Monthly Archives: August 2013

Friday Farm Cat Blogging

titus_rufus_on_tom_cage

Photo credit: L. Butler

This is our absolutely crazy farm cat, Titus Rufus Felines.  He will climb anything.  Turns out he’s really not much of a farm cat – he totally ignores mice and is inept at hunting gophers.  Still, he’s so fun to have around just to see his endless exuberance.

–posted by Steven

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Arugula Recipes, Part 2

Here is the second recipe idea post for your consideration as to how to use arugula beyond a spicy salad green.

We figured since we put beets in the box for the last several weeks, you may welcome this one.

Crushed Beets with Herbs and Arugula

This recipe is from Food & Wine and was contributed by Marcello Betancourt.  As always, click on the picture to go to the original site.

Crushed Beets with Herbs and Arugula

PHoto credit: © Fredrika Stjärne

In this unusual dish from chef Marcelo Betancourt, beets are boiled skin-on until cooked through, then lightly flattened and pan-seared until crispy. Crushing the beets gives them an excellent, extra-tender texture. If you accidentally break a beet into pieces while flattening it, don’t worry.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 4 medium beets (1 1/4 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 4 small rosemary sprigs
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ounces baby arugula (2 cups)

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut off the top 1/2 inch of the head of garlic. Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes, until very soft.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cover the beets with cold water and add a generous pinch of salt. Simmer the beets over moderately low heat until tender, 30 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly, then peel the beets.
  3. On a work surface, using a mug or the bottom of a small bowl, gradually press down on the beets until they are about 3/4 inch thick and cracked around the edges; try to keep the beets whole.
  4. In a large cast-iron skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the beets and cook over moderately high heat until crusty on the bottom, 4 minutes. Turn the beets and scatter the onion, thyme, rosemary and roasted head of garlic all around. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, gently stirring the onion and herbs, until the onion is just soft and the beets are crusty, 4 minutes. Transfer the beets, onion and herbs to plates or a platter and scatter the arugula over the top. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skins and scatter them over the top. Spoon the pan juices over the arugula and serve.

Note

  • MAKE AHEAD: The roasted garlic and boiled beets can be refrigerated separately for up to 2 days; let return to room temperature before proceeding.
  • Serves 4

Arugula, Potato, and Green Bean Salad

This one is from Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Martha Stewart.

arugula potato and green bean salad with walnuts

Photo credit: Smitten Kitchen

I wasn’t kidding last week when I said that I have staged an intervention with myself and am trying my hardest to cook more things at home that can be even loosely construed as dinner. I mean, somehow the farmers markets are bursting with beans and greens and peppers and potatoes and peaches and… And I ate (average) pad thai for lunch. It doesn’t even compute.

But I still only want simple food. When food is this fresh, little needs to be done to make it stand out, which is perfect as I’m exactly lazy enough right now that I barely want to fuss. I saw this recipe from Martha Stewart a few weeks ago when I was trying to dream up a potato salad that wasn’t so… weighty. Basically, I wanted my potatoes but I didn’t need them swaddled in mayo or sour cream or chopped eggs and pickles… at least not every day.

And this deliciousness totally fit the bill: Sharp arugula, barely-cooked green beans (I’m seriously addicted to green beans this summer), coins of fingerling potatoes and my favorite, toasted walnuts and a lightly creamy walnut vinaigrette. It’s a potato salad, sure, but a potato salad fit for weekday nights, like after the gym with a couple beach weekends on the horizon. Just because one looks like they swallowed a beach ball doesn’t mean they have to eat like it everyday, right?

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce walnuts (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 6 ounces haricots, verts, or other green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch segments
  • 2 tablespoons white wine or other mild vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 3 ounces baby arugula

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Place walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop and set aside.
  2. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a colander to drain and cool. Set aside.
  3. Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Return pan of water to a boil. Add green beans, and cook until tender and bright green, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Drain.
  4. Whisk together vinegar, yogurt, mustard and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl; season with pepper. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Set dressing aside.
  5. Arrange arugula, potatoes, and green beans on a platter. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with toasted walnuts; toss to coat.

Note

  • Makes 8 small salads or 4 larger ones

–posted by Steven

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New Fire Pit for Farm Dinners

We’ve recently finished building a double chamber fire pit that we plan to use for many of our Farm Dinners.  We were inspired to build this by attending the MALT Pozzi Ranch dinner earlier in the summer where Chef Sean Baker used an in-ground fire pit to cook whole lamb.  It was wonderful.  We are using brick because of our sandy soil, but the pit can be partially filled with soil if the chef is looking to gain some of the character that soil brings.

We found further inspiration from Rick Bayless, who has put out a couple of really nice videos on cooking traditional Mexican cuisine in the ground.

DSCN0034

by  Photo credit: L. Butler

Here we see Jake preparing to cook a whole Hedal.  I’m not sure how good that hat is going to taste….

–posted by Steven

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CSA Farm-to-Table Dinner

For our current CSA members and their invitees only. Join us at the farm on Saturday, September 21, 2013 from 4-7 pm for a delicious farm-to-table dinner and tour of the farm. Fresh farm veggies, wood-fired rotisserie chicken, El Salchichero sausages, Local Catch Monterey Bay fish, and beverage will be provided.

We invite our CSA subscribers to bring 2 adults per share and any children under the age of 12 to our event for free. Limited seating is also available for CSA members to invite additional guests at $15 per person.

Please feel free to BYOB. For questions and to RSVP email Linda at linda@lindencroft.com or call 831-206-7126. To attend this exciting event please RSVP by September 10th. Please, no dogs at this event.

If you are bringing additional guests, please make sure you note that in your RSVP, and please send a check to us by 9/14/13.

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Arugula Recipes, Part 1

We put arugula in your CSA boxes quite often, and you may be looking for something different in how you use that wonderful spicy green.  Here are the first two recipe ideas for your consideration.

Pesto doesn’t have to mean basil, and with those wonderful heirloom tomatoes in your box, we figure many of you will want to save your basil for Caprese salads.  So, here are two recipes for arugula pesto.

Nutty Arugula Pesto with Penne

This recipe is from thekitchn.com and was contributed by Megan Gordon.  As always, click on the picture to go to the original site.

Nutty Arugula Pesto with Penne and Parmesan

Photo credit: Megan Gordon

This past February, I had the extreme good fortune of accompanying my family (or, really, inviting myself) on a vacation to St. Barthes. February in Seattle is one of the darker months, so this was a most welcome break. Since St. Barthes is an island with limited produce deliveries from the mainland, it was a common occurrence that restaurants or grocery stores would be out of a dish or ingredient “until the next boat comes.” There was little urgency about it; people just made do. And one of the ways restaurants made do was to swap ingredients in and out, as was the case with this pesto.

Originally meant to be a more traditional pine nut and basil pesto, the cooks at our favorite beachside cafe had to get creative when they had neither. They whipped up a garlicky arugula pesto instead. I loved it so much I had to replicate it at home.

This recipe has a good hit of garlic and lemon — the juice and the zest add a brightness and a zip that I find so many pestos lack. The arugula is slightly spicy and the walnuts add an earthy toastiness, so it’s extremely well balanced.

If pasta isn’t your thing, spread it on sandwiches instead, dollop it onto morning omelets, or spoon it into warm grains for something interesting and different.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups arugula
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, quartered
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced (about about 2 tablespoons juice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to salt pasta water
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to season
  • 1 pound penne pasta

Procedure

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, blend arugula, basil, toasted walnuts, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt and a few grinds of pepper until well combined and smooth. Feel free to add extra olive oil if the pesto feels too thick or chunky.
  2. Place a large pot of salted water over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add pasta and to cook to al dente. Drain and place back in pot. Fold in pesto. Serve hot in your favorite bowls with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan over the top of each bowl.

Note

  • Serves 6-8

Farro & Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Arugula Walnut Pesto

This one is from Food 52 is was contributed by thirschfeld.

Farro & Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Arugula Walnut Pesto

Photo credit: thirschfeld

Author Notes: I like to use whole grains for salads. In this one the pesto really complements the grain and the mozzarella lends a creaminess that tames the peppery (…more) – thirschfeld

Food52 Review: I made this salad for a dinner party and we all really enjoyed it. The pesto was gorgeous and very tasty. We really loved the farro and thought that t (…more) – A&M

Ingredients

For the pesto

  • 2 cups arugula, washed and dried
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup Manchego cheese, grated
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the salad

  • 2 cups cooked farro
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced

Procedure

  1. With the exception of the olive oil combine all the pesto ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse it a few times to form a paste.
  2. With the processor running drizzle in a 1/4 cup of oil and blend. If it seems wet enough do not add more oil but if it seems dry add a teaspoon or two.
  3. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine the farro with half the pesto and mix it to combine. Add the tomatoes, pepper flakes, lemon juice, chives, and mozzarella. Toss the salad to combine and taste. Adjust the seasoning if necessary or add more pesto if you think it needs it. Serve.

Note

  • Serves 4-6

–posted by Steven

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What’s in the Box for August 27 – 30, 2013

When we started our little orchard about 10 years ago, we tried to plan for spreading out the fruit throughout the season.  It looks like we did pretty well on that score, but there’s not a lot of quantity.  That’s because we had no idea we were going to start a farm, so we just planted what we thought we would like for a backyard orchard.  We added about 25 new trees this year, but it will be a few seasons before we will see fruit.  In the meantime, we have another variety of plum to put in the box.  So, here’s what you are getting this week:

  • Elephant Heart plums
  • chives
  • Sumter or Armenian heirloom cucumbers
  • mixed heirloom tomatoes
  • summer squash
  • rainbow chard
  • wild arugula
  • Jolene’s Red and Gatherer’s Gold peppers
  • Boby Bianco and Burgundy green beans
  • herbs: Thai basil
–Posted by Steven

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Filed under CSA, Newsletter

Green Bean and Peach Salad

Green beans and peaches are in the box this week, so what could be better than this Saveur recipe?

Green Bean and Peach Salad

Photo credit: James Oseland

Summer peaches pair remarkably well with sweet caramelized onions and crisp green beans in this salad from Deb Miller of Lawrence, Kansas. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2013 Heartland issue with the story Salad Social.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. firm-ripe yellow peaches, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped oregano
  • 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 lb. green beans, trimmed

Procedure

  1. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook until slightly caramelized, 7-10 minutes. Stir in peaches and oregano; cook until peaches are soft, 5-7 minutes. Whisk remaining oil with vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; add onion and peaches and set aside.
  2. Bring a 6-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil; add beans and cook until crisp-tender, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water until chilled. Drain and add to peach mixture; toss to combine.

Note

  • Serves 6-8

–posted by Steven

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