Monday, May 16, 2011

Recipes: Fava beans, a stew and more

Here are some of our favorite new recipes. Enjoy!

Fava Bean Puree
Adapted from Alice Waters
½ cup olive oil
4 pounds fava beans
4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
A sprig of fresh rosemary, thyme, or tarragon, or another herb of your choice
½ cup water
Salt and pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice and grated zest, optional

To prepare the fava beans for cooking, remove them from their pods. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and fill a large bowl with ice water. Blanch the beans in the boiling water for one to two minutes, until they slip fairly readily from their skins. Transfer the beans with a skimmer or slotted spoon to the ice water. When they’re cool, drain the water and remove the beans from their skins.

To make the puree, heat the ½ cup of olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the shelled, skinned beans, garlic, herbs, water, and a good couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are very tender (about 15 minutes), adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning, and adding more water if necessary. Remove the pot from the heat, and remove the herb sprig.  Mash the beans with the back of a spoon or pass the mixture through a food mill. Stir in the ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil and a bit of water if necessary to achieve a nice, thick but spreadable consistency, along with a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of grated zest, if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with toasted baguette slices.

Organic Vegan French Peasant Stew
1¼ cups organic chickpeas, presoaked overnight
3½ cups water
4 bay leaves
1 strip dulse
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves organic garlic, sliced
1 large organic onion (at least 1 cup), sliced
2 organic carrots (1½ cups)
1 small organic cauliflower (3 cups), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon dried basil
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon dried cloves
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Drain and rinse beans well. Simmer beans, water, dulse, and bay leaves for about 30 minutes, until the beans begin to soften. Sauté garlic, onions, cauliflower, and carrots in olive oil for 5 minutes. Season with basil, cardamom, cloves, salt, and pepper.

1. Change the nationality of the stew by changing the seasoning. For instance, add curry powder, garam marsala, cinnamon, and cardamom for an Indian accent.
2. Leave out the cauliflower, or otherwise vary the vegetables. Try some potatoes and peppers.
3. Change the beans to kidney or pinto. Switch the herbs and spices to garlic, oregano, pepper, basil, cumin, and chili powder for a Mexican chili.

Asparagus Frittata
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese

1. Heat olive oil into a 10-inch oven-proof frying pan over medium high heat. Add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add asparagus, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until the asparagus are barely tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Pour in eggs and cook until almost set, but still runny on top, about 2 minutes. While cooking, pre-heat oven broiler.

Stuffed Artichokes
6 whole artichokes
3 slices Italian bread, cubed
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste

1. Snip the pointed tips of artichoke leaves, and cut off the stems. Wash and drain. Holding artichoke firmly by base, firmly rap the top of it on a hard surface; this will open it so it can be stuffed.
2. In a medium bowl combine bread cubes, garlic, parsley, Romano cheese, oregano, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, salt and pepper; mix well.
3. Press about 1/2 cup of stuffing into each artichoke. Tightly pack stuffed artichokes together in a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven. Add enough water to reach half way up artichokes and add 3 tablespoons oil.
4. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour, or until leaves pull out easily.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Surfside Chickens article

I was so happy to learn that our friends at Surfside Chickens were written up in an article by Eucalyptus Magazine.  We have a limited option for chickens through Surfside and in the future, we hope to be able to offer even more from them!  Please check out the article here

Monday, May 9, 2011

Honey and seasonal allergies

It's allergy time again! Did you know that honey can be used to treat seasonal allergies?  While all of the stories are anecdotal, many people have found relief for their allergies by eating about 2 or 3 teaspoonfuls of honey a day.  The caveat is that it must be raw, local honey, hopefully from within 20 miles of your home.  Local honey contains pollen from the flowers in your area that may be causing you problems, helping you to develop an immunity.

Not only is honey yummy, but it also is great as a cough suppressant. Honey is also great for your skin, as it is a natural humectant, helping your skin retain moisture.  And because it's antimicrobial, you can use it to treat minor cuts and burns. It even contains vitamins and minerals like calcium and potassium.

Please note that raw honey should never be fed to children under the age of one as honey contains spores that can cause infant botulism. 

Honey Vinaigrette I
From the National Honey Board

Makes 1-1/4 cups

    * 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
    * 1/4 cup honey
    * 1/4 cup olive oil
    * 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
    * 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard*
    * Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients; mix thoroughly. *1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard may be substituted.

Serving Suggestion: Serve over favorite fruit or vegetable salad.

Tip: Variation: 3/4 to 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed, can be added.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mead's Maple Syrup

We are excited to announce that this week, we started to carry Mead's Maple Syrup.  While we like to focus on local products, once in awhile we also take on exceptional products from other places in the country that aren't or can't be produced locally.  

Mead and Mead's Maple Syrup is family owned and operated in Canaan Valley, CT.  The owners, Winter and Jude Mead, have been involved in the family business for 15 years and were taught the trade by their father. 

The syrup comes from maple trees on their Connecticut farm in the Berkshire Mountains and other local family farms.  It is 100% pure maple syrup and contains no chemicals, additives, or preservatives. 

We've only had this available for members for a few days and we can barely keep it in stock!  Our first batch sold out in just two days, but we now have more available in the store for our members.  Grab a bottle while you can!

Friday, May 6, 2011

What happens to our unused food?

As a member of our CSA, your weekly food arrives in pristine condition. So what happens to all of the food we get that's not up to the quality standards we believe our members deserve? Starting last week, rather than composting the scraps, we are donating them to Surfside Chickens who will feed them to their flock to incorporate as much of the vitamins and nutrients as they can so the meat and eggs they produce are richer with flavor and nutrition. Yum!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fun facts about strawberries

Our extra strawberries option has just begun and we are loving the deliciously sweet strawberries from the Rodriguez Brothers Ranch!

To celebrate the start of strawberry season, here are some fun facts about strawberries.
  • Strawberries have more vitamin C than an orange. (8 berries contain 140% of the daily value.) They are also a good source of folic acid, potassium and fiber.
  • Strawberry juice and honey will reduce inflammation or sunburn. Rub the mixture into the skin, and then rinse with warm water and lemon juice.
  • California grows 83% of the strawberries for the US, amounting to 1 billion pounds per year.
  • Is a member of the rose family, which is why they are so fragrant.
  • They can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart attacks.
  • Strawberries, which are rich in Nitrate, increases blood flow to the muscles by 7%. This helps prevent muscle fatigue and makes exercise easier.
  • Strawberries are grown in every state in the US and every province in Canada.
  • Strawberries are not berries or fruit, they are the enlarged ends of the plant’s stamen.
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