September 24th Market Recipes ft. Poblanos with Purple Potatoes

It’s that wonderful time of year when autumn has just20160903_074715-2 begun, and our market stands are filled with both summer and fall foods. Yesterday at the Corvallis Farmers market our sample table was a perfect example of this, with a rainbow of fresh watermelon samples next to hearty fall sautes.

For those of you lovelies who have been reading these market recipe posts regularly, I apologize for posting sporadically during peak season. Now that things are beginning to slow down at the farm I finally have time to post again. Thank you for your support! Here’s everything we sampled up downtown yesterday.

  • Watermelon: orange, yellow, and sorbet20160924_112541-2
    • The season is coming to and end, we’ll have to eat as much melon as we can before they’re gone!
  • Specialty Melons: Charentais cantaloupe, Honey orange
  • Hot Chioggia Beet Salad (July 9th post)

NEW RECIPES

Poblanos with Purple Potatoes

  • Ingredients:
    • 1-2 large shallots, chopped finely
    • 6 medium purple potatoes: slice each potato in half, then slice in half again before making thin slices down the length of the potatoimg_2596-2
    • 6 poblano peppers, roughly chopped
    • 1 head garlic, chopped finely (We don’t currently have garlic, but Goodfoot farm has an excellent crop this year!)
    • Olive oil
    • Salt
  • Directions:
    • I like to chop everything in this dish before I even turn on the pan, because the timing needs to be right so that the potatoes and peppers finish at the same time. I often have trouble burning potatoes when cooking them with other vegetables, but I’ve found a little trick that takes away most of that risk. After you chop your potatoes thinly, spread them out on the cutting board and place a cloth or paper towel over them. Press down on the potatoes to remove as much water from them as you can. It makes a big difference! (And it works perfectly for hash browns.)
    • Note that the poblano seeds are often very spicy, so you’ll want to wash your hands well after removing them. A small amount of heat is retained in the peppers themselves, but for the most part it just offers an incredibly full flavor.img_2628-2
    • Coat the bottom of the pan in olive oil and heat it up to medium high temperature; if a piece of shallot sizzles in the oil it’s up to temp.
    • Add in the shallots, stir them around, and let cook about 2 minutes.
    • Add in the poblanos next, as they will take longer to cook than the thinly sliced potatoes. Cover and let cook 7-10 minutes.
    • The peppers should be about halfway done at this point; add in the potatoes and the garlic and let cook with the lid on another 5 minutes.
    • Remove the lid and add in 3-4 pinches of salt; stir. Let cook another 2-5 minutes with the lid off until the veggies are done to your satisfaction. I usually take out a sample to taste before deciding when a dish is done.
    • Optional Deliciousness:
      • This dish is my staple breakfast! I always add cheese, fried eggs, and hot sauce to tie everything together, and I highly recommend it. I even freeze bags of raw poblano slices so that I can make this all winter long.

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Fried Shishito Peppers

  • Shishito peppers look similar to a padrone, another small, green, thin-walled pepper, though they aren’t spicy 99% of the time (you never do know with peppers). Because they are so small, you don’t need to bother slicing them up. Cooking them whole retains moisture, saves time, and it’s fun to just pick one off the plate and eat the pepper straight off the stem.img_2638-2
  • Ingredients:
    • 2 pints shishitos
    • Oil, preferably high heat (not olive oil)
    • Salt
  • Directions:
    • Heat the oil up in the pan to medium high and dump the shishitos into the pan whole. Cover with a grease screen to avoid splattering.
    • Let the peppers fry in the oil 5-10 minutes, stirring them around occasionally.
    • Salt the peppers with 2-3 big pinches and let fry another 2-5 minutes.
    • Serve as a snack or side dish. I forgot to take pictures of samples at market yesterday so I recreated everything at home this morning. We ate the shishitos along with our poblano potatoes and they were delicious!

July 9th Market Recipes

Here’s what we sampled up down at the waterfront yesterday!

  • The Lazy Man’s Pickle: Cucumbers with Dill and Lemon (July 2nd post)
  • Tomato Basil Salad (July 2nd post)20160706_085140 double purple cherokee label (2)
    • New Alteration: For those of you who came to market earlier in the day, this plate was made with Siletz tomatoes as it was on July 2nd. But later in the day, we decided to shake it up a bit and make the same dish with Purple Cherokee Heirloom tomatoes, which have a wonderfully unique flavor and a beautiful dark color.
  • Spinach Basil Salad (June 25th post)
    • I made this salad for dinner after market, along with thick slices of Siletz tomato and fresh mozzarella-like cheese from La Mariposa, a wonderful cheese vendor at the Corvallis Farmers Market. It was amazing! I highly recommend it.20160924_112541-2

NEW RECIPES:

  • Hot Chioggia Beet Salad (May 7th post)
    • New Alteration: The only difference here is that I used Chioggia beets, which have a white and red concentric circle design in the center. They tend to have a more mild beet flavor, and unlike typical red beets, they don’t turn everything you have dark pink. Also, they’re simply gorgeous, and that is reason enough to try them out. Sadly, I did not get a photograph of this dish before the people of Corvallis gobbled it up, but you can see a chioggia beet here.20160709_103448 (2)
  • Yellow Straightneck Squash with Red Mustard Greens
    • Ingredients:
      • 2-3 Pearl Onions, sliced thin or however you would like them
      • 1/2 head Garlic, minced
      • 4-5 Yellow Straightneck Squash, sliced thin into discs (They’re just like yellow crookneck squash, only… you guessed it, the neck is straight.)
      • 1 bunch Red Mustard Greens
      • Olive oil
      • Salt & Pepper to taste
    • Directions:
      • Pre-chop the onion and garlic.
      • Coat the pan in olive oil and heat up to medium-high until a piece of onion in the oil starts sizzling.
      • Add in the onion and garlic and stir around in the oil.
      • Slice up the squash into discs, and add them into the pan once you’re done. Stir around to coat in oil, adding more oil if need be. Let cook 5-8 minutes, stirring around occasionally for even cooking.
      • Roughly chop up a bunch of red mustard greens. With the heat that we’ve been having lately, our mustard greens have been getting spicier every day. Their lovely peppery flavor is especially delicious when paired with the creamy combination of garlic and summer squash.
      • Add in a couple pinches of both salt and pepper, and stir around. Let cook just 2-3 minutes more.
      • Let cool a few minutes and taste to see how your salt levels are, adjusting accordingly. This dish looks beautiful with the bright yellow squash and dark green leaves, and would be wonderful with rice and grilled chicken or tempeh. Enjoy!

 

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

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

Directions:

  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.

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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.

CSA 2010 – Week 7: Small Town, USA

Philomath, Oregon

Year-round population of about 4,500. We have a library, post office, diner, bar, a great annual rodeo, and a museum that spotlights local history. There used to be one main street that split the town, but now there are two, one going in each direction. Other then that, not much appears to have changed in the last couple of years. The schools are still full of kids, and even though the economy is down, most of the small businesses managed to keep their doors open. Sounds ordinary, right? Classic small town America. But when compared with overall rural growth trends, its really not. All over the United States, small towns like this are packing up their bags and dragging their feet into the urban sprawl of the nearest big city, but strangely Philomath is growing – its population is up 17% since 2000. What is the glue that holds small towns like this together? And why are so many place like it falling apart? Maybe its not glue that sticks communities together, but food.

Canned goods, honey and herbal supplements come from local Willamette valley producers

In what we always seem to idealize as the golden years in our nation’s history, the 1950’s, about 12% of the total labor force claimed farming as their principle occupation. The total number of farms back then (as counted by the government) was 5,388,000. In the last 50 years that number has fallen to where it is today; now less than 1% of the labor force claim farming as the way they make their living, and the overall number of farms in the United States is about 2 million. Could this shift away from small scale farming be a big factor in the break-up of so many small communities?

Kali Lamont stocks produce at the farm stand.

While I don’t completely believe that the sole reason for this small town’s growth is Gathering Together Farm, I think it is undeniable that the presence and success of our farm has and will continue to build community support and connections that positively effect the area. Communities are built on issues of common ground or interest, such as local politics, or town development. But farms affect us on a level that goes beyond our petty differences: they produce food, and everyone has to eat. The greatest obvious commonality in a small town is the fact that the food source is shared. John and Sally have farmed here since 1987; they have sent their children to school here; they know their neighbors, fellow business owners; they know their customers; and in return everyone knows them. I think this investment in community goes beyond economic or demographic growth. It fills a need that we don’t always recognize because it is rapidly disappearing: the practice of looking out for the best interest of the people you share space with.

Regular customer Irene picking up GTF sausage, a favorite among her grandchildren.

Take our Farmstand for example. The diversity of local products reflects how community bonds are strengthened. Of course we sell vegetables that are grown on the farm, but there are also fresh eggs and cheese from neighbors, free range meat from several local providers in the greater Corvallis area. Canned goods from Sweet Creek farms, seeds from our sister company, Wild Garden Seeds, wines from local vineyards, and honey from both Blodgett and Corvallis. The list goes on, but the point is that all the people who produce these products have something to bring to the table. These small producers are given a venue to sell their wares, and we in turn have something special and unique to offer to the public that we otherwise would lack. When people help each other out like this, everyone benefits. It’s a lot harder for communities to fall apart and individuals within the community to fail, because people are literally invested in the health of a community, because of this they will go to greater measures to make sure that both issues and people aren’t falling through the cracks.

One of the original activists for a local food movement, Wendell Barry wrote on the idea that farming should be done by the measure of nature, that is, the nature and history of a place. This means that farmers tend farms that they love, farms that are small enough to know and to love, using tools and methods that they know and love, in the company of neighbors they know and love. Historically farming has been at the heart of small communities, and neighbors whose efforts help to feed other neighbors are going to care a lot more about each others’ well-being. With society changing like it is, it seems most communities could use a whole lot more of this food for the heart.

Devon Sanders, CSA Coordinator

What’s in the box?

  • 2 medium Siletz Tomatoes
  • Pint of Blueberries – Thank you Wilt Berry Farm, Corvallis, OR.
  • 1.5 lbs Yellow or All Red Potatoes
  • 2 Cucumbers – See recipe.
  • Carrots
  • Basil
  • Beets – See recipe.
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Baby Onions – You can use every bit of these onions, from bulb to the tasty green tops, just slice then into little rounds, sauté, or sprinkle on top of potatoes, eggs, or salads.
  • 2 Zucchinis
  • Summer Squash – You should have one of either the cocozella (a long striped green variety), magda (pale green and eggplant shaped), yellow crook neck, yellow patty pan (resembles a space ship), or zapallito (a round green variety).

Recipes:

Veggie Salad Wraps

These wraps are so easy to make, plus  they are light and refreshing on hot days when you don’t feel like turning on the stove. All you need are spring roll rice papers or wraps, which you can find in almost any Asian market, or co-op, or even the Asian foods aisle of many grocery stores. They are made out of rice flour, so no cooking is necessary. Just soak one at a time in a shallow container of luke-warm water (I use a pie pan) for about 15 – 20 seconds, until they are soft, but not too soft. Once the wrap is soft, remove it, and move to a flat plate to add your filling, then roll it up. Below are some suggestions for fillings, but you can put whatever you like in them. To really fancy them up, try shrimp and chopped mint, or cilantro on top of what I’ve suggested below.

The number of  wraps you want to make will affect the amount of veggies needed. The below suggestions will make between 10 and 15 wraps depending on size.

4-5 carrots (grated)
2 cucumbers – sliced into long thin strips
Green tops of one bunch of baby onions, chopped into 1/4 inch rounds
One head of lettuce, shredded thinly
Your choice of dipping sauce – Spicy peanut is my favorite

Place a line of veggies down  the center of one of  your  pre-soaked wraps, just like a burrito, leave about one inch on either side, and enough space on the top and bottom to roll closed. Carefully fold the bottom of the rice paper wrapper over the vegetables. Turn in the sides and keep it rather tight as you continue rolling up from the bottom.  Slice in half and serve with dipping sauce.

Roasted Beet and Beet Green Salad

1 bunch beets with greens
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
a sprinkle of feta cheese
a sprinkle of chopped green onion tops

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Wash the beets thoroughly, leaving the skins on, and remove the greens. Rinse greens, and set aside.
  • Place the beets in a small baking dish or roasting pan, and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Cover, and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a knife can slide easily through the largest beet.
  • When the roasted beets are almost done, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Add the garlic and onion, and cook for a minute.
  • Tear the beet greens into 2 to 3 inch pieces and add them to the skillet.
  • Cook and stir until greens are wilted and tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cut beets into bite sized pieces, mix with greens and vinegar, this is great warm or cold,  garnish with a sprinkle of feta cheese, and onion tops. Yum!

Tomato, Zucchini Caprese Salad

2 vine-ripe tomato 1/4-inch thick slices
2  thinly sliced zucchini
1 pound fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch thick slices
1 bunch (or a little less) fresh basil
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

  • Layer alternating slices of tomatoes, zucchini, and mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each, on a large, shallow platter.
  • Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.