Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Good Eats Newsletter - July 16, 2014

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun; Potatoes; Lettuce; Kale; Scallions; Onions;
Beets; Peas; Zucchini

And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes

Localvore Offerings Include:
Full Sun Canola Oil
Quebec Organic Pearled Barley
VT Cranberry Dried Cranberries

Half Veggie Only Members
Mesclun; Kale; Beets; Scallions; Peas

And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes

Soon to grace your shares...

Scenes from around the farm

Top: Kale fields

Bottom: Pete took this shot of newly seeded barley, oats, peas, and mammoth red clover. This will be two cuts of high protein hay this summer and fall to feed to the pigs, will all die over the winter, and end up as an early carrot ground next spring.

Storage and Use Tips

Potatoes this week are new red norlands.  These were just picked yesterday and they have a red outer skin and crisp white flesh inside. The best way to cook a Red Norland is to boil, steam or roast them. They make a great red potato salad with skin on, or toss with olive oil, garlic and herbs or go for it and smother them with good old butter (yum).

Vulcan head lettuce - the big red leaf head lettuces this week are called Vulcan.  They are just gorgeous and will make wonderful tender salad or sandwich toppings this week.

Lacinato kale  - we grow many varieties of kale at the farm and this one is called Lacinato aka Dinosaur kale, names for its dark leathery leaves.  Lacinato stands up really well to cooking, and will retain its shape even in soups and stews. Kale is in the super veggie club, 1 cup packing 1300% of your daily requirements for Vita K, 200% of your Vita A, and nearly 100% of vita C, along with lots and lots more vitas and minerals.  It also contains several compounds fairly well documented to be helpful in fighting certain types of cancers. And what's more, it's tasty, so eat lots.

This week's red onions for the large share are just gorgeous.  They're fresh from the fields and have the tops attached.  Save those as they're actually quite nutritious.  They contain more potassium than the onions do, along with an excellent supply of vitamins A and C. I have also used these tops as a type of scallion to add a slight onion taste to my dish.

Golden beets are just like red beets, just golden in color.  They cook up the same, taste the same, but the good thing about these beets is they won't stain everything bright red like red beets do!  I love these beets raw grated into a salad, or roasted (see roasting instructions below).

This week everyone is receiving some of our shelling peas.  These are similar to the snap peas the large share got last week but they are bigger - 3-5 inches long and the peas can be enjoyed right out of the pod or cooked slightly.  You can actually eat the pod as well but it's a bit more fibrous.

Zucchini - large members will receive a zucchini. If you can't use your zucchini right now too you can shred them and freeze in 2-cup increments. Then you can pull a frozen bag out in the dead of winter and make a fresh loaf of zucchini bread (such a treat!) or throw into an omelet or soup.

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

We're very pleased to send out Full Sun Company canola oil again. Before this spring there was no where to buy VT grown and pressed canola oil that is certified GMO free. This oil is a fresh and delicious craft oil to use every day for cooking, sauteeing, in marinades or dressings.

 From Netaka and David at Full Sun:

            Hi There.  We’re Full Sun Company and we’re among Vermont’s new breed of oilmen; the culinary kind of oil that grows under the summer sun, turning fields to gold, the kind of oil that makes salads and stir-fry’s taste so delicious. From our Vermont mill we have begun producing specialty oils from organic or non-gmo sunflower and canola, with flaxseed, hempseed, soybeans, and more on the way. And we’re pleased to be able to offer many of you the fresh taste of unrefined, cold-pressed, chemical free, sun-ripened canola in a bottle.

            We started Full Sun Company® to bring you fresh and delicious craft oils to use every day for cooking, sautéing, marinades & dressings. Our mill also produces a meal byproduct, which is used as an organic soil nutrient or protein rich animal feed. Even some of our used cooking oils are converted to biodiesel that returns, full circle, as renewable fuel to the farms growing crops for Full Sun.

            We’re supporting local food systems and helping family farms grow ~ purchasing only organic and non-gmo oil crops from Vermont and throughout the Northeast region, and delivering affordable, high energy foods, animal feed and sustainable ag solutions.

            We’re Vermont’s new oil guys, and we really thank Pete, Amy and Tim and all the folks at Pete’s Greens who have helped us get our product to your kitchen table. Please let them (or us) know how you like our oils, or how we can improve in the future. You can also find out more about what’s pressing at Full Sun by visiting our website;

Thank you and enjoy!  -- Netaka and David, East Middlebury, Vermont

Here's a picture of canola in bloom:

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.  Last week I included some of this barley in my burritos - it added a great nutty addition to them!

The 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.

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.


Tangy Potato Salad with Scallions
This is a great basic potato salad recipe.  If you have any fresh herbs on hand they would be amazing added in. 

Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 pounds potatoes, scrubbed, halved, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/2 cup white-wine vinegar
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup olive oil

Set a steamer basket in a large pot. Fill with enough salted water to come just below basket. Bring to a boil; place potatoes in basket, and reduce heat to medium. Cover, and steam, gently tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 2

Meanwhile, combine vinegar and scallions in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. When potatoes are cooked, transfer to bowl with vinegar mixture. Toss to combine; let cool, tossing occasionally.
Step 3

When potato mixture is cool, mix in oil; season potato salad with salt and pepper.

Potato Zucchini Cakes with Kale
Here's one that avoids long cooking times on hot evenings, but packs in some veggies.  These with a side salad will make a nice simple meal.

2 potatoes, peeled and grated
2 small zucchini, grated
1/2 bunch kale, stems removed, wilted, and finely chopped (ends up being about a cup. You can also substitute spinach, chard, radish or turnip greens here)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (or sifted or even white of course if that's what you have)
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Oil for pan frying

In a mixing bowl, combine grated potato, grated zucchini, and wilted kale.  Squeeze out as much water as possible.  Then add egg, flour, salt, and pepper, and stir until completely combined.
Heat a large fry pan over medium high heat and add a shallow layer of oil.  Once the oil is hot, make patties of the potato mixture in your hands one at a time, and carefully add them to the hot oil.  The oil should be bubbling around the sides of the potato pancakes.  If it’s not, your oil isn’t hot enough and your pancakes will absorb too much oil and come out greasy.

When the second side has browned, remove from pan with a spatula and place on a plate covered in paper towels to absorb some of the oil. Continue cooking the rest of your potato pancakes this same way, adding more oil to the pan in between batches if necessary.

Kale Enchiladas
Enchiladas are so good!  These are made especially healthy with kale and beans and not much cheese.  I would also recommend making home made tortillas to really make this meal special (see recipe below).

2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 small zucchinis, grated
1 carmen pepper, diced
salt and pepper
1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
1 can pinto or black beans, rinsed
1 green onion, sliced
some of your favorite salsa or enchilada sauce
12 small corn tortillas
a handful or two of swiss or cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and jalapenos and stir for a minute. Add the zucchini, cumin and a big pinch of salt. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add kale and peppers and stir until soft.  Remove from heat and stir in a a few grinds of black pepper, the beans, green onion, and a few tablespoons of enchilada sauce.

Put together the enchiladas, prepare the tortillas by warming them in a hot skillet for about 30 seconds per side. Spoon a thin layer of enchilada sauce over the bottom of a greased 13 x 9 pan.
Form the enchiladas one at a time: Put a few spoonfuls of filling in a tortilla, roll up and place it in the pan. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the top and sprinkle with cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Corn Tortillas
Have you ever had homemade tortillas?  They are by far better than anything you can buy in the store.  This recipe comes from one of my favorite blogs, Annie's Eats.

1½ cups masa harina
¼ tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. vegetable oil, softened butter, or lard
About 1 cup hot water, plus more if needed

    In a medium bowl, combine the masa, salt, and fat of your choice. Stir together with a fork until evenly combined.  Gradually add the water to the bowl in a steady stream, mixing constantly, until a soft dough comes together.  (I make my dough just slightly wetter than I think it should be. The masa will absorb some of the liquid while the dough sits, so a bit of extra liquid helps prevent the dough from being crumbly.)  Turn the dough onto a work surface (lightly floured, if necessary) and knead briefly just until the dough is smooth and supple.

    Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours.

    When you are ready to cook the tortillas, divide the dough ball into 10-12 equal sized pieces. (I use my kitchen scale to make sure they are all about the same size.)  Shape using a tortilla press, two pie plates pressed together, or a rolling pin to form 6- to 7-inch rounds.  (No matter which method you choose, shaping between two pieces of plastic wrap makes it easier.)

    As the tortillas are shaped, transfer them to a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat.  Cook about 1 minute per side, just until each side begins to brown/char.  Transfer to a plate and cover with a clean kitchen towel.  Once all the tortillas are cooked, let rest under the towel briefly.  Though they may seem stiff just out of the skillet, the warmth and moisture under the towel will help make them perfectly pliable again.  Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator 2-3 days.

Beet Greens, Garlic and Barley Gratin

For lunch today I am eating a dish very similar to this one, except I have used the Spinach Rice Casserole recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook as the basis for mine. But these recipes are very similar - they call for a type of grain (barley or rice do equally well), greens and seasonings, and they are combined with eggs, milk, and cheese for a rich satisfying dish. So use this recipe or the Moosewood recipe as a starting place and then modify to your liking. You could skip milk, cheese and eggs for a totally vegan dish. You can use 1 egg and skim milk, or 3 eggs, whole milk, and cheeses to create the richness you desire. The one I made last night has beet greens, turnip greens, dandelion greens and a bit of spinach, it also has broocoli and some zucchini (both added raw before baking). Recipe adpated from one submitted to the NY Times by Martha Rose Shulman. Serves 4 to 6.

1 generous bunch beet greens, stemmed and washed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced, or one small head that has not separated into cloves, chopped

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

3 eggs

1/2 cup 2 percent milk
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup cooked pearled barley, brown rice or arborio rice

1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese (2 oz, the clothbound chessar would be a delicioud substitute for gruyere)

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin dish with olive oil. Blanch the beet greens for one minute in a large pot of generously salted boiling water, or steam over 1 inch of boiling water for two to five minutes until wilted and tender. Rinse with cold water, squeeze out water and chop medium-fine. Set aside.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion, and cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Continue to cook for another minute or two until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the cooked greens and the thyme, and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir in the greens mixture, the barley or rice, and the cheeses. Mix together well. Scrape into the oiled baking dish.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes until sizzling and lightly browned on the top and sides. Remove from the heat, and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

The gratin will be good for three or four days. It is as good served cold or at room temperature as it is hot.

Barley Salad with Walnuts, Cranberries and Scallions
This salad can't be much better - filled with whole grains, dried fruit, nuts, and veggies!

1 cup barley (uncooked)**
2 ½ cups salted water
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
2-3 green onions or scallions, diced
Dressing:2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar (white wine vinegar would probably also work- maybe even plain white vinegar)
zest of 1 orange
juice o f ½ the orange
½ teaspoon turmeric (add more if you’d like, but start with ½ teaspoon)
Salt and pepper to taste
(optional) splash of lemon juice if you need it to be a bit brighter tasting

In a small pot, heat 2 ½ cups of salted water. In a separate, slightly larger pot, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Rinse barley and drain well. When oil is warmed, add barley and toss to coat. Keep the barley moving every few moments- the goal is to get the grains to be toasted and to smell slightly nutty. When water in the other pot boils, add to the barley. Stir, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Barley takes about 35-40 minutes to cook, so get this started first.

Meanwhile, mince the scallions, toast and chop the walnuts.
In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the canola oil, vinegar, orange zest and juice, turmeric and salt and pepper.
When the barley is done cooking (taste, it should taste a bit al dente but should be very chewable), combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss well to combine.
Serve immediately, or chill in the fridge for a few hours to blend the flavors. Enjoy!!

Roasted Beets, Chèvre and Sautéed Beet Greens
I love anything with roasted beets so this salad sounded especially amazing to me. 

2 bunches of organic beets with tops (about 6-8 small beets)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
grey sea salt (Sel Gris)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Aged Chèvre
Micro-greens for garnish

Roasting Beets:  Preheat the oven to 400° F.  Scrub the beets until all the dirt is removed.  Cut the tops off, leaving about 1-2 inches of the stem attached.  Lay down a layer of aluminum foil and lay down a layer of parchment paper on top.  Place the beets in the center of the parchment lined aluminum foil, drizzle them with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle them with sea salt to taste.  Close up the beets, bundling them with the parchment lined aluminum foil.  Place the package in a roasting pan to collect any drippings and place it in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until tender.  To serve the beets, peel them (or if they are organic, I just leave the skins on) and cut them in half or keep them whole.  You can drizzle a little extra extra virgin olive oil and salt on top if you prefer.

Sautéed Beet Greens:  About 10-15 minutes before the roasted beets will be done, start to prepare the greens.  Start a large pot of water on the stove top and bring to a boil.  Thoroughly rinse the beet greens under running water to remove any dirt or sand attached to the leaves.  Cut off the stems and discard them.  Prepare a bowl full of ice water and place it on the counter top close to your stove.  Once the water on the stove is boiling, place the beet greens in the water and blanch for 2 minutes.  Take them out of the boiling water and transfer them right away to the ice water bath.  After they have cooled drain them and squeeze all the water out of them.  Roughly chop them.  Heat 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick skillet and add the minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant.  Add the chopped beet greens and saute for a few minutes and toss them around to coat.  Season them with salt and pepper and then serve warm.

Serve your sauteed beet greens and roasted beets alongside slices of Aged Chèvre and garnish with micro greens!

Dijon Vinaigrette
Here's a recipe to try out with your new canola oil.

1 tbs. Dijon Mustard
2 cloves of Garlic (minced)
1/2 clove Shallot (minced)
1 cup Full Sun® Canola Oil
Apple Cider Vinegar to taste (about 1/2 cup total)
1/2 tsp. Maple Syrup
Pinch of Salt

Mix mustard, garlic, shallot, vinegar, maple syrup & salt, then gradually add oils while whisking (or blending)

Curried Zucchini & Couscous
This quick, easy side dish is a great accompaniment to grilled meats.  For a little sweetness throw in a handful of raisins with the carrots. From Eating Well, August 2013.

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium zucchini, diced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup water
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup whole-wheat couscous, or barley!
1 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add zucchini and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl.

Add water, lime juice, curry, cumin, salt and pepper to the pan and bring to a boil.  Stir in couscous.  Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.

Add the couscous and carrot to the bowl with the zucchini; stir to combine.  Serve topped with almonds.

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