Thursday, September 28, 2006

Grapevine October 1 Market

this week
- What's Coming to the Market this week?
- Winter Schedule

- Cooking ideas - fruit crisp

What's Coming to the Market this Week?

There are still plenty of berries around. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries should all be available this weekend. Peaches and melons will be readily available too. Apples and pears are coming on strong. You will find a wide variety of both fruits to choose from. And let's not forget about grapes

As for vegetables, there will be plenty of greens, from chard to lettuce to mustard greens. Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage will be plentiful too. Root vegetables will be in good supply as will winter squashes. Peppers, eggplant, summer squash, tomatoes and zucchini will be readily available as well. Check the availability list for details.

Copper Crown
Sundance Lavender
Little Pots and Pans
The Smokery

Ayers Creek Farm back November 5
Vibrant Flavor back next week
Cuisine Mentor back October 15

Winter Schedule

October 29 is our last weekly market. We switch to our winter schedule in November. The winter dates are:

November 5, 19
December 3, 17
January 14, 28
February 11, 25
March 11, 25
April 15, 29

Cooking Ideas - Fruit Cobbler

Cobblers are a great way to many fruits. Cobblers are basically baked fruit with a biscuit topping and are easy to prepare. The recipe below is for an apple cobbler but nearly any fruit can be used. All you need for the filling is fruit, a thickening agent and some sugar. Joy of Cooking and The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook are two good places to look for filling ideas. Enjoy!

Apple Cobbler
3 pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

There are two ways to prepare the fruit.
Option 1: In a saute pan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in apples, cinnamon, sugar and flour. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes then transfer to buttered 10 inch pie dish.
Option 2: Mix together apple, cinnamon, sugar and flour. Transfer mix to a 10 inch pie dish and bake uncovered until the apples soften and begin to release liquid , about 20 minutes.

While the apples are cooking (or baking), mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Once mixed, cut in butter until the mixture has a coarse cornmeal consistency. Stir in buttermilk until dough is combined and there is no dry mixture. Divide dough into 8 equal portions and place evenly on top of hot filling. Put pie dish in oven and bake until filling is bubbling and topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let the cobbler cool for at least 15 minutes.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Grapevine September 24 Market

this week
--What's coming to the Market this week?
--What To Do About Spinach?
--Steak with Kale and Garlic

What's coming to the Market this week?

As I write this newsletter it's raining and 60 degrees outside. By Sunday it should be 80 degrees and sunny. Fall weather, if nothing else, is interesting. Berries will be available but in shorter supply. this week. Fall fruit - grapes, apples and pears will be in good supply. Melons and peaches will be readily available too. As for vegetables, corn, cucumbers and pole beans will be readily available. Peppers, both sweet and hot, will be available. Greens like spinach, arugula, lettuce, kale and chard will be plentiful too. Summer squashes and winter squashes will be readily available too. Check the availability list for a complete lineup.

Vibrant Flavor
Gales Meadow Farm

Ayers Creek Farm back November 5
Copper Crown back next week
Cuisine Mentor back next week
Sundance Lavender back next week
Little Pots and Pans back next week
Freddy Guy back next week
The Smokery back next week
Zbeanz back next week

What To Do About Spinach?

Spinach has been in the news for the past few weeks as the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) tracks down the cause of E. coli O157:H7 contamination of packaged spinach. All packaged spinach has been removed from store shelves across the country. The likely source of the contamination appears to be one or more processing plants in California. The subsequent illnesses (and one death) attributable to the E. coli contamination has created a lot of fear and concern. In conversation with the Beaverton Farmer's Market manager, Jim Sellers of the Oregon Health Division stated that there is no reason for shoppers in our farmers
markets to be concerned about our locally raised spinach. Dr. David Acheson, chief medical officer of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the FDA stated in a NY Times article (registration required) written by Marian Burros, that there is less risk in eating locally grown spinach. Buying locally grown spinach is still safe. Buy some spinach from your favorite farmer and enjoy your favorite recipe.

Steak with Kale and Garlic

Once school and all the other activities related to school start in September, the amount of time available for meal preparation shrinks. I came across an easy recipe while reading The Food Section website. Since kale, particularly lacinato kale, is the favored green in our house, I substituted kale for arugula and added garlic. Either recipe will give you a healthy meal in less than 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Steak with Kale and Garlic

1 1/2 pounds lean sirloin, cut into 2-inch long strips about 1/4-inch thick
salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch lacinato kale
3 cloves garlic

Wash kale thoroughly, remove stems, rip kale leaves into two inch long strips and set aside. Slice garlic cloves thin. Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Sprinkle salt and pepper on steak and add slices to pan. Saute meat for about a minute then add garlic and kale. Cook for another five minutes or until steak is brown on all sides then serve.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Grapevine September 17 Market

this week
--What's coming to the Market this week?
--Event - An evening with Michael Shuman on September 14
--Recipe - Shell Beans with Parsley Pesto

What's coming to the Market this week?

The days are shorter and cooler, the first rains have started, fall is just about here. Berries will be in shorter supply this week. Grapes however will be plentiful. Apples and pears are increasing in quantity and variety too. Melons and peaches will be around for awhile so enjoy them while you can. As for vegetables, corn, cucumbers and pole beans will be readily available. Greens like spinach, arugula, lettuce, kale and chard will be plentiful too. Winter squashes are starting to come in and will become more plentiful as we head into fall. Check the availability list for a more complete lineup.

Cuisine Mentor
Blossom Vinegar
Nonna's Noodles
Ayers Creek Farm - Last week until November 5

Vibrant Flavor back next week
Sundance Lavender back next week
Tastebud back next week
Little Pots and Pans back October 1
Freddy Guy back October 1

Event - An evening with Michael Shuman on September 14

The Sustainable Business Network of Portland and the NW Earth Institute are hosting a lecture by Michael Shuman, attorney, economist and author of Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in the Global Age. The lecture will be held on Thursday Sept. 14 at 7:30 pm (doors open 6:45) at First Unitarian Church, 1011 SW 12th Ave. The cost is $15-$20 sliding scale at the door. Based on his latest book, The Small-mart Revolution:How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition, Michael details dozens of specific strategies small and home-based businesses are using to successfully out-compete the world's largest
companies. And it shows how consumers, investors, policymakers, and organizers can effectively revitalize their own communities by supporting local businesses. Contact the Sustainable Business Network at 503 232-2943 or for more information. (The Hillsdale Farmers Market is a member of the Sustainable Business Network and a sponsor of the Think Local First campaign.)

Recipe - Shell Beans with Parsley Pesto

Shelling your own beans can be a time consuming task. Lucky for us, Ayers Creek Farm has been bringing shelled beans to the market for several weeks. Below is a recipe adapted from one printed in the New York Times a few weeks ago. The bacon adds a nice smoky flavor but if you rather not use bacon then just saute the mushrooms in olive oil. Enjoy!

Shell Beans With Mushroom and Parsley Pesto
2 cups fresh shell beans
8 cloves garlic
3 leaves sage
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (packed) fresh parsley leaves
6 ounces (about 4 slices) bacon, cut into small pieces
1/4 lb lobster or chantarelle mushrooms, sliced thin

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the shell beans and remove from heat. Let sit for an hour then drain. Add about 6 cups of fresh water to the pot along with the soaked beans, 6 cloves garlic, 2 sage leaves and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and lower heat and simmer until tender, about 40-60 minutes. Drain and season with salt to taste.While beans cook, mince remaining 2 cloves garlic on a cutting board. Add parsley leaves and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Continue to mince to form a paste. Mince remaining sage leaf and add to parsley paste; set aside. (The pesto can also be made in a food processor. Just add the sage last.) Place bacon in a
skillet and saute over low heat until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons fat. Raise heat to medium-high and add mushrooms and a sprinkling of salt. Saute until mushrooms are starting to turn brown and crisp. Add drained beans and bacon, and toss together over low heat until blended. Remove from heat and stir in parsley pesto. Serve hot.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

September 10 Market

this week
--What's coming to the Market this week?
--Cooking Ideas - Eggplant

What's coming to the Market this week?

School has started but it's still summer at the market. Berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries) will be readily available. Peaches and melons are in good supply too. Plums (Brooks, Italian, Mirabelle among others) will be available. Apples will be plentiful too.

The variety of peppers and eggplants coming to the market has been outstanding the last two weeks and will be again this weekend. Corn and tomatoes will be plentiful this week too. You will find a wide variety of greens too, including lettuces, kale, chards, spinach and arugula. Looking for fresh herbs? You'll find a good amount of basil, parsley, cilantro, shiso, mint and chives this weekend. Carrots, beets, cucumbers, cabbage (green and red), fennel, potatoes (many kinds), onions and radishes will be in good supply too. Check the availability list for a more complete listing.

Blossom Vinegar
Vibrant Flavor

Cuisine Mentor back September 24 back next week
DePaula Confections back next week
Nonna's Noodles back September 17
Little Pots and Pans back next week

Cooking Ideas - Eggplant

Eggplant comes in many shapes and sizes, from the long slender violet colored Asian varieties, to pale White Egg variety. Eggplant is a versatile vegetable. It can be grilled, stuffed and baked, roasted, sauteed or breaded and fried. Ayers Creek Farm included a recipe for Baba Ganoush (or Ganoosh) in their most recent newsletter. Baba Ganoush is one of my favorite eggplant dishes (ratatouille is another favorite) and very easy to make. Enjoy!

Baba Ganoosh
from Ayers Creek Farm

Place the eggplant in a slow oven, 250 degrees or so, and cook until completely soft, 2 - 3 hours does the trick. When fully cooked, char the outside, preferably over a wood fire, and then peel. Egglant absorbs smoke very easily, and if cooked over a wood fire in can become acrid, so we have found it is best cooked in a oven first. Mash the eggplant pulp with a 1/4 cup or so of tahini, the juice of a lemon, a pressed clove or garlic. A potato masher or fork is best for mixing. Some parts of the Levant, they make a very fine paste, and in other parts they have a lumpy mix. We favor the lumpy when the eggplant is fresh. Salt, stir in some chopped parsley and then cover with olive oil. Spoon on to pita, crisp bread or pepper slices.