Delicata and Balsamic: A Culinary Love Story

Now this recipe was just discovered today, so it is literally HOT off the press!! 

 

Its the time of year where the year’s bountiful harvest is starting to be brought in.

What has been sown is being reaped. 

Its the busiest time of the year, at least in our short career(6 months) of being farmers. 

So, this is when we start getting really creative or really sick of the abundance of whats in season. We consider ourselves “silver-lining-on-the-glass-half-full” types of ladies, so we choose the former. The creative juices are flowing and right now whats in a lot of our customers’ bags are winter squash, which we have found are fairly flexible. Especially delicata squash. 

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Now if you haven’t had a delicata squash or have now idea what it is, we would consider it the beauty queen of the squash world. You may have heard them referred to as Peanut Squash, Sweet Potato Squash, or even the Bohemian Squash. They are gold with green stripes down the sides and have the texture and flavor of a sweet potato. They are delicious right off the vine, with a tender skin reminiscent of a zucchini. However, you can allow them to cure, giving them a tough outer layer, like a butternut. 

Hands down, they are delicious either way. 

Well today, I had a hankering for some delicata. My usual route with winter squash is more of a sweet route. Adding brown sugar, butter, and maple sugar. This has been a faithful combo. 

But, I felt adventurous today. So to the wide open spaces of the internet. During my expedition I encountered a delicious and unexpected combination.

Balsamic and Delicata. 

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This recipe calls for a Balsamic Reduction, which is actually very easy to make and is a staple in a gourmet’s kitchen. Basically the delicata is roasted with garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh sage then drizzled with a balsamic reduction and olive oil. Below is the recipe and as always experiment a little. 

 

http://dashandbella.blogspot.com/2012/11/some-friends-for-your-turkey.html

 

We made our own balsamic reduction with some rosemary, lavender, and honey and added rosemary to the delicata. For meat-lovers, have this with some fennel and parsley meatballs. This meal is perfect for a brisk fall evening. And as always experiment! Tell us what you think of this recipe and your experience cooking it. Change things around. Add things(pumpkin seeds anyone?). 

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And as always, 

Bon Apetite!

 

I’ve got 99 Problems…and the perfect Peanut sauce is no longer one.

Peanut sauce. No, I’m not talking about peanut butter heated in a microwave and poured over something. This thai favorite has become one of my favorites and is a little more complicated than heating chicken broth and peanut butter in a dish in the microwave, as I thought it was when I tried making Chicken Swimming Rama when I was 12. Peanut sauce actually contains no chicken broth, in case you were wondering. However, it was a temperate September day and I had been craving Thai food for weeks. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands, look up a recipe, tweak it to my liking because Disney’s Ratatouille told me that real chefs improvise, and add it to a stir fry. 

Thankfully, I am currently living on a farm and one of the joys of living on a farm is the diversity of vegetable and produce available to one to throw into a stir fry. Mine nearly consisted of the kitchen sink approach, but a step of selectivity above. This stir fry lasted the two of us two lunches and a dinner and as with most asian food, leftovers are delicious. This dish is also vegan and appeals to all. However, if you have the desire to meatify this dish, chicken, beef, or shrimp could be added.

Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

-10 snowpeas

-1 clove garlic

-2 eggplant

-1/2 onion; chopped

-1 small cabbage

-4 teaspoons cilantro

-3 leaves Kale

-4 carrots; julienned

-1 bell pepper; diced

-1 cayenne pepper

-2 tablespoons chopped basil

-1 tablespoon red pepper flakes(optional)

-2 cups water

-Angel Hair Pasta or your preference of pasta

 

Peanut Sauce

-1/4 cup soy sauce

-1/2 cup Peanut Butter

-2 tablespoons sesame oil

-1 teaspoon water

-3 tablespoons Rice Vinegar

-1 teaspoon ground ginger

-1 clove garlic

-1 teaspoon brown sugar

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1.) Something I like to do ahead of time so everything is ready to go in at once is chop everything ahead of time. Ensure that your cabbage and kale are loosely chopped, onion and bell pepper diced, garlic is minced, and everything else is chopped or julienned. At this point you can decide how you want things chopped and what texture your stir fry will be. 

3.) Start a pot of boiling water for your angel hair pasta.

4.) Coat a pan with 2 parts olive oil 1 part sesame oil and add half of your basil, cilantro, garlic, and your onion. Fry until the onion is caramelized. 

5.) Add the rest of your veggies and continue stir frying at medium heat. 

6.) Add your water and allow the mixture to boil then turn to medium heat and allow this to simmer for 15 minutes. 

7.) While you are waiting combine all of the ingredients for your peanut sauce and mix until everything is mixed thoroughly. What I did was combine everything in an old Peanut Butter jar, because thats what we had, and stick it in the microwave until the peanut butter was runny. I then stuck the lid on the jar and shook it up until the sauce was mixed well. 

8.) Add pasta to a pot of boiling water, which should be at a rolling boil and cook per instructions on the box. 

9.) Once pasta is cooked, strain excess water. 

10.) Remove stir fry mixture from heat. Add pasta and peanut sauce and toss entire mixture together.

11.) Enjoy!

 

This is probably one of the more extensive of our recipes that we’ve done, but seriously, its so worth it. Like I said, it is just as good as leftovers as it is fresh, so feel free to double the recipe. And as always, explore your inner scientists and experiment like mad! Add things! Take things out! Turn things upside down. Make this recipe your own. And let us know what you do. What you thought about the recipe, how you felt about what you thought, overanalyze! But let us know:)

And as always, 

Bon Apetite

A Very Un-patriotic Salad

Russian Salad, or as it is called in Spain, Ensaladilla Rusa, is a delight and a delicious lunch for a hot summer’s day. Actually, as I sit here typing, I have just finished up a bowl of the aforementioned salad and my taste buds are rejoicing over this good life decision I have made.

Ensaladilla Rusa usually has tuna and peas in it, but I have substituted both. One with chicken and the other with green beans. I’ll let you be the judge of what I substituted each for.

This week’s recipe uses just about everything from the farm, except for the mayonnaise and the chicken. So enjoy this salad and let us know what you think!

Ensaladilla Rusa(Russian Salad)

-2 Boiled Red Potatoes

-2 Boiled eggs

– 3 Boiled carrots

– 1 cup of steamed green beans

– 1 cup of mayonnaise

-1 tablespoon garlic salt

– 1/2 cup Lovage

-salt and pepper to taste

-2 cooked chicken breasts

Now this recipe is super easy. Essentially all that you need to do is dice everything- the chicken, the potatoes, the eggs, everything. Roughly chop the herbs then toss everything in the mayonnaise, adding garlic salt and salt n pepa as you please. I enjoy things slightly salty and savory, so you are more than likely different than me, as the rest of the world is. And add things! Spices, other vegetables, other herbs. Get experimental:) And tell us what you did!

Until next time,

Bon Apetite.

Sqwaffles

As y’all may have noticed, we have a lot of summer squash out here.  A LOT.  The cool room is overflowing with the Ronde de Nice, Cocozelle, Dark Star, and Yellow Crookneck.  So I’ve started to get creative with my recipes.  Earlier in squash season it was squash stir fry and squash omelettes.  Now I’ve graduated to squash waffles.  Or, as we like to call them, Sqwaffles.  I suppose technically they are zucchini waffles, but that does not convert easily into a hilarious hybrid name.  Plus I’m sure this recipe would also work with our other squash.  (They are related, after all.)  The sqwaffles taste more waffley than squash-y.  They are even kid-approved!  

The recipe spells out how to get the liquid out of your grated zucchini/squash.  I chose, instead of salting it, to strain it in a strainer using a plate (and my hands) to squish out the liquid.  I’m sure the salting method would work as well but this seemed to work better since I tripled the recipe and my squash was taking up the whole strainer.  

So with no further ado, sqwaffles!  For legal reasons I can’t copy-paste the recipe here, but follow this link to join in the delicious fun!

http://www.theperfectpantry.com/2011/08/recipe-for-zucchini-waffles.html

The only recipe change I made was to double the cinnamon.  Now our whole house smells like cinnamon.  Yum!

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Spanish Cuisine 101

Spain is renowned for Antonio Banderas, soccer, flamenco, and Picasso. Another thing Spain has to offer to this rock spinning through space is some amazing food. After studying abroad in this beautiful country for 4 months, I had the opportunity to experience it firsthand.

In my experience, many a person confuse spanish food with mexican food. The reality is is that they both share an affinity for tomatoes. That’s about it. Spanish food has more of a mediterranean flair; it’s more reminiscent of Italian. And even then the spanish palate stretches depending on where you’re at in the country. In the south, there’s more of an arab influence. To the north, they eat a lot of the things we prefer not to, like tongue and head cheese (blech!). But all throughout the country they eat lots of pork, wine, veggies, fish, and wine.

One of the dishes commonly found in the spanish household is Pisto. Pisto is basically the spanish version of ratatouille or a veggie stew. Not all pistos are the same. Every family does their own variation of a pisto and my host mom’s was the best. I may be mildly biased, but really. It was fantastic. And that the version I will be sharing with you, dear reader. It’s very similar to what you’d find in a spanish cook book, however mine has hard boiled egg cut into it.

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Pisto Sevillano

-Squash; 1 Crookneck, 1 Ronde de Nice, 1 Zucchini (use smaller ones)

-3 Potatoes, thinly sliced

-1/2 Yellow Onion

-2 cloves garlic

-1 green onion

-3 Tomatoes

-1/2 cup dry red wine

-1 can of tomato sauce

-1/2 teaspoon oregano

-1/2 teaspoon sage

-2 hard-boiled eggs

-Extra virgin Olive Oil. Preferably of spanish origin. Just because. Or of (insert favorite grocery store) origin.

 

1.) Coat large pan with olive oil.

2.)  Dice onion, mince garlic, and fry with oregano and sage until onion is caramelized on medium heat.

3.) Add potatoes and fry until potatoes are mildly transluscent.

4.) Chop green pepper and add to mixture.

5.) Slice all of your squash into 1/2″ slices and add to mixture.

6.) Add Red wine. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to medium low, allowing it to simmer for 5 minutes.

7.) Boil tomatoes in separate pot of boiling water for 5 minutes and pull out of boiling water. Immediately immerse into ice water and pull of skins of tomatoes. Chop up into small pieces (or mush, that works too.) and add to mixture in the pan.

8.) Add tomato sauce. Allow pisto to simmer for 5 minutes or until it is thoroughly heated.

9.) Add diced hard boiled egg on top.

10.) Indulge.

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Summer Curry

Indian food in undeniably delicious.  My go-to spices are usually curry powder, cumin, coriander, and turmeric.  I don’t know if these are authentically Indian, but they make things taste delightful!  I’ve recently started adding garam masala to the spice mix.

So this week I decided to make a dish with our most abundant vegetable –squash!  I paired it with kale and potatoes, and my favorite spices, for a glorious curry dish.  Like a lot of the food we make around here, we mostly winged it (wung it?) without a recipe.  So feel free to make additions, subtractions, and substitutions at your whim.

Summer Curry

  • 1-2 summer squash/zucchini, in bite size pieces
  • kale, ripped up with stems removed
  • potatoes, quartered
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • extra virgin olive oil (for frying)
  • water/veggie broth

1. Fry potatoes in the spices and olive oil for about 5 minutes.  I used a wok; you could also use a pot or a frying pan.

2. Throw in summer squash and fry until potatoes and squash are cooked through.  Add spices for taste if necessary.

3. Add water/veggie broth to distribute spices from the bottom of the pan amongst the entire dish.

4. Add kale at the last minute and stir in.  Wait for the kale to wilt then remove from heat.

5. Enjoy!

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You didn’t think radish greens were edible, did you?

When looking at radishes, we tend to eat only the roots, where the actual radish is. Now I will not be the first to deny that the actual radish is delicious. However, there is still 3/4 of the plant left. And it’s edible. We have provided a way in which you can use them. There are a multitude of ways that radish greens can be used. Younger, they can be used in a salad. They are wonderful as a microgreen(alfalfa sprouts). And if you like bacon, they are delicious fried with bacon and onions. But really what doesn’t taste good with bacon. Today we used radish greens in a pesto.

Now as many of you may recall, one of our recent recipes were Baked Squash Blossoms with Pesto. Our first try, we used a pesto we made from radish greens, and as promised we have the recipe!

Pesto is simply greens, nuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil, and garlic. The most common form of pesto that is seen in restaurants and grocery stores is a pesto made with basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, and olive oil. But pine nuts are expensive and if you don’t grow basil, it can get expensive as well, especially if one is wanting to make a pesto to coat…anything.

But our pesto was cheap and easy.

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Radish Green Pesto

1 cup of radish greens

1/4 cup of basil

1 clove of garlic

1/2 cup of cashews or almonds

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

You will need a food processor. We have tried making pesto in a blender before and…lets just say it didn’t turn out as we would have liked.

1.) Combine your olive oil, nuts, garlic, and parmesan cheese in the food processor and blend until the mixture is of a similar consistency of wet sand.

2.) Add the greens and basil and blend for 30 seconds. If need be, add olive oil as you go to get it to your desired consistency. Some people like their pesto thicker and some like it thinner. I’ts totally up to you. That’s the great thing about cooking.

3.) Add salt. Taste as you go because once again, some people like a saltier pesto and some like a milder pesto. However, try to get it a little on the salty side if you’re tossing pasta in your pesto.

I’ts super easy. What did we tell ya? And if you don’t have radish greens, try other greens. We have used kale, sorrel, fennel, arugula, and chard. Experiment with different combinations of nuts, cheeses, and greens. Kale makes a basil pesto stretch further and adds a freshness to pasta that we LOVE! Sorrel and arugula add an exciting bite to pesto. Cashews bring a really tasty sweet dimension. There are so many combinations out there. So try some out or try ours and let us know what you did and what worked for you!

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Kale Chips– 3 Ways

Around here, we enjoy kale.  A lot.  In particular, kale chips are utterly delicious.  I’ve traditionally made my kale chips pretty plain, with just salt, oil, and kale.  But we decided to mix it up a bit with some new flavors.  So we tried some with garlic powder, a soy sauce mixture on some others, and a control group of just salt.  Try one or all of them, or let us know what you put on kale chips!

Plain Jane Kale Chips

  • 4-6 leaves of kale (curly or flat-leafed works), stems removed
  • salt
  • spray cooking oil

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Liberally spray a cookie sheet with the cooking oil.

3. Spread out kale on the cookie sheet.  (They can be touching or even overlapping a bit because they’ll condense with cooking.)

4. Spray the kale with cooking spray.  Make sure to really coat the leaves–they won’t crisp up unless they are oily.

5. Salt kale, liberally.

6. Pop that kale in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

7. Try not to choke while inhaling your delectable kale chips!

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Garlic-y Delight

For a garlic-y twist, add garlic powder when salting your kale chips.

Asian Kale Chips

  • 2 tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ginger Powder
  • Salt (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar

Now yes, this may sound like a slightly bizarre topping. But once it passes your lips into the confines of your mouth and continues on its glorious culinary journey across your tastebuds, you will thank me. With this bit, you’ll basically mix all of your ingredients in a bowl until your brown sugar is dissolved. I sometimes cheat and heat mine up for a few seconds in the microwave causing the mixture to dissolve a little more quickly. I don’t know why it does this. Ask your chemistry teacher. Or your mom and dad. Because I am none of the aforementioned.   Toss your kale in this mixture before throwing it onto your cookie sheet or pan. After this step, you will cook your kale chips just like the Plain Jane and Garlic-y Delight. This recipe was inspired by one found on pinterest. I altered it a little and it was a pinterest success. So try it.

kale chips

There it is! A most delectable alternative to the ho hum potato chip! Or with potato chips. Either way, try these and let us know what you think or what alternatives you tried. Maybe you tried one with curry. Or one with cinnamon. Let us know what you did!

And as always,

Bon Apetite!

Flowers? For lunch?

squash

Well hello again!

One of the many perks of living on a farm is what is available and the fun new things one can experiment with. Last week, we experimented with squash blossoms. Once again, flowers? For lunch?

Sure! Why not?

I’ve seen recipes for fried squash blossoms in some of my favorite magazines and they looked absolutely divine. So we thought we’d give the squash blossom a whirl. However, the most common stuffing for squash blossoms is cheese. This is where the fun kicks in. One of us is vegan, therefore cheese is out of the question. We proceeded to brainstorm and pulled together this glorious recipe using lentils, garbanzo beans, and mushrooms as a stuffing instead. We also baked the squash blossoms instead of frying them and topped some with a pesto and some with parmesan cheese and pesto. Lauren compiled a delightful pesto, of which she used the Hong Vit Radish Greens, which if you’re one of our customers, you have seen in your CSA bags. Any sort of radish greens will work though. And yeah! You can eat radish greens! We actually encourage you to do so! Check back on our blog soon for the recipe.

Both options are delicious and Merritt LOVED them, so for those of you who like testimonials and a second opinion, I am confident she can provide one in our favor. The recipe is simple and relatively quick.

squash blossoms

Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Pesto and Parmesan Cheese Topping

-8 Squash Blossoms. You would want to use the male squash blossoms, since the female is what the actual fruit is attached to. Any squash will do.

– Cooking Spray

– Extra Virgin Olive Oil( EVOO)

-1/4 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms.

– 1 cup cooked lentils

– 1/4 cup cooked garbanzo beans(chickpeas)

-1/2 cup finely chopped onion

– 1 clove garlic, minced

-1/4 cup lovage(cutting celery), finely chopped

– salt and pepper to taste

– parmesan cheese

– 1 cup Pesto

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

2.) Drizzle enough EVOO into a pan so that it coats the bottom. Fry your garlic, mushrooms, and onions until you have sweated all of the ingredients. Your kitchen will smell like Heaven, just a heads up.

3.) Add the lovage and salt and pepper and continue frying for another 3 minutes so that all of the flavors blend together.

4.) Add lentils and garbanzos until they are hot. Set mixture aside. This will be your stuffing.

5.) Stuff the squash blossoms with the stuffing mixture you just made. The easiest route I have found to doing so is to take your index finger and thumb and make a circle, like you’re making an o.k. sign. Place the blossom, stem side down, in the circle and and use a spoon to scoop the lentil, garbanzo, onion mixture into the blossom. Once its full twist the petals closed, but do so gently as to prevent tearing them.

6.) Lay the filled squash blossoms on a cookie sheet sprayed down with cookie spray. Keep them about an inch apart.

7.) Spoon the Radish Green Pesto on top of the squash blossoms.

8.) If you so desire, sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of the blossoms.

9.) Bake for 9 minutes, or until cheese has melted on top.

10.) Indulge

Well with it being our first time cooking squash blossoms, they turned out to be very tasty! We have made them since for a barbecue and they were inhaled. You will more than likely be the hit of a party. So, once you try these out, let us know how your experience turned out! And don’t be afraid to experiment. If you try an alternate method or add something to the squash blossoms that turns out being fantastic, let us know in our comment section or on facebook at Heavenly Hills Harvest! We may even share what you’ve done on our blog next time around:) But seriously,let us know!

Until next time friends,

Bon Apetite!

The First Supper: Roasted Beet Salad

Welcome to the Heavenly Hills Harvest blog!  We hope this can be a place for us to share recipes with our customers and friends of the farm, and for you to share recipes with each other.  We will be posting recipes for you all here, and we encourage everyone to share in the comments and changes they made and how it turned out.  Our first recipe is for a roasted beet salad.  Down here at the farm, our beets are still fairly small, but they still taste delicious roasted and topping a salad of beet greens, radish greens, or lettuce.   This recipe is great for a quick lunch or a light dinner.

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1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
3/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, finely minced or pureed (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 ounce mixed salad greens, washed
2 medium or 4 small beets, roasted (about 3/4 pound), cut in small wedges or halfmoons
A handful of fresh herbs, like chervil, tarragon, parsley and chives, chopped

1. Whisk together the vinegars, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl or measuring cup. Whisk in the olive oil. Toss with the lettuces, beets and herbs just before serving.
Variation: Add 1 to 2 ounces crumbled feta or goat cheese to the mix.
Yield: Serves four to six.

Advance preparation: You can make the dressing as far ahead as a day or two. In that case, instead of crushing or pressing your garlic, cut it into slivers without cutting through the root end, and marinate it in the dressing. Then remove it before tossing the salad.

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Nutritional information per serving (based on four servings): 153 calories; 14 grams fat; 2
grams saturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 7 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 70 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 2 grams protein

Credit for this recipe goes to Martha Rose Shulman, who can be found at martha-rose-shulman.com.

If you tried this recipe and liked it, or changed anything, let us know in the comments.  We love feedback!