November 5th Rainy Day Recipes

Thanks to everyone who was able to visit us at market yesterday! One of the perks of setting up a market booth before dawn is getting to watch the sun rise over our vegetable stand, a beauty that I wish more market goers could witness. Once the sun did rise, we sampled up two lovely sautés for people to munch as they escaped from the rain under our tent.

  • Romanesco sautéed with Purple Hazi Carrots
  • Delicata Squash sautéed with Poblanos and Anaheim Peppers

Romanesco sautéed with Purple Hazi Carrotsimg_3100-2

We all eat with our eyes, and for this very reason it is important to not only make food delicious, but to make it beautiful as well. A meal can do so much more than simply sustain us. A meal can be art, a political statement, and a simple joy to be shared with friends and family. Romanesco, maybe more than any other vegetable provides us the opportunity to eat art, and visually it looks even more amazing when balanced with bright purple carrots. Customers were stealing bites out of the pan before I even finished cooking, so the picture at right shows the half-eaten dish.

  • INGREDIENTS:
    • 1 Sweet Onion, sliced thin
    • 1 head Romanesco, broken into pieces
    • 4-5 Purple Hazi Carrots, sliced into discs
    • 1/2 head Elephant Garlic, chopped finely (Goodfoot Farm)
    • Olive oil
    • Salt 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 the ends of your sweet onion and cut in half before making thin slices. Yesterday was probably the last day that we’ll have sweet onions, as their high sugar content doesn’t make them ideal for storing.
    • Heat up your pan to medium-high with olive oil coating the bottom. Once up to temp, add in the onion and let cook about 2 minutes.
    • Add in the romanesco and let cook covered 3-5 minutes.
    • While that’s cooking, slice up your carrots into thin discs. Often times purple vegetables end up becoming washed out after you cook them, but these Purple Hazi carrots retain their vibrant color in the cooking process. Add into the pan and continue to cook covered another couple minutes while you chop garlic.
    • Finely chop the elephant garlic and add it along with 1-2 pinches salt. Let cook another 3-5 minutes uncovered until the romanesco and carrots are cooked but still have some crunch.
    • Enjoy!

Delicata Squash sautéed with Poblanos and Anaheim Peppersimg_3097-2

  • INGREDIENTS:
    • 1 Delicata squash, sliced into half-moons
    • 3-4 Poblano peppers, sliced thinly
    • 2 Red Anaheim 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 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 and Anaheims 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.

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!

 

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.

img_2614-2

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!

August 20th Market Recipes ft. Crockett Green Beans

A big thanks to everyone who braved the heat and made it out to one of our farmers markets yesterday! Our marketeers and our produce were a bit wilted by the end of the day, but we made it through! Despite the heat wave, there was still one very good reason to turn on the stove, and that reason was green beans.

Last season we grew a new variety of bush beans called Crockett and we were blown away by their highly productive growth habit and even ripening. Not only did they yield extremely well, but their quality of flavor and plumpness were exceptional, so much so that we sold out nearly every market. Yesterday at market we cooked up some of our Crockett beans and sampled many other summer treats raw. At home, I made lacto-fermented dilly beans that remain crisp and flavorful throughout the winter months!

20160803_110300 (2)

  • Crockett Green Bean Sauté with Tamari
    • Ingredients:
      • 1-2 lbs. green beans
      • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
      • 4-6 cloves garlic or 2-3 cloves elephant garlic, minced
        • Some of our markets carry elephant garlic, but in Corvallis I used some wonderful garlic from Goodfoot Farm.
      • Olive oil
      • Tamari
      • Salt
    • Directions:
  1.  Pre-snap the stems off of your green beans. It takes a bit of time, so I prefer to do it before I turn on the pan. Either leave your beans long, or snap them in half, whichever you prefer.
  2. Coat the pan in olive oil and heat up to medium high temperature. Meanwhile, chop up your shallots and add them into the oil once it’s up to temperature.
  3. Add about 3-4 Tbsp tamari to the shallots in the pan and let cook about 2 minutes. This will make a kind of tamari reduction that will coat your beans.
  4. Add in your snapped green beans and stir around to coat in oil, adding more if need be. Cover and let cook about 5 minutes, as the green beans take a while to cook through and will need the extra heat. Meanwhile, mince garlic.
  5. Remove the lid from the pan and add in the garlic, 2-3 pinches of salt, and 2-3 more Tbsp of tamari. Let cook another 5-10 minutes to your preferred softness.
  6. This is a great dish as it is so full of protein it can be eaten solo, but it is also wonderful served with a side of rice next to chicken or tofu. Green bean season is now! Don’t miss out on the deliciousness.
  • Tomato Basil Salad (July 2nd post)Copy of CAM00415 (2)
  • Raw Pimento Peppers
    • Pimento peppers look like flattened red bell peppers, but with thick walls and a crazy sweet flavor. I like to eat them raw like apples this time of year, but they’re also excellent raw as a vehicle for dip or cooked lightly in a sauté. See the photo at right.
  • Melons!!! Check out next week’s post for a detailed breakdown of our 2016 melon varieties.
    • Red, Orange, Yellow, and Sorbet WatermelonIMG_20150822_155628 (2)
    • Charentais and Divergent Cantaloupe
    • Honey Orange Melon

 

CSA 2011 – Week 8: Crop Rotation and Irrigation 101

Last week’s discussion with John was so interesting that I decided to follow Joelene Jebbia, our Irrigation manager, around for an hour to learn more about what she does. She began similarly to John, socket wrench in hand out to fix a spigot in the circle garden’s irrigation riser. I spent most of this time just watching what she was doing, and gazing at the amazing array of tools she has in her truck. Once she changed the spigot, we headed out to a greenhouse thatrecently had a fall crop of potatoes planted in it. Joelene was setting up the drip irrigation in it since the seedlings had started to pop out of the ground. As she was busy doing her thing, I got to pick her brain about how she decides what gets planted where and how intensive irrigating all 50 acres really is.

She explained to me that she keeps a record of everything that we plant each year, how much of it, and when it is planted. This aids her in the winter when she plans out where everything is going to go. For next season, for example, it is good to know where brassicas (kale, cabbage, broccoli, etc.) were planted so that we do not plant onions in those places because they seem to do poorly in an area where brassicas once were. It is also important to not plant the same crop into the same ground consecutively. For example, if you plant arugula in one area, and the last of the planting got flea beetles, as it often does, and then you plant more arugula into that same soil, then that new crop will not thrive because there are already existing flea beetles in the soil that will eat it before it gets a chance to thrive.

As Joelene pulled the drip lines down the rows of potatoes, she elaborated that she also takes into consideration the micro-climates of each field. For example, how much sun the field gets, and what time of day it gets sun, compared to how much sun the potential crop likes. Thinking about whether the field is on high or low ground, therefore if it will be wet or just moist early in the season, is another huge factor.

Joelene explained that every year her plans get thrown off a little just by the weather patterns. For example, this year she planned to plant our onion crop just west of the compost piles, but when it was time to plant, the ground was way too wet to plant into. So, she shifted the plan slightly and it will work out. When deciding where everything gets planted, she also thinks about ease of watering, her other main task at the farm. She has to make sure that she will be able to access all of the crops with either overhead or drip irrigation and make it logistically workable for her.

Irrigation takes up a lot of her time year round, and most intensively this time of year. We grow crops in 31 different hoop houses that need to be watered on top of our outdoor crops. For the outdoor crop irrigation, Joelene and Sarah will start laying pipes down in April and continue through June until all the fields are set. Of course, there are a lot of repairs on pumps, drip lines, and pipes that go along with this.

This time of year is the busiest for keeping up with all of the watering, and outdoor watering will usually continue well into October depending on the season. The variability of the weather patterns plays a huge role in all of this, and working with mother nature seems to be your best bet. The potato house was all set up for watering, 2 of 4 that would get done today. After she placed her tools back in their locations, she drove to the tractor where she would begin her next task.

What’s in the box?

1.5 lb Potatoes (Rose Gold) – Steam, roast, or mash. These are versatile.
Carrots, bunched – They are great raw, on salad, slaw or stir fried.
1 bunch Walla Walla onions – Chop the onions and eat raw on salads or soups. Try them grilled! The top green part goes well with eggs, cheese, stir fries or pasta.
1 bunch chard– steam, or sauté these greens, much like spinach but not quite as tender.
1 purple pepper– It is wonderful grilled, sautéed, roasted, or raw.
Assorted Summer squash – Try them sautéed, grilled, in a soup or stir fried. Try hollowing out and stuffing the round ones with a grain mixture, goes well with cheese, meat, mushrooms, then bake or grill them for 15-20 minutes.
1 cucumber – Eat raw, on salad, or marinate them.
1 radicchio– They are wonderful grilled and topped with balsamic vinegar.
1 bunch cilantro– Make salsa with the tomatoes! Eat with cucumbers or squash.
Romaine lettuce – Make a salad, or add to sandwiches.
2 tomatoes – Chop raw on salad, sandwiches, or make salsa with cilantro and onions.
1 pint blueberries – I would be surprised if these made it home!

Stuffed Squash
4-5 assorted summer squash
3-4 small-medium Walla Walla onions, chopped
3/4 cup nuts, (almonds work best) ground
1 cup cooked brown rice, quinoa, or bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated cheese, (your choice, Swiss, cheddar or parmesan work well)
2 eggs
2 cloves finely minced garlic
Salt and pepper

For Zucchini, cut ends off and cut them in half long ways and scoop out the inside and set aside. For the rounded squash (patty pans or 8-ball) cut the first inch top off and scoop the inside out. Sauté the onions in olive oil, chop the squash flesh and squeeze any water out. Add this to the onions and cook a little longer. Beat the eggs and add to the nuts, rice (or grain of some sort), cheese, garlic, pinch of salt If the mixture is too runny add more of the grain. Stuff the squash with the mixture and bake in a slightly oiled pan at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Variation: add other spices if you would like, cilantro would go nicely, or even add some chopped tomato or chard.

Radicchio Salad
1 head of radicchio finely shredded
2 oranges, peeled and divided into sections
3 baby onions, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Dressing:
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt
Touch of sugar or honey

Place onions on an oiled cookie sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake at 300 degrees for several hours, until onions are dried out and brown. Mix radicchio with dressing and top with orange wedges and onion slices.
Variations: Add cucumber, grated carrots or peppers to this salad. Also, chop your head of lettuce and mix it in with the radicchio for a larger size salad for more people.