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.

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