Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Whatcha Got in Your Box?
CSA Woodland Gardens June 7, 2011
a.k.a. Clem’s Birthday!

cherry tomatoes:

SUPER 100s!
Even though these little beauties are small, let’s peel them!
Score the bottom (not the stem end) with a sharp pairing knife and then plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for about 45 seconds to loosen the skins. Remove from pot to a bowl of ice water and then carefully peel them of their skins. Then take the peeled tomatoes and place them in a bowl. Add a dash or two of extra virgin olive oil, some minced garlic (for the love of someone higher, mince it yourself… pre-minced garlic is the Lucifer of food), some freshly torn basil, a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Make some fried toast by lightly frying bread in a good amount (3 T) of olive oil until golden brown and then topping with some quasi-local cheese (this opens up the debate as to how big is the local area but I love the goat cheeses from Split Creek Farm in Anderson SC), and a big scoop of the marinated skinless tomatoes. Heaven is a tomato in June. Hell is a Chilean tomato in January. Why bother?

So back to that nagging "What is local thing..." To me geography doesn't have much to do with it, but rather its a commitment to buying stuff where you know who has picked the leek, you know who made the cheese, you know the person who sewed the button on. It makes life much more personal and beautiful... but I digress. Back to food:


·      Eat on granola.  Or some whipped cream folded with crème fraiche, vanilla and some honey. Yum.
·      Throw in air and catch with your mouth.
·      blueberry-peach cobbler! Peaches are coming on early this year with all this heat. I had one the other day that was really great.


Make a vichyssoise!

vichysoisse         serves 6-8

2 cups heavy cream
6 medium sized leeks
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup minced yellow onion
1 stalk celery, minced
2 quarts potato, yukon golds, peeled and cubed in 1 inch cubes
salt to taste
bouquet garni of thyme, bay and parsley stems
3 quarts water

The night before you make the vichy, take the leeks and cut the dark green end off, about 4 inches worth, reserving the nice white and light green part of the leek for making the soup the next day. Clean the dark greens of the leeks under cold running water and mince them well. Add to the whipping cream in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge overnight. This will give the cream a nice leeky taste for the finishing of the soup.

Take the rest of the leeks, slice in half lengthwise, wash them and then dice them to a nice ½ inch dice.

Melt the butter in a large pot, add onions, diced leeks, and celery and cook over low heat, stirring until the vegetables are sweated down but no caramelization has occurred.    Add potatoes, bouquet garni and stock.  Cook, partially covered until the potatoes are tender.  Puree in blender, pass through chinois,  and then through again.  Go to your fridge and grab the cream with the dark leek greens in it. Strain the cream and discard the greens. Add cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Should just coat the back of a spoon. Chill thoroughly and then serve in cold bowls. The soup will keep for about four days in the fridge. 

If you leave it there for a month you will have made potato vodka White Russians! Just kiddin'... don't do that.

Butter head lettuce-

Make the vinaigrette from last week but add some chopped up dill pickle and serve with some nice canned tuna and some cucumber! Lunch is good.

Bright Lights Chard:

Pickle those stems by cutting them really finely and then pickle with a hot pickle brine of two cups vinegar, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt, bay leaf, mustard seed and a touch of sugar. Let them sit in a mason jar for a while in the fridge.
Then we can sauté the greens in hot olive oil and finish with some roasted onion pieces, a little chicken stock and then fold some of the pickled stems in at the last moment. A great side to grace a big family style barbecue.


These are my weakness. I love me some beets. Chop off the stems for sautéing another time and then place the beets on a bed of kosher salt and place in the oven at 375. Salt bake until tender and then cool slightly and put on some gloves so your hands don’t get red. Peel them with a paper towel by working those skins off. Then cut in half and sauté in a but of butter to reheat. Finish with some parsley and a little bit of balsamic. Bring on the yum. Beatrice and Clementine will eat them all day long.

Tricolore beans

Royal Burgundy, Yellow Wax and Providers. Lovely mix. Blanche them until tender, trim them up and then toss with some of the basic vinaigrette from last week. Finish with some torn mint from the garden and perch this on top of some poached wild salmon. Drink with some Sancerre! (Go to Gosford).

Mixed squash:

Get that squash casserole recipe out and work it like you know how. Yum.


Make a fennel marmalade for preserving.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups diced fennel (¼ inch dice) NO FRONDS
1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, lightly crushed in a Ziploc bag
½ teaspoon powdered pectin

Place a medium pot on the stove on medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the fennel, onion and salt and cook until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the vinegar and the sugar and cook the liquid down by half. Sprinkle the marmalade with pectin and stir to combine. Finishing with the crushed pink peppercorns and pour onto  a sheet pan to cool.


Make a pesto. Or combine with tomatoes. Or make a tomato and basil soup.
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