This Week’s Share
Chef’s Corner: July
In addition to the crops SIO grows for our 400 member CSA program, we also grown and sell produce to 30-40 Portland area restaurants and kitchens, and this season at SIO we decided to partner with some of those restaurants for some culinary inspiration. We have been picking the brains of some of the areas most talented chefs and restaurant owners, and have asked them to provide us with recipes and general cooking techniques based on the crops that you receive in your shares. Out at the farm we crop plan separately for both our CSA program and restaurant sales, so you don’t have to worry that part of your share may be going the restaurant down the street. For the month of July our featured restaurant is Park Kitchen, located in the North Park Blocks in the Pearl District.
David Padberg, Chef de Cuisine at Park Kitchen, Shares Produce Recipes
Park Kitchen is a small restaurant in Northwest Portland on the serenel green North Park Blocks. The owner, Scott Dolich, and myself are intensely committed to seasonal cooking, and our relationships with our farmers and ranchers. Park Kitchen has been buying produce from Sauvie Island Organics (SIO) since the restaurant opened in 2003. In the early days, the restaurant bought their wonderful lettuces, and gradually started buying more vegetables as the years went on, and SIO increased their acreage and selection. Today, I think SIO is one of the most beautiful and diverse farms in the Portland area.
Summer squashes are so abundant; the plants are so productive, and their uses are very versatile that you can use them everywhere. Here are several techniques for raw, cooked and pickled squash.
Zucchini Pickles, great for sandwiches, hamburgers, antipasti platters, or just a simple snack.
2 pounds zucchini
1 pint cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground mustard seed
1 teaspoon turmeric
Slice zucchini lengthwise into 1/4″ ribbons, lightly sprinkle with salt and allow them to rest for 15 minutes to purge off excess water. Rinse and drain, then spread in a casserole dish. Make a brine by dissolving the cider vinegar with the cup sugar, ground mustard seed, and turmeric, then bring to a boil and pour it over the squash. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy.
Long-Cooked Zucchini is delicious on its own, with a simple garnish, or to accompany braised pork or poultry as part of a larger meal.
3 med summer squash
2 spring onions
salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano
3 teaspoons white wine vinegar
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and salt purge. Meanwhile, cut the spring onions into thin slices, season with salt and black pepper, and gently simmer in a little olive oil until tender. Spread the zucchini, cut side down, in a casserole, then cover with the onions, the sliced garlic, chili flakes, oregano, white wine vinegar, and olive oil. If the squash is closely packed in the casserole, this should just cover them. Place in a 275 degree oven for one hour. They are going to be very tender, so remove them carefully. You can reuse the oil for future cooking or making dressings.
Summer Squash Carpaccio is the quickest and easiest way to enjoy a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Slice them thinly (use a mandolin if you have one) and sprinkle with salt. After a few minutes, drain off the excess water. Chop a few leaves of basil and toasted pine nuts or hazelnuts, toss them with the squash, along with a dash of white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice, then spread them out flat on a platter. Drizzle some nice olive oil over the squash and grate a hard cheese over them with a box grater or micro plane (grana padano, parmigiano, or redmondo are great).
Chilled Cucumber Soup is a summer favorite at Park Kitchen. I often use nuts to thicken chilled soups in the style of ajoblanco. It is so popular that I always bring it back, although I change the garnishes every year.
2 qt Chopped Cucumber
1/2 bulb Chopped Spring Onion
2 cloves Minced Garlic
1 1/2 cups Chopped Almonds
1/2 bunch Chopped Parsley
Lime Zest & Juice from 3 fruits
2/3 cup Olive Oil
Toast the almonds. The rest of the ingredients will be raw. Toss them all together (except the oil), sprinkle with some salt and place them in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to macerate their flavors. Puree the ingredients in batches in the blender, adding a little olive oil to each batch, and adjusting the salt as you go. Make sure your batches are small enough that the blender can puree the soup very smooth. Serve cold with your choice of garnish; yogurt, herbs, radish, seafood, tofu, or avocado are tasty choices.
Green Bean Salad, Stone Fruits and Almond Crunch
For this salad, you can simply toast and chop some almonds (which are a cousin of the stone fruits) to go with the salad, or you can go the extra step and make a fun, crunchy tuile to sprinkle over the top.
Fill a pot with boiling salted water, and prepare a bowl of ice water nearby. Add the cleaned green beans to the boiling water for a few minutes, just until they are tender enough to bite through with a little resistance. They should still be bright green. The timing will be from two to six minutes, depending on the size of the beans. Then plunge them in the ice water to stop the cooking. If the beans are thick, cut them in half lengthwise, then cut them into two inch lengths.
Choose your stone fruit; peaches, plums, apricots, or a little of each. If they are freestone varieties, you can cut them in half and roast them, then remove the stone afterward. If they are clingstone, you should quarter them and remove the stone first, then roast. In either case, place the fruits in an enamel casserole, lightly drizzle with your choice of vinegar (it can be balsamic, red or white wine vinegar) and a dash of sugar, and roast at 350 degrees just until the fruit softens. These rich juices will be the dressing. Drain this nectar from the casserole and whisk with an equal portion of olive oil. Toss together the green beans and fruits with the dressing, and season with salt and pepper. If you are adding chopped almonds, do so now. If you are making the almond crunch, go ahead and place the salad on a serving platter. Scoop a few tablespoons of fresh goat cheese over the salad and crumble or scatter the almond crunch over the top.
6 oz Butter
3/4 cup Sugar
6 tbsp Corn Syrup
1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Almond Meal
1 1/2 cup Almonds
1 tsp Salt
Melt the butter, sugar and syrup together, then add the flour, almond meal and salt, simmer over low heat for one minute. Fold in the toasted, chopped nuts, then remove from heat. On a sheet pan lined with a silpat (non-stick baking mat) or lightly oiled parchment, form one tablespoon balls of this batter and spread them about 3 inches apart. Gently press the balls to flatten a little, then bake at 350 degrees for about eight minutes. They should look like flat wafers. Allow them to cool and harden.
Potato Salad with Italian Parsley
Recipe adapted from Vegan Italiano by Donna Klein
1 1/2 pounds new potatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1-2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan or medium stockpot with salted water to cover; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle boil and cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes, depending on size. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir in the parsley and garlic. Let stand about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, yet still quite warm, cut them in half or in quarters, depending on size. Stir the reserved dressing a few times, and add the warm potato halves. Toss gently until the potatoes are thoroughly coated. Serve warm or at room temperature. Alternatively, let cool to room temperature and refrigerate a minimum of 3 hours, or up to 2 days, and serve chilled or return to room temperature.
Summer Squash Recipe
Swiss Chard and Summer Squash Frittata
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 summer squash, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup onion, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
6 egg whites
2 whole eggs
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Wash the Swiss chard, remove and discard the large stems, and finely chop the leaves. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, sauté the garlic, summer squash and onions in 1 teaspoon of the oil for 3 minutes on medium heat. Add the Swiss chard, stir, cover, lower the heat, and cook for a bout 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and drain the Swiss chard if juicy. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper until blended. Stir in the sautéed Swiss chard and squash. Coat the bottom of the skillet with the remaining teaspoon of oil and return it to medium heat. When the skillet is hot, pour in the Swiss chard-squash-egg mixture. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until the edges are firm and the bottom is golden and beginning to brown. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven and cook for about 5 minutes, until the eggs are fully cooked. Serve immediately or at room temperature, topped with grated Parmesan if you wish.
Swiss Chard Anitpasto
Adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen
Note: The following instructions are for preparing the chard in two batches, as it is quite bulky until is cooks down. If you have a very large wok or skilled you might be able to fit it all into to one effort.
1 bunch Swiss chard
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
6 medium cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
Coarsely chop the chard (include as much of the stems as feasible). Heat a wok or a large heavy skillet. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and half the chard (or all if you have the capacity). Turn up the heat , and stir-fry for several minutes. When the chard begins to be limp, add half the garlic (or all if you are doing one batch), and stir-fry for just a few minutes. Transfer to a platter or bowl. Sprinkle lightly with salt, heavily with pepper, and toss with 1 tablespoon vinegar. Repeat with the remaining half of the ingredients if you are doing two batches. Taste to adjust seasonings, you may wish to add a little more olive oil. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.
Swiss Chard and Summer Squash Frittata
(see above in Summer Squash Recipes)