Monday, December 21, 2009

Leek Tart


Daniel and Rumi asked for a leek tart recipe and I happen to have one that I really like from Deborah Madison's Local Flavors cookbook, a cookbook I really like. Here's my take on the recipe:

for the shell -
1 cup and 2 tablespoons white flour
1 stick butter
2-3 Tablespoons water
Work chunks of butter into the flour with your fingers until it's the consistency of a meal. drizzle the water and then gently combine with your hands until the mass just all sticks together. Chill slightly in the refrigerator and then roll out onto a 10" tart pan with removable rim. Freeze the shell and preheat the oven to 425. Pre-bake the shell for 15-25 minutes until lightly colored (using parchment and beans or foil and pie weights helps it keep its shape).

for the filling
6 thin leeks
1 Tablespoon butter
6 oz goat cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons thyme leaves chopped

Preheat oven to 400. Slice the leeks thin, wash them in water and drain. Heat the butter in a skillet and cook the damp leeks until translucent. Mix the goat cheese, egg, creme fraiche and milk. The recipe says until fairly smooth but I like to use a bucheron (type of goat cheese) and leave some chunks. I've also made it without the creme fraiche and it works fine. Add all of the ingredients to the shell and bake until set, about 30 minutes

Tarts like this are great for lunch or dinner with salad or soup. Using a milk and egg base and then adding whatever vegetable you have works well. I've also had this with winter squash, onions, and greens but there are probably more options.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Final 2009 Share

I'm a bit late in getting the post up for the last share. I was a bit late delivering as well. This time of year the daylight hours are short and all the mud and slimy leaves seem to take forever to clean before packing can happen. With the freeze there wasn't as much as I would have liked in this share, which was to be a double after last week's delay. It still turned out alright though and I hope everyone has been happy with the season.

Tonight's share includes Rainbow Lacinato kale, which is very sweet from the recent weather. I dug the last of the carrots, both Yellowstones and Napolis, some quite large. I also dug root parsley and leeks. The leeks came in a variety of sizes from medium large down to very small. The small ones are great for roasting whole. The root parsley was all small, and I like it chopped and fried where it gives a sweet parsley flavor. The final item in the share is a small bag of Amish Butter popcorn. Our intention was to give out ears but winds knocked down the plants, and that combined with a cold damp spot, kept the ears from being pretty enough, and plentiful enough to make our plan work. Instead I shelled all of the corn and gave it an initial cleaning so it's ready to pop. If you've never popped corn it's easy and one of my favorite snacks. The Amish Butter is noticeably better than the typical stuff you get in the store, much more flavor. To pop it on the stove top use a small pot with a lid, use enough vegetable oil (like canola, but not olive) to coat the bottom of the pot and then dump in the corn and turn the burner to high. When the first kernels pop start shaking the pan on the burner until the popping slows significantly. Have a bowl ready to dump the corn into and top it with whatever you like, or nothing at all. The amount we gave out is just enough for one serving.

So, that's it for this year. We'll be posting information about next year and keeping the blog up to date with the preparations for 2010 so keep watching. Have a great New Year!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Deep Freeze


If you live in Portland you may have noticed that it's been cold all week, and that the weather forecast doesn't call for much thawing until next week. Unfortunately this makes it completely impossible for us to harvest shares this week which is very sad. I was hoping I'd at least be able to dig roots this week, but the ground is quite solid for at least an inch, I know, I tried digging yesterday. We do hope that most of the vegetables will be fine once they thaw next week, even a bit sweeter perhaps as often happens after cold snaps. Next week is scheduled to be the final share of the year and with a little luck we'll be giving out the vegetables that should have been in this week's share, as well as those for next week's share. Stay tuned, you never know what the weather will throw at us next.

Deep Freeze

You're Invited!


This Saturday we'll be getting together as many CSA fans and followers as possible at Near East Yoga to share a vegetarian potluck, generally socialize, and also to talk a little about the CSA. This is part celebration of the end of the season, part planning meeting for the upcoming season, and a great chance to connect with the farm, the studio, old and new friends. We'll be showing photos from the season and we'd love for you to bring your own photos or stories related to the farm, or food. We'll hope that the forecasted freezing rain doesn't materialize and keep any of you away - bring a dish to share and your own plates and utensils:

Saturday, December 12 from 11:30 to 1:30
Near East Yoga - 707 NE Broadway #206
Bring a vegetarian dish and plates and utensils for eating
Kids are welcome

Hope to see you all there.

Deep Freeze

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New vegetables

There are a few unusual vegetables in this week's share but all are easy to prepare and enjoy. Parsley is easy, I didn't used to use it much but chop it, sautee it in a bit of olive oil and it makes a great sauce/coating for pretty much anything and the heat gives it a really nice sweetness. Some folks will see a handful of spinach this week, others will get a bunch of raab. Again, sautee lightly in olive oil and all will be good. Everyone is getting a bit of radicchio this week. These heads are related to the escarole that went out earlier and are good raw or cooked. They can be pleasantly bitter raw, but if you don't enjoy that flavor add a bit of heat and it will go away. Lastly are scorzonera and salsify, the black and white roots in the share. These are sometimes called oyster root, and if peeled and boiled they have a faint oyster flavor with a root texture. You can also fry slices until golden to bring out their sweetness. One word of warning, they both discolor rapidly after peeling or slicing and have a slightly sticky sap. To prevent discoloring put cut pieces into water with a little lemon. Two more weeks to go, enjoy the last vegetables of the fall.