Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Good Eats Newsletter - May 14, 2014

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun; Spinach; Potatoes; Parsnips; Onions; Basil

And OUT of the bag:
Frozen Cauliflower
Frozen Beans

Localvore / Pantry Offerings Include:
Quebec Organic Pearled Barley
Les Aliments Massawippi Miso
Pete's Kitchen Salsa Roja
Pete's Kitchen Baba Ganoush OR Chimichurri

Half Veggie Only Members
Mesclun; Spinach; Potatoes; Parsnips; Chard

And OUT of the bag:
Frozen Cauliflower

Come visit us at the Montpelier Farmers' Market!

The outdoor farmers' market is every Saturday from May 3rd through October 25th from 9am - 1pm on State Street.  There are lots of fun vendors, great food, and usually some great music.

Whiskey Release Benefit Party for Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm
Saturday, May 24, at 1pm
Caledonia Spirits in Hardwick

Caledonia Spirits is releasing their first batch of a very limited number of Early Riser corn whiskey, distilled from the Early Riser organic corn grown by Jack Lazor.  This day will be a celebration of Jack, with thanks for the years of service to Vermont, her families and farming.  This will be a benefit to help Jack pay for his medical bills. 

We send out many Butterworks products in the Localvore share - flour, beans, cornmeal, and yogurt.  He is a great friend of Pete's Greens and has done amazing things for VT.

For a cost of $140 you can get a box with:
Early Riser corn whiskey, 200 mL flask
Jasper Hill Cheese, one piece of Alpha Tolman, 1/2 lb
Pete's Greens, 1lb of organic carrots and 1lb organic potatoes
Vermont Soy, a box of tofu
High Mowing Organic Seeds, a packet of Mesclun Mix
Butterworks Farm, bag of farm grown cornmeal with a recipe for cornbread from Anne and Christine Lazor

Jack will be available to sign and share copies of his book, The Organic Grain Grower.

For more information contact

All proceeds after costs of goods and advertising will be given to Jack.

You can reserve your box to be picked up at Caledonia Spirits in Hardwick, Caledonia Spirits retail location in Ferrisburgh, in Burlington, and other locations around the state.  This limited edition of Early Riser corn whiskey will only be available through the purchase of this special box for Jack.


Storage and Use Tips

This week's mesclun is gorgeous.  All of the greens were grown in our un-heated greenhouse and cut by hand today by the crew.  They cut over 1000 pounds of greens today, by hand, for you all.  Enjoy!   

Fresh spinach!  This is some good looking spinach.  Enjoy it in a salad or sauteed with some oil and garlic, added to soups, or in an omelette or frittata.

Baby nicola potatoes are slightly waxy potatoes with a smooth yellow exterior and white and creamy within. Nicolas are excellent for boiling, roasting and using in salads. Store in a cool dry place away from onions.

Parsnips have a nutty-sweet taste and a tender-hearty texture that is entirely distinct. 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.  Keep the core for making veggie stock with - they make a delicious stock!  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.

Basil is commonly used fresh in cooked recipes. In general, it is added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavor. The fresh herb can be kept for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator, or for a longer period in the freezer, after being blanched quickly in boiling water.

**Your basil will be packed in the bag with your salad mix.**

Chard, like other greens, is packed with the vitamins and minerals that are so hard to get in quantity in other foods. It is best eaten cooked. You can use it as a substitute for many recipes that call for spinach or other greens.  For a quick side dish, try braising it one of two ways.  Put a little olive oil or butter, 2 cloves of minced garlic & hald od a minced onion in a saute pan and allow the garlic to cook a bit and soften.  Put in the chopped chard and cover tightly and let cook until wilted (if there's not enough moisture add a TB or so of water).  Once chard has just wilted, add a sprinkle of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar or balsamic and black pepper and serve. Or, add a bit of vegetable oil to the pan.  Add the clove of minced garlic.  Then add the chopped chard and cover and let cook until wilted.  Then sprinkle with rice vinegar and a few drops of toasted sesame oil and maybe a teeny bit of soy if you want stronger flavor.

Frozen cauliflower - we had a great crop of cauliflower this past fall and froze a lot of it to share with you. Frozen cauliflower is great in many recipes including soups, stir fries, stews, casseroles, etc.  Our frozen cauliflower is blanched briefly before freezing so is partly pre-cooked, cooking times for recipes calling for fresh cauliflower will be shorter.  You will want to test your cauliflower when cooking for perfect doneness as some recipes will want cauliflower more or less tender.  Store your frozen cauliflower in the freezer until you are ready to use it.  I like to chop for recipes when it it still partly frozen.
Large share members will also receive frozen beans.  Our beans were picked, washed, blanched, bagged and frozen all in a few hours.  They simply need to be heated up.  Remove from plastic bag and heat in water or mix into a dish as you would fresh produce or just eat plain with some butter, salt and pepper.

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.**

Our Summer Share starts in 4 weeks!
June 18th through October 11th

Sign up for a veggie only or Localvore share, send in your checks by May 31st, and you can get a FREE PETE'S GREENS T-SHIRT!  (If you've already signed up and paid you can also get in on this deal).

Sign up on line NOW for 17 weeks of fresh,organic,
Vermont grown goodness and the localvore staples you love.

The summer share is filled with the best bounty that Vermont offers in the summer time.  We'll start off in June with early greenhouse crops such as zucchini, herbs, radishes, Asian greens, and lots of other early season favorites.

By July we'll be into the prime growing season.  Tomatoes, peas, broccoli, eggplant, carrots, cucumbers, and lots more will be in season.  August and September bring a huge variety of veggies: cabbages, beans, tomatoes, corn, summer squash, and lots of greens to name just a few.

We are working on some changes to our delivery schedule which might change your pick-up day.  See proposed schedule below and please keep this in mind when considering our summer share.

There are a few new towns we would love to deliver to and need suggestions on businesses or residences to be site hosts.  Please let us know if you have any ideas for sites in the proposed new sites below.

Visit our Summer Share page for more info.

Please visit our delivery page for a listing of Summer Share delivery sites.

Have questions about the Summer share?  Visit our FAQ page or send us an email

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

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.

Owners of Les Aliments Massawippi Gilbert and Suzanne made the superb Soy Oats Miso in the share. The two are big supporters of local growers. Their oats come from Michel Gaudreau. Their soy beans come from a grower within 60 kilometers of their facility, and their Quebec barley is processed on the south shore of Montreal.  To make this miso, Suzanne and Gilbert begin by introducing their own lactobacilli culture to washed barley. After culturing for 45 hours, they have what is called, "koji," the basis for making their miso. At this point, they will mix in soy that has been soaked and then slowly cooked for 20 hours. This part of the process takes around 4 days. The next phase of miso production is fermentation. Gilbert and Suzanne ferment their miso very carefully controlling the temperature, humidity and oxygen levels. Their fermentation chamber is on premises, and is held at a continuous 60F.  The flavor is fresh and soft, almost sweet on the finish with some saltiness. As miso is a living food, it is best not to cook it. Instead, stir miso into a dish after it is removed from the heat to maintain it's nutritional benefits. Kept refrigerated, it will last several years.

Miso is a fermented product which enhances the effect of the lactic intestinal flora and as such it is easy on the body. The enzymes it contains further aids digestion. Commercial packaged miso has been pasteurized and is no longer a living food so always choose unpasteurized miso.

Keep this miso in your fridge and it will be good for many months or even years. You can add it to soups for more flavor, or use it as a base for making sauces, or add it to prepared foods. It is a delicious and nutritious way to flavor foods. A bowl of miso soup a day goes a long way toward a healthful diet.

Pete's Kitchen salsa roja was made right here on the farm.  It's a delicious blend of our tomatoes, onions & jalapeno peppers, garlic, cider vinegar, green peppers, oregano, salt and cumin.  This is coming to you frozen so you can enjoy right away or keep frozen until later use.

We have a mix of Pete's Kitchen Baba Ganoush and Chimichurri at each site.  PLEASE TAKE ONLY ONE CONTAINER OF BABA GANOUSH OR CHIMICHURRI.

Last summer we saved our surplus eggplant, roasted it and made Baba Ganoush to share with you this winter.  It's made with our own eggplant plus cumin, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and salt.  This is often eaten as a dip with crackers, veggies, or used a spread on bread. It's coming to you frozen so you can stick back in the freezer to enjoy at a later date, or you can thaw out and enjoy right away (use within the week). 

Our chimichurri was made in our kitchen last fall 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 bread with some hummish and cheese.  It's also amazing served with your steak.  It's coming to you frozen.  You can use it right away or freeze for a few months before thawing out to enjoy.

Each site will get a mixture of baba ganoush and chimichurri BUT PLEASE ONLY TAKE ONE CONTAINER.  Enjoy!


I recently got the latest cookbook from the author of the Moosewood Cookbook and wanted to share some recipes with you.  The cookbook is full of great vegeterian and vegan recipes, many of which I've gotten to try in the past few weeks.  The book is called 'The Heart of the Plate' by Mollie Katzen; the first four recipes are from the book.

Miso-Almond Sauce
This sauce keeps forever and is very delicious and good for you.  Serve it on freshly cooked noodles, topped with steamed or grilled vegetables; spoon it onto sauteed greens or rice; or use it as a dip for cooked or raw vegetables.  This will keep for about a month, tightly covered and refrigerated.

3 tbsp miso
3 tbsp almond butter
6 tbsp warmed apple juice, or more to taste

Mash together the miso and almond butter in a small bowl.  Slowly add the warmed apple juice, mashing it in until the mixture becomes uniform.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Spinach Basmati Soup with Yogurt
This creamy soup is so comforting and yummy.  It will keep very well in the fridge for days, and thicken as it sits.  You can thin the leftovers with water or stock.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups minced onion (1 large)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
1 tbsp minced or crushed garlic
1/2 pound fresh spinach, washed, stemmed, and coarsely chopped
3 cups water or vegetable stock
1 cup cooked brown basmati rice
1 cup plain yogurt, at room temperature
Black pepper

Place a soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat for about a minute, then add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.  Add the onion, cumin, turmeric, and 1/4 tsp of the salt and cook, stirring, for 5-8 minutes, or until the onion becomes soft.  Add the garlic and another 1/4 tsp of the salt, reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so.  Toss in the spinach plus the remaining 1/4 tsp of salt.  Stir, then cover and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes longer.

Add the water or stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook over the lowest possible heat for 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat and stir in the rice and yogurt.  Taste to adjust the salt and add black pepper to your liking. 

Mashed Parsnips
Sometimes I am guilty of forgetting about the most basic and simple recipes which are the most flavorful.  This recipe is a great reminder of the fact that you sometimes don't need any fancy ingredients or techniques - just starting with really good ingredients will make the best dish.

3 pounds parsnips
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
3/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
Black pepper

Trim off the ends of the parsnips, then peel what's left and slice the tender sides from the tough cores.  You should end up with at least 6 cups. 

Place the parsnips in a soup pot or a large saucepan with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a moderate simmer, and cook until very tender, about 8 minutes.  Drain into a strainer or colander over a bowl in the sink, saving some of the water.

Transfer the parsnips to a food processor.  Add the oil, vinegar, and salt and buzz.  (If the mixture seems dry, you can also drizzle in a tablespoon or 2 of the cooking water to help smooth things out).  When it reaches the desired consistency, taste to adjust the salt, oil, and vinegar and add some black pepper.  Scrape the mash into a bowl and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Browned Potatoes and Onion
This recipe is very reminiscent of hash browns, and in fact it is, but these potatoes are headed for the top of your plate rather than the bast.  These are a tasty touch on the roof of your soup or stew or in a simple little pile of savory beans.

1 pound potatoes
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups minced onion (1 medium)
1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
Black pepper

Scrub the potatoes and cut them into small dice, then place them in a small saucepan with water to cover.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes.  Drain well.

Place a medium skillet over medium heat for about a minute, then add 1 tbsp of the oil and swirl to coat the pan.  Toss in the onion and cook, stirring, over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until softened.  Add the potatoes.

Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and saute the onion and potatoes together over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pan, for up to 30 minutes, drizzling in extra oil as needed.  Taste to see if you'd like it to have more salt, and add black pepper and cayenne to taste as well.

It's done when you decide it is - whenever it gets to your preferred shade of golden or brown.  Serve hot or warm as a topping on any savory dish.

Barley and Spinach Salad with Tofu Dressing
This is a very filling salad with the barley and tofu.  Expirement with other veggies to make it your own masterpiece.

1 cup pearl barley (7 1/2 ounces)
3 cups chicken stock
4 thyme sprigs
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered (4 cups)
Freshly ground pepper
2 shallots, thinly sliced
5 ounces baby spinach
1/4 cup basil leaves, torn
3 tablespoons chopped mint
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
7 ounces firm tofu, drained and crumbled

In a medium saucepan, combine the barley, stock, thyme and half of the garlic. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the barley is tender, 25 minutes. Discard the thyme. Drain the barley and transfer to a large bowl; cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes longer. Scrape the mushrooms into the barley and toss. Add the spinach, basil and mint, but do not stir.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Add the remaining garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened. Add the vinegar, lemon juice and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Cook until slightly thickened, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until heated through. Stir in the tofu and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the dressing over the salad and toss. Serve warm.

Savory Swiss Chard Calzone
This calzone reminds me of spanakopita with the greens and feta cheese.

1 bunch Swiss chard
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup onion , minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. raisins or dried cranberries
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
½  tsp. oregano
½ cup feta
1 egg, beaten
A sprinkling of salt and pepper
1 ready-made pie crust

Preheat oven to 400° F (204° C). Rinse chard thoroughly.  Remove the stems from the leaves.  Chop enough of the stems to make ½ cup. Coarsely chop the chard leaves and set aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the garlic and onion.  Sauté 3 minutes.  Add the stems.  Sauté another 3 minutes. Add the chard leaves, oregano and raisins.  Cover.  Cook 4 minutes.

Remove the cover.  Increase heat to medium-high.  Stir ingredients, cooking for 1 minute or until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Remove from heat and add the toasted pine nuts.

Unroll the pie crust and place on a baking sheet or in a rectangular casserole dish. Sprinkle a little more than half of the cheese on half of the pie crust leaving the outer 1 inch (25 mm) of the edge clean.

Add the beaten egg and the remaining cheese to the vegetables and toss quickly to keep the egg from cooking. Scoop the Swiss chard mixture on top of the pie crust and feta cheese. Fold the other half of the pie crust over the filling, join edges, and seal with a fold.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until crust is a golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes. Cut into 2 to 4 pieces and serve.


Easy Weeknight Veggie Spaghetti
This is a basic idea for an easy weeknight meal.  Take whatever veggies you've got on hand, saute, add them to cooked pasta and sauce, and enjoy!

While the water was coming up to a boil for the pasta, I sauteed one chopped red onion.  Once it had softened, I added several chopped bell peppers & some peppers with a little basalmic vinegar as well.  Once everything was nicely sauteed, I threw in a big handful of chopped chard and let it cook until wilted.  By this time, the pasta was done boiling and I mixed it all together and threw on some jarred spaghetti sauce .  To top it off, I put some fresh basil on top.  It was a tasty, easy, filling meal.

Simple and Delicious Miso Broth
Adapted from Miso: More than Food, Life. Suzanne Dionne. Makes 1 cup.

1 tsp miso
1 cup hot water or stock
1 tsp shredded black Spanish radish (optional)
1 oz cubed tofu (optional)

Dilute the miso in some of the hot water or stock then fill the cup with the remaining liquid. Garnish with daikon and tofu if desired.


Miso Roasted Root Vegetables
Mark Bittman's book, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, has a lot of good information about miso, as well as suggested recipes. Although he extols the health benefits of uncooked miso, his book also includes a few recipes where the miso gets some heat. The recipe for the Miso glaze below is adapted from one of them. You can also use the glaze when grilling vegetables or tofu. The roasted vegetables would make a great side dish for the tofu recipe below. Leftovers can be brought to room temperature and tossed with mesclun and Asian dressing and garnished with chopped dulse for a light salad supper.

1/2 cup miso
1/4 cup honey
1 clove minced garlic
1 hot pepper minced, or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 TB sunflower oil

4 lbs mixed root vegetables, such as turnips, rutabagas and beets
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 375F.
Whisk together glaze ingredients, miso through sunflower oil. Heat slightly if your honey has crystallized and the mixture is too thick. Peel, slice and chop vegetables into 1/2" pieces. Toss veggies with glaze on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, until vegetables are caramelized on the outside and soft on the inside. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Grilled Portabellas with Barley and Basil       
Here's a great springy recipe.   The barley mixture can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before spooning into Portabella mushrooms.  Or, instead of grilling, bake Portabella mushrooms in a 350ºF oven for 8 minutes. Turn over, fill with barley mixture and bake 5 minutes longer.

1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 small white mushrooms, finely chopped
5 large basil leaves, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup low-fat Italian dressing
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
8 large Portabella mushrooms, stems trimmed

In small pan with cover bring 1-1/2 cups water to a boil. Add barley and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 35 minutes. In large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add white mushrooms, basil, garlic, zucchini, onion, bell pepper, salt and pepper. Cook 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cooked barley. In bowl combine dressing and mustard. Brush Portabella mushrooms with dressing mixture. Grill over medium-hot coals, top side up for 8 minutes. Turn Portabellas and fill with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup barley mixture each. Grill 5 minutes longer. Serve extra barley mixture on the side. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: calories 157, protein 3g, carbohydrates 17g, dietary fiber 4g, fat 9g, cholesterol 1mg, sodium 612mg.

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