Archive for the ‘CSA & Farmers’ Market’ Category

The Workout Smoothie or Sneaky Veg For Kids

This smoothie is perfect for either a pre- or post-workout boost.  It’s filling, yet leaves you feeling light.  Best yet, it’s a fabulous raw food nutritional powerhouse that even kids will love.  Instead of a recipe, it’s more of a formula that can be played with as fruit comes into season.

In a blender, add:

  • 1 cup liquid (Choose from unsweetened soy milk, kefir, yogurt, water & ice, etc.)
  • 1 banana (I know that this is so not local, but it’s my weakness!  I think smoothies just scream for that creamy texture they impart.)
  • 1 cup (or the equivalent) local fruit in season (This morning I used a single large nectarine.)
  • Handful of greens (This morning I went into the garden and harvested some red Swiss chard)
  • 1 Tbsp flaxmeal

Simply puree until smooth and serve.  Just don’t tell the kids that there is anything green in there until after they’ve enjoyed it!

IMG_4277

Advertisements

Purslane Summer Salad (Help! There are Weeds in my CSA Share!)

I opened my CSA share this week to find a bunch of weeds, literally.  What??? I grow these babies in my garden, yank ’em out, and chuck ’em to the chickens.  However, having paid for this particular bunch of organic weeds, I was determined to give them a try.  Oh, and I also had less than 10  minutes to do so because husband made most of the dinner, I had only to make some veg,  I was dallying about, and completely lost track of time.  Having never cooked with Purslane before, a quick Internet search pulled up this 2002 Gourmet recipe, and here’s how I modified it:

In a saute pan on medium high, quickly sauté:

  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • 3 summer squash, sliced
  • dash of salt

While that sears, in a salad bowl whisk the dressing together:

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped vidalia onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Add to the salad the squash (let it cool a bit) plus:

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch purslane, thick stems removed
  • 1 cup pear or cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise

Toss and serve.  And the result?  A good salad, but I think I’d use a different green next time.  The purslane was kind of tough and bitter.

IMG_4255

Everything-But-the-Kitchen-Sink Kimchi

I love kimchi.  This, however, is not real kimchi.  It’s a nod to the spicy, stinky, probiotic goodness and an experiment in using what’s on hand.  It’s a riff on my homemade kimchi recipe.  We had such a huge harvest list in this week’s CSA that I’m just incorporating the things that would otherwise go to the chickens.  And the ladies have enough pasture right now.

  • 1 head bok choy
  • 1 bunch beet greens
  • 1 bunch kohlrabi greens
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1 garlic bulb with greens (Use the garlic cloves like normal; wash out the greens and cut into 2″ pieces to make food processing easier)
  • 1″ piece peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • 1 can anchovies, oil drained (if you’re into the raw food thing, use raw oysters)
  • 1/2 cup 1-inch pieces scallions (greens and whites)
  • 1/2 cup julienned carrots and/or daikon radish (optional)

Remove and wash the leafy veg.  Slice the leaves into long strips.  Sprinkle with salt and toss.  Leave out to wilt on the counter covered for approximately 24 hours.

In a food processor, add the garlic, ginger, peppers, soy sauce, and anchovies.  Process until it becomes a paste.  Toss the paste with the cabbage, scallions, and carrots.

For a more pungent flavor, allow this to ferment in a cool place (<68F) in your lactic fermentation crock for approximately 24 hours.  Otherwise pack it into sealed glass jars and store in the refrigerator.  The kimchi will be ready to eat in as little as 1 day, but is better when it starts to bubble with the probiotic fermentation process.  It’ll keep in the refrigerator for months and is a great way to extend the shelf life of veggies.

Here’s the first step of veg + salt…

IMG_3809

And the next day, packed and ready for the refrigerator:

IMG_3816

 

Peach Strike Season Solutions: Seriously Peachy Bundt Cake

August means it’s “Peach Strike Season!”  What is this annual Bibliopharm event?  It’s the time of year when my daughter is so sick of seasonal harvest that she simply refuses to eat another peach, tomato, zucchini, etc.  So when faced with More-Ripe-Whatever-Than-I-Know-What-To-Do-With I’m looking for options my family might just eat and dessert is always a winner.  This recipe was inspired by Ina Garten’s Fresh Peach Cake.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a bundt pan.*

PEACHES:  Toss together and set aside…

  • a shy 1/2 peck bag of peaches, sliced
  • 1/4 cup flour

CINNAMON-SUGAR: Toss together and set aside…

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

CAKE:

  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream (you can substitute plain yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Cream the butter and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and vanilla, and mix until the batter is smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined.

Fold in the peach-flour mixture.

Spread half of the batter evenly in the pan and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Spread the remaining batter on top and marble by running a knife in a swirling motion through the batter.

Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let rest for 10 minutes and then de-Bundt.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

IMG_4191

* This cake can get sticky and may be difficult to remove from the pan cleanly.  If you’re counting on the picture perfect cake, make sure you butter and flour a non-stick bundt (I used a stoneware Bundt this time and some was left behind only to be pieced together and sprinkled with powdered sugar to help hide the cosmetic imperfection).  You can also butter, flour, and use parchment paper in two bread loaf pans and utilize the paper like a sling and to lift out the cake.  To make the cake less likely to stick, you can omit the cinnamon-sugar because when that caramelized goodness hits the pan it doesn’t want to let go.   Yet another option is to go  lighter on the peaches (the original recipe called for only three!) to provide the cake with greater structural stability.  Of course, you could always just cut and serve it directly from the cooking vessel, in which case I would use either a nonreactive (i.e. Pyrex or Corningware–type glass) loaf or 9×13″ pan.  Anyway, happy recipe tinkering!

Fresh Apricot Tart

Fresh apricots are available locally for a brief, but glorious season.  They shine in this European-style rustic tart or galette.

  • 1/2 recipe butter pie crust
  • generous 1/2 of a 1/4 peck bag fresh apricots, washed, pitted, and halved
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 bantam-sized egg, lightly scrambled
  • 1 Tbsp coarse sugar
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 Tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Toss the apricots, sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl.  Roll out the pie crust and transfer to a baking dish (I recommend using parchment paper or nonstick aluminum foil so the tart doesn’t stick).  Arrange the apricots on the crust and fold the edges around.  If the apricots are falling over and pushing the crust out, you can use toothpicks or skewers to hold it together while baking.  Use a pastry brush to coat the top of the pie crust with the egg.  Sprinkle the egg-washed crust with coarse sugar.  Bake for 60-70 minutes at 350F.

Allow tart to come to room temperature.  Mix apricot preserves with water to form a glaze.  Using a pastry brush, glaze the apricots with the preserves mixture.   Enjoy!

IMG_4132

Pickling my Share

You can pickle anything.

I think.

But I know you can pickle crunchy vegetables.  Chop up the veg and put them into a clean glass jar.  You can recycle an old tomato sauce jar if you have it.  Then boil the brine and pour it over them. Add boiling water to top (about 1 cup).  Experiment with cut up pieces of beetroot, kohlrabi, green beans, daikon radish, carrots, peppers, cauliflower, and of course, cucumbers.  They can be ready to eat by the next day.  They keep in the refrigerator for months and develop more of the pickling flavor with time.  This makes enough brine for 2-24oz. ball jars.

  • Pickling Veggies cut into pieces, slices, or sticks to your preference
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Spices (This can be dill fronds and dill seeds for classic flavors or spice it up with the addition of hot peppers or go crazy with some Indian curry… the sky is the limit, but try to use whole spices.  If you must use ground, reduce the amount to under a tsp and allow them to settle to the bottom of the jar.)

This time I used a red beet and a “candy cane” beet with a hot pepper brine in one jar (right).  The other jar (left) is a curried pickle containing a golden beet, a kohlrabi bulb, and a few pieces of the candy candy beet that didn’t fit in the first jar.

IMG_3810

Homemade Kimchi: Harnessing the Power of Lactic Acid Fermentation

It’s that time of year when the produce starts coming in so quickly that we need to find a way to extend its shelf life.  Lactic acid fermentation is used to preserve and flavor this kimchi.  The fermentation imparts a happy, bubbly, almost champagne-like burst in the mouth.  However, I must warn you… kimchi is, um, quite pungent.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since it’s really fermenting cabbage, garlic, and fish.  So intense is this aroma that husband has banned the unsealed product from our refrigerator.  Therefore we learned why Korean families have a dedicated kimchi refrigerator… marital bliss!  Fortunately, sealing it in glass jars does the trick to making everyone happy.
  • 2 heads Napa cabbage ( or 1 one head Napa and 1 head Bok Choy)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 20 garlic cloves, minced
  • 20 slices peeled fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 cup kochukaru (Korean chile powder)*
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 can anchovies, oil drained
  • 1/2 cup 1-inch pieces scallions (greens and whites)
  • 1/2 cup julienned carrots and/or daikon radish (optional)

* No kochukaru?  Me neither!  However much I like spicy, this is a perfect opportunity to dial down the intense fire.  Instead I used 1/2 c paprika and 1/4 crushed red pepper flakes.  I know, I’m totally getting wimpy on that authentic kimchi heat, but I’d like my family to actually eat some too.

Remove and wash the cabbage leaves.  Slice the leaves in half length wise.  Sprinkle with salt and toss.  Leave out to wilt on the counter for approximately 24 hours.

Once the cabbage is wilted, add the garlic, ginger, kochukaru or substitute, soy sauce, and anchovies to a food processor and process until it becomes a paste.  Toss the paste with the cabbage, scallions, and carrots.

For a more pungent flavor, allow this to ferment in a cool place (<68F) in your lactic fermentation crock for approximately 24 hours.  Otherwise pack it into sealed glass jars and store in the refrigerator.  The kimchi will be ready to eat in as little as 1 day or stored in the refrigerator for months.  The flavor changes over time as the lactic acid fermentation works its bubbly magic.

Ps.  This was an experiment using Momofuku’s Kimchi and the ingredient list on Mother in Law’s Kimchi, which is the best kimchi one can purchase at the market.

IMG_1751

%d bloggers like this: