Notes from the Farm
Once again we are posting about some of the people who have helped our farm succeed. Featured below are two women that are not only close friends, but talented professionals who have graciously shared their expertise.
You may recognize Renee McGrath from the Stevensville Library where she served as Library Director for several years, or maybe you would better recognize her voice from Montana Public Radio. She is a woman of many talents, ranging from editor, book-keeper, book reviewer, MPR program host, just to name a few. In her spare time she helps small businesses design websites. So a few years ago when one of my friends prompted us to get a website for Yourganic Farm I turned to Renee for support. She spent many, many hours creating our website and organizing all the information. She also taught me along the way, so I could be more self-sufficient in adding updates, and actually posting the newsletter. Muchas gracias to Renee for putting all this information into a cohesive format. Renee continues to offer technical support and occasionally supply Leon with jokes while taking graduate classes in professional counseling.
Katie Lethenstrom is a chef extraordinaire, although she would totally deny it. She is a true artist when it comes to food. When Leon and I got married she created three lavish wedding cakes. People talked of those cakes for weeks. Katie attended Scottsdale Culinary Institute in AZ in the early 2000’s and has returned to Montana cooking and baking at various ranches and restaurants throughout the state. Luckily, while we were creating the website Katie was working in the valley and was willing to write all the information you could ever want to know about the various vegetables we grow. She wrote tips on storage, usage and some fun historical facts along with adapted recipes. Thanks to Katie for sharing her skills and foodie knowledge!
This Week’s Veggie Feast
From Katie’s wisdom “Native to Europe, wild cabbage can still be found in its headless form that was known to be a source of food for ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. In Greece, the origin of cabbage was attributed to Zeus working himself into a sweat trying to explain two conflicting prophecies. Through years of cultivation, cabbage was developed into the large heads we are familiar with today. Of course cabbage can be turned into sauerkraut and makes for some great coleslaw, but this versatile vegetable also takes well to cooking, whether it is sautéed, braised, boiled, or grilled. Cooking cabbage gives off a pungent smell that is a result of a high concentration of sulphur compounds in the vegetable. The combination of thin slicing and brief cooking times can alleviate the strong flavor. Green cabbage pairs well with butter, olive oil, sour cream, cheddar cheese, parmesan, mustard, horseradish, caraway, dill, marjoram, potatoes, apples, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. Cabbage can last for a long time stored in a plastic bag in your vegetable crisper but its nutritive value decreases with time. Remove any wilted leaves before using.”
Wash right before using. This fragrant basil can be used in salads, partner with pasta, or seafood.
The first of the sweet onions, you will be getting more soon! These onions are uncured and store best in the refrigerator. Very sweet, for an onion.
Garlic harvest is upon us. Although these garlic are not cured they definitely pack a flavorful punch.
Finally! Cucumber salad anyone?
We love growing cauliflower. It is so satisfying to harvest. The purple variety is called Graffiti, the orange variety is Cheddar. At market one of the most common questions we are asked is “Do you color those.” The answer is no, I am unaware that anyone dyes their vegetables. The color in Graffiti is due to the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which, I just read, may help to regulate your blood lipid and sugar levels, body weight, as well as help lower your risk of cancer. The orange cauliflower is higher in beta carotene, or Vitamin A. Both cauliflowers taste like, well, cauliflower. Although some enthusiasts detect a flavor variation my palate is not that discerning.
Eat your greens.
Your weekly zucchini.
A blast from the past:
Roasted Garlic Cauliflower
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a large casserole dish.
Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag. Add cauliflower, and shake to mix. Pour into the prepared casserole dish, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown.
Catalan Style Greens
- ½ onion, thinly sliced ( about ¾ cup)
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ an apple, diced
- 4-6 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- ¼ Cup golden raisins
- ¼ Cup toasted pine nuts
- ¼ Cup hard cider, sherry or white wine
- 5 Cups packed greens- spinach, chard, beet tops, kale- chopped
- salt to taste
- pinch of sugar, nutmeg and white pepper
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom big pot or dutch oven over medium high heat.
- Add sliced onion and stir until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Turn heat to medium, add apple, saute 3-4 minutes, add garlic, saute a few more minutes, until fragrant.
- Add raisins, hard cider and greens, turn heat to medium-low, cover and let cook 5 minutes.
- Give a stir, and continue cooking until desired tenderness. Spinach will cook much faster than chard, kale or beet tops. One tender, season.
- Add a pinch of salt, sugar, nutmeg and white pepper
Source: Feasting at Home
How To Make Cauliflower Rice or Couscous
What You Need
1 head cauliflower, any size
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter, optional
Food processor or box grater
Skillet with lid, optional
- Cut the cauliflower into large pieces: Cut the head of cauliflower into quarters, then trim out the inner core from each quarter. Break apart the cauliflower into large florets with your hands. If the core is tender, you can chip it into pieces and add it with the florets.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor: Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor. Don’t fill the food processor more than 3/4 full; if necessary, process in two batches.
- Pulse the cauliflower until completely broken down: Process the cauliflower in 1-second pulses until it has completely broken down into couscous-sized granules. (Alternatively, grate the florets on the large holes of a box grater.)
- Pull out any unprocessed pieces: Some florets or large pieces of cauliflower might remain intact. Pull these out and set them aside. Transfer the cauliflower couscous to another container and re-process any large pieces.
- Serving raw cauliflower couscous: Cauliflower couscous can be used raw, tossed like grains into a salad or in a cold side dish.
- Cooking cauliflower couscous: Cooking makes the cauliflower more tender and rice-like. Warm a tablespoon of olive oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the couscous and sprinkle with a little salt. Cover the skillet and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until the couscous is as tender as you like. Use or serve immediately, or refrigerate the couscous for up to a week.
After you make cauliflower rice, check out this recipe!