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!

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.

IMG_2167 (2)

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 2011 – Week 20: This Land is Your Land

As many of you know, we have added on small chunks of land here and there for the past few years now. One of our newest additions is right across the street from our main production greenhouse. This past spring, the owners of the property had the hybrid tulip poplars removed and we transplanted our fall brassicas into the field in July. Those brassicas are now thriving and that is where your past few week’s of kales and collards were planted.

This next year is going to be a whole new story for us. We are taking over the lease of a 70– acre plot of land formerly farmed by a transitional organic grain farmer. Much of this land is 3 years away from being certified organic, so we are coming up with what to do with it until then. For now, Dan and John are in the process of moving the whole compost operation and equipment over there right now. We may lease some of the land to livestock raising, or maybe grow some transitional organic sweet corn there.

The main goal and excitement behind this huge chunk of land is not to actually grow more vegetables, but to be able to give large parcels of land a rest. We could then grow cover crops for longer, while cutting disease pressure at the same time. This is still in the works, but there’s no doubt it leaves a lot of possibilities for the future at GTF.

Parsnip Puree
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces.
2-3 medium baked potatoes
1/2 cup cream or sour cream
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (optional)
Pinch nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook parsnips in boiling salted water about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and puree in a food processor along with scooped out potato flesh. Add cream, butter and ginger and process until well blended. Season to taste. *Parsnips have a wonderful sweet flavor, and go great with carrots too. Try using them in soup, or roasted!

Squash Towels! Have any old large bath towels laying around the house that need a new home? Bring them down to GTF! We have been enjoying a wonderful squash washing season and are in need of old towel donations for drying them. We’ll gladly take them off your hands!

What’s in the Box?

1.5 lb Red Potatoes (Colorado rose or Rose gold) – Steam, roast, fry, mash, these are versatile.

Carrots, bulk (~1 lb) – Shred them on salad, sauté in butter with salt, or eat plain.

3 onions (2 yellow, 1 red)– Caramelize, eat raw sliced thin on sandwiches, or add to a slaw or potato salad.

1 bunch beets– Cut beets off greens. Boil, roast or fry beets. Try grating them raw. Use the greens too! Sautee with olive oil or butter, salt, and pepper.

1 ambercup squash– Cut in half, remove seeds, place on a sheet pan, flesh side down. You may oil the pan a bit so it does not stick. Add a couple cups of water too, so the squash steams slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes-1 hour. You can use this squash in place of pumpkin in any recipe, or make a soup with it! Ambercup tends to be a bit on the dry side so it may need more moisture.

Bok Choy– Sauté in butter or olive oil and salt. It goes great with fish. Add chile flakes for a kick.

1 red Italian pepper, 1 red bell—Grill, roast, or just eat raw; they are sweet.

2 Leeks– Use in soups or sautés. Chop them, then rinse them a bit. Dirt gets inside leek layers easily.

Parsnip-Chop into small pieces and use in soups or roast with other vegetables.

1 tomato– Chop and put in soup or salad. Add to sandwiches or wraps.

Balsamic Carrot Salad
1 pound carrots, peeled and julienne small (thinly sliced pieces)
2-3 celery stalks, chopped fine
2 red peppers, seeded and cut into small slices
2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 cups balsamic dressing

For the dressing:
2 teaspoons Dijon-type mustard
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix the mustard and vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking or mixing the vinegar. Add salt and honey to taste.

For the salad, combine all the ingredients and serve. You may use grated kohlrabi in place of the celery. Try adding some finely chopped red onion, or grated beets!

Beet Soup
6 medium beets
4 tablespoons butter
1 quart filtered water
Sea salt or fish sauce and pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions or parsley for garnish
crème fraiche or sour cream

Peel beets, chop coarsely and sauté very gently in butter for about 1/2 hour or until tender. Add water, bring to a boil and skim. Simmer about 15 minutes. Puree soup with a handheld blender, or food processor. Season to taste. Garnish with chopped green onions and sour cream or creme fraiche.

Ambercup Leek Soup
1 ambercup squash
2 leeks
2 tablespoons butter
6 cups water, or stock
1 cup milk or cream
Salt and pepper

Chop the leeks into small slices. Heat a large pot up with the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the leeks. Meanwhile, cut the rind off of the squash; either a knife or a peeler may work. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut the squash up into 1-inch size cubes. Once the leeks are soft and cooked, add the squash and continue cooking for another 15 minutes or so. Add the water/ stock and milk. Bring to a boil and then turn down to low and cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the squash is cooked all the way. Puree with a handheld or standup blender. Season to taste and serve.