sweet potatoes - parsnips - celeriac - shallot - carrots - kale - parsley -
radishes - garlic - fennel - eggs
OATMEAL BREAD & SOUP
Still sitting in a dry office on a very wet afternoon. I have officially become a very broken record with Milli Vanilli’s “blame it on the rain” stepping in as my personal theme song. Rain or no rain, there is still a lot to do between here and Cornish. Last week amidst an absolute downpour, field crew geared up for the foulest weather, planted garlic, and dug the celeriac and parsnip crop. On dry days, they’ve been weeding the strawberry crop- an important practice for any perennial crop before they get a blanket of mulch in a couple of weeks. We are coming along on our “things to do before it gets too cold to do them” list… but next Wednesday we lose almost all of our crew. Jasper, Strong, Garnet, and Roy head home to Jamaica next week. To say we are sad about it is a complete understatement. They are absolute assets to this farm and our families. But let’s not focus too much on that at the moment. Instead, let’s put all of our emotions into strawberry weeding, packing out vegetables, egg cleaning and carrot harvesting- After 11 years of living up North, I think it’s safe to say, that’s the New England way.
TIPS - TRICKS - RECIPES
BOTH OF THE FOLLOWING RECIPES PROVIDED BY MY KITCHEN GURU/BESTIE WHO ASSURES ME THE FOLLOWING RECIPES ARE TDF (to die for):
Celery Root and Wild Rice Chowder
From Local Flavors Deborah Madison
1/2 cup wild rice 1 celery root (about 1 pound)
2 large leeks, white parts only 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 celery rib, diced 1 cup thinly sliced russet potato
1/4 cup chopped parsley 1 bay leaf
1 large thyme sprig sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups veggie stock or chicken stock
2 cups half-and-half or milk truffle oil, optional
1. Cover the wild rice with 5 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until tender.
2. Thickly cut away the celery root skins, then quarter and chop the root into bite-sized pieces. You should have about 3 cups. Chop and wash the leeks.
3. Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the vegetables, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, then add the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the half-and-half and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Taste for salt and season with pepper. To give the soup a creamy background, puree a cup of the vegetables and return them to the pot. If the soup is too thick, thin it with some of the rice water or additional stock.
4. Divide the soup among 4 to 6 bowls and then add a mound of the wild rice to each. Garnish each bowl with parsley and add a drop of truffle oil, if using, and serve.
4 fennel bulbs, trimmed (about 1 1/2 pounds) 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil 2 pinches of sea salt
2 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
If your fennel isn’t trimmed, cut off the stalks and fronds right where they grow out of the bulb. (Tip: save some of the lacy fronds for garnish or toss in a salad.) Remove any bruised or extremely tough outer leaves and trim the bottom. Cut the fennel into vertical quarters, making sure there is a bit of the core in each piece to keep them intact.
Melt the butter and olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet that has a well-fitting lid. Add the fennel, arranging them so that they are all in a single layer and one of their cut sides is down. Cook gently over medium heat until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Do not stir the fennel: you want to get a nice brown color going on the cut side. Gently turn the fennel using a pair of tongs. and brown the other side.
Sprinkle on some salt, and have a lid handy. Add about 1/4 cup of water and quickly cover the pan. Turn down the heat and braise the fennel until it is very soft and most of the water has evaporated (about 20 minutes.) Check on occasion and add a little more water if the fennel isn’t completely soft.
Remove the lid and pour in the cream. Simmer gently until the cream starts to thicken and glazes the fennel, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice, shaking the pan. Taste for salt or more lemon. Serve hot as a side dish or a first course.
serves: makes 25-30 ravioli (like 4 servings-ish) special equipment: a food processor
notes: This recipe uses a whole cup of pine nuts. I know they can be expensive, so feel free to swap in the nuts/seeds of your choosing (walnuts would be delicious). Most grocery stores carry decent quality fresh lasagna sheets in the refrigerated section if you don’t have a pasta roller at home (or don’t feel like making an extra hour of work for yourself).
2 tbsp ground chia seeds 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp water, divided
1 cup white spelt flour 3/4 cup whole spelt flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet potato, roasted or steamed until very soft
1/2 cup pine nuts 1 clove garlic, smashed
juice of 1 lemon salt and pepper
1/2 bunch of kale (about 4 stalks), leaves removed 2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 cup pine nuts 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper
Make the dough: combine the ground chia seeds with 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp water. Give it a stir and set aside until it forms a thick gel. Place the flours, sea salt, remaining tbsp of water, olive oil and chia gel into the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low speed until lightly combined (about 30 seconds). Switch to the dough hook on your mixer and knead on medium speed for 2 minutes (or knead by hand for about 5-7 minutes). Dough should be smooth and feel a bit sticky, but doesn’t leave residue on your fingers when you pinch it. Cover and set aside.
Make the filling: scoop sweet potato flesh into the bowl of a food processor. Add the pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse 10 times to break up the nuts. Scrape down the sides and turn it onto low for about 30 seconds until smooth and homogenous. Cover and set aside.
Make the pesto: place the kale leaves, pine nuts, garlic and 2 tbsp of the olive oil into the food processor. Pulse 10-15 times to break up the nuts and chop the greens a bit. Scrape down the sides. Put the food processor on high and drizzle the remaining oil into the feed tube until a smooth paste is achieved. Season to taste and set aside.
Sheet the pasta: cut the dough into 4 pieces. Take one of them and flatten it out, brushing some flour on both sides as you press into it. Feed it through the pasta roller at the “1” setting. Fold the sheet of dough in half and feed through again. Repeat this step 2 more times or until the sheet of dough is uniform width. Adjust the roller to setting 2. Feed lightly floured dough into the roller. Feed through at this setting 2-3 times. Flour the dough lightly again. Adjust the rollers to the “3” setting and feed the sheet of dough through twice. It should be fairly translucent, but not so thin that it would break if stretched too much. The sheets should be about 2 feet long. Repeat with remaining dough. Allow dough to dry for 15 minutes or so before filling and cooking.
Make ravioli: cut pasta sheets into 2 inch squares. Place a little bowl of water near your working area. Place a scant tablespoon of sweet potato in the middle of the square. Dampen two sides of the pasta square with your finger and fold the opposite side of the square over, pushing down on the seams to form a seal. Push down on edges with a fork to strengthen the seal. Repeat until dough/filling is used up. Lightly dust the shaped ravioli with flour, place in a dish and cover loosely with a tea towel until ready to cook.
Cook/plate ravioli: boil a large pot of water with a solid glug of olive oil in it. Place about 10 raviolis in the water at a time. When they all start bobbing at the surface (about 2-3 minutes), remove from the water with a slotted spoon. To serve: place a good schmear of kale pesto on your serving plate, place raviolis on top, put a few dabs more of pesto on top and a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts.