Red Slaw (Cabbage, Beets, Scallions, and Pesto Mayo)

Our cabbage mostly succumbed to the caterpillars this year (along with the broccoli), but we had one gorgeous head of red cabbage left after the CSA boxes were filled. Modified from The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Vegetables by Christine Ingram.

Ingredients

1/2 a medium-sized head of cabbage, thinly sliced

2 beets, grated

3-4 scallions, finely sliced

1 T chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil, chervil)

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

For the pesto mayonnaise:

1 egg yolk

2 T lemon juice

3/4 c. sunflower oil

2 t. pesto

4 T yogurt or half an avocado

Salt and pepper to taste

To make the mayonnaise, place the egg yolk in a blender or food processor and process with the lemon juice. With the machine running, very slowly add the oil, pouring it more quickly as the mayo emulsifies. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine the mayo with the pesto and yogurt and beat to make the dressing.

Combine the veggies with the dressing, toss, voila, coleslaw. Should be nice and red looking.

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Buttermilk Date Biscuits

I recently made butter (with milk from our cow, Heart – the one with the horns in the photo) and wanted to make something tasty with the buttermilk.  Where better to look than Sally Fallon? (from Nourishing Traditions)

Ingredients

3 1/2 c. whole wheat flour (we used our Steadfast CSA rations)

1 c. buttermilk

4 T. melted butter

1 1/2 t. sea salt

2 t. baking soda

Handful ofchopped dates

optional 2 T sweetener (gave, honey, rapadura)

Mix flour with buttermilk to form a thick dough. Cover and leave in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours. Place in food processor and process for several minutes to knead; then blend in the remaining ingredients. Remove dough to a well-floured pastry cloth or board and sprinkle with flour to avoid sticking. Roll dough to a thickness of about 3/4″, then cut out biscuits using the top of a glass and place them on a buttered baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 or 40 minutes; serve with butter and honey. This yielded a baker’s dozen.

 

 

Chilled Avocado Cucumber Soup

Turns out, cucumbers grow quickly, and are refreshing when it’s hot out. So, here’s a recipe from Ginny Callan in Horn of the Moon Cookbook: Recipes from Vermont’s Renowned Vegetarian Restaurant.

Ingredients

4 c. or 2 medium cucumbers, chopped (reserve 1 cup) (peel only of the skins are waxed…which they shouldn’t be!)

2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled

3 large cloves garlic

1/2 c. packed fresh parsley sprigs

2 c. yogurt

1 c. water, or 1 c. ice cubes to chill sop quickly

1/2 t. salt

1/2 c. chopped scallions (2-3 scallions, depending)

Ginny says, ” A quick and easy soup to prepare. It’s gret for a hot summer’s day when you don’t want to turn the stove on.” She’s right.

Instructions: In a medium-sized bowl, combine 3 cups chopped cucumber, avocado, garlic, parsley, yogurt, water or ice, and salt. Puree in a blender puree in batches until smooth, transferring the blended soup into a glass pitcher or bowl. When all of the mixture has been blended, stir in the reserved cup of chopped cucumbers and the scallions. Chill for one hour, then serve.

Sauerruben (Turnip Kraut, or “Liberty Turnips”?)

Now that summer has officially arrived, I need to catch up on my spring recipes. As promised, here is our other favorite (and fermented) turnip recipe, which comes to you from Germany via Tennessee, where the super-genius master-fermenter Sandor Katz (aka Sandorkraut) lives. If you haven’t picked up a copy of Wild Fermentation, or The Art of Fermentation, it’s well worth the bus ride to Kramerbooks. What other cookbook do you know with chapters titled “cultural rehabilitation,” “cultural theory,” “cultural homogenization,” and “cultural manipulation”? Seriously, read it.

Like sauerkraut, sauerruben is a macrobiotic miracle by which a brassica is transformed into a tangy garnish for meats and sandwiches, delicious enough to be eaten alone (just ask Alison). Sauerruben depends on a fermentation process involving a succession of several different microbial species, including coliform, leuconostoc, and lactobacillus; this gives it its sour taste and digestive benefits. Fermentation is easy; one of the reasons Katz’s style has such wide appeal is because he approaches cooking as an art with ample room for creativity and no such thing as a mistake. The other reason is probably because he makes such a clean and compelling case for the health benefits and cancer-fighting properties of fermented foods.

In the true no-wrong-way spirit, about a month ago we sat down after a farm work day with the farm crew plus Darius and Diana and started grating turnips and carrots, without much heed to proportions (except those of salt, which require some estimating). A month later, it’s perfectly aged and ready to be slathered on top of some Timbercreek chorizo.

Ingredients

Turnips (we probably had 10-15 lbs of turnips, and with the other ingredients this yielded 1.5 gallons of kraut), grated

Carrots, grated

Apples, diced into small cubes

Onions, diced into small cubes

6-9 T sea salt (non-iodized) – proportion is roughly 3 T salt to 5 lbs turnips

Caraway seeds and dill to taste

While you’re grating and chopping, toss ingredients into a big bowl as ready. Be sure to sprinkle salt on the grated turnips as you’re layering them in. The process will work with more or less salt, so salt to taste, making sure that it’s salty but not too much so. Mix all ingredients together and pack tightly into a crock or a bunch of wide mouth mason jars. Do this by packing a bit at a time and pressing it down hard using your clean hand or some sort of kitchen tool or smaller jar or glass. This packs the kraut tightly and helps to force the water out of the turnips and other veggies and fruits. Cover the kraut with something that fits snugly inside the container, like a plate (if using a crock) or smaller jar (if using mason jar), and place a clean weight on the cover. Then cover the whole thing with a towel or cloth. The purpose of the cover and weight is to keep it all clean and submerged under the brine as it rises.

On the first day, press down on the weight to force water out of the turnips as frequently as you think of it in order to make the brine rise above the top of the kraut. Leave the kraut to ferment, checking it daily to skim off any ‘bloom’ (aka scum) and clean the cover and weight. If the brine dips below the top of the kraut, add more in a 1 T salt to 1 c water ratio. Start enjoying it after a week or beyond. It gets stronger and tangier as it continues to ferment. Move it to the fridge when you most enjoy the taste to slow the fermentation process and enjoy it chilled.

As with all ferments, the power comes from life, so don’t kill your sauerruben by heating it past the pasteurization temperature (such as in a water bath to can it).

Any questions, read you some Sandor Katz.

Cucumber Gazpacho

It’s summer, y’all, and the solstice foreshadowed a veritable cucumber explosion on the vines. To cool us down after a long afternoon of hunting for squash bugs, tomato hornworm, and potato bugs, we made this cucumber gazpacho.

Ingredients:

1 spring onion (we used a crystal white wax mini onion)

2 cloves garlic

4 really big cucumbers

1 small green pepper

juice of 2 lemons

3 T olive oil

2 T balsalmic vinegar

2 sprigs basil

salt and pepper to taste

summer in a mason jar

Saute garlic and onion in a little olive oil until clear. Chop cucumbers (coarsely) and green pepper (finely) and put in blender with all ingredients (including sauteed onions and garlic).  Blend. Chill. Serve, garnished with some tomatoes.

 

Turnip and Sweet Potato Mash

We have a turnip glut. Turns out, no one buys them. My hunch is that the low sales are related to the taste of turnips, but really it’s anyone’s guess.

So far, we have two favorite turnip recipes, one of which I’ll share here and one another day when I’m not so busy, like, for example, tomorrow, or Wednesday. These two recipes are so good that we’ve actually eaten (gasp!) meals of turnip with side of turnip before.

Turnip & Sweet Potato Mash Ingredients

2 or 3 large turnips

1 sweet potato

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 T or more of butter

Grated cheese of choice (havarti is good)

Fresh thyme

Instructions

Wash and peel turnips and chop into 1″ or smaller cubes. Wash sweet potato and chop the same way. Boil turnip cubes for about 10 minutes, then add sweet potato cubes and boil together about 30 minutes or until completely soft. In a separate pan, saute onions and garlic in butter until soft.

Drain turnips and sweet potatoes, then mash into… a mash. Add onions, garlic, thyme, and butter to your liking. Add grated cheese and mix. Enjoy turnips like you never thought you could.

The 608 Breakfast

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Cooking breakfast, silent and half-awake, coffee maker dripping away in the background, I feel grateful to have the pleasure of eating (more or less) the same thing, at the same time, day after day.

The only thing I miss from my old work-issued computer was Microsoft Paint. Originally, I had wanted to diagram the anatomy of a 608 breakfast, but now I’ll just have to use 1,000 words.  Note that breakfast should be scalable to one’s appetite; since I wake up feeling famished, I usually go for the works.

The Base: Some sort of a grain or starch. Favorites: quinoa, rice, or millet and flax spinach lavash from Sami’s Bakery (seriously, I can’t get enough of these guys). Also acceptable: corn tortilla, millet, roasted sweet potato, piece of toast.

Level 1: Vegetables. Lots of them, sauteed in the lipid of your choice. Onion, pepper, spinach/chard/kale/turnip greens, broccoli, carrots, corn, whatever you’ve got lurking in that refrigerator, throw it in.

Level 1.5 (optional): Beans. If you have some cooked up, toss ’em in with the veggies and heat them up. Or meat, if that’s your thing. D recommends the spicy sausage from Davis Creek Farm, or Babes in the Wood, or Timbercreek, or if you’re feeling outrageous(ly awesome), ground beef from Steadfast.

Level 2: EGGS!!!!! One, two, three, however you feel it. Farm fresh and f-ing fabulous, fry up those huevos in some butter and continue to build your temple of morning deliciousness.

Summit: Cheese! Avocado! Salsa! Chutney! BLAMMO! BREAKFAST!

I recommend washing down your breakfast with a milkshake made of real, delicious, milk-from-the-cow blended with honey and berries, but whatever floats your breakfast boat. I am a firm believer in the application of the concepts of appetizer (yogurt and granola) and dessert (milkshake) to the morning meal.