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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1-2 large parsnips, sliced in thin strips
2 bu. watercress
2 medium shallots, minced
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 on 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.
It’s that wonderful time of year when autumn has just 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 sorbet
The season is coming to and end, we’ll have to eat as much melon as we can before they’re gone!
6 medium purple potatoes: slice each potato in half, then slice in half again before making thin slices down the length of the potato
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
2 pints shishitos
Oil, preferably high heat (not olive oil)
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!
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!
Crockett Green Bean Sauté with Tamari
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New Alteration: For those of you who came to market earlier in the day, this plate was made with Siletz tomatoes as it was on July 2nd. But later in the day, we decided to shake it up a bit and make the same dish with Purple Cherokee Heirloom tomatoes, which have a wonderfully unique flavor and a beautiful dark color.
I made this salad for dinner after market, along with thick slices of Siletz tomato and fresh mozzarella-like cheese from La Mariposa, a wonderful cheese vendor at the Corvallis Farmers Market. It was amazing! I highly recommend it.
New Alteration: The only difference here is that I used Chioggia beets, which have a white and red concentric circle design in the center. They tend to have a more mild beet flavor, and unlike typical red beets, they don’t turn everything you have dark pink. Also, they’re simply gorgeous, and that is reason enough to try them out. Sadly, I did not get a photograph of this dish before the people of Corvallis gobbled it up, but you can see a chioggia beet here.
Yellow Straightneck Squash with Red Mustard Greens
2-3 Pearl Onions, sliced thin or however you would like them
1/2 head Garlic, minced
4-5 Yellow Straightneck Squash, sliced thin into discs (They’re just like yellow crookneck squash, only… you guessed it, the neck is straight.)
1 bunch Red Mustard Greens
Salt & Pepper to taste
Pre-chop the onion and garlic.
Coat the pan in olive oil and heat up to medium-high until a piece of onion in the oil starts sizzling.
Add in the onion and garlic and stir around in the oil.
Slice up the squash into discs, and add them into the pan once you’re done. Stir around to coat in oil, adding more oil if need be. Let cook 5-8 minutes, stirring around occasionally for even cooking.
Roughly chop up a bunch of red mustard greens. With the heat that we’ve been having lately, our mustard greens have been getting spicier every day. Their lovely peppery flavor is especially delicious when paired with the creamy combination of garlic and summer squash.
Add in a couple pinches of both salt and pepper, and stir around. Let cook just 2-3 minutes more.
Let cool a few minutes and taste to see how your salt levels are, adjusting accordingly. This dish looks beautiful with the bright yellow squash and dark green leaves, and would be wonderful with rice and grilled chicken or tempeh. Enjoy!