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Weekly Produce, Recipes & Ideas

August 10, 2009heirloomTomatoes

Lots of tomatoes this week! We are hitting peak season. So make a sauce, put some in a salad, roast the baby heirlooms and toss with pasta. Or just eat them all raw with salt like I do!

The tomatoes that you find in the stores are bred on a 20,000-acre mega farm. They are picket before they are ripe; they are shipped in from Mexico and Florida. The tomato heads by truck to a packing plant, where it receives a disinfecting chlorinated bath, a cool down (a mature green tomato can chill for two weeks at 58 degrees Fahrenheit without any noticeable consequences), and a stay in the ripening room, a chamber filled with ethylene gas, which turns tomatoes the desired red shade.

The tomatoes in YOUR basket are grown on a 20-acre organic farm in Santa Ynez Valley called Finley Farms, by a young couple Christopher and Johanna. They are passionate about beautiful, tasty vegetables. The tomato plants are planted from seeds, they grow in the sun, and when the tomatoes are ripe they are picked.

Your Produce

Bi-Colored Corn - a very sweet variety. Roast on the grill in the husk, season with chili and lime. Cut corn off the cob raw and toss into salads. Cut corn off the Cobb and sauté with other veggies. Great also in salsas.
Candy Onions - sweet variety of onion
Music Garlic
Red Butter Lettuce
Sugar Baby Watermelons Melons
- quick fact: watermelons that have seeds are much tastier than seedless, because the seedless have been so cross bred.
Purple Bell Peppers - use like any other bell pepper. They will turn green when used in cooking
Mixed Pink Grape, Purple Cherry and Chelsea Tomatoes - a mix of baby heirlooms. A great way to use these little tomatoes is to roast them on a baking sheet with some garlic and onions, and then toss into pasta.
Amana Orange Tomatoes or Big White Pink Stripe Tomatoes
German Striped Tomatoes
- Bi-colored, red and yellow with ribbed shoulders.
Strawberries or Raspberries - Finley Farms does not have enough to harvest enough of one thing for each basket, so you will get one or the other. They are both really great!
Nectarines
Black Grapes
- sweet and lovely. Try them in a savory salad. At the restaurant we do a summer chicken salad with grapes and walnuts.
Pluots - a cross between a plum and an apricot. Probably my favorite stone fruit.
Mixed Calliope and Black Bell Baby Eggplant - I am a giant fan of these little eggplants. They are so versatile. I sauté them and toss them into pasta and over rice, or into a salad. Today I made a baba ganoush with them.
Cantaloupe
Russian Banana Fingerlings

**Large Baskets Only**
Brown Turkey Figs
Chili Peppers
Strawberries and Raspberries


Recipes & Ideas

Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

This is a loose recipe. So you can play around with different herbs.

1-pint cherry tomatoes
2 tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbs fresh chopped thyme

1. Pre heat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Cut tomatoes in half and put them skin side down on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, minced garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper and thyme.

3. Roast until they are wilted and shriveled looking. About 2 ½ hours.

Ten Tomato Ideas (besides the obvious sauces):
1.Tomato Frittata
2.Scramble them into eggs
3.Spread olive tampanade and ricotta cheese onto toasted baguette and top with tomato slices and olive oil
4. Slice onto pizza
5. Dice and sprinkle on top of creamy polenta then drizzle with olive oil and basil
6. Make fresh Bloody Marys
7. Roast cherry tomatoes to top fish.
8. Make a tomato and corn salsa and top grilled skirt steak
9. Make a tomato chutney
10. Make Chow Chow

Seven Days of Summer Dinners
1. Linguine with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Parmesan and Garlic
2. Eggplant Parmesan with a Red Butter Leaf Salad topped with Grilled Peaches
3. Farmers Market Salad with Red Butter Lettuce, Fresh Corn, Tomatoes and Grilled Chicken Breast with a Balsamic Vinaigrette
4. Bell Peppers Stuffed with Lentils, Tomatoes, Rice, Feta Cheese and Almonds and an Heirloom Tomato and Bread Salad
5. Pizza with Homemade Tomato Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella and Kalamata Olives
6. Melon with Proscuitto, Cheeses with Grapes, Crusty Bread, Pluots, Pates
7. Grilled Fish Topped with Corn and Tomato Salsa and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

 
 
August 3, 2009blueberries
There has been quite a lot of talk lately about organics being no better for you than conventionally grown, pesticide sprayed produce. Below is a great article about a study on this subject misleading the public. If you think about it, the overly subsidized farming industry has everything to lose by small, sustainable farms becoming more and more popular.
 

Huffington post article: in defense of organics
Read all about it...


 

You might have already figured out that these produce baskets are my passion. I opened the restaurant 8 years ago, and have been doing the catering for 12 years now. I hit a point a couple of years ago where the restaurant and the catering pretty much ran themselves. I have the best staff in the world (all friends).  I found myself in a place where I didn’t have that much to do anymore. For months and months I tried to come up with something to do. Another restaurant-no way! If I were 20 again, I might have the energy to do it all over. But as you probably know,  it is really hard to start a restaurant. I didn’t want to have to do it all over again.
 While visiting my husband quite frequently in New York last year (he is a cinematographer and travels often), I came up with the idea for the produce baskets. Everything in New York City is delivered! Dry cleaning, groceries, sheets, furniture, plants-everything. I would sit in cafes sipping coffee and watch chefs from all of the local restaurants wheel carts of food to office buildings. This really got me thinking. I would bring the beautiful produce from the local farms to my customers who cant get to the farmers markets. This, I knew was not reinventing the wheel, but I wanted to personalize my service. Give recipes, let customers know what farms their food is coming from,  pick all of the produce myself, and really inspire people to start cooking again and get them excited about food. Most importantly, the service would give back to the community. It would support local, small sustainable farms; it would keep the money local, giving it to small local farms rather than a big corporation. Which also means that there are less people in our area having their food shipped in from who knows where. Less demand for food that has no taste, that is sprayed with pesticides, that is grown by giant corporations that only have regard for making money and don’t have a passion for what they are actually doing.  Less demand for it means they sell less, produce less and ship less!
I also wanted the service to offer “cute” boxes, and not crummy grocery sacks; something that could be re-used over and over. This, to be honest, was the hardest part. I searched and searched high and low for an appropriate box. I finally designed and had made the boxes that you get today.
 I wanted a grass roots company. Not a giant company that needed backers with lots of money to start it. That is how I started my restaurant. When we got more customers I would get more boxes made, and so on. I am happy to report we have a new space to pack the boxes. We grew out of the space that we used in the back of the restaurant. We have tripled the amount of customers that we started with. We have not taken out any ads. Yes, my team has grown from one (me) to Tommy (your delivery person), Elissa (my right hand gal), Michelle (handles new customers and billing) and Fabian (helps pack the boxes).  The farms and farmers that I buy from are ecstatic. I am helping bring their hard work to more people.
Most of all my customers are happy. I get so many emails about what you are cooking, how much your kids love it, how this produced has totally changed they way you and your families eat and how you are introduced to produce you have never had before.
I set out to do everything I wanted and much more. I have a little community of healthy eating foodies, more friends that I am employing, happy farmers, and my little contribution to a healthier society.

Your Produce

Beef Steak Tomatoes - Finley Farms
Red Leaf Lettuce - Finley Farms
Music Garlic - Finley Farms
American Slicing Cucumber - Finley Farms
Sun Gold Tomatoes - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms, so sweet. These tomatoes are the darlings at the farmers market.
Orange Jubilee Tomatoes - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Calico Corn - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms - the first crop from Tutti Frutti
Red Bell Peppers - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms - the first crop of the season from Tutti Frutti
Flavor Heart Pluots - K and K Farms-great flavor on both these pluots
Flavor Grand Pluots - K and K Farms
Black Grapes - K and K Farms
Purple Peruvian Potatoes - Weiser Family Farms
Arava Melons - Weiser Family Farms
Lady Peas (Black Eyed Peas) - Weiser Family Farms - just like black eyed peas, but much better flavor. Take peas out of the pod; bring to a boil in a pan of cold water, garlic, onion and any other aromatics you want to throw in. Simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain the water and put peas in a bowl and cover them with olive oil. Yes, it will look like a lot of olive oil, but trust me. Let sit for ½ hour or more, drain and save the olive oil. Toss peas into a salad, or dice an heirloom tomato and toss peas in with that and a bit of basil, salt and pepper. You can mix with different herbs and top a nice piece of fish with them. Use them in a bean salad, give it a modern twist and use eddamme, lady peas, white beans, diced tomatoes, green beans. Toss with a dollop of organic yogurt, lemon and salt and pepper. Yum-yum.
Mixed Heirloom Baby Eggplant - Weiser Family Farms
Ronde Nice Squash - South Central Organic Farms
Watermelons - South Central Organic Farms - In my opinion these have really been a highlight of the summer so far. Dice it up and put it in the fridge and pull it out for a snack when you get the sweets craving. Make watermelon cocktails. Make watermelon gazpacho; make a watermelon, feta and basil salad, (I know it sounds weird, but its great!).

 
 
July 27, 2009strawberries
 
Your Produce

Crimson Sweet Watermelons - South Central Organic Farms, even sweeter than 2 weeks ago. Throw some in a blender with vodka and mint.
Zucchini - South Central Organic Farms
Ronde Nice Squash - South Central Organic Farms
Cherry Tomatoes - Finley Farms
Beefsteak Tomatoes - South Central Organic Farms ...OR
Purple Cherokee Tomatoes - South Central Organic Farms
Armenian Cucumbers - South Central Organic Farms These would be so yummy in a chopped greek salad. Add some feta, tomatoes, purple onion and kalamatas. We do this salad all summer long at the restaurant.
Black Grapes - K&K Farms, getting sweeter by the week.
Red Bunched Onions with Green Tops - Finley Farms
Red Butter Lettuce - Finley Farms
Bi-Colored Sweet Corn - Finley Farms
Basil with the Root - Finley Farms
Cavaillon Melons - French muskmelon with lime green skin and dark green stripes.  Turns cream color when ripe.  Very fragrant with a high sugar content.
Fresh Black Eyed Peas in the Shell - Take peas out of the shell, and cook in salted boiling water for 5 minutes, or until soft. Then toss them in your favorite salad. I like them in a salad of diced tomatoes, basil, olive oil, fresh corn cut off the cob, bell pepper and a pinch of cayenne, salt and pepper.
Mixed Baby Eggplant - Black Bell, Calliope and Green Apple - not your regular eggplant! Very delicate in flavor. Asia, Europe and even Africa have had more varied histories with eggplants and have provided us with some of the best varieties. 'Calliope' is a stunning little oval, white and purple-streaked Indian-style eggplant.

***Large Baskets Only***
Watercress
Orange Bell Peppers
Radicchio
Frisee


Recipes & Ideas
Eggplant and Tomato Salad
 
    1.5 lb. eggplant
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1 lb. tomatoes, peeled and chopped
    5 garlic cloves, minced
    Salt, to taste
    4 Tbsp. olive oil
    1/2 tsp. paprika
    1 tsp. cumin
    2 Tbsp. parsley
 
• Preheat the oven to 475°F. Prick the eggplant several times with a fork or knife, then roast for 45 to 55 minutes, or until very soft. Remove from the oven and let cool until it can be handled.
• Peel the eggplant and place in a medium mixing bowl with the lemon juice and enough water to cover it. Let soak briefly, then drain the liquid and set the eggplant aside.
• In a pan over low heat, cook the tomatoes, garlic, and salt for about 15 minutes. Add the eggplant and other remaining ingredients and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes, or until the entire mixture is heated through.
• Serve as a salad or as a dip with pita bread.

 

Watermelon Gazpacho

This recipe is a standard soup that Donna (our head chef) does in the restaurant all summer long. It is sweet and spicy. It is the perfect cool summer lunch or light dinner.

5 lb watermelon (or 7 c), peeled, seeded and cubed to 1" pieces
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 small persian cucumbers, peeled and diced or 1 large
1 small red or sweet white onion, diced
1 small yellow pepper, diced
juice of 1 lime
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 c chopped parsley
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch cayenne
 
Suggestion for peeling the watermelon:
lay half of watermelon cut side down on cutting board.  Cut some off the top, and then cut down the sides, rotating until all green skin and white underflesh are removed.
 
1. puree the watermelon in a food processor or blender and transfer puree to a pot or large bowl.
2. stir remaining ingredients into puree. taste for seasoning.  if you need a little more liquid, you can add water to taste (careful not to add too much, you can also add a little extra lime and salt, if necessary), additional watermelon puree or another mild juice, like apple juice.

 
 

July 20, 2009heirloomTomatoes

So many movies, news articles, magazine articles, TV. News programs are constantly thrown at us about what the best choices for food are. What fish is on the don’t eat list? Is organic farming better than standard U.S. farming? Grass fed free-range animals vs. caged?  Is non-spray produce the same as organic? What is in season right now?  Canned pet food, dry pet food, raw diet, or home made pet food? How bad is processed food for you?   Vegan or vegetarian? The list goes on. I think it is great that these things are being talked about more and more. We want to eat the best we can for our bodies, and feed our kids and pets the best food possible. We want to eat responsibly for our bodies and the planet. But all the info and “opposing right wing info” (sorry) can make your head spin. 
I love potato chips, Oreo cookies, a chocolate dipped soft serve cones from Foster Freeze, a big fat burger, a hot dog with everything. I mean really LOVE! But, I know it’s not the best thing for me to eat. I know that supporting a local bakery is much better than buying pre packaged crap cookies from the grocery store. I know all of these things, but every once in a while I have the burger or the potato chips. I do the best I can. I cook dinner at home most nights, don’t eat too much meat, have a little garden, compost and bring cloth bags to the farmers markets when shopping for myself.  I think that we should all try to do the best we can, and be proud that we are making a difference. Don’t beat yourself up over the fact that you are not eating grass fed beef, if you are buying organic produce, recycle and are walking more places. It is really hard to do it all. But you can make good choices everyday. I don’t put other people down for choices they make, but simply try to give them a little info to help them get on a better food path. 
My sister and brother in law were over with their 4 kids a couple of weeks ago, and we had one of those amazing melons with our lunch and the kids went crazy. My sister shops at grocery stores and buys in bulk-she has 4 kids, and it’s easier for her. I get it. But she saw the reaction when the kids tried a melon picked a day earlier on an organic farm. I looked up a farmers market that was close to her in Chino Hills. They are going to start going.
Every little thing that we can do helps, and if we start with kids when they are young we can raise a whole new generation that is mindful about what they put in their mouths.


Your Produce
Red or Yellow Bell Peppers - Jimenez Farms
Baby Eggplants - Wieser Farms
Sugar Sweet Melons - Wieser Farms
King Edwards Potatoes - Wieser Farms
Plums - K and K Farms
Nectarines - K and K Farms
Mixed Baby Tomatoes - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Emperor Carrots - South Central Organic Farms
Beef Steak Tomatoes - South Central Organic Farms
Rainbow Swiss Chard - Mc Grath Organic Farms
Black Grapes - K and K Farms
Summer Squash - South Central Organic Farms

Large Boxes Only:

Mild Chilies
Apple Mint
Baby Corn - McGrath Organic Farms
Blueberries

Recipes & Ideas
Fresh Pole Beans-Wieser Farms - Shell your beans, and put them in a pan with cold water, salt, bay leaf, garlic and onions. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Drain, the sauté with olive oil for 3 minutes. Season and serve.

   

July 13, 2009scallions

A quick reminder: with summer upon us we are now putting an ice block in your box. Please leave it in there. No need to refreeze it or anything, we just really need them back. Also we are having to use a tiny bit more packaging for your fruits and veggies because the delicate summer produce was getting bruised or squashed in some of your boxes. So please put the packaging back into the produce boxes so we can recycle and reuse it. We are not super thrilled to use more packaging, but if it gets reused then it will be better. Thanks!

I have such a giant respect for farmers-especially organic farmers after the trials and tribulations with my own garden. I have had a garden every year, in every apartment, duplex and now the house that I have lived in.  When I was 18, I moved out of my parent’s house, into a 4 plex that was on the second storey. I started a little garden in pots on the balcony. Herbs, cherry tomatoes and carrots. The carrots didn’t do too well, the herbs did pretty well and the cherry tomato grew like a weed. My mother was always an avid gardener. She had compost piles before it was the cool thing to do. She explained to me that the things that I planted in pots would do much better if they were in the ground. More nutrients, more water, more sunlight. I would dig up parts of yards in rented apartments to plant my little gardens (boy was the landlord pissed). I would tear out the  ugly perennials that gardeners would plant in front of another apartment I lived in and plant away (not enough sun there). But I never gave up. There were successes along the way, even great veggies that I grew. Back then if you saw mold on the leaves of a zucchini plant or mites on the underneath of the leaf of a tomato plant it was fine to blast them with some crazy toxic anti bug spray. Back then it was also fine to sprinkle everything with some powder that would make everything grow giant. But over the years we have all learned that these pesticides and sprays were harmful and not the proper way to garden or eat.

In the house my husband and I live in now I have had an organic garden plot in 4 or 5 different places on our hillside backyard. One place was too shady, another was smack in the way. THEN 3 years ago was the attack of the gophers. I really thought I found the absolutely perfect spot. My pastry chef at the time, Michael, and I dug it over, added organic Amend and compost, measured out the perfect rows, planted every row from seed: heirloom carrots; heirloom beets; Easter egg radishes; leeks; Little Gem lettuces; and rows of different herbs. I really thought that this was going to be the best and most prolific garden yet. We did everything right. I had plans to use all of the produce at the restaurant and we would eat from the garden and not buy produce for months, and then we would turn the soil and rotate crops! Oh yeah, I had it down. I thought I was such a pro.

The garden was growing beautifully. Giant green carrot fronds, the beet greens that were above ground looked so tender and tasty. Then all of a sudden there would be two or three carrots or radishes at the end of the rows gone. The next morning more were gone. I thought my dogs might be digging them up, but there were no digging holes. I picked some of the other carrots to see what was up, and all that came out was the green fronds-no carrots attached. Same with the beets and the radishes. SOMETHING was eating them from underneath. My mom came over and saw the little gopher hole about 5 feet away right away. I got a hose and filled every gopher hole with water. I'd flood them out! To no avail. I went online and looked up “humane” ways to trap them. Not one thing worked. I was so pissed that I stormed down to Home Depot and bought 6 packs of these crazy big fire cracker looking things that you are suppose to light and shove down the holes and smoke them out. I would stop at nothing to get them. I paid some “gopher guy” hundreds to trap them. Nope! Nothing worked. It was definitely a Caddy Shack situation in my yard. I sadly let my garden die from no water. “They are not going to have my lovely garden."

Two sad years went by and I refused to plant a vegetable. This year my husband suggested a new location up and away from all of the gopher activity. So I planted another garden this year. Skeptical at first, I took precautions just in case they decided to come up hill to have a nibble on my new garden. I wrapped the roots in wire mesh, and the garden started to grow. I had the humane trap guy come back (I negotiated a lower price) and set kill free traps. So far so good. The score is even though. They ate a zucchini plant, and an eggplant plant. They literally sucked the whole thing underground, top leaves and all. Gone! But they started to nibble on two tomato plants, and I caught them. I covered their holes, and ruined their tunnel. So I saved those. Everything looks like it is thriving. I check daily (sometimes twice or three times).

So a tip of the hat to the organic farmers that do this for a livelihood. They battle this problem a hundred fold and have to use non-chemical, humane and organic ways to deal with all pests. Its hard and frustrating, but they do it. They are always so excited to tell me what has just been picked, what will be coming up. They always seem so positive and upbeat, and I am always so excited to taste and see their bounty.

 


Interesting Article: The City That Goes Vegetarian On Thursdays
read all about it...

Your Produce

Baby Heirloom Eggplant - (Apple Calliope and Black) Weiser Farms
French Cavillion Melons - Weiser Farms
Banana Russian Fingerling Potatoes - Weiser Farms
Burgundy Onions - South Central Organic Farms
Blue Kale - South Central Organic Farms
Crimson Sweet Watermelons - South Central Organic Farms
Persian or Armenian Cucumbers - South Central Organic Farms
Okra - South Central Organic Farms
Baby Gold Stone Carrots - McGrath Family Organic Farms - Delicate little things! Steam, pan sauté, grill, or roast.
Ferrano Beets - McGrath Family Organic Farms - steam, boil or roast.
White Nectarines - K and K Farms
Red Flame Grapes - K and K Farms, first of the season.
Mango Nectarines - K and K Farms, The mango nectarine has a delicious case of multiple personalities. It has the taste of a mango, the color and shape of a golden plum. Luckily for fruit lovers this California-grown treat — no relation to the mango, despite its name — is a wonderful combination of flavor and texture. Sweet, juicy and slightly fibrous, it's great eaten out of hand, diced in a fruit salsa or salad, or grilled. More ambitious cooks might want to sample its unique taste in a homemade cobbler or ice cream.
Newly Cured Music Garlic - Finley Farms
Red Butter Lettuce - Finley Farms
Rooted Basil - Finley Farms - Put in a glass of water on your counter and it will last for weeks (not in the fridge).

***Large Boxes Only***
Organic Sprouted Seeds - perfect for your summer salads!
Blueberries
Strawberries

Ideas & Recipes

Stuffed Baby Heirloom Eggplant

Yield
4 servings (serving size: 3 eggplant halves)
Ingredients

    * 2 cups chopped tomato
    * 1/4 cup dry white wine
    * 1/2-teaspoon sugar
    * 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
    * 6 baby eggplants (about 1 1/4 pounds) cut in half lengthwise
    * 2 teaspoons olive oil
    * 1 cup finely chopped onion
    * 1 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
    * 2 garlic cloves, minced
    * 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
    * 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
    * 1 cup cooked white basmati rice
    * 1/2 cup  (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
    * 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
    * Parsley sprigs (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine tomato, dry white wine, sugar, and 1/4-teaspoon salt in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish; spread evenly.

Scoop pulp from eggplant halves, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Chop pulp. Sprinkle inside surfaces of eggplant shells with 1/4-teaspoon salt.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet oven medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in eggplant pulp, basil, and jalapeño; cover, reduce heat, and cook over low heat 10 minutes or until eggplant is tender. Remove from heat; stir in rice, cheese, and parsley.

Spoon about 1/4 cup eggplant mixture into each eggplant shell, pressing gently; place shells, cut sides up, over tomato mixture in baking dish. Cover and bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake an additional 15 minutes or until shells are tender. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato mixture over each eggplant half. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

 
July 6, 2009carrots

Oh, the melons! Wow, are they great! A dear friend of mine hade a baby last week. Her husband has been pampering her, and made her the the most refreshing sounding lunch on arrival home from the hospital. He wrapped the Sugar Queen melon in very thinly sliced proscuitto, and served the Brandy Wine tomatoes with fresh burratta cheese, extra virgin olive oil and a bit of sea salt. I swear I could eat that for every meal. All they needed was the Tuscan Villa to go along with it.

The summer produce that you are getting has so much flavor that you barely have to do a thing to it. The melons are ridiculously sweet, the tomatoes are so juicy, meaty and delicious. The cherry tomatoes taste like candy. The basil has been so pungent that it perfumes the produce box for days.

Your Produce

Butterscotch Melons - Weiser Family Farms
Bermuda Onions - Weiser Family Farms
Ron’s Burgundy Potatoes - Weiser Family Farms
Hass Avocadoes
Purple Cherokee Tomatoes - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Squash Blossoms - South Central Organic Farms-scroll down for 2 recipes.
White Scallop Squash - South Central Organic Farms
Nante Carrots - South Central Organic Farms
Armenian Cucumbers - South Central Organic Farms-you can use the pickling recipes from last week for the Armenian Cucumbers
Purple Pole Beans - South Central Organic Farms-I use these raw in salads so they keep their beautiful color, but they can certainly be cooked, they just turn green.
Donut Peaches - K and K Farms
Yellow Nectarines - K and K Farms
Hungarian Peppers - mild in flavor
Blueberries
Baby Pearl Onions with Green Tops

***Large Boxes only***
Olla Berries
- very limited amount of these berries from Weiser Family Farms. All the chefs around town are after these.
American Slicing Cucumbers
Leeks


Recipes & Ideas

Heirloom Tomato and Grilled Peach Salad

Serves 4

* 1 large heirloom tomato
* 2 ripe Donut peaches
* olive oil
* salt
* pepper
* ¼ cup chopped oil-cured black olives
* lemon zest
* chimichurri sauce (recipe below)

1. Preheat grill to medium temperature.

2. Cut peaches by cutting around the pit in a square. You will have four pieces, each one getting smaller with each progressive cut. Brush the flesh side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place on well-oiled grill and cook for 2 minutes. Rotate the peaches 90 degrees and cook 2 minutes more. Remove from grill. Slice 2/3 of the peaches a ¼ inch thick from skin side to center. Dice the remaining peaches.

3. Cut the tomato into ¼ inch discs.

4. To serve: Place a slice of tomato on a plate and sprinkle with a little salt. Top with a teaspoon of chimichurri and then a slice of peach. Repeat Drizzle a teaspoon of chimichurri around the plate and zest a quarter of a lemon over the plate.

Chimichurri Sauce

* ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
* ¼ cup sherry vinegar
* 2 Tbl lemon juice
* 1 ½ tsp minced garlic
* 6 Tbl finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
* 2 Tbl finely chopped oregano
* 1 Tbl finely chopped thyme
* 2 tsp finely chopped tarragon
* ½ tsp salt
* ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Hierloom Cherry Tomato and Garlic Bread Soup

Combine all the ingredients except the olive oil in a bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Prepare at least one hour before use.

Olive oil

2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions

½cup thinly sliced garlic cloves, plus 1 whole clove

4 ounces sourdough bread, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 10 to 12 slices), toasted

1 pints cherry, grape and currant tomatoes, halved

1/8 pound grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, plus thinly sliced fresh basil for garnish

1 ½ quarts chicken stock

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

Heat the oven to 350 F.

In a large skillet over medium, heat ¼ cup of olive oil. Add the onions and saute until slightly caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add the ½ cup of sliced garlic and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Season the chicken stock with salt and pepper.

Lightly coat a 2 ½-quart baking dish with olive oil. Layer half of the bread slices over the bottom of the baking dish. Spoon half of the onion mixture over the bread, then top with half of the tomatoes, a third of the grated Parmesan cheese and the chopped basil.

Layer the remaining toast over the onions and tomatoes, then top with the remaining onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle half of the remaining cheese over the dish.

Add 3 cups of the stock and wait 5 minutes for the bread to absorb it. Add another cup of stock and wait another few minutes. Continue adding stock (up to 6 cups total) until the liquid comes to within ¼ inch of the top of the dish. Reserve remaining stock.

Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the ingredients, then cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Remove the foil, increase heat to 400 F and bake until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Once cooled, cut into 8 servings and arrange each in a shallow serving bowl.

Heat the reserved chicken stock, then ladle some around (not over) each serving. Garnish with basil and parsley.

   

June 29, 2009blueberries

By next week your bag will be coming with an ice block in it. The ice blocks will keep the veggies cool for up to 8 hours. please do not remove the block from the bag, just leave it in there for the next time we pick it up. thanks!
Your Produce

Candy Striped Beets - McGrath Organic Farms
Red Carrots - McGrath Organic Farms
Red Butter Lettuce - Finely Organic Farms, Store: Keep lettuce unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Butter lettuce will keep for 3 to 4 days. Prepare: Wash butter lettuce thoroughly just before you are ready to use it. Do not soak lettuce in water, as the water will soften the leaves. After you wash lettuce, spin or drain it completely or blot the leaves with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
Lemon Cucumbers - Finely Organic Farms, Lemon yellow cucumbers are tender and sweet, excellent for salads and pickling.
Leeks - Finely Organic Farms, The edible portions of the leek are the white onion base and light green stalk. The onion-like layers form around a core. The tender core may be eaten; but, as the leek ages, the core becomes woody and very chewy and better replanted than eaten. Leek has a mild onion-like taste, although less bitter than scallion. The taste might be described as a mix of mild onion and cucumber. It has a fresh smell similar to scallion. In its raw state, the vegetable is crunchy and firm.
Green Beans and Purple Pole Beans - Finely Organic Farms
Saturn Peaches aka Donut Peaches - K and K Farms, Old-time Chinese orchardists treated peaches with such reverence that they could be planted only within the royal precincts of the emperor. Their peaches were classified in one of two ways: golden (yellow flesh) or silver (white flesh). To the tribe of rare silver peaches belongs the mouthwatering peento (originally pan tao), the intensely flavored and odd-shaped peach we now know in the United States as the ‘Saturn’ peach. (Most U.S. peaches are yellow-fleshed varieties.) Low in acidity, much sweeter than yellow peaches and with almond overtones, ‘Saturn’ peaches simply taste better than other varieties. Plus, they’re easier to eat out of hand. The tiny pit doesn’t cling to the white flesh — you can pop it out with your thumb. Furthermore, ‘Saturn’ peach trees produce an abundant harvest, and the fruit’s thin red skin has little or no fuzz so it doesn’t have to be peeled.
Majestic Pearl White Nectarines - K and K Farms –a low acid nectarine
Black Plum Cherry Tomatoes - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Purple Cherokee Tomatoes - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms, Originally from Tennessee cultivated by Native American Cherokee tribe. Beefsteak tomatoes with deep red colors to the interior flesh and dark shoulders. A very popular market variety because of its rich, complex and sweet flavors. One of the best tasting heirloom tomatoes.
Red Onions - South Central Organic Farms
Chilies
Ronde Nice Zucchini - South Central Organic Farms

***Large Boxes Only***
Strawberries
Figs
Radicchio
R ed and Yellow Bell Peppers
Baby Bok Choy

Recipes & Ideas

Thai Style Pickled Lemon Cucumbers

Yield: 2 cups

2 tbs. superfine sugar
¼ cup limejuice
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 lemon cucumbers thinly sliced

Place the first three ingredients in a bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add cucumbers and toss well. Refrigerate for an hour or up to two days in an airtight container.


Thai Style Pickled Red Carrots

Yield: 3 cups

2 small red chilies, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs superfine sugar
¼ cup limejuice
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1/8-cup fish sauce
4-5 red carrots thinly sliced, match stick sized

Place first 6 ingredients in bowl. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the carrots and toss well. Refrigerate for an hour or up to two days.


   

June 22, 2009
raspberries

 
Your Produce
Purple String Beans - South Central Organic Farms
White Bush Scallop Squash - South Central Organic Farms
Straight Neck Yellow Squash - South Central Organic Farms
Okra - South Central Organic Farms
Armenian Cucumbers - South Central Organic Farms
Squash Blossoms - South Central Organic Farms
Romaine Lettuce - Finley Organic Farms
Basil (with root on) - Finley Organic Farms - put in water on your counter, it will last all week.
Sweet Red Onions - Finley Organic Farms
Sugar Snap Peas - Large box only, Finley Organic Farms
Strawberries - Finley Organic Farms
Arava Melon - Wieser Farms,Yellow skin with lime green flesh. Incredibly sweet!
Sun Gold Tomatoes - Tutti Frutti Farms, so sweet. Auntie Em’s uses these tomatoes in our Cobb salads during the summer.
Cherokee Tomatoes - Tutti Frutti Farms
Yellow Nectarines - K&K Farms
Chinese Broccoli

Recipes & Ideas

Okra Braised with Cherokee Tomatoes

2 tb Olive oil
1/2 sm Red Onion; minced
½ teaspoon red chile flakes
1 Clove garlic; minced
1 tb Chopped fresh parsley
1/2 Ripe tomatoes; peeled, seeded, and diced
2 tb Dry white wine
1 c Chicken stock, or Vegetable stock or water
1/2 lb Okra; stems trimmed
Salt and freshly ground pepper; to taste

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm oil. Add onion, red chile flakes, garlic and parsley and sauté until onion is translucent (about 5 minutes). Stir in tomatoes, wine, and stock; cook a few minutes longer to blend flavors. Add okra to pan, spoon the pan juices over the top, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until okra is very tender (about 20 minutes).

Arava Melon Margaritas
4 cups frozen cubed Arava melon
3/4 cup white tequila
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons sugar

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Serve in chilled glasses. (Then invite me over!)

Makes 2 servings

 

June 15, 2009artichoke

We are offering Organic Local Grass-fed Chicken Eggs from Soledad Goat Farm. Let me know if you would like them added onto your order.

Please note that so much of your summer produce is very delicate because it is picked when it is ripe. As a result, you'll want to refrigerate it right away.

Your Produce

Squash Blossoms - South Central Organic Farms-Please use these right away! They are in full swing right now. Squash blossoms, also known as zucchini blossoms or zucchini flowers. These bright orange blossoms are delicate. Store in an air-tight plastic container in the refrigerator. Squash blossoms have to be used within a couple days of being picked or they will go bad. Squash blossoms have much of the same nutritional punch as their sister plants summer squash and zucchini: all are filled with vitamins A and C, potassium, and calcium.
Assorted Hierloom Squash - South Central Organic Farms-white pop scallop squash, ronde de nice squash, straightneck yellow summer squash, black beauty zucchini
Spring Garlic or Fennel - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
King Edwards Potatoes - Weiser Farms- King Edward is very much a floury variety - This makes King Edward a great variety for smooth creamy mash and light fluffy roast potatoes and even chips. King Edward has a white skin with very distinctive pink coloration which makes it an easy potato to identify.
Blue Kale - South Central Organic Farms
Burgandy Bush String Beans - South Central Organic Farms - (Large Baskets Only)
Nante Carrots - South Central Organic Farms Sweet little beauties! Yum.
Heirloom Tomatoes - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Purple Onions - South Central Organic Farms
Assorted Greens - Finley Organic Farms
Slicing Cucumbers - Finley Organic Farms
Nova Red Raspberries or Strawberries - Finley Organic Farms Eat quickly. They are picked when ripe so they have a short shelf life.
Broccoli - Finley Organic Farms
Yellow Peaches - K&K Farms
White Nectarines - Finley Organic Farms
Pluots - Finley Organic Farms
Cauliflower - Large Boxess only
Crenshaw Melons - Large Boxes only

Recipes & Ideas

Many of you have put potatoes on your dislikes list. I am a huge potato lover, so I thought I would share what I have been doing with mine lately. I have been shredding the potatoes on a cheese shredder (the old school stand up one), and adding shredded zucchini, a handful of green onions and sautéing them in a pan and topping them with a pinch of sea salt and a dollop of Strauss Dairy organic yogurt. I use it for the base of a lot of dishes. Get creative and put different shredded veggies in them, but make sure you squeeze as much liquid out of them as you can.

Potato Zucchini Cakes topped with:

Poached Farm Eggs (I seriously eat this 3 times a week)

Black Bean Puree and Shredded Chicken and Salsa Fresca and Sour Cream

Sauteed Garlicky Collard or Chard Greens, Shredded Pork and Black Eyed Peas

Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes and Pesto

Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche

Shredded Cheddar, Black Beans and Salsa

I hate to hear people keeping any kind of produce out of there diet because of a weight loss issue. My theory is that all of you are eating such healthy, organic, beautiful local produce that you should not leave anything out. You have to admit you are eating healthier than ever, right??? So give yourself a potato. They are awesome!

In my opinion the best way to use squash blossoms is to stuff them and fry them. But if that is not your thing, then I have also included a second recipe. You can also toss them into pasta or risotto.

Auntie Em’s catered a 50th birthday party this weekend. It was a sitdown dinner for 25 people, and this was the first course.

Cheese-Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Shaved Baby Squash and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Adapted from L'Etoile

For squash blossoms

* 3 cups small cherry tomatoes (1 lb; preferably Sungold), halved lengthwise

* 2 teaspoons olive oil

* 3 oz mild fresh goat cheese (6 tablespoons) at room temperature

* 1 tablespoon heavy cream

* 2 tablespoons chopped green (hulled) pumpkin seeds, toasted until they puff

* 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (preferably Thai)

* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

* 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

* 12 male squash blossoms with stems (not with baby zucchini), stems trimmed to 1 inch

For vinaigrette and shaved squash

* 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (not seasoned)

* 1 tablespoon minced shallot

* 2 tablespoons mild extra-virgin olive oil

* 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

* 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

* 1 lb assorted baby summer squash, stems discarded

For tempura batter and frying

* 6 cups vegetable oil (preferably canola or grapeseed)

* 1 cup all-purpose flour

* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

* 1 cup chilled sparkling water

For topping

* 2 tablespoons green (hulled) pumpkin seeds, toasted until they puff

* 1/3 cup small basil leaves (preferably Thai) or sliced larger leaves

* Special equipment: a mandoline or similar manual slicer such as a Japanese (Benriner); a deep-fat thermometer

Preparation

Stuff squash blossoms:

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Toss tomatoes with oil and arrange, cut sides up, in 1 layer in a shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pan. Bake in middle of oven until slightly shriveled but not completely dried or browned, about 1 1/4 hours. Transfer pan to a rack to cool.

Stir together goat cheese, cream, pumpkin seeds, basil, salt, and pepper in a bowl and fold in half of oven-dried tomatoes.

Spoon 1 rounded tablespoon of this filling into each blossom and twist ends of petals gently to close. Chill, covered, until ready to fry.

Prepare vinaigrette and shaved squash:

Purée vinegar, shallot, oil, pepper, and salt in a blender until smooth and emulsified.

Slice squash paper-thin (lengthwise) using slicer, then overlap squash slices decoratively on 4 plates to cover surface

Make tempura batter and fry blossoms:

Heat 2 inches of oil in a 3-quart saucepan to 350°F on thermometer.

Set a bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water, then whisk together flour and salt in smaller bowl. Then whisk in sparkling water until combined well.

Working in batches of 3, coat blossoms in batter, lifting each out by its stem and letting excess drip off, then fry, turning, until batter is crisp (it will not brown), 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer blossoms as fried with a slotted spoon to paper towels, drain, then season with salt.

Assemble plates:

Drizzle vinaigrette over squash slices, then arrange 3 fried blossoms in middle of each plate. Sprinkle remaining oven-dried tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, and basil around blossoms and season with salt and pepper.


Squash Blossom Quesadillas

1 medium onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced

10 squash blossoms

1/2 cup chicken stock

3 sprigs fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 flour tortillas

1/4 pound grated Mexican white cheese

Olive oil, butter or margarine, for cooking

1. Heat a large saute pan with a little oil and saute the onion, garlic, and the roasted poblano pepper for 5 minutes, until the onions have become translucent. Then, add the squash blossoms and deglaze with chicken stock. Add the cilantro, and cook for another 5 minutes until squash blossoms have wilted. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool.

2. To compose the quesadilla, lay two of the tortillas on a flat surface. Distribute the cheese equally on both tortillas. Then, spread 1/2 of the squash blossom filling over the cheese. Cover with the other tortillas, place on heated griddle or nonstick saute pan with a little olive oil, butter or margarine, and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. When golden brown on each side, remove and cut into quarters.

I'm running this recipe again because it is so good. Please make it if you haven't already!

AOC’s Kale Recipe

4 bunches cavolo nero, stemmed and cleaned

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 white onion, thinly sliced lengthwise

1/2 sprig rosemary

1 dried chile de árbol

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided, more as needed

2 tablespoons chicken broth or water, optional

1. Blanch the kale in a large pot of salted, boiling water just until softened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the kale and immediately place it in a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain again and set aside.

2. In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan heated over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onions, rosemary and chile de árbol. Gently sauté for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and season with one-fourth teaspoon salt. Continue to cook until the onions are transparent and just beginning to color, an additional 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Stir the kale into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 30 to 40 minutes. As it cooks, the kale will turn a deep dark green, almost black color, and the texture will go from soft to almost a little crisp from caramelizing on the bottom of the pan. This is good and will enhance the flavor. If the kale becomes too dry, add a little stock or water to moisten the bottom of the pan. Season with the remaining one-fourth teaspoon salt and remove from heat. Serve immediately.

 

June 8, 2009
heirloomTomatoes

 
Your Produce

Chinese Broccoli
Kiwis - Soladad Goat Farm
Fennel - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Artichokes - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Cherokee Tomatoes - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Nante Carrots - South Central Organic Farms
Italian Zucchini - South Central Organic Farms
Yellow Squash - South Central Organic Farms
Ronde de Nice Squash - Heirloom Squash from southern France is ideal for
stuffing.
Plums - K and K Farms
Nectarines - K and K farms
Herb Bundle - Margoram, Rosemary and Bay leaves
Cherries - last week on these tasty gems!
Red Leaf Lettuce - Finley Farms

Recipes & Ideas

Stuffed Ronde de Nice Squash

Yield: 2

Ingredients

2 Ronde de Nice squash
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 pound ground pork (you can substitute this for 1 cup of lentils)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh margoram
Generous pinch kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut 1-inch off the top of each squash and scoop out the seeds. If necessary
in order for the squash to sit upright, cut off a small portion of the
bottom. Put 1 of the 4 pieces of butter in the cavity of each squash. Set
squash on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, brown the ground pork until no longer
pink. Remove the meat from the pan, add the olive oil and saute the onion,
celery, and carrot until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 10
minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine.

Return the pork to the pan along with the cooked rice, pine nuts, margoram
and salt and pepper, to taste. Stirring constantly, heat mixture thoroughly,
approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Divide the mixture
evenly among the squash, top each squash with its lid and bake for 1 hour or
until the squash is tender. Serve immediately.

 

June 1, 2009blueberries

We need to say our last goodbyes to what seemed like a very short spring!  Your baskets were very green for a while, but will now be filled with all the different colors of early summer. I am a tomato freak.  Summer tomatoes are absolutely my favorite food. In fact I think that tomatoes are the best thing about summer.  There are so many different heirloom varieties that you will see in your baskets throughout the summer.  Brandywine, Green Zebra, Sun Gold-those are some of the simple names.  Then you get into Watson’s Mortgage Lifter, Roman Holiday, Moneymaker, Ugly and Green Doctors.  There will be giant tomatoes, tiny tomatoes, sweet and tangy.  Be creative with your tomatoes!  I will include lots of recipes for you and I would love to know what you come up with for yours.  Most of your summer produce is very delicate, so refrigerate it right away.  If you don’t eat the tomatoes within a day or two you can refrigerate those too.  It's not optimal to do that, but it will stop it from ripening anymore.

Remember: we also offer organic eggs from chickens that run around on farm called Soladad Goat Farm where they make goat cheese.  They are free range and local.  The eggs are laid just days before you get them, unlike factory eggs.  The eggs are rich, and so fresh. They are all different colors.  Light brown, light blue, speckled depending on the breed that lays them.

One dozen-$6.50 or ½ doz- 3.25.

One last thing.  If you are being overrun with produce you can adjust your schedule for less deliveries.  (Once every 2 weeks, or once a month.)  Let me know anytime, and then you can bump it back up at anytime if you want to.  Also, if there are certain things that you find yourselves never eating please let me know and I will put them on your dislikes list.

Your Produce

Tulari Cherries - Simms Cherry Farms - last weeks of these cherries, next week we move onto a different cherry.
Zucchini - Finley Organic Farms - very first of the season!
Onions - Finley Organic Farms
Red Leaf Butter Lettuce - Finley Organic Farms - this tight headed lettuce is very tasty.
Peaches - K and K Farms
Plums - K and K Farms - first of the season!
Brandywine Tomato - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Basil - Lilys Herbs
Russian Banana Fingerling Potatoes - Weiser Farms
Mixed Rainbow Carrots - Weiser Farms
Early Spring Garlic – These are coming to an end soon.  Use the end just like you would use regular garlic.  Use the yellowish green stems for soup stocks.
Blue Kale - South Central Organic Farms.  Scroll down for a great recipe from AOC.
Chioggia Beets - South Central Organic Farms - beautiful red and white striped beets.
Kiwis - Soladad Goat Farms

Recipes & Ideas

Heirloom Tomato Tart in a Parmesan Crust
This recipe will make one 9 or 10-inch tart OR five 4 1/2-inch tarts.
2 large heirloom tomatoes - washed and sliced 1/6-inch thick
1 t. fine-grain sea salt
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsalted organic butter, well chilled + cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4-ounce chunk of good fresh Parmesan, microplane-grated (you should end up with about 2 cups loosely packed grated cheese.  Save any leftover grated cheese for sprinkling on the crusts when they come out of the oven.
2 T. ice cold water
2 T. best quality extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup slivered basil
Special equipment: tart pan(s), pie weights, paper towels
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Prep the tomatoes:
To avoid a soggy crust later on, you need to rid the tomatoes of some of their liquid.  Clear a space on your counter and put down a double layer of absorbent paper towels.  Place the tomatoes in a single layer on the paper towels and sprinkle them with about 1 teaspoon fine-grained sea salt.  Top the tomatoes with another layer of paper towels and press gently.  Let the tomatoes sit here until you are ready to use them.

Make the tart crust(s):
Place both flours, butter, and Parmesan in a food processor and pulse quickly about 25 times.  You are looking for a sandy textured blend, punctuated with pea-sized pieces of butter.  With a few more pulses, blend in the 2T of ice water.  The dough should stick together when your pinch it between two fingers.  Pour the dough into the tart pan.  Working quickly, press the dough uniformly into the pan by pressing across the bottom and working towards the sides and up to form a rim.  Place in the refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes.

Bake the tart crust:
Pull the tarts out of the refrigerator and poke each a few times with the tongs of a fork.  Cover the tart with a square of aluminum foil and fill generously with pie weights.  Place on a baking sheet and slide the tart onto the middle rack in the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes, pull the shell out of the oven and very gently peel back and remove the tinfoil containing the pie weights.  Place the uncovered tart back in the oven, weight free, and allow to cook for another 10 minutes, or until it is a deep golden brown in color.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little shredded Parmesan (this will act as another barrier to the tomato liquid).  Let cool to room temperature before filling.

Assembling the tart:
Just before serving, arrange tomato slices in a concentric pattern inside the tart shell.  Drizzle with your best quality extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with the slivered basil. Serve at room temperature.

 

May 25, 2009artichokes

 
Your Produce

Tulare Cherries - Simms Cherry Farm, Bright Red in color with a pink to red flesh. Very juicy and sweet.
Snap Peas - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms, An edible-podded pea is similar to a garden, or English, pea, but the pod is less fibrous, and edible when young.
Baby Bok Choy - Great in stir-frys.
Pea Tendrils - Sautee with garlic and olive oil and top any veggie dish or meat, fish or chicken dish.  They have a very delicate flavor.
Cherokee Tomatoes - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms, Unique dusty rose color.  Smoky flavor that rivals Brandywine, many claim Cherokee Purple is the sweetest tomato ever!
Red Leaf Lettuce - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Fennel - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms, Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet, adding a refreshing contribution to the ever popular Mediterranean cuisine.  Most often associated with Italian cooking, be sure to add this to your selection of fresh vegetables from the autumn through early spring when it is readily available and at its best.  Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged.  The stalks are topped with feathery green leaves near which flowers grow and produce fennel seeds
Apricots - K and K Farms
Lemon Verbena - Lilys Herbs, recipe below. Also great to make iced or hot tea with.
Basil - Lilys Herbs, tear up your basil by hand to avoid bruising and sprinkle on top of you Cherokee tomatoes and add a bit of fresh mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil. Heaven.
White Spring Onions - South Central Organic Farms
Orange Carrots - South Central Organic Farms
Asparagus
Tangerines
King Edwards Potatoes
- Weiser Farms
Lemons

Recipes & Ideas

Lemon Verbena and Honey Granita

   * About 8 large sprigs of fresh lemon verbena
   * 3 tbs acacia honey, or a similar light-colored runny honey
   * 1 small organic lemon
   * 2 cups boiling water
   * Additional honey for drizzling
   * Additional lemon verbena leaves for garnish

Wash the lemon verbena under cold water.  Zest the lemon (peel off the yellow part only with a vegetable peeler).  Juice the lemon.

Bring the water to a boil and put into a pan with the verbena and lemon zest.  Smash the leaves down a bit if they are floating above the water.  Let infuse for 10-15 minutes.

Take out the leaves and zest and put in the lemon juice and honey (add more if you want it sweeter).  Strain through a sieve to take out any leaf bits or lemon seeds.  Let cool to room temperature.

Put into a flat plastic container and cover.  Place in freezer for about 2 hours.  Take it out and mash and scrape it into a slush with a fork.  You can serve this right away or put it back in the freezer to serve later.  (If it turns into a block of ice, microwave it on the Defrost setting for about 3 minutes, and mash up with a fork.)

To serve, mound into a glass and garnish with a fresh lemon verbena sprig.  Drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon of honey per glass on top (drizzling the honey on the leaves makes it look like there are dew drops on the leaves.)

 

May 18, 2009carrots

 
Your Produce

Mixed Herb Bundles - Lilys Herbs - Thyme, Rosemary and Bay Leaves
Red Scarlett Turnips - Weiser Farms - eat raw in a salad, or cut up into small cubes and sauté with a little butter and garlic.
Cherries - Simms Cherry Farm
Spring Garlic - Weiser Farms,use the lower bulb just like you would other garlic.
Apricots - K&K Farms
Purple Sprouting Broccoli - Weiser Farms, this broccoli is so great in pastas and stir frys. Use the whole thing, don’t throw the stem away. I like to do a simple pasta with olive oil, garlic and red peppers, and quickly stir fry the broccoli and add it to the pasta. I serve it with a Caesar salad, and it’s the perfect quick weeknight meal.
Ruby Crescent Potatoes
Red Spring Onions - Weiser Farms - you will get these onions in either red or white in your basket each week while they are still young. They will get bigger each week throughout the spring and summer as it gets hotter. When the actual bulb of the onion gets big, the farmers will pick and store them for the fall and winter. They get stronger as they get bigger. So enjoy the delicate flavor now while they are young. We use them in our cobb salads and scrambles at the restaurant. They are also really nice in soups to finish them at the end.
Detroit Red Beets - South Central Organic Farms - these bright colored beauties are so good roasted in there skin for about 45 minutes, then let them cool just enough to slip the beet out of its skin, dice, toss in a lemon and olive oil with fresh herbs, sprinkle with a good goat cheese and serve as a starter to your meal.
Nante Carrots - South Central Organic Farms - lovely shredded and tossed into tuna, or roast with olive oil and dill for 20 minutes, add to soups, stews or pot pies.
Fava Beans - South Central Organic Farms, these are a 2 step process. Pop the small pod out of the large shell they come in, then bring a small pot of water to a boil, put the pods into the salted water and let them boil for a minute or 2. Let cool, and slip the fava out of the pod. Toss into salads, over fish, smash up and add a bit of olive oil and serve on a crostini with some shredded Parmesan.
Swiss Chard - South Central Organic Farms
Green Romaine - South Central Organic Farms

Recipes & Ideas

Alice Waters Swiss Chard Gratin

4 servings

1 1/2 bunches of chard
1-cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons melted butter
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced (or 4 spring onions)
Salt
2 teaspoons flour
1/2-cup milk
A few strokes of freshly grated nutmeg

1. Wash and stem the chard. Save half the stems and slice them thin. Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil and cooked the sliced stems for 2 minutes. Add the chard leaves and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and cool. Gently squeeze out the excess liquid from the stems and leaves and coarsely chop them.

2. Toss together the breadcrumbs and the melted butter. Toast on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven, stirring now and then, until lightly brown, about 10 minutes.

3. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the diced onion. Cook over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard and season with salt. Cook for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and stir well. Then add the milk and nutmeg and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more milk if the mixture gets too thick. The chard should be moist but not floating in liquid. Taste and add salt if needed.

4. Butter a small baking dish. Spread the chard mixture evenly in the dish and dot with the remaining butter, cut into bits. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top. Bake in a 350-degree oven until the gratin is golden and bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes.

 
May 11, 2009strawberries
Cherries are here! Woo hoo! We have been buying cherries from Simms Cherry Farm for years. These are the very first of the season. Many of you will be very happy that there will be more fruit in your baskets now. The apricots are also the very first of the season. The cherries are on their second week. The strawberries are now into their 5th week. All of the fruit will get much sweeter and bigger. Right now they're a little tangy. Some people really like that (my dad!). If you want more of a certain fruit to make pies or cobblers, etc. email me and you can either have me leave some things out of your basket, or you can pay for more fruit. We are a week away from the first peaches!

Your Produce

Cherries - Simms Farm, this is the second week on these cherries, they will get sweeter and sweeter.
Apricots - K and K Farms, this is the first week on these apricots. They are a tangy sweet variety. This will be the beginning of stone fruit for the spring through late summer.
Rainbow Chard - South Central Organic Farms
Red Onions - South Central Organic Farms
Fuertas Avocados - Creamy smooth avocados. Perfect on salads or sandwiches.
Navel Oranges
Snap Peas - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms. Nice in stir fries, salads or as a side dish.
Cauliflower - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Albion Strawberries - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Asparagus
Romaine Lettuce


Recipes & Ideas

Spicy Indian Cauliflower

Ingredients

oil for frying
pinch of cumin seed
pinch of mustard seed
2 tsp minced ginger
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
one onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
one medium cauliflower, cut into flowerlets
2 tsp red chili powder (or 3 chopped green chilis)
salt and pepper
chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Method

1. Heat the oil in a fry pan (about 2 to 3 tbsp) and add the mustard seed.
2. When the seeds start to pop, add the cumin, ginger, garlic and onion. Stir fry for a few minutes until the onion turns golden.
3. Sprinkle ground turmeric and add the cauliflower. Stir fry for another 2 minutes to coat the vegetable.
4. Add the chili powder or chilis, salt and pepper to taste.
5. Cover the pan and cook until cauliflower is soft. Stir occasionally. Toss cilantro on top when ready to serve.

 

May 4, 2009scallions

Why Eat by the Season? Why Eat Local?

To reduce CO2 emissions needed to grow and transport food that is grown far away.  To avoid paying such high prices for food that is scarcer and that has traveled a long way.  For our bodies to reconnect with nature and to satisfy our bodies cravings.  But the most important thing to me: It tastes better! The reason that I started this service was to help people who can’t always get to the farmers markets eat better.  If you go to your local grocery stores you will see the same produce day in and day out all year long.  I think it is absolutely silly to eat apples flown in from New Zealand or Asparagus flown in from South America, when for many months a year you can get far superior and better tasting produce grown by local farmers. There is nothing that tastes worse than a tomato in the winter. And there is nothing that tastes better than fresh cooked fava beans with a bit of olive oil and fresh Parmesan shaved on top in the Spring.  I hope to help educate you a bit on new produce, and really inspire you to cook at home more, and make new and exciting things for yourself and your family. Enjoy your produce this week!  Terri

Your Produce

Navel Oranges
Forano Beets
- McGrath Farms, an Italian heirloom variety
Okame Spinach - McGrath Farms
Fire Cracker Lettuce - McGrath Farms
Purple Sprouting Broccoli - Weiser Family Farms, Split thicker stalks about halfway up so that they cook at the same time as the heads. Steam, stir-fry or boil in a small amount of water. The tasty leaves are edible and so do not need to be removed.
French Fingerling Potatoes - Weiser Family Farms
Fava Beans - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Elephant Garlic - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
English Peas - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Baby Turnips - South Central Organic Farms
Collard Greens - South Central Organic Farms
Nante Carrots - South Central Organic Farms
Green Onions - South Central Organic Farms
Asparagus

Ideas
I love fish, and we eat it a couple of times a week at my house.  My husband likes the meatier fish like Halibut and Bass, and I like the thin more oily fish like Tilapia and Catfish.  Below is a sustainable fish guide for the West Coast.  There is a great website: www.montereyaquarium.org, that has regional guides as well as a lot of information that is very useful.

B E S T  C H O I C E S

Abalone (farmed)
Arctic Char (farmed)
Barramundi (US farmed)
Catfish (US farmed)
Clams, Mussels, Oysters (farmed)
Cod: Pacific (Alaska longline) +
Crab: Dungeness
Halibut: Pacific+
Lobster: Spiny (US)
Pollock (Alaska wild) +
Rockfish: Black (CA, OR)
Sablefish/Black Cod (Alaska+, BC)
Salmon (Alaska wild) +
Sardines: Pacific (US)
Scallops: Bay (farmed)
Shrimp: Pink (OR) +
Striped Bass (farmed)
Sturgeon, Caviar (farmed)
Tilapia (US farmed)
Trout: Rainbow (farmed)
Tuna: Albacore (US+, BC troll/pole)
Tuna: Skipjack (troll/pole)
White Seabass


Recipes

The following recipe was adapted from Jamie Olivers cookbook, Cook with Jamie

Char-grilled Tuna with Oregano Oil and Beautifully Dressed Peas and Fava Beans


Serves 4

The simplicity and flavor of this dish is fantastic. Buy your tuna steaks about ½ inch thick rather than going for massive inch-thick ones. That way they cook quickly, giving you a juicy, silky steak that hasn’t had a chance to dry out.

To make your oregano oil, pound the oregano with a good pinch of sea salt in a pestle and mortar until you have a paste. Add the lemon juice and 8 tablespoons of olive oil and stir until you have a good drizzling consistency.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add your peas and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon or sieve. Add fava beans to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, depending on their size. Drain and leave to cool, then pinch the skins off the fava beans.

To dress the peas and beans you want the same balance of acid and oil as you would have in a salad dressing. So, put the olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper into a large bowl. Chop up most of the mint and throw it in, add the peas and beans and mix everything around. Add lemon juice to taste. You can serve the dressed peas and beans hot or at room temperature.

Heat a griddle pan or barbecue until hot, season your tuna steaks with salt and pepper and pat with some of the oregano oil. Place in the pan and sear for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Personally I like to keep my tuna a little pink in the middle as this tastes much nicer, but if you’re going to cook it through please don’t nuke it.

Tear the tuna into 2 or 3 pieces and toss in a large bowl with the rest of the oregano oil. This will give you a lovely combination of flavors. Serve the fish immediately, with the peas and fava beans, scattered with the rest of the mint leaves.

 

April 27, 2009
heirloomTomatoes

 
Your Produce

Sugar Snap Peas - Finley Organic Farms
Dancy Tangerines - Friends Ranch
Leeks - Finley Organic Farms
Broccoli - Finley Organic Farms
Fennel - Finley Organic Farms
Herb Bundles - Lilys Hers
La Ratte Potatoes - Weiser Farms
Purple Haze Carrots - Weiser Farms
Bloomsdale Spinach - South Central Organic farms
Red Spring Onions - South Central Organic Farms
Green Romaine - South Central Organic Farms
Golden Beets - South Central Organic Farms
Black Kale - South Central Organic Farms
Kiwis - Soladad Goat Farm
Strawberries

Recipes & Ideas

This recipe is from food writer for the New York Times, Mark Bittman. Its Fabulous!

Pasta With Black Kale, Shiitakes and Italian Sausage
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

    1 bunch black kale, washed, ribs removed
    4 Italian sausages (mild or hot)
    1/2 pound shitakes (or brown mushrooms), washed, thinly sliced
    4 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
    4 shallots, peeled, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 cups chicken stock or pasta water
    1 tablespoon sweet butter
    Sea salt and pepper
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
    1 box pasta (spaghetti, ziti, penne, or fusili)
    1 tablespoon kosher salt for the pasta

Method

    1. Make the pasta in boiling salted water, drain (reserve 2 cups of the pasta water if you’re making the vegetarian version), drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt and black pepper, toss and set aside.
    2. Sauté with olive oil or grill the sausages to put a crust on the outside, drain on a paper towel, cut into 1/4-inch rounds, then set aside. In a hot pan lightly brown the kale with the olive oil and remove. Add the shiitakes, shallots, and garlic, and sauté until lightly browned. Turn down the heat to medium. Return the kale to the pan along with the sausages, stock, and butter. Braise for 15 minutes. The liquid should reduce by half.
    3. Taste and adjust the seasoning with sea salt and pepper. Add the cooked pasta, toss to coat with the sauce. Serve with grated cheese.

 

April 20, 2009
strwberries


Yesterday, one of my customers asked me if I was happy spring was here.
  She said, “You must get so tired of roasting hard winter squash.”  I thought about it for a moment and said “Yes, I am really glad that it's here, but not for that reason.”  I love roasting and braising, and all of the veggies of winter, but when we start to heat up a bit during the days of spring our bodies just naturally crave lighter, more delicate produce. I have been preparing a lot of fish that I top with young garlic, spring onions, fruity extra virgin olive oil (picked up in San Fran!), chopped kalamatas, parsley, dried red chili and a dash of balsamic vinegar.  I bake the fish in the oven in a shallow dish and serve it with cous cous or rice and some sauteed greens.
  The bakers at Auntie Em’s have been making everything strawberry.  Tarts, shortcakes, muffins, and anything they can stuff a lovely strawberry into!  They - I can tell you - could not be happier that winter, apples and pears are long gone. They have to be creative for fall and winter with that fruit and by the beginning of spring they are more than ready for something different.  All of our spring salads are on the menu now, and they all have the ingredients that you get in your basket each week.  Lots of peas, spring greens, baby broccoli, and spring onions.
  Check the website for all of the new spring food add on’s. And remember to zip lock all of your compostables with the Ziplocs I give you and send them back to add to the ever-growing organic compost heap in my back yard.


Your Produce

Fava Beans - Scroll down for directions on prepping and cooking favas.
Fuente Avocados - Smooth skinned and creamy.
Navel Oranges! Yes, I found a new source for oranges for a while longer. She is my avocado girl, and they are still harvesting navels, and will have Valencias soon.
Butter Crunch Lettuce - South Central Organic Farms
Chioggia Beets - South Central Organic Farms - Beautiful, sweet beets.  Boil, roast or steam and then toss in a light vinaigrette, add a bit of fresh thyme and some sliced Burrata cheese.
Bloomsdale Spinach - Hearty and perfect for cooked dishes.
Rainbow Chard - Donna, the chef at Auntie Em’s, has been stuffing the Swiss chard leaves lately. Blanch the leaves for 1 minute or so, and stuff with your favorite filling (ricotta and parmesan, ground lamb, ground beef, etc). Roll the leaves up with the filling inside, and bake in oven in a red sauce or a seasoned chicken or vegetable stock.  Make sure to season your filling well.
French Nante Carrots - South Central Organic Farms – Very, very sweet.
Fresh Thyme - Great in soups, stews, stocks, roasts, braises.  Adds an earthy flavor to just about anything.
Wild Baby Arugula - Spicy.  Toss in a lemon vinaigrette and shave some Parmesan on top.
Purple Sprouting Broccoli - Use like regular broccoli
Red Thumb Potatoes - Weiser Farms
Spring Garlic
Lemons


Recipes & Ideas

Fava Bean and Wild Arugula Salad with Cumin

4 handfuls of podded and skinned fava beans (scroll down for instructions on prepping Favas)
2 lemons or 2 dashes of apple cider vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 spring onions or ½ of a small onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds toasted and smashed up a little
a pinch of dried chili
½ a cup of bread crumbs
4 cups baby arugula
½ a pint of whole milk organic yogurt (I love Straus dairy)

Place favas in a bowl and dress with lemon or vinegar and 3 times as much olive oil.  Season with sea salt and ground pepper.  In a small saute pan, fry onions, cumin seeds, and chili in a splash of olive oil.  When the onions start to brown add your breadcrumbs.  Add your baby arugula to the fava beans and toss. Put fava mixture onto a serving platter, top with yogurt and breadcrumbs and serve immediately.

 

April 13. 2009
raspberries

Fall in Love with the Flavors of Spring

Colorful Eggs. Strawberries. Asparagus. Lamb. Favas. Peas. Green Garlic. Artichokes.

I have been in San Francisco this week visiting the farmers market, the Ferry Building and a bunch of great restaurants. In my opinion San Francisco is the best “food” city in the U.S.  I love New York too, but I love the style of food in San Francisco better.  So many restaurants use local, sustainable farms for their meat and produce.  They really get the whole organic, sustainable food thing.  I try to visit a couple of times a year because it is so inspiring.  Here is a peek at the meals my friend Stacy and I had while we were there.

Zuni Cafe
Olives, Fennel, Olive Oil and Parmesan Cheese
Zuni Caesar Salad
Roasted Chicken with Toasted Torn Bread, Currants and Pine Nuts (seriously one of the best roast chickens I have ever had - this is one of the dishes the are known for)
Both of these recipes are in the Zuni Cafe Cookbook

Perbacco
Yellowfin Tuna Crudo with Green Apples and Black Olives
Burrata Cheese with Arugula and Grilled Filone Bread
Poached Local Asparagus with a Farm Egg and Parmigiano Reggiano Crema
Ravioli Filled with Braised Greens, Ricotta, Herbs and Walnut Butter (we voted this the best dish of the trip)

Elite Cafe
Slow Braised Collard Greens
Macaroni and Cheese
Hearts of Romaine with a Lemon Caper Vinaigrette, Roasted Red Onion and Garlic Croutons

Cortez Restaurant
Fresh Pea and Green Garlic Soup
Foie Gras Torchon Seville Range Marmalade, Mandarinquat & Toasted Walnut Bread
Fairytale Pumpkin Ravioli Smoked Brussels Sprouts, Brown Butter-Parmesan Cream
Sugar & Spice Beignets with Venezuelan Chocolate Fondue

And lots of cocktails everywhere!

Your Produce

Snow Peas - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms - Eat whole, just snap the top off and pull the string from the spine.
Red Kale - South Central Organic Farms. Sautee with onions and garlic and drizzle a bit of balsamic at the end of cooking.
Red Romaine - South Central Organic Farms
Purple Spring Onions - South Central Organic Farms
Savoy Cabbage - Finley Organic Farms.  Used primarily in Asian cooking.  Great in stir-fry’s, in a slaw or a salad.  Also wonderful used as a wrapper for enchiladas.  Just blanch quickly, run under cool water, pat dry and fill with your favorite meat or vegetable filling and roll.  Place in a baking dish, cover with enchilada sauce and bake for 20 minutes.
Fennel - Finley Farms.  Saute or thinly slice into salads.
Leeks - lovely in scrambled eggs, quiche, frittata, pasta or with other veggies
Baby Broccoli
Asparagus - Blanch, grill, sauté or bake.
Mixed Spring Mushrooms
Strawberries
English Shelling Peas - remove from pod and blanch.  Add to pasta, risotto or salads.
Russian Banana Fingerling Potatoes -Weiser Farms
Orange Carrots - Weiser Farms
Globe Artichokes - Steam or boil

Prepared Food List

Every dish is prepared fresh to order.  So if you need something special please let me know.

Non-Vegetarian Dishes
Lamb and Spring Vegetable Stew - serves 2 $14.94
Slow Roasted Pork with Spicy Black Beans and Rice - serves 2 $14.95
Roasted White Fish wrapped in Bacon (8 oz piece) $10.95
Farfalle Carbonara with Bacon and Spring Peas - serves 2 $12.95
Spring Poached Chicken $12.95
(½ chicken poached with potatoes, turnips, carrots, fennel and peas)
Chicken and Leek Pie topped with Mashed Potatoes - serves 2 $13.95
Penne Pasta with Broccolini, Pancetta, Goat Cheese - serves 2 $12.95
Bowtie Pasta with Shrimp, Peas and Chervil - serves 2 $14.95

Vegetarian Entrees
Asparagus Mint and Lemon Risotto - quart $12.95
Truffled Mac and Cheese with Spring Peas - serves 2 $10.95
Organic Spring Vegetable Curry - quart $10.95
Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Curried Rice, Spinach and Lentils - $8.95 each
Goat Cheese, Black Bean and Mushroom Enchiladas - serves 2 $10.95
Egg Pasta with Greens and Walnuts - serves 2 $10.95
Penne Pasta with Asparagus, Peas and Saffron Cream - serves 2 $10.95

Side Dishes
Creamed Spinach - serves 2 $8.95
Butter Fried Potatoes with Indian Spices and Cream - serves 2 $8.95

Soups and Sauces

Indian Spiced Rice and Shrimp Soup - quart $12.95
Lentil and Spinach Soup - quart $12.95
Chick Pea Spinach and Chorizo Soup - quart $12.95
Walnut and Parsley Pesto - pint $7.95

Other Goodies
Artisan Handmade Cheeses
Cowgirl Creamery Mt Tam $13.00
Just North of the San Francisco Bay, Mt. Tamalpais rises like a monument to Northern California's natural beauty.  In deference, Cowgirl Creamery named its signature cheese Mt Tam.  It's a smooth, creamy, elegant, 10-oz, triple-cream - made with tasty organic milk from the Straus Family Dairy.  Mt Tam is firm, yet buttery with a mellow, earthy flavor reminiscent of white mushrooms.  Mt Tam won 1st Prize in the soft-ripened category at this year’s American Cheese Society competition.
Cow Girl Creamery Red Hawk $21.00
Cowgirl Creamery captures the essence of West Marin with its Red Hawk, a triple-cream, washed-rind, fully flavored cheese made from organic cow's milk from the Straus Family Dairy.  Aged six weeks and washed with a brine solution that promotes the growth of a bacteria that tints the rind a sunset red-orange, Red Hawk won Best-In-Show at the American Cheese Society's Annual Conference in 2003.
Cowgirl Creamery St. Pat (9 oz.) $14
After three weeks of aging, ST PAT is mellow, soft, and full                 
of flavor. The nettle leaves impart a smoky, artichoke flavor.

Conserves, Marmalades, Fruit Butters and Jellies
Frog Hollow Farms Conserves, Marmalades and Jellies - all jars are 8 oz
Nectarine and Plum Conserves 13.00
Meyer Lemon Marmalade 13.00
Cherry Conserves 13.00
Black Berry Jelly 13.00

June Taylor Marmalades, Conserves and Fruit Butters - all jars 8oz
Blood Orange Marmalade 12.00
Strawberry Rhubarb Conserves 14.00
Plum Butter 14.00

Desserts are on the website.  Or you can email us for specialty desserts that are made daily.

 

April 6, 2009
blueberries

Eat Locally. Eat Seasonally. Cook Simply. Compost. Plant an Organic Garden. Laugh.
I hope you enjoyed your first of spring veggies.  The strawberries will only get sweeter and the peas bigger!  Please remember if there is anything you don’t like, don’t hesitate to let me know and we will keep it out of your basket and give you more of something else. Also if you don’t know how to cook something please let me know, and I will help you.  The Ziploc bags that some of your produce comes in you can re-use to send back produce scraps for composting. I was so glad to hear that many of you have your own compost heaps. The worms thank you.  Citrus is done for the year. At the beginning of next week I will send you a new food add on’s list.

There is a great article in the Huffington Post about the effects on cutting back on meat. My husband and I are not  vegetarians, but I keep the meat/chicken or fish that we eat to twice a week, and we eat vegetable based dinners the rest. I pay extra to eat only grass fed local organic meat. It is more expensive but we only do it a couple of times a week, and use every part of it. I make stock out of the chicken carcass, etc. If you want to read the whole article, there is a link below. If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would save:

● 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months;
● 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year;
● 70 million gallons of gas--enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare;
● 3 million acres of land, an area more than twice the size of Delaware;
● 33 tons of antibiotics.
If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would prevent:
● Greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1.2 million tons of CO2, as much as produced by all of France;
● 3 million tons of soil erosion and $70 million in resulting economic damages;
● 4.5 million tons of animal excrement;
● Almost 7 tons of ammonia emissions, a major air pollutant.

 
My favorite statistic is this: According to Environmental Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads. See how easy it is to make an impact?

www.huffingtonpost.com

Your Produce

Early Spring Garlic - fabulous sautéed with any other veggies. Cut most of the green part off (use it in stock or freeze it), then cut the small bulb in half lengthwise, and sauté or roast. Very delicate flavor.
Chamomile - Lilys Herbs-boil a pot of water and steep herbs for 10 minutes. Drink hot, or refrigerate for cold chamomile iced tea.
English Peas - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms, shell them and eat raw, blanch quickly or sauté, and use in pastas, risottos or by themselves.
Fava Beans - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms, see instructions below on how to prepare.
China Rose Radish - South Central Organic Farms,Beautiful radishes rose colored radishes. Simply sprinkle salt on them and eat them whole. Yum!
Strawberries - no explanation needed.
Ginger - great for stir fry, or in a marinade.
Butter Crunch Lettuce - South Central Organic Farms
White Spanish Spring Onions - South Central Organic Farms
Burpee Yellow Beets - South Central Organic Farms
Rainbow Swiss Chard - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms, sauté with lots of garlic and a dash of red wine vin.
Chinese Broccoli - perfect for steaming or a stir-fry.
Lemon Grass - use the bottom white bulb only. Chop it up using a sharp knife. It’s a bit hard to get through. Use in tofu, fish or chicken marinades, use in stir-fries.
Globe Artichoke - steam, peel off the leave and scrape the meat at the end of the leaf with your teeth. Trim the furry choke from the center and eat the heart.
French Potatoes – Weiser Family Farms


Recipes & Ideas
Jasmine Rice with Spring Garlic and Lemon Grass

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice (10 ounces), rinsed
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced spring garlic or 1 medium white onion, finely chopped, plus 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 piece lemongrass (white part only) finely chopped
3 cups organic chicken stock or organic vegetable stock
1-tablespoon kosher salt
Cilantro and green onions for garnish Directions    1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the rice, spring garlic and lemon grass cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until the rice is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil uncovered for 5 minutes, until the liquid is nearly absorbed.
   2. Cover the rice and bake for 10 minutes, until it is tender but firm and the liquid is completely absorbed. Let the rice stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, transfer to a bowl, garnish with cilantro and green onions and serve.


 

March 30, 2009
artichokes

After what seemed to me like a long winter, we have hit Spring. The farmers markets are buzzing with all the new and beautiful spring produce. Fava beans, asparagus, strawberries spring onions, fennel, English shelling peas, sugar snap peas, the list goes on. This will be the last week of citrus. So enjoy your last oranges and grapefruits. They are planting the new citrus trees now, for next year. Lets cross our fingers that there are no freezes next year so they don’t lose their lemon crops again. I just spoke with Tezo, the farmer and South Central Organic Farms and he ran down the list of the vegetables that he just planted for summer, and they all sound so good. Let me know if you want organic, local, free range eggs from Soledad Goat Farms this week. 6.50 doz. or 3.50 ½ doz.
Below is your list of produce for this week. Remember, it can change if there are not certain things available. Also, please ziplock (don’t put them straight into the orange box) all of your produce scraps and give them back so I can compost them.


Your Produce

Fava Beans - Tutti Frutti - look below for your fava bean cooking lesson.
Sugar Snap Peas - Tutti Frutti - toss in sesame oil and black sesame seeds and a bit of salt and pepper. Steam, stir fry and chop up and add to a salad.
Fennel - Tutti Frutti - slice and toss in a salad, sauté and top your fish of chicken. Slice thinly, add grated carrots, toss in a vinaigrette.
Cimmaron Lettuce - South Central Organic Farms - beautiful nutty flavored lettuce. One more month or some on these before they bolt. Enjoy.
Burgandy Spring Onions - South Central Organic Farms - First crop of these from South Central Farms.
Detroit Red Beets - South Central Organic Farms - Toss in olive oil, roast at 350, slpit the peels off and season.
Collard Greens - South Central Organic Farms - one more month of these before they bolt. Sautee in olive oil with garlic and red chile flakes, add a cup of water or chicken stock and simmer until tender. Eat with fried chicken!
Cilantro - South Central Organic Farms - Very fragrant. Much more fragrant then anything you buy in the store.
Purple Top Tunips - South Central Organic Farms - tender and nutty flavored. Thinly slice and toss in salads.
Bloomsdale Spinach - South Central Farms - hearty, curly, flavorful spinach. Holds up great to cooking.
Globe Carrots-Weiser Farms
Purple Peruvian Potatoes - Weiser Farms
Strawberries - picked when ripe so eat right away. They don’t last along time in the fridge.
Asparagus
Oranges - Agnew Sweet Acres-last week of citrus
Oro Blanco Grapefruit - Agnew Sweet Acres - last week of citrus


Recipes & Ideas

How To Prep Fava Beans
1
To shuck the beans, simply break off one end of the pod and use your thumb to pry it open. Pop the beans into a bowl and make a pile.
2
The easiest way to peel the beans is to parboil them first. To do so, bring a large stockpot filled with water to a rolling boil. Add the beans and let them cook until they turn bright green (about 60 to 90 seconds). Then, immediately remove the pan from the stove and drain the beans into a colander. Run the beans under cold water for a minute or so to stop them from cooking any further.
3
Now you need to remove the skin surrounding each bean. Fava beans have what looks like a little seam on one side of the bean. Make a slit in the seam at one end of the bean and then squeeze the bean out. It should pop right out of the skin. I usually squeeze them right into a bowl and discard the skin. Once you’ve peeled the beans, they are ready to use in any recipe.

Green Rissotto with Favas

Risotto flavored with fava beans, onion, broth and white wine. Can be made with either chicken broth or vegetable broth.
Ingredients:
1/2 pound fresh, unshelled fava beans
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
   
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese
salt to taste
Directions:
1.     Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, shell the favas and discard the pods. Boil the favas for 4 minutes, strain and then immediately plunge into ice water. Let cool for 2 minutes then pierce the favas and squeeze them out of their skins. Separate 3/4 of the favas and puree in a food processor.
2.     In a separate large saucepan bring the broth to a simmer, and keep it hot. Meanwhile, in another large saucepan over medium heat, melt 1.5 tablespoons of the butter and add the onions. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes; do not brown the onions. Add the rice and cook, while stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to medium, and stir constantly. When the wine has been absorbed, add a little of the hot stock. Once the stock is absorbed, add a little more; repeat this process, stirring constantly, until the rice is cooked through.
3.     To the cooked rice add the pureed favas, the remaining 1.5 tablespoons of butter, the rest of the favas and the cheese. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter and cheese melt and the puree is incorporated evenly. Season with salt.

 

March 23, 2009
raspberries

Favas will be here next week! Yahoooooooooo.

Your Produce

Strawberries
Purple Sprouting Broccoli - Weiser Farms, very hard to get…all the restaurants in town want this. So enjoy!!! Use like any other broccoli.
Navel Oranges - Andrew Sweet Acres
Red Oak Lettuce - Finley Organic Farms
Chives

kumquats

Kumquats - perfect to candy, or eat whole, peel and all. very tart and tangy!

 
Red or Yellow Onions, or Garlic
Breakfast Radishes - Finely Organic Farms-great in salads, or sliced on a piece of bread with butter and a little salt.
Oro Blanco Grapefruit - Andrew Sweet Acres, sprinkle with brown sugar and eat for breakfast.
Baby Spinach - Bake into a quiche or frittata, sauté with garlic, or eat raw in a salad.
Baby Greens
rainbowChard

Rainbow Chard - Finley Organic Farms-saute’ with garlic and a squeeze of lemon or dash of vinegar.

 

Russian Banana Potatoes - Weiser Farms
Purple Haze Carrots - Weiser Farms
Shelling Peas - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms, don’t eat whole shell the peas.
Honey Dates - Agnew Sweet Acres
Purple or green Cabbage - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms


Recipes & Ideas

Spicy Creole Cole Slaw Recipe

Ingredients:

    * 1 head purple or green cabbage, shredded
    * 2 carrots, grated
    * 1 red onion, diced
    * 1 bunch chives, diced
    * 1 red chili pepper, minced
    * 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
    * 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
    * 2 tbsp creole seasoning
    * 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    * 2 tbsp lemon juice
    * dash sugar
    * dash hot sauce, to taste
    * salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, chives, carrots, onions and chili pepper.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, creole seasoning, vinegar, lemon juice and sugar. Pour this mixture over the cabbage mix, and gently toss to coat.

Add a dash of hot sauce, salt and pepper, and chill for at least one hour before serving, tossing again before serving.

 

March 16, 2009
artichoke

 

Your Produce

Purple Sprouting Broccoli - Weiser Farms, very hard to get… all the restaurants in town want this. So enjoy!!! Use like any other broccoli.
Navel Oranges
- Andrew Sweet Acres
Asparagus

blackKale

Black Kale - South Central Organic Farms, one of my absolute favorites.

 

Oro Blanco Grapefruit - Andrew Sweet Acres
Zutano Avocados
- Great in Salads-don’t use for guacamole

frisee

Frissee - chop up and put in salads

 

Red Crescent Potatoes - Weiser Farms
Rainbow Carrots
- Weiser Farms
Mustard Greens
- South Central Organic Farms, Make just like collards or any other greens.

bloomsdaleSpinach

Bloomsdale Spinach - South Central Organic Farms, a curly more hardy spinach. Great cooked. Saute and use in pastas, risottos, and rice dishes.

 

Lemongrass
Green Onions

whiteRutabaga

White Rutabagas - Weiser Farms, RAW: First, peel them with a vegetable peeler. Slice and enjoy as a snack. Chop, dice, or grate them and add to salads. Create a unique salad with diced rutabagas and other vegetables of your choice. Grate them and add to cole slaw. Grate and combine with carrot salad.  COOKED: Rutabagas can be roasted, boiled, steamed, stir-fried, mashed, or stewed. Cook them with potatoes and mash together. Quarter them and roast along with potatoes. Enhance the flavor of stews with chopped or quartered rutabagas. Dice them and add to soups. Stir-fry with onions.

 

Romanesco Cauliflower - Weiser Farms, beautiful little colored cauliflowers. Nutty, earthy flavor.

redEndive
greenEndive

Red and Green Endive - chop up and put in salads, or top with crumbled blue cheese and walnuts.
Baby Mixed Lettuces

Recipes & Ideas

Spinach Avocado Grapefruit Salad Recipe

Serves 4
5 oz fresh spinach
I t olive oil
I garlic clove, pressed
I grapefruit
I avocado
salt and black pepper to taste
Stem and rinse the spinach. Spin or gently pat dry. Tear the large leaves into bite size pieces. In a large bowl, mix together the oil and garlic, add the spinach and toss well. Set aside. Peel, seed and section the grapefruit. Halve the avocado, remove the pit, peel and cut into 1 inch slices. In a small bowl mix gently the grapefruit and avocado. Add them to the bowl of spinach. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss
lightly and serve.

Source: Moosewood Restaurant Low Fat Favorites Cookbook

 

March 9, 2009
tomatoes

 

Your Produce

Navel Oranges - Sweet Acres
Golden Beets - Tutti Frutti
Leeks - Tutti Frutti
Arugula - McGrath Farms
Fennel - Tutti Frutti
German Butterball Potatoes - Weiser Farms
Purple Haze Carrots - Weiser Farms
English Shelling Peas!!!! - McGrath Farms
Kiwis - Soledad Goat Farm
Bloomsdale Spinach - South Central Farms
Red Kale - South Central Farms
Fire Cracker Lettuce - McGrath Farms
Brussels Sprouts
Mixed Mushrooms
Sweet Potatoes
Garlic

 

March 2, 2009
carrots

We are there! It's the beginning of spring. A few days ago I wandered into my backyard and saw the bulbs that I planted last year poking their little green heads out, looking for a bit of sunlight. I knew then that the Farmers Market would have gorgeous English Shelling Peas this week. They are truly the first hint of spring. There is nothing like the delicate burst when you bite into fresh peas. They are great stirred into risottos, pasta dishes, soups, and omelets and tossed raw into a salad. Below are recipes and ideas for the peas. Enjoy!

Your Produce

Oro Blanco Grape Fruit - Sweet Acres Eat with brown sugar for breakfast, or cut segments into a salad.
Tangerines - Sweet Acres Whenever they have these I get them for you because they are so good. Give them to the kids for dessert!
Baby Broccoli - Weiser Farms This elegant baby broccoli is lovely pan seared on high with olive oil and garlic and red pepper flakes, and then tossed into pasta. Shave some Parmesan on top.
Romenesco Cauliflower - Purple, orange or green,Wieser Farms-to retain the beautiful color don’t overcook. Or better yet pull apart by hand and use in a salad.
Herb Bundle - Lily’s Herbs Rosemary: sprinkle on potatoes, carrots or any roasted veggies. Marjoram: use in sauces, soups, vinaigrettes. Bay Leaves: put one in soups or stews.
Mixed Baby Greens - McGrath Farms
Red Leaf Lettuce - Tutti Frutti
Pee Wee Potatoes - Weiser Farms
Mixed Heirloom Carrots - Weiser Farms
China Rose Radishes - South Central Farms
Cabbage - Tutti Frutti
English Shelling Peas!!!! - McGrath Farms In my world English shelling peas mean SPRING IS HERE!!! Yummy. I am so excited about these. There are a couple of recipes below.
Kiwis - Soledad Goat Farm
Rainbow Swiss Chard - South Central Farms
Mustard Greens - South Central Farms

Recipes & Ideas

Double Garlic Greens - adapted from Mark Bittman's “How To Cook Everything”

1 bunch mustard greens, kale, Swiss chard or broccoli raab with stems less than 1/4 inch, well washed
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. thinly sliced garlic (about 5 or 6 cloves) plus 1 tsp minced garlic or more to taste
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 c chicken, vegetable stock or water
1 lemon

1. Coarsely chop stems and leaves of the greens
2. Place olive oil in a large, deep saucepan. Add the sliced garlic, pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper and cook over medium-high heat for about 1 minute.
3. Add greens and the stock or water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until the greens are wilted and just tender but still little firm.
4. Uncover the greens and continue to cook, stirring over medium-high heat until the liquid has all but evaporated and the greens are quite tender. Taste for seasoning and add red or black pepper and salt as needed; add the remaining minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Serve with lemon wedges.

Marjoram Peas Under Oil
There are no amounts to this recipe, because it’s very loose and easy to do.

Shell your peas. Add to a cold pan. Put a loose handful of marjoram, mint or dill on top of the peas. In a separate pan, boil some water. Pour the boiling water over the peas just enough to cover. Bring the water and peas to a boil with the lid on, and cook about two minutes, just enough to make them tender. Immediately drain in a colander. Place peas and herbs into a small bowl. Squeeze and bit of lemon, a splash of red wine vinegar and sea salt and pepper. Then pour a good quality olive oil over the peas until the are totally covered. (It seems like a lot, but do it!) Let sit for an hour, and serve at room temp. Yum!

 

February 23, 2009
scallions

 

Your Produce

Red Scarlet Turnips - Weiser Family Farms. Cut up to use in soups or stock or cut in chunks and roast at 425 for 40 minutes until tender and beginning to brown.  You can also steam them or boil them and then mash them like a potato.  They make a great mock mashed potatoes - just puree in the food processor with a little butter or milk or both, salt and pepper.  When roasted these become caramelized on the outside and smooth and creamy inside. 
Parsnips - Weiser Family Farms.  Looks like a white carrot and have a sweet flavor.  Treat like a carrot.  Add soups or stock or cut in chunks and roast at 425 for 40 minutes until done.  You can also steam them or boil them and then mash them like a potato.
Chioggia Beets - South Central Organic Farms. An Italian Heirloom beet with white and purple to pink to red rings of alternating color.  They have a a sweet peppery flavor and are smooth and mild tasting.  They are beautiful in a salad. 
Wild Baby Arugala - McGrath Family Farms
Waltman Broccoli - South Central Organic Farms
Watermelon Radishes - McGrath Family Farms.  GORGEOUS, and when sliced looks just like a watermelon with a green rind and rosy interior.  The color intensifies with a splash of vinegar!  Just gorgeous in a salad raw, this radish can also be roasted, added to stir fries, sautéed, added to stews, or even boiled and mashed!  Milder than most radishes, it is actually slightly sweet with a nice crisp bite when raw, the watermelon radish is an heirloom variety of the Daikon.
Leeks - Tutti Frutti Farms
Onions - Tutti Frutti Farms
Blood Oranges, Navel Oranges or Mandarins - Sweet Acres
Mixed Pee Wee Potatoes - Weiser Family Farms
Rainbow Carrots - Weiser Family Farms
Butter Crunch Lettuce - South Central Organic Farms.  Delicate sweet flavor with a buttery texture.  Mix with other lettuces and greens like Watercress, or a Red Leaf Lettuce for a gourmet salad.
Bloomsdale Spinach - South Central Organic Farms

Recipes & Ideas

Roasted Parsnips and Onions

2 Parsnips, ends trimmed
1/2 an Onion, peeled and diced
1 sprig Fresh Rosemary, leaves removed from stem
2 tb Extra virgin Olive Oil
Coarse Salt
Freshly ground black Pepper
Heat the oven to 425ºF. In a roasting pan, combine the parsnips, onions and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and toss until the vegetables are thoroughly coated.

 

February 16, 2009heirloomTomatoes

I have found an amazing farm that has the best eggs! It is a goat farm and the two women who run the farm make yummy goat cheese. They also have chickens on the farm, and they lay the most beautiful and rich tasting eggs. They are all organic, and they only feed on grass (no filler). They run around out in the field. The eggs are all different colors, light blues, browns, greenish blues and cream, depending on the type of hen that laid them. They are $6.50 for 12. I would be more than happy to send you a couple to try if you would like, then you can let me know if you want them in your basket each delivery. They do have limited amounts, because it is a very small farm.

Your Produce

Avocados - Luscious in a salad or stuffed with a little tuna.  Yummy!
Lavendar - Lilys Herbs.  Steep in hot water for a lovely lavender tea.
Collard Greens - Lilys Herbs.  Scroll down for vegetarian collards recipe.
Barhi Dates - Agnew Sweet Acres.  These dates are so sweet. They taste like caramel. Eat them instead of ice cream for dessert. Or better yet put them on top of the ice cream! Or stuff them with blue cheese and wrap them with bacon and stick in the oven for 15 minutes.
Bloomsdale Spinach - South Central Organic Farms.  The best spinach I have ever had!
Pink Lady Apples
Red Pears
La Ratte Potatoes - Weiser Family Organic Farms.  Long, smooth tuber usually hooked into a point at one end.  Skin is parchment-colored, flesh a soft yellowish white. This is the potato of all potatoes in my world.  Whenever you want fingerlings, this is the real deal.  All the top chefs use this potato almost exclusively!  Very early variety introduced in France in 1872 and now one of the cornerstones of the French high-end cookery.
Yellow Carrots - Weiser Farms
White Hakurei Turnips - Eat raw, they are very sweet.  Cook like any other root vegetable.
Red Leaf Lettuce - Tutti Fruity Organic Farms
Dill - Tutti Fruity Organic Farms
Snow Peas - Tutti Fruity Organic Farms
Swiss Chard - Tutti Fruity Organic Farms
Chinese Broccoli

 

Recipes & Ideas

Salsa Verde
Adapted from Fields of Greens by Annie Sommerville
This is a great green sauce that would go great with a mild fish or tossed with a grain or bean salad…

½ cup olive oil
2 tbs finely chopped onion or leek
1 small clove of garlic, chopped
1 cup packed parsley
1 cup packed Swiss chard - no stems
½ tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp champagne, white wine or rice vinegar
½ tsp drained capers
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve this salsa fresh.

 

February 9, 2009
artichokes

 

Your Produce

Bloomsadale Spinach - South Central Organic Farms
Spicy Saute Mix - McGrath Organic Family Farms
Navel Oranges - Agnew Sweet Acres
Blood Oranges - Agnew Sweet Acres

blackKale

Calvo Nero or Black Kale - McGrath Organic Family Farms. This dark blackish cabbage with thick, long, curly leaves originated in Italy, where it was prized for its bitter yet rich flavor.The favorite way I have ever had this prepared is at AOC. This link has the recipe for their preperation of black kale in the L.A. Times.
Read all about it...

 

Cauliflower - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Red Heirloom Beets - South Central Organic Farms
Butter Crunch Lettuce - South Central Organic Farms

leeks

Leeks - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms

 

Waltman Broccoli - South Central Organic Farms
Green, Napa or Red Cabbage - Tutti Frutti Organic Farms
Creole Heirloom Cilantro (extremely fragrant) - South Central Organic Produce-
Mixed Baby Heirloom Carrots

peaTendrils

Pea Tendrils - add to soups, top chicken, beef or fish with sautéed tendrils

 

Russian Banana Fingerling Potatoes
Garlic
Baby Bok Choy

Recipes & Ideas

Sesame Baby Bok Choy

Yield: 2-3

1 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 pound baby bok choy, trimmed
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Pepper, to taste
Black or white sesame seeds to garnish

Bring broth and butter to a simmer in a deep large heavy skillet. Arrange bok choy evenly in skillet and simmer, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy with tongs to a serving dish and keep warm, covered. Boil broth mixture until reduced to about 1/2 cup, then stir in sesame oil and pepper to taste. Pour mixture over bok choy.  Garnish with sesame seeds.

 

February 2, 2009
strawberries

Last week Weiser Farms was short on the Scarlet Turnips, so a lot of you only got one or two, so I am putting them in your baskets again this week. They are perfect for Valentines Day dinners, so if anybody would like them in your baskets on Valentines week, please email me. Also if you are cooking dinner for your sweetie and need anything specific please email me as well. Hard Squashes are winding down for the season. We might get them here and there for another month. Citrus is still looking great. We are going to have asparagus in about 3 weeks!  By next week I will post prices for organic free-range chickens that are available. They are a bit pricey, but they are local, and you can really taste the difference in the quality.

Your Produce

Watermelon Radishes - eat in salads, or thinly slice and eat on a buttered piece of bread with sea salt. My mom’s fave!
Mandarin Oranges - so sweet and delish
Navels Oranges
Blood Oranges - still in season and tasting delightful
Grapefruit - sprinkle with brown sugar and eat for breakfast
Snow Peas - big and beautiful. Steam or use raw. Scroll down for a snap peas with sesame recipe, but use these.
Romenesco Cauliflower or Baby Broccoli - both very delicate and a bit hard to get. So you will get one or the other because of limited supplies. Sometimes the cauliflower will have little black marks, that is from getting bumped. You can cut it off, but it is not a rotten spot, they are just very delicate.
Red Leaf Lettuce
Acorn Squash - fingers crossed we can get them
Leeks
Red Swiss Chard - Sauté with garlic, a splash of red wine vinegar, white wine and olive oil.
Thyme - use in soups, stews, any roasted veggies, potpies, or in a salad
Bay Leaves - throw one or two in with your carrots when you roast or blanch them and it adds a wonderful depth of flavor.
Oregano
Scarlet Turnips
Rosemary
Baby Arugula - saute and throw into pasta, or squeeze a bit of lemon and olive oil on and eat as a salad (don’t forget the parm!)
Bloomsdale Spinach - simply my fave. Wash well because of the rain. It’s very dirty. I made creamed spinach with it last week and it was heaven.
Indigo Carrots - these purple beauties are so sweet.

Recipes & Ideas

Steamed Romenesco Cauliflower or Baby Broccoli with Indian Spiced Yogurt
(you can actually use this yogurt to top any steamed vegetable)

Yield 2

2 cups steamed Cauliflower or Baby Broccoli
½ cup of Strauss Dairy Organic Yogurt
1 teaspoon toasted Cumin Seeds
1 teaspoon toasted Fennel Seeds
1 teaspoon toasted ground Cardamom
zest and juice of 1 Lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground Pepper to taste

Mix yogurt with spices, lemon juice and zest and let sit for 1 hour in the fridge. Season with salt and pepper and sever over hot or cold steamed veggies.

Red Swiss Chard and Slivered Indigo Carrots

Yeild: 2

2 Tbs. extra virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, sliced
2 teaspoons Red Chili flakes
1 bunch red Swiss Chard
2 medium Indigo Carrots
Freshly ground Pepper and sea salt to taste
Juice of half a Lemon

Sauté olive oil in pan with garlic and red chilies. When garlic is brown (not burned), remove from pan and set oil and peppers aside.
Separate the chard stems from the leaves. Chop leaves in one-inch pieces, and roughly chop the stems in ½ inch pieces.
Peel carrots and slice into ¼ disks, and then lengthwise into narrow strips.
Heat oil back up, and sauté chard stems until tender, and carrots and chard leaves and sauté for 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Add ½ cup of  water and sauté until liquid reduces down to a tablespoon. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle with browned garlic before serving.

 

January 25, 2009

 

Your Produce

Avocados
Fresh Garbanzo Beans - Organic Sprout Farm.  Great in soups or curries, or raw on salads.
Baby Collard Greens - Lily’s Herbs
Oro Blanco Grapefruit - Andrew Sweet Acres

purpleScallion

Purple Scallions - McGrath Farms-use like any onion

 

Kiwi - peel and eat whole, slice into fruit salads.
Baby Greens - McGrath Farms

leeks

Leeks

 

Broccoli
Bloomsdale Spinach - South Central Organic Farms.  See descriptions below.

scarletTurnips

Red Scarlet Turnips - Weiser Farms

 

Sugar Snap Peas - Great in stir fries, chopped up fresh on salad, steamed or sauteed. See our Sesame Snap Pea Recipe featured on December 29th below.

sweetPotatoes

Jersey Sweet Potatoes - Roast, bake, stir fry, boil and mash. Goes well with rosemary and sage.

 

French Fingerling Potatoes - Weiser Farms
Yellow Carrots - Weiser Farms

parsnips

Parsnips - Weiser Farms. Use like any root veggie. Roast, boil, steam, mash. Use in soups, stews or curries.

Recipes & Ideas

Vegetarian Collard Greens

Yield: 2-3

3 tbs. vegetable oil
½ of a diced onion or 3 red scallions, finely diced
4 cloves minced garlic
1-bunch collard greens
½ cup organic vegetable stock or water
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1-teaspoon organic maple syrup
1 teaspoon red chile flakes
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large sauté pan add oil and heat to sizzling. Add Onions. Sauté’ until onions are translucent, then add garlic and collards. Stir until wilted. Turn down to medium and add stock, soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup and chili flakes. Reduce by ¾’s. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.



Red Scarlet Turnip and French Fingerling Potato Gratin

Yield: 3-4

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
1 Turkish bay leaf
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 French Fingerling potatoes
3 Red Scarlet turnips
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350. Bring first 9 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan.  Lower heat and simmer until it reduces by ½ (about 20 min).

Slice turnips and potatoes into 1/8 inch thick rounds. Layer into an 8x8 inch baking dish alternating turnips and potatoes.  Pour cream mixture over vegetables and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake until top is golden brown (about 1 hour). If the cheese is turning brown too quickly, cover with foil.

 

January 19, 2009
raspberries

Here is a great article in the Huffington Post about Alice Waters cooking local, organic food for a dinner in Washington during Inauguration week. Read all about it...

Regarding your produce for the week. Please note that this list is done a couple of days before I go to the markets, so there might be things on the list that are not in your box, because they didn’t look good when I got there, or because of the weather they were not available. The only constant is change, so embrace it!

Your Produce

Dates - Agnew Sweet Acres
Avocados
Navel Oranges - Agnew Sweet Acres. The navels are getting sweeter each week. The more sun, the sweeter they get!

brusselsSprouts

Brussels Sprouts

 

Purple Peruvian Potatoes - Weiser Farms.
Baby Rainbow Carrots - Weiser Farms
Baby Heirloom Beets - McGrath Farms
Hazelnuts
Lemon
s

babyArugula

Baby Arugula - McGrath Farms

 

Blood Oranges - Agnew Sweet Acres
Cimarron Lettuce - South Central Organic Farms
Red Speckle Pears
Mixed Mushrooms

shallots

Shallots

 

Rosemary - Lilys Herbs
Chives - Lilys Herbs
Parsley - Lilys Herbs

celeryRoot

Celery Root - Finley Farms.  Celery root or celeriac is the swollen lower portion of the main stem of celery. It is milder in flavor, and requires deep peeling. A spoon works really well. Scrape the peel off with the spoon, and you will lose very little of the actual bulb. It is cooked like any other of the root vegetables, or eaten raw.

 

Spearmint - Lilys Herbs. Spearmint is great to make tea with, chopped up on any Meditaranean, Indian or Asian dishes or salads. To store, keep in a plastic bag. It doesn’t do well with the air circulation in the refrigerator.
Collard Greens

Recipes & Ideas

Celery Root, Beet and Carrot Salad

Yield 2-4

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

3 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
 2 teaspoons minced garlic
 1/3 cup olive oil

Salad Ingredients:

 1 1/2 cups matchstick-size strips peeled celery root
 1 1/2 cups matchstick-size strips peeled carrots
 1 1/2 cups matchstick-size strips peeled beets
 Toasted hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts

Vinaigrette:

Whisk first 7 ingredients in small bowl. Add oil and whisk to blend well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Salad:

Toss all vegetables (except beets) in a medium bowl, drizzle in enough dressing to coat vegetables. Salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on small plates. Toss beets in enough vinaigrette to coat, salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on top of vegetables on plate. Top salads with nuts. 

 

January 12, 2009
asparagus

I have an obsession with Bloomsdale Spinach! This spinach is a very sought after vegetable by chefs. At the farmers markets you see every chef in town getting cases for that night's menu. Most spinach withers away to nothing, and has a gritty feel to the teeth when cooked. Not the Bloomsdale. The flavor is very delicate, sweet and earthy. Enjoy it now, because when the heat hits it will be gone. Here is a list of ideas on how to use it.

Stir fried into brown rice and topped with an egg for a quick breakfast
Sautéed with lemon, garlic and pine nuts
Spinach Lasagna
Indian Spiced Potatoes with Spinach
Pasta with Spinach and Sausage in Cream Sauce
Stir into sautéed ground turkey and onions, add a red sauce and serve over pasta or rice

Your Produce

Garlic
Red Scallions - McGrath Family Farms
Assorted Mushrooms
Red Speckle Pears
Apples
Asian Pears
Baby Broccoli - Sauté with olive oil and garlic and top with shredded Parmesan cheese

redendive

Red Endive - Chop up and toss with other greens into salad. Top each spear with blue cheese and a walnut and a drizzle of honey and serve as a first course.

 

Dates - Agnew Sweet Acres, stuff with Pecorino Cheese, wrap with bacon and bake until bacon is crispy. Or enjoy whole.
Romanesco Cauliflower
Artichoke - Steam or boil for 45 minutes to an hour, squeeze lemon over it, and dip leaves into melted butter. Cut out the choke and eat the tender sweet meat.
Nantes Sweet Carrots - Weiser Family Farms

blackkale

Black Kale - McGrath Family Farms, Sautee with garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes.

 

Potatoes Ruby Crescent Potatoes - Weiser Farms, European potato with a rosy color exterior and firm yellow flesh. A good potato to puree and equally successful when roasted.
Blood Oranges
Mixed Baby Greens

bloomsdaleSpinach

Bloomsdale Spinach

Recipes & Ideas

Blood Orange Empress Date and Aged Parmesan Salad

Yield: 2-3

2 Blood Oranges
2 cups Baby Greens
1 head Red Beeline Endive, chopped in ½ inch rounds
4 Red Scallions, greens included, sliced very thin
6 pitted Empress Dated, sliced in rounds
½ cup shaved Parmesan

Using a sharp knife cut the peel away from the oranges. Cut between the membranes to release the orange segments. Arrange baby greens on a platter, and then arrange endive, red scallions, dates and shaved Parmesan. Top with curried vinaigrette.

Curried Vinaigrette

2 tbs white wine or Champagne vinegar
1 tsp. curry powder
½ tsp. honey
2 tbs. olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Whisk vinegar, curry powder, and honey in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle olive oil in while whisking until it is emulsified.


January 5, 2009
carrots

 

Your Produce

Turnips - Weiser Farms 
Butternut Squash
Nantes Carrots - Weiser Farms
Russian Banana Fingerling Potatoes - Weiser Farms
Navel Oranges - Agnew Sweet Acres

bloomsdalespinach

Bloomsdale Spinach - South Central Organic Farms, heirloom spinach, really, really good in soups, quesadillas and stir fries.  This spinach is a more crunchy variety, and holds up well when cooked.

 

Madarine Oranges - Agnew Sweet Acres
Baby Beets - McGrath Farms         
Baby Spinach - McGrath Farms: this spinach is better in salads because it is very delicate      
Baby Red Leaf Lettuce - McGrath Farms 

bloodOrange

Blood Oranges - Agnew Sweet Acres

 

Pink Lady Apples
Cimarron Black Leaf Lettuce - South Central Organic Farms
Persimmons - great sliced up in salads
Rosemary – Lily's Herbs, chop up and sauté with potatoes

frisee

Frisee - Mc Grath Farms

Recipes & Ideas

Winter Vegetable Soup

Yield: Makes 6 servings

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 coarsely chopped medium onion
1 cup peeled, cored and coarsely chopped gala apple
1 cup peeled and coarsely chopped turnip
1 cup peeled and chopped butternut squash (seeds discarded)
1 cup coarsely chopped carrot
1 cup peeled, chopped sweet potato
5 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
1/4 cup maple syrup
cayenne pepper
 
For soup, heat oil and butter in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add apple, turnip, squash, carrot, and sweet potato; season with salt, then sauté 5 minutes. Add stock, bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add syrup, then cayenne pepper to taste.

Red Leaf Lettuce, Walnuts, Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese Salad

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Dressing
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel

Salad
4 (2- to 3-inch-diameter) beets, unpeeled, scrubbed, all but 1 inch of tops removed
1 tablespoon olive oil

½ head Red Leaf lettuce, coarsely chopped
handful Frissee
1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
4 ounces chilled soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), coarsely crumbled
Thin strips of orange peel
 
For dressing:
Whisk all ingredients in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. for salad: Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss beets with 1 tablespoon oil in 11x7-inch metal baking pan. Roast beets until tender, about 45 minutes. Cool beets; peel and cut into 1/2-inch wedges. (Dressing and beets can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill. Bring both to room temperature before continuing.)

Mix lettuces, walnuts and dressing in large bowl; toss. Divide among plates. Arrange beets around greens; sprinkle with goat cheese and orange peel.


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