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side dish

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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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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Sweet Corn, Sungold, & Cilantro Salad

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 4

In the dog days of Summer, heat can make it difficult to grow tasty salad greens. This can be bothersome because we oftentimes crave a refreshing, crunchy, raw salad when it’s so dang hot out.

Cue the “Summer Salad!” This is one of my favorites because it epitomizes everything about the season, and takes just a few minutes to prep. For a more savory spin, substitute regular ol’ red cherry tomatoes or chopped plum tomatoes for the super sweet Sungolds. If you don’t like cilantro, use basil! Parsley! Dill! I love to add a little feta in there, but this can also be 100% vegan.

INGREDIENTS

3 ears very fresh sweet corn, kernels shaved off (save cobs for stock)
1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped, or herb(s) of choice
1 pint Sungold cherry tomatoes or red cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbls. red onion or shallot, minced
1 oz. feta cheese (opt.)
Vinaigrette
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, grated
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

METHOD

  1. Mix together the vinaigrette ingredients.

  2. Gently toss together the salad ingredients.

  3. Dress with half the vinaigrette. Taste, and add more if necessary.

  4. Serve alongside grilled fish, chicken, or a couple hard boiled eggs. Or try half an avocado spritzed with lime if it’s just too dang hot.

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Easy Celeriac Slaw

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 4 - 6
Adapted from Ina Garten

If you want to go full-blown Parisian, you can make homemade Remoulade, which is basically Aioli with added Cornichons and herbs. This is a quicker version, but no less delicious. As a grower, I have much appreciation for the humble celeriac plant. They are the first seeds we sow in March and typically take 8 months to mature before ready for harvest. I love this dish as an alternative to cabbage slaw, especially with pork chops or roast chicken. It is delicious alongside poached eggs, a simple green salad, and a few slivers of sharp cheese.

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds celeriac, 1 large or 2 smaller
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Juice from 1 large lemon, about 3 tbls.
3/4 cup homemade mayonnaise or crème fraîche
2 tbls. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar (opt.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Finely chopped cornichons or small sour pickles to taste (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Using a sharp paring knife, peel the celeriac: cut off the top to make a flat surface, then cut down along the sides, following the contour and removing as little flesh as possible. Then cut into thin matchsticks, or grate in a food processor fitted with the coarsest grating blade. Place the celeriac in a large bowl, sprinkle with the kosher salt and 2 tbls. of lemon juice, and allow to sit for about 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise or crème fraîche, mustard, remaining 1 tbls. lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Add enough dressing to moisten the slaw, without drowning it. If you have leftover sauce, reserve it for use in another dish. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Turmeric-Cauliflower with Smashed Garlic & Herbs

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 5 - 6
Adapted from Alison Roman

I make a version of this dish at least once a week when cauliflower is in season. The herbs add a fresh, grassy flavor that compliment the more pungent garlic & spices, and the cauliflower takes on a beautiful golden hue from the turmeric. Don’t fret if some of your cauliflower slices crumble apart—they become the highly sought-after crispy bits.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium head cauliflower
6 - 8 cloves garlic (depending on size), smashed
3 tbls. olive oil, plus more for serving
1 tsp. each fennel & cumin seed
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. ground turmeric
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup mixed herbs: parsley, cilantro, dill, mint; roughly chopped
1 - 2 oz. feta cheese (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat oven to 425°F.

  2. Slice cauliflower from top to bottom into 1/2 inch thick slices, including the core and inner leaves.

  3. Place cauliflower and garlic on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with fennel & cumin seed, turmeric and crushed red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Roast until cauliflower has turned a deep golden brown and is slightly crispy, 25 to 30 minutes. Flip the larger “steaks”, stir the smaller bits around and continue to roast until completely browned, another 8 - 10 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat and top with herbs, optional feta, and a drizzle of olive oil.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Almonds, Lemon & Parsley

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 5 - 6, as a side dish
Adapted from NYT Cooking

Peeking through the leaves of a cauliflower plant in October and finding its white, creamy center is one of the best Fall surprises a grower can experience. Toasted nuts, lemon & herbs haven’t failed me yet, and they surely do justice to a beautiful head of long-awaited cauliflower.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium head cauliflower, florets & tender inner leaves chopped
3 tbls. olive oil
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
A pinch crushed red pepper flakes (opt.)
1/2 cup almonds
2 tbls. Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juice & zest, plus more to taste
2 tbls. capers or chopped green olives (opt.)
1 - 2 oz. feta (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower & leaves with olive oil, salt, pepper & optional crushed red pepper flakes. Spread evenly onto a large baking sheet and roast until crisp and golden, about 25 minutes (the really crispy bits are the best), stirring & rotating the pan halfway to ensure even browning.

  2. Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes to avoid burning. Remove from heat, roughly chop, and set aside.

  3. Once the cauliflower is roasted, toss it in a large, shallow bowl with half the almonds and 1 tbls. parsley. Mix in capers/olives and feta if using. Top with remaining almonds, parsley, lemon juice & zest, and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt to taste.

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Baby Bok Choy with Sesame & Ginger

TIME: 20 MINUTES; SERVES: 4+

We exclusively grow baby Bok Choy varieties at Kneehigh Farm, because we love their mild mustard flavor and workable size. They’re delicious raw, stir fried, grilled, braised, etc.. By halving or quartering them, you get the best of both worlds in each bite: crunchy, refreshing stalk + silky leaves.

Bok Choy is a cool weather crop, so we enjoy it early in the Spring or Fall before frost. This dish is delicious paired with rice, chicken, and a scoop of kimchi for a simple dinner.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound baby Bok Choy
1 1/2 tbls. tamari or Nama Shoyu (soy sauce)
1 tbls. Chinese shaoxing wine, or rice wine vinegar
A few splashes fish sauce (opt.)
1/2 tsp. Sambal Oelek (red chili paste, opt.)
1 tbls. neutral, high-heat oil (refined coconut, avocado, high-oleic sunflower…)
1 garlic clove, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled & minced
1 - 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
Toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
Scallions, to garnish (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Trim bottoms from the baby Bok Choy. If small enough, quarter lengthwise, rinse, and pat dry. If larger, separate the leaves, rinse & dry.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, Chinese wine or rice wine vinegar, optional chili paste and fish sauce. Set aside.

  3. Heat the neutral oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until a splash of water sizzles. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, 20 - 30 seconds. Add the Bok Choy and stir-fry for 2 minutes longer, until crisp-tender. Add the soy sauce mixture and cook for another 30 seconds. Turn off the heat, drizzle with sesame oil, and toss to coat.

  4. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds & scallions.

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