2016 CSA – Week 16: Root Cellar Farm Style

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CSA Newsletter – Week 16


Root Cellar Farm Style

It’s also that time of year that our coolers start to fill up with bins (25 to 60 ft2 ) of cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and beets. Soon, they will be joined by bins of parsnips, sunchokes, salsify, scorzanera, burdock, celeriac, and parsley root.

We have two walk-in coolers on the farm that we do store some of these root crops in, however, these coolers also hold all of the refrigerated produce that we send to market, all of the restaurant orders before they are delivered, and some CSA boxes too! Needless to say, it starts to get cozy in the coolers around this time of year.

We also have a shipping container that is modified to be a cold storage unit. It has a refrigeration system hooked up to it, and it is insulated with straw bales on the top and sides. We are able to store up to 36 bins of storage crops in this space but it is still not enough! As a result, throughout the season we store up to 60 bins of various crops every season at a cold storage facility nearby.

Root crops that are stored at their optimum temperature can last through the winter; on a small scale you would use a root cellar. We wash or clean one bin at a time and with so much variety, it is very important that we are able to keep the additional harvest fresh until it is ready to be washed and enjoyed.

Thanks in part to cold storage techniques, we are able to have a larger variety of produce in the winter months for folks like you and me to enjoy!

 

Table of Box Contents

  Lettuce ($2.00)

☐  1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25) – Try them sautéed with kale, see recipe.

☐  1 Buttercup Squash ($4.00) – Buttercup squash has a smooth, dry texture and a lightly nutty flavor. It is delicious any way you cook it. Halved and baked, cubed or sliced and roasted, or in pie!

☐  2 Colored Peppers ($2.00)

☐  Bunch Radishes ($2.50) – Radishes are delicious raw in salads but they are equally delicious cooked. Try the recipe for braised radishes with shallots.

  Lacinato Kale ($3.00) – Fall kale is a bit bitter before the frost so I prefer to sauté or blanch it before eating.

  2 Dried Yellow Onions ($1.25)

  1 Dried Shallot ($1.00) – Shallots taste somewhere between garlic and onion and are delicious raw in salads as well as caramelized with just about anything.

☐  Broccoli ($3.50)

☐  4 Ears Corn ($4.00) – If you don’t eat the corn straight off the cob, try making grilled corn guacamole. See recipe.

☐   ̴ 1 lb Big Beef Tomatoes ($3.00)

 Box Market Value: $28.50
Recipes

Grilled Corn Guacamole

  • 3 ears Corn, Shucked
  • 6 whole Avocados, Diced
  • 1 whole Large Tomato, Diced
  • 1/3 cup Onion, Finely Diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Diced Fresh Jalapeno
  • 1 whole Lime, Juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro Leaves

Preparation

  1. Grill corn until nice and golden, with good grill marks on the kernels. Allow to cool a bit, then cut the kernels off the cobs. Set aside.
  2. Halve avocados and remove pit. Cut avocado into a dice inside the skin, then scoop out with a spoon.
  3. In a bowl, combine corn kernels, diced avocados, diced tomato, jalapenos, minced garlic, lime juice, salt, and cumin. Stir gently to combine. Add cilantro and stir in.

Read More: The Pioneer Woman

 

Radishes Braised with Shallots and Vinegar

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 large shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 pound radishes, about 2 bunches, tops trimmed and radishes sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Preparation

  1. Heat the butter and bacon over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy skillet — preferably cast iron. Cook for about 5 minutes. When the bacon is cooked through and getting crispy, place the radishes cut-side down in the pan and cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes or until the bottoms begin to brown. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for another minute.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and the water — the water should just come up around the sides of the radishes. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the radishes are tender.
  3. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced into a syrupy sauce. Add the the parsley and stir to wilt.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Read More: The Kitchn

 

Sautéed Potatoes with Black Kale and Nigella

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch black kale (about 1/2 pound), stemmed, leaves washed in 2 changes water
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds potatoes, such as yellow potatoes or Yukon golds, cut in small dice (about ½ inch)
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 shallots, minced

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When water comes to a boil, salt generously and add kale. Blanch 2 to 3 minutes, until just tender. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, drain and squeeze out excess water. Cut squeezed bunches of kale into slivers and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat in a heavy, preferably nonstick, 12-inch skillet and add potatoes. Turn heat down to medium-high and sear without stirring for 5 minutes, then shake and toss in pan for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until just tender and lightly browned. Add salt and continue to toss in pan for another minute or two, until tender. Add remaining teaspoon oil, shallots and nigella seeds and cook, stirring until shallots are tender and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in kale and additional salt if desired and cook, stirring or tossing in the pan for another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, taste and adjust seasonings, and serve.

2016 CSA – Week 13: Making Compost

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CSA Newsletter  – Week 13


Making Compost: Recycling Nutrients on the Farm

Three times a week, our barn crew dumps accumulated organic material from the barn and kitchen. This organic material includes kitchen scraps and things like over ripe tomatoes, cabbage leaves, leek tops, wormy potatoes and beets, limp carrots, to name a few. While not a glamorous job, the compost is a very vital part to our soil fertility.

Recycled plant material is only a portion of the composition of our compost. We haul rabbit, cow, and hoarse manure from neighboring farms as well, leaf matter from the city of Corvallis in the fall and weathered hay bales.  The vegetative material from cover crops, picked through corn rows, etc is also incorporated into the compost.

The compost is tended in long rows that are turned with a tractor powered implement. The rows are turned 2-3 times a week for 4 weeks until they are cooked. Another 4-6 months of curing is optimal but doesn’t always occur. Because of the wet conditions during the winter months, compost must be stockpiled in the fall to carry the farm through the wet season.

The finished compost is used in our propagation house soil mix and is spread on fields in preparation for planting.

Making compost, a dirty job that helps us grow beautiful produce!

 

Table of Box Contents

  Lettuce ($2.00)

☐  1½ lbs Purple Potatoes ($2.25)

☐  3 Colored Peppers ($4.00)

☐  1 Jalapeno Pepper ($0.50) – Some folks on the farm prefer a few hot peppers in the morning rather than a cup of coffee. For the rest of us, incorporate this pepper into any dip, sauté, or salsa for a bit of heat.

  1 lb Green Beans ($4.00) – Sauté with caramelized onions and garlic or blanch and freeze for the winter!

☐  1 Cucumber ($1.00)

☐  1 Honey Orange Melon ($3.00) – Delicious sliced and eaten right off the rind, wrapped in prosciutto, in salad, or blended in a cocktail.

☐  2 Leeks ($4.00)

☐  2 Dried Sweet Onions ($1.50) – Serve fresh in salads, on sandwiches, or caramelize and serve with sautéed veggies.

  Bunch Carrots ($3.50)

☐  1 Eggplant ($3.50)

☐  3 Big Beef Tomatoes ($7.00) – Slice, cook in herbed butter, and serve with fried eggs or make a savory galette. See recipe!

Box Market Value: $36.25


RECIPE

Tomato, Corn and Cheese Galette with Fresh Basil

I’ve dedicated the whole recipe section to this recipe because it sounds so delicious! Sweet galettes are often my go to desert because of their versatility. I don’t often think to make savory galettes although I think I’ll make my own rendition of this recipe soon. Galettes are perfect for fall because there is still an abundance of produce and it is cool enough to bake in the oven! If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding other fillings using the same method. Enjoy!

Cornmeal Galette Dough

1-1/4 cups (5 oz.) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (1-1/2 oz.) fine yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. sugar
1-1/4 tsp. salt
6 T. (3 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
3 T. olive oil
1/4 cup ice water

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Cut in the chilled butter using a stand mixer, a food processor, or a pastry blender until it’s evenly distributed but still in large, visible pieces. Add the olive oil and ice water and mix until the dough begins to come together. Gather the dough with your hands and shape it into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Finishing the tart:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large white onion (or leek), thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1/2 bunch basil or tarragon, coarsely chopped, (to yield about 1/2 cup); plus 10 whole leaves
  • Kernels from 1 ear of corn (about 1 cup)
  • Cornmeal Galette Dough (see above)
  • 1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes (about 3/4 lb. total) cut into 1/3-inch slices, drained on paper towels
  • 3 oz. Gruyère cheese, shredded
  1. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan, over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 10 min. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic, chopped basil, and corn and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool.
  2. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with kitchen parchment.
  3. Roll the dough on a floured surface into a 15-inch round, lifting the dough with a metal spatula as you roll to make sure it’s not sticking. If it is, dust the surface with more flour. Transfer it by rolling it around the rolling pin and unrolling it on the lined baking sheet.
  4. Spread the onion and corn mixture over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border without filling. Sprinkle the cheese over the onions and corn. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer over the cheese and season them with salt and pepper. Lift the edges of the dough and fold them inward over the filling, pleating as you go, to form a folded-over border. Pinch together any tears in the dough. Brush the egg yolk and milk mixture over the exposed crust.
  5. Bake until the crust has browned and the cheese has melted, 35 to 45 min. Slide the galette off the parchment and onto a cooling rack. Let cool for 10 min. Stack the remaining 10 basil leaves and use a sharp knife to cut them into a chiffonade. Cut the galette into wedges, sprinkle with the basil, and serve.

Read more: Alexandra Cooks

 

2016 CSA – Week 10: Onion Harvest…Waiting for the Flop

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CSA Newsletter – Week 10


Onion Harvest: Waiting for the Flop

In early spring, we seeded about 800 flats of onions and shallots in the greenhouse (that’s over 19,000 onions!). These guys have spent the summer growing in the fields and now the tops are beginning to flop. This is an indication that they are done growing. Once the majority of the onions have flopped, they are pulled, by hand, from the ground and laid on the soil surface for a few days. This allows the roots to dry, decreasing the chance of rot
during storage.

The onions are then loaded onto trucks and transported from the field into greenhouses for curing. Curing allows the onion to dry and for a protective skin to form. We typically let them cure for at least one week, sometimes longer if we are busy harvesting other crops! Once the onions have
dried, the tops and roots are trimmed and they are placed in wooden crates for storage. If the crop is healthy and the storage conditions are right, these onions will last through the beginning of next year. You can never have too many onions in my book!

Have a great week.

-Lily, CSA Coordinator

 

Table of Box Contents

☐ Lettuce ($2.00)
☐ 1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25)
☐ 1 Eggplant ($4.50) – See the recipes for a delicious eggplant sauce.
☐ 2 Colored Bell Peppers ($4.00) – Grill or broil and use in soups, sandwiches,
dips, or salad.
☐ 1 Red Cipollini onion ($1.00) – Cipollinis are lovely roasted or caramelized and can be used in any recipe calling for onion.
☐ 1 White Cipollini onion ($1.00)
☐ 2 Dried Sweet onions ($1.25) – Store in a cool, dry place.
☐ 1 Fennel Bulb ($2.00) – For fennel lovers, use the fronds as the greens in
your favorite pesto recipe.
☐ Bunched Carrots ($3.50)
☐ 2-3 Zucchini ($2.50)
☐ 1 lb Romano Beans ($4.00) – Substitute these beans for green beans in any
recipe. Delicious blanched or sautéed.
☐ 3 lbs Heirloom Tomatoes (3) ($12.00) – You can’t go wrong with these beautiful tomatoes. Sandwiches, caprese salad, pasta, or slice, salt, and eat with a knife and fork!
☐ 4 Ears of Corn ($4.00) – Picked by farmer John himself. Steam or grill
(with husk on) and eat with salt and butter. For a culinary adventure, make fresh polenta!

Box Market Value: $44.00

 

Recipes

Ottolenghi’s Eggplant Sauce

This recipe is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s book Plenty. The full recipe includes making a fresh corn polenta which is topped with this sauce. However, the sauce sounded so good it seems that it would be delicious on just about anything! Check out the full recipe at Food 52.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1/4cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 6 1/2tablespoons water
  • 1/4teaspoon salt
  • 1/4teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano

Preparation

  1. Heat up the oil in a large saucepan and fry the eggplant on medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until nicely brown.
  2. Drain off as much oil as you can and discard it — the safest way to do this is to scoop out the eggplant to a plate using a slotted spoon, then pour off the oil into a bowl before added the eggplant back in. You can save the oil to fry lamb chops or eggs in tomorrow.
  3. Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir with the eggplant.
  4. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the wine and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, water, salt, sugar and oregano and cook for a further 5 minutes to get a deep-flavored sauce.
  6. Set aside; warm it up when needed.


Jalapeno Corn Fritters

This is not the type of thing that I would make regularly, but a good fritter sure is delicious! For a slightly lighter version, omit the bacon and cheese.

 Ingredients

  • 3 c. fresh corn
  • 2/3 c. cornmeal
  • 1/4 c. shredded Cheddar
  • 1/4 c. cream cheese
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or canola oil
  • Juice of 1 lime, divided
  • Sour cream, for serving

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, combine corn, cornmeal, cheddar, cream cheese, scallions, bacon, eggs, the juice of half a lime, and jalapeño.
  2. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands, form the mixture into small patties.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Working in batches, fry the patties until they’re golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per sidee.

Read More: Delish

2016 CSA – Week 8: The Value of Variety

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CSA Newsletter – Week 8


The Value of Variety

A seemingly simple question was posed to me the other week: Why grow this yellow flying saucer squash when you can just grow a regular green zucchini? In the moment, I didn’t have a great answer, but the question got me thinking about the many reasons that variety and biodiversity are important to our farm system.

On a farm, there are so many factors and considerations that determine what we grow. Of course, we want to grow products that we can sell and that are tasty. Because we sell at a variety of markets, to chefs and restaurants, grocery stores, and directly to people like you, there is a wide variation of products, sizes desired within our broad market creating a diverse demand therefore, more variety means more possibilities of meeting people’s needs. Also, product diversity certainly makes our farmers market setups look beautiful and inviting!

On the farm, the seasons often dictate what we grow, and we can extend seasons by growing varieties that are early season, heat tolerant, overwintering, etc. Other on-farm considerations include days to maturity (how long it takes to grow), yield, ease of harvest, disease resistance, and storability.

In the case of the flying saucer squash, its fun shape and firm, nutty texture make it a squash we’ll continue to grow. With all of the complexities and variables in agriculture, sometimes it’s that simple!

Happy August and enjoy your salsa box!

-Lily, CSA Coordinator

Table of Box Contents

Lettuce ($2.00)

☐ 1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25) – Store in dry, cool, darkness. Don’t scrub until you’re ready to eat them.

2 Poblano Peppers ($2.00) – Stuff as chile rellenos, or incorporate into a potato and corn hash

Bunched Golden Beets ($3.00)

☐ 1 Fresh Sweet Onion ($1.50)

1 Red Torpedo Onion ($1.50) – The long, cylindrical shape of this onion lends itself well to slicing rounds for salad.

☐ 1 Jalapeno ($.50) – Add a little kick to your salsa or pico de gallo

☐ Bunched Carrots ($3.50)

Cilantro ($2.00) – Use in salad, salsa, or to garnish any dish

1 lb Tomatillos (4-6) ($3.00) – Roast them and make salsa verde

☐ 4 zucchini ($3.50) – Grill, sauté, or make zucchini bread

2 Big Beef Tomatoes ($4.50)

4 Ears of Corn ($3.00) – Boil or grill and eat straight off the cob or cut off the ear and add to stir-fry or salsa

Box Market Value: $32.25

Recipes

Pico de Gallo

Make this simple, fresh salsa using your tomatoes, white onion, jalapeno, and cilantro.

The tomatoes will most likely be the limiting factor so chop those first and add chopped onions and cilantro to taste. Depending on your heat preference, add chopped jalapeno. Add a little salt and lime and adjust ingredients to taste.

Tomatillo Salsa

Ingredients

  • 5 medium tomatillos
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 serrano chiles (or jalapeno)
  • Handful chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • salt to taste

Preparation

  1. Peel and wash the tomatillos. Split and seed the chiles. Place the tomatillos and chiles under a broiler for about 4 minutes each side.
  2. Transfer the blackened tomatillos, chiles, and any juices from the pan to a blender or food processor. Simply add the rest of the ingredients and blend.
  3. This is the absolute basic recipe. Try adding garlic, cumin, avocado, and/or lime.

Poblano, Potato, and Corn Gratin

This dish is a bit indulgent but potatoes, corn, and poblanos are such a great combination, I couldn’t resist!  For a lighter version, cut the potatoes into chunks, salute with onions and olive oil for 10 minutes and then add the poblanos and corn. Sauté until ingredients are cooked through and add salt and pepper to taste.

 Ingredients

  •  3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large fresh poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded, cut into 2×1/4-inch strips
  • 1 1/4 pounds potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 cup cooked corn, cut off the cob
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Oaxaca cheese or whole-milk mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Rub 9 1/2-inch-diameter deep-dish glass pie dish or cast-iron skillet with 2 teaspoons oil. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add poblano strips and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Arrange 1/3 of potato rounds, overlapping slightly, in prepared pie dish. Sprinkle 1/3 of poblano strips over, then 1/3 of corn and 1/3 of cheese. Repeat with 1/3 of potatoes, 1/3 of poblanos, 1/3 of corn, and 1/3 of cheese. Top with remaining potatoes, poblanos, and corn, reserving remaining 1/3 of cheese. Place dish on rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Whisk half and half, flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in small bowl. Pour over potato mixture in pie dish; press potatoes to submerge. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle remaining cheese over gratin. Continue to bake gratin until potatoes are tender and cheese is golden brown, about 25 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Read More: Bon Appétit

CSA 2011 – Week 14: Hybrid vs. Open Pollinated vs. Heirloom seeds

Many of you have been receiving some of our specialty ‘heirloom’ tomatoes each week. They seem to come in all sorts of crazy shapes and colors. Along with these some of you also get some of our big beef tomatoes as well. The big beefs are fairly uniform in color and shape and the plants have a high yield. What is the main difference between these two types of tomatoes? The seeds. The heirloom tomato seeds are old varieties from which the seeds have been saved. On the other hand, big beef tomato seeds are a hybrid variety of seed. This means that the seed was produced by the mating of two “parents” in the same species.

So, one would purposefully cross a high-producing tomato plant with one that is disease resistant in order to create a tomato that would be both high producing and disease resistant. Nowadays, from a legal standpoint, the pollination of hybrid must be controlled and the parents must be known. Hybrid crops seem great from one angle: more tomatoes, disease resistance – what could be better? However, one fallback is that the seeds saved from hybrids do not stay true to their type. So, if you tried to save seeds from a big beef tomato, the seeds may not germinate, and if they do, they may not produce fruit. If they do produce, they may not be ‘big beefs’. On top of that, hybrid seeds are generally more expensive than open pollinated or heirloom seeds.

Now, a little bit about open pollinated seeds. ‘Heirloom seeds’ is just a name for old varieties of open pollinated seeds. Open pollinated seeds are ones that are true to their type in the way that you can save their seeds, replant them and they will produce the same plant that you saved the seeds from. Some species of plants are self pollinating (beans, peas, tomatoes, and lettuce), so these do not have to be isolated by types in order to keep from crossing. On the other hand, species such as beets, brassicas, carrots, corn, and squash are cross-pollinating species, and they need to be isolated in order to keep the resulting seeds true to their parent plant.

We grow a combination of hybrid and open pollinated vegetables here at GTF. I think that there is something very valuable about being able to save seed from your own crops. But at the same time there is something very valuable about a plant that will readily produce and be vigorous. I guess you can find both qualities in some hybrid and open pollinated varieties of vegetables. I think that it’s safe to say that both seem to have their place in the vegetable farming world today.

What’s in the Box?

1.5 lb Potatoes (Rose Gold)- Steam, roast, fry, mash, you can do just about anything!

Carrots, bunched – Shred them on salad, sauté in butter with salt, or eat plain.

2 onions (1 white, 1 yellow)– Add to any sauté, or eat raw sliced thin on sandwiches, or add to a slaw or potato salad.

Charantais melon– Eat just like it is!

Lemongrass– Use it as a seasoning in curry or Thai dishes, try steeped in soup too! Make lemongrass tea!

2 colored peppers—Grill, roast, or just eat raw, they are sweet.

1 cippolini onion– Caramelize, or eat raw. They are sweet when cooked.

1 Broccoli or cauliflower– Steam, eat raw, or blanch and then sauté in butter or olive oil. It’s tasty roasted as well.

1 green cabbage– make slaw, steam in chunks or add to soup or stew.

Cardinal or Red oak compact lettuce– Make a salad, or add to sandwiches, make lettuce wraps.

Tomatoes (approximately 2 lbs) – Chop raw on salad, or sandwiches.

1 pint of cherry tomatoes– eat on salads, cut in half and make a tomato salad with basil.

4 ears of corn– Grill in husk or steam; add salt and butter or just eat plain.

Vegetable curry
2-3 cups of chopped cabbage
3-4 carrots, sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 head of broccoli or cauliflower
1 small tomato
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped lemongrass, chopped
4 tablespoons red or green curry paste
1-2 cups of water or stock (vegetable or chicken work well)
Salt to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large pan or wok on medium. Add the onions, carrots and cabbage. Sautée for 10 minutes or so, or until the carrots are about half cooked. Add the broccoli and garlic and continue cooking for another couple of minutes.

Add the stock, coconut milk, curry paste, chopped tomato, and lemon grass. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Salt to taste. You may add more or less curry paste depending on how spicy you would like it to be.
*The lemongrass can be put in some sort of a cheesecloth baggie and steeped or put directly into the curry. It will stay woody even when cooked so I usually don’t eat the lemongrass, but infuse the flavor into the dish.
*Add some sort of cooked meat to this if you’d like! Cilantro or Thai basil goes well in this dish too.

Roasted pepper ‘pesto’
2 colored peppers
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 cup toasted nuts, almonds or filberts (optional)
Pinch of salt

Roast the peppers in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until skins start to brown. Place in a metal or glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit until somewhat cooled. Peel skins off of the peppers and remove the stem and seeds. Place the peppers aside.
Meanwhile in a blender or food processor, place the oil and garlic, Pulse until the garlic is no longer visible. Add the peppers and pulse a few times longer. Add the cheese and nuts, pulse a few more times and then salt to taste. This spread goes wonderfully on sandwiches, as a topping for many veggie dishes, or even as a dip for carrots or broccoli.