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Posts from the ‘Eat’ Category

Wild Organic Red Rice and Beet Salad by Tarryn Maynard

I live in New Bedford, Massachusetts—a place synonymous with factories and fishing, Melville and Moby Dick and…Sid Wainer & Sons.  Sid’s gourmet outlet of Jansal Valley products, and most importantly its test kitchen, is a little jewel tucked among old textile mills. I sampled a red rice and beet salad there and darted home to recreate. It’s packed with texture and taste and it’s the rice that gives this dish an amazing nutty, chewy flavor and the color that melds so beautifully with the beets.  Topped with crunch and craisins, this is a bowl of deep purple and fuchsia deliciousness. Plus, the rice has 7 grams of protein and beets are super healthy (and yummy).  Served over mixed greens (sometimes with left-over chicken or a couple of hardboiled eggs) and/or topped with some crumbled goat cheese, this is my lunch bag favorite.

WILD ORGANIC RED RICE AND BEET SALAD

1 cup Jansal Valley’s wild organic red rice, cooked and cooled*

3-4 medium beets, roasted, peeled and cut into small ½-inch cubes

Handful of Italian parsley, finely chopped

½ cup of craisins

½ cup of cashews, toasted and chopped

½ red onion, finely diced

Lemon juice from half of a lemon

Vinaigrette:

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, blanched and finely minced**

Salt and pepper to taste

Red Rice

Fire up the oven to 350F and set your pasta pot with water to boil.

Combine cashews, craisins, red onion and lemon juice in a large bowl and set aside for beets and rice.

Make the vinaigrette.  Combine oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a covered jar, shake well. I prefer white balsamic over red balsamic in this dish. If you have a favorite, go for it.

Once the beets are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off, and dice into ½ inch cubes and add to the large bowl.  Add the rice and vinaigrette to the bowl, mix well. Enjoy!

Serves 6

*The rice needs a lot of water to cook so fill the pot like you would cook a pound of pasta. Add rice to boiling water. It is done when there is still a bite to it but not crunchy. Rinse the rice in cold water to stop the cooking. Cooking time is approximately 40-45 minutes.

** I blanch the garlic clove by popping it in the rice water right before draining, I find this takes a bit of the raw garlic bite out.  Skip this step if you love the garlic bite!

Winter Kale Frittata with Gruyère and Nutmeg

Aren’t frittatas the absolute best? No matter what time of year they are one of the go-to vehicles for transforming on-hand ingredients into a delicious dinner. In the spring, young spinach, garlic scapes and Parmesan feel right. In summer, thin cross sections of tomato with basil and goat cheese make the grade at our house. This time of year we go for hearty winter kale paired with the nuttiness of Gruyère cheese and a touch of earthy, ground nutmeg. Nutmeg seems to enhance any dark, leafy green – if you can find whole nutmeg, try adding it freshly ground to your recipes with a little help from a small Microplane. The best frittatas often happen by chance – I call them “Kitchen Sink” frittatas, because they include everything but… left over roasted vegetables, snips of herbs hanging around, greens that are otherwise soup-bound. I don’t think I’ve ever met a frittata I didn’t like.

WINTER KALE FRITTATA WITH GRUYERE AND NUTMEG

2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

10-12 large kale leaves, tough stalks and ribs removed, chopped

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 eggs, room temperature

2 tablespoons half and half or milk

3 ounces, Gruyère cheese, finely sliced or grated

Preheat broiler on low, if your oven gives you the option.

In a large oven-proof skillet or cast iron pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add red onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add the chopped kale to the pan along with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Saute until the kale has reduced in size and is soft, about 5 minutes. Lower heat to low. Distribute the vegetables somewhat evenly across the bottom of the pan.

Pour the egg mixture over the kale and tilt the pan gently to evenly distribute. Lay or sprinkle the Gruyère on top of the top.

Cook over low heat until bubbles begin to rise though the top of the frittata and the rim of the eggs seem just set.

Place the frittata under the broiler to finish cooking. I prefer using a low setting on the broiler and placing the pan on the middle rack of the oven as to not blast the frittata with intense heat. Check the oven every minute or so to gauge how fast the top is browning. My broiler takes about 3 minutes total.

Remove from oven and let the frittata set for a few minutes before serving.

Serves 4 as a main.

First Steps into Foraging Wild Edibles

This weekend I was lucky enough to have participated in a “Wild Edibles” foraging class. While the session took place on the property of an organic farm, we looked everywhere except within the neatly maintained beds of the identifiable veggies. To begin, our teacher made an incredibly simple, yet profound, point. “This row of lettuce was planted by someone who wanted it to grow here – someone who committed to care for it.” Wild vegetation chooses for itself, and it therefore must be that much more determined to support its own growth and survival. This hardiness almost always translates into a nutritional powerhouse of a plant. Our class was served a simple tea of white pine needles to begin the day. To prove our teacher’s point this gentle, simple preparation had 5x the amount of vitamin C when compared to an equal amount of orange juice. I was now paying very close attention!

The following are some of the photographs with the notes I took during our walk. I hope you will seek foraging experiences in your own communities. Here are a couple of strong, general recommendations our teacher made as well:

*Always consult at least two resource guides before you eat a plant you are unfamiliar with. Plants look different throughout the year and in various stages of development. When shopping for said guides, look for authors who speak from personal experience; “I ate this when…” “When I cook this…” These are much more trusted sources than someone just throwing together pictures and facts.

*Forage at least 50-100 feet from any roadside, railroad, etc. Toxins from exhaust, metals and other substances can fly into roadside areas and/or be carried even further with rain water.

*When trying a new food, start eating it in small quantities. It’s probably been a while since you introduced a completely new food into your body and everyone has different constitutions.

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RAW: Chia Seeds by Donelda Curren

These are two breakfast treats both made with Chia seeds: First is Chia seed with fresh raspberries, blueberries. almonds, agave and vanilla extract. The tray at left is ready for dehydration and makes terrific “Go-Food.”

To hydrate the chia seed add about three tablespoons of chia to a bowl then add 1/2 cup of water. It needs to sit for a few minutes and stir a few times before you add the fruit.

Alternately, to enjoy Chia seed without the dehydrator, mix hydrated Chia seeds with mixed red pears (diced),  fresh blueberries, vanilla extract (no alcohol), agave and ground cardamom.

FROM THE EDITOR: Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are traditionally grown in South America and Mexico. In 2008, Australia was the world’s largest producer of Chia, according to Wikipedia. Donnie and I both use the “Excalibur” dehydrator, but there are many on the market. They allow for extremely low-temperature cooking (less than 145 degrees F) for long periods of time that regular ovens just can’t achieve as successfully. They are integral for true raw-foodies and also allow you to create your own fruit leather, jerky, “baked” goods and even yogurt.

Turnip, Kohlrabi & Radish Slaw (Week 5 CSA Recipe)

Turnips, turnips, turnips… all I ever do is roast them and the thermometer is rising… “Grate them raw, into a slaw!” proclaimed Karin – once again shedding a new and delicious light on an old friend. Perhaps it’s the novelty, but I think everyone that has tried this actually prefers it to its cabbage counterpart.

2 medium turnips, trimmed & grated (about 1+1/2 cups)

1 kohlrabi bulb, trimmed & grated (about 1+1/2 cups)

1 bunch radishes, trimmed & grated (about 1 cup)

Dressing:

1/4 cup light mayonaisse

1+1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1+1/2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Process all vegetables and mix the dressing. Combine in a large bowl and serve chilled.

Serves 4 as a side.

(WEEK 5 CSA: Peas, Beet Greens, Swiss Chard, Lettuces, Kale, Radishes, Turnips, Kohlrabi, Tatsoi and Garlic Scapes)

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