Green Coconut Soup Base

Hello!

If you like Thai inspired food, you are going to love this soup base. I simply puree sauteed greens, 1 can of coconut milk and 1 can of water together to create a healthy base that you can add just about anything to. Thai food is traditionally a balance between spicy, sweet, savory and sour so your options are endless if you add a little of each element (I have plenty of suggestions below). The other element of Thai cooking I love is that certain items, such as garlic, ginger and hot peppers, aren’t necessarily cooked before they are added to the final dish. This results in lots of bright, fresh flavor.

We hope you experiment and find a combination that you love!

Green Coconut Soup Base
makes about 4 servings

Recipe note: the additional ingredients listed below are just what I used – you can alter them in any way to suit your tastes.

Green Soup Base Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 6 ounces (or one bunch) Summerfest Asian greens (or other greens of choice), stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 can water (just fill up the coconut milk can with water)

Additional Ingredients:

  • 1-1/3 pound sweet potatoes or winter squash (I love using the red Kuri squash from The Healthy Kitchen because you can eat the skin!), seeded and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 3 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (or substitute soy sauce if vegetarian)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Juice from one lime
  • Thinly sliced hot peppers
  • Chopped fresh cilantro

Green Soup Base Directions:

  • In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium until shimmering. Add the greens and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender along with the coconut milk and water. Blend on high speed until the greens are fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Transfer the liquid back into the Dutch oven.
  • To the coconut soup base, add the sweet potatoes or winter squash and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients, stirring to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with rice or rice noodles.

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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.


Fresh Tomato Salsa with Papalo

Hello!

I love fresh, easy to prepare meals, especially in the scorching heat of summer. It doesn’t get fresher than this quick, flavorful salsa. Pair with tortilla chips and a protein source (I would go for a black bean salad) and you have dinner! Margaritas wouldn’t hurt either 🙂

This salsa is unique with the addition of papalo, an intense herb somewhat similar to cilantro, but with an aroma and flavor all its own. It is also called papaloquelite, poreleaf, mampuito, summer cilantro, and Bolivian coriander. It is often used as an alternative to cilantro, which makes sense as it thrives in the summer heat when cilantro will bolt. For more information, including recipes, check out this site.

Fresh Tomato Salsa with Papalo

Recipe notes: 1) if you are inclined, you can drain the diced tomatoes for 30 minutes in a colander to make the salsa less watery (which might be desirable depending on how to plan to use the salsa); 2) the spiciness of jalapenos vary greatly, so I always recommend adding some of the minced flesh to start, taste, then add more flesh and/or seeds/ribs until the desired heat level is reached; 3) papalo has an intense flavor, so start with just a small amount and add more as desired. You can substitute cilantro but I would use 2-3 times the amount called for.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound firm, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2″ dice (see recipe note)
  • 1 medium jalapeno, cut in half, seeds/ribs removed, minced and reserved, flesh minced (see recipe note)
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon minced papalo (see recipe note)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • Few grinds of fresh black pepper

Directions:

  • In a medium mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Best eaten fresh.

 


Weekly Farm Notes :: June 16th, 2015

Hello,

Just a quick note with items to expect at market tomorrow. Along with the produce listed below, we will also have cut flowers available – zinnia, coneflowers and gladiolus. We hope to see there!

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June 17th Produce

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

  • Tomatoes: You simply can’t go wrong with caprese – that delicious combination of tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. Check out the recent recipe posted by Main Street Farmers Market.
  • Blackberries: I found a really interesting recipe for Cold Brined Pickled Blackberries in Root to Leaf: A Southern Chef Cooks Through the Seasons. See below for the details. I love trying new techniques and look forward to trying this one soon.
  • Snap Green Beans: you gotta watch this video on how to quickly snap green beans. Good stuff!
  • Cabbage: we will have lots of cabbage options for you this week! Flathead, Cone, Savoy and Napa cabbage. Interested in fermenting some of that cabbage? Check out our recipe for Curtido, also know as Salvadorian Sauerkraut!
  • Red Russian, Toscano & Biera Kale: mix kale, delicious cheese from Sequatchie Cove and top it with an egg and you have dinner! Check out this recipe from our friends at Signal Mountain Farm.
  • Mint: looking for ways to use your mint? Check out this delicious recipe list from The Kitchn.
  • Papalo: I have never even heard of this herb! Can’t wait to experiment with it this week. Let us know how you use it!

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Recipe :: Cold Brined Pickled Blackberries

As mentioned above, this is a recipe from Root to Leaf: A Southern Chef Cooks Through the Seasons. I really recommend you check it out!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups blackberries
  • 6 juniper berries or a shot of London dry-style gin
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1/2 ” piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 shallot, quartered

Directions:

  • Fill a 1-quart jar with blackberries and place in the refrigerator. Lightly crush juniper, peppercorns, bay leaf, ginger and allspice. In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine vinegar, sugar, salt and 2 cups water and stir to dissolve sugar. Add crushed spices, thyme and shallot. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temp then chill for 1 hour. Pour brine over berries and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.


Weekly Farm Notes :: June 2nd, 2015

Hello,

The Spring CSA ended last week but we will still have lots of goodies available tomorrow. See below for details on the produce you can expect. Also, I have included a recipe for Saffron Cauliflower and details on Yardlong Beans. Hope to see you at the market tomorrow!

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June 3rd Produce

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

  • Tomatoes!: since the tomato season is just kicking off, I am going to suggest simply slicing your tomatoes, dousing them in your favorite extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkling with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. There are many weeks ahead of tomato dishes, why not just enjoy them raw?
  • Kohlrabi: here is an easy, flavorful way to enjoy kohlrabi: mix together 3 tablespoons sesame oil, 4 teaspoons white vinegar, 4 teaspoons soy sauce, 2-3 tablespoons sugar, 4 teaspoons sesame seeds (I like the black seeds because they stand out more). Then peel and slice kohlrabi thinly and marinate in the mixture.
  • Flat Head Cabbage: I guess it’s about time for grilling recipes! Check out this recipe for grilled cabbage with yogurt and mint. It’s a great way to use mint from the market too!
  • Cheddar Cauliflower: this version of cauliflower was first discovered in Canada in 1970, although it took years of crossbreeding before it was widely available. The color comes from a genetic mutation that allows the plant to hold more beta carotene. It also contains about 25% more vitamin A than white cauliflower (information from The Kitchn). Check out the recipe below if you need some inspiration!
  • Rainbow Chard: summer weather calls for raw salads. This Creamy Maple Mustard Raw Chard Salad sounds great!
  • Tender Collards: don’t forget, you can dehydrate your greens! Check out more here.
  • Toscano & Red Russian Kale: kale is a great in these Greens & Cheese Frittata Muffins!
  • Lemon Balm: have you ever tried a shrub? It’s a sweetened vinegary drink and it tastes amazing steeped with lemon balm! Check out our recipe here.
  • Mint: use your mint in the grilled cabbage recipe above!

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Recipe :: Saffron Cauliflower

This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi. It serves 4 as a side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons saffron
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, divided into medium florets
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and cut lengthwise in half
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put the saffron strands in a small bowl and pour over the boiling water. Leave to infuse for a minute, then pour the saffron and water into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, except the parsley, and mix well.
  • Transfer mixture to a medium ovenproof dish, cover with foil and place in the oven. Cook for 40-45 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender but still a bit firm, not soft. Halfway through the cooking time remove the dish from the oven and stir well, then cover again and return to bake.
  • Once the cauliflower is cooked, take it out of the oven, remove the foil and allow to cool down slightly before stirring in the parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve warm or at room temperature.

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Summer Produce :: Yardlong Beans

Yardlong beans go by many names: bora, bodi, long-podded cowpea, asparagus bean, pea bean, snake bean, or Chinese long bean. Because it grows well is sub-tropical and tropical climates, it is typically found throughout Southeast Asian countries. Here are some interesting tidbits I discovered in my research:

  • Yardlong beans become waterlogged when cooked steamed or boiled so are best cooked with oil
  • Although the beans can grow to be 3 feet long, optimal picking is between 12-18″
  • They are a good source of protein, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, phosphorus, and potassium, and a very good source for vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and manganese
  • I have found references to canning and fermenting these beans so I plan on trying both this summer!