Thursday, August 12, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - August 11, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
2 lbs Red Beets; 2 lbs Onions; 1 Bunch Kale; 1 Bunch of Herbs; plus...

1.5 lb Beefsteak or Heirloom Tomatoes
1 Bag Spicy Brassica Mix
6 ears of Sweet Corn
1 Qt Frozen Winter Squash Puree

Localvore Offerings Include:
Elmore Mountain Country French Bread
Sholten Family Farm Weybridge Cheese
Champlain Orchards Paula Red Apples
Butterworks Yogurt

Pete's Musings
A bunch of us from the farm got away to the Vermont Fresh Network summer gathering at Shelburne Farms last Sunday evening. This event is always one of the highlights of summer socializing and feasting. It is held near the shore of Lake Champlain in the Shelburne Farms coach barn. Twenty restaurants partner with farms and create appetizers that the crowd circulates and samples. We partnered with Black Door, Hen on the Wood, and Bon Temps Gourmet catering. We had 3 or 4 other restaurants that we were planning to partner with but the organizers cut us off at 3. Marian Burros, former NY Times food writer and nearby neighbor here in Craftsbury was the keynote speaker, and Senator Leahy was in attendance.

Senator Leahy spoke for a few minutes and talked about the Child Nutrition Act which recently passed the Senate with bipartisan support. This is very important legislation that will increase funding for school meal programs and farm to school programs. Leahy and Sanders have been major players in this legislation and I've got to tell you those two guys make me proud to be a Vermonter. You may not agree with their politics, but we are really lucky as such a tiny state to be represented by two senators who stand out from the crowd, work hard for what they believe in, and don't appear to have succumbed to any of the temptations of power that do so many others. And they are both very accessible and willing to talk to their fellow Vermonters.

Great energy at the Vermont Fresh event. If you've never attended I recommend putting it on your calendar for next year. ~ Pete

Storage and Use Tips
Onions - The onions today are mostly Purple onions, but there are some Walla Wallas among them too. Purple onions, also known as red onions contain anthocyanins in their skins, a powerful antioxidant. So they may carry a bit more of a health benefit than other varieties. They are particularly great in stir fries, but also tasty sliced for sandwiches and salads. Walla Walla onions are super sweet and should be eaten raw to really enjoy them. They don't keep as long as other varieties, so best to use them up. Walla Wallas are particularly good carmelized where there sweetness is intensified. Store Walla Wallas loosely bagged in fridge. The purple onions will store better unwrapped.

Frozen Winter Squash Puree - We thought you might enjoy some more diversity and are sending out frozen winter squash puree this week. This is just pure frozen winter squash goodness. Use this in recipes calling for pureed winter squash or pumpkin - particularly soups, pie, baked items like pumpkin bread, muffins or cookies, or for casseroles or rice dishes. Also fantastic just on its own sweetened with a bit of maple syrup, enriched with some cream and served as a side. The puree is coming to you frozen. If it is has thawed a bit when you receive it, no worries. Just pop it back in freezer til you are ready to use.

Spicy Brassica Mix - Instead of mesclun, you will be receiving a mixed bag of arugula, mizuna, tatsoi, red russian kale, vates kale today. This blend is great for salads, lots of flavor, a bit of spice from the arugula and mizuna. Though perfect for a salad, you could also add these greens to a cooked dish - a soup, a casserole, a rice dish. Very versatile greens.

Herbs - You will be receiving one bunch of herbs in your bag, either oregano, sage, rosemary, or thyme.

Pete's Greens Open Farm Day - August 21st

Please join us for our annual potluck party! This year, our event is part of the larger Kingdom Farm & Food Days (see below), so there's lots to do and see in the area all weekend. We look forward to connecting with Good Eats members and sharing a meal together. We really hope you can make it!

Schedule of Events:
11:00 First Farm Tour
12:3o - 2:00 Potluck Lunch under the tent
1:30 or 2:00 Second Farm Tour

Please bring a Localvore potluck dish to share. We'll be providing a big Pete's Greens salad and Champlain Orchards cider.

This year we will have the Mud City Ramblers playing some bluegrass tunes to tap your toes to. Please visit their page to listen to a couple sample tracks. Mud City Ramblers are a bluegrass group featuring Chris Lyon on guitar, Fran Forim on upright bass, Neil Dean on mandolin and Luke Auriemmo on banjo.

This is a great time for you to come out to the farm, meet all of us, see the fields and greenhouses, visit the pigs and chickens, and connect with the source of your food.

Kingdom Farm & Food Days - August 21st & 22nd

Fill up your whole weekend celebrating local VT agriculture! This two day event features tours, workshops, music, food and festivities with our event just one of the many stops you could plan on your route.

The event will begin on Saturday, August 21 with self-guided tours of more than a dozen the area's farms and agricultural businesses that have opened their doors to the public (see the list here). Businesses range from dairy sheep, llamas, and worms (vermiculture) to ice wine, soy, and maple syrup. Check out the farms on the map here.

The Craftsbury Outdoor Center is offering a 25 mile scenic bicycle tour to area farms ending at Pete's Greens. Get in a beautiful, scenic morning of bicycling and then join us for a feast! For more details on how to register, contact

On Sunday, High Mowing Seeds trial gardens will be open for tours, both self guided and guided. The trial gardens have over 800 vegetable, herb and flower varieties growing. Visitors will see side-by-side comparisons of many popular and some yet-unreleased varieties. There will also be workshops on seed saving and pest and disease identification, live music and an evening bonfire.

At 4pm the New England Culinary Institute (NECI) will present a Local Foods Showcase. This is an extraordinary chance for visitors to taste some of the finest Vermont-made food products and culinary delights, all donated by local businesses and prepared by NECI students and chef Jeffrey Ferrell.

Outstanding in the Field Dinner - August 17th
Feeling like you deserve a really special night out? How about a five course meal prepared by one of the regions top chefs served with wine pairings and then served outside in a beautiful farm setting? The Outstanding in the Field dinner being held at Pete's Greens is just one week away.

Outstanding in the Field, the touring restaurant without walls brings together top chefs and local producers for an aesthetically beautiful and special culinary experience. This year, Outstanding's one Vermont dinner will be held at Pete's Greens with Chef Eric Warnstedt of Hen of the Wood restaurant in Waterbury preparing the meal. A place at the table includes a five course meal with wine pairings, all gratuities, producer discussions, and a tour of the farm with Pete.

Tickets are still available from Outstanding in the Field and event details are available on the Outstanding in the Field website.

Pete's Meats
In just a couple of weeks we'll have our own beef and pork cuts ready to order. We have a good amount of pork, but not a lot of beef. Start thinking about what you might like to stow away in the freezer for the winter! You'll be able to place an order and have your meat bulk order delivered to your pick up site. I'll let you all know when the order form for meats is available on line. Stay tuned.

Our Localvore Farm Stand
There was a really nice blog piece posted this week about our farmstand at a blog site called Nourishing Words.

Read the article here.

The Pete's Greens farm stand is open daily and is stocked with our organic vegetables, local meats and a vast array of local products. Come visit!

Localvore Lore
This week Andrew and Blair are baking Elmore Mountain Country French bread for Good Eats. Quebec Flax bread is made with Milanaise Winter Wheat, Milanaise Whole Wheat, Milanaise Rye, sourdough and sea salt.

The Sholten Family Farm Weybridge is an artisan cheese made by Patty Scholten and her organic Dutch Belt cows in Weybridge, Vermont. After Patty makes the rounds, the cheeses are aged 21 days at the Cellars at Jasper Hill to create the bloomy rind and creamy perfection. Please allow to warm to room temp before eating. So much more flavor!

At Butterworks Farm, Jack and Annie Lazor milk a small herd of Jerseys, all of whom are born on the farm and are fed entirely organic feeds grown on the farm. Milk from Jersey cows is rich, with a high protein count and fat content and yogurt made from this milk is richer than others. The non fat yogurt produced by Butterworks is the only non fat yogurt on the market that does not contain milk thickeners like whey protein or dry milk. Their whole milk yogurt is made from just that, whole jersey milk straight from the cows, so the yogurt comes with cream on top and a butterfat content of 5%, the highest on the market. There will be a mix of non fat vanilla and maple yogurt at sites tomorrow. The non fat vanilla is flavored with pure vanilla extract and sweetened with maple syrup. The whole milk maple is made with their plain whole milk yogurt and sweetened with maple syrup (and is nearly as good as a bowl of ice-cream!).

Champlain Orchards
has sent us the very first variety picked from their trees! The Paula Reds are a large red apple similar to Macintosh but a bit sweeter. Great for fresh eating, salads.

Squash and Kale Risotto
This dish from the cookbook Moosewood Restaurant Low Fat Favorites is a great way to use kale and squash together for a very healthy meal. And delicious. The original recipe called for 4.5 to 5 cups broth and 2 cups cubed squash. I made changes to accommodate the squash puree, reducing the liquids a bit. Though you won't get chunks of squash, you will get the great flavor throughout the dish.
4 to 4.5 c. vegetable stock or garlic broth 1 cup minced onions
2-3 TB olive oil
1.5 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1.5 to 2 cups winter squash puree
3 cups stemmed and chopped kale, packed
1/8-1/4 t. nutmeg
1 tsp fresh lemon peel
1/4 c. grated parmesan
salt & black pepper to taste

Bring stock to boil, reduce to simmer. Meanwhile, in heavy saucepan sauté onions in 2 TB of oil for 5 minutes. Using wooden spoon, add rice and stir until well coated with oil. Add wine. When absorbed, ladle in 2 1/2 c. of stock, 1/2 c. at a time, stirring frequently for 2-3 min. each time until rice has absorbed the liquid. Add squash and kale and stir. Continue adding 1/2 c. of broth every few minutes for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until all of stock has been added and rice is tender but firm. Add nutmeg, peel, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove risotto from heat, stir in cheese, and stir immediately

Thai Winter Squash Soup
Having puree in hand makes this a super easy soup to put together and the soup is a flavor explosion (one of my favorites). In traditional Thai fashion, it combines sweet, sour and salty flavors and has a kick too. The lime and coconut both come through beautifully.

Vegetable oil
1 onion,
3 cloves garlic
2 thumb sized pieces of ginger
3-4 cups of winter squash or pumpkin puree
1 qt chicken or vegetable stock
3 TB Fish sauce
2.5 TB brown sugar (or maple syrup, or maple sugar)
2 TB Lime juice
1 can coconut milk
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper

Puree the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor. Put a small amount of oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and stir for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Then add the pumpkin puree, stock, fish sauce, brown sugar or maple syrup, lime juice, and crushed red pepper and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Before serving, add the coconut milk. Taste the soup. You may want to add a fresh splash of lime just before serving.

Simple Roasted Beets
Several new share members have mentioned lately that they don't really know what to do with beets. If you are one of these, try roasting them. It intensifies the sweetness in the beets until they are nearly irresistable.
Scrub beets and cut off stem and root ends. Chop into 1/2 to 3/4 inch dice. Spread beets one layer deep in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and give a good stir til all are coated. Then put in 400°F oven til they are tender and look a bit roasted. Probably 20-30 minutes. Then remove from oven and serve hot, or let cool, put in container and save for uses cold.

Spicy Brassica Salad with Roasted Beets, Apples, and Goat Cheese Dressing
When Pete told me what greens he was harvesting and what the rest of the vegetables were, this is the salad that came to mind.

Baby brassica mix
Tart apples sliced thin, or grated
Roasted Beets
Red onions or Walla Wallas sliced thin
Walnuts (toasted slightly first)

Mix greens, sliced or grated apples and roasted beets in a bowl. Dress with dressing and serve with a sprinkling of toasted walnuts on top.

Creamy Goat Cheese Dressing
If you don't have buttermilk around, try substituting plain yogurt, or a yogurt/whle milk combo or even substituting with mayonnaise (which is not at all the same but would proably taste great).

4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves

Mix all together in a blender. Taste and adjust seasoning.

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