Tag: garlic (page 1 of 2)

Recipe: Roasted Carrots and Greens

With our last week of this season’s CSA at hand and the holiday season just around the corner, I want to leave you with a simple recipe you could serve at your Thanksgiving dinner.  Or you could just make this tonight because it’s cozy and nourishing and pretty much perfect for a brisk fall night.

Start by placing a rectangular rimmed baking stone in the oven and preheating to 400 F.  If you don’t have a stone, use any rimmed baking sheet.

Next, scrub and trim 2 pounds of carrots (around 18 medium-sized carrots).  Quarter the carrots lengthwise and put them in a large bowl.  I use the Pampered Chef 8-cup batter bowl because it has a lid, which makes the next step easier.  And that next step is tossing those lovely carrot pieces with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  (As tempting as it may be, don’t add extra oil olive or the carrots won’t roast well!)

Place the carrots evenly onto the baking stone and lightly season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Roast for 20 minutes, then flip them, making sure to keep them evenly spaced (none on top of each other).  Roast for 10 more minutes.

While the carrots are roasting, prep the rest of your ingredients.  Chop 1/4 cup walnuts, mince 2 cloves of garlic, and roughly chop 3 cups of arugula/tat soi/mustard greens.  When the carrots are done with their initial roasting,  sprinkle with the garlic and walnuts and roast for 5-7 minutes more, until the nuts are toasted and the garlic tender.

Remove the stone from the oven, fold in the greens, and sprinkle the whole batch of goodness with 1/4 cider vinegar.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy! 

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Roasted Carrots with Greens
A perfect roasted vegetable side for Thanksgiving dinner.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds carrots, scrubbed and trimmed
  2. 1 T olive oil
  3. sea salt, to taste
  4. freshly ground pepper, to taste
  5. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  7. 3 cups arugula, tat soi, and/or mustard greens, stems removed and roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Place rimmed baking stone in oven and preheat to 400 F.
  2. Quarter carrots lengthwise. Place carrots in large bowl and toss with olive oil.
  3. Place carrots on baking sheet, making sure they're evenly spaced. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Roast carrots 20 minutes. Flip them over, then roast for 10 minutes more.
  5. Remove carrots from oven. Sprinkle evenly with garlic and walnuts. Roast 5-7 minutes, until nuts are toasted and garlic is tender.
  6. Remove from oven. Fold in greens, then sprinkle cider vinegar over the carrots.
  7. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens "Roasted Sweets and Greens"
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens "Roasted Sweets and Greens"
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/

Recipe: Orzo with Spinach and Garlic

 Trisha and Ryan Belstra have been farm members since our very first season back in 2010, back when we offered a summer CSA, which happened to be the summer Trisha and I were both pregnant with our second child.  Six years later, the Belstra’s are still farm members and our babies are no longer babies but still dear friends. Yay for farming and friendship!

This week Trisha’s sharing an easy weeknight recipe featuring comforting pasta and cooked spinach, although you could easily switch out the spinach for tat soi, radish tops, mustard greens, kale, or arugula for a spicier flavor in this delicious orzo recipe!

Here are the instructions from Trisha’s kitchen:

Hello, fellow farm members!  I’m Trisha Belstra and this is my family: Ryan, Nolan, Norah and Leah.

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We live in DeMotte and couldn’t feel more blessed to have the Perkins family as our friends.  What a delight it’s been to be apart of their farm also.  Fall is my absolute favorite season and being able to come pick up these fresh, beautiful vegetables each week during fall share time just makes it all the better!

I’m excited to share with you a quick comforting dinner or side dish–you get to choose.  There are a few different options with this recipe, which makes it nice depending on what you’re in the mood for.  Let’s get started.

Start by making your orzo according to the package directions.  You can use brown rice noodles for a gluten free version of this dish.  While your orzo is cooking, roughly chop 8 cups of spinach, then set aside.

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Next, roughly chop one to two leeks (white and light green part only) and mince two to three cloves of garlic. If you have a garlic press, you can use that instead of mincing to help speed up this quick dish all the more.

In a wok, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté your garlic and leeks on medium heat for a minute or two.  Add your chopped spinach and sauté for a few more minutes.

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Then add your drained orzo to the mix, pour in another tablespoon or so of olive oil, and season to taste with sea salt.  Stir until warmed. 

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Serve and top with Parmesan cheese to taste.  If you like things spicy like I do, try adding some crushed red pepper flakes too.

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Earlier I mentioned there a couple other options for this dish. Sometimes I add blackened Cajun chicken–just chicken breasts rubbed with Cajun seasoning, then slightly charred on the stovetop.  Or, if you’d like a saucier version, you can prepare an Alfredo sauce on the side.  I usually leave the sauce separate because we prefer the plainer version for lunch leftovers.

Here’s how to make the sauce.  In a medium saucepan melt 6 tablespoons of butter.  Once that is melted whisk in 6 tablespoons of flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.  Gradually pour in 4 cups of milk (whole is best but 2% works just fine too).  Bring to a boil and cook, stirring continually for two minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in 2/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.  Pour over your orzo dish if desired.  And again, if you like to heat it up, add some Cajun seasoning to this sauce.  Yu-um.  Our seasoning bottle has been ending up on the dinner table lately.  

I hope you enjoy this warm dish as much as our family does as this cold weather begins! 

Happy Fall, ya’ll! 🙂

 

Spinach with Orzo and Garlic
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 16 oz orzo, brown rice pasta, egg noodles, or rice
  2. 3 T olive oil
  3. 1-2 leeks, white and light green part only, roughly chopped
  4. 2-3 cloves large garlic, minced or pressed
  5. 8 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Cajun or red pepper flakes, optional
  8. Parmesan cheese to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook orzo according to package directions; drain.
  2. Heat a wok over medium heat. Add 1 T olive oil.
  3. Once the oil is hot, saute the garlic and leek for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach and saute 2 more minutes.
  5. Add the orzo. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season to taste with sea salt. Stir until warm.
  6. Serve immediately, topping each individual plate with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.
To vary this recipe, try one of these options
  1. Add blackened Cajun chicken.
  2. Add Alfredo sauce.
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/

Recipe: Leek, Shiitake, and Garlic Pizza

I’ve posted before about the Perkins’ Friday night pizza tradition, back when our family used to watch a movie together as we munched.  Sadly, movie nights have become a thing of the past.  Now we have Pizza and Pokemon nights.  That’s right, and since Dan and I didn’t play this as children, we go with the house rules made up by our 8-year-old and 6-year-old.  Therefore, now that Friday nights aren’t quite as relaxing as they used to be, I find it extremely important that I eat not just any pizza, but that I eat delicious pizza, where each bite provides brief moments of reprieve from my cluelessness about the Pokemon game and subsequent inability to truly win.  (What can I say, I grew up in a family of competitive board/card gaming!)

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I usually make myself a pizza with caramelized onions, sliced pears, and goat cheese, but since I didn’t have any pears, I decided to try something new.  After rummaging through the fridge, I found leeks and shiitake mushrooms–and I am so glad I did.

I started with the all-important step of preheating my oven with my pizza stone inside.  (Nothing worse when making pizza than discovering that yes, my oven is hot, but the stone’s still in the cupboard!)  Because I was using Udi’s gluten free pizza crust, which you can find in DeMotte at Tysens Family Market, I only heated my oven to 375 F.

About a half hour later, I heated 2 tablespoons of butter in my trusty small cast iron skillet over medium heat.  As the butter heated, I thinly sliced 2 leeks, thickly sliced 4 shiitake mushrooms, and minced 2 cloves of garlic (all produce from our farm!).  Once the butter was bubbling, I threw in the leeks, sauteing them for about 2 minutes.  Then I added the mushrooms, garlic, a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and sauteed for another minute.

At this point, I placed my Udi’s crust on the stone and baked it for 2 minutes on its own.  Then I pulled it out of the oven, brushed about 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil over the top, covered the crust with 3 ounces of sliced fresh mozzarella, and added my leek/garlic/shiitake toppings.  To finish it off, I sprinkled Parmesan, freshly ground pepper, and fleur de sel (thanks to farm member Anne Kingma for introducing me to this French sea salt!) over the top.  

I baked the pizza for 7 minutes, then broiled the top on high for about 2 minutes, checking on it every 30 seconds at the for the first minute, every 15 seconds for the second.

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Then, because Dan and our two youngest weren’t home yet, I waited.  Harper and I went out on what we call Perkins’ Mountain (compost covered with tarp in the field) and we wrapped ourselves in a blanket and watched the sunset.  Turns out sitting there with my son in the midst of so much beauty provided all the peace I needed to get me through another Friday night Pokemon battle.

Leek, Shiitake, and Garlic Pizza
Comforting and flavorful pizza.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Udi's gluten free pizza crust
  2. 2 T butter
  3. 2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
  4. 4 shiitake mushrooms, tops only, thickly sliced
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  7. 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  8. 3 ounces fresh mozzarella
  9. 1 T grated Parmesan
  10. freshly ground pepper, to taste
  11. fleur de sel, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place pizza stone in oven. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. While oven is heating, prepare ingredients. Once oven is at 375, wait about 30 minutes before baking pizza.
  3. Melt butter in cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once butter is bubbling, add leeks and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper and saute 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat.
  5. Place pizza crust on stone. Bake for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove crust and stone from oven. Brush crust with olive oil. Place cheese slices on top of crust. Cover cheese with leek/shiitake/garlic topping. Sprinkle Parmesan, pepper, and fleur de sel on top.
  7. Bake for 7 minutes, then broil on high for around 2 minutes, checking pizza every 30 seconds for first minute and every 15 second minute. Remove when cheese begins to brown.
  8. Enjoy!
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/

Recipe: Spinach and Swiss Omelette

“Eggs crack. Butter pops in a hot pan. Her father is telling an abridged story of their flight, train stations, fearful crowds, omitting the stop in Evreux, but soon all of Marie-Laure’s attention is absorbed by the smells blooming around her: egg, spinach, melting cheese.

An omelette arrives.  She positions her face over its steam . . . The eggs taste like clouds.  Like spun gold.”

That description, from the beautifully written novel All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, reveals the sound and taste of an omelette from the perspective of the blind protagonist Marie-Laure after she and her father flee Paris at the beginning of World War II.  They arrive starving at the home of a long-last relative, and they are fed one of the most basic, nourishing meals. 

Now while the omelette may be a culinary basic, I’d like to begin with this disclaimer–I’m not French and I’m definitely no Julia Child.  I know, I know, you already knew that, but I’ve followed Child’s directions in The Way to Cook and I still find it quite challenging to make a pretty-looking omelette.   And sometimes you don’t realize this until you’re trying to take a photograph of one for your farm blog.  But that’s okay!  The omelette provides such an easy way to eat your greens that I had to share.

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Begin with the freshest ingredients possible (you’re off to a great start with your Perkins’ Good Earth Farm spinach!). Make sure everything is absolutely, positively ready to go before you begin cooking.  The ingredients listed below are for a 1-serving two-egg omelette, so if you’re making this for more than just yourself, multiply ingredients accordingly.

  • Chop 1 ounce (about 1 cup) spinach.
  • Mince 1 clove Perkins’ Good Earth Farm garlic.
  • Shred 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup ) Swiss cheese.
  • Grind the pepper and sea salt.
  • Break two eggs into a bowl, add a teaspoon of water, and salt and pepper to taste.  Whisk just enough to blend it all together.
  • Cut two tablespoons of butter.

Heat your skillet over medium-high heat.  Child suggests using a no-stick 10-inch frying pan.  Since I don’t have one of those, I used my cast iron skillet, which is kind of awkward and heavy for making an omelette, but it works (sort of).

Heat one tablespoon of butter in the skillet.  Once it begins to bubble, throw in your greens and garlic and cook for about 20 seconds, just until the spinach is wilted.  Spoon the greens and garlic into a bowl and set aside.  (If you’re making this for a group, cook all your spinach and garlic at once.)

With my cast iron skillet, I leave the heat at medium-high.  If using the skillet recommended by Child, she says “to set the pan over highest heat.”  Add another tablespoon of butter, wait for it to bubble (Child–“Watch the butter carefully–when the foam begins to subside and the butter just begins to color”), pour the eggs into the middle of the skillet.

Now, for those of you who’ve never made an omelette, I’m just going to quote Child here for a bit, because, really, she explains this so well!

“At once shake and swirl the pan by its handle to distribute the eggs over the surface, then hold it still over heat for 2-3 seconds, to form a film of coagulated egg on the bottom of the pan.”

Quick break.  Here’s where you QUICKLY scatter the spinach, garlic, and Swiss cheese over the eggs.  Back to Child.

“Now, holding the pan by its handle, start jerking it toward you–thus throwing the egg mass against the far edge of the pan.”  (See why this is challenging in a cast-iron skillet?  I need to do more push-ups or planks or something.)  “Keep jerking roughly, gradually tilting the far edge of the pan over the heat as the omelette begins to roll over on itself.  Push any stray egg into the mass with a spatula, if necessary.  When nicely formed at the far edge, bang on the handle close the near edge with your left fist and the omelette will begin to curl at is far edge.”

Child has another set of instructions for getting the omelette onto your plate from the skillet, but I merely lifted it out with a spatula and put it on my plate next to a piece of toast slathered with homemade black-cap jam.  Done and yum.

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Note: If the whole omelette thing isn’t working out for you, no worries.  Simply lower the heat and turn all those ingredients into a delicious plate of scrambled eggs with spinach and Swiss.  Most of all, enjoy!

 

The Vinaigrette

When Dan and I got married, dear friends gave us a wedding gift of a wooden salad bowl and tongs, as well as several favorite salad and vinaigrette recipes.

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Eventually the tongs took on multiple uses, such as a drumstick for banging pots and pans when my boys were toddlers, and sadly, one day the tongs broke.  But we still use that wooden bowl for delicious salads, which, at their very core, consist of fresh greens and a vinaigrette.

The basis for every vinaigrette is three parts oil mixed with one part acid. The acid is usually a vinegar but can also be a citrus juice.  You can make any amount of dressing that you want and add all sorts of good stuff, but if you want the dressing to mix well and taste good, stick to an approximate 3:1 oil/acid ratio.  

How to choose your oil and vinegar?  1) Whatever tastes best to you!  2) Whatever complements your salad toppings. Here’s what I choose from most often:

OILS

  • olive
  • avocado
  • canola
  • sesame (in combination with olive or canola)

VINEGARS/CITRUS

  • balsamic vinegar
  • red wine vinegar
  • white wine vinegar
  • unseasoned rice vinegar
  • lemon juice

Combine your oil and vinegar in a jar or bottle, add a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and shake, shake, shake it! You’ve just made your own salad dressing. 

If you want to get a little more creative, here are some of my favorite ingredients to add, NOT all in the same dressing.

ADDITIONS

If you’ve never made your own dressing before, please don’t let all these lists intimidate you! Think of them as tools for unleashing your creative culinary genius on your next salad.  If you’d like specific recipes, here are a couple combinations I used in the past week.

For the single-serving salad I posted about on Monday, I made this:

Garlic Vinaigrette

  • 1 T avocado oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • one clove minced garlic

On Sunday I made a chopped spinach salad (8 oz spinach) with blue cheese, chopped Paula Red apples, and caramel corn.  (Yes, caramel corn.  What can I say–I ran out of pecans but had just opened a bag of Chicago style popcorn!)  We’ll call this a honey mustard vinaigrette because syrup mustard just doesn’t quite sound right.

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 1 T white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Rogers Golden Syrup (I ran out of honey.  Fortunately I had this cane syrup that, sadly, you can only purchase in Canada.  Thanks to my parents and Canadian relatives for keeping me stocked in this deliciousness!)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Note: My 8-year-old Harper declared this salad delicious and a little sour–I took that as an okay to make it again this week. 🙂

If you don’t use all your vinaigrette at once, it can be stored in the fridge for a week or longer, depending on your ingredients.  Make sure to shake it up again before using to mix together the oil and vinegar.

What’s your favorite vinaigrette?

Photography: Anne Kingma 

The Salad

Let’s talk about the most basic way to eat those leafy greens you’ll find nearly every week in your share: The Salad.

 Fresh greens and root crops make up the bulk of your fall share, and one of the great things about our greens is that they’re almost always harvested the morning of distribution, and if not the morning of, you’re getting them within just a a few days of harvest.  We’re talking serious freshness here, people.  Which makes them perfect for a leafy salad.

If you’re looking for something specific, try these fall salad recipes from the farm blog: Kale Salad with Apples and Figs , Chopped Salad with Asian GreensGreen with Maple Apples and Onions.

But this post is less about giving a specific recipe and more about giving you ideas for how to make a salad of whatever you have in the house, Waste-Free-Kitchen-yet-still-super-tasty-style.

The most basic salad is a simple side salad made up of about an ounce of fresh greens and tossed with your favorite dressing.  (Or, if you’re Farmer Dan, just greens.  For real!)

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1/4 oz serving for child / 1 oz serving for adult

We, however, often eat salad as our lunchtime meal, a time when we need more than greens to power through the rest of the day.  In this case, I like to top 2-3 ounces of greens with some combination of the following:

Savory Salad

fresh veggies, chopped or grated (peppers, cucumbers, beets, radishes)

cheese, grated or cubed (cheddar, havarti, pepper jack, mozzarella)

beans (garbanzo, black, kidney, pinto)

meat (usually leftovers from the night before)

hard-boiled egg, chopped

fresh herbs, chopped (thyme, oregano, basil)

tortilla chips, crumbled

dressing (sometimes store-bought; sometimes a quick, homemade-for-one vinaigrette)

Sweet Salad

fresh fruit, chopped or sliced (apples, pears, strawberries, grapes)

cheese (Brie, cheddar, Camembert, blue cheese, gouda)

caramelized onions and garlic

nuts, chopped (pecans, walnuts, almonds)

dressing, like poppyseed or a honey-mustard vinaigrette

Here we go.  I’m going to make a salad here and now out of whatever’s in my fridge, pantry and garden, and show you what I come up with.  Be right back!

This is what I came up with:

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A little bit of this, a little bit of that: pepperoni, cucumbers, hard-boiled egg, brick cheese, green onions, olives, red-wine vinegar/avocado oil/garlic vinaigrette

I used salad greens but you can use any type of green for your base–spinach, kale, mustard greens, tat soi, bok choy, beet greens–any kind of green!  Each one will give your salad a slightly different taste and texture–yay for culinary adventures!

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Later this week we’ll talk more about vinagraittes, the quick-and-easy salad dressing you can make in less than five minutes and that can truly make or break your salad’s flavor.

What are your favorite salad toppings?

Recipe: Fresh Mozzarella with Garlic, Tomato, Basil Sauce

Years ago, one of my favorite high school teachers, Mary Lagerwey, handed me the recipe below because she knew I liked (loved, really) basil.  

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This recipe’s seen a lot of love.

I’ve made this recipe for the past 15 years since then, with a few changes.  After having children, I cut way back on the red pepper flakes, sometimes eliminating them altogether.  If I forgot to seed the parsley on time, we’d go without.   And in an unexpected (at least for me) turn of events, I became a garlic farmer, and this dish became flavorful in a way I never thought possible.  

Then, this year, I saw fresh mozzarella in the store and for some unknown reason I was brought back to my time with Dan in Italy eating fresh cheese and tomatoes and basil right off the street and I wanted that again.  Since a return trip to Italy isn’t in the budget (goodness, it was barely in the budget then–we were eating on the street!), I decided to use the tried and true tomato and fresh basil sauce from from Mrs. Lagerwey, bringing a little bit of Italy to our Indiana table.  And the dish turned out to be delizioso–perfetto–gustoso! (That’s all I’ve got.)

Start with your tomatoes.  I know the summer garden season is almost over, but you should still be able to nab a pound of ripe, juicy tomatoes from your garden or farmer’s market.  I like to use a variety of colors–red, yellow, Green Zebra green–for beauty and flavor.  Cut out the cores and seeds, toss them in the compost bucket, and chop the meat of the tomatoes into 1-inch pieces.  Set aside the chopped tomatoes in a bowl.

Next comes the garlic!  If you haven’t purchased any of our garlic yet, now’s the time to do so.  (Yes, that was a shameless plug. For real though, the fresher your ingredients, the better this dish will taste.) Mince 3-4 cloves of garlic, then toss it on top of the tomatoes.

Now for the herbs.  I used to be very particular about tearing my basil because long ago I read in one my herb books that cutting the leaves discolors them.  I used to follow such directions.  Three kids and vegetable farm later, I chop them quick as can be with my trusty chef’s knife.  So chop (or tear) one cup of loosely packed basil leaves and a half cup fresh parsley, then toss the chopped herbs onto the garlic and tomatoes.  

Add a half cup of olive oil, a pinch of red pepper flakes (or more, depending on your audience), 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a decent amount of freshly ground pepper, and a half cup of freshly grated Parmesan to the tomato/garlic/herbs.  Toss this all together and let marinate for at least a half an hour, but preferably longer (if you can wait that long to eat this!).

When you’re ready to eat, slice a pound of fresh mozzarella, then lay the slices on a platter.  (I used to make my own mozzarella, but now–yes, three kids and a vegetable farm later–I buy it at Costco.)  Pour that lovely tomato-garlic-basil sauce over the tomatoes,  and sprinkle another quarter cup of freshly grated Parmesan over the top.  You can serve this with pasta, crackers or crusty bread, or we like to eat it as is.  Whatever you decide, enjoy!

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Fresh Mozzarella with Garlic, Tomato, Basil Sauce
A delightful summer salad perfect for a quick dinner or party dish.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ripe tomatoes
  2. 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  4. 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  5. 1/2 cup olive oil
  6. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  9. 3/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
  10. 1 pound fresh mozzarella
Instructions
  1. Remove cores and seeds from tomatoes. Chop the remaining tomato into 1-inch pieces. Set aside chopped tomatoes in a bowl.
  2. Add garlic, basil, and parsley to chopped tomatoes.
  3. Add red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup Parmesan to tomatoes. Toss ingredients together.
  4. Let marinate for a minimum of 1/2 hour, preferably 2 hours.
  5. Right before eating, slice 1 pound of fresh mozzarella. Arrange slices on platter.
  6. Pour garlic-tomato-basil sauce over mozzarella. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  7. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Optional: Serve with pasta, crackers, or crusty bread.
Adapted from Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin
Adapted from Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/

Recipe: Garlic Tea

It’s back to school time here at the Perkins’ household and you know what that means?  Besides the standard earlier bedtimes, new spelling lists, and tales of ball tag, we’re also saying hello to the annual influx of unwelcome germs encountered in the classroom and late summer ragweed pollen blowing in the wind.  Sneezing abounds.  Eyes tear up.  Noses run.   You get the picture.

To combat this miserableness, we eat our veggies and limit sugar intake, take fish oil and drink green smoothies.  And we also drink a little something we like to call “Garlic Tea.”

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Dan introduced me to this simple drink of garlic and hot water years ago, and at first I tried quashing the flavor by combining the garlic with a tea bag (Passion Garlic tea, anyone?) or adding honey.  Eventually, however, I surrendered myself to what I now consider a savory drink (kind of like choosing a Bloody Mary over a margarita, maybe?  Speaking of, anyone know of a garlic-infused cocktail?)

For real though, when I start to feel those cold symptoms coming on, I drink cup after cup of garlic tea.  I also try to rest, but that’s much more challenging.  I’m not alone in using garlic to combat colds.  University of Maryland Medical Center reports the following:

Early evidence suggests garlic may help prevent colds. In one study, people took either garlic supplements or placebo for 12 weeks during cold season, between November and February. Those who took garlic had fewer colds than those who took placebo. And when they did get a cold, the people taking garlic saw their symptoms go away faster than those who took placebo.

Even if you don’t have a cold coming on, there are plenty of other reasons to drink garlic tea, as Cooking Detective lists in their post 39 Health Benefits of Garlic: Plus Nutritional Benefits of Garlic. 

From Farmer Dan: Hardneck garlic is higher in the allicin or organosulphur compounds; this is the actual compound you smell in “garlic breath”.  Allicin has significant antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiprotozoal activity.  To solve the garlic breath problem, either have everyone drink and eat garlic OR chew parsley or fennel seeds right after having garlic–no more garlic breath.  Gum helps too!

Isn’t a worth a try, friends?  All you have to do is crush 1 clove Perkins’ Good Earth Farm garlic with the base of a knife.  Peel the clove, place it in your favorite (or perhaps garlic-designated?) tea cup, and cover with 8 ounces hot water.  Let the drink steep for 5 minutes before drinking.  Enjoy!

 

 

Spring at Perkins’ Good Earth Farm

What’s growing in you garden?  Even though we’re taking the spring off from selling produce, we’re still growing a small garden for ourselves and enjoying our perennial produce.

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Chives

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Bed of greens

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Garlic Field

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First time growing shallots – we’ll see how it goes!

 

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I reminded Asher NOT to pick these lovely white flowers, at least if he wanted strawberries in the near future. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Recipe: White Chili with Leeks, Fall Roots, and Kale

Leeks are a new item in the share this fall, and one of those lovely, sort-of-strange-looking fall veggies that you may or may not find in the grocery store on a given day.  A member of the Allium genus, leeks often play a role similar to that of the onion, but offer a more subtle flavor as they don’t have the sugars that onions do.

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Our hope was to provide a few weeks worth of leeks this fall, but instead we’ll have a small amount for only one week, and here’s why.  This summer, when our leek transplants arrived from our certified organic supplier out east, about three-quarters of the transplants had fallen out of the tray and died in transit.  Our supplier refunded our expenses, but it was too late in the season to plant more.  So, as my 5-year-old would say, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit!”  Really, though, this experience exemplifies what it means to be part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) rather than purchasing your produce from the grocery store or even a farmer’s market.  We—the farm members and farmers—share in the risks and rewards of the farm.  In this case, we take the small number of leeks and divide them equally among members.  Other weeks this fall, we’ve distributed a surplus of spinach and radishes and offered pick-your-own of abundant field greens such as kale, Swiss chard, and collards.

Alright, back to the leeks.  How do you actually use one?  BonAppetit.com presents twelve different ways, and Deborah Madison offers several recipes in her book Vegetable Literacy, including a surprising and refreshing salad, “Young Leeks with Oranges and Pistachios.”  For this week’s recipe, I made a few variations to Bon Appetit’s white chili recipe because it’s fall and nothing says fall to me quite like a steaming bowl of chili paired with a thick slice of cornbread.

A couple notes on prepping the leeks.  First, make sure you thoroughly rinse your leeks—even though we’ve washed them after harvest, they have many layers and may still hide some dirt or sand. 

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Second, most recipes call for using only the white and pale green part of the leek, getting rid of the roots and upper greens.  However, these “throwaway” parts can be used along with or in place of onions to flavor a vegetable stock.  

Whether you decide to eat your leeks raw as a baked potato topping, or gently sautéed and paired with goat cheese, or in this chili recipe below, I hope you enjoy the delicate flavor that the leek offers to your meal.

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Begin by prepping your veggies.  Grab the leeks and cut away the roots and most of the greens, then dice the white and about 1 inch of the pale green part.  Mince four garlic cloves, add these to the leeks and set aside until your other veggies are prepped.

Peel four medium-sized carrots, or, if these carrots are from your share, feel free to skip the peeling stage (I never peel our carrots from the farm).  Then slice them into ½ inch rounds.  Peel three medium or two large parsnips, cut them in half, and chop them into ½ inch pieces.  One more root to go!  Grab five radishes and cut them into quarters (or eighths, depending on their size)—make them about the same size as your chopped carrots and parsnips.  Set this group of veggies to the side.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  When the fats are sizzling, add the leeks and garlic and cook for about five minutes.

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Dice about 2 teaspoons (4 sprigs) of fresh oregano, and measure out 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon chili powder. 

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Add your seasonings, along with two teaspoons of salt, to the pot, and stir for about one minute.  Then add the chopped carrots, parsnips, and radishes, stir well, and cook for five more minutes.

Next, it’s time to add your protein.  Rinse 15 ounces (1 can) of Great Northern beans, then add these to the pot.  Pour in 3 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you’d prefer a vegetarian soup—next time you make this you can use homemade stock flavored with leeks!).  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer, partially cover, and cook for 25 minutes, until the roots are tender and the flavors melded.

While the soup is cooking, prep one more veggie—your greens, of course!  Roughly chop about two cups of kale, spinach, radish tops, or whatever green you prefer—I used Lacinato (dinosaur) kale. At the very end of your cooking time, toss the greens in the pot and let cook for a few minutes more.  The last step is to take a little taste and add more salt if needed.

Serve topped with crème fraîche or grated Gruyère.   Enjoy!

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Scroll down for the printable of this recipe.  What veggies do you like to use in your chili?

Photography and Food Styling: Julie Oudman Perkins

White Chili with Leeks, Fall Roots, and Kale
A comforting, seasonal, fall chili.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 Tbsp butter
  3. 2 leeks, white and 1' of pale-green part, diced
  4. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 4 medium carrots, peeled, sliced into ½” rounds
  6. 2 large or 3 medium parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, and chopped into ½” pieces
  7. 5 radishes, quartered
  8. 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  9. 1 tsp cumin
  10. 1 tsp chili powder
  11. 2 tsp salt
  12. 15 oz can Great Northern beans, rinsed
  13. 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  14. 2 cups kale, spinach, or radish tops, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat oil and butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat.
  2. Add leeks and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add oregano, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add carrots, parsnips, and radishes; stir to coat. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add beans and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.
  6. Add kale and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt, to taste.
  7. Serve topped with crème fraîche or grated Gruyère.
Adapted from White Bean Chili with Winter Vegetables by Sarah Dickerman
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/
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