Monday, July 26, 2010

RECIPE: Eggplant Caponata

From Salt to Taste by Marco Canora
Serves 6 as a first course or side dish.

8 cups diced (about ¾” square) unpeeled eggplant (about 2 medium)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
About 7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp golden raisins
1 ½ tbsp chopped fresh thyme (can substitute basil, mint or rosemary)
1 ½ tsp sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ c strained tomato puree

1. Toss the eggplant with 2 tbsp salt and set aside in a strainer for 20 minutes to drain. Pat the eggplant dry with paper towels or clean dish towels.

2. Heat about ¼” oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil starts to smoke, gradually start adding eggplant to the pan, adding only enough to almost fill the pan in a single layer. Cook the eggplant, turning it occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the browned eggplant to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Add a little more oil and repeat, cooking the remaining eggplant; drain on paper towels.

3. Adjust the heat to medium-high, add more oil if the pan is dry (you want a good skim when you add the onion). Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until it softens slightly, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and cinnamon. Cook, stirring to prevent burning, for another minute. Add the pine nuts, raisins, and thyme. Continue cooking, stirring as you go, until the onion is soft and golden, about 5 minutes more.

4. Return the eggplant to the pan and add the sugar, vinegar and tomato puree. Reduce the heat to medium, season again with salt and pepper, mix well, and simmer until the mixture reduces slightly and the flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the caponata to settle for at least 5 minutes. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Submitted by Ann Tilley

RECIPE: Quinoa with Spiced Zucchini

2 cup reduced-sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain couscous
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 medium zucchini, cut in half length-wise and then cut in half length-wise again, then cut into 1/4-inch wedges (basically half moons, cut in half down the middle)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Bring 2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add 1 tsp salt. Reduce heat to simmer, and simmer covered until all of the broth is absorbed, around 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add zucchini and 1 tsp salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to moderately low, then stir in coriander, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes. Taste and season with s&p if necessary. Gently stir zucchini mixture into quinoa and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Just before serving, stir in mint and lemon juice.

Submitted by Vicki Boyne
- Show quoted text -

RECIPE: Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi, (see Tip)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 cups chopped chard leaves, (about 1 small bunch) or spinach
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and water. Cover and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chard (or spinach) and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans and pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes.

Submitted by Avigail Yarkoni

Monday, July 19, 2010

RECIPE: Cabbage Stuffed with Beef, Zucchini, and Herbs

Serves 4


2 cabbages (1 1/2 lb each)
1/4 cup fat-free chicken broth
3 tbsp olive oil
2 small zucchini, finely diced
1 large tomato, finely diced
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
1 small eggplant, finely diced
1 tbsp chopped garlic
6 oz lean ground beef
1 tbsp each chopped fresh basil, parsley and thyme
1/4 cup whole-grain breadcrumbs
2 tbsp melted unsalted butter


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Cut cabbages in half from top to base. Cut out core; discard. Pull out inner leaves of each half, leaving 3 outer layers (reserve). Finely slice inner leaves.

2. Heat broth and 2 tbsp oil in a medium sauté pan on medium. Add vegetables (plus sliced cabbage), garlic, and beef. Cook until vegetables are tender and meat is browned; add herbs; place in cabbage halves.

3. Mix butter with breadcrumbs; place on top of cabbage; drizzle remaining 1 tbsp oil on top. Bake until tender, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Submitted by Laura Grund

RECIPE: Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
6 oz. baby arugula
8 cups seedless watermelon, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
7 oz. feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (crumbled also works)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan or skillet. Boil over medium-high heat until reduced to approximately 3 tablespoons, 6 to 7 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, separate arugula into individual salad plates. Scatter watermelon, then feta over arugula. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with black pepper.

Submitted by Vicki Boyne

RECIPE: Shaved Zucchini Salad with Parmesan and Pine Nuts

From Bon Appetit August 2010

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper
2 lbs. medium zucchini, trimmed
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Small wedge of Parmesan cheese

1. Whisk oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and crushed red pepper in small bowl to blend. Set dressing aside.

2. Using vegetable peeler or V-slicer and working from top to bottom of each zucchini, slice zucchini into ribbons (about 1/16 inch thick). Place ribbons in large bowl. Add basil and nuts, then dressing; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Using vegetable peeler, shave strips from Parmesan wedge over salad.

Submitted by Vicki Boyne

RECIPE: Korean BBQ-style Burgers

For those of you who order beef, we hope to start offering recipes with beef in them each week.

From The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook By Jaden Hair

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp grated fresh ginger
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp finely minced scallion
2 tsp sesame seeds
black pepper
nonstick cooking spray

Cucumber Pickle
1 cup matchstick cut carrots (or 1 cup of grated carrots from the grocery)
1 cup matchstick cut cucumbers
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
4 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar

1. In a bowl, mix the ground beef, garlic, ginger, soy, sugar, scallion, sesame seeds and black pepper. If you are like me and want more salt/heat, then add chili flakes or salt.

2. Form into 4 equal-sized hamburger patties (or if you are a glutton like I am, into 3). Form a divot/indentation in the center of each burger to ensure that they stay flat once cooked and don't puff up into giant burger balls with peaks in the center. Allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, prepare quick cucumber pickle (if desired) by tossing all ingredients together in a small bowl. Preheat a grill pan on medium-high heat.

4. When grill pan is hot, spray with PAM. Place the patties gently on the grill pan. Allow to cook 5-7 minutes per side for medium, or cook longer if you want them well-done. Serve with whatever burger toppings you desire.

Suggested banchan burger toppings:
Quick cucumber carrot pickle
Korean BBQ sauce

Submitted Vicki Boyne

Sunday, July 18, 2010

ADVOCACY: Eaarth Book Review by Josh Kigel

Book Review Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

The concept of “too big” is pervasive in modern society; from our banks to our Ford Expeditions to our waistlines. Between the near financial collapse and the ongoing environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Bill McKibben’s mantra of scale back and slow down seems particularly sage advice.

For 253 pages in his most recent book Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, McKibben explains the finer points of the “scale back/slow down” program, which turns out to be less suggestion, and more mandate. McKibben’s mandate is not the kind of government mandate Fox News might frantically label “interference.” This is a mandate from a planet that knows no political affiliation. Eaarth itself will be…a harsh environmental dictator that will force us to bend to new rules. The question is whether we will be smart enough to bend ourselves first. In essence, McKibben says we have “pushed nature around” and now nature is “pushing back with far more power.” McKibben suggests that we have so profoundly changed the planet it needs to be renamed, hence the second “a”.

The book is an easy read, which might temper the sense of urgency were the situation not so dire. McKibben can write in a pleasantly conversational style because the facts of the case and the magnitude of the consequences speak volumes on their own.

Readers will be introduced to a new magic number; 350. As in the upper limit of safety for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is 350 parts per million, and the 650 that would be devastating to humanity. We are currently at 390.

So what can we do? Read chapter 4 and learn to live Lightly, Carefully, Gracefully. One of McKibben’s tenets of particular interest to members of a CSA is the need to adjust our eating habits in volume and substance. In pointing out that it takes 11 times as much fossil fuel to raise a pound of animal protein as an equal amount of plant protein, McKibben espouses reduction in meat consumption. Chubby Bunny vegetables anyone? McKibben does not argue for local food as a matter of taste as much as environmental necessity.

Far from condemning us all to a post-apocalyptic world, McKibben describes how ordinary people can get us back to 350, scaling back modern American society. This is artfully illustrated in his depiction of the Farmers Diner in Vermont, where all ingredients are from small local farms. Owner Tod Murphy competes with the economics of industrial farming and the preconceived notions about food held by a population that has grown up under the regime of industrial food. Murphy is “constantly working to solve the problem presented by the need to get food from the farmer to the customer at a price point that everyone could live with,” or the need to educate his customers that cream from a cow raised naturally isn’t necessarily white. Murphy’s struggle is a microcosm of the “food issues” facing modern diners on planet Eaarth.
“Like someone lost in the woods, we need to stop running, sit down, see what’s in our pockets that might be of use, and start figuring out what steps to take.” You are already a member of a CSA—what other ideas might McKibben turn you onto?

FARM NEWS 7:18.10

Hi folks,
As a grower of roughly sixty different vegetables, it's challenging to come up with reasonable quantities of good salad mix or head lettuce every week for 22 weeks. Here's why: 1.)The dang deer. I come out to harvest at 5:00 AM on Saturday and I see two adult bucks chowing down three week's worth of Romaine. Should I go chase after them with my 22? Nope, I've got to harvest for the Norfolk farmer's market. My three local hunters have permits to hunt here out of season, but they have not been effective. Basically they try to hunt after work in the early PM, but the deer are here in the early AM. 2.) The dang rain. If it doesn't rain for four weeks, this is two weeks where the salad mix, direct seeded, doesn't germinate. This means we're two weeks behind on mixed greens and all my head lettuce is ruminating in the deer. Who knew head lettuce had brains? 3.) All the rest of stuff to grow anyway. There are whole farms locally who grow exclusively salad mix. This is their art. They grow beautiful mix. Chris Reagan of Sky Farm in Millerton or Ted Dobson's Equinox farm in Sheffield. And they have it down to an art. For us, this is one of 60 crops, so while we do strive for perfection it just isn't always possible. There's fall carrots to weed, there's tomatoes to trellis, there's brussel sprouts to plant, there's a cow giving birth, there's pigs to feed, there's garlic still needing harvest. And so much more...So please forgive imperfections in salad and salad mixes and know that we're doing our best to divide up our time so that you get the best of everything we have to offer. Sometimes it's "primo mix" and sometimes it's lettuces mixed with romaine leaves. Sometimes it's just arugula. What ever shape and size it is pretty tasty, I'd say.

So, that's my salad rant. If the salad's not perfect, enjoy the kale or chard or cabbage or arugula. Enjoy the 56 other veggies and herbs as well, knowing you are benefiting from a real season in Falls Village, CT. And thanks for all your positive feedback and support. This connection with you feeds us and fuels us through our challenging work.

Here's the approximate harvest:

savoy cabbage
sweet onions
New Potatoes!!!
Salad Mix/Arugula
maybe cucumbers, we'll see
maybe eggplant, we'll see

Monday, July 12, 2010

RECIPE: Roasted Beet Salad

Adapted from Michael Waupoose’s winner in the 2001 Food for Thought Recipe Contest.


1 bunch small beets
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup pecans (or walnuts)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups salad greens
1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (or feta)
Dried cranberries (optional)


1. Place beets baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake in 375’ oven until can be easily pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes (The grill version: place beets on tin foil, drizzle with oil and salt and pepper, and wrap up tightly. Grill until beets can be easily pierced with a fork, about 30 min.)

2. Meanwhile, toast nuts in a dry pan on the grill or stove, tossing frequently. Finely chop the nuts.

3. Slip the skins of the beets off under cold running water. Cut beets into quarters or eighths.

4. Combine mustard and vinegar in a bowl. Whisk in olive oil until thickened. Add salt and pepper. Toss salad greens in a bowl with a little dressing. Portion the greens onto 2-4 plates. Top with beets, onions, cheese, and nuts. Drizzle with more dressing.

RECIPE: "Ratatouille" with greens


1 large or several smaller eggplants
2 or more tomatoes
4 small zucchini
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
4 packed cups of greens (or more, to taste)
basil and/or thyme
olive oil, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese


1. Slice eggplant, add salt, make stacks of eggplant slices and, if possible, put weight on top of stack. After 30 min, rinse, pat dry with paper towel and quarter each slice (depending on size of eggplant).

2. Wash greens, remove stems, cut into thin ribbons. Bring water in large pot to a boil, add greens and cook for 2-5 minutes until cooked (but still firm), strain and put into ice water.

3. Heat 3 tblspoons olive oil in a pan, add minced garlic, saute for 2 minutes, add chopped onion, saute until onion turns translucent, add eggplant and saute for five minutes, then cover pan with lid and reduce heat. Let cook for 10 minutes, then add sliced zuccini and chopped tomatoes. Add thyme if desired. Cook at moderate heat for 15-30 minutes until ratatouille-like consistency is achieved.

4. Add greens and saute for 5-10 minutes. Add fresh chopped basil, pepper and parmesan (and salt if desired) and serve with pasta or baguette.

ADVOCACY: Upcoming Events

Support People’s Garden NYC’s Effort to Plant a Garden at City Hall!

People’s Garden NYC is actively petitioning Mayor Bloomberg to plant a vegetable garden at the front steps of our City Hall. The petition calls for the garden to be tended by NYC public school students, in collaboration with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation and our region's talented gardeners and farmers. The harvest will be donated to a nearby food pantry to feed the hungry.

In the next few weeks, folks from People's Garden NYC will be visiting Chubby Bunny’s pickup site to gather signatures and talk more about the petition campaign. You can also visit to sign the petition online and learn more!

Greenmarket Chef’s Tour and Taste Luncheon
Thursday, July 22
nd, 11:00am

Help bring farm fresh food and farmers into NYC schools while enjoying a great lunch! Henry restaurant and Chef Mark Barrett will lead a behind-the-scenes tour of the local 116th Street Greenmarket followed by a seasonally inspired lunch menu made from the day’s bounty. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Greenmarket’s Youth Education Project. Make reservations with the Greenmarket Manager or at Henry’s (2745 Broadway at 105th Street).

Basics of Local Seasonal Cooking

Wednesday, July 21st, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

In this class, you'll learn how to create meals centered on the bounty of locally-grown produce.

Cost is $18 and pre-registration is required by Monday July 19th. Click here to download the registration form.

Location: 197 East Broadway (near the East Broadway F)

RECIPE: Dressed Spring Cabbage

Adapted from BBC Good Food
Serves 4

1 ½ tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
2 slices bacon, cut into small strips
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 spring green cabbage, shredded

1. Mix the vinegar with 1 tbsp. water and the sugar.
2. In a large frying pan, fry the bacon in oil until brown/crisp; lift onto a plate or paper towels to drain.
3. Add the cabbage to the pan, cook for 5 mins over a high heat, cabbage will be wilted and starting to brown. Stir through the vinegar/sugar dressing.
4. Return the bacon to the pan and cook for 1 min more to warm through. Season well with pepper and serve.

NOTES: Any type of bacon can be used; if turkey bacon used, increase olive oil to 1 ½ tbsp.

Submitted by Lisa Bretherick

RECIPE: Risotto Primavera

1 medium carrot, peeled
4 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, seeded, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
4 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups (11 1/2 ounces) arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
8 small or baby carrots, peeled, tops trimmed to 1/2 inch
1 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. Cut 1/4-inch slice off 1 long side of carrot to stabilize. Cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Stack half of slices and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick strips. Cut strips crosswise into 1/8-inch cubes. Repeat with remaining slices.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and zucchini; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Set vegetables aside.

3. Bring broth to simmer in medium saucepan over low heat. Cover and keep warm. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cubed carrot. Sauté until onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add rice; stir until rice is translucent at edges but still opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Add wine and simmer until absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup warm broth and baby carrots. Simmer until broth is almost absorbed, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Add 2 cups more broth, 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next and stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Mix in sautéed vegetables and 1 cup broth. Simmer until broth is just absorbed, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/3 cups cheese, peas, butter, and 1/2 cup broth. Simmer until butter melts, rice and vegetables are just tender, and risotto is creamy, stirring often and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if risotto is dry, about 3 minutes longer. Mix in basil; season with salt and pepper.

4. Transfer risotto to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve, passing additional cheese separately.

Submitted by Laura Grund

RECIPE: Cabbage and Leek Gratin with Mustard Cream

From Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen

1 1/2 lb. green cabbage, chopped into 2-inch squares
3 fat leeks, white parts only, quartered lengthwise, chopped and washed
Sea salt
1/3 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sour cream
3 eggs
3 Tbs. finely chopped parsley or dill
Mustard Cream (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and butter a 6 cup shallow baking dish. Put a large pot of water on to boil.

2. When water boils add salt to taste and the vegetables. After 5 minutes, drain vegetables into a colander and press firmly with a rubber spatula to force out as much water as possible.

3. Whisk the flour, milk, sour cream, eggs and herbs together, then add the cabbage and leeks. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake until firm and lightly browned, about 45 minutes. Serve with mustard cream.

Variations: Add shredded, blanched celeriac to the vegetables. Add 2 to 3 ounces grated or crumbled cheese such as aged Gouda, Gruyere, Swiss feta or sharp Cheddar. Omit dill.

Mustard Cream
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
Pinch of sea salt
2/3 cup sour cream or whole milk yogurt
2 to 3 tsp. prepared mustard

Mix the shallot, vinegar and salt in small bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk in the sour cream and mustard; adjust the seasonings, adding more vinegar or mustard to taste, if needed.

Submitted by Ann Tilley

Sunday, July 11, 2010

FARM NEWS 7.11.10

A little rain has finally touched down on the farm. The lack of rain was especailly worrisome with the high temps we saw last week. We do use drip irrigation for tomatoes and watermelons, but everything else depends on rain. When it does rain, we try to go out and cultivate the soils around the crops for moisture retention and killing weeds. But cultivation for moisture retention (creating a dust mulch around the plants) only buys us a week or two before the next rains. So four weeks without rain can be stressful on plants, especially if they haven't rooted yet. And stressful on plants is stressful on farmer. So, anyway, thank goodness for the 1/4 inch of rain we got on Saturday. Hopefully there's more on the way to seal the deal.

This week on the farm: Garlic harvest! Thursday we'll be pulling up the garlic we planted last fall as cloves, now fully developed into bulbs. Anyone interested can come help Thursday afternoon at 2, weather permitting...It looks to be a sizeable crop- I would expect we'll need most of the day to do it. Also this week, three days of harvesting all the other vegetables for the CSA and farmers markets, and one day to transplant brussell's sprouts, cabbages, fennel, lettuces; also a day to hoe fall carrots, eggplants, chard. We've got a tall order this week, especially with our apprentices off to visit Bloomingfields Farm on Monday afternoon. Somehow, amazingly, we manage to get done what needs done, and the food keeps pouring in.
Here's the approximate harvest:
Sweet Onions, Carrots, Beets, Thyme, Basil, Chard, Broccolli, Zucchini, cabbage, Kale, SaladMix/Arugula, Eggplant?

Monday, July 5, 2010

FARM NEWS 7.4.10

Happy July 4th from the farm. Lucky for us the holiday falls on a Sunday this year so we can practically take the day off. This means Dan working from about 5:30 - 8 am at the farm and Tracy doing the newsletter while Baxter has his morning nap.

July 4 means that the potatoes are flowering, the garlic is just about ready for harvest, the first round of tomatoes has set fruit now we wait for ripening. We also celebrate the end of June! While T.S. Elliot said "April is the cruelest month," for us it is definitely June. Another way of thinking about the farming season is a slow steady build up in the spring until we hit the frenzy of the summer solstice as the zenith and then the pace of work very gradually slows as we go toward the winter solstice. So as the days literally start to get shorter we look to our work days getting shorter as well, even if only a minute less each day.

Here's the harvest: carrots, beets, scallions, basil, peas, kohlrabi, salad, golden chard, collards, spring cabbage.

RECIPE: Kale or chard* pie

From How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

* You can also use collards, spinach (squeezed and chopped), broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and mushrooms

2 tablespoons butter, plus more as needed
About 8 large kale or collard leaves, thinly sliced
1 medium onion sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs, like parsley, thyme, chervil, and chives
6 eggs
1 cup whole milk yogurt or sour cream
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the butter in a large skillet, preferably non-stick, over medium heat. A minute later, add the kale and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves are quite tender, about 10 minutes; do not brown. Remove from heat, add the herbs, then taste and adjust the seasoning.

2. Meanwhile, hard-cook 3 of the eggs, then shell and coarsely chop. Add to the cooked kale mixture and let cool while you make the batter.

3. Combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, and the remaining eggs. Add the baking powder and the flour and mix until smooth. Lightly butter a 9 x 12-inch ceramic or glass baking dish. Spread half the batter over the bottom, then top with the kale filling; smear the remaining batter over the kale, using your fingers or a rubber spatula to make sure there are no gaps in what will form the pie's top crust.

4. Bake for 45 minutes; it will be shiny and golden brown. Let the pie cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing it into as many squares or rectangles as you like. Eat warm or at room temperature.

RECIPE: Asian Kohlrabi Slaw

2 medium kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and julienned
2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
3 cups cabbage, shredded (can easily substitute red cabbage or Napa cabbage)
1/2 serrano chili, seeds removed, and finely minced
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, chopped
2 tbsp roasted peanuts, crushed (optional)

1. Combine kohlrabi, carrot, and cabbage in a large, non-reactive mixing bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, peanut oil, sesame oil, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and salt. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

3. Allow slaw to rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving so that the flavors can combine and the cabbage can wilt down a little. Garnish with peanuts (if desired) just before serving.

Contributed by Vicki Boyne

RECIPE: Sugar Snap Pea Salad With Radishes, Mint and Ricotta Salata

From The New York Times

3/4 cup sliced radishes
4 ounces sugar snap peas, sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)
4 ounces ricotta salata, crumbled (about 1 cup)
1/2 bunch mint leaves, torn (about 1/3 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch kosher salt, more to taste
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste.

1. In a large bowl, toss together the radishes, peas, ricotta and mint.

2. Using a knife or a mortar and pestle, make a paste of the garlic and salt. Place in a small bowl and add the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar and stir well to combine. Drizzle in the olive oil, stirring constantly, and add pepper to taste.

3. Pour dressing over salad and toss well to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Contributed by Vicki Boyne

Thursday, July 1, 2010

ANNOUNCEMENT: Annual Grill Night Seeks Volunteers

Please join us for our annual 'Grill Night' on July 27th. Watch for the evite coming soon. And if anyone is willing, please volunteer, we need you! Contact Laurie Godfrey at to volunteer.

ADVOCACY: Activist Vandana Shiva Speaks in Harlem

Wednesday, July 7, 2010, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Riverside Church
490 Riverside Drive
Together with the Sisters of Earth, CSSR, The Riverside Church of New York, Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice, Green Faith, New York Faith and Justice, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, WE ACT is pleased to welcome Dr. Vandana Shiva and her sister, Dr. Mira Shiva to speak at New York's Historic Riverside Church at 7 pm on Wednesday, July 7. This event will be open to the public for a free will donation. See the Food Systems Network's event page for more information.

RECIPE: Quick Pickled Beets

Submitted by member Lucas Walker

Walker Quick-Pickled Beets
6 medium-sized beets
6 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
1 small white or yellow onion, sliced
1/4 c cider vinegar
2 T sugar
1 T pickling spice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Wash the beets well in cold running water.  Cut off the pointy root end, but leave the stem end intact.  Place the beets in a medium saucepan and fill with enough water to cover.  Add the vinegar, salt & pepper, and pickling spice.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer, covered, for 40-50 minutes or until beets are tender.  (This is a good time to prepare the eggs, if you don't have hard boiled eggs just sitting around.)

Using a slotted spoon, place beets in a colander but reserve the liquid.  Use running water to cool the beets.  While they are cooling, stir the sugar into the warm beet juice, and allow it to cool as well.  Once the beets are cool enough to handle comfortably, you can cut off the stems and slip off the skins.  Slice into rounds and place in a large sealable container with the onions and eggs.  When the beet juice is no longer hot, pour it into the container.  Stir gently, and make sure the eggs are completely submerged in the brine... this will allow them to develop an even, deep red color.  Refrigerate for at least a day before serving to allow the onions to mellow and the eggs to color, and the beets to flavor.