Tag: leeks

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: 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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