60-90 seconds.  Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining carrots.  Set aside.

Very carefully add the whiskey to the pan and allow to evaporate for about 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium.  Sprinkle the brown sugar into the pan and stir.  Mix in the carrots, stir well, and cover.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Remove the lid and season with the salt and pepper.  Cover once more and continue cooking until the carrots are fork tender and the glaze has thickened, about 5-10 minutes more.  Transfer to a serving platter and top with minced fresh herbs, if desired, for extra color.  Serve immediately.



Morning Smoothie
I mentioned throwing a few of this weeks's veggies into a smoothie, so thought I better include a basic recipe. Most of my days start with a smoothie - I always include a banana, greens of some sort, almond milk or water, some nut butter, frozen fruit, and a seed - chia, hemp, or flax.  A smoothie is a great way to start your day with extra nutritional items that are hard to incorporate into your diet.  Here's a basic recipe to get you started but feel free to improvise and get creative!

1 banana, peeled
Large handful of greens - spinach, mustards, kale, lettuce
1 tbsp peanut or almond butter
3/4 almond milk, water, or milk of your choice
3-4 frozen strawberries, or a handful of peach slices, pineapple, or cherries

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.



Soft Brown Sugar and Maple Sugar Cookies
These cookies are to die for!  If you have a chance to pick up some maple and sea salt butter made by VT Creamery I would highly recommend it but they can of course be made with regular butter.

 2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter blended with Maple & Sea Salt, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup maple sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together both butters and sugars until light and fluffy, or several minutes.  Add vanilla and egg and mix to combine. Add flour mixture until combined.

Scoop dough onto the prepared sheet, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.
Bake about 12 minutes or until edges are lightly brown. Let cool on the sheet for several minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Pour maple sugar into a small bowl and dip the tops of each cookie the maple sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.



Braised Fennel and Potatoes
In this dish the potatoes are perked up with fennel. The fennel becomes very tender and lends loads of moisture to the dish. Gourmet February 2006.

1 large fennel bulb with fronds
1 large onion, halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb potatoes
1/2 cup water

Quarter bulb lengthwise and core, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cook fennel, onion, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.Meanwhile, cut potatoes crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Add potatoes and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to fennel mixture and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. Add water and cook, covered, stirring once, until potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes more.



Fennel And Kale Pasta
Sweet fennel and bitter greens work beautifully together. You can use your kale or mustards for this, or even your claytonia.

1/2 c olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 medium fennel bulb fronds removed, halved and thinly sliced
salt and pepper
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 lb spaghetti
up to 3 lb kale or other cooking green washed and chopped
1 c grated parmesan

Heat oil in a large braising pan or skillet with a cover. Add onion; saute over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in fennel; saute until golden, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until fennel is tender, about 8 minutes longer. Stir in vinegar; simmer to blend flavors, 1 minute longer. Adjust seasonings.

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta; return to boil. Add greens; continue to cook until pasta is al dente, about 7 minutes.

Drain pasta and greens; toss with fennel mixture and cheese. Transfer portions to warm pasta bowls. Garnish with reserved minced fennel fronds. Serve immediately with more cheese passed separately.



Spinach, Mustard Green and Potato Soup
This is a flexible recipe so use it as a base.  You could sub in other greens.  Although the recipe calls for using just water, you can make it richer by using veg broth or using some chicken broth.

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 pounds potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 cups (or more) water (or veg broth or half water/half chicken broth)
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch mustard greens, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
1 bag fresh spinach

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes; sauté 3 minutes. Add 8 cups water and crushed red pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in another heavy large pot over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add mustard greens and spinach; sauté until wilted, about 3 minutes. (save some spinach for garnish if desired)

Add sautéed greens to potato mixture. Working in batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool. Cover and refrigerate.) Return soup to pot. Bring to simmer, thinning with more water, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

 
Ladle soup into bowls. Add dollop of sour cream to each bowl. Garnish soup with sliced spinach leaves if desired and serve.



Beets with Stout and Sauteed Greens
If you don't feel like using a beer in this recipe you can sub balsamic vinegar.

1.5 pounds beets, trimmed, leaving 2 inches of the stem ends intact
 3 tablespoons Guinness stout
 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
 1 bunch of greens, coarse stems discarded and the leaves washed well, spun dry, and chopped very coarse (kale or mustards)

In a kettle cover the beets with 2 inches cold water, bring to a boil, and simmer the beets, covered, for 20 to 35 minutes (depending on their size), or until they are tender. Drain the beets and under the cold running water slip off and discard their skins and stems.

In a skillet bring to a boil the stout and the vinegar and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the butter. Stir in the beets, quartered, add the salt and pepper to taste, and keep the beets warm, covered. In a large skillet heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over moderately high heat until the foam subsides, in it sauté the greens, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until they are tender, and stir in the salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the greens around the edge of a platter and mound the beets in the center.

 


Roasted Turnips
Yes you can cook your sweet salad turnips!

1 bunch sweet salad turnips
1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
pinch red chili pepper flakes, optional

Preheat oven to 425. Trim turnips, leaving a small stub of the stems end attached. Rinse well and cut in half lengthwise. Toss with olive oil, a little salt & pepper, and red pepper flakes, if using.

Place cut side down in a roasting pan. Roast for 10 minutes. Flip over with tongs and return to oven for 3-5 minutes more. Yum!



Beet & Goat cheese Salad

3 medium sized beets
fresh goat cheese
pistachios
Spinach OR lettuce
1 orange

Olive oil
1/8 cup orange juice
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Wrap the beets individually with aluminum foil and place them on a sheet pan. Roast them for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender (you can also boil them until tender). Let it cool then peel them.

Cut the beets into cubes. In a bowl, add the beets, orange juice olive oil, about 1/3 cup, salt and pepper to taste. Toss well and place them on a serving platter. Arrange the orange segments, pistachios, greens and goat cheese on top.



Hot curried onions
This is a great recipe to eat at the onset of a cold.  It’s a great ‘preventive’ and also helps mobilize the immune system. It’s so very tasty you can eat it even if you’re not sick!  Recipe from the Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center's website.

Chop several large onions into half moons
Whole garlic cloves, peeled (about ¼ the amount of onions)
Sauté onions and garlic slowly over heat until golden brown and soft
Season with vinegar or a little tamari

Add a very good curry mix and stir in well - I would start with 2 tsps, taste, and add more if you like a more curry taste. Allow to cook for another 15-20 minutes until curry is well absorbed.

* Curry is a blend of spices that are all highly medicinal and usually contains turmeric, cumin, cayenne, ginger, coriander, and other herbs and spices depending on the blend.

* You can also add cashews and raisins to make it a little ‘fancier’. Serve with rice and yogurt for a special treat.



Coconut-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins
Muffins are a huge staple in my house. I'll bake a double batch with the kids, keep a few out for their morning snacks, and throw the rest in the freezer for a rushed morning. Easy! Here's a great recipe for a healthy start to your day.  From Eating Well, February 2013.

1 cup whole-wheat or white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats, plus 2 tbs for garnish
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
2 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (could also subsitute canola oil)
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus 2 tbs for garnish
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350F.  Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.  Whisk whole-wheat flour, 1/2 cup oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and allspice in a medium bowl.  In a separate bowl whisk eggs, applesauce, honey and vanilla.  Whisk in coconut oil.  Gently stir in the flour mixture just until moistened.  Fold in carrots, 1/2 cup coconut and raisins.  Divide the batter among the muffin cups.  Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbs each oats and coconut.  Bake the muffins until they spring back when lightly touched, about 30-35 minutes.  Let stand in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.



Caramelized Fennel and Onion Pizza
This pizza looks amazing. I left the directions for shaping the dough into a pizza, but feel free to use any method you already know and love. This can make 1 large pizza, or 2 smaller ones.

1 ball dough
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
8 ounces fresh chevre
freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

Remove dough from refrigerator and rest at room temperature for 2 hours. On a lightly floured work surface, gently press the dough into flat disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter.

At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone either on the floor of the oven (for gas ovens), or on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven as hot as possible, 500 to 550 degrees F. If you do not have a baking stone, you can use the back of a sheet pan, but do not preheat the pan.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and fennel and cook over medium heat until onions are soft and golden and the fennel is tender, about 15 minutes.

Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal. Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles, in flour and lift I piece of dough by getting under it with a pastry scraper. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce, and continue to stretch/toss until the dough is approximately 7" across and uniformly thin. If you have trouble tossing the dough, or if the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for 5 to 20 minutes so the gluten can relax, and try again.

Lay the stretched dough on the peel or pan, making sure there is enough semolina flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide. Lightly brush with olive oil, and poke it a few times with a fork so it doesn't bubble.

Brush crust with a thin layer of olive oil. Spread with fresh chevre, and top with onion and fennel mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Gently slide the topped pizza onto the stone (or bake directly on the sheet pan) and close the door. Bake until the bottoms are lightly golden and the cheese is bubbly and just barely browned.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan.Let rest for 3 to 5 minutes before slicing and serving.


3 tablespoons butter

    1 large onion, chopped

    2 ribs celery, chopped

    1 cup pearl barley

    1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)

    1 green bell pepper, chopped

    2 cups chicken broth

    salt and ground black pepper to taste

Check All Add to Shopping List

    PREP
    15 mins

    COOK
    45 mins

    READY IN
    1 hr

Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    Melt butter in a 1 1/2-quart Dutch oven or oven-safe pot over medium heat and cook onion until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add celery and cook until starting to soften, stirring often, about 5 more minutes. Mix barley into the vegetables and stir until coated with butter. Fold mushrooms and green pepper into barley mixture; season to taste with salt and black pepper. Pour chicken broth into barley mixture and bring to a boil; cover casserole dish.
    Bake in the preheated oven until barley is nearly tender, about 30 minutes; uncover casserole dish and bake barley until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 more minutes. Adjust salt and black pepper before serving.