Warm Kale and Roasted Pumpkin Salad

This salad was inspired by Sprouted Kitchens Kale Bowl. Warm salad may sound bizarre but we have served this twice now for crew lunch and both times it was the perfect combination of flavours and perfect balance of proteins.  We did not want for anything more all afternoon!  Warm salads are perfect for Winter!

Ingredients A large chunk of pumpkin, skinned and seeded and cut into ¾ inch cubes 1 large fennel bulb, reserving fronds for garnish Red or brown onion cut into chunks 5-6 garlic cloves 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided 1 Tbsp. Grade B Maple Syrup 1 tsp. whole grain mustard 1/2 tsp. cayenne pinch of red pepper flakes 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg salt (smoked or sea salt) + pepper 1 bunch purple kale, stems removed tamari roasted pepitas 15 almonds coarsely pounded in a mortar and pestle feta cheese

Method 1. Preheat the oven to 225C'. Arrange one oven rack in the upper third and one on the bottom third. 2. Peel, seed and cube the pumpkin. Slice the fennel down the center, cut out the tough core, slice into 1/2'' wedges. Peel and cut the onion into 1/8ths. Do not peel the garlic. Spread everything on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil, maple, mustard, cayenne, red pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat everything, adding another drizzle of oil or maple if it seems too dry. Roast in the upper third of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the squash is tender and caramelized, tossing the vegetables halfway through. 3. Rip the kale into large chunks, drizzle it with remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread it on another baking sheet. At the 30 minute mark, move the squash tray to the lower rack and put the kale on the top rack. Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are crisp. 4. Squeeze the roasted garlic from its skin.  Gently toss everything together. Enjoy warm.

Broccoli Fritters

Ingredients3 cups chopped fresh broccoli (stems cut into ½ inch lengths and florets into 1 inch chunks) 1 large egg 1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour 1/3 cup (30 grams) finely grated parmesan cheese 1 small clove garlic, minced 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste A pinch of red pepper flakes or several grinds of black pepper Olive or vegetable oil for frying

Method 1. Steam your broccoli until tender (3-4 minutes). Drain the broccoli, then set aside to cool. 2. In a large bowl, beat the egg. Add flour, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the cooled broccoli and mash all the ingredients with a potato masher to combine. 3. Heat a large heavy-bottomed pan over moderate heat. Once hot, add a small amount of oil to cover the bottom of the pan and scoop a two tablespoon-size mound of the batter and drop it into the pan, flattening it slightly with a spatula. Repeat with the rest of your batter, leaving a couple inches space between each. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown underneath, then flip the fritters and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. 4. Transfer fritters onto paper towels, then serve. These are best enjoyed immediately, or you can also keep them warm in the oven on a moderate setting.

Recipe credit: Smitten Kitchen blog.

Vegetable Soup with Quinoa and Nettles

Quinoa, a grain like seed is a complete protein, unlike rice or beans. It is also gluten free. It is the best source for a plant based protein and being high in fiber and iron it should have a place in every vegetarian kitchen. Sopa de quinoa is a staple soup in Peru.  The Andes is where this grain thrives.  Quinoa is cooked with potatoes, onions and garlic in lard or oil and flavored with native oregano and annatto seeds. Whatever vegetables or greens are at hand are added to the soup. The soups I had ranged from a clear pale yellow soup to a thick creamy one, chock full of vegetables and greens.It usually served with an aji made from chili peppers.  You can take one slice from a chili and float it in your bowl of soup until you have the desired heat you like.

Ingredients 8 cups (2 liters) of vegetable or chicken stock 1/2 cup quinoa, well rinsed 1 cup carrots, quartered and sliced 1 cup pumpkin, peeled and cubed 1 cup onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup celery, chopped 1 cup potatoes, cubed salt (to taste) 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley 1cup minced nettle

Method 1. Combine carrots, onions and celery in a heavy bottomed soup pot with a splash of olive oil.  Gently fry until the onion is translucent. 2. Add pumpkin, potato, quinoa and stock.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender and the quinoa has "split", the curly tails have removed, about 10-15 minutes. 3. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt, if necessary and add the fresh herbs. Cook 2 more minutes, then remove from the heat.

Chunky Potato and Leek Soup

This is my new favourite crew lunch soup recipe.  The chunkiness allows each vegetable to speak for itself while the overall flavour is gorgeous. Ingredients 300 gm sweet potato - scrubbed not peeled and cut into 1 cm rounds (if they are the finger sweet potatoes) 500 gm potato - scrubbed not peeled and cut into large bite size pieces 3 carrots - halved and cut into 1/2cm semi rounds 1 leek halved and sliced into 1/2cm semi circles 250ml white wine 200 gm of pumpkin peeled and cut into 2 cm squares a large knob of butter...about 80 grams 1.5L vegetable stock 1/2 cup chopped parsley 3/4 cup chopped stinging nettles

Method 1. Place the butter and leeks into a large heavy bottom stock pot on medium heat.  Caramelise the leeks...stirring occasionally until they begin to brown. 2. Add carrots, potato, pumpkin, sweet potato and wine and turn the heat up burning the alcohol from the wine. 3. Turn heat back to medium and add stock.  Ensure that there is ample stock to cover vegetables.  Simmer until pumpkin begins to break down.  The pumpkin can completely disintegrate adding flavour to the stock. Add stock if needed. 4.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Once the stock is well flavoured, add the parsley and nettles and remove from heat.  Let rest for five minutes before serving.

Photo Credit Belinda Sheekey at Dyeing Trade

 

Spicy Roasted Parsnip Soup

This recipe comes from one of our CSA members Karen Thornton.  Served at a family get together, it was raved about! Ingredients 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp coriander seeds 1 tsp cumin seed, plus extra to garnish ½ tsp ground turmeric ½ tsp mustard seeds 2 large onion, cut into 8 chunks 3 garlic cloves 675g parsnips, diced can of diced tomatoes 1.2L veal stock (you can use vegetable) 1 tbsp lemon juice

Method 1. Heat oven to 220C. 2. In a bowl, mix together the oil and spices. Add the vegetables and mix well. Spread over a heavy baking sheet, then roast for 30 mins until tender. 3. Spoon into a food processor or liquidiser with half the stock and process until smooth. Pour into a pan with the remaining stock, season, then heat until barely simmering. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Garnish with cumin seeds.

Photo Credit Heidi Sze from Apples Under My Bed

Spaghetti Vongole with Fresh Mussels

Ingredients30 grams butter 6 cloves of garlic 1 onion (Brown onion,red onion or shallotts) 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley 4 stems of thyme 1.5 teaspoons lemon zest mussels (quantity depends on the catch but let's say this is around 1kg) 1 cup white wine 1 cup cherry tomatoes

Method (If you want to eat the mussels with spaghetti, cook the pasta just before beginning cooking the mussels. Drain the spaghetti in a colander and place a lid on top to keep it warm) 1. In a large heavy based pot with a lid, melt butter over medium heat and saute onion and garlic til onion is soft. 2. Add in wine, tomatoes, thyme and mussels, turn heat up to high and place lid on. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer until mussel shells open (about 6-8 minutes), discard any that don't open. 3. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon zest. 4. If you want to reduce the liquid you can remove the mussels once they open and turn the heat up to reduce the 'soup'. 5. To serve put the spaghetti in bowls, place mussels on top and then pour the mussel soup over the top of the spaghetti.

Photo: Nikki Fisher at Wholefood Mama

Black Beans

Black beans, or turtle beans as they are also known, are a staple from Cuba to Mexico and down into South America. Black beans are full of iron and really easy to cook.  I have been able to find the raw ones in health food stores here on the peninsula.  I have also found organic tinned ones at the IGA. Black beans are very versatile - lovely in a burrito, as a dip with chips and salsa, as the bean in chili con carne and just with a side of saffron rice- and they freeze well, too!  Because I soak the raw beans with vegetables and spices, they have more flavour.  I also add a piece of seaweed adding nutrients to this already nutritious protein.  If you prefer to use tinned ones, skip to #5

Ingredients
2 cups uncooked black beans (or use 2 tins of precooked)
2 medium to large red onions
1-2 capsicums - green or coloured depending on your preference
8 large garlic cloves
1 chili pepper
6 bay leaves
Olive oil for frying the onions, peppers and garlic
1 large tablespoon tomato paste
3-5 medium size tomatoes
1 tbsp cumin seeds toasted and then ground
zest from one lime
coriander leaves and stems
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method
1.  SOAKING OF THE BEANS Clean and rinse the beans several times looking for any little pebbles. Place in a stock pot with 1 onion cut into quarters, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 4 peeled garlic cloves, 3 bay leaves, large piece of Kombu seaweed.
2.  Fill the pot with water about 1 inch above the bean line, cover and soak overnight for at least 12 hours….
3. In the morning,  check the bean water line- water has been absorbed, add more, at least 1-inch above the bean line.  Bring to a high boil for about 5minutes, stir and reduce to low heat.
4.  Cook uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours.  Stir and keep checking water line and bean tenderness.  You want a bean that is tender, not mushy. You can take veggies out and puree them with the bean water and add it back in if you want a wetter bean.  For burritos, I like to drain the beans in a colander.
5. Meanwhile in a large fry pan, heat oil.  Add 3 bay leaves, 4 garlic cloves pressed, 1 large onion finely diced, 1 capsicum finely diced, chilies finely diced (optional).  Continually stir until onion is translucent.
6.  Toast cumin seeds until they start jumping and brown slightly.  Grind in a mortar and pestle.
7.  Add cumin and tomato paste to the frying pan.  Then cut your tomatoes in half vertically and grate them into the frying pan too.  After a few minutes, add the beans.
8. Taste and adjust seasoning adding salt, pepper, lime juice, tomato paste.  The cumin should not be over powering.
9.  Just before serving top with minced coriander and the zest from one lime.

For Burritos
1. Take a tortilla.  layer black beans, avocado, salsa, rice, grated cheese and a bit of mixed lettuce and roll.
2. You can add a side of sour cream and/or make the avocado into guacamole!
 

Simply Perfect Steamed Corn

There is an old adage "Don't pick the corn until the water is a boilin' ".  The sweetness in corn begins to turn to starch as soon as it is picked.  We pack all of the CSA boxes and THEN pick the corn to try and ensure you receive the freshest of sweet corn.  We strongly suggest you eat it tonight!  When it is this fresh, it is amazing raw!  Consequently, when you cook it, you should just heat it through.  Here is the method we use which produces perfect steamed corn. Ingredients Fresh Sweet Corn

Method 1. Take a wide mouth sauce pan that fits the corn lying down and put 1 cm of water on the bottom or if your corn fits in your steamer, use that. 2. Layer the corn cobs.  They can be stacked. 3. Put onto high heat.  Watch the corn as the water boils.  The kernels will bead. After you see this bead, cook for three more minutes and then remove from heat. 4. Serve immediately.  You can add butter, salt and pepper or just eat as is.

Tomato Salsa

This is wonderfully fresh on corn chips or with black bean burritos. You can also make it when you have a glut of tomatoes and preserve for the winter.  This is a very quick recipe that involves no peeling of tomatoes. 
Ingredients
3 tomatoes
1/4 capsicum - coloured or green
1/2 red onion
2 fresh garlic cloves
1/4 bunch coriander - mince the leaves and stems
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method
1. Finely dice the onion,  capsicum, garlic cloves and optional chili pepper and put into a bowl. 
2. Roughly chop tomatoes. 
3. Add to bowl with olive oil and blend being careful to keep it a bit chunky.
4. Add lime juice and mix through.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Depending on your tomatoes, you may need a pinch of sugar too.
6.  Add coriander.

Kale Chips

Kale chips are amazingly delicious.  Crunchy, salty, filled with nutrients.  They really are just as addictive as potato chips.  If you have no idea what to do with your kale, give these chips a go.  Children love them, too...and not just our children! ANDI stands for "Aggregate Nutrient Density Index." An ANDI score shows the nutrient density of a food on a scale from 1 to 1000 based on nutrient content. ANDI scores are calculated by evaluating an extensive range of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities. The ANDI score for Kale is 1000!

Kale is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

Ingredients 1 bunch kale 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp seasoned salt optional - garlic, sesame seeds

Oven Method 1. Preheat an oven to 175 degrees. Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper. 2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. 3. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. 4. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

Dehydrator Method 1. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. 2. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. 3. Spread the leaves on the dehydrator trays in single layers. Do not crowd the leaves or they will not dry evenly. It is alright if the leaves touch, but they shouldn't overlap too much.

"Quick" Dehydrator Method This method doesn't result in chips that qualify as raw food, but the result is still very good and ready in half the time of the low temperature method below.

Dry the kale at 145F/63C for 1 hour. Reduce the heat to 115F/46C and dry for an additional 3 to 4 hours until crispy dry. Transfer to airtight containers, or vacuum seal for longer storage.

Low Temperature Raw Food Method Dry the kale at 110F/43C for about 8 hours (overnight or while you're at work). Transfer to airtight containers, or vacuum seal for longer storage.

If your kale chips lose their crunch in storage, you can re-crisp them in a low (200F/93C) oven for 10 minutes, or in the dehydrator at 110F/43C for an hour.

 

 

Braising Mix

Braising MixOur braising mix is a new item at Transition Farm, arriving in your share during the cooler months of spring and autumn when the many varieties of kale, mustard, and Asian chois that make up this mix thrive. You will enjoy green, red  and purple mustards, red choi, tatsoi, white steamed pac choi, mibuna, mizuna, Red Russian kale, green kale and silverbeet in the flavorful mix of "greens".

The greens are harvested at mid-maturity, so they are much milder in taste than the same varieties when full grown, but have more flavor than when harvested as baby greens and eaten raw. They are an unusual taste explosion of peppery, sweet, earthy, bitter and nutty.

Cooking Tips Braising mixes are usually cooked. Named after the cooking technique of searing in hot oil and then simmering in liquid, braising greens can in fact be steamed, sauteed, stir-fried, or mixed into soups or stews. Braising greens are the perfect addition to salads, stir-fries, pizza, pasta, eggs, or casseroles. From Tufts University:

  • Toss a couple handfuls of braising mix (baby chard, kale, spinach, mustard, arugula, or other greens) into a stir fry.
  • Be sure to balance the slight bitterness of baby chard, dandelion or mustard leaves with contrasting or sweet flavors such as persimmon, apple, pear, baby beets, citrus, vinaigrette spiked with honey or a syrupy balsamic vinegar.
  • You can also toss some chopped greens into soup or a frittata, or serve them sauteed with pancetta, pine nuts, and golden raisins and heaped atop crusty toasted or grilled bread rubbed with garlic.

Storage Tips These greens are a bit hardier, so they should store relatively well in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for at least a week. Still, they should generally be used sooner if possible.

Nutrition Because braising mix contains many different varieties of greens, each harvest may be nutritionally different. But because it contains many types of brassicas, braising greens are always rich in vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, folacin and beta carotene.

Field Notes The plants that make up our braising mix, although different looking and tasting, are almost all from the wonderfully diverse Brassica Rapa species. These plants thrive in the cool weather of the Peninsula in Spring and late Autumn. Each component is seeded separately in the field and mixed at harvest time. We try and harvest the braising mix when it is in it's "teenage" stage so that the leaves are still tender.

Recipes There are recipes on our website recipe page.

 

Cavolo Nero and Chilli Chips

Ingredients1 long red chilli 1 bunch Cavolo Nero (or another flat variety of kale such as red Russian), well washed extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Method 1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Toast chilli in a frying pan over medium heat for 2 minutes or until quite dry and just starting to colour. Using a mortar and pestle, pound until quite fine, adding a little sea salt if necessary to help grind it. You want the chilli mixed with 1 tbsp salt (or to taste) by the time it’s made, so you’ll have plenty of this chilli salt for other uses, too. 2. Remove the central spine from cavolo nero, then tear or cut into pieces roughly 5cm wide and 10cm long. Place in a bowl, add a few drops of oil and, using your fingertips, very lightly toss each leaf until lightly coated. Sprinkle with a little chilli salt – not too much – and lay leaves out on oven trays lined with baking paper. 3. Bake cavolo nero for 5 minutes or until it starts to change texture and become crisp. If it goes brown, it is scorched and probably won’t taste so flash, so it is best to check it often. Remove from the oven, cool for a minute, then very gently transfer to a platter. Serve immediately as it won’t keep.

Recipe credit -  SBS website

Leek and Nettle/Spinach/Silverbeet Tartlets

I adapted this recipe from Linda Woodrow's Leek Tartlets with Olive Oil Pastry  (I used to use a short crust pastry but tried her yogurt, olive oil pastry and much preferred it.)
You can use spinach or 'Perpetual Gator' silverbeet as a replacement for the nettles.
Makes 6 large muffin sized tarts. Recipe doubles fine.
The Pastry:
Into a food processor or a bowl, put 1 cup of wholemeal plain flour and a good pinch of salt.
Put a couple of good dessertspoons of low fat Greek yoghurt in a cup, then top it up to half full with olive oil. You want it about half and half – ¼ cup of each. You don’t need to mix them.
Tip the cup all at once into the processor or bowl and blitz them together.  In a food processor it’s just a couple of seconds, but you can do it just by stirring.  Knead just enough to combine into a dough.  It needs to be quite moist so don’t add any more flour than necessary, and don’t overwork the dough or it will get tough.  Put the dough in a plastic container in the freezer to cool while you make the filling.
The Filling:
Sauté 2 cups of chopped leeks (white and pale green part) in a little butter or olive oil.  Do this over low heat for about twenty minutes which caramelises the leek.  When they are almost done, add 1 cup chopped nettles.
Beat together:
  • eggs
  • ¼ cup white wine or 1/4 cup milk or 1/4 cup cream or 1/4 water with a squeeze of lemon
  • a dessertspoon of lemon thyme
  • a good grating of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Assembling and Baking:The pastry is quite fragile.  The easiest way to roll it out is to put a sheet of greaseproof paper on your bench top, put the ball of dough on it, and cover with another sheet.  Roll the pastry out between the two sheets, turning once or twice to un-wrinkle the paper. You can then peel the top sheet of paper off, cut the dough to fit your muffin tins, flip the lot and peel the other sheet off. Roll the scraps out between the greaseproof paper again.
If you have a round bowl the right size to fit the muffin tins, use it to cut your rounds.  I do not so I cut the dough into squares which then stick up out of the tins.
Grease the baking tins lightly, line with pastry.  You can pre-bake empty for five minutes or just put a few dessert spoons of the leek and nettle mixture into each cup, pour the egg mixture, dividing between the cups and top with parmesan cheese.
Bake in a medium oven for around 20 minutes till the pastry is golden.

Quinoa, Roasted Veggies, Marinated Chickpeas and Feta Salad

Ingredients1 cup raw chickpeas 1 medium whole Butternut squash or 1/4 to 1/3 of a Queensland Blue squash 3 carrots 2 beetroot 1 cup red quinoa balsamic vinegar extra virgin olive oil 100g feta lemon thyme salt and pepper

Method 1. Night Before: Soak 1 cup of chick peas over night. 2. 1 1/2 hours before serving: Drain the chick peas and refill with water.  Add a 3 cm piece of Kombu.  Boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 1 hour or until tender. 3. Vegetables: While the chick peas are boiling, peel 1 medium whole Butternut squash or 1/4 to 1/3 of a Queensland Blue squash and cut into 1 1/2cm cubes.  (I prefer these squashes because they remain whole even when roasted.) Peel carrots and cut into match sticks. Peel beetroot and cut into 1cm cubes. Place all on a roasting tray. Lightly sprinkle with olive oil, salt and fresh thyme. 4. Roast in a 180 oven for about an hour, turning occasionally so that all sides brown. 5. Quinoa: Rinse and drain 1 cup red quinoa.  Place in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock.  Cover.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa seed has split, a little white "tail" comes away from the kernel. This is the sign that the quinoa is soft.  Place in a bowl to cool. 6. Marinade: 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil Dessert Spoon fresh lemon thyme 1/2tsp salt and generous grind of cracked pepper 7. Greens: Use seasonal greens.  Mixed lettuce, spinach, rocket, beetroot greens, mizuna.  Rinse and spin dry.  This salad is delicious with as few or as many as you have. 8. Remove vegetables from the oven and allow to cool. 9. Assembling: Once chickpeas are tender, drain and mix immediately with the marinade.  As they cool, they soak up the marinade.  If there is no marinade left in the bowl with them, make a bit more.

Once cool, add about 100grams of feta cheese cut into 1 cm cubes. Stir to coat with marinade and let sit for ten minutes.

Place greens in bowl.  Top with quinoa, then roasted vegetables then chickpeas and feta.

Tabouli

I have included two recipes for tabouli.  One is the traditional recipe using cracked wheat (bulgar) as the grain.  The other is my quinoa adaptation which my children love served alone (for a beach picnic) or as a side salad. Quinoa Tabouli Ingredients 3 cups water 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed juice of one lemon 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup chopped parsley 20 cherry tomatoes halved 2 cucumbers, quartered and cut into 1/2 cm pieces 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional) 20 pitted kalamata olives sliced 1 small garlic clove pressed Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Method 1. Place water in a sauce pan and bring to boil.  Add quinoa, bring to a boil again and then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until most of the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and let stand 5 minutes to absorb remaining water. Fluff again with fork 2. In another bowl add oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, parsley, tomatoes and cucumbers.  Mix thoroughly.  Add quinoa. 3. Just before serving add feta and olives.

Traditional Tabouli Ingredients ½ cup cracked wheat (bulgar) 3/4 cup boiling water 3 tomatoes 1 long cucumber 2 spring onions (scallions) 1 clove garlic 10 stalks parsley 15 mint leaves (optional) 1 lemon 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil salt freshly ground black pepper

Method 1. Place the cracked wheat and salt in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water.  Cover and let stand 15 - 20 minutes, or until chewable. 2. Add lemon juice, garlic, oil, parsley, mint and black pepper, and mix thoroughly.  Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. 3. Just before serving add vegetables, mix gently and correct seasonings. 4. Garnish with feta cheese and kalamata olives.