Corvallis Market Recipes from May 14th

Happy Sunday!

A big thanks to all who were able to brave the rain and visit us at one of our markets yesterday. It was lovely to be the one standing next to the cook stove, I stayed toasty all day. Here is what we sampled up:

  • Raw Hakurei Salad Turnips (May 1st post)
  • Raw Red Radishes
  • Daikon Radish Stir Fry (May 1st post)
  • Wilted Chicory Salad


We served these raw, as they pack the most punch this way. Contrasted with the soft and sweet Hakurei turnip, these tiny pink bombs are crunchy with a sweet yet powerful spice. They’re great as a fresh, spicy snack, or sliced up into a salad.

Don’t forget about your radish greens! They come free with every bunch. Though these greens are fairly hairy, they become very tender and delicious when cooked. When sautéed they end up just like any other mild mustard green, such as mizuna or bekana mustard.


Chicory greens can be an acquired taste. Not everyone enjoys the flavor of bitter, and up until about a year ago, I was one of those people. If I did ever eat bitter greens, I had to make myself do it, telling myself how good they were. They really are extraordinarily good for you, as the compounds that make the bitter flavor aid in healthier digestion. My taste buds acclimated to the new flavor, and now I actually crave these bitter leaves on a regular basis. So even if you haven’t liked them in the past, don’t give up! I had no idea what I was missing out on.IMG_2258 (2) half pixels

  • ½ Willamette Sweet Onion, chopped
  • ½ head Fresh Spring Garlic, minced
  • 1 head Frisee Endive, chopped including stems
  • 1 bunch Dandelion Greens, chopped including stems
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt


  1. Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil and bring up to medium temp. Add in the Willamette sweet onion and fresh spring garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes, quasi-caramelizing the onions. Add in about 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and saute for another 5 minutes. This sweet, savory, tangy base is IMG_2292 (2)what you want to balance out the bitterness.
  2. Add in the chopped endive, and stir around until it cooks down half way, about a minute.
  3. Then you’ll have room in the pan to add in the chopped dandelion greens. Sprinkle 2-3 pinches of salt and stir around for another minute or two, just until the greens look wilted.
  4. Turn off the stove. Let finish of cooking then taste. Add more balsamic and salt to taste.


Fresh Spring Roots! -Recipes from May 7th

Greetings fellow foodies,

Yesterday felt like summer down at the waterfront, though our produce is still very much emanating spring. As you can see in the photo above, we are heavy on fresh new root crops, such as carrots, beets, potatoes, and Willamette Sweet Onions.

We generally cook some recipes multiple weeks in a row, during the duration of that vegetable’s prime season, so if you see something sampled without its recipe details, look back to the week it was debuted in. Yesterday over at our sample station, we cooked up the following:

  • Raw Hakurei Salad Turnips (May 1st post)
  • Pan-Fried Parsnips w/ Pea Top Salad (May 1st post)
  • Hot Beet Salad


  • 1 bunch beets
    • Beets, thinly sliced
    • Beet greens, chopped (It’s basically a free bunch of chard on top of your beets. Get your money’s worth, and eat dem greens!)
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 bunch arugula, chopped (In the past, I’ve also used chard, more beet greens, or spinach. Really anything will do!)IMG_2165 (2)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Put enough oil in the pan to coat the bottom, and bring up to heat (about medium high).
  2. Add in chopped leeks.  Sauté about 2 minutes.
    1. I’ve always composted the dark green tops of my leeks, but in recent months I decided to try chopping them right into my sauté. Much to my surprise, they were completely delicious, not too tough at all. Leeks are sold by the pound, so you might as well eat the whole thing.
  3. Add in about 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar. Sauté leeks about 2 minutes.Our beets are so vibrant this time of year! Look closely at your food and see the beauty can be so easily overlooked. Finding joy in seemingly mundane tasks can lead to a huge quality of life increase. Check out the deep velvety rings in these beets!
  4. Add in the sliced beets, stirring around to coat in the juices. You can sprinkle in a couple pinches of salt at this time. Sauté about 3 minutes.
  5. Add in the chopped beet greens. Stir around so that they cook down enough that you have more space in the pan. Then add in the chopped arugula. Sauté just about a minute, then turn off the heat.
  6. Let the dish finish off cooking for a few minutes, then taste test. Add more salt and balsamic vinegar to taste.

IMG_2167 (2)

I’d like to insert a closing note on the big question-“To peel or not to peel.” Whenever I make this beet dish at market, one of the first questions people ask is if they have to peel their beets. We seem to have all grown up with an understanding that beets must be blanched, peeled, cooled, and given a manicure before we can cook with them. Ultimately, whether you peel or not is totally up to you, and all paths lead to tasty. But I’d like to describe how highly beneficial it can be to never peel beets, or most vegetables for that matter.

  • Higher Nutritive Value: Roots, as we all know, grow in the soil. The skins on these vegetables are the only part of the plant that’s in direct contact with the soil surface. Because of this, the skin contains a different set of vitamins and nutrients that can’t be translocated into different parts of the plant.
  • Saves Time: Before I knew much about cooking, all I knew was that there were all these steps that you had to take to make good food. I largely thank my laziness for inspiring me to cut such predispositions out of my cooking. Initially, I thought I would just cut corners and suffer the consequences. What I realized is that there are no consequences. The peels don’t end up woody, burnt, or bitter. You don’t even notice they’re there. The more steps in a recipe, the less likely we all are to actually cook it, so it can be great to simplify things.

Now Offering Recipes from the Corvallis Farmers Market

Hello fellow food lovers,

I am pleased to announce that this will be the first of many posts devoted to food education. We believe that it’s important to embrace diversity, in our fields and in our diets. We grow food to eat food. Gathering Together Farm is a rare breed in that we cook and freely sample our produce at all eight of our farmers markets. Many of our customers have expressed an interest in the specifics of our recipes, and this is our response to that.

For me personally, I grew up with two vegetables in the house—baby carrots, and green bell peppers. Throughout my years working at GTF, I have gotten to know the immense variety of produce that we grow. I have seeded, weeded, harvested, and cooked nearly every single vegetable—I even came to truly love the taste of bitter chicory greens! What I have learned is invaluable, and I feel I must keep that gift in motion. Our goal here at the farm is to share our love of the food we grow with our community.

Every week I will be posting recipes made at the Corvallis Saturday Farmers Market the day after market, in time for Sunday dinner. We will try to incorporate recipes from our other markets as well. Each week we will be sampling produce in its prime season, which will change in step with the weather. Our recipes only emphasize the freshness already present in our produce, and because of this we like to keep it simple. Sometimes the best way to enjoy something is to do nothing to it at all.

Under no definition should I be considered a trained chef, I am just a person who wants to eat local, seasonal vegetables in the tastiest ways I can. Sometimes I burn things and over-salt others. I learn as I go, and that’s all I know. I encourage everyone to deviate from my instructions and do what feels right to them. Though I am not aiming for anything gourmet, what I am aiming for is feasible deliciousness. Anyone can do this.

Yesterday the Corvallis Farmers Market was booming. The bounty of the surrounding counties gleamed in the cool April sunshine as the masses flowed through the streets. Over at our booth, we sampled the following:

  • Raw Hakurei Salad TurnipsIMG_1850 (2)
  • Daikon Radish Stir Fry
  • Pan-Fried Parsnips w/ Pea Top Salad


Those of you who know me know that I won’t shut up about these turnips. They’re amazing, and that’s the simple truth. Yesterday we sampled them raw, as they are already soft and sweet. Tasting one for the first time, you’d be surprised how much you like a turnip. Kids eat them raw like apples, you can dip them in hummus, or mix them into a salad as the name suggests. These delicate little orbs are cool weather crops, so eat your fill before the heat of summer sets in.


  • 2 medium shallots, chopped
  • 1 bunch daikon radish, thinly sliced (use Hakurei turnips and it’ll be just as delicious!)
  • Stems & greens from the daikon radish
  • Olive oil
  • Tamari (gluten free soy sauce; feel free to use soy sauce instead)
  • Salt


  1. Put enough olive oil in the pan to coat the bottom, plus a little more. Cook about medium high. Sprinkle a couple shallot pieces in the oil and once it starts sizzling add the remaining shallots.
  2. Let the shallots get up to temperature, then add about 3 tablespoons tamari. Let sauté about 3 minutes so that the tamari reduces some.
  3. Stir in entire bunch of thinly sliced daikon radish. Sauté about 3 minutes.
  4. Add in the daikon stems and greens, roughly chopped. Stir in and add a pinch or two of salt. Let sauté about 2 minutes, and turn off the heat.
  5. Taste your creation! If you think it needs more salt and/or tamari, add more. We all know how much easier it is to add than it is to subtract.
  6. Serve solo, with rice, or with whatever sounds delicious to you.

PAN-FRIED PARSNIPS W/ PEA TOP SALAD—recipe adapted from Guillaum, our master sampler at the Newport Farmers Market

  • 1 large parsnip, sliced thin like french fries
  • 1 bunch pea tops (spinach is also well-suited for this dish, as seen in the final image)
  • 2 medium shallots, minced
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oilPan-Fried Parsnips with Spinach Salad
  • Salt


  1. Coat the bottom of the pan in oil, liberally. Place one parsnip strip in the oil, and once it starts sizzling, add enough parsnips to coat the bottom of the pan in a roughly single layer (you may have to do two rounds to fry up your whole parsnip).
  2. Stir every couple minutes to prevent sticking. After about 7-10 minutes, many of the parsnips will turn golden brown on the edges. This is a good sign that they are done.
  3. Fish the parsnip fries out of the pan with tongs, allowing most of the oil to drip off before placing them in a bowl. Sprinkle them with salt immediately. This is the magic secret. If you salt the parsnips while they’re in the oil, they will release water and become mushy rather than crispy. Set aside and munch as you work on the salad.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together minced shallots, 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil. I do a rough 1:2 vinegar to oil ratio, though I don’t actually measure.
  5. Chop up an entire bunch of pea tops and toss them in the vinaigrette. Taste a leaf. If you think it needs more balsamic, add some more.
  6. Serve together for a wonderful combination of crispy salty parsnips and sweet fresh pea tops.

I’d like to thank you all for taking the time to read this. Always feel free to share your favorite recipes, and maybe I’ll try them out at market.

Happy cooking!

-Laura Bennett




Freeze em’: GTF #2 Red Pepper Deal

number two peppers for blog post
sorted #2 peppers

This week the barn was overloaded with red, orange, and yellow sweet bell peppers.  After sorting the best, most beautiful, and brightest for markets, restaurants and our farm stand, the remaining slightly blemished and awkward shaped peppers are available for $1.75/lb (with a 10 lb minimum order).

Peppers photo for blog chopped and bagged
pepper freezing production line

Each year I take advantage of GTF bulk deals to preserve the harvest, color, and flavor for my winter and spring meals. Peppers are great because you need only to wash, de-seed, chop and bag for the freezer. It isn’t necessary to blanch before freezing, although you may prefer to roast and peel first. Our family loves to add these frozen peppers to soup, stir-fry, curry, and omelets.

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Watermelon season is coming to close. It is sad but true. Willamette Valley temperatures are expected to rise again this week, so now is the time to plan some days devouring cool, sweet, refreshing watermelon in the last hot days of summer. We will have watermelons at our farm stand and farmers’ markets for this week. Next week there won’t be as many.

GTF Watermelon Blog 1We have orange, yellow, sorbet and red varieties available. When I can manage not to eat the whole watermelon, I have been enjoying simple aqua fresca drinks. I say simple because they only contain two ingredients: watermelon and ice blended together.

Blog Recipe Watermelon

Agua fresca is a refreshing drink popular in Mexico. At the Corvallis Albany Farmers’ Market, you can find it served fresh at Zia Southwest Cuisine.