This 2016 Winter CSA season, on top of all those veggies in your share, we are including one “value-added” item from a local producer at every pickup. This week, we’d like to highlight our special guest, Ithaca Soy and the item the item they are contributing to our CSA, Tofu Kan. About Ithaca Soy: We can’t even remember when we became friends with Adam Potenza, the owner of Ithaca Soy, but his company’s tofu has fed our addiction for years! Adam grew up working on his dad Tony’s soybean farm, which also happens to be the first organic farm EVER in New York State! Now, all these years later, Potenza Organic Farms is the exclusive supplier of Ithaca Soy’s soy. Adam exemplifies what it means to run a local business, and he’s one of the only handmade tofu producers in the state. About Tofu Kan: Tofu Kan is an original Ithaca Soy creation – baked, marinated tofu that comes ready to eat, with little-to-no preparation involved. Simply slice it thinly and layer it onto deli sandwiches, cube it and sprinkle it on top of salads and soups, mix it into a stir fry, or warm it up and serve it as a main course. Adam’s Recommendations: Start with a good sourdough bread and add Tofu Kan, thinly sliced onion, lettuce, and stone ground mustard. Slice thinly and sauté or fry in a heavy pan. Then add to peanut lime noodles! Cube and lightly cover in chili powder, smoked paprika and olive oil (or any oil). Bake on a baking sheet with parchment paper at 300º for 25-30 minutes. This gives a good mock-meat taste and you can add it to anything from chili to fried rice.
I think I fall into that unusual category of people who are crazy about Brussels sprouts. You could put a giant bowl of them in front of me and every last one would be gone within minutes. I hear that this is not the norm, though. If you find yourself with some Brussels sprouts on your hands and aren’t quite sure what to do with them, here are a few tips to help you through the preparation process: Storage: If you’re in possession of a stalk or 2 of Brussels sprouts but know you won’t be cooking them for a little while, leave them on the stalk and refrigerate them. If space is an issue, trim them off the stalk and store them, uncovered, in a bowl in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them. The outer layer will shrivel, and you’ll need to peel it off and discard it before preparing the sprouts, but they will still be crisp and yummy! Sprouts keep in the fridge for several weeks, if handled properly. Preparation: Trim Brussels sprouts off stalk, and cut off stem flush at base of each sprout. Before going any further, soak Brussels sprouts in warm water for 10 minutes. This will release any dirt and little unwanted critters that might be lurking around the top layers. Once soaking is complete, drain and rinse as usual. Discard any withered layers and trim off damaged areas before cooking. If cooking Brussels sprouts whole, cut a small X in the top (not the stem side). This will help the sprouts to cook through more evenly. Alternatively, cut sprouts in half, or in quarters if larger, to allow for quicker cooking while still keeping the layers of the sprout intact. Recipe Inspiration: My favorite way to cook Brussels Sprouts is actually to shred them by slicing them thinly with a knife. I caramelize some minced Shallots in a skillet with Bacon Grease, add the shredded Sprouts, a splash of Apple Cider to round out the flavor, and Salt and Pepper to taste. Sauté until they’re just wilted and voila! Simple, flavorful, and delicious! *Image courtesy of: http://www.taylorfarms.com/products/classic-vegetables/brussels-sprouts/.
Leeks are often known as the “soup onion” because of their mildness. They provide a perfect for complement to the more complex flavors of many dishes, such as soups, quiches, and gratins, without being overpowering. If you’ve never prepared leeks before, we have a few suggestions to make the process fast and easy. Because leeks, by nature, are layered vegetables that grows in the ground, they tend to collect dirt and grit that needs to be removed before being consumed. Here are a few tips to get them squeaky clean and ready to be cooked: Begin by chopping off the darker green leaves of the leek. While these sections can be used to flavor stocks, they are too tough to eat. Set the white and pale green portions aside. If using a recipe that only calls for the leeks to be halved, slice them in half lengthwise and hold each half under cold running water. Use your fingers to move the layers around a bit, allowing the water to move through them and flush out any grit. If using a recipe that calls for chopped leeks, halve them lengthwise, and then slice them up. Dunk them in a large bowl of cold water and use your hands to agitate them in the water so that any grit is dislodged. Pour into a strainer or colander to drain, and then rinse once more under cold running water to flush out any last bits of grit. Cook according to your recipe of choice and enjoy! *Image courtesy of: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_clean_leeks/.
This soup is a take on traditional Potato Leek Soup. I use ham stock instead of chicken, because it’s flavor complements the potatoes and cream so nicely. The buttermilk adds a tanginess that makes this soup stand out from other versions in complexity. For a vegetarian version, simply substitute vegetable stock in place of the meat stock. Potato Leek Soup By Holly Rodricks Makes 4-6 servings. Ingredients: 3 Leeks (white and pale green parts only), rinsed, halved, and sliced 3-4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter 2 large Potatoes, peeled, halved, and sliced thinly 1 quart Ham Stock (Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock may be substituted.) 1 Bay Leaf 1/4 tsp. dried Lemon Thyme (Use regular Thyme, if Lemon is not available) 1/2 tsp. ground White Pepper 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg 1/2 cup Heavy Cream 1 cup Buttermilk Salt to taste Instructions: Melt Butter in skillet or large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add Leeks and caramelize, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes until soft, sweet, and translucent. (The goal here is to cook over a low enough heat that the Leeks and Butter do not brown/discolor.) While Leeks are caramelizing, bring Stock to a boil in a large stock pot. Add sliced Potatoes, Bay Leaf, Thyme, White Pepper, and Nutmeg. Reduce heat to simmer. Add caramelized Leeks. Allow soup to simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender and falling apart when mixed. Remove soup from heat and Salt to taste. Add Cream and Buttermilk. Use immersion blender to mix and liquefy. Serve hot with a fresh crust of buttered bread.
This recipe started out as a way to use up some extra carrots, but it has turned into a trusty base, with the sesame and honey glaze providing a wonderfully warm and bright taste that compliments just about any winter vegetable that has a little natural sweetness. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding/substituting butternut or acorn squash, beets, or turnips, but be sure to adjust the cooking time to accommodate the changes. Sesame and Honey-Glazed Winter Vegetables by Holly Rodricks Makes 4 side servings. Ingredients: 1 bunch Carrots, sliced thickly 1 small Winter Squash, chopped into large chunks (Good options are Butternut or Acorn Squash.) 2 cloves Garlic, minced 1 tbsp. Sesame Oil 1 tbsp Coconut Oil* 1 tbsp. Honey 1/2 tsp. Sesame Seeds Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: Heat Oils in skillet over medium heat. Add Garlic and Sesame Seeds, and cook for approximately 1 minute. Add Carrots, Squash, Salt, Pepper, and Honey. Mix until vegetables are evenly coated. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for approximately 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Vegetables should begin to sear slightly. When vegetables are soft, add additional Salt and Pepper to taste, as needed. Serve hot!
A friend recently tried this out this Food Network recipe and let me try it, and it was so unique that I just had to share. A bright start to the winter, and one that perfectly highlights this week’s Winter CSA partnership with our friends at Food and Ferments. Enjoy! Turkey Sausage with Fennel Sauerkraut By Valerie Bertinelli, of Valerie’s Home Cooking Makes 4 servings. Ingredients: 1 tbsp. Olive Oil 1 1/2 lbs hot or mild (or a combination) Italian Turkey Sausages – about 6 (Other kinds of sausage can be substituted.) 1 1/2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter 1/4 tsp. Caraway Seeds 1 large Fennel Bulb, trimmed, quartered, and thinly sliced 1 tbsp. Fennel fronds, for garnish 1 Gala Apple, cored and thinly sliced 1 lb. Sauerkraut, drained well Kosher Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste Instructions: Heat Oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add Sausages and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 6 to 8 minutes. Add splash of Water, cover, and cook until the sausages are just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to plate to cool. Once cooled, slice into 2-inch pieces and reserve. Reduce heat to medium and add Butter and Caraway Seeds, stirring until the butter is melted. Add Fennel and Apple and stir until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add Sauerkraut and Sausage pieces and cook, stirring, until the Sauerkraut is hot, about 3 minutes. Season with Salt and Pepper and garnish with Fennel Fronds. Image courtesy of: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/valerie-bertinelli/turkey-sausage-with-fennel-sauerkraut.html.
After 6 glorious months of harvest, the Summer CSA season has come to a close. It has been a great 22 weeks, and we have had the privilege of bringing our local, sustainable, organic produce to even more people in the region this year! And now, we take a few days to catch our breath before the next season begins…In just one week, our 2016 Winter CSA Season begins. The special part about this year’s Winter season is that we are partnering with other local producers whom we know and love, to include one value-added item in each share! You can expect delicious treats such as pesto, pasta, goat cheese, and tofu to accompany your fresh veggies at each pickup. To learn more about our Winter CSA and sign up, visit our website or contact email@example.com.
Watermelon radishes tend to be abundant this time of yea. Sometimes it can be challenging to channel all that culinary creativity into a radish, even one this beautiful. Recently I stumbled upon another great food blog called Alexandra’s Kitchen– this happens to me a lot – that had such a unique take on watermelon radish salad that I had to share. Enjoy! (A little side note: Alexandra is passionate about helping people get the most out of their CSAs…lucky us!) Watermelon Radish, Orange, and Goat Cheese Salad Adapted from a recipe by Alexandra Stafford, of Alexandra’s KitchenMakes 4 servings. Ingredients: 1/2 small Red Onion 2 to 3 tbsp. White Balsamic Vinegar Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste 2 – 3 Watermelon Radishes, scrubbed clean (It is not necessary to peel Radishes.) 2 – 3 Oranges, Clementines, Grapefruit, etc. (I used Cara Cara Oranges, which are sweet, pretty, and delicious.) Handful of Walnuts, toasted and chopped Goat Cheese to taste (At Main Street, we can’t stop raving about 2 Kids Goat Farm. Visit their site to learn where their cheese is sold!) Chives, minced (Optional, but they add some nice color) Olive Oil to taste Instructions: To toast Walnuts, preheat oven to 350ºF. Place Walnuts on baking sheet and cook for 10 – 12 minutes or until slightly browned and fragrant. Dump Walnuts into tea towel and rub off skins. Remove Walnuts from towel, leaving skins behind. (If you wish to get more of the skin off, place Walnuts in a strainer and shake aggressively.) Mince Onion Place in small bowl. Cover with 2 – 3 tbsp. Vinegar. Add a pinch of Salt and set aside. Cut off one end of Radish. Leave other end intact to act as handle. Thinly slice on mandoline or by hand. (Note: Using a mandoline makes this step much easier and will create consistently thin slices.) Arrange Radish slices on platter. Fold some slices so they’re not all squished down in one flat layer. Sprinkle generously with Salt and Pepper. Cut off each end of each Orange. Squeeze each end over Radishes, then discard. Use a sharp knife to remove skin from oranges. Cut in between membranes to remove each slice. Squeeze remaining membrane all over Radishes to extract any leftover juice. Scatter Oranges over Radishes. Scatter Walnuts and Goat Cheese to taste over Radishes and Oranges. Pour macerated Onions and Vinegar over top. Drizzle Olive Oil to taste (1- 2 tbsp.) over top. Sprinkle with Chives. Let sit a few minutes (or longer — it benefits from a brief rest) before serving. *Image courtesy of: http://www.alexandracooks.com/2014/12/24/watermelon-radish-orange-goat-cheese-salad/.
Two of my favorite comfort foods are baked potatoes and greens and beans. This recipe combines the best of both worlds into a single warm and hearty dish that’s easy to make! The secret is open-roasting the potatoes, yielding a perfectly cooked inside with a wonderfully crispy exterior. For a bigger mix of flavors, try substituting sweet potatoes or even different kinds of greens or beans! Stuffed Baked Potatoes with White Beans and Kale By Holly Rodricks Makes 4 servings. Ingredients: 4 medium-large Potatoes (or Sweet Potatoes) 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. Olive Oil 1 bunch Kale, stemmed and sliced into ribbons 1 1/2 cups (or 1 can, drained) Great Northern Beans, cooked 1 small Onion, diced 2 cloves Garlic, sliced thinly 1/4 tsp. fresh Rosemary, minced (Optional) Juice of 1/4 Lemon or 1 tsp. White Vinegar Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: Place rack in center of oven and reheat to 400º. Scrub Potatoes and pierce multiple times with fork. Coat Potatoes with 1 tsp. Olive Oil. Sprinkle generously with Salt and Pepper. Place Potatoes in oven, directly onto rack. Place cookie sheet on rack below Potatoes to catch any drips. Rotate Potatoes every 20 minutes. It should take approximately 1 hours to cook fully. When Potatoes have 15-20 minutes left, place remaining Olive Oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Add Garlic, Rosemary, and Red Pepper Flakes. Stir and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes, until aromatic. Add Beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Kale and stir occasionally for approximately another 5 minutes until bright green and wilted. Add Salt and Pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in Lemon Juice or Vinegar Remove Potatoes from oven. Plate and slice down the middle. Split open, stuff with hot Beans and Greens, and enjoy! *Image courtesy of: http://www.recipeshubs.com/thumbs/2270793-spicy-beans-and-greens-sweet-potato.jpg.
One of my favorite food blogs is The Kitchn because it consistently offers a great mix of accessible recipes and cooking hacks that make preparing food so much easier. On top of that, The Kitchn almost always tells you why instead of only telling you how so you understand the method behind the method. As kohlrabi has continued to stump many, I’ve turned to my trusty online resource, and, as always, it has not failed me. Below is an excerpt from a great article on various ways to prepare kohlrabi, that has me brimming with inspiration. To read the full piece, with links to additional recipes, click here. How Should I Eat Kohlrabi? Kohlrabi is found in a lot of Indian cooking, so it naturally does well with traditional Indian spices. Honestly, though, we feel that the mild flavor of kohlrabi gets lost if mixed with too many other vegetables or seasonings, so we tend toward simple preparations where the kohlrabi can take center stage: Raw When raw, kohlrabi is slightly crunchy and mildly spicy, like radishes mixed with turnip. You can toss them in a salad, make a slaw out of grated kohlrabi, or eat them on their own with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt. In Soup While kohlrabi can be thrown into a basic chunky vegetable soup, we particularly like it in a creamy, pureed soup with mild spices so that sweet kohlrabi flavor can really shine through. Kohlrabi can also be added to recipes for Cream of Potato, Cream of Broccoli, and even Cream of Mushroom soup! In Fritters This is a great way to get kids to eat their kohlrabi! Shred it and mix with an egg and a few tablespoons of flour or breadcrumbs. Heat oil or butter in a flat skillet, drop on small mounds, and flatten slightly with the back of your spatula. Turn after a few minutes, and serve when both sides are crispy. Roasted Like most other vegetables, when roasted in the oven, the outside of the kohlrabi caramelizes, and the flavor sweetens and mellows. We like to toss it with other roasted veggies like eggplant and potatoes for a hearty side dish. Steamed This is kind of a cheat-suggestion because kohlrabi can be used in literally anything once steamed. We throw steamed kohlrabi into frittatas, stir-fries, and pasta dishes. We also like to puree it with a little cream and simple spices. There are even recipes for stuffing steamed kohlrabi into empanadas and calzones! *Image courtesy of http://www.thekitchn.com/what-is-kohlrabi-45055.