Letters From Andy
Ground Cherry (Poha Berry) Salsa
- 2 cups ground cherries, halved or quartered
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tsp honey or sugar
- juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Ground cherries, or Poha Fruit, are closely related to tomatoes and tomatillos, and after removing the papery husk, can be eaten fresh on salads or on top of yogurt. Recipe from Dana, Fantail Valley Homestead
Chop all the ingredients and mix well. Will store in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can replace the ground cherries with cherry tomatoes or mix and match for what you have. The peppers can be swapped for what ever you have available. Aim for one sweet and one hot.
This is delicious with tortilla chips or with grilled fish.
Andy’s New Potato Blurb
- New Potatoes
- Pinch of one of our Herb Salt mixes, Mediterranean Dreams or Salty Sicilian Love
- Freshly ground Black Pepper
True new potatoes are a rare treat. A new potato is not a small potato but a fresh potato harvested from a green, growing potato plant. A somewhat scuffed, frayed appearance to the potato skin is a frequent consequence of harvesting such tender spuds and is unavoidable because the skin has not yet hardened. If left to mature new potatoes would get a little bigger and the skins would get tougher making for typical potatoes that are easier to harvest and ship. Unfortunately for the potato connoisseur the potato, once cured, always loses some of its tender moisture. New potatoes wilt and must be treated like green vegetables and stored in a bag in the fridge. When I get them as a first treat of the potato crop I never store them at all but eat them promptly.
I like to steam them briefly and then roll the hot little potatoes in a little butter, a pinch of salt, and twist of pepper and voila! Do potatoes get any better? A friend from Idaho said when she was a girl they would eat new potatoes raw. I’ve tried it – the experience is not unlike jicama.
- 1 fennel bulb, fronds removed and cut into wedges
- Drizzle of Belle Farms olive oil
- Pinch of one of our herb salt mixes, Mediterranean Dreams or Salty Sicilian Love
- Freshly ground black pepper
A relative of the carrot, fennel is a slightly-sweet root vegetable with a flavor similar to star anise. With just a drizzle of oil and a pinch of seasoning, roasted fennel becomes a unique and tasty side, snack, or salad ingredient.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Prepare a baking sheet, either by lining it with baking parchment or with a thin layer of oil.
- Place the fennel wedges in a bowl. Drizzle with Belle Farms olive oil, just enough to thinly coat the fennel wedges, and then season with herb salt and black pepper to taste. Toss it all together, and then spread the coated wedges evenly onto the baking sheet.
- Roast for 25–35 minutes, or until the wedges are browned on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Allow wedges to cool before eating. Try them as-is, with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, or as part of a salad. Enjoy!
Refreshing Purslane Salad
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- Salt, to taste
- 1/2 to 1 pound purslane, leaves and tender stems
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 4 plum tomatoes, diced
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
The tart and lemony purslane makes a wonderful salad base. A sturdy green, purslane doesn’t wilt easily, so don’t be afraid to dress the whole salad before serving! Great as an appetizer or a side.
Recipe adapted from honest-food.net
- Slice the onion thinly and place in a small bowl. Mix a generous pinch of salt into the red wine vinegar; pour the salt and vinegar mixture over the red onion. Toss well, coating the onion evenly, and then set the onion aside to soak for about 15 minutes while you prep the other ingredients.
- Place purslane, cucumber, and tomato into a salad bowl and gently toss to distribute the ingredients. Drizzle the olive oil over the purslane mixture and then add the dried oregano, continually tossing to coat the whole salad evenly.
- Pour the onion and vinegar mixture from the small bowl into the salad bowl, tossing thoroughly. Finally, crumble in the feta cheese and give the salad a final toss.
Spicy Pan Roasted Chayote Squash
- 2 chayote squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (or Kashmiri chili powder if you can find it!)
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
You’re probably going to want a towel to protect your hand. Most of the chayote have spines, but some don’t and the spineless chayotes have smooth surfaces. But the spiny ones can be prickly so use a towel to handle them. The recipe below is adapted from a recipe by Swathi from www.zestysouthindiankitchen.com which she recommends as a side or even as a taco filling.
In a 12-inch cast iron pan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and sauté the onion and garlic until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the cubed chayote squash, salt, turmeric, cumin, and smoked paprika, and cook until the chayote squash is cooked through well, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to adjust to taste and take off the heat. Delicious on top of a bowl of rice or with warmed flatbread. Serves 4.
Spaghetti Squash and Tarragon
- 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- zest of half a lemon
- leaves from 2 thyme sprigs
- crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- leaves from 3 sprigs of tarragon, chopped
- 1/3 cup grated ricotta salata
Store spaghetti squash just like a winter squash because it is a winter squash. Store in a cool spot on your counter until cut open. Once cut, store in your fridge. This recipe is from Chef Jonathan Miller.
Heat oven to 350. Baste the spaghetti squash flesh with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put cut side down in a baking sheet and pour in the wine and about a third cup of water. Roast for about 50 minutes, until just barely tender, then remove from the oven and flip the squash over to cool. While the squash roasts toast the pine nuts until nicely golden.
Combine the vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, crushed pepper and a little salt in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.
Scrape the squash out of its skin with a fork, separating it into strands and put in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing, then finish with the tarragon, ricotta salata, and the pine nuts. Serve while still warm or at room temperature. Yummy!
Garden Soup with Lacinato Kale and Cauliflower
- 2 onions or 2 large leeks, diced
- 1/2 pound potatoes, diced (a few small or one large)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to finish
- 2 cups stemmed and slivered lacinato kale OR, chopped spigariello
- 2 cups (more or less) small cauliflower florets
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 cups broth: homemade or purchased, vegetable, bean broth, or chicken stock
- Asiago cheese for grating at the end
Adapted from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen.
Wash the leeks if using. Chop the potato, leaving the skin on if you like, if it’s organic. Warm the olive oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and the potato, give them a stir, and while they’re warming up, slick the kale or spigariello off its ropy stems, then slice the leaves into short ribbons. Add the kale/spigariello to the pot along with the cauliflower, garlic, and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle some olive oil into each. Season with pepper and grate a little cheese into the soup.
Pasta with Zucchini, Lemon, Pine Nuts and Herbs
- 1 pound corkscrew pasta (gemelli, rotelli, etc.)
- 8 ounces small, firm green or golden zucchini
- 1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs: Italian parsley, marjoram, basil, chervil, hyssop, oregano, lemon thyme and others
- 1 lemon
- 6 T extra virgin olive oil
- 5 T pine nuts
- 1 onion or 3 shallots, thinly sliced then roughly chopped
- 4 teaspoons tiny capers, rinsed in water
- 2 sun-dried tomatoes, cut into narrow strips
- salt and pepper
- Parmesan, grated fresh
Adapted from The Greens Cook Book.
Slice the zucchini diagonally into pieces about the same thickness as the pasta (matchstick size, 1/8″ or so). Line up the slices and cut them into narrow matchsticks. Each one will be tipped with green or gold. Make a selection of fresh herbs from those suggested in the ingredients list. Pull the leaves off the stems and chop them, but not too finely. Include any flowers, such as the purple flowers of the basil or pink thyme blossoms. With a vegetable peeler, remove a thin strip of peel from the lemon and cut it into fine slivers. (I grated the peel.) Heat 2 T. olive oil in a small pan and add the pine nuts. Cook them until they begin to color — watch carefully because they can start to burn quickly; then add the shallots. Cook the two together over medium low heat until the shallots are soft and the pine nuts are brown. Transfer them to a wide bowl and add the rest of the oil, the capers, lemon peel, sun-dried tomatoes and herbs. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon or so lemon juice to taste. Add salt to the boiling water, drop in the zucchini and cook it about 1 minute. Scoop it out, shake off the water, and add it to the bowl with the other ingredients. Next, cook the pasta, scoop it out and add it to the bowl as well. Toss with a pair of tongs, so that the noodles are coated with the oil and herbs. Serve with the cheese passed separately.
Julia’s Potato Salad
- 4 pounds new or fingerling potatoes, cut into rough 1-inch pieces and cooked til tender
- 2 tablespoons rice or cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced thin
- 1 small head fennel or celery stalk, cut into small dice (optional)
- 1/3 cup sweet pickle (not relish), cut into small dice (optional)
- small-medium handful washed and chopped arugula leaves
- 1 cup mayonnaise (homemade makes this dish sublime)
- 3 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
- 1 generous bunch minced fresh parsley
By Julia Wiley. Serves 6-8.
Layer warm potato pieces in medium bowl; sprinkle with vinegar, salt, and pepper as you go. Refrigerate while preparing remaining ingredients.
Mix in remaining ingredients; refrigerate until ready to serve.
Winter Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
- 6 oz mixed greens
- 1-2 Fuyu Persimmons, peeled (optional) and sliced
- 1-2 tangerines or other citrus, peeled and segmented
- 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate arils (from half a pomegranate)
- 1/2 cup candied pecans
- 2 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- Citrus Vinaigrette
Adapted from FoodFanatic.com. 4-6 side servings.
Divide greens among serving bowls. Top with slices of persimmon and citrus, sprinkle of pomegranate seeds, a few candied pecans, and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with dressing, toss gently to combine.
Citrus Vinaigrette — In a small jar with a tightly fitting lid, put half a minced shallot, one and a half tablespoons champagne vinegar, juice from one lemon, about 3/4 cup olive oil, a little lemon or yuzu zest, one tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Close up the jar and shake it all up.