HERB PASTA RECIPE.

greens.

Our CSA started this week, and so we thought we’d share one of our easy, go-to recipes for random leftover greens – for our members, but also for anyone else out there who finds themselves with assorted radish tops, bits of spinach, kale, herbs, onion tops, etc. It is modified from the “Pâtes aux Herbes” recipe from Provence: The Cookbook.

INGREDIENTS:

  • A large handful (about 5 – 6 ounces) of herbs or greens. You can use WHATEVER you have – spinach, chard, kale, basil, arugula, green onions and garlic, wild greens like dandelions or sorrel….anything!)
  • A large pinch of salt
  • About 3 cups of flour (I use about 2 1/2 cups of plain and 1/2 cup of semolina flour)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 -4 TBSP warm water
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese, pepper, butter for serving

 

DIRECTIONS:

In a mortar, pound together the salt and herbs/greens until you form a paste. You can use a food processor, but you get more liquid with the mortar and pestle (plus it is more fun!) Put about 2 cups of flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the paste and the eggs to the well, and then mix with a fork, slowly moving outwards and absorbing more flour as you mix. Add more flour or warm water as needed, so that you form a sticky but coherent dough.

mortar and pestle.

Thickly flour a work surface and turn out your dough. Knead for about five minutes – stretching out the dough with the heel of your hand, folding it over on itself, turning, and then stretching again. The greens will continue to release more liquid as you knead, so keep adding more flour. You want a silky, rollable dough. Form into a bowl, cover with a cloth, and let rest one hour.

pasta dough.

Scrape clean your work surface and flour it lightly. Roll out your dough (I like to do it in sections) with a floured rolling pin, to about 1/8th inch thick. Cut the dough into strips, and then cut the strips cross-ways to make squares.

pasta.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the oil. Drop the squares into the boiling water. When the water returns to a rolling boil, let the pasta cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Drain and serve in warm plates with butter, cheese, and pepper!

What about you? What’s your leftover random greens recipe?

 

EASY NATURAL HOMEMADE ROOT BEER.

Persimmon Root BeerI’ll be honest, I like soda (or pop, or cola, or whatever your colloquialism may be), but I hardly drink the stuff. Too sugary, too processed, not my thing. But having grown up with soda I do sometimes get the craving for one, especially around the fall when a good root beer, or root beer float, could really hit the spot.

So here’s our recipe to make your own root beer, only using water, roots, honey and fruit (if desired)—no starter needed (though if you keep a ginger bug, go nuts). IMPORTANT NOTE: this is a fermented product and the end result will contain a slight bit of alcohol, akin perhaps to kombucha. If you don’t let your kids drink kombucha, this may not be your recipe. Also, the longer it ages, the higher the alcohol level will rise, so kids should drink it fresh and in small quantities. OTHER IMPORTANT NOTE: if this post looks funny, it’s because I (Jesse) am doing it all by myself and can’t figure out how to put spaces between paragraphs. You will have to pretend they’re there. And they’re awesome.

IMG_3115

Makes One Gallon

you’ll need:

1-2 lbs dried sassafras root (and/or other flavorful roots such as sarsaparilla)
1 and 1/4 gallons water
2 cups raw honey (if not raw, or if you choose to use sugar––1 1/2 cups––you may have to add some form of starter or unwashed fruit)
1-2 lbs wild persimmons or other fruit (optional)
One 2 gallon glass jar or crock
Small plastic bottles for bottling with lids
 
persimmons.

Chop the dry roots into large chunks. (Our friends at Rolf and Daughters even suggest toasting the roots slightly first to concentrate the flavor.) In a large pot, simmer the roots with 1/2 gallon of water for at least one hour until fragrant and dark. It should reduce slightly, and be a deep red. Add the rest of the water and let cool to room temperature. Once sufficiently cool, stir in raw honey and persimmons whole. Do not crush fruit or the drink will become pulpy (speaking from experience). Place in crock or glass jar and cover with cloth tied on tightly to keep bugs out. Leave at room temperature. Let sit overnight. The next day, stir vigorously two or three times with wooden spoon. Fermentation should begin within 48 hours.

potboiler.

Once it begins to bubble slightly, put it into bottles or jars and put lids on. At this point, allow to sit at room temperature for one day, until carbonation is visible, or until you hear a light “fizz” when you open a bottle. Place in fridge and drink anytime thereafter. Take into consideration that the bottles will become highly pressurized from the carbon dioxide, and if not consumed within few days will need to be “burped” by removing the lid carefully and releasing the gas. The fridge will slow down the pressurization, but keep an eye on them. Otherwise you may have an explosion. For serious. Again, this fermentation will produce trace amounts of alcohol and that percentage will increase over time. Consume fresh and cold.

– Jesse

GRILLED PIZZA.

grilled pizza.YOU GUYS! This is a pretty big deal for us….we got a new grill. Since we cook completely on the woodstove in our house, the summers have been pretty tough. Plus, we don’t have a way to bake. We had a teeny tiny Weber grill that was good for making grilled cheese, but now…we have a real grill. A way to cook outside in the summer AND (with a little practice) a way to bake! So far we’ve mastered pizzas and biscuits. We used our honey pizza crust recipe and it worked perfectly! Up next….bread! Anybody have any tips?

grilled pizza.

SPICY GARLIC SCAPE RELISH RECIPE.

garlic scapes.

Every year in the late Spring we pick off the flower stems growing on top of our hard neck garlic – the scape, or pigtail, as the flower is often referred. Removing these undeveloped flowers encourages the garlic plant to put its energy into creating a larger bulb for later harvest. But farmers soon find themselves with as many scapes as they have garlic plants. Luckily for us, garlic scapes are a special kind of tasty.

Scapes taste a bit like garlicky green onions, and are great in stir-fry or salad. But still, if you have a lot of garlic, it’s hard to use them all before they lose their freshness. That is why this easy relish is an excellent way to keep the scapes around a little longer and to turn them into an exciting and versatile summer condiment.

Makes one quart.

At least 3 dozen scapes (may need more depending on scape size)
1 1/2  tbs Salt
3 cups water (Non-Chlorinated)
2 peppercorns
2 fresh hot peppers (habenero preferably)
Zest of one lemon
Fresh Cilantro (optional)
Mason Jar

Cut your scapes into inch-long pieces. Toss in mixing bowl with lemon zest, and peppercorns then stuff into mason jar until at least three quarters full. Dissolve salt into room temperature, non-chlorinated water then pour brine over scape mixture in jar. Fill jar within one inch of top. Since this is a ferment, you’ll need to leave room for expansion. Place a small sandwich bag of water overtop of the ferment to keep the solids submerged below the brine. Cover jar with small piece of cloth and secure with string or rubber band. Set the relish on the countertop to ferment for at least seven days then transfer to either a dark cellar or refrigerator while waiting for fresh peppers to come in season. It’s nice to allow the flavors to marry for at least a week or two, longer if possible. When fresh peppers are available, blend garlic scapes in food processor with fresh peppers and cilantro (if desired). Serve as salsa, our use as a relish with your summer grilling. Anything from eggs to potato hash to hamburgers will find this spicy relish to be an ideal compliment. Keep in refrigerator or cellar between uses. Will last months in right conditions.

scape relish.

BANNOCK BREAD.

bannock bread.

Jesse and I have been having some serious adventures in cooking lately. We cook entirely with wood, and we cook three meals a day….so we are learning a lot about cooking on a fire! It is mostly quite enjoyable, especially when we are able to use the grill outside instead of the wood stove INSIDE (not so fun in the summertime!)

The one thing we have not been able to figure out: bread. One day, we will have a real wood cook stove (as opposed to our box stove), and maybe even an outdoor earth oven. But for now, we have been relying on this recipe for Bannock Bread – an easy, biscuit-like treat that we can cook on the stovetop. It is from this AMAZING AMAZING OHHMAZING book that is so beautiful I can’t even believe it- Home Made Winter.

So, if you want a lovely treat, rustic farmstead style, try this recipe! We love it with some spicy jalepeno jam we got at the farmers market.

BANNOCK BREAD

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar or honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • about a cup of buttermilk or sour milk

I literally just mix all of this together with my hands. It is that easy. Or you can follow the recipe and be all clean and tidy about it (mix dry ingredients, add tiny pieces of the cold butter until pea-sized clumps form, then add the milk). But hands work, too. Get your skillet REALLY hot, add some butter and then the dough, shaped into an oval. Cook for about seven minutes on each side and ENJOY!

– Hannah.

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