Thursday, July 21, 2011

Good Eats Newsletter - July 20, 2011


This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Bag of Baby Arugula; New Potatoes!; Cauliflower; Bunch of Carrots; Mixed Bunch of Beets; Bunch of Fennel; Lacinato Kale; Euro Cucumber or Slicing Cukes; plus...


Beefsteak Tomatoes



Localvore Offerings Include:

Red Hen Vermont Maize Bread

Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs

Maine Sea Salt


Storage and Use Tips

Purple Viking Potatoes - The potato harvest has begun! This week we have the very first freshly dug, early season Purple Viking potatoes. Purple Vikings are a deep purple skinned potato with rosy pink stripes and marbling with creamy white skin. The potatoes get their purple tint from the anthocyanins they contain, the same antioxidant found in blueberries. Best for boiling or mashing.




Fennel -
Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with the flavor of anise. It is delicious and slightly sweet served raw but is just as often served cooked on its own or in other dishes. Though most often associated with Italian cooking, it has an uncanny ability to blend with other flavors adding a light and fresh note. It is delightful in many dishes, and in soups and stews and sauces. Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. The stalks are topped with feathery green leaves near which flowers grow and produce fennel seeds. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. To prepare, trim off the fronds and stalks and reserve them for garnish or seasoning. Cut off the hard bottom and slice vertically or into quarters. Or cut the bulb in half lengthwise, cut out the core, and cut into strips. Add it raw to salads or try some thinly sliced fennel on your sandwich. Top thinly sliced fennel with plain yogurt and mint leaves. Or braise, roast or saute' it. It is done when tender enough to pierce easily with a skewer.


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 saute pan. It has a peppery mustardy flavor so some people prefer to tone it down by mixing it with other greens, but this is baby arugula and it will be milder. It blends particularly well with goat cheese and balsamic and olive oil! It is delicious simply sauted in a pan with olive oil. I toss it on sandwiches to give them pep, and into salads to take it up a notch.


Lacinato Kale -
the dark leathery bunch of leaves in your bag is Lacinato kale aka dinosaur kale, one of my favorites of the bunch of kales we grow at the farm. I love the flavor and texture of this variety. It's particulary good sauteed with olive oil, garlic and a bit of red pepper flakes.

Beets - We have Chioggas and Gold Beets going out this week. They are both nice because they don't bleed like the reds so you can add these to dishes without fear of the entire dish coming out a uniform bright pink! Don't forget the greens! They are delicious, healthy and can be cooked into many dishes.

Tomatoes
- Tomatoes again this week! Store tomatoes on the counter, not in the fridge. The cold of the fridge takes the flavor right out of them. If you slice one up for a sandwich and have half left, then you should store remainder in the fridge. There are a mix of heirlooms going out.


Hardwick Story on NPR's Morning Edition

Last Friday NPR ran a story by Daniel Charles on the Morning Edition Program.
Dan visited Hardwick several weeks ago, talking with Tom Stearns, visiting with Pete at the farm, interviewing high school kids and grocery store clerks to get a sense of how locals viewed the growth of local food in their area.

You can listen to or read the the full story here and also see supporting photos for the story.







Saturday August 20 - August Pete's Greens Annual Farm Party


Please save the date and join us on Saturday August 20th
for our annual open farm day/party 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. It's an afternoon event and is part of the larger Kingdom Farm & Food Days, read on below.


Saturday & Sunday 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.

A new website for the event has just been launched and the final schedule of events should be available there within the week.



Please save the date!
We'd love to see you!




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.

Thursday August 11 - Oustanding in the Field Dinner

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 Eric Warnstedt of Hen of the Wood Restaurant will 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.




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.

If you are splitting your share with someone.....

If you split your share with someone weekly and you actually physically split your share at pick-up, please take care to label the half share you leave behind and place it somewhere away from other shares. We haven't had any problems this share period but would hate to have someone go home with a partial share unwittingly.


Localvore Lore

At Red Hen Baking, Randy is gearing up for a bake of Vermont Maize Bread just for Good Eats.
The bread for this week’s share is a special creation featuring another local grain: Organic, stoneground cornmeal from Aurora Farms (Nitty Gritty Grains). Tom and David Kenyon grow a variety of heirloom corn called Wahpsie Valley on their farm in Charlotte. We think it has an exceptional flavor so this bread is meant to showcase its special qualities. This bread also gets a little flavor from a natural starter made with Ben Gleason’s stoneground and sifted flour milled from wheat on his Bridport farm. Enjoy! ~ Randy

We have sea salt from the Maine Sea Salt Company. The Cook Family isolates the salt in the same basic way people have done forever, yet it was the first salt works company to be set up in Maine in 200 years. Our solar greenhouses, known as "salt houses" are filled with fresh seawater from the Gulf of Maine. The seawater evaporates naturally, from the heat of the sun and the drying effects of the wind blowing through the greenhouses. Over a period of time, fleur de sel floats on the pool surface, then grows and sinks to the floor to form the salt bed. When all of the water has evaporated, the sea salt is ready to be packaged as natural Maine Sea Salt™. We do not wash or bleach our salt at any time during the solar production process. Therefore, the nutritious trace minerals naturally occurring in seawater are retained in our products. We also do not use chemicals or drying agents.


We also have fresh eggs again this week from Deb's happy hens. Enjoy!


Recipes


Maple Sesame Cauliflower
This recipe comes from Katie Webster, a local food writer, recipe developer, and food stylist. Katie has been working in our area for years developing recipes and styling food for Eating Well magazine among others. Her blog titled Healthy Seasonal Recipes is a great place to visit as you think about what to cook each week. The recipes are great and the photos beautiful! I recommend visiting the blog post for this recipe because there's a lot more information and philosophy to absorb there along with the recipe. If you (or your kids) prefer the idea of a less crunchy salad, try steaming the cauliflower for 2 minutes till it's just a bit cooked, and then drain it well and/or dry it on a towel (you don't want to mix up a watery salad). You can make this dish one day ahead, just omit the scallions and stir them in right before serving.




2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably grade A dark amber

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari

1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons white vinegar

4 cups cauliflower pieces, about 1/2 head

1/2 cup sliced scallions, about 1/2 bunch

2 teaspoons black and or white sesame seeds, optional



Whisk maple syrup and Dijon in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in soy sauce or tamari, sesame oil and vinegar. Add cauliflower, scallions and sesame seeds and toss until completely coated.

Beet and New Potato Salad
From Andrea Chesman's Serving Up the Harvest: Celebrating the Goodness of Fresh Vegetables, this is perfect recipe for this week. Serve it up on a bed of greens with a hunk of the Vermont Maize Bread !


2 pounds fresh, small beets, tops and roots trimmed

1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered


2 T. olive oil


1 T. cider vinegar


Sea Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream or yogurt


2 T. chopped fresh dill (chopped fennel fronds would be great here too)

2 scallions, chopped

1 tsp. prepared horseradish or to taste


1 hard cooked egg, chopped (optional) 



Preheat oven to 400. Wash beets but do not peel. Wrap in aluminum foil and roast for 50-60 minutes or until beets are easily pierced.
Boil potatoes in salted water until just tender. Add oil and vinegar.Toss to mix and season with salt and pepper.
Slip skin off beets and cut into wedges to match potato pieces. Add to potatoes.
Mix together sour cream, dill, scallions, and horseradish. Add to potatoes and beets. Toss to mix. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving for best flavor. Garnish with chopped egg if desired.


Braised Fennel and Potatoes

In this dish the potatoes are perked up with fennel. The fennel becomes very tender and lends loads of moisture to the dish. Makes 4 to 6 side-dish serving. Gourmet February 2006.


1 large fennel bulb with fronds

1 large onion, halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (2 cups)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb red boiling potatoes

1/2 cup water



Quarter bulb lengthwise and core, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cook fennel, onion, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.Meanwhile, cut potatoes crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Add potatoes and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to fennel mixture and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. Add water and cook, covered, stirring once, until potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes more.


Fennel And Kale Pasta

Sweet fennel and bitter greens work beautifully together. Swiss Chard or other cooking green will work great as well.


1/2 c olive oil

1 onion, minced

1 medium fennel bulb fronds removed, halved and thinly sliced

salt and pepper

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 lb spaghetti

up to 3 lb kale or other cooking green washed and chopped

1 c grated parmesan



Heat oil in a large braising pan or skillet with a cover. Add onion; saute over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in fennel; saute until golden, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until fennel is tender, about 8 minutes longer. Stir in vinegar; simmer to blend flavors, 1 minute longer. Adjust seasonings.


2. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta; return to boil. Add kale; continue to cook until pasta is al dente, about 7 minutes.



3. Drain pasta and greens; toss with fennel mixture and cheese. Transfer portions to warm pasta bowls. Garnish with reserved minced fennel fronds. Serve immediately with more cheese passed separately.


Kale, Tomato & Potato Frittata

10 of Deb's eggs

1/4 cup Vermont cheddar cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 lb. Norland potatoes, rinsed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 bunch kale, stems and inner ribs discarded, leaves coarsely chopped

1 tomato, medium dice



Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk eggs and cheese together in a large bowl.
In a large, cast iron or a non stick/oven ready pan, heat 2 tbsp. oil. Add onion and potatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add kale and saute until wilted. Add egg mixture and incorporate vegetables and eggs. Cook over moderate heat for 1 minute. Gently lift the edge of the frittata and tilt the pan to allow for the egg to get underneath. When the frittata starts to form, place in the oven and cook for approximately 10 minutes. Tapping on the center with some spring says it is done.



Remove from oven and let sit for 2 minutes. Run a rubber spatula around the edge to loosen the frittata. Place a plate large enough to cover the pan over the pan and CAREFULLY invert it on to the plate. Serve warm with a salad of arugula


Arugula Salad with Lemon-Parmesan Dressing

Here's a solidly reviewed recipe for you from epicurious.com. This salad makes a great side dish on its own, can dress up a wilted arugula and pasta dish, and is terrific as a pizza topping! If going in the pizza direction, brush your 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.



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 tomato, cut into chunks (or 1 cup of 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.

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