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.

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