Saturday, June 23, 2018

Baked Zucchini with Mozzarella and Breadcrumbs

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market stock up on pastured meats and eggs from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm and fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm.

Now that summer is in full swing, we've been having a lot of salads for dinner, inspired by our farmers market finds. For this meal, I made a quick pan of baked zucchini topped with mozzarella and a sprinkle of scallion-spiked bread crumbs. We ate this gratin alongside butter lettuce, snap peas, roasted broccoli, buttery radishes, lentils, and hard boiled eggs. Not only are dinner salads a great way to enjoy fresh farm produce, but they lend themselves to relaxed summer meals when everyone can compose a personalized dinner plate masterpiece.

Baked Zucchini with Mozzarella and Breadcrumbs
4 small zucchini
1 punch green onions
1 ball mozzarella
1/2 cup breadcrumbs from stale bread
olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place in a baking pan. Trim the zucchini ends and then slice lengthwise into 1/4 inch wide strips. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and let sweat in a colander for a few minutes. Trim the roots of the green onions. Cut the white parts of the onions into 1/4 inch rounds and reserve. Cut the green parts of the onions into 1 inch lengths and reserve. Slice the mozzarella.

2. When the oven is hot, remove the baking pan, drizzle in some olive oil and spread with a brush to coat the bottom. Pat the zucchini strips dry and spread them over the bottom of the pan in a single layer. Sprinkle on the onion whites and a generous grinding of fresh pepper. Bake for about 7 minutes until the bottoms of the zucchinis start to brown. 

3. In the meantime, heat a skillet over high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and sear the green onions, stirring occasionally until they start to char. Add the breadcrumbs and a little more olive oil if needed and cook another minute until the breads smell toasted. 

4. Remove the zucchini from the oven and turn on the broiler. Flip the zucchini strips. Layer on the mozzarella and sprinkle over the green onion breadcrumbs. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Radish Leaf Chimichurri Sauce

Make this Sunday a special Fathers Day with a trip to the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market. You'll find all the fixings for a Fathers Day feast including pastured meats and eggs from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm, cut flowers from Tiger Lily Art Company, and fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm.

With Camas Swale's produce fresh from the fields, you can use all parts of the vegetables. Last week I used this gorgeous rosy radishes for some quick pickles as a side for white bean and carnitas tacos (here's a carnitas recipe for slow cooking in the oven and a faster one for a pressure cooker).

The greens from the radish bunch were so fresh that I decided to make them into a quick chimichurri sauce, incorporating some seared Camas Swale green onions. The sharp radish greens, charred onions, and kick of red wine vinegar were a perfect pairing for the mild white beans and crispy pork. Try some out on a dad tomorrow.

Radish Leaf Chimichurri
greens from 1 bunch radishes
6 green onions
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pinch salt
red pepper flakes to taste
1 Tbsp vinegar

1. Rinse leaves from 1 bunch radish and reserve. Rinse the green onions, trim off the root ends, and cut the whites from the greens. Cut the whites into 1/4 inch rings. Separately cut the greens into 1/2 inch rings. 

2. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. When the skillet is very hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, swirl to coat, and then add the white onion pieces, a pinch of salt, and red pepper flakes to taste, and let them sear for a few minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. When some of the onions are charred, add the green onion pieces and sear for one more minute. 

3. Transfer the seared green onions to a bowl. Stir in one tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Chop the radish leaves finely and stir into bowl. Taste and add more salt, pepper or vinegar as desired. Serve with meat such as carnitas. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Around the Corner

Come down to the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market this Sunday June 10. The stand is around the corner along Agate today. Don't miss out on lots of greens, radishes, summer squash, strawberries, and the first pickling cucumbers of the season. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

Hazelnut Biscotti

This Sunday at the Fairmount Farmers Market, you'll find pastured meats and eggs from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm and fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm including:
berries (serve with biscotti, recipe below)
radishes (make some smashed radishes in chili oil)
snap peas (try some springtime spaghetti carbonara)

The first of the spring strawberries are such a treat, that I prefer to savor them plain rather than hiding them in pillows of sweet toppings. A refined hazelnut biscotti makes the perfect accompaniment to naturally sweet berries. My daughter made biscotti for my husband's birthday and we've been nibbling them with fresh strawberries all week.

Hazelnut Biscotti
2 cups (265 g) unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
3 large eggs
2/3 cup (135 g) vanilla sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup (125 g) hazelnuts, toasted and cooled

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl.

3. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, slowly add the liquids, and mix well with you hands or a dough whisk. If necessary, add additional flour to form a firm and workable dough. Add the hazelnuts and work them evenly into the dough.

4. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Flour your hands and carefully roll each piece into and oval cylinder about 2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Carefully transfer each cylinder to the parchment-lined baking sheet. 

5. Place the baking sheet in the middle of the oven and bake until the dough is slightly risen and an even golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and transfer the cylinders to a cooling rack for 10 minutes.

6. Transfer each cylinder to a cutting board and slice the biscotti on a sharp diagonal (45-degree angle) at 1/2 inch intervals. Stand the biscotti upright on the baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart. Return the baking sheet to the center of the oven and bake until the biscotti are a deep golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and transfer the biscotti to a rack to cool thoroughly. The cookies should be dry and crisp. Once cooled they can be store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Market Start May 27

This Sunday will be the start of the ninth season of the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market. Be sure to visit the corner of Agate Street and 19th Avenue between 10 AM and 2 PM. Camas Swale Farm will be there with the first of their strawberries, lots of vibrant leafy greens, spring onions, cabbage, radishes, and more to inspire all sorts of cooking spring dishes from roasted vegetables to delicate desserts. Thank you for supporting our local market.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Apple Sourdough Skillet Pancake

I've been culturing a sourdough starter again, and the pets know that they have competition. This mason jar of microbes can command a lot of my attention.

One of my biggest concerns is how to use up all the discarded starter from replenishing the jar with fresh flour and water. 

A New York Times recipe from Tejal Rao for Cast-Iron Sourdough Pancakes caught my eye. It is essentially a Dutch baby with a tart tartine apple layer. 

I tweaked the recipe based on a number of readers' suggestions, and added maple syrup to the batter rather than drowning it in syrup at the end. It proved to be a big hit and I was glad to have more batter for a second pancake. This is a perfect Mothers Day breakfast dish for anyone who is nurturing a sourdough starter.

Apple Sourdough Skillet Pancake
adapted from NYTimes Cooking Tejal Rao's Cast-Iron Sourdough Pancakes
makes two skillet pancakes

approximately 1  cup (225 g) sourdough starter, unfed
1 1/2  cups (180 g) all-purpose flour (or include some buckwheat or corn flour)
1 1/2 cups (368 g) buttermilk or a combination of milk and whey)
2  eggs
2  Tbsp (39 g) maple syrup 
1/2 tsp salt
1/2  tsp baking soda
2  apples, cut into slices
pinch of cinnamon (optional)

4  Tbsp butter, divided

1. The night before, in a large blow whisk together the unfed starter with the flour and buttermilk. Cover and leave to ferment overnight.

2. The next morning, put a 10 inch cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat at 450 degrees. Core and slice the apples. Transfer the pan from the oven to a medium high stovetop burner. Melt 2 Tbsp butter and put in half the apple slices, sprinkling them with a pinch of cinnamon if desired. Cook for a couple of minutes and then flip.

3. Meanwhile, finish the batter by whisking in the eggs, maple syrup, salt, and baking soda. Remove the skillet from the heat. Pour half batter over the apples and melted butter and transfer the skillet to the oven.

4. Bake for 15 minutes until the top is nicely browned. Remove the skillet from the oven. Place a large plate over it and invert the pancake onto the plate, apples side up. Return the skillet to the stovetop and make a second pancake. Slice the pancakes into wedges and serve warm.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thanks for the Season

On this Thanksgiving weekend, I want to take a moment to give thanks to all of the local growers, providers, and neighborhood customers who made the eighth season of the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market a success. Having such wonderful offerings in our neighborhood all summer long -- vibrant produce from Camas Swale Farm, fresh meats and eggs from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm, hand crafted breads from Wildflour Oven, and beautiful flowers from Tiger Lily Art Company -- has been a gift to our community.  

I hope you all had a happy and celebratory Thanksgiving holiday. Our feast included lots of local produce from our Camas Swale Harvest CSA and the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition Fill Your Pantry event. My daughter made her first pie, an apple beauty. The kids have decided that pie is an acceptable breakfast food, while I've been enjoying reheated mushroom and celery stuffing with a fried egg. And leftover green beans and roasted delicata squash made a delicious salad for lunch. We have much to be grateful for, and no small part of that is the beautiful, bountiful valley in which we live.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Sausage Ragu

This Sunday will likely be the last Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market of the season. Last week's rain disrupted the planned market, but this Sunday should be sunny, so you can be sure to find fresh eggs and pastured chicken, beef, pork, and lamb from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm, baked goods made with local whole grains from WildFlour Oven, and plenty of fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm

Since it is the last market of the season, besides indulging in baked goods and delicious food for the week, you should plan to stock up on winter squash, onions, root vegetables, and frozen meats for the winter. 

I would suggest picking up the fixings for this sausage ragu from the New York Times. I make a version with double the vegetables, producing enough sauce to freeze away for two additional meals. Made with Fair Valley Farm's sausage and Camas Swale's carrots, celery and giant shallots, the vibrant flavors will brighten a future rainy winter day.

Sausage Ragu
makes enough for three meals of one pound of pasta; freezes well
1 pound sweet Italian sausage or bulk sausage
 Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 carrot, minced
4 celery stalk, minced
¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley, plus extra for garnish
2 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, with its juice
2 large sprig fresh thyme
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons tomato paste
 Ground black pepper
1 pound tubular dried pasta such as mezzi rigatoni, paccheri or penne
 Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish, optional

1. Crumble the sausage meat into a wide, heavy skillet or Dutch oven and set over medium-low heat. If the meat is not rendering enough fat to coat the bottom of the pan as it begins to cook, add olive oil one tablespoon at a time until the meat is frying gently, not steaming. Sauté, breaking up any large chunks, until all the meat has turned opaque (do not let it brown), about 5 minutes.

2. Add onion, carrot, celery and parsley and stir. Drizzle in more oil if the pan seems dry. Cook over very low heat, stirring often, until the vegetables have melted in the fat and are beginning to caramelize, and the meat is toasty brown. This may take as long as 40 minutes, but be patient: It is essential to the final flavors.

3. Add tomatoes and their juice, breaking up the tomatoes with your hands or with the side of a spoon. Bring to a simmer, then add thyme and rosemary and let simmer, uncovered, until thickened and pan is almost dry, 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Mix tomato paste with 1 cup hot water. Add to pan, reduce heat to very low, and continue cooking until the ragù is velvety and dark red, and the top glistens with oil, about 10 minutes more. Remove herb sprigs. Sprinkle black pepper over, stir and taste.

5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil pasta until just tender. Scoop out 2 cups cooking water, drain pasta and return to pot over low heat. Quickly add a ladleful of ragù, a splash of cooking water, stir well and let cook 1 minute. Taste for doneness. Repeat, adding more cooking water or ragù, or both, until pasta is cooked through and seasoned to your liking.

6. Pour hot pasta water into a large serving bowl to heat it. Pour out the water and pour in the pasta. Top with additional ragù, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately. Pass grated cheese at the table, if desired. Freeze the remaining ragu for future meals.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Leeks, Fennel, and Celery Root

This Sunday will be the penultimate Farmers Market of the season, so come out despite the rain. You will find fresh eggs and pastured chicken, beef, pork, and lamb from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm and an abundance of fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm, including a large selection of winter squash, leafy greens, onions, shallots, and leeks, and root vegetables such as beets, carrots, fennel, and celery root.

With my selection of root vegetables from last weekend's market, I decided to try a version of this recipe for creamy pasta topped with caramelized onions. This is the kind of recipe that is ridiculously easy (just coat pasta in Greek yogurt, of which I had just made a big batch in my new instant pot) and amenable to many variations, as long as you have enough sweet caramelized flavors to balance the tang of the yogurt sauce. We loved the notes of fennel and celery along with the caramelized leeks.

Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Leeks, Fennel, and Celery Root
adapted from Diane Kochilas' recipeserves 4 to 6
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 small leeks
1 small fennel bulb
1 small celery root
Sea salt
1 1/2 cups (350 g) thick, strained Greek-style yogurt (see note)
1 pound pasta
1 cup coarsely grated Pecorino Romano 

1. Place a baking sheet in the oven and start preheating it to 375 degrees F. Prepare the vegetables. Trim the roots and green parts from the leek, halve lengthwise, rinse well, and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Trim the fennel bulb and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Peel and trim the celery root and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with the olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt to coat. Spread the oiled vegetables onto the preheated sheet pan. Cook the vegetables, stirring frequently, until the vegetables become nicely brown and caramelized around the edges.

2. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. As the water heats, add enough salt so that you can taste it. Add the pasta and cook until soft, not al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. 

3. Combine the yogurt with 1/4 cup cooking water and mix well. Add more of the reserved pasta water as needed to get the sauce to your thickness. Drain the pasta and toss with the yogurt mixture and 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese. 

4. Serve the pasta immediately, sprinkled generously with cheese and topped with the caramelized vegetables. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Roasted Cauliflower Larb

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market you will find fresh eggs and pastured chicken, beef, pork, and lamb from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm and an abundance of fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm, including: 

incredible pearly white cauliflower (try the larb recipe below)
brussels sprouts (great stir fried)
leafy greens (delicious roasted)
winter squash pumpkins (try a pumpkin gruyere soup

I love cauliflower, but I always cook it the same way, roasted, possibly with onions. I haven't yet succumb to the cauliflower rice craze that caused Draconian rationing measures at Trader Joe's. While I could keep eating roasted cauliflower every evening, I sensed some ennui on the rest of the family. This recipe from Bon Appetit caught my attention as a way to turn roasted cauliflower into something entirely new: toss it with fish sauce and fresh herbs as filling for lettuce cups

This is an unconventional version of the Laotian meat salad called larb or laab. The recipe has quite a few ingredients that require a trip to an Asian market (lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves), but a pared down version with just the fish sauce and fresh herbs is delicious. The one ingredient that makes it larb, rather than roasted cauliflower filling, is the toasted rice powder. You could skip this too, but it's easy to make while the cauliflower is roasting, and after browning and grinding up a 1/4 cup of rice, you'll have enough for multiple batches, which is a good thing because in our family lettuce wraps are always a big hit. 

Roasted Cauliflower Larb 
lightly adapted from Bon Appetit, serves six

1 large head of cauliflower, cut into large florets with some stalk attached
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 green Thai chiles, finely chopped (or keep on the side for people to add separately)
1 3-inch piece lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, finely chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped, or use lime zest
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup glutinous (sticky) rice
5 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup chopped mint
Kosher salt
Sliced Persian cucumber and Bibb lettuce leaves (for serving)

Preheat oven to 450°. Toss cauliflower with oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and well browned, 35–45 minutes. Let cool slightly; chop into pea-size pieces. Transfer to a large bowl. Add chiles (if using), lemongrass, lime leaves or zest, fish sauce, and lime juice; toss well.

Meanwhile, place rice in a medium skillet and set over medium heat. Toast, shaking pan constantly to keep rice moving, until evenly browned, 10–15 minutes. Transfer to a plate; let cool. Grind in spice mill or with a mortar and pestle to a semi-fine powder.

Toss scallions, cilantro, mint, and 2 tsp. toasted rice powder into cauliflower mixture; season with salt. Serve with lettuce, cucumber, reserved chiles, and remaining rice powder to make lettuce cups.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Caramelized Carrot Soup

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market you will find fresh eggs and pastured chicken, beef, pork, and lamb from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm, baked goods made with local whole grains from WildFlour Ovenfresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art Company, and plenty of fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm, including root vegetables such as potatoes, beets, and carrots. 

My recent infatuation with pressure cooking, now that I am a proud owner of an Instant Pot, led me to this recipe for a caramelized carrot soup from modernist cuisine. The idea is that in a pressure cooker, vegetables can reach high temperatures while remaining moist, achieving the cooking reactions of roasting without drying them out. A pinch of baking soda creates an alkaline environment, which encourages the Maillard reaction of browning. The full recipe calls for a stick of butter, which I halved, and freshly extracted carrot juice, which I substituted with a ginger and lemon grass broth I had in the freezer. The soup was intensely flavorful and made a delicious accompaniment to a sandwich of baked tofu, bacon, and pickled daikon.

Caramelized Carrot Soup
Adapted from modernist cuisine
500 g carrot (about 10 medium)
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups carrot juice or broth, or more to desired consistency
squeeze of lemon or lime juice

In a pressure cooker use the saute setting to melt the butter. Stir in the carrots to coat with butter. Add in the water, baking soda, and salt. Cook the contents at high pressure for 20 minutes. Release the pressure naturally or after a few minutes. Puree the caramelized carrots with carrot juice or broth to desired consistency. Taste and add salt as needed. Finish with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Collard Greens with Emmer and Parsley Pesto

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market you will find fresh eggs and pastured chicken, beef, pork, and lamb from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm, baked goods made with local whole grains from WildFlour Ovenfresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art Company, and plenty of fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm, including collard greens and cabbage. 

For a fresh but hearty salad, I combined a tangle of sauted collard greens with cooked emmer dressed up with a lemony parsley pesto. This made a nice side for an end of September barbecue

Collard Greens with Emmer and Parsley Pesto

1 bunch collard greens
1 shallot, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the collard greens and cut out the thick stem from each leaf. Cut the leaves into 1 inch wide strips. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, and when hot, add the shallots. Saute until soft. Add the collard greens and a generous amount of salt and pepper, stir to coat in oil, and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until the leaves have soften.

1 bunch parsley
1/3 cup almonds
zest from one lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
Lightly toast the almonds in a dry skillet on the stove top or in a oven or toaster oven. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend into a coarse pesto. Taste and adjust seasonings.

1/2 cup emmer or other sturdy grain
Cook with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt for about 25 minutes until al dente, tasting frequently. Drain through a fine mesh strainer.

Mix the pesto into the emmer to coat. Then in a pretty serving bowl, gently mix the emmer with the collard greens and serve.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Chili Topped Spaghetti Squash

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market you will find fresh eggs and pastured chicken, beef, pork, and lamb from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm, baked goods made with local whole grains from WildFlour Oven, and fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art Company Camas Swale Farm will have plenty of fresh fall produce including lots of sweet peppers and winter squash.

Spaghetti squash is a always fun member of the winter pantheon. It can be cooked in the oven or steamed in a pressure cooker, and then brushed with a fork to release its spaghetti like strands. 

With the arrival of the chilly fall weather, I had a hankering for chili, which turned out to be delicious dolloped onto a bed of squash strands with a dusting of cheddar cheese and a side of seared padron peppers.

Chili Topped Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash (baked in the oven or in an Instant Pot)
Cut off the stem, halve the squash and scoop out the seeds. Bake cut side up until soft for about an hour minutes in a 325 degree oven along with the chili, or steam in an Instant Pot pressure cooker for 6 minutes, followed by a quick release of pressure. Use a fork to release the squash spaghetti strands.

Chili (slow cooked in the oven or in an Instant Pot)
2 cups dried red beans, sorted, rinsed, and soaked for 8-10 hours
1 Tbsp bacon drippings or canola oil
1 onion, diced
1 sweet pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground chipotle chilli
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp unsweetened chocolate
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
salt to taste

In a Dutch oven or the container of an Instant Pot set to saute on high, heat the bacon drippings or oil and then saute the onions until translucent. Add the diced peppers and keep cooking until they are soft and the onions have started to caramelize. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Add the beef and saute until cooked through. Add the spices and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and the soaked beans plus two cups of water, beer, or reserved bean broth from a pervious batch of cooked beans. Mix and cook in a 325 degree oven for about four hours, stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft, or cook in an Instant Pot on high pressure for 25 minutes, allowing the pressure to release naturally. Taste and add salt as needed. If the chili is too liquid, you can thicken it in the stovetop or by using the saute function of the Instant Pot.

To serve, make a bed of warm spaghetti squash and top with chili and a sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Wildflour Oven Bread at the Market

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market you will find fresh eggs and pastured chicken, beef, pork, and lamb from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farmfresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art Company, and plenty of fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm including lots of sweet peppers and collard greens (both so delicious roasted on toast or in tacos).

Also this Sunday we're happy to have a new addition to the Market of WildFlour Oven offering wild fermented breads with local whole grains.

If you are a bread enthusiast and were sad to see our local Eugene City Bakery close a couple years ago, now your Sunday market shopping can be completed with some home made loaves from Wildflour Oven. Last week we enjoyed a Sunday dinner of lamb burgers with Fair Valley Farm ground lamb on Wildfour Oven's challah topped with harissa, accompanied by Camas Swale Farm grilled eggplants and sweet peppers and fresh cucumbers and cherry tomatoes topped with lemon crème fraîche sauce. For the week we had delicious sandwiches of grilled vegetables and feta cheese on Wildflour Oven's whole wheat loaf bread. A source of fresh baked bread is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Tomato Braised Celery

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market you will find fresh eggs and pastured chicken, beef, pork, and lamb from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm, fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art Company, and plenty of fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm including sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, delicata squash, potatoes, leeks, and celery.

Celery is typically relegated to a supporting role in soups and stews, but apparently for Victorians it was a luxury ingredient displayed ostentatiously in special celery vases. For my beautiful Camas Swale celery bunch, I took inspiration from this tribute to long-cooked vegetables by Samit Nosrat in the New York Times, which reminded me of a Marcella Hazan recipe, deemed genius by food52. Hazan's recipe calls for pancetta to add some umami to the tomatoey braising liquid, but I opted for a few anchovy fillets because I love the flavors of celery and seafood.

If you, like me, happen to have momentarily succumb to the illusion that a kitchen appliance will solve all of your problems associated with anxieties about the impending school year, noxious smoke-filled air, and natural disasters related to climate change, and you recently invested in an Instant Pot, you could use it for this recipe. You could also cook this on the stove top. Either way, it is delicious and very soothing. 

Tomato Braised Celery
adapted from Marcella Hazan
1 bunch celery
2 large shallots, peeled and diced
1/4 cup olive oil
4 anchovy fillets in oil
15 ounce can of peeled and diced plum tomatoes, with their juice
red pepper flakes to taste
salt to tatse

1. Cut off the celery's leafy tops, saving the leaves for another use, and detach all the stalks from their base. Use a peeler to pare away most of the strings, and cut the stalks into pieces about 3 inches long (cutting on a diagonal looks nice). Alternately, if you plan on cooking long past tender (an hour or more), you can skip peeling the strings. 

2. Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Put in the oil and the anchovies and cook, breaking up the anchovies, until they dissolve into the oil. Add the red pepper flakes and stir, and then add the diced shallots. Cook until the shallots are cooked through and golden. 

3. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the celery, and salt, and toss thoroughly to coat well. Adjust heat to cook at a steady simmer, and put a cover on the pan. After 15 minutes check the celery, cooking it until it feels tender when prodded with a fork. The longer you cook them, the softer and sweeter they will become. If while the celery is cooking, the pan juices become insufficient, replenish with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water as needed. If on the contrary, when the celery is done, the pan juices are watery, uncover, raise the heat to high, and boil the juices away rapidly.

To make in an Instant Pot:
Perform step 2 using the Saute function. Press cancel, add the remaining ingredients for step 3, then cook with the pressure cooker function on low pressure for 15 minutes and allow the pressure to release naturally.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Seared Corn and Pepper Salad with Ahi Tuna

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market you will find fresh eggs and pastured chicken, beef, pork, and lamb from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm, as well as fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art Company. 

Camas Swale Farm will have plenty of summer produce including:
peppers and sweet corn (sear in a warm salad, below) 
celery (for these celery beef lettuce wraps)
leeks and tomatoes (try this leek and cherry tomato clafouti
delicata squash (make what my son calls "squash candy")

My husband and I got to celebrated our anniversary this year viewing the spectacular corona of the total solar eclipse. I even made some eclipse cookies for the event. A week later the stars aligned and we found ourselves kid-free with the chance to whip up a belated anniversary dinner. We seared ahi tuna, corn, and peppers, and served these with sauteed zucchini, cherry tomatoes, black lentils, and a lemon crème fraîche sauce. It was a lovely dinner and then the kids came rushing back into the house to remind us of a couple of the major accomplishments of our marriage. 

Seared Corn and Pepper Salad with Ahi Tuna
serves two
corn and pepper salad
1 ear corn
1 mildly hot pepper
salt to taste

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Shuck the corn. Place the corn and whole pepper on the skillet and sear. Rotate and sear on all sides until the corn and pepper are partially charred but still a bit crisp. Remove from heat and when cool enough to handle, seed the pepper and cut it into small pieces and cut the corn kernels from the cob. Combine and season with salt to taste. Serve warm.

ahi tuna
1/2 pound ahi tuna steak, cut into in inch wide strips
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat a skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Season the tuna with salt and pepper. Add the oil to the pan and when hot, add the ahi strips. Let sear for about 30 seconds per side, turning with tongs. Remove from heat when the interior looks more raw than you like because it will continue to cook. Serve with lemon crème fraîche sauce.

lemon creme fraiche sauce
2 Tbsp crème fraîche
zest of 1 small lemon
juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 tsp honey
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

Whisk together the crème fraîche, lemon, and honey. While continuing to whisk, add the olive oil slowly to emulsify. Taste and add salt, and more lemon or honey as needed.