Same tomatoes as last year, Cherry tomatoes, Beefsteak, Yellow pear and Roma, all nice heirloom and indeterminate. Would like to grow some into trees. Well not trees but indeterminate means they will grow as big as you let them.
Sunflowers, not sure where we are going to plant these. Judy wanted some so I grew them.
Butternut Squash These were volunteers from the compost bin
We are loving the arrival of Spring on the Farm. To celebrate we did a Hawaiian dish for dinner.
I didn’t realize that Garlic shrimp was a “thing” and wish I would have searched for it when I was in Hawaii. Apparently it is primarily a food truck specialty but that is just what I have read.
What a luscious sauce that reminds me a bit of an etouffe
The principal ingredients are garlic and paprika. that flavors this dish. Garlic and lots of it! The more the better. The original recipe uses a lot of butter however we cut the calories some by using olive oil and not that much of it.
The original recipe also leaves the shells on the shrimp but we removed them as well as the tails.
This feeds 4 or 5 people
Ingredients: 2 lbs of peeled and deveined shrimp 2 tablespoons flour 1 tablespoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon powdered ginger 1/2 teaspoon salt
Sauce: 1/4 cup Olive oil 12 large cloves of garlic or more if desired 1 teaspoon salt 4 green onions, cut into small circles Juice of 1 lemon
Lemon wedges for garnish
Directions: 1. Mix the flour paprika and cayenne pepper and salt in a bowl with the shrimp to coat.
2. Peel and coarsely chop the garlic, then sprinkle with the teaspoon salt. Let sit a few minutes and then mash with the tip of your knife and then chop. Repeat this with all the garlic till you have a paste.
3. Turn a large skillet on low and heat the oil. Add the garlic and gradually turn up the pan a little till the garlic is at a low simmer. Continue to cook for 3 or 4 minutes releasing the flavors.
4. Add the shrimp and cook stirring continually till completely cooked.
5. Add the lemon juice and stir to incorporate, and then your ready to serve.
We served this with Curry fried rice with pineapple
Aunt Lona brought over more pears from her tree and I didn’t get to them right away.
I had a friend tell me about how their grandma made a pear honey.
So I cut them and was ready to make a cake but today turned into tomorrow and tomorrow into next week and so they looked like this..
Pear honey is long cooked pear slice but is a bit different than apple butter that is more like an apple sauce that is cooked down. Some pear honey’s are very clear like honey and they say you can’t tell the difference. You can use it in baking, or salad dressings, and any other way you can use honey. I think you would need to peel the pears if you were going to do that. I may do an update on this with more pears I got.
It is absolutely heaven on yogurt. It just sweetens it much better than regular honey in my opinion and an intense pear flavor.
The recipe is from my German Cooking Group so I put the recipe there.
This is a absolute natural combination. Butternut squash and apple cider vinaigrette. I think many folks are looking for other ways to use this squash other than to bake or roast it as a side or to soup it.
Winter lettuce, or Mesclun varieties are still hanging in there in the garden even with near freezing temps. Not a hard freeze but very chilling.
Serves 4 Ingredients: about 1 and 1/2 lbs Butternut squash cut in 3/4 inch cubes 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons olive oil Season salt and Pepper
Winter Greens, Romaine, Endive, Spinach, Chard, hearty varieties 1/2 onion diced 1/4 cup olive oil 1 cup apple cider 1/4 cup cider vinegar 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Garnish: 4- 6 minute boiled eggs 2 peeled and diced apples or pears 12 walnuts or pecans (toasted or candied) 1 cup canned or cooked black beans shaved Parmesan cheese
Heat the oven to 400 degrees Bring the water to a boil for eggs Put the Butternut cubes in a large bowl add olive oil, vanilla, seasoning salt and pepper and toss.
Spread the cubes on a sheet pan, line with foil, parchment or silpat for easier clean up. Roast for 15 -20 minutes till just tender. Meanwhile boil the eggs then place in cold water.
Here are some of my winter lettuce varieties, Romaine, Red Romaine, Curly Endive, Pak Choi that I will use in this warm salad. Rinse and dry and place in a large stainless bowl
For the dressing, saute the onion in the olive oil till tender, add the apple cider, apple cider vinegar and mustard, bring to a simmer and reduce by half. Reserve to a jar or cup that you can pour from.
Pour the warm dressing onto the greens a little at a time till just coated. Not too much and not too little.
Add the warm squash, beans, pears and boiled egg, and the shaved Parmesan cheese. Enjoy the wonderful flavors!
I wanted for some time now to do a classic salad that you get at French Bistro’s in Lyon, France. It is a salad with curly curly leaves, a bit bitter but contrasted with lardons (thick strips of bacon) and topped with a poached egg. I grew up with a German style Hot bacon salad but I thought the French Flair that this salad had was something I wanted to try.
At the farm we grew this year some Mesclun salad varieties and one of them is curly endive. I was wondering what is the difference between curly endive and what the French call “frisee” ? Is what we grew frisee?
It turns out that Frisée is a different variety although in the same family. Frisée is lighter in color with yellow parts, and perhaps a bit more tender than our home grown curly endive.
We didn’t find any lack of flavor or tenderness using the curly endive from the garden.
So on with the recipe. This simple Curly Play uses onion instead of shallots but by all means use shallots if you want. and I use regular thick smoked bacon where in France it is usually not smoked.
Serves 2 large or 4 medium salads Ingredients: 1 head of curly endive 1 onion finely diced 4 slices of bacon cut in strips 1/4 cup olive oil 1 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 2-4 eggs (make sure you have a few extra on hand in case of a blowout)
Take the endive off of the head and cut it into large bite size pieces
Wash really well and allow to dry on paper towels or spin in a salad spinner. At this point in time you should get a pot of water going for the poached egg.
Saute the onions in the olive oil until they are soft and translucent but don’t brown them.
In following the French Chef on the video below you don’t want crisp bacon but just cooked and slightly rendered. This texture I found really nice with the salad and the little bit of bacon fat nicely coated the greens.
Add the vinegar to the dressing, I like to use 1/2 cup. This deglazes the pan and rounds out the flavor profile of this simple dressing, the sweetness of the onions and bacon, the nice texture of the bacon and bacon fat and the tart flavor of the wine vinegar. Now you can add a little salt and pepper if you like.
The French Chef recommended that you add a bit of white vinegar to the boiling water and crack your egg into a small bowl before adding it to the water. You want the egg white to completely enclose the yolk in water. He claims this helps to do that. At least if you find a shell in their you can take it out instead of going right out of the shell into water can be risky. Anyway I cook the eggs ahead of time and keep them on a plate.
With the dressing warm but the pan off, Toss the endive with the warm dressing till it is well coated, but not wilted.
Plate the greens then place the eggs back in the poaching water for 15 seconds just to reheat.
Close up of the Curly Play on a Salad Frisee
Here is the video of the French Chef making Salad Frisee like what you would find in a French Bistro.
On the Farm we grew some different lettuce varieties that are referred to as Mesclun Mix. They are stronger flavored and heartier texture. They include, Oak leaf, curly endive, romaine, chard, mustard and dandelion even.
It is fall and these salad greens are still doing well in the garden. Some have bolted but others are just sitting there waiting to get picked.
Spinach is popular to green up your Benedict, but their are many similar great options. I chose to use my Mesculn greens but you can use any greens that are forward flavor wise with a bit of earthiness and a slight bitter bite. Bitter can be good, like in chocolate or coffee, it has to be balanced. When it is it is like heaven.
Mesclun means something similar to “a mixture” in French and this blend of young lettuce varieties, originated in Southern Provence region of France where they take their culinary seriously and probably don’t care much for boring iceberg lettuce salad in a bag. So these greens have different textures and a full body flavor including slight bitter.
They often make a simple dressing of diced shallot fried with thick pieces of bacon called lardons and finished with red wine vinegar and toss their mesculn greens with it. Since I was using Canadian bacon on the Benedict I opted not to use bacon in this dressing and I didn’t have any shallots so I used onion.
Here I assembled from my garden my blend of Mesculn lettuce.
I have beet leaves, chard and radicchio, curly endive, baby red and oak leaf lettuce, but you can use anything you get your hands on, even collard or , kale, ….you don’t want to waste those beet tops. This is just a way to take strong flavored and textured green and add a dressing that balances and smooths out the flavor.
Gather your ingredients for the dressing and mix it up . I like to use a glass measuring cup. I can add 1 part vinegar. 1 part water and 1 part sugar depending on how much I am making.
Ingredients: 1 onion finely diced 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional) 1/4 cup cider vinegar) or rice, sherry, champagne whatever) 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup water 1/4 -1/2 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you like it. ( we use truvia) 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed in with the wet ingredients
Saute the onions in a pan with the smoked paprika or you can use black pepper ……..
Till the onions are translucent.
Add the liquid ingredients and simmer for 10 min or so until it is slightly thickened.
Add a few table spoons dressing to a handful of the mesculin greens for one serving.
Toss until well coated and serve on the muffin over the Canadian bacon. Then top with the egg and Hollandaise and your good to go!
Here on the farm we grew many kinds of lettuce. Mesculin mix is a term used in Southern France varieties that have a bold flavor, like Arugula, Radichio, different mustard greens, Spinach and other leafy greens. These of course wouldn’t be great for a lettuce wrap, but you can include them in the filling of a milder lettuce to add flavor and texture.
The term mesclun for a mixture of young salad greens is quite recent, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary first used in 1976. Of Provençal dialect origin, it derives from the verb mesclar, to “mix thoroughly” and literally means “mixture”. According to local lore, mesclun originated with the farmers around Nice, who would each bring their own unique and prized mix of baby greens to the farmers’ markets. One of the most representative and authentic versions combined baby dandelion, lettuce and rocket (arugula).
Noted chef Alice Waters comments, “Outdoor markets in Provence display mesclun in profusion, a melange of the first tender young leaves which appear in the garden. Mesclun can be an extraordinary lettuce mixture: rocket, much like the rugola (arugula) found in Italian markets, chervil, mâche or lamb’s lettuce and oak leaf. On occasion, baby curly endive (chicory) or young dandelion greens find their way into the medley, depending solely upon the grower’s personal preferences combined with the reality of whatever else might send up shoots in the spot where mesclun grows.”
These are some of the varieties of Mesculin mix we grew. Oak Leaf green and Oak Leaf red lettuce. Red leaf and curly endive.