Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - August 26, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; 1 lb Red Onions; 1 lb Tomatoes; 1 Bunch Cilantro; 1 Bunch of Celery; 1 lb Cauliflower; 1 Bunch Kale; Sweet Corn (6 ears); 1 lb Fresh Soybeans (Edamame); 1 Head of Garlic;


Localvore Share Members Also Receive

Elmore Mountain Pizza Dough
Pete's Salt Brine Dill Pickles
Taylor Farm Maple Smoked Gouda
Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs

Pete's Musings
Thanks to all who attended our open farm day last Sunday. I didn't really get a chance to express my gratitude to our Good Eats members so I'd like to do that now. Thanks for supporting us. It means alot, especially in a 2009 that has been a fairly challenging growing season and in which we have seen some softness in some of our other markets. Good Eats continues to grow and we continue to make it a top priority at the farm to make you happy. We have a wonderful harvest of fall storage crops beginning soon, definitely our best ever, and we are going to have great green stuff out of the greenhouses. We hope you can join us in October for the start of the Fall/Winter share.

It is particularly fun for me to see all the kids on open farm day and it gives great motivation to realize that we are a key component of their diets. Hopefully many of them are being raised on better food than their parents and grandparents grew up on. Not often mentioned in the doom and gloom about health care in this country is the gains that could be made by feeding our next generation local, organic, nutritious food from day one. Your kids deserve it and they will thank you later in life. Best ~ Pete















Pete dusted off not only the hay wagon but the manure spreader as well(!) to take people on farm tours

It was a real treat for me to get a chance to meet people at the potluck Sunday. Thanks to all of you who made the trip out to the farm! It was a fun day for me and my family and I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as well. ~Amy

Fall/Winter Good Eats Sign Up
The Fall/Winter Good Eats sign up will begin this week. I'll be putting the new Fall share page up on the website on Wednesday and sending out an email blast later this week.

Pete's Pastured Chicken - New Lower Minimum Order

We have lowered the minimum order for chickens! You can now order as few as 3 chickens and have them delivered to your Good Eats pick up site most weeks from now into October. I have updated the Pastured Chicken page on the website with the new order info including available delivery dates. Please go there and click on the order form to order your freshly frozen birds. These are great tasting chickens raised on an abundance of greens and grass throughout their lives. This is healthy, nutritious, vitamin packed meat that you can feel great about eating and it's only $3.75/lb.




Summer Share
The share has remained open this summer and new people are welcome to join. We are pro-rating remaining weeks.
Summer Share
Meat Share


Localvore Lore

The Taylor Farm Maple Smoked Gouda in the share is a multiple year first place winner at the American Cheese Society conferences. In the words of Henry 'The Cheeseman' Tewksbury, author of Vermont Cheeses, “Even smoked Gouda from Holland … does not compare with the excellence of this local product.” The Wright Family milk 50 cows and make fabulous gouda cheeses on their 180 acre farm in Londonderry, VT.

We are looking forward to having you all try the Salt Brine Dill Pickles in the share this week. Nick made the pickles the old fashioned way - tossing our fresh organic cucumbers into a barrel in layers with mustard seed, dill, garlic, peppercorns and then covering it all with a salt brine. We hope you enjoy these zesty dills and would love to hear any feedback. We are doing lots of pickling these days so feedback would be really helpful.

We have Deb's eggs again this week too. A Good Eats member wrote last week that every egg in her dozen were double yokers! She asked whether that meant the chicken would have had twins. In case anyone has wondered the same thing, a double yolk egg rarely yields twins and often the one chick in the egg won't make it. Very occasionally two chicks are hatched.

We have Elmore Mountain's pizza dough this week. We have a few reports from people that didn't have great luck with this pizza dough. But we really like it and think the flavor is great and that it's worth trying again! So I will give some tips here. For best results don't thaw it until you are really sure you are going to use it. It doesn't take that long to thaw so pull out of freezer when you know you are going to use it. The tricky thing about dough is that as it sits out, the yeast work away steadily until the dough loses strength. Left too long, the dough will be weaker and easier to tear.

When it has thawed (either in fridge or counter) you can begin to stretch it, you don't have to let it rise first. Pizza dough is meant to be sticky and this dough will be sticky. So get out some flour, dust a board or your counter and flop the pizza dough on it. Dust it both sides and then stretch it gently. You can do this up in the air like a pizza professional or you can stretch it while it lays on the counter. OR - you can always roll it! You won't get the fun lumpy aspect that you get when stretching but less chance of tearing this way. I am actually often guilty of letting pizza dough sit too long thawed in the fridge until it's a big pizza puff ball of dough, and then I roll it because I know I'll tear it otherwise.

After you have stretched/rolled the dough you can rest the dough for 15 minutes and add toppings or just go for it and add them right away. I bake mine in a 425-450ºF oven on a pizza stone for however long it takes to look just right!

Recipes

Edamame
My kids eat fresh soybeans for dinner frequently and it always makes me happy to see them take in so much green food at a sitting. Fresh soybeans steamed or simmered in their pods and served with a sprinkling of salt (aka Edamame in Japanese) are a great treat. You can also freeze these and pull them out in the winter.

1 lb fresh soybeans in their pods
sea salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add soybeans and continue boiling until beans are crisp tender (about 10 minutes). To prevent overcooking, start checking for doneness approximately 7 minutes after cooking begins (to check, remove a bean pod, dip in cold water to cool, and taste -it should be softened but not mushy.) When done, run cold water over, or put in ice water, to stop cooking (they can be warm just not hot and still cooking away in their skins). Drain well, and sprinkle with salt to taste (start with 1/2 tsp). To eat, hold pod by stem end, and slide the individual beans out with your teeth. Discard pod.

Tomato, Smoked Gouda, and Garlic Pizza
From Cooking Light.

pizza dough
2 tablespoon cornmeal
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
3 cups sliced plum tomato (about 4)
4 teaspoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Stretch or roll the dough on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a pizza pan or baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal (I like to start mine on a piece of parchment and then transfer to the hot baking stone in my oven). Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim (helps to keep everything on the pizza). Bake at 450°F for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle cheese over pizza crust. Arrange the tomato slices over cheese. Combine oil and garlic; sprinkle over tomato. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Top with basil and cut into wedges and enjoy!

Garlic and Cheese Crumbled Cauliflower
From Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chessman. Serves 2-4.

1 large head cauliflower, broken into florets
1/4 cup butter
2 garlic cloves
2 TB fresh parsley
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 c. Gruyere
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and boil until tender, about 6 mins. Drain well. Preheat the oven to 375 º F. Grease a 1.5 quart baking dish with butter. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the parsley and garlic and simmer until just fragrant, about 2 mins. Toss together bread crumbs, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Arrange the cauliflower in the baking dish. Top with the crumb mixture. Drizzle the butter and garlic mixture over the top. Bake for about 15 mins until cauliflower is hot and crumbs are golden. Serve hot.

Tuscan Kale with White Beans and Garlic
A mess o' greens, Italian style. The ham or smoked turkey make this especially hearty, but these can be left out for a vegetarian dish. Serve with a nice crusty bread to sop up the juices. Serves 4. From Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chessman.

1 cup dried cannellini or great Northern beans
6 cups water
1 onion, halved
1 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 TB dried
2 bay leaves
1.5 lbs kale, stems removed and leaves chopped (16 cups lightly packed)
8 ounces smoked turkey or ham, diced (optional)
Salt and black pepper
3 TB olive oil
4 cloves garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

Soak the beans for at least 8 hours in plenty of water to cover. Drain the beans.

In a large saucepan of Dutch oven, combine the beans with the water, onion, thyme, and bay leaves. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender, approximately 1.5 hrs.

Remove and discard the onion, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring the beans and their liquid to a boil. Add the kale and the salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, stirring down the kale every few minutes, until the kale is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the smoked turkey, if using.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small heavy skillet over very low heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Do not let the garlic brown. Mash the garlic with a fork. Add the hot pepper flakes, if using.

Pour the hot oil mixture over the beans and greens and serve immediately.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - August 19, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Sweet Corn (6 ears); 2 lbs Ya Ya Carrots; 1 lb mixed Cauliflower; 2 lb Walla Walla Onions; 1 Napa Cabbage; 1 lb Kohlrabi; 2 lb Summer Squash or Zucchini; 1 Bunch of Basil; plus...

Tomatoes -or- Cherry Tomatoes
Arugula -or- Wild Arugula -or- Mesclun


Localvore Share Members Also Receive
Red Hen Whole Wheat Bread
Vermont Cranberry Company Balsamic Vinegar
Bonnieview Farm Sheep's Milk Feta

Because of the heat, please try to pick up as early as you can tomorrow. The heat is really tough on the vegetables and though the truck is cooled, the veggies will warm up quickly sitting at the sites. Also, if you can't take your share right home to a fridge, consider bringing a cooler to place your veggies in until you get home.


















Meg watering the flowers on the roof of the farm stand yesterday



Pete's Greens Open Farm Day/Potluck
August 23rd 2pm to 5 pm


Our annual potluck is Sunday afternoon! We are getting excited now. It's always fun to show people around, socialize, and eat!

At 2:30 and 4:30 Pete will give tours of the farm. Try to be there for at least one of these as he has lots of interesting info to share. In between these times, Deb will take people on hayrides and people are welcome to explore the farm by wagon or on foot. We'll have our picnic under the tent at 3:00 pm.

We'll be preparing a big salad for everyone and providing cider. I'll be making some quiche. Please bring a dish that you love to prepare (using local ingredients if you can!). Be sure to clearly mark your dishes and utensils with your last name. Also, please mark any meals that are vegetarian or vegan.

Jonna will be the children's ring leader. She'll be directing games, art and other activities to keep the kids engaged.


We are looking forward to having Mayfly play for us. Between them Katie Trautz and Julia Wayne play fiddle, mandolin, guitar and banjo. May Fly is their duet of sweet harmony vocals and folk instrumentals influenced by southern appalachian old-time, and new england blues, ballads and soul music. You can check out Mayfly here.

Please join us on Sunday if you can. The more the merrier and we'd really love to see you!



Pete's Musings

Hope you can all make our potluck and open farm day this Sunday August 23rd. We'll be touring the fields. checking out the chickens and pigs, and enjoying some great local food. FYI we'll be staying out of greenhouses and the potato field during open farm day in order to help prevent the spread of late blight.

Late blight update: Our potatoes are faring pretty well. The disease is progressing and can be seen in more of the field but at a fairly slow rate. From all we can learn it makes sense to let them continue growing until the disease progresses further. There is a lot of concern that we are going to have annual late blight problems now that the spores are so widespread in the northeast. They can overwinter on volunteer potato plants that will sprout in this year's field next season so it is important to not allow those plants to grow. We plan to grow an easy to cultivate crop such as corn in our potato field next year so that we can knock out any volunteer plants. We discovered a very small amount of late blight in our tomato greenhouse but that too is progressing slowly. ~Pete

Storage and Use Tips
Please visit Pete's Blogspot for past Storage and Use Tips. I just wrote about kohlrabi July 13 and arugula June 3 and there is veggie info and some recipes there. You can enter a search term in the search box and any newsletter that contained that vegetable will come up. I expect to have the new veggie section on the website sometime in September.

Fall/Winter Good Eats Sign Up
The start of the Fall share is only 8 weeks away and sign up will begin next week. Stay tuned for an email blast that will be sent as soon as the Fall page is ready on the website.

Summer Share Still Open
The summer share remains open. We are prorating remaining weeks so if you know anyone who wants to join us, please direct them to the website or to amy@petesgreens.com.
Summer Share
Meat Share

Localvore Lore

We have Red Hen Bakery's hearty, tasty whole wheat bread this week.

The balsamic vinegar in the share today is a little treasure. This is fantastic balsamic made right here in Vermont by Bob Lesnikowski, owner of Vt Cranberry Company. Along with being the sole cranberry grower in Vermont, Bob is a winemaker at Boyden Valley Winery. He brings to vinegar making the same high standards he adheres to for making wine.

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. ~Bob


Bonnieview Farm is just down the road from Pete's. Neil and Kristen turn out some wonderful sheep cheese there. You have already had the Mossend Blue this share, and now you have the opportunity to try the feta. I love this cheese, for my salads, my pasta dishes, quiche, and just to nibble on. We try to give it out once a share because it is that good!

Recipes
Roasted Tomato and Arugula Salad
Epicurious November 2008 by Andrew Friedman

1 cup olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 lb tomatoes, in sections lengthwise lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 cups (loosely packed) arugula

Preheat oven to 250°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil.

In large bowl, stir together olive oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Dip tomato halves into oil, shake off excess, and arrange on baking sheet, cut sides down. Roast until skins are wrinkled and beginning to brown, about 2 hours. (Tomatoes can be roasted ahead and refrigerated, covered, up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.)

In large bowl, whisk together remaining 1/2 cup olive oil, vinegar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add arugula and tomatoes and toss to coat.

Simple Squash Soup
Summer squash or zucchini is boiled with bell pepper and onion, pureed then combined with melted cheese for a creamy, quick soup.

6 squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups cubed or shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Place squash, bell pepper and onion in a large pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes; drain. Puree vegetables with a blender or food processor. Return to pot over medium heat and stir in cheese until melted. Serve.
Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad with Balsamic Glaze
Bon Appétit July 2009 by Fred Thompson

5 oz baby arugula
8 cups 3/4-inch cubes seedless watermelon
7 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar glaze

To make the balsamic glaze, boil 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan until reduced to 3 tablespoons, 6 to 7 minutes.

Arrange arugula over large platter. Scatter watermelon, then feta over. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with pepper.

Kohlrabi Curry
A tasty way to use kohlrabi. This would be great with more greens or Napa cabbage or some carrots added.
3 kohlrabi, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 green chilies, deseeded and chopped
1 tbsp tamarind paste (it's OK to skip this or you could try 1 TB worcestershire)
1 tsp brown or maple sugar
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 cumin seeds

Boil kohlrabi until just tender. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add the cumin and mustard seeds and after they pop, saute onions till translucent. Add tomatoes and green chilies; cover and cook till tender. Add boiled kohlrabi and other greens, red chili powder, tamarind paste(if using), sugar, salt and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or till the gravy thickens.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - August 12, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; 2 lbs Red Norland Potatoes; 1 Bunch Bright Lights or Ruby Red Chard; 1 large or 2 small Japanese or Black Bell Eggplant; 1 Bunch Curly Parsley; 1 lb Broccoli or Cauliflower; 2 lbs Walla Walla Onions; 1 lb Cabbage (Arrowhead, Green or Red Savoy); 1 lb Fennel Bulbs; 1 Slicing Cucumber plus...

1 Bunch of Thai, Spicy Bush or Purple Basil

The fennel in the share today is BIG. Due to all the rain it has bolted slightly and is elongated and large but Meg assures us that it is "completely yummy and good all over".

Localvore Share Members Also Receive

Red Hen Oat Flax Bread
Vermont Soy Artisan Tofu
Les Aliments Massawippi Japanese Miso
Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs

Storage and Use Tips
Please remember that you can visit Pete's Blogspot for past Storage and Use Tips. For example I just wrote about fennel in July for those of you who missed that. You can enter a search term in the search box and any newsletter that contained that vegetable will come up. In the interim before I get the new veggie section on the website, this should be a helpful feature.

Pete's Musings
Late blight-the name has haunted the dreams of northeast vegetable growers for the past 6 weeks. The scourge that caused the Irish potato famine and that in most years exists in the northeast but at a relatively minor level is widespread this year. Supposedly widely dispersed on tomato plants that were sent to a few big box stores, it has thrived in this summer's cool, moist conditions. It forms nasty looking brown lesions on both potatoes and tomatoes and can level a whole crop within days. Worse yet, it can infect the potatoes while still in the earth, causing them to store poorly and rot prematurely. We have been justifiably concerned with our 5 acres of potatoes that we sell every day of the year. We don't have markets that will allow us to sell our crop quickly if we fear it will store poorly - and you our eaters, depend on us for potatoes all year.
We discovered our first late blight yesterday in a portion of the potato field. It was a small area and I ripped out all the blighted plants and burned them. We are spraying the field with organically approved Nu-Cop, a copper based fungicide that does not stop late blight but can help to slow it. We expect hot, dry weather later this week that will also slow the disease. I think we will be ok. Apparently the tubers are only infected if you allow the disease to infect the stems and fully destroy the plant. We plan to mow the field or otherwise destroy the plants before that occurs. The goal now is to keep the potatoes blight free enough to keep growing for another week or two as they are adding 700 lbs. of potato weight every day in hot August weather. We have not yet seen the disease in our tomato greenhouses and hope like heck it stays out. Send your happy blight free thoughts our way! ~Pete





















There was a good article about late blight this week in the New York Times highlighting how the increased interest in home gardening has influenced the spread of late blight. Click here to read the article.

If you have a garden, please check it for signs of blight. It happens fast - not here one day and then lesions the next that quickly spread. If your plants are affected please take the necessary steps so that even more spores are not spread. I just checked my garden in Waterbury and so far it looks OK although one potato plant was suspect. I'll check later today and again tomorrow. For more info on late blight please check the UVM extension service website.


Summer Share Still Open
The summer share remains open. We are prorating remaining weeks so if you know anyone who wants to join us, please direct them to the website or to amy@petesgreens.com.
Summer Share
Meat Share
Localvore Lore
Red Hen Bakery baked for us this week. As usual they have pushed the boundaries to bring us something new....

This is a naturally leavened bread with some cracked flax, oats, and rye. All the grains come from Quebec. This is a Good Eats original, so you can’t find it in stores. Because we are once again using Good Eats customers as our volunteer R & D staff, this is the first time we’ve made a bread exactly like this. Consequently, when we mixed the dough for this bread, we found that we had made a mathematical error and came up 20 loaves short, so some of you will be getting our pain au levain instead. Thanks for your understanding and, as always, we welcome all feedback. ~Randy

It will be hard to resist tearing into a loaf tomorrow morning when I fill my car with fresh loaves and start the northward Good Eats bread deliveries.

We have Pa Pa Doodles eggs again this week. Deb got home from the farm the other evening and heard strange unidentifiable noises in her house. She went looking for the cause and found a hen softly crooning from the landing at the top of her stairs to the second floor and another pecking about downstairs. It seems that during the day in her absence the hens had figured out how to use the dog/cat door on her house!

I am eager to share with you all the miso in today's share. This is beautiful organic traditionally made non pasteurized miso made by Gilbert and Suzanne of Les Aliments Massawippi. Just about a month ago I drove the truck up to Quebec to pick up some of our localvore products and I had the pleasure of meeting this spirited couple and learning lots about miso and tamari. Suzanne started making miso nearly 10 years ago.
She adheres to the ancient method of making miso using nothing but organic soy beans, cereal grains like rice and barley, water and salt. It's a cool process. She starts by rinsing the soy and then soaking and boiling them until they reach the right texture. Meanwhile she cleans and then steams the grains until they reach the optimal moisture level and then they are allowed to cool. At this point she innoculates the grains with both a fungal culture (Aspergillus oryzae) and lactobacilli. The grains are left to ferment for 45 hours at a specific temperature until each grain is coated with a white mycelium and yields what is known as koji. At this point the koji covered grain is combined with the soy beans, salt and water and the whole batch is crushed and prepared for a second fermentation. The process to this point takes three days. Now the miso goes into an anaerobic environment for the second fermentation which can last from one week up to two or three years depending on the type of miso that is being made. The miso in the share today is Suzanne's Japanese miso which she developed specifically for Good Eats. It is made with soybeans, oats, seaweed, sea salt, and herbs.

Miso is a fermented product which enhances the effect of the lactic intestinal flora and as such it is easy on the body. The enzymes it contains further aids digestion. Commercial packaged miso has been pasteurized and is no longer a living food so always choose unpasteurized miso.

Keep this miso in your fridge and it will be good for many months or even years. You can add it to soups for more flavor, or use it as a base for making sauces, or add it to prepared foods. It is a delicious and nutritious way to flavor foods. A bowl of miso soup a day goes a long way toward a healthful diet.

We also have Vermont Soy's Artisan Tofu today. I wanted to add some this week because I love miso soup with cubes of fresh tofu added. There's also a nice recipe for marinated tofu below using miso in the marinade. Vermont Soy makes their tofu from non GMO and organic soybeans grown in Vermont. They have been working in conjunction with High Mowing Seeds on seed trials to better equip their farmers with varieties that can be grown more and more successfully here in our climate. The work that these companies, the farmers, and the UVM extension service is doing is so important for VT agriculture.

Recipes


Baba Ghanoush
From Williams Sonoma's Small Plates by Joanne Wier 1998. Serves 6.
1 large eggplant
2-3 TB cup tahini, plus more as needed
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 TB fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
1 pinch ground cumin
salt, to taste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup brine-cured black olives, such as kalamata

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill (or follow alt directions below). Preheat an oven to 375°F. Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places and place on the grill rack 4 to 5 inches from the fire. Grill, turning frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin.

Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl. Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste. Add 2 TB tahini, the garlic, the 2 TB lemon juice and the cumin and mix well. Season with salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, as needed until you like it. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the parsley. Place the olives around the sides.
Serve at room temperature.

If you are grilling in the next day or so follow the directions for grilling the eggplant for best flavor. Otherwise, bake your eggplant in the oven at 450 degrees F for 10-15 minutes until skin is browned and eggplant is soft. Then turn oven down to 375 and bake until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes more.

Grilled Red Potato and Fennel Salad
Great dish if you are grilling outside. Makes 6 servings.

2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
1 large fennel bulb trimmed, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup Nicoise olives, pitted, drained and chopped
1/3 cup chopped green onions

Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Oil the grill rack and place the rack directly over the fire. In a large bowl, toss together the quartered potatoes, sliced fennel bulbs, and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Season the mixture lightly with salt and pepper. Place the vegetables on the grill rack. (Because of the olive oil, there may be flare-ups, so close the grill lid quickly. After a minute or so, open the lid.) Grill the vegetables, turning often, untill they are blistered, slightly blackened, and tender, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and toss with the remaining olive oil, red wine vinegar, Nicoise olives, and green onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Swiss Chard and Fennel Gratin
Adapted from Alice Waters and The Wednesday Chef. Serves 4.

2 bunches of chard (18 ounces)
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
4 teaspoons melted butter
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup diced onion (spring onions are wonderful)
1 fennel bulb, diced (fronds removed)
Salt
2 teaspoons flour
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup whole milk
A few strokes of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the middle.

Rinse the chard well, and remove stems. Set aside half of the stems and place the rest in a freezer bag for use in another recipe. Slice the stems into small thin pieces. Place a large pot filled with salted water over high heat and bring it to a boil. Add the sliced stems and cook them for 2 minutes. Next add the chard leaves and boil until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the leaves and stems and allow them to cool.

While chard is cooling, spread out the breadcrumbs on a foil-lined baking sheet. Pour 4 teaspoons of melted butter on top of the bread crumbs, and toss until they are well coated. Place baking sheet in the oven and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the bread crumbs are lightly toasted. Remove sheet from oven, and leave the oven turned on.

Once the chard is cool, gently squeeze out any excess water from the leaves. Transfer leaves to a cutting board and coarsely chop.

Place a large saucepan over medium heat, and melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in the pan. Add diced onion and fennel to the pan. Cook stirring frequently until onion and fennel become translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir the chard into the pan along with salt to taste. Cook for 3 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on top of the mixture, and stir well to prevent lumps. Add cream, milk, and nutmeg to the pan and continue to cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. You want to have a small amount of liquid on the bottom of the pan, not enough to coat the whole bottom, but enough to keep the chard from lumping together in a thick mass. If necessary add more milk. Taste the mixture and add more salt if desired.

Butter a 9x9 baking dish. Transfer chard mixture into the dish and spread it out evenly. Cut remaining butter into bits and spread it across the top of the chard. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano evenly on top of the chard. Place dish in the oven and bake until the gratin appears golden and bubbly, about 20-30 minutes.

Buttered Cabbage
I mentioned to someone the other day that I loved, loved cabbage cooked the simplest way imaginable... simmered in a saute pan with water until soft, and then butter and a splash of cider vinegar and black pepper tossed on at the end. The way my mother often served it. I looked on line today for affirmation and realized for the first time its Irish roots matched my own. If you have never tried cabbage this very simple way, do so. It's delicious. From the cookbook Irish Traditional Cooking by Darina Allen.
Yield 6 to 8 servings

1 lb fresh Savoy (or other) cabbage
2 to 4 tablespoons butter
salt and freshly ground pepper
an extra knob of butter


Remove all the tough outer leaves from the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into four, remove the stalk and then cut each quarter into fine shreds, working across the grain. Put 2 or 3 tablespoons of water into a wide saucepan, together with 1 TB butter and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, add the cabbage and toss over a high heat, then cover the saucepan and cook for a few minutes. Toss again and add some salt, freshly ground pepper and more butter to your liking. Serve immediately.

Optional - try a splash of good cider vinegar before serving. I like the little sparkle.

Simplest Miso Soup
Actually, the simplest miso would skip the green onions and parsley and that would be great too.

1 tsp miso
1 cup hot water
1 pinch green onion
1 pinch fresh parsley

Boil the water. Dilute the miso in a bit of the hot water, then fill the cup with the remaining water. Add the green onion and parsley.

Miso Soup Options
Miso soup can have many, many variations. Here's an example - the soup steaming in a bowl beside me I was inspired to make after writing about miso above.

2 cups water
1 small onion halved and sliced thinly
4 small carrots or one large sliced thin
2 handfuls of baby spinach
1 handful of asian style noodles
a small amount of cubed firm tofu
a small piece of ginger minced

Put the carrots, onions, and ginger in the cooking pot with the water and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 10 mins, adding the noodles in the last few minutes along with the tofu. Scoop 1/3 cup of water from the cooking pot and add a TB of miso and stir to dilute. Then add the miso and the handfuls of spinach back to the pot and allow the spinach to wilt. Allow your soup to cool for a few minutes (if you can) before enjoying.

Other ideas:
Toasted sesame seeds as garnish
green onions and scallions are a natural
other greens like kale, chard, etc can be added
dried seaweed is delicious

Baked Tofu
This is Mark Bittman's method for baked tofu. Baked tofu can be tossed in salads, stir frys, sandwiched, etc.

tofu
miso

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Dry the tofu with paper towels - just blot off the water. Mix 1 TB of miso with white wine, veg stock, or water just to brushable consistency. Brush the tofu liberally with this mixture. Place in a baking pan. Bake for about 1 hour undisturbed. It's done when the crust is lightly browned and firm. Remove and use immediately or cool, wrap, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - August 5, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; 1 lb Tomatoes; 1 Bunch of Basil; 1 Bunch of Cilantro; .5 lb Mixed Sweet Peppers; 1 Bunch Baby Leeks; 1 Bunch Lacinato Kale; 2 lbs Mixed Beets; 1 European Cucumber plus...

1 lb Green Beans-or- Shelling Peas
1 lb Slicing -or- Pickling Cucumbers
Eggplants -or-Zucchini/Squash

Localvore Share Members Also Receive
Elmore Mountain Baguette
Tullochgorum Farm Popcorn
Maplebrook Fresh Mozzarella

Fields of Greens

Pete's Musings
Please help us save some money and cut down on waste. Deb is doing a great job raising eggs for our farm-she has some very happy free ranging hens. Egg cartons cost about 25 cents each which is a significant portion of the profit margin per dozen. Please return egg cartons to your Good Eats site! They can be cartons you received from us, cartons you got from the store, your neighbors cartons, anything. The more the merrier. Also the heavy duty plastic bags your share is delivered in cost 12 cents each. We would really appreciate getting more of them back so that we can reuse them. We can also use any thinner, handled plastic bags from grocery store checkouts-those are great for farmers market and farmstand customers. Thanks for taking a second to gather these items for us-it makes a difference! ~Pete

Re-use and Recycle!

Last week we shared with you the plastic bag dilemma we had and we received lots of input from people with ideas on how to reduce our dependence on the plastic bags for the share. While we develop a new system, please help us by returning items used to pack your share. Things we will re-use:

* plastic handle bags
* egg cartons
* clean berry boxes
* clean clear plastic containers (the ones we send oil, pesto, applesauce, etc in)
* clean Ball or Kerr canning jars (if it doesn't actually say Ball or Kerr please don't send)
* waxed boxes (but not unwaxed)

Summer Share Still Open
We are still signing people up for the summer share. We are prorating remaining weeks so if you know anyone who wants to join us, please direct them to the website or to amy@petesgreens.com.
Summer Share
Meat Share

Localvore Lore
Elmore Mountain Bakery is baking baguettes this week made with Milanaise Winter Wheat flour, Quebec Whole Rye and Quebec Whole Wheat, sea salt and yeast. I mentioned to Blair and Andrew that I had hoped to have tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella for the share this week so they have baked us larger than normal baguettes! They should make lovely bruschetta and the larger size means they should keep a day or two longer than skinnier baguettes normally do. Andrew and Blair will be baking less frequently for us in the coming months....

This has been a really busy summer for Andrew and I here at the bakery. This last spring we decided we needed to build a new wood fired brick oven. Our present oven has had structural issues and over the last few years we have found that we have also completely outgrown it. Out of our desire to remain a two-person operation and increase our efficiency, we have designed and built a significantly larger custom brick oven with William Davenport of Turtlerock Masonry Heat.

As usual, summer is flying by and our project is not yet completed. We’ve decided to devote as much time as is needed to get this oven up and running as soon as possible so, unfortunately, we will not be baking as frequently over the next month for Good Eats as we have in the past. We’ll be back even stronger on our regular schedule this fall. If anyone is interested in checking out our project, you can go to our blog where we have posted photos of the progress of the new oven.

We have fresh mozzarella from Maplebrook Farm this week. We just love this Mozz and have begun stocking it in the farmstand. It has great wonderful mellow mozzarella flavor and is perfect on pizzas, bruschetta, baked into a pasta dish, or just eaten on its own. I love to have a ball of this cheese in my fridge when the tomatoes and basil are coming on as they are now! Eat this cheese right up though. Fresh cheeses have a short shelf life of only a couple weeks.

If you have not yet had Tullochgorum Farm popcorn you are in for a real treat. Lorraine and Steve grow their popcorn in Ormstown, QC and make a special trip each season to bring us this popcorn. This is organic corn grown on their farm. The flavor is so different from regular yellow popcorn, somehow earthier and fresher at the same time. Last time we got a bag at my house it was gone in a few days! They also grow a blue corn popcorn variety, and fingers crossed we get some in the Fall. They are hoping that crop turns out ok. Enjoy!

Meat Share
We have quite a selection of items in the meat share for you this week. I went over in value this time because I felt last month's share was a bit light. Once again I have been thinking summer grilling in selecting meats for the share. I hope you enjoy my picks this month.

Mountain Foot Farm Trout - What a treat to have trout again. Curt Sjolander grows brown trout (and vegetables) on his farm in Wheelock, VT. These are brown trout that were alive and well Wednesday before they were caught and cleaned and brought to the farm and frozen Thursday afternoon. Though they are farm raised and fed high protein commercial fish pellets, Curt's fish are never medicated. They remain free of any disease (they are tested) because of the low stocking density and the cold, high quality fresh water Curt provides them with. Curt's fish are a fine example of fish farmed in a sustainable way. I have given a simple baked trout recipe below.
North Hollow Farm Hot Dogs - I have been hoping someone would step up to the plate and make us all some hot dogs that we feel good about feeding our families! Who doesn't really love hot dogs? The fact of the matter is, they are darn tasty. These are all beef dogs and they are nitrate free. Because they have no preservatives, it's best to keep your dogs frozen until you are ready to cook them. Unlike store bought dogs, chock full of who knows what preservative, these won't last very long in the fridge. I pull out frozen dogs when I need them and toss the unused bag into the freezer.
North Hollow Farm Kielbasa! These kielbasa are made from North Hollow's free range beef with just a bit of pork added for flavor and fat. Mike and Julie send their meat to some folks in MA who have been making Polish kielbasa for 90 years with their secret recipe. This is the real deal and should be just delicious. The kielbasa is smoked, so partially cooked but should be heated through before serving.
Brotherly Farm Organic Ground Beef - This is the first time we have had something from Brotherly Farm, a small organic farm owned by Angela and Craig Russell. They milk 100-150 head selling the milk to Horizon, and they raise organic chicken, pork, beef and veggies.
Applecheek Farm Organic Beef Bratwurst - In Hyde Park John and Rocio Clark have a diversified organic farm that I travel close to on my way to and from the farm. I love having to stop because I enjoy the peaceful setting, the tranquil animals, and their great products.
Lastly, of course we have another Pete's Pastured Chicken for you. Our birds are raised out on pasture as soon as they are old enough to go out. They are a slightly slower growing breed of meat bird, and that combined with the length of time on pasture yields a beautiful, healthy, tasty bird.

Recipes

Pizza Dough
This is my favorite recipe for pizza dough which I make all the time. I make it in batches and freeze dough lumps. A kitchen aid mixer or other device to mix dough makes life a lot easier, but I also made this for years by hand. The yield on this recipe is 3-4 cookie sheet (or baking stone) sized pizza crusts.

3 cups warm wrist temp water
1 rounded TB of active dry yeast
3 TB honey
1.5 TB salt
6-8 cups flour (I use up to 1/3 whole wheat flour and the rest Milanaise (unbleached white) all purpose)

Place the wrist temp warm water in a bowl (or the bowl of a mixer). Sprinkle in the yeast and then honey and give the yeast a few minutes to proof (let it get all foamy/yeasty which demonstrates yeast is working). Mix in a few cups of flour and then the salt. Keep adding flour until the dough is smooth, pliable, not too sticky. Too much flour will yield a dough that is hard to work with and tough. But too little flour is also challenging in that it is hard/sticky to handle and when stretching and if your oven time is not long or hot enough you may have soggy dough in the middle of your pizza. Don't worry though. There's a pretty large margin of error here. Go with your gut, you will be fine. Once the dough feels right, cut it into 4 pieces. At this point you can toss 2 or 3 in the freezer if you'd like (lightly flour dusted and tossed into a tightly sealed plastic bag).

If using your pizza dough, let it rise now in a clean oiled bowl for about an hour until doubled in bulk. Then punch it down and stretch it (lightly dusted with flour) or roll it out on a floured board. I don't have a pizza peel but I do have a stone. My process is this:

Preheat the oven to 450 with the baking stone inside and let it get nice and hot.
I stretch my dough out on a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal to prevent dough from sticking.
Then I dress my pizza with toppings.
Next I slide my parchment paper onto a cookie sheet and bring to the oven and then slide the parchment with pizza onto the baking stone.
Bake for 5 minutes until the pizza firms up a bit.
Then carefully, ever so carefully slip the parchment from under the pizza so it's baking directly on the stone.

Then bake for another 5-8 or so minutes until it looks just perfect.

Fresh Mozz, Basil, and Tomato Pizza

Olive oil
a small to medium handful of fresh chopped basil
a couple fresh tomatoes
3-6 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
torn fresh mozzarella
a little salt and pepper

Brush your crust with the oil for the flavor. Put on the basil and garlic, saving a bit of fresh basil for garnish. I think most people put their basil on top for color and presentation effect. I like mine underneath, protected from the hot oven by the other toppings. Then top with tomatoes sliced thin or diced. I like to take the seeds out of mine so there's less tomato juice on the pizza. Then top with slices of the fresh mozz. I like a bit of salt and pepper on mine and sometimes I drizzle on a bit of really good balsamic. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is done. I think most people put their basil on top for color and presentation effect. I like mine underneath, protected from the hot oven by the other toppings. Once the pizza is out of the oven, top dress it with a little extra fresh basil.

Bruschetta
Such a great bruschetta week with all the tasty things in the share! There are lots of ways to make great bruschetta. I have an easy way that works great for me that I'll share here.

1 Baguette, sliced on the diagonal (for larger slices) or in rounds 1/2 inch thick.

1-2 fresh chopped tomatoes (seeds pushed out with your thumbs first to lose some of the juice)
a clove or two of garlic minced
small handful of basil chopped
olive oil
black pepper
balsamic vinegar

optional - fresh mozz, goat cheese or feta

Toast the baguette slices in the toaster lightly. Lightly is important because you will toast them again. After toasting the first time, brush them with olive oil. Then spoon some of the tomato mixture onto the toasts. At this point you can also place some torn fresh mozz slices or some crumbled feta or goat cheese on top of the tomato mix. Return the toasts either to a preheated oven or toaster oven and bake at 400F for 5-10 minutes until everything is heated through but before toasts start to burn.

Chop the veggies and mix them all together. Taste a spoonful and decide if it needs zing. A bit more black pepper or a drizzle of good balsamic will go a long way.

Ratatouille
It's the season for this classic French casserole, a delicious stew of eggplant, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and zucchini. By Julia Child

1/2 pound eggplant
1/2 pound zucchini, trimmed
1 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 8-ounce onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 green bell peppers, thinly sliced into strips
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 pound firm but ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, cut into 3/8- to 1/4-inch-thick strips
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Peel eggplant; cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, then cut into 3-inch-long, 1-inch-wide strips. Cut zucchini into same size strips. Place vegetables in large bowl; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain; dry with paper towels.

Heat 4 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add eggplant and zucchini to skillet; sauté until light golden, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to plate; reserve.

Add 3 tablespoons oil to skillet; heat over medium heat. Add onion and peppers; sauté until just tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Place tomato strips atop onion-pepper mixture in skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover skillet; cook over low heat until tomatoes begin to juice, about 5 minutes. Uncover; baste vegetables in skillet with juices. Boil until juices are almost evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer 1/3 of onion-pepper-tomato mixture to 2 1/2-quart pot; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley. Top with half of eggplant and half of zucchini, then remaining onion-pepper-tomato mixture; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley. Layer remaining eggplant and zucchini over; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley. Cover; simmer over low heat 10 minutes. Uncover; tilt pot and baste with accumulated juices. Increase heat to medium; simmer uncovered, basting several times with pan juices until only 2 to 3 tablespoons juices remain in pot, watching closely to avoid scorching, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cool slightly. Cover; chill. Serve at room temperature or rewarm over medium-low heat before serving.

Asian Cucumber Salad
I have offered this one up before. I love it though and made it again last night and it's just so good. So in case you missed it last time....

1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 TB honey
1 TB soy sauce
1 TB rice vinegar
2 cucumbers, peeled, cut in half, scoop seeds out, then thinly sliced

Toss together. Best after a few hours and still excellent the second day

Twice-Cooked Beets in Chianti Glaze
The wine glaze both balances the natural sweetness of the beets and intensifies the savory beet flavor. This dish and perhaps some smashed new potatoes would make a fine meal with a roast chicken or other fowl. From the October 2003 Bon Appetit. Makes 6 servings

8 2 1/2-inch-diameter beets, trimmed, scrubbed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium leeks por a bunch of small (white and pale green parts only), trimmed, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
2 cups Chianti or other dry red wine
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss beets with 2 tablespoons oil in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Roast beets uncovered until tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour. Cool beets slightly, then slip off peel. Cut beets into quarters.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until translucent and tender, about 12 minutes. Add beets to skillet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté 5 minutes. Add Chianti and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until wine almost evaporates and glaze coats beets, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.
I bake them in foil packets and moisten them with the savory juice that accumulates inside as they bake.

Whole Trout Baked in Foil
by Martha Rose Shulman and NYT May 13, 2009
I like this recipe for its simplicity. You could fill the fish with lots of different greens and spice combos. I just made some great fresh salsa and this recipe has inspired me to serve the fish simply with rice and fresh salsa and maybe some black beans.

Extra virgin olive oil
2 small rainbow trout, boned
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lemons, one sliced, one cut in wedges
4 fresh tarragon or dill sprigs, or 2 rosemary sprigs
Chopped fresh tarragon, dill or parsley for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut two sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil or four sheets of lighter foil into squares that are three inches longer than your fish. If using lighter foil, make four double-thick squares. Oil the dull side of the foil with olive oil, and place a trout, skin side down, on each square. Season both sides with salt and pepper, and open them out flat. Place two tarragon or dill sprigs (or one rosemary sprig) and two lemon slices down the middle of each, and fold the two sides together. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon olive oil over each fish.

2. Making sure that the trout are in the middle of each square, fold up the foil loosely, grabbing at the edges and crimping together tightly to make a packet. Place on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, checking one of the packets after 10 minutes. The flesh should be opaque and pull apart easily when tested with a fork.

3. Place each packet on a plate. Carefully cut across the top to open it, taking care not to let the steam from inside the packet burn you. Gently remove the fish from the packet, and pour the juices over it. Sprinkle with fresh tarragon, dill or parsley. Serve, passing the lemon wedges.

Yield: Serves two.

Advance preparation: You can prepare the fish and make the foil packets several hours ahead. Keep in the refrigerator until shortly before cooking.

Variation: Fill the trout with sauteed Swiss chard or other greens with garlic and olive oil and serve with more on the side.