Monday, September 23, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - September 18, 2013

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Spinach; Lettuce; Cauliflower; Tomatillos; Watermelon;  Beets; Onions; Cilantro; Jalapeno; Garlic

And OUT of the bag:
1 Pint of Tomatoes

Localvore Offerings Include:
Red Hen Cyrus Pringle Bread
Pete's Greens Chimichurri
Tullochgorum Farm Popcorn

Small Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG containing:
Spinach; Lettuce; Tomatillos; Beets;
Onions; Cilantro; Jalapeno; Garlic

Have you signed up for your fall share yet? 

Time is running out to get a free T-shirt!

Sign up for a Localvore or a Veggie Only share by this Sunday, 9/22, and get a brand new Pete's Greens t-shirt.

Or sign up for any of our other shares to secure your fresh, organic vegetables for this fall and winter.

Pete's Musings

Oh I love the urgency of fall. Yesterday we had to hustle to get the winter squash in before a possible freeze, today we're digging some potatoes with our new harvester, more carrots will flow in later in the week. We have several days of needed sun and cool nights in the forecast. Fall greenhouse plantings are doing really well. Chard, kale, head lettuce, herbs, scallions, leeks, are all growing nicely and we have multiple plantings in the pipeline. We should be able to provide ample amounts of these green crops in Good Eats at least through the New Year. And our storage crops in the field are totally awesome. Potato bonanza, fall carrots are fattening, rutabaga and cabbage are sweetening in the cool temps, and the parsnips are completely out of control with the plants topping 5 ft tall.
I'm headed to Europe tomorrow for an 8 day tour of vegetable farms, seed farms, and cheese producers. We're starting in Rome, going to the Slow Food cheese fest in Bra Italy, heading to Switzerland for more tours, and finishing in the Netherlands and Belgium where there is a vegetable field days and lots of farm tours both with folks I've visited before and many new ones. I've learned a tremendous amount on trips such as this in the past and it's exciting to be going during the growing season so that we can see the farms in action. The level of precision and well executed farming is so high in the Netherlands, and Italy is full of interesting small scale equipment for vegetable farms.
Check out the Fall Vermont Farm Fund newsletter, good stuff happening there.

It was very exciting to have Jonathon Dysinger and his family visit the farm the past 2 days. Jonathon is an ag engineer who has developed a small scale greens harvester we use in the greenhouses. He is 20 years old and has been working on the design for 5 years.  Talented guy and a very nice family, they have a vegetable farm in Tennessee. He brought a second generation harvester for us to try (big improvements) and it was really fun to listen to Annie describe the good and bad points of using it all last winter to Jonathon. This is new wave American manufacturing and exactly what the small scale farming community needs. We look forward to working on future projects with Jonathan. ~Pete

Photo above: freshly harvested squash curing in greenhouse. 
Photo at right: Jonathan Dysinger in the spinach field this morning.

Storage and Use Tips

In this weeks share you'll get some awesome Long Standing Bloomsdale Spinach. It's an old variety that's harder to grow and lower yielding than newer types but the flavor is really great, much sweeter than newer types.

Big share members are getting a pint of tomatoes.  These will be either cherries or cute baby tomatoes.

Most of the cauliflower this week are white heads, but some of you may get a yellow head (called cheddar).  They can all be enjoyed the same way - steamed, sauteed, or roasted.  The heads are quite delicate so handle them gently to avoid bruising.  You can eat the whole head - any of the small leaves left clinging to the vegetable are delicate and cook quickly, and the stalk can be thinly sliced and served raw with a dish of sea salt for an appetizer.

Tomatillos - a tomatillo is a Mexican fruit similar to a tomato that remains firm and green when ripe. Tomatillos grow inside lantern-shaped paper husks, which must be removed. Wash the tomatillos well to remove the sticky substance that keeps the husks in place. Because they are quite acidic, tomatillos are not often used raw. Roast them to rid them of excess liquid and soften their texture. Roasted with some fresh chiles, they can be turned into a quick salsa in the blender.  There's a nice Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Recipe on our website. Tomatillos exude a lot of liquid and seeds as they roast. Scrape all the flavorful juices into the blender. Store tomatillos in their husks in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

The watermelon this week is a Sunshine variety.  It's striped on the outside and yellow on the inside.  These watermelons are sweet and tasty!  Here's a picture of the crew harvesting the watermelons this morning.

Everyone will get beet bunches this week.  The beets are red and the greens are still attached.  These greens are best eaten cooked.  They are related to Swiss chard and may be used exactly the same way. I love them sauteed with a bit of oil and vinegar (balsamic or apple cider) and salt & pepper. You can also toss them into most recipes that call for other greens (mustard greens, spinach). They are milder in flavor than mustard greens, but a bit stronger than spinach.   Do separate beet greens from the beets and store each separately, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag.

Cilantro is a member of the carrot family and related to parsley.   Cilantro is the leaves and stems of the coriander plant (the seeds of the same plant are the spice known as coriander). Cilantro has a very pungent odor and is widely used in Mexican, Caribbean and Asian cooking. The leaves and stems can be chopped and added to salads, soups and sauces, and can garnish many meals.  If you can't use all your cilantro just yet and wish to save it for a future dish, you can freeze it. Wash and gently dry your cilantro with paper towels. Then either put sprigs loosely in a plastic bag and freeze them. Or lightly chop cilantro, measure by the tablespoon into ice trays, fill remaining space in ice tray with water, and then after cubes are frozen, store in a plastic bag. You can take one out and thaw anytime you need to use it.

My only advice in using the jalapeno pepper is to use gloves when cutting.  I learned this again the hard way after recently making some peach salsa.  I didn't use gloves and my hands were burning for 2 days!   Store the pepper in a paper bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.

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.

Please tell friends & neighbors
about the upcoming Good Eats Fall Winter Share!

We need enough members at each site to keep your neighborhood site viable and we can use all the help we can get.  If you are able to post something to your front porch forum or other neighborhood email group, let me know and I'll send you a little blurb that you can use or edit. 

Or if you have a great place to hang a poster or work in an office and would like to hand out some brochures to your colleagues, please email me!

Sign up now to secure your Fall/Winter Share!
There are only 3 weeks left of the summer share...

Fall / Winter Good Eats Share
 * October 16th - Feb 12th *

Sign up before September 22nd for a Localvore or Regular Veggie Only Share
and we'll send you a FREE Pete's Greens T shirt!


Lots of info available on the Fall Share page of the website.

We have a fantastic share planned out for fall and winter.  We'll be harvesting the last of the summer bounty in the next few weeks and plan to send out chard, kale, lettuce, herbs, scallions and leeks well into the New Year.  We have been busy in the kitchen preserving our summer harvests so we can send out frozen goodies during the share.  There's nothing like our frozen corn in the middle of winter!  I hope you can join us!


Localvore Share - a great mix of organic vegetables and high quality locally produced staples like cheeses, eggs, flours, grains, cooking oils and more. $46/week.

Veggie Only Share - a diverse mix of vegetables all year long.  Great for households of 2-4 people. $29/week.

Half Veggie Only Share - a smaller selection of weekly vegetables designed for households of 1-2 people.  This share size will be limited this season so sign up soon. Just $22/week.

Half Veggie and Pantry Share - this is a smaller Localvore share with a half sized bag of weekly vegetables plus the same pantry items as a Localvore or pantry share.  $39/week.

Pete's Pantry Share  - NO vegetables.  A weekly delivery of high quality locally produced staples like cheeses, eggs, flours, grains, cooking oils and more.  $18/week.

Meat Share -
a MONTHLY selection of locally and consciously raised meats.  You can expect Pete's Greens pastured chicken with beef, lamb, sausages, duck and possibly trout from producers we know and love.  $200 for four $50 monthly deliveries

See website for more info or to sign up!

Questions? Email or give us a call 802-586-2882 x6

Localvore Lore

From Red Hen Baking Co. we have Cyrus Pringle Bread.  This bread is made entirely from VT grown wheat flour with Charlotte's Aurora Farm flour contributing the lions share and Gleason Grains providing about 15% of the flour.  We have been very lucky the last couple of years with good weather delivering favorable drying conditions for the wheat.  This year has been a struggle, but this bread is made with the first of the 2013 harvest.  Because our farm is in the NEK, including Red Hen bread in the share is a bit tricky, but a labor of love.  Our truck leaves the farm breadless, and makes an early stop in Middlesex to pick up bread for most of the sites.  At this point our truck has already made delivery to Craftsbury and Hardwick, leaving those sites breadless.  I pick up loaves of bread and drive it North for those members.  It's difficult not to eat all the bread on my drive up - the smell of all of those loaves of fresh bread is enough to make me crazy!

We made a fresh batch of Chimichurri in our kitchen with fresh parsley, cilantro, cider vinegar, jalapenos, garlic, olive oil, and salt.   This very flavorful condiment is an Argentinian staple usually served alongside meats, but it can also liven up a sandwich, go along with grilled potatoes, or liven up a plate of eggs and toast. It's packed with flavor and will be delicious slathered on the Cyrus Pringle bread with some cheese and tomato an greens.  It's coming to you frozen.  You can use it right away or freeze for a few months before thawing out to enjoy.

A couple times a year, Lorraine and Steve Lalonde load up their truck and bring us their organically grown White Lightening Popcorn from Tullochgorum Farm which is in Ormstown, Quebec, situated in the beautiful Chateauguay Valley of South-western Quebec. Because popcorn requires a longer growing season than most types of corn, Steve and Loraine consider their area to be at the northern limit of successfully producing this crop. To their knowledge, they are the only commercial producers of certified organic popcorn in Quebec. Once popped, White Lightning possesses a delicate, crispy texture, and a slightly nutty flavor, vastly different from the more common yellow popcorn varieties with which most people are familiar with, and a world away from microwave popcorn! We invite you to try this unique, organically grown treat and hope that you’ll get hooked on White Lightning, too!

Vermont Farm Fund

Please check out the news from the Vermont Farm Fund in the recently released Fall newsletter.  The VFF continues to do great work for the Vermont Ag community.  Recent loan recipients include an innovation loan to Stony Pond Farm to assist with their viable, holistic, and environmentally sensitive agricultural enterprise,and Elmore Roots Nursery with an Emergency Loan after Tropical Storm Irene damaged their land.  Please check out the VFF newsletter here!

The Vermont Farm Fund provides no-hassle, friendly-term loans to local farmers and food producers. A true revolving loan fund, as the community of recipients pays back their loans, funds are replenished for the next cycle of borrower.

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.


Tomatillo Salsa
We had this recipe in mind when creating this week's share.  This quick and easy salsa features many of this weeks ingredients: beautiful tomatillos, onions, garlic, cilantro and a jalapeno pepper.

1 pound tomatillos, husked and washed (or substitute1/2 lb tomatillos, 1/2 lb tomatoes)

½ of a large onion, quartered

2 cloves garlic

1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded if you want to control the heat

¼ cup cilantro, chopped fine

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

1 TB lime juice

1/2 cup water

Coarsely purée tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, garlic, water, and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt in a blender. Transfer to a large heavy skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature, then stir in cilantro, lime juice, and possibly additional salt to taste.

Cauliflower Jalapeno
This recipe calls for Jalapeno dressing (recipe below).  If you don't have enough jalapenos (or prefer things less spicy like me) you could make the dressing without the extra jalapenos. 

1 head (10 to 11 ounces) cauliflower, florets cut into bite-size pieces
Olive oil
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, half of the seeds discarded, finely chopped
4 tbsp Jalapeno Dressing (recipe below)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place cauliflower on a baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until brown and just soft, 4 to 8 minutes.  Transfer cauliflower to a bowl, along with onion, jalapeno, and jalapeno dressing. Toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with cilantro leaves; serve immediately.

Jalapeno Dressing
2 jalapenos, half of the seeds discarded, finely chopped
1/2 tsp grated garlic
1 1/2 cups unseasoned rice-wine vinegar
4 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups grapeseed oil

Place jalapeno, garlic, rice-wine vinegar, and sea salt in the jar of a blender. Blend until well combined. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in oil until emulsified.

Sesame Ginger Beet Greens
Here's a fun recipe for your beet greens.

1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
4 cups loosely packed beet greens
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated gingerroot
1 pinch salt
1/2 tsp sesame oil

In small skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds until golden, about 3 minutes; set aside.

Trim stems from small young beet greens or remove centre rib from larger mature beet greens.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beet greens, garlic, ginger and salt.  Cover and steam until greens are wilted, about 3 minutes. Drizzle with sesame oil; sprinkle with reserved sesame seeds.

Watermelon Gorgonzola Salad
This summer I went to Washington DC and visited the historic Eastern Market.   Jonathan Bardzik, a local chef, was giving demos and samples of this delicious salad.  I was glad he had the recipe cards to bring home so that I could share this with you. 

6 cups watermelon cut into 1" cubes
2 cups lettuce or spinach, loosely packed
1 shallot, minced
1/3 cup Cava Rose vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
2/3 cups olive oil
1 cup chilled, crumbled gorgonzola cheese

Toss together watermelon and greens in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together shallot, vinegar, and honey.  Whisk oil into vinegar to form a thick, creamy emulsion.

Stir crumbles into vinaigrette and taste with a cube of watermelon.  Season dress to taste with additional salt, pepper, vinegar or oil and lightly dress watermelon and greens. 

**If making this ahead, keep the watermelon separate.  It will release water which will dilute your dress and wilt the greens.

Pasta with Cilanto-Peanut Pesto
Don't waste cilantro stems; you can use the entire bunch in this recipe!

1 bunch cilantro with 1/4 cup leaves reserved for serving
1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
3/4 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled (substitute 1 tsp ground ginger if you don't have fresh)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp toaste sesame oil
1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes
1/2 tsp grated lime zest plus 2 tbsp juice
1 tsp light-brown sugar
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, divided
2 - 3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
3/4 pound spaghetti or linguine, cooked according to package instructions

In a food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, ginger, vegetable and sesame oils, red-pepper flakes, lime zest and juice, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup peanuts.  Pulse until a coarse paste forms.  Season with soy sauce and pulse to combine.

In a large bowl, toss pesto with pasta.  Roughly chop remaining peanuts and sprinkle over pasta along with cilantro leaves.

Scrambled Eggs with Tomatillos

Olive oil
1/2 pound tomatillos, papery husks removed and discarded, rinsed, roughly chopped
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 fresh or canned jalapeno chile pepper, minced (more or less depending on how hot the pepper is, and how much heat you want)
Splash of lemon or lime juice
4 to 6 eggs
Salt and pepper
Some chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a medium-sized skillet on medium heat. Add the chopped tomatillos, onion, jalapeño chile pepper, and a small squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Cook on medium to medium-low heat (you want to gently cook, not brown) for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, and the tomatillos are no longer bright green.

Add the eggs directly to the pan (no need to whisk first). Break up the yolks with your stirring spoon. Cook gently, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat when the eggs begin to set, but are still moist, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately. Sprinkle on cilantro for garnish.

No comments: