Friday, August 14, 2015

Good Eats Newsletter - July 29, 2015


Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun, Potatoes, Onions, Chard, Peppers, Cucumber
Carrots, Radiccio, Zucchini


And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes
Basil 

Localvore Offerings Include:
Lanzer Fruit Farm Black Currants
Fresh Pete's Greens Pesto
Maplebrook Fresh Mozzarella





Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:

Mesclun, Potatoes, Onions, Chard, 
Cucumbers, Carrots

And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes

Kingdom Farm and Food Days

It's sneaking
right up on us!  

Saturday August 15th 
We invite you to come out and visit the farm!


We'll be giving wagon tours as part of the Kingdom Farm and Food Days a weekend long event of farm and food events and activities in the NEK.  

Very much looking forward to showing you around the farm!  



Storage and Use Tips

Potatoes - Red, white and blue potatoes this week!  Red Norlands, Nicolas and Purple Vikings perfect for roasting or making a pretty potato salad.

Radicchio - The crazy looking red and white head in your bag is Radicchio.  We love to send you something new and different for you to try and this is one of those items.  You won't receive it often but it's a treat if you like bitter greens.  Radicchio makes a delicious salad when balanced with some salty-ness, some sweet, some crunch.  One classic radicchio salad combines radicchio with blue cheese, crisp apples or pears, walnuts and a vinaigrette. Other versions good for this week below.

Basil - Large share members, look for your basil OUT OF YOUR BAG at your sites this week.  We didn't want it to get squashed so it will be sitting in a box, bag or tote separate from your bag. 

Tomatoes - Both shares will pick up tomatoes this week.  As always tomatoes will be out of your bags in small brown bags.

Purple Peppers - This week we have purple peppers for large share members.  

Cucumbers this week for both shares are slicing cukes.

Chard for both shares will be a mix of green and rainbow chard.

The rest of veggies this week - mesclun greens , yellow onions, carrots, zucchini probably don't require much explanation.  BUT here's a photo instead.

Photo below
 (L to R) Erick, Sabina, Ben, Bryn, and Socorro packing CSA Mesclun greens bags this afternoon.


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.


Around the Farm

We have begun work on a cool new greenhouse project!  Isaac has begun setting posts for 4 connected greenhouse bays that we should have up within a month or two.   These new bays will 
run perpendicular to our 
processing building in the background. A covered aisle (all the way to the right of the posts you see in the lower photo) will lead from our building to these new greenhouses and this aisle will also connect to the greenhouses that you see on the right side of the photo.  We'll be able to access all of this greenhouse space easily all winter and permanently locate waterlines etc so that they aren't constantly getting run over by trucks and tractors.  We bought the used greenhouse frames a year ago at auction, brought them home, and have taken our time figuring out best way to use/install them.  Will be great to have more space to grow green food in the colder months - more stuff for Good Eats!




Photos below:
Steve welding the hitch on the disc harrow and Matt fixing a dump truck tire this afternoon.  All in a days work in the effort of delivering veggies to us all.  






Localvore Lore

 We made some special pesto today in the kitchen for this weeks localvore share members.  We harvested the last of the pesto basil this morning and made pesto with our own basil and cheese from Cellars at Jasper Hill!  I have been using this cheese in my home pesto this year and have really enjoyed it.  This is made using Cellar's new Chef Shred, shredded cheese made with a blend of cheddar and Alpha Toman cheeses.  The Cellars have officially launched Chef Shred as a new product, selling it to wholesale accounts and at some point you may see it on retail shelves. I like the smooth richness it adds to the pesto. Accompanying the basil and cheese, this pesto also has plenty of garlic, olive oil, salt and lemon juice.  Enjoy! 

Photo at left of Sarah and my daughter Edie containering the pesto this afternoon.

Black Currants are from Lanzers Fruit Farm in Hardwick this week. The currants are grown organically.  The Lanzer Farm specialized in currants with 45 different varieties of Black Currant including 4 introduced by the late Lewis Hill. They also grow Gooseberries, Jostaberries and the more traditional Red Currants.  The currant is an amazing superfruit with over 300% of the daily requirement of vitamin C in a 100g serving plus a whole lot of other antioxidants. Currants are tasty fresh, frozen, sweet or savory.  Try using them in your favorite recipes in place of cranberries, or in addition to your other summer berries. They add a wonderful burst of color, deep flavor, and tartness.

Maplebrook Farm's Fresh Mozzarella Cheese is hand-made daily in Bennington, Vermont. They start with pure, whole Vermont milk from family farms around the state. The milk is first pasteurized, and then culture and rennet are added. Once the curd has been cut and drained, curd is stretched by hand and molded into mozzarella balls the old-world way. They recommend setting out fresh mozzarella a few hours before serving, for the full flavor to come through. For best quality, use cheese quickly or freeze to use at a later date.  This cheese freezes great and can be used months later, even for tomato basil salad.



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.



Recipes


I love making food this time of year.  With great tomatoes, some good cheese, olive oil, greens, fresh colorful veggies, good bread...  well, it's just prettuy awesome.  This week I am thinking about the good balsamic that went out last week, the beautiful basil and tomatoes going out this week, the special radicchio treat, the fresh and delicious cucumbers and peppers I want to feature somehow....


Gazpacho
With hot weather this week I know I am making gazpacho.  Gazpacho blends tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, peppers and good olive oil and vinegar into a cold soup or a glassful of goodness.  Many countries have their own special variations.  The recipe below is a truly blended version meant to be served in a glass.  Some versions call for veggies to retain some texture and be served in a bowl.  Still other recipes call for some stale bread to be blended into the gazpacho lending body to the soup (although some will argue this is no longer gazpacho but another dish altogether). Good olive oil is key here.  This recipe is one Julie Moskin wrote for the NYT.  
 
2 pounds ripe red tomatoes, cored and roughly cut into chunks
1 Italian frying (cubanelle) pepper or another long, light green pepper, such as Anaheim, cored, seeded and roughly cut into chunks (the purple peppers are not quite the same but you can use them here)
1 cucumber, about 8 inches long, peeled and roughly cut into chunks
1 small mild onion (white or red), peeled and roughly cut into chunks
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, more to taste (you can use good red wine vinegar here*)
Salt
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste, plus more for drizzling
 
Combine tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions and garlic in a blender or, if using a hand blender, in a deep bowl. (If necessary, work in batches.) Blend at high speed until very smooth, at least 2 minutes, pausing occasionally to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
 
With the motor running, add the vinegar and 2 teaspoons salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The mixture will turn bright orange or dark pink and become smooth and emulsified, like a salad dressing. If it still seems watery, drizzle in more olive oil until texture is creamy.
 
Strain the mixture through a strainer or a food mill, pushing all the liquid through with a spatula or the back of a ladle. Discard the solids. Transfer to a large pitcher (preferably glass) and chill until very cold, at least 6 hours or overnight.
 
Before serving, adjust the seasonings with salt and vinegar. If soup is very thick, stir in a few tablespoons ice water. Serve in glasses, over ice if desired. A few drops of olive oil on top are a nice touch.
 
*Tip - if you have a red wine vinegar that just isn't that great (you don't love the flavor when you taste it plain), try putting a little in a pan and simmering to reduce it.  It will sweeten and become more dense in the pan and will generally taste better.  Reduce by 1/3 to 1/2 volume.
 
 
 
 
Radicchio Salad with Fresh Mozzarella
 
Half head of radicchio
Several handfuls mesclun greens
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3-4 slices fresh mozzarella
 
* Optional - add some galicky croutons or some toasted pine nuts for added dimension/flavor/crunch.
 
Roughly chop the radicchio.  Place in a serving bowl and toss with the Mesclun ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.  Divide the lettuces onto salad plates, place a slice or two of mozzarella on each plate, drizzle the cheese with a little more olive oil, and season with a bit more salt and pepper.
 
 
 
 
Radicchio Cups Filled with Fresh Mozzarella
Here's a fun and simple dish to experiment with.  This would be great served alongside some freshly made polenta.  The sweet creamy-ness of polenta pairs really well with the bitter of radicchio.  I think I'd want a drizzle of the good balsamic on this side.
 
8 Radicchio leaves
6 oz. fresh mozzarella, in balls or cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. crushed fennel seeds
 
Preheat the broiler. Coat a baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Fill the leaves with mozzarella chunks and sprinkle with pepper and oregano. Coat each leaf with vegetable oil spray. Place the pan on a rack 4 inches below broiler. Broil 3 to 4 minutes, until mozzarella begins to melt. Using a spatula, place on serving plates and sprinkle with fennel seeds. Serve immediately.
 
 
Tomato and Basil Salad

This was the idea once I knew that tomatoes and basil were going out together...  I ordered up the Mozz as soon as I knew so you could pull together a Caprese salad.
 

Sliced tomatoes
Fresh Chopped Basil
Balsamic vinegar (the best you have available)
Olive oil
A sprinkling of fresh ground pepper 

Fresh Mozzarella (or crumbled good feta or goat cheese)

Optional but awesome if you are a garlic fiend - chopped garlic 

No fixed recipe needed here... Just slice the tomatoes and arrange on a plate. Chop the basil and optional garlic and sprinkle on top of the tomatoes. Drizzle the balsamic and olive oil on top (a couple generous TBs of each). I use maybe a bit more balsamic than oil. If on a plate, I just turn the tomatoes a few times to coat both sides in the vinaigrette. If using the mozz, tear pieces and arrange on the plate, or crumble some feta on top. If the balsamic is good, you can skip dessert and just eat this. 




Black Currant Jam
Black currants make terrific jam and they thicken and jell beautifully. You might want to cook this jam, leaving it a bit on the runny side, since as it sits it will thicken up more than other jams.  Two 8 oz jars
 
2 cups fresh black currants (stemmed)
¾ cup water
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
In a nonreactive pot, bring the black currants and the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes, until the black currants are softened.
 
Add the sugar and the lemon juice and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the jam reaches the jelling point.  (If using a thermometer, it should read about 220ºF.
 
Or if you want to do the freezer test, put a small plate in the freezer. When the jam looks thickened, turn off the heat and put a teaspoon of the jam on the plate and stick it back in the freezer for about 5 minutes. When you take it out, it’s done if you nudge your finger into it and it holds its shape. If not, continue cooking it, and retesting the jam, until it’s the right consistency.
 
When ready, scrape into clean jars, cover, and turn the jars over until cool.
 
 
 
Blackcurrant Muffins
 
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter softened
1 egg, beaten
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blackcurrants
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, cold
 
Pre-heat oven to 375 F
In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add egg; mix well.
 
Combine flour, baking powder and salt; sift to the creamed mixture and mix well.
 
Add milk and vanilla. Gently fold in the blackcurrants.
 
Fill 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
 
In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over muffins.
 
Bake in pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes or until browned.

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