Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Good Eats Newsletter - July 9, 2008

Thank you for bringing back your plastic vegetable bags and egg cartons!

Pete's Musings
Hot and humid and growing a little dusty here on the farm. We are excited about our open farm day this Sunday and are busy getting the fields tidied up for that. Most crops are looking great and we had a tremendous farmer's market display last Saturday. Steve and I are busy prepping 10 acres of land for planting storage crops. Hopefully, most of them will be in by the end of the week. It's always exciting to get them in the ground but I do it with a bit of trepidation knowing how much work it is to dig them in the fall. -Pete

Open House This Sunday
We are hoping to see as many of you as possible at our Open House this Sunday from 11am to 3pm. A copy of the invitation is posted here with corrected directions from Morrisville.

Finding the Best Way to Cook All Those Vegetables
Dave Wahler, one of our shareholders, passed along this New York Times article the other week. It covers some pretty interesting ground on how best to prepare and eat your vegetables for maximum nutritional value. I'm not sure that I'll change my approach to cooking produce due to this article, but it is good food for thought.

This Week's Share Contains
Large Bunch of Basil; 1 Onion; Head Napa Cabbage; Bunch Purple Scallions; Radicchio; Cauliflower -or- spring dug potatoes; Tomatoes; Bag of Arugula topped off with Mesclun; Pete's Eggs*; Butterworks Farm Yogurt*; Maple Wind Farm Breakfast Sausage* -or- Bonnieview Farm Mossend Blue Cheese*.

*Localvore share only. Please be sure to follow the directions for pick-up based on whether you signed up as a Localvore "Vegetarian," or not.

Storage and Use Tips
Radicchio: A member of the Chicories family along with endive and escarole, radicchio resembles a small red lettuce. You can chop radicchio and add it to your salad for some color and extra flavor. It is also quite good brushed with olive oil before tossing on the grill. Try adding some to risotto. Keep unwashed radicchio in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer for up to a week.
Napa Cabbage: Also called "Chinese Cabbage," Napa is sweeter and milder than round cabbage. It can be sliced and used raw in salads, thrown in stir-fries, or fermented in traditional kimchi. Napa cabbage should be stored unwashed in your crisper drawer, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag. To use, first cut out the core. Soak the leaves in cool water to rinse and crisp them. Then, remove from the water and drain.
Onion: As the onion in your bag today is fresh and not cured, you will want to keep it in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.

Localvore 'Lore from Heather
Localvores this week should be all set to serve up a fine breakfast! We have Pete's eggs, Butterworks yogurt, and either breakfast sausage or blue cheese.

For the vegetarian Localvore shares, I've included Mossend Blue from Bonnieview Farm. Neil and Kristen Urie raise ewes, lambs and make three cheeses down the South Albany Road on the Albany-Craftsbury line. They currently milk 180 ewes, and also have 40 laying hens and a slew of pigs. Besides their one-year-old daughter Tressa, there are five employees, including Michael who also works here, and Marissa and Princess of Ploughgate Creamery.

Bonnieview is hosting an elegant Farm to Table dinner at the farm on Saturday, July 26, at 5:30 pm. Picture white tablecloths and a panoramic mountain view under the maples. Cooking for this event will be chef Sissy Hicks, former owner-chef of the historic Dorset Inn. This six course meal features pasture raised lamb, whey-fed pork, milk, cheese, eggs, and garden produce from Bonnieview Farm as well as other local farms. For more information and reservations call the farm 755-6878.

The breakfast sausage in this week's share comes from Maple Wind Farm in Huntington, VT. I met Beth Whiting last spring at a NOFA conference, where we first talked about including their meat in Good Eats. It's taken longer than I had hoped, but here it is! This is very special sausage, made from their own organic, pasture raised pork. I got this piece about how they raise the pigs from their website. Check it out for even more great photos and a lot more interesting details about all of the animals that they raise.

NEW for 2008! Our pigs are milk fed! We now have a family cow and Eliza Jane is producing about 8-10 gallons of milk- the pigs love it! Our pigs are on pasture ahead of our sheep flock getting rotated every day. So far they have been very herdable!

Raising pigs is an acquired skill, and we’re starting to get a feel for it. We raise two groups of piglets each year! Pigs can get as much as 70% of their diet from above and below the pasture surface, and we round out their diet with high-quality organic feed!

In addition to raising delicious pork, we use the pigs to re-condition pasture that may not be producing as well as we’d like. We bring them in as sodbusters on a quarter acre at a time, then follow their efforts with re-seeding and mulching.

We have four sows and plan to farrow piglets in spring and fall. Come see the little ones cavort!

What's the Difference?
Maple Wind Pork / Conventional Pork
No vaccinations / Vaccinations (immuno-depressant)
Pasture based natural foods / No pasture
Not fed antibiotics / Daily doses of antibiotics
Fed Grain processed in VT by Morrison's Feed / Grain produced with chemical assitance
Compost & natural soil amendments / Chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides
Rotated to fresh pasture / Confined in cages too small for movement
High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, CLAs / Low concentrations of Omega-3s
Local — produced, processed and sold locally / 1000 miles for average pork in the U.S.

Recipes

Thai CSA Noodles
This is Nancy's favorite "go to" recipe for a spring and summer CSA share. Although, this recipe calls for Napa cabbage, you could easily use spinach, broccoli, kale and/or chard instead. The adults in our family like to add an extra hot chili, the kids prefer just the mild kick one chili provides. Serves 6.

1 lb. pork sausage, plain or breakfast
1 lb. spaghetti or linguini
2 tsp sunflower oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic scapes chopped fine, or 3 garlic cloves minced
1 hot pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped, or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 head Napa cabbage, sliced in thin ribbons
3 TB fish sauce
2 TB soy sauce
1 TB green curry paste
2 TB dry sherry
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 cup basil, julienned
1 cup cilantro, optional
1 cup scallions, thinly sliced

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil while you fry the crumbled sausage in a large, heavy-bottomed pan or wok over medium-high heat. When sausage is fully cooked drain meat and reserve. Add pasta to the boiling water. Heat oil in the heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and chili. Saute, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes. Add Napa cabbage. Cook, tossing frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until cabbage just begins to wilt. Add fish sauce, soy, sherry, curry paste, ginger, pepper and reserved sausage. Toss to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lime juice, basil, scallions and cilantro (if using). Drain pasta, reserving up to 1 cup of the cooking water. Toss the sausage and veggies with drained pasta, adding a bit of the reserved water, if necessary.

Grilled Radicchio with Balsamic Glaze
This recipe comes from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian." It would be delicious sprinkled with some blue cheese. Mark also suggests using the grilled radicchio in the Mediterranean Slaw recipe below. Serves 4.

1 pound radicchio, cored and quartered
1 TB sunflower oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 TB honey
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your grill to a moderately high heat. Brush the radicchio with the oil, taking care to keep the wedges in tact. Stir the honey into the vinegar and set aside. Place the radicchio wedges on the grill, cut sides down. Grill for a minute or two, then turn and brush (or drizzle) with the vinegar mixture. Cook until just starting to crisp and char around the edges, another couple of minutes. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with blue cheese, if desired.

Mediterranean Slaw
1 recipe Grilled Radicchio (above)
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 TB sunflower oil, or to taste

Cool down grilled radicchio and mince the leaves. Toss with the scallions, parsley and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Italian Cauliflower
Here's Heather's favorite quick Italian cauliflower dish. This is best when the cauliflower is just tender, not mushy. Put a couple of sausages on the grill and toss a salad. There's dinner. Serves 4.

1 cauliflower, cut into florets
3 TB oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 TB vinegar
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes
minced Italian flat parsley

Heat oil in a wide deep skillet and saute onion until translucent. Add cauliflower and a couple tablespoons of water. Continue cooking and stirring often. When cauliflower and onion begin to brown a bit, add the vinegar. Cover and cook until vinegar cooks off. Stir in tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, pepper flakes, and parsley. Simmer covered until cauliflower is tender, about 5 to 10 minutes.

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