Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - Jun 30, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
2 lbs Mixed Potatoes; 1 Bunch of Carrots; 1 Bunch of Lacinato Kale; 1 Bunch of Garlic Scapes; 1 Bunch Scallions; 1 Bunch of Herbs; Sugar Snap Peas; plus...

1 Sweet Pepper -or- 2 Zucchini -or- 1 Eggplant -or- 1 or 2 Tomatoes


1 Bag Frozen Zucchini -or- Red Onions -or- Spinach -or- Hot Peppers


1 Bag Arugula

Localvore Offerings Include:
Bread and Butter Farm 3 Seed Bread
Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs
Gingerbrook Farm Cider Vinegar
Champlain Orchards Organic Cherries

Please bring your empty plastic veggie bags, berry boxes, egg cartons, and plastic containers and leave them at your pick up site on Wednesdays. We will re-use these items!

Pete's Musings

Hi Folks,
Some of you are probably wondering why we have so many combination share items this time of year. For example, this week some of you will receive zucchini, others eggplant, and others peppers. I imagine it is a little frustrating if peppers are your favorite vegetable in the world and you get eggplant instead. The reason this happens is that these are all very early hot weather crops that we only have a little bit of. Keep in mind it is still June, we are in northern Vermont, and it's pretty cool that we even have peppers and eggplant. We choose to make our CSA members top priority for early sexy crops but we just don't have enough of them for everyone to get the same thing in the same week. If you didn't get just what you want don't worry - there will be plenty more of all these crops as the summer progresses.

Sunshine - we need it! Looking forward to a hot 4th of July weekend to get the fields and greenhouses cranking again. ~ Pete

Storage and Use Tips
Carrots! - These first carrots pulled from the ground this year are called Ya Ya and they are renowned for their sweet flavor.

Mixed Potatoes - This week it's a mix of Russets, Nicolas, white, and Viking potatoes.

Lacinato Kale - this week's kale is called Lacinato and is one of my favorites. It's also called dinosaur kale for it's dark, leathery, bumpy appearance.

Herbs - You will get one bunch of herbs in your bag this week. We'll be sending a mix of thyme, sage, summer savory, or oregano.

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 and is great on sandwiches to give them pep, and into salads to take it up a notch. It also does well with a quick wilt added to pastas, frittatas or calzones, or as a stand-in for lettuce on an Italian-inspired sub. It blends particularly well with goat cheese and balsamic and olive oil. It is delicious simply sautéed in a pan with olive oil with a sprinkle of coarse salt & pepper.

Garlic Scapes - The tall, curly seed stalks that a garlic plant sends up at this time of year are a short season delicacy. Garlic scapes are pulled from the garlic plants so that the plant will put energy into fattening the garlic cloves in the ground, not making seed. Garlic scapes have a nice garlic flavor, without the bite of garlic cloves. These scapes are young and tender and they may be eaten raw or cooked. You can chop and 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.

Frozen Veggies - This week you will get a bag of frozen veggies. There will be a mix at each site and you may get frozen spinach, zucchini, hot peppers, or red onion. The spinach is great for casseroles, lasagnas, quiches etc. Thaw it, squeeze out the excess liquid and add it in. The zucchini I love in pasta dishes, burritos, and it's actually really tasty on it's own sauteed in olive oil with salt & pepper. Great for baking too. Again, squeeze out the liquid after thawing and before adding to your recipe. Frozen peppers you ask? You'll be delighted. Frozen hot peppers (and sweet peppers) are great to have on hand. I have loved having a bag in the freezer this winter and I pull out just a couple as I need them. They take only a few minutes to thaw enough to chop them, and I add them as I would fresh to many recipes. The red onions are best used in a sauté of course. Great to thaw and then toss in pan on low, low to slowly carmelize. I use these in as the onion base at the start of so many soups, sautés, stir fries, casseroles, and quiche recipes.

First Meat Share delivery is Next Week
There's still time to join the meat share in time to receive for the first round of meat selections. Once a month, the meat share delivers a selection of sustainably farmed, grass fed meats from Pete's and from other nearby farms that we know and love. All animals grown for the share are grown without use of hormones or chemical dewormers etc. All are raised on pasture (except the trout!) and many raised organically. This is meat grown in a way that is good for our environment, providing the needed fertility to compliment other crops grown on these farms. Grass fed meats contain a much higher vitamin concentration and much lower fat content than other meats.

Sign-up for the Summer Meat Share (4 Deliveries: Jul 7, Aug 4, Sep 1, Oct 6)

Pete's Pastured Chicken

On most weeks during the share (all except meat weeks) you can order Pete's Pastured Chicken. Our chickens are raised on pasture. Lots of pasture. Even as chicks in the barn, our little birds get to feast on sprouts and baby greens left from each days vegetable processing. As soon as they are large enough our birds move out onto pasture with moveable shelters and there they remain for the rest of their days, moved regularly to new fields of green. They can't help but ingest loads of healthy, vitamin packed organic forage throughout their lives and this goodness is assimilated in their meat.

You can order average sized birds (4.74 to 5.5 lbs each) or large birds (5.5 to 7 + lbs birds). The large birds are nice because you can roast one up, have a great meal, save the best meat for sandwiches, and STILL have leftovers for a casserole or soup or stew. Minimum order is 3 birds, and price is $3.75/lb. Only $3.50/lb if you order 5 or more.

Click here to visit our chicken page and download an order form.

Localvore Lore
Several weeks ago I sat down in the office on a Wednesday next to an open box full of sawed off loaves of bread. Meg came in and said "you should try that bread, it's really good". I sawed off a hunk and was delighted by the dense, earthy, still moist, crunchy nature of the bread and the distinct rye flavor. Then she told me it had been sitting around like that since Saturday market, yet it still was great. Of course we had to get some more for you all to try. And so Adam Wilson of Bread and Butter Farm in Shelburne baked a special round of his 3 Seed Bread for Good Eats today. Adam and farming business partner Corie Pierce and their respective partners purchased a 143 acre Land Trust farm in Shelburne in 2009 and have begun farming in earnest. They raise grass fed Jersey cows, sell raw milk from the farm, and hope to put in a cheese facility at some point. Corie will be heading up a greens operation in their passive solar greenhouses. And Adam bakes traditional German style sourdough breads in his wood-fired oven. Though the flours are all VT and Quebec grown, some of the seeds are not. But we wanted you to have a chance to try the bread anyway. We like it lots.

Last Friday afternoon I drove out to meet Jo Liddell and Bob Machim to pick up the cider vinegar in the share today. Bob and Jo's carved their homestead, Gingerbrook Farm, out of the woods of South Washington, VT 40 years ago. As they cleared for their fields, they found wild apple trees and decided to keep them. The land around their home is dotted with these old wild trees and it is from these trees and others nearby their farm that Bob makes their cider vinegar. This is the real macoy, Honest-to-Goodness cider vinegar as they call it, a health tonic, and almost good enough to drink straight! It starts with unpasteurized apple cider that Bob seeds with a "mother" culture of yeast that ferments the cider. The difference between apple cider gone bad due to the infiltration of natural airborne yeasts and a good artisanal cider vinegar is in controlling the process. The mother culture makes a big difference, as does the fresh cider used for the vinegar, and the aging process. Bob ages this vinegar for two years and poured the beautiful amber liquid from big wooden barrels in a corner of his home. In time, you may find a slippery gelatinous mass forms in your cider vinegar. Fear not! This is just more "mother" forming in your jar. Just remove it from jar and continue to use your vinegar. Andrew Chessman wrote a good article about cider vinegar for the Winter 2009 Edible Green Mountains magazine.

Champlain Orchards picked every cherry they could for Good Eats yesterday. These are certified organic Hedelfingen Sweet Cherries and they are such a treat. Along with the apples for which he is best known, Bill Suhr, owner of Champain Orchards in Shoreham grows quite a variety of organic fruit that folks can buy or pick themselves.

And we have eggs again this week from Deb's hens at Pa Pa Doodles Farm.


Spring Vegetables with Pasta
I love that the summer veggies are really starting to come in force now. Here's one from Bill that you can substitute as much as you please. Use arugula or one of your greens from last week instead of the kale if you like. Sub in beans for the peas. Or eggplant for the peppers or zuc.

3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 yellow or red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 bunch kale, washed trimmed, chopped fine (or baby arugula!)
1 cup sugar snap peas, bias cut, in half
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. fresh oregano or basil
1 pound penne rigate
½ pint cherry tomatoes, split in half
½ cup freshly grated Reggiano

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss carrots, zucchini, onion and bell pepper with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place vegetables on a baking sheet and roast until carrots are tender and other vegetables begin to brown.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. In the last 30 seconds, add sugar snap peas and kale to the water, Drain and rinse briefly with cold water.

Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with some more olive oil and fresh herbs. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

Scallion & Garlic Scape Tortilla

1 bunch garlic scapes, roughly chopped
1 bunch scallions, biased cut
¼ cup water
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil

Place garlic and scallions in a 10 inch skillet with 1 tsp. oil, 1/4 cup water and a pinch of salt. Cook covered over medium high heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well. Beat eggs with salt and pepper. Add remaining oil to skillet. When oil is hot, shake skillet to spread greens evenly, add eggs. Cover and cook over medium low heat until top is set.

Arugula Salad with Lemon-Parmesan Dressing
Here's a solidly reviewed recipe for you. This salad makes a great side dish on its own, but is even better as a pizza topping! Brush the dough with olive oil, sprinkle it with sea salt and shredded mozzarella, then bake. When the pizza comes out of the oven, top it with the salad. The simple dressing could also be used to dress pasta with wilted arugula and whatever else you fancy in your dish.

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
4 cups (packed) baby arugula
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

Blend first 4 ingredients in processor. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Cover; chill up to 3 days.

Combine arugula and tomatoes in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat.

Arugula with Cherries and Warm Goat Cheese Rounds

1 tbsp. or olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh tarragon, rough chop
1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 to 1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 small log goat cheese, cut into 4 rounds
1/2 bag arugula
1/2 pint cherries, pitted and stemmed

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Whisk together oil, lemon juice and tarragon. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Spread almonds on a small baking sheet. Rub goat cheese rounds with olive oil and season with pepper. Gently place goat cheese on almonds, coating one side and then the other. Place in oven for 5 minutes, remove and let set up.

Carrot-Zucchini Quick Bread

3 egg whites, whipped until frothy
½ cup applesauce
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup grated carrots
3 cups AP flour
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare 2 bread pans with cooking spray and flour.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg whites, applesauce, orange juice, vanilla, grated zucchini and grated carrots.

In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
 Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour the batter into your pan and bake for 60 minutes.

Cherry Infused Gin

1/2 pint cherries, pitted and stemmed
1 pint gin

Once cherries are stemmed, gently smashed them in a bowl. Place them in a sealable vessel and pour the gin over. Let this sit for 2-3 days. The juniper in the gin works really well with the cherries. Served in chilled glasses, garnishing with some of the macerated cherries.

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