Recipes

Below are the recipes for the 2011 food preparation presentations at the Olympia Farmers Market. These presentations are co-sponsored by the Olympia Farmers Market, Friends of Olympia Farmers Market, and Slow Food Greater Olympia.

Beets

Preparation for serving: Scrub the beets and remove the greens (save for later use) and trim both ends. Beets can be cooked liked potatoes, grilled or roasted. A method that results in intense flavor is in the oven. Either wrap in heavy-duty foil or place in a baking pan with a lid. You can add a splash of water. Bake at 375° F for 45 to 60 minutes. Refrigerate until cool enough to handled. If needed, peel the skin off the beets. Slice or julienne or cube the beets. Squeeze one-third to one-half of a fresh orange over the beets and allow the juice to be absorbed, at least 15 to 20 minutes. Pour off the juice or leave the beets in the juice.

Storage/Preservation: Cut of the leafy beet greens, leaving an inch of the beet green stem and the root, then store unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Favorite Beet Recipes

Grilled Beets: Scrub 2 to 4 beets, remove the tops and reserve for later. No need to peel the beets. Trim both ends of the beet. Slice the beet into fairly thick slices, about 3/8 inch thick. Lay on a baking sheet. Spray each beet with extra virgin olive oil, or drizzle and spread with a basting brush. Sprinkle salt and fresh ground pepper. Dust with a little garlic powder. On a hot grill pan or on an outdoor grill, place the beets and allow to cook for five to seven minutes on each side, until brown. Watch carefully to avoid charring the beets.

Sautéed Beets and Greens:

Scrub 2 to 4 beets and trim the greens. Remove the stems from the greens and wash the greens thoroughly. Trim the ends of the beets. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin from the beets. Slice the beets and cut into small chunks. Roll the greens together and slice the roll and cut down the middle, into small pieces. Mince 2 or 3 garlic cloves.

Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of canola oil to a hot sauté pan. Add up to 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Add the chopped up beets and greens to the pan. Lightly salt and pepper to taste. Add the minced garlic. Sauté for about 10 minutes. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the beets and greens, cook for a minute or two longer and serve hot.

Roasted Beet, Shallot and Toasted Walnut Salad

$5 Challenge Recipe
Serves 8 side salads, estimated cost of $5.40

Most of this can be made ahead of time. If making on September 17, be sure to start 2 1/2 hours before you need to head to the $5 challenge event to allow time for roasting and to allow time for the flavors to combine.

Toast the walnuts in a small pan over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, and then let them cool. Break or chop so that each walnut half is in 3 pieces.

Add the shallots to the two vinegars. Let them set together for at least 30 minutes. This can be made a day in advance and stored in a jar at room temperature.

Rinse any dirt or debris from the beets – some beets may need to be scrubbed clean. Either boil or “roast” the beets. To boil cook them covered in boiling water for 35 to 55 minutes. To “roast,” prereheat the oven to 400˚F. Put beets in a baking pan. Add just a splash of water, and then cover the pan with a tight lid or foil. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour until easily pierced through with a knife.

Regardless of the method used, it is important that beets be cooked until tender, though not mushy, as undercooked beets can retain a bitter flavor. When done, uncover and let the beets cool for about 10 minutes.

When the beets are cool enough to handle, cut them in quarters. If the skins are ragged or tough, use your fingers to peel them away. For young beets there is no need to remove the skins. Add the shallot and vinegar mix, and salt and pepper to taste. Let this sit for at least 30 minutes before adding the oil so the beets can absorb the vinegar which accentuates their flavor. This can be prepared a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Just before bringing to the $5 Challenge meal add the oil and walnuts and mix together. Use 4-5 lettuce leaves to form one of 8 cups to hold the beet mixture. Add 1/8 of the beets to each lettuce cup. Wrap carefully and bring to the $5 Challenge meal in a cooler.

Bok Choy or Pak Choi

Eat Your Colors: White and Dark Green

Rich in vitamins A, C, folic acid, and minerals potassium and iron.

This member of the cabbage family is popular in Asian dishes and gives a light flavorful touch to stirfrys and soups. Good cooked with meats or with other vegetables. Add to a brothy chicken soup with some ginger, lime juice, garlic and cilantro and you have a great Asian soup. There are over 20 different varieties in Hong Kong markets! Baby ones can be cooked whole and are especially tender and mild. With big plants, separate the stems and the greens and cook the stems longer.

Preparation: Easy! Cut off the bottom 1” and wash each stem well, picking out any damaged stem or leaf. Not usually eaten raw, but try it sliced into a salad with milder greens. Cooks quickly in soups, sautés, and stir-frys.

Preservation: As with all greens, they can be blanched (boiled briefly), drained and frozen.

Bok Choy Stir-Fry

Slice meat into thin slivers and marinate in 1/2 the oil, soy sauce and garlic. Wash veggies. Slice bok choy stems & leaves into 1” pieces, keeping separate. Cut other vegetables into similar sized pieces. In a hot pan or wok, stir the meat until cooked & remove it. Add the remaining oil, onion & other firm veggies & stir for 1 minute. Add the bok choy stems, remaining soy sauce, vinegar & stir for 1 minute. Add the leaves & stir fry until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add meat and cornstarch mixture & stir until liquid is thickened & food is glazed. Serve with brown rice or red Thai rice.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a great way to add vitamin C, vitamin A, riboflavin, calcium and iron to your diet. A cup of broccoli has as much vitamin C as an orange. Italians have been eating broccoli for more than 2,000 years and are credited with bringing this veggie to America.

Preparation for serving: Trim the ends. Pick off any leaves around the stalk. Separate the florets including the peeled stalk into even sized pieces. Or separate the peeled stalk from the florets, slicing into large match stick pieces. Before cooking rinse the broccoli pieces in cold water. To steam broccoli, place peeled and sliced stalks on the bottom of a steam rack. Put the florets on top. Lower the rack into a pot with 1 inch of boiling water. Cover the pot and continue to boil for 5-7 minutes, until the broccoli is still crisp but tender. To retain the dark color of broccoli, plunge it into a pan of ice water. Pull it from the water immediately and let it continue to cool at room temperature.

Storage/Preservation: Store unwashed broccoli in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to 5 days.

Sautéed Broccoli with Garlic, Pine Nuts, and Parmesan

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup of pine nuts and cook until golden, stirring often. Add 1 1/2 pounds (about one head) of prepared broccoli (washed, broken into florets after peeling the stalk) and cook, stirring 2 to 3 minutes until bright green.

Clear a space in the center of the pan and add 4 cloves of thinly sliced garlic and about 1½ teaspoons of additional oil. Cook for about another minute, until the garlic is fragrant.

Increase the heat to high and add 1/4 cup each of white wine and chicken or vegetable broth (or use 1/2 cup broth and no wine). Stir, then cover and cook about 2 minutes, until the broccoli just starts to get tender. Uncover and cook another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the liquids evaporate and the broccoli is tender.

Sprinkle with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of thinly sliced basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Celeriac or Celery Root

Celeriac is a relative of celery grown for its partially underground round, gnarled root rather than for its green stems. Its flavor is a cross between mild celery and parsley. Celeriac keeps well in the ground as long as temperatures are not too far below freezing and thus are fresh throughout the early winter. Celeriac is a good source of phosphorus and fiber.

Preparation for serving: Celeriac must be peeled. Given the tough and gnarled surface it is best to peel it with a knife after cutting off the top and bottom. Once peeled it can discolor on contact with water or air, so submerge it in water with a tablespoon of lemon juice until you are ready to slice or chop for cooking. Celeriac is often served raw, cut into julienne and dressed with a mustard -flavored mayonnaise (in France this salad is called celerie remoulade). Celeriac is a perfect non-starch substitute for potatoes in a fall or winter meal, and can be prepared just like a potato. It is great in soup pureed with fennel or other winter vegetables. It is great in a gratin alone or with other vegetable. It is often mashed and blended into mashed potatoes to add a distinctive flavor.

Storage/Preservation: Cut off the stems and put the root in the coldest part of the refrigerator in a loosely tied plastic bag. The root will stay in good condition for a week or two.

Boiled Celeriac with Butter and Herbs

Fill a large bowl with water and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Peel 3 large celeriacs and add them to the water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut peeled celeriacs into three or four thick slices, then cut each slice into three or four fat sticks, returning them to their bowl of lemon juice and water after each step. Place the sticks in the boiling water. Add the juice of half a lemon to the boiling water. Bring water back to a boil, then reduce heat and cook until sticks are soft but not mushy, about 30 minutes.

Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Add 1/2 stick of butter and 1/2 cup of your choice of fresh herbs (parsley, chives, tarragon, mint, lemon balm or basil), and salt and pepper to taste. Heat through before serving.

Chicken, Rice and Autumn Vegetable Casserole

$5 Challenge Recipe
Serves 11, estimated cost of $18.03

For this dish the rice, chicken and beet stems can be prepared a day or more in advance so the casserole can be put together quickly from already prepared ingredients. For richer flavored rice, use the chicken stock created when preparing the cooked chicken. The casserole can be fully prepared then refrigerated for a day before baking.

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease a 5-6 quart casserole with rendered chicken fat, butter, or oil.

In a large bowl, combine rice, beet greens, onion, tomato and, if used, tomatillo and chicken. Season with salt and pepper. In a smaller bowl combine the yogurt, cheese, prepared beet stems and olives, if using. Spoon half the rice/veggie mixture into the casserole. Cover with half the cheese yogurt mix. Spoon in the other half or the rice/veggie mixture and cover with the remaining cheese yogurt mix.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes (an hour if previously refrigerated) until bubbly and slightly brown on top. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving at home. To bring to the $5 Challenge Dinner, wrap the covered casserole in many layers of newspaper after taking from the oven and bring immediately to the dinner with the aim of keeping it very hot until it is served. You may also prepare and cook ahead of time, then reheat (be sure to reheat to 165˚) before wrapping in newspaper to bring piping hot to the event.

Edible Pea Pods (Snow & Snap Peas)

Eat Your Colors: Light Green

Good source of vitamin C and high in fiber! Great for snacks with radishes, carrots and turnips for lots of color. Serve as is or with a spinach or hummus dip. Also good raw sliced in two and tossed into a salad. Great steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, or tossed into soup or fried rice. Very versatile!

Select light green, shiny pods. Snow peas should have very small peas developing inside. Snap or sugar peas will have midsized peas inside.

Preparation: Rinse in water & drain. Then pluck the stem end from each pod, pulling to remove the string along the side if it is tough. Use whole if desired or slice in two for more bite-sized pieces.

For a side dish, sauté pods in garlic and olive oil and then add a couple tablespoons of broth, cover, and steam until just tender. For an Asian flair, add sautéed pods to fried rice or make a pea pod stir-fry with other veggies. For a complete meal, add meat slivers with the sautéed pods and brown rice or whole grain noodles.

Oven Baked Salmon with Snow Peas

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a baking dish, equally distribute the first three ingredients. Arrange the salmon pieces on top. Mix ginger, oil, and vinegar and drizzle over the top. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes until salmon is flakey and opaque. Place spinach on plates and top with salmon veggie mixture. Squeeze fresh lemon over the top. Serve with whole grain baguette.

Fava Beans

Fava beans are high in fiber and iron, low in sodium and fat, and provide protein without cholesterol. The beans are in a floppy green pod that must be removed before cooking.

Preparation for cooking: Plan on 1 pound of unshelled bean pods per person. Bring water to cover the beans to a boil, add the beans pods and lower the temperature to medium high. Once the pods split, in 4-5 minutes, drain the pods. When cool push the beans out of the pod. Then squeeze each individual bean until the outer bitter skin comes off and discard that skin.

Storage/Preservation: Bean pods are best shelled within 3 days of harvest. Refrigerate the pods until you can shell them. After shelling the beans they can be stored another 3 days in the refrigerator. Prepared dishes can be frozen.

Caution: People from the Mediterranean and some Asians and Africans maybe susceptible to favism, a serious reaction to the vicine in raw beans. If you are not sure of your genetic susceptibility don’t handle raw beans and eat small quantities of cooked beans.

Favorite Fava Bean Recipes

General preparation: Once shelled the beans can be used in any pea recipe. Add them to succotash, pasta or salads.

Fava Bean Purée: Shell 3 pounds of beans. Warm about ½ cup of olive oil in a shallow pan, add beans, a little salt, 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, several sprigs of herbs such as rosemary, thyme, summer savory and a splash of water. Cook at a low simmer for about 30 minutes – stir frequently and add more water if needed. When the beans are done, remove the herbs and mash the beans with the back of a wooden spoon. Add more olive oil if desired, it is key in this purée, and the juice of half a lemon. Serve warm or at room temperature on grilled bread or with crackers.

Fennel

Fennel is a versatile spring and late summer to late fall vegetable. It has an enlarged stem or bulb that has a slight anise or licorice flavor (though sweeter and more delicate). If you do not like licorice you may still enjoy cooked fennel as it becomes mellow when cooked. Raw fennel is great when thinly sliced in a salad. Chopped, it can be braised, boiled, sautéed, baked, broiled or grilled.

It is a very good source of fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium and manganese needed for good health. It has antioxidant properties as well.

Preparation for serving: Wash fennel thoroughly. To chop it, cut the fronds off the bulb and finely chop them, if called for in a recipe. Then lay the fennel bulb on its flat side and slice in half, down the middle. Lay both halves cut side down and dice into half moon shaped pieces. You may need to remove the tough bottom of older bulbs in late fall.

Storage/Preservation: Unwashed fennel will keep well for up to 4 or 5 days if wrapped well in plastic and stored in the refrigerator.

Helsing Junction’s Caramelized Fennel with Honey, Lemon Zest and Chevre

Cut the fronds and bottom off of 2 bulbs of fennel. Stand them on end and slice each bulb into very thin slices the long way. Put 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy frying pan on medium high heat. When bubbly, reduce the heat to medium and put a single layer of fennel slices into the pan. If there isn’t enough room, make 2 batches. Over medium heat, brown the fennel slices about 5 minutes per side. Don’t turn the first side until the slices are very brown on that side, then turn and brown the second side. After you finish browning the fennel, put it in a bowl.

Deglaze the pan by adding 2 tablespoons of honey and 1-2 tablespoons of sherry (or white wine or stock), and cook over medium low heat for 2 minutes, stirring often. Pour the honey syrup over the fennel. Add 1 clove of finely chopped or pressed garlic and a pinch of salt, and gently toss the mixture.

To serve, spread the fennel out in a single layer on a large serving plate. Sprinkle the zest of one lemon over top of the fennel. Finish the dish by crumbling about ¼ cup of aged chevre cheese over the top.

Garlic

Inchelium garlic was first discovered on the Colville Indian Reservation. It has a mild and savory aroma and "Goldilocks" flavor - not too mellow and not too pungent, but mildly spicy and rich and robust. Cooking the garlic brings out more of the garlic's depth of flavor. Because of the large cloves and thicker skin, it is great for roasting.

Preparation for cooking: Remove the cloves from the bulb. Press the flat of a knife onto the clove to loosen the skin. Remove the skin by hand, then use a garlic press for crushed garlic or a kitchen knife for sliced or chopped garlic. For roasted garlic, do not remove the skin and use whole garlic cloves.

Storage: Local farmers have spend a lot of time preparing garlic for sale to you. After pulling it from the fields, they shake off the dirt and hang it in a dry shaded place for a month to let it cure. Then they clean up each bulb and trim the roots, taking care not to dislodge the cloves from the bulb. When you get these well cared for bulbs home, store them in a mesh onion bag, a wicker basket or a paper bag in a cool dry place with low light. Inchelium garlic will last up to nine months!

Inchelium Garlic is on the Ark of Taste, a Slow Food USA effort to catalog delicious foods in danger of extinction. By promoting and eating Ark of Taste products, we help ensure they remain in production and on our plates.

Roasted Garlic Cloves: Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Slice off a little of the top or bottom of each clove, then place the whole cloves, still in their skins, on a double layer of foil. Drizzle with oil and, if you like, a sprig of thyme or rosemary and seal the foil tightly. Bake the package for about 15 minutes. The cloves are done when they are slightly softened. Roasted cloves can be served in their skins, letting the eaters slip them out of the skins as they eat. To use roasted cloves mashed on toasted bread or added to other roasted veggies, remove the skins after they cool.

Roasted Garlic Bulb: Pre-heat oven to 375° F. Chop one sprig of parsley and, optionally, a sprig of thyme, oregano or cilantro. By hand, peel away most of the outer bulb wrappers, until there are only 2 or 3 layers of skin wrapped around the bulb. Slice off just enough of the top of the bulb to expose a good cross-section of the cloves, about one-fourth inch. Place the bulbs, cut side up, in your baking dish or on aluminum foil and drizzle oil all over them until it sinks into the open areas of the bulb. Sprinkle the bulb with the chopped herb. Add a tablespoon of water to the baking dish or aluminum foil to retain enough moisture to keep the bulb wrappers from being singed. Then, cover the dish or wrap the foil into a pouch and place it in the middle of your pre-heated oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove lid (or, loosen the foil a little to let the steam escape) and roast an additional 20 to 45 minutes.. The longer the roast the milder the garlic will taste.

Ground Cherries

This heirloom is not actually a cherry but rather a small ground tomato. The fruits were recorded in horticultural literature as early as 1837 in Pennsylvania and are still common today at roadside stands in late summer. It has the flavor of fruit rather than a vegetable with a subtle taste of pineapple and vanilla. They are great fresh in fruit salads. Because of their high pectin content, they can be used for preserves and pies.

Preparation for serving: Just before cooking, remove the husks and wash the ground cherries. Eat them when their color is a warm apricot gold. Light yellow colored fruits need to sit at room temperature for a few days to further ripen. The simplest way to eat ground cherries is to remove the husk and pop the fruit into your mouth.

Storage/Preservation: Store fresh ground cherries in their husks. They store well at room temperature for a week or two. They will stay fresh for up to three months if placed in a mesh bag and kept in a cool place (50°F). Uncooked cherries can be frozen whole by placing them in a zip lock bag then in the freezer.

Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry is on the Ark of Taste, a Slow Food USA effort to catalog delicious foods in danger of extinction. By promoting and eating Ark of Taste products, we help ensure they remain in production and on our plates.

Cooking with Ground Cherries

Ground Cherry Pie with Butter Crumb Topping: Place 2 1/4 to 3 cups washed ground cherries into an unbaked pie shell. Stir together 1/2 cup brown sugar and1 tablespoon of flour. Spread that evenly over the ground cherries. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water evenly over the pie filling. For the topping, stir together 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 3 tablespoons flour. Cut in 1 1/2 tablespoons slightly softened butter until the mixture is crumbly. Spread the filling on top of the pie. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Then turn down to 375 degrees and bake another 25 to 28 minutes. Ground Cherry Jam: Combine 2 1/2 cups washed cherries and 1/4 cup water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook until the cherries burst. Then add 1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 1/4 ounces of undiluted frozen orange juice. Cook for up to 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. When thickened put in sterile jars and seal for winter storage. Filled but unsealed jars can be stored in the refrigerator for several months.

Mid-Summer Herbs

Spring Rolls with Cilantro and Basil

Prepare enough of each filling ingredient for 1/2 tablespoon each of chopped fresh cilantro & basil; 1/2 tablespoon of chopped peanuts; 1/2 scallion cut in lengthwise slivers, 1/4 cup each of peeled & julienned or shredded turnips & kohlrabi (or other summer vegetables of your choice) and 1/4 cup of bean sprouts or cooked Asian noodles cut into 3-4 inch lengths (optional).

Set out a bowl of hot (110-120˚) water and a clean kitchen towel. Put a sheet of rice paper in the water until soft (10 seconds) then lay it on the towel. In the middle of the rice paper lay out the filling ingredients. Roll up the rice paper keeping it fairly tight and folding in the ends to seal. Repeat the process to make each additional roll. Rolls may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, wrapped in wet paper towels in sealed plastic bag. Before serving, bring rolls to room temperature. Serve with peanut sauce.

Cooked, peeled shrimp can be added to the roll. Mint can substitute for basil.

Jerusalem Artichoke or Sunchoke

The Jerusalem artichoke or sunchoke is an underground vegetable with a flavor and texture like a cross between a potato and water chestnut. They are native to North America and related to the sunflower. Native Americans introduced the root to the first Europeans to visit the Massachusetts area. They are rich in potassium, fiber and calcium.

Preparation for serving: When cubed or roughly chopped they are delicious raw in salads and are a fine addition cooked in soup. When roasted whole or in quarters, they give a satisfying nutty, earthy flavor. Just before using, scrub the sunchokes with a vegetable brush. Since much of their nutrients are stored just under the skin, it's best not to peel them. Storage: Keep unwashed tubers wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator. They will keep for a month.

Note: Our bodies cannot absorb inulin, the starch in sunchokes. As a result, eating large quantities can result in intestinal gas. One way to avoid gas is to eat no more than one choke at a meal per person. Another is to let the starch break down into a simple sugar that is easy for the body to digest by slow roasting in an uncovered pan with a little oil for 6 hours at 200 degrees.

Favorite Jerusalem Artichoke Recipes

Raw: Add sliced in salads or shredded in slaw.

Stir-fry: Slice, dice, or shred and stir-fry along with other fresh vegetables in a little oil. For a tender crisp texture, stir-fry about 2 to 4 minutes. For a softer texture cook for 4 to 6 minutes.

Baked: Baked whole, quartered or thickly sliced. Toss them in a bowl with a little oil and place on a baking sheet. Set the oven temperature at 375 and bake 30 to 45 minutes for whole, and 20 to 25 minutes for quartered or sliced, turning them half way through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Steamed: Coarsely chop and put them into a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue at high heat for 5 to 8 minutes. Test for softness. Remove and season to taste or mash like potatoes.

Boiled: Boil whole or cut into bite-sized pieces. Bring a covered saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add sunchokes; boil for 10 to 15 minutes for whole, and 5 to 8 minutes for cut up. Season as desired or mash like potatoes.

Kale

Kale, available nearly all year in our area, is rich in iron and calcium and vitamins A, B-complex and C. The leaves have a bright, sweet-spicy flavor similar to that of cabbage. There are many varieties of kale, including the heirloom Laciniato which is very dark green and narrow, and others like Red Russian that is red/purple. Both the leaves and the ribs, which can be red or green, can be eaten. Baby kale can be used raw in salads.

Preparation for cooking: Wash the kale then separate the leaves and ribs by pulling the leaves away. Leaves are often torn in smaller pieces. Ribs need to be chopped. Use washed kale immediately or store in a plastic bag until cooked later that same day. Except in baby kale, the ribs and leaves need to be cooked separately because the ribs take longer to soften.

Storage/Preservation: Store unwashed kale in a plastic bag for up to a week. To freeze kale (this also applies to spinach, chard, mustard, beet or turnip greens), after separating the ribs and leaves, blanch leaves in boiling water for 2 minutes (ribs for 1 minute longer). Cool immediately, drain well and put in freezer safe containers or plastic bags and freeze. Prepared recipes, except those containing potatoes, may be frozen.

The Never-Fail, Grow to Love Kale Recipe

Wash 2 large bunches of kale. Separate leaves from the ribs. Either steam the kale, with the ribs at the bottom until tender, 8-10 minutes or using a large pot of boiling water with salt added, cook the kale in batches for 3-5 minutes. Remove kale to a colander, drain, squeeze out the excess liquid, then chop roughly.

Pound or chop 4 garlic cloves, salt, 2 hands full of parsley leaves & 1 to 2 hands full of cilantro. Make a rough paste.

In a large skillet, gradually warm 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil with 2 teaspoons each of paprika & cumin. When it begins to smell good, add the paste and mix it in with the oil. Turn heat up to add kale & cook about 1 minute. Garnish with wedges of a lemon.

Based on recipe from Deborah Madison's The Savory Way

Quick Kale & Garlic: Wash 1 large bunch of kale. Separate leaves from the ribs. Finely chop ribs & roughly chop leaves. Put a large skillet on medium heat & add 1 tablespoon of oil or butter. Add 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced & cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the kale ribs, ¼ cup water, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, tossing the kale stems for 2 minutes, then add the kale leaves and cook until the kale is tender, another 3 to 5 minutes.

Kale Chips: Kids love this healthy alternative to potato chips. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Remove the ribs from a bunch of well dried kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is sweet and moist tasting, rich in vitamin-C and high in dietary fiber. It has all the healthy benefits of broccoli or cabbage. A cup of raw kohlrabi only contains 36 calories so it’s often a recommended snack for dieters. Kohlrabi has been eaten for more than 2000 years. It’s a staple food in northern India and commonly eaten in China and Africa.

You’ll see light green and purple versions, both with the same creamy color inside. Due to our cooler summers, bulbs purchased at our market – regardless of size – will be tender and can be eaten raw. If buying at the grocery, pick bulbs 2 inches or less in diameter.

Preparation for serving: This is a great raw food. Just peel and slice or chop the bulb. The leaves taste great – cook them like turnip, kale or collard greens. After peeling, the bulb can be steamed, sautéed or roasted.

Storage/Preservation: Store at room temperature for 2 days. For longer storage, separate the leaves and bulb, store in sealed plastic bags in the refrigerator vegetable bin with high humidity where the leaves will last 2 days, the bulb at least a week.

Kohlrabi Salad with Pea Shoots

With a sharp knife, cut the skin and stems from 2 large kohlrabi. Julienne the kohlrabi with a mandoline or sharp knife (you will have about 4 cups). Peel and julienne one large carrot. Optional: chop up to 2 cups pea shoots into 1-inch pieces.

Using medium heat, toast 1 teaspoon fennel seeds in a small dry sauté pan until they begin to brown slightly and smell toasty. Transfer seeds to a mortar and pestle or clean spice grinder. Grind into a coarse powder. Combine the ground fennel in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons vinegar (preferably rice wine), 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Pour this mixture over the vegetables, toss to coat. Add pea shoots, if using, toss with salad just before serving.

Olympia Oysters (Ostrea lurida)

Due to hard work of oyster growers in our area like Farmers Market vendor Evan Adams, the Olympia Oyster is slowly returning to Puget Sound. Historically this local oyster was a mainstay of our local waters and sustainably cultivated in the 1930's. Since then, however, it declined to near extinction due to pollution from the growing pulp and paper industry. With the loss of our local oyster, production shifted to larger species, imported from Japan, that could grow in more polluted water.

The Olympia Oyster is prized for its taste, which has flavors of melon and cucumber. It is an excellent cocktail oyster and is wonderful pan or deep fried.

The Olympia Oyster has been identified by Slow Food USA as an Ark of Taste product. By promoting and eating Ark of Taste products we help ensure they remain in production and on our plates.

On the half shell: This is the best approach for the delicate flavor of Olympia Oysters. It means a raw oysters served on the bottom shell only, usually on a plate of crushed ice. Some oyster lovers eat these fresh oysters without any condiments, sipping the oyster liquor from its bottom shell. Others adorn the oysters with lemon juice, horseradish, Tabasco sauce or cocktail sauce. Raw oysters can be contaminated with microorganisms, so be sure to follow FDA guidelines when handling raw oysters.

Pan Fried: Use whole Olympia oysters. Beat 1 egg slightly with about 2 tablespoons water. Dip oysters in a few tablespoons of flour, then in the egg/water mix and then in cracker crumbs. Fry the dipped oysters in hot fat (bacon drippings preferred) until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Steamed Oysters: Toss 2 teaspoons of minced shallots, 1/2 teaspoon each of minced ginger & minced garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh chile pepper together in a small bowl. Shuck the oysters, leaving them on the half-shell, and place a pinch of the shallot mixture on top of each. Steam over an inch of boiling water being careful to keep the oysters upright so the juices do not spill. Steam for 5 minutes then serve.

Parsnips

Parsnips are a close relative to the carrot but unlike carrots they need to be cooked to achieve their rich, nutty flavor. Parsnips keep well in the ground, even through in freezing temperatures, and thus are fresh throughout the winter. Their flavors are richest and sweetest after a frost.

Parsnips provide nutritional benefits similar to potatoes but with fewer calories and more fiber. When roasted or sautéed, the sugars in parsnips caramelize. That flavor is complemented by orange zest, tarragon, rosemary, cumin or nutmeg. Parsnips pairs well cooked with onions, shallots, leeks, garlic, and carrots.

Preparation for serving: Trim the ends of the parsnip, then scrape or peel them to reveal the creamy meat. Large parsnips have a woody core that must be cut out and discarded (the core is easily seen). Parsnips are generally cut into wedges for further cooking or sliced into soups and stews where they need 30 minutes of cooking time. Parsnips can be roasted or cooked like potatoes, then pureed to be added to mashed potatoes.

Storage/Preservation: Store unwashed parsnips in a plastic bag for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Parsnip & Carrot Soup

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Combine in a shallow roasting pan 1 1/2 pounds parsnips, scrapped or peeled and quartered lengthwise, 1 pound of carrots similarly scrapped and halved lengthwise, plus 1 sliced large onion, and a 3 inch piece of ginger chopped (ginger is optional). Dot with 6 tablespoons of butter or 6 tablespoons of oil. Add 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, then roast for 15 minutes. Stir the partially roasted vegetables and add 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth. Cover the roasting pan with foil and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender.

Transfer the roasted vegetables, including any remaining liquid, to a large soup pot and add an additional 6 cups of chicken or vegetable broth. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional). Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered for 10 minutes. Either use an immersion blender to puree the soup or remove the vegetables from the soup to a food processer or blender to puree. Return the puree to the pot and heat through. The parsnips complement the carrots and assure a sweet, rich flavor.

Potato, Leek, Onion Tomato Gratin

$5 Challenge Recipe
Serves 10, estimated cost of $13.50

Parboil the potatoes until they are nearly cooked, about 13 minutes. Remove from the water and let cool for about 15 minutes, or until they can be easily handled. Some types of potatoes may need the skins rubbed off it they look ragged after cooking. Then cut them into 1/8 inch slices.

Meanwhile, sauté the onions and leeks in a few tablespoons of olive oil and when they have softened, add half the garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until soft and lightly browned.

Layer the onion/leek mixture in the bottom of 9 by 14 inch baking pan, then layer with the sliced potatoes overlapping slightly like shingles. Season with salt and pepper and half the oregano. Then layer the sliced tomatoes. Cover with the remaining garlic, olive oil, remaining oregano, salt and pepper.

Bake in a 375˚F oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned, the whole thing is sizzling, and the potatoes have cooked through. Serve while slightly warm or at room temperature.

Potatoes (Purple and Ozette)

Purple and Blue Potatoes

Purple and blue potatoes taste similar to white potatoes but the color signals the added health benefit of flavonoids, an immune system booster. The same extra health benefit is available in all red potatoes – those with red flesh and red skin. Like other potatoes, those with deep colors are a good source of complex carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, and iron.

Ozette Potatoes

The Ozette potato has grown well in the our northwest climate for 220 years. Many of the potatoes we enjoy today are bred from the potatoes that took the long route from the Andes to Europe to America. The Ozette, however, came directly from Peru to Neah Bay via a Spanish ship in 1791. It has been and continues to be cultivated in the gardens of the Makah Nation people. It is a tubular shaped fingerling potato about 2 or 3 inches long. Its skin is tan colored with earthy speckles throughout. Its flesh is creamy white and firm. When cooked, it develops earthy and nutty undertones. Like other potatoes, Ozettes are a good source of complex carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, and iron.

Ozette potatoes are on the Ark of Taste, a Slow Food effort to catalog delicious foods in danger of extinction. By promoting and eating Ark of Taste products we help ensure they remain in production and on our plates.

Preparation for serving: Wash the potatoes well before using and cut away any bruised spots or any area with a greenish tinge. There is no need to peel the potatoes. They are great in roasted autumn vegetables, grilled with other colors of potatoes and in potato salad. Don’t overcook blue or purple potatoes as their color will fade to a gray tone.

Storage and preservation: Store potatoes in a cool, dark area for up to two weeks. The best temperatures are between 50˚ and 55˚ F. Don’t refrigerate the potatoes as the starch changes to sugars at cold temperatures.

Roasted Potatoes

Pre-heat the oven to 400° F. Wash 2 pounds of Ozette potatoes to remove any dirt and pat dry. Cut the potatoes in half and larger potatoes in quarters. Cut a slice off the bottom of 5 to 10 unpeeled garlic cloves. Select a baking dish large enough to hold the potatoes in one layer. Toss the potatoes and garlic in a tablespoon of oil in the baking dish. Add a sprig of thyme or savory and a splash of water. Season with salt and pepper. Tightly cover the pan with foil and put in the oven. After 40 minutes, check for doneness. They are done when they pierce easily with a small knife and some are crispy on the outside. When done loosen the foil to let the steam escape, then serve. Let the eaters slip the garlic out of their skins as they eat.

Traditional Spanish “Tortilla” (Omelet)

Purple potatoes are traditional in this easy to prepare dinner or lunch omelet, which is called a “tortilla.”

Slice 3 medium sized purple potatoes and 1 medium white onion very thinly. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large pan. Add potatoes and onions, and cook about 15 minutes, until ingredients are soft but not brown. Break 9 eggs in a large bowl, and beat them for about 2 minutes. Pour potatoes and onions into the bowl, and stir them into the eggs. Add remaining 2 tbsp olive oil to the pan, and then pour the mixture back into the pan. Preheat the broiler on your oven. Cook on the stove over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until nearly all of the egg has set. Place pan in the oven, and broil for 1 minute until eggs are firm. Remove “tortilla” from pan, and let it cool to room temperature before serving. Though it is not traditional, you could add a teaspoon of your favorite herb or top the dish with a Salsa Verde or grated cheese.

Purslane

Purslane is filled with nutrients: magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium and vitamins A and E. It is high in omega 3 fatty acids. Like other leafy veggies, it is very low in calories. It is often considered a weed in the US, but elsewhere it is a vegetable for the typical family meal.

Purslane’s mild, slightly lemony taste is appreciated by people in Greece, Turkey, Central America, Mexico, Russia, India and Iran. This native of African grows well from Tierra del Fuego, at the tip of South America, to Alaska.

Preparation for serving: Wash it well, as it grows flat on the ground and may be gritty. Drain & pat dry with a towel or whirl in a salad spinner. All parts of the plant may be eaten, though the lowest few inches of stems may be a bit tough. Purslane may be boiled for 10 minutes then used like other greens. It can be added raw to salads or eaten with a dip. The tender leafy tips can be added to an omelet.

Storage/Preservation: Purslane is best straight from the garden or farmers market. But it can be stored for 2 to 3 days if refrigerated, wrapped in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag. Prepared recipes may be frozen.

Favorite Purslane Recipes

Purslane with Tomatoes: Soak 1/4 cup rice in hot water for 15-20 minutes, then drain and rinse. Dice 1 small onion. Chop washed purslane into 1” pieces. Chop 2 tomatoes or use a 16 ounce can of chopped tomatoes. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet. Add onion and sauté. After onion softens, add purslane, tomatoes, rice, and salt & pepper to taste. Stir and cook until rice begins to brown slightly. Add 1 cup hot water, bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer. Cover with a lid. Cook 15-20 minutes, until the rice is done. Serve this Turkish rice dish hot or cold.

Purslane, Cucumber, Yogurt Salad: Peel, seed and cut in quarter-round slices 5 large cucumbers. Tear 1/4 lb of purslane into bite sized pieces. Chop 3 tablespoons each of mint and cilantro. Mince 3 cloves of garlic. Place the cucumbers, purslane, mint and cilantro into a large bowl. In another bowl, stir together the 4 cups Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic & coriander. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the yogurt mixture to the vegetables, mixing well. Taste for seasoning, adding a little more salt if needed. Serve chilled.

Rutabaga

Rutabagas look like turnips but with a yellow-orange flesh and ridges at the top. They are a healthy (high in vitamin C) and great tasting vegetable with a delicate sweetness and flavor that hints of the cabbage and turnip.

They grow very well in colder climates and thus are a staple in Finland and Russia. Check the web for a recipe for the Finnish Rutabaga Casserole served at Christmas dinner. In the United Kingdom rutabagas are called swedes. They are regularly eaten mashed as part of Sunday dinner.

Preparation for serving: Trim the ends then peel them with a vegetable peeler. They can be sliced and enjoyed as a raw snack. Chop, dice, or grate them and add to salads. Grate them and add to coleslaw or to combine with carrots in a salad. They can be roasted, boiled and then mashed, steamed, stir-fried, or stewed. Cook them with potatoes and mash together. Quarter them and roast along with potatoes. Enhance the flavor of stews with chopped or quartered rutabagas. Dice them and add to soups. Stir-fry with onions.

Storage/Preservation: Store unwashed rutabagas up to one month in the refrigerator.

Roasted Winter Vegetables (Including Rutabagas)

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Select a baking dish large enough to spread the vegetables in a single layer. Select 2 pounds of any combination of winter vegetables including rutabagas, winter squash, turnips, carrots and garlic. Peel, trim and then cut rutabagas and turnips into 1/2-inch cubes. Chop peeled parsnips (with tough inner core removed) and carrots into 1/2 inch cubes. Separate the garlic cloves but leave them in their skins. Cut open and remove seeds from the squash. Cut off the skin of the squash, then cut butternut squash into 1/2-inch cubes and other harder squashes into 1/4-inch cubes.

In a large bowl, toss the vegetables in a small amount of melted butter or oil to coat them lightly. Season with salt and pepper. If you wish, add a tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs of your choosing such as thyme, rosemary and parsley. Spread on the baking dish and roast, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring several times to prevent sticking. Remove all the vegetables when they are softened and begin to caramelize. Avoid letting vegetables get too dark as their flavor will be bitter rather than sweet.

Summer Squash

The name zucchini is from the Italian word for “small squash,” but none of the several kinds of summer squashes are originally from Italy. They came from Mexico and Central American and have been grown there for at least 10,000 years. Summer squash provides an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C. Several kinds of antioxidants are in squash, especially in the edible skin.

There are several types of light or dark green and yellow summer squash. Zucchini are best at 5 inches or less in length; scallops are best at 3 to 4 inches in diameters. The best use for large squash is zucchini bread or remove the seeds then stuff with rice and tomatoes or other stuffing and bake at 425˚ for about 30 minutes.

Preparation for serving: When ready to cook, wash and scrub the squash gently. Slice off both ends. Small summer squash are great grilled, steamed, boiled, sautéed, fried or in a stir-fry. To using in baking, remove the seeds and shred the rest.

Storage/Preservation: Place unwashed squash in a plastic bag for storage in the refrigerator for up to a week. Cooked dishes with squash can be frozen. Uncooked squash can be grated and frozen in 1 cup quantities for use in zucchini bread.

Summer Squash & Tomatoes with Basil: This recipe will serve two people for a side dish; double to serve two for a main course. Cut two small 5 inch long squash (zucchini or similar yellow squash) into coins. Cut the same volume of tomatoes into similarly sized pieces. Slice two cloves of peeled garlic.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauce pan and add the garlic. Stir and cook gently. When the garlic is fragrant, add squash and tomatoes and cook until the squash is cooked through but still firm and the tomatoes give off some of their liquid. Remove from the heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and top with basil chiffonade (thin slices) made with a few basil leaves.

Zucchini Fritters: Look for recipes online. Make with squash shredded along its length. It will cook quickly in a batter made from garlic, parsley, Parmesan, egg, and bread crumbs.

Summer Squash Frittatas (serves 2): Mix together: 1 1/2 cups grated summer squash (about two small zucchinis, patty pans or other summer squashes); 1 teaspoon garlic powder or dried, minced garlic; 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese; 1/2c up chopped scallions (about 6), including some green parts; 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley; 2 large eggs; 1 teaspoon salt ; and a few grindings of black pepper. Add 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and mix. Take up a spoonful. If it holds together, you are ready to fry. If it seems too runny to hold together in the pan, add more bread crumbs - up to another 1/4 cup.

Heat enough canola or grapeseed oil (both have high smoke points) to generously coat the bottom of a griddle or a sauté pan. Heat over medium high heat until a drop of water sizzles. Add large spoonfuls of the batter, flattening out with the back of the spoon into four round patties, each about a half-inch thick. Cook on each side until golden brown, three or four minutes on each side. Top each patty with your favorite marinara sauce and a sprinkle of additional grated Parmesan.

Tomatillos

This small green, yellow or purple relative of the tomato, enclosed in a paper husk, is not just for Salsa Verde. When cooked, tomatillos add a depth of mellow flavor and body to any recipe calling for tomatoes, onions or peppers. Add a few to any fall or winter stew or casserole. They can substitute for tomatoes in many recipes. Because they come from the highlands of Mexico, tomatillos grow well in our cool climate.

Preparation for serving: Just before cooking, remove the husks and wash the tomatillos. It is not necessary to remove the small seeds. Tomatillos can be eaten raw, but the flavor is enhanced by sautéing, grilling, roasting or baking them. Cooking softens the skin which is tougher than the skin of most tomatoes.

Storage/Preservation: Store in their husks. Under the husks, the skin of tomatillos is covered with a slightly sticky substance which maintains the freshness of the fruit if stored at room temperature for a week or two. Fall harvested tomatillos stored with their husks in single layers in a cool dry location can last through the early winter months. After removing the husks and washing the fruit, they can be placed raw into a zip lock bag and frozen.

Cooking with Tomatillos

Turnips and Greens

Eat Your Colors: White and Dark Green

Popular in the south for generations, turnips are just finding their way to the Pacific Northwest, where our mild summers means sweet and tender turnips.

Select firm turnip roots without many defects and young light green leaves.

Preparing the roots: Slice off the greens end and the little root tip and scrub the bulb well. Use a vegetable peeler to peel skin off, if desired. Great sliced & eaten raw or grated into a salad. Also cube & steamed like potatoes (whole or mashed) or roasted with other root vegetables.

Preparing the greens: Chop off the bottom inch or two of stem and remove any wilted or damaged leaves. Rinse them well in a bowl of water and shake dry. Use any recipe for kale, chard or mustard.

Preservation: Both the sliced root and the greens can be blanched (boiled very briefly) and then cooled and frozen. Roots can be fully cooked and mashed and then frozen, too!

Harvest Vegetable Salad with Turnips

Dressing: 1/4 c. lime juice, 1/2 t. grated lime zest, 1 t. sugar, 1/4 t. chili powder, 1 small fresh garlic glove, crushed, and 1 T. olive oil. Mix all ingredients.

Boil a quart of water and toss in carrots, parsnips, and turnips for 2 minutes. Remove & let drain in colander. Wash & shred lettuce. Arrange lettuce and chopped cilantro on four plates. Top with the drained veggies. Sprinkle dressing onto lettuce/veggie plates. A colorful dish for four!

Zucchini Bread with Dried Cranberries and Vanilla Bean Glaze

$5 Challenge Recipe
Serves 10, estimated cost of $11.62

From Food Network Magazine. Can be mixed by hand – good to make with kids.

For the Bread:

For the Glaze:

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lightly butter one 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

Flour mixture: Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add the dried cranberries.

Liquid mixture: Whisk the eggs, melted butter, yogurt, vanilla and orange zest (if using) in a medium bowl. Stir in the shredded zucchini.

To make the batter: Fold the liquid mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.

Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes for a standard loaf. Cool 30 minutes in the pan on a rack, then remove from the pan onto the rack to cool completely.

Make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla seeds in a bowl. Pour over the cooled zucchini bread and let set for at least 20 minutes before slicing into 10 servings.

This dessert can be made (including the glaze) a day ahead, and then sliced on the day of the $5 Challenge meal.