Farm News (07/15/14)


Important Reminders

  • This week we are delivering vegetables, fruit, eggs and dairy.
  • The next meat shares will be delivered the week of July 28th.
  • A limited number of fall vegetable shares are still available. Registration is online.
This Week’s Vegetable Share
  • New Red Potatoes
  • Head Lettuce
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Sage
  • Green onions
  • Cucumbers
  • Dill
  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans or Green Peppers
  • Cabbage
  • Popcorn
  • Basil
  • Zucchini/Summer Squash (on-farm pickup only)
This Week’s Fruit Share
  • Apricots
  • Tart Cherries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
This Week’s Dairy Share
  • Sheep Milk Feta from Nordic Creamery
  • Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt from Sugar River Dairy
  • Raw MIlk Cheddar Spread from Brunkow Cheese
  • 'Chandoka', a mixed-milk cheese (cow & goat) from La Clare Farms

Producer Profile: Joe Burns of Brunkow Cheese

We met Joe Burns years ago when we were new vendors at the Oak Park Farmers Market. Our market stalls are located right next to one another so we have gotten to know Joe pretty well over the years. The folks at Brunkow have been making cheese since 1899, but it wasn’t until Joe came on board that they tried direct marketing their cheese at farmers markets. Joe was also responsible for developing a new line of artisanal cheeses and the creamery's popular raw milk cheddar spread. This is definitely not your typical cheese spread. It's made with only a few simple ingredients--aged raw milk cheddar, fresh cream and whey, all made with milk sourced from local Lafayette county dairy farms. Try it on your favorite whole grain bread. We bet you're going to love it as much as we do.


Quick Tips for Produce Storage

  • Store potatoes in a cool, dark place. New potatoes should be used within 2 weeks.
  • Garlic will store best in a dry place. Avoid putting it in the refrigerator.
  • Sage can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator if you plan on using it within the next week or so. You can also dry it by hanging it upside down in a dry, dark location or by storing it in a paper bag in a similarly dry location.
  • Basil leaves will turn black if stored in the refrigerator because they can't tolerate cold temperatures. Instead, treat your basil bunch like a bouquet and place it in a small glass of water on the countertop. The dill bunch doesn't need this kind of special treatment. It can simply be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
In the Farm Kitchen: Tips for Making the Most of your Share
It's hard to believe, but potato season has already begun! We're digging two fast-maturing red varieties this week. Both have very delicate skins and tender flesh. We didn't want to risk damaging them by washing them at the farm so your potatoes will arrive with a little sand still clinging to them. They'll keep best if you don't wash them until you're ready to use them. These new potatoes have awesome flavor so they don't require any fancy cooking--a little butter, a little salt and some fresh herbs is all you need for a real mid-summer feast.

Tart cherries are rounder and softer than sweet cherries. They can be eaten out of hand, but we prefer to bake with them. This is the go-to cherry for making a pie. If you're not interested in making pie, try a batch of muffins or the cobbler recipe that appears below. On a different note, don’t forget that tart cherries can be useful in creating savory dishes such as glazes for roast pork and other meats. If you aren’t going to use your cherries this week, pit them with a chopstick or a paring knife and pop them in a freezer bag for use later.

Sage is a delicious and versatile herb that deserves to be appreciated for more than what it can do for a Thanksgiving turkey! Here are some ideas to inspire you: -add to cornbread and biscuits -make sage butter for dressing up vegetables -use to flavor roast chicken or pork chops -make burgers with ground pork, sage and chopped apple. (This week's raw cheddar spread would go perfectly on a toasted burger bun!)

Making popcorn on the stovetop is a little more work than the microwave version, but the results are well worth the effort. Start by removing the kernels from the cob. In the farm kitchen we like to work over a dish towel, pushing the kernels off with our thumbs. (The towel prevents the kernels from bouncing all over the place!) Cover the bottom of a pot with vegetable oil. Add one layer of kernels to the bottom of the pot and cover with a lid. Place the pot over medium heat. Be sure to remove from heat as soon as the popping stops. Add salt to taste.

This Week’s Featured Recipes

Orzo with Chickpeas, Cucumber, Lemon, Feta & Dill

1 cup uncooked orzo
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped green onion
For the Dressing:
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook orzo pasta according to package directions. Drain the orzo and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and to wash away some of the starches. Allow the pasta to cool.

In a large bowl, combine orzo, chickpeas, cucumbers, feta, dill, and green onion. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dill, salt, and pepper. Drizzle over salad and stir until ingredients are well coated. Serve immediately or chilled.

New Potatoes with Sage and Garlic
adapted from a recipe by Molly O'Neill, The New York Times, 11/14/1999

2 pounds new potatoes, halved
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped sage leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly
ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place a large, heavy skillet or roasting pan in the oven to heat up. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold salted water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 5 minutes.
Drain the potatoes well and place them on paper towels. Place the flour on a plate and when the potatoes are dry, roll them in the flour to coat, shaking off any excess. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and add the oil and potatoes. Roast, shaking the pan occasionally until the potatoes are golden brown all over, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the garlic, sage and butter. Return the pan to the oven for one minute. Season generously with salt and pepper and serve.

Bruschetta with White Bean Puree and Fried Sage Leaves
another great recipe from Molly O'Neill in The New York Times
1/2 cup vegetable oil
12 sage leaves
1/4 cup flour
2 cups cooked, drained white beans
1 shallot, minced 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped sage
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
12 1/2-inch-thick slices Italian bread
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved olive oil

Place the oil in a small skillet and heat over medium high heat. Lightly dust the 16 sage leaves with flour, shaking off any excess. Drop them in the hot oil and cook just until crispy and bright green, about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the beans and shallot and process until very smooth. Remove the puree from the processor and pass it through a food mill or fine-mesh sieve. Place the puree in a small bowl and stir in the olive oil, chopped sage, lemon juice and salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.

Grill or broil the bread until lightly browned. While still hot, rub the slices with the garlic and sprinkle with a teaspoon of olive oil. Spread each slice with about a tablespoon of the bean puree. Top each with a fried sage leaf and serve immediately.

Julia Child's Cherry Clafoutis
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
3 cups tart cherries, pitted
1/3 cup sugar powdered sugar

In a blender blend the milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour. Pour a 1/4 inch layer of the batter in a buttered 7 or 8 cup lightly buttered baking dish. Place in the oven until a film of batter sets in the pan. Remove from the heat and spread the cherries over the batter. Sprinkle on the 1/3 cup of sugar. Pour on the rest of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about for about 45 minutes to an hour. The clafouti is done when puffed and brown and and a knife plunged in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, serve warm.  

Easy Cherry Cobbler
Filling: 1 quart tart cherries, pitted (juices reserved)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup cream (plus an extra tablespoon or two, if needed)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Stir together the cherries, sugar (use less if you want it very tart), lemon juice, extract, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Set aside while you prepare the biscuit topping.

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar into another bowl. Stir the cream in just until the dough forms clumps. If there are still dry bits, add a bit more cream until you can gather the dough together into a ball. Pat the dough out gently to about 1/2" thick, and then cut out shapes as you like. Pat the scraps together and cut more shapes out. How many you can fit will depend on your pan dimensions, but any extras can be baked separately.

Turn the cherry filling into an 8" pan. Top with your biscuit cut outs. For a prettier finish, brush the biscuits with a bit of cream and then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown.

Roasted Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Basil
1 large head broccoli, cut into 1 1/2-inch florets, stems peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced shallots
Thinly sliced basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a large baking sheet, toss the broccoli and stems with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the broccoli in the oven for about 30 minutes, tossing half way through, until browned and tender.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat until light golden all over, about 4 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the shallot and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the broccoli into a serving bowl, add the dressing, pine nuts and basil and toss to coat.

Next week’s harvest (our best guess)…green beans, carrots, sweet onions, plums, sweet corn, parsley, leeks, oregano, peaches, arugula, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce and more!


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  • Margaret Sheaffer