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vegetables

Braised Greens with Tomatoes & Leeks

TIME: 1 HOUR; SERVES: 6 - 8
Adapted from Bon Appetit

This dish is the perfect companion to crispy chicken on a frigid Fall evening (ideally after a light frost when the greens get shocked into sweetness). In late September, when I’m sick of canning tomatoes, I’ll toss the last couple harvests into my chest freezer. This has become my preferred preserving method, because when I take them out to thaw, the skins easily slip off, releasing their liquid and further concentrating their flavor. I used a variety called Jaune Flamme in this recipe— a small, bright orange heirloom that is exceptionally sweet, but still packs a tangy punch. Smoky paprika and melting leeks make this a substantial dish on its own, particularly if sprinkled with pine nuts and crumbled goat cheese.

INGREDIENTS

2 tbls. high-heat oil or bacon grease
2 bunches hardy greens (kale, dandelion, collards, etc.), stems removed or finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large leek, cut in half lengthwise and rinsed clean, chopped into half moons
3 cloves garlic, peeled & slivered
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
2+ tsp. red wine or sherry vinegar
1 1/2 cups bone broth (chicken, pork, or veggie)
1/2 cup stewed or roasted tomatoes, cooked down
Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
Pine nuts & goat cheese, to serve (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat oil or bacon grease in a large, heavy bottom pan over medium heat.

  2. when the pan is hot enough to sizzle water, add the onions, leek, and garlic. Cook until softened, about 7 - 10 minutes.

  3. Add the tomatoes & paprika, and cook for another 5 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Add the broth & vinegar, and bring to a boil.

  5. Add the greens in batches. Stir to incorporate, and simmer until tender, 20 - 30 minutes, partially uncovered. Season again to taste, and garnish.

Topped with pine nuts and Turmeric-Ginger Sauerkraut

Topped with pine nuts and Turmeric-Ginger Sauerkraut

The Joy of Roasted & Grilled Veggies

The grill is a great option when it’s too hot inside to imagine turning on the oven. But in the Fall, I typically have the oven on for several hours a day, roasting loads of veggies to nosh on throughout the week. Whenever I have an excess of root vegetables, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplants, sweet potatoes, apples,—anything—I chop ‘em up and throw them in the oven.

Generally, I stick to 4 rules:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Coat the veggies in high-heat oil & season generously with salt & pepper (include other herbs and spices depending on the veggie).

  3. Spread out in a single layer. Use more pans if necessary to avoid overcrowding.

  4. Rotate the pan halfway through; wait until they’ve browned on one side before flipping.

Roasting time varies on the vegetables & how they’ve been chopped, but also on the type of pan, the specific oven, etc.. For more delicate items, I check after 15 - 20 minutes. For starchier, sturdier veggies, I’ll check after 30 - 45 minutes. Oftentimes I’ll mix a variety of similar veggies together, like carrots and turnips, fennel & onions, or peppers and eggplants.

Veggies prepped for grilling

Veggies prepped for grilling

Grilled Tatsoi

Grilled Tatsoi

Roasted beets & sweet potatoes over micro greens

Roasted beets & sweet potatoes over micro greens

Okra skewers

Okra skewers

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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Roasted Broccolini & Potato Soup

TIME: 30 - 45 MINUTES; SERVES: 4 - 6
Adapted from NTY Cooking

This soup is particularly delicious in the late Fall, after the broccolini has been frost-kissed to bring out its natural sweetness. Further roasting increases the caramelized flavor, and creamy potatoes add the right amount of substance without overdoing the dairy. *For a low-carb option, you can substitute cauliflower for potatoes.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup high-heat oil
2 bunches broccolini (~2 pounds), or 2 large heads broccoli
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbls. butter/ghee
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
3 - 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound potatoes, sliced (peeled or unpeeled), or cauliflower florets.
1 quart stock or water, more as needed for desired consistency
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1 1/2 tbls. lemon juice
Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
Parsley, chopped, to serve
Olive oil, to serve

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Toss broccolini with 2 tbls. high-heat oil & 1 tsp. kosher salt. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. If using broccoli heads, cut into florets, & peel/chop the stalks. Roast until a little crispy and browned, but not entirely soft, about 15 minutes.

  3. In a large soup pot, heat butter/ghee & 2 tbls. oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook until softened, about 4 minutes.

  4. Add potato or cauliflower to the pot with stock or water, and remaining salt if needed. Bring to a simmer, cover pot and cook until potato/cauliflower is just tender, (10 - 15 minutes for potatoes, 5 - 10 minutes for cauliflower). Add broccolini, cover again and cook another 5 - 10 minutes.

  5. Add lemon zest and purée soup with an immersion or standing blender, leaving some small chunks for texture. You may need to add more stock or a bit of milk/cream if too thick. Stir in lemon juice. Finish with grated Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, & parsley.

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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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Spring Quiche with Peas & Green Garlic

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

I make variations of this quiche every Sunday after market, so I have a grab-n-go lunch or breakfast prepped for the week. This is my all-time favorite “Spring Edition”, since peas and green garlic are so fleeting, yet so delicious together. Pea shoot micro greens in addition to shelling peas are used, which infuses the quiche with a grassy, fresh flavor. There is a bit of prep required, (especially if you like to make your own crème fraîche—recipe in Pantry Staples & Other Goodies). Double the crust and keep sealed in the fridge for the following week.

INGREDIENTS

Crust
2 cups almond meal or flour
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
2 - 3 green garlic bulbs & tender stalks, minced (~1/3 cup)
2 cups pea shoot micro greens, roughly chopped
1/2 - 1 cup fresh shelling peas, shelled
1/4 cup parsley and/or mint, chopped
A splash dry white wine or chicken/veggie stock
1/2 cup whole milk, half & half, or heavy cream
4 large eggs
A few generous dollops of crème fraîche, sour cream, or ricotta
Sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (opt.)
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/flour, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and stir until thoroughly combined. Add the water, a little at a time until the dough holds together.

  4. Press the dough into your prepared pan to evenly cover 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 green garlic & peas with a dash of salt, stirring often, until fragrant and bright green. If dry, add the white wine or stock. Toss in the pea shoots and herbs of choice, and let wilt while stirring, about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a plate to cool.

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

  7. Once the crust has finished baking, spread the veggie mixture over top. Pour in the egg mixture, and add the dollops of crème fraîche or sour cream. Sprinkle with Parmesan if using, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch and cooked through.

  8. Let the quiche cool for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing with a sharp knife. Serve warm or cold.

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Creamy Winter Squash Soup with Coconut & Ginger

TIME: 30 - 45 MINUTES (not including roasting time); SERVES: 6+

This soup can be made with almost any type of winter squash. I prefer to use Kabocha because of its starchy, chestnut-like texture and flavor, but dense Butternut or Delicata does wonders as well. I would eat this soup all Winter if I could grow & store enough squash to satisfy my cravings.

*Go with a high-powered blender or food processor, rather than an immersion blender, for the silkiest texture.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-large winter squash; roasted, flesh scooped out & reserved (about 2 cups)
2 tbls. unrefined coconut oil or ghee/butter
1 large yellow or white onion (or 1 - 2 leeks), chopped
1 - 2 fennel and/or celery stalks, or 1 fennel bulb (opt.), chopped
1 - 3 carrots (opt.), chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, peeled & grated
Water, vegetable broth, or chicken stock (amount depends on desired consistency)
1, 14-oz. can full-fat coconut milk
~1/4 tsp. each coriander, ground turmeric, & Ceylon cinnamon
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Juice from 1/2 - 1 lime (depending on size; to taste)
1 tsp. fish sauce (opt.)
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Cilantro, chopped
Greek yogurt or crème fraîche

METHOD

  1. Heat coconut oil or ghee/butter in a large dutch oven or soup pot. When hot enough to sizzle water, add the onions, optional fennel, celery & carrots, garlic, ginger, & spices. Cook until browned & fragrant.

  2. Add the coconut milk and roasted winter squash. Add enough water or stock to barely cover. (You can always add more liquid, but it’s hard to cook the soup down once it’s too thin without adding more squash.)

  3. Cover and simmer on low until soft and thoroughly cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir often to avoid sticking.

  4. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Transfer carefully in batches to the blender or food processor and purée until creamy.

  5. Adjust seasonings: add the lime, optional fish sauce, and salt & pepper to taste.

  6. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and yogurt or crème fraîche.

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