February Winter CSA

Greetings fellow food lovers,

It has been awfully chilly the last few weeks around the farm. Normally, we run around in circles and light veggie scraps on fire to stay warm every morning. We’ve also been curating a new dance routine to really turn up the heat in the packing shed. This helps us pack your veggies faster and also keeps our toes from freezing. Although I am just kidding, I often wonder during these cold midwinter stretches, “Why do I live somewhere that if I stayed outside too long, I would die?” On the other hand, the long winter can be a nice break from all of the summer work we do at the farm, and I love that we have real seasons in the Northland.

Speaking of the Northland, we had a great time seeing our community at Wild State Cider last week for our annual rutabaga giveaway. In case you missed it, this event had a unique twist this year: rutabaga curling! I can’t think of a better way to take advantage of this unique vegetable (aside from, you know, eating it). Plus, curlers can really sweep you off your feet. Our friends helped make a wonderful video with some highlights from the event which you can find on our Facebook page or by clicking this link: https://fb.watch/b8eTjlvrps/.

Make sure you sign up for your summer shares if you haven’t already! These spots tend to fill quickly. More of this information can be found right on our website. Let us know if you have any questions. Throughout these recent times of uncertainty in our food systems, the importance of local farms has really been brought to light. Community Supported Agriculture has given all of us stability and the ability to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. Our crew at the Food Farm continues to take this responsibility seriously and we appreciate our members and your support!

By the time I write the next newsletter, I expect we will have seen warmer days (by warmer days I mean anything above 20 degrees), and we’ll be starting up greenhouse work and seeding onions! Oh, and remember: organic vegetables make the perfect Valentine’s Day gifts.

Stay warm,

Emily

Your CSA farmers love you!

In your shares this month:

Beets – Carrots – Green Cabbage – Parsnips – Baby Red and Russett Potatoes – Onions – Garlic – Delicata Squash

Mulligan Stew (The Soup and Bread Cookbook, B. Ojakangas)

  • 2 lbs beef stew meat cut into 1″ cubes (or substitute beans for a vegetarian version)
  • 4 medium thin skinned potatoes, yellow or red, washed, unpeeled and quartered
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 4 small onions, quartered
  • 1 (1/2 lb) rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup red wine or water

In a 4-qt soup pot, combine the meat and cold water to cover and bring to a boil.  Add the potatoes, carrots, onions, rutabaga, parsley, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Simmer, tightly covered, over low heat until the meat is tender, about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

In a cup, mix the flour and wine/water until smooth.  Stir into the stew and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently to thicken the stew. 

Kalldolmer (Danish cabbage rolls)(Danish Food Cookbook)

  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 lb ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice or 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 12 cabbage leaves (large)

Mix meats, rice/bread crumbs, onion, milk, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Rinse a large cabbage head and remove about 12 large leaves.  Drop the leaves into boiling water for a few minutes to soften them.  Drain the leaves.  Place about 1/4 cup of meatball mix into the center of the leaf and wrap it like a package.  Brown in a frying pan and then place seam side down in a 9″x13″ baking pan.  Pour the tomatoes over them.  Bake 350F for about an hour.

November Winter CSA

Welcome to the first winter share of the season! There is no better time to receive your first dose of winter veggies than right after daylight savings time. Personally, after a long season here at the farm an extra hour of sleep is more than needed, even though we have to put up with Janaki complaining that his kids now wake up at 4:30 in the morning. This is also the final week of the season for many of our farm hands, some of whom have their own winter adventures ahead of them. Lucky for me, I get to stick around the farm this winter to help pack your winter shares and local wholesale orders.

If this is your first share with us, thank you for choosing local and organic. If you have been a member here for years, thank you for continuing to support our mission. Although we farm hands don’t interact with members very much, we definitely keep all of you in mind when doing various tasks on the farm. As we ventured through the great carrot and potato harvests of 2021, I considered how many mouths these crops will feed through the winter and it made the work more fulfilling.

The last few weeks have been really busy here at the farm to get us set up for the winter. We have cleared many fields of the crops they have been growing all season long. We harvested so many tons of carrots, potatoes, parsnips, cabbage, and Dave’s favorite crop: rutabagas. Among these harvests, Janaki has a plan for exactly which crop is going where this winter. Many carrots will end up in your winter shares. Others will be on the shelves at local grocery stores. The odd shaped and broken carrots even get sold to local businesses to make things such as kimchi. If it’s in the root cellar, it has a plan.

Also, be sure not to forget that it’s officially SOUP SEASON! I know I said that right at the turn of the first leaf this fall, but now it’s more relevant as we have finally experienced cooler temperatures. As a disclaimer, you’ll probably see many soup recipes in these newsletters this winter. A staple in the diets of many Minnesotans, soup may be the defining soup of the winter season. Luckily for you all, many (if not all) of our winter crops are perfect for soup makin’.

Your local soup enthusiast,

Emily

In your shares this month:

Beets, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Celery, Onions, Russet and Red Potatoes, Rosemary, Spinach, and Delicata and Kabocha Winter Squash

Displaying 20211108_130152.jpg

Indonesian Carrot Soup (from New England Soup Factory Cookbook, Druker and Silverstein)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1.5 lbs carrots (we also use winter squash), peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 16 oz coconut milk (one can)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat stockpot over medium high heat.  Add olive oil, garlic, ginger, onion, celery and carrots/squash.  Sauté for 10 minutes.  Add curry, coriander, cumin, pepper flakes, stock and sherry.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to med and simmer 30-40 minutes (until carrots and/or squash are tender).  Remove from heat and add honey, coconut milk, cilantro, salt, and pepper.  Puree the soup using immersion or conventional blender.  Makes 5-6 servings.

Spanish Tortilla (New York Times, Mark Bittman)

  • 1.25 lbs potatoes (3-4 medium)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 extra large eggs

Peel and thinly slice potatoes and onions.  Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat.  After 3-4 minutes, drop in a potato slice.  When tiny bubbles appear around its edges, add potatoes, onions, salt and pepper.  Gently turn mixture in oil with a wooden spoon and adjust heat so oil bubbles lazily. Cook, turning potatoes every few minutes, until they are tender when pierced with a knife.  Adjust the heat.  If potatoes begin to break, they are overdone.  As potatoes cook, beat eggs with salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Turn oven on to 350 degrees F.  Drain the potatoes in a colander.  Wipe out skillet and heat over medium heat for one minute.  Add 2 tbsp. of oil.  Gently mix warm potatoes with eggs and add to skillet.  As soon as edges firm up, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes.  Finish cooking in the oven.  Bake until firm (appx 10-15 minutes).  Serve warm (not hot) or at room temperature.

Summer CSA Week 18

That’s right farm sharers… It’s the final countdown (insert Europe guitarist). I think every one of us on the farm is shocked that the final CSA delivery is upon us. Not only because it’s still in the 70s during the day, but it also seems like only yesterday we were on the back of the transplanter planting the first of thousands of veggie starts. I don’t think we could have done it without that life-saving, and back-saving implement. Moreover, we could not have done it all without the support of our community and share members. It is all of you that keep the farm afloat and drive us to be the best farmers we can be. 18 weeks of shares have gone by in the blink of an eye yet we have so much to show for it. We have fed hundreds of people fresh, local, and organic veggies all while sustainably stewarding our farm.

This is not to say that with the end of the Summer CSA that comes the end of our work on the farm. In fact, we are just starting most of the large scale projects that will prepare us for our ’21-’22 Winter CSA, winter wholesale orders, and winter itself. On the farm hand side of things, this means clearing out the greenhouses, harvesting insane amounts of carrots, potatoes, beets, rutabagas, parsnips and cabbage, taking down trellises, and stowing the irrigation pipe that got our plants through this brutal summer. On the Janaki side of things, this means ensuring that fields are seeded with cover crops, compost is produced to feed our soil microbes, and operating the tractors so that us farm hands do not suffer at the expense of the insane amount of carrots I mentioned. Of course these aren’t the only things we will be doing over the next month, but you get the idea.

Just as we’re putting the farm to bed, we’re including a few sprigs of lavender in your share, long used as an aromatherapy sleep aide.

Here’s a list of things I have learned this season, even though nobody asked for it:

  • Do not waste time picking burs off of Chester. He will only come back around covered in more. He is also a professional skunk hunter and deer carcass finder.
  • Driving a very old tractor (we call it Stubby) is very fun and also terrifying at the same time.
  • Pigweed is a noxious plant that really makes you question whether or not being an organic farm is really worth it… (It is).
  • When a bee colony swarms they are actually super calm because they are not protecting their queen or hive anymore. I once walked through a swarm of thousands of bees to feed the chickens.
  • Raccoons sneak onto the farm for our tiny corn patch and nothing else.
  • Aside from the skunks that Chester brings around, the worst smell on the farm is hands down the smell of rotting daikon radish.
  • Do NOT harvest beets without gloves on unless you want to look like a murder suspect.
  • There is no such thing as a free meal.

Once again, we could not have done it without all of your support this season. We look forward to feeding you again in 2022. Until then, we will be here waiting and working the land to ensure you all receive high quality veggies next time around.

Take care,

Emily

“Agriculture is the noblest of all alchemy; for it turns earth, and even manure, into gold, conferring upon its cultivator the additional reward of health.” – Paul Chatfield

In your shares this week:

Beets – Carrots – Cilantro – Collar Greens – Lavender – Lettuce – Yellow Onions – Sweet Red Peppers – Hot Peppers – Potatoes – Rutabagas – Red Shallots – Delicata and Kabocha Winter Squash

A wonderful rainbow that made an appearance after we were rained on all day.
An absurdly large daikon radish that is destined for Spirit Creek Farm kimchi.

Red Flannel Hash (modified from NYT Cooking)

This recipe also works wonderfully with left-over roasted vegetables!

1.5 cups diced potatoes

1 cup diced squash

1/2 cup diced beets

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced peppers

1/4 cup diced onion

1/2 tsp each thyme and parsley

salt and pepper to taste


*Note:  Dice all the veggies into the similarly sized cubes (~1/2 inch) Heat oven to 425.  Place potatoes, squash, and beets on a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of oil and bake for 20 minutes.  Add remaining veggies and herbs to the pan with the remaining olive oil and bake another 25 minutes.   
Fry the baked veggies in a frying pan with butter in a single layer to achieve crispness.  Top with a fried egg and serve with a side salad.


Strata (savory bread pudding)

1/2 lb french bread (stale or leftover works best), enough to make 4 cups of bread cubes

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup diced peppers

1 cup diced or grated squash (~1/4″ cubes)

2 cups kale

1 clove garlic, minced

1.5 cups milk

1/2 cup grated hard cheese (swiss, gruyere, or cheddar)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp fresh rosemary (or 1/2tsp dried) 

1 tsp salt

4 large eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak the bread cubes in 3/4 c. of the milk. Oil or butter a 2 qt baking dish.  Heat a frying pan and add the kale.  Fry over medium heat until the leaves begin to soften and wilt.  Cover the pan and let the kale steam until cooked (3 minutes).  Remove from pan, press or squeeze out the excess liquid.  Chop coarsely and set aside.  Add 1 tbsp oil to the same frying pan and add the mushrooms and peppers.  Fry on medium heat until the mushrooms are cooked and the peppers have lost some of their moisture.  Add the minced garlic and the squash, and continue to fry for another minute.  Stir in the rosemary and kale.  Remove from heat, pour into a bowl with the cubed bread, the two cheeses, and toss together.  Arrange in a baking dish.
Beat eggs in a medium bowl and add the remaining milk and salt (and a few shakes of black pepper if you like it).  Pour over the bread and press the bread down into the custard mix.  Bake for 40-50 minutes until puffed up and brown and a knife poked into the strata comes out clean.
Note:  this can be assembled and left (covered) in the fridge for the night for a quick and easy morning bake, too!

Summer CSA Week 15

It’s hard to believe that we are already on the 15th week of the CSA, it feels like the season just started last week!? Anyways, while we are excited to share with you the vegetables of the week, there are still a few that you may not see this week, or next. Crops like brussels sprouts take a long time to mature–they’re seeded in early June and usually aren’t ready until the last week of the CSA. Most crops, like the celery in your shares today, are a couple of weeks ahead of schedule, but the brussels are actually slow enough that they may not even mature in time. I’m excited to eat them even if we have to wait for the winter shares.

This past weekend we attended the Harvest Festival at Bayfront and enjoyed seeing many familiar and new faces at the booth. The crew worked all day Friday harvesting vegetables to ensure that festival-goers received the freshest produce possible. It was great to see everyone after a year off from the festival.

The theme of last week seemed to be our potatoes. We worked on getting out the rest of the first planting of potatoes which included whites, russets, and yellows. Potatoes rock our world in so many ways and are incredibly versatile. I thought it might be useful to include a guide as to what potatoes are good for different potato cooking techniques. Disclaimer: this guide is based on a quick Google search and really, you can do whatever you want to your potatoes.

Fingerlings: great for baking, roasting, and potato salads. Not as good for soups.

Russets: These are the long brown potatoes in the share today. These are good for baking, mashing, french fries, and chips.

Reds: Unlike Russets, red potatoes do not fluff up as much when cooked. This makes them good for soups and stews.

Yellow/Gold: Creamier than most and are great for mashing, roasting, and grilling.

White: Great for french fries and hashbrowns. Doesn’t necessarily need peeling due to thin skin.

That’s the reference guide I use when choosing potatoes, but I use the different varieties interchangeably for the most part. Next up, I felt compelled to include a recipe for a classic potato dish that I grew up eating at every family gathering and holiday, and I hope you did too.

Thanks for reading,

Emily

We were fortunate to receive a few random rain showers and a big rainbow last week.

In your shares this week:

Beans – Broccoli – Carrots – Celery – Cucumbers – Dill – Lettuce – Onions – Red Peppers – POTATOES – Acorn Squash – Tomatoes

Farmer Kathleen driving the crew back to the potato fields for harvesting.

Potatoes au Gratin by RecipeTinEats

  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter,melted
  • 2 lb starchy potatoes, Russet
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups gruyere cheese (or mozzarella)
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • Cream Mixture: Place butter, cream and garlic in a jug or jar. Mix until combined.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Slice potatoes: Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8″. Or use a slicer!
  • Layer 1: Spread 1/3 of the potatoes in a baking dish, then pour over 1/3 of the Cream Mixture, scatter with 1/3 of the salt, pepper and thyme. Sprinkle with 3/4 cups cheese.
  • Layers 2 & 3: Repeat for the 2nd and third layer, but do not finish with cheese on the top layer (will add later).
  • Cover & bake: Cover with lid or foil, and bake for 1 hr 15 min or until the potatoes in the middle are soft (use knife to test).
  • Top with cheese, bake again: Remove foil, top with cheese. Bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes until golden and bubbly. Stand 5 minutes before serving.

Cream of Celery Soup by AllRecipes

  • 3 quarts vegetable stock 
  • 1 head of celery, coarsely chopped
  • ½ pound carrots, julienned
  • ½ pound onions, chopped 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 quarts hot milk
  • 1 cup margarine
  • Step 1 Pour the vegetable stock into a large pot, and bring to a boil. Add the celery, carrots and onion to the pot.
  • Step 2 Whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, and milk; add to the pot along with the margarine.
  • Step 3 Boil for 10 minutes, then strain out the vegetables by pouring through a sieve, or if the vegetables are large enough, a colander may be used.

Summer CSA Week 14

This week was a big week for our dear friends the alliums. Alliums are a genus of plants that include onions, garlic, leeks, and shallots. Onions! Enough to make a grown man cry. To say that these crops are the very backbone of savory dishes in the Midwest is an understatement. Not only do they provide great flavor and texture to our food, they also make the air smell great when you harvest them for several hours. And what do you say to a small onion that has helped you? Thanks shallot. We also started to sort out seed garlic which involves picking out the most perfect heads of garlic to use for next years garlic crop. This process, over the course of years, helps us yield the best looking heads of garlic to give to our dear members and the community.

Soup season is just around the corner, unless you’re like me and believe soup shall not be limited to colder weather. Either way, I feel compelled to throw in a decent soup recipe in these newsletters each week. They’re great for many things but amazing for using up random veggies in your fridges. Great for budgets and your stomachs. This may very well be the beginning of canning season for your household, for which soup is a fantastic candidate. Our dear friend the leek has been patiently waiting it’s arrival in your shares. And you had better believe there’s a soup recipe in this newsletter whose sole intention is to use a decent amount of leeks. Personally, I think the leeks this year look way bigger than last years. This is probably due to the warmer temperatures we have been experiencing.

This weekend you’ll find the Food Farm crew at the Sustainable Farm Association’s annual Harvest Festival at Bayfront Park in Duluth. Have you been wishing to have just a few more heads of broccoli this year? Perhaps you’re wishing for some more tomatoes? Fear not, as we will likely have a wide variety of food available to you. My favorite thing about these festivals as a consumer is seeing the value added goods that people create. Every year there is something new to try and it’s even better knowing it’s local. The annual Harvest Festival is a fun and great way to connect producers directly to consumers. Aside from these newsletters, there are only a handful of ways in which we are able to directly connect with our share members and the general public. We hope to see all of you there! We’ll be there from 10am – 4pm.

Some exciting news from our newest farm hens, they’ve laid their first eggs! These relatively tiny eggs will not be included in the egg shares yet. However, they are a reminder that these chickens play a valuable role on the farm. They provide our members with food and our fields with fertility. Plus they’re cute and full of personality – what more could you ask for in your coworkers?!

If anyone has a soup recipe suggestion, please do not be shy. We must all prosper in the richness that is liquid food.

Your local soup enthusiast,

Emily

In your shares this week:

Broccoli – Carrots – Cilantro – Cucumbers – Garlic – Greens Mix – Leeks – Onions – Hot Pepper – Red Peppers – Potatoes – Tomatoes – Zucchini

Bumble bees are fond of our bean plants and their flowers. I call this photo: “Bumble Bean”

Potato Leek Soup from Tasty

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large leeks, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs potato, cubed
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
  • hot sauce, to taste
  1. Melt butter on medium heat in a large pot. Add the chopped leeks and stir until coated with butter.
  2. Cover the pot and lower heat, cook for around 10 minutes until the leeks have softened.
  3. Increase to medium-high. Add garlic, potatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, then add vegetable broth, water, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
  4. Lower heat and cover pot with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and easily speared by a fork.
  5. Uncover and remove thyme and bay leaf.
  6. Use an immersion or countertop blender to blend the soup until smooth.
  7. Stir in chives and hot sauce (optional).
  8. Allow to cool 2 minutes and serve

Cucumber Avocado Salsa by To Simply Inspire

  • 1 large cucumber peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 avocado finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato finely chopped and seeded
  • 1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 2 – 3 tablespoon fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 c reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the first six ingredients and gently toss
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and salt.
  3. Pour over cucumber mixture and gently toss to coat.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips.

February Winter Share

Now we have four Winter Shares done, and two to go! I hope that you all are well into the swing of using these storage-time staples each month. It can be nice to settle into patterns and familiar recipes. I’ve been through a few: hashbrowns, cubed and sautéed roots together with an egg on top, spicy coleslaw, miso soup, chocolate-chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter. Oh wait, that’s a different category.

If your go-to recipes are starting to feel more like a rut, and less like a comfort, I hope you can find some ways to add some pep and switch things up this month. Making a meal plan change can be as easy as trying a new condiment, or digging into the back of the spice cupboard and see what has fallen out of use for a while (not too long though… they do go bad [mom]). If you normally reach for lemon juice to brighten dishes, try a new vinegar, or some wine.

I know I’ve said before, that I have learned more about cooking from friends and roommates than I ever have from a cook-book or blog. From canning tomatoes to homemade pita bread to massaged kale to chopping food small enough- my friends didn’t even know the lessons they passed on just by sharing a kitchen.

The joy of cooking and preparing food together is something I miss. Sharing meals and passing dishes around a table to friends or family is going to be the first thing I do whenever those kinds of things can happen again. I am sure I will cry the first time.

With the sharing of food in groups missing, the connection between food and community might feel non-existent at times. Maybe if you split your share with another family you have an additional sense of connection as you sort through boxes together or drop food off. I am glad that at least, with the food you get from our farm, we are all still connected, and your support is a critical part of how we can do what we do. Indeed, of why we do what we do.

Even if you find yourself alone over a plate of uninspired-feeling (but delicious tasting) roasted delicata some time this month… you might not actually be as alone in that as you think.

For the farm crew,

Karin


In your share this month:
Beets – Purple and Orange Carrots – Green Cabbage – Delicata Squash – Onions – Parsnips* – Red and Baby Yellow Potatoes


*A note on our tiny little parsnips: this crop got 2020ed (is that be a verb now?), and the replanted ones didn’t have time to size up very well. I would recommend NOT peeling them, but scrubbing them well instead. The rusty, oxidized look on the outside shouldn’t affect the taste. They are just too small to peel. Here’s to next year’s planting going better.


Potato-Parsnip Latkes with Horseradish and Dill
From the Smitten Kitchen

Yield: About 18 2 1/2 to 3-inch latkes

Pancakes
1/2 pound (about 1 large) potato
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 pound parsnips (Farm note: you got 1 1/2 lbs in your share, and you could probably get away with using all of them in this)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil (or a mix of olive and vegetable or peanut oil) for frying

Sauce
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon freshly grated or prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon chopped dill

Preheat: Oven to 250 degrees. Line one large or two smaller baking sheets with foil and leave them in the oven until needed.

Prepare vegetables: grate them on the large holes of a box grater or (my preferred method) using the shredding blade of a food processor.

Transfer shredded vegetables to a lint-free dishtowel or square of cheesecloth, and wring out as much liquid as possible. Let stand for two minutes, then wring again. Wetness is the enemy of crisp, light latkes, so we want to get rid of as much as possible.

Make batter: Transfer wrung-out vegetables to a large bowl. Add lemon juice. In a tiny dish, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and any herbs or additional seasonings and toss with vegetables, evenly coating the strands. In the same tiny dish, whisk your egg(s) and then stir this into the vegetable-flour mixture, evenly coating the strands.

Prepare pan: Heat a large, heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Once skillet is hot, add 3 tablespoons oil and heat oil until shimmering. If you’re unsure, you can flick a droplet of water onto the oil; if it hisses and sputters, you’re good to go.

Cook: Using a fork or your fingertips (letting the eggy batter drain off a little is good), gather spoonful-sized mounds of battered vegetables and drop them onto the heated skillet. When golden underneath, 3 to 4 minutes later, flip pancakes. Cook on the other side until nicely bronzed underneath, another 2 to 3 minutes, and transfer to paper towels briefly to drain pancakes, before transferring them again to tray(s) in warm oven. If latkes cook too quickly or slowly on the stove, adjust the heat accordingly.

Add more oil if needed (you want to keep the pan at that 3 tablespoon level), being sure it is heated before adding more pancakes to the skillet. Repeat with remaining batter. I like to keep the latkes in the oven for at least 10 minutes to ensure they’ve cooked through before serving them. This gives you time to…

Make sauce: Mix sauce ingredients in a small dish. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Beet and Carrot salad with Currants
From the Leek and the Carrot

4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dried currants (or cranberries)
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 large (or 1 extra-large) beets, peeled
3-4 large carrots, peeled
2 apples
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
1-2 cups chopped and toasted almonds

  1. In a small bowl, combine garlic, currants and vinegar. Let currants plump and garlic mellow in there for at least 20 minutes. It will likely take that long to get your veggies cut up anyhow.
  2. Cut the beets, carrots and apples into matchsticks and place in a large bowl. Squeeze with lemon and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine then add the garlic and currant mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and toss several more times to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  3. When ready to eat, serve with toasted almonds. If not eating all at once, keep toasted almonds to the side and add right before eating so they maintain their crunch.

Summer CSA Week 14

The extra hurry-hurry of fall on the farm is starting now. We have had a new crew member join our ranks as we’ve had to fill holes in the schedule, and still there is not enough time in the day, most days. We are starting to harvest almost all the time now: keeping the root-cellar stocked for the CSA and our wholesale customers with carrots, beets, potatoes and cabbage. We hope you’ll enjoy the baby carrots in your share today–we had to begin harvesting the second planting before they have completely sized up, so you’ll be getting a bunch of snack sized ones this week and next. Zucchini and cucumbers have had a tough time this year and are starting to fade already, even though frost has not showed up yet. With more produce coming out of the field each week, we’re also working to keep up with pallet box washing, knowing that soon instead of needing one or two at a time, we’ll need 6, 12, 20 in a day.

I love this time of year on the farm. I love when it’s cooler, I love looking over beds and seeing them full of produce early afternoon, and empty by evening. I love getting into a rhythm of harvest-wash-store, repeat, almost every day. Sometimes it can feel like the harvesting takes up an awful lot of time, and couldn’t we just get something done if it weren’t for all these veggies… but then I remember that the harvest is the whole reason we do what we do. Harvest happens, so that your breakfast, lunch and dinner can happen.

Thank you for participating in our farming with us by providing purpose for our veggies! What a change in the bounty from early June to now- so much variety, and so many options of what to make, or store for later. We hope you enjoy the share, and find some (warm and cozy?) ways to enjoy the food.

For the farm crew,

Karin


In your share this week:

Basil – Beets – Carrots – Cucumbers – Garlic – Greens Mix – Leeks – Onions – Red Pepper – Red Potatoes – Tomatoes – Zucchini


Sheetpan Chicken with Cabbage and Leeks

From The Leek and the Carrot

Serves 6-8
Takes 1 hour

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup olive oil + more for drizzling
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sriracha, optional
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
6-8 bone-in, skin-on drumsticks
1 head cabbage
1 head garlic, separated and peeled
3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut int 1-inch thick slices

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine oils, soy sauce, vinegar and sriracha. Place chicken in a second bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and then pour 1/4 cup of the oil mixture over the chicken. Let it sit while you prep the veggies.
  3. Cut the cabbage in half through it’s core. Keep halving and slicing the whole head of cabbage until you wind up with lots and lots of wedges (all no thicker than 1-inch). Some pieces of cabbage will shred and fall apart as you cut the cabbage, but it will be fine. Add cabbage to first large bowl (the one with the remaining sauce not the chicken) along with peeled garlic cloves and sliced leeks. Toss to coat veggies with sauce and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  4. Add chicken to large baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and nestle chicken with vegetables. It will feel like a lot and you’ll need to nestle the vegetables under the chicken a bit. That’s fine! Roast for 35-40 minutes longer until juices have reduced, veggies begin to caramelize and the skin on the chicken begins to crisp.
  5. Serve veggies and chicken together (atop mashed potatoes) with any residual sauce. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Potatoes Anna

From The Smitten Kitchen

1/2 cup finely grated aged Pecorino Romano
1 tablespoon potato starch or cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper, or a larger amount coarsely ground
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or olive oil
2 pounds potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick, ideally on a mandolin
8 cups loosely packed arugula
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
2 teaspoons (10 ml) white wine vinegar

Assemble the potatoes: Heat your oven to 375°F. Combine the cheese, potato starch or cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a small dish. Taste a pinch; you want it to have a strong salty-peppery kick, because it’s going to be distributed all over the galette.

Pour 1 tablespoon butter or oil into the bottom of a 9-inch-diameter cast-iron or ovenproof skillet, and swirl it up the sides. Arrange the potatoes in overlapping concentric circles in a single layer at the bottom of the pan. (This will use approximately a quarter of your sliced potatoes.) Drizzle with 1 teaspoon butter or oil, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the cheese-pepper mixture. You’ll need to repeat this three or four times to use up your potatoes (depending on their size). At the end, you should have about 1 tablespoon cheese-pepper mixture left over; reserve this. Drizzle any remaining melted butter over the top.

To bake: Lightly coat a piece of foil with nonstick spray and cover the skillet tightly with it. Put in heated oven for 35 minutes, at which point the potatoes will be almost tender. Use potholdered hands to press firmly on the foil to compact the potatoes a bit. Remove and reserve the foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes more, until lightly brown all over. Press again with the foil, remove, then briefly run under the broiler for an even golden-brown finish.

To finish and serve: While the galette bakes, toss the arugula with the olive oil and vinegar, keeping the dressing very light.

Once the galette is out of the oven, let it rest in the skillet for a few minutes before running a knife around to ensure that it is loose. Gently tip the skillet over your sink to drain any excess butter or oil. Invert it onto a plate or cutting board, then flip right side up. Cut the galette into wedges, then top with the dressed greens, and sprinkle with the reserved cheese-pepper mixture.

Do ahead: This galette can be made up to 3 days in advance. Rewarm at 350 degrees for 15 minutes with foil on top.

Summer CSA Week 10

A couple of weeks ago we walked through some fields – with newly sprouted cover crop – to pull out some of the towering (compared to the baby cover crop!) pig weed and lambs quarter. Looking across the fields they looked much better after, though when we were in there we could see plenty more weeds that we may get to at some point. Maybe.

Soon Janaki will be doing trip after trip with the old dump truck full of manure from a local cattle farm. The manure gets turned and composted and turned again and composted some more (a few cycles of that over weeks) and then can get used on fields next year to add rich nutrition to the soil.

Next year, crops will be moved around to avoid being planted in the same places as this year. That way we can avoid disease, pests (hopefully), and the plants can go into fields that have had time, cover crop, and nutrition added back in. Our healthy soil and extra work to maintain it keeps our vegetables healthy, and the farm healthy for years to come.

Janaki has some of the rotating stuff down to a science (I mean spreadsheets), but much of it is still an art. He knows what fields may have low spots that will be wet in spring, and can’t be used for early crops. He knows which ones have heavier, and richer soil that might be good to go to plant into, and which ones might need some organic fertilizer added in. He has a rotation of cover crops that works well for us down to a science too. Bare fields can equal sad soil, and having crops that add organic matter, or elusive nitrogen naturally back into the soil is a must for organic agriculture.

It’s a cycle of wholeness. And it leads to some pretty good whole food.

I wish I could say that everything I eat or otherwise consume follows this same pattern, or puts back what it takes out from the planet. I can’t say that; though I hope to keep moving that direction.
More and more, it is so challenging to me when I think of what things cost on the shelf not always being reflective of how much they really cost from an environmental (yes, that includes humans too!) perspective.

The truth is the cost on the shelf for organic food, or organic clothing (or non-toxic baby mattresses as I’ve found out) is an insurmountable barrier for many people, both here and around the world. I don’t want to minimize that. It’s a real problem.

Conventional agriculture is also a problem. Perhaps many of you have our CSA share because you already know this and are bothered by mono-cropping, pesticide use, loss of top soil and the list of negativity goes on.

Might I add another to the list.

Ammonium nitrate.
The elusive nitrogen that all crops (corn needs a lot, for example) require. Ammonium nitrate is one of the fertilizers that gets used around the world, in staggering quantities, in the production of all kinds of non-organic crops.

And it’s a bomb.
I feel like I should say it “can be” a bomb. It’s very often used for agriculture, but it’s also also used in war. And, I’m sure many of you remember exactly where you were on April 19th, 1995.

And in Beirut… does it matter now what the original purpose of it’s manufacture or intended destination was? Does it matter that it *could have been* fertilizer if it becomes a bomb in the middle of a city anyway?

I was living and farming in Waco, Texas when a fertilizer plant 25 minutes north, in the town of West, exploded. At the time it happened, I was video chatting with friends at a cafe, and it was only after the call ended that I realized that I had been half-hearing sirens the entire time through my head phones. When I went inside to return my cup (and to see if anyone knew what was going on), the TVs were all on, and everyone was silent or on phones trying to call friends or family.
You’d be forgiven for not remembering, it was two days after the Boston Marathon bombing.

I had no idea that that plant was up there, and if I would have known I had no idea at the time what ammonium nitrate was. I am sure many (most?) people in Beirut or in the whole of Lebanon didn’t know that tons of the stuff was being, almost randomly, disastrously, stupidly stored at their port.

I think as humans we just can’t keep up with how dangerous our world is. How much danger we add to it. We won’t be able to control storms, or drought, or volcanoes (though our actions surly add to the devastation they cause). But what we can and do add in the way of poisons, bombs… it’s overwhelming.

I wish this could be a swords to plowshares kind of post… but the materials we’re talking about aren’t nearly as simple as hammering metal into a different shape. If only that was the task we were undertaking. Again, so what if it’s destined to be fertilizer if it blows up anyway?

By partaking in the food from your CSA share each week you’re taking steps (and power!) away from the machine that seems to roll along in our world and hurt so much in it’s path. You’re taking steps (and giving power!) to safer, cleaner alternatives. It’s hard to feel like we have much power in the face of such destruction, or in the face of such wide-spread unsustainability, but the power we do have we can wield. Even by wielding your fork.

For the farm crew,

Karin

 

img_1104


In your share this week: Green Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Cucumbers, Dill, Lettuce Mix, Green Onions, Parsley, Green Peppers, New Potatoes, Tomatoes, Zucchini


 

Many of you long-time members will remember the porch at 427 N. 16th Avenue East. The Benson’s have been members since the beginning–before the beginning, actually. Their porch served as a pickup site from 1994 until this year because they were anticipating the sale of their home. It is officially on the market this week, and I promised a number of people that I would pass along the listing once it was up. Since I don’t remember who that was, I’m sending it along to everyone in the hopes that this special place might stay in the Food Farm family: https://s.paragonrels.com/goto/2_IPp

 

img_1107

It doesn’t hurt that weeds can be so beautiful.

 

Refrigerator Pickled Green Beans

Can double or triple.

  • 5 ounces green beans
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 small dried chile
  • 1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Before you trim the green beans, arrange them vertically in a 1-pint jar to see how many will fit. Pack them in as tightly as you can—once you add the hot liquid, they will shrink just a bit, so feel free to really cram them in.

  3. Remove the beans from the jar and trim them to fit, leaving at least 1/2 inch of head-space. Pack the trimmed beans back into the jar.

  4. Peel the garlic and cut it into quarters. Stuff the garlic pieces into the jar with the green beans.

  5. Add the coriander seeds, dried chile, peppercorns, and the bay leaf into the jar around the beans.

  6. Put the vinegar, wine, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil over high heat and boil for 2 minutes (the sugar and salt should be completely dissolved).

  7. Pour the hot mixture over the beans. The liquid should completely cover all of the beans. Screw on the lid and let the jar sit until it’s cooled to room temperature.

  8. Once the jar is cool, refrigerate the bean pickles for at least 2 days or up to 6 months before eating.

 

Herby Potato and Green Bean Salad

From Taproot Magazine

1 1/2 lb potatoes, cubed
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 lb green beans
6-8 radishes
1/4 medium onion
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh dill
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
2 sprigs fresh tarragon
3-5 green onions (to taste)

Dressing:

1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1/4 c olive oil
2 Tbsp grainy mustard
2 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp honey’
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Boil or steam potatoes. Boil or steam beans. If boiling, add plenty of salt to water. Chill beans after cooking in ice water. Salt after steaming/rinsing.

Fold the chopped herbs and radishes, beans, and potatoes once cooled.

Lightly toast mustard seeds on medium low heat in a pan, stirring to avoid burning. Crush seeds in mortar with a pestle. Shake all dressing ingredients together in a jar.

Gently mix dressing into salad, taste for salt. Serve a bit warm, or out of the fridge up to 4 days later.

 

 

 

 

January Winter Share

dapper

When I was a kid I hated January. I loved November (my birthday month, and Thanksgiving) and I loved December and the lead up to the holidays. When all the excitement was over, my little kid feelings (which are the biggest feelings) were in a free fall. School started again. There wasn’t any more candy. No more lights and Christmas music.

For years and years now, much as I love the holiday season, I tend to think of January as the real start to winter, and I’m glad to see it come. It is the real time of hunkering down and getting in the swing of winter and all its glory. To me that means burning candles, reading books, getting out for winter walks, and eating a lot of potatoes and parsnips. My baby enjoys three of those four things. These next couple of weeks we’ll be working on the love of food. I think he’ll be a natural, since putting things in his mouth seems to be the main event of any given minute.

All the candle burning and walking doesn’t always make up for this being a challenging time of year for many of us though. Short, cloudy days can leave one feeling rather bleak and cooped up. I hadn’t realized I was feeling that way until I was in the root cellar on what felt like the first sunny day in forever, last week. There will be more where that came from though, I’m sure.

Until then, I hope you all can bask in the left over summer sun that has been hiding in the vegetables! Squash and carrots and beets can add a splash of color to a winter plate. Perhaps you’ve started off this year with some new goals, or aspirations. Mine is to eat more squash! I’m so obsessed with potatoes, all the time, but I want to mix it up. And eating more squash really isn’t mixing it up so much. I’ve got some pesto thawing in the fridge right now – more stored up summer sunshine – and I love a big spoon-full on delicata halves.

I hope this New Year has been good to you so far, and that you’ve been good to you as well. And I’m sure our winter veggies will brighten your meals, and hopefully inspire more slow, good food!

For the hunkered in farm crew,

Karin


In your share this month: 

Beets, green cabbage, carrots, onions, parsnips, red and yellow potatoes,

Delicata and Kabocha squash


 

Cabbage Soup -from the Smitten Kitchen

1 pound pork butt, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
4 cups water
3 allspice berries
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 cup sauerkraut, plus around 4 tablespoons juice
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 carrots, minced
3 stalks celery, minced
1 onion, diced
2 cups fresh cabbage, shredded thin

Place the pork in a medium stockpot with the chicken stock, water, allspice, bay leaves, and marjoram. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for about 2 hours. Remove the pork and set aside on a plate to cool. Skim fat from stock, leaving a few “eyes” of fat for flavor.

Add sauerkraut and simmer for 20 minutes. Add potato and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and cabbage and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the pork and simmer for 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add sauerkraut juice.


 

As you may know by now, I am not much of a recipe person, but I wanted to pass on something I’ve made a couple of times, and enjoyed. During the summer season I love making zucchini fritters for lunches on the farm. When the weather turned cool last year I found myself wondering about a winter veggie version of  farm-fritters.

Roughly, this is what I do:

Grate a delicata squash, a carrot or two, a potato or two (and parsnips too, why not?) and lightly steam. Turn out into large bowl and add 3-4 eggs and ~3/4 cup flour. Eye ball it so it looks lightly battery, i.e., add another egg if necessary. Add salt to taste.

Spoon onto a heated pan with cooking oil, and fry on both sides until crispy brown. Serve with pepper and whatever condiments you like!

December Winter Share

Copy of farm to table

We have had some challenging winter days the past couple of weeks: if you are reading this, you must not be under a bank of snow. Congratulations! I hope that beyond the shoveling and snow-blowing and spinning and drifting, you have had a chance to enjoy how beautiful the whole world is under the winter-spun blanket.

This time of year tends to be busy – and many of us have traditions that bring us back to family or friends to share a meal or two. The traditions surrounding the food we eat at any holiday run deep in many families, and others may have more flexibility and change up seasonal cooking norms. I tend to like what I’ve eaten year in and year out. For just  a couple of meals a year: I like the same things over and over, and not much of it is all that healthy.

There are also common complaints about this Holiday season, probably more than any other. The complaints I’ve heard tend to center around the need to shop for gifts, and the expectations surrounding how families spend their time, and with whom, and when and all that. There are a lot of stressors. Not a small one is that people seem to feel trapped by how decadent the food is and that it is everywhere, all the time, in copious amounts. And when I say food, I mean treats. So, so many treats.

Over the years, I’ve found myself thinking that peoples’ complaints about this time of year aren’t really about the Holidays. The root of the problem is that all year long we feel stressed about expectations around family time, and about the endlessly available shopping options, and about the constantly available treats. We’ve spent 11 months burning ourselves out on it all and when the time rolls around for those things to be special, they aren’t any more. Now it becomes a matter of having to do all these things, but multiplied by 10 to make it seem special.

The older I get the more I think I would like a Christmas season that our families lean a little more to a “Little House on the Prairie” sort of gift exchange (i.e., a penny, candy small cake and little cup), and think of oranges as a bit of a treat.

Of course this time of year doesn’t hold exactly these kinds of issues for everyone. Some people don’t make a big deal out of the Holidays. Some people maybe would like to, but don’t have people near by to share the bounty with. There is of course a wide range of ways people spend their time and energy this time of year.

Perhaps parts of your winter share this month will add healthful and seasonal dishes to the bounty. Or, like the recipes below, somewhere between healthy and not. And wherever you enjoy your share, and with whomever you enjoy it: I hope it’s blessed.

And I hope that there are some moments of peace and love and simplicity for you this time of year as well.

From all of us at the Food Farm,

Karin


In your share this month:

Beets, Red cabbage, Carrots, Onions,  Russet and yellow potatoes, Delicata and Sunshine squash


 

Beet Chocolate Cake (From Bon Appétite)

Gluten free and dairy free

Cake

  • 4 medium beets, scrubbed
  • 2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil, plus more for pan
  • ½ cup cocoa powder, plus more for pan
  • 1½ cups almond flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Glaze

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt

    Cake:

  • Cook beets in a medium pot of boiling unsalted water until tender, 30–40 minutes, depending on size. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Cut off stem end, then peel and cut beets into large pieces. Transfer to a blender and add 2 Tbsp. water. Blend, adding water 1 Tbsp. at a time as needed, until a smooth purée forms—it should be the consistency of applesauce. Measure out 1 cup purée (reserve remaining purée for another use, such as blending into a smoothie).

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom of an 8″ round cake pan with parchment. Grease with oil, then dust with cocoa powder, tapping out excess.

  • Whisk almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and remaining ½ cup cocoa powder in a medium bowl; set aside.

  • Heat chocolate and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring often, until melted. Remove bowl from heat. Stir in vinegar, vanilla, and reserved 1 cup beet purée until smooth.

  • Beat eggs, brown sugar, and salt in the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed (or use an electric mixer and large bowl) until more than tripled in volume and mixture holds a ribbon for several seconds when beater is lifted above batter, 5–7 minutes. Thoroughly beating the eggs is key to creating an aerated, light crumb and is a critical step when using gluten-free ingredients.

  • Pour chocolate-beet mixture into egg mixture and beat on medium-low speed until combined. Turn mixer off and gently tip in reserved dry ingredients. Beat on lowest speed, scraping down bowl as needed, until combined.

  • Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when gently pressed, 45–50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edges of pan, then invert cake onto a wire rack and let cool.

    Glaze:

  • Heat chocolate, oil, vanilla, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring often, until chocolate is melted. Let cool, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened and cool enough to touch, 10–15 minutes.

  • Place rack with cake on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over center of cake to cover top, tilting baking sheet slightly to encourage a few drips to run over sides of cake. Let sit at room temperature until glaze is set, 2–3 hours.


Blue Cheese and Potato Tart

  • 1 Savory Tart Shell, below, or recipe of your choice, in a 9-inch tart pan and ready to fill
  • 1 pound potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped herb or herbs of your choice, such as a mixture of thyme and rosemary
  • Fine sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium saucepan, cover potato slices with water by two inches. Simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. If the potatoes don’t seem very dry, pat them dry with towels.

Arrange potato slices, overlapping slightly, in concentric circles around the tart pan. Sprinkle blue cheese over potatoes. Whisk cream and egg yolk together and pour into tart shell, then sprinkle tart with herbs of your choice and salt.

Bake tart on a baking sheet until bubbling and golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan on rack and serve warm or cold. With a big green salad, for balance.

Savory Tart Shell

  • 1 1/4 (5 1/2 ounces) cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter, diced
  • 1 large egg

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender, fork or two knives until it is in very tiny bits. Add one egg and mix with a fork until a dough forms. If this does not happen easily, toss it out onto a counter and knead it together. This dough is rather tough but with a little elbow grease, it does come together nicely.

This dough can also be made a food processor, or in a stand mixer, though I’ve only tried it in a food processor.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Place the dough in a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan and press to remove any air bubbles. Level the edges, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Proceed with a filling of your choice, no parbaking required.