Weekly Farm Notes :: August 11th, 2015

Hello!

I am including the same CSA information as I sent last week. Spots are filling up fast so please sign up soon if you are interested!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We may be in the midst of summer heat but this is the BEST time to think about your Fall, Winter and Spring CSA! Not only can you secure your spot in, what is shaping up to be, our best season ever, but you can also help support our farm as we ramp up to provide you with healthy, delicious food.

You may be wondering how much variety there can be during the cooler months. While Mother Nature will partially dictate which of these products will make it to market, here is a list of seasonal produce you may see in your CSA share and at market: variety of cabbage, Chinese napa cabbage, bitter melon (NEW), variety of Pak choi, variety of kohlrabi, green onions, garlic, salad turnips, carrots, beets, variety of radish, salsify (NEW), rutabaga, arugula, spinach, variety of kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, broccoli raab, mustard greens, Asian greens, lettuce mix, variety of lettuce, pie pumpkin, winter squash, rampicante squash (NEW), potatoes, sweet potatoes, herbs, Jerusalem artichokes, chestnuts, and apples.

You can sign up by emailing us at food@tanthillfarm.com or stop by our booth at market tomorrow!

Let’s not lose sight of the current growing season, however. The list below includes items we will have available tomorrow. We hope to see you at market!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 12th Produce

Here are some of the items you can expect this week:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Recipe :: Benedictine

I have only lived in the South since last November but I instantly fell in love with the food culture. I love reading about traditional Southern recipes and wanted to share this one which I just found in The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook. This spread, which would be great with our Diva cucumbers, is usually served in the form of finger sandwiches.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
  • 10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Ground black pepper

Directions:

  • Place the cucumber in a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. Place in the refrigerator to drain for 2 hours. Transfer the cucumber into the bowl of a food processor and discard the collected liquid. Add the cream cheese and onion; pulse to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving lightly chilled.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Other :: Alice O’Dea Article

Have you read Alice O’Dea’s latest article? I always appreciate an introduction to topics and dishes I have never heard of before. Thanks, Alice!


Weekly Farm Notes :: August 5th, 2015

Hello!

We may be in the midst of summer heat but this is the BEST time to think about your Fall, Winter and Spring CSA! Not only can you secure your spot in, what is shaping up to be, our best season ever, but you can also help support our farm as we ramp up to provide you with healthy, delicious food.

You may be wondering how much variety there can be during the cooler months. While Mother Nature will partially dictate which of these products will make it to market, here is a list of seasonal produce you may see in your CSA share and at market: variety of cabbage, Chinese napa cabbage, bitter melon (NEW), variety of Pak choi, variety of kohlrabi, green onions, garlic, salad turnips, carrots, beets, variety of radish, salsify (NEW), rutabaga, arugula, spinach, variety of kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, broccoli raab, mustard greens, Asian greens, lettuce mix, variety of lettuce, pie pumpkin, winter squash, rampicante squash (NEW), potatoes, sweet potatoes, herbs, Jerusalem artichokes, chestnuts, and apples.

You can sign up by emailing us at food@tanthillfarm.com or at market tomorrow!

Let’s not lose sight of the current growing season, however. The list below includes items we will have available today. We hope to see you at market!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 5th Produce

Here are some of the items you can expect this week:

  • Chinese Yard Long Beans: while these may taste similar to green beans, the texture can become waterlogged if cooked in water, making them best simply sauteed. Jazz up the cooking oil with a little spice or garlic if you desire. You can also easily ferment them – I followed this recipe. I plan on letting them ferment for at least a week and look forward to adding them to dishes soon!
  • Diva Cucumbers: these cucumbers are thin-skinned and crunchy, the perfect addition to our Millet Tabbouleh.
  • Basil: of course you can make the classic pesto or the even easier pistou, but lately I have been making basil infused drinks. I recently soaked basil in white whiskey (vodka would be great, too) for a day and then strained it. The recipe below for Cinnamon Basil Syrup is next on my list!
  • Pastured Eggs: here’s an easy meal idea: make some rice, chop and saute the Chinese yard long beans, and top with a fried egg and a little soy and/or sesame sauce. Dinner is served!
  • Beautiful Cut Flowers: brighten up your day with our beautiful cut flowers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Recipe :: Cinnamon Basil Syrup

This recipe is from The Herbal Kitchen: Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor cookbook and is something I reference often when I need herbal inspiration. This syrup is mixed with blueberries and watermelon but I think it would be great in a cocktail too. Experiment and have fun!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon or sweet basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  • Bring the sugar, water, and cinnamon to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer the syrup for 3 minutes. Stir in the basil leaves and remove from heat. Let the syrup cool to room temperature. Strain and stir in the lemon juice. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.


Cherry Tomato Gazpacho

Hello!

I think it is required to eat gazpacho at least once during the summer. It is so fast and refreshing, perfect for dinner on a steamy evening. We hope you enjoy our version!

Cherry Tomato Gazpacho
makes 2 generous servings

Recipe notes: 1) I used Niedlov’s sourdough bread but any white sandwich loaf will do; 2) I didn’t peel the cucumber because the skins on our Diva cucumbers are thin. If you have cucumbers with thick, bitter skin, I would suggest peeling beforehand.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large slice (1-1/4 ounces) white bread
  • 1-1/4 pound cherry tomatoes, stems removed
  • 1 medium (6-1/2 ounces) cucumber, ends trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium (1-1/2 ounces) peeled and trimmed shallot
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 2-3 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • Extra-virgin olive oil and thinly sliced basil for serving

Directions:

  • If you don’t have slightly stale, day-old bread, toast the bread to dry it out a bit. You want it to be just a little golden. Tear into large pieces and add to a blender.
  • Set aside 2-3 ounces (a small handful) of tomatoes for garnish and place the remaining in the blender with the bread.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, starting with 2 teaspoons vinegar, to the blender. Process on high until very smooth, 1-2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Transfer to a bowl and top with remaining tomatoes, halved, olive oil and basil. Serve.

Easiest Refrigerator Pickles

Hello!

We are moving into our new house this week (yay!) so I have very limited time in the kitchen. I remembered Smitten Kitchen’s Easiest Fridge Dill Pickle recipe when I was trying to decide what to do with cucumbers, and I am so glad I did! This recipe couldn’t be easier or more delicious and it is perfect with our Diva cucumbers. I adjusted the recipe slightly by using a different type of vinegar and swapping out the dill for a dried spice blend. This is a recipe I will make again and again and we hope you like it too!

Easiest Refrigerator Pickles
makes 3-4 cups of pickles + brine

Recipe notes: 1) although not necessary, a mandoline makes slicing the cucumbers a quick and painless process; 2) I used 3 teaspoons of salt as I like my pickles salty – reduce amount to 2 teaspoons if you are sensitive to salt; 3) you can use different types of vinegar (white wine, distilled, etc) but I prefer rice vinegar as it has the lowest acidity level and doesn’t leave the pickles with a sharp bite.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds (about 3 medium) cucumbers, sliced very thin (I used the 3mm setting on my mandoline, which is about .12 inches)
  • 2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • A tablespoon or two of chopped dill or other seasonings as desired (I used 1 teaspoon of Penzey’s Greek Seasoning which contains oregano, garlic, lemon, black pepper and marjoram and I LOVED the flavor!)

Directions:

  • In a large mixing bowl, toss cucumbers, salt, vinegar and herbs/seasoning, if using, together until well combined. Note: the liquid will NOT cover the pickles, and that is ok. The salt will begin to draw water out of the cucumbers and soon there will be plenty of liquid. Set aside for an hour. Transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate. The pickles will keep for a couple of weeks, but come on, they won’t last that long!

Weekly Farm Notes :: July 7th, 2015

Hello!

We have posted three new recipes since last week, all perfect for easy, fresh summer eating: Roasted Tomatillo SalsaMillet TabboulehMinted Eggplant Dip. You can find the main ingredients at our stand tomorrow. We hope to see you at market!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

July 8th Produce

Here are some of the items you can expect this week:

  • Heirloom Tomatoes: in my opinion, you have to make gazpacho at least once during the summer. It’s so fresh and easy. Here is a link to Main Street Farmers Market favorite version – yum!
  • Sweet Red Cherry Tomatoes: you can just toss these into our Millet Tabbouleh, or make a super simple cherry tomato salsa. Start by tossing 6 ounces of quartered tomatoes with a tablespoon each extra-virgin olive oil and cilantro, along with 1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
  • Diva Cucumbers: these cucumbers are thin-skinned and crunchy, the perfect addition to our Millet Tabbouleh or for use in Tzatziki sauce (see recipe below).
  • Japanese Eggplant: try our new recipe for Minted Eggplant Dip!
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard: pick up some of our eggs and give this Greens & Cheese Frittata recipe a try! It makes for a quick lunch or dinner. Don’t forget to stop by Sequatchie Cove and pick up some cheese to use with it!
  • Tomatillos: try our new recipe for Roasted Tomatillo Salsa!
  • Green Sweet Carmen Peppers: I have read that these peppers are great for roasting and I bet they would hold up well on the grill. Give it a try and let us know how you enjoy them!
  • Papalo: we have been experimenting a lot with papalo lately. Try it in our Fresh Tomato Salsa or Roasted Tomatillo Salsa. I have also tried it in guacamole and as a garnish for a Thai inspired soup. Look for more papalo recipes coming soon!
  • Mint: we have numerous suggestions for using your mint this week: try our Minted Eggplant Dip, the Tzatziki recipe below or this recipe that I created a few years ago for Mint & Pistachio Pesto. Buy extra mint and try all three!
  • Pastured Eggs: there is no limit to what can be done with eggs. Pick up a dozen or two – they last for weeks!
  • Beautiful Cut Flowers: brighten up your day with our beautiful cut flowers!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Recipe :: Tzatziki Sauce

This recipe is from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook. They suggests salting and draining the cucumbers to prevent excess liquid from making the dip watery. You can skip this step if you plan to use it all immediately. And given our Diva cucumbers have such thin skins, you could also skip the peeling step as well. Serve with pita, crackers or raw veggies. Makes 2 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12 ounce) cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and shredded
  • 1 cup whole Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint and/or dill
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced

Directions:

  • Toss cucumbers and 1/2 teaspoon salt together and let drain in colander for 15 minutes.
  • Whisk yogurt, oil, mint and garlic together in bowl, then stir in drained cucumber. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Other :: Alice O’Dea Article

Have you read Alice O’Dea’s latest article? She has been experimenting with Chef Watson, and the results are intriguing!


Millet Tabbouleh

Hello!

Tabbouleh is an incredibly fresh Lebanese salad traditionally consisting of bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumber and lots of parsley and mint. It sometimes seems like an herb salad with some bulgur thrown in. My version, however, swaps the bulgur for millet, making it compatible with gluten-free diets. I kept the tomatoes, cucumber and herbs (although not quite as much as some recipes call for) but tossed in some chickpeas and feta to make it a full meal.

If you aren’t familiar with millet, read more about it here. Millet can be prepared for salads, per my instructions below, or as a porridge, similar to polenta. However, it is very easy to cross the line from individual grains to a mass of millet. To make sure you don’t end up with porridge, keep these tips in mind: 1) it does not cook evenly – you will be left with some cooked grains while others will be a little toothsome; 2) you need to spread out the cooked millet to cool otherwise the starch from the popped grains will make it impossible to use in a salad.

Enjoy!

Millet Tabbouleh
makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups millet
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium cucumber (about 10 ounces), peeled if thick skinned, and cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half if larger than 1/2″
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions (from about 3 large scallions)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced mint
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1-15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, and crumbled feta (optional)

Directions:

  • To cook the millet: first, toast the millet by adding it to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until it smells toasty and the grains are starting to brown, about 4-6 minutes. Add the water and salt, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the water is absorbed and around two-thirds of the grains are cooked through, about 15-18 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Spread evenly and allow to cool. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, breaking up any clumps of millet.
  • Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together in a small bowl and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients and the lemon juice/olive oil mixture to the millet and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Weekly Farm Notes :: June 30th, 2015

Hello!

Salsa is the perfect dish to bring to a July 4th cookout. It’s fresh, easy and works for just about any dietary restriction. Luckily, we are having a sale on salsa ingredients! For only $6, you get 1 pound of tomatoes, 1 head of garlic, 1 jalapeno and 1 bag of papalo. Wondering how to integrate papalo, also called summer cilantro, into your salsa? Look no further than our most recent recipe!

We will also have July 4th flower arrangements to make this weekend festive. We hope to see you at market!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

July 1st Produce

Here are some of the items you can expect this week:

  • Red, Yellow and Heirloom Tomatoes: give these beauties a try in our salsa recipe. You won’t be sorry.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: did you try the cherry tomatoes last week?! They were so incredibly sweet, I just ate they straight. How do you use your cherry tomatoes?
  • Diva Cucumbers: tomatoes and cucumbers call for gazpacho! There are a million recipes out there but this one is my favorite.
  • Japanese Eggplant: these eggplant have the cutest varietal names: Hansel, Gretel and Fairytale 🙂 Ok, names aside, you need to know that these are the long, skinny variety. They typically have firm, somewhat dry flesh that is best used for sauteing, stewing or stir-frying. See below for Miso-Sesame Glazed Eggplant recipe!
  • Red & Green Cabbage: I made the Venetian Cabbage Soup tonight for dinner and it was oh so tasty. I topped mine with a little Parmesan and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Simplicity at its best.
  • Tomatillos: salsa verde immediately comes to mind when I hear tomatillos. This bright, tart salsa can be made with raw or roasted tomatillos. I think this recipe for a roasted version sounds wonderful!
  • Jalapenos: buy lots of these now and make pickled jalapenos to enjoy for months to come!
  • Garlic: we are currently testing a batch of fermented garlic cloves. The only downside is the wait – 3 to 4 weeks at room temperature and then another month or so in the refrigerator (if they last that long!). Buy 5 or more heads and test this along with us!
  • Papalo: although papalo has a unique taste all its own, it is a good substitute after cilantro bolts in the heat of the summer. Try it with our salsa recipe or use it in place of cilantro in guacamole.
  • Mint: I made a citrus-mint-ginger syrup recently to drink with iced green tea. Be on the lookout for that recipe coming soon!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Recipe :: Miso-Sesame Glazed Eggplant

This recipe is from My New Roots: Inspired Plant Based Recipes for Every Season. This serves 2 but it can easily be doubled. I made a couple substitution suggestions below in parentheses.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium Japanese eggplants
  • Knob of coconut oil or ghee melted (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives (try some mint or papalo in place of the chives)
  • Steamed rice for serving

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Slice eggplant in half lengthwise. Score the flesh on the diagonal and rub with a tiny bit of melted oil. Put the eggplant, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet and roast until slightly golden and soft, 20-25 minutes.
  • Whisk the miso, vinegar, maple syrup and tahini together in a small bowl.
  • In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds until fragrant and popping, 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate to cool.
  • Remove eggplant from the oven and turn on the broiler. Using a knife or spatula, spread the miso glaze evenly over the cut side of the eggplants. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Cook under the broiler for 2 to 4 minutes, until just beginning to brown.
  • Put 1 eggplant (both halves) on each plate, sprinkle with chives and serve with a side of steamed rice.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Other :: Alice O’Dea Article

Have you read Alice O’Dea’s latest article? She discusses my favorite way to cook – finding ways to use what you have on hand.