Archive | August, 2009

August 31, 2009

31 Aug

After a week of heat I have enjoyed a weekend of relaxing at the beach and cooling off. I also had the opportunity to watch Julie and Julia a wonderful film about two women who explore their love for food with boldness and curiosity. Both characters were not originally chefs, but decided to pursue a dream because of their passion for food. It reminded me of many of you, faithful CSA members, who come every week to pick up their bags of produce and go home for a new cooking experiment. If you ever need some encouragement and a good laugh, this is a good movie to watch while you are cooking dinner.

For the past five months Fairview Gardens has had six amazing Apprentices working along side our staff, helping us in the midst of our busiest season and walking along side us during the dramatic staff changes. We are so grateful for all of their hard work. I have asked the Apprentices to write a narrative about their experience at Fairview for our CSA members. I will be sharing them with you over the next few weeks.

Hope you enjoyed last weeks share and made some great guacamole.

With a love for food and cooking,

Jen Corey

Marketing Manager

A message from a Fairview Apprentice: Why I Grow Food

After spending my late teens and early 20’s exploring the wild as a skier and commercial fisherman, I arrived in Santa Barbara to attend UCSB and was keen to address the challenge of how humans can live more responsibly within the natural environment. Throughout my studies I kept returning to a critical point of intersection between humans and nature- agriculture. Upon graduating, I worked as a consultant for renewable energy and agro-forestry projects in India and Brazil. After experiencing both the kindness and poverty of many small farmers juxtaposed with massive industrial agriculture operations that exported food to the U.S. and Europe, I returned to California with a new mission- to find out how to grow food that benefits the land, farmers, and consumers.

I became an apprentice farmer at Fairview Gardens to learn about commercial organic farming, and specifically how to make organic farming economically viable. Fairview is a unique farm, nestled right in the middle of suburbia while retaining a feeling of old California. One of my favorite parts of working here is arriving early in the morning and walking the farm as the sun rises. Enjoying the stillness and ever changing plants, animals, and soil is a wonderful way to wake up. Farming is hard work. Most days I come home tired and covered in mud, but I always feel satisfied that my work has been of benefit to the world. Later this fall, I am moving to Guatemala to help a friend with an organic farming and forestry business. I feel very fortunate to be bringing new knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm from my experience at Fairview.

The land, farmers, and friends that make up the Fairview Gardens community will remain fondly in my thoughts. As CSA members, all of you support a vital part of our community and our world. Thank you for choosing to know your farmer.

All the best,

Will Marsh

Sneak Peek:

Small Share

Corn

Cherry Tomatoes

Peppers

Summer Squash

Carrots

Lettuce

Potatoes

Green Beans

Large Share

Corn

Cherry Tomatoes

Peppers

Summer Squash

Carrots

Lettuce

Potatoes

Green Beans

Garlic

Flageolet Beans (Boil with onion, garlic, and herbs for 20minutes. Do not add salt until the end. Serve as a side or in a burrito, stir fry, or soup.)

Recipes:

Pan-Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad (from CSA member Elizabeth Teare; from Mark Bittman’s column in The New York Times August 19, 2009)

1/4 pound bacon, chopped

1 small red onion, chopped

4 to 6 ears corn, stripped of their kernels (2 to 3 cups)

Juice of 1 lime, or more to taste

2 cups cored and chopped tomatoes

1 medium ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped

2 fresh small chilies, like Thai, seeded and minced

Salt and black pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, more or less.

  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to render fat; add onion and cook until just softened, about 5 minutes, then add corn. Continue cooking, stirring or shaking pan occasionally, until corn begins to brown a bit, about 5 more minutes; remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Drain fat if you wish.
  2. Put lime juice in a large bowl and add bacon-corn mixture; then toss with remaining ingredients. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 4 servings.

Rajas con Queso (from CSA members the Richard and Helen Banuelos; from Sunset, JULY 1997)

In Tijuana, Ludmila Dye first tasted roasted chili strips and onions blanketed with melted cheese. It was an easy concept to duplicate, and she loves to serve it as a quick lunch or appetizer. The heart-shaped poblano chilies are sometimes labeled pasillas.

3 fresh poblano chilies (about 10 oz. total)
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 onion (about 1/2 lb.), sliced
1/4 pound sliced jack cheese
4 to 6 warm corn or flour tortillas (6 to 7 in. wide)

  1. Place chilies in a broiler pan and broil about 3 inches from heat, turning as needed to char and blister on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Let cool. Pull off and discard stems and seeds. Cut chilies into thin strips.
  2. Meanwhile, in a 6- to 8-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, stir butter and onion often until onion is limp, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Mix chilies with onions and lay cheese slices on the vegetables. Cover and cook over low heat until cheese melts, about 2 minutes.
  4. Scoop hot cheese mixture into tortillas. Fold to enclose filling, and eat.

Yield:  Makes 4 appetizer servings

Burnt Carrots with Goat Cheese, Parsley, Arugula, and Crispy Garlic Chips (from Epicurious | July 2009 by Francis Mallmann Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way)

Carrots are like a quiet but secretly remarkable child who doesn’t attract much attention. Most often they’re simply what you throw into a soup or a braised dish to “add a little sweetness.” But it’s because of that inner sweetness that they’re so suited to charring on a chapa. The sugar caramelizes and produces a delicious crust. They are tossed with nutty garlic chips, peppery arugula, and creamy goat cheese.

Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 medium carrots (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
2 bunches arugula, trimmed, washed, and dried
6 ounces Bûcheron or similar goat cheese, sliced 1/2 inch thick

4 cloves garlic (sautéed till golden)

Preparation:

To make the vinaigrette, pour the vinegar into a small bowl and whisk in 5 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cut the carrots crosswise in half, then cut the halves into thick rough sticks. Toss in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a chapa or large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the carrots in a single layer and cook, without turning, until they are charred on the bottom and almost burned, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn with a spatula and cook on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes more, adjusting the heat as necessary, until they are crunchy on the outside and tender within. Transfer to a tray. Wipe out the skillet, if using, and set aside.

Combine the parsley and arugula on a large serving platter and toss lightly with half the vinaigrette. Place the carrots on top.

Reheat the chapa or skillet to very high heat and coat with the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Immediately add the slices of goat cheese: be careful—the oil may spatter. As soon as you see the cheese blacken on the bottom, remove the slices with a thin spatula and invert onto the carrots. Toss the garlic over the salad and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette.

August 24, 2009

24 Aug

Dear Fall CSA Members,

The school buses have emerged and it is a sign that fall has began. Welcome to the first week of the fall CSA season at Fairview Gardens. My name is Jen Corey and I am the Marketing Manager. I will be sending you weekly email newsletters with farm updates, a sneak peek of produce, upcoming community events, and corresponding recipes and ideas of how to use your produce for the week. This week I asked our new Executive Director to give you a note of introduction and a recipe to go with your share. I hope you enjoy your produce this week and want to make myself available to you for any questions or concerns. My email is jen@fairviewgardens.org and my phone number at the office is 805-967-7369.

Sincerely,

Jen Corey

Marketing Manager

p.s. If you get multiple emails let me know. I am still working on my distribution list. Thanks.

Upcoming Events:

What: Hope Dance Film is showing Mad City Chickens

When: Tuesday, August 25, 7pm
Where: Santa Barbara Public Library / Faulkner Gallery

Suggested donation: $7

Mad City Chickens is a sometimes wacky, sometimes serious look at the people who keep urban chickens in their backyards. From chicken experts and authors to a rescued landfill hen or an inexperienced family that decides to take the poultry plunge—and even a mad scientist and giant hen taking to the streets—it’s a humorous and heartfelt trip through the world of backyard chickendom.

A Note from the Executive Director:

My name is Jenny Millan, and I am the new Executive Director at the Farm. My background is in non profit management, and also in cooking, catering and once owning a wholesale natural foods company. In the early 1980’s, I was a neighbor to the Farm, on the original side of Stow Canyon Road. I would often come to the Farm, walking I through the back entrance, to buy produce and also to participate in the Harvest Fest. I would trade large 5-gallon containers of pumpkin pudding and cranberry sauce, in exchange for great produce. So, my new position here feels like a homecoming.

Jen Corey has asked me to share a late summertime recipe with you. As CSA members, we value your participation, and hope you’ll tell friends and family. Stop into my office yurt to say hello, ask a question, or give us ideas. I am always happy to hear from our members.

Sneak Peek:

Small Share

Strawberries

Corn

Tomatoes
Peppers

Summer squash

Garlic

Carrots           

Lettuce           

Large Share

Strawberries

Corn

Tomatoes

Peppers

Summer squash

Carrots           

Lettuce           

Cherry tomatoes

Lima beans (shell and boil for 20 minutes, serve as a side dish or make a corn, tomato, pepper succotash)

Recipes:

Late Summer Salad (created by Jenny Millan)

Enjoy this simple recipe, you can add or change as you and your family would like.

Serves 4 as a side salad or 6 as appetizer

Ingredients:

Handful of basil

2 tomatoes

2 corn

4 small lemon cucumbers or 2 medium green cucumbers

2 Summer squash

1 large Pepper, any kind (bell, anahiem, etc)

1 head lettuce

Olive oil

Balsamic or rice wine vinegar

Sea salt and pepper

Crusty bread (the stand has great fresh or day old bread from D’Angelos that would be great for this recipe)

Preparation:

Chop a handful of basil, and set aside. Dice tomatoes. Scrape corn off 2 ears (uncooked). Dice cucumbers. Dice summer squash. Toast croutons in oven tossed with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.

(Option to serve as an appetizer, make crostini toasts rather than croutons: Grill/broil rounds of bread, drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Watch, as they brown quickly and can burn.)

Sauté in a skillet with olive oil corn, summer squash, and peppers until lightly browned. Set aside to cool. Gently mix all ingredients, toss in basil, salt and pepper.

Create a lettuce bowl ad fill it with your sautéed veggies. (Or when serving as an appetizer, top your crostini toasts and serve.) Enjoy!

Tomato Coulis (from Judy Rodgers, The Zuni Café Cookbook: A compendium of recipes and cooking lessons from San Francisco’s beloved restaurant)

A light, fluid, barely cooked tomato sauce, good with fried food, a Frittata, or grilled or broiled swordfish, sea bass, or sardines…. If you peel the tomatoes first, the sauce will be more delicate, and sweeter; if you leave the skins on, it will be more robust.

For about 1 cup:

About 12 ounces ripe tomatoes

Salt

A sprig of fresh thyme or basil (optional)

1 or 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed (optional)

A pinch or two of dried chili flakes (optional)

About 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Sugar, if needed

If you choose to peel the tomatoes, plunge them into a pot of rapidly boiling water for a few seconds, then remove and cool them in ice water, or blister each one in direct flame, just long enough to split and shrink the skin all over. In either case, the skins should then slide off easily.

Core the tomatoes, then trip any hard shoulders or carve out woody cracks. Cut into a few thick slices or chunks, salt very lightly, and toss with the optional thyme or basil, garlic, or chili flakes. Place in a strainer set over a bowl to purge for about 20 minutes. (draining a little water from the raw tomatoes, reduces the time needed to concentrate the flavor over heat. The result is brighter tomato flavor).

Warm the olive oil in a small skillet over low heat. Add the tomato, and any aromatics, and crush with the back of a fork. Raise the heat slightly and cook until the tomatoes have “melted” and are just taking on the characteristic orange cast that comes from cooking, about 1 minute. Swirl and stir the pan to encourage maximum evaporation. Mass the tomatoes on one side of the pan and tilt it. They should barely ooze. Scrape into a strainer or food mill and press through. Cool slightly and taste. The coulis will likely not need salt, but may appreciate a pinch of sugar.

Serve at any temperature. If serving warm or hot, reheat just before serving.

Strawberry Sunset (From the Earth to the Table; John Ash’s Wine Country Cuisine)

When strawberries are at their peak in the summer, this is a tasty drink with which to watch the sun go down. The recipe will serve eight if you fill the glasses only halfway and top off with a chilled crisp California sparkling wine (in which case omit the yogurt). Serves 4.

2 cups sliced ripe strawberries

2 cups fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons honey (or to taste)

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup yogurt

¾ cup crushed ice

Garnish: Fresh mint sprigs

In a blender, puree the strawberries, orange juice, honey, vinegar. Add the yogurt and crushed ice and blend briefly to combine. Pour into tall glasses and garnish with mint sprigs.

August 17, 2009

17 Aug

Dear Summer CSA members,

This is your LAST week of the summer season. I hope you have enjoyed the bounty of the last season’s harvest. For those of you who are joining us for the fall season, look forward to a continuation of many “summer crops.” November will mark the beginning of my second year working at Fairview Gardens. I have been excited by how my life has shifted to eat seasonally and will feel a sense of completion to finish a full year of being on the farm. This year I have also read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. I recommend this book to all of our CSA members and imagine many of you have already ready it. Kingsolver is not only a excellent writer, she also has a comfortable way of using personal storytelling to influence and challenge the way people think about life, agriculture, and food. I was inspired and wanted to give you an excerpt from her book and a few recipes she shared.

From her chapter called, Eating Neighborly: “Buying your good from local businesses rather than national chains generates about three times as much money for your local economy. Studies from all over the country agree on that, even while consumers keep buying at chain stores, and fretting that the downtown blocks of cute mom-and-pop venues are turning into a ghost town. Today’s bargain always seems to matter more…. Tod Murphy’s background was farming. The greatest economic challenge he and his farming neighbors faced was finding a market for their good products…. He found investors and opened the Farmers Diner, whose slogan is ‘Think Locally, Act Neighborly.’ For a dreamer, he’s a practical guy.  ‘Thinking globally is an abstraction. What the world needs now isn’t love sweet love—that’s a slogan.’ What the world needs now, he maintains, is more compassionate local actions: ‘Shopping at the hardware store owned by a family living in town. Buying locally raised tomatoes in the summer, and locally baked bread. Cooking meals at home. Those are all acts of love for a place.’”

Seeking to act lovingly,

Jen Corey

Sneak Peek:

Small Share

Strawberries

Corn

Tomatoes

Lima Beans (shell and boil for 2min)

Peppers

Potatoes

Zucchini

Large Share

Strawberries

Corn

Tomatoes

Lima Beans (shell and boil for 2min)

Peppers

Potatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Garlic (try roasting at 350… cut the top off, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, check for the top to be golden and the cloves to be tender. Spread on bread)

Recipes:

Family Secret Tomato Sauce (From Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)

The point of this recipe is to make a large amount at one time, when tomatoes are in season.  If you’re canning it, stick closely to the recipe; adding additional fresh vegetables will change the pH so it’s unsafe for water-bath canning.  If you’re freezing it, then it’s fine to throw in peppers, mushrooms, fresh garlic,   whatever you want. This recipe makes 6-7 quarts – you can use a combination of pint and quart canning jars or freezer boxes.

10 quarts tomato puree (about 30 lbs. tomatoes)

4 large onions, chopped

1 cup dried basil 

1⁄2 cup honey

4 tbs. dried oregano

3 tbs. salt

2 tbsp ground lemon peel 

2 tbsp. thyme

2 tbs. garlic powder (or more, to taste)

2tbs. dried parsley

2 tsp. pepper

2 tsp cinnamon

1⁄2 tsp nutmeg

Soften onions in a heavy 3-gallon kettle – add a small amount of water if necessary but no oil if you are canning (very important!). Add pureed tomatoes and all seasonings, bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat for two to three hours until sauce has thickened to your liking.  Stir frequently, especially toward the end, to avoid burning. Meanwhile, heat water in canner bath, sterilize jars in boiling water or dishwasher, and pour boiling water over jar lids. 

Bottled lemon juice or citric acid – NOT optional! Add 2 tbsp of lemon juice OR 1⁄2 tsp. citric acid to each quart jar, (half that much to pint jars).  This is ensures that the sauce will be safely acidic.  When the sauce is ready, ladle it into the jars leaving 1⁄2 inch headspace. Put jars into canner and boil for 35 minutes. Remove, cool, check all seals, label and store for winter.

Four Seasons of Potato Salad: Summer (from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)

2 lbs red or golden new potatoes, cut in 1 inch chunks

3 tbsp olive oil

coarse salt

2 yellow or red bell peppers, cut in chunks

2 cups green beans (stringed and broken in 1-inch lengths)

1-2 ears sweet corn on cob

Toss potatoes with salt and oil and spread on baking sheet.  Roast in 450° oven until tender (20-30 minutes).  Place ears of corn, lightly oiled, with the potatoes.  Add peppers and green beans to roast for last 10 minutes.  When done, loosen the vegetables with a spatula, cut corn kernels off cob, and combine in a large, shallow bowl.  

2 cups tomatoes cut in wedges

1⁄2 cup fresh basil

1⁄4 cup olive oil whipped together with 1 tbsp balsamic or other mellow vinegar

Toss tomatoes, basil and dressing with roasted vegetables, salt to taste.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)

(Makes about two dozen) 

1 egg, beaten

1⁄2 cup butter, softened

1⁄2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Combine in large bowl.

1 cup white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1⁄2 tsp baking soda

1⁄4 tsp salt

1⁄4 tsp cinnamon

1⁄4 tsp nutmeg

Combine in a separate, small bowl and blend into liquid mixture

1 cup finely shredded zucchini

12 oz chocolate chips

Stir these into other ingredients, mix well.  Drop by spoonful onto greased baking sheet, and flatten with the back of a spoon.  Bake at 350°, 10 to 15 minutes.

Succotash of Fresh Corn, Lima Beans, Tomatoes and Onions (from Bon Appétit, October 2008) by Amelia Saltsman

In this side dish, the veggies are cooked until just tender to retain their fresh-from-the-market flavor. For a delicious finishing touch, a handful of sliced basil is stirred in right before serving.

Yield: Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
Coarse kosher salt
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 cups chopped red tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 1/4 cups corn kernels cut from 4 ears of corn (preferably 2 ears of white corn and 2 ears of yellow corn)
2 cups fresh lima beans (from about 2 pounds pods) or 10 to 11 ounces frozen lima beans or baby butter beans, thawed
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Preparation:

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sprinkle with coarse salt. Sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, corn, and lima beans. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until corn and lima beans are tender and tomatoes are soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Re-warm before continuing.) Stir in basil and serve.

August 10, 2009

10 Aug

Dear Summer CSA Members,

Please remember that pick up time is between 2pm and 6:30pm.

There are only two weeks left for this season. I want to remind you to sign up soon. We have about 175 full year members and 35 new fall sign ups, so there are about 90 spots left. That may seems like a lot but there are new members signing up every day.  The cost is $260 for a small fall share and $468 for a large. This price does not include the $40 volunteer fee that you should have paid for your summer share or another season this year.  If you have not paid a $40 volunteer fee or have questions about it, please let me know. You may pay by check or credit card, over the phone or in person at the stand. Thank you so much for your support of Fairview Gardens and your enthusiasm about our produce.

I have noticed that many of you have wondered about the mysterious “Shelling Bean” that you have been receive in your share. I thought I would do a bit of internet research to tell you about the origin of the flageolet bean and also give you recipes about how to cook and use them.  Fairview Gardens was my first introduction to the flageolet beans and I have come to love and savor them, as I know you will as well. We call them a “Shelling Bean” because they are grown similar to a green bean in a pod and then are put through our shelling machine to take off the tough exterior. They are ready to cook since our shelling machine has done the difficult work for you (unlike the fava bean in which two shells must be removed). So far I have eaten them as a side dish with a little olive oil salt pepper and herbs, on a salad, as a part of a stir-fry, and in a burrito. Traditionally these beans are served as a side with lamb, but I will include a few other recipes and hope you will enjoy experimenting.

Here are a few excerpts about the history of the Flageolet Bean from http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au:

This is a type of bean of the species Phaseolus vulgaris which was originally developed in France in the 1800s… It was first obtained by a French grower called Gabriel Chevrier, in… a suburb of Paris, between 1872 and 1878… This variety was to become very famous in the top restaurants of Paris and later (a few years later) in all French households as in those days the French had a palate unspoiled by artificial food and from the uneducated Parisian to the most pompous upper class gourmet they were all able to recognize something good when they tried it for the first time and they usually were not content with trying it only once… if it felt good or tasted good it became part of life. Today however the Flageolet bean “CHEVRIER VERT”, is an endangered heirloom, including in its birth place: France, where, along with many other thousands of traditional varieties of vegetables, its production is officially “en regression.”

I hope you enjoy your French endangered heirloom flageolet beans this week.

Au revoir,

Jen 

Sneak Peek:

 Small Share:

Strawberries

Corn

Tomatoes

Flageolet Beans

Peppers

Bunched Onions

Collards

 Large Share:

Flageolet Beans

Strawberries

Garlic

Corn

Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Peppers

Collards

Bunch Onions

Recipes:

How to cook flageolets (from Erik Steinberg, our personal chef farm apprentice and farmer’s marketer): Boil beans for approximately 20 minutes with onion, garlic, and fresh herbs. Do not salt the water as it will make the skin of the bean tough. Then enjoy or add to a dish…

Flageolet Beans with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes (from http://www.finecooking.com)

by Erica De Mane

Ingredients:

For the tomatoes:

2 lb. ripe plum tomatoes

1 tsp. kosher salt

For the beans:

1 lb. dried flageolet beans, soaked at least 6 hours (since your beans are fresh, you do not need to soak)

1 carrot, peeled and cut in half

1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut in half

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

6 sprigs fresh thyme

Kosher salt

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 ribs celery, thinly sliced

Roast the tomatoes — Heat the oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Core the tomatoes and cut them in half lengthwise. Put them on the baking sheet, cut side up, and sprinkle with the salt. Bake the tomatoes until they look dry but are still slightly plump and not leathery, 4 to 6 hours, depending on their size. Cut any large pieces in half.

Cook the beans — Drain the soaking beans and put them in a large pot along with the carrot, onion, and bay leaves. Tie the parsley and thyme together and add them to the pot. Add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until tender, about 2 hours. Check that the beans stay covered with liquid, adding more if needed. When the beans are tender, add the salt. (The beans can be cooked up to 2 days ahead. Remove the carrot, onion, herbs, and bay leaves and refrigerate the beans in their liquid.)

In a Dutch oven or high-sided skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add the celery and cook until softened slightly, about 2 minutes. Drain the beans, reserving their cooking liquid. Add the beans and 2 cups of the cooking liquid to the celery and garlic. Add the slow-roasted tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. (At this point, the dish can be covered and held up to an hour at room temperature.)

Harvest Wild Rice (from http://www.epicurious.com/)

Gourmet, November 1994

Ingredients:

3 cups chicken broth

3 cups water

1/2 pound dried flageolets (since you beans are not dried, first simmer rice in broth and then add beans 20 minutes into cooking the rice)

3/4 cup wild rice (about 4 ounces)

2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin

1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned and chopped coarse

1/4 cup dried cranberries

Preparation:

In a large saucepan simmer broth, water, and beans, covered, 45 minutes. Stir in wild rice and simmer, covered, 45 minutes, or until beans and rice are tender. Drain rice mixture and return to pan.

Cut leeks crosswise into 1/2-inch slices and in a bowl soak in water, agitating occasionally to dislodge any sand, 5 minutes. Lift leeks out of water and drain in a colander. In a non-stick skillet sauté leeks in butter over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms with salt to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir leek mixture into rice mixture. Rice mixture may be made up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat mixture, adding water to prevent it from sticking to skillet, before proceeding.

Stir hazelnuts and cranberries into rice mixture and serve warm.

Rack of Lamb with Flageolet Gratin (from http://www.saveur.com/)

The small, pale green kidney-shaped beans called flageolets are a classic accompaniment for lamb in traditional French cuisine.

For the lamb:

2 long branches rosemary

8 sprigs thyme and a handful of thyme branches

4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. cracked black pepper

2 racks of lamb (12 chops in all), fat trimmed from bones

Salt

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut into wedges

1 head garlic, halved

For the flageolet gratin:

2 small yellow onions, peeled

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and diced

2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1 cup flageolets

1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

1 bay leaf

1 chille de árbol or other dried chile

Salt

3 tbsp. butter

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

2 tbsp. brown butter

1/2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley

Tapenade

1. For the lamb: Mix together the leaves from 2 sprigs of the rosemary, 8 sprigs of the thyme, garlic cloves, oil, and pepper in a small baking dish, then rub the mixture all over the lamb racks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

2. For the flageolet gratin: Preheat oven to 400°. Dice half of 1 onion and sauté in oil with fennel and garlic in an ovenproof pot over medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in flageolets, cook for 2–3 minutes, then add thyme, bay leaf, chile, and 3 cups water. Bake, covered, until tender, about 1 hour. Season to taste with salt halfway through cooking (add more water if beans dry out). Set aside to cool (remove and discard bay leaf and chile). Leave oven on.

3. Thinly slice remaining 1 1/2 onions and sauté in butter in a medium pan over medium heat until golden, about 15 minutes. Spread onions in the bottom of a 6” X 6” baking dish, then spoon in flageolets with some of their cooking juices. Toss bread crumbs with brown butter and parsley, sprinkle over beans, and return to oven for 20 minutes.

4. Season lamb with salt, then sear on all sides in a cast-iron pan over high heat, with rosemary branches, broken into a few pieces, and thyme branches. Scatter onions and garlic in a roasting pan, put lamb on top, and roast in oven for 20–25 minutes. Set lamb aside to rest for 5 minutes. Remove flageolets from oven when bubbling and golden, and divide between 4 plates. Slice each rack into 6 chops, place 3 chops on top of each serving of flageolets, and spoon some tapenade over the meat.

August 3, 2009

3 Aug

Dear Farm Friends,

First I need to address a few items of business. We are approaching the end of the summer CSA season… three weeks left… but don’t worry, many of your favorite summer items will continue into the fall season.  For those of you on payment plans, you will be receiving statements this week and I will be seeking to collect the remainder of the payments for the summer season over the next few weeks. Since Matthew, our previous Administrative Director used to be in charge of payments, please contact me by email or phone if you have questions about your bill.

Also, if you are planning on signing up for the fall season, you should do so now. The online payment system is not working at this time (sorry), but we can either run your credit card at the Farm Stand or take personal checks. We are doing a significant amount of advertising over the next few weeks (look for our ad in the Santa Barbara Independent and hear our sponsorship on our local NPR station) to increase our CSA membership to 300. Be sure to make a payment to hold your spot. There is no need to fill out a registration form again, just be sure to note your name, size of share, and pick up day. I would hate to fill up with new people and not have our current members be able to continue to the next season. The fall CSA season is from August 25th through November 19th. It costs $260 for the small share and $468 for the large share. Please sign up and as always, contact me with any questions.

One of my favorite weekend activities with my friend Erick is making dinner for our families. Erick is a wonderful friend and cook with a good eye for pairing dishes and precise dicing. We grew up together here in Santa Barbara with both our mom’s in the kitchen making wonderful home cooked meals for us. We have now moved from our previous sous-chef status to head chef. This weekend we made steak with a peppercorn cream sauce, a salad of Fairview produce, D’Angelos walnut rye from the Farm Stand, and curried Fairview corn off the cob. The corn recipe was Erick’s improvisation from a dish he had at Houston’s (http://www.hillstone.com/#/restaurants/houstons/). See below for this recipe and a few more from our adventures in cooking. He likes to say that our produce is so fresh that it is FAIRVIEW FRESH!

– Jen Corey

Sneak Peek:

Small Share:

Strawberries

Lettuce           

Green Beans

Corn

Tomatoes

Shelling Beans

Peppers

Large Share

Shelling beans

Strawberries

Cucumbers

Lettuce

Garlic

Corn

Tomatoes

Green Beans

Peppers

Recipes (from the culinary adventures of Jen and Erick):

Curried Corn with White Beans (from the kitchen of Erick Ribbens)

Ingredients:

  • four ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 4 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder, more or less as desired
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 can of white beans, washed and drained
  • 1 tbsp minced parsley
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, more or less as desired
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat the butter or olive oil over med-high heat. Add the curry powder; sauté the shallot and corn until corn is fully cooked, 6-8 minutes. Add the beans, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper and continue to cook in the pan until beans are heated, just a couple minutes. Serve warm.

Baked Penne with Corn, Zucchini and Basil (from http://www.williams-sonoma.com)

Enriched with two kinds of cheeses, this baked pasta showcases favorite summer vegetables at their seasonal best, including sweet corn, zucchini and fresh tomatoes.

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. penne
  • 6 Tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed
  • Kernels cut from 2 ears of corn
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 zucchini, about 2 lb. total, cut into half-moons
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 Tbs. sliced garlic
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 6 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400ºF.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water, add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold running water. Set aside.

In a 12-inch nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the corn, season with salt and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is lightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.

Return the pan to medium-high heat and warm the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil. Working in batches, add the zucchini, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is tender and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add to the bowl with the corn. Repeat with the remaining zucchini, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

Set the pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, 1 tsp. salt and black pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes soften and begin to form a sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until the wine has reduced and the sauce is fairly thick, about 3 minutes more.

Add the pasta, tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella and half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano to the bowl with the vegetables and stir to combine. Transfer to the fry pan and sprinkle the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until golden brown on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 8. Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Creamy Cucumber Salad (from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics)

Serves:

8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 hothouse cucumbers, thinly sliced (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 2 small red onions, thinly sliced in half rounds
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Erick and I think this one is good with bell pepper or chunks of tomato.

Directions:

Mix the cucumbers, red onions, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt in a bowl. Pour them into a colander and suspend it over a bowl. Wrap the bowl and colander with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to drain for at least 4 hours or overnight. Discard the liquid that collects in the bowl.

Pour the yogurt into a sieve lined with a paper towel and suspend it over another bowl. Wrap the bowl and sieve in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Discard the liquid that collects in the second bowl.

When the cucumbers are ready, roll them up in paper towels or a kitchen towel and press the towel lightly to remove most of the liquid. Place the cucumbers and yogurt in a large bowl with the sour cream, vinegar, dill, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper. Toss well and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and serve chilled.