Organic Cider Vinegar from our new Partner Farm – Dwight Miller Orchards. This is an 8 generation family farm in southern Vermont that produces some of the best organic cider vinegar in the country. We are so happy to finally have a very good high quality organic vinegar in our Pantry Section for you to put in your pantry. We will be working with Read Miller (Dwight’s son) and his family to expand our offerings from their farm in the near future.
Fiddleheads are back! Our wild harvesting season has been rushed this year, and we thought we would miss out on the fiddleheads, but Andy of Heartwood Farm in West Glover (way up north) called to say he still had a perfect patch waiting to be harvested. As a policy we only work with partners we know who tend to these wild resources in a way that improves their yearly abundance, and often we will limit the quantities each week so we do not put too much pressure on the plant colonies.
Our New Partners Producers of kombucha – Aqua Vitea are giving us a new flavor this week – Cranberry Kombucha. They also source their cranberries from non other than our partner farmer Bob of Vermont Cranberry Company.
Cuisine Rapide by Pierre Franey was one of the first cookbooks I ever owned. Geez, it might even be THE first. My family watched him on PBS a zillion years before the Food Network existed. His appeal was much like Julia’s – he didn’t take himself too seriously, was unassuming and his food was uncomplicated and fantastic.
I pulled this book out for a special meal at the Farmers To You hub last night. I had the pleasure of cooking for all the Farmers To You staff who work Tuesdays to fill bags and trucks with fresh food. They always break for dinner between loading the two trucks, but last night the table was set with a cloth, candles and flowers. A lovely spring gathering highlighting a Memorial Day menu. The menu featured Pierre’s Grilled Leg of Lamb Provencal Style. I figured it was a hit when I spied Alec mopping his plate clean with a piece of Red Hen bread.
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dry
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dry
1½ tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dry
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
salt to taste
Preheat your grill.
Lay the lamb out on a baking sheet and rub all over with the olive oil. Sprinkle the lamb on both sides with freshly ground pepper, mustard seeds, tarragon, garlic, thyme, rosemary, fennel seeds, vinegar and salt. Turn and rub the lamb so it is evenly coated with the ingredients. The lamb may be marinated or cooked right away. If marinating in the fridge, let the lamb come to room temperature before grilling.
Cook the lamb flat on the grill for 10 minutes each side. Let the lamb rest for another 10 minutes before carving. You’ll notice that the lamb is uneven in thickness so you will have portions that are more well done and portions that are more rare. This timing is Pierre’s, depending on your grill the timing may differ a bit. Cook to your desired doneness. I went a bit longer than 10 minutes per side.
After letting the meat rest for 10 to 20 minutes, slice thinly and serve.
This is the potato salad I grew up eating. My mom always made this and I never tired of it. The recipe comes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I’ve adapted it slightly by omitting the wine and adding more scallions, but otherwise this is all Julia.
1 bunch scallions, chopped (white and green parts)
Peel the potatoes, and cut in half or into quarters if large. You’re looking to have all the pieces be roughly the same size for even cooking. Put into a pot of boiling salted water to cover and boil until just tender when pierced with a knife. Start checking after 10 minutes. Drain. Cut potatoes into bite size chunks and put into a serving bowl.
While the potatoes are cooking make your vinaigrette by whisking the vinegar, mustard and salt together in a small bowl. Then whisk in the oil gradually by pouring in a thin stream. Season to taste and stir in the chopped scallions. I doubled the original vinaigrette recipe because I omitted the wine, so you may find you have more dressing than you need. If so, you could use the extra vinaigrette to dress a green salad, or some steamed veg. Another option is to make the potato salad ahead of time – as the salad rests in the fridge the potatoes will absorb all of the vinaigrette. Use the leftover dressing to refresh the salad before serving – otherwise it may be too dry.
Pour the dressing over the hot potatoes and gently toss to blend. You may garnish with extra scallions.
So here’s another side for your holiday cookout. This one is barely a recipe. The dried beans get cooked and then you stir in a container of Joe’s Soups Pesto. Here’s another shortcut – I didn’t soak the beans before I cooked them. I typically do, but Greg reminded me that these beans are so fresh they don’t need that extra attention. He’s right.
Place the beans in a pot with 2 quarts of water, the onion, garlic and bay leaf. You may add salt to your boiling water if you like – some believe it makes the beans tough. I haven’t found that to be true, so I usually salt my bean water with a couple teaspoons. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about and hour and a half. Cook until the beans are soft – or your desired doneness. Before draining the beans reserve a little of the cooking liquid for thinning out the pesto. You can use a cup or mug for scooping out some bean broth from the pot. Drain the beans and put in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl empty about half the container of pesto and use a tablespoon or two of bean water to thin it out into a very thick liquid. This will make it much easier to stir evenly into the beans. Add as much pesto to the beans as you like. Toss together carefully, taste for salt and garnish with some torn basil leaves and a generous drizzle of olive oil.
Egg Sale: Our Egg farmers – Eric and Keenan at Rockville Market Farm - are swimming in eggs. Remember we said this would happen when we were so short in the dark months of winter… well, now we need to keep up with those hens! We are lowering the price for the next couple of weeks to $5.60 per dozen, and if you have not tried their eggs please give them a go. Flavor, color and great stand up yolks are all a sign of healthy hens running around scratching and picking and clucking!
We have had an incredible spell of beautiful weather, but now are welcoming the rain to soak in some of the early plantings of cold hardy field vegetables and grass in the pasture. Apple Blossoms are just blooming and we hope we are past the frost window…. This is the time of year when you really get to see what makes this part of the world so special – the green color of grass and new leaves is almost electric and that is a reflection of the amazing quality of the soils and their perfect compatibility with growing grass and greens in general. The Cows are literally dancing they are so happy to be back out on real grass, and milk production is climbing.
The bounty is back upon us and we are grateful. We are also grateful for the power of this partnership that both you the families, and our partner farmers have committed to. It is working, and we are all tasting the sweetness and flavors.