Corvallis Market Recipes Season Finale

It has been a pleasure slinging veg in the Corvallis community this season! The sun made a cameo for the last weekend market, making an already perfect day simply magical. I’d like to thank everyone—customers, vendors, fellow marketeers—for making this market season a gem in my memory. On behalf of my crew of wonderful marketeers, I would like to say how grateful we all are to help feed our community and our families—it’s a privilege and a joy.

This country we live in has lost much of its sense of community. We don’t know our neighbors and we no longer gather in village squares. But farmers’ markets are places where community building starts anew. We know our customers, and we feel that they know us. The farmers’ market is our village square, a place where we can all gather together, share in food, and watch the seasons roll by. It could seem like the marketplace is first and foremost a place of commerce, where we come to buy food to sustain our bodies, but my soul ends up being quite nourished as well.

So thank you for being a part of our community, for taking joy in the beautiful food we have to offer, and we hope to see you at the Corvallis Indoor Winter Market. (We will be at market this Wednesday for all of your last minute Thanksgiving needs.)

Here are the recipes we sampled up on Saturday, the last recipes that I’ll be posting until April. This has been GTF’s first year offering this recipe service to its customer base, and I have learned a lot throughout the season. Thank you for your support, thank you for reading, and stick around next year for our second season devoted to food education. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  • Kabocha Squash with Peacock Kale
  • Delicata Squash with Chocolate Poblanos
  • Parsnip Fries with Watercress Salad

Kabocha Squash with Peacock Kale (November 12th post)

Kabocha and other large squashes lend themselves to easy baking, but being limited to a frying pan at market forces me to cook in creative ways. Trust me, if you stir fry kabocha once, you might never go back. Kabocha is a dry yet intensely flavorful squash, with the sweet and savory flavor similar to a roasted chestnut. Cooking it in the frying pan takes hardly ten minutes, as there is very little water to cook out, and you end up with bites of creamy squash encased within crisp edges.img_3233-2

  • INGREDIENTS:20161113_113149
    • ½ kabocha squash, sliced thin
    • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
    • ½ head elephant garlic (Goodfoot Farm)
    • ½ bu. peacock kale
    • Olive oil
    • Salt
  • DIRECTIONS:
    • Cutting up the big kabocha squash while it’s raw is the hardest part of this recipe. Be safe, take your time, and don’t chop your fingers off however tempting it may be. Follow the chopping tutorial at right, and set aside.
    • Finely chop your shallots.
    • Heat a pan of olive oil up to medium-high temp and add in the shallots, letting cook 2-4 minutes.
    • Add in the kabocha squash slices and stir around. Let cook covered 2-3 minutes.
    • Finely chop elephant garlic and add into the pan, continuing to cook uncovered another 2-3 minutes.
    • Finely chop up ½ bunch of Peacock kale and add it into the pan along with 2-3 pinches of salt, stirring around to distribute evenly. Let cook another 2-3 minutes until done to taste, but before the kabocha turns to mush! It’s a race against time, but it’ll always turn out delicious.

Delicata Squash with Chocolate Poblanos (November 5th post)

In this climate, we generally eat poblanos when they’re still green, which is okay because they actually have a great flavor before they color up, unlike green bell peppers. Usually poblanos don’t enter their “chocolate phase” of red-fleshed ripeness before it freezes, but as we have yet to have a freeze we now get to enjoy the illusive “chocolate” poblano. Of course they don’t actually taste like chocolate, but they do develop a flavor similar to a chipotle or mole pepper.img_3236-2

  • INGREDIENTS:
    • 1 delicata squash, sliced into half-moons
    • 3-4 poblano peppers, sliced thinly
    • 1-2 large shallots, chopped finely
    • 1/2 head elephant garlic, chopped finely (Goodfoot Farm)
    • Olive oil
    • Salt
  • DIRECTIONS:
    • Cut the ends off your delicata squash to make a flat surface, then stand it on end and slice it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds. Make thin half-moon slices down the delicata. Set aside.
    • Finely chop the shallots and elephant garlic.
    • Heat up your pan to medium-high with olive oil coating the bottom. Once up to temp, add in the shallots and let cook about 2 minutes.
    • Add in the sliced delicata and let cook covered about 4-6 minutes.
    • Chop the poblanos in half and rip out the seeds and stem (make sure to wash your hands after touching the spicy seeds). Chop each half into thin slices.
    • Add the poblanos, garlic, and 1-2 pinches of salt to the pan and stir around. Cover and let cook about another 3-5 minutes.
    • Let cook a couple more minutes to desired softness. Add more salt to taste, and enjoy! Customers last year said this dish was a hit at Thanksgiving. Personally, I love to eat it for breakfast with hot sauce, melted cheese, and a fried egg on top.

Parsnip Fries with Watercress Salad (May 1st post)pan-fried-parsnips-with-spinach-salad-half-size-1000-pixels-wide

The photo at right shows parsnip fries with spinach salad, which is what I made in May the first time I posted this recipe. This week I used watercress instead of spinach, as seen in the photo below. Watercress is a very delicate green, with a mild arugula-like flavor.

  • INGREDIENTS:
    • 1-2 large parsnips, sliced in thin strips
    • 2 bu. watercress
    • 2 medium shallots, minced
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • Olive oil
    • Salt
  • DIRECTIONS:
    • 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 a whole plate).
    • Stir every couple minutes to prevent sticking. After about 7-10 minutes, many of the parsnips will turn golden brown img_3239-2on the edges. This is a good sign that they are done.
    • 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.
    • In a large bowl, mix together minced shallots, 2-3 pinches of salt, ~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. Mash the shallots with the back of a spoon to release their juicy flavors into the dressing—you’ll instantly be able to smell the difference this makes.
    • Chop up your watercress and toss in the vinaigrette. Taste a leaf. If you think it needs more balsamic, add some more. The vinegar will make the leaves become more and more tender over time, so the longer your plate sits the more delectable it will be!
    • Serve together for a wonderful combination of crispy salty parsnips and mildly spicy watercress salad.
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Vegetables are just too much fun! Here is our kooky Corvallis crew from Saturday, though many lovely people who worked with us throughout the season are not in this photo. See y’all in January!

October 29th Market Recipes ft. Romanesco

Our brassicas are loving this crisp autumn weather! The brassica family is home to many fall favorites, such as romanesco, kohlrabi, radishes, and cabbage. Sadly I wasn’t able to take pictures before our samples were gobbled up yesterday, so I’ve included some other market photos for your viewing pleasure. Here’s what we sampled up downtown in the cool sunshine:

  • Watermelon Radishes, raw (October 8th Post)img_2948-2
  • Black Radishes, raw (October 8th Post)
  • Romanesco with Leeks and Chard Stem
  • Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash with Pimento Peppers

Romanesco with Leeks and Chard Stem:

Romanesco, although commonly thought of as a type of cauliflower, is actually just as separate from cauliflower as broccoli is. The formation and placement of leaves and other plant parts is called Phylotaxy, a process driven by the famous Fibonacci Sequence. Romanesco may be one of the only plants where the bare bones of this complicated mathematical form is visible and available for appreciation by the human eye. If you can bring yourself to cut into this beauty, Romanesco has an amazing nutty, cauliflower-like flavor.14656421_1322301794446585_2603067765083979695_n

  • INGREDIENTS:
    • 2 Leeks, sliced thin
    • 1 head Romanesco, broken into pieces
    • 1 bunch Chard, stems only
    • 1/2 head garlic, chopped finely (Beene Farm)
    • Olive oil
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • DIRECTIONS:
    • Broccoli and Romanesco look and taste nicest in a sauté if you maintain their form throughout the cooking process. The shapes that we chop things into change their texture and flavor. So instead of “chopping” it, try to use your knife to cut off individual little trees. Set aside.
    • Slice your leeks thinly. The entire leek is edible, even the dark green part! They cook down just the same.
    • Heat up your pan to medium-high with olive oil coating the bottom. Once up to temp, add in the leeks and let cook about 2 minutes.
    • Add in the romanesco and let cook covered 3-5 minutes.
    • Remove the stems from your chard leaves by slicing them out individually with your knife. Once you have a pile of bright stems, slice them thinly and add them into the pan.  Let cook another 3-5 minutes. I don’t like to crowd romanesco with leafy greens so that their beauty can be most appreciated, so the chard stem is a nice addition that adds some color without stealing the spotlight. But do make sure to save your greens and use them for some other delicious meal!
    • Finely chop the garlic and add it along with 1-2 pinches salt and pepper. Let cook another 3-5 minutes uncovered until the romanesco is cooked but still has some crunch.
    • Enjoy!

Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash with Pimento Peppers:

Acorn squash is the one winter squash that I grew up eating, which is strange since it is notoriously the blander of the squashes, requiring hefty quantities of butter and brown sugar to make it exciting. But the past two years we’ve been growing a new type of acorn squash that is supposed to put those bland old acorns to shame, with an intensely sweet flavor more like a delicata. It’s tiny, it’s golden, it’s Gill’s Golden Pippin. And because winter squash is always amazing when paired with peppers, I paired the sweet acorn with one of our sweetest pepper varieties, the pimento. Not only do we still have pimentos when it’s almost November, but they are still tasting as good as they did in the middle of August. 20161029_183524

  • INGREDIENTS:
    • 2 shallots, chopped fine
    • 2 Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash, sliced thin
    • 4 Pimento peppers, sliced thin
    • 1/2 head garlic, chopped finely (Beene Farm)
    • Olive oil
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • DIRECTIONS:
    • Slice off the ends off your acorn squash and then slice them in half. Scoop out the seeds, and slice lengthwise once more so that you have quarters. Make thin slices down the quarters and set aside.
    • Slice your pimento peppers in half and rip out the seeds and stem. Make thin slices down each pepper half and set aside as well.
    • Finely chop the shallots and garlic.
    • Heat up your pan to medium-high with olive oil coating the bottom. Once up to temp, add in the shallots and let cook about 2 minutes.
    • Add in the sliced pimentos and let cook covered about 3-5 minutes.
    • Add the acorn squash, garlic, and 1-2 pinches of salt to the pan and stir around. Cover and let cook about another 3-5 minutes.
    • Remove the lid and cook another 3-5 minutes until at desired softness. Add more salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!