Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Good Eats Newsletter January 30, 2008

Pete’s Greens Good Eats Newsletter January 30
This week’s Vegetable Localvore share includes: beets, onions, carrots, valentine radish, potatoes, frozen strawberries, cranberry apple cider, ricotta cheese, bread, eggs, and sprouts
Root share: turnip, carrots, beets, valentine radish, celeriac, and fingerling potatoes
Bread ingredients: Organic fresh milled wheat flour, mixed cracked grains (from Michel Gaudreau in Qc), wheat flakes, oat flakes, salt, water, sourdough starter
Notes and Localvore Goodies
Wow! Only two more weeks left after this delivery! Don’t miss out on the Feb-Jun share. Contact nancy@petesgreens.com to sign up and keep the deliveries coming.
Pete's so busy with the greenhouse project, trying to get it finished before Isaac leaves for the Peace Corps. Melissa, the wash house manager, and her husband Isaac are leaving at the end of February. Isaac, his father Chris, Pete, Steve, and Andrew have been at it since before the first snow. Thanks to all their hard and cold and snowy work, it looks like we'll be able to start seedlings and have spring vegetables and greens in there! I'm trying to picture the lush green carpet growing where it's now a frozen solid construction site.
Stowe Site Update: Laughing Moon Chocolate pickup will move to their new location on Feb. 6. The address is 78 Main St. , Stowe; Rt. 100 S before Mac’s.
Maplebrook Ricotta is a joint venture made with milk from the Vermont Milk Company in Hardwick. Their milk is all produced in the Northeast Kingdom and rBGH free. This ricotta looks so rich and creamy; I can’t wait to try it. I’ve been looking forward to including this in the share. Enjoy!
Another collaborative treat is the Cranberry Apple Cider from Champlain Orchards. It is made with their apples and cranberry juice from Vermont Cranberry. Bill (Champlain) made the arrangements with Bob (VT Cranberry), and produced the cider just for us. Good Eats members are the first to try this new cider. Please let us know how you like it. Bill is eager to hear you feedback!
The other items this week are Pete’s eggs, Patchwork Bread, and Gourmet Greens Sprouts.
Last week we had some frozen sprouts. We are investigating how that happened. It was probably either on our truck early Wednesday morning or before they arrived at Pete’s on Tuesday. Please contact us if you receive frozen sprouts again this week.
Last Wednesday I went on a road trip to see the drop sites. I was fortunate to meet many hosts who graciously allow us to use their space. We couldn’t do this without the commitment of these members and businesses. This week I will stop by the last three; Hen of the Wood, Laughing Moon and Concept II.
Storage and Use Tips
Valentine Radishes: These Asian radishes are also known as Beauty Heart or Watermelon. They have a distinctive bright pink interior with a white, green and pink skin. Sweet with just a hint of a radish bite, valentines are great in salads, slaw, or as crudités. You can also add to soups or sauté thinly sliced or shredded radish in butter with a pinch of salt. Cook lightly without browning. A stunning bright pink addition to any meal!
Roots: The rest of the roots you have seen before! Except the onions and potatoes, keep them in the fridge in a bag. They’ll keep a week or two at least. The potatoes and onions are best in a dark, cool, dry place.
Frozen Strawberries: Another bit of summer frozen at peak ripeness for you to enjoy now in a smoothie or pie or a strawberry sauce for your Sunday brunch!
Recipes
Ready for some ideas to take ricotta beyond lasagna? Here are just a few of the many delicious sounding recipes Nancy from Maplebrook sent to me. Another idea I had is to make some crepes with the whole wheat pastry flour from Ben Gleason. Then, I’m going to make a filling, maybe like the broccoli or spinach ideas below (without the pasta or baking it first), fill the crepes, roll up and bake 20-30minutes. You could serve with a simple tomato sauce or a roasted red pepper sauce.
EASY RICOTTA DESSERT CRÈME
1 cup fresh whole milk ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons honey
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 to 3 drops of pure almond extract, to your taste
Fresh berries of your choice
Or make a sauce of the frozen strawberries sweetened with maple syrup or honey
Place all the ingredients except the berries in a blender, cover, and blend on medium speed until smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour, then spoon over the berries and serve.
FARFALLE WITH BABY SPINACH, WALNUTS, AND RICOTTA
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup drained and thinly sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
3 6-ounce bags baby spinach
1 LB. farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
Grated parmesan cheese
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add walnuts and sauté until slightly darkened, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer nuts to small bowl; set aside. Add sun-dried tomatoes .garlic, and crushed red pepper to same skillet. Sauté until garlic is golden, about 3 minutes. Add spinach in 3 batches and cook until just wilted, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 3 tablespoons cooking liquid. Transfer reserved cooking liquid to large bowl; whisk in ricotta. Add walnuts, spinach mixture and pasta; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with Parmesan cheese. Serves 6
DILLED FETA RICOTTA SPREAD
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/3 cups)
1 cup whole milk fresh ricotta cheese
¼ cup finely chopped scallion
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted lightly and cooled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or to taste
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or to taste
In a food processor or blender, blend cheeses until smooth.
Add remaining ingredients and pulse motor until combined well but still chunky.
Spread may be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered.
Serve spread chilled or at room temperature with crackers or toast points.
Makes about 2 cups.
BROCCOLI AND CHEESE CASSEROLE
4 medium –size heads broccoli
3 eggs. Beaten
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon cornstarch diluted in ½ cup milk
1 medium onion, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Buttered seasoned bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350. Steam broccoli briefly until just bright green. Drain them, and then chop them coarsely, including stems.
Beat eggs in a deep bowl; add the ricotta and cheddar cheeses and the cornstarch-milk mixture. Mix thoroughly. Add the chopped onions, salt and pepper. Add the drained broccoli, mix again and blend the ingredients well.
Butter thoroughly an ovenproof baking dish and place the broccoli mixture in it. Dust with bread crumbs. Bake for about 30 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 6
Happy Cooking!
Heather

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