Archive | July, 2012

Roasted Sweet Pepper Spread

31 Jul

This recipe turns this weeks abundance of peppers into a household favorite that can be used to compliment sandwiches or as a snack dip!



1 pound sweet peppers

4 garlic cloves, roasted or sautéed

2 teaspoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1/2 pound feta cheese, optional (can be replaced with additional 1/8 cup olive oil)

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, if desired

1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Roast the peppers by placing them on an open gas flame, turning them frequently with tongs until all sides are charred black, 7 to 10 minutes. Place aside to cool for about 15 minutes. Peel charred material, stems, and seeds from peppers and coarsely chop.
  2. Add garlic and peppers to a food processor and process until smooth. Add feta if desired.
  3. While processor is running, add olive oil, lemon juice, basil, pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Process until smooth.
  4. Use immediately or cool in refrigerator for later use.

FOOD FACT: It’s best to wrap peppers in paper bags and store in the refrigerator to keep their freshness.


Farm Announcements

30 Jul
Tomatoes are coming in! Our first crop of tomatoes is beginning to produce. Coming mid-August we will have 22 varieties of tomatoes ranging in color, shape and taste.  This past week we did our second planting ensuring a lasting supply of tomatoes into the summer! We have another large planting this week of butternut squash which supply for a large part of this coming winter.
We announce with deep regret that our farm manager, Shawn McMahon is leaving Fairview Gardens to pursue a career as a produce buyer with Farmer Direct Produce.  Shawn was a valued member of the Fairview team and will be missed. In this period of transition we are looking forward the next great leaps into our upcoming seasons at Fairview Gardens and wish Shawn the best of luck on his endeavors!

Chard: The Leafiest Green

26 Jul

This is our last week of our Rainbow Chard for the summer! To properly bid it farewell we have a delicious, quick prep recipe that can be preserved for those days that you’re missing your dear old friend.




1 pound dry red lentils

1 bunch chard, chopped into 1/2 inch horizontal strips (with veins)

4 small tomatoes, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

1 tablespoon masala dry spice mix (substitute with turmeric and cumin or desired Indian spices)

1 quart vegetable broth

1 quart water

olive oil

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

cilantro to garnish


  1. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the bottom of a large pot.  Once oil is heated add diced onions and chard.  Sauté with a bit of salt and black pepper for 3 minutes.
  2. Add lentils to the pot with a dash more olive oil. Stir lentils until most are lightly browned.
  3. Add broth, water and tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. Once lentils are tender add masala spice, salt and pepper to taste. Stir thoroughly and serve!
  6. This soup can be frozen and reheated for up to a month and still taste as great as the day you cooked it!

FOOD FACT: Chard is considered a super food, meaning it’s chalked full of vitamins, including C, E, and K, and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, iron, and manganese. A stalk of chard a day’ll keep the doctor away!

We Love Fennel

19 Jul


Fennel can be the main attraction in any course of a meal. It can be sweet, savory, hearty or light. In this dish it acts as a quick and simple compliment to an entree of your choosing.



2 hearts of fennel

1 sprig of rosemary, minced

2 shallots, sliced into thin discs

1 clove of garlic, minced

goats cheese, as desired

1/2 cup dry white wine

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Bring a medium pot of water to boil with a pinch of salt.
  3. Cut the white ‘heart’ of the fennel from the greens.  Cut the butt of the heart off and discard.  Slice the rest of the fennel into discs, cutting horizontally. Add the discs into the boiling water until tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Lightly coat the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil or butter. Sprinkle rosemary, garlic, and shallots on the dish.
  5. Drain the fennel and arrange on the baking dish evenly.
  6. Pour the white wine over the fennel and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake the fennel uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove the dish and sprinkle fennel with crumbled goat cheese. Turn  the oven to broil. Place the dish back in the oven and broil until the goat cheese is melted.
  8. The greens of the fennel can be used to garnish the salad and/or saved for anther recipe. * The fennel can be served as is or tossed with lettuce and a light vinaigrette dressing.

FOOD FACT: The odor of fennel is very displeasing to many insects, putting it at little risk of being munched on.  This means that the heavy use of chemical insecticide on fennel on conventional farms is not only harmful to human and environmental health, it is unnecessary.

Playing with Purslane

17 Jul


We’re getting experimental this week with a less know ingredient called Purslane. Purslane is a succulent, weedy looking plant with a mild sweet and sour flavor.  Its easily tossed into a number of vegetable recipes and salads.  Follow this recipe for a healthy and satisfying use of this ingredient.



1 bunch of purslane, chopped with stems into 1/4″ pieces

1 cup summer squash or zucchini, shaved into slices (using a potato peeler)

cooked pasta of your choosing

1/2 cup of green onion, minced

desired amount of crumbled feta cheese

White wine vinegar to taste

olive oil

1 clove of garlic, diced and sautéed if desired

1 pinch of paprika

Kosher salt and crushed black pepper


  1. Saute the squash with olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper.
  2. In a sealable jar or tupperware add 4 parts olive oil, 3 parts vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and shake until well mixed.
  3. Add purslane, squash, onion, feta, dressing, and any additional salt, pepper or other seasonings to taste. Toss together and enjoy!

FOOD FACT: Purslane was used historically by Europeans to treat arthritis and inflammation, improving circulatory and respiratory function.

Panko Fried Green Tomatoes

5 Jul

We are celebrating post 4th with a southern American favorite with a California touch! This is one of many dishes you can create with the ripe green tomatoes in today’s CSA share.



4 green tomatoes, sliced into 1/4″ discs

1.5 cups panko bread crumbs

3/4 cups all purpose flour

4 eggs

2 tablespoons of milk

pinch of cayenne pepper

pinch of paprika

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Oil for deep frying (suggested low ‘smoke point’ oils: safflower oil, peanut oil, canola oil, sunflower oil)

*Get creative with your favorite spices, add a pinch of each until you’ve created a recipe to your taste


  1. Add oil to a deep skillet, leaving head room at the top.  Begin heating over medium heat until temperature reaches ~350 degrees F. *If you do not have a thermometer to test the temperature, drop in a 1″cube of light bread. The temperature is right when the bread browns in 60 seconds.
  2. Dry tomatoes of any water and season on both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Place flour into a shallow dish.
  4. Mix eggs and milk into a shallow bowl.
  5. Mix panko, cayenne pepper, and paprika (or desired spices) into another shallow dish.
  6. Create an assembly line, first coating the tomatoes with flour, then the egg mixture, then the panko.
  7. Add a few pieces into the fryer at a time so they cook evenly.  Each piece should take 2-3 minutes.
  8. Place a paper towel or kitchen cloth on a plate. Place tomatoes on the plate to drain them of their excess oil.
  9. *For a healthier cooking alternative brush a little butter on the top of each tomato, bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Goat Cheese and Basil Dipping Sauce

No fried green tomato is complete without a hearty dipping sauce, this is one of our favorites. Get innovative with your own creamy cajun creation!

INGREDIENTS: goat cheese, sour cream, finely chopped basil, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, salt

MIX IT UP: Use the goat cheese and sour cream as a base. Mix in the other ingredients to suit your own taste.

FOOD FACT: Recipes for fried green tomatoes were shared in newspapers in the early 1900s.

Summer Recipes Are Rolling In!

3 Jul

Fairview Gardens is kicking off summer 2012 with some delicious recipe ideas for your fresh CSA ingredients. Let’s get things rolling with a little spice!



1.5 ounces achiote “brick” paste (aka annatto)

1/2 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons Tapatio or other hot sauce

1 teaspoon salt

10 ounces extra firm tofu cut into 1/3″ slabs and patted dry

1 cup of summer squash, cut into 1/3″ slabs

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

3 bell peppers of varying colors, cut into strips

corn tortillas

*Achiote can be found at most major grocery stores, also check local Mexican markets


  1. In a small bowl, break up the achiote with a fork and mash in the oil, a little at a time until it dissolves. Mix in the cumin, hot sauce and salt.
  2. Heat up a grill or grill pan to a medium flame. Brush the tofu with the achiote oil on one side and grill until well marked. Brush the other side, flip, and grill. Repeat with the zucchini. Allow both to cool and then cut into 1/3″ dice.
  3. Heat up a frying pan over a medium-high flame. Add 2 tablespoons of the achiote oil. Saute the onion, garlic and bell peppers until very soft.
  4. Add the tofu and summer squash to the pepper mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning. It may need more salt, or a little lime or lemon juice, or more chile heat.
  5. Wrap the tortillas in a damp, clean dish towel and microwave for about 3 minutes until soft and warm.
  6. To eat, lay down two tortillas. Top with a moderate scoop of the filling, a spoonfull of guacamole and your favorite salsa. Devour!

FOOD FACT: One cup of raw bell pepper supplies 195.8% of your daily value of vitamin C