Sunday, March 16, 2014

Good Eats Newsletter - March 12, 2014

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Shoots mix; Potatoes; Carrots; Parsnips; Turnips; Leeks

And OUT of the bag:
Frozen Kale
Frozen Sweet Peppers

Localvore / Pantry Offerings Include:
Butterworks Organic Wheatberries
VT Cranberry Company Dried Cranberries
Bonnieview Farm Feta Cheese

Half Veggie Only Members
Shoots mix; Potatoes; Carrots; Parsnips; Leeks

And OUT of the bag:
Frozen Kale


Because of the large storm coming our way (and because we believe Thursday might be a mess out on the roads) we made a change to this week's schedule.  Wednesday deliveries will go out as normal tomorrow and Thursday deliveries will also go out tomorrow.

Keep in mind that we may be a bit delayed because of the weather.  The Thursday shares should be there just a little bit later than usual.  I'll be in touch during the day if there are any changes to your delivery.

Please let us know if you can't get your share so we can make alternate arrangements.
A word about our greens

Usually by this point in the spring, we have begun mixing spinach or hardy winter greens into our shoots mix for a more diverse salad blend. The super cold temps we have had on and off these past weeks keep haven't allowed our greens much of a chance to grow.  They have been hanging out under their row cover, just waiting for a little spring warmth to get them going again.  Once the weather starts to warm more and they get more sunlight those greens will perk up and start growing for us.  We just wanted to let you know to hang tight - a more diverse blend of greens will be in your salad bags soon ~ Sara

Meet Jonathan
Jonathan is a member of our wash-house crew.  He stays busy washing veggies, packing CSA shares, and also assisting with wholesale orders.  He's been with Pete's Greens since October, 2013.

What's your background?  I came to VT from Austin, TX a few year ago.  I worked at Johnson's Backyard Garden in Austin which had the largest CSA in the state.  I moved to VT and worked at Uncommon Market for a bit before coming to Pete's Greens.

Why do you like farming?  Both sides
of my family were farmers so I grew up farming.  I spent my summer vacations and all my spare time working on various farmsMy grandfather was the Animal and Range Sciences Deparment Head at New Mexico State University.

Why do you work at Pete's Greens?  I like doing farm work.  Pete's appealed to me because it's a 4 season farm located in the part of VT that I wanted to live in.

What do you do in your spare time?  I currently have 3 pigs as well as sheep.  I'm very interested in raising more animals.

What's your favorite vegetable?  Being from the South West I love hot peppers, onions and garlic.

Thanks Jonathan!

Announcing the Shoots Recipe Contest!

We're looking for some new recipes using our shoots.  Do you have a great recipe or cool way that you eat your shoots?

Email it to us by Friday, March 21st, and if we choose your recipe as the winner you will win a Pete's Greens t-shirt!

The sky is the limit here - just get creative with your shoots and send us a recipe.  We will  feature the winning recipe plus a few of the others in our newsletter.

Good luck!

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.

Storage and Use Tips

This week our shoots mix is a mixture of our sunflower and radish shoots.  There are lots of options for these shoots - add to a salad, a slaw, on top of a bowl of soup, in a sandwich or scrambled into some eggs. 

Large share members will get large fingerling potatoes. Fingerling potatoes are a family of heritage potatoes that naturally grow much smaller than conventional potatoes. They tend to be elongated and slightly knobbly, making them very finger-like in shape. The unusual-looking, flavorful potatoes can be used just like regular potatoes in an assortment of roasted, broiled, baked, grilled, or boiled dishes.  Store in a paper bag in a cool, dry place. No need to peel, just scrub clean before cooking.

Half share members will get red gold potatoes.  These potatoes waxy variety with a thin skin - low in starch, high in sugar and moisture.  They're a great choice for roasting, sautéing and boiling, as their low starch content helps them maintain their shape after they’re cooked.

This week's carrots are a mix of purple, white, yellow, and orange carrots.  These are all very sweet carrots that don't need a whole lot of preparation to enjoy. They should be stored loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer, where they will keep for a couple of weeks.

Parsnips - you may think these are just pale versions of carrots but they're not!  They have a nutty-sweet taste and a tender-hearty texture that is entirely distinct. For centuries, parsnips were a more common staple than the potato—and deservedly so. Satisfying, versatile, and highly nutritious, these delicious roots make a terrific base to any meal. Young parsnips don’t need to be peeled. Simply scrub them under running water with a vegetable brush. Peel larger parsnips, and cut out the core if it seems woody. However you slice or chop parsnips, be sure to make all the pieces relatively the same size, ensuring an evenly cooked dish. Refrigerate unwashed parsnips in a loosely wrapped or perforated plastic bag for up to two weeks.

Goldball turnips are yellow turnips that tend to have a long tail rather than a round shape and are creamy yellow on the inside.  I like to peel, chop, and saute them with some carrots and onions for a veggie stir fry, or they're also great cooked and added to mashed potatoes.  Here are a few other ways to enjoy turnips:

    *Grate raw into salads and slaws.
    *Steam 1-inch slices for 12-15 minutes.
    *Bake turnips for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees F basted with butter.
    *Roast along with roasting meats

Leeks are a relative of the onion.  They look like large scallions, and have a more subtle, mild flavor than our yellow onions.  They are often used in soups but they can be served as a dish on their own (see recipe for braised leeks below), or sliced raw into salads.  Store leeks dry and loosely wrapped in plastic in the refridgerator, but use them within a week or so.

I use frozen kale pretty much anywhere I'd use frozen spinach.  Tip for using...  If you won't use the whole package at once, take it out of freezer and let it thaw a bit on counter.  Once softened some you can attack it with a knife and saw into several slices of frozen goodness.  Then use what you will and throw the rest of the sliced sections back in freezer.  Next time you won't have to thaw to saw, just grab a slice.

Frozen sweet peppers - large share members will also receive frozen sweet peppers.  Keep them frozen until you are ready to use them.  They will be delicious sautéed and thrown onto a pizza, added to a salad, or cooked into lasagna, casseroles, soups, or sauces.

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.

Localvore Lore

The Organic Wheat Berries are from Butterworks Farm. Jack Lazor grows several varieties of wheat on the farm and to make flour, dried wheat berries are ground in a mill. These are the same kind of wheat berries that were used to make the whole wheat pastry flour we sometimes send in the share. Instead of grinding these wheat berries into flour however, you can cook with them. They make a great salad, pilaf, stuffing, casserole, salad garnish or substitute for rice. You can cook any kind of wheat berries. Softer wheat varieties may soften faster than hard varieties, but another factor in how quickly they soften is how dry the wheat berries are. Just like beans, if they have been sitting in your cupboard for 3 years they will probably take longer than those harvested 8 months ago.

To cook wheat berries, just put them in a pan of salted water with a ratio of 1 part wheat berries to 3 or 4 parts water. Bring them to a boil and simmer for 45-60 minutes until they are cooked and softened. Then drain. They might take a bit longer. Cooked wheat berries will keep in the fridge for 5-7 days and you can freeze them too.
Dried cranberries are coming to you from the VT Cranberry Company.  
Even though it's a native fruit of Vermont, it's actually not that easy to find local VT cranberries.  Bob Lesnikoski aka "Cranberry Bob" provides us with this week's Vermont grown dried cranberries.  Bob takes his cranberries, lightly sweetens them and dries them out for you to enjoy.  The cranberries are wonderful added to baked goods, salads (see recipes below), in oatmeal, baked goods, or just eaten plain.

We are proud to be neighbors with Bonnieview Farm who makes the amazing Ewe's Feta cheese. Neil and Kristen make this mild and tangy feta from the ewes they milk each day.  It's great added to a salad to add depth. It's also wonderful crumbled  into various pasta dishes, on bruschetta, or other open faced toasted sandwiches.


Irish Colcannon
This traditional Irish dish is just perfect for a St Patty's Day celebration.

2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons salt
pepper to taste
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 package frozen kale, thawed
2 TB white wine or water

Cut larger potatoes in 1/2, so that all pieces are of basically uniform size. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserts easily through potatoes. Warm 4 tablespoons butter and milk together. Drain potatoes and mash. Add milk and butter and mash until fairly smooth. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Meanwhile, heat remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add kale, sprinkle with a bit of salt and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of wine or water, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 8 minutes.

Add the cabbage to the potatoes. Mix and mash to desired consistency. Taste for seasoning.

Ginger-Glazed Turnips, Carrots, and Chestnuts
I tried something new last week with this recipe- maybe you're ready for a new skill as well?  This classic technique of covering simmering vegetables with a parchment-paper round (known as a cartouche) yeilds perfectly moist, evenly cooked pieces.  The glaze takes some of the "bite" away from the turnip.

1 1/2 pounds turnips, peeled, cut into 1x1 inch strips
1 pound carrots, peeled, thinly sliced on a diagnoal
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces, divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled, very thinly sliced
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 cup shelled roasted chestnuts from a jar
2 tbsp minced assorted herbs (such as flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, and chives)

Cut a 12 inch round of parchment paper; snip a hole about the size of a quarter in the center of round.  Combine turnips, carrots, 8 tbsp butter, brown sugar, and ginger in a 12 inch skillet.  Season with salt and pepper.  Rest parchment paper on top of vegetables (don't cover with lid).

Simmer over medium-high heat until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.  Discard parchment; add remaining 4 tbsp butter and chestnuts.  Simmer, swirling pan often, until a glaze forms, 8-10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Serve, garnished with herbs.

Carrots and Turnips Au Gratin
This is a delicious variation on au gratin that features something besides potatoes.  I sometimes substitute rutabaga for the turnips or parsnips for the carrots.

1-1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced
1-1/4 lbs turnips, peeled and sliced
1 can (10-3/4oz) cream of celery soup, undiluted
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbs butter, melted

Place carrots and turnips in a large saucepan; cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 5-7 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the soup, milk, and pepper.  Bring to a boil; remove from the heat.  Stir in cheese until melted.  Drain vegetables; transfer to an 11-in x 7-in baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Pour sauce over the vegetables.

Combine bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over top.  Bake, uncovered, at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and crumbs are golden brown.

Creamy Turnip with Paprika Soup
Here's yet another great way to use your turnips.  It's still soup weather, especially with this upcoming snow storm!

2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 pounds peeled turnip bulbs, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 large onion, diced
1tbs butter
1 pinch sugar
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tsps paprika
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cups broth, veggie or chicken
1 1/2 cups half and half or whole milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep saute pan until shimmering.  Add turnips, then onion; saute, stirring very little at first, then more frequently, until vegetables start to turn golden brown, about 7 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add butter, sugar, and garlic; continue cooking until all vegetables are a rich spotty caramel color, about 10 minutes longer.  Add paprika, thyme, and cayenne pepper; continue to simmer until fragrant, 3o seconds to 1 minute longer. Add broth; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until turnips are tender, about 10 minutes.

Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, blend until very smooth.  Return to pan; add enough half and half so the mixture is souplike.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Crispy Leek Rings
This recipe looks like a great way to eat leeks.  How can you go wrong with onion (leek) rings?

1-2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced into 1/2” thick rings
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
Canola oil
Kosher salt and black pepper

Place an inch or two of canola oil in a small saucepan and bring to 350 degrees.

Remove the centers of the leek sections, and separate the outer layers into rings two layers thick.  Set aside.

Combine the milk and egg in a small bowl.  Place the flour in another bowl.

Working in batches, dip the leek rings in the flour, then into the milk/egg mixture, then again in the flour.  Fry in the oil until golden brown.  Remove to paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper immediately.

Cook’s Note:  This is a cute variation on the classic onion ring.  I like these crispy little rings as snacks or garnish for a hearty meal.  If you like spice, add some cayenne to the flour before dredging. 

Curry Carrot-Leek Soup

1 pound thinly sliced leeks, white parts only
1 pound carrots, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons butter or stick margarine
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large saucepan, saute leeks and carrots in butter until leeks are tender. Add potato and curry powder; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add broth, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender. Cool slightly. Process in batches in a food processor or blender until pureed. Return to the pan; heat through.

Zesty Wheat Berry - Black Bean Chili
Make this chili! It's delicious. I put the beans in a bowl to soak last night, and cooked the wheat berries last night. I cooked the black beans for an hour this morning to soften them. And just now, I went into the kitchen and whipped up the rest in 20 minutes, with another 15 minutes to simmer it all to let the flavors meld. I didn't have the chipotle peppers but I am sure they'd be terrific, nor did I have avocado and cilantro. I did have some frozen hot peppers in freezer and added one. Top dressed with a bit of cheese and it's really good. From EatingWell March/April 2007. Makes 6 servings.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large yellow bell pepper,chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3-4 cups cooked black beans, rinsed (from about 1/2 lb dry)
4 cups diced tomatoes or tomato puree
1-2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
2 cups cooked wheat berries (from around 3/4 cup dry)
Juice of 1 lime
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, chipotle to taste, broth and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.

Stir in cooked wheat berries and heat through, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Stir in lime juice. Garnish each bowl with avocado and cilantro.


Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries, Green Onion, Toasted Pecans, and Feta
Dressed with a simple balsamic vinaigrette, this no-fuss salad is a breeze to whip up. The cranberries added a touch of sweetness to the mix, and all the savory, tangy, crunchy, nutty components played nicely together.

½ cup soft wheat berries
2 cups water
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup finely chopped green onion
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
4 ounces feta cheese, cubed
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey

The wheat berries take about an hour to cook through, so you want to get these going first. Rinse the wheat berries, then, in a saucepan, combine them with the water and salt. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for one hour or until tender. All the liquid should be absorbed.

Meanwhile prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and honey. Set aside.

Combine the cooked wheat berries, green onion, cranberries, pecans, and feta. Dress with as much vinaigrette as you’d like. I use about ½ the amount this recipe makes

Shoots Salad with Dried Cranberries and Roasted Parsnips
Feel free to get creative with this salad.  You can roast any of your veggies to beef it up a bit. 

6 TB cranapple or apple cider
3 TB apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 small shallot, minced
7 TB sunflower or extra-virgin olive oil
1 TB butter
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1" slices
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Whisk cider and vinegar in bowl. Add minced shallot, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in oil. Rewhisk before using. Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine parsnip cubes and butter, salt and pepper; toss to coat. Roast for 20 to 40 minutes untl tender.

In a large bowl, toss shoots with half of dressing. Divide among plates; top with parsnips. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with dried cranberries.

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