ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

A locavore moves from Wisconsin to New Hampshire and rediscovers what "local" means.


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Mise en place- pasta with asparagus

Today was the first CSA delivery from Root 5 Farm. We got fresh asparagus. Definitely a day for Pasta with Asparagus.

The trick to pasta with asparagus is to build up of flavorful sauce to coat the pasta. Otherwise, the dish turns out kind of boring. I’m going to use leftover chives butter (green paste on the left), and chopped green onions (glass jar on the right). Additionally, we want some protein. So I’m adding tuna in oil. However, the tuna can overpower, so I drain off any extra oil or liquid. I also toss in the tuna at the very end so the flavor doesn’t spread around too much.

Not shown, but critically important, Parmesan cheese. The salty umami flavors complement the tuna and vegetables. I made Sam stop at the grocery to pick some up. Tip: use the vegetable peeler to get long strips that don’t melt into the background. 

Next year – I’ll be able to make pasta with asparagus hopefully from my own garden.


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This Week in Veg: A lot of Leeks

What’s the term for a group of vegetables? We have a herd of cows, a flock of sheep, a murder of crows… but what do you call a bunch of vegetables? A bunch? 

Either way, we got a lot of leeks this week in the CSA. I tried to chop and freeze them a few years ago, but I just didn’t get back to using them and they got freezer burn. I think I will put them into a quiche. Sound good. Maybe with bacon? 

That's a lot of leeks. A bunch of leeks? A bramble of leeks?

That’s a lot of leeks. A bunch of leeks? A bramble of leeks?


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Abundant Zucchini Recipes: Zucchini Fritatta

Zucchini Fritatta

(From KCRW.com)

This is a variant on the spaghetti-based Italian Fritatta. 

  • 2 to 3 medium,  1 to 2 large, or 1 jumbo zucchini
  • 4 to 6 eggs
  • 1 cup grated cheese like parmesan or cheddar
  • 2 tbsp Butter or oil
  • Garlic or onion powder

Heat the oven to 400F and place a 10 to 12 inch cast iron skillet in in the oven to get hot. 

Run the zucchini through the mandoline and cut into long julienne strips. If you don’t have a mandoline, cut into uniform slices, then cross-cut into julienne strips or grate the zucchini. Toss the zucchini with salt and pepper, garlic or onion powder, and 1/3 cup of grated cheese. Beat the eggs. 

Once the oven is hot, add butter or oil to the hot skillet and swirl to coat the bottom. Remove the skillet from the oven and loosely pile the zucchini in the hot skillet. Return to the oven and cook for 8-12 minutes until the zucchini smells toasted and fragrant. Remove the skillet again from the oven and pour the eggs over the zucchini. Cook another 8-12 minutes until the center of the eggs are firm. Top with 2/3 cup of cheese and cook about 5 minutes longer, until the cheese is brown and bubbly. 

Remove from the oven and let set for 5 minutes to firm up. Slice into wedges. 

 

 


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Anybody else sick of zucchini yet?

Late August is the only time that New Englanders lock their car doors. If you leave your car unlocked, somebody will leave you a box of orphan zucchini on your front seat. (Photo from greenstag.net)

We have the first week of our CSA where we don’t have lettuce and do have more zucchini (and other summer squash) than we expect to eat in a week. This marks a big move in our Summer eating. Up until this point, we have new vegetables trickling in for the first time – the first cucumber, the first tomato, the first zucchini. We’ve now reached the peak of novelty and descended into bounty. We must smash tomatoes into jars because there are just too many to eat. The cucumbers get huge, bitter, and neglected on the vine. The lettuce, spinach and other greens have gone to seed and are bitter and inedible. We now have to hide zucchini in other foods. We now move into crisis mode. There are vegetables coming out our ears.

I have a lot of strategies for handling the bounty. Of course, you’ve read about my adventures with canning, drying, and other odd types of preserving. I also have strategic approaches for cooking that use up lots of vegetables. I went through some of  my recipes for using lots and lots of greens, and now over the next few days, I will let you in on my secrets on how to cook a lot of zucchini. 

Yes, I will share my recipe for chocolate zucchini cake. 

Until then!

 

 


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Blueberry fennel salad

Blueberry and fennel salad with Parmesan20140728-192120-69680579.jpg

3 cups Mixed greens
1/2 cup Blueberries
Small Fennel bulb
Parmesan, shaved with a veggie peeler

Vinaigrette:
1 tbsp blueberry jam
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp mustard
Salt
4 tbsp olive oil

Wash greens. Slice fennel and if it’s dirty, wash it too. Rinse the blueberries.

Whisk jam, vinegar and mustard. Add salt to taste. Drizzle in oil while whisking vigorously.

Mix greens and fennel. Toss with 1 tbsp vinaigrette. Plate. Top with berries, Parmesan, and remaining dressing.


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This Week in Veg: I’m OK with cucumbers coming out my ears

We got a healthy load of cucumbers this week. I’m completely OK with that. First, I’m at my fermenting workshop this week learning all about lactic acid fermentation and making old-fashioned “sour” pickles. Second, there’s nothing to beat the heat like an ice-cold cucumber. We’ll see what happens.

I’m also happy to see an influx of full-sized onions. We’ve been running low on aromatics over the past week. Spring onions are past, green garlic is scarce, and there’s not a ginger root or shallot to be had.

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