Crew night out at Hen of the Wood
Many of us on the Pete's Greens crew had a great night out last week at Hen of the Wood in Waterbury. We spent the evening with Chef John who hung out with us educating some of our newer crew about the history between Hen of the Wood and Pete's Greens, and how they develop their menu each week after receiving our weekly email telling them what we have available and after hearing from other local farms. And talking about many of the dishes we sampled and how they were made. They do such a fantastic job featuring local and making unbelievably delicious food. Thanks to everyone at Hen of the Wood for making this a special night for us!
Back row left to right: Amy, Molly, Melissa
Middle row: Sara, Jonathan, Pete, Derek, Matt, Tim F
Bottom row: Tim C, Kathleen, Isaac
Kristen, Brittany & Steve weren't able to join us, and Niles was just returning from delivering your shares when this photo was taken.
Our Shoots Mix
We've heard from a few of you wondering about why there is so little claytonia and spinach in the greens mix. In past winters we've blended about 1/2 shoots and 1/2 hardy greens from our greenhouses. It's been cold! It's been cold all over the State but here in a low valley of the NE Kingdom its been especially cold. 35 below at least twice already. This has been tough on the greenhouse greens. We're doing everything we can to get them growing faster and recent sun and milder days is helping. In the meantime enjoy the shoots. I much prefer them to regular salad greens in the winter and especially like to blend them with cabbage or napa for a sweet and spicy winter salad. ~ Pete
The spring share starts soon!
Share Period: February 19th thru June 11th, 2014
Vermont grown goodness and the localvore staples you love.
Spring is an exciting time at Pete's Greens!
Our intention for the spring share is to provide you with something green every week of the share, even through the early still-mid-winter months. The spring share starts off with deliveries of winter greens from our greenhouses and shoots house, plus lots of root staples like carrots, potatoes, onions, beets and cabbage. Each week through the early months we also include frozen summer goodies like corn, spinach, sweet peppers, squash, and tomatoes.
As spring progresses longer daylight hours allow growth to begin again in earnest. By late April harvests of bunched greens and flavorful herbs begin. Baby spinach, arugula, chard, pac choi and various varieties of Asian greens begin to appear in shares. And in May many more spring vegetables like salad turnips, baby beets, scallions and hardy herbs like parsley and dill make their appearance. As we near summer we'll have warm season vegetables like basil, spring onions, and European cucumbers, along with tender greens harvested from the field. This is a exciting time of the share, each week is like Christmas!
The Spring Share is a celebratory share as each new vegetable makes its way from greenhouse and field into your weekly share.
Experience the difference
eating great local, organic produce can make on your health and well being!
Storage and Use Tips
This week's greens are a mix of our shoots. Many of you have been asking what do you do with shoots? Often I use them as a salad base and add lots of shredded carrots and beets with it, or I'll steam or saute some greens and add the shoots on top. They're great in sandwiches, especially egg salad. Try adding the shoots to pasta, burritos, on top of a stew or sloppy joes. They are terrifically healthy so do your body some good and experiment with ways to pack them in! I found a neat website with lots of shoot options; it's a pea shoot website out of Britain but I thought it was a great jumping off point with some new ideas. Check it out!
The potatoes this week are colorful mix of Peter Wilcox, Adirondack Red, and Nicolas.
There are variety of beets this week. Large share members will get red beets, while half and roots share members will get cylindra beets. You may ask what's the difference? Not a whole lot - they're both dark red but the cylindra beets are long and slender rather than round. Other than that they're very similar and can be cooked the same way.
Shallots are a member of the alium family being similar to both garlic and onions. They grow in cloves similar to garlic and have a sweet, mild flavor like a sweet or Spanish onion. They are well known for their ability to be caramelized or cooked down to where the sugars are reduced or concentrated. When eaten raw, they are much sweeter and milder than even sweet onions. You can slice them thin and saute them in recipes that benefit from a sweet, mild onion flavor. When minced, they are fantastic in homemade vinaigrette and pan sauces. Store them in a cool, dark place.
Round with crinkled leaves, green savoy cabbage are a lovely cabbage. Their leaves are more delicate and more loosely packed than their green cabbage cousins. Store as you would other cabbages, unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Don't worry if the outer leaves begin to discolor or tear on you, just remove them to expose the perfectly good leaves remaining below.
Frozen spinach is great for casseroles, lasagnas, quiches etc. Thaw it, squeeze out the excess liquid and add it in. Or let it thaw on counter til it softens up enough to saw with a knife, and saw off section to use a lesser amount in a dish. You can put the remainder back in freezer. This is really great in pasta or even added to smoothies.
Frozen squash puree - use this in recipes calling for pureed winter squash or pumpkin - particularly soups, pie, baked items like pumpkin bread, muffins or cookies, or for casseroles or rice dishes. Also fantastic just on its own sweetened with a bit of maple syrup, enriched with some cream and served as a side. The puree is coming to you frozen. If it is has thawed a bit when you receive it, no worries. Just pop it back in freezer til you are ready to use.
It's a Red Hen Baking Co. bread week! Red Hen's Cyrus Pringle batard is made entirely with VT grown wheat flours. Randy developed this delicious bread in 2009 following Tom Kenyon's (Aurora Farm, Charlotte) first successful harvest of a hard red winter wheat variety required for bread making. He has modified the bread a little since he first baked it, adding a little of Ben Gleason's whole wheat for a better flavor profile. The bread is named after Cyrus Pringle, a reknowned wheat breeder who lived and farmed in Charlotte in the late 1800s. The wheat varieties that he developed for our region are becoming popular again today with farmers who are returning to growing wheat locally.
We made the Pete's Greens Tomato Sauce here at the farm. It's made with our own organic tomatoes, onions, fennel, plus garlic, organic sunflower oil, oregano, basil, salt, black pepper, and citric acid. This sauce is awesome for pizzas, pasta, or dipping.
We also have Champlain OrchardLiberty apples for you! These apples are an offspring of Macoun and are a sweet apple with a pinkish flesh which makes beautifully-colored applesauce. They are also great eaten plain or included in baked goods. Located in Shoreham, Vermont, Champlain Orchards and organic farm overlooks Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. They are a family-owned Vermont orchard that takes pride in growing a diversity of ecologically-grown fruits and vegetables.
This week we are featuring two cuts from our friends at Maple Wind Farm. Sadly, Beth and Bruce recently lost a beautiful barn to fire and they are now scrambling to pull together to rebuild and re-purchase equipment they lost. If you'd like to help with a donation, please visit their blog page telling about the fire news (the donate button is a ways down the page). Or buy some meat! Maple Wind's cows are produced entirely on grass making it one of the healthiest sources of beef you can eat.
The sandwich steak is a thinly cut piece of sirloin, and is the cut that Philly cheese steaks are made from. Add peppers, onions and your favorite cheddar. Or fry up with eggs for a traditional steak and eggs breakfast to keep you trucking through the morning. Also fantastic for asian dishes that call for thin pieces of quick cooking beef and for steak salads. Maple Wind Farm is a top producer of nutrient dense, grass fed beef with excellent flavor and quality.
Also from Maple Wind Farm is their stew meat. This is of course wonderful made into a beef stew, or you can make vegetable beef soup, chili, a stir-fry or beef bourguinonne with it.
We are also are sending you a chicken and a ham steakfrom animals raised right on our farm. Our pastured chickens and pigs receive loads of our organic veggie scraps and roam large pastures on our farm. The ham steak you will receive is naturally cured with celery juice powder, maple syrup, and salt. Though ham steaks are partially cooked, they should be brought back up to 160F before serving.
You can see and taste the difference in pastured meats. These meats have less fat, and have far more omega 3s, CLAs, vita E and beta carotene than non grass fed animals. Our animals receive no hormones or medications. This is very healthy, tasty meat.??
Ham, Egg and Pea Shoot Salad
I got this recipe from the pea-shoot website mentioned above. The shoots add a nice crunch and texture to the dish - feel free to improvise with the amounts.
4 slices Ham
1 handful shoots, or more if desired
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
3 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Boil a large pan of water. Place the eggs into the boiling water for 7-8 minutes for a soft boiled egg, 10 minutes for a hard boiled egg.
Remove from the pan and leave to cool. Once you can handle them, remove the shells and cut in half. Make the dressing by thoroughly mixing the lemon juice, Dijon mustard and olive oil. Season to taste. Arrange the pea shoots, slices of ham and halved eggs on a platter and drizzle with the dressing.
Quick Pickled Beets
These pickled beets are ready in a snap after you have cooked the beets. I tend to cook a lot of beets at once and eat some with my meal and then pickle some. These will keep in the fridge for a week.
2# beets, cooked, peeled, and cut into wedges
1/4 c minced scallions
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
fresh black pepper
Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat gently. Toss with the warm beets and the scallions. Chill before serving. Even better the next day.
Roast Chicken with Caramelized Shallots
I found this recipe on David Leibovitz's blog. He's a renown pastry chef and cook residing in Paris. His blog is filled with great recipes including this one adapted from French Farmhouse Cookbook (Workman) by Susan Herrmann Loomis.
I use a whole chicken cut into eight pieces; two legs, two thighs, and I cut each breast piece in half, crosswise, keeping the wings attached. You could also just use eight of your favorite chicken pieces.
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 large shallots, peeled and minced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
One whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
one generous handful of coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC).
2. In a large baking dish, one which will hold all the chicken pieces in a single layer, mix the olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, shallots, and some salt and pepper.
3. Toss the chicken in the mixture, so they’re completely coated with the shallots. Turn the chicken pieces so they are all skin side up.
4. Roast the chicken for about twenty minutes, until it starts to brown on top. Turn the pieces of chicken over. Scrape any juices and shallots over the chicken that may be clinging to the pan, and bake for another twenty minutes, or until the pieces of chicken are cooked through and the shallots are well-caramelized.
5. Remove from oven and toss in the chopped parsley, then serve.
Bandh Gobhi Ki Sabzi (Buttered Smothered Cabbage)
Here's a traditional cabbage dish that will be great using the Savoy cabbage.
1 savoy cabbage (1-3/4 to 2 lbs)
2 Tbl ghee, butter or oil
1-1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp ground asafoetida (optional)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 Tbl minced ginger root or 1/2 tsp dry
1 8 oz can tomato sauce or 1 cup chopped fresh ripe tomato (1 large)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper or 1-2 seeded and minced green chilies
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup hot water
1-2 Tbl coarsely chopped fresh coriander leaves or 1 Tbl dry (optional)
Cut the cabbage into quarters, and core out the stem from each quarter. Shred the cabbage into 1/2-inch thick shreds. Heat the oil over med-high heat in a large heavy-bottomed pan. When the oil is hot, add cumin. When cumin turns dark brown (10-15 sec), add asafoetida (if using it), and immediately add the shredded cabbage. Sprinkle turmeric over the cabbage and saute, turning and tossing rapidly until
cabbage is wilted (about 5 min).
Add ginger, tomato (sauce), and chilies or red pepper, and continuecooking for an additional 5 min. Add salt and water. Reduce heat tomed-low and cook the cabbage, covered, until it is tender and the water is absorbed into the vegetables (about 20 min). Check and stir often whileit is cooking to prevent burning. Fold in coriander leaves, check for salt, and serve.
Roasted Beet and Shoot Salad
Serve this salad with a slice of the focaccia on the side for a light lunch or dinner, or serve it as an accompaniment for a heartier meal. Serves 4.
1 TB apple cider or white wine vinegar
1 TB minced shallot (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 TB sunflower or extra virgin olive oil
4 small to medium roasted beets, chopped in 1/2" pieces*
2 cups mixed sunflower and radish shoots
Shredded cabbage and carrots
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 TB toasted pine nuts
To make the dressing, combine the first 8 ingredients in a food processor. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Toss together the beets, shoots, and shredded veggies. Sprinkle with cheese and pine nuts. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing.
Simplest Steak Sandwich
Lots of variations possibly with this simple sandwich. Saute griilled onions or peppers, and toss those on. Or skip the dijon and add to the basic sandwich tomato, pesto and fresh mozz or another melted cheese. ??
1 Cyrus Pringle batard?
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper?
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked (or thyme, or parsley)?
olive oil or sunflower oil?
juice of 1 lemon?
1 -2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
?thinly sliced onions?
1 handful of shoots
??Place your batard just to warm in the oven for a few minutes at 100C/225F/gas 1/4.
??Season your steak and then sprinkle it with herbs. If any of the slices are thick, place them in a plastic bag and then bash the bag with a kitchen mallet or cleaver or back side of a heavy pot to thin the meat to 1cm thick or less. Rub with a little olive oil, place on a very hot griddle or frying pan and sear each side for a minute. This will cook the meat pink, but you can cook it less or more to your liking. Remove to a plate, squeeze over the lemon juice and allow to rest.??
Cut your batard in half lengthways and drizzle the cut sides with a little e.v. olive oil. Smear a massive dollop of Dijon mustard over the bread, put your steak and onions and shoots on top, then drizzle over any juice from the meat. Squeeze together and eat!
From the kitchen of Greenfield Highland Beef. Serves 6.
?1 package stew meat
?1/4 c. flour seasoned with salt & fresh ground pepper?
2 onions, chopped?
2 large stalks celery, sliced?
2 large carrots, thickly sliced?
2 cloves garlic, crushed?
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes?
1 bay leaf, crumbled?
2 c. liquid (dry red wine, beef broth, water or mix)?
1/4 Ib. bacon slices, cooked
(opt)?1/4 c. brandy
(opt.)?1/2 tsp. hot sauce or cayenne
?Roll beef cubes in seasoned flour. Place cooked bacon in bottom of flameproof casserole. Pour diced tomatoes into casserole. Layer half of beef cubes over tomatoes. Cover with half of the vegetables. Repeat with remaining beef and vegetables. Mix wine, broth &/or water with brandy, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper and seasoning to taste. Pour over meat and vegetables. Bring to a simmer on stovetop. Cover w. lid and cook in oven at 300°F for 3 hours or until meat is tender.
Thai Winter Squash Soup
In case you are inspired to make something non traditional this week, here's a soup that makes use of your squash puree. Having puree in hand makes this a super easy soup to put together and this soup is a flavor explosion. In traditional Thai fashion, it combines sweet, sour and salty flavors and has a kick too. The lime and coconut both come through beautifully.
3 cloves garlic
2 thumb sized pieces of ginger
3-4 cups of winter squash or pumpkin puree
1 qt chicken or vegetable stock
3 TB Fish sauce
2.5 TB brown sugar (or maple syrup, or maple sugar)
2 TB Lime juice
1 can coconut milk
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
Puree the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor. Put a small amount of oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and stir for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Then add the pumpkin puree, stock, fish sauce, brown sugar or maple syrup, lime juice, and crushed red pepper and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Before serving, add the coconut milk. Taste the soup. You may want to add a fresh splash of lime just before serving.
Cream of Spinach Soup Recipe
Here's a great way to use your frozen spinach.
1 package frozen spinach, thawed
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
3 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
1 1/2 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes (or vegetable bouillon cubes for vegetarian option)
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup sour cream
Optional: chopped chives and/or ground allspice for garnish
In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté onion in butter for 3 minutes or until limp. Add potatoes, chicken broth, water, and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add spinach and cook for 2 to 4 minutes longer until spinach is tender.
Working in batches, purée soup mixture in a blender. Return to saucepan. Whisk in half-and-half, salt and pepper.
Over low heat, bring to just before simmering. Whisk in the sour cream. You may want to use an immersion blender to get the sour cream fully incorporated.
This soup can be served hot or chilled. Garnish with chopped chives, sprinkles of allspice, or a dollop of sour cream.
Asian Slaw with Shoots and Ginger-Peanut Dressing
This is a great coleslaw recipe. Get creative! Add cooked edamame, bell peppers, or scallions if you have them on hand.
For the dressing:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (Thai hot sauce - optional)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
For the Slaw:
4 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups prepared shredded carrots
2 handfuls of shoots, or more if desired
1 medium shallot, finely sliced
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts (or you can leave them whole)
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro, leave out if you don't have
Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir until the peanut butter is dissolved. Set aside.
Combine all of the slaw ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss well. Let sit at least ten minutes so vegetables have a chance to soak up the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I usually add a bit more salt.) Serve cold.