All posts by Genevieve

The Kale Kid

Zane
Working hard at the Youth Farm.

We’ve talked a lot about how to cook the food you get from one of our gardens or farms. I wanted to talk a little about a few of the people who grow the food, starting with Cori Ash.

In the first year of the Youth Farm, farm director Cori Ash was sitting at her Mobile Market stand. Most of our Mobile Markets take food from the farm to senior housing. But this market was set up at an affordable housing complex for families.

A 10 year old boy came biking up to Cori, asking for kale. He had his allowance with him, and wanted to spend it on the kale. She was impressed, and sold him two bunches. He teetered off on his bike, a bunch under each arm.

The next week he was back, and he brought a friend. They each bought kale again, and again went away.

Mobile Market
Mobile Market in full swing.

The third week, he came alone. He suggested that maybe he could trade his labor for kale. He’d help her at the market, and take home kale in return. She was thrilled. It was often just her at the stand because of school scheduling with the teens that worked at the Youth Farm, so she really did need help unloading the boxes, making change, and talking to customers.

We stopped serving that apartment complex the next year, and lost touch with the boy.

A word about the Youth Farm. Most all of the workers save Cori, the farm assistant, Mark, and farm apprentice, Kaya, are teens living in a group home. There are anywhere from 3 to 10 youth that work 20 – 40 hours a week at the farm, plus many of the other teens at Youth Homes come by to volunteer at the farm once a week.

When one of the Youth Homes volunteer groups came, there was a familiar face in the crowd. It was this boy. Cori couldn’t place him at first, and neither could the boy. So they both took shy glances at each other until they figured it out. “You’re Captain Kale!,” Cori said.

She offered the boy a job by mid-season. He said yes.  Zayne has proven to be a hard worker — one of the teens she depends on to get things done on the farm. Because they raise food for a CSA and market stand, there are high standards and strict deadlines. These teens have to get things done efficiently and beautifully.

Zayne is still working at the farm today, as the days get cooler and the weather wetter. And he still loves kale. He makes sure the harvest doesn’t go to waste at in his group home’s kitchen.

Zayne and Kaya will be writing about their favorite times and recipes in the next few weeks. The kale only gets sweeter as the weather cools, so it is a great time to cook it up.

Youth Farm Barn
The red barn at the Youth Farm.

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3 Freezer Meals for the Cold Dark Nights Ahead

The nights are cooling off. The days are getting shorter. My little is back in school. It’s labor day weekend, again. As I put away my white pants and shoes (haha), I brush off my Carrot Cardamom Soup recipe from Michelle Tam and shine up my soup pot to make some of my favorite freezer meals for those times when we need a quick meal that reminds us summer is waiting for us in a few months. While this weekend I am heading to the Helmville Rodeo (a Montana institution), I will be making or have made many of these meals in the next few weeks.

1. The Soup: Carrot Cardamom Soup, by Michelle Tam

Austen eats carrot soup
There she is, loving on the carrots and cardamom!

I love this soup. What’s even better: my four year old Austen loves it too. It is a bowl full of carrots and apples and homemade bone broth. Nutrients abound. She has no idea. Moo ha ha ha.

When we’re talking soups and freezing them, however, what I often do while I have fresh carrots, celery, and onions, is make a mirepoix — a french term for the flavor base to many dishes — from a pan of beans to a meat skillet to a pot of soup. Because it is the base to so many dishes I make, having some frozen and on hand in the winter months saves time. So, if you don’t want to make the whole cha bang, just saute two parts onion, to one part carrots, and one part celery in a pan with your favorite cooking oil (butter is GREAT, bacon or duck fat work as do olive or coconut oil).

If I am feeling ambitious, I will cook the base, leaving out the apples and cardamom in case I get tired of this soup (it happens occasionally, but not often) and feel more like Curried Carrot Soup.

Or I’ll just go for it and make the recipe, cool it, and most importantly, put it a bag or mason jar that is the appropriate size for what my family would want in one sitting.

I once put all my carrot soup in gallon sized bags in the freezer. Two things happened: one, I put them on the door, and the bags leaned into the bar on the freezer door and froze, forever molded into place. One pinning the other in place as well. I think I had to break the bar to the the damn things out. It’s best to lay them out flat, let them freeze, and then stack them either like library books or in a big stack. Two, I had to thaw the whole bag to get about 1/3 of it for all of us to eat. Then I had to eat carrot soup for a week because I couldn’t bare to re-freeze it. Then, I didn’t want to see carrot soup for the rest of the winter. I use quart sized bags now.

2. The Main Event: Shepherd’s Pie by Elana’s Pantry

This is technically a cottage pie, because it is made with beef rather than lamb. However, it

Shepherds pie
That’s the shepherds pie I made — complete with creamy mashed cauliflower topping.

sneaks extra veggies (this one has a mirepoix base, too!) in the topping: it is made of cauliflower. You can use your lovely potatoes from this week too, if you’d prefer.

The last time I served this, we were hosting my 16 year old niece. She is a pretty typical teenager, sweet enough to eat anything I put in front of her, but only enthusiastic about a few things. This she loved. She was seen later in the evening spooning up the faux mashed potatoes and eating them all by themselves.

This makes a lot, so you could serve half and then freeze the other half. Make it soon! Cauliflower is on its way out.

3. Breakfast: Breakfast Cookies!

Seriously! Adapted by the Kitchn from 101 Cookbooks (two of my favorites)

Photo by the Kitchn
Photo by the Kitchn

These are filled with carrots and lots of other yummy dried fruits. The only sweetener is maple syrup. And they freeze beautifully. They are there for you when you are short on time and need breakfast. You can also freeze and put a cookie or two in a kid’s lunch when you are trying to stretch to the next grocery trip.

 

 

We’ve Got the Beet (Recipe)

Dave enjoying a burger at the Farm PartyWe’ve gotten a lot of requests around here for the Farm Party recipes. And what I think that really means is GIVE US THE BEET RECIPE! It is clear from this photo that a Farm Party dinner makes a guy happy. I posted the Kamut® recipe a few weeks ago, another favorite at the party. Now, let me give you the beet.

I will also tell you the story of how our beet salad came to be.

First we got a group of about six or seven EVST Grad and undergrad students and two Youth Harvest teens who have spent their summer up at the PEAS Farm. These folks have seeded, planted, harvested and weeded and weeded (and did I mention weeding?) to bring food to the Missoula Food Bank, their faithful CSA members, and all of our Mobile Market patrons at (mostly) senior affordable housing around town. Farm Party is a way for these students to team up and show the community what they’ve been up to. It’s a proud moment.

Tuesday before the party, the interns and Youth Harvesters harvested the beets and onions (and many other ingredients). Wednesday, the Farm to School staffers whisked the beets and onions to the Missoula County Public School’s Central Kitchen, where they have fancy machines like the robot coupe that chop and slice the veggies REALLY FAST.

Then, to the UM Catering kitchen, where they are roasted in the oven to perfection.

Then, to the First Presbyterian Church commercial kitchen where they are cooled overnight (because you don’t want to melt the cheese) lovingly combined by the PEAS Farm students and Youth Harvest teens the morning of the Farm Party with a simple dressing and delicious Lifeline Farms Feta-U-Beta.

FarmParty_2014_Will Klaczynski (14)
The beet salad in action at the Farm Party!

So, without further ado, here’s the recipe!

Farm Party Beet Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sized beets (should be around 1.5 lbs or 4 cups cubed beets)
  • 1/2 a medium Walla Walla onion
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil (or any oil you enjoy, at home I would use olive, but Safflower is definitely more local, if more refined)
  • 4 oz feta (we used Feta-U-Beta from Lifeline Farms to keep it local and organic — whoop whoop!)
  • Salt to taste

How to

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash the beets and remove tops if still attached (and feel free to use for another dish!). Peel and chop beets into bite sized pieces. Chop coarsely, about the same size as the beets.

Place beets and onions on a large cooking sheet (or two, best not to crowd the veggies). Cook until fork tender, approximately 20 – 30 minutes.

Let the beets and onions cool enough so that they won’t melt the cheese when you toss it all together.

While the beets are cooling, combine the crumbled cheese, safflower oil, and salt.

Once cooled, combine all ingredients together and serve!

 

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Midsummer Madness: a recipe roundup

KateCooper2009 (2)August. It’s August. And not just the beginning — it’s mid August. Bittersweet: I think that is the word for this month. The slow letting go of lots of sun, swimming holes, and unstructured days. Deep breath.

But we don’t have to say goodbye to vegetables too soon — we are just hitting the peak. From now until mid to late September our gardens and farms will be plumping up, ripening and sweetening our vegetables for your tables. This summer has been relatively cool, so tomatoes and eggplants and peppers may be slow, but the rest of the high summer veggies are coming on strong.

So pack it in while you can, friends.

Here are 9 recipes that make the most out of our last month of summer.

Summer Chicken Stew from BBC Good Food

This recipe has two steps. Really. It’s that easy. Great for a weeknight, has lots of seasonal veggies.

Vegetable Hakka Noodles (AKA Chow Mein) from Manjulas Kitchen

Simple sauce and noodle base that allows you to build whatever veggies you can in there. This recipe happens to include only veggies you’ll find in your CSA.

Mediterranean Cauliflower Couscous with roasted chickpeas from Andrea Bemis of The Kitchn

(hint: the cauliflower is riced, so it takes the place of the couscous — sneaky!).

Cauliflower couscous by The Kitchn.
Cauliflower couscous by The Kitchn.
Cauliflower Steaks from The Kitchn

Apparently, this is a thing. Popping up on restaurant menus all over the place. I didn’t know. But it sounds easy and amazing, so put it on your menu this week! Great for vegetarians and those looking to give the cauliflower main stage.

Zucchini with Chorizo and Lime from The Kitchn

An easy one pot meal. There’s a lot of parsley in my CSA, so I’d sub that in for the cilantro in this recipe, and maybe add a little coriander (since that’s the seed of the cilantro plant).

Green Bean Potato and Corn Salad from Love and Lemons
love and lemons green bean and potato salad
Love and Lemons’ green bean, potato & corn salad.

This could be a side, or add your favorite meat or seafood and make it dinner. It even has basil, which I have a lot of. Making this tonight!

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza from Love and Lemons

What a great way to use up veggies: grab a Le Petit crust, roll it out, and load on the veggies and herbs and a little tomato sauce or olive oil. Done and done. This one from Love and Lemons is a great mixture of seasonal veggies.

Darla’s Delicious Frittata from Epicurious

I’ve starting making a frittata over the weekend when I have a bit more time and serving it for breakfast (or dinner) throughout the week. I recently read a frittata recipe that, instead of listing what vegetables, just said “vegetables.” As in, as long as you have some veggies, cheese, and maybe a little cream or meat (totally optional, though I do argue bacon is always a good idea) along with eggs, you’ll be good to go.

Easiest Refrigerator Pickles from Smitten Kitchen
easiest-fridge-dill-pickles1
Easy refrigerator pickles by Smitten Kitchen.

And a little nod to what’s coming down the pike: storing veggies. Pickling! Cucumbers, they are great for snacking, salading, and some great Greek food. But when in doubt, pickle them!

We’ll be taking a break next week. Because #peasfarmparty. Hope you all will join us for our 20th anniversary get down Thursday, August 18th.

I’ll be writing about going back to school (gasp!) next time around. Until then, eat well.

 

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kamut salad

Kamut® Salad: the newest addition to the Farm Party lineup

The Farm Party is in a little over a week from now. If you haven’t been, it is a big old party up at the PEAS Farm celebrating this great community, and the harvest that abounds this time of year. We cook everyone a big meal, and host some live music (Shakewell and Local Yokel this year!). It’s really fun. This year, we’re celebrating our 20th anniversary, which means we’ll have cake and a photo booth and a few other fun things.

One of the longstanding traditions around this party (we’ve been doing the party for 14 years, so we’ve got some serious traditions going) is that Josh (PEAS Farm Director) and the PEAS Farm student crew make the food. They harvest it in the fields, truck it over the First Presbyterian Church’s commercial grade kitchen, and get to work. The party has gotten so big that UM Catering has now taken over cooking the burgers, so we can focus on what’s most important: the veggies.

Chopping onions for Farm Party
Chopping onions for the Farm Party Kamut Salad. Real chefs wear onion eye protection. Photo by Tom Bauer/The Missoulian

This wonderful group makes six salads (green salad, cole slaw, carrot, cuke, roasted beet, and Kamut Brand Khorasan Wheat). It’s a treat for them to show Missoula what they’ve been up to all summer. All their harvesting, weeding, moving pipe, tractoring, educating, more weeding, seeding and re-seeding, and harvesting again, and sweating and sometimes freezing — it all adds up to a rich and new experience. So it is a special thing to be able to invite all of you up to the farm to see a little piece of it in action.

In the spirit of sharing, I asked Kali, an EVST grad student who is one of the group’s leaders this year, if she’d share a recipe. She did some calculating (these recipes are sized for making food for around 1,000) to make it for around 6 servings, and gave me this year’s version of the Kamut® Salad recipe. Grain salads are great because you can stick all sorts of things in them and they taste great with a little dressing. This year, the crew is adding peaches (that’s right!) to the savory salad. It’s a great way tie many seasonal ingredients into one dish. Eat it as a meal, or as a hearty side. To make this gluten free, sub rice.

Recipe

Ingredients

Dressing
1/4 cup safflower oil or olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
A few sprigs of basil
1-2 tsp raw honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Salad
1 cup Kamut® berries, cooked and cooled (shorten the cooking time if you soak the berries overnight — see here for simple cooking instructions — mine cooked for almost 60 min)
3 – 5 kale leaves, stemmed and chopped
1/2 sweet onion, diced small
1-2 peaches, chopped
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

Prep all your ingredients.
Ingredients
Emulsify the dressing with an immersion blender.
immersion blender and dressing
Massage the chopped kale with a small amount of the dressing to tenderize it. Then combine all the ingredients in a bowl!
Combine together ingredients
We hope you’ll make this, and come to the Farm Party on August 18th, 5:30 pm at the PEAS Farm to try ours! Come find me and we’ll compare recipes, will you?

Cooking in the garden: How to eat fresh with kids

Amy HarveyAmy Harvey has served with Garden City Harvest and the Missoula County Public Schools for the last two years a FoodCorps service member. She has led our summer cooking in the school garden series A natural teacher who brings enthusiasm and an infectious love for local food, we are excited to have her tell us a bit about her time cooking with kids in a few school gardens.

As I wrap up my second year as a FoodCorps service member, I am lucky enough to conclude the term with one of my favorite series of events. In partnership with Garden City Harvest’s Farm to School program, our team leads family friendly cooking classes in the elementary school gardens of Missoula. Families join us to experience the garden during the bounty of summer, cook a fresh meal together, and eat as a school community.

Busy hands and smiles

Last week at Rattlesnake Elementary School, we had a record breaking 34 participants, including 20 adults and 14 kids. We started things off with a choose your own adventure Herbal Lemonade station and fresh veggies with homemade hummus. On the menu was Power Kale Salad, Spiralized Zucchini Salad, Mid-Summer’s Harvest Pasta, and Fresh Summer Rock n’ Rolls with a Peanut Dipping Sauce. As families arrived, we encouraged them to rotate between the four cooking stations to try out new cooking techniques. One of our FoodCorps sayings is to “try new things” and we sure did! We mashed garlic with a mortar and pestle, spiralized zucchini into thin ribbons, crinkle cut bell peppers, massaged kale in a Ziplock bag, and strategically rolled veggies up into rice wrappers. Throughout the class we taught the kids (and parents) a few simple rules to encourage cooking safety.

Here are our food safety basics:

Learning the basics of spiralizingClaw and Saw: Stabilize the item you are cutting by clawing your fingertips against the item and your cutting surface. Then, with your dominant hand, cut the item in a saw-like motion using your knife.

Hands and Eyes: To stay safe, always keep your hands and eyes focused on your current task.

Low and Slow: Keep tools low to the table and work slowly to stay in control.

Wait to Taste:To avoid spreading germs, wait to taste any food until you’re done cooking.

To watch toddlers, elementary school students, middle school students, parents, grandparents, and volunteers work together to create a communal meal is truly a special occasion. At any age cooking is a practice of patience and flexibility, especially with kids. Your salad dressing will never exactly follow the recipe, the chunks of onion in the pasta will vary from tiny to giant, and sometimes a spring roll just won’t work. However, it will be fun and taste delicious. The Rattlesnake Cooking Class was a huge success! The food was scrumptious, we strengthened our garden community, and we created a positive food memories for everyone there. Try making Summer Rock N’ Rolls (i.e. fresh spring rolls) at home tonight with your family.

Summer Rock n’ Rolls

adapted from City Blossoms- Garden Gastronomy’s cookbook 

Ingredients

for the spring rolls: SchoolGardenCookingClass_Rattlesnake_2016 (2)

  • Spring roll rice paper (one per person)
  • 1 cup rice noodles, cooked and cooled
  • 1 cup of carrot peelings
  • 1 cup of shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup of grated beets
  • 1 cup of grated kohlrabi
  • ½ cup finely chopped basil (as desired)
  • ½ cup finely chopped mint (as desired)
  • ½ cup finely chopped chives or green onions (as desired)
  • Other possible fillings: cucumber, bell pepper, avocado, zucchini, bean sprouts, lettuce, tofu, anything!

for the peanut dipping sauce

  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • Juice from ½ a lime (more or less, depending on your taste)
  • Sprinkle of crushed red pepper or hot sauce (optional)
Directions
  1. Take a piece of rice paper and carefully dip it in lukewarm water for the count of 10. Try not to crack or fold the paper; it is delicate!
  2. Place the wet rice paper on a sheet of wax paper. It may seem a little stiff, but will continue to soften.
  3. Lay down a few carrot peels, a few slices of cabbage, and a pinch of grated beets and kohlrabi together in the center of the rice paper.
  4. On top, add a pinch of herbs (basil, mint, chives) as you desire. All of the filling should be facing the same direction and in a little mound in the center.
  5. Then, put a large pinch of noodles on top of the vegetables, but not so big that you can’t close the roll.
  6. Here’s the tricky part. Fold the left end of the rice paper over the pile of noodles. Then repeat with the right side and bottom (edge closest to you). Finally, roll the whole thing towards the top to wrap it like a burrito. A little practice is required, but even if you are not perfect, it will still be delicious!
  7. To make the peanut sauce, combine all ingredients in a non-stick pan. At low heat, stir constantly until peanut butter has melted and it is well mixed.
  8. Dip your fresh spring rolls in the peanut sauce and enjoy!
Dinner is Served
Dinner is served! The feast from the garden is ready to eat.

How to Prevent the Zucchini Apocalypse, Part 1

It is that time of year when the vegetable stars align to give us an abundance of possibilities.

zucchini apocalypse
Beware the zucchini apocalypse! Graphic by Ken Lockwood.

It is also the time of year when desperate gardeners start slipping zucchinis into unlocked cars. If you find yourself at either end of this situation, I’ve got a great recipe for you. It will take care of 4 – 6 zucchinis, and a few other things that are just coming into season right now.

Want more zucchini ideas to ward of that sense of impending doom? We’ve got a collection just for you.

Now, you can use a regular peeler for this recipe, but I would recommend either springing for a spiralizer (takes up a bit more space in your kitchen, so its a bit more of a commitment) or a julienne peeler. I recommend either the Swissmar or Kuhn peelers if you purchase online. The only place I could find that sold them locally was the Good Food Store.

In the summer, we eat a lot of zucchini pasta at my house. It is is my #1 defense against the zucchini apocalypse. And a great way to replace a grain with a vegetable. And trick my unsupsecting child and husband. They’ve figured it out by now, but I can blend pasta and z-pasta together and they are pretty darn happy.

This salad is so simple and so good. I am always surprised at how delicious raw zucchini and carrots taste with a bit of garlic,salt, and olive oil on them.

This is great on its own. You can add a few things to it if you are trying to purge your fridge. I added scallions to it cause I had such fresh, lovely ones today. I made it at the office, and decided it would be my lunch. I put some sliced turkey and ham on the side (and a plopped a little mayo on the side too, because I am a mayo freak). Great meal!

Other additions include mozzerella, tomatoes, chunks of bread. . . Sides of toast! I’m guessing a little spiralized kohlrabi wouldn’t be bad, either. Maybe olives? But I haven’t tried those yet.

Caprese SaladSummer Squash Caprese Noodle Salad

adapted from Diane Sanfilippo’s book, Practical Paleo

Ingredients:

Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (I’ve used dried in a pinch, just reduce by a 1/3rd (4 teaspoons)
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste (I used white pepper, but black pepper is great too)
Salad:
  • around 5 cups spiralized or julienned zucchini or summer squash – I used 3 medium squash plus two of the patty pan
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned, peeled or spiralized (when tomatoes come into season, you can use those instead)
  • 1 scallion (optional)

How to:

I peeled my zucchini, the noodles just work better that way. But you certainly don’t have to. Spiralize or julienne peel your squashes. I spiralized mine, using the larger noodle setting. Set aside. If you want to get a bit of the water out of the zucchini beforehand, salt the zucchini noodles before you set them aside.

spiralized squash

Combine dressing ingredients in a large bowl.

dressing

Peel the carrots right into the bowl with dressing.

Carrots

If you opted to salt the squash, now’s the time to take a clean rag, towel, or paper towel and squeeze some of the water out into the sink. (I didn’t do this – I just don’t care enough about the slightly watery situation.)

Add the squash and toss with your hands. Grind a little fresh pepper on top. I added a few scallions here, too. Tastes great either way.

Eat right away, or stick in the fridge to let the flavors combine.

Bon appetit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Kohlrabi Should Be Your New Best (Farm) Friend

You might have met Bobbi Kohlrabi. She is a Garden City Harvest superhero, and knows the essential dance moves (funky chicken, mash potato, driving the big tractor, raise the barn roof, etc.).

This character was inspired by the amazing and nutritive powers of the spaceship-shaped, sparse-leaved, mineral and nutrient rich kohlrabi. It has the amazing absorption promoting combo of iron and calcium.  Iron can be hard to absorb, so this is something to shake your tail feathers over. Its got vitamins A, B complex, C, and K a ton of fiber to keep things moving smoothly, and antioxidant properties (thanks phytochemicals!).

Kohlrabi kid

Kohlrabi is crunchy, slightly sweet, a bit more like an apple in texture but a broccoli stem in taste. The flavor does well with the rich, complex spices in many Indian dishes. Many German recipes use kohlrabi as well.

And, my friends, it is so versatile. You can eat it raw, roasted, grilled, souped, stewed. . . even enchiladaed. Which is actually how I used my first kohlrabi. It can be subbed for carrots, broccoli, potatoes. Make kohlrabi fries! Slaws (recipe below)! Risottos! Its leaves can be used as you would kale or collards.

Our four farms grow purple and green kohlrabi varieties. There really isn’t much difference in the taste of the two, and they are both the same color once you peel them. Which brings me to the hardest part of working with your new BFF.

You have to peel this or you will think it is your worst enemy. The skin isn’t so bad, but the fibrous stuff just underneath the skin resembles tree bark. It does not soften with cooking.

Once peeled, you can match stick chop, mandoline slice, or grate in your food processor. The Kitchn has all sorts of tips on slicing and dicing your kohlrabi if you want to nerd out.

Many articles rave about kohlrabi slaw, which I have never made. So I decided it was time.

With no cooking required and a simple dressing, this recipe is easy and quick. Refreshing on a hot summer day, too.

I roughly followed this recipe from The Kitchn, with a few adjustments. Just enough that I am now calling it Bobbi Kohlrabi’s Super Slaw. Boom.

Peel your kohlrabbi, peel it good.

Peeling kohlrabi

Chop it to fit in your food processor. You can also hand grate any of these, and work on your muscle tone while you’re at it.

Feed two medium carrots and a half of one of your smaller beautiful fresh purple cabbages to the food processor (doesn’t have to be purple, but you get color points if it is!)

Chopping Kohlrabi, etc.

I fed a few of the baby onions I picked up at River Road to the food processor, too.

baby onions

All of the above ingredients are coming into or are in season right now. You shouldn’t have to buy anything special for this recipe.

I mixed the dressing. Since I only had fresh parsley (not cilantro, which is what the recipe calls for), I mixed in some cumin to give the slaw a little flair. You could also pair parsley with coriander to get closer to the cilantro flavor (coriander is made of the seed of the cilantro plant).  I was pleased with the half a teaspoon of cumin I added, however.  I also put one teaspoon of honey in, rather than two teaspoons of sugar. It was plenty sweet.

dressing

I put all the ingredients in a bowl, and used my (clean) hands to toss it all together.

Austen asked if it was made of different kinds of cheeses when she saw it. I hedged with “Yeah, it is. . . probably not made of cheese.” As she was tasting it. Then I admitted it was vegetables. She gave it the double thumbs up. But then she asked if she could only eat one bite.

two thumbs up from Austen

Next, I’m going to tackle kohlrabi french fries. . .

cole slawBobbi Kohlrabi Super Slaw

Serves 6 as a side

Ingredients
for the slaw:

1 medium large kohlrabi, peeled and shredded

2 medium large carrots (as fresh as you can get) shredded

half a small purple cabbage

3 – 5 baby onions

for the dressing:

1/3 cup mayo (I used Just Mayo)

1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon cumin or coriander

2 tablespoons parsley

1. Peel the outer layers of the kohlrabi. Chop to food processor size all ingredients. Shred the main ingredients in your food processor (or grate by hand — also great way to get in a arm workout).

2. Mix together dressing.

3. Combine and toss veggies and dressing. It’s best to cool this off after prepping it for a few hours in the fridge. Finish with a parsley garnish.

 

 

PEAS for Lunch

PEAS Lunch 1This summer, every weekday at noon, on the nose—never 12:05 or 12:10—the sound of somebody clanging a triangle signals everybody working at the PEAS Farm to stop what they’re doing and head to the barn for lunch. “Everybody” currently includes university interns, Youth Harvest  teen employees, teaching assistants (including myself), and farm staff.

That’s a lot of hard working, hungry people eating lunch at PEAS, every work day during the summer. And they eat a lot of food, especially after a morning of hand-planting a quarter acre of pumpkins, squatting for hours to hand weed ten long rows of flowers, or harvesting a dozen different vegetable varieties for a 50-person CSA pick up.

And every day, it’s the farmers themselves who cook these mighty feasts.

 

Part of the PEAS educational experience is learning how to cook fresh veggies in a way that produces a tasty and nutritious meal. All the interns and teen farmers get the opportunity to cook together, multiple times over the course of the summer.

There are only two official rules for cooking lunch. 1) Serve lunch on time. 2) Make enough. (There’s also an unofficial third rule: Cook something delicious!)

The cooks harvest the bulk of their ingredients straight from the farm. (Some staple ingredients—like oil, vinegar, lentils, and grains—don’t grow so well there. We purchase those elsewhere to supplement our bounty of veggies.) This means that early season lunches very much resemble peasant food—usually rice, lentils, and the ever-abundant spring greens. But as the days lengthen and the air warms, the cooks in the PEAS kitchen start to incorporate zucchini and carrots and beets—and then eggplant and beans and tomatoes—into their repertoire.

PEAS Lunch 6

On a typical day at PEAS, the cooks congregate in the kitchen at 9:45 to plan their meal. Instead of using established recipes for lunch, they make up their own based on what’s available in the pantry and on the farm. Cooks usually start by inventorying the dry goods and scanning the fields for whatever’s ripe. After harvesting the food, the cooks turn on some tunes, set water to boil, and start cooking.

At noon, on the dot, the cooks bang on the triangle, and the rest of the farmers flock in for lunch – like a big family. Laughing and talking all the while, we fill our plates and then our bellies with a lunch that’s on time, enough, and delicious.

PEAS Lunch 3

Here’s a recipe that resembles something we might cook at the PEAS Farm (scaled down, of course):

Lentil Dal with Greens, adapted from The Kitchn

Serves 4

1 1/2 cups dry red lentils (we use Timeless Seeds’s), rinsed
1-2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil (like Safflower)
1 onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Mix of other veggies, like zucchini, carrots, or peas, chopped to bite-size
1/2-inch piece of ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
6 cups loosely packed shredded greens, like beet greens, spinach, kale, tat soi, or rainbow chard
Salt, to taste

Place the lentils in a pot and add enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the top, then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until creamy and tender.

While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a heavy-based pan—we like cast iron—over medium heat. Add the onion and fry gently for about 5 minutes, until translucent and beginning to brown. Add the tomatoes and garlic and whatever other vegetables you’ve decided to toss in, and cook for another 5 or so minutes, until the veggies soften and garlic begins to brown. Add the turmeric, ginger, and cumin, and stir. Mix in the greens and let them wilt, about 5 minutes.

Stir the veggies into the dal, and simmer for a few minutes to warm through. Season to taste with salt. Serve piping hot over rice, with a salad on the side.

 

This week’s post was written by Kali Orton, a Teaching Assistant at the PEAS Farm, GCH staff member, and graduate student at the University of Montana in the Environmental Studies Program. At the PEAS Farm, her job consists of three main tasks: farming, helping other people learn to farm, and making sure that everyone’s having a good time. She loves food and its ability to bring people together. 

The Perfect Summer Dish for (Almost) Everyone & (Almost) Any Vegetable

FriendsI’m having a few friends over for the fourth of July. The group has some diverse food restrictions, between my gluten allergy, a few vegetarians, a dairy allergy and a mess of kids. Plus, I want to show off my amazing River Road veggies. These limitations can actually be helpful, since the internet is infinite and time is short.

I’ve found a good solution. Inspired by Sarah Britton’s Best Lentil Salad, Ever, I’ll be making a beluga lentil salad along with my grilled tri-tip roast (mine’s from Jamie’s Naturally Raised Grassfed Beef — tri-tip roasts, as opposed to steaks, are amazing and somewhat hard to find. You can special order at a meat counter, or ask for them at the Farmers’ Market). A great source of protein, it’s also gluten free. It’s cold — who wants a hot dish on a day like today?  And it has lots of room for vegetable additions — I love when recipes, like Sarah’s, include optional extras to add to a dish. I’m pretty sure that my 4 year old will even eat this, or at least she’ll negotiate to just “take four bites ’cause I’m four,” rather than flat out, tight-lipped refusal.

All you need is lentils + a good basic vinaigrette + roasted/grilled veggies to get an amazing salad.

Let’s start with roasted/grilled veggies

roasted veggies
This is pretty, but don’t put your veggies this close together when roasting/grilling. Use two baking sheets or two shifts in the grill basket!

Who doesn’t love a roasted vegetable? You can roast almost any vegetable, save the greens, following these guidelines. Great roasting veggies are ripening up right about now — carrots, radishes, garlic scapes, zucchini, maybe even scallions. Plus, you can do almost the same thing (and I would argue it tastes even better) when you grill your veggies. If you want step by step grilling instructions, check out my grilled carrots post. I use a grill basket, but skewers are great, too.

Putting it all together

beluga lentilsWhile you’re roasting or grilling your veggies, cook the lentils. (Or, make it a grain salad instead by cooking gluten free millet, rice, or quinoa, the latter of which has a complete protein — bonus for vegetarians! For a gluten-full grain salad, use kamut, farro, or macaroni. . . whatever floats your boat.) Cool the veggies and lentils (or grains) in the fridge until they are just slightly warm, then mix them together and add the vinaigrette. Save any delicate ingredients — like herbs, greens, or cheese — to add right before you serve. Serve cold!

Sarah Britton’s vinaigrette has a pretty long list of ingredients. If you’d rather try something basic, go with Nora Ephron’s 3-ingredient vinaigrette. I just finished reading the honest and laugh out loud funny Heartburn by Ephron for the third time. It is filled with good food, including this vinaigrette, which is so good it factors into her divorce negotiations.  I’m guessing Ephron’s vinaigrette is what I will use for my lentil salad — I love cooking, but I love spending time with my friends more. Keep it simple, and leave time for wine on the back porch while the kids shriek their way in and out of the sprinkler.

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My friend Ali at a lazy Sunday dinner. She’s raising the roof for yummy food!

Updates coming soon on how these plans turn out!

How did you eat your way through the fourth? Share your favorite recipes and suggestions below — think of this blog as a way to exchange recipes with your CSA friends and interweb neighbors!