Frisee is a bitter leafy green that is a member of the endive/chicory family. It has finely curled leaves. The center leaves have a distinctive yellow coloring as they have not been exposed to much sunlight.
After rinsing, frisee can be stored in a plastic bag or storage container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks. It is best served with an acidic dressing to balance out the bitterness.
Low in calories, plus plenty of fiber.
High inulin and fiber content help reduce glucose and LDL-cholesterol levels in diabetic and obese patients.
Rich in Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene, which both have antioxidant properties. These vitamins are necessary for healthy mucus membranes, skin, and eyesight. They are also prophylactics against lung and oral cancers. Endive also contains Vitamin E and Calcium.
High in Folic Acid and B-complex vitamins.
Good source for the minerals manganese, copper, iron, and potassium.
Wash the frisee in cold water, discarding the tough outer leaves. Soak the washed leaves in ice water for 10 minutes. (This causes the leaves to become extra crisp.) Drain and dry the leaves, and place in a salad bowl. Meanwhile, fry the bacon cubes in a hot skillet until crispy and drain on paper towels. Poach the eggs in very gently simmering boiling water until set but still liquid, about 4-5 minutes. It helps to break each egg into a tea cup and gently slide it in. It also helps to add a shot of vinegar to the water to help them stay cohesive.
Mustard Vinaigrette dressing
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp finely sliced shallot (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
¼ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
Mix together all ingredients except oil in a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil until an emulsion forms. Toss the frisee, bacon, and dressing together until well-coated, and serve in 4 seperate bowls, garnished with a poached egg and a sprinkle of fresh pepper. Note: many versioins of this recipe call for croutons. See following recipe for crouton criteria.
The bees are floating from blossom to blossom on the boysenberry vines, pollinating just they way we expect and appreciate so greatly. The cucumber plants are regularly wound around their support twine, ensuring healthier fruits. Swiss chard, fava beans, and tomato plants are all reveling in the sunlight. Strawberries surreptitiously arrive, often hidden in the shadows of their leaves. And like little treasures, hundreds of potatoes are being unearthed from dark soil. The farm is humming along nicely, as you can see.
Margarita winds cucumber plants up around their support twine after they have grown taller.
Yellow Swiss Chard
Red Swiss Chard
Fields getting some much needed water on a hot, sunny day.
The tomatoes are on at Gathering Together Farm! Even after all the markets are packed and orders are filled, we still have more tomatoes than we can handle. Each week we make roasted tomato salsa to sell at our farmers’ markets and farm stand; yet our beautiful bounty continues to grow. Now is the time to get a bulk price discount on #2 canning tomatoes ( $20 for a 20-lb box). Call the office at 541-929-4273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to place a special order. You can arrange to pick up these orders at the farm or farmers’ markets that we attend. Please order at least a day before you’d like to receive them.
Every year I supplement my garden tomato crop with GTF seconds and make both tomato sauce and paste. Some years, when I have any canning enthusiasm remaining, I make salsa. Paste is my pantry gold. Romas are a great paste tomato, but I use whatever I have. I roast the tomatoes overnight in baking dishes at 220° F. Many home canners and recipes call for removing the skins, but I just haven’t noticed a big enough difference in flavor to justify the effort, so I don’t do this. In the morning, I pour off the water and blend the tomatoes in a high-powered blender. This gives you a pretty thick sauce to start with. I also cheat a little.
The same evening that I set the tomatoes to roast, I blend whatever tomatoes do not fit into the oven. I pour the sauce into dehydrator trays and dehydrate through the evening. I add the dehydrated tomato leather to the sauce. This thickens the sauce to a paste-like consistency.
I have found quite a spread of varying recipes for tomato paste. Some call for herbs, spices, sugar and even other vegetables. I am not looking for that sort of paste. I am looking for concentrated tomato flavor, a “tomato butter” perhaps. The end product has a rich roasted flavor with a powerful sweetness. I use tomato paste in almost everything I make. I use it in marinades, dressings, sauces, curries, soups and more. It pairs well with almost any flavor and aids in the quest for the desired umami.
I chose to can my paste but you can simply freeze it too. I have frozen paste in ice cube trays and bagged it for easy portion use. For canning purposes, tomatoes need to be acidified either with citric acid or lemon juice. I used citric acid for my jars and didn’t find that the taste was compromised in any way. If you decide to can your tomatoes I recommend following University Extension approved recipes, or recipes from the Ball Canning books published after 1988. Canning times for tomatoes have changed, so it is in your best interest to stay up-to-date on safe canning practices. You can find canning classes and recipes on the OSU Extension’s Food Preservation web page.
I opened the first jar tonight, mixed it with some tomato sauce and Italian herbs, spooned it on a pizza, and it was perfect!
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).
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 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.
We 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.
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.