Thursday, April 23, 2015

Good Eats Newsletter - April 22, 2015

Localvore Members 
& Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun; Potatoes; Beets; Cress; Pac Choi OR Basil OR Chard; Cippolini Onions OR Shallots
And OUT of the bag:
Frozen Brassica Mix
Frozen Cauliflower

Localvore Offerings Include:
Elmore Bread
Does' Leap Organic Fresh Chevre
Tangletown Farm Eggs

Half Veggie Only Members
Mesclun; Cress; Potatoes; Beets;
Cippolini Onions OR Shallots

And OUT of the bag:
Frozen Brassica Mix
Save the Date!

Saturday, August 15th!

Open Farm, Tours
Food, Fun!

Once again we'll be participating with other local farms and restaurants in the Kingdom Farm and Food Days. It's a weekend filled with farm tours, food sampling, High Mowing Seeds has lots of workshops going on and we'll be giving wagon tours and putting out a spread on Saturday.

Stay tuned for more info!

Summer CSA
June 17th through October 7th
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.

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

Around the Farm

Below: Phil and Bryn packing your mesclun and basil.

Great signs of spring - cucumbers! Bees on the tomatoes!

Storage and Use Tips

All veggie members are getting a bag of mesclun this week. This is a great mix made up of spinach, mizuna, arugula, and cress. Just a note on our spinach - it is not certified organic. We have been growing it at Legare's, a farm we recently bought in East Montpelier, which is not yet certified.  It's been out of conventional production for over two years now and the spinach IS grown using organic practices, but we have one more year to go before the farm can be certified.

We have more baby potatoes for everyone this week. Half share members will get baby Modocs, and large members will get a mix of baby potatoes. Try making a potato salad with these, or roast, boil, or steam them.

Red beets are also going out this week.  These are beautiful dark red beets that will stain your hands as you prepare them as well as tint everything pink if you're combining with other veggies or grains.  The beets may be eaten cooked or raw. Grated beets make a fabulous addition to salads and slaws. Grate some early in the week and place them in a tupperware and then sprinkle them into salads all week.  Roasted beets are extra delicious, roasting carmelizes the sugar in the beets. Cube beets and roast them in the oven with a drizzle of oil at 400F until they are tender and just browning at the edges. If you don't eat them all right away, cool and toss into a container and add these to salads.

Cress is here! It will be bunched in your veggie bag. This upland cress has a deep pungency with a unique twist between arugula and horseradish, pledging its allegience to the mustard family. Below the Mason Dixon line, upland cress is known as "creasy greens" and when stewed with ham hocks, is as loved a dish as black-eyed peas or cornbread. Traditionally gathered by foragers in the Appalachian Mountains who started looking out for the hearty winter leaves while there was still snow on the ground, the leaves were believed to have medicinal benefits and used in many folk recipes to help heal wounds. Those claims may not be entirely far-fetched as the cress is indeed rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and calcium.

Use cress the same way you would watercress. Left raw, the leaves can be chopped and mixed into a salad, tucked into a sandwich, or tossed over broiled fish as a garnish. Use a food processor to blend a handful of cress with a cup of creme fraiche or sour cream and a few garlic cloves for a zesty side to grilled meats or blend into soups. Store in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer for 1-2 weeks.

Large share members will receive either pac choi OR basil OR chard. All of these greens are coming along nicely in our greenhouse but there's not enough of any to send out for all the large members.

**Basil will be in the spinach bag, and the pac choi and chard will be bunched in your large bag. As with last week you may find aphids on the chard and basil; just wash these bunches again and they should come off. 

Pac choi leaves taste similar to Swiss chard and the stems (called ribs) are deliciously crispy and can be substituted for celery in recipes.  Pac choi is mild enough to be chopped up for a salad, particularly if you give it a quick wilt in a hot pan. It's also great in stir-fries. Store pac choi loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Basil!  This marvelous herb is a member of the mint family. It is a staple in Mediterranean cooking as well as Thai, Vietnamese, and Loatian. The herb is highly aromatic, or put another way, the oils in basil are highly volatile. Thus, it is best to add the herb near the end of the cooking process, so it will retain its maximum essence and flavor. Basil should be kept in a plastic bag or kept stems down in a glass of water with plastic over the leaves for about a week with regular water changing.  The basil was NOT washed at the farm as it tends to turn black once washed so wash right before you use. Keep your basil out of the extreme cold as it could damage the fragile leaves.

Chard is a delicious nutritious green, high in Vitamins A, K, and C.  Chard works great as a spinach substitute but needs to be cooked down a bit longer.  It also works well in soups and stews, or sauteed as a side.

All veggie members will get either cippolini onions OR shallots this week.

Cippolini onions are a small flattened Italian onion with a sweet, mild flavor. Cippolinis are traditionally served roasted or baked, but also work well on kebabs or eaten fresh. If you have never eaten a roasted cippolini you must, as you will never think of onions the same way. The advantage of the cipollini is its mild flavor that when roasted caramelizes quickly into sweet, flavorful goodness! Their shape lends them well to roasting. A classic Italian recipe is to glaze them with balsamic vinegar, roast and serve as part of an antipasto. Cippolini onions do not store as well as your typical onion. For short term storage keep in a cool, dry place or in the butter compartment of your fridge.

Shallots are another allium family member. They're sweeter than onions and grow in cloves similar to garlic and have a sweet, mild flavor like a sweet or Spanish onion. They are well known for their ability to be caramelized or cooked down to where the sugars are reduced or concentrated. When eaten raw, they are much sweeter and milder than even sweet onions. You can slice them thin and saute them in recipes that benefit from a sweet, mild onion flavor. When minced, they are fantastic in homemade vinaigrette and pan sauces. Store them in a cool, dark place.

Our frozen brassica mix is comprised of baby red russian kale, red giant mustards, mizuna and tat-soi.   I would recommend throwing this mix into a soup or stew or tomato sauce (frozen or thawed) or thawing and cooking into an egg dish (omelets or scrambled eggs - yum!).  A tip for using these if you won't use them all at once... Let them thaw partially on your kitchen counter, just to the point that they are easier to cut.  Then saw the greens into several pieces, and put into a zip lock.  Then you can grab a smaller chunck whenever you want to add a little nutritional boost or some greenery to a dish you are making.

Large share members will also receive our frozen cauliflower.

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

Elmore Mountain Bread is baking their Vermont Redeemer Bread for us today. This bread is made with 100% Vermont-Grown wheat.  Andrew and Blair, the owners and bakers at Elmore, had the good fortune of meeting Nathan and Jessie Rogers last summer at the Montpelier Farmers Market.   In  2012, they started Rogers Farmstead  in Berlin and grow grains and sell raw milk. Last fall they planted a variety of wheat called "Redeemer" which has been a successful crop in the tricky Vermont Climate.   Luckily, the wheat grew well and they had a great harvest.  Elmore started stone milling and test baking with it last fall and found that the flour bakes beautifully as well. Grown, milled, baked and sold within 50 miles. Redeeming Tradition.
For the first time in our CSA we are pleased to send out Does Leap Chevre! Does’ Leap is an innovative, diversified organic farm specializing in a variety of fresh and aged goat cheeses. In an effort toward greater sustainability and self-reliance, much of their farm work - including plowing, harrowing, spreading manure, and firewood collection - is accomplished with two draft horses. The farm is located in northern Vermont in the heart of the green mountains with close proximity to Lake Champlain. Their goats and other livestock have the luxury of feeding on the wild vegetation of the region as they spend all but the winter months outside.  They believe in a diversified farm ecosystem where each aspect of our farm complements the other.

This fresh, soft goat cheese embodies all of the unique flavors that result from their reliance on having the goats harvest the majority of their diet from the flora on the farm. The Chèvre’s smooth texture and unique flavor profile make it great plain, with crackers or bread, in sauces, and on salads.

Lastly we have eggs from Tangletown Farm.


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.


Stir-Fried Pac Choi with Ginger and Garlic
Here's a quick and easy way to get greens on the dinner table.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 bunch fresh pac choi
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
Salt and ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute. Add pac choi and soy sauce cook 3 to 5 minutes, until greens are wilted and stalks are crisp-tender. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.

Baby Greens with Roasted Carrots and Potatoes
This is a wonderful early spring salad. Note that you may want to separate the beets and potatoes before cooking unless you want pink taters.

For vinaigrette
1/2 tablespoons tarragon white-wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

For salad
2 medium carrots
1 lb small new potatoes (about 1 inch in diameter) or fingerlings (1 to 1 1/2 inches long), scrubbed well
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 bag shoots mesclun mix
1/3 cup fresh basil, chives or other fresh herbs

Whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.

Chop potatoes and beets into 1" chunks.  Toss beets and potatoes with oil and salt in a small baking pan and roast in lower third of oven, shaking pan occasionally, until veggies are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots to all greens and herbs. Add vinaigrette and toss gently to coat.

Basil Lime Gimlet
I love drinks featuring herbs.  This of drink just screams summer to me! To make simple syrup add an equal amount of sugar and water to a pan and heat until the sugar is dissolved, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

4 large basil leaves
1/2 oz. simple syrup
2 1/2 oz. vodka
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice

In a cocktail shaker, muddle 3 of the basil leaves with the simple syrup.  Add the codka, lime juice and ice and shake.  Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the remaining basil leaf.

Sauteed Onions
This recipe from Martha Stewart will work for either your cippolinis or shallots.

Coarse salt
1 1/2 pounds cipollini onions or small shallots, peeled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add salt. Boil onions until softened, about 4 minutes. Drain, and pat dry. Set aside.

Heat butter and oil in a large saute pan over high heat, stirring to combine, until butter melts. Add onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; add thyme, and season with salt. Cover, and cook until onions are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve warm.


Spring Quiche with a potato crust, spinach, shallots, and bacon

3 cups uncooked potatoes, coarsely grated
3 tbsp oil
1 cup shallots or onions, thinly sliced
2 cups spinach, chopped
1 cup swiss cheese
1/2 cup bacon, fried and crumbled, optional
3 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix grated potatoes and oil together. Press into bottom and sides of a 9-inch pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 425F until just starting to brown, about 15 minutes.

Saute onions or shallots together in a greased frypan 5-10 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Place bacon and cheese in bottom of crust, then top with vegetable mixture.

Prepare filling and pour into crust topped by egg-milk mixture and ending with a sprinkle of cheese. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake until browned on top and set in the middle, another 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10-15 inutes before cutting and serving.

Spiralized Mediterranean Beet and Feta Skillet Bake
I got a spiralizer for my birthday recently and have been trying out new recipes. This one is a winner! I left out the cheese although the Fresh Chevre would be amazing with this. Don't have a spiralizer? It would work just as well with julienned beets but you may need to adjust the cooking time a bit.

2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley, plus 1 tsp for garnish
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
10 pitted Kalamata olives
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 small beets, peeled and spiralized
1/2 small onion, peeled and spiralized
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
4 oz feta or halloumi cheese, half block cut horizontally

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except for the cheese and parsley for garnish.

Place the cheese in the center of a large oven-safe skillet or casserole dish. Top and surround it with beet noodle mixture. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes, until the beet noodles wilt. Serve hot garnished with remaining parsley.


BBQ Country Style Ribs

Country style ribs require long slow cooking and deserve to be cooked to the meat is nearly falling from the bone. You can do this in a slow cooker in about 6-8 hours, or you can go the oven route and get there in a shorter amount of time. Either way, the results should be delicious. This recipe was reviewed by over 200 users of, most giving it 5 stars. Not surprising as the method is perfect for this cut of meat and the lemon slices on top help tenderize the meat while it cooks. You could use any BBQ sauce for this, or just serve the ribs plain if you have picky kids in the house. They'll be yummy regardless. Some reviewers covered the ribs with foil for the first 2 hours to keep the more moist. 

10 country style pork ribs

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 lemon, thinly sliced

1 (18 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).

In a shallow baking pan or roaster, place ribs in a single layer; salt if desired. Spread the garlic on the ribs, then place the lemon slices on top. Bake in a preheated oven for 2 hours - the ribs should be tender. Drain any grease and liquid. Pour BBQ sauce over the ribs. Return to oven and bake one more hour at 200 to 250 degrees F.

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