Thursday, June 30, 2011

Good Eats Newsletter - June 29, 2011


This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Bag of Mesclun Greens; Beet Greens; Napa Cabbage; Sweet Salad Turnips; Garlic Scapes; Scallions; Zucchini, Easter Egg Radishes; Sage and Potatoes

Localvore Offerings Include:

Red Hen Potato Bread Cabot Clothbound Cheddar Pearled Barley Vermont Soy Maple Ginger Marinated Tofu

Napa Cabbag
e - The flavor of Napa cabbage is somewhat milder and a bit sweeter than that of regular green cabbage. It is delicious raw or cooked, and can be substituted for regular cabbage in most recipes. It is extremely popular in China partly because of its versatility. In Korea it is pickled, salted, and flavored with ginger and chili peppers to make Korea's national dish kim chi. Store in a sealed plastic bag in your refrigerator it keeps very well. Often for 2-3 weeks.



Sweet Salad Turnips - Tender fresh dug Spring Turnips can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw they have a texture similar to a radish, but are not so sharp. Or slice, dice, or quarter them and saute with butter or oil. Cook until just tender and still a little crisp. Just a little salt or maybe a little bit of vinegar is all they need. Cooked with butter and given a slight drizzle of honey and even picky little eaters may gobble them up.

Easter Egg Radishes
- The Easter Egg Radishes have hues of pink, red, purple, violet and white and the flesh is pure white. Radishes are related to turnips. Fresh radishes are delightfully crisp and their flavor ranges from mildly peppery to a bit sweet. Toss them into a salad. Sliced thin they make a delightful salad on their own with a drizzle of olive oil, some fresh squeezed lemon juice, and salt. Or try glazed radishes made by placing a 2:2:1 ratio of butter, sugar, white vinegar in a pan and gently cooking until diced or quartered radishes are tender and the liquid evaporates. Season with salt and pepper.


Beet Greens
- The beet greens in your share today are best eaten cooked. They are related to Swiss chard and may be used exactly the same way. I love them sauteed with a bit of oil and vinegar (balsamic or apple cider) and salt & pepper. You can also toss them into most recipes that call for other greens (mustard greens, spinach). They are milder in flavor than mustard greens, but a bit stronger than spinach. They are delicious.


Sage
-sage can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days wrapped in a paper towel and plastic. You can keep herbs longer in fridge by stripping leaves and placing them in olive oil.

Mark Your Calendars!

August 11 - Oustanding in the Field Dinner
Last August, our farm provided the scenic backdrop for an exquisitely beautiful, memorable meal prepared by Chef Eric Warnstedt of Hen of the Wood Restaurant. Each year, the touring team at Outstanding in the Field make their way across North America, bringing their signature long community table to fields, gardens and vineyards near and far. The mission of the organization is to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it. Outstanding in the Field connects a passionate chef with a farm and then provides all the infrastructure to make a picture perfect meal happen in very rural or remote places.



This year, the sole Vermont event will be held at Pete's Greens and Chef Eric Warnstedt of Hen of the Wood restaurant will again prepare what will surely be an amazing 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 available. Visit the Outstanding in the Field website for event details or to order tickets.



August 20 - August Pete's Greens Annual Farm Event

On Saturday August 20th, we'll have our annual open farm day at Pete's Greens. Come out to the farm and take a tour, check out the new barn, and relax with us a while. This is a perfect opportunity to see first hand where your food is grown and meet our farm crew. Pete will give a couple scheduled farm tours of fields and greenhouses. There will be live music and a great meal More details soon as the day's events take shape.



August 20/21 - Kingdom Farm & Food Days

Our farm party takes place amidst the Kingdom Farm & Food Days, a two day event celebrating local Vermont agriculture. This event is the collaborative effort of the folks at the Center for an Agricultural Economy, High Mowing Seeds, NECI, the Craftsbury Center and many farms and producers in the area. On Saturday, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center will be leading scenic bike tours of area farms with rides ending at Pete's Greens . Sign up for a bike tour, or create your own car tour of Kingdom farms, many of which will have an open farm day on Saturday. There are lots of activities over the two days of the event. Many, like viewing the sheep milking at Bonnieview Farm, are kid friendly. On Sunday, High Mowing Organic Seeds trials garden will be open for self-guided and hour-long guided tours throughout the day. There will be live music; workshops on seed saving, pest and disease identification, fermenting fresh vegetables, and more; and an evening bonfire. The New England Culinary Institute (NECI) will present an amazing array of locally produced food in Sunday afternoon’s Local Foods Showcase. This is an extraordinary chance for visitors to taste some of the finest Vermont-made food products and culinary delights prepared by NECI students and chef Ryan O’Malley.



We'll have more details about both events soon but please save the date! We'd love to see you there!

Volunteers Needed
Are you someone who would prefer to be involved than to be an onlooker at an event? We need some volunteers for our open farm day, and the Kingdom Farm & Food Fest is looking for volunteers as well. If you'd like to help out in exchange for some food and fun, please email me.


2011 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour

For any of you who are not aware of Circus Smirkus or who have not been, I encourage you to get out this year and see the show. This show features incredible performances by some amazingly talented kids. Really. Like they are so good it can bring tears to your eyes. That's just my opinion, here's the real marketing pitch...

Come see Vermont's award-winning, traveling youth circus! Kids -- ages 10 to 18 -- are stars on trapeze and highwire, as clowns, acrobats, jugglers and more. This is the circus that Family Fun magazine called "One of America's best!" This year, Smirkus explores all the news that fits -- in center ring! -- in "Frontpage Follies: Big Top Big News." Family fun for “kids” of all ages! Little known fact - back in the very early days of Circus Smirkus, Pete performed in the troupe!

To purchase tickets of for more information, contact www.smirkus.org

Greensboro, VT - July 3 (1 & 6 p.m.)

Essex, VT - July 6–8 (Noon & 6:30 p.m.)

Brattleboro, VT - July 19 & 20 (2 & 7 p.m.)

Killington, VT - August 14 & 15 (1 & 6 p.m.)

Montpelier, VT - August 17 & 18 (2 & 7 p.m.)

Greensboro, VT - August 20 & 21 (7 p.m.-Saturday, 1 & 6 p.m.-Sunday)


Changes to Your Delivery?

If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let me know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or I can stop your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.


First Pickup Week Results


Thanks everyone for taking care when picking up last week. There were a few pick up errors resulting in some shortages, but a very good first week, all in all.


When you pick up - Check your share type on the names pick up list so that you know what share type you are signed up for. And then read the pick up instructions each week so that you know what you should be selecting. Veggie only members should be taking home veggies only, not the other items like eggs and cheese. Localvore members take home a veggie share (same as the veggie only people), and also the other items. Pete's Pantry members take home everything BUT the vegetables.

If You Have a Problem at Pick Up
 Although we do our best to make sure that every delivery and pick-up goes smoothly, there are the occasional shortages and disappointments. Should you arrive at your pick-up spot to find that your name (or share partner's name) is not on the list, one or more of your items are missing or that some of your produce is in unsatisfactory condition, please let us know right away! Our goal is 100% satisfaction. If you email Amy (or call if you can't email) as soon as you discover the problem, we may be able to resolve it the same day or the following day. If you would like to receive an item that you missed at pick-up, you must contact Amy by Thursday morning.



If we have not heard from anyone, by Thursday afternoon our site hosts are instructed to donate leftover food, insuring that they don't end up with bad food on their hands.



If we can't resolve your issue right away, contact Amy via email to arrange a replacement or substitution the following week.


Localvore Lore

At Red Hen Baking Co., Randy and the team there are gearing up to bake this week's bread: I have heard that potatoes were added to bread in Scandanavia during times when wheat was in short supply. These days in America, good potatoes are more expensive than good wheat flour, but adding them to bread can make for a very moist, well-keeping loaf. Using a variety that is higher in sugars can bring out interesting flavor qualities, particularly in the crust. We get all of those qualities by adding locally-grown Yukon Gold potatoes to bread. We’ve made a potato bread since day one, but the potato bread in this week’s share is a little different. This one is made entirely with flour from local wheat—about 2/3 of it is the unbleached wheat flour which comes from Aurora Farms via Champlain Valley Mills. The other 1/3 is Ben Gleason’s stone ground and sifted wheat flour. But most importantly, 45% of the weight of this bread comes from Yukon Gold potatoes grown at Foote Brook Farm in Johnson. They’ve grown these potatoes especially for us since the first year we were in business and they continue to do a great job keeping us supplied throughout the year. We bake this bread pretty dark but it’s not burned—the crust has all kinds of flavors! You’ll also find that if you don’t eat this bread in the first couple of days, it’ll still be great on the third and maybe even the fourth day. Enjoy! ~ Randy

Pearled barley is barley that has been de-hulled, with some or all of the bran removed. It makes a great substitute in recipes calling for brown rice, is wonderful cooked, cooled and used in cold salads, and adds a nice texture to soups and stews. It also cooks down into a really nice risotto, without all of the attention and stirring required with Arborio rice. Barley packs a nice nutritious punch into a small package. One cup of cooked pearled barley provides 12% of the US Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of iron and 6 grams of dietary fiber fiber, all for only 193 calories. Keeping barley sealed in a cool dark place, it will last at least 6 months to a year. One cup of dry barley makes about 3 to 3 1/2 cups cooked. If you give these guys a soak for 6+ hours in cold water before use, you can reduce your cooking time by at least half. Without soaking, you'll want to let them simmer in water for a good hour. You can also cook barley like pasta: use a lot of water (4-5 cups of water to 1 cup barley), then drain what's left over. This barley comes to us from Michel Gaudreau/Golden Crops in Quebec, the same producer who provided last week's oats.


Vermont Soy's Artisan Tofu starts with beans grown right here in Vermont. Currently, Vermont Soy is sourcing organic soybeans from Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm, Louis Rainville of Rainbow View Farm, and Chad Bouchard of Bouchard Family Farm. The Maple Ginger Marinated Artisan Tofu is produced by taking VT Soy's firm-style organic Artisan Tofu, cutting it into bite size pieces and adding them to a marinade made with canola oil, sesame oil, maple syrup, honey, soy sauce, sesame seeds, onion, lime juice, lime zest, ginger, and spices. It is delicious when added to a stir-fry or fresh salad!

Cabot Clothbound Cheddar is a traditional English type cheddar, with a slightly craggly texture, and flavors that are sweet and nutty. This is a multi award winning cheese with 5 world titles in cheddar classes, including a blue ribbon at both the 2010 American Cheese Society Awards and the 2010 World Championship Cheese Contest! The cheese starts out at the Cabot Creamery. Immediately after the wheels are unmolded from their cheddar hoops at Cabot, they are delivered to the Cellars at Jasper Hill. For the next 10-14 months they remain at Cellars, lovingly tended. During the aging process a bloomy rind is allowed to develop which flavors the cheese. The cave environment is carefully monitored to age the cheese perfectly. We think you will find it's a pretty special cheese.


Recipes


Napa Cabbage Salad
I pull out this recipe every time we venture back into Napa season again. I can't help myself, this salad is sooo tasty, flavorful with a good amount of spice. The recipe below is great, but there's lots of room for improvisation (vary up the veggies, reduce the amount of mayo in dressing, etc). You can also prepare a lot of this salad ahead and then just throw it together in minutes when you are ready to serve it. I will generally chop a whole head of Napa and then store it in a bag in my fridge. It easily stays fresh 5 days or more. I make the dressing ahead and keep it in the fridge. Then when I want the salad I put some Napa in a bowl, toss in snap peas or a substitution of garlic scapes, carrots, salad turnips, thinly sliced beets, whataver I have on hand. It's all good. The almond are really good in this and the cilantro is totally optional.



1/3 cup slivered almonds
4 cups (.5 lb) coarsely shredded napa cabbage

6 ounces snow peas, strings removed, rinsed and thinly sliced

2/3 cups thinly sliced salad turnips

2/3 cups thinly sliced scallions including greens (or baby leeks)

2/3 cups lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves (optional)



Dressing

1.5 Tbsp rice vinegar (seasoned or unseasoned)

1 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 clove peeled and minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder

1/2 cup mayonnaise



Spread almond slivers out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in a 350°F oven for 5-10 minutes, until nicely browned. OR toast in stick-free or cast-iron skillet on medium high, stirring frequently until browned. Careful not to burn. Set aside.

Combine cabbage, snow peas, radishes, scallions, cilantro in a large bowl. Can make this step a day or two ahead. In a separate bowl, mix together the rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, and cayenne until sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the mayonnaise. When ready to serve, gently combine the dressing and almonds with the cabbage mixture.

Beet Greens, Garlic and Barley Gratin

For lunch today I am eating a dish very similar to this one, except I have used the Spinach Rice Casserole recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook as the basis for mine. But these recipes are very similar - they call for a type of grain (barley or rice do equally well), greens and seasonings, and they are combined with eggs, milk, and cheese for a rich satisfying dish. So use this recipe or the Moosewood recipe as a starting place and then modify to your liking. You could skip milk, cheese and eggs for a totally vegan dish. You can use 1 egg and skim milk, or 3 eggs, whole milk, and cheeses to create the richness you desire. The one I made last night has beet greens, turnip greens, dandelion greens and a bit of spinach, it also has broocoli and some zucchini (both added raw before baking). Recipe adpated from one submitted to the NY Times by Martha Rose Shulman. Serves 4 to 6.



1 generous bunch beet greens, stemmed and washed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced, or one small head that has not separated into cloves, chopped

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

3 eggs

1/2 cup 2 percent milk
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup cooked pearled barley, brown rice or arborio rice

1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese (2 oz, the clothbound chessar would be a delicioud substitute for gruyere)

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan



Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin dish with olive oil. Blanch the beet greens for one minute in a large pot of generously salted boiling water, or steam over 1 inch of boiling water for two to five minutes until wilted and tender. Rinse with cold water, squeeze out water and chop medium-fine. Set aside.



Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion, and cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Continue to cook for another minute or two until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the cooked greens and the thyme, and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.



In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir in the greens mixture, the barley or rice, and the cheeses. Mix together well. Scrape into the oiled baking dish.



Bake 35 to 40 minutes until sizzling and lightly browned on the top and sides. Remove from the heat, and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.



The gratin will be good for three or four days. It is as good served cold or at room temperature as it is hot.



Maple Ginger Tofu and Barley Fried Rice

This recipe is adapted from one I found on a blog site called food.perkowitz.net.


1-2 c cooked barley

3-4 oz marinated tofu (below), cubed small

2 eggs plus 1 egg, each lightly beaten


2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 medium red onion, sliced in thin strips


1 leaf swiss chard, stemmed and minced


1 carrot, diced


3/4 c peas


1/4 c almonds, chopped


oil, black soy sauce, sugar, shiaoxing rice wine, salt, pepper

Toast the almonds over medium heat in a small cast iron frying pan. Stir occasionally while continuing with the following. Heat oil in wok or skillet over medium-high. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onions and saute for about five minutes. Push the onions and garlic to the side, add two of the beaten eggs, and scramble lightly for about 1 minute. Add carrots, chard, and peas, toss thoroughly, and saute for another 1-2 minutes. Mix soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine to taste. Add the tofu and barley to the skillet with some of the soy mixture and toss thoroughly. Stir occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Salt and pepper as needed. Add the almonds, last egg, and more soy mixture to taste, turn heat to high, mix thoroughly, and stir-fry for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally (if you like some of your fried rice to char a little, don’t stir too often).


Roasted Potatoes with Fresh Sage
Serve these potatoes alongside a big mesclun salad for a fresh tasty meal.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


30-40 fresh sage leaves

3/4 to 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1.5 pounds small potatoes, halved (or larger potatoes quartered or sectioned in a way to allow maximum surface area to come in contact with pan & sage)


Preheat oven to 425F. Pour oil into heavy oven-proof skillet (preferably cast iron), tipping skillet so oil covers bottom of pan. Lay sage leaves flat over oil, completely covering bottom of pan.
Sprinkle salt over sage. Arrange potatoes, cut side down on sage. Bake, uncovered until potatoes are tender and the cut sides are crusty brown, about 35 minutes.


Julie Child's Vinaigrette

Another standard salad dressing this week. It's nice to have a few jars of dressing going so you can whip up salads to go with your meal or mood.


1/2 Tbsp finely minced shallot or scallion

1/2 Tbsp Dijon-type mustard

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 Tbsp wine vinegar

1/3 to 1/2 cup excellent olive oil, or other fine, fresh oil

Freshly ground pepper


Shake all the ingredients together in a closed jar

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