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Spring CSA Share

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!

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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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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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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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.

Roasted Salmon & Romanesco with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

TIME: 40 MINUTES, SERVES: 6

This simple sheet-pan dinner is especially delicious in the Fall when Romanesco is at its best (and before the cilantro freezes). Feel free to substitute cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or even sweet potatoes (adjusting the oven time accordingly).

I’ve only recently introduced seafood to my kitchen. For a long time, I’ve been ignorant to best fishing practices and so opted out of being a consumer since the industry felt so overwhelming. Sustainably harvested Sockeye salmon has become one of my favorite options. Its oily, deep red flesh is high in essential omega-3s and has a strong flavor that holds up well to roasting or grilling.

* If you eat a lot of seafood, I recommend checking out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch for information on sustainable options. It’s important, like with any food or farming industry, to know your sources and be willing to financially support businesses that maintain our planet’s health.

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds skin-on salmon filets, cut into 6 equal servings
~6 cups romanesco, chopped into florets (1 - 2 large heads)
6 garlic cloves, peeled & smashed
2 tbls. refined avocado oil, or high-heat oil
1 tsp. cumin seed
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes or 1/2 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 avocado (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  2. Set aside the salmon filets on a plate and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

  3. On a large baking sheet, toss the romanesco with the garlic cloves, oil, cumin seed, salt & pepper to thoroughly coat. Spread in a single layer (use 2 sheets if necessary) and roast for 20 minutes, until slightly browned. Remove from oven and stir.

  4. Nestle the salmon filets into the veggies. Roast for another 10 minutes, until the salmon is cooked through and easily flakes, but is still slightly pink (120 degrees).

  5. While the salmon is roasting, whisk together the crushed red pepper or jalapeno slices, lime juice & zest, cilantro, olive oil, and salt to taste. If adding avocado, blend everything in either a food processor, immersion, or standing blender. If it is too thick, thin with a little water, and adjust to taste. If too sour, add some honey.

  6. To plate, place veggies and one filet on each dish and drizzle with dressing.

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Spicy Pork Meatballs & Zucchini Ribbons in Broth

TIME: 20 MINUTES; SERVES: 4 - 6

During the summer months, we barter vegetables for pastured pork from our neighbors. All their offerings are phenomenal, but one of my favorites is their “Country Sausage”, which consists of 3 simple ingredients: pork, salt & pepper. Ground pork works wonderfully in these tender, poached meatballs, however, feel free to substitute ground dark meat turkey or chicken.

This soup comes together in less than 30 minutes, for when you’re needing a a nourishing, hot meal ASAP.

INGREDIENTS

1 zucchini
6 cups broth of choice (chicken, pork, veggie…)
Meatballs
1 lb. ground pork (or ground dark meat turkey/chicken)
1/2 tsp. hot chili paste or spicy harissa (or crushed red chili flakes)
2 tbls. shallots or scallions, minced
1 tsp. black garlic paste or 1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
2 tbls. cilantro
2 tbls. parsley
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric (opt.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste (check to see if meat is seasoned first)

Cilantro, scallion and chili oil, to serve (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Slice the zucchini into long ribbons with a vegetable peeler or mandolin. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

  2. Mix the meatball ingredients together and form into 12 meatballs.

  3. Bring broth to a boil. If you need to add salt or acid (lemon, sherry vinegar), do so at this point.

  4. Add the meatballs so they are submerged in the liquid. Let simmer for about 7 minutes, until cooked through. Turn the heat off and add the zucchini ribbons. Let sit for a couple minutes before serving.

  5. Ladle into bowls. Top with additional cilantro, scallion, and a drizzle of chili oil.

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Pickled Garlic Scapes

TIME: 20 MINUTES (not including optional canning); SERVES: 1 PINT (multiply by 8 to can a full hot water bath)

Garlic scapes are among the most highly anticipated Spring offerings. Like peas and strawberries, they are fleeting—moreso because there is just one harvest from each garlic plant. The flavor is milder and sweeter than garlic cloves, with a tender crunch. They can be used fresh or lightly sautéed in any dish you would otherwise use cloves, but they truly shine when bathed in brine.

*A little growing knowledge: For storage garlic, cloves are planted in the Fall and left to overwinter. In the Spring, the clove shoots up a green stalk and continues to flesh out its bulb. Before the bulb is fully formed, the plant will reveal its flower—or garlic “scape”—this must be harvested off each plant before fully open to prevent the bulb from shattering, rendering it useless.

Because of the need to promptly harvest every scape, growers usually have a one-time bounty. I try to can at least a dozen or so jars to give as gifts throughout the season. If you don’t grow garlic, and just want to make a single batch, this recipe can be adapted as a refrigerator pickle (no need to bust out the hot water bath). Just allow the flavors to meld for a few weeks before serving. Pickled scapes are an amazing addition to an hors d’oeuvres platter, alongside sharp cheese and cured meat.

INGREDIENTS

About 2 - 3 bunches garlic scapes (1/2 pound)
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
1/4 tsp. coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
1 whole dried chili, or 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 whole dill head, or 1 tsp. dill seed
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
3/4 cup water
1 tbls. kosher salt (non-iodized)

METHOD

  1. Wash the scapes. Trim off tough ends and blossoms (you can save these bits for stock).

  2. Place all the spices into a sterilized mason jar, minus the salt. Stuff the garlic scapes into the jar, either by trimming to size, or wrapping them around in a circular pattern, and then filling in the center.

  3. Heat the vinegar, water, and salt in a saucepan until boiling. Pour into the jar.

  4. From here you can continue with processing in a hot water bath for 10 minutes to make shelf-stable pickles, or simply put a tight fitting lid on the jar and set in the fridge for a couple weeks before tasting.

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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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Dandelion Salad with Bacon & Jammy Eggs

TIME: 20 MINUTES; SERVES: 4
Adapted from David Tanis’s Market Cooking

Once the daffodils and crocuses start pushing through in the early Spring, I immediately have what I can best describe as a “primordial craving” for fresh dandelion greens and nettles. These first Spring greens pack an alarming amount of vitamins, minerals, iron, and calcium. Dandelion greens are best known for their detoxifying properties, especially in relation to the liver and bile production.

The salt & fat from the bacon, umami-heat from raw garlic, and acid from fresh lemon makes this a salad that will most likely turn into one, very large serving (with zero regrets).

INGREDIENTS

1 large bunch dandelion greens; stems trimmed & leaves roughly chopped or torn (smaller, tender leaves preferred, although larger leaves pack a little more ‘liver-detoxing’ bitterness)
4 slices bacon
3, “9-minute” boiled eggs
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, grated
2 tbls. red wine or sherry vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tbls. Dijon mustard
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Parmesan, Gruyere, or other hard cheese, shaved (opt.)
1/2 large avocado, sliced or cubed (opt.)
Poppy seeds (I use an “everything” seasoning blend of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, onion & salt; opt.)

METHOD

1. If you haven’t yet boiled the eggs, bring a small pot of water to boil. Once boiling, add the eggs and boil for exactly 9 minutes. Transfer to cold water.

2. While the egg water is boiling, make the vinaigrette: Mix the garlic, vinegar, lemon, olive oil, mustard, salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

3. Fry the bacon in a large cast-iron pan until slightly crisp. Remove and let cool. Chop crosswise into 1/4 inch wide lardons.

4. Put the greens in a large salad bowl and lightly sprinkle with salt. Massage very gently for a few seconds. Dress with half the vinaigrette, tossing to coat.

5. Peel the eggs, and chop into quarters. Arrange the lardons, eggs, optional avocado slices/cubes, and shaved cheese on top. If you want a little crunch, add the poppy seeds or “everything” seasoning, or other favorite nut/seed.

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