Thursday, December 17, 2009
I didn't measure when I made this, but these ratios are close enough... it's a very forgiving recipe.
Put the following ingredients in a large bowl and toss until mixed:
6 cups cooked wheat berries
1/4 cup finely chopped I'itoi onions - green parts only
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1 cup chopped tomatoes, chopped into small chunks
1 small or 1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped into small chunks
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Drizzle over the top, and stir to mix well:
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
Salt to taste.
For best flavor, remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to serving, to remove the chill.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
5 roasted green chiles, skinned, deveined, seeded, and chopped
1 serrano chile with seeds, minced
1 clove garlic, mashed with salt
2-4 tablespoons leftover cranberry sauce
juice of half a lime
Start to puree everything but the orange juice in a food processor or blender. With the machine running, add enough orange juice (about 1/4 cup) for a nice salsa consistency. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
- 1 cup wheat berries (or barley)
- 3 cups water
- 2 small or 1 large yam/sweet potato
- 1 tsp ground coriander (optional; sub allspice or cinnamon for a sweeter flavor)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 apple, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped (or 2 Tbs minced sweet onion)
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans, pumpkin seeds, or slivered almonds (optional)
- 2 Tbs. fig jam*
- 1 Tbs. fine prepared mustard (Dijon, wine, etc.)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbs. olive oil or some nice salad oil like hazelnut, etc.
- 2 Tbs. maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Pinch nutmeg
- Pinch ground ginger
- Black pepper
Bring water to a boil; add wheat berries and cook 1 hour, until done; drain if needed. If using barley, cook accordingly depending on the type, pearled or not. Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and coriander or other spices to your liking and roast for 20-30 minutes, until tender and slightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a medium pan and saute onions, celery and apple just until they start to soften. Combine with potatoes and cooked wheat berries. Toss with dressing and serve.
*If you don't have fig jam handy, sub apple jelly, apple butter, apricot jam, pear jam, etc. or simmer 2 minced figs or half of a pear or apple in 1/4 cup water, 1 Tbs honey/sugar, and a squeeze of lemon juice, or... be creative!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
- Spaghetti Squash Gratin
- Morroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash
- Spaghetti Squash and Red Quinoa Casserole
- Spaghetti Squash with Bacon and Turnip Greens (a two-fer-one recipe!)
- Spaghetti Squash New Mexican similar to this one that is baked as a casserole (both with green chiles!)
- Tomato-Scallion Quiche with Spaghetti Squash crust
P.S. If anyone happens to try one of these ideas, please leave your thoughts/advice in the comments!
Friday, November 6, 2009
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3-4 I'itoi onions, the whites cut into 1/8" slices and the greens into 2" sections
1 large bunch Swiss chard, washed, large stems removed, chopped
crushed red pepper flakes
salt & pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the carrots and onions, and cook until both are soft, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and a couple shakes of red pepper flakes (about 1/8-1/4 tsp). Cook, stirring, until the aroma of the garlic is released. You don't want to brown the garlic, just cooked until soft.
Add the Swiss chard and stir until it becomes wilted. Turn the heat down to low, add a couple teaspoons of water, and cover. Cook for about five minutes longer. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper (if desired), and it is ready to serve.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I'm sure many folks were befuddled over what to do with such giant cucumbers as we got the last few weeks. I, personally, don't understand why some farmers grow these cukes so large, other than that they can. They are perfectly edible, and much less daunting, when they are "small." Whining aside, we love cucumbers around here, so there really isn't much problem using up so much vegetable. Additionally, they are very mild flavored cucumbers, and so are versatile, too, and can even be used in a fashion similar to a melon. In fact, these particular cucumbers also go by the name "Snake Melon."
We made this as a main dish for a light dinner one night, and served it with a side of Chinese-style omelette. Apologies for not including a picture; we wolfed these down before I thought of it!
1/2 medium or large Armenian cucumber (aka Snake Melon)
4 oz cream cheese
2 Tbs mayonnaise
1 avocado, mashed
3 Tbs chives or green onions, minced
1 can crab meat or tiny shrimp, well drained (for a vegetarian version, substitute crumbled tofu)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (substitute soy sauce, fish sauce, or Braggs)
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbs prepared horseradish (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel cucumber and halve lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and cut into 1-inch pieces. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Spoon filling into each cucumber "boat" and sprinkle with additional pepper to serve.
Notes: without the horseradish, the filling is on the mild side. The horseradish kicks it up nicely, but you could also put in comething like capers, fresh garlic, or cayenne pepper to add more depth.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Calabacitas is Spanish for "little squash" or really, little pieces of squash, and the same applies to the nopalitos (little pieces of nopales). While the nopales can get a little slimy while cooking (not unlike okra), the sliminess tends to wane the longer you cook them, and also, if you keep the mixture relatively dry (as in roasting or sauteing rather than in a stew).
- 2 medium-sized summer squash--any variety works, and a mix is great, too
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1-2 roasted green chiles or 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 small or 1 large nopal paddle, chopped
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/2 lemon or lime
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1.2 cup shredded cheese or crumbled queso seco/ricotta salata (optional)
- Diced tomatoes
- Green onions
- Chopped greens (spinach, quelites, etc.)
- Red chile
- Splash of Cream
- Splash of Tequila
For the Calabacitas, start with bite-sized pieces of summer squash--. If your squash are rather big and full of big seeds, you can opt to remove them first. For zucchini and yellow squash, usually half-moons or quartered slices works well, but you can cube the squash instead, though it may need slightly more cooking time. Heat a few tablespoons of butter or oil in a large skillet until very hot. First add onions, stirring to cook one minute or so. Add garlic, chile pepper, squash, nopalitos & corn. Saute on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes or so, until vegetables start to brown slightly. Add remaining ingredients, including optional ingredients if using, and cook several minutes more, until everything is cooked to your taste. Squeeze lime or lemon juice over veggies and garnish with cilantro & cheese (if using) to serve.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Ahhh, Radishes... They are one of those things that people tend to either love or hate. I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. I love radishes sometimes, and I love things that have a similar bite, such as horseradish, nasturtium, and mustard, but never really developed much of a taste for regular ol' radishes...that is, until I became a CSA member. Like many other offerings of the CSA that tend to fall into this category (turnips, greens, chiles, beets, you know, the ones you regularly see in abundance in the trade basket or the ones that you take, disdainfully, that end up wilting away in the back of your crisper drawer), I have, over time, developed more of an appreciation, if not downright desire, for many of them. Perhaps that is because, by nature, I am constantly looking for new and interesting ways of preparing them, some simple, some complex. Perhaps part of it is that I realize that the fresh, enlivened versions are actually quite good compared to their insipid, dull supermarket cousins. Whatever the reason, I am glad that I have expanded my culinary horizons to incorporate them into my cooking and eating. Besides, who couldn't at least be intrigued by these little beauties...?
We made a wonderful salad with the ingredients below for lunch today, and served it with pita chips and some little pre-made filo shells we had begging to be used. It would also be exceptional added to cooked quinoa, pasta, or heaven-forbid, wheat berries, or even served simply over a bed of greens. In the interest of infinite variations, this salad is open to many other interpretations based on what you have on hand and what you have a hankering for (carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, chile peppers, crab, turkey, salmon, turnips, kohlrabi, cabbage, peas, bean, corn, oranges, etc., etc., etc.)
- 1 handful radishes, chopped
- 1 handful radish greens, minced
- 2 green onions (or I'itoi onions), minced
- 2 Tbs. capers
- 1 cucumber or several pickles, chopped
- 2 avocadoes, cubed
- 1/4 cup fresh dill weed, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise or yogurt
- 1 can tuna, drained & flaked (if in oil, do not drain, but reduce amount of mayo)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Friday, May 8, 2009
The whole beet—greens and all—is used in this clever, elegant main. Gremolata—a mixture of chopped herbs, garlic, and citrus peel—is the classic topping for osso buco. This garlic-free variation gives bright, fresh flavor to the halibut.
While this version has quite a few ingredients (I was trying to use up little bits of everything I had in my fridge/pantry!), it can be as simple or varied as you like. Even just tomatoes and basil work, and I also recently saw a recipe for roasted beet bruschetta. Of course you can still serve this the traditional way as well, spooned onto sliced, toasted bread.
- 1 eggplant, diced
- 2 tomatoes, diced (or 1/2 can)
- 1 Tbs capers
- 1 leek (white part), sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup fava beans
- 1/2 cup mixed olives
- 1 Tbs sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2-3 slices crusty stale bread, broken into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup cubed mozzarella cheese
Combine all ingredients except bread and cheese in oven-proof dish. Bake at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft. Toss in bread and cheese and return to oven for 5-10 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melty.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Winter Squash Lasagna with Greens & Brown Butter Sauce (Serves 4-6)
1-1/2 cups Winter Squash mashed & drained
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
3 cloves Garlic, minced & divided
1/4 cup basil, minced
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 bunch Greens (chard, spinach or beet greens work best, mixed braising greens also work well)
3 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 cup Parmesan or Asiago cheese, shredded, plus more for topping
1 lb Lasagna noodles
Brown Butter Sauce:
1/4 cup butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
15-20 sage leaves
1 Tbs flour
1/4 cup broth
Cook lasagna noodles with 2 Tbs olive oil until just tender (“al dente”). Remove from heat and add 2 cups cold water to stop the noodles cooking. Drain and carefully toss with a little more oil if they stick together at all. Set aside.
Combine squash puree, ricotta cheese, 1/3 of the garlic, and spices in a bowl. Taste and salt as needed. Zest and juice lemon; add both to the squash mixture along with the egg. Set aside.
In a wide skillet, heat 3 Tbs olive oil over medium-high heat. Add trimmed, chopped greens and stir once or twice until greens start to wilt and coat with oil. Immediately sprinkle in remaining garlic and continue to sauté until greens are cooked, but still bright, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Coat the bottom of a 9x13 sheet pan or lasagna pan with oil. Lay one layer of noodles in the pan. Spread 1/3 of the filling over the noodles. Layer one half of the greens mixture over the squash. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese. Another layer of noodles, 1/3 of squash, remaining greens, 1/3 of cheese. Top the final layer of noodles with the remaining squash. When you’re all done you will have 3 layers of noodles, 3 layers of squash, 3 layers of cheese and 2 layers of greens. Cover with foil or lid and bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Remove foil or lid for the final 5 minutes of cooking, and sprinkle with remaining cheese (this way it doesn't stick to the foil. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes while you prepare the brown butter sauce.
For the sauce:
Melt butter in medium skillet or sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic. Once butter starts to brown, add sage leaves (careful, the butter goes from brown to burnt in a matter of seconds!). Stir quickly then add flour and stir to form a roux. Cook for 1 minute to cook flour and add broth, stirring until mixture is smooth and cooking until mixture is thickened slightly. Add more broth if desired—sauce can be as thin or as thick as you like.
Serve lasagna with sauce spooned on top and sprinkled with additional cheese if desired.
Roasted Baby Artichokes (Serves 2)
6 Baby artichokes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbs Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Prepare a large bowl or pot with 1 quart of water and place lemon wedges, squeezed, into the water. Trim artichokes by removing the top 1/3 of artichoke and outer leaves. Trim stalk by 1/2-inch. Quarter artichokes and place immediately into lemon-water to prevent them from browning too much. Place olive oil and crushed garlic into baking dish. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove artichokes from water and shake excess water from them. Add to prepared dish and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Cover dish with lid or foil and bake for 20-30 minutes, until artichokes are tender. Remove lid or foil for last 10 minutes. Serve with additional lemon wedges if desired.
You can also get more elaborate on this dish and add rosemary, lemon zest, oregano, or any other flavorings that suit you, but the simple salt-garlic-pepper blend leaves the artichoke flavor to shine through.
Vegetarian Tuscan Potato Soup (Serves 2-4)
1 lb Potatoes
2 (small) Turnips
2 cups Greens, chopped (Rapini, Escarole, Kale or Chard work best)
1/4 cup Onions or scallions, chopped (if using scallions, divide greens from bottoms and reserve greens for garnish)
1/4 cup Basil, loosely packed & divided
1 tsp Fennel Seed, crushed
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
3 cloves Garlic or stalks green garlic
1/2 cup Cream or half-and-half
1 quart Vegetable broth
1 cup Garbanzo beans (cooked) or Italian Sausage (cooked, for non-vegetarian version)
Salt & Pepper
Heat 4 Tbs olive oil in soup pot. Add onions, garlic, fennel, red pepper and sauté over medium heat until onions begin to turn transluscent, about 4-5 minutes. Add beans, turnips, and potatoes and sauté 2 minutes more. Add broth, cover and bring to a boil. Cook 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add greens and half of basil (chopped), stir and bring back to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until greens are tender. Remove from heat, add cream and more broth if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Top with basil chiffonade and green onion tops if desired.
The soup, I thought, was good, but a bit on the bland side--probably a side effect from using beans instead of spicy Italian sausage as the original recipe calls for. It also needed more salt and pepper (remember: potatoes tend to absorb a lot of salt and other spices, so it leaves the remaining broth a bit on the underseasoned side).
Beet Carpaccio Salad with Candied Pecans and Goat Cheese (Serves Two)
1 cup Mixed greens or chopped lettuce
1 Orange or grapefruit, skin removed
3 Beets, cooked
1/2 cup Red Cabbage
1 oz goat cheese (Chevre), crumbled
1 tsp Honey
1 Tbs Red Wine or Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp Prepared, quality mustard (optional)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup pecans
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves, allspice, black pepper.
Prepare vinaigrette: combine all ingredients in a small bowl or bottle. Whisk until combined. Set aside.
For candied pecans: heat sugar, water and spices in heavy-bottomed skillet until it boils. Add pecans and stir to coat. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until liquid dissolves and sugar begins to crystallize. Remove from heat and remove nuts to a small piece of parchment or waxed paper. Break apart immediately to cool (Careful! Sugar is very hot!). Set aside
Slice orange or grapefruit cross-wise into 1/4-inch slices. Do the same with the beets. Finely shred carrots and cabbage. Divide lettuce onto two plates. Layer three slices of orange in the middle, in the shape of a flower. Surround by slices of beets. Top with shredded cabbage, carrots, goat cheese and candied pecans. Dress with vinaigrette.
This is really just a fancy name for a relatively basic salad (well, at least it's a standard in our household); tart apples also pair well with the beets if you don't have citrus, and in place of slicing everything up (which requires eating the salad with fork AND knife), you can cut them up into bite-size chunks. You can also substitute any nuts or seeds for the pecans and candying them is completely optional. You can sweeten the candied nuts with honey, maple syrup or agave syrup, but the result will not be crunchy and will be somewhat sticky instead. Any good vinaigrette or poppyseed dressing pairs wonderfully with this salad, just hold the Ranch!
Grapefruit-Pomegranate-Ginger Cocktails (Makes one 8-10-oz drink)
1 Tbs Ginger syrup
4 oz Seltzer water
2 oz Pomegranate Juice
Place ice in 10 oz glass. Add ingredients in order. Serve topped with mint sprigs if desired.
Ginger syrup (Makes 2 cups)
2 Tbs Fresh ginger, minced or grated
1/2 cup Sugar (or substitute 1/4 cup honey)
1/4 cup Honey (or substitute 1/2 cup sugar)
2 cups Water
Heat all ingredients in small pan to boiling. Reduce heat to medium and cook, simmering rapidly, for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. When cool, strain mixture into a clean, sterilized jar. Remaining ginger can be used in tor baking (flavor will be more muted but still present). Ginger syurp can be used to flavor drinks, desserts, teas, fruit salads, etc. Will keep in refrigerator for up to 6 months
I usually freeze my gingerroot to make it easier to grate, and store for longer periods of time, but end up with little knuckle-buster end pieces. So I make this syrup to use them up (or likewise to use up any pieces of ginger that you can't use for something else), but I have also bought and sliced up ginger just to use for this purpose! You can reduce the amount of water in the recipe by half or more to make a thicker syrup if desired. There is no need to peel the ginger for this recipe (I never do anyway), but it should be well-scrubbed but ginger is very easy to peel by simply scraping with the edge of a spoon.
Citrus Olive Oil Cake (Makes 2: 8x2-inch layers or 1: 9x13 sheet)
1-1/2 cups Flour
3/4 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Orange, zested and juiced to make 1/3 cup
2/3 cup Yogurt or buttermilk
1-1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Almonds, slivered
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Heat oven to 350 deg F. Whisk eggs, orange zest, orange juice, yogurt and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir in egg mixture until combined. Fold in oil until thoroughly incorporated. Pour batter into greased pan; sprinkle with almonds and bake 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
We didn't actually make this cake for the class, but I am sharing the recipe because it was an absolutely scrumptious cake, with the perfect texture and not-too-sweet flavor.
Olive Oil Almond Tuiles (Makes 10-12 Tuiles)
1/4 cup Olive oil
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tbs Flour
2 Tbs Semolina
1 Egg white
1/2 tsp Lemon or orange zest
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, scraped
Whisk all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Spoon mixture onto parchment-lined baking sheet and spread into thin, rounds (an offset spatula works ideally for this task). Cookies can be made as large or small as you like. Bake at 375 degrees F for 5-10 minutes (depending on size of cookies), until edges are slightly browned--careful, they burn QUICKLY! Remove from oven. Remove cookies from paper immediately and mold if desired (lay over a rolling pin to make traditional tuiles, over inverted muffin tin to make tulips or baskets, over a wooden spoon handle to make cigarettes, etc.). Let cool. Serve as is, or along with other desserts (ice cream, lemon curd, fruit compote, etc.)
These delicate little cookies are so simple it's not even funny. The ONLY fussy part about them is getting the batter thin enough on the cookie sheet to make a delicate, crispy, cookie. If it is too thick, the result will still be tasty, but will not be crispy, more cake-like instead. It is also VERY, VERY important to use a large or extra large egg for the white. We used small-medium (as they were from the farm, and not sized), and the cookies ended up extra sugary, which made them burn quickly and have an odd texture, not conducive to shaping.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
3 pounds thin-skinned lemons
1 1/2 cups salt
1 T coriander seeds, lightly crushed
2 cinnamon sticks
2 lemon or bay leaves
1/4 cup honey
1 cup lemon juice
3 cups warm water
Cut lemons lengthwise into quarters, leaving them joined at the base.
Freeze and defrost the lemons. (This helps them cure faster.)
Stuff each lemon with 1t salt.
Put the lemons into jars, sprinkling each layer with salt and coriander. Place cinnamon sticks and bay leaves down sides of jar.
Mix honey, lemon juice, and water.
Pour honey mixture into jars to cover lemons. Screw on lids.
Process in boiling water for 6 minutes.
Store one month before opening.
Only eat the rind. Scoop off and discard the flesh.
From: Arthichoke to Za'atar
any sort of onion, diced
1 bunch greens, washed, trimmed, and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, smashed with 1/2 teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lemon, or the same amount of water plus a little preserved lemon brine
1 teaspoon pesto; 1/4 of a preserved lemon, minced; or other condiment
In a pan or pot large enough to hold the raw greens, fry the onions in the oil until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the greens and garlic and cook until wilted. Add the lemon juice. Cover, lower heat, and cook for 10-20 minutes, until greens are soft. Remove the lid, turn up the heat, and stir in the pesto. Serve.
It's nice when there's some broth, and it's also good when all the broth has cooked away.
Beet greens produce a gorgeous fuscia broth.
Monday, April 20, 2009
5 small red potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
6 medium carrots
4 medium beets
4 lg or 6 small cloves garlic
6-8 I'Itoi or green onion bulbs (the bottom 2" of the onion)
2-3 fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs - optional
Salt & pepper
Shallow roasting pan
Peel the beets. Chop the red and sweet potatoes, carrots and beets into approx. 1" cubes. Slice the onions in half lengthwise. Peel the garlic - split large cloves in half. Put all the veggies and the herbs into the roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp salt and a bit of pepper. Toss until the veggies are coated.
Cover with lid or foil and bake at 385F for 45 minutes. Uncover (careful for the escaping steam!) and turn the veggies over. Check for tenderness. If still firm, cover and roast for another 15-20 minutes. Remove the cover and put back into the oven for another 15-30 minutes, depending on how brown you'd like them.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
So, while some people may have been at the mall testing shoes with their personal shoppers, we traveled to the field by the highway to try some spring crops with our personal farmer, Frank Martin. After brief instructions and harvesting some beautiful artichokes, we gathered at the “field kitchen” in the middle of the field. Then, Frank told his story of becoming a farmer from scratch.
After many years of driving truck, he wanted to start a farm. A friend told him, “You get into farming by inheriting it or marrying it.” That was not in the cards for Frank, so he started small in his yard, later renting an acre from a neighbor and slowly acquiring the skills and experience he needed. Once he reached his weekly income goal of a consistent $300, he stopped driving and committed full time to farming. Today, some 15 years later, he has fields in several locations around the valley and a crew of employees to help him run the operation. The field we visited at I-17 and 19th is about 30 acres and has been farmed consistently since about 1928.
As Frank talked about his history and why and how he grows various crops, I soon realized how fortunate we are to have such a gentle, wise and generous man making food for us. Some years ago, he took over a farm that a Japanese family had been working for about 20 years. The farm was infested with a particularly invasive worm. The worms just thrived on the farm and damaged the crops, year after year. The family had spent a fortune on pesticides, trying to drive them out – to no avail. Undeterred, Frank took over the farm. First thing, he called in his contractor to disk the field (turn over the soil with a disk harrow). Almost immediately, birds appears in the sky – seemingly from nowhere –thousands of them, feasting on the exposed worms. Frank decided to have the field turned again the next day – another bird feeding frenzy. And… the worms ceased to be a problem.
He told us the history of the Iitoi onions he is growing, how they were named, and why they are revered by the Pappago and Pima tribes, how you can plant one and watch it multiply into a cluster of 140, harvest them, then plant one to multiply again. He then invited us to go across the field where they are growing and take whatever we might want to start growing our own.
After answering all our many questions, often with more fascinating and inspiring stories from his odyssey in farming, Frank invited us to enjoy the lunch he and his staff had prepared for us. I was struck by how pure and clean and flavorful it was. The beans were just about the best I can remember tasting in a long time, if not ever. By this time, my somewhat vague interest in “checking out where our food was coming from” had grown into full-blown excitement about being fed by a truly special personal farmer.
Agri-business marches on, but our Farmer Frank’s favorite time of the year is when the squash bloom, because then he gets to go out into the field at first morning light, lie on his soil and watch the squash blossoms open. Think about that the next time you take a bite!
By: Steve Hansen, Sedona
Saturday, April 4, 2009
The recipe is adapted out of The Healthy Slow Cooker by Judith Finlayson. I cut it in half - the original recipe serves 10.
2-4 TBSP olive oil
1 pound trimmed lamb stew, 1" chunks
1 onion, finely chopped
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp herbs de Provence (I used rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracked black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
16 oz can tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with juice
1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed
4 cups Swiss chard, stemmed and chopped
Brown the lamb in a single layer in a hot skillet. Do this in 2-3 batches, adding oil as needed. Transfer the batches to the crock pot as they finish.
Cook the carrots, celery and onions in the skillet. Stir often and cook until the carrots start to soften (about 7 minutes). Add the garlic, herbs, salt and pepper to the other veggies, and stir for about a minute. Add the bay leaf, chicken broth and tomatoes and juice to the skillet and bring to a boil. Transfer to the crock pot. Add the lentils and stir.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours, until the lamb and lentils are tender. Add the chard in batches, stirring it in until it wilts, then adding more until it's all in the crock. Cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes or until the chard is tender.
Serve with crusty bread or on a bed of rice.
This Saturday in Flagstaff, starting at 11-3, will be a hot sauce tasting with great food items and special offers at Seasoned Kitchen downtown on San Fransisco street. Come on down and pick up Northern Arizona's first and only hot sauce, Risinghy's Huckin Hot.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
1/2 large yellow onion
3-5 carrots (about 1.5 cups chopped)
4 celery stalks (about 1.5 cups chopped)
4-6 cloves garlic
1 TBSP thyme leaves
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
2 16 oz cans tomatoes plus juice
1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed
1.5-2 liters stock (I used mushroom but chicken or beef would work as well as a non-vegetarian option)
Optional ingredients - use whatever you have on hand and would like in the soup. This is what I had:
1 red bell pepper
3/4 c. flat-leafed parsley
1/4 c. freshly shelled peas
6 i'itoi (green) onions, white and green parts
2 cups chopped greens - I used mizuna but kale or chard would work nicely too
Chop the veggies ahead of time and keep in separate piles.
Put about 2 TBSP olive oil into a large soup pot. Heat until the oil starts to shimmer, then add the onion, carrot and celery to the oil. Cook on medium heat until the carrots start to soften; about 7 minutes. Stir often. The vegetables should sweat, not brown.
Add the garlic, thyme, oregano and optional veggies (minus greens) to the pot. Cook, stirring often, for about three minutes, until you can smell the garlic cooking.
Add the stock and lentils to the pot. Chop the tomatoes and add them and the juice from both cans*. Stir it all together and add the bay leaves. Poke them down into the liquid.
Cover and bring the soup to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 45 minutes, then check the lentils for tenderness. Cook longer if needed. Once the lentils are tender, season the soup to taste with salt** and cracked pepper. Fish out the bay leaves and discard them. Add the greens to the pot. Cover and cook for another 20 minutes.
*This is very much a tomato-based soup. If you don't want such strong tomato flavor, reduce to one can and add two more cups stock to the recipe.
**Add salt at the very end. If it is added earlier in cooking, the lentils will be tough.
Serve with a salad and hot bread with butter. YUM.
What else would work well in this soup? Turnips, added with the greens. Kohlrabi, added with the 2nd batch of veggies. Spinach, added about five minutes before serving. 1/4 c. wheat berries, added with the lentils.
It's a versatile recipe! Enjoy!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
This is what happens when you have a little bit of lots of things to use up, so as always, adjust the recipe to suit your tastes and/or what you have on hand! We made these into pitas (think: Falafel), but can easily be served up like burgers or eaten on their own, perhaps with a nice roasted red pepper sauce or plain yogurt to top them off.
1 heaping cup cooked wheat berries or 2 cups cooked bulghur
3-4 sunchoke tubers (about ½ cup chopped)*
¼ cup chopped parsley leaves
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbs. minced onion
¼ cup hummus
1 Tbs Dukkah (optional; substitute sesame seeds, cumin, coriander or other seasonings as desired)
Salt and pepper
1 egg (or 1 Tbs ground flax seed soaked in 1/4 cup water)
2 Tbs. flour
4-6 pita breads
Desired garnish (finely grated cabbage, carrots, watercress, radishes, cucumbers, pickles, onions, yogurt, hummus, sprouts, etc. etc. etc….)
Grind cooked wheat berries in food processor until mealy (there will be some kernels that remain almost whole, but most of them will be ground up fairly well, not mushy though). Saute chopped sunchokes or steam or bake them whole until very soft and throw them into a food processor with the parsley, garlic, onion, hummus and blend it all together until finely chopped. Combine with remaining ingredients, including wheat berries, to form a thick mixture that holds together into patties. If needed, add a little water or flour to adjust your consistency.
Form mixture into 3-inch wide patties no more than ½ inch thick. Fry in ¼-inch of oil until browned on both sides (about 5 minutes per side). Drain on paper towel and keep warm in low oven if desired. Serve in pita breads with desired garnish.
*Note: you could substitute cooked potato, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, or other root vegetable for the sunchokes if desired.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
I have found that it is not necessary to soak the wheat berries before cooking them as some sources suggest. I simply bring them to a boil and let them cook over medium-low heat (a high simmer if there is such a thing) for an hour or so until they're cooked. Soaking would probably help them cook a bit faster, though. I am intrigued to try cooking them overnight in my slow-cooker to see how well that works, but definitely you can cut your cooking time in half or less by using a pressure cooker! I am also curious if decent results could be achieved from pulsing cooked wheat berries briefly in the blender or food processor to get a different texture (and one that could be used in baking, for instance)--I will be trying it soon and let you know! You can also grind the berries before cooking, but be sure to use a glass jar and a blender or grinder with a strong motor.
Wheat berries are...
...discussed here, including different cooking methods in Wheat Berries 101.
...used in authentic Ukrainian grain pudding called Kutya or Kushya...it's very yummy!
...combined with yogurt and spices for a refreshing COLD Middle-Eastern soup (may have to save this one for summer).
...made into a sweet, vegan, Indian pudding with cardamom and cashews!
(or in this traditional Indian dessert: http://cooking4allseasons.blogspot.com/2008/06/godumai-halwa-wheat-halwa-traditional.html)
...baked into a crustless quiche (in which chard or other greens can substitute for the spinach)!
...puffed (or popped?) in a hot skillet to be combined with other granola ingredients...!
...served with lentils in a hearty salad.
...combined with dill (if you have any left!) in this wintery salad with cranberries and pecans.
...tossed with apple and ham in another filling meal-sized-salad.
...combined with mashed beans, herbs, spices and an egg (or soaked flax seed) to make yummy chewy veggie burger patties...recipe coming soon!
1 ruby-red grapefruit or 1 large orange
1 small/medium raw beet
1 large or 3-4 small kohlrabi bulbs
3-4 small salad turnips
1 Tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare grapefruit or orange sections--another easy way is to halve the fruit and scoop out the sections with a grapefruit spoon, but they definitely aren't as pretty or as large as doing it the "proper" way! Peel remaining vegetables as desired (of course I peeled the beet and removed the skin and woody layer from the kohlrabi, but the turnips and carrots kept their skins).
Grate the vegetables into a bowl, toss with grapefruit (and any juice that remains in the membranes--just give it a good squeeze over the bowl), olive oil, salt and pepper and enjoy!
I have to say, this is the first time I have eaten raw beets and actually enjoyed them! I think the secret was to not have them front and center, as the bulk of this salad comes from the other vegetables and the beets are added mostly for color (and really only made it into the salad because I still had one lingering in my fridge!). You could also make this without the grapefruit or orange if desired, and substitute a tablespoon or two of red wine or balsamic vinegar.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Bubble & Squeak, Colcannon, Rumbledethumps, Stamppot...Call it what you like, we call it comfort food!
Traditionally, these hashed potato and cabbage (or kale) dishes were a way to use up vegetables leftover from a Sunday roast dinner. Most frequently, the potato and cabbage are the only vegetables, but you can use carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes, or any other veggie that suits your taste. Adding some chopped dark greens helps liven up the color contrast a bit as well. If it suits your taste, you can also mix in diced or shredded cheese (strong Irish cheddar.
In addition, you can prepare the dish in any number of ways, from a simple hashed/mashed version, to fried patties of hash. We have also prepared a version of this dish as more of a soup/stew to which I add egg noodles when I add the cabbage. The proportions listed below are flexible and forgiving. I usually use about a 1:1 ration of potatoes to cabbage, but it very easily accommodates more cabbage or more potatoes depending on your preference. One item to note, if you opt for doubling the cabbage, you might need to add an egg to hold it together for frying into patties.
1 lb potatoes, cubed (we usually leave the skins on, but this is up to you)
1 lb cabbage, chopped roughly
2-3 cups water or broth*
2 scallions (or I'Itoi onions), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs butter or olive oil (optional)
Place water or broth in large pot with potatoes and garlic. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook 10-15 minutes or until almost cooked through (this will depend on how big your chunks are). Add cabbage and return to a boil. Cook until cabbage is tender, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat, add onions, salt and pepper, butter or oil (if using) and mash coarsely with a potato masher. At this point, you can serve the dish as-is (or dressed up to your liking), or you can opt to fry the mix into patties. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat with a few tablespoons of oil. Scoop mixture about 1/2 cup at a time into skillet; flatten to 1-inch thick patties with a spatula. Cook about 3-5 minutes on each side until browned and slightly crispy, adding more oil as needed. They are tricky to flip because there's not much holding them together, which is why I prefer to skip this step; you could possibly try coating the patties in breadcrumbs first, but I personally haven't tried this to know how it would work. Serve the patties or hash topped with sour cream or yogurt if desired.
*You can use more water, as if for boiling the potatoes and cabbage completely submersed, but you will have to drain it off and add the cooking liquid (or milk) back in if you are mashing the mixture. Also, if you opt to include egg noodles as mentioned in the headnotes you may need more water, or you can cook them separately and add them to the vegetables when they're finished cooking. When adding noodles, there is no need to mash the vegetables, just toss it all together with plenty of butter, salt and pepper!
Monday, February 16, 2009
Braising Greens or Swiss Chard
Saturday, February 14, 2009
3/4 to 1 pound salmon fillets
1 c wheat berries
2 carrots, diced
Peppers, green onions, any CSA veggies you think would be good
salt and pepper
1/4 c olive oil
1 t grated lemon zest (or orange if you got one from the CSA)
2 T fresh lemon (or orange) juice
2 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced
2 T chopped herbs (tarragon is really good with this)
1 t sea salt
In a small jar with a tight fitting lid add the vinaigrette ingredients. Shake vigorously and set aside.
As mentioned in other wheat berry recipes, it is best to soak them overnight. Add them to a pot with a quart of water or so and simmer for an hour and a half. You want them to be tender, but still a bit chewy. We like them best when they are all popped open.
I sauted the veggies in olive oil until they were just getting tender and I cooked my salmon (after rubbing it with olive oil, salt and pepper) for about three minutes on a side in a cast iron skillet. I then mixed my veggies into the wheat berries, added the vinaigrette, and tossed. (A note on the vinaigrette: the amount mentioned here in the recipe is going to lot. You'll probably only use half of it for this recipe and then you can use the rest in something else. It is pretty versatile. ) I served my salmon right on top of the wheat berries and veggies combo. The earthy, nutty flavor of the wheat berries, and the sweetness of the veggies, were perfect with the fish.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
So, the word on the street is that CSA folks aren't that keen on the dried chilies and the trade basket can be overflowing with them. So, I ask you, what tasty dishes have have some of you whipped up with dried chilies that you would be willing to share? Karna, our fine coordinator, says she grinds them up and uses them in place of pepper. That would be a great way to give your food some extra kick. Let's roll up our sleeves and get creative with chilies this week!
To get you started, here is a recipe using dried chiles that I am going to make this week from (again) the Tucson CSA's newsletter. They have a ton of great recipes in their newsletters and posted on their website. I highly recommend checking it out! This recipe was contributed by Sara Jones of the Tucson CSA.
Basic Enchilada Sauce
We get the basic Anaheim-type dried chiles at the CSA, which
are a great base for enchilada sauce. If you have them around,
feel free to supplement or substitute other dried chiles for a more
4-6 dried red chiles, rinsed clean
½ onion, minced
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
To re-hydrate chiles, leave them submerged overnight in warm
water. You can also pour boiling water over chiles and leave
them to re-hydrate for about 45 minutes.
Once pliable and moist, remove stem and seeds from each pod
and place in a blender, with about ¾ cup of the soaking liquid.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion
and cumin and stir until fragrant. Pour in chile mixture and
Be CAREFUL, the steam the chiles will release is spicy – don’t
lean directly over the skillet!
Cook, stirring continuously, for about 3 minutes. Remove from
heat and add vinegar and a bit of salt to taste.
UPDATED 2/16: So, I made the sauce and I would make some changes if I made it again. First, I would double the amount called for. I made a 9x12 pan of enchiladas and this recipe didn't make enough sauce to make it all nice and saucy. You could remedy this by using more of the soaking water then called for. I didn't think our chiles were that spicy and I didn't bother removing the seeds when I blended them in the food processor. I like things to be easy in the kitchen, but adjust it to your preference because the seeds are where the heat is at. I left out the vinegar and it needs quite a bit of salt for my taste. But, the flavor was great, I would definitely make it again and homemade enchiladas were super yum.
Monday, February 2, 2009
lemon (juice and zest it)
1/4 c. oil ( I used about 2/3 Queen Creek Extra-Virgin olive oil and 1/3 hemp seed oil)
3-4 T. fine cilantro
1 clove garlic
4 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil and herbs
splash white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Blend the ingredients in food processor or blender until the herbs are finely chopped and distributed through the dressing. Adjust seasonings to your liking.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Lettuce Heads (baby romaine, tango and lola rosa)
Cabbage (green and purple)
Herbs (cilantro, parsley, dill)
Monday, January 26, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
On another note, has anyone made something yummy with their spaghetti squash from a few weeks ago? Not sure how to prepare it and most recipes I have looked up haven't really piqued my interest. Yet, there the squash sits on my counter, mocking me, and my inability to transform it into food.
Friday, January 9, 2009
- 1 cup (210 g) wheat berries or spelt
- 1 large carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut across into thin slices
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and then across into 1/4-inch (.5-cm) slices
- 1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into thin wedges
- 2 large leeks, white part only, split in half lengthwise, washed well, and cut across into thin slices
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (1-cm) cubes
- 3 medium ribs celery, peeled and cut across into thin slices
- 2 tablespoons coarse salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a medium stockpot, bring the wheat berries and 13 cups (3.25 liters) water to a boil [for added flavor, replace some or all of the water with Garlic Broth ]. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 50 minutes, or until the wheat berries are almost cooked through, but not mushy.
Stir in the carrot, parsnips, turnip, and leeks. Return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in the sweet potato and celery. Simmer for 10 more minutes.
Season with pepper.