We love getting off the farm and getting to spend time with our peer growers. We are really thrilled when that time is part of a cooking event at Fire Flour & Fork (a five day “gathering for the food curious” in Richmond).
Last Sunday we headed downtown with some of our vegetables, our bread, and our oldest child. We chopped, simmered, scrambled, topped, minced, buttered, and tasted. It was fun, it was warm, it was delicious. The judges chose us as the winners of the Farmer Cook Off! What a compliment. But the really great news is that what we prepared is super simple (and nutritious!) and you can make it, too! We promise. No special skills involved. Recipes are provided, below. (How to get our veggies? They are going to our shareholders on Sat/Sun, are for sale everyday at our farm stand, and we are at the St. Stephen’s Farmers Market on Saturday.)
Our favorite part of the Farmer Cook Off, however, did not involve the actual cooking. Or tasting. Or winning. Our favorite part was the scraps. The “throw-aways.” Why? Because as the wonderful and kind organizers prepared our space, they set up tables and *very* hot grills. They provided a ton of pantry supplies and gorgeous cutting boards and prep items. It was an effort-filled outdoor kitchen set up, right on Broad Street. And there was even a trash can provided, right beside our prep tables. They announced the start of the event and we participants gathered our pantry items and commenced chopping the vegetables that we love so much. And promptly created compost. The first farmer voice spoke up as each of the others simultaneously thought of the same question: “Where’s the compost pail?” Alas…no compost bin. Just our amazing outdoor kitchen, Broad Street, and a trash can. We small-scale farmers are quite a cooperative bunch. We had brought our vegetables in some of our hefty baskets that we love. We had just shared this basket with our fellow farms as we all needed a carrying vessel to transport our pantry items from the pantry, a half-a-block away from our cooking space. And so we put one of these beautiful, multifuncational baskets in the middle of our outdoor kitchen and declared it the improvised compost bin. Many of us used eggs in our dishes and sweetly the other farms asked us if it was okay to put eggshells in our basket in addition to the vegetable scraps. Sure thing, we said. No worries. In went the eggshells. The turnip and radish tops. The cauliflower stem. The fennel tops. The ends of the sweet potatoes. It was perfect.
And we heard a comment from one of the wonderful spectators, who was patiently watching farmers on Broad Street chop up their beloved vegetables. She watched us in our radically cooperative manner and our gorgeous compost pail and she said “We’ve had four and a half days of food events and only now, in the last hour of the whole thing, is there the first request for a compost pail.”
That’s what happens, we suppose, when the farmers show up on Broad Street to do some cooking.
Sunday’s Farm Share will most likely include:
Salad Mix, Sweet White Turnips, Radishes, Hearty Greens Mix, Microgreens, Broccoli, Scallions, and Tomatoes.
This week’s harvest includes:
Bok Choy, Tatsoi/Asian Spinach, Tokyo Bekana, Chard, Broccoli & Broccoli Greens, Cabbage, Chard, Chinese Cabbage, Escarole, Hearty Mix, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Microgreens, Parsley, Green Peppers, Turnips…and our Organic, Naturally Leavened Bread.
Recipe Suggestions: see these and others cataloged on our Recipe Page
We think of ourselves as a humble bunch, but we really want to tell you what amazing produce you are getting this week: Yesterday we had the pleasure of participating in the Farmer Cook Off at Fire Flour & Fork (a celebration in Richmond for the “food curious”). It was a delight to get to spend time with some of our favorite fellow farmers while preparing meals from our respective vegetable harvests. For our cook-off entry, we made a meal that is a typical fall meal in our home – peasant food, we call it. Simple. Flavorful. Hearty. Nutritious. Filling. We are thrilled that the judges enjoyed it so much that they declared us the cook-off winners! Now you get to receive most of the vegetable ingredients in your Farm Share box this week! For the amazing shareholders that pick up at our farm, you can get a few of the other ingredients we used (microgreens, tomato chutney, our bread) as they are available for sale in our Farm Stand. So, you too can prepare an award winning meal. Here’s what we made:
– Turnips: Diced, then simmered in broth, and topped with our Tomato Chutney, then our microgreens. No peeling the turnips. Simmer them until they are as tender as you prefer. We know you have been getting turnips most weeks lately, because our other root crops have had significant failures. We are sorry for the failures, but we know our turnips are very delicious and versatile. Try this simple recipe for any meal of the day.
– Hearty Greens with Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette: Thinly slice our Hearty Greens and put in a bowl. Zest a lemon over top. Mince garlic and put on top of the greens. Drizzle olive oil and honey and lemon juice on top. Sprinkle salt. Massage it all with your hands to work in the flavors. Add more salt if desired. We added slivered almonds yesterday. You can also add dried fruit. Easy peasy. The judges called this salad “perfect.” And – our 8 year old child made it almost entirely by herself during the cook off. We adults simply zested the lemon and poured the liquids (which we didn’t even need to do). Seriously. This dish also works perfectly with kale.
– Radishes, Pickled: The gorgeous pink disks on top of the salad are our quick-pickled radishes. We can hardly keep our fridge stocked with them because our kids eat them up so quickly. Pictured are our watermelon radishes, but we also pickle our standard red, round ones. In a mason jar, combine 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1/4 cup of sugar (we use organic turbinado), and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir, shake, whisk etc, to dissolve. Thinly slice radishes and add to the jar. Ideally let sit for 30 minutes before serving but you can also serve them for a few days after making them. Eat on top of salads, eggs, sandwiches, or just straight from the jar. We will next be experimenting with using honey instead of sugar.
– Scallions, scrambled with eggs, butter, and salt, and also our Bread, sliced and toasted on a cast iron with butter and garlic. The judges called our meal “harmonious” and asked when they could come over for dinner. We said anytime. But if our house gets too crowded, we’ll send them on over to the homes of our CSA members, since you have the same ingredients to work with!
This week you also get:
– Arugula: Our friends at Shalom Farm contested right beside us and prepared Arugula with Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese, and Candied Pecans as an amazing salad. Give that a try and you may decide they should have been the winners. 🙂
– Cabbage: When it’s chilly outside, we mostly saute up our cabbage with protein, fat (butter, oil, lard…your choice), and spices. When it’s warm outside, we slice our cabbage very thin and mix with mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, salt, rice vinegar, and honey. Serve with anything.
– Salad/Lettuce: We suggest a Honey Balsamic dressing or a Blue Cheese dressing.
Vegetables not ordered by our Market Share CSA members will join us at the St. Stephen’s Farmers’ Market this Saturday. Anyone may order available goods from us through Fall Line Farms, Richmond’s online farmers’ market. You can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month subscription.
Janet, Dan, and the whole Broadfork crew