Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Good Eats Weekly Newsletter - December 30th, 2015

 
 
Happy New Year from Pete's Greens!
 
 
 
Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN/TAN BAG
 
 
This week your bag will contain:
Claytonia, Potatoes, Carrots, Sunchokes, Onions, Kale, Rutabaga, Brussels Sprouts
 
 
Localvore Offerings Include:
Morningstar/Butterworks Black Beans
Pete's Greens Tomatillo Salsa
Vermont Creamery Creme Fraiche
 
 
 
 
 
Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
 
 
Claytonia, Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Kale,
Brussels Sprouts
 
 
 
 
 
HOLIDAY SCHEDULE:
 
Deliveries will resume as normal this week, unless we have contacted your site about specific changes
. . . . . . . . . . 
With winter weather upon us, delivery delays may occur. We'll do our best to keep you up to date.
. . . . . . . . . . 
 
 
We are now accepting Sign-ups for the Spring Share!
 
The Spring Share starts on February 17th and goes through June 9th. 
 
Around the Farm
 
Things are rockin' in the washhouse this week! We're busy washing roots and potatoes, and Ben is feeding the packer with black beans to be doled out into individual bags for the Localvore shares. With our energy high from the holidays, I think we're all relieved to finally have some snow to make the season bright!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Storage and Use Tips 
 
Claytonia -Claytonia is a hardy but tender green that we've harvested from our greenhouses. It's amazing what a few layers of plastic will do to extend the growing season for these little plants! Store in your crisper drawer up for 5 days. Great for salads.
 
Potatoes - A mix of yellow Nicola and red Modoc potatoes in your share would be beautifully highlighted in the roasted potato salad (recipe below). Store in a cool, dark place.
 
Carrots - The orange carrots are the variety "romance", which have a deep orange color and are perfect for storage through the winter. If you don't use them right away, store them in your crisper drawer to make sure they retain needed moisture.
 
Sunchokes - Also known as Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes make their debut in the large  share this week! You might know of this plant as a beautiful yellow flower on tall stalks that blooms in summer. The tubrous roots, which appear in your shares, are also edible. Eat with or without the skin, and prepare as you would potatoes: roast, saute, bake, boil, or steam. They can be stored for a few weeks in your fridge.
 
Onions - This week's onions have been carefully sorted to try to ensure a high quality. Store them in a cool place, even in your fridge, if you don't intend to eat them quickly.
 
Kale - The kale bunches going out this week are a mix of lacinato or red kale- you will receive one of the two (a small number of members will get bagged kale instead of bunched). You can use different types of kale interchangeably in recipes, but Lacinato works well in Italian dishes (soups and pastas), while red curly kale is great pan-cooked to bring out a new dimension of its flavor.
 
Rutabaga - Rutabagas are larger than turnips and have yellow flesh and skin. They're in the brassica family and related to cabbage. They're great raw (peeled and sliced), roasted along with some onions, added to a hearty vegetable soup, or mashed along with potatoes. They're also great steamed until soft but not breaking apart, then glazed with maple syrup and a favorite spice such as nutmeg or cinnamon.
 
Brussels Sprouts - Both shares have loose (de-stemmed) brussel sprouts this week. Peel off any outer leaves that you don't like the look of (or leave them, they're just fine to eat!), cut in half lengthwise, and try roasting in the oven with olive oil, garlic, and whole grapes.
 
 
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 Shelf, 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
 
This week's localvore share contains black turtle beans from Morningstar Meadows and Butterworks Farm, Creme Fraiche from Vermont Creamery, and Tomatillo Salsa from Pete's Greens' kitchen.
 
Seth and Jeannette Johnson of Morningstar Farm in Glover VT grow organic dry beans on over 10 acres of land. They grow all different sorts of heirloom varieties, from yellow eye, to Jacob's cattle, to black turtle beans. Seth was mentored in the art and science of farming by Jack and Anne Lazor at Butterworks farm, who have pioneered organic grain and bean production in the northeast. Black Turtle Beans are small, shiny beans that work well in Mexican and Cajun cuisines. You can learn more about preparing dry beans in the recipes section below. 
 
Tomatillo Salsa (salsa verde) from the kitchen here at Pete's Greens will make a great addition to any Mexican-inspired dish. It also makes a great addition to eggs, burger meat mixtures, filling (mixed with cheese) for jalapeno poppers, and sandwiches. 
 
Creme Fraiche from Vermont Creamery closely resembles sour cream or yogurt (it makes a great substitute for either of these ingredients in recipes). It is incredibly versatile, as it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Eat it with fruit, or as a topping to a mexican dish. Use it to enrich a pasta sauce or to make aoli for dipping roasted root veggie fries.
 
 
Recipes
 
How to Prepare Dry Beans
 
One cup of dry beans will yield approximately 2 1/2 cups of cooked beans. You will want to rinse and pick through these beauties before cooking. Like most dry beans, they also need to soak before cooking. You can cover them with water and leave out overnight. Or, you can cover them with plenty of water, bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover and let sit 2-3 hours. Either way, the beans are now ready to be cooked. In Heather's chili recipe below, they are precooked for 30 minutes before going into the crockpot. Otherwise, you'll want to cover them with 2 inches of fresh water and simmer, testing for doneness after an hour.  Refrain from adding tomatoes or other veg to your beans during the softening phase as the acidity may result in toughening the skins. Many believe that draining and rinsing the beans after the soaking step reduces flatulence. Others believe that adding a bit of baking soda while they cook has the same effect. 
 
 
Roasted Potato Salad
 
A hearty dish that stands up to its summer counterpart. For a creamy version, use creme fraiche instead of oil and vinegar.
 
2½ lbs. small red Bliss potatoes
2 garlic clove, chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and pepper
1½ tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon minced chives
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
 
Preheat the oven to 475ºF. with racks in the upper and middle levels. Wash the potatoes, dry and cut into ¼-inch thick slices. Arrange in a single layer on two rimmed baking sheets. Scatter one clove of garlic and one tablespoon of oil over each sheet. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes with your hands to evenly spread the oil and garlic, then return slices to a single layer. Place pans in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are knife tender.
 
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, remaining three tablespoons of oil, chives and rosemary. When potatoes are done, remove from the oven and add to the bowl of dressing. Toss and serve immediately or at room temperature.
 
 
 
Lacinato Kale Salad
 
Will also work well with curly red kale. 
 
1 bunch lacinato/dinosaur kale, de-stemmed and thinly sliced 
juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons) – use a hand juicer to get the most juice from your lemon. If your lemon seems extremely juicy, then I would just add 3 tablespoons of juice.  I’ve noticed that in the winter my lemons have been extra juicy and the dressing can be a bit tart with too much lemon.
3  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of fine sea salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste 
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 
Wash, de-stem and thinly slice your kale. To see step-by-step instructions on how to de-stem and thinly sliced kale. Toss the sliced kale into a large salad bowl.
 
Whisk together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup the following: juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons), 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, pinch of fine sea salt, pinch of freshly ground black pepper, pinch of red pepper flakes. Make sure to whisk the ingredients together well.
 
Pour the dressing over the kale and make sure to massage it well so that all the kale absorbs the dressing. When I say, "massage" your kale, I literally mean, get your hands in there and massage it.
After your kale is massaged, add the ⅔ cups of parmesan cheese and then quickly massage the salad again.
Let the kale rest for at least 5 minutes to an hour. This salad can be made hours ahead of time or even the day before.
 
 
 
Rice and Beans With Steak and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa
 
2 cups chicken broth 
1 cup long-grain white rice
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 ½ cups black beans, cooked (see directions above)
2 Tbsp cilantro (optional)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1¼ pounds skirt steak, cut into 4 pieces
 
Combine the broth, rice, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and all 
 the broth is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the beans. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steak with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest steak registers 130° F, 2 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest for 5 minutes. Slice against the grain.
Serve the steak and salsa over the rice.
 
 
Sunchoke and Potato Gratin
 
I got this recipe from a blog whose writer first tried sunchokes in their CSA basket. If you're new to them too, this sounds like a great family-friendly way to try them out!
 
1 garlic clove
10 sunchokes (about golf-ball sized), sliced thin
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
2 shallots, sliced thin
1/4 cup milk
1 cup grated fontina cheese
salt and pepper
Preparation
 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a 9×9 ceramic dish with cooking spray.  Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the cut sides onto the dish.  Discard garlic.
 
Layer the potatoes evenly in the dish covering the entire bottom.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Layer the sunchokes evenly covering the potatoes.  Sprinkle the sliced shallots on top of the sunchokes – and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.  Pour milk all over the vegetables.  Sprinkle with the fontina cheese.
 
Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for about 45 minutes.  Take the cover off and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Make sure the sunchokes are soft – if not cook a little longer.
   

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Good Eats Weekly Newsletter - December 16th, 2015

 
 
Happy Holidays from Pete's Greens!
 
 
 
Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN/TAN BAG
 
 
This week your bag will contain:
Spinach, Potatoes, Beets, Fennel, Onions, 
Kale, Parsley, Carrots, Parsnips, Pac Choi
 
 
Localvore Offerings Include:
Tangletown Eggs
Elmore Mountain Bread or Slowfire Bakery Bread
Walden Heights Apple Cider
 
 
 
 
 
Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
 
 
Spinach, Potatoes, Beets, Onions, Kale,
Carrots, Parsnips
 
 
 
 
 
HOLIDAY SCHEDULE:
 
There will be NO DELIVERIES the week of Dec 21st-25th. 
 
We will resume deliveries on Dec 30th-31st.
 
Please let us know as soon as possible if you want to cancel or donate a future share.
 
 
Want to give a Good Eats gift certificate?
 
Email us at goodeats@petesgreens.com to request a gift certificate for the number of weeks of your choice.
 
Around the Farm
 
 
With the winter holidays upon us, we expect the ground to be frozen and blanketed in white. This unexpected stretch of unseasonably warm weather comes as a surprise with both challenges and advtantages on the farm. While some of our cool season crops have been startled by the warmth, others have had a renewed opportunity to hang on for more harvests. Even faced with these short December days, our greens have been rejuvenated by the mild temperatures, and will keep our early winter meals vibrant with flavor. This is one of the true gifts of a diversified farm: when the environment throws us a curveball, some aspect of the farm almost always benefits.
 
 
 
Storage and Use Tips 
 
Spinach - This spinach is made up of mid-sized, tender leaves that are great for salads or cooking. Store in your crisper drawer for up to one week.
 
Yukon Potatoes  - Yukon Gold Potatoes are a great all-purpose potato with a yellow flesh and thin skin. Keep these in a cool, dark, dry place, like a drawer or cabinet. A paper bag that protects them from light and allows them to breathe works great.
 
Beets -  Mixed beets are a great way to show off the colors of the season. Roasting really brings out their sweetness and makes a great addition to salads. Store raw beets loosely wrapped in plastic in your fridge.
 
Onions - Store onions in a cool dark place, away from apples and potatoes. Saute chopped onions in butter, stirring often, as the first step for a wide variety of winter recipes.
 
Kale - Our curly winter kale makes a great addition sautees, quiches, and pasta salads. Kale will be bunched or bagged. The yellowing tips of the leaves are not indicative of age or weakness; rather, they are a sign that these plants have endured cold winter nights that have increased the vigor and sweetness of the plant. If your kale starts looking limp after several days in the fridge, you can enliven in by submerging it in a bowl of ice water for several minutes.
 
Parsley - This parsley comes to you from our high tunnels. Try adding parsley stems to your simmering stock, both to impart flavor and help clarify the broth.  A nice way to store it is to place the parsley bunch stems in a glass of water, like flowers in a vase, and then cover loosely with a plastic bag and keep in the fridge.  If this is too finicky, just store loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in crisper drawer.
 
Carrots - The earthy sweetness of biting into a raw carrot always reminds me of the fall harvest. But if you're looking for some new ways to use this week's carrots, have you thought about shredding them in your morning oats, or dressing them up with cumin and paprika in your favorite mexican dish? Here is a great site to help you keep the creativity flowing with this wonderfully versatile vegetable. This week's carrots have been lightly brushed to make them bright and tender, so make sure they stay wrapped in your fridge.
 
Parsnips - Related to the carrot, the parsnip has grown wild in Europe for millennia and was considered a delicacy by the Roman aristocracy. Though parsnips are usually eaten cooked, they can also be eaten raw like carrots. They have a sweet nutty flavor and lend themselves well to cooking with honey, maple syrup and butter. They are a very flexible starch. Try them sauteed, baked, roasted and mashed, as well as in soups and stews. Store parsnips as you would carrots, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
 
Pac Choi - Bunched pac choi coming your way this week. Part of the cabbage family, it packs in nutrition with high scores for vitamins A and C and calcium. Pac Choi is mild enough to be chopped up for a salad, particularly if you give it a quick wilt in a hot pan.
 
Fennel - 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. 
 
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 Shelf, 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
 
This week's Localvore/Pantry items include Eggs from Tangletown Farm, Bread from Elmore Mountain Bread (Wednesday sites) or Slowfire Baking Bread (Thursday Sites), and Apple Cider from Walden Heights Nursery and Orchard.
 
Walden Heights Nursery and Orchard is a small family operation in Walden, VT that specializes in heritage variety fruit trees. Their freshly pressed, Certified Organic Apple Cider is in your share this week. Owners Todd and Lori write:
 
Preservation of heirloom fruits, particularly apple germplasm, is very important to the farm. We grow 500 apple varieties, many of which are represented in the cider you are about to enjoy. Apple cider is great for your breakfast smoothie, warmed as a comforting treat and a sweet addition to your holiday table.  Cider also freezes well, so if any should not be consumed within the next week you can store it in your freezer for later use.
 
One of the most fulfilling, healthy and independent acts a person can perform is to grow their own food.
 
In addition to growing organic fruit and pressing cider, we also grow and sell organic fruit trees and bushes.  If you enjoyed this cider, you might enjoy growing apples in your own yard. Visit us & see what’s possible.
 
You can learn more and plan a visit by checking out their website.
 
Tangletown Eggs are the best around for flavor and freshness. These eggs provide vitamins and nutrients in addition to protein, which are packed into each egg from the rich and varied diet the hens are fed. 
 
Elmore Mountain Bread is making Country French Bread for Wednesday's share members. It is made entirely with an organic spring wheat called "Glenn" from Maine Grains. They stone-milled all of the flour the day before mixing the dough. It is naturally leavened and fermented overnight before it is baked in a hot, wood fired oven.
 
Slowfire Bakery is a farm-based, wood-fired bakery overlooking the Lamoille River at Waiora Valley Farm. They use local ingredients to make naturally leavened loaves. This Thursday's bread is Polenta Bread, made with Butterworks cornmeal and other local ingredients!
 
 
Recipes
 
 
Winter Vegetable Chicken Stew
 
This chicken stew uses a host of winter vegetables to make a hearty stew. This is a great way to use the scraps and carcass left over from cooking a whole chicken (throw it in a pot with some water and simmer until the remaining meat falls off the bones; save the liquid as stock). 
 
12 ounces boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4 pieces)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 3 pieces)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for cooking water
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 slender carrots, peeled
3 large celery ribs
2 medium parsnips (6 ounces), peeled
4 small onions, peeled and quartered lengthwise with roots attached
3 cups water
14 ounces chicken broth, skimmed of fat
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 pound wide egg noodles
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, kale, or pac choi (1 1/2 pounds), coarsely chopped with stems
2 ounces shaved Parmesan cheese
 
Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces; season with salt and pepper. Heat a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add half of chicken to pot; cook, turning occasionally, until nicely browned, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with remaining chicken; set aside.
Meanwhile, cut carrots, celery, and parsnips into 3/4-inch pieces. Place vegetables, onions, browned chicken, water, broth, and rosemary in Dutch oven; scrape browned bits from the bottom. Cover; bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are barely tender, about 10 minutes.
Cook noodles in a saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente; drain. Stir noodles, parsley, chicken, and any collected juices in the bowl into pot. Cook on low until chicken is heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; keep warm.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; stir until golden, about 1 minute. Add chard; cook, turning occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Divide chard among six bowls. Ladle soup on top; serve with shaved Parmesan cheese.
 
 
 
Honey Roasted Beets and Kale Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
 
This kale salad is a great way to show off your multi-colored beets, both in color and flavor.
 
4 medium golden or red beets
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons honey
1 shallot, minced
½ teaspoon salt
ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup pepitas
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
4 cups fresh chopped kale
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese (chèvre)
 
Boil the beets for 5-7 minutes, until slightly tender. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and slice into ½" rounds. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons of honey, minced shallot, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Separate out half of the dressing for the kale. Remove 1 tablespoon of the dressing and add in a generous teaspoon of the remaining honey. Toss the pepitas in this mixture and lay flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Toss the beet slices in the other dressing along with the chopped rosemary. Lay the beets in a 9x13" baking dish. Drizzle with the remaining honey.
Bake the beets for 18-22 minutes, until edges are golden brown and they are tender through the center. Bake the pepitas for 7-8 minutes, until the syrup bubbles and caramelizes around them. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Toss the kale in the remaining dressing. Add the roasted beets, pepitas, and goat cheese. Serve.
 
 
Potato Pancakes with Apple-Onion Jam and Horseradish Creme Fraiche
 
This twist on traditional potato latkes is making my mouth water. If you’re having trouble getting the latkes to stick together enough for frying, add a small amount of flour to the mix.
 
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish
1 small yellow onion, peeled, quartered and sliced very thinly
1 1/4 cups apple cider, divided
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 allspice berries
1/2 small jalapeno, seeded and julienned
1 large sweet apple (your choice)
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4 medium)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Butter, vegetable oil or duck fat for frying
 
Combine the creme fraiche and horseradish in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour or as long as overnight.
 
To make the jam, combine the onion in a small saucepan with three-quarters cup of the cider and the vinegar, allspice berries and jalapeno. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the allspice. Peel and core the apple, then cut lengthwise into eighths and crosswise into very thin slices. Add the apples to the onion mixture along with the remaining cider. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is soft, about 30 minutes. Remove the mixture to a bowl and cool to room temperature.
 
Peel the potatoes and, using a box grater, shred them into a colander set over a bowl. Press the grated potato to remove excess liquid. Place the grated potato in a clean bowl and add the eggs, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
 
Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.
 
Heat 2 tablespoons butter or fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the potato mixture into the hot fat and press to make a pancake about 3 inches across. Repeat with as many pancakes as the pan will contain. Cook about 3 minutes, until golden, then carefully flip each pancake over, press down to compact and cook 3 more minutes, or until the pancakes are crisp and cooked through. Transfer the pancakes to the baking sheet and hold in the oven while frying the remaining pancakes. (Blot any excess grease off.)
 
To serve, spoon a tablespoon or so of the apple-onion jam onto each warm pancake and top with a dollop of the creme fraiche.
 
 
Natural Dye Shaped Sugar Cookies
 
Looking for a fun, all-natural way to feature your CSA veggies in your baking this holiday season? How about using beets and spinach to make red and green edible dyes? You can even use an old potato to stamp the dyes onto cut-out cookies before baking! You can check out the instructions here, or see below.
 
Sugar Cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1 large egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 
 
In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat until combined. Divide dough in half; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic; freeze until firm, at least 20 minutes, or place in a resealable plastic bag, and freeze up to 3 months (thaw in refrigerator overnight). 
 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment. Remove one dough disk; let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Roll out 1/8 inch thick between two sheets of floured parchment, dusting dough with flour as needed. Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Using a spatula, transfer to prepared baking sheets. (If dough gets soft, chill 10 minutes.) Reroll scraps; cut shapes. Repeat with remaining dough. 
 
Bake, rotating halfway through, until edges are golden, 10 to 18 minutes (depending on size). Cool completely on wire racks. To ice cookies, spread with the back of a spoon. Let the icing harden, about 20 minutes.
 
Decorations: 
2 cups spinach, finely chopped
1 lb beets, shredded
2 Tbsp distilled spirits (like bourbon or rum), or almond extract
1 – 2 potatoes (optional)
 
Use a mortar and pestle or a food mill to grind each vegetable (separately) into a pulp to release the pigment from the plant cells. Add a small amount of spirits or almond extract which will preserve the color of the dye. Separate the pulp from the liquid, using the liquid as your dye.
You can paint the dyes directly onto your cookies before they are baked, or create stamps using a potato. Half a potato, and insert a cookie cutter (smaller than the potato cross-section) partway into the potato. With the cookie cutter still in the potato, use a knife to remove part of the potato that is outside the cookie cutter. When you take off the cookie cutter, you now have a stamp that you can dip into your dye before stamping the middle of your cookies. Blot moisture off of the potato before using your stamp.
   

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Good Eats Newsletter - December 9th, 2015

 
 
Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN/TAN BAG
 
 
This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun, Russet Potatoes, Carrots, Shallots,
Kohlrabi, Winter Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Garlic,
Lettuce, Pac Choi
 
 
Localvore Offerings Include:
Pete's Greens Pizza Dough
Pete's Greens Pizza Sauce
Pete's Greens Pesto
 
 
 
 
 
 
Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
 
Mesclun, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Pac Choi,
Winter Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Garlic
 
 
 
 
 
 
Holiday Idea:
Give a Gift Certificate for a Pete's Greens CSA!
 
 
Email us at goodeats@petesgreens.com to request a gift certificate for the number of weeks of your choice.
 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
 
Thank you for supporting the Vermont Farm Fund!
You can still make a
donation here.
 
Around the Farm
 
There is a truly diverse nature to storing and eating local vegetables in the early winter. As the ground begins to freeze outside, storage crops are entering dormancy, their way of surviving the long, cold winter. By harvesting and root cellaring these crops before the big freeze, we can mimic the conditions that the soil provides for them, keeping them fresh and accessible as food through the season. Meanwhile, high tunnel crops like fresh greens are enjoying the cool nights in the soil that first nurtured them. A single layer of protection from the elements can work wonders for keeping these greens alive, and even slowly growing, at this time of year. There are so many ways that we're working to keep fresh food available. While our attention starts to focus indoors around now, it is valuable to remember that this season has provided our crops with a variety of adaptations to take on the winter world.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Storage and Use Tips 
 
Mesclun - This week's mesclun includes spinach, lettuce, and tatsoi, and is great for fresh salads. Store the greens in a loose plastic bag in your crisper drawer. If the greens seem damp, throw a cloth napkin or dishtowel in the bag with the greens to absorb any excess moisture.
 
Carrots - Mixed carrots this week provide a rainbow of color that you can use in a variety of dishes. One great way to show them off is roasting them whole with olive oil and coarse salt. Carrots should be stored unwashed, loosely wrapped in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
 
Winter Kale - Curly winter kale is hardy and the perfect addition to stir frys, salads, and soups. This time of year, there may be a tinge of yellowing on the kale leaves, but this sign of cold exposure also makes the leaves sweeter and more delicious. Kale is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to stave off those winter colds. Keep kale loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your fridge. Strip the leaves from the lower portion of the stem before chopping and cooking.
 
Brussels Sprouts - These little sprouts are great halved and roasted with bacon (or bacon fat) ans shallots if you have them. Store with outer leaves intact for an easy way to protect the yummy inside leaves.
 
Pac Choi - Freshly harvested pac choi heads will be in both shares this week. These tender heads with succulent stems are perfect for chopping up in a salad, or wilting in a pan with salt and lemon. It's also great in stir frys and Asian soups.
 
Garlic - This week's garlic is actually from High Mowing Seeds in Wolcott. These beautiful bulbs would be great roasted whole as an addition to any recipe that highlights the complex flavor of roasted garlic. Store in a cool, dark, well ventilated place (a paper bag in your basement would do).
 
Sweet Potatoes - Half share members will have sweet potatoes this week. Don't put them in your fridge; they store better on the counter. Sweet potatoes aren't actually related to other potatoes, but are in the morning glory family. Eat them with their skins for added nutrients.
 
Russet PotatoesRusset potatoes, in the full shares this week, are also known as Idaho or baking potatoes. They are in the class of starchy potatoes, as opposed to waxy varieties like red and fingerling. They are high in vitamin C and B6, as well as natural sugars. Russets make great baking potatoes, and are ideal for mashing and making fries. Store potatoes in a cool dark place, away from onions. Onions will cause the potatoes to sprout. Storing your potatoes in the refrigerator can make their starch turn to sugar and therefore should be avoided as doing so can give the russet potato an unpleasant, sweet taste.
 
Kohlrabi - The name means cabbage turnip in German and that is a pretty accurate description. It is a member of the cabbage family and its outer skin would attest to that. The greens look more like turnip greens however and the inner bulb can be a bit fibrous, like turnip. Raw, it is crisp, sweet, and clean, strikingly reminiscent of raw broccoli stalks. Cooked, it touts a mild, nutty, cabbage-like flavor that adapts beautifully to many cooking styles. It can be eaten raw and is great in salads and slaws. I can also be boiled, steamed, baked, roasted, etc. The greens may be eaten cooked like turnip greens or any other cooked greens. To prepare the bulb, cut off the leaves and stems. Use a vegetable peeler to pare off the tough outer layer, or use a chefs knife to slice it off. Dice or shave up the inner bulb according to your recipe. Store loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge.
 
Lettuce - The head lettuces in the full shares are straight from the soil. These beautiful green and red heads are tender and great for salads. Did you know that the French will sometimes braise lettuce in stock and butter, in case you're in the mood for a warm side for chicken or beef.
 
Shallots - A close onion relative, shallots are sweet and mild with a hint of garlic flavor. They work well raw, thinly sliced in salads or dressings. They can also be carmelized, like in this heavenly recipe, or sliced and carmelized like onions on your stovetop. Store in a dark, cool, dry place for up to one month.
 
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 Shelf, 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
 
All of your Localvore items are coming from the Pete's Greens kitchen in Craftsbury this week! One really important part of our farm is having this kitchen as an outlet for produce surplus throughout the season. When we have basil coming out our ears, we make Basil Pesto! In the 
height of the summer, when our greenhouses are bursting with beautiful red tomatoes, we make 
Tomato Sauce! To use these great foods this week, we are also sending you a homemade Pizza Dough.
 
Our Pesto contains our organic basil and we add to that lots of garlic, parm and romano cheeses,lemon, and olive oil (Edie helped Sarah with lids and labels; right).
 
Our Pizza Sauce is a made using our organic tomatoes & onions plus garlic, olive oil, salt, sugar, oregano, thyme, basil, & black pepper.  It's coming to you frozen for easy delivery.  You can defrost and put on your pizza right away or freeze it for later use.  It's great on pasta too.  
 
Our Pizza Dough is made of a blend of organic Gleason Grains Snake Mt  Sifted Wheat Flour, organic Quebec Milanaise flour, plus water, yeast, salt, olive oil.
 
 
Recipes
 
 
Mesclun Greens with Toasted Pecans, Shaved Braised Artichokes, Tossed in a Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette
 
5 cups mesclun greens, washed (about 4 ounces)
3/4 cups Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup toasted pecans, lightly crushed
2 large Braised Artichokes, recipe follows
Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3/4 cup
1 medium shallot
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 lemon, juiced plus 1 lemon, halved
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 quart water
2 large fresh artichokes
 
For the vinaigrette: In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Thinly slice the shallot and saute it in the pan until it begins to brown slightly. Remove the pan from the heat and place the cooked shallot in a blender. Add the white wine vinegar and puree the mixture. Slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil in a steady stream while the blender is running. When all of the oil is incorporated, season with salt and pepper.
 
For the artichokes: Start by preparing the braising liquid. Combine the flour, lemon juice, oil and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the water and whisk vigorously to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat and cover.
 
To prepare the artichokes: take each artichoke and starting from the bottom, tear off the leaves until you come halfway up the artichoke, rubbing the exposed areas with the cut lemon as you go to prevent it from oxidizing. At this point turn the artichoke on its side and cut off the remaining top inch of leaves with a serrated knife. Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise and scrape out all of the fuzz that sits on top of the heart. Keep rubbing the artichoke with lemon as you work. Finally trim off any more tough leaves and green spots anywhere else on the artichoke. Drop them into the simmering braising liquid. Simmer covered for about 20 minutes or until a paring knife easily slides into the artichoke heart. Cool the heart in the cooking liquid and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
 
Toss the greens with the shallot vinaigrette (directions below) in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Divide the greens equally onto 4 chilled salad plates. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over each salad and thinly shave 1/2 of each braised artichoke over each salad using a Japanese mandoline.
 
 
 
Roasted Garlic Breadsticks
 
You can use the pizza dough in your pantry/localvore share, if you have it! Great for dipping in the tomato sauce, too.
 
Pizza dough:
½ teaspoon active yeast
2/3 cup (155ml) lukewarm water
½ teaspoon sugar
2 cups (250gr) bread, or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon olive oil 
Topping:
 
1 head of garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup (100gr) shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup (15gr) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
 
Directions:
To make the pizza dough (if needed):
 
In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast into 1/3 of cup (80gr) of lukewarm water. (Don’t use hot water, or it will kill the yeast.) Add the sugar and let it proof for 5 minutes. The mixture will start foaming, which means the yeast is alive.
 
In a large mixing bowl with dough hook attachment, combine flour, salt, yeast mixture and the remaining 1/3 cup (75ml) of lukewarm water on low speed. (Alternatively, you can make this dough by hand.) Once the dough start coming together, add the olive oil. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Transfer onto a counter and cut into 2 equal parts. Form each dough into a ball, generously oil them and put them into separate ziplock bags. Refrigerate overnight for maximum flavor.
The next day, bring the dough out of the fridge. Let it rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours, before making the breadsticks.
 
To roast the garlic:
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut the top of the garlic head, exposing the garlic cloves, and place it in the middle of aluminum foil cut side up. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil and wrap the garlic. Roast it for 45-75 minutes, or until the garlic is golden and mushy. Start checking it after 45 minutes, at this point it should be ready, but for more color and flavor, continue to roast for another half hour.
 
To make the breadsticks:
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
Once the garlic is roasted, cool it slightly and squeeze garlic cloves out. Press through garlic press into a small bowl and mix with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
On a floured surface, roll the dough into 10x12in (25x30cm) rectangle. Spread half of the garlic olive oil all over the dough. Sprinkle about half of the mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano on one half of the dough. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Fold the dough in half so that cheeses are covered. Sprinkle a little bit more mozzarella cheese on top and cut the dough into 6 strips. Twist each strip and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with silicone mat, or parchment paper. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining dough and cheese.
 
 
 
Kale Pesto Pizza with Caramelized Onions
 
This is a great twist on your classic pizza. You can sub any hard or soft cheeses you have on hand. Also, sub shallots for the onions if you have them!
 
Pizza dough
Basil pesto
fresh mozzarella
freshly grated parmesan
1 1/2 cups roasted kale
1 red onion, sliced 
1 tsp sugar
olive oil
 
Preheat oven to 450 dgF. Place pizza stone in the oven to preheat for 15 minutes. Dust a work surface with flour and roll out the dough. Brush the dough with olive oil and transfer to the pre-heated stone; bake until dough edges begin to brown (about 10 minutes). Meanwhile, thinly slice a red onion and saute with olive oil and a little honey until caramelized. Remove pizza from oven and paint the crust generously with the pistachio-kale pesto. Spread caramelized onions over the pizza, top with kale and fresh mozzarella, and finish with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan. Return the pizza to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese begins to bubble and crust is browned.
 
 
 
Spicy Potato, Bok Choy, and Shallot Hash
 
Great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can swap in brussels, sweet potatoes, or onions, depending on what you have on hand. Try with kimchi for that added umami boost.
 
1/2 pound (about 2 medium) russet potatoes, peeled, split into quarter lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, divided
1 large shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 pound baby bok choy, rinsed, dried, trimmed, and roughly chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 finely sliced serrano or Thai bird chili
1 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs
 
Place potatoes in as thin a layer as possible on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with paper towel and microwave on high power until heated through but still slightly undercooked, about 2 1/2 minutes.
 
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch cast iron or non-stick skillet over high heat until lightly smoking. Add potatoes and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until well browned on about half of all surfaces, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat if smoking heavily.
 
Add shallot and bok choy. Continue to cook, tossing and stirring occasionally, until vegetables are all well browned and charred in spots, about 4 minutes longer. Add sliced chili and hot sauce. Cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer hash to a warm serving platter and keep warm
 
Wipe out skillet and add remaining teaspoon oil. Heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add eggs and cook until desired level of doneness is reached. Season with salt and pepper. Place eggs on top of hash and serve immediately with hot sauce.
 
 
 
Creamy Carrot Casserole
 
Looking for a new idea for your root vegetables? Try this mouth-watering casserole with carrots, kohlrabi, and even potatoes or beets. Use it as a side or even a main dish.
 
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 pounds carrots, cut on the bias into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 medium garlic cloves, smashed
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
 
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Lightly coat a 2-quart casserole or 11-by-7-inch baking dish with butter, and set aside.
 
Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add carrots, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots just start to brown, about 7 minutes.
Evenly sprinkle flour over carrots, stirring constantly. Cook until flour turns golden in color, about 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly pour in cream while constantly stirring, bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
Transfer to the prepared dish and cover with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake until cream is bubbling and carrots just give way when pierced with a knife, about 20 to 25 minutes.
 
Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add garlic and cook until butter just begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
Add breadcrumbs to the pan and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir occasionally until panko is lightly browned and toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove to a medium bowl and discard garlic.
 
When casserole is ready, remove foil and allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle toasted breadcrumbs evenly over top before serving.