CSA 2017 – Week 4: Words to Cook By

CSA Newsletter – Week 4


Words to Cook By

Hello everyone! So, I may have gone overboard and splurged on a bunch of new cookbooks in preparation for writing these newsletters. No regrets! But one of my new favorites is Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden, the head chef at Ava Gene’s up in Portland (they serve our veggies on their menu). You’ll see many recipes and other knowledge nuggets from this book throughout the season, including the following guidelines entitled Words to Cook By:

  • Visit farmers’ markets often and always ask questions.
  • Things that grow together in a season go very well together in a dish.
  • Start with raw vegetables. Take a bite so that you understand their flavors before you begin making your dish. Do this as each season progresses to learn how vegetables change.
  • Don’t be a slave to a recipe. Add different herbs, use a new spice, omit something you don’t like—you’re in charge.
  • Be organized. Read the whole recipe first, gather all the ingredients, do the messy prep first. Clean as you go. Your food will really taste better, I promise.
  • Eyeball it. Get comfortable cooking without measuring cups and spoons. Your mouth, nose, eyes, and hands will tell you the right amounts.
  • Cooking times are simply guidelines. Use your senses, including common sense.
  • Build layers into your dish, like you’re making nachos. Hide things on the bottom. Sprinkle things on top.
  • Leave fresh herb leaves whole most of the time.
  • Texture is king. Use dried breadcrumbs, nuts, and seed liberally.
  • Make mistakes. Oversalt, use too much vinegar, make something too spicy, burn something—and then don’t do it again. That’s how you learn.
  • Don’t be scared. Find the freedom and fun in cooking.

          -Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Green Cabbage—Fresh spring cabbage is sweet and succulent, perfect for salads and slaws.
  • 5 lbs New PotatoesThis week we have Colorado Rose potatoes in the box for you; they have a lovely rose red skin with a white flesh.
  • Italian Parsley—Add parsley into a pesto or into a salad.
  • Sugarloaf Chicory—Chicory greens are lettuce’s bitter cousins. Sugarloaf is one of the few that is quite sweet. Their shape makes them perfect for cutting in half lengthwise and grilling for a hot salad. Try balancing out the bitterness with other ingredients, like vinegar, garlic, or cheese.
  • Garlic—Enjoy the fresh garlic while it lasts! In just a week it’ll all be dried.
  • Lettuce—Various varieties
  • 2 Sweet OnionsHigh sugar content that makes them perfect for caramelizing.
  • Pearl Onions—Perfect for grilling, high in sugar content, overall extremely delicious.
  • Cucumbers—Eat fresh like an apple or slice into salads for a nice, sweet crunch.
  • Zucchini—Great for grilling, just slice lengthwise into spears. Or spiralize into zoodles. Or stir-fry with onion and egg to make a frittata. Zucchini does it all.

Recipes

A Note on Grilling Vegetables

Since so many of the veggies in this week’s box are great on the grill, and because we are officially in the grilling season, I thought it would be nice to include a very important lesson on grilling from Six Seasons.

“when grilling or charring, skip the oil. Cook your vegetables naked, which will allow the sugars to nicely caramelize and avoid the awful taste of burnt oil.”

Then add oil and salt to your grilled veggies before serving.

Print

Gruyere Grilled Cheese with Sugarloaf Chicory & Caramelized Onion

Whenever I make grilled cheese, I always add caramelized onions, mushrooms, and whatever greens I have on hand. This recipe is also great in that all your sammies are done at the same time, without the first getting cold by the time the last ones are done. I wish you could see the mouthwatering picture of these morsels. Adapted from The CSA Cookbook by Linda Ly.

Author Lindy Ly

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 crimini mushrooms, finely chopped (or shitakes, or whatever ya got!)
  • 1 head sugarloaf chicory, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp softened butter
  • 8 slices grainy bread -if you're in Corvallis, pick up freshly baked loaf from our Farmstand or market booth!
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (or whatever ya got!)

Instructions

  1. Place two large rimmed baking sheets inside the oven and preheat to 425F. If your baking sheets cannot fit side by side, place on sheet on the center rack and another sheet on whichever rack remains.

  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 Tbsp of oil and get up to heat.

  3. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. 

  4. Add the other Tbsp of oil, the mushrooms, sugarloaf, and salt. Cook until the vegetables are tender and wilted, about five minutes. Keep stirring them around to let any excess liquid cook off.

  5. To assemble the sandwiches, thoroughly butter all the bread on one side. Turn half the slices over, buttered side down, and spread mustard over them. Layer equal amounts of the cheese and veggie sauté on each slice, then top with the remaining slices of bread, buttered sides up.

  6. Transfer the sandwiches to the hot baking sheet in the center of the oven and place the other hot baking sheet on top, pressing down lightly. Bake for 6-8 minutes until the bread is toasted on the outside and the cheese is melted on the inside.

Print

Braised Cabbage w/ Fried Potatoes, Feta, & Parsley

Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

You could steam the potatoes and skip the frying, but the chewiness that comes from a turn in olive oil or ghee makes this simple dish a much more interesting one. When I make these potatoes, they barely make it to the dish—they’re that good.

Author Deborah Madison

Ingredients

  • olive oil or ghee, for frying
  • 4+ red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced ~1/4 inch thick
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Braised Summer Cabbage (slice cabbage into ribbons and stir-fry until wilted with butter and salt)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley or dill, or a mixture
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat enough oil to cover a 10 inch cast-iton pan with a light film over medium heat. 

  2. Add the potatoes and cook, turning them occasionally, until golden and just tender, about 20 minutes. They won’t necessarily be cooked evenly, but that’s fine. You’ll have crisp pieces next to meatier ones and all should be a little chewy. 

  3. Season them with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

  4. Meanwhile, cook the cabbage until just tender, 10 min or less. Put the cabbage in a bowl and add butter or not, as you wish. Add the potatoes and parsley and toss well. Finish w/ feta & serve.

Lunch Menu: Week of July 5th, 2017

Semolina gnocchi with Shea’s mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and grilled baby onions  

Antipasti

chad fell’s bread & olives   5

emily’s farm fresh pickle plate    3

roasted pepper and tomato soup, topped with roasted garlic and served with bread    5

mixed greens with balsamic    6.5

local herb goat cheese and tomato crostini    5

GTF salad –  fresh-picked boysenberries, cucumbers, and roasted almonds with

a boysenberry-ginger vinaigrette     9.5

pork pate with pickled vegetables, mustard and bread     8

 

Pizze Rosse

garlic & basil    11

bacon & kale    12

caramel onion  & tomato  12

 

Pizze Bianche

zuke, kalamata, mushroom    12

bell peppers & eggplant    12

duck confit & scallions    12

 

– add an egg or anchovies   1

 

Rockfish curry with jasmine rice, lemongrass and toasted sesame and toasted sesame 

Secondi

mushroom ravioli with leeks and a rosemary brown butter 12

semolina gnocchi with shea’s mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and grilled baby onions    12

maple grilled pork shoulder on lentils with roasted peppers and a house mustard sauce   13

rockfish curry with jasmine rice, lemongrass and toasted sesame 13

Dinner Menu: June 29th-July 1st, 2017

Antipasti

chad fell’s bread & marinated olives  5

cream of escarole  6

mixed greens, balsamic vinaigrette  6.5

cold gazpacho  6.

country pork terrine & extras 8

baked local chevre with caramelized onions, roasted garlic, pears and crostini 9

GTF salad with  roasted zucchini, parmigiano cheese, with a dill buttermilk ranch   9

 

Pizze Rosse

garlic & basil  10.5

garlic scapes & goat cheese 11.5

bacon, baby onion & kale  12.5

 

Pizze Bianche

egg & scallions 11.5

zucchini & roasted peppers 115

–add an egg or anchovies to any pie for  $1

Secondi

Potato  Gnocchi with slow tomato, fennel, fava, arugula, mushroom & mascarpone cream, parmesan  17

King Salmon with verde rice, bergamot minted snap peas, shellfish broth and buerre blanc   20

Teres major steak fritas, handcut fries, carrots, fennel and herb butter  22

Duck Breast with  white beans, spinach, poached garlic puree and marionberry gastrique 22

Bacon-wrapped pork loin with potato gratin, braised cabbage, carrot and grain mustard jus

To Finish

Lemon Cream Roll, fresh berries, cream   8.5

Chocolate Cardamom Cake, roasted navel orange, vanilla ice cream 8.5

Poached Pear, sabayon custard, rhubarb gellie   8

Strawberry-Watermelon Sorbet   7

Lunch Menu: June 27-30, 2017

Grilled pork chop with roasted new potatoes, olives, rainbow chard and a basil walnut pesto

Antipasti

chad fell’s bread & olives   5

emily’s farm fresh pickle plate    3

two bean minestrone soup & bread   5

carrot ginger soup & bread    5

mixed greens with balsamic    6.5

GTF salad – cucumbers, croutons and walnuts with a tomato basil vinaigrette    9.5

pork pate with pickled vegetables, mustard and bread    8

 

Pizze Rosse

garlic & basil    10.5

zukes & mushroom    11

bacon & onion    11

 

Pizze Bianche

ham, egg, scallion    11

fresh tomato & kale    11

sausage & kalamata    11

 

–add an egg or anchovies   1 

Secondi

basil ravioli with Shea’s ricotta zucchini, tomatoes, hazelnuts and balsamic   12

pork ragu on semolina gnocchi with black kale   13

grilled pork chop with roasted new potatoes, olives, rainbow chard and a basil walnut pesto   13

duck leg confit on coriander chickpea puree with broccolini and toasted sesame   13

creamy polenta with roasted peppers, spinach, mushrooms and a *soft farm egg   12

2017 CSA – Week 3: Feasibly Delicious Foods

CSA Newsletter – Week 3


Feasibly Delicious Foods

Hello everyone, it’s the official first CSA box of summer, woo! With all this sunshine production is really picking up. Your boxes will be fuller by the week until you can hardly carry them home.

I wanted to take a moment to let you all know what my intentions are with the CSA Newsletters this season. Though my life revolves around vegetables, it certainly has not always been that way. Pretty much the only vegetable that I ate growing up was baby carrots, and the rest of my diet was processed food either from a box or from a drive through (there’s nothing quite like instant mashed potatoes, is there?). Needless to say, this city girl had no idea what she was doing when she started working at a farm!

Throughout my years with this farm, I have gotten to know and fallen in love with the vast variety of vegetables that can be grown in the Willamette Valley, most of which I had never laid eyes on let alone tasted. Many of you are experienced cooks and for you I will be sure to include some more intricate recipes that will wow your guests and offer more complex flavor combinations.

But what I intend to focus on is what I like to call feasible deliciousness. Even as a farmer, it nearly impossible to find the time to cook a meal at home these days, and so if we want to eat lots of veggies and stay healthy, the simpler the better. I want to help you all learn more about the lesser known veggies, learn easy and quick ways to make them delicious and filling, and hopefully inspire you all to love and appreciate vegetables as much as I have come to.

First and foremost, never feel like you have to follow a recipe exactly. I encourage you to eyeball measurements, replace ingredients with whatever you have on hand, and use a spice not listed if it calls to you. Always have fun, and don’t take anything too seriously. Feel free to contact me with cooking or farming questions any time! But please remember to send all logistical CSA questions to csa@gatheringtogetherfarm.com , thank you!

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Beets—Sweet, earthy, and beautifully bright. If you or some of your family members are in the I-hate-beets club, look into different ways to prepare them. It’s rare that we actually don’t like something, we often just don’t like the way we’ve had it before.
  • 5 lbs New PotatoesNewly dug potatoes are very high in water content, so make sure if you’re making a crispy potato dish that you find a way to remove some of the water, either via pre-boiling, pre-baking, or by pressing with a cloth.
  • Dill—A little dill goes a long way, and provides such a delicate freshness and texture to any dish.
  • Spinach—Our spinach is at its prime right now; it doesn’t like the heat of summer much, so it’s just in the edges of summer that it is particularly beautiful.
  • Lettuce—Various varieties
  • 2 Sweet OnionsHigh sugar content that makes them perfect for caramelizing.
  • 4 Cucumbers—Eat fresh like an apple or slice into salads for a nice, sweet crunch. We have two varieties coming this week, you can taste and decide which is your favorite!
  • 2-3 Zucchini—Make sure when you cook zucchini to salt at the end of the cooking process so it doesn’t turn to mush!

Recipes

Print

Beet Slaw with Pistachios and Raisins

This recipe is from one of my favorite new cookbooks, Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden, head chef at Ava Gene’s in Portland, a wonderful restaurant that our farm sells produce too. Enjoy! The pistachio butter underneath the slaw is like an Asian peanut sauce, bringing a much fuller nut flavor than the pistachios could offer alone. As you eat the dish, the juices from the slaw dissolve the pistachio butter and make a crazy good sort of vinaigrette.

Servings 4 people
Author Joshua McFadden

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/4 lb beets use a mix of colors if you can
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, lightly packed (substitute dill since that's what you have)
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • pistachio butter

Instructions

  1. Combine the garlic, raisins, and vinegar in a large bowl and let sit for 1 hour.

  2. Grate the beets on the large holes of a box grater or cut into fine julienne. Yes, your hands will get stained, but the color fades quickly.

  3. Remove the garlic from the raisins and discard. 

  4. Add the beets, lemon juice, most of the parsley and mint (save the rest for finishing), and chili flakes. Season with 1.5 tsp salt and lots of black pepper and toss. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then taste—the slaw should be tart, spicy, peppery, and sweet. 

  5. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, then add ¼ cup olive oil. Toss and taste again.


  6. To serve, plate and top with the slaw. Finish with reserved fresh herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.

Print

Crispy Buttery Smashed Potatoes

From the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook by Ellen Jackson

Author Ellen Jackson

Ingredients

  • 5 2-lb-potatoes, unpeeled
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted and divided
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp finely chopped herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley, chives, dill, etc.)

Instructions

  1. Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover them with cold water by several inches. Generously salt the water and bring it to a boil over high heat.

  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until just before they are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them cool for 10 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  4. Lightly coat a baking sheet with the oil. Evenly space the boiled potatoes out across the sheet and, using a small glass or a fork lightly coated with oil, gently flatten each potato by pressing down until it mashes into an oblong shape.

  5. Brush the potatoes generously with 2 Tbsp of the melted butter, sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste, and bake them for 10 minutes. 

  6. Add the garlic and herbs to the remaining 2 Tbsp butter, brush the potatoes again, and bake until they are golden brown and crispy, about 8-10 minutes more.

Print

Simple Cucumber Salad

I make this all the time at home for munching, usually to get me through to my next big meal. This cucumber salad takes hardly five minutes to prepare, and is a wonderful snack or side dish on a hot summer day.

Author Laura Bennett

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cucumbers, sliced into discs
  • 1/3 bunch dill, finely chopped
  • lemon juice to taste (I often use vinegar if I don't have any lemons on hand)
  • salt to taste (2-3 pinches)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients, and add more of anything to taste.