I’ve been peppering you with recipes and kitchen tips, but this particular type of post is long overdue. It’s time to start introducing you to the amazing people who grow your incredible vegetables each week – the Farmers! Their countless long days in the hot sun, pouring rain, and icy cold, and their deep commitment to a more sustainable way of living and eating, are the true inspirations for this blog. Emma joined us in March as a farmer, wholesale manager, and farm administrator, bringing her diverse set of experiences within the food industry to our farm. In college, she was an intern at a farmers market in urban Rochester, where people didn’t have access to fresh food. This experience completely changed her perspective on the food system and inspired her to get involved in farming. Most recently, Emma worked at a non-profit farm that donated produce to food pantries in Massachusetts, and she spent a lot of time educating kids and volunteers. Soon after, she moved to CNY looking for a farm invested in the local community that was growing vegetables on a slightly larger scale. She is so happy she found Main Street Farms, and we are thrilled to have her! In her time here, one of the big lessons she’s learned about being a good farmer is that flexibility is key. 🙂 Emma’s other interests include keeping chickens, growing mushrooms, making maple syrup, creating interesting hot sauces, brewing beer, and foraging. Fun Facts: Birthplace – Providence, RI Spirit Vegetable – Beet Favorite Farm Tool – Scuffle Hoe Favorite Farm Job – Seeding Favorite Meal to Cook – Soup Favorite Meal to Eat – Mashed Potatoes Words of Wisdom – Never trust the weather report…
For the past couple of months, Chef Owner DeAnna Germano, of Chef4Rent, has been contributing her wonderful, original recipes to our CSA newsletters and blog. We thought it was about time to properly introduce her to all of you! We first met DeAnna at a farm-to-table event, and we immediately hit it off. Through this initial interaction, we learned about her business and how she’s using our CSA veggies to bring fresh, prepared meals to customers in the area. After 11 years working in professional kitchens all over NY state, DeAnna started her own company, Chef4Rent, 2 years ago, offering everything from wedding and special event catering to educational classes. Her most popular service by far, though, has been meal delivery. Working with farms like ours, DeAnna delivers prepared meals featuring her original recipes directly to her customers on a weekly basis. The best part is that she can customize the menu to fit any nutritional needs, dietary restrictions, or preferences. Imagine coming home after a long day at work to a meal that is local, economical, sustainably-sourced and prepared by a professional chef! What a dream! To learn more about DeAnna story, check out Margaret McCormick’s latest article, “Chef 4 Rent Dishes Up Business” in the Syracuse New Times. If you’d like DeAnna to cook for you, call 315-760-2023, email Deanna.firstname.lastname@example.org or check out her Facebook page! In the meantime, keep enjoying her regular recipe contributions on our site, featuring our farm-fresh veggies!
Here’s a favorite from Chef DeAnna Germano, of Chef4Rent, that went out in our June newsletter. A refreshing mix of crisp, cold veggies in a tangy yogurt-based dip is just the ticket on a hot summer day. For a twist, if you can’t get your hands on some of the ingredients listed, try substituting other favorite vegetables from your seasonal produce list (turnips, cucumbers, other types of squash, etc.). Fresh Veggie Spring Rolls with Garlic Scape Dip By DeAnna Germano, Chef4RentMakes 4 servings. For the Rolls – 8 soy wrappers (Can be found at Wegmans.) 8 Lettuce Leaves 6 Cheriette or French Breakfast Radishes, thinly sliced (Pick your favorite kind!) 2 Carrots, sliced into thin matchsticks 1/2 Kohlrabi bulb, sliced into thin matchsticks 1 Yellow Squash, sliced into thin matchsticks For the Dip – 7 roasted Garlic Scapes 2 fresh Scallions 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt 1-3 tsp. Sambal, depending on heat preference (Sambal is a spicy, chili-based sauce that can be purchased in the Asian section of many grocery stores and at Asian markets.) 1 tsp. Salt 1 tsp. Pepper Instructions: For the Rolls – Clean and cut all veggies into thin matchsticks, approximately 1″ long and 1/4″ thick. Lay out one Soy Wrapper on counter top, in diamond shape. Wet edges of wrapper. Lay veggies in center of wrapper with Lettuce Leaf. To create roll, bring bottom triangle of wrapper up and lay on top of veggies. Wrapper should stick to veggies. Then, fold the two sides in, wetting a bit more if necessary, so edges stick to bottom piece of already folded wrapper. Finally, fold top triangle down. Cut in half and serve with Garlic Scape dip. For the Dip – Turn oven to 425º. Roast Garlic Scapes for 10 minutes, or until browned. Puree all ingredients together to create dip.
It’s mid-summer, and squash abounds! Here’s a house favorite from our very own farmer, Allan Gandelman, that always hits the spot. It takes the abundance of zucchini that the season’s harvests always yield and converts it into a snack or side worthy of any summer meal. Dress it up with a tangy, spicy sriracha mayo dip, and you’ll be begging for more! Zucchini Fries with Sriracha Mayo by Allan Gandelman, founder of Main Street Farms Makes 6 servings. Ingredients: 3 Zucchini, sliced into matchsticks the size of fries (Can substitute other kinds of summer squash.) 3/4 cup Flour 1 tsp. Salt 1/4 tsp. Pepper 5 tbsp. Refined Coconut Oil (or other oil of choice with high smoke point) 1/2 cup Mayonnaise 1/2 – 1 tsp. Sriracha (to taste) 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder Instructions: Whisk Flour, Salt, and Pepper in large bowl until evenly mixed. Toss Zucchini in 2 tbsp. of Oil In batches, toss oiled Zucchini in flour mixture until evenly coated. Over high heat, add remaining 3 tbsp. Oil to skillet or large shallow pan and add floured Zucchini in batches. Fry each side until until browned and crisp, then flip, approximately 7-10 minutes total cooking time. Continue until all Zucchini is cooked. While Zucchini is cooking, whisk Mayo, Sriracha, and Garlic Powder together until evenly mixed. Serve Zucchini Fries hot with a side of Sriracha Mayo for a delicious appetizer.
This recipe is a gift from Jon Stadt of Flour City Pasta, and I can’t think of a savory combination that tastes more like the summer. A combination of sweet and tangy, fresh and crisp, it is the ultimate summer side dish. The main ingredient is Jon’s cucumber conchiglie (Italian for “mini shell”) which incorporates freshly juiced cucumbers into the dough itself, yielding a delicate, pale green pasta that pushes the dish’s flavor to a whole new level! Fresh Cucumber Pasta Salad by Jon Stadt, Owner of Flour City Pasta Ingredients: 1 lb. Cucumber Pasta, cooked al dente, about 5-6 minutes (Substitute store bought conchiglie or mini shells, if you don’t have access to Jon’s pasta.) 3 Cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded, and sliced thinly 1 pint fresh Blueberries 3 tbsp. fresh Mint 4 thinly sliced Scallions 1 cup crumbled Feta Cheese (Exclude this ingredient for a completely vegan recipe.) Salt and freshly ground Pepper to taste 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1/4 cup White Balsamic Vinegar 1 tbsp. Honey 2-3 tbsp. freshly squeezed Orange Juice Instructions: Whisk last four ingredients to make Dressing, and set aside. Place colander of cooked Pasta under cold, running water to quickly cool and keep from sticking together. Mix Pasta, Cucumbers, Blueberries, Mint, Scallions, and Feta, folding gently with a rubber spatula, to keep pasta from breaking, until evenly combined. Add Dressing and Salt and Pepper to taste, and mix until all ingredients are evenly coated. Chill and serve! *JON STADT, is the owner of Flour City Pasta, a local establishment committed to making pasta traditional ‘Old World’ way with tools imported from Italy. He uses organic flour and then adds organic vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices to make flavored pasta that brings a new level of taste and style to any pasta dish. Here’s a list of all the places you can purchase Jon’s delicious artisanal pastas! Find more recipes here, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram!
Still trying to figure out bok choy? The World’s Healthiest Foods has some great suggestions! Follow the link for more information on bok choy’s nutritional qualities and health benefits. Storing Bok Choy To store, place bok choy in a plastic storage bag removing as much of the air from the bag as possible. Keeping bok choy cold will keep it fresh and help it retain its vitamin C content. Put the whole head in a plastic bag in the crisper of your refrigerator. Bok choy will keep for about 1 week if properly stored. Tips for Preparing Bok Choy Unlike some of the other cruciferous vegetables, you can consume virtually all parts of bok choy without much trimming or worrying about problematic textures or cooking times. Chop leaf portion into 1/8″ slices and the stems into 1/2″ lengths for quick and even cooking. To get the most health benefits from bok choy, let sit for a minimum of 5 minutes before cooking. Sprinkling with lemon juice before letting them sit can further enhance its beneficial phytonutrient concentration.
Ah, kohlrabi! So bulb-like and mysterious…Also known as German turnip or turnip cabbage, this intriguing veggie has a taste and texture similar to a broccoli stem but is milder, sweeter, and juicier and can be eaten cooked or raw. This summer season, CSA member Joseph Picalila, has generously contributed his family’s favorite kohlrabi preparation, and it is delicious! Kohlrabi Hashbrowns by Joseph Picalila, CSA Member Makes 3-4 servings. Ingredients: 4 medium Kohlrabi bulbs washed and peeled 1 small Onion, chopped 2 Eggs, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons dried Bread Crumbs 1 teaspoon Salt ½ teaspoon Ground Ginger ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes ¼ cup Olive Oil Plain Yogurt (optional) Instructions: Shred Kohlrabi, and squeeze out excess moisture. Combine all ingredients except oil in a large mixing bowl. Stir until well blended. Heat Oil in a large skillet. Sprinkle Kohlrabi with additional Bread Crumbs on each side before putting in skillet. Fry Kohlrabi mixture in batches, sautéing until golden, about 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with bowl of Plain Yogurt as condiment. Additional Suggestions: Really, really squeeze the Kohlrabi after shredding. It has a lot of moisture. Use ¼ teaspoon Ground Ginger if using any less than 4 Kohlrabi bulbs. Substitute Onion Powder for onions (or really finely mince Onion). Substitute Sour Cream for yogurt.
Looking for a recipe that uses just about all your CSA share ingredients at once? Guest Chef DeAnna Germano has just meal for you – a delicious skillet bake that is a medley of so many delicious vegetables in one dish that it makes our eyes twinkle and our stomachs rumble. Enjoy! Black Eyed Pea and Kale Skillet with Hot Tomato Oil by DeAnna Germano, Owner and Chef at Chef4Rent Makes 3-4 servings. Ingredients: 1 can Black Eyed Peas, rinsed 1 bunch Kale Leaves, rinsed and torn or chopped into bite-sized pieces 1 Zucchini or Squash, diced 1 Tomato, diced 1/4 cup Onion, diced 2 cloves Garlic 1 Japanese Turnip, finely diced 1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper (or more, to taste) 2 tbsp. Olive Oil Pinch of fresh Parsley Pinch of fresh Sage Pinch of fresh Thyme 1/2 cup fresh Mozzarella, diced 1/2 cup Tomato Soup Instructions: Sauté onion in oil over medium-low heat until caramelized. Add garlic and sauté approximately 2 minutes, until aromatic. Add remaining veggies and sauté until tender. Add tomato soup, herbs and spices, and black eyed peas, and cook down – approximately 4 minutes over medium-high heat. Sprinkle diced mozzarella evenly over top, and broil for 10 minutes in oven, until cheese is melted and browned. *DEANNA GERMANO, is the owner and chef at Chef4Rent, a local caterer specializing in cakes, home meal deliveries, and special events. *Image Courtesy of: http://cdn-img.health.com/sites/default/files/migration/img/web/2013/02/slides/easy-kale-recipes-400×400.jpg
‘Tis the season when zucchini grows giant overnight. This recipe is quick and easy, perfect for a family or easily increased for a large group gathering. Grilled Zuke & Herby Quinoa by Abigail Henson, Founder of LoFo* Makes 6 servings. Ingredients: 1 large Zucchini 6 Rainbow Chard Stems 1 cup Quinoa, uncooked 1/4 cup White Vinegar 2 tbsp. Sugar 1 tbsp. Kosher Salt 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta (Omit this step for a 100% vegan recipe!) 1/2 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and chopped 1 handful of your choice of Fresh Herbs (I like mine chock-full of Basil, Mint, Parsley, Dill, & Sage.) Salt and Pepper to taste 1 Lemon, juiced Instructions: STEP ONE: Quick-pickle your Chard stems. It is absolutely tragic when I see someone toss the stems of a rainbow chard- they are so crisp and delicious, and the splash of color they add to any dish is worth keeping them around. This is an easy way to jazz them up. They will start to take the brine in within 30 minutes, for a quick-pickle fix. Chop at the nape of the leaf of 6 Rainbow Chard leaves, trimming the ragged edges where they were connected to the main plant. Slice each stem 2-3 times length-wise, and then cut across the width by the ¼ inch to make tiny cubes. In a small bowl, mix Vinegar, Salt, and Sugar and stir. Place Chard cubes in the brine and let rest. STEP TWO: Cook your Quinoa. I like to cook a big batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week so that I can speckle it into my meals throughout the weekdays without much hassle. Place Quinoa in a large bowl and submerge it in water, gently swirling it around. Strain in a fine mesh strainer and add to a medium pot. Add 2 cups of Water and a teaspoon of Salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover pot, reduce heat, and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let let rest for 5 minutes before removing the cover to fluff. STEP THREE: Grill your Zuke. While your Quinoa is cooking, slice your Zucchini into 4 sections, then cut each section in half. Each section will act as one serving. Rub Zucchini with Olive Oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and put seed side down on grill. Cover grill and let cook for 10-15 minutes, until char lines have appear and pieces are fork-tender. Remove from grill and allow to cool slightly. STEP FOUR: Fill your Zuke. Taking the spoon down the center of the Zucchini gently remove the seeds and transfer them into a sauté pan. Combine cooked Quinoa and chopped Herbs. Add a drizzle of Olive Oil and Lemon Juice to the quinoa mixture. On medium heat, lightly toss all ingredients in pan. Transfer filling from pan into Zucchini boats. Top with chopped Kalamata Olives and crumbled Feta Cheese. Strain Rainbow Chard stems from the pickling liquid and sprinkle over Zucchini boats like it’s party time! Give thanks to the beautiful bounty you are about to receive, go forth, and eat local! *ABIGAIL HENSON is the Founder of LoFo, a company that specializes in conscious cuisine and provides catering, events, and education.
Lest you think arugula and kale can be only tossed in salads or sautéed and wilted, guest Chef DeAnna Germano, shares a creative way to incorporate these fresh veggies into a delicious party condiment! Arugala and Kale Parmesan Dip by DeAnna Germano, Owner and Chef at Chef4Rent Ingredients: 1 tbsp. Olive Oil 5 oz Arugula 5 oz. Kale 1 tbsp. Sugar 3 Garlic Cloves, sliced thin 1/4 cup Sage leaves, tightly packed 1/3 cup Plain Yogurt 1/4 cup grated Parmesan 1/4 tsp. Salt 1/4 tsp. Pepper Instructions: Heat Olive Oil in large pan. Add sliced Garlic. Cook about two minutes, until Garlic begins to brown and become aromatic. Add Arugula and Kale. Allow to wilt and cook down. Add Sage, and cook for 1 more minute. In blender, blend Greens, Cream Cheese, Sugar, Parmesan, Salt, and Pepper. Fold Yogurt into blended mixture. Serve dip cold (like hummus) with crackers, chips, or sliced veggies. *DEANNA GERMANO, is the owner and chef at Chef4Rent, a local caterer specializing in cakes, home meal deliveries, and special events. *Image Courtesy of http://joylovefood.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Kale-and-Artichoke-Greek-Yogurt-Dip-3.jpg