Saturday, June 27, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - June 24, 2009

First Week Pick Up Results
There were a few problems and shortages last week but in general I thought the first pick up of the new share period went well. There is room for improvement and you will see some attempt on our part to clarify some things for you over the next couple of weeks. Please help us improve the pick up experience for everyone by remembering the following:

1. Check the Weekly Name list for the type of share you are signed up for and then refer to the Pick Up Instructions for that share type.
2. Check off your name at pick up. This helps us tremendously when we have to track down someone who may have forgotten to pick up their share.
3. Follow the Pick Up Instructions for your share type (Vegetable Only, Localvore, Localvore Vegetarian)
4. If you are splitting a share with someone, take only one veggie bag (to split between you and your share partner) each week.

Pick up times and locations are posted on our Pick-Up page.

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; Head of Lettuce; 1 Bunch of French Breakfast Radishes; 2 Lbs Nicola Potatoes; 1 Bunch of Green Kale; 1 Bunch of Dill; 1 Bunch of Garlic Scapes; 1 Bunch of Beet Greens; 1 Bunch of Scallions; 1 Bunch of Dandelion Greens plus.....

1 European Cucumber -or- Tomatoes
(depending on site location)

Localvore Share Members Also Receive
Red Hen Mixed Northeast Grain Bread
Maple cream from Echo Hill Farm
1 lb Grafton Village Farm Cheddar
plus....

Chicken Stock
~or~
Vegetable Stock (vegetarians only)

Laughing Moon Vegetarians will receive tofu

Problems or Questions?

If you have any questions about your pick up please email me, Amy Skelton. You can also leave a message on voice mail at 802.586.2882 x2, but in nearly all circumstances email will get a quicker response.

We do our best to make sure that every delivery and pick-up goes smoothly, but there are the occasional shortages and disappointments. Should you arrive at your pick-up spot to find that one or more of your items are missing or that some of your produce is in unsatisfactory condition, please let me know right away! If you can call or email me as soon as you discover the problem, I may be able to resolve it the same day or the following day.

Our site hosts have instructions to distribute left over food by Thursday afternoon if we have not heard back from anyone. This assures that they don't end up with bad food on their hands. If you would like to receive an item that you missed at pick-up, you must contact Amy by Thursday morning. If we can't resolve your issue right away, a quick call or email ensures that you will get on the pick list for the following week.

Storage and Use Tips

Garlic Scapes - The curly soon-to-be-flowering-if-we-didn't-pick-them stalks that a garlic plant sends up at this time of year are a short season delicacy. With a mellow green but garlicky flavor, they can be eaten raw or cooked and are delicious added to many dishes. Add to stir fry recipes, pasta dishes, guacamole, salsas, vegetable dishes. They are also good in salads and on bruschetta & pizza and so many more ways.

Dill - The freshly harvested dill in the share today can be used right away or preserved for later use. This is the part of the plant called dill weed, the feathery spring growth. Later on in the season the seed heads of the dill plant will mature There are numerous methods for preserving dill. The easiest is to simply hang the dill for several days in a warm dry place (attic perhaps). You can dry it in your oven if your oven can operate at a low temp of 100°F. You can also freeze the leaves in a plastic bag. Dill perks up soups, salads, casseroles. It pairs really well with cucumbers, potatoes, eggs, beets, fish, salads and sald dressings, tomatoes, yogurt.

Dandelion Greens - These nutrition packed greens can be eaten raw in salads, braised or sauteed, or tossed into dishes calling for greens. The level of bitterness in the greens depends on several factors from the age of the greens to amounts of rainfall and sunlight they have received while they have grown. How to tell? Try a piece! Bitter greens will mellow in flavor with more time in the skillet and are great accompanied by minced onion and garlic, and/or stock or water. Some recipes call for bitter greens to be cooked over low heat for as much as 20 minutes.

Summer Shares Still Available
There are still 10-15 Summer Shares still available. If you know someone who would like to get on board for weekly Good Eats deliveries please direct them to me or to the website. We'll be prorating the cost of the share based on number of share weeks left at the time of sign up.
Summer Share
Meat Share

Pete's Musings
Killing weeds, killing weeds, killing weeds. Sounds violent and it kind of is. Steel is our weapon, steel that is mounted on various cultivating tractors. Knives that slice, baskets that spin weeds out of the ground, shovels that uproot, shanks that rip, tines that bury. This time of year you cannot let off for even a day or two. Weeds grow remarkably fast in June with the long days, ample rain, and a biological desire to set seed. Setting seed means failure for us. The goal is to prevent the set of weed seed so that each year there are fewer weeds to cultivate. The smallest mistake in judgement, planning, or cultivator adjustment means a poor or failed crop or hours and hours of hand weeding. Steve, Matt and I are on weed patrol, creeping around the fields with silly looking contraptions mounted on silly looking tractors, constantly making minor adjustments for a better kill. The reward is beautiful, clean rows of crops and easy harvesting for the pickers. Wish us luck, it is tedious work but sets the stage for a bountiful year. Best ~Pete

Chicken Orders
Beginning this week chicken orders are now being shipped to Good Eats delivery sites most weeks except meat delivery weeks. Good Eats Members may order chickens and have them delivered to their CSA sites. Non members can order and pick up at the farm in Craftsbury. We will also be selling chickens at the Capital City Farmer's Market every Saturday from 9 till 1:00. More information about placing orders may be found on the website.

Pete's Pastured Chicken

Circus Smirkus This Weekend!

Vermont’s acclaimed, non-profit international traveling youth circus kicks off its 22nd annual season at home in Greensboro ! This year's theme is "Smirkus Ever After: A Big Top Fairytale." Performers ages 10 to 18 dazzle with astounding aerials, clever clowning, mind-boggling juggling and amazing acrobatics. The Boston Globe called Smirkus a "treasure." Family Fun magazine said: "One of America's best circuses!" It’s fee, fi, fo fun for the whole family!
JUNE 28: Greensboro, VT
2 shows; 1 & 6 p.m. - Sunday $18/Adult ; $14/Child ; Free for under 2
JULY 1, 2, 3: Essex, VT (Champlain Valley Expo)
2 shows each day; noon & 6:30 p.m. - $18.75/Adult; 15.75/Child
http://smirkus.org/

Localvore 'Lore

Grafton Village Cheese has supplied some of their cheddar for this week's share. We love this Jersey milk cheddar and we are not alone. Grafton's Premium Cheddar made Wine Spectator's top 100 cheeses list . We also love that the cheese company is part of the Grafton based Windham Foundation, whose mission is to promote Vermont's rural communities.

As usual, Red Hen Bakery in Middlesex has baked something special for the share this week. Randy writes:

The bread we have made this week we will call “Mixed Northeast Grain.” It includes Wapsie Valley cornmeal (an old heirloom variety) from Aurora Farms, Ben Gleason’s whole wheat flour, and a quartet of Quebec-grown and milled goodies: steel cut oats, cracked rye, cracked flax, and unbleached wheat flour. This bread is a different take on our Mad River Grain bread which includes all of the above ingredients as well as sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Currently we can’t get our hands on local sunflower seeds (although I’ve heard that this may change soon) and sesame seeds could never make it in this climate, so for this week’s localvore share we’ve eliminated those seeds and increased the amount of the other toothsome ingredients that are grown here. The corn should come through a little more since we made that the most predominant of the mixed grains. We hope you enjoy this local grain medley!
- Randy

What a treat to have some freshly made maple cream for this week's share! Maple cream is nothing but pure creamed Vermont maple syrup which has been heated, then quickly cooled and then churned. It is great on toast and pancakes, on a peanut butter sandwich or spread as frosting. Randi and Louise Calderwood of Craftsbury produce maple syrup and maple cream with sap from their trees at Echo Hill Farm. In 2006, the Calderwoods increased their sugarbush from 1800 taps to almost 4000. Still a family business, Randi’s 87 year old mother, Fielda, is still actively engaged in syrup production and sales along with the couple’s teenage sons Doug and Andrew. The Calderwoods welcome visitors to the farm during sugaring season to smell the sweet sap boiling in the sugarhouse and see maple syrup being made. A note about storage... Because pure maple cream contains no preservatives it should be kept refrigerated or can be frozen for longer storage life. If separation occurs in a container of maple cream it is normal and will in no way effect the flavor. Simply stir back to it's original consistency.

Recipes

Dandelion Green Salad
This recipe comes from Robin McDermott (by way of the Spring 2009 issue of Edible Green Mountains).

Three strips of bacon
1-2 TB, finely minced shallots (or onion and a small clove garlic)
2 TB good vinegar (cider preferred)
A touch of maple syrup
A little olive oil

dandelion greens chopped
toasted pine nuts

Chop the bacon and cook in a medium sized skillet over medium heat until they releast their fat and become crispy. Add the shallots and cook 5 mins or so until they begin to soften. Next, add 2 TB of vinegar and cook for a few minutes. Add a bit of maple syrup and olive oil. Pour hot dressing over fresh washed greens, toss and garnish with some toasted pine nuts.

Meg's Garlic Scape Smashed Potatoes
Meg can't get enough of smashed Nicola potatoes lately and has been cooking them every which way.
Nicola Potatoes
Garlic Scapes
Butter
Salt
Pepper

Boil or fry potatoes with skins on or off, drain if boiled. In seperate pan cook chopped garlic scapes for a couple minutes with lots of butter. Add salt and pepper and lots of chopped dill at the last moment and stir. Add to potatoes, then half mash the potatoes and garlic dill butter yumminess and serve hot or cold.

Garlic Scape Pesto
There are many recipes for garlic scape pesto and they are all different. That's because pesto is one dish where you can indulge your creativity and personal taste. Experiment!

1 doz. garlic scapes
1/2 cup parsley (or more or less)
1 1/2 cup walnuts (or less)
1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice

Chop or use a food processor or blender to make smooth.
Optional ingredients:
Parmesan to taste
Substitute pine nuts (1/2 cup or more) for the walnuts
Substitute basil for the parsley
You can also make this same basic pesto and add a can of garbanzo beans for a garlic scape pesto hummus. Yum!

Kale-Potato Soup
This is a classic recipe from The New Laurel's Kitchen by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Brian Ruppenthal.

1 large onion, chopped
1 TB butter
1 clove minced garlic
3-4 Nicola potatoes (cut into 1/2 - 1" pieces)
1 bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped
5 cups hot water or stock or combo
1/2 tsp salt, more to taste
black pepper, to taste

In a large sauce pan saute the onion in the butter until softened and slightly golden. About halfway, add the garlic. Add the potatoes and 2 cups of water. Simmer, covered, until potatoes start to soften around the edges. Meanwhile, wash the kale, remove stems, chop and steam them (although you can add them to the potatoes, this will result in a much stronger flavored soup). When the potatoes are really well done, puree half of them with the remaining water or stock and the salt and pepper to taste. Then combine all and heat gently, correcting the consistency by adding hot water or milk. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Dilled Potato and Pickled Cucumber Salad
From Bon Appétit August 2004.

3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 hothouse cucumbers, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup plus 1.5 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1.5 pounds Nicola potatoes, unpeeled
Additional coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup very thinly sliced white onion or scallions
4 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced
3/8 cup mayonnaise

Small radishes with green tops

Stir vinegar and 2 teaspoons coarse salt in small bowl until salt dissolves. Place cucumbers and 1/4 cup dill in sealed container. Add vinegar mixture; seal bag. Turn several times to coat. Refrigerate overnight, turning bag occasionally.

Pour cucumber mixture into large sieve set over bowl. Drain at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. Discard brine.

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain. Cool potatoes completely. Peel potatoes; quarter lengthwise. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place potatoes in large bowl; sprinkle generously with coarse salt and pepper. Add drained cucumbers, onion, sliced radishes, and remaining 1.5 tablespoons dill; toss to blend. Let stand 1 hour. Stir mayonnaise into salad. Season generously with salt and pepper, if desired.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - June 17, 2009

Important Share Information
Welcome to the new Summer Share! Your first pick-up is tomorrow (Wednesday). If you are unsure of your pick-up times or site location, please visit our website's Pick-Up page. If you have any questions about your pick-up please email Amy Skelton. You can also leave a message on voice mail at 802.586.2882 x2, but in nearly all circumstances email will get a quicker response.


When Picking Up Your Share Please:

* Check off your share name on the pick-up list.
* Note that only one name is listed for the share. Be sure to look for your partner, if you don't find your name.
* Check the share type on the list. Share types are Vegetable Only, Localvore, and Localvore Vegetarian. If you are listed incorrectly, let Amy know via email.
* If you can't find your share name at all, do NOT take a share. Please contact Amy right away and we'll figure it out.
* Pick-up instructions are on a separate clipboard or uinder the weekly name list on same clipboard.
* Follow the specific item list/instructions for the share you have selected to
assemble your share. (Localvore Vegetarian or Localvore or Vegetable Only)
* When splitting your share, coordinate with your share-mate to make sure that you DON'T take double the amount of any items.
* Please Note that the first Meat Share pick up is not this week, it is July 1


This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; Spinach; 1 Bunch Ruby Red Swiss Chard; 1 Bunch Red or Chiogga Beets; 1 Bunch Cilantro; Pac Choi; 1 Quart Soup Base; 1 Pint of Strawberries; 1/2 lb Rhubarb plus.....

1 European Cucumber -or- Tomatoes
(depending on site location)

Localvore Share Members Also Receive

1 Dozen Pullet Eggs
1 Quart Applesauce
2 lbs Early Riser Cornmeal
Elmore Mountain Fresh Herb and Sea Salt Focaccia

What To Do If You Have a Problem
Though we do our best to make sure that every delivery and pick-up goes smoothly, there are the occasional shortages and disappointments. Should you arrive at your pick-up spot to find that one or more of your items are missing or that some of your produce is in unsatisfactory condition, please let us know right away! Our goal is 100% satisfaction. If you can call or email Amy as soon as you discover the problem, she may be able to resolve it the same day. Sometimes, a site host is able to find items a shareholder may have overlooked and the shareholder is able to go back Wednesday evening or Thursday morning to retrieve the items. I've also had shareholders who have mistakenly taken an item call me to see if they can deliver that item to the family who was shorted.

Our site hosts have instructions to distribute left over food by Thursday afternoon if we have not heard back from anyone. This assures that they don't end up with bad food on their hands. If you would like to receive an item that you missed at pick-up, you must contact Amy by Thursday morning.

If we can't resolve your issue right away, a quick call or email ensures that you will get on the pick list for the following week.

Storage and Use Tips

Pak Choi - Also known as Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage this vegetable is most common in Chinese cuisine. Part of the cabbage family, it packs in nutrition with high scores for vitamins A and C and calcium. Both leaves and stems may be eaten raw or cooked, but leaves, particularly when they are more mature are more often served cooked. To prepare Pac Choi, use a chef's nice to make thin slices across from the bottom of the head up freeing the stalks as you do so. Wash the stalks to remove any trapped silt from between stalks. Although you can cook chopped leaves and stalks together in a dish it is nice to separate them when chopping so that you may toss them into a dish at seperate times allowing stalks to cook a little longer than leaves so that leaves aren't over cooked. Pac Choi should be stored in a plastic bag in the produce drawer of your fridge.

Soup Base - the soup base in the share today should be put in the freezer until you are planning to make a hearty soup. The soup base is made of many kinds of root vegetables and squash and other vegetables on the farm. It is simmered until the vegetables are soft and then the vegetable puree is made. Try adding some next time you make a hearty soup or stew. The soup base is vitamin and mineral packed and will add a depth of flavor to your soup. Thaw the quart container when you plan to make soup, and if you don't use the whole thing, refreeze immediately for next use.

Newsletter Intro

My name is Amy Skelton and I write the Good Eats newsletter each week. It goes out every Tuesday evening with helpful information, farm updates, the week's share contents, storage and use tips, localvore information and recipes. Pete or Meg will often chime in with farm updates, thoughts and pleas for feedback. The picking for the weekly share begins on Monday and the packing of shares is finished late Tuesday afternoon. Though we try to get the newsletter out just as early as we can, we do like to wait until the share is finalized. Sometimes there are last minute changes to the contents and we want to make sure that you've got the right information to go with your pick-up.

If, as happens occasionally, there are changes to the share that occur after the newsletter has been sent, you may receive a follow-up email Tuesday night or Wednesday. If you have any feedback on the newsletter, recipe contributions or just general questions about the CSA, feel free to email me.

We also post each newsletter on our blog at PetesGreens.Blogspot.com. It generally gets posted sometime on Wednesday. There's a good history there for recipes, farm stories and share contents.

Pete's Greens Farmstand is Open!
Busy, busy, busy is the name of the game here on the farm and recently we added to the excitement by opening our farmstand. This is the third year the stand will be open for summer and fall and we are even toying with the idea of operating year round! Our dream is for the farmstand to become a source for truly local products farmed organically or very sustainably. Along with a large selection of our organic veggies including a variety of baby greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, zucchini, basil, herbs, scallions, and a variety of other bunching items and root veggies, we are also offering many of our favorite localvore items. These include fresh baked bread and Focaccia from Elmore Mountain Bread, delivered Wednesday evenings and (soon) Friday evenings. The bread and focaccia are made entirely of local ingredients including all the toppings on the focaccia (many from our farm). We are also offering different cheeses from local cheese makers, egg's from Deb, sunflower oil, tamari, miso, oats and grains of different sorts, popcorn, maple sugar, honey, apple butter, sea salt, dry beans, Cranberry Bob's cranberries...the list goes on. These products are mostly coming from within a 100 mile radius of our farm with the exception of a few products we feel are necessary and still quite local, Maine sea salt for example.

In addition to the localvore products, we are stocking the stand full of different products from our kitchen here. Currently we have Applesauce and a Rainbow Roots Kraut. Pestos and salsas should be making their way on to the shelves soon, and there will be many more creations from the kitchen as the season progresses.

We are soon acquiring a freezer for the farmstand and will be filling it with our Pete's Pastured Chicken. Our chickens live out their days romping around in the grass, climbing and scratching in the compost dirt pile, and nesting in their chicken house which is moved every few days. Later this year we will add our own pork and beef to the farmstand.

This is just the beginning for the farmstand. I think it is crucial for this community and other surrounding communities to have a place to go to purchase local goods and support their local economy. It is important to Pete and me to make this food accessible to everyone. Through our CSA, Farmer’s Market stand, and farmstand, we are selling directly to the people eating our food. Therefore, we are able to control the mark up on our products and charge less. Goods that we purchase for the stand and our CSA are less expensive than in most retail stores because we choose to mark them up only a small amount so that they are affordable for everyone. Some of these products are so very local that many of the producers drop their product off on their way to or from work or it is brought by an employee that lives in our area. We hope our farmstand will become a cornerstone for the community, providing a one stop source for healthy, organic, local food while bringing our community together and supporting other local producers. Hope to see you at the farmstand soon! ~ Meg

Pete's Chicken is Now Available for Order
Finally we are ready to fill orders for Pete's Pastured Chickens! Good Eats Members may order chickens and have them delivered to their CSA site on chicken delivery days. Non Members can order and pick up at the farm in Craftsbury. We will also be selling chickens at the Capital City Farmer's Market every Saturday from 9 till 1:00. More information about placing orders may be found on the website.

Pete's Pastured Chicken

Young Farmer Mixer June 18 at Claire's/Hardwick
On June 18th, The Center for an Agricultural Economy, Vermont Soy, and High Mowing Organic Seeds, and Greenhorns are co-sponsoring a Young Farmer Mixer with The Greenhorns team at Claire's and The Center's office, followed by a bonfire afterward at High Mowing. Please spread the word far and wide so that all the young farmers that you know and work with can be filled with the exciting spirit of like minded people in our state and connect with a national movement. You may know of the Greenhorns - it is an inspiring film project about young farmers in America. Watch the trailer . It is directed by Severine, a 28 year old organic veggie grower from NY who is a force to be reckoned with.

NOFA VT Summer Workshops for Gardeners and Homesteaders
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont is hosting some great workshops this summer. The first of them is below. For a full list please visit www.nofavt.org

Growing Organic Vegetables in a 10x12 ft Garden Cut Into the Lawn – in 15 Minutes a Day. Join Henry Homeyer, gardening columnist and author of The Vermont Gardener’s Companion, to learn how to convert a 10 ft by 12 ft patch of you lawn into a veggie garden that can produce significant quantities of food with minimal investment in just 15 minute of work a day. The workshop will be outdoors rain or shine.
When - Saturday, June 20 10 am-12 noon
Where - Vermont Technical College Randolph Center
$10 for NOFA members & apprentices, $15 for non-members

Localvore 'Lore

Each week in this section we try to highlight some of the localvore items that folks signed up for the Localvore Share will be receiving at pick-up. We try to mix up what you'll receive each week, so that everyone gets to sample a wide variety of locally grown and produced food items. We do our best to source items from within 100 miles of the farm, directly if at all possible. Though we occasionally wander outside this radius, it's pretty rare. Our 100 miles allows us access to many interesting products from Quebec, New York, New Hampshire, and of course, most of Vermont. This week we have Focaccia from Elmore Mountain Bakery, eggs from Pa Pa Doodles Farm aka Deborah Rosewolf's Happy Hens, Cornmeal from Butterworks Farm, and Applesauce made in Pete's kitchen from apples grown by Champlain Orchards.

Elmore Mountain bakes for the share just about every other week. Andrew and Blair do a fantastic job of sourcing their flour and other ingredients close to home. This just in from Andrew

For this week's share we made a Fresh Herb and Sea Salt Focaccia. The VT made Sunflower oil inspired us as a substitute for Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and allowed us to make our wood-fired focaccia. We added a bunch of fresh herbs to balance the bitterness of the oil, including Pete's parsley and scallions and fresh rosemary and thyme from our garden. The dough is brushed with Sunflower Oil and sprinkled with Maine Sea Salt before being baked in our oven at over 600 degrees. The focaccia is great with cheese, hummus and olives or stuffed with fresh grilled vegetables.

Deborah Rosewolf from Pa Pa Doodles Farm in Craftsbury Common has always had her own hens, but recently she increased the size of her flock in order to supply Good Eats. We were having trouble sourcing enough locally grown, farm fresh and free range eggs for the share and Deborah stepped up to the plate. Her young flock has just begun laying a few weeks ago, so their eggs are small still but will size up fast in the coming weeks. We'll be supplying eggs to the share just about every other week so you will have the opportunity to experience the change in egg size from pullets to mature hens.

Butterworks Farm
in Westfield, VT has supplied Early Riser Cornmeal this week. This is an open pollinated variety of organic corn that the Lazors have been growing for years on the farm in an isolated place far from other corn crops to protect it from stray GMO pollen. Jack saves his seed each year for the following year's crop, taking time from harvesting other crops to select the ears from the strongest plants. The corn is freshly ground and should be stored in a cool place - preferably the fridge or your freezer. This is beautiful cornmeal full of rich corn flavor, great for baking or making polenta. The Lazor's have supplied their favorite cornbread recipe below.

Last, Nick was in the kitchen most of the day Monday making applesauce for the share. The apples are grown by from Champlain Orchards in Vergennes. The diverse mix of apples selected for us by Bill Suhr/Champlain Orchards ensures a much more flavorful sauce. Great stuff for kids or adults. The applesauce also stores well in the freezer!

Recipes
I made polenta after I got home last night from the farm with a bag of cornmeal in hand. It's such an easy, homey dish and can be paired with so many other items in the share that I thought it worth focusing on this week. I made mine the old fashioned way, on the stovetop but I like the oven baked version below for the simplicity. When the polenta is finished on the stovetop you end up with cornmeal mush, but as polenta cools it firms up. And if you chill it in the fridge, you can then cut it into all sorts of shapes for later dishes. I love it right out of the pot and every other way as well. I can see a lovely meal of freshly made parmesan polenta served with Simple Swiss Chard posted Jun 10, 2009 at the petesgreens.blogspot.com. Or a Pan Seared Polenta served with a Mesclun Salad with Roasted Beets. Yum.

Oven-Baked Polenta
By Martha Rose Shulman and published in the NYT June 9, 2009
Polenta is traditionally made on the stovetop. The classic recipe is to stir 1 cup of polenta (a coarse grind cornmeal) into 4 cups water boiling water with one tsp of salt addes. Then polenta is simmered and stirred constantly or at very regular intervals until it is a thickened gruel. It takes 50 minutes or so and requires watchfulness. Martha's oven baked method simplifies the process.

1 cup polenta
1 quart water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the polenta, water and salt in a 2-quart baking dish. Stir together, and place in the oven. Bake 50 minutes. Remove from the oven, and stir in the butter. Use a fork or a spatula to stir the polenta well, and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and stir again. Carefully taste a little bit of the polenta; if the grains are not completely soft, return to the oven for 10 minutes.

Serve right away for soft polenta, or let sit five minutes for a stiffer polenta. Spoon onto a plate. Make a depression in the middle, and serve with the topping of your choice or plain, as a side dish.

Alternatively, for grilling or use in another recipe, allow to chill and stiffen in the baking dish, or scrape into a lightly oiled or buttered bread pan and chill.

Polenta With Parmesan
When you remove the polenta from the oven, stir in 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan. Serve at once. I like to grind a little black pepper over the top.

Grilled Polenta Squares
Prepare a medium grill or heat an electric griddle on medium. Cut the polenta into squares, and brush the squares on both sides with olive oil. Place on the grill or griddle. When grill marks appear or when nicely browned, usually in about two to three minutes, turn and brown the other side. Serve hot.

Pan-Seared Polenta Squares
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and sear the polenta squares on both sides oil until lightly colored. The surface should be slightly crisp.

Chloe's Pete's Greens Pasta
Chloe is a Good Eats CSA member and wanted to share a recipe for pasta that she has been making with the greens from Good Eats. You could use pac choi, swiss chard or beet greens here.

Ingredients
Olive oil
Chopped garlic (at least 6-8 large cloves or more depending on taste)
anchovies or anchovy paste (or 20 kalamata olives)
1 lb Pasta
1-3 bunches of greens, stemmed if necessary and chopped
Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese or both

Boil a large pot of salted water for the pasta. Add pasta and follow cooking times given for the pasta. During the the last 3-5 minutes add chopped greens to the pasta water.
Drain pasta and greens and combine with the garlic/anchovy (or kalamata) oil. Combine. Serve with grated cheese on top.
Variations -add 1-3 fresh tomatoes to the simmering garlic mixture, or other vegetables. Or add just a few spoonfuls of your favorite marinara. Add fresh basil. Or try adding an egg and some milk or cream to the hot pasta. mmmm.


Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuit Topping
Crunchy cornmeal biscuit tops a classic strawberry and rhubarb filling.
Bon Appétit April 1996

Filling
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups strawberries, hulled, halved
2.5 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices rhubarb


Topping
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk with 1 tsp lemon juice)

For Filling:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix sugar, flour and cloves in large bowl. Add strawberries and rhubarb and toss to coat with sugar mixture. Transfer filling to 10-inch-diameter glass pie dish.

For Topping:
Mix flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add buttermilk, tossing with fork until moist clumps form (do not overmix). Spoon topping evenly over filling.

Bake until topping is golden brown and filling is tender, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - June 10, 2009

This Week's Localvore Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; 2 lbs Nicola Potatoes; 1 Bunch Scallions; 1 Bunch Beet Greens; 1 Bunch of Bright Lights Chard; 1 Bunch Cilantro; 1 Bunch Red Bore Kale; 1 Pint of strawberries and....
Pac Choi -or- Napa Cabbage
Sauerkraut -or- Onion Puree -or- Strawberries

plus...

Vermont Soy Salad Dressing
Deborah's Pullet Eggs
Vermont Soy Artisan Tofu
and Honey Gardens Apitherapy Honey

Hen of the Wood Folks - will finally receive their cucumbers!

This Week is the LAST Spring Share Delivery
This is the last week of the Good Eats Spring Share. I will be sending a survey out to you all later this week. Your participation will help us improve future shares and systems. Please take time to fill it out! Many, many thanks to all of you for being part of the share.

Summer Share Sign Up
I am guessing that by the end of this week we will likely have filled the Vegetable Only and Localvore Shares. I believe there will still be some room in the Meat Share. If you haven't signed up but still plan on joining, send your sign up forms and checks immediately. Shares are filled on a first come, first serve basis. If you do not make it into the share I will let you know.

Vegetable/Localvore - $748 (avg. $44/week)
Vegetable Only - $493 (avg. $29 a week)
Meat Share - $199 (avg. $50 a month)

Pete's Musings
Hi Everybody. Thanks for joining this share period. As I cruised around the farm yesterday enjoying the splendor of spring I tried to really appreciate what we have here.

Six piglets rooting in the mud, feasting on washhouse waste and generally enjoying being pigs. Bright white chickens newly on pasture discovering the wonder of grass, bugs and worms. Strawberries ripening in the bright sun, and tomatoes red nearby in the greenhouse. Amazing foot and half long cucumbers emerging from the greenhouse daily, freed from plants that are already 11 feet tall. Vibrant fields of baby greens in a range of color from the deep green spinach to pale yellow golden endive. Thousands of garlic plants getting ready to sprout scapes and size up their bulbs and potatoes beginning to form new potatoes. A new transplanter that makes life easier for the workers and waters the starts as they are set in the ground so that they can be tranplanted even in the middle of a hot day. It is a dream come true for me to be involved in this diverse operation and to work with the people who hustle all day long to make it happen. Thank you for being our partners in this local food production project. We hope to see you again whether it is in the next share period or perhaps this fall. Best ~Pete

Localvore 'Lore
We have a Vermont Soy double header this week. The Sesame Soy dressing included in the share was created especially for Good Eats. Using fresh mint that Meg picked and delivered to Vermont Soy and combining that with some of their Baked Maple Ginger Tofu, garlic, tamari, toasted sesame oil, sunflower oil, apple cider vinegar and water they have created this light and creamy dressing. Drizzle it onto a salad or into a sandwich or wrap, set it out as a veggie and cracker dip, or apply it as a sauce over pasta or rice (see recipe below). It's truly delicious. All of the ingredients are organic. If you have feedback, please email Vermont Soy, they'd love to hear about it! We also have Vermont Soy's Artisan Tofu this week. This is their original handcrafted tofu made from VT grown, non GMO soybeans.

From Honey Garden's Apiaries in Ferrisburgh we have Todd Hardie's Apitherapy honey. I met Todd in 2000 when I called him to ask about getting started with bees. He has has been a patient teacher in lessons of bees (and life) since then. What honeybees are capable of never ceases to amaze me. The one pound of honey you are receiving today represents the collective flight by the bees of 24,000 miles and their visits to three to nine million flowers. Wow. Honey has antibiotic properties that have long been known, but are only recently being researched and tested. Scientists at Cornell University, Geneva, New York report “Honey has been used as a topical and gastrointestinal remedy for thousands of years, and has recently gained recognition from the medical field. The growth of many microorganisms associated with disease or infection is inhibited by honey.” Researchers recently tested honey collected from certain areas of the world long reputed to have super therapeutic potential. They found that there were antibiotic compounds in flowers the bees in those regions collected from that were then concentrated in their honey. Understanding the healing properties of honey, Honey Gardens has diversified and they produce a number of other products besides honey, including an excellent cough syrup, an immune system boosting tonic made with elderberries, a salve and a throat spray and honey wine (a balm for the soul). From Honey Gardens website:

Apitherapy honey has never been heated or filtered, and thus it retains the beneficial traces of pollen, propolis, and beeswax, which the flowers and bees have provided. These contain healthful minerals, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and carbohydrates. Honey forms crystals around these particles, which you see on the surface or by holding a jar up to the light. Within a month or so after the fall harvest, Apitherapy honey will crystallize. To soften or re-liquefy honey, place it in a warm place or in warm water.

And still there's more. Finally, we have in our midst a nearby farm capable of producing enough farm fresh, pastured high quality eggs for Good Eats. Our own Deborah Rosewolf has been talking about a "Coming Out Party for the Girls" to celebrate the start of the egg laying of her young flock of hens. The eggs you will receive this week may be smaller than you are used to. These are "pullet eggs", eggs laid by young hens. Hens begin to lay at around 5 months of age and their eggs start small and quickly size up. In the weeks to come the eggs will become larger and larger until we will probably struggle to close the lids on the egg cartons. Yet even with these little eggs, you may come across a double yolker!

Meat Share
Finally we have Pete's chicken again to offer you in the meat share this week! For your grilling pleasure we have North Hollow Farm grass fed and finished rib or Delmonico steaks. From Neil Urie's Bonnieview Farm we have grass fed ground lamb or kabob meat. And from Greenfield Highland Beef we have organic stew beef. All of these meats come from farms who raise their animals on pasture. The benefits of eating grass fed meats are numerous: lower fat, higher CLAs, higher Omega 3s (nearly non existent in animals not on pasture), higher in Vitamins E and A contained in the plants the animals eat. And because feed is not grown, harvested, stored and trucked to feed these animals, grass fed production is better for the enviroment. We are lucky to live in a place where there are so many choices for high quality, conscientiously raised meats.

Recipes

Braised Tofu and Greens in Curried Coconut Milk
Adapted from a recipe in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

3 large onions
1 28 oz can tomatoes
2 TB sunflower oil
salt and black pepper
2 TB garam masala or curry powder
14 oz tofu
2 cups potatoes, 1/2 inch dice
3 cups shredded or chopped greens (kale, pac choi, chard, beet greens)
Cilantro

In a food processor, puree the tomatoes and onion. Put the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onion tomato mixture and the potatoes, along with some salt and pepper and the spice mixture, and cook stirring occasionally until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the greens and the coconut milk and bring to just about a boil (but try not to boil much) and then simmer gently until greens are wilted and tender (Kale will take a bit longer than the others). Serve over rice and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.

Vermont Soy Sesame Noodles w/ Greens and Cilantro
This is a dinner idea rather than a recipe and quantities of ingredients could vary widely according to taste. I think it could be very good dressed and served cold as well.

1 TB oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 -2 bunches greens (Pac Choi or Kale would be my first choices), stemmed and chopped saving the chopped Pac Choi stems
Asian soba noodles or other pasta (or brown rice)
Vermont Soy Sesame Dressing
3-4 chopped Scallions
2-4 TB Cilantro

Start a pot of water boiling for rice or pasta. Add your rice or pasta and cook according to directions. In the final 10 minutes before your rice or pasta is finished, add oil to a skillet. When hot, add onion and garlic and simmer until soft being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the greens according to which parts need the most cooking time (Pac Choi stems first, kale a few minutes later, and Pac Choi greens last). In last 2 minutes toss in the scallions. Remove from heat. Drain pasta and put back in pot. Add the greens to the pasta (or rice), add Vermont Sesame Soy Dressing and cilantro to taste.

Simple Swiss Chard
This is a simple quick and delicious way to prepare chard or beet greens as a side dish. It will be delightful with Cranberry Bob's Balsamic.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch Swiss chard, stalks discarded, leaves cut into wide ribbons
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil on a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until tender and aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and balsamic vinegar; cook and stir until the chard is wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Raw Honey Mustard Dressing
From the Honey Gardens website. Makes about ¾ cup of dressing.

1/3 cup raw honey
2 tsp regular yellow mustard
¼ cup oil,
2 T any good vinegar
2 T water and a dash of salt and pepper
Add ¼ tsp dried dill weed
¼ tsp dried thyme

Blend well.

Citrus Herb Marinade
This is the standard steak marinade in our house. The steaks that meat share members will receive tomorrow will be wonderful with this marinade - I'd be preparing it tonight! Citrus really works well to tenderize a piece of meat and this marinade never disappoints. It is quick to prepare and substitutions work out just fine. You can prepare it ahead of time and it can sit in the fridge for up to a week.

Combine and then place with steaks in a ziplock bag or other sealed container.
1/4 cup sunflower oil or olive oil
1.5 TB lemon juice
1.5 TB orange juice
1/3 c parsley (or not, we often don't have it on hand and skip)
1.5 tsp dried thyme
1 crumbled bay leaf
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp black pepper

Grilled Thai Chicken
This is a meal I have made numerous times that always gets rave reviews and the cilantro in today's share made me think of adding it here. It does require a quartered bird, but it's well worth the effort.

1 Chicken - Quartered, skin removed

Marinade:
1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 TB white peppercorns, toasted and ground
15 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup minced cilantro stems (from about 1 large bunch)
1/4 cup soy
2 TB vegetable oil

After toasting and grinding seeds, add other marinade ingredients to food processor and blend until smooth. Add marinade to chicken parts in a ziplock bag or other sealed container. Marinate for 1-8 hours, turning container periodically to coat chicken.

Grill or bake chicken

Serve w/ sweet and sour sauce (yield 1/2 cup):
1 TB dried red chile flakes
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 TB rice vinegar
7 cloves of garlic
Toast chiles until fragrant (1-2 mins). Add salt, sugar, rice vinegar, cook until dissolved. Stir in garlic and remove from heat and cool completely before serving.

Serve with rice and Wilted Asian Greens from the May 6, 2009 newsletter posted on Pete's blog site.

Shepherd's Pie with Carmelized Onions and Cheddar Smash
From Cooking with Shelburne Farms.

For the Carmelized Onions
1.5 TB Olive Oil
1 lb Onions (about 3 medium), thinly sliced crosswise into rounds
1 tsp kosher salt

For the Potato Smash
1.5 lbs potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
2 garlic cloves, smashed with the flat of a knife
1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 stick butter, cut into 4 pieces

For the Lamb Filling
1/2 TB olive oil
2 medium carrots, scrubbed trimmed and finely diced (about 1.5 cups)
1 lb ground lamb
3/4 tsp fresh thyme minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 TB flour
1/2 TB tomato paste (or ketchup)
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup grated cheddar

Make the carmelized onions (up to one week ahead):
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium hear. Add onions and turn heat down to medium low. Sprinkle onions with salt and cook, stirring frequently to make sure they brown evenly, for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and soft. Set aside.

Make the smashed potatoes (up to 24 hours ahead):
Place a colander in a pot large enough to accommodate it, fill pot with water to bottom of colander, add potatoes and garlic cloves and sprinkle them with salt. Cover, set over high heat, and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to active simmer and steam for 25-30 minutes until they break apart easily when poked. Remove colander from pot, pour water from pot, return potatoes and garlic to the pot. Cover with a clean dish towel and let potatoes dry out for about 5 minutes (but do not let them cool before mashing). Add the butter to the pot and use a potato masher to smash the potatoes and garlic until blended, but not smooth. Set aside.

Make the meat filling and finish pie:
In a large skillet set over med-high heat, heat olive oil until hot. Add diced carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes until softened. Add lamb, thyme, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes until the meat is no longer pink. Pour off the fat and discard. Sprinkle flour over the meat and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Then stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes longer. Pour in the stock, along with half of the carmelized onions. Increase the heat to high and simmer until gravy thickens slightly.

Spread lamb into a shallow casserole or baking pan. Spread potatoes on top. Distribute the remaining carmelized onions over the potatoes, and then sprinkle the cheddar in top. Bake until top is golden and crusty, about 20 minutes.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - June 3, 2009

This Week's Localvore Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; Head of Green or Red Lettuce; 2 lbs Nicola Potatoes; 1 Bunch of Basil; 1 Bunch Sweet Salad Turnips; 1 Bunch of Beet Greens; 1 Bunch of Sorrel; 1 Bunch of Wild Arugula; 1 Bunch of Easter Egg Radishes; 1 Bunch of Pac Choi and

1 Bunch of Parsley -or- Cilantro
1 Bunch of Mizuna -or- Red Giant Mustard
plus

Vermont Cranberry Company Balsamic Vinegar;
Vermont Butter and Cheese Fresh Goat Cheese;
and Elmore Mountain Bread Pizza Dough!

Sites that did not receive European cucumbers last week will get them this week! Except for Hen of the Wood - you folks will get them next week. We promise.

Storage and Use Tips

Beet Greens - The beet greens in your share today are best eaten cooked. They are related to Swiss chard and may be used exactly the same way. I love them sautéed with a bit of oil and vinegar (balsamic or apple cider) and salt & pepper. You can also toss them into most recipes that call for other greens (mustard greens, even spinach). They are milder in flavor than mustard greens, but a bit stronger than spinach. They are delicious. Arugula - Also known as Rocket or Roquette, this is a very popular and versatile green, that can be eaten raw, but also stands up well in the sauté pan. It has a peppery mustardy flavor so some people prefer to tone it down by mixing it with other greens. It blends particularly well with goat cheese and balsamic and olive oil! It is delicious simply sautéed in a pan with olive oil. I toss it on sandwiches to give them pep, and into salads to take it up a notch.

Summer Share
The Summer Share is nearly full. We have a bit of room left. If you are hoping to get in for Summer, don't delay much longer! Vegetable/Localvore - $748 (avg. $44/week) Vegetable Only - $493 (avg. $29 a week) Meat Share - $199 (avg. $50 a month)

Farm News Everyone is so busy on the farm these past weeks. Fields that seem like they were just planted yesterday need weeding. And there is still more weeding to be done in greenhouses that looked neat as could be just a couple weeks ago. With the cold nights we have had lately, it's row cover on, row cover off, row cover on, row cover off. Meg is trying to get the farm stand open while tending to chickens and organizing the weekly harvest of all the crops. The wash house crew keep up with Meg preparing the harvested veggies for delivery. Nick is working on improvements to the commercial kitchen. Matt spends his days on the tractor. Steve P. works constantly trying to keep up with all the repair issues that crop up daily. Pete is busy with everything at once.

















It's a heads down and just keep going time of year. But things are coming along. Crops are getting planted daily while others are turned under. The first batch of chickens is finished and another is right behind it. The livestock fencing for the addition of cows and pigs to the farm has just been finished. Pigs have arrived and are happily residing in their new home. Little by little, steadily, there is progress.









Localvore 'Lore
Elmore Mountain Bread has prepared more pizza doughs for this week! I have been dreaming up pizza combinations all week! The dough was frozen in the morning before it went out on delivery. It may thaw a bit before you get it home. If you don't plan to use it right away, put it back in your freezer. When you do intend to use it, it should be thawed in the fridge overnight (8-10 hours), or on the counter for 3-4 hours. It should be close to room temperature when you start to work with it. The dough is made from certified organic Quebec bread flour and whole wheat flour, spring water, organic sea salt and yeast.

Cranberry Bob of the Vermont Cranberry Company was busy bottling a new product for us on Saturday. It's very exciting to have a local source of real balsamic.

Balsamic Vinegar, a traditional Italian Delicacy is a delectable condiment made from wine grapes. We grow the Frontenac variety of wine grape. My balsamic vinegar is made from the Frontenac grape that is used for Boyden Valley Winery' s Ice wine. Once the ice wine is pressed, the remaining juice is used to make vinegar. I ferment and then acetify some of the juice and then the rest is reduced to 40 % of the volume. The reduction is blended with the vinegar and then barrel aged for 2 years. This balsamic is dense, supple and slightly sweet. Perfect for summer grilling or salads.


The Vermont Butter & Cheese Company story actually begins with the mild goats’ milk cheese in the share today. After absorbing cheese making traditions in Brittany as a young woman, company co-founder Allison Hooper returned to Vermont. Soon after her return, she debuted her chèvre at a banquet organized by Bob Reese, then marketing director of the State Agriculture Department. At the time, fresh goat cheese was largely unavailable in Vermont. The positive response she received inspired Allison to team up with Bob to found the Vermont Butter & Cheese Company. The cheese is wonderfully fresh and light. Try spreading it on some crusty bread topped with honey and black pepper. Helpful hint - put some of your goat cheese in the freezer. The result will be a crumbly texture that is easier to put on salads and pizzas.

Recipes

Pizza!
I took a look at what was coming from the fields this week combined with the localvore items and have been dreaming of pizza combination non-stop. Since I was dying to put braised greens on my pizza I have provided a braised greens recipe below using the balsamic. After braising, you could top dress a pizza with some of the combos below (with or without tomato sauce and other cheeses). You might want to squeeze out the greens a bit if they seem very juicy for the pizza. Other tips... Freezing the goat cheese first makes it nice and crumbly for the pizza (and for salads). I like to put my basil just on top of the crust with other stuff on top so that it doesn't get dried out and so that it keeps its aromatics. Or I top dress with chopped basil after the pizza is cooked. If making a pizza without tomato sauce I do like to brush the crust with olive oil first for the added flavor and moisture. If you bake the crust for up to 10 minutes (depending on dough thickness) after brushing and before adding other ingredients, it seals the crust a bit and makes it lovely and crisp.

Braised Greens, Goat Cheese, Basil Pizza (w/ or without tomato and mozz)
Braised Greens, Goat Cheese, Potato (sliced very, very thin) and Rosemary
Arugula, Goat Cheese, Tomato and Basil

Braised Winter Greens w/ Garlic and Balsamic Vinegar
Beet Greens, Mizuna and Kale are ideal for this recipe but some Pac Choi leaves would work in nicely too! From the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook by Audrey Austerberg and Wanda Urbanowicz.

1 large bunch 0f Greens
1 TB olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1 TB balsamic vinegar
cracked pepper to taste

Stem and wash the greens. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add oil, then garlic and stir until lightly golden. Add the chiles and greens. Toss with tongs, sprinkle with salt, and cover to allow volume to steam down. Uncover and continue to toss on high heat until greens are wilted. Add vinegar. Remove greens from pan. Return pan to burner. Reduce any remaining juices and drizzle over greens. Crack pepper over the top and serve immediately.
Serves 2

Pizza With Mushrooms, Goat Cheese, Arugula and Walnuts
By Martha Rose Shulman (NYT)

pizza dough
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned and sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
4 ounces goat cheese
4 walnuts, shelled and chopped
About 1 heaped cup arugula leaves
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon walnut oil

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone inside, if available. Roll out the dough to fit a 12- to 14-inch pizza pan.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy skillet, and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and moist, four to five minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

3. Crumble the goat cheese into a bowl, add the walnuts and lightly toss together.

4. Brush the dough with 2 teaspoons of the remaining olive oil, and top with the mushrooms. Sprinkle on the thyme, and place in the oven. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the goat cheese and walnuts over the crust, and return to the oven for five to 10 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and the cheese has softened. Remove from the heat.

5. Toss the arugula with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil, the balsamic vinegar and the walnut oil. Scatter it over the pizza, and serve.

Mesclun Greens Salad with Goat Cheese and Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
This is my own concoction - what I'd make with the share as soon as I got through the door with it. The dressing is fantastic - one that I keep in a jar in the fridge always. I can't wait to make it with Cranberry Bob's Balsamic!

Mesclun Greens & Arugula (and/or head lettuce leaves)
Beet Slivers (either roasted or boiled and sliced up)
Radishes or Sweet Salad turnips sliced thin
Toasted walnuts or pecans

Add the above to a bowl in whatever amounts appeal to you, toss with the dressing below, crumble the goat cheese on top and serve.

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
It should be strong flavored. If it needs more zip add a bit more garlic, or more black pepper, or more Dijon or all three.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 T maple syrup
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper


Balsamic Vinaigrette
Here's a classic balsamic recipe as well.

3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
.5 tbsp. Dijon mustard

Roughly chop garlic; sprinkle with a little salt. Using the side of a knife, scrape garlic into a paste; transfer to a bowl. Add vinegar and mustard; whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in remaining oil while whisking constantly to form a smooth vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Sorrel & Potato Soup
The recipe below is adapted from a classic French sorrel soup recipe. It is also good cold, particularly with some plain yogurt swirled in. Serves 3 or 4.

1 bunch fresh sorrel
4 cups water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2/3 pound potatoes, cubed
1 large egg
1/4 cup crème fraiche or heavy cream (or more to taste)

Wash the sorrel and de-rib the leaves if necessary. Put it in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until the sorrel has melted into a purée and nearly all of its liquid has evaporated. Add the water and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook over low heat until the potatoes are cooked through — about fifteen minutes. If you prefer a creamy rather than a chunky soup, put the soup into a blender or food processor and then return to the saucepan. Combine the eggs and crème fraiche in a warmed serving bowl. Mix until well blended. Add a ladle of the potato and sorrel mixture and blend well. Pour in remaining potato and sorrel mixture and serve immediately.

Warm Goat Cheese, Beet and Arugula Sandwiches
Still have beets left from a previous week? Adapted from Gourmet December 1999.
4 servings

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 beets, boiled until soft, peeled and sliced
8 (1/2-inch-thick) bread slices from a round country loaf
6 ounces soft mild goat cheese, softened
4 very thin slices red onion, rings separated
16 large arugula leaves

Preparation

Preheat broiler. Whisk together vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste, then whisk in 2 tablespoons oil. Toss beets with vinaigrette.

Arrange bread on a large baking sheet and brush tops with remaining tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper and broil 6 inches from heat 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until edges are golden. Remove 4 slices from oven. Turn remaining 4 slices over on baking sheet and spread thickly with goat cheese. Broil 1 minute more and transfer to plates. Top goat cheese with drained beets, onion, arugula, and remaining bread, toasted sides up.