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vegetarian

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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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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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!

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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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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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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Smashed Persian Cucumbers with Sesame & Ginger

TIME: 20 MINUTES, SERVES: 4
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Persian cucumbers have become very popular among our customers and chefs. Their small size and thin skins make them perfect for easy snacking or quick prep. They are surprisingly sweet and crunchy, while still retaining a refreshing, cucumber flavor.

Smashing cucumbers (my new alt. rock band name) is fun! It is also a great way to involve kids in the kitchen. But it’s not just about fun and games—the craggy edges have more surface area for seasonings, packing every mouthful full of flavor.

INGREDIENTS

5 - 6 small, Persian cucumbers
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts sliced
2 tbls. rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted (a mix of white and black are nice)
Chili oil, to taste (look for a brand without additives or MSG—just chilies and oil preferably—or make your own!)

METHOD

  1. Tear cucumbers into bite size pieces.

  2. Place the cucumbers plus 1 tsp. kosher salt in a colander, and let drain for 10 minutes.

  3. Place sesame seeds in a small pan and toast until they start to pop, about 3 - 5 minutes. Stir to avoid burning, and remove from heat.

  4. Transfer the cucumbers to a medium bowl and add rice wine vinegar and grated ginger. Toss to coat and adjust seasoning.

  5. Transfer cucumbers to a serving dish, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and drizzle with chili oil.

Cauliflower Steaks & Purée with Pistachio-Caper Relish

TIME: 45; MINUTES SERVES: 2 - 4
Adapted from Ottolenghi & Bon Appetit

This dish is surprisingly simple, and incredibly impressive as a vegetarian entrée or side dish—a wonderful option if you are wanting to whip up a fancy, plant-based dinner. The caramelized cauliflower steaks are beautiful plated over the purée, and the relish is the perfect mix of salt, fat, acid & crunch.

Yotam Ottolenghi knows how to transform the humble cauliflower into a centerpiece. His original recipe calls for anchovies and egg yolk in the purée, and walnuts in place of pistachios. As always, feel free to adjust to your liking.

INGREDIENTS

Relish
1/3 cup raw pistachios, shelled
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbls. capers, drained
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes or 1/2 hot pepper, seeded and minced
3 tbls. parsley, chopped
1 tbls. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 small shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, grated
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1 medium head cauliflower
1 clove garlic, grated
1 - 2 tbls. lemon juice
2 tbls. olive oil or butter/ghee, plus 1 tbls. for frying
2+ tbls. water or cream
1 salt-packed anchovy filet, rinsed & cleaned (opt.)
3 - 4 strips lemon zest
1/2 tsp. each za’atar and nigella seeds (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Spread pistachios on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant & golden brown, 5 - 7 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop & set aside. Increase oven temperature to 425°F.

  3. Heat olive oil and capers in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until capers are golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Pour oil and capers into a small bowl to cool.

  4. When the caper-oil mixture is slightly cooled, mix in pistachios, chili (flakes or fresh), parsley, vinegar, shallot, garlic, and lemon zest. Season with salt and black pepper. Set relish aside. *This can be made a few hours, or up to a day in advance.

  5. For the cauliflower: Remove the tough outer leaves from cauliflower, leaving any tender inner leaves. Trim stem to create a flat base (careful not to over-trim—you’ll need a base to hold the steaks together), and rinse if dirty. Cut cauliflower in half from top to bottom, creating two lobes. From the cut-edge of each lobe, slice a 1-inch “steak” (the stem should hold the florets together), resulting in 2 similar-sized steaks. Very coarsely chop remaining florets & leaves.

  6. Boil enough salted water to cover the florets in a large saucepan, and cook until very tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and purée in a food processor with garlic, lemon juice, 2 tbls. olive oil or butter/ghee, water or cream (to thin), and optional anchovy until very smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides a couple times. Season with salt and more lemon if necessary, and set aside.

  7. Heat 1 tbls. butter/ghee in a large, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower steaks and lemon zest (tucking the strips into the lobes to avoid burning). Cook until steaks are deep golden brown. Flip over and season with salt.

  8. Transfer skillet to the oven and roast until cauliflower stems are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove cauliflower and sprinkle with optional nigella seed & za’atar. If the steaks are not softened at this point, add a couple tbls. water and return pan to oven for another 5 - 7 minutes.

  9. To serve, spoon cauliflower purée onto a platter and arrange steaks on top. Spoon relish over and sprinkle with salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with extra lemon wedges.

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

Zucchini Noodles with Walnut Pesto

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 2

Zucchini noodles, or ‘Zoodles’, have become somewhat of a mascot within the low-carb food community. I have a tendency to approach most food trends with a level of skepticism. Food marketing generally operates from a profit-forward standard, rather than nutritional or ecological. So when a fancy new super food promising “antioxidant-rich!” “sugar-free!” or “healthy!” pops up, I have three main standards on whether it’s worth investigating: 1. Can I grow this? 2. If not, can it be purchased locally? 3. If so, is it grown or raised organically/responsibly?

“Zoodles” pass through all these hoops for me. Even though I wouldn’t label summer squash a nutrition powerhouse, it is yummy and we do grow it. Zoodles have become a gluten-free answer to that slurpy, noodly craving that can hit without warning.

Granted, I’ll eat grilled or roasted zucchini any day alongside a rich pesto dip, but this is a fun way to mix it up. Zoodles can also shine in a light, savory broth, or with a cream-based sauce. I purchased a 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer, and even though it takes up a fair amount of kitchen space and is a little bulky, it’s so easy to use and clean, I have no hesitation busting it out.

I use the word “pesto” very loosely in this recipe. Feel free to make it dairy-free by cutting out the optional Parmesan, or substitute different nuts, seeds, or herbs.

INGREDIENTS

Zoodles
1 large zucchini or 2 medium (Even though the smaller squash generally taste better, I’ve found the larger ones easier to “spiralize")
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. high heat oil, bacon grease, or butter/ghee
(Dairy-free) Walnut “Pesto”
2 cups packed Italian basil (I use the whole plant: leaves, tender stems, flowers, etc.). You can substitute parsley or arugula for some or all of the basil.
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 cup walnuts or favorite nut (pine nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
Juice from 1 lemon, to taste
1 - 2 tbls. water to thin, if necessary
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (opt.)

METHOD

  1. For the pesto, put all ingredients except water into a food processor and process until very smooth. If not using Parmesan, it is important to use a generous amount of salt—start with less and add to taste after blending. If it’s too thick, add a tbls. at a time of water. You will need to use enough oil to coat the noodles in a smooth sauce.

  2. If you don’t have a spiralizer, use a mandolin with a julienne blade or a vegetable peeler to make long ribbons. You can even julienne by hand if you’re confident in your knife skills.

  3. Sprinkle the zoodles with salt and let sit for a few minutes in a colander.

  4. Heat cooking fat in a large skillet. Sear the zoodles in a single layer. Do not stir, rather let them slightly brown on one side and then flip over. It is very important they don’t crowd the pan so that they sear quickly. Crowding results in soggy, overcooked zoodles. Transfer to a wide serving dish.

  5. Top with the pesto and mix very gently to incorporate. Serve topped with roasted cherry tomatoes and chicken, or alongside a few slices of bacon and crumbled goat cheese

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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

Coconut-Cauliflower Soup with Ginger-Scallion Relish

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 6
Adapted from NYT Cooking

The ginger-scallion relish is the shining star in this recipe. This dairy-free, creamy cauliflower soup is a staple in my kitchen, and can be dressed up or down in a variety of ways. The combination of coconut, lime, cilantro, scallion & ginger can’t be beat, and the cauliflower provides a lighter, dairy-free base for the flavors to meld.

INGREDIENTS

3 tbls. unrefined coconut oil
1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer peel removed, inner portion slit to release flavor
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely minced or gated, about 3 tbls.
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 can full-fat coconut milk, or 1 small can coconut cream
A few dashes fish sauce (opt.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
4 - 6 scallions, trimmed, green & white parts thinly sliced
3 tbls. cilantro, chopped
2 tbls. sherry vinegar
2 limes, zest & juice
1/3 - 1/2 cup oil (neutral or olive)

METHOD

  1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion, lemongrass, half the ginger, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. 

  2. Stir in the cauliflower and garlic, then add the stock. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the cauliflower is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ginger with the scallions, cilantro, vinegar, lime zest and juice, and oil. Whisk together and season with optional fish sauce and salt. Adjust seasonings and set aside.

  4. Remove the lemongrass stalk from the soup. Working in batches in a high-powered blender, purée the soup until very smooth. Add the coconut milk/cream & additional stock or water to thin if necessary. Season to taste with salt, pepper and optional fish sauce.

  5. Serve the soup topped with the ginger-scallion relish.

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Spring Strawberry & Pea Shoot Salad

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 4

This salad is the embodiment of Spring—it may as well be called “The Persephone”. The grassy taste & hearty texture of the pea shoots off-set the sweetness of strawberries, and the radishes add a spicy kick. Like Spring, it’s particularly delicious because the ingredients are so fleeting. Make sure you use the tender micro green version of pea shoots, rather than the tougher, stir-fry greens you often see in Asian markets.

INGREDIENTS

A few handfuls pea shoot micro greens
A few large handfuls tender lettuce greens or arugula
1/2 - 1 pint strawberries, sliced
A few radishes, thinly sliced on a mandolin
Toasted seeds or nuts (opt.): sliced almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
Goat cheese (opt.)
Balsamic vinegar & extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. If you are using seeds or nuts, toast them in a small skillet on medium-low heat for a couple minutes until fragrant, stirring often to avoid burning. Remove from heat and set aside.

  2. Assemble salad ingredients in a shallow serving bowl: place the tender greens at the bottom, with the pea shoots over top. Sprinkle on the strawberry & radish slices, along with the optional seeds and goat cheese. Drizzle with oil & vinegar, and season with salt & pepper.

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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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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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