Thursday, August 22, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - August 21, 2013

Localvore Members
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
This week your bag will contain:

Mesclun; Potatoes; Beets; Broccoli; Rainbow Chard; Fennel; Onions; Cucumber

And OUT of the bag:

Tomatoes & Garlic (packed in a small paper bag)

Localvore Offerings Include:  

Elmore Mountain Bread
Quebec Organic Pearled Barley
Bonnieview Farm Feta
Tangletown Eggs

Small Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG containing:

Mesclun; Beets; Rainbow Chard; Fennel; Cucumber
And OUT Of the bag:
Tomatoes & Garlic (packed in a small paper bag)

Thanks to everyone who came out for our open farm on Saturday!  We had such a fun day - great weather, great food,  great music and great people.  It was great to meet so many of you.
I'd like to thank everyone at the farm for their hard work in pulling the event off, Ryan O'Malley at NECI and his talented volunteers, and the wonderfully talented ladies from Full Circle that provided us with the music.  I can't wait to do it again next year!
Open Farm Day
Food prepared by NECI, bread from Elmore Mountain, and various cheeses from Cellars at Jasper Hill.  Tim getting ready to bring a tour out.  Below: a tour heading out to the fields.  Our wonderful music from Full Circle

Storage and Use Tips

This week's greens are mesclun.

The Potatoes are a great mix of Nicola, Adirondack Reds, and Peter Wilcox.

Your beets this week are a mix of reds, golds, and chioggias.  The chioggia are a deep pink on the outside, with candy pink and white stripes on the inside. From there you can pick out the red and gold.   To maintain the beautiful colors of the chioggia and gold beets, cook the red beets separately.  If roasting, you can package the beets up in different foil packages, tossed with oil and salt.  I like to cut my beets up into like-sized pieces.  I roast them in a 400F oven for about 50-60 minutes, until a knife easily slips in and out of a piece.  Skin them once they are cool enough to handle.  Store beets loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Large share members will get a nice head of broccoli.  There is nothing better than fresh organic broccoli!

Rainbow Chard is a delicious nutritious green, high in Vitamins A, K, and C.  Chard works great as a spinach substitute but needs to be cooked down a bit longer.  It also works well in soups and stews, or sauteed as a side.

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.

Large yellow onions will be in the bags for large share members.

Everyone will get some cucumbers this week - either a slicing cuke or a European cucumber.

Everyone is getting more garlic.  It will be in the paper bag with the tomatoes.

 Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section.  I am sure you will find it useful.
Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.
Localvore Lore
Elmore Mountain Bread made Rustic Bread this week.  It's made with Milanaise Winter Wheat and Rye and Whole Wheat from Gleason Grains.

The organic pearled barley was grown in Quebec and milled at Golden Crops owned by Michel Gaudreau. Pearled barley 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. One cup of dry barley makes about 3 to 3 1/2 cups cooked. If you soak the grains 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, using lots of water (4-5 cups of water to 1 cup barley), then drain what's left over.

Bonnieview Farm Feta Cheese is made right up the road from us in Craftsbury.  Neil and Kristen Urie make this amazing cheese from the ewes they milk daily.  This cheese is wonderful added to a salad, crumbled into various pasta dishes, or on bruschetta and other open faced toasted sandwiches.  It's also great right from the container!

Enjoy your eggs from Tangletown Farm!

Creamy Feta Dressing
This is a wonderful dressing. If you have fresh mint in the garden, use it here. Makes about 1 cup.

1/3 cup feta cheese, finely crumbled
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup oil
2 TB cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
3 TB yogurt
1 TB mayonnaise
fresh black pepper
fresh minced or dry herbs: mint, dill, chives, parsley

Blend together vinegar, garlic, yogurt, mayo, salt, pepper, & herbs. Blend in the oil in a drizzle until emulsified, then stir in feta. Keeps 1 week in refrigerator.

Charred Tomatoes with Fried Eggs on Garlic Toast
When tomatoes are cooked in a healthy fat like olive oil, it increases our absorption of the phytochemical lycopene, which may lower the rist of heart disease.  September 2013, Martha Stewart Living Magazine.

4 slices rustic bread, toasted
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
4 large eggs
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 small tomatoes, halved

Rub toasted bread with garlic and brush with oil.  Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.  Crack eggs into skillet and cook, undisturbed, until whites are set, 2 to 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate.

Increase heat to medium-high.  Brush cut sides of tomates with oil.  Sear, cut sides down and undisturbed, until charred, 3 to 4 minutes.  Transfer 2 tomato halves to each piece of toast with a spatula and lightly mash.  Season with salt and pepper and top with fried eggs.

Pickled Chard Stems
You may not have enough stems to make this but I wanted to include the recipe anyway.  I love a recipe that uses the random parts of a veggie, especially the stems.  This makes 2 pints so you could halve the recipe if you don't have enough, or if you have access to another bunch of chard try it out and let me know what you think!

2 large bunches chard stems (leaves removed)
1 cup rice wine vinegar (at least 5% acidity if canning)
1/2 cup white vinegar (at least 5% acidity if canning)
1/2 cup filtered water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp pickling salt
1/4 tsp coriander seed
1/4 tsp fennel seed
1/4 tsp black peppercorn
1/4 tsp yellow mustard seed

If canning, prepare canner, jars and lids.

Scrub chard stems, trim the ends, and slice any bits of leaf off of the edges with a sharp knife.  Slice into batons, the height of your jar minus 1/2-inch for headspace (line one measured baton up on your cutting board to use as a template). Slice larger stems in half, or in thirds, lengthwise, if needed, such that each pickle is approximately the same size.

Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt and spices in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt.

Stack chard stems into hot, sterilzed jars and cover with brine, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe rim, affix lid and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (alternatively, you can store these pickles in the fridge for about 1 month).  Makes 2 pints.

Stovetop Broccoli Mac and Cheese
This recipe comes from my friend's blog, Yankee Kitchen Ninja.  She has some awesome recipes on her blog, gardening tips, and the CSA Share Rescue which features some of those hard to use veggies people get in their shares.

4 cups broccoli florets, cut into very small sections with NO stems left attached (about 2 broccoli crowns)
8 ounces elbow pasta (I use multi-grain)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/3 cups skim milk
4 ounces grated cheddar cheese (I like Cabot's Seriously Sharp)
2 ounces grated pepper jack cheese (this makes it nicely spicy -- if you don't want spice, substitute an equal amount of regular cheddar cheese)
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the broccoli. Wait for the water to reboil then cook the broccoli for about 3 minutes. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. When done, drain and stir until the broccoli breaks down.

While pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until the mixture is thick and bubbly (a couple of minutes). Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to cook and whisk until the mixture thickens (just a few minutes, really). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese until it melts.

Add the cheese mixture to the pasta-broccoli mixture and stir thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Potato Fennel Soup
Potatoes and fennel are two great things that go great together and there are many recipes that feature the two including dozens of soup variations you could find on line. This one is basic, it's from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook. You could make this soup as is, or you could enrich it by substituting all or a part of the water with chicken stock or a nice vegetable stock. Some recipes call for dairy, adding either some half and half or skim milk, depending on the preference of the eater. You could substitute some leeks for all or part of the onions, or add in some shallots.

1 TB butter or oil
4 cups thinly sliced onions
2 tsp salt
4 medium potatoes, not necessarily peeled and sliced into thin pieces 1 to 2 inches long
1 cup freshly minced fennel bulb
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
4 cups water (or stock)
white pepper to taste

Optional toppings:
sour cream, thinned (by beating with a whisk in a litle bowl)
the feathery tops of the fennel, well minced

Melt the butter or heat the oil in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add the onions and 1 tsp salt. Cook over med-low heat, stirring occasionally for about 15-20 minutes, or until the onions are very, very soft and lightly browned.

Add the potatoes, another 1/2 tsp salt, the minced fennel bulb, the caraway seeds. Saute over medium heat for another 5 minutes, then add water (or stock). Bring to a boil then partially cover, and simmer til the potatoes are tender (10 to 15 minutes).

Taste to adjust salt; add white pepper. Serve hot, topped with a decorative swirl of thinned sour cream and/or minced feathery fennel tops.

Tomato Fennel Salad
Here's another great recipe using your fennel.

1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes
1 small fennel bulb
2 tbsp good olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Core the tomatoes and cut into wedges. Remove the top of the fennel (save some fronds for garnish) and slice the bulb very thinly crosswise with a knife or on a mandoline.

Toss the tomatoes and fennel in a bowl with the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Garnish with 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds, season to taste, and serve.

Swiss Chard and Caramelized Onions

1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 bunch red Swiss chard, rinsed and chopped
1/4 cup kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lemon, juiced

In a cast iron skillet, cook onions in olive oil over medium-high heat until they begin to brown. Stir in brown sugar, and continue cooking for a few minutes.

When onions are brown and tender, stir in chard and olives. Cook until chard is slightly wilted. Stir in capers and salt, and continue cooking until chard is completely wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with black pepper and squeeze lemon over the top.

Broccoli Slaw
I love a nice cold, broccoli salad in the summertime.  I know many folks like to add bacon to their broccoli salads - that would be a great addition here.

2 heads of broccoli
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2/3 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar

Trim broccoli and chop it by hand into smaller pieces, you can use the stem, or not, to your preference. Toss the broccoli with the almonds, cranberries and most of the red onion in a large bowl. Meanwhile, whisk the buttermilk, mayo, vinegar, sugar and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a smaller bowl. Pour the dressing over the broccoli (if you’ve skipped the stems, you might not want it use it all) and toss it well. Season well with salt and pepper to taste. This slaw should keep up to a week in the fridge.

Seared Beets with Walnuts over Wilted Chard with Greens

5 small beets, a mix of red and golden
3 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch swiss chard leaves, stems removed and leaves finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Sea salt
Aged red wine vinegar
small handful of walnut halves or pieces
Feta or goat cheese
Crushed aniseeds or dried oregano
A handful of greens

Steam the beets in simmering water, covered, until tender but still a bit firm when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes for small beets, longer for larger ones. When cool, either slip off the skins with your hands or peel them neatly with a knife.  Cut them into wedges.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wide skillet over medium heat.  Add the beets and cook them, turning as needed, until seared, 10 to 15 minutes.

While the beets are cooking, rinse the chard and drain in a colander but don't dry.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in a second wide skillet over high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the chard, garlic, and a few pinches of salt.  Turn the greens as they cook, taking care that the garlic doesn't burn.  The water clinging to the chard will steam the greens then evaporate.  When shiny and tender, add 1 tbsp vinegar and toss it with the chard.  Taste for salt.

Loosely arrange the chard on a small platter and cover with the beets, walnuts, and cheese.  Crush a pinch or so of aniseeds and sprinkle them over the salad, then drizzle the remaining oil over all and sprinkle with more vinegar and salt.  Finish with the greens and serve.

Summer Barley Salad
This recipe just begs for improvisation - swap out the corn for roasted beets, cucumber, broccoli, or any other veggie.

1 1/2 cups uncooked pearl barley
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears) (could leave
1 cup diced seeded plum tomato (about 2 small)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
20 kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Cook barley according to directions above, omitting salt. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Cool completely. Combine barley, corn, and next 4 ingredients (through kalamata olives) in a bowl. Combine juice and next 4 ingredients (through garlic), stirring well with a whisk; drizzle over barley mixture.  Toss to coat.  Sprinkle with cheese.


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