One of my favorite things is my Farm Share at Hogsback Farms. I learned about the farm when I worked with food writer Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl (now editor at Minnesota Monthly) at City Pages newspaper. My farm (yes- it feels like your farm with less work) is in WI and my farmer and his family is very industrious. Their farm is pesticide free (just short of organic - certification costs a lot) and they have a great newsletter that accompanies each farm share with tasty recipes and photos of the farm. I have never met my farm family but I feel much invested in their success. By supporting my farm I am supporting a local business which being a local business owner myself makes me feel great.
When I first decided to spend $250 for my half of the $500 share my family was dubious but even my 12 year old now asks when the share is starting each summer. The share has made us cook more and enjoy the bounty of summer. I split my share with another family who has 4 kids. We are a great compliment. They love broccoli we love arugula and we both fight over the fresh strawberries.
This year's spring was unseasonably cool so the farm share is a week late but my first pick up is today. Throughout the Summer I will chronicle what I got and what I made in the hopes it will inspire someone to cook something themselves or invest in a farm share - it's a great way to support local businesses.
Today's share will include:
Arugula, pea shoots, fresh lettuces, pea shoots, radishes, scallions and a thyme, sage, oregano and rosemary plant for the garden that can be planted outside for the season and dug up and brought inside for the winter. Fresh herbs for a year are a huge money saver!
Here is a recipe for the Pea Shoots which look crazy when you get them. All wild and tendrils going everywhere. I like to use them like salad greens so you can preserve the delicate pea bright flavor though many people cook them in risotto or pasta like spinach leaves. My first share I was afraid of the pea shoots. Now I love them as it's usually the first sign of the farms goodness. In addition to the salad, I am going to use the Arugula as the base for a grilled Rib Eye steak. I love steak warm and sliced upon arugula salad tossed with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. The grilled Rib Eye steak (my favorite cut to grill rubbed with olive oil and rosemary sprig with salt and pepper) wilt the arugula and you get a fresh peppery bite with each steal morsel. This is also great if you are watching your carbs as the arugula sops up the steak juice like a starch on your plate. Lastly I will roast the radishes. I know this sounds weird but they end up tasting like roasted cauliflower and they get all caramelized and sweet as the sugars in them break down from roasting. If you needed a starch to complete your plate- grill a piece of baguette with olive oil swiped on it and rub it with garlic clove.
Now just add a spicy glass of Argentinean red wine. Yum.
•1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
•2 tbsp Honey
•1 cup thinly sliced strawberries
•1 large bunch Pea Shoots
•1/2 cucumber thinly sliced (I like the large seedless variety wrapped in plastic that you don't have to skin as there are less seeds and the seeds are less developed)
Pour the balsamic vinegar and honey into a small saucepan. Place over a low heat and reduce until ½ its original volume. Then leave to cool for 15 minutes which will produce a thick dressing.
Peel and thinly slice the cucumber and the strawberries and slice thinly.
Place the pea shoots on a plate top with the cucumber and strawberries then lightly season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction just before serving. Dollop or crumble goat cheese on top.
3 bunches small radishes with greens attached
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 500°
Trim the radishes and wash the greens - set greens aside and spin or pat dry.
In a large ovenproof skillet toss the radishes with olive oil and kosher salt and pepper
Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the radishes for 15 minutes, until crisp-tender
Return the skillet to the burner and stir in the butter to coat the radishes. Add the radish greens and cook over moderate heat until they are wilted - about 2 minute
Add the lemon juice and season with salt.
Serve the radishes right away.