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Roasted Beets with Preserved Lemon & Tahini-Yogurt

TIME: 40 - 60 MINUTES, SERVES: 4
Adapted from Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi

Beets are a crop we try to have available to our customers each week. They are sweet, earthy and powerful, and the tops are some of my favorite cooking greens as well. They are delicious paired with tangy, rich, and slightly bitter flavors (think goat cheese, radicchio, lemon…) There are many ways to prepare beets—my absolute favorite is roasting. For this reason, we like harvesting the medium-sized roots—those which can be quartered and transformed into beautiful, caramelized wedges with just a blast of high heat, a little oil and salt. I roast multiple pans at a time and keep them in the fridge to marinate and eat over salads throughout the week. Feel free to double this recipe—it’s even better served cold the next day.

INGREDIENTS


2+ lbs. beets, washed, trimmed and quartered. For larger beets, chop into similar-sized chunks
2 tbls. olive oil
2 tsp. cumin seed
1/2 preserved lemon, skin and flesh finely chopped
2+ tbls. lemon juice
1 tbls. tahini
1/2 c. Greek yogurt
High quality olive oil, for garnish
1/2 c. walnuts (opt.)
1/2 c. dill or parsley (opt.)
Sumac, for garnish (opt.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F

  2. Toss beets with oil, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30 - 40 minutes, depending on size, until tender.

  3. Toast cumin seeds in a small, heavy bottom skillet, stirring to avoid burning.

  4. When the beets are slightly cooled, toss them with the cumin seeds, preserved lemon, 1 tbls. of lemon juice, 1/4 c. of herbs (if using) and optional walnuts. Then transfer to a serving platter.

  5. Mix tahini into the yogurt with the remaining 1 tbls. lemon juice and salt, to taste. Dot this over the beets in 4 - 5 places and stir slightly (fully mixing together will create a pink, potato salad-esque mess).

  6. Sprinkle with remaining herbs and optional sumac, and drizzle with olive oil.

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Sugar Snap Peas over Yogurt-Lemon Sauce

TIME: 20 MINUTES, SERVES: 6
Adapted from Bon Appetit

I look forward to Sugar Snap Peas all year. In Pennsylvania, they are only available for a few weeks late Spring, and typically don’t ever make it back to my kitchen. I prefer them raw, so this salad is perfect on a evening when you don’t want to turn on the stove.

This recipe comes together in about 15 minutes, the most time consuming part being removing the stem and slicing. The creamy, tangy dressing pairs perfectly with the snappy sweetness of fresh peas. Truly a seasonal treat.

INGREDIENTS

Peas
1 lb. Sugar Snap Peas, stem & strings removed; Cut in half on a diagonal, or thinly sliced
2 tbls. olive oil
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Yogurt Sauce
1 cup Greek yogurt (If you can get your hands on Fiddle Creek Dairy products, their yogurt is amazing)
2 tbls. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. green garlic, minced
1 tbls. olive oil
A little buttermilk or water to thin, if necessary
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Sumac, for garnish

METHOD

  1. Toss peas with oil, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Adjust seasoning to taste.

  2. Mix yogurt sauce ingredients together. Thin to desired consistency. It should be thickened, but saucy, rather than a dip.

  3. Pour sauce into a serving bowl and top with peas. Sprinkle with sumac and a few more grinds of fresh pepper to serve.

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Spring Greens & Herb Fritters

TIME: 30 MINUTES, SERVES: 6+
Adapted from Market Cooking by David Tanis

David Tanis’s original recipe calls for fennel fronds and spinach, which are also seasonal Spring veggies, and delicious in fritter-form. For this gluten-free version, I had an excess of pea shoots after our weekend farmers’ markets, and a bunch of dill and parsley. Truly, any combination of herbs and greens is delicious mixed with sharp cheese, egg, and then lightly fried. These are made with almond flour, but feel free to substitute equal amounts of bread crumbs.

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. mixed herbs and greens (I used pea shoots, dill, & parsley)
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup packed Parmesan, Pecorino, or other sharp cheese
1 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. sumac (opt.)
1 tsp. lemon zest
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Avocado oil, or other high-heat oil for frying

METHOD

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

  2. Add the herbs and greens and blanch for a minute to wilt. Transfer to a colander and rinse under cold water. Squeeze dry and finely chop. You should have about 1 cup of packed greens.

  3. Transfer chopped greens to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, minus the frying oil. Form into 2-inch diameter patties. If you don’t intend to serve all of them at once, save the mixture in the fridge for future frying.

  4. Pour the oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan to coat. Working in batches, fry the patties, turning once until golden, about 3 minutes on each side.

  5. Remove from heat and place on a paper towel. Serve warm alongside a mixture of crème fraîche, lemon zest and salt.

Tatsoi with Ginger & Green Garlic

TIME: 30 MINUTES (not including optional marinating time), SERVES: 4

Tatsoi is one of my favorite Asian greens to both grow and eat. Similar to bok choy with its mild, mustard flavor, it has a more tender, spinach-like leaf. Paired with ginger and green garlic, this is a particularly special Spring treat. We grow it in the Fall as well, where garlic cloves can be substituted for green garlic.

INGREDIENTS

1 - 2 lbs. Tatsoi, ends removed
2 tbls. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 tbls. green garlic, tender white parts minced (tops reserved for stock), or 2 - 3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbls. Nama Shoyu, tamari or soy sauce
1 - 2 tbls. fish sauce
1 tbls. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tbls. Wildbrine Spicy Kimchi Sriracha (or kimchi brine, or 1 tbls. regular Sriracha)
1 tbls. toasted sesame seeds, to garnish (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

  2. Blanch the tatsoi for 1 minute, stirring to fully submerge. Remove from boiling water with a slotted spoon or tongs and immediately place in a large bowl of cold water. Drain in a colander and chop into bite sized pieces.

  3. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the tatsoi and toss to coat. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to soak up the flavors.

  4. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds; Serve cold. Delicious the next day as well.

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Roasted Carrots with Fresh Herbs & Spices

TIME: 30 MINUTES, SERVES: 4
Adapted from NYT Cooking

Carrots are sweetest during Spring and Fall—look for them with tops still attached at your local farmers’ market. However, when storing them, remove the tops because they continue to draw moisture out of the root. Fresh, organic carrots are a completely different beast than the bland storage carrots you find bagged at grocery stores. The fresh herbs pair beautifully with the pungent spices, and the butter (or coconut oil) balances the earthy sweetness of the carrot. Feel free to roast other roots alongside, or even in place of carrots. I’ve made this recipe with a mix of radishes, salad turnips, and other Spring roots. In the Fall, try parsnips, turnips, & rutabagas—anything that takes on the glorious golden hue of turmeric.

INGREDIENTS

2 bunches carrots; halved if young, or chopped into similarly sized, 1” chunks
1 - 2 tbls. high-heat cooking oil (Avocado, sunflower, etc.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbls. butter, ghee or coconut oil
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. each cumin seed, fennel seed, nigella seed, black mustard seed
1/4 tsp. each ground coriander & red pepper flakes
1 tbls. fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tbls. fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tbls. fresh mint, finely chopped (opt.)
Half of a lemon or lime (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Toss carrots with the oil, salt, & pepper and spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring and rotating halfway through. They should be slightly browned and caramelized.

  3. While the carrots are roasting, melt the butter/ghee/coconut oil in a small pan. Add the dry spices and stir to combine. Remove from heat.

  4. When the carrots are tender, remove from the oven. Pour the spice mixture over and stir to coat. Add more salt if necessary and spritz with the lemon or lime, to taste.

  5. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the freshly chopped herbs over top. Alternately, mix everything together for easy serving.

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Kale Salad with Shallot-Sumac Vinaigrette

TIME: 20 MINUTES, SERVES: 6

This take on kale salad, with the addition of toasted pumpkin seeds and avocado, can be a substantial meal in its own. I like the combination of Lacinato and Curly Green Kale, for a mix of texture and color.

Sumac, the dried, ground fruit from the Sumac plant, has a tangy, citrus flavor. Common in Middle Eastern cuisine, it is delicious in dressings, marinades, salads, and sprinkled over a variety of dishes. The combination of sumac, lemon, shallot, and garlic is addictive—double the dressing and keep it in your fridge for easy salad prep.

INGREDIENTS

2 bunches kale; leaves stripped from stems and finely chopped.
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
A large pinch of sea salt
1 avocado, diced
Vinaigrette
1 shallot, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced or grated
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sumac
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

METHOD

  1. Place the shallot, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

  2. Sprinkle a large pinch of salt over the finely chopped kale. Massage for about 30 seconds, or until slightly softened.

  3. Toast the pumpkin seeds over low heat in a small skillet. Stir gently when they start to sizzle, and remove from heat when they begin to brown.

  4. Whisk the shallot mixture with the olive oil, sumac, black pepper, and Dijon mustard. Taste, and adjust seasonings. If it is too tart, add a bit of honey or jam to mellow out the acidity.

  5. Pour several tbls. of dressing over the kale and massage until coated, or until the kale has softened to your liking.

  6. Top with the diced avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds. Pour a few more tbls. of dressing over to taste, or keep on the side for folks to dress separately. You will have extra dressing—store in the fridge for up to a couple weeks, but let it come to room temperature before using since the oil will solidify. This salad tastes even better the next day, after it has soaked up the vinaigrette.

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Roasted Zucchini with Whole Garlic, Lemon & Fried Sage Leaves

TIME: 45 MINUTES, SERVES: 4

The impetus for this recipe was having to thin our sage plants in the greenhouse. I’ve never been one to cook much with fresh sage, but when I had a handful of the most tender, baby leaves, I knew I had to figure something out! Now, I am so glad we decided to grow this herb because I immediately fell in love with the delicate, crispy addition of fried sage leaves to just about any dish.

When the season is in full swing, and the zucchini need harvesting every 2 days, this meal is perfect for a quick, no-fuss dinner. Especially if you have a couple pounds of bone-in chicken thighs to roast—nestle them together and bake all at once.

INGREDIENTS

4 medium-sized zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then quartered (or cut into thirds to make similar sized spears)
2 heads garlic, cut in half crosswise (to expose the center of each clove)
2 lemons, quartered
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbls. avocado oil or high-heat oil
Fried Sage Leaves
1 bunch fresh sage leaves
2 tbls. avocado oil or high-heat oil

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Toss the first 6 ingredients together on a large sheet pan to coat, being mindful as to not dislodge the garlic cloves from the heads. Before placing the sheet pan in the oven, arrange the garlic heads cut-side down on the pan.

  3. Roast for 30 minutes or so, until the garlic cloves have softened and the zucchini & lemons are tender and browned.

  4. While the veggies are roasting, heat the remaining 2 tbls. of high-heat oil in a wide saucepan or frying pan. When the oil is hot, drop the sage leaves in, careful not overcrowd them (you may have to do several batches). Fry for a few minutes until browned and crispy. Keep a close eye on them because this can happen quickly! Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon or spatula and place on a paper towel to cool.

  5. When the veggies are ready for serving, sprinkle the crispy sage over top.

    *If serving alongside roast chicken, scatter the veggies around 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and roast at 325°F for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken registers at 160-165°F.

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Gingery Kale & Mushrooms with Coconut-Fried Eggs

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 4

I made this recipe in the Spring from last season’s frozen and thawed tomatoes, but if you make it in the Fall, you have the possibility of sourcing fresh Kneehigh Farm ginger and turmeric as well! I particularly like curly green kale here, but Swiss chard or hardy spinach would be delicious as well. Substitute the coconut-fried eggs for a nice piece of fish and you’ve got a nourishing, simple dinner that’s on the table in 30 minutes.

INGREDIENTS

4 - 5 small heirloom or plum tomatoes, or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbls. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, slivered
1-inch piece ginger, peeled & minced
1/4-inch piece turmeric, peeled & minced
2 dried hot chili peppers, minced (seeds included) or 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
2 tbls. coconut oil
1 bunch curly green kale (or other hardy green), chopped
2 cups crimini or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 lime, juiced
1 tbls. Nama Shoyu or soy sauce
1 tsp. fish sauce (opt.)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
Coconut-Fried Eggs
1 tbls. coconut oil
2 tbls. unsweetened, shredded coconut
4 eggs

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet, toss with 2 tbls. olive oil and salt. Roast for 15 minutes until slightly blistered.

  2. In a large, heavy-bottom pan, heat 2 tbls. coconut oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, red chili flakes, and a dash of salt. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant.

  3. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened.

  4. Add the kale, cover, and cook until softened. If it becomes dry or starts to burn, add a little water. Cook until the greens are almost tender, then add the lime juice, soy sauce, and fish sauce.

  5. Add the roasted tomatoes with their juices and gently stir. Remove from heat and sprinkle cilantro on top.

  6. Coconut-fried eggs: In a separate pan, heat 1 tbls. coconut oil over medium-low heat.

  7. When the oil is hot, sprinkle the shredded coconut into the pan and quickly crack the eggs over it.

  8. Cover with a lid and fry until the whites are cooked through, but the yolk is still slightly runny. The edges should be crisp.

  9. Top each serving of greens with a fried egg and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Scrambled Eggs & Nettles

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 2

Stinging Nettles have to be my favorite Spring green.You most likely have seen them if you’ve walked through a wet or wooded area in April—maybe you’ve even had the pleasure of brushing up against one unknowingly!

Nettles are considered a “nutritive” herb—meaning they are incredibly nourishing and chock full of necessary vitamins & minerals. They are especially high in iron, magnesium and calcium, which are deficient in most American diets. They contain anti-inflammatory properties, and aid in both male and female reproductive, hormonal & urinary function. They are common in herbal tea blends & tinctures, however, they are also delicious substituted for spinach or delicate cooking greens in a variety of dishes—such as this simple breakfast!

If you know of a healthy nettle patch, handle with gloves and harvest the crowns with snips. Make sure to harvest before they go to seed, because they become difficult to digest. If you are unable to find them in the wild or at the market, substitute spinach or arugula. The stinging hairs dissolve when cooked, dried, or blended.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 pound Stinging Nettles (or substitute spinach, arugula, or other delicate cooking green)
1 bulb green garlic, 1 clove garlic, or 1 tbls. shallot, minced
4 eggs
A splash of heavy cream, or water
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 - 2 tbls. butter or ghee

METHOD

1. Remove the stinging nettle leaves from the stems with gloves.

2. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk. Add the salt, pepper, and splash of cream or water.

3. Heat 1 tbls. butter or ghee in a non-stick skillet.

3. When melted, add the green garlic (or garlic clove/shallot) and cook until fragrant.

4. Add the greens with a pinch of salt, and cook until wilted.

5. Move the greens and garlic to the side of the pan, and add another tbls. of butter to the empty side. Swirl to coat.

6. Pour the scrambled eggs into the empty portion of the pan—do not mix with the greens. Gently stir the eggs constantly with a wooden or rubber spatula to form fine curds. When the eggs are almost cooked through but still slightly wet, stir in the greens and remove from the heat. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

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Scrambled Eggs & Nettles with avocado, 2 salsas, and sauerkraut—a nourishing and filling breakfast!

Scrambled Eggs & Nettles with avocado, 2 salsas, and sauerkraut—a nourishing and filling breakfast!

Pumpkin Seed-Herb Sauce

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 1 PINT

This sauce was born from having an excess of wilting cilantro in my fridge. I was going to make zhoug, a spicy cilantro sauce that’s made with fresh jalapenos and garlic, but I wanted to beef it up to serve alongside salmon. I was looking through my assortment of seeds and nuts for pesto inspiration, and thought the toasted flavor and color of pumpkin seeds would be perfect. With further research, I discovered a traditional sauce from the Yucatan region called Sikil P’ak, taken from the Mayan words for pumpkin seed and tomatoes.

This adaptation swaps tomatoes for rehydrated, smoky chipotle peppers. I added half an avocado for extra creaminess as well. Now it’s a staple in my fridge—I eat it alongside fish, roast chicken, or slathered on veggies. It’s delicious stirred into crème fraîche for a rich accompaniment to soups or stews.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup cilantro, stems and leaves
1 cup parsley, stems and leaves
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
2 tbls. sherry vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbls. capers, drained
1/4 tsp. each ground coriander, cardamom, and cumin
1/2 avocado (opt.)
2 dried chipotle peppers, or 1 whole jalapeno pepper, seeded (opt.)
1/2 tsp. salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over the chipotle peppers and let sit for about 10 minutes to re-hydrate. Remove from the water, (but reserve water for thinning the sauce), cut in half and discard the stems and seeds. Roughly chop.

  2. While the peppers are re-hydrating, spread the pumpkin seeds evenly in a pan over medium-low heat. Toast until they start to sizzle and pop, stirring often to avoid burning. Remove from heat.

  3. Place all ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. Adjust seasonings. Thin with the chipotle water if necessary.

  4. Spoon into a jar and drizzle olive oil on top. Will keep for 1 week in the fridge.

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Dashi Broth

TIME: 2 HOURS; SERVES: ~1 QUART

Sea vegetables aren’t widely consumed in America, unless you eat a ton of sushi or buy those seasoned nori snack sheets. Seaweed comes in all forms (Dulse, Nori, Kombu, Wakame…), and has incredible health benefits. It is high in iodine, iron, glutamic acid, and digestive enzymes—all essential components that are lacking in the American diet. The American Thyroid organization states that over 1/3 of the world’s population is iodine-deficient, and because our bodies don’t naturally produce it, it’s important to consume iodine-rich foods for a properly functioning thyroid (the gland that regulates much of our hormonal & metabolic function).

Vegetarian and vegan folks are typically deficient because iodine is found primarily in seafood. Incorporating sustainably harvested sea vegetables is a great way to add these necessary minerals and enzymes to our diet. Kombu, the seaweed that is the base of Dashi, has a mild, umami flavor and is a nutritional powerhouse. I keep a couple quarts of homemade Dashi in my fridge to use as an alternative to bone broth. By adding smoked bonito flakes (katsuo dashi), you’ll have an even more flavorful broth that can be used as the base of miso soup, various sauces, or my favorite—as a simple sipping broth.

INGREDIENTS

2 quarts water
2 sheets kombu (each 3” x 5”)
1 cup packed, smoked bonito flakes (opt.)

METHOD

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the kombu and water and let soak for about 1 hour.

  2. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer, careful not to boil. Turn heat down to low, and cook for another 30 minutes, until the kombu can be easily pierced. Remove the kombu with tongs (and save to make seaweed salad!)

  3. If adding the bonito flakes, sprinkle over the strained, hot dashi and push down with a spoon but do not stir. Let steep for 5 - 10 minutes.

  4. Strain the dashi through a fine sieve. If not using immediately, let cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Radicchio Salad with Lemon-Anchovy Dressing

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 4

Salty anchovies, capers, and sharp cheese cut the bitterness of radicchio. Double the salad dressing because you’ll want to drown everything in it. This salad is delicious the following day, especially with leftover roast chicken or pork chops.

INGREDIENTS

1 small head radicchio, cored & chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 large handful arugula or Italian parsley leaves, or a mix
1/4 cup shaved hard, sharp cheese (Parmesan, Pecorino, Ricotta Salata…)
Vinaigrette
1 lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove, minced or grated
3 - 4 salt-packed anchovies, cleaned and minced into a paste (if blending, leave whole)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 - 2 tbls. sherry or red wine vinegar
1 tsp. capers, drained and chopped
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Mix together the vinaigrette ingredients, minus the salt. You can either whisk by hand, or blend with an immersion blender. If blending, stir in the capers at the end. Taste, and then add the salt at the very end, since the anchovies, capers, and cheese are already very salty.

  2. Place the radicchio and parsley/arugula leaves in a large, shallow salad bowl. Drizzle with half the vinaigrette and mix gently.

  3. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and scatter the shaved cheese over top.

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Mushroom-Gruyere Quiche with Almond Crust

TIME: 1 HOUR; SERVES: 6 - 8
Crust recipe adapted from ‘Dishing up the Dirt’

This is a variation of our Spring Quiche with Peas & Green Garlic, but isn’t dependent on Spring ingredients. If kale isn’t in season, use Swiss chard or other dark leafy greens. I used crimini mushrooms, but the royal trumpets from Woodland Jewel Mushrooms are my absolute favorite—grab a quart from our farm stand, a dozen pastured eggs, a few seasonal veggies and whip this up in under an hour!

INGREDIENTS

Crust
2 cups almond meal
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbls. fresh thyme, minced, or 1 tsp. dried
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
~1 1/2 tbls. water
Quiche 
1 tbls. ghee, butter, or olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms of choice, wiped clean & sliced
1/2 bunch kale or leafy green, de-stemmed and finely chopped
3 scallions, trimmed; white and green parts chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
A splash sherry vinegar
1/2 cup whole milk, half & half, or heavy cream
4 large eggs
1 cup Gruyere, Parmesan, or sharp cheddar, finely grated
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Grease a 10-inch tart pan, cast iron skillet, or 9-inch pie pan with oil or butter.

  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the almond meal, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and stir to thoroughly combine. Add the water, a little at a time, until the dough holds together.

  4. Press the dough into the prepared pan to evenly cover the bottom and at least 1 inch up the sides. Bake until the crust is slightly golden and firm to the touch, about 15 minutes.

  5. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the ghee/butter/oil to coat the pan. Cook the shallots, garlic, and mushrooms with a dash of salt, until softened. Add the kale and the sherry vinegar. If it seems too dry, add a tbls. of water or stock (but the moisture from the kale and mushrooms should be sufficient—you don’t want it to become soggy). Remove from heat.

  6. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk/cream, cheese, salt and pepper.

  7. Once the crust has finished baking, spread the veggie mixture on top. Pour in the egg mixture. Sprinkle on the scallions and bake for 30 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch and cooked through.

  8. Let the quiche cool for 10 minutes before slicing with a sharp knife. Serve warm or cold.

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Cauliflower "Cake"

TIME: 1 HOUR, 15 MINS; SERVES: 6 - 8
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s, Plenty More

After making cauliflower purée from half of a large cauliflower head, I was searching for a dish to use the remaining half. Flipping through Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Plenty More, I found his recipe for Cauliflower Cake. Substituting almond flour for all-purpose makes it low-carb & gluten-free, and the addition of different spices and herbs produces a really lovely, vegetarian entrée.

I expected a very dense cake from the almond flour, but the quantity of eggs and baking powder produced a light, yet satisfying crumb—delicious paired with an arugula salad & simple vinaigrette. This cake is arguably better the following day, which makes it perfect for a quick lunch on the go.

INGREDIENTS

1 small cauliflower head, or half of a larger head, broken into florets
3 tbls. butter or ghee
2 large shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
1/8 tsp. black mustard seeds
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
7 large eggs
1 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cup aged, sharp cheddar or Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tbls. capers, chopped
2 tbls. sesame seeds
1 tbls. nigella seeds
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Bring a saucepan of generously salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and cook until tender, about 10 - 15 minutes. Drain and set aside in a colander to dry.

  3. Slice 4 rounds from the center of the shallots, and chop the rest. Add the butter to a heavy-bottom pan and heat over medium-low heat until frothy. Add the chopped shallots, garlic, fennel & mustard seeds, and a sprinkle of salt. Cook until browned & fragrant, stirring often. Remove from heat and cool.

  4. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the parsley, almond flour, baking powder, cheese, shallot mixture, turmeric, ~1 tsp. salt, and lots of fresh ground pepper. Mix until smooth before gently folding in the cauliflower florets.

  5. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan with butter. Trace the pan on parchment paper, and cut a circle to line the bottom. Mix the sesame & nigella seeds together, and sift them around the bottom and sides of the pan to coat.

  6. Pour in the cauliflower mixture and arrange the shallot slices on top. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  7. Remove and let cool for 15 - 20 minutes. Slide a knife around the edges to loosen. To remove from the pan, flip onto a plate, discard the parchment paper, and flip back over onto a serving platter.

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Pickled Okra

TIME: 20 MINUTES (not including canning time); SERVES: 4 PINTS
Adapted from Linda Ziedrich’s, The Joy of Pickling

Okra is one of my favorite veggies that we grow (it is our logo, after all). I love okra in all different forms: grilled, roasted, raw, and of course, pickled!

These are fun to pull out at a dinner party in the middle of winter, or give as gifts throughout the season. Most people know okra for its mucilaginous qualities—careful not to cut past the stem and into the pod (where the goo lives), or else the brine will thicken and become very unappetizing. It’s also important to use fresh, smaller okra. Large okra can be tough and fibrous—another unpleasant surprise when chomping on a pickle. It’s best to buy okra at a farmers market, or grow your own! Okra doesn’t keep for more than a few days, so stray away from okra with black or brown spots and soft stems. You want green, crisp pods for the best pickles.

INGREDIENTS

4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
4 small dried or fresh hot peppers (red and yellow varieties are pretty)
4 lemon slices
4 tsp. pickling spice, or a mix of: dill seed, mustard seed, bay leaves (crushed), coriander seed, black peppercorns, allspice, cloves
1 quart water
1 quart apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
1/4 cup kosher salt (non-iodized)

METHOD

  1. Divide the garlic, lemon, peppers, and spices evenly between 4 sterilized pint jars.

  2. Trim the stems from the okra, but do not cut into the pod itself. Stuff the okra into the jars.

  3. Mix the water, vinegar, and salt together in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

  4. Ladle the hot brine into the jars, leaving about 1/4 inch headspace. If you are not canning them, let the jars cool, then transfer to the fridge. Wait 2 - 3 weeks before eating.

  5. If you are canning, process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Store for at least 3 weeks before eating.

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Creamy Cauliflower Purée

TIME: 20 MINS; SERVES: 6

I’ll choose cauliflower purée over mashed potatoes any day. When boiled and puréed, cauliflower takes on a lighter, creamier texture than potatoes, and will never become a gluey mass, even when reheated. The butter and cream produces a super rich, silky texture, but this can also be made vegan with high-quality olive oil. You can boil the cauliflower in homemade stock for extra flavor.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into florets
3 - 5 tbls. unsalted butter or ghee
1/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk, plus more to thin
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Bring a medium pot of generously salted water or stock to boil.

  2. Add the cauliflower florets to the boiling water/stock and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, or until very tender.

  3. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor with the butter, and purée, adding the cream (or stock) a little at a time to achieve your desired texture.

  4. Add the salt & pepper to taste. Blend until very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

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Coconut Yogurt

TIME: 10 minutes (plus time to culture) SERVES: 1 PINT

Coconut yogurt is a satisfying treat if you have a lactose intolerance, or are trying to minimize carbs. It is very rich, so I recommend eating just a couple spoonfuls at a time—it makes a great probiotic-filled snack, or topping for Chocolate-Avocado Pudding.

*Unlike the effervescent coconut yogurt from New Earth Superfoods or GT Dave’s CocoYo, this is mild & creamy—similar to Greek yogurt.

INGREDIENTS

1 can full-fat coconut milk (I’ve found the “Classic” Native Forest brand produces a better result than the “Simple”—I assume this is due to the guar gum)
2 probiotic capsules (I use this one because it is available in the refrigerated section of my grocery store.) Avoid probiotic pills, because they need to be crushed instead of opened & emptied

METHOD

  1. If your coconut milk has separated, pour into a bowl and mix thoroughly until emulsified and creamy. This is easier at room temperature.

  2. Open the probiotic capsules, empty them into the coconut milk and stir thoroughly.

  3. Cover loosely with a small plate or clean dish towl, and let sit at room temperature in a warm, dark place for a few days, until slightly soured and thickened, stirring once or twice per day.

  4. Transfer to the fridge with a tight fitting lid to further thicken.

  5. After it has cooled, it will be incredibly thick and ready to eat! You can then add your favorite flavorings, or enjoy as is.

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Chicken Soup with Lemon & Spinach

TIME: 4 HOURS; SERVES: ~6

This whole-chicken method is super flavorful and relatively quick—perfect if you have an old stew bird lying around. I’ll put the soup on to simmer around lunch, and by dinner, all I need to do is add the greens and lemon!

INGREDIENTS

1, 3 - 4 lb. whole chicken, or chicken parts
1 large yellow onion, unpeeled & quartered
1 entire head of garlic, unpeeled & cut crosswise
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 - 4 large carrots, roughly chopped
Handful parsley, leaves (finely chopped) and stems
1 tbls. peppercorns
Kosher salt
2 bay leaves
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Water, to cover
1 lemon, quartered
2 - 3 scallions, white and green parts trimmed & sliced
2 cups spinach
1 medium zucchini, sliced with a vegetable peeler into long, wide strips

METHOD

  1. Remove the chicken or chicken parts from the fridge an hour before cooking and sprinkle with kosher salt.

  2. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, place the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, parsley stems, peppercorns, bay leaf, apple cider vinegar, and 1 tbls. of kosher salt. If using a whole chicken, separate the breasts (this makes early removal from the soup much easier).

  3. Add the chicken or chicken parts and enough water to cover, about 3 quarts.

  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for about 25 minutes, until the breasts are cooked through.

  5. Remove the breasts and let cool. Remove the skin and shred the meat. Set aside.

  6. Continue cooking the soup over low for another 3 hours or so.

  7. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before straining through a colander over another pot or large bowl. Separate the dark meat from the carcass and add to the reserved breast meat.

  8. Bring the stock back to a boil, and add the zucchini, spinach, scallions, and parsley leaves. Cook for a couple minutes until the greens and zucchini are bright green. Turn off the heat and add the reserved chicken meat. Add the lemon wedges, squeezing the juice into the soup. Season to taste.

  9. Ladle into bowls. I like to top with a dollop of crème fraîche, but it is delicious on its own.

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Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes, with Lemon Curd & Cream

TIME: 1 HOUR (not including cooling time); SERVES: 12 MUFFINS
Adapted from Christina Tosi’s ‘Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins’ in the Cherry Bombe cookbook

This recipe is a little more involved than I typically tend towards (and definitely not gluten or sugar-free), but worth the extra steps! If you don’t want to overdue it, skip the lemon curd filling and the whipped topping, and you’ll still have the best, most-lemony poppy seed muffins ever.

My sister is the pastry chef, not me. (I use a ziplock with the corner cut out as a piping bag.) You will, however, benefit from an electric hand mixer or stand-up mixer. Having to whip egg whites and cream butter & sugar by hand makes these already involved cupcakes a little too daunting.

*Note: If you don’t have access to Meyer lemons, other varieties are fine, you just may need to purchase a few extra because they can yield less juice. Stray away from bottled lemon juice—you will need the zest and pulp as well, so fresh lemons are a necessity here.

INGREDIENTS

Cupcakes
4 (Meyer) lemons, zest and flesh
3 large egg whites
6 tbls. unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup buttermilk or crème fraîche
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (I’ve made these with gluten-free flour—they require a little more baking time)
1 tbls. poppy seeds
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Lemon Curd (makes 1 cup)
2 large egg yolks
2 large whole eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (~5 lemons)
5 tbls. unsalted butter, diced
Pinch of salt
Whipped Lemon-Cream Topping
1 cup heavy whipping cream
~1/2 cup lemon curd, or to taste

METHOD

  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

  2. Zest the lemons and set aside. Cut off the top and bottom of each lemon. Holding each lemon upright, use a paring knife to slice down the sides, removing the white pith until only the fruit is left. Run a paring knife along each segment to extract the flesh from the membrane, making sure to remove any seeds. Do this over a bowl to collect all the juice. Cut the segments into slivers if they haven’t already broken apart, and add to the bowl along with the zest. Set aside.

  3. Using either a hand mixer or standing mixer, whip the egg whites until medium-firm peaks form. Set aside.

  4. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low, add the egg yolks and buttermilk/crème fraîche. Mix until combined.

  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds. Add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture, alternating with the lemons until incorporated.

  6. Add half the egg whites and mix to combine. Add the other half and gently fold, careful not to over mix.

  7. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely. These can be made a day in advance.

  8. For the lemon curd: Mix all ingredients together in a heavy bottom saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until the butter melts and the curd becomes thick. Do not overcook.

  9. Immediately remove from the stove and strain through a mesh sieve, pressing down with a rubber spatula. Let cool completely. Curd can be made up to 3 days in advance.

  10. Assembly: Once you are ready to assemble the cupcakes, cut out a hole from the center of each cupcake with a serrated knife.

  11. Spoon half the lemon curd into a sturdy plastic bag, or piping bag, and cut a small hole in the bottom corner. Squeeze enough curd into each hole to almost fill. If you don’t have enough, you can add more from the reserved curd, just know you’ll have less to add to the whipped cream topping.

  12. Cut the bottom off each cupcake plug that was removed. Replace the flattened plug on top of the lemon curd.

  13. For the whipped lemon-cream: Just before serving, whip the cream until stiff, but careful not to over mix because you will make butter!

  14. Fold in the remaining lemon curd. Avoid adding too much, or the cream will become wet and heavy.

  15. Using a different sturdy plastic bag, spoon the whipped topping in and cut a hole in the bottom corner—a pastry tip is nice here. Pipe on top, concealing the plug.

  16. Refrigerate If not serving immediately. Pass around fresh raspberries or blueberries for a nice touch.

Creamy Coconut-Broccolini Soup

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 4 - 6

This dairy-free soup is delicious in both the Spring or Fall—however, the natural sweetness of broccolini and spinach really shine after a touch of frost. In our Southeastern region of Pennsylvania, broccoli has a very short Spring growing window, since the weather quickly becomes too hot. This is one reason we choose to grow “flowering broccoli” or broccolini—the heads mature faster, and you harvest more than once off each plant.

The tender broccolini stems are especially delicious. If substituting large broccoli heads, make sure to peel the stalks before chopping, because they can be tough and fibrous. If you don’t have spinach, substitute arugula, mizuna, or other tender green—or forego the greens altogether and add more herbs!

*By swapping vegetable broth for chicken, this soup can easily be made vegan.

INGREDIENTS

4 tbls. unrefined coconut oil
1/2 tsp. each: fennel seed, black mustard seed, cumin seed, coriander seed
A dash cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 shallot or small yellow/white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 - 8 scallions or 2 leeks, trimmed & chopped
2 pounds broccolini, or 2 large heads broccoli, chopped
4 cups baby spinach
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1, 14-oz can full-fat coconut milk
1 quart chicken bone broth (or veggie broth, or water)
Juice from 1/2 lime, plus slices for serving
1 tbls. fish sauce (opt.)
Greek yogurt or crème fraîche, for serving (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat coconut oil in a heavy bottom soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat.

  2. Add the spices and let sizzle for a minute until fragrant.

  3. Add the alliums (onion, shallot, scallion, leek, garlic…) and broccolini. Cook, stirring often to avoid burning, until the broccolini is bright green and the alliums softened. If the seeds start to burn, add a little broth or water.

  4. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

  5. Turn the heat down to medium-low again, and add the herbs, greens, and coconut milk. Simmer until the broccolini is tender and the greens are wilted.

  6. Remove from the heat. Let cool slightly, then carefully transfer in batches to a high-powered blender, or use an immersion blender.

  7. Return to the pot and add the fish sauce and lime juice to taste. Adjust seasonings.

  8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with optional Greek yogurt or crème fraîche. Serve with extra lime slices.

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