Greetings to everyone - Spring is slowly unfolding, bringing some delights from the farm. I am so happy with the fava beans; I just take the pod off, pre-boil and eat the beans skins and all. They taste so good, plus I don't have the patience to peel them! I like to marinate them in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a bit of minced garlic plus some chopped basil... oh my, so good! Enjoy the green garlic too - it is such a luxury for me, being the huge garlic fan that I am. If you like, do share some of your recipes with me. It is always fun to have another person's recipe. Meanwhile, enjoy these beautiful days; fill them with the bounty from the farm and celebrate your vibrant health. MANY joyous blessings, Rebecca [email Rebecca]
[Rebecca Mastoris is a chef/teacher at Bauman College, and a partner in Vibrant Foods Catering along with Karen Haralson. Both Karen and Rebecca teach cooking classes at the farm and in town locally - see our 2012 Calendar, below.]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ARTICHOKE HEARTS with FAVA BEANS
6 medium artichokes
2 1/2 lbs. fava beans (weight before shelling)
a few sprigs of rosemary
1/4 c. olive oil
olive oil for frying
(you can use less fava beans if you don't have enough)
1. Cut the stems and peel away the outer leaves of the artichokes until their tender inner greens are exposed, then cut off the tops at the "line of tenderness" -- that is where the leaves change from yellow-green to dark green. Scoop the fuzzy inner "choke" out with a spoon, preserving the shape of the artichoke. Loosen the leaves somewhat by gently pressing the artichoke upside-down on the counter top; take care not to press too hard or the leaves will break off.
2. Shell the favas and parboil the inner beans for 1 minute in boiling water; cool and pop them out of their skins. In a a heavy-bottomed pot, cook the fava beans with the rosemary (add a little salt) in the olive oil over medium heat until tender but still bright green, about 6 minutes. Keep them warm while you fry the artichokes.
3. Heat 3 inches of olive oil in a heavy deep-sided saute pan and fry the artichokes over medium heat, gently pressing the leaves flat as they soften. The artichokes will turn golden brown. They are done when the heart is soft and the leaves are a bit crispy. Take care to not let them brown too fiercely. When done, drain them on paper towel and season liberally with sea salt. Arrange them on a serving platter and spoon some fava beans into each artichoke.
If you do not want to fry the artichokes, you can cut them in half and braise them by covering in stock or water in a covered pot until tender, or simply steam them until they are tender. This takes about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the artichoke.BROCCOLINI BOOSTER
If you have a juicer or Vita-mix this is a super healthy drink. Broccoli is hailed as a super-food, and a vital ingredient of a healthy diet. The apples and lemon help tone down broccolini's strong taste.
Makes 1 large glass
4 1/2 oz. broccolini florets
2 apples, cored and seeds removed (the seeds have trace amounts of arsenic)
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1. Cut the broccolini into small pieces and chop the apples
2. Push both through a juicer and stir in the lemon juice. Serve in a tall glass with plenty of ice. Here's to your radiant health!
Broccoli is packed with anti-viral, anti bacterial nutrients and contains almost as much calcium as milk. It is also though to prevent some cancers.CREAMED LEEKS on WALNUT TOAST
I woke up to a cold, foggy morning, found this recipe and thought what a great breakfast this would be! Creamy, filled with leeks and comforting warm... YUM!
4 small or 2 large leeks, trimmed and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 1/2 Tbs. butter
sea salt and fresh milled pepper
1/3 c. dry white wine
1/2 c. half-and-half or creme fraiche
2 tsp. chopped parsley and 1 tsp. chopped rosemary
1/4 c. grated Parmesan, Gruyere, or crumbled goat cheese
2 slices walnut bread or any rustic bread, including a rye bread, toasted
1. Wash the leeks, but don't dry them. Melt the butter in a wide skillet, add the leeks and toss with a little salt. Add the wine, cover and cook over medium heat until the leeks are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the cream and herbs and simmer until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat, stir in the cheese, then spoon the leeks over the toast. Add pepper and serve.GREEN GARLIC SOUP
1 lb. green garlic (about 8-10 stalks)
1/2 lb. potatoes (yellow Finn, Yukon Gold, or other varieties), cut into medium chunks
2 medium onions
1/4 lb. unsalted butter
2 quarts chicken stock or stock of choice
1. Trim away the root end of garlic and peel away any tough or dirty outer layers. Cut away the tough upper dark green leaves; similar to leeks, use the white and light green portions of the stalks.
2. Cut the cleaned garlic into rounds or half circles.
3. Peel and chop the onions into small dice. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot and cook slowly until translucent and tender. Sprinkle with salt.
4. Add the potatoes and prepared garlic. Cook these together for 5 minutes, then pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the soup until the potatoes are tender. Check the seasoning. This soup can be served rustic and chunky, or pureed-either way is delicious.LEEKS in MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
6-8 leeks, including an inch of the pale green
Aromatics: 1 bay leaf, 5 parsley sprigs, 1 small rosemary sprig
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
Mustard vinaigrette (recipe to follow)
1. Halve the leeks lengthwise to about one inch from the rood end. Soak them in a large bowl of water for 15 minutes, then gently rinse under running water. Put them in a skillet with the aromatics, vegetables, and water to cover. Simmer until they're tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes, depending on their size. Gently transfer the leeks to a platter or individual plates with some of the broth. Spoon the vinaigrette generously over the top, and serve with fresh bread. Be sure to save the remaining stock for soup stock or risotto.Mustard Vinaigrette
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, or fresh lemon juice
2 shallots, or green garlic, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
sea salt and fresh milled pepper
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2 Tbs. creme fraiche or sour cream
1/3 c. olive oil
2 Tbs. snipped chives or scallions
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
3 Tbs. capers, rinsed
1. Combine the vinegar, shallots or green garlic, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes, then vigorously whisk in the mustard, creme fraiche, and oil until it thickens and is smooth. Grind a little pepper, then stir in the herbs and capers. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.ROASTED BEETS with their GREENS
Anyone who loves beets will love beet greens. They taste vaguely of beets, but have soft, rich flavors of spinach or Swiss chard.
4 lbs. beets, with tops
1/2 c. water
3/4 c. orange juice
1/2 tsp. arrowroot (or non GMO cornstarch)
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. light brown sugar
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp. olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Twist or cut the tops (leaves and stems) off the beets. Remove and discard any tough stems, saving the leaves (tender, smaller inner stems are okay). Coarsely shred the leaves and tender stems. Wash well. [I'd wash first, then chop. - Debbie]
3. Place the beets in a baking dish large enough to hold then in a single layer. Add the water to the baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (depending on the size of the beets), or until they are fork-tender. Remove from the oven and let cool. Discard any remaining water.
4. Meanwhile, in a small nonreactive saucepan, whisk the orange juice into the arrowroot. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. of the salt plus the caraway seeds. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
5. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel and halve, then thinly slice. Place slices in a large bowl and toss with the orange dressing.
6. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the beet greens and the remaining 1/4 tsp salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Serve the baked beets on the bed of wilted greens.ROSEMARY-PARSLEY RUB
This is a powerful rub, exciting the taste buds. It is delicious on chicken, fish, meat, and on baked tofu. I use a generous amount of olive oil so it will keep well in the refrigerator for a few weeks. It gets better with age.
1/4 c. finely minced rosemary
1/4 c. minced parsley
1 Tbs. coarsely ground black pepper
olive oil to mix
sea salt to taste
lemon juice to taste
1 clove garlic, mashed to a paste
Mix all the ingredients together, adding the sea salt and lemon juice slowly to taste. Let this rest for a few hours before using.FUN WITH ROSEMARY
Get a spritzer bottle and put about 6-7 sprigs of rosemary in it. Fill the bottle with filtered water. Let this "marinate" for a day. Use it to "revive" yourself with a little squirt on the face and body, if you like. It has a rejuvenating effect, helping to keep away the afternoon droops! It just feels and smells good-enjoy! Remember to keep it in the refrigerator.SICILIAN-STYLE BROCCOLINI
1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 c. boiling water
1 Tbs. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bunch broccolini, thinly sliced
1/3 c. raisins
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt
1. In a small heatproof bowl, combine the sun-dried tomatoes and boiling water. Let stand until the tomatoes have softened, 15-20 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid, and coarsely chop the tomatoes.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the garlic and mince when cooled.
3. Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, about 7 minutes.
4. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, broccolini, red pepper flakes, and salt to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the broccolini starts to wilt, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the reserved soaking liquid and the minced garlic, cover, and cook until the broccolini is tender, about 5 minutes.STEAMED KALE OR CHARD IN PEANUT SAUCE
This is so simple, yet delightfully delicious and satisfying! Hope you enjoy.
1 bunch kale or chard
1 clove garlic
1. Remove leaves from stems and cut into bite-sized pieces. If using chard, finely chop stems and you can use them also.
2. Place chard leaves and chopped stems, or kale in a steamer basket or bamboo steamer over boiling water to which the clove of garlic has been added. Steam until tender, about 5 minutes for chard, a little longer for the kale.
3. Remove cooked greens from the steamer and place in a large bowl. Toss with peanut sauce, coating the leaves generously. Taste and adjust seasonings. I don't use salt because of the soy sauce in the sauce. You may want to add a pinch to your liking, though. Peanut Sauce
3 Tbs. peanut butter or almond butter (creamy or crunchy -- I love the crunchy)
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 Tbs. chopped cilantro
1 plump garlic clove, minced
2 tsp. soy sauce or to taste
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. chili oil (optional)
sea salt (optional)
1. Combine all the ingredients except the salt, adding 2-4 Tbs. warm water to make consistency you wish. Add sea salt to taste.