Friday, May 30, 2014

Kale Pesto

Kale Pesto

This recipe is a winner.  Almost everyone loves kale chips ,right? Well, this recipe is the 2nd best sneaky food trick you can do with kale right next to making kale chips.  I add more garlic and salt to my version of this kale pesto.  I also double the recipe and use 2 bunches of kale. If you are going to dirty your food processor, may as well make some extra, right? 
This amazing recipe is from the farm of one of my favorite farm “characters,”  John Peterson of Angelic Organics.  If you haven’t seen it, you must see the vibrant and hilarious documentary, The Real Dirt on Farmer John.  And also, you should purchase the quirky, down to earth farm cookbook, Farmer John’s Cookbook, The Real Dirt on Vegetables. Every CSA member should have one!

Recipe is as follows…from Farmer John’s Cookbook, The Real Dirt on Vegetables
While your Italian grandmother might cringe at this being called a pesto, reassure her that this is just a contemporary spin on that classic dish and you will continue to also make it with basil and pine nuts.  But still, make this dish for her- she will certainly be won over.  This version of pesto is particularly good over roasted potatoes, but it works great over pasta, too.  You can freeze it, but if you do, don’t add the cheese; simply mix it in after the pesto has thawed, when you are ready to serve. Shareholder (adapted from the Seed Savers Calendar, 1998).

Kale Pesto
Makes about 1 cup

¼ cup                                chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon plus
½ teaspoon                        salt, divided
½ pound                            kale coarsely chopped (1 bunch)
2 cloves                             garlic
½ cup                                extra virgin olive oil
½ cup                                freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ½ ounces)
                                          Freshly ground  black pepper

1.        Toast the chopped walnuts in a dry, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat, stirring constantly, until they start to brown in spots and become fragrant.  (Be careful not to over toast them, as the will burn very quickly once they are toasted.) Immediately transfer the walnuts to a dish to cool.
2.       Bring two quarts of water to a boil.  Add 1 tablespoon salt, then add the kale.  Cook kale until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. (I only cooked the kale 5 minutes.)
3.       Put the garlic in a blender or food processor and pulse until minced.
4.       Add the walnuts and kale; pulse until well combined.  With the blender or food processor running, pour in the olive oil in a stead smooth pencil-thin stream.

5.       When the ingredients are thoroughly combined, transfer to a bowl.  Stir in the Parmesan, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper.  Serve hot or chilled.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What are the farmers doing?

1949 Allis Chalmers Model G. Different implements will mount on the belly of the tractor, so you can see exactly what you are doing underneath you.
William has rigged the tractor to lay biomulch.

The shiny black surface in the far field is the biomulch with squash and cucumbers planted in it.

Newly tilled field with bright green cover crop on left side and the layer hen house on the back left corner.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Seasonal Farm Recipes

~Veggie tips: Store your greens and head lettuce in plastic bags in your crisper drawer. 

Fettucine with Sausage and Kale
Recipe from Shiloh at Tumbling Shoals Farm in Wilkesboro, NC.  We both have stands at the Hickory Farmers’ Market, and she customers over for our ground Country or ground Italian sausage for this recipe!  She says this recipe is how she gets her farm customers “hooked” on kale!  It’s certainly an all-star vegetable in this awesome recipe!
Makes  4 servings
A quick hearty Italian dinner.  I prefer to use a whole wheat penne, but the fettuccine is always tasty!
    3 tablespoons olive oil                                       
    1 pound turkey or pork sausages, casings discarded and sausage crumbled
    1/2 pound kale =1 bunch, stems and center ribs discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
    1/2 pound or less dried egg fettuccini pasta                  
    2/3 cup chicken broth                                         
    1 ounce finely grated pecorino romano cheese plus additional for serving
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook sausage, chopping in quarter sized pieces with a spatula or spoon, 4-6 minutes.  Meanwhile, blanch kale in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, 5 minutes.  Remove kale with a large sieve and drain.  Return cooking water in pot to a boil, then cook pasta in boiling water, uncovered, until al dente.  Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander. While pasta cooks, add kale to sausage in skillet and saute, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 5 minutes.  Add broth, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then add pasta and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water to skillet, tossing until combined.  Stir in cheese and thin with additional cooking water if desired.  Serve immediately with additional cheese on the side.
Gourmet, March 2006

Tangy Honey Dill Salad dressing

½ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup good grainy Dijon mustard
2-6 cloves garlic (depending on personal tastes)
½ tsp salt
5-6 grinds black pepper
1 bunch dill, stems removed
2 tablespoons honey
 1 cup extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil

Combine the vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, dill, and honey in a food processor.  
Start the machine and, with the motor running, gradually drizzle in the oil.

Beans 'n Greens Burritos w/ Chorizo
slightly adapted from the Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman
yield: ~8-10 burritos (depending on size of tortilla)

8-10 homemade whole wheat tortillas 
*see recipe below, or store bought
2 Tbs. olive oil
½ lb. fresh,
~1 Tbs. minced garlic
~1 Tbs. chipotle chile powder or chile powder
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
~1 lb. kale, roughly chopped
2 c. cooked or canned black beans, drained, liquid reserved
½ c. crumbled queso fresco (we just use chedder or Monterey jack)
Pico de Gallo, for serving

Heat the oven to 350° F. Stack tortillas and roll them up in a sheet of foil.  Place them in the oven to warm while you cook the filling.

Place oil in a large, cast-iron skillet over medium heat.  When it's hot, add the chorizo and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until it is cooked through.  If the pan is very dry (which is more likely with homemade chorizo than storebought), add a bit more oil.  Add garlic and onion and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until they are soft.  Sprinkle in chile powder, a bit of salt and pepper, and then add kale.  Cook, stirring from time to time until it wilts and releases liquid, ~5 minutes.  Stir in the black beans, mashing a bit with a fork or potato masher, adding a bit of the reserved bean liquid if mixture seems too dry.

To roll each burrito, lay a tortilla on a flat surface and divide the filling mixture evenly among the tortillas (amount you get will depend on size of tortilla) on the third closest to you.  Sprinkle on cheese.  Fold tortilla over from bottom to cover filling, then fold in the sides to fully enclose them; finish rolling and put burrito seam side down on  a plate.  Serve with pico de gallo on side.

Braised Swiss Chard with Asiago
This is a yummy Swiss Chard idea for quick and easy garden fresh cooking.    Try playing around with the favors however you may imagine it!
·         1 clove garlic, minced
·         1 medium onion, diced
·         1 bunch Swiss Chard, stems and leaves separated.
·         Lemon juice
·         Asiago, Parmesan, or Romano cheese
1.     Dice upper half of stems (you may also dice the entire length of the stem for stronger flavor).  Roughly chop the leaves into 1-2 inch pieces. 
2.    Sauté 1 clove garlic, 1 diced onion, and diced chard stems over medium low heat in 3 tablespoons olive oil for 5 minutes.
3.    Add ¼ cup of water and chopped chard leaves. Cover and lightly steam in the pan until the leaves are tender and still bright green, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4.    Uncover, add a dash of lemon juice.  Grate your aged cheese of choice and toss over your favorite carb like fettuccine, cous cous, quinoa etc…

Tip: Feel free to run wild with the flavors based on what is in season in the garden! Add some dice zucchini or summer squash,  more garlic, fresh oregano, and perhaps little cherry tomatoes cut in half. 

Radishes, Arugula, Broccoli, Oh My!

Field of kale and broccoli; it's a jungle out there!
Wahoo! We gambled and we got nice spring broccoli. 

World's best lettuce...buttercrunch

Beautiful annual rye cover crop with future cucumber bed

Curly kale. Love this stuff.

Swiss chard, aka Rainbow chard

These glowing beauties are French. French Breakfast radish that is.

Arugula...usually we say "A-rooooogula" around here. You know, just for fun.

Kick back time.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Wow. The vegetables have grown about 6 inches in 3 days. We had a beautiful first harvest today!

Chives (Garlic and Round)

Farm Flavor for your Kitchen:
 Sprinkle chopped herbs over your salad or into a sauteed dish. Dill and cilantro will spice up your life. Kale, arugula, and radishes have been harvested and are ready to go home with you! Take a spring harvest home with you and make a spring salad of arugula, dill, marinated radishes, and chopped boiled eggs.

Saute' some Sweet Italian sausage and kale for my favorite farm flavors. Or try a Mexican skillet with sauteed kale, chorizo, and black beans with chopped cilantro over it.

Support your local farmers! You get flavorful food from a trusted source, and in return you help us pay our rent and keep our lights on.  Our dedicated you!...keep us going every day, so we can continue being stewards of the land.