25 Sep

2014 CSA – Week 15

What a beautiful week we have been experiencing.  It feels like summer, which is a bit odd considering we entered fall on Monday and have already experienced a hard freeze two weeks ago!  Only in Montana!

I have been feeling a little like a squirrel, in that I have been putting food up for the winter.  This time of year I love to make pasta sauces, salsa, pickles, herbal butters and vinegar,  and fruit  preserves.  Barbara brought me some grapes from a nearby farm, but there was not enought to do anything with it, so I harvested some of my Oregon grapes (they are a native holly like ground cover) and added some Italian plums and we made jam.  It was an experiment that turned out wonderful!  I encourage you to take advantage of this falls produce offerings to put away some for your winter enjoyment.  Food prices are continuing to rise and there is a bounty of local produce available this time of year to ad to your share.  The Farmers Market will certainly provide you with the extras that you might need.  I made up a batch of the roasted tomato soup that I listed on last weeks blog, and it was absolutely scrumptious!  Use some of this weeks tomatoes to make it and then freeze…that’s what I did!

This weeks share will provide you with some wonderful Autumn goodness, greens and fruit.  Of course there is beets, but also lettuce, beans, bell peppers, cabbage, eggplant, tomatoes, sugar pie pumpkin and some apples.

I have 11 dozen eggs this week, too!  I think the hens are loving fall, as their production has definitely gone up.

Recipies included:

Pumpkin Gingerbread
Rich pumpkin and ginger flavors combine to make a tasty autumn indulgence.

Serves: 8

Ingredients
• 1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
• 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
• 2 lg eggs
• 1 lg egg white
• 1/2 cup canola oil
• 1/2 cup molasses
• 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 cup canned pure pumpkin

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Coat 9″ x 9″ baking pan with organic cooking spray.
2. Combine flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, baking powder, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Stir in crystallized ginger.
3. Whisk eggs, egg white, oil, molasses, and sugar in medium bowl. Whisk in pumpkin. Fold into dry ingredients until just combined. Pour into prepared pan.
4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until gingerbread starts to pull away from pan sides and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on rack (may also be served warm). Garnish with sliced crystallized ginger if desired.

17 Sep

2014 CSA – Week 14

What a difference a week makes!  From 27 degrees last Friday morning to this afternoon’s 90, the garden is in shock!  That’s a 63 degree difference!  Even after all of the hard work of covering the garden, we still received major frost damage here in the gardens.  The cucumbers are toast, as are all of the herbs.  The summer squash vines are struggling.  The tomatoe vines are fried, but the tomatoes are okay, so will leave them on to ripen.  The eggplant and peppers are recoving and we will still have cabbage for later.

We still are okay though, with a good selection for this weeks share, so I am thankful.  It could have been allot worse, if we had not covered things up.  I will know more tomorrow as I begin harvesting, but it looks like we will have tomatoes, scallions, green beans, zucchini, peppers, lettuce and either kale or chard.  I am giving you a break from the beets, but you will be getting them next week! I am including some beautiful nasturtium flowers for you to add to your fresh lettuce salad.  They are delicious and taste like capers!

The apple harvest at Boja farms is in full swing, so if you are wanting apples for winter eating and baking, let me know and I will get them from Bonnie for you.  Barb and I will be going to visit the farm on Saturday.  We’re helping harvest apples and will be pressing them for cider.  There is nothing better than fresh pressed cider!  I have a press here, and made allot of cider last year from my own apples.  My apple trees only produce every other year however, so next year I am looking forward to another bumper crop and that cider!

See you on Thursday!

I am including some recipes for using the beans and greens.  I hope you enjoy them.

Pasta with Green Beans and Tuna

For a burst of briny flavor, add 1 tablespoon chopped olives or capers to the tuna mixture.

Serves 1

Ingredients
• Coarse salt and ground pepper
• 3 ounces fusilli or other short pasta
• 2 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved
• 1 can (3 ounces) chunk light tuna, packed in water, drained
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon natural almonds, chopped and toasted
• 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
• 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1 small garlic clove, minced
Directions
1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions, adding green beans 1 minute before end of cooking. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine tuna, oil, almonds, parsley, lemon zest and juice, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Drain pasta and beans and add to tuna mixture. Stir to combine.

Mixed-Bean Salad

Ingredients
• 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
• 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
• 1 shallot, thinly sliced
• 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
• 1 can (15.5 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions
1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook green beans until bright green and crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, oregano, shallot, and mustard. Add green beans, red kidney beans, and chickpeas; toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Rainbow Chard Slaw

1 large bunch chard (or kale), sliced into thin ribbons
4 carrots, peeled and grated
1/4 cup scallions, chopped

Dressing

1/2 cup minced salad onion or yellow onion
1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
pinch ground cayenne pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise (we like Duke’s)

In a small bowl, whisk together the onion, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, sesame oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Whisk in the mayo until mixture is emulsified. Place the greens, carrot and scallions in a large salad bowl, and drizzle with slightly more than half of the dressing.

This salad is best dressed 20 minutes before serving. It will hold up, refrigerated, for several hours, but is best eaten day of. To enjoy later, simply save the greens and dressing, and combine them as needed.

Simple Roast Tomato Soup

This has big tomato flavor with smoky notes and hints of fragrant herbs. It’s exactly what you want to be eating as the first leaves of fall flutter by.

4 large tomatoes, halved
1 yellow onion, quartered
5 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (I am partial to white peppercorns)
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (make your own!)
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Scoop the seeds out of the halved tomatoes with your finger. Tuck the garlic into the tomatoes, and lay them, and the onions, out on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and turn everything to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for 30 – 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are bubbly and the edges are brown.

Combine the broth, roasted tomatoes and onions in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, turn down to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the herbs. Puree with an immersion blender or regular blender so that you maintain some of the texture. Add the balsamic, check salt and acid levels, and serve with an herb garnish and a piece of toast slathered with goat cheese.

11 Sep

2014 CSA – Week 13 – Is Winter upon us?

Boy!  What a week this has been.  Barb and I have been working from sun up till sun down harvesting and then covering as much of the garden as possible.  I can’t believe that I already had to wear my insulated jeans and rain gear!  Oh!  I also put the flannel sheets back on the bed!

Our first experience of an ununsual season started with the hail storm in early May, and now we have frost/freeze/snow slated for this evening.  I must say that it is quite disturbing to have worked so hard producing a beautiful garden and wonderful food, only to have it not come to fruition.  We are doing all we can to insure that this first taste of winter will not prove too damaging.  Hopefully it will be short lived and we can then return to a beautiful fall.  Let’s all hold this thought!

Bonnie Martinell from Bridger is continuing her harvest of apples.  If you want to order for next weeks pick up, let me know.

She will still have:

Liberty and Honey Crisp   $2.50 per pound for 5 to 10 lbs or $2.25/lb for a 35lb box

New this week will be harvesting Sweet Sixteen and Harralson, which is a large crisp apple with a slight pear taste.  They will both sell for $2.50 per pound for 5 to 10 lbs or $2.25/lb for a 35lb box

The apples that were ordered last week are here and available for pick up.  If you are writing a check, please make it payable to Boja Farms.

I only have 4 dozen regular sized eggs this week and Marlene brough me 3 dozen smaller pullet eggs which sell for $1.50.

This weeks share includes savoy cabbage (they were so huge that I cut them in half), green beans, eggplant, 3 varieties of peppers (bell, Anjo/Poblano and jalapeno), beets, Parisienne carrots, cucumbers, red and yellow onions and tomatoes.

I hope you enjoy some of these fall time recipes and take advantage of some of the veggies that are in this weeks share.

See you soon!

Cabbage and Pear Slaw
Serves: 4

Ingredients
• 1 cup chopped pears
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 2 tablespoons apple cider
• 1 teaspoon brown sugar
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded German Dumpling Soup
• 1 medium red onion, sliced
• 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Directions
Give the reserved pears a rough chop.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, cider, sugar, and salt and pepper, to taste. Add the pear, cabbage, onion, and parsley. Toss everything together, taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Cabbage and Potato Bake

Serves: 6

Ingredients
• 1 cabbage, about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
• 2 large Idaho potatoes, about 2 1/2 pounds
• 12 ounces lean bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
• 2 cups yellow onions, peeled and sliced lengthwise
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 2 cups homemade chicken stock, or canned, low-sodium chicken broth

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Rinse the cabbage under cold running water and remove the tough outer leaves. Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the hard core. Cut the cabbage quarters into halves and place, rounded side down, in a roasting pan.

Cut the potatoes in half crosswise and peel. Cut the peeled potato halves into quarters, and arrange in the roasting pan, alternating with the cabbage pieces.

Fry the bacon in a heavy medium skillet for 7 minutes. Add the sliced onions, salt, and black pepper to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Evenly distribute the bacon mixture and pan drippings over the vegetables, then pour the chicken stock on top.

Tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow to sit, covered, for 15 minutes before serving. Serve the vegetables with the bacon and broth spooned over them.

Chunky Guacamole with Hot Peppers
Serves: 16
Prep: 35min

Ingredients
• 6 avocados, roughly chopped
• 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
• 1/2 large white onion, finely chopped
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• 1 cup chopped cilantro (from 1 bunch)
• 1 serrano or jalapeno chile pepper, finely chopped – more if you like it hotter
• Juice from 4 small lemons or limes (about 1/2 cup) I prefer limes!

Directions
Put avocados, tomatoes, onion, salt, cilantro, pepper, and lemon juice in large bowl. Stir gently until well combined.
Serving Suggestions
Serve with tortilla chips as an appetizer or on top of steak.

Chicken, Green Bean, and Cucumber Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon each finely chopped fresh parsley and basil
• 1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
• 4 ounces green beans
• 1 Basic Poached Chicken, breast half, cooled and torn
• 1 small cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced
• 2 teaspoons chopped toasted almonds
• Coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions
1. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, fresh lemon juice, parsley, basil, and capers. Boil green beans, trimmed, in salted water until crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Rinse with cold water; drain and add to bowl along with poached chicken, cucumber, and chopped toasted almonds. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.

 

08 Sep

Loaded Eggplant Rounds

Love loaded potato skins? Enjoy all that cheesy bacon flavor on top of these nutritious and delicious eggplant rounds!

Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 large eggplant
Olive oil spray
Garlic salt
1 and ½ cups reduced fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
¾ cup real bacon crumbles
6 scallions, chopped

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Slice eggplant into round discs, about ¼ – ½ inch thick (thinner rounds will get crispier).
Place the eggplant rounds on a baking sheet, spray both sides of each with a light coating of olive oil spray, and sprinkle with small amount of garlic salt.
Place the rounds in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until rounds are getting brown and crispy.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Top each round with the shredded cheese and the bacon crumbles.
Return the baking sheet to the over for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
Sprinkle the scallions over the rounds and serve.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped fresh oregano. Serve warm.

 

06 Sep

Zucchini Pizza Boats

These could also be served as an appetizer for your next party!

 

zucchini-pizza-boatsZucchini Pizza Boats

Yield: 12 boats, about 6 servings

Ingredients

6 small zucchini (2 1/2 lbs)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 oz)
1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (1.4 oz)
1/2 cup mini pepperoni slices
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner, set aside.

Cut each zucchini into halves through the length (if they don’t lye flat trim a thin portion from bottoms so that they will lye mostly flat. Pat insides dry with paper towels (cut portion). Align on prepared baking sheet. In a bowl, stir together olive oil and garlic then brush lightly over tops of zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste then brush a slightly heaping 1 Tbsp marinara sauce over each zucchini, leaving a small rim near edges uncoated. Sprinkle tops evenly with mozzarella cheese then with parmesan cheese. Top with pepperoni slices (placing them more near centers as the cheese will melt and spread). Bake in preheated oven 12 – 18 minutes (bake time will vary depending on how thick your zucchini are and how crisp/tender you want them).

 

05 Sep

Late-Summer Minestrone

Here’s a great soup recipe to freeze!

Late Season Minestroni

Late-Summer Minestrone

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 young carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup celery, chopped thinly
2 small zucchini, green or yellow, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
2 ears fresh corn, shucked and cut off the cob
1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock, plus 2 cups water
4 large, ripe tomatoes chopped (about 2 cups)
125 g. (1/4 regular package) whole-wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves, loosely packed plus more for garnish
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)

1. Put 3 tablespoons oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, rosemary and zucchini. Cook, stirring, until vegetables soften somewhat, 5 minutes or so.

2. Add fresh corn and beans. Cook, stirring, for a minute or two, then add stock, water and chopped tomatoes; bring to a boil, then lower heat so mixture bubbles gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are quite soft and tomatoes broken up, about 10 minutes.

3. Add 1/2 cup basil and whole-wheat spaghetti. Cook another 5 to 7 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

To serve: ladle into bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Tear a few basil leaves and drop them in. Serve with fresh Parmesan, if desired.

 

 

04 Sep

2014 CSA – Week 12

It  feels like fall out there.  It’s only the first week of September and the garden in already slowing down. The cool nights have put a damper on the robust growing that is typical in the summer heat.  We will see what happens over the course of the next few weeks.  I am hopeful that we do not receive a killing frost, as they are expecting one in Bozeman this week!

Eggs—I will have at least 7 dozen eggs here, and also some pullet eggs which as smaller and will sell for less money.

*** My friend, Bonnie Martinell, who owns Bojo Farms in Bridger is harvesting the first of her apples.  Her farm is organic and she specializes in fruit.  You can order them from me and she will begin delivering them next week on your CSA pick up day.  Here is a list of the available varieties.  I do not have the room to store them here, so send me an email or call with your orders.

Colette good eating great baking as is Red Baron these will be $2.00 per pound for 5 to 10lbs $1.85 per pound for a 35 lb box

Liberty great crisp eating apple keeps well these will be $2.50 per pound for 5 to 10 lbs or $2.25/lb for a 35lb box

Honey Crisp great crisp apple keeps well $3.25 per pound for 5 to 10 lbs $2.75 per pound for a 35lb box

She will have 8 more varieties later in the season.  This is another great opportunity to support a local producer who is doing such good things for her land and her community.  I also have some of her eggs here to sell and will try to have more next week.

This week share will contain, Heirloom and Cherry Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Slicing Cucumbers, beautiful Eggplant, Scallions, of course some Beets, Swiss Chard, Bell and Jalapeno Peppers, Radishes, Basil, and I am hoping for a few Beans again.

Please return your plastic containers and egg cartons.  It helps keep them out of the landfill and then I don’t have to purchase more plastic!

See you today –  Bodie & I will be waiting for you.

Caprese Salad
Basil is an excellent source of vitamins A and K, and a good source of vitamin C and manganese.
• 2 balls fresh mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces)
• 4 medium-size ripe tomatoes
• 12 red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
• Salt
• Freshly ground pepper
• Olive oil
• Balsamic vinegar, optional
• Fresh basil leaves
• Sprigs of basil, for garnish
1. Remove cheese from brine and cut into 8 slices. Slice each tomato into 3 slices.
2. Arrange tomato slices, cheese slices and cherry tomatoes on 4 salad plates.
3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, if desired. Top with fresh basil leaves. Garnish with a sprig of basil.

White Beans with Cheese and Basil

A new take on a Tuscan classic.

Serves: 6

Ingredients
• 1 1/2 cans (14—19 ounces) cannellini or other white beans, drained, 1/3 cup liquid reserved
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
• 3 tablespoons grated parmesan or romano cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Place the beans and reserved liquid in a large mixing bowl and partially mash the beans against the side of the bowl with a wooden spoon. Stir in the oil, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix in the basil. Place in a shallow 2 to 3 cup baking dish, and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

 

 

 

03 Sep

Pink Herbal Lemonade

The lavender and hibiscus flowers turn this refreshing lemonade a gorgeous hot-pink color. You’ll get the most juice from lemons that are at room temperature. If you can’t find hibiscus flowers, substitute four large strawberries, thinly sliced.
• 4 cups water
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
• 4 whole dried hibiscus flowers
• 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 large lemons)
• Lemon slices and whole lavender sprigs, for garnish
1. Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add sugar; stir to dissolve.
2. Add lavender and hibiscus flowers and steep, covered, for 5 minutes.
3. Strain and add lemon juice. Chill for several hours before serving.
4. Garnish with lemon slices and lavender sprigs.

 

01 Sep

Moroccan Carrot Radish Salad

Shredded salads are incredibly quick and easy, when you use the food processor. In this one, the peppery kick of radishes and sweet crunch of carrots are enhanced with the tangy lemon dressing. Sort through the radish leaves, discarding any wilted ones, and chop the good ones to toss with the salad.
Ingredients
• 4 large carrots
• 4 large red radishes
• Radish leaves, chopped, or spinach
• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup toasted pumpkinseeds
• 1/4 cup toasted, unsalted peanuts (optional)
• 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Preparation
Grate the carrots and radishes coarsely. Wash and sort the radish leaves, and chop or julienne. Put them in a bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and cumin, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk in the olive oil gradually. Pour the dressing over the carrots and toss to mix. Just before serving, add the pumpkinseeds, peanuts, and feta cheese and toss.