Thursday, August 25, 2011

Good Eats Newsletter - August 24th, 2011

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Colorful Carrots; Potatoes; Bright Lights Chard; Celery; Green Beans; Cippolini Onions; Jalapenos; Eggplant; Melon plus..

Tomatoes


Localvore Offerings Include:

Elmore Mountain Flax Bread

Butterworks Farm Cornmeal

Amir Hebib's shiitake mushrooms

Champlain Orchards Gingergold apples


Pete's Musings

We had a great farm event here on Sat. If you have not yet attended the Kingdom Farm and Food weekend I'd recommend it. Bike tours of farms, hay rides and tours at Pete's Greens, garden tours and meal at High Mowing Seeds. It was really nice to have so many visitors and I found while giving the tours that attendees were keenly interested in the inner workings of the farm.



Farm is buzzing along. Lots of weeds but some really nice produce as well. Winter squash crop is the nicest we've seen, parsnips and beets are looking great, baby greens keep clipping along. We've started pulling onions and they are drying down nicely. Won't be long until we'll harvest our potatoes. Dodged golf ball sized hail by 2 miles the other night, that would not have been fun.


We are in full processing mode freezing corn and peppers and making tomato puree later this week. The new kitchen is working out well and is alot more efficient and easier to clean than our old space. Reserve your spot in our winter CSA in order to get this great preserved food! ~ Pete

Scenes from our Farm Picnic Saturday

























































We had a great time on Saturday with around 250 people coming out for our open farm day and picnic! Pete gave tours all around the fields via haywagon, and showed everyone the new building. The Mud City Ramblers played for us while we feasted under the tent. Lots of folks had visited other farms and businesses that had opened their doors as part of the Kingdom Farm and Food Days. The bike tour offered by Craftsbury Outdoor Center went really well, with both tours ending at the farm just in time for the start of the food. This weekend event continues to grow in popularity. It's a great opportunity for people to get out to the beautiful Northeast Kingdom and check out the working landscape of the farms and businesses all around. Photos taken by photographer Perry Heller.

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.


Storage and Use Tips


Cippolini Onions - Pronounced chip-oh-LEE-nee. These are the short, disk-shaped yellow onions in your bag. Originating in Italy, cippolinis are very sweet and delicious. Try roasting some whole. Peel them, toss with a liberal amount olive oil, a few sprigs of thyme, salt and pepper, and roast in a 375F oven for around 30 minutes, or so. Serve as a side dish. Store in a cool dark place.


Melons - You will all get melon this week. There are two types going out, both are reknowned for their very sweet flesh. The green fleshed melons are the variety Arava. The orange flesh melons are called Charentais. Please inspect your melon for ripeness before slicing into it! Your melon should yield to pressure from your thumbs, particularly on the ends. It should also smell a bit sweet at perfect ripeness.



Localvore Lore Blair and Andrew are baking Elmore Mountain flax bread for the share this week. This loaf is baked with Milanaise winter wheat, whole wheat, rye, Quebec flax and sea salt.


Jack Lazor at Butterworks Farm has supplied us with some of his Early Riser cornmeal this week. This is an open pollinated variety of organic corn that the Lazors have been growing for years on the farm in an isolated place far from other corn crops to protect it from stray GMO pollen. Jack saves his seed each year for the following year's crop, taking time from harvesting other crops to select the ears from the strongest plants. This corn is freshly ground and should be stored in a cool place - preferably the fridge or your freezer (I always keep mine in freezer). This is beautiful cornmeal full of rich corn flavor, great for baking or making polenta.

The shiitake mushrooms were grown by Amir Hebib. Amir grows his mushrooms in a mushroom house behind his home in Colchester. He has 20 years experience growing mushrooms, having been a farm mushroom manager for a large Bosnian agricultural producer before immigrating to VT in 1996. He started growing mushrooms here in 2005. He grows shiitakes and oysters (little clusters of trumpet shaped mushrooms) and sells them to restaurants and markets in our area as well as at the Burlington Farmers Market. You can eat the whole mushroom stems and all. Many people discard the stems of shiitakes because they are tougher and take longer to cook. But these are so fresh that they are tender enough to add to most dishes though you may want to allow longer cooking time for the stems. Shiitakes have a deep flavor, and are very hearty, enough so that they can be used in place of ground beef in some recipes.


Champlain Orchards has just begun picking! Very exciting to have local apples back. Gingergold Apples are one of the earilest apples each season. These sweet apples are great for fresh eating and baking.

Recipes


Polenta & Greens Here's a basic modifiable recipe for polenta with greens.


1-2 bunches cooking greens (swiss chard, braising greens, spinach, kale etc)

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

Dash red pepper flakes

2 carrots, halved and sliced (optional)

Italian seasoning herbs (optional)

Sliced shitake mushrooms (optional)

1 c grated cheese, provolone, cheddar, fontina, even feta, as you like


1 c polenta (coarse cornmeal)

3 c water

1 tsp salt



Wash and chop the greens. Saute onion, garlic, and carrots and/or mushrooms in olive oil. Season with salt, pepper & red pepper and Italian herbs. Cook until browning and fragrant. Gradually add the greens, stir frying until all are incorporated and just wilted.



Boil water & whisk in polenta & salt. Turn down very low, watch out for sputters. Cook until thick, stirring often.



Brush a baking dish with olive oil. Pour in about 2/3 of polenta, spoon in the greens, top with remaining polenta & cheese. Take a butter knife and swirl through the top layers a bit. Bake @ 350 until bubbly and slightly browned, about 30 minutes.


This recipe is easily doubled, which makes a generous 10 x 14 pyrex baking dish. The polenta is easier to work with if it is poured right when it thickens. If you wait it will set up into a more solid form. Prep the vegetables and have all ingredients ready before you cook the polenta, so it will be ready at the right time, as the greens take just a few minutes.

Polenta Gratin with Mushroom Bolognese


Here's a fancier, richer polenta if you are in the mood for something hearty. This is delicious. Adapted from Epicurious.com. Serves 8.



For the Bolognese sauce

2 TB sunflower or olive oil

1 onion, peeled and diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1/2 cup celery, diced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

8 ounces mushrooms, diced

1 TB fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dried and crumbled

2/3 cup tomato puree, or canned tomatoes seeded and chopped

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock



For the polenta

Kosher salt

1 cup polenta (coarse yellow cornmeal)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, crumbled



To prepare the Bolognese sauce: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it moves easily across the pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, then add the mushrooms and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are almost tender, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato, cook about 2 minutes more, then add the stock, 2 tablespoons at a time, bringing the pan to a simmer before each addition. Simmer the Bolognese until it is concentrated but not yet dry, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.



To make the polenta: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add a pinch of salt and gradually whisk in the polenta. Stirring constantly, bring the polenta to a boil, then adjust the heat to low. Cook the polenta, stirring occasionally, until it is no longer grainy, about 30 minutes. Whisk the oil and salt to taste into the polenta and remove it from the heat.



Assemble the gratin: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spoon half the polenta into a medium baking dish (an 11-inch oval dish works fine) and cover with half of the sauce. Spoon in the remaining polenta, spread it evenly, then sprinkle with the crumbled cheese. Transfer the remaining sauce to a small saucepan and reserve.



Bake the gratin until the top is golden, about 40 minutes. Just before serving, warm the reserved sauce over low heat. Divide the gratin and sauce among 4 plates, top each serving with sauce, and serve.



Roasted Carrots and Cippolini Onions


Cippolinis deserve to be roasted and are great on their own with no fancy treatment. Add the carrots though and some wine and stock and you really have something special.



1 pound cippolini onions, ends trimmed and peeled, halve larger onions

2 pounds baby carrots

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1/4 cup white wine

1/4 cup chicken stock

Salt and coarsely ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves



Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.



On a sheet tray, toss onions and carrots with oil, butter, wine, and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until golden and caramelized, about 25 to 30 minutes. Toss in a shallow serving bowl and garnish with parsley.



Spicy Eggplant and Green Bean Curry

If you have coconut milk and some curry paste, here's a classic you can whip up quickly.



5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon choppped peeled fresh ginger

1 eggplant, peeled, cut into 1 x 2 pieces

8 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon lime zest

1 teaspoon thai green curry paste

1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk

3 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped*

2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped*

*The herbs are a nice addition but don't make or break the dish...



In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 4 tablespoons oil. Add garlic and ginger, stirring 30 seconds.



Add eggplant and green beans. cook until almost tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Cover and cook until completely tender, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer vegetables to bowl.
In same skillet, add 1 tablespoon oil, lime peel, and curry paste; stir 15 seconds.
Add coconut milk; bring to boil, whisking until smooth.


Return vegetables to skillet; saute until sauce thickens enough to coat vegetables, about 3 minutes. Season with salt. Toss in onions, cilantro, and mint.



Bhurtha (Indian Eggplant)

A classic. Broiling the eggplant deepens the flavor, but you could also peel it and cut into cubes and pan roast it in a skillet or cut in slices and throw it on the grill before adding to the dish.

1 eggplant

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 medium onion, sliced

1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger

1 large tomato - peeled, seeded and diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat the oven's broiler. Rub oil on the outside of the egg plant, or coat with cooking spray. Place under the broiler, and cook until the flesh is soft and the skin is blistering off, about 30 minutes. Turn as needed for even cooking. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, and scoop the flesh out of the skin. Discard the skin; chop up the flesh, and set aside.


Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds, and let them crackle for a few seconds and turn golden brown. Be careful not to burn them. Add the onion, ginger and garlic; cook and stir until tender. Don't let the onions get very brown. Stir in the tomato, and season with turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Cook and stir for a few minutes.


Place the eggplant pieces in the skillet, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes so some of the moisture evaporates. Taste, and adjust seasonings if desired. Garnish with fresh cilantro, and serve.


Cornbread
This is our household cornbread recipe. It's sweeter than many, but that means my kids devour it and it makes for a pretty healthy and super fast and easy snack.


1.5 cups cornmeal

1.5 cups all-purpose flour (or the sifted wheat you recently received, or part whole wheat)

3/4 c sugar (or 3/4 c maple syrup, or 1/2 c. honey)
1 tsp salt
1 TB baking powder
2 TB melted butter
1 3/4 to 2 cups milk

Mix all ingredients together. Spread in a buttered baking dish (6x 9, 9 x 13, it's flexible)


If using honey or syrup, you can reduce the milk amount by 1/4 cup (honey) or 1/2 cup (syrup)

Bake at 400F for 20- mins or until golden brown.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Pete's Greens Farm Picnic and More - Saturday August 20

Saturday August 20 Pete's Greens Annual Farm Picnic
Join us for our annual farm party this Saturday!


We look forward to this day each year. Our farm party gives us opportunity to connect with our neighbors, CSA members and friends and visitors and enjoy a good local meal together. Come out to the farm this weekend and see the growing fields, check out the new barn we are building, learn about what we do, how we grow, where we process and store vegetables.

Pete will be giving tours of the farm and our new building. The Mud City Ramblers will play music for us. And we are cooking up some great food for the occasion.


Very much looking forward to connecting with everyone and having some fun. You are welcome to bring a local dish to share, or just sample ours!




The schedule:


1:00 pm - farm tour

2:30 pm - farm tour

3:30 pm - music

4:00 pm - Picnic and social time




Pete's Greens Localvore Farmstand



We'll have a volleyball net up and hopefully badminton and bocce ball too for those of you who have a competitive streak (we do!).














Craftsbury Center Cycling Tours - Saturday
How about jumping on your bike for the afternoon and cycling around to visit farms in the area before coming to the farm feast?


The Craftsbury Outdoor Center is guiding cyclists on bike tours - a shorter 15 mile ride, and a longer 30 mile ride. The rides pass by farms and area businesses and both end at Pete's Greens in time for the food and music and a special cyclists tour with Pete. Check out the ride details here.


Special bike tour pricing for CSA members!
Use the code "pgCSA" when registering for the ride and you will get 50% off the registration fee.

Volunteers for the bike tour ride free!

Other Open Farms, Wine Tastings, and Brewery Tours on Saturday

If a bike tour isn't your thing, you can also tour other area farms and businesses on your own. Sample special honey wines at Caledonia Spirits in Hardwick. Visit a worm composting farm. Meet the fiber animals (sheep, goats, angora rabbits and llamas) and visit the rest of the animals at Agape Hill Farm. Learn how to make sweet maple cream at Echo Hill Farm, or visit Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greeensboro and sample some mighty fine beer.


This is just a sampling, visit the Kingdom Farm and Food Days website for details.


And if you still need more entertainment, Circus Smirkus is around the corner!

The final shows of the season are this weekend, with a 7 pm show Saturday and 2 shows on Sunday. Tickets still available for this fabulous circus featuring amazing and entertaining performances by some a troupe of incredibly talented and hardworking youth. Truly fun for all ages. Tickets still available for these final shows in their own performance barn in Greensboro.

Tix at www.smirkus.org and at 1-877-SMIRKUS (1-877-764-7587)



Sunday August 21

High Mowing Seed Tours, Workshops, NECI Local Foods Showcase




High Mowing Seeds trials garden will be open for self-guided and hour-long guided tours throughout the day. There will be many workshops on seed saving, pest and disease identification, fermenting fresh vegetables, and more!


The New England Culinary Institute (NECI) will present an amazing array of locally produced food in Sunday afternoon’s Local Foods Showcase which will get started at 4pm. 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. The annual farmer mixer and bonfire will begin immediately following dinner.




Visit High Mowing's blog for more info on the High Mowing event.


For more information about Kingdom Farm and Food Days, please visit the KFFD website.
We hope to see you this weekend!



Good Eats Newsletter - August 17, 2011

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Mesclun; Banana Fingerling Potatoes; Green Baby Pac Choi; Red Onions; Broccoli; Red Onions; French Breakfast Radishes; Eggplant; Cucumbers (pickling); Sage; plus..


6 ears of Sweet Corn
Tomatoes or Melons


(If your site gets melons this week, you will get tomatoes next week, and vice versa)



Localvore Offerings Include:

Red Hen Bread "Snake Mountain Levain"

Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs

Honey Gardens Raw Honey



Open Farm Day and Annual Picnic Saturday!


Come out and see us! We are really looking forward to our annual farm picnic this weekend and hope you can join us. I'll be busy working with Elena from the Center for Agriculture and Heather Jarrett from High Mowing Seeds prepping veggies and cooking for the event on Thursday. Meanwhile Craftsbury Outdoor Center is gearing up for their bike tour, and many farms in the area are preparing their open farm days as part of the Kingdom Farm and Food Days. I hope we will see many of you! Details below... ~ Amy


Storage and Use Tips


Banana Fingerlings Potatoes - These beautiful little nuggets are favorites of area chefs. No need to peel, just scrub clean before cooking. Roast whole with some olive oil, salt and pepper or boil until just tender and toss with butter and herbs (sage!). Store in a paper bag in a cool, dry, dark place.

Green Pac Choi - In the brassica family, along with broccoli and kale, pac choi offers most of the same healthful benefits with high scores for vitamins A and C and calcium. Both leaves and stems may be eaten raw or cooked, but leaves, particularly when they are more mature are more often served cooked. To prepare Pac Choi, use a chef's nice to make thin slices across from the bottom of the head up freeing the stalks as you do so. This is Baby pac Choi which is tender enought to use in salads. It's also delicious, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and given a quick wilt on the grill. Although you can cook chopped leaves and stalks together in a dish it is nice to separate them when chopping so that you may toss them into a dish at seperate times allowing stalks to cook a little longer than leaves so that leaves aren't over cooked. Pac Choi should be stored in a plastic bag in the produce drawer of your fridge.


Melons - some of you will receive melons this week. Those who don't, fear not - you will get tomatoes this week, and your melons next week. There are two types going out this week, both are reknowned for their very sweet flesh. The green fleshed melons are the variety Arava. The orange flesh melons are called Charentais. Your melon should be a wee bit soft to pressure (particularly at the ends) and smell slightly sweet at perfect ripeness.



Kingdom Farm and Food Days is This Weekend!

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



Join us for our annual farm picnic this Saturday! Pete will be giving tours of the farm and our new building. The Mud City Ramblers will be playing music. And we are cooking up some great food (a feast!) for the occasion.


We welcome CSA members, neighbors, friends, and anyone else to visit the farm and learn about what we do, how we grow, where we process and store vegetables. Very much looking forward to connecting with everyone and having some fun. You are welcome to bring a local dish to share too!




The schedule:
 1:00 pm - farm tour
 2:30 pm - farm tour
 3:30 pm music starts 
4:00 - 5:30/6 pm - Picnic and social time


We'll have a volleyball net up and hopefully badminton and bocce ball too for those of you who have a competitive streak (we do!).













Craftsbury Center Cycling Tours August 20

Or how about jumping on your bike for the afternoon and cycling around to visit farms in the area before coming to the farm feast?


The Craftsbury Outdoor Center is guiding cyclists on bike tours - a shorter 15 mile ride, and a longer 30 mile ride. The rides pass by farms and area businesses and both end at Pete's Greens in time for the food and music and a special cyclists tour with Pete. Check out the ride details here.


Special bike tour pricing for CSA members!
Use the code "pgCSA" when registering for the ride and you will get 50% off the registration fee.

Volunteers for the bike tour ride free!


Other Open Farms, Wine Tastings, and Brewery Tours on Saturday

If a bike tour isn't your thing, you can also tour other area farms and businesses on your own. Visit Caledonia Spirits in Hardwick and sample their special honey wines. Visit a worm composting farm. Meet all the fiber animals (sheep, goats, angora rabbits and llamas) and visit the rest of the animals at Agape Hill Farm. Learn how to make sweet maple cream at Echo Hill Farm, or visit Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greeensboro and sample some mighty fine beer.


Visit the Kingdom Farm and Food Days website for details.


And if you still need more entertainment, wrap up with Circus Smirkus!

The final shows of the season are this weekend, with a 7 pm show Saturday and 2 shows on Sunday. Tickets still available for this fabulous Circus featuring amazing and entertaining performances by some a troupe of incredibly talented and hardworking youth. Truly fun for all ages. Tickets still available for these final shows in their own performance barn in Greensboro.

Tix at www.smirkus.org and at 1-877-SMIRKUS (1-877-764-7587)



Sunday August 21

High Mowing Seed Trial Tours, Workshops and NECI Local Foods Showcase



High Mowing Seeds trials garden will be open for self-guided and hour-long guided tours throughout the day. There will be many workshops on seed saving, pest and disease identification, fermenting fresh vegetables, and more!


The New England Culinary Institute (NECI) will present an amazing array of locally produced food in Sunday afternoon’s Local Foods Showcase which will get started at 4pm. 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. The annual farmer mixer and bonfire will begin immediately following dinner.




Visit High Mowing's blog for more info on the High Mowing event.



For more information about Kingdom Farm and Food Days, please visit the KFFD website. 




We hope to see you this weekend!


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.


Localvore Lore


From Randy at Red Hen Baking Co:
We’re calling this week’s Food Hub bread Snake Mountain Levain. Ben Gleason’s farm in Bridport is in the shadow of Snake Mt., so he named his newest flour in its honor. This is a special flour that I have been really excited about. As with all of Ben’s flour, it is stone-milled from wheat grown on his and a few of neighbors’ farms. The difference with the Snake Mt. flour is that after stone-milling it is passed through his recently acquired sifter (or “bolter” as millers call it). This is a very old method for mildly refining flour and, as opposed to roller milling, which is the modern method of removing the germ and bran from wheat flour, stone-milled and sifted flour retains all of the germ. This is particularly attractive to bakers and bread eaters because the germ is highly flavorful and highly nutritious. The bran also adds flavor as well as fiber, but when present in the proportion found in a whole wheat berry, it produces a denser, more strongly flavored bread than people often want in a daily bread. So Ben’s Snake Mt. removes about half of the bran, leaving all of the germ and endosperm (the white part of the wheat berry which contains the starch and protein). I find this level of refinement to be perfect for making a traditional pain au levain (French for “naturally leavened bread). Of course, the Snake Mountain pain au levain is made even more special by the fact that it contains nothing but Vermont-grown wheat, water, and salt. Enjoy!


Eggs again from Pa Pa Doodles Farm this week.

We have raw honey this week from Honey Gardens Apiaries in Ferrisburgh. Unlike the liquid form of honey you generally come across in stores, raw honey has never been heated and so over time it crystalizes to form the creamy spread you will receive (which is also not the same as creamed honey- honey that has been whipped to a creamy texture). This is natural honey, full of the healthful enzymes that raw honey contains.

Someday soon, I hope to be able to supply the CSA share with honey from the farm. Even just once! I have been keeping bees for 10 years now. I purchased my first nuc (small starter box of bees) from Todd Hardie who started Honey Gardens Apiaries years ago (Todd now is making honey wine at Caledonia Spirits). Over the years he has guided me as I learned about working with bees. As I am sure you all have heard or read along the way, bees are struggling these days, many colonies succumbing to stress and disease. Todd always kept his bees organically, and I do the same, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. Last year I got 6 nucs, three of which I placed at the farm, three in my backyard in Waterbury. I cared for all similarly. This spring, I found my home bees struggling to survive, though I tried to nurse them with extra food stores (honey and sugar syrup) through the last of the cold weeks of the year. The bees I kept at Pete's Greens in contrast have been busting out at the seams, I am barely able to keep up with them. We need bees on the farm for pollination of course so it's good to have them there. I don't know why Pete's bees have done so well while mine at home struggle, but I like to think that the good organic crops they pollinate are doing them a lot of good too. I am teaching my kids about bees in hopes they will become beekeepers too.















My daughter Mary and me with the bees at Pete's Greens below. Photo taken by Todd, who was mentoring me in June.


Recipes


Roasted Potatoes With Sage and Garlic



1 1/2 pounds small creamer potatoes, halved

1/3 cup flour

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped sage leaves

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a large, heavy skillet or roasting pan in the oven to heat up. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold salted water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 5 minutes.



Drain the potatoes well and place them on paper towels. Place the flour on a plate and when the potatoes are dry, roll them in the flour to coat, shaking off any excess. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and add the oil and potatoes. Roast, shaking the pan occasionally until the potatoes are golden brown all over, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the garlic, sage and butter. Return the pan to the oven for one minute. Season generously with salt and pepper and serve.



Cucumber and Red Onion Salad


3 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces on a diagonal.


1/2 to 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon celery seed


4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (you could also use lemon juice, champagne vinegar, or apple cider vinegar)


1 teaspoon Dijon style mustard


1 teaspoon sea salt


2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced or put through a garlic press


In a medium size bowl combine your cucumber and red onion slices.
In a small bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Pour over cucumber and onion mixture and toss to coat. Chill for a few hours for flavors to meld. Mix right before serving and eat
.

Grilled Eggplant



1 large eggplant

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, very finely minced

1 pinch each thyme, basil, dill, and oregano

salt and freshly grated black pepper



Heat grill.

When grill is hot, slice eggplant about 1/2-inch thick. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the oil and vinegar mixture.

Place eggplant on the hot preheated grill. Grill about 15 to 20 minutes, turning once.




Thursday, August 11, 2011

Good Eats Newsletter - August 10, 2011

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Mesclun; Sweet Corn; Bunch of Gold Beets; Sweet Peppers; Cabbage; Cucumbers; Walla Walla Onions; French Breakfast or Easter Egg Radishes; Garlic; Cilantro; Jalapenos; plus..


Tomatoes


Localvore Offerings Include:

Aurora Farms Organic White Flour

Cranberry Bob's Balsamic Vinegar


Pete's Musings
We are christening our new kitchen this afternoon with some corn, tomato and zuke freezing. The new kitchen is in our new barn. It's a nice space much more convenient to coolers and freezers than our old kitchen which was located in the bottom floor of the farmhouse. Work flow will be much smoother and we'll be able to get produce chilled and frozen faster. Later this week we'll freeze spinach and pesto and hopefully a batch of chickens will get slaughtered tomorrow. Everything happens at once in August and September and we just try to keep on top of it all.

Hoping for some needed rain tonight. This has been a great growing summer but it is pretty dry right now and rain will save us having to irrigate. Wish we could always count on a hot summer like we've had as we already have ripe pumpkins! Looking like some great melons coming for next week's share.
~ Pete

Pete's Greens
Farm Picnic
Sat Aug 20
Join us at the farm for farm tours, food, music and fun.
We hope to see you!

Kingdom Farm & Food Days
Sat/Sun Aug 20/21
KFF features two full days of farm tours and events in the Northeast Kingdom. Many farms will welcome visitors, there are beer and wine tastings, High Mowing Seeds hosts workshops and a local food extravaganza, and the Pete's Greens party is just part of the weekend. Please visit the Kingdom Farm & Food Days website to get the latest details on the event.

Craftsbury Center
Bike Tour
Sat Aug 20
Spend Saturday on a biking tour of Craftsbury and Greensboro area farms. Two rides are available, one 15 miles, and the other 30 miles. Both rides end at Pete's Greens with food, music, and a tour of the farm. Visit the Craftsbury Outdoor Center's website for more details and a map of the ride.


Storage and Use Tips

Walla Walla Onions - These super sweet onions 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. If they develop soft or tan spots, just cut them off and use the rest of the unblemished onion.

Cabbage - You'll all receive a cabbage in your bag this week but you'll have to wait and see what kind you get. We have smooth green cabbage, pointy Arrowhead cabbages and pretty frilled Savoy cabbages going out this week. You will receive just one of these cabbages in your bag. Keep cabbages loosely wrapped in plastic in your fridge.

Cilantro
Cilantro is the leafy part of the plant also known as coriander. All parts of this plant can be eaten - leaves, stems, roots and seed and all give a somewhat different flavor to a dish. Popular in Latin America and in Asia, cilantro is a delicious fresh addition to many dishes. Nevertheless, some people have a real aversion to it and I have often wondered why. Actually there was a time when I didn't like it so well either, but I guess familiarity has won me over. And maybe this chicken dish I really love.... Today when googling cilantro (you never know what you'll find) I came across a NYT article about why some people don't like cilantro and say that it tastes like soap. Apparently cilantro's aroma is created by fragments of aldehyde molecules and some smilar aldehyde molecules are found in soaps and lotions. Our brains connect the two. But brains can be rewired and I guess mine has over time. Now I think of good salsas, asian foods, and the chicken dish...


Pete's Greens is hiring

Delivery Driver/Equipment Operator

Our delivery driver is responsible for delivering products to both wholesale customers and to our CSA pick-up sites. The ideal candidate will represent the farm well, communicating with our customers in a friendly and professional manner, while adhering to our delivery schedule. Non-delivery days will be spent with the rest of our highly motivated, energetic farm team carrying out tasks related to farming, harvest and construction projects on the farm. Experience with a range of farm and construction equipment preferred. This is a year-round full time position. Candidate must have some weekend availability.

Kitchen Manager

Seeking an energetic and highly motivated individual to manage our commercial kitchen. Responsibilities include preserving the farm's harvest by means of freezing, canning, and incorporation into value added products using commercial kitchen equipment. Candidate must have solid knowledge of food, food preservation techniques, food safety. Ability to create and standardize large volume recipes a plus. This position could be a part time or full time position depending on the applicant and their experience. More hours in the harvest season, less in the off season.

Please visit our job listings page on the website and click through to see full job descriptions.


Applicants should send cover letter, resume, and references via mail or email to Amy. 


Looking for Help at the Montpelier Farmers Market

We are looking for a Montpelier resident to help with the set-up and break down of our stall at the Capital City Farmer's Market in Montpelier on Saturdays. Set up would be from 7:30 to 9:30ish and break down would be from 1:00 to 2:00. The job would involve heavy lifting of veggie crates, climbing up and down from the truck and being quick on your toes. We would love to offer a mix of veggies from our market display in exchange for labor. A discounted Fall/Winter CSA share is a possibility as well. If interested please contact Melissa@petesgreens.com.


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.

Localvore Lore

The balsamic vinegar in the share today is a little treasure. This is fantastic balsamic made right here in Vermont by Bob Lesnikowski, owner of Vt Cranberry Company. Along with being the sole cranberry grower in Vermont, Bob is a winemaker at Boyden Valley Winery. He brings to vinegar making the same high standards he adheres to for making wine. Each time he has a batch we try to secure enough for our Good Eats.



Balsamic Vinegar, a traditional Italian delicacy is a delectable condiment made from wine grapes. We grow the Frontenac variety of wine grape. My balsamic vinegar is made from the Frontenac grape that is used for Boyden Valley Winery' s Ice wine. Once the ice wine is pressed, the remaining juice is used to make vinegar. I ferment and then acetify some of the juice and then the rest is reduced to 40 % of the volume. The reduction is blended with the vinegar and then barrel aged for 2 years. This balsamic is dense, supple and slightly sweet. Perfect for summer grilling or salads. ~Bob


The white flour you are receiving in the share this week was organically grown in Charlotte by Tom Kenyon at Aurora Farms. It's a lower protein flour, more of an all purpose flour than a bread flour, though still with enough protein and gluten strength to bake breads (Red Hen's Cyrus Pringle bread uses this flour). I am thankful for the opportunity to have a good, very local flour on hand to bake with, one that I know has been grown organically and that performs so well to boot. There was a nice article in Local Banquet about the partnership between Tom and Randy that brought this flour into existence for us to enjoy. Read the article here.





Recipes

Beet Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette
I am glad to see the beets back in the share this week. Lately I can't get enough of beets on salad. I have a pot of boiling beets on the stove top right now. Later when they cool off, I'll slip them from their jackets and chop them and put them in a container so they are ready to toss on. The recipe below has been adapted a bit from one in the Feb/Mar issue of Eating Well (it is called Beet Bliss, for a good reason). It’s an utterly simple recipe.


6 cups mesclun

1 cup quartered cooked beets

1/4 Wall Walla onion, sliced thin

2 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans or walnuts

2 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Enough Maple Mustard Vinaigrette to make you happy



Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

whisk together:

1/2 cup canola oil or sunflower oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons coarse-grained mustard

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper



Gazpacho

A cold refreshing soup, gazpacho is flexible and forgiving, healthy and tasty. This recipe is adapted from one in the Moosewood cookbook. I freely swap in and out other items if I have them (fennel, avacado, corn, a little celery, etc). In a food processor you can whip up gazpacho in 10 minutes.

1-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c finely minced onion
1 medium bell pepper, minced
2 cups freshly diced tomatoes
4 cups of tomato juice *
1 medium cucumber, seeded and minced
1 tsp honey
2 scallions (easy one to omit)
juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 lime
2 TB wine vinegar
1 tsp tarragon and basil (not essential, nice if they are around)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 c parsley (also fine to omit)
2-3 TB olive oil
salt, black pepper, and cayenne - to taste

* the recipe calls for tomato juice. If you have it, great. But you can do without, it will just be thicker.

Bread variation - many gazpacho recipes call for bread to be added. Stale day old bread is first soaked in the juice of tomatoes, and then crumbled once softened and added to the soup. This takes some of the bite out of the soup and is very tasty.


Fresh Tomato Salsa
This is just simple, fresh tasting salsa. If you aren't a cilantro lover, you can omit and salsa will be delicious anyhow.


3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed, chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 small cloves garlic, minced

1-2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (you can substitute sweet peppers here in part or in whole if you don't care for spicy)

2 to 3 tablespoons minced cilantro

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lime juice

salt and pepper



Combine onions and garlic with chopped tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours to blend flavors.



Haluski
Haluski is a traditional Hungarian or Romanian dish and it is simple and delicious comfort food. It can also be very rich. The recipe below is a classic, but not overly rich. Many recipes call for much more butter and as much as 16 oz of sour cream along with it (!). Make it as it pleases you. You could reduce the butter here to as little as a couple tablespoons, and you could add 1/2 cup to 2 cups of sour cream, as you wish. Served with a sausage and green salad, it makes a simple delicious meal.

4 cups wide egg noodles
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sliced sweet onions, about 1/8 inch thick
2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
6 cups cabbage sliced in 1/2 inch ribbons
1 teaspoon caraway seed (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper

Cook egg noodles according to package directions, then drizzle with a bit of oil to prevent the noodles from sticking together and set aside.
While noodles are cooking, melt butter in large deep skillet over medium-low heat.
Add onion, drizzle with honey or maple syrup and saute, stirring occasionally for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until softened and just beginning to turn golden.
Add cabbage to skillet, stirring well to incorporate with onion, and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in caraway seeds if using, then cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Turn heat back to medium, add cooked noodles, salt and pepper, and stir well until noodles are heated though.
Adjust seasoning if necessary and serve hot.

Spicy Cabbage Slaw with Cilantro Dressing

This recipe would be great with crisp savoy cabbage if that's what you find in your bag. Adapted from a recipe in Gourmet, August 2008



1/4 cup rice vinegar (not seasoned)

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon grated peeled ginger

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 fresh jalapeno chile, finely chopped** add last, see below


1 small head of cabbage (1 1/2 pounds), cored and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
3-4 radishes, grated or sliced thin and added to salad for color
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Optional Additions:
Nuts - toasted sliced almonds or walnuts on top of this salad would be delicious
Sesame oil - a drizzle to the dressing would add some depth



 
Whisk together vinegar, sugar, ginger, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Taste. Add a bit of the jalapeno and taste again. Continue to add until the dressing reaches the proper spiciness for your palate.

Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Let stand, tossing occasionally, 10 minutes.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Good Eats Newsletter - August 3rd, 2011

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Mesclun; Red Norland Potatoes; Colorful Carrots; Sweet Peppers; Pearl Onions; Zucchini; Parsley; Kale; Eggplant; plus..

Tomatoes!


Localvore Offerings Include:

On the Rise Pizza Dough
Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs Maplebrook Fresh Mozzarella Pesto

*Laughing Moon Waterbury, Laughing Moon Stowe, Shelburne and Concept2 will get the Knoll Farm blueberries they missed last week.


Meat Share Members
This is a Meat Share Week!

Looking for Help at the Montpelier Farmers Market

We are looking for a Montpelier resident to help with the set-up and break down of our stall at the Capital City Farmer's Market in Montpelier on Saturdays. Set up would be from 7:30 to 9:30ish and break down would be from 1:00 to 2:00. The job would involve heavy lifting of veggie crates, climbing up and down from the truck and being quick on your toes. We would love to offer a mix of veggies from our market display in exchange for labor. A discounted Fall/Winter CSA share is a possibility as well. If interested please contact Melissa@petesgreens.com.


Pete's Greens is Hiring a Delivery Driver/Equipment Operator

Ben will be leaving the farm in several weeks, sadly, so we are looking to fill his shoes. A short job listing is below, a longer one will be posted on our website.

Our delivery driver is responsible for delivering products to both wholesale customers and to our CSA member pick-up sites in Northern VT. The ideal candidate will represent the farm well, communicating with our customers in a friendly and professional manner, while adhering to our published delivery schedule. Our equipment operator joins the rest of our highly motivated, energetic farm team in carrying out tasks related to farming, harvest and construction projects on the farm. Experience with a range of farm and construction equipment preferred.

The ideal candidate will have experience driving a 26 ft straight truck and operating various farm and construction equipment (tractors, forklifts, backhoes, etc) and will possess adequate knowledge of equipment maintenance and repair. Candidate must be able to repeatedly lift 50 lbs crates of food. Candidate must enjoy working as part of a team and be capable of communicating clearly both verbally and via email to others on the Pete’s Greens team.


This is a year-round full time position. Candidate must have some weekend availability.


Please send resume and cover letter to Pete.

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.


Localvore Lore The localvore share is rich again this week! It is a challange to work within the confines of the value of the localvore share each week and you will find that some weeks the value is high and some weeks less. The goal is to balance it all out over the weeks of the share.

It's a pizza week! You'll be receiving pizza dough from Ben and Rachel, owners of On the Rise Bakery this week. They make this version of their dough especially for Good Eats 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 lose elasticity steadily. 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. In this case, you may be better off using your rolling pin to roll out the dough rather than trying to get away with stretching or spinning pizza doughs above your head. Ben posted the instructions on line along with some instructional videos that you can watch for technique and inspiration.




To go along with the dough , we have some Maplebrook Farm's Fresh Mozzarella for you. In Bennington, Maplebrook makes their cheese with fresh Vermont milk. This cheese freezes very well, so if pizza isn't in the plan for this evening, you can save it for another day (or another week!).



We made pesto! On Sunday, Pete, Deb and I assembled for the first round of pesto making for Good Eats. It felt great to begin a small stockpile of items that we'll freeze for Good Eats shares this winter. When we lost the barn in January we lost thousands of items that we had frozen for shares - pesto, squash puree, spinach, frozen peppers etc. Finally the time has come to begin the process of building up our stores again.



We made the pesto with our basil, with Stateline Farm's sunflower oil, and with garlic, salt and a bit of lemon juice. We left out the nuts and cheese to accommodate as many diets as possible. We will be making a lot more in the weeks to come and would love your feedback on this batch so we can improve those ahead. I'll be sending an on line survey to you all in a few days and I hope you will take time to share your thoughts. If you like nuts and cheese in your pesto, there's no reason you can't add them. 1/4 to 1/3 cup aged cheese with a similar amount of toasted and chopped pine nuts, walnuts, or sunflower seeds would be delicious.

More eggs this week from Pa Pa Doodles farm. I had a member comment recently about eggs in her carton being small... Deb has a mixed flock and some of the girls are new pullets right now, which means they have just matured enough to begin laying eggs. When hens begin to lay, they start out laying small pullet eggs. This lasts for only a short time, the eggs size right up in a few weeks. So if you have bneen wondering why the small eggs, that's the story.


A few sites who missed blueberries last week will get them this week (Laughing Moon sites, Shelburne, and Concept 2). The blueberries come from Knoll Farm, a small family farm in the Waitsfield, Vermont.


Meat Share


This week's meat share brings you Pete's Country Style Ribs. To do the ribs justice I wanted to give everyone enough to work with so you are all getting 2 packages of ribs with which you can have a small feast. Other items include a small Pete's Pastured Chicken and Maplewind Farm Sandwich Steak or Stew Beef. Sandwich steak you say? This is a new cut for Maplewind Farm, but one that owner Beth Whiting's butcher has been raving about. It's a thinly cut piece of sirloin, and is the cut that Philly cheese steaks are made from. Not all of you will receive sandwich steak though, she did not have enough to go around. This week half the sites will get sandwich steak and the other half Maplewind stew beef. The goal is to switch it up in September, giving the other half of sites who get stew beef now sandwich steak then, and vice versa.


Recipes

I just got the news from the farm a minute ago that they were going to add tomatoes. With that last addition, it hardly seems necessary to write any recipes! Let's see you have options of:

Pizza with tomatoes, pesto, fresh mozz
Pizza with tomatoes, italian sausage, fresh mozz, and eggplant

Pizza with potatoes, onions, pesto

Eggplant parm with fresh tomatoes, pesto and fresh mozz
Steak sanwiches with grilled peppers and onions, fresh tomatoes, pesto, and fresh mozz
Endless pasta dishes made possible and delicious with combinations of peppers, tomatoes, onions, parsley, zucchini, eggplant and kale
Beautiful new Norland potatoes that you could prepare with butter or olive oil and fresh chopped parsley

The list goes on and on...


Fresh Mozz, Pesto, and Tomato Pizza


This is the quickest pizza ever. You could make it more zesty by adding some minced garlic aloing with the pesto. You could dress it up by topping it with some mesclun greens dressed in a simple vinaigrette. Or saute some zucchini or eggplant and peppers and onions in a pan for a while and add those too. You can't go wrong, there's just too many good things to put on top!



Olive oil

Pesto

a couple fresh tomatoes

torn fresh mozzarella

a little salt and pepper


Optional - fresh garlic, minced



Brush your crust with the oil for the flavor. Place thin slices of tomatoes on the crust, and place dabs of pesto all about the crust on top of and around the tomatoes here and there. I like to take the seeds out of my tomatoed so there's less tomato juice on the pizza. Then top with thin slices of the fresh mozz, toen and scattered about. I like a bit of salt and pepper on mine and sometimes I drizzle on a bit of really good balsamic. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is done. Simple and delicious.


Eggplant Parmesan
A modification of a classic from the NY Times.


1 eggplant

sea salt

2 cups whole peeled tomatoes

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

Olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs

2 large eggs, beaten

12 oz of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds

1/2 cup grated high quality Parmesan cheese

1/2 packed cup fresh basil leaves or several TB of pesto



Cut eggplants lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange one layer in the bottom of a large colander and sprinkle evenly with salt. Repeat with remaining eggplant, salting, until all eggplant is in the colander. Weigh down the slices with a couple of plates and let drain for 2 hours. The purpose of this step is to have the eggplant release some of its moisture before cooking.



While the eggplant is draining, prepare tomato sauce. Combine tomatoes, garlic and 1/3 cup olive oil in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.


When eggplant has drained, press down on it to remove excess water, wipe off the excess salt, and lay the slices out on paper towels to remove all the moisture. In a wide, shallow bowl, combine flour and breadcrumbs. Mix well. Pour beaten eggs into another wide shallow bowl. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and pour in a a half inch of olive oil. When oil is shimmering, dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour mixture, then in the beaten egg. Working in batches, slide coated eggplant into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Drain on paper towels.


Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the bottom of a 10x15 inch glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce. Top with one third of the eggplant slices. Top eggplant with half of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with one third of the Parmesan and half of the basil leaves (or a tb of pesto dabbed around). Make a second layer of eggplant slices, topped by 1 cup of sauce, remaining mozzarella, half the remaining Parmesan, and all of the remaining basil (or pesto). Add remaining eggplant, and top with the remaining tomato sauce and Parmesan.


Bake until cheese has melted and the top is slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.

BBQ Country Style Ribs

Country style ribs require long slow cooking and deserve to be cooked to the meat is nearly falling from the bone. You can do this in a slow cooker in about 6-8 hours, or you can go the oven route and get there in a shorter amount of time. Either way, the results should be delicious. This recipe was reviewed by over 200 users of allrecipes.com, most giving it 5 stars. Not surprising as the method is perfect for this cut of meat and the lemon slices on top help tenderize the meat while it cooks. You could use any BBQ sauce for this, or just serve the ribs plain if you have picky kids in the house. They'll be yummy regardless. Some reviewers covered the ribs with foil for the first 2 hours to keep the more moist. 



10 country style pork ribs

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 lemon, thinly sliced

1 (18 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce



Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).

In a shallow baking pan or roaster, place ribs in a single layer; salt if desired. Spread the garlic on the ribs, then place the lemon slices on top. Bake in a preheated oven for 2 hours - the ribs should be tender. Drain any grease and liquid. Pour BBQ sauce over the ribs. Return to oven and bake one more hour at 200 to 250 degrees F.


Simplest Steak Sandwich

Lots of variations possibly with this simple sandwich. Saute griilled onions or peppers, and toss those on. Or skip the dijon and add to the basic sandwich tomato, pesto and fresh mozz or another melted cheese. 



1 ciabatta loaf or baguette

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

sandwich steak

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked (or thyme, or parsley)

olive oil or sunflower oil

juice of 1 lemon

1 -2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

thinly sliced onions

1 handful of mesclun



Place your ciabatta just to warm in the oven for a few minutes at 100C/225F/gas 1/4.



Season your steak and then sprinkle it with herbs. If any of the slices are thick, place them in a plastic bag and then bash the bag with a kitchen mallet or cleaver or back side of a heavy pot to thin the meat to 1cm thick or less. Rub with a little olive oil, place on a very hot griddle or frying pan and sear each side for a minute. This will cook the meat pink, but you can cook it less or more to your liking. Remove to a plate, squeeze over the lemon juice and allow to rest.



Cut your ciabatta in half lengthways and drizzle the cut sides with a little e.v. olive oil. Smear a massive dollop of Dijon mustard over the bread, put your steak and onions and mesclun on top, then drizzle over any juice from the meat. Squeeze together and eat!


Oven Ratatouille


This recipe looks long. But really, it's just a lot of instruction about properly roasting the various vegetables in this dish. The roasting sweetens and concentrates the flavors of them all. This is a very healthy, very tasty dish. From Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without.



3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large globe eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into ¾-inch cubes (peeling unnecessary if the skin is tight and smooth)

2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (or 1 smallish heirloom or beefsteak)

6 medium-sized garlic cloves, unpeeled

2 large bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)

2 cups coarsely chopped onion

1 medium zucchini (7 to 8 inches long), cut into 1-inch cubes

1½ teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano

½ teaspoon each crumbled dried thyme and rosemary

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



Optional:
Small amounts of fresh herbs (basil, marjoram or oregano, rosemary, thyme, and/or parsley)
Pitted chopped olives

Arrange an oven rack in the topmost position, and another in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 1 small and 2 large baking trays with foil, and coast the foil generously with the olive oil.



Place the eggplant on one of the large trays, and toss to coat with oil. Then push it to one side, keeping it in a single layer. Arrange the tomatoes on the other half of the tray, rolling them around so they get coated with oil. Wrap the garlic cloves (still in their skins) and a half teaspoon of water tightly in a piece of foil, and place this on the corner of the same tray.



Place the whole bell peppers on the small tray.



Spread the onions and the zucchini pieces on opposite ends of the remaining large tray, and toss to coat with the oil.



Place the eggplant tray on the middle shelf of the oven, and put the small sheet with the peppers on the upper rack. After 10 minutes, use tongs to turn everything over. Repeat this turning process after another 10 minutes or so. Gently squeeze the garlic to see if it is soft. If it is, remove it from the oven; if not, continue roasting.



Place the onion-zucchini tray on the middle shelf next to the one with the eggplant, and continue roasting all for another 10 minutes. Turn the peppers and tomatoes one more time, and toss the eggplant, onions, and zucchini to help them brown evenly. Sprinkle the eggplant, onions, and zucchini evenly with the dried herbs. Once again, squeeze the garlic to see if it is soft. If so, remove it from the oven; if not, continue roasting. Roast a final 10 minutes, or until the vegetables become deep golden brown and very tender.



Transfer the eggplant, onion, and zucchini to a large bowl. Let the peppers, tomatoes, and garlic sit for a few minutes, or until comfortable to handle. Peel the peppers, then chop the tomatoes and peeled peppers roughly into 1-inch pieces and add to the eggplant mixture. Slip the roasted garlic cloves from their skins, mash with a fork, and add to the eggplant mixture.



Toss until well combined. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled – plain or topped with a sprinkling of freshly chopped herbs and/or olives.