CSA 2017 – Week 8: Fermentation for the Soul

CSA Newsletter – Week 8


Fermentation for the Soul

This week I’m including a recipe for sauerkraut since you all have a cabbage in your box. In addition to writing these newsletters and coordinating our farmers markets, I also run fermentation here at the farm and am quite passionate about helping people incorporate more fermented foods into their lives. Many people love sauerkraut for its flavor and texture, however eating fermented products is so incredibly beneficial to your body and mind as well. I never ate fermented foods as a kid, and I’ve still been able to develop a taste for them and now even crave them, so it’s never too late!

As many of you know, we have bacteria and other microbes living in our gut that aid in our digestion of specific nutrients and minerals. These little creatures produce dopamine and serotonin, among other compounds, which travel to our brain and alter our moods. We all know that when we drink alcohol, the compounds within it travel to our brain and make us feel inebriated. What we don’t often realize, however, is that everything we consume does this, just often to a much less perceptible extent. So when we eat fermented foods, you might feel a little chiller, a little more upbeat, and maybe like you have more energy in your body.

Incorporating fermented foods into your diet is more important now than ever, as we are consuming many products that contain herbicides and pesticides. Even those of us who eat primarily organic are still absorbing these synthetic chemicals from the environment in other ways. Before they can be released, these chemicals must be classified as being non-toxic to mammals, but what is so important to note is that our bodies are made up of mostly non-mammalian cells. We are more bacteria than we are human, and all of those bacteria are what really keeps us in balance. Because these chemicals enter our body and kill the bacteria that keep us healthy, it has become imperative to foster their growth by eating fermented foods. The easiest way to do that is to experiment with your own ferments, so have fun and try it out!

Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Green Beans—Crockett is hands down the best variety of green beans we have yet to find.
  • Fresh Sweet Corn—Our first corn of the season is a bi-color variety called Temptation. Farmer John steamed us all up the first pick for lunch last week, and it was pure summer perfection!
  • Leeks—First dig of the season! Leeks can be used to replace any onion in any dish. They have a very mild, buttery onion-like flavor.
  • Bunched Carrots—Sweet roots perfect for raw munching or savory roasting; try adding the greens into a stock or bone broth for an amazing flavor.
  • Cabbage—At this time of year when most greens are wilting in the heat, it’s nice to have raw cabbage around to fill the need for something sweet, leafy, and crisp.
  • Moss Parsley—I love making pesto out of any herb I can lay my hands on. A parsley pesto is especially delicious; try a dollop on top of eggs or potatoes or pasta.
  • Superstar OnionThis white onion, also known as a Spanish onion, is low in sugars, high in acidity, and great for soups and roasts.
  • Garlic
  • Cucumbers
  • Summer Squash
  • 5 lbs Potatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes

    Recipes

    Print

    Summer Pad Thai

    Normally I don’t like to repeat recipes, however green beans are SOOOOOO good in pad thai, I just couldn’t resist.

    Ingredients

    Veggie Sauté

    • 1 lb Green Beans (de-stemmed and left long)
    • 1 bunch Moss Parsley (roots in sauté, leaves raw as garnish)
    • 1 bunch Leeks (1/2 in sauté, 1/2 raw as garnish)
    • 1/2 bunch Carrots, sliced long and thin
    • 1/2 head Garlic, roughly minced
    • 1 Zucchini, sliced long and thin
    • 1 Superstar Onion, sliced thin
    • Oil (I use coconut)
    • Fish Sauce, Tamari, Garlic, or whatever you'd like

    Pad Thai Sauce and Noodles

    • 2/3 cup Stock (pork, chicken, or veggie)
    • 6 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
    • 6-8 tbsp Brown Sugar Sugar (it may sound strange, but you can substitute the sugar with strawberry jam and it’s delicious!)
    • 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
    • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce/Tamari (use 4 tbsp if you don't use fish sauce)
    • 1 tbsp Hot Sauce/Chili Oil
    • 1 cup Nut Butter (I use peanut or sunflower seed)
    • 8 oz Pad Thai Noodles (or if you have a spiralizer, you can make carrot and zucchini noodles!)

    Instructions

    1. Chop all your veggies up beforehand. With Pad Thai, I have found that taking care to slice things thin and long really affects the final product’s taste and beauty! Set aside.

    2. Put all sauce ingredients together in a pot (omit nut butter) and bring up to a simmer. Once it’s hot, add in your nut butter and stir around to dissolve into the sauce. You can control the thickness of the sauce depending on how much you add.

    3. Meanwhile, heat up some oil in a big pan and get your veggie stir fry going. First add in your sweet onion, and after a minute or two add in some tamari or soy sauce and let sauté another few minutes more.

    4. Then add your green beans, carrots, scallion, and zucchini. Let sauté about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a sprinkle of salt, and don’t let the veggies lose their fresh crunch!

    5. Boil some water and cook your noodles, careful not to overcook them. Drain noodles, mix into sauce to coat them.

    6. Plate noodles, put veggies on top, and garnish with raw cilantro and scallions. Enjoy!

     

    Print

    Easy Sauerkraut

    A head of cabbage goes a long way, so even if you make a slaw, and add some into your pad thai, you still may have half a head left over. Try making your own fresh summer kraut with whatever you have left! Try using the salt: cabbage ratio in this recipe, and always feel free to add other veggies in, like garlic and chilis.

    Ingredients

    • 1 head Green Cabbage, shredded or sliced thinly
    • 1 tbsp Salt
    • 1 Clean Quart Jar
    • If you need extra brine (our cabbage this time of year should be plenty juicy) use 1 additional tbsp salt and 4 cups non-chlorinated water

    Instructions

    1. Shred up all your cabbage into a large bowl, sprinkle the salt and mix with your hands to incorporate evenly. 

    2. Let sit about 15 minutes to let the cabbage start releasing water (making its own brine). Then use your hands to firmly massage the cabbage to get the juices flowing. 

    3. Once you’re happy with your mashing dance, start packing the kraut into a jar, packing it down with a spoon to eliminate as many air bubbles as possible. 

    4. Leave about 1-2” headspace before closing up the jar, and let sit on your counter out of direct sunlight for at least a week. It’ll leak a bit, so put a tray underneath and burp the jar regularly. 

    5. Taste the kraut after a week and if you like the tang level, put it in the fridge and start eating! If you want it tangier, leave it out a while longer.

    Recipe Notes

    Jar Method – The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz.  “A jar filled with any raw food submerged under liquid will ferment… Many ferments, such as sauerkraut or cultured milks, do not require either oxygen or microbes from the air. These may be fermented in sealed jars. However, in many cases, if you seal a jar containing an active ferment, be aware that pressure may build from the production of CO2. You usually need to release pressure, or it can build to the point where jars explode. Leave the jar on the kitchen counter, where you will see it daily, gauge pressure by the bulging top, and release pressure by loosening the lid, as needed. Alternatively, you can place the lid loosely on the jar so that pressure will be released.”

Lunch Menu: Week of August 1, 2017

Season’s first sweet corn with shishito peppers, cherry tomatoes, poached egg and pesto

Antipasti

chad fell’s bread & olives   5

emily’s farm fresh pickle plate    4

chilled tomatillo and anaheim soup, served with bread   5

southwestern soup with tomatillos, roasted pablanos and corn, served with bread   5

mixed greens with balsamic    6.5

GTF salad –  a variety of tomatoes, croutons, shallots, and a sweet basil vinaigrette   9.5

pork pate with mustard, cornichon and fresh bread    7

 Pizze Rosse

garlic & basil    13

bacon, bleu    13

anaheim pepper, cherry tomato  13

 

 

Pizze Bianche

ham, leek   13

zukes, kalamata, mushroom  13

– add an egg or anchovies   1

 

Nicoise salad of grilled tuna, olives, green beans, radicchio, tomato, potato & aioli 

Secondi

ravioli of goat cheese and parmesan with ratatouille, extra virgin and fresh basil leaves   13

season’s first sweet corn with shishito peppers, cherry tomatoes, poached egg and pesto   14

pork and mushroom ragu with fennel bulb, apples and cavelo nero on potato gnocchi   14

nicoise salad of grilled tuna, olives, green beans, radicchio, tomato, potato & *aioli   14

Dinner Menu: July 27-29 2017

Antipasti

chad fell’s bread & marinated olives   5

white gazpacho, tomato in chili oil  7

mixed greens, balsamic vinaigrette  6.5

country pork terrine, seasonal accompaniments  9

baked local chevre, roasted onions, garlic, pears and crostini  9

farmstand Caesar 8

GTF salad, poached pear, walnuts,  blue cheese, pickled onion, sunflower seeds, lemon basil vinaigrette 9.5

 

Pizze Rosse

garlic & basil 13

bacon, kale, bleu   13

broccoli & goat cheese  13

 

Pizze Bianche

ham, scallion, olive 13

caramel onion & zukes 13

 

 

Secondi

Potato Gnocchi with mushroom, tomato, squash, escarole, corn nage 19

Rockfish with quinoa, broccoli puree, bacon, tomato, corn, purslane, caper brown butter   21.5

Braised Short Ribs with mashed potato, carrot, patty pan squash, red wine reduction, horseradish aioli     23

Duck Breast with creamy polenta, grilled radicchio, mushroom, strawberry balsamic reduction   22

Pork Loin with buckwheat spaetzli, eggplant, rainbow chard, arugula and basil pesto   21

 

To Finish

Death by Chocolate Cake   6

Lemon Tart with berries   7

Strawberry Ricotta Cheesecake  8

Lunch Menu: Week of July 25, 2017

Brodetto of tuna, prawns, rockfish & salmon with new potatoes, tomato, fennel & aioli

Antipasti

chad fell’s bread & olives   5

emily’s farm fresh pickle plate    4

tomato, spinach, and lentil soup, served with bread   5

summer squash and sage soup, served with bread   5

mixed greens with balsamic    6.5

GTF salad –  croutons, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs and caesar dressing   9.5

 Pizze Rosse

garlic & basil    13

bacon, kale, bleu    13

broccoli & goat  13

 

 

Pizze Bianche

ham, scallion, olive    13

caramel omion & zukes   13

 

add an egg or anchovies   1

Secondi

ravioli of goat cheese and parmesan with ratatouille, extra virgin and fresh basil leaves   13

isaraeli couscous soup with roasted tomato, crispy duck and cucumber mint buttermilk   14

pork ragu with fennel bulb, apples, cavelo nero and fresh tagliatelle pasta   14

duck breast on creamy polenta with boysenberries and swiss chard    14

brodetto of tuna, prawns, rockfish & salmon with new potatoes, tomato, fennel & aioli

CSA 2017 – Week 7: “Don’t Spoil Them Rotten”

CSA 2017 – Week 7


“Don’t Spoil Them Rotten”

Even I am guilty of just tossing a bunch of beets in my fridge completely unprotected, only to find the greens wilted and roots shriveled the next day. It’s a fast-paced world we live in, so hopefully the following excerpt from The CSA Cookbook will help everyone eat more of the food that they’re bringing home.

“Did you know that vegetables are composed of primarily water? Even something as solid as zucchini is made up of 95% water, and white potatoes—which have the lowest water content—are still 79%. When a vegetable is pulled out of the soil or picked from a plant, depriving it of precious water, the cell walls start to lose moisture and eventually collapse, causing wilting.

The key to preventing vegetables from going limp is to create a breathable barrier between the moist vegetables and the dry air of your fridge; that means creating an environment that ‘s airy and damp, but not stifling and wet. Plastic bags and kitchen towels work wonders for this; I like to reuse produce bags and repurpose clean rags, as they are thrifty, take up little space, and can be tucked into any available nook in the fridge. I tend to store all my vegetables this way on the shelves, where I can see them (forgetting what you have is often the first cause of wilted produce).

If you are anti-plastic, you can also roll up your vegetables in flower sack towels or linen tea towels before storing them in your crisper drawers. In general, keep vegetables and fruits in separate drawers, and keep leafy greens in their own drawer if you can. The tender greens are most susceptible to wilting if kept in close proximity to ethylene-emitting produce.

A good rule of thumb for determining how to store a vegetable is to visit the produce section of a supermarket. Vegetables that are kept chilled and damp with overhead misters need cold and humidity. Vegetables that are kept dry in the middle of the produce section thrive in the same environment as your kitchen.”

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Fresh Shallots—Shallots are a cross between garlic and onions, which you can see from the way they often bulb up in twos or threes. Their flavor is a perfect balance, much stronger than onion, yet not tricky to peel like garlic. I use them in everything!
  • Gold Beets—Gold beets are lovely because they have a much milder beet flavor with the extra added bonus of not turning everything red in your dish.
  • Purple Haze Carrots—Absolutely gorgeous and delicious sliced lengthwise and roasted.
  • Radicchio—Radicchio is perfect for cutting in half lengthwise and grilling for a hot salad. Try balancing out the bitterness with other ingredients, like vinegar, garlic, or cheese.
  • Green Bell Pepper—I recently thinly sliced little stars of green bell pepper fried in a cornmeal flour, and it was AMAZING.
  • Mint—Mojitos!!! Or, try out adding mint into your everyday salads and beverages.
  • Sweet OnionsHigh sugar content that makes them perfect for caramelizing, and they’re great roughly chopped in Pico de Gallo.
  • Cucumbers
  • Summer Squash
  • New Potatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes

Recipes

Print

Perfect Crisp Roasted Potatoes

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, by Francisco J. Robert. “After weeks of testing, we discovered the secrets to the crispiest, creamiest roasted potatoes: the right spud, the right shape, and—surprisingly—a not-so-delicate touch.”

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • Cold Water
  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

Roast

  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 450F. 

  2. Place potatoes and 1 Tbsp salt in dutch oven and add cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to boil over high heat. 

  3. Reduce heat and gently simmer until exteriors of potatoes have softened but centers offer resistance when pierced with paring knife, about five minutes. Drain potatoes well and transfer to large bowl. 

  4. Drizzle potatoes with 2 Tbsp oil and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt. Using rubber spatula, toss to combine. Drizzle with another 2 Tbsp oil and ½ tsp salt. Continue to toss until exteriors of potato slices are coated with starchy pate, 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Working quickly, remove baking sheet from oven and drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp oil oven surface. Carefully transfer potatoes to baking sheet and spread into even layer (skin side up if end piece). Bake until bottoms of potatoes are golden grown and crisp, 15-25 minutes, rotating baking sheet after 10 minutes.

  6. Remove baking sheet from oven and, using spatula and tongs, loosen potatoes from pan carefully flipping each slice. Continue to roast until second side is golden and crisp, 10-20 minutes longer, rotating pan as needed to ensure that potatoes brown evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Perfect Potato Principles

Disks, Not Chunks—half-inch rounds require only one flip, making it far easier to ensure that each side gets equal time face-down in the pan.

Parcook—Simmering the potatoes brings the starch to the surface, jump-starting the crisping process. The potatoes should be just under-cooked when they are removed from the boiling water to ensure that they don’t overcook while baking.

Preheat—A hot, rimmed baking sheet gives the potatoes a head start when placed in the oven, a step that guarantees crispier results.

Toss Vigorously—Roughing up the parboiled potatoes with salt and oil damages the surface cells, which speeds up evaporation. This creates a layer of fluffy potato goodness that keeps the outside crispy and the inside creamy.

Print

Shaved Raw Beet Salad w/ Warm Pecan Dressing

Adapted from The CSA Cookbook by Linda Ly

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • pinch salt & pepper
  • 2 gold beets, thinly sliced or matchsticks
  • 2 purple carrots, thinly sliced at an angle
  • 2 cups beet greens, thinly sliced
  • feta cheese, crumbled for serving

Instructions

  1. To make the dressing, combine the oil, shallot, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the vinegar and honey until well blended, then add the pecans, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and keep warm. 

  2. In a large serving bowl, toss the beets and beet greens with the warm dressing. Serve with a sprinkle of feta on top.


Recipe Notes

*Beet greens are right in between chard and spinach and should always be enjoyed when you have them! They’re great on sandwiches too.

Print

Chicory Greens with Cheesy Pasta

Here's hat to do if you want to get kids on board w/ chicory greens—pair them with cheesy pasta!

Because I grew up on boxed pastas and have only found a love for vegetables in the past five years, I used to make some pretty wacky dishes during my transition to farming. Those who love veggies may think that dish is a disgrace to the vegetables in it, and those who don’t know vegetables well yet tend to be put off by the veggies that are in it. So if you happen to be in a middle ground like I was, try out sautéing your chicory greens and mixing it in with cheesy pasta! It’s a great way to fall for chicories.

Author Laura Bennett

Ingredients

  • radicchio
  • garlic
  • shallot
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • box of cheesy pasta

Instructions

  1. Prepare packaged pasta per box instructions. 

  2. Sauté shallot, garlic, and radicchio with olive oil and salt.

  3. Mix veggiesd together with prepared pasta. Serve.