Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Good Eats Weekly Newsletter - May 18th, 2016

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In Your Share This Week:

Full Veggie Share
Fiddleheads, Mesclun, European Cucumber, Basil, Garlic Scallions or Chives,
Bunched Greens, Carrots, Nicola Potatoes, Red Onions
(Out of the bag: Frozen Roasted Peppers or Chard)

Half Veggie Share
Fiddleheads, Mesclun, Bunched Greens, Basil, Garlic Scallions or Chives, 
Nicola Potatoes, Red Onions
(Out of the bag: Frozen Roasted Peppers or Chard)

Localvore/Pete's Pantry
Slowfire/Elmore Mountain Bread, Pete's Greens Zesty Freezer Pickles,
Butterworks Farm Cottage Cheese

Around the Farm

We did a lot of equipment shopping in Europe this winter. As these things go one of the containers got held up in customs and just arrived today. It was exciting to open the back of the container as I bought all this stuff online in France, communicating only in French, and with only photos as evidence of condition. Isaac and his dad had seen it before as they traveled to France a couple months back to load the container. We've learned that we can't count on anyone else to fill the containers full enough and it was well worth the trip for them to get over there and stuff it full. And they did, it was full to the gills. 

We got some exciting tillage equipment in today's load. A Kuhn power harrow with a grain drill mounted on it. These are rarely seen in the U. S. but are common and cheap in Europe. It's a machine that leaves a perfect seed bed and seeds cover crop seeds in one pass, saving time and fuel. We also got a beautiful older Massey Ferguson tractor with a front 3 point hitch. A front 3 point hitch allows two implements to be run on the tractor at one time, one in the front and one in the back. This is also common in Europe and potentially a big time saver. And we got a Lemken disc harrow. These are German made incredibly rugged tools that turn the soil and leave a perfect seedbed. All this equipment allows us to more easily grow cover crops, something that we are doing more and more. Starting this year two-thirds of our land is in cover crops while one-third grows vegetables. This fulfills a goal we have had for some time and has required us to acquire new land and wait for it to be certified. The ability to keep land in cover crops for one to two years leads to fewer weeds, pests and diseases and allows us to grow some of the fertility needed to produce veggies rather than having to buy it in. 

Storage and Use Tips
Mesclun - This week's salad greens are a mix of arugula, lettuce, arugula, mustard greens, and tatsoi. These will make delicious fresh salads of all sorts.

Bunched Greens - Everyone will receive bunched greens this week, mixed brassicas (mustard, kale, arugula etc.), or chard. These bunches are great for salads as well as braising in a pan with oil or butter and a small amount of liquid. Here's a great simple recipe for braising your greens. Store loosely wrapped in your crisper drawer until use.

Basil - All veggie share members will receive basil this week. This versatile herb is a member of the mint family. It is a staple in Mediterranean cooking as well as Thai, Vietnamese, and Laotian. 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.  Keep your basil out of the extreme cold as it could damage the fragile leaves.

Garlic Scallions - Everyone will receive either garlic scallions or chives this week. Garlic scallions, or green garlic, are young garlic plants that have not bulbed up fully. While these little gems look a lot like bunching onions, take a closer look and you'll see that their leaves are flat, not tubular, and they have a distinct garlic aroma. It can be stored in your fridge wrapped in a wet paper towel and wrapped in plastic for about a week. To prep, treat it like a small leek: trim off the very bottom of the bulb, and use all of the tender white and light green parts. Dark green leaves can be saved for stock. Some of these bunches are made of mini scallions, while others are just a couple of larger scallions.

Chives - If you don't have garlic scallions in your share, you'll have chives instead! Use the whole chive minced up. Stored in a loose bag in the crisper drawer,  they'll keep quite well for a few days. Great in an omelet, added to a salad, or added to a cooked dish.  They don't need much cooking so you can add them in at the end of the cooking.

European Cucumbers - These long, skinny cukes taste like a burst of summer. Ideally they like to be kept at about 50 degrees or they may go soft in a couple days. But you can keep them bagged and toss them in the crisper drawer; they'll keep a few days longer than that. 

Carrots - In the full veggie share this week, these orange carrots are sweet little treats. They are the true survivors of winter storage, and make a great addition to any roasted, sauteed, or oven baked dish. Or simply chop or shred them and toss them on your salad!

Nicola Potatoes - Nicola Potatoes are golden skinned, golden fleshed potatoes that are truly all purpose. They are great for boiling, mashing or roasting and are plenty waxy enough to make excellent potato salad. Nicolas have a very special attribute among potatoes - they are low on the glycemic index compared to all other varieties. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge if you are not going to use right away.
Red Onions - This week's onions once again come from our neighbors at Riverside Farm. They had a beautiful onion crop that is holding up well for us. Onions are best stored in a cool, dark place.

Fiddleheads - This week we're bringing you a seasonal specialty collected from our surrounding woods from a local forager. Fiddleheads are the unopened fronds of the ostrich fern, and are not only edible but also delicious braised with butter, or simmered in a small amount of liquid. Clean off the brown papery scales and trim the ends before preparing. Make sure to cook them thoroughly before enjoying.

Frozen Veggies - This week, everyone will take one bag of either roasted peppers OR chard. Roasted peppers are a great addition to Italian and Mexican dishes. Frozen chard is great tossed into any recipe in place of cooked spinach: frittatas, soups, or lasagna.

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

This week's share includes:
Cottage cheese from Butterworks Farm, Zesty Freezer Pickles from Pete's Greens, and bread from Elmore Mountain and Slowfire Bakery.

Butterworks Farm, owned by Jack and Anne Lazor in Lowell VT, has been an innovator and leader in organic grains and high quality dairy for decades. They have a full line of yogurts and cottage cheese made from high quality organic Jersey cow milk, with no added thickeners. This
Organic Cottage Cheese is a new product that has a clean, pleasing flavor and a large curd. Eat it with your morning berries or mix it into pancake or biscuit batters. Use it in lasagna or blend it into a fruit smoothie. The possibilities for this delicious product are endless!

Our Zesty Dill Freezer Pickles
were made right here at the farm.  These pickles are sweet and sour and are great eaten right out of the container or added to a sandwich.  They are a freezer pickle and we are sending them out frozen so you may need to thaw a bit more in order to enjoy, or you can put right back in the freezer for a later date (use within 6 months).  Once open keep refrigerated and eat within 3 weeks.

Bread this week is from Slowfire Bakery and Elmore Mountain Bread.
Slowfire Bakery is baking country bread with malted wheat and barley from Peterson Quality Malt in Monkton.  They mash whole malted wheat and cracked malted barley as one would for brewing beer.  Then they sparge (rinse) the grains, use that to hydrate the bread, and mix in the grains themselves, adding a bit of texture and some nice malty, roasted/toasted flavor and aroma to the bread. See the picture of a loaf ready for the oven! Elmore Mountain Bread is baking their Country French, made with Magog spring wheat from Aurora Mills and Farm in Linneus, Maine, milled at their bakery yesterday!


Best Herb Roasted Potatoes

1-2 lbs semi-waxy potatoes
¼ teaspoon of salt
¼teaspoon of pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Herb Butter:
¼ cup of melted butter or a mixture of butter and olive oil, or entirely olive oil
3 tablespoons of mixed fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, basil and oregano
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of red pepper
optional: lemon zest, capers, jalapeno, Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place each potato on a flat countertop. Take a small knife, slice along the potato thin slices of about 1/16 inch thickness making sure not to go all the way. Slice about half way deep only along the potato.
Place the sliced potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet and toss them evenly with salt, pepper and olive oil.
Roast the potatoes in the oven for about 20-25 mins until tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.
In the meantime, place all the butter ingredients in a small bowl and mix them well.
Once the potatoes are out of the oven and still how, take a brush or small spoon and divide the butter evenly on the tops, sides and inside each lice of the potatoes.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

White Bean Risotto with Garlicky Greens

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic (or 1/2 bunch of garlic scallions chopped)
5 cups  chicken stock
2 tablespoons garlic oil (see step 1)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt
1/2 cup Pinot Grigio
1 cup risotto rice
1 cup cooked white beans (like cannellini)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
2 bunches (1 3/4 pounds) bitter greens, stems removed and chopped

Warm 1/2 cup olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the garlic starts to brown (8 - 10 minutes). Strain oil into a clean container, and discard solids.

Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once simmering, reduce heat to low, and keep warm.

In a large, heavy-bottom pot, warm 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil made in step 1 over medium heat. Add the onion and thyme along with a pinch of salt, plus more garlic scallions if you want, and cook until the onion is tender but not browned (6 minutes). Stir in the rice and cook for 2 minutes, then add the Pinot Grigio and cook for 1 more minute. Add 1 cup of warm chicken stock and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding warm chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time, waiting until the stock is absorbed before adding again, and stirring frequently to make sure the bottom doesn't burn. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 - 35 minutes total. You may not use all of the chicken stock. Stir in the beans and cook until heated through (1 - 2 minutes). Take the risotto off the heat, and stir in Parmesan cheese and butter. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
During the last 5 minutes of cooking, fill a large pot with an inch or two of water. Place a vegetable steamer on the bottom of the pot, then bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the chopped greens to the steamer, cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer greens to a medium bowl, and drizzle with garlic oil (from step 1), and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
To serve, spoon risotto into a bowl, and top with garlicky greens. Additional Parmesan cheese and black pepper are always welcome.

Fiddlehead and Gruyere Tart

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek or other allium (onion, garlic scallions, chives), trimmed, cleaned and sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 lemon, juice
3 sheets phyllo dough, thawed as directed on package and cut in half lengthwise
* olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup gruyere, grated
1/2 pound fiddleheads, well cleaned and blanched for 3 minutes

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
Add the leek and cook until tender, about 2-5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
Remove from heat, mix in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Place a sheet of the phyllo dough on a greased baking sheet and brush it with oil. Repeat with the remaining sheets each on top of the last.
Sprinkle the leeks over the phyllo followed by the cheese and finally the fiddleheads.
Bake in a preheated 375F oven until the phyllo dough is golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.

Lasagna Roll-Ups

8 lasagna noodles
2 cups finely chopped baby spinach, braising greens, or chard, from about 3 ounces
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2/3 cup shredded cheese, such as mozzarella, Romano, or a blend, divided
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup tomato sauce
Chopped basil, optional

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-x9-inch baking dish.
Cook the lasagna noodles in plenty of salted boiling water according to package directions. Remove when they are al dente and lay out on a clean towel to dry and cool.
Mix the spinach, cottage cheese, 1/3 cup shredded cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and a generous quantity of black pepper.
Divide the spinach and cheese mixture evenly between the noodles, spreading the mixture over the entire length of each noodle. Roll up the noodles from bottom to top, and place in pan, side by side, touching. Pour the tomato sauce over the rolls, and sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup shredded cheese over top.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until heated through and the sauce is bubbling. Top with fresh chopped basil if want.

Dill Pickle Potato Salad

6 c. boiled potatoes, cooled and sliced
6 hard boiled eggs, sliced
3/4 c. finely diced onion
8 oz pickle slices, chopped
1 1/2 c. mayonaise
1 tbsp mustard
1 tablespoon pickle juice
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes, eggs, onion and dill pickles in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the mayonaise, mustard, pickle juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over the ingredients in the large bowl, and gently combine. Refrigerate or serve immediately.

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