10/7 Farm Share Arrival

This week we received a great box: 1 butternut squash, Swiss chard, 4 apples, a bunch of arugula, a bunch of green leaf lettuce, 2 broccoli heads, a lot of little russet potatoes, and 2 leeks.

Happy (healthy) eating!


Farmhouse Butternut Squash Soup

It's that time of year: the temperature is cool, the boots get dusted off, the mums are out at the farmers' market, and produce changes from tomatoes and corn to squash and potatoes.  Fall time!!  And if you're in Boston right now, fall time means cool rainy weather, which puts me in the mood for soup more than anything else.

With two butternut squash to cook from our last Farm Share box, I decided  to make Butternut Squash soup one night.  Other than peeling these vegetables, which is not only time consuming but also a feat that puts me in fear of amputating a finger or hand every time I give it a go*, this recipe is easy and really delicious.  Without the bacon this dish would be vegan, so to those with an aversion to meat, don't let that deter you from using the recipe!  *Seriously, if anyone has a tip for how to peel a butternut squash more easily (and prior to roasting) please let me know!

This recipe was great because every produce item used (with the exception of the garlic) was from our Farm Share: the squash, carrots, and the apple.  Even the thyme was from our little window box garden!

And a tip: if you like to make soup or purées a lot and don't have a hand blender, I highly recommend one (we have the Cuisinart Smartstick Hand Blender).  It makes puréeing a breeze!  It's also a good alternative to a food processor (albeit a tiny one and only for chopping) if you live in a city and have an apartment where storage--specifically kitchen storage--is a challenge.

Farmhouse Butternut Squash Soup 
From Gourmet

4 bacon slices
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp. caraway seeds
2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 lbs. carrots, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
3 thyme sprigs
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
3 1/2 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 c. water
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar

Cook bacon in a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat until crisp.  Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.  

Add garlic and caraway seeds to fat in pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute.  Add squash, carrots, apple, thyme, bay leaves, broth, water, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper and boil, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.  Discard thyme and bay leaves.

Purée about 4 c. soup in a blender, in batches if necessary, until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids).  Or, if you have a hand blender like the one I mentioned before, just stick it in the pot and purée away!  Return to pot and season with salt, pepper, and vinegar.  Serve topped with crumbled bacon.

Sunday French Toast

A loaf of whole wheat bread from the farmers' market down the street with Farm Share apples and raspberries makes a great Sunday brunch meal!

Lazy Day French Toast

4 slices of bread
3 eggs
Splash of milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste)
(These ingredients yield enough batter for four pieces of relatively stale bread.  The more porous or "stale" the bread is, the more it will soak up the egg batter.  If the bread you use is fresher, this batter may cover a couple more pieces.)

Whisk together all ingredients.  Take each slice of bread, one by one, and dip into the egg batter, covering the slice liberally.  On medium heat, cook the slices on a large pan (I usually end up cooking one by one, but if you have a griddle you could do more!), flipping as frequently as necessary to cook the bread through while browning the outside without burning.


9/23 Farm Share Arrival

The week of September 23rd provided a great Farm Share: 4 green apples, 2 leeks, 2 butternut squash, 6 ears of corn, 4 yellow onions, salad mix, and collard greens.  

We forgot to pick up our box on September 30 (sad!) so this is the last delivery post until next week, but look for a few recipe additions!

Happy (healthy) eating!


Baked Farm Share Apples

Holy moly, check these out.  My husband wanted baked apples one night for dessert, so we grabbed a couple Farm Share apples and made this simple dish.  Preparation took about 8 minutes, then the apples were left in the oven around an hour and they came out looking like this:

Apple explosion!  But they were sooo good, light and fluffy and warm and subtly sweet.

Baked Apples with Toffee, Bourbon and Molasses
(from Bon Appétit)

6 7- to 8-oz. Golden Delicious apples (we used the red ones from our Farm Share, they were delicious!)
6 tbs. toffee bits (such as Skor) (we didn't have this, so it was omitted)
3 tbs. bourbon
3 tbs. unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. apple cider (we didn't have this either)
3 tbs. mild-flavored (light) molasses
1 tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.  Peel skin off top third of each apple.  Using small melon baller, scoop out stem and core, leaving bottom intact.  Stand apples in 11x7x2-inch baking dish.  Add 1/2 tbs. bourbon and 1/2 tbs. butter to cavity of each apple.  Whisk cider, molasses, sugar, and ginger in bowl; spoon over and around apples.  * I was lazy, so instead of doing this I put a little molasses in the cavity of the apples, topped them with brown sugar, and also sprinkled ginger on top.

Bake apples until tender, bating often with pan juices, about 1 hour 20 minutes.  Transfer apples to bowl.  Pour juices from dish into small saucepan.  Boil juices unti thick enough to coat spoon, about 6 minutes. Spoon sauce over apples.  Serve apples warm with vanilla cream.

Gorgeous Summer Tomatoes

I love tomatoes in the summer!  Look at these gorgeous specimens, yummmmy.  The first picture is a tomato from our Farm Share, the bottom is a couple heirloom tomatoes we picked up at the farmer's market that is down the street from us.  These were so delicious, and I just love the vibrant colors--vibrant colors to match the simply delicious vibrant flavor.

9/10 Farm Share Arrival

This was our first Farm Share pick up from our new location in Boston.  It's not as convenient as our previous set-up (we could walk to the pick up before, now we have to drive) and we pick up the share on a different day; so we're still getting used to the routine (e.g., we forgot to pick it up this week--so sad!)

On September 10 we had a great box: 4 ears of corn, two bell peppers (one red, one green/red hybrid, nice!), beets, 4 apples, 3 tomatoes, an eggplant, flat leaf parsley, carrots, rainbow Swiss chard, and red onions.


Salsa Verde (...y Rojo)

I LOVE tomatillos, and we received some in our Farm Share over the summer, but unfortunately in the middle of packing so I couldn't dedicate the cooking resources (spices and pots packed!) to make my favorite salsa verde. Instead I briefly simmered tomatillos with a couple red tomatoes and a red pepper in a pot to create an on-the-go salsa.  It was a good accompaniment to my dinner of callaloo, homemade tortillas, and eggs (can you tell we were using whatever was left in our fridge?)  A random dinner, to say the least; though it actually reminded me a lot of what my sister and I cooked a few times in her apartment in Jamaica (she was there for 2 years with Peace Corps).  I even threw on some Jamaican hot sauce she sent us.  With no AC in late August, I could close my eyes and feel like I was eating dinner with her in Jamaica.

Anyway, I did want to pass along a really great salsa verde recipe, though it's not what is depicted in the picture above.  Tomatillos are such fun little vegetables and salsa verde is just delicious.  This recipe is super easy to prepare and requires no cooking, but you can boil or roast your tomatillos to soften them (though not necessary).  I'm also a sucker for fresh lime and cumin, which I would add at the end of the preparation to taste.  If you're an onion fan, that would make a great addition to the recipe, too.  Enjoy!

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa
(From Gourmet)

1/2 lb small fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 large garlic clove
1 tbs. chopped fresh serrano chile with seeds, or to taste
2 tbs. chopped cilantro
2 tbs. water

Coarsely chop tomatillos, then purée with remaining salsa ingredients and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth.

8/25 Farm Share Arrival

On August 25, we received the following produce in our Farm Share box:

Basil, beets, salad greens (I think this bag was arugula), a baby watermelon (sugar baby), cucumber, 2 tomatoes, callaloo, and a green pepper.  

The watermelon was delicious, that thing was gone in 1 day!


Wheat Berry Salad with Currants - Update

Ages ago, I said I would post pictures of the Wheat Berry Salad once I prepared it.  Well, a long time later, here goes!

Aren't currants crazy?  They look like fish eggs; I had never cooked with them before.

The finished product.  You can find the recipe for this dish here.  It was a great summer dish, and it would also be great in the fall with some dried cranberries and apples!

Eggplant Caponata

My husband and I have realized we really don't enjoy eggplant.  The only time we did like a dish I prepared with eggplant was the Grilled Eggplant Stacks with Tomato and Feta; which I posted previously.  Sigh!  Despite our dislike, we keep giving it a shot, though lately I've given some eggplant away to people who (I hope!) enjoy it, which is as it should be.

Below is a recipe I tried in an effort to use a lot of eggplant we had.  I've had a dish very similar to this prepared by a friend who is a chef in Washington, D.C. and I couldn't eat enough of it.  However, I missed something when I made this--I think I should have added a little more sugar--so I was a little disappointed.  With some tweaking and practice, though, I think this would be really good.  The recipe itself got great reviews on Epicurious.com, so it may be user error (MY user error!).

The eggplant, finely chopped.

We also used Farm Share onion, celery, and parsley in this recipe!

The finished product.

Eggplant Caponata
From Gourmet, via Epicurious.com

1/4 c. olive oil
3 1/2 c. 1/4-inch dice unpeeled eggplant (about 1 1/4 lbs)
3/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/3 c. finely chopped celery
1/3 c. chopped pitted green olives
3 tbs. chopped drained bottled capers
1/4 c. red-wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbs. sugar, or to taste
3 tbs. golden raisins
3 tbs. pine nuts, toasted lightly
3 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch diced (about 1 c.)
1/4 c. finely chopped flat-leafed parsley leaves

In a heavy skillet heat 2 tbs. of the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking.  In it cook the eggplant, stirring, for 3-5 minutes, or until it is tender, and transfer it to a bowl.  To the skillet add the remaining 2 tbs. oil and cook the onion and celery over moderate heat, stirring, for 5 minutes.  Add the olives, the capers, the vinegar, the sugar, the raisins, the pine nuts, and the tomatoes and cook the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is cooked through and the celery is tender.  Transfer to the bowl.  Stir in the parsley and let the caponata cool.  Chill, covered, overnight.  Season the caponata with salt and pepper.

Serve on toasted baguette slices.

Pizza with Farm Share Tomatoes and Pesto (Pesto recipe!)

One of our favorite things to do with Farm Share produce is whip up a homemade pizza.  This margherita pizza, with tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, olive oil and pesto was made with Farm Share tomatoes and basil.  Fresh basil makes the best pesto! 

Basil Pesto (this makes a large quantity, so portion accordingly!)

4 garlic cloves
3/4 c. pine nuts (1/4 lb)
2 c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 c. grated Pecorino Romano
3 c. packed Italian basil leaves
1 1/2 c. packed bush basil leaves
1 c. loosely packed fresh lemon basil leaves
2 c. packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
5 tbs. olive oil
* Who has this variety of basil on-hand?!  We used one variety--what we received from our Farm Share--and still very tasty!

Pulse garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, then add nuts, cheeses, a large handful of herbs, and 1 tsp. pepper and process until chopped.  Add remaining herbs one handful at a time, pulsing after each addition, until finely chopped.  With motor running, add oil and blend until incorporated.

8/18 Farm Share Arrival

I am WAY behind on posting and I apologize that the next several posts will be retrospective updates.  My husband and I, after a busy summer of weddings and out of town trips, unexpectedly found out we had to move.  Apartment searching consumed all free time; which meant blog posting and recipe-searching was somewhat put on hold.  We are now settled into a new apartment, and I finally have some semblance of a regular schedule and have just this week gotten back to some cooking!  In the next couple weeks I will update the blog more, but I'm also winding things down on the blog permanently, I think.  More to come on that later.  On to the point of the blog, the Farm Share.

This Farm Share arrival dates back to mid-August.

In this week's share, we received three Japanese eggplant, two green bell peppers, three tomatoes, two lemon cucumbers, a huge bag of green beans, a cantaloupe, collard greens, and an avocado.

I hope you've enjoyed several weeks of happy (healthy) eating!


Wheat Berry Salad with Currants

I have had this post in my "drafts" folder for a week or so now, and I apologize.  After we received currants last week and wheat berries a couple weeks before, I remembered a recipe I previously posted for a Wheat Berry Salad a friend gave to me.  I'm waiting for a chance to go buy peaches and sunflower seeds--and as soon as I do I will cook up this salad, take photos, and add the pictures to this post.  In the meantime, please enjoy this recipe if you find yourself with currants and wheat berries and are looking for a way to use them.  Sounds so good!

Wheat Berry Salad
(Recipe compliments of one of my best friends.  This would be a great addition to a green lettuce salad.)

1.5 c. wheat berries
4-5 scallions, chopped
1 c. chopped peaches (substitute apples in the Fall/Winter)
1/2 c. currants
1/4 c. toasted sunflower seeds
Juice of 1 lime
3 tbs. sesame oil

Cook wheat berries, then in large bowl, combine cooked berries with scallions, apples, currants, and toasted sunflower seeds.  Toss with lime juice, toasted sesame oil, and pinch of salt.  Serve room temperature or chilled.

Cooking Wheat Berries
(These directions are for 3/4 c. wheat berries.)

Place wheat berries in heavy medium saucepan.  Add enough cold water to saucepan to cover wheat berries by 3 inches.  Let stand overnight.  Drain.

Bring 4 c. water, wheat berries and 3/4 tsp. salt to boil in same saucepan.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until wheat berries are tender but still slightly firm to bite, about 1 hour.  Drain.

8/11 Farm Share Arrival

This week's Farm Share arrival was spectacular!  While I didn't have time to set up my weekly picture like I usually do, I did take some snapshots of a few produce items I was really excited about.

This week we received: a CANTALOUPE (one of my all-time favorite fruits), tomatillos (green salsa here we come!!!--another fave), a beautiful bunch of basil, our first large tomatoes of the season (!!), celery, green peppers, shallots, zucchini, corn, cucumber, and green leaf lettuce.

We used this basil tonight in a pesto my husband made for pizza.  Enough was left over to use later this weekend.

We also used tomatoes tonight on the pizza; they were wonderful, so flavorful!

A wonderful box!  Happy (healthy) eating!

Chicken Salads

Summertime!  And really, you crave particular things in the summer that aren't the same at other times of the year.  Like watermelon, mojitos, berries, and for me--chicken salad.

I was really craving chicken salad this week, so after boiling a whole chicken and pulling the meat off the bone myself (side note: this was a big step for me.  I'm generally not a chicken fan, so getting my hands deep in that mess was an indication of how dedicated I was to satiating my craving) I made two different kinds: (1) Chicken-Walnut Salad with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives and (2) Curried Chicken Salad.  The former used celery and parsley from our Farm Share. 

Chicken-Walnut Salad with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives
Bon Appétit

4 deli-roasted chicken breast halves, skinned, boned, meat diced (or, 1/2 chicken)
1 c. sliced celery with leaves
1/2 c. walnuts, toasted, chopped
4 tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 tbs. fresh lemon juice
12 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 c. pitted Kalamata olives, halved
3 tbs. chopped fresh parsley

Mix all ingredients together in bowl and serve over a bed of (Farm Share) lettuce.

Curried Chicken Salad
(Modified from Gourmet)

1 tbs. minced peeled ginger
1 tbs. curry powder, plus more to taste
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 c. plain yogurt
2 tbs cilantro
1/2 chicken
1 c. red grapes, halved
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted

Mix all ingredients together in bowl and serve over a bed of (Farm Share) lettuce.

8/4 Farm Share Arrival

Here is our beautiful Farm Share box from LAST week.  I forgot to take a picture of this week's box, but I'll post another entry with details of its contents (it was a wonderful box!).

Last weeks box came with 2 beautiful green peppers, a large head of red leaf lettuce, a bunch of red kale, three summer squash, a box of currants, a HUGE eggplant, four lemon cucumbers, parsley, and celery.

As a side note, I've really enjoyed the lemon cucumbers.  They make a perfect snack sliced up.

Until next time, happy (healthy) eating!!

Roasted Summer Vegetables

With the ABUNDANCE of Farm Share vegetables we have gotten in recent boxes and little time we've had in the kitchen lately, I'v been at a loss at times to get through all that we have.  Not a problem, especially when I have friends to give some produce to, like my BF who loves beets (and I love giving them to her!)

A couple weeks ago we had a ton of summer squash, Patty Pan squash, zucchini, potatoes, and a couple carrots I really wanted to use.  So, I simply cut them all on the bias, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices, tossed them in olive oil and and pepper, and sprigs of thyme, and roasted them in the oven.

I set the oven to bake at about 400 and they roasted for I think about 45 minutes.  They came out still crunchy but just cooked enough to bring out the vegetables' sweetness.  A very easy, quick way to use a large amount of produce!  Roasted vegetables could stand alone as a meal (on a bed of couscous, perhaps?) or works wonderfully as a side (with grilled chicken or fish?).  Enjoy your veggies!


A little tagalong...

Why, hello there!  I suppose an example of why it is important to wash your greens well.  No worries, no bugs were harmed in the washing of this lettuce.  The little guy above was safely released into our 'wild' flower box garden.

Heirloom Tomatoes with Cucumber and Feta

I hit up a local Farmers' Market after work one day and found some really beautiful heirloom tomatoes.  Deep purple and red, they added a a punch of different color to an otherwise very simple tomato and cucumber salad.

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

2 cucumbers, sliced in quarters
2-3 tomatoes, diced
8-10 basil leaves, thinly sliced
Healthy serving of feta, crumbled 
Red wine vinegar, to taste (I would guess that I use almost 1/4 c. in this recipe)
Salt and pepper

Simply toss all ingredients in a large bowl and serve fresh.

Potato Salad with Apples

We continue to get a steady stream of potatoes over the summer months, but the last thing I feel like eating when it's hot outside (and you don't have AC) is a hot potato--boiled, scalloped, fried, or baked.

My husband mentioned a potato salad that had apples in it, and it sounded great to me.  So, I did a search for such a recipe and found this great one on Epicurious.  I made a lot of variations to this dish, so see my notes in italics below.  The reviews fared well for the original recipe, so I wanted to include it, too.

Potato Salad

6 large potatoes
1/2 tsp dill
1/2 c. French dressing made with cider vinegar plus 1/2 tsp dry mustard (I didn't have the dressing, so I used about 1/4 c. cider vinegar with dry mustard--worked really well!)
1/4 c. minced onion (raw onions don't agree with my tummy, so I omitted this)
2 apples (recipe calls for red, I used Granny Smith), unpeeled but cored and diced
1 c. diced celery
6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped (I didn't include this)
5 tbs. chopped parsley
1 1/2 c. mayonnaise  (I used only 1/2 c., then another 1 c. plain yogurt)
1/2 c. sour cream (I did not include this)
Salt and pepper

Cook the potatoes in their skins with the dill; peel and dice them and marinate them while still hot in the French dressing.  Add the onion and let stand until cold - at least an hour - while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.  Combine potato-onion mixture with remaining ingredients, including mayonnaise blended with sour cream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Beautiful Berries

These blueberries were from our Farm Share box a couple weeks ago.  They were so delicious...I just love summertime!

7/28 Farm Share Arrival

Last week we got a great box, including: a huge bunch of basil, 2 ears of corn, 1 head of beautiful green leaf lettuce, 1 bunch collard greens, cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, squash, beets, 3 Patty Pan squash, and a bag of wheat berries.  

We pick our our new Share tomorrow...time flies!  But we've made good use of what we got in this box so far.  Stay tuned!

Happy (healthy) eating!


Grilled Corn Tutorial

Alright--I'm going to share a little tip I found.  There's grilled corn, and then there's grilled corn.  I saw this technique last summer when I was searching for a way to cook corn, and I'm pretty sure I should credit this to Bobby Flay.  We all know this man knows grilling.

So many times when we are served grilled corn, it's great--has good flavor, gets the char marks from the grill, but it can be a little--I think the best word is--deflated.  No longer.  Follow these steps, and you will be sure to have perfect grilled corn that is plump and juicy.

Step 1: peel back husks of corn; do not remove them from the ear of the corn entirely.

Step 2: Once you reach the ear of the corn, remove the silk and discard.

Step 3: place the husks of the corn back over the ear of the corn so that it is covered  completely.  In a large pot of cold water, soak the husk-covered corn in water for at least 20 minutes.

Step 4: After the corn has soaked for at least 20 minutes, place the corn on a hot grill as-is, with the husks still covering the corn kernels.

Step 5: Cook corn for approximately 30-35 minutes over indirect heat, depending on the heat of the grill, until done.   

Step 6: Serve!  The corn should be so juicy and flavorful, you may not even want (or need) to serve it with butter, salt and pepper.


Quick-Cooked Callaloo

We received callaloo in our Farm Share a few weeks ago, and I wanted to cook it up a little differently than I've had served to me: slow cooked.  It's summer, it's hot, we don't have AC, so the less amount of time I can keep the oven on, the better.  This recipe was inspired by a Gourmet recipe for Brazilian Collard Greens (found on Epicurious.com and mentioned previously on my blog).

What I did was very simple: After rinsing the callaloo leaves and cutting off the stems at the base of the leaf, I rolled several leaves into a cigar and cut the leaves into thin strips.  In a large sauté pan I heated some olive oil and added three cloves of garlic, chopped.  I then added the chopped callaloo, added a touch of salt and pepper, and sautéed until they turned a bright green.  That was it!  And I was pleasantly surprised by the vibrant, non-bitter flavor of the callaloo.  We served this as a side with grilled chicken and corn.

Beautiful Raspberries!

When berries look this good you don't have to do anything with them!  We ate these fresh, tossed with other summer berries--an example of one of the many reasons I love the summer!

Grilled Panzanella Salad

WOW.  This meal was great!  Panzanella is an Italian dish that is popular in the summer months.  It consists of sliced bread and tomatoes,  flavored with basil, olive oil, and vinegar, and often salt and pepper.  The bread used should be a day to a week old; in other words, hardened and crunchy--what some people would consider "stale," which is why it's often known as the "leftover salad."

Oh, but it is delicious!  This is probably one of my husband's and my favorite summer meals using our Farm Share produce to-date.

Grilled Panzanella Salad

(serving 2)
Slices of Tuscan bread, thickly sliced
1 zucchini, thickly sliced
1-2 summer squash, thickly sliced
1-2 tomatoes, thickly sliced

1 shallot, finely chopped
About 1/4 c. olive oil
About 2-3 tbp red wine vinegar
(I don't use measurements very often when I throw things together, so you may want to add proportions of the dressing cautiously until you find the flavor you like best--the measurements above are estimates to what I used)

On hot grill, place bread, zucchini, and squash slices.  On cooler portions of the grill place the tomato slices.  Once all items begin to char and show grill marks, remove.  Rest bread slice on bottom of plate and top with grilled tomato, zucchini, and squash.  Drizzle dressing on top, and serve with chopped basil or oregano.

Summertime Pasta

So, I would not normally have used elbow macaroni for this pasta, but that's all we had!

To use some farm share produce, including zucchini, summer squash, and grape tomatoes, we sautéed some shrimp and produce in some olive oil and just a touch of salt and pepper.  Tossed with feta, chopped basil and pasta, we had a light, summer pasta that was delicious.


6/30 Farm Share Arrival

It has been AGES since I last blogged.  This summer has been one event after another...from out of town trips to hosting guests to juggling two internships to...finding out we have to move.  For those of you familiar with the Boston housing search, it is all consuming and frustrating.  But, after a couple months of looking (literally), we signed a lease today.  Back to normal life (except for that whole packing up and moving thing).  We hope we can continue our Farm Share membership in our new location--we're going to a completely different part of the city--so stay tuned to see if this might be the last season of the blog.  I would be sad!

Anyway, on to what is really important, our produce!

Here is the Farm Share from JUNE 30 (I know, almost a month later).  I have been really bad at taking pictures of our box lately, but I promise I'll try to get better!  I think one of the most interesting parts of being a Farm Share member is finding out what you get every week!

June 30 we received a head of red leaf lettuce, a bag of garlic scapes, 2 beets, kale, 2 cucumber, 3 summer squash and 2 zucchini, some russet potatoes and a huge head of cabbage.

Happy (healthy) eating!


Good Morning!

Bob's Red Mill buckwheat pancakes topped with Farm Share strawberries and blueberries (and peaches and blackberries).  A nice way to start the day!

Antibiotics in Animals Need Limits, F.D.A. Says

I want to pass along this is article from the NY Times that came out today; I think will be of interest to many blog readers.


An excerpt:

The F.D.A. released a policy document stating that agricultural uses of antibiotics should be limited to assuring animal health, and that veterinarians should be involved in the drugs’ uses.

While doing nothing to change the present oversight of antibiotics, the document is the first signal in years that the agency intends to rejoin the battle to crack down on agricultural uses of antibiotics that many infectious disease experts oppose.

And if you haven't watched Food, Inc. yet, watch it soon!

Collard Greens

The collard greens were gorgeous!

And so flavorful!  So, most Southerners think of slow cooked greens when they think of collards.  This is definitely how they are most often cooked, and for a just reason.  They cook slow in a stock that usually consists of ham hock; and the fatty, salty juices of the ham penetrate the often bitter leafy green.  While I have much respect for this method of cooking collards, I try to cook and eat food that is 1) easy (and quick) to prepare, 2) can be made with things readily available in my kitchen (I don't usually have ham hocks sitting around) and 3) is healthy.

So, here is my variation.  It turned out really well, and we ate our collards with smoked chicken my husband pulled off  the smoker that night.

Not-So-Slow-Cooked Collard Greens

4 small cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 bunch of collard greens, rinsed and chopped (stems removed)
1/2 c. chicken stock* (ours bought frozen from Dave's Fresh Pasta.  We keep in on hand in our freezer for occasions such as this)
3-4 tbs Olive oil

In a large pan or dutch oven, heat olive oil until it begins to smoke.  Add garlic and let cook until brown.  Remove garlic cloves from oil, or if you prefer a stronger garlic flavor, leave the garlic in the oil.

Add chopped collard greens to the olive oil and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Next add chicken stock, stir, and cover with lid.  Let cook until greens are tender, anywhere from 10-20 minutes.  The longer you cook them, the more they will soak up the flavor from the chicken stock.  Add freshly ground salt and pepper to taste.

* Real homemade chicken stock, not stock bought from a box or can in a grocery store, will add much more flavor to the greens.  If you can't make or find homemade stock, you might want to add a little more to the dish, e.g. sautéed onions, cayenne pepper, or bacon.

Another way to cook collards that I haven't experimented with sounds fantastic!

Brazilian Collard Greens
(from Gourmet)

1 1 /4 lb collard greens, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves halved lengthwise
3 garlic cloves
1 tbs olive oil

Stack half of collard leaves and roll into a cigar shape.  Cut crosswise in very thin strips (1/16 inch wide).  Repeat with remainder.

Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 3/4 tsp salt.  Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, 30 seconds.  Add collards with 1/4 tsp pepper and cook, tossing, until just tender and bright green, 3-4 minutes.

Huevos Rancheros

Mmm mm.  We are big breakfast eaters, and one of our favorite things to do on the weekend is cook up a delicious, healthy (but somewhat indulgent) breakfast.  My husband whipped up some huevos rancheros the other day, and they were fantastic!!

With our Farm Share potatoes, shallots, radishes, and tomatoes, we gladly welcomed Saturday morning and later watched the sad USA World Cup defeat on full, happy stomachs.


Huevos Rancheros
These eggs were served without some of the typical fixings that come with huevos rancheros (corn tortilla, black beans or refried beans, and salsa); but this modification used a lot of Farm Share produce and was spectacular!

My husband sautéed our red potatoes with shallots and red chili peppers (de-seeded).  He then added some sliced radishes to the potatoes.  Two fried eggs were served on top of the bed of potatoes, and the eggs were topped with a "salsa" of sliced grape tomatoes and avocado (for extra punch, mix a pinch or two of cayenne red pepper into the salsa).

In addition to the ingredients we used, black beans, red and green peppers, and onions would be delicious.


6/23 Farm Share Arrival

This week's Farm Share arrival seemed, well, a little lighter than previous boxes.  I suspect the transition from an "East Coast" share to a "Local" share is still working itself out, because I think we usually enjoy a few more produce items than we got this week.  But that's okay!  It's not really all about quantity, but quality, too.  And this box was a good one.

This week we received red leaf lettuce, collard greens, red potatoes, popcorn (!), parsely, local strawberries and grape tomatoes.  Let me tell you what, these collard greens were some of the best I've ever had!

Happy (healthy) eating!

6/16 Farm Share Arrival

A week behind!!

Last week we received a great Farm Share box: beautiful rainbow Swiss chard, radishes, chives, two heads of baby bok choy, Boston lettuce, grape tomatoes, and blueberries.

I don't have pictures of how we used the produce (a testament to that laziness I was talking about earlier); we mostly ate blueberries as-is (so delicious!) and the tomatoes on salads.  The bok choy we sautéed in a stir fry and I used my previous olive and lemon Swiss chard recipe to compliment a steak one night for dinner.  We're still enjoying our chives and radishes, but I have to be honest, I missed the dark leafy lettuce greens we usually get and didn't enjoy the Boston lettuce quite as much.  Good thing we got a great head of red leaf lettuce the next week!

Simple salad and Easter egg radishes

The other week we made a simple salad with baby arugula from our Farm Share.  This arugula was divine!  Peppery, spicy, and so good--no dressing required!

We also had a bunch of Easter egg radishes that we used for a recipe suggested by our Farm Share newsletter.

The recipe was simple: On toasted baguette slices, place thinly sliced radish pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  It was a nice addition to our salad; something a little different.  This would be a great (really simple and quick) appetizer for a dinner party!