Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Good Eats Weekly Newsletter - June 1st, 2016

Weekly updates on CSA contents, storage and use tips, recipes, and news from around the farm
Comments or questions? Leave a note in our comment box!

The Summer CSA Starts in 2 WEEKS!

Sign up and pay by June 10th to get in on the first share, June 15th-16th.

If you have questions before signing up, email us at

For details about what's in your meat share, scroll down to the 
Meat Share section of the newsletter.

In Your Share This Week:

Full Veggie Share
Mesclun, Head Lettuce, Kale, Chard, Basil, Rhubarb, Potatoes
(Out of the bag: Frozen Beans, Frozen Peppers)

Half Veggie Share
Mesclun, Head Lettuce, Cilantro, Chard, Basil, Potatoes
(Out of the bag: Frozen Beans)

Localvore/Pete's Pantry
Pete's Greens Tomato Sauce
Pete's Greens Pizza Dough
Maplebrook Farm Mozzarella Cheese

Around the Farm

Our Craftsbury Farmstand is open for the season! We're well-stocked with everything you need for amazing summertime meals: tons of fresh veggies that you've come to know so well, plus an incredible assortment of "Localvore" products, from cheeses and meats, to dry goods and breads, to maple products and honey. Plus you can buy Pete's Greens swag! If you're in our neck of the woods, please stop by! Bea, our littlest farmstand attendant, might just be there to help you find what you need!

Storage and Use Tips

Rhubarb- Rhubarb is a very old plant, and has been harvested by man for over 4000 years. It was prized for it's medicinal qualities (purgative). Only the stalks of rhubarb are eaten, the leaves of the rhubarb plant are actually toxic containing large amounts of oxalic acid. Only much later did people learn to love it for purposes of pie! Even more simply, uou can slice up what you have and add to it enough strawberries to make 6 cups total. Mix strawberries and slices of rhubarb (1/2" thick) together with 1 cup of sugar, pour it into a pie shell, top it with the other crust (or streusel) and bake it. See below for another delicious rhubarb recipe. Store in your fridge in the crisper drawer until ready to use.

Mesclun -  This week's salad greens are a mix of arugula, mizuna, claytonia, lettuce, shoots, and tatsoi. These will make delicious fresh salads- eat up!

Kale - Most shares will have red Russian kale (if not, another variety), a green kale with reddish purple stems. While these leaves are tender enough to eat raw, cooking adds a sweetness and tenderness that makes these greens just as versatile as chard. Store in your crisper drawer loosely wrapped in plastic.

Chard - Chard is a leafy green vegetable that is related to beets and spinach. Some of the stems are multicolored, while others have white stems. Chard is a delicious nutritious green, high in Vitamins A, K, and C.  This green 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. 

Basil - Half shares 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.

Head Lettuce -  These lettuce heads were made for you to devour. They are so delicate and succulent, and will make a great salad. These tender heads should be wrapped in plastic and stored in your crisper drawer. Perfect for salads, sandwiches, tacos, and more. Enjoy!

Nicola Potatoes - These slightly waxy potatoes are golden skinned and golden fleshed and are truly all purpose. They are great for boiling, mashing or roasting and are plenty waxy enough to make excellent potato salad. Nicola potatoes have a very special attribute among potatoes - they are low on the glycemic index compared to all other varieties. This means they do not cause blood sugar spike the way that other varieties may, if you are sensitive to blood sugar ups and down then you know this is an issue that can wreak havoc with people with insulin resistance. They also have a yummy slightly nutty flavor.  Store in a cool dry place away from onions.

Frozen Beans - This week we have Frozen Beans. We can't call them "green beans" because some of them are purple and yellow! Our beans have been picked, washed, blanched, bagged and frozen all in a few hours.  They simply need to be heated up.  Remove from plastic bag and heat in water or mix into a dish as you would fresh produce.

Frozen Peppers - Our green, red, and multi-colored peppers are washed, chopped, bagged and frozen within hours of harvest. Frozen peppers won't be crisp like fresh peppers but retain all the flavor and yummy summer goodness. To use them, simply remove package from the freezer, slice open bag, and then either thaw and add to your dish, or chop just what you need frozen and toss directly into your skillet. If you use the latter method, you can toss unused frozen veggies back into the freezer for later use. 

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:
Pete's Greens Pizza Dough, Pete's Greens Pizza Sauce, and Maplebrook Farm Fresh Mozzarella!

Our Pizza Dough is made of a blend of organic Quebec Milanaise flour, plus water, yeast, salt, olive oil. Thaw it in your fridge overnight, roll out on a floured board, and bake with toppings in a 425 degree oven for 8-12 minutes for a delicious local pie!

Pete's Greens Tomato Sauce is made using our organic tomatoes, onions, 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.  You can of course use this on pasta too.

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.

Meat Share

This week's meat share includes: Northridge Highland Farm Ground Beef, McKnight Farm Sandwich Steak, VT99 Cheese Sausage, VT99 Slab Bacon, and VT99 Pork Roast.

You will also have organic Sandwich Steak from McKnight Farm in East Montpelier. This is a thinly cut piece of sirloin, and is the cut that Philly cheese steaks are made from.  This meat takes only about 2 mins in a hot pan to cook.  Add peppers, onions and tuck into a sandwich with your favorite cheddar.  Or fry up with eggs for a traditional steak and eggs breakfast to keep you trucking through the morning.  Also fantastic for asian dishes that call for thin pieces of quick cooking beef and for steak salads.  We love this cut and have to stockpile it from each animal until we have enough for the share.

Northridge Highland Farm is owned by Hilary Mooney in Waitsfield. She raises Scottish Highland Beef Cattle. Your Ground Beef this month is coming from her farm. Enjoy!

VT99, a joint effort between Pete's Greens and Jasper Hill Farm, is a pork operation run on the wholesome scraps and byproducts from the two farms: vegetable scraps and whey. These pigs make our farms more sustainable, and result in some really tasty fresh and cured pork products. This month's VT99 meats include the famous Cheese Sausage, made using Jasper Hill's Alpha Tolman cheese. Evan Bendickson makes these delicious sausages in a facility right on our farm! Cook this sausage in a pan with some water on your stovetop until it is nearly cooked through, then remove the water and brown it or transfer it to the grill for a nice light char.

Other VT99 meats this month include Pork Shoulder or Butt Roast, the best cuts for making pulled pork. Cook this low and slow in an oven or for 5-8 hours on low in a slow cooker with some liquid (stock or beer). Pull apart the meat when cooked through and tender, and mix in your favorite BBQ sauce!

Lastly from VT99 is Slab Bacon is the same as sliced bacon, just not yet sliced. This means you have more flexibility in how to cut and use it (it's great cubed in soups and casseroles).


Rainbow Chard with Pine Nuts, Parmesan, and Basil

Rainbow chard (about 1 large bunch)
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs. pine nuts
Kosher salt
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (8 to 10 large)

Pull or cut the stems from the chard leaves. Cut or rip the leaves into 2- to 3-inch pieces and wash and dry them well. Rinse the stems and slice them crosswise 1/4 inch thick.

In a 12-inch nonstick stir-fry pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pine nuts to a plate, leaving behind as much oil as possible.

Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the chard stems and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrunken and beginning to brown lightly, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the chard leaves and 1/4 tsp. salt. Toss with tongs until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. (If using a skillet, you may need to add the chard in batches, letting the first batch wilt before adding more.) Remove the pan from the heat, add the cold butter pieces and stir just until the butter has melted.

Using tongs, immediately transfer about half of the leaves and stems to a serving plate and arrange. Sprinkle on half of the Parmigiano, basil, and pine nuts. Layer on the remaining leaves, stems, and pan juices, and garnish with the remaining cheese, basil, and pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Asian Sesame Chicken Salad

½ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup sugar
2 whole cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
¼ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

6 cups lettuce, mesclun, or other greens
1 (15 oz can) mandarin oranges, drained
½ cup crunchy wonton strips
⅓ cup sliced almonds
⅓ cup chopped cilantro
12 ounces cooked grilled chicken, sliced or diced

For the dressing:
Place the rice vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat and allow it to just come to a gentle boil, add the sugar and garlic cloves and let the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove the rice vinegar mixture from the stove and discard the garlic cloves. Place the rice vinegar mixture in a mason jar and add the sesame oil, canola oil, soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds. Allow the dressing to come to room temperature, about 10-15 minutes. Screw on the lid and give it a good shake until the dressing mixes together. Please note, homemade salad dressing will separate as it sits, just give it a good couple shakes before pouring on salad.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the salad and top with the sesame vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Pizza Margherita

One portion Pizza Dough
1/2 cup Pizza Sauce
1/4 pound thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
10 fresh basil leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for grating

Set a pizza stone on a rack in the top third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500° for at least 45 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the dough ball from the refrigerator and let stand for 20 minutes.

Working on a floured surface and using your fingers, press and stretch the dough ball out to a 10-inch round, working from the center toward the edge; avoid pressing on the outermost edge. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured pizza peel. Spread the Pizza Sauce onto the dough, making sure to leave a 1-inch border around the edge, and top with the mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, a drizzle of the extra-virgin olive oil and a light grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Turn the oven to broil for 5 minutes, then return it to 500°. Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone, opening and closing the oven door as quickly as possible. Bake until the bottom is lightly charred and the toppings are bubbling, about 6 minutes for a chewier crust and 8 minutes for a crispier one; avoid opening the oven door during baking.

Rhubarb Dream Bars 

With a combination of a shortbread base topped with rhubarb, walnuts and coconut, how could you go wrong? 

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups finely chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup flaked coconut

In a bowl, combine 1 cup flour and confectioners' sugar. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Pat into a lightly greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F for 13-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

In a bowl, combine the sugar and remaining flour. Add eggs; mix well. Stir in rhubarb, walnuts and coconut; pour over crust. Bake 30-35 minutes longer or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Ham and Pineapple Kebobs

This simple BBQ recipe would be delicious if you substituted your slab bacon for ham. If you have fresh pineapple rather than canned, all the better!

1 Can Pineapple Chunks- Drained
36 Ham Cubes
Barbecue Sauce
12 Skewers

Alternate Ham Cubes and Pineapple Chunks on skewers. Slather with Barbecue Sauce. Grill 2-3 minutes on each side of skewers until heated through and nicely charred.

Loaded Nachos

Nachos are a perfect meal to modify with what you have on hand. I love the idea of sauteing chard or another green to add to the mix, and serving this with a big heaping green salad (or better yet, combining them into a taco salad!).

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 whole Yellow Onion, Diced
2 pounds Ground Beef
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1 can (14-5 Ounce) Pinto Beans, Chili Beans, Or Ranch Style Beans
1/2 cup Hot Water
Tortilla Chips
1-1/2 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
1-1/2 cup Monterey Jack Cheese
6 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
1 whole Jalapeno, Diced Finely
1/2 bunch Cilantro Leaves, Chopped
Juice Of 1 Lime
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 whole Avocado (pitted And Diced)
Sour Cream (optional)

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and half the onion. Cook it until starting to soften, then add the ground beef. Cook the meat until it's totally browned, then drain the fat. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Add the beans and hot water and stir. Reduce the heat to low and simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.

To make the pico de gallo, combine the other half of the onion with the tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir it together and set it aside.

To build the nachos, place a layer of tortilla chips on a platter or plate. Top with a layer of the beef/bean mixture, then all but 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese. Add another layer of chips, another layer of the beef/bean mixture, and the Monterey Jack cheese. Add a final small layer of chips, then a small layer of beef and beans, then a final sprinkling of cheddar.

Microwave in 45 second increments until the cheese is melted and bubbly. (You may also place the platter into a 325 degree oven if it's heatproof. Just leave it in until the cheese is melted.)

Immediately sprinkle on the diced avocado and plenty of pico de gallo.

Optional: Add dollops of sour cream here and there!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,

No comments: