Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - August 25, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
1.5 lbs Red Thumb Fingerling Potatoes; 2 Zucchini; 2 lbs Mixed Sweet Peppers; 1 Bulb Fennel; Broccoli -or- Beans; 1 or 2 Eggplant; 1 Bag of Mesclun

2 lbs Tomatoes
1 Melon (mostly canteloupe, some honeydew)

Please note that bags of mesclun will be in the totes with your veggie bags, but they will NOT BE INSIDE your veggie bag. We didn't want them to be crushed! So please remember when you take your veggie bag from the tote, to collect your mesclun as well.

Localvore Offerings Include:
On The Rise Pizza Dough
Pesto
Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs
Quebec Organic Oats


Pete's Musings.
Thanks to all of you who visited the farm last week both for the Oustanding in the Field dinner and our open farm day. Both events went great and it is always exciting to show the farm both to folks who are members and customers and know the food well, and also to those who have barely heard of Pete's Greens. The dinner was a magical night. We ate in a field of flowering buckwheat, the food by Hen of the Wood was top notch with pork in every course, and the weather was one of those perfect late summer evenings that makes all seem right in the world.

Full on onion harvesting this week. The crop looks great and is in excellent condition for storage. We mow the tops at 6-8 inches, pull the onions and place into black crates, haul to the greenhouse where we stack the onions as high as we can reach in long rows with air space in between. In 6 weeks they will be dry and ready for topping and cold storage. ~Pete

Sean's Adventures

Sean's weekly posts are a great read to get a glimpse of a day in the life at the farm. In his post today Sean mentions those of us who don't get out to the fields much. I am one who is tied to the desk by a less gritty, yet necessary kind of farmwork. So I really appreciate the opportunity to peek in on the days of my colleagues through Sean's writing. This week he shares tales of our farm events, his first farm tours, and the pace of the onion harvest underway. Photo at left is our own Deb Rosewolf (aka the egg lady) and Sean. Check out Sean's blog.


Fall/Winter Good Eats Sign Up
The official end of summer is near, and for many, school begins this week. Wow, did it go fast. Harvest is already underway at the farm. Stockpiling the goodness of Summer will keep us very busy now in the weeks and months ahead. We have been putting corn, rhubarb, zucchini, and pestos in the freezer the last few weeks and we have lots of other summer vegetables on our preservation to do list. Roots harvest is getting an early start this year, the onions just the first on the long list. Potatoes, turnips, potatoes, rutabagas, carrots, beets, cabbages, kohlrabi, celeriac, a variety of winter squash, herbs and more will be harvested in the weeks ahead. In our greenhouses, we'll keep head lettuces, scallions and chard growing into December, while hardy field greens continue to do well outside. With each passing year, Pete gets better and better at growing salad greens in the cold winter months and last year we were able to grow a baby greens/sprouts mix through the whole winter! The combination of storage crops, hardy crops, greenhouse items and frozen and preserved veggies and fruits will keep us all eating a healthy, rich local diet all winter long.

Sign up for the Good Eats Fall/Winter Share now to ensure continued weekly deliveries! The Fall share begins on Oct 20th and continues through Feb 16th.

Please visit the Fall/Winter Share page for details and to download a sign up form.

Outstanding in the Field
Here are just a few photos from the dinner at the farm last week. Sean posted many more on his facebook page. I'll have photos from our potluck for you next week.
























Storage and Use Tips

Red Thumb Fingerling Potatoes - These fingerlings are rosy inside and out. Their tender easy to clean skin needs no peeling. Just scrub and prepare. Cut these into 1 1/2 inch chunks, toss liberally with oil and salt and roast in a 400F (with fresh rosemary if you have it!) oven until crispy and golden at the edges. It doesn't get much better than that! Store in a cool dry place away from onions.

Melons - a mix of our honeydew melons and canteloupe will be going out this week (though heavier on the canteloupe). How to tell if your melon is ripe? Canteloupes will have dull yellow rinds with raised netting. Honeydews actually get a slight velvety stickiness on their rinds when perfectly ripe. Both melons will yield to pressure at the blossom end and you should be able to detect their smell sweet as well.

Localvore Lore
Each share we do our best to supply a variety of grains and staples for your pantry. To that end, we round up any that we can locally, and then we cross the border into Quebec to locate a few more. A week ago, Isaac made the trek to visit Michel Gaudreau at his Golden Crops mill in Compton, Quebec. Then he crossed the backroads over to North Hatley to pick up tamari and miso from Les Aliments Massawippi. You'll be seeing these products in the share in coming weeks. This week we have Michel's organic oats. You all got the long cooking steel cut oats at the start of the share. This week it's quick cooking oats or rolled oats. The oats for these two products start out the same and can be used much the same way. Quick cooking oats are rolled oats that have been milled further into smaller pieces so they cook quicker. If you are looking for a chewy texture, rolled oats will be better. But if you are looking to shorten cooking time or for some baked items, quick cooking oats are great. Since some of you may not often make oatmeal for breakfast, I have included basic directions for oatmeal using both oat types.

Eggs are back this week and next week, fresh from under Deb's hens. I sure appreciate having the steady supply of fresh eggs. It's the first time we have been able to consistently supply eggs 2 weeks out of each 4.

What a great week for pesto. Between the pizza dough and this week's mix of veggies there will surely be some excellent pesto inspired meals. Our pesto is simply made with extra virgin olive oil, our own basil, salt, pepper, and garlic.

Once again, Ben and Rachel, owners of On the Rise Bakery have supplied us with their pizza dough made with VT sunflower oil, Milanaise unbleached white flour, Ben Gleason's whole wheat flour, local honey and sea salt. The pizza dough will come to you frozen. Put it right back into your freezer if you don't plan to use it Wednesday night. When you do use it, thaw it, and don't wait for it to rise. When it is thawed it is ready to stretch and top and bake. As pizza dough sits, thawed, either on the counter or in the fridge, the live yeast in the dough continues to work away and the dough will steadily lose elasticity. If you haven't used it 48 hrs later, the risk is not that the dough will go bad, it's that it will lose elasticity, and become more difficult to work with, it will tear more easily. At this point, your best bet is a rolling pin! Ben posted the instructions on line along with some instructional videos that you can watch for technique and inspiration. As always, if you make a great looking or great tasting pizza that you are pleased with, email a photo along to Ben or post it to the On the Rise Facebook page.

Recipes
Pesto Pizza with Roasted Garlic and Potato
As the addition of potatoes are what really sets this pizza apart, it is important to make sure they are cooked and seasoned properly before they go on top of the pie. To ensure that the potatoes are cooked all the way through when the pizza comes out of the oven, blanch them in boiling water, just until they lose their crunch. After draining them off, toss them them oil, sprinkle with herbs and a bit of salt. A drizzle of the oil from roasting the garlic would be fantastic.

On the Rise pizza dough, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, for dusting
About 1 cup homemade pesto (or store-bought)
2-3 cups grated mozzarella/provolone cheese
1 cup roasted garlic cloves (recipe below)
4 red skinned potatoes, very thinly sliced
1-2 tomatoes thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs or a sprinkling of fresh
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes

Place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 500°. Allow the stone to heat for at least half an hour before baking pizzas. (You can carefully roast your garlic heads at this time.)

Allow the pizza dough to come to room temperature.
Blanch the potato slices in boiling water until just cooked through, anywhere between 1 – 2 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly before drying the slices with paper towels and coating them with a touch of olive oil, a pinch of Italian seasoning and kosher salt.

On a lightly-floured work surface, form the dough into two large balls, collecting the sides and tucking them under to create a smooth outer surface. Generously dust a wooden peel or the back of a sheet pan with flour or cornmeal. With lightly-floured hands, press the dough with your fingertips to form a flattened disk. Lift the dough up and use the back of your knuckles to stretch and thin-out the dough into a circle with a diameter of 12-inches. Be careful to preserve the edge of the dough if you want a light, chewy crust. Carefully position the stretched dough onto the prepared peel or baking sheet.

Using a large spoon, spread an even layer of the pesto onto the dough and carefully spread it to within 1/2-inch of the edge, being careful to leave a sauce free edge. Top with an even layer of the grated mozzarella/provolone cheese followed by slices of parboiled potatoes and roasted garlic cloves and fresh tomatoes. Top with a light sprinkling of a bit more mozzarella, season with salt to taste and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Lightly brush the exposed crust with a bit of olive oil (or leftover garlic) oil to promote browning.

Carefully slide the pizza onto the preheated stone and bake until the crust is crisped and golden and the cheese is bubbling and just beginning to brown, about 6-7 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven and allow it to rest for a few minutes before slicing.

To make roasted garlic
Cut the top off a head of garlic so that the tops of each of the cloves is exposed. Place head atop some aluminum foil and drizzle olive oil over the head. Bake at 400F (or higher if you are heating your oven) until cloves are soft.

Tomato Fennel Salad
Fennel goes really well with tomatoes, potatoes, and actually melon too (melon and fennel soup is a classic French soup). This very simple salad is great on its own, but could be further enlivened with a bit of feta, some kalamatas, some fresh basil, etc.
1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes
1 small fennel bulb
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Optional - Fresh basil, feta, sweet peppers

Core the tomatoes and cut into wedges. Slice the fennel bulb very thinly crosswise with a knife or on a mandoline. Toss the tomatoes and fennel in a bowl with the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Season to taste, and serve.

Summer Vegetable Frittata
Works best with a well seasoned, cast iron skillet, but any oven proof skillet will do. Eat this with a fresh salad for a healthy mid-day meal. Serves 4 comfortably.
8 farm fresh eggs
1/4 C milk or cream
Generous pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 medium Walla Walla onion, roughly chopped
1 lb zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 medium bell pepper, sliced into strips
1.5 C of chopped broccoli florets and stems, sliced beans, and or thinly sliced potatoes
1 cup local cheese, shredded or sliced thin
1 large tomato, sliced into rounds

Preheat broiler.

Whisk together eggs, milk or cream, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

Heat sunflower oil in a 12 inch cast iron or oven proof skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until just fragrant. Add beans (if using), potatoes, broccoli, zucchini and bell pepper, cooking just until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Pour egg mixture into skillet and cook, lifting up cooked egg around edge using a spatula to let as much raw egg as possible flow underneath, until edge is set, about 2 minutes (top and center will still be very loose). Sprinkle evenly with cheese and then lay tomato slices on top in a decorative manner.

Broil frittata about 6 inches from heat until set, slightly puffed, and golden, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Cool frittata 5 minutes, then loosen edge with a clean spatula and slide onto a large plate. Cut into wedges.

Old Fashioned Oatmeal
This is just the basic how to cook recipe. There are endless possibilities of what you might add to your oatmeal including honey, maple sugar or syrup, dried fruits, frozen berries, sliced apples or melons, etc. You can go totally dairy free, omitting butter and replacing all the milk with water, or add just as much of those as you like.

2 cups dry rolled oats
3.5 to 3.75 cups water/milk (1.5 cups milk/2+ cups water is good)
1/4 tsp salt
1 TB butter (optional)

Place oats, milk, water and salt in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for five to 10 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and oats have softened to a porridge. Stir in butter. Divide into bowls and garnish with dried fruit and sweetener of your choice.

Quick Oatmeal
2 cups quick oats
3 cups water/milk (2 cups water, 1 cup milk is a nice mix)
1/4 tsp salt
1 TB butter (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil. Slowly, stir the oats and let the water return to a rolling boil. Immediately, reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in the cinnamon and butter and continue to cook on low for 1 minute. Then add the milk and cook for another 2 minutes.

Nova Scotia Oatcakes
My family and I spent 4 years in Nova Scotia before moving back To VT last year. Because of the Scottish heritage there, Scottish oatcakes are popular. Stop at any coffee shop and in place of the ubiquitous biscotti you will nearly always find oatcakes. These lightly sweet, creamy cookies are great to take along as a healthy snack. With some experimentation you could substitute honey for the sugar.... With this recipe I'd substitute 3/4 cup honey for the sugar, I'd reduce the water to approximately 1/2 cup, and I'd increase the baking soda to 1.5 tsp.
3 cups quick rolled oats

3 cups flour

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cup shortening

2/3 – 3/4 cup cold water
In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening. Add enough water to form a rather stiff, pastry-like dough. Roll 3/8 ” thick and cut into circles. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes on a greased baking sheet.

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