Archive | March, 2010

Spring Pesto with Fava Leaves and Green Garlic

31 Mar

This recipe completely changed my relationship with fava leaves. Sure, I added them to quiches and sautes, but the leaves never inspired me as a culinary ingredient. So after reading about fava leaf pesto in the New York Times, I decided to see if this sauce could be as creamy, spicy, and wonderful as traditional pesto. Try this recipe for yourself and you’ll see why I’m a convert.

2-3 cups of fava leaves, washed
1/3 cup of pine nuts (you can also use California sunflower seeds for a local food alternative)
1 green garlic stem (washed and chopped), or 2  garlic cloves (chopped)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until creamy. Toss with pasta or spread on baked polenta. This is just another reason to love spring.

Carrot Ginger Dressing

29 Mar

I first tried this dressing at a Japanese restaurant in Miami when I was a kid, and have recently perfected the recipe. I love this recipe because it easily turns green leaves into a salad. I also mix it with cooked quinoa for a snack.

Carrot Ginger Dressing. Photo: MGomez

1/4 cup minced shallots
4 carrots
2 Tablespoons lemon
2 Tablespoons of rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon ginger*
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Blend all the ingredients in a blender or food processor.

*If you’re looking for local ginger, go to the Goleta farmer’s markets on Sundays. I always find it there.

Strawberry Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks

29 Mar

If you want to preserve strawberries but don’t have time to jam, here is a homemade dessert that will rock your socks off….

Strawberry Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks. MGomez.

You will need an ice cream maker for this recipe.

3 cups milk
4 eggs beaten
2 cups sugar
6 cups cream
2 Tablespoons vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 pint strawberries, blended
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1/2 cup chocolate chunks of your choice
This recipe makes 1 gallon.
Scald milk on stove in a pan with a heavy bottom. Mix the sugar with the eggs in a big mixing bowl. Slowly add the warm milk to the eggs and sugar. Cook over VERY low heat for 12 minutes, until the mixture thickens a bit.* Cool for several hours in the fridge, or overnight. Once cool, add ingredients to ice cream maker and churn for 30 minutes. Add the chocolate, strawberries, and strawberry jam, and freeze for safe-keeping. You can enjoy it immediately or many days later.
*If you cook the ice cream over high heat then the eggs will cook. If this happens, just strain out the eggs and nobody will notice!

Southern Stew

29 Mar

My sister, who lives in Florida, shared this down-home recipe with me. Turn to this recipe when you have collard greens and want some comfort food. I served it with cornbread and salad for a complete meal.

Black Eyed Peas for Stew

Black Eyed Peas for Stew.

  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb cooked ham, chopped (I left out the ham)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped (I used green garlic)
  • 1 bunch collard greens, finely chopped
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans black-eyed peas
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat; add onions, ham, carrot and garlic.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft; add collards, broth, water, bay leaf and red pepper flakes to saucepan and simmer until greens are tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. Rinse and drain black eyed peas; semi mash one can of peas in a bowl; add those peas and other can into soup and simmer 5 minutes; season to taste with salt and pepper; stir in vinegar.
  4. Don’t omit the vinegar by the way. It truly adds something to it and gives it a much more southern taste for lack of a better way of putting it.

Rainbow Chard Spanakopita

22 Mar

Rainbow Chard Spanakopita. Photo: M. Gomez

I wasn’t sure if chard would be a good substitute for spinach, but it worked perfectly.

3 bunches of rainbow chard, washed, de-stemmed, and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 green onions, washed and chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil or butter
4 large eggs
8 oz feta
1/4 cup of Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup butter
1 box phyllo dough, thawed (Phyllo comes in 1 lb boxes, and you’ll only need 1/2 the box)
Prepare filling. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt the stick of butter in the oven for 5 minutes in an ovenproof container. Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and add the onion and green garlic. Saute for about 7 minutes, until soft. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Saute 1/2 the chard in the same skillet until soft, and add to onion mixture. Repeat with the other 1/2 of the chard. Add the feta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper to the mixture. Add the eggs into the bowl, and break up the yolks before mixing the eggs into the mixture.
Prepare pan. Butter the inside of a 13 X 9 inch pan. Lay down a sheet of phyllo, and brush with melted butter. Repeat 7 times. Add the onion and chard mixture. and spread evenly. Lay down 8 more sheets of phyllo dough, brushing each sheet with butter.  Make sure to apply butter generously to every sheet! Bake for 45 minutes, until golden. Serve with plain yogurt.

Potluck for CSA Members, friends, and family

18 Mar

Fairview Gardens will be hosting a potluck this Saturday, March 20th, at 11:30 am – 2:00 pm. Please bring a dish to share, a picnic blanket, and someone who has never been to the farm.

Not sure what food to bring? You can bring whatever your family likes to eat for lunch. Please email me if you have questions at

I hope everyone can make it!

Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

13 Mar
1 head of red leaf lettuce or bunch of spinach, washed and torn into pieces
1/2 cup walnuts pieces
1/2 basket of strawberries, sliced

1/2 onion, or 3 green onion stems
2 Tablespoons sugar or honey
2 teaspoon mustard
3/4 c. apple cider vinegar
3/4 c.  oil
1 tablespoon poppy seed
1 tablespoon water or milk
salt and pepper to taste
Quarter onion and  blend it with the rest of the salad dressing ingredients. Blend well. (If you are omitting the onion you can make the dressing by shaking the ingredients in a jar). Toss dressing with salad.