Blooming Glen Farm | Recipes
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Recipes

The summer has flown by and here we are again. September welcomes school lunches, hurried morning routines with little time to stop and smell the 3 course breakfast (ha! who has the time?!), and a dinner that often leaves me muttering “I’ll do better tomorrow”. Tis life and thank goodness for the farm and the bounty of veggies still rolling in the door. My Tuesday and Thursdays barely feel like work (don’t tell Trish and Tom)- the energy is vibrant. I remember thinking to myself when I was given the Chef Educator farm job that this was what my family finally needed to be in perfect health and happiness all day, everyday: veggies and fresh air everywhere. Wow! Life was certainly gonna be easier…….screeeeeech.

Here is where reality sets in. Life is rarely easy. Some days I wish I didn’t know that lunchables and pop tarts were a no-no. My job may be different but my kids are the same, and no amount of happy Mr. Sunshine is going to make them willingly eat kale or squash for breakfast. Let me introduce you to a little game I call Hide the Vegetable. I put them everywhere. Chop them, puree them, shred them, you name it. You can sneak them in pancakes, meatballs, salad dressing, even ice cream (avocado yum).

The biggest argument I run into is the white bread vs. the “what kind of bread was that” option. I pick my battles and to be honest now that they are are at school and open the lunchbox in the cafeteria to find the Mommy bread, I am not there to hear them complain. 🙂

I like to rotate my foods. Everything from grains, meat and veggies, not only to mix things up but because it reduces the chances of acquiring a food intolerance or allergy. I make a chart for my week and map out my meal plan. I am the worst ever shopper so I usually forget my list anyway but at least I have a mental note. This is the only way I find that I feel good about the meals I prepare for my kids.

Prepping the day of CSA pick up is ideal. Honestly though, I use most of the share either as a raw whole food as snacks or lunches with a dip or salad, or lightly steamed, blanched or roasted. I find the most pleasure comes from eating these foods in their natural state. A vinaigrette or fresh herb citrus blend is simple and delicious. The oven roasted tomatoes from Tricia’s tomato blog and her salad in a jar are gems!

Last week we focused our demo on easy breakfast. I opted for a breakfast bread pudding muffin. Feel free to add whatever veggies, meat, cheese or herbs that your kids will eat. These can be individually frozen and reheated in the oven or a skillet.

Savory Breakfast Muffins 

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Ingredients, makes 12 muffins
6 eggs
2 egg whites whipped
1 loaf of bread – cubed – any kind you prefer
2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup cheddar
1 zucchini grated and squeezed dry
1 onion minced
2 -3 ribs kale chopped fine
3 sweet peppers
2 oven roasted plum tomatoes
fresh rosemary to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Sauté onion and peppers and set aside in a bowl to cool. Beat whole eggs and half and half in a separate bowl, add salt and black pepper. Grate the zucchini. Wring out the moisture in a towel and add to the onion mix along with the chopped kale.

Kristin

In a very large bowl toss together the bread with the cheese and herbs to really get them happy together. Fold in the veggies and the whipped egg whites. Put a level scoop into greased muffin tins and bake about 25 minutes or until golden and set in the center.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPost and recipes written by Kristin Moyer, Farm Chef Educator at Blooming Glen Farm and passionate farm-fresh food advocate. Kristin cooks at The Perk in Perkasie, does private catering and serves on the Pennridge Wellness Committee, working to create edible school yards in Pennridge School District. Together with Blooming Glen Farm she hopes to someday start a Community Supported Kitchen at the farm.

Photos and editing by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

 

 

The mason jar salad is portable, healthy, and my personal favorite- artistic. The idea has been popping up all over the web and I even spotted a mason jar salad cookbook at the bookstore in town. (Seriously- why didn’t I think of this first?) But there’s a reason people are excited about a meal in a jar. The appeal is truly the make-ahead convenience and as an added bonus for kids (ok, adults too), the fun factor. Put together these jars the night before, customize them slightly for different family members, then grab and go. Head off to school or work with a healthy farm fresh lunch!

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To avoid soggy salad dressing soaked greens, the trick is in the layering. Once you have a handle on the basic idea you can get as creative as you want. I made a pint size for my daughter and a quart size for me. But if you were pairing this salad with soup or a sandwhich, or looking for a light lunch, a pint size would be plenty big enough for an adult.

The first layer is the dressing. (Though I did skip this for my daughter’s first back to school lunch- she’s not a dressing kid, but yours might be.) Use a little less than 2 tablespoons for the pint, and between 3-4 tablespoons for the quart. Mine was a simple balsamic, olive oil and honey blend. Check out Chef Kristin’s previous recipe post for some other salad dressing ideas.

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The next layer is the firmer vegetables- these will act as the barrier between the dressing and the rest of the salad. Put in something you don’t mind absorbing the dressing a bit- I did chunks of tomatoes, then diced cucumbers, followed by diced sweet peppers, and for my jar, the softer veggie came last, roasted eggplant. (The hardest part of this whole process is not making your layers too thick, and really packing them in there. I ended up with enough chopped veggies to make quite a few salads- not a bad thing- just make up some extra jars- they will keep in your fridge for a number of days.)

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Next comes the grain/nut layer- I used chickpeas (organic- drained and rinsed from the can) and noodles. This layer could also be followed by a protein if you so desire- chunks of grilled chicken, hard boiled egg, or tofu. Check the fridge for those leftovers! For my daughter’s jar, I topped the noodles with diced cheddar cheese and called it done.

The final layer would be your greens- kale, spinach, raab, arugula- whatever is fresh and seasonal! My jar got a layer of packed broccoli raab. 

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The morning of school I just grabbed my daughter’s jar out of the fridge, and sat it in a small plastic bowl in her lunchbox with a fork and an icepack. (It’s much easier to eat these salads out of a bowl- and the pouring in part really mixes all the layers up. Plus what 9-year old doesn’t want to feel part of the process?!). It was a hit! She came home with an empty jar and asked for another tomorrow. Score!

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I have mason jar salad ideas spinning through my head- I’m imagining a fresh tomato salsa, followed by rice and beans, then arugula or kale. Or what about a sweet yogurt dressing, a fresh fruit layer, quinoa then spinach? So many options! Experiment and share your ideas on our facebook page. Personally, I’m just thrilled to have a source of inspiration for those back-to-school lunches!

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

 

Rice & Beans PeppersFrom Cuban black beans with yellow rice to Indian ramjah (kidney beans) with basmati rice, rice and beans is a classic, versatile dish that’s found throughout most cultures around the globe. Rice and beans are hearty, inexpensive, and super adaptable, making them a worthwhile addition to anyone’s kitchen repertoire. The key to making this not only a belly-filling meal, but also a nourishing and nutritious one is using whole grains and loading up on veggies. The recipe below uses heart-healthy brown rice, and loads of Blooming Glen Farm-fresh veggies that are packed with vitamins and minerals. The black beans bring plant-based protein, making this a nice rounded and complete meal.

As with many recipes on this blog, the one below is very much open for alterations, depending on your particular tastes, what you have available in your pantry, and what veggies you may need to use up from your share.  I’ve added lots of peppers to this version, since they’re abundant right now. The poblano peppers add a tiny bit of heat, while the frying peppers bring in some sweetness.  Greens are always a good thing to add to your meals; using them here brings in a satisfying chewiness, perfectly complimented by the soft peppers and beans.  Corn would be a nice addition and so would zucchini — feel free to use up whatever vegetables you have on hand!  You can substitute pinto or other beans in place of the black beans. You can even skip the rice and serve the beans over baked or smashed potatoes (leave skins on) or another whole grain. Experiment and have fun 🙂

Recipe note: I make rice and beans by first getting the rice going in a rice cooker, then moving on to the prep and cooking of the beans.  In most cases, by the time the beans are done, so is the rice.

Rice & Beans

Rice & Beans

Ingredients
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped (~1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped (~1 cup)
4 sweet peppers, seeded and chopped (~1 cup)
1+ jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
1+ cup kale, chopped fine
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped (~2 cups)
2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1+ cup broth (No-Chicken Broth is good here)
2 teaspoons maple syrup
3 cups hot cooked brown rice*
Fresh cilantro (optional)
* I prepare rice for this recipe with broth, rather than water.

Method
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook for a minute or two, until they begin to soften. Add garlic and spices, cook for one minute more. Add peppers. greens, and tomatoes, stir well, and cook until veggies are tender, about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash 1/2-cup of the beans.

Add mashed beans, whole beans, broth, and maple syrup to the skillet. Turn up heat and bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer until reduced to desired thick consistency, about 5-10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice, topped with cilantro.

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

A handful of fresh herbs can transform any dish, but what better pairing than with the juicy flavorful tomatoes coming from the farm right now. I like to overindulge in these luscious fruits at the height of the season, so I won’t miss them in the winter months. This simple recipe highlights the flavors of summer.

Marinated Tomato Herb Salad

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
3 heirloom tomatoes, diced fine
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped fine
2 baby red torpedo onions, diced
4 sweet peppers, diced

Handful of herbs (parsley, tarragon, oregano, agretti), kept whole, stems removed
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
4 Tbs evtra virgin olive oil

Put all the ingredients in a bowl. Toss and serve. Enjoy!

Post and recipes written by Kristin Moyer, Farm Chef Educator at Blooming Glen Farm and passionate farm-fresh food advocate. Kristin cooks at The Perk in Perkasie, does private catering and serves on the Pennridge Wellness Committee, working to create edible school yards in Pennridge School District. Together with Blooming Glen Farm she hopes to someday start a Community Supported Kitchen at the farm.

Photos and editing by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen Farm owner.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that one of the benefits of belonging to a CSA was an unexpected one: It puts me out of my comfort zone. When shopping at the super market for produce, I — like most of us, I’m sure — pretty much stuck to the same vegetables and fruit that I always ate. The standard peppers, carrots, broccoli, and spinach were tasty, and I honestly didn’t even realize there was so much I was missing out on until my first season at Blooming Glen.  A part of being out of my comfort zone was not only discovering new foods (French breakfast radishes, who knew we were destined to be together forever?), but also being faced with foods that I traditionally didn’t like.

At the top of this list was eggplant: A vegetable that I tried to prepare at home once or twice, but in the end could only ever eat if it was restaurant prepared, breaded and fried and smothered in marinara sauce, á la Eggplant Parm.  At first, I simply gave away the eggplant from our share to family or neighbors — good riddance!  But, after seeing the array of different eggplant at the farm, noticing just how pretty they are, and knowing how important and beneficial variety in one’s diet is… I decided to challenge myself to find a way to make a relationship with me and eggplant work 🙂

In the end, after a little experimentation, with some failures and some successes, it turns out that grilling has been the easiest and tastiest way for me to incorporate this pretty purple veggie into meals. Once grilled, you can use the slices for sandwiches and wraps, chop them up to use with grain and vegetable sides, add them to omelets or salads — the possibilities are endless. I grill them as soon as I get them home, then store them in the fridge for easy use. The recipe below calls for using grilled eggplant; here’s a down-and-dirty grilling method:

1) Lightly spray a grill pan over medium-high heat. 2) Cut eggplant into thin disks, place on a grill pan, spray lightly with cooking oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. 3) Cook until grill marks appear, about 3-4 minutes, toss, then cook for another couple minutes. The eggplant will significantly reduce as the moisture is cooked out.

Nutritionally speaking, eggplant is low in sodium and calories, and high in fiber. However, all of its disease-fighting and health-building phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals reside in it’s skin. Most notably, eggplant skin contains nasunin, a phytonutrient found to protect the fats in brain cell membranes, and chlorogenic acid, which has been found to benefit anti-cancer, antimicrobial, anti-LDL (bad cholesterol) and antiviral activities. So, when preparing your eggplant, be sure to keep the skin on!  For more eggplant ideas and a recipe for Baba Ganoush, click here.

Eggplant & Summer Veggie White Bean Pasta


Ingredients
2 cups whole wheat pasta (bow-tie pictures)
2 eggplant, grilled, cut into bite-size pieces
1+ bunch broccoli rabe, large/thick stems removed*
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 torpedo onion, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (quarter larger ones)
Kernels from 1 ear of corn
3/4 cup white beans
Crushed red pepper
Salt
Pepper
Nutritional yeast (or Parmesan cheese)
Balsamic vinegar (optional)

* Other hearty greens can be substituted, including kale, collards, or Swiss chard. If using more delicate greens, such as arugula, spinach, or dandelion greens, skip the blanching process below.

Method
Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Blanch raab for ~60 seconds, drain, reserving water to cook pasta. Set raab aside and cook pasta.

Heat a teaspoon of grapeseed oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, sauté for a minute. Add onion, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of sea salt, sauté for a few minutes, until onions turn translucent and soft. Add tomatoes, stir well, and allow to cook down a bit, about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chop raab, then stir into the pan, with corn kernels and pinch of sea salt, cook for a couple minutes. Add eggplant and beans, stir well to combine and let cook for a 5-6 minutes, until heated through. Salt and pepper to taste.

To cooked pasta, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, stirring to coat well. Add veggies to pasta, stirring gently to combine everything. Serve topped with nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese. A light sprinkle of high quality balsamic vinegar is really yummy, too 🙂

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

After many years working behind the same walls, dancing between sweaty bodies and hot equipment, I half jokingly refer to myself as a recovering restaurant chef. For me, the farm to table movement not only translates into healthier meals but a healthier spirit as well. Don’t get me wrong, sweaty bodies and equipment are abundant on the farm as well, but the difference is the fresh air and the glisten from the sun (or rain) keeps things in humble perspective.

One of the greatest discoveries I have made culinarily speaking, is the fresh herb garden. Endless creative possibility lives in the simplicity of plucking a few sprigs of marjoram and a little oregano, perhaps a bundle of parsley too and voila, there in the palm of your hand is enough flavor to build a whole meal around. As a chef I strive on creativity aroused through the senses. A walk through the herb garden can take an idea with loose ends and quickly bring it together, and I always say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”  Here are a few recipes to highlight herbs. Hopefully these dressings can replace some store bought family favorites in your fridge. Enjoy!

Herb Cucumber Ranch Dressing

1-1/2 cup drained plain yogurt
1/2 cup coconut milk
juice of one lemon
3 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp coconut aminos or worcester or soy sauce
4 cloves garlic (fresh if you have it)
1 small onion, grated
1/4 cup grated cucumber
3 tbs fresh herbs like dill, tarragon, oregano, parsley
2 tbs chives

In a large bowl or with a mortar and pestle smash garlic into a paste. Clean all your herbs by dunking in cold water and removing stems, reserve stems along with garlic wrappers for stock. Chop herbs very fine and add to garlic with a teaspoon of salt and teaspoon of black pepper. Work these ingredients together into a small grind. Add onion and onion juices along with the rest of the ingredients. Whisk very well and chill overnight. The other option is to throw all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. 

Italian Herb Vinaigrette

1 head roasted garlic, squeezed to freedom
1 small red onion, diced fine
1/3 cup oregano
1/4 cup marjoram
1/3 cup parsley
1/3 cup basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup choice vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Optional 1 tbs parmesan cheese or sundried tomatoes

Roast one head of garlic, whole. Oven temp. 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes until it turns golden brown and is soft to the touch. Just pop it in on a sheet pan and let it cook.

Add your herbs, onion and roasted garlic to a blender or food processor, while running add spices and water, add dijon and slowly add olive oil to desired consistency. You may choose to add more oil. I prefer to leave it alone and add oil if needed per use. 

Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

6 cups day old crusty bread, cut into cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup thinly sliced kale (tuscan pictured)
1/2 cup sliced red onion
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 cup olive oil
10 basil leaves, torn
juice of a lemon
1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed well
2 eggplants, grilled and chopped

Add garlic, oil and lemon in large bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, whisk well. Add beans, toss, add tomatoes, bread, basil and onion, toss again. Add cooled eggplant with any of its juices and gently toss. Option- dress with either the Herb Ranch Dressing or Italian Herb Vinaigrette. Also optional- add cubed cheese, Italian hard salami or roasted potatoes. Enjoy!

Post and recipes written by Kristin Moyer, Farm Chef Educator at Blooming Glen Farm and passionate farm-fresh food advocate. Kristin cooks at The Perk in Perkasie, does private catering and serves on the Pennridge Wellness Committee, working to create edible school yards in Pennridge School District. Together with Blooming Glen Farm she hopes to someday start a Community Supported Kitchen at the farm.

Photos and editing by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen Farm owner.

Tabbouleh Salad ingredientsTabbouleh (also tabouli) is a classic Middle Eastern salad made from whole grains and highlighted by the fresh herbs, cucumbers, and tomatoes that are in season right now. The whole grains in tabbouleh come from bulgur, which is made from whole hard wheat (wheat berries) that’s been parboiled, dried, and then cracked.

This whole wheat is very different than the wheat-based products we often buy at the grocery store:  When wheat is refined and processed — primarily into wheat flour — nearly all of its nutritional value is stripped away.  In fact, “more than half of wheat’s B vitamins, 90 percent of the vitamin E, and virtually all of the fiber” are lost.  When wheat is refined, its nutritious bran and germ are removed and we’re left only with a starch that’s digested as a simple sugar, causing our blood sugar levels to spike as if we’d eaten candy!

Healthy whole wheat like bulgur, on the other hand, is a complex carbohydrate that offers a unique combination of minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, all of which work in concert together to protect our cardiovascular health, prevent Type 2 Diabetes, promote digestive health, and help fight off cancer.  Once cooked, bulgur has a mild, nutty flavor that adds a fantastic chewy, meaty texture to foods. Mix it into a salad, stirfry, chili, spaghetti sauce, taco filling, or use it as a base for a grain salad (such as this Asian Bulgur and Edamame Salad), stuffed peppers, breakfast porridge, or savory side dish.

In addition to whole wheat, tabbouleh takes advantage of the cucumber bounty we’ve been enjoying with our share.  Cucumbers aren’t commonly thought of for their nutrition, but they actually are a good source of vitamin A, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese, and a very good source of potassium and vitamins C and K.  Thanks to the phytonutrients in cucumbers, they also bring our bodies anti-inflammatory, antioxident, and anti-cancer benefits, too.

The important key to accessing all this great stuff, however, is consuming the skin. (Some might remember that this is true for many of the vegetables we eat — we’ve talked about potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, and eggplant here before 🙂 )  If you’re just getting used to eating the skin on cucumbers, try peeling only half of the skin off at first, then move up to keeping it all intact.

Tabbouleh a naturally versatile and adaptable dish, so feel free to play around with the grain-herb-veggie ratio.  You might prefer an herb-based salad, or you might choose to go heavy on the cucumbers, since they’re so abundant right now (as I did in the salad pictured). You could even make this recipe gluten-free by substituting bulgur for another healthy whole grain, such as quinoa. Tabbouleh pairs great with hummus, baba ganoush, and pita.

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

Ingredients
2 cups boiling water
1-1/4 cup bulgur wheat (use quinoa for a gluten-free version)
1 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup mint, chopped
1/4 cup minced onion
1+ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered or chopped
1+ cup cucumbers, diced

Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon, more to taste
1 tsp salt, more to taste
pinch of pepper
pinch allspice

Method
Place bulgur in a bowl and pour boiling water over top. Let stand for 20-30 minutes, until softened, but still chewy.  Drain off any excess liquid, and fluff. If using quinoa, prepare per package instructions. Add herbs and veggies to bulgur and gently stir. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Add dressing to bulgur, gently stirring until dressing coats salad well. Adjust seasonings to taste.  Serve chilled.

Post Sources
Harvard School of Public Health
Nutrition Data (Bulgur)
Nutrition Data (Cucumber)
WH Foods (Cucumber)

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

On the scene this week is the first of the eggplant, an oblong deep purple Asian style. This type of eggplant has a long, skinny shape, with a thin skin, delicate flavor, and not as many of the seeds that tend to make eggplant bitter. I made a wonderful dinner the other night that was a hit with the whole family. It used four ingredients from the share (eggplant, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and onions), fresh oregano and thyme from the discovery garden, and mozzarella from the farmer’s market. You can check out the recipe for Roasted Eggplant, Zucchini and Chickpea wraps at marthastewart.com. Delicious!

Also new this week is fresh garlic. Chances are you’ve only seen garlic in its dried form, its ivory cloves encased in their papery husks. You’re probably used to struggling to peel dried garlic, only to reveal itty-bitty sized cloves. Not this garlic!

The flavor is exquisite and subtle, the skin moist and incredibly easy to peel. The cloves are at their largest, not having shrunk in size at all in the drying process, for this garlic is straight from the ground. The drying process strengthens the skin and prepares it for long term storage, so handle your fresh garlic with care- it can bruise easily. Store in the refrigerator if you don’t plan to use it right away.

You can use both the cloves and the aromatic wrappers. The following recipe for Fresh Garlic Spread makes use of the fresh garlic wrappers.

Peel 2 heads of garlic, and separate the fresh wrappers from the cloves, as in the photo below.

Put the garlic cloves in a glass jar in the fridge and reserve for another use. Fill a medium saucepan half full of water, bring to a simmer. Simmer wrappers for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Blend the garlic wrappers in a food processor, slowly adding approximately 1/4 cup olive oil, until it is bright golden in color with the texture of mayonnaise. Add sea salt to taste. Use to spread on crusty baguette, or as a base for salad dressing.

Like the scapes, the season is fleeting, so enjoy! As soon as the field dries out a bit we will be pulling the entire garlic crop, bundling it and hanging it for a month or so to dry.

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

It’s that time of year- the cucumbers are prolific! The following four recipes- potato salad with beans and kirbies, cucumber water with citrus basil, and cucumber avocado soup garnished with cucumber salsa all highlight this summer staple.

Cucumbers have a long list of health benefits, but the thing that really makes them the perfect summer fruit is their cooling effect on the body. We grow two types of cucumbers here at Blooming Glen Farm.

Slicing cucumbers are what you probably are most familiar with: they are around 8-10 inches long, juicy, with watery seeds. The skin can be thick, so you may be tempted to peel them- but the skin does contain a high level of vitamin A, so avoid peeling it if you can. “Slicing” is a catchall term for lots of varieties, including the ones overflowing in the basket in the image above of our farm market booth in Wrightstown. Great in smoothies or cucumber salads, sliced onto a sandwhich or eaten raw with your dip of choice.

Kirby cucumbers are small, usually 4 inches long or less, with thin bumpy skins and firm flesh. They are the most common variety of pickling cucumbers but we also love them as a fresh snack or diced into cucumber salsa. Super crunchy and full of great cucumber flavor.

Potato Salad with Beans and Kirby Cucumbers

Ingredients
4 cups red new potatoes
2 cups beans
1 cup kirby cucumbers
1/4 cup onion

Herb Vinaigrette
1 tbs shallot
2 tbs fresh oregano
1 tbs fresh marjoram
1 tbs fresh parsley
1 tbs fresh chives
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 tbs dijon mustard
1 tsp black pepper
salt to taste

Halve new potatoes and cover with cold water in a large stock pot. Add 3 tbs of salt to the water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and roll out onto a sheet tray, give them a few shakes of oil and vinegar while they are hot. Hot potatoes love to soak up flavor. Put in fridge to cool.

Clean and snap beans in half, blanch in salted boiling water and submerge drained beans in ice water to crisp and lock in that bright green color. Make pretty stripes on the kirbies with your vegetable peeler. Cube. Dice onion. In a large bowl whisk your dressing ingredients. Add your potatoes, cukes and beans to dressing and toss, toss, toss…toss more. Enjoy!

Cucumber Water with Citrus Basil

Cucumbers make a super refreshing drink- its a farmer’s natural gatorade! This was a crowd favorite during Chef Kristin’s CSA tasting this week.

Peel and cut in half lengthwise 2 medium slicing cucumbers. If the cucumbers have large seeds scrape them out with a spoon. Coarsely chop the cucumber and stir in: A pinch of salt. Cut in half and squeeze: 3 lemons (or limes). You should have about 1/4 cup juice. Measure into the jar of a blender: 1 cup water. Add the cucumbers and purée well, about 1 minute. Pour through a strainer, pushing the pulp with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Add the lemon, or lime, juice. Add some muddled citrus basil. Leave overnight for flavor to infuse. Strain out herb. Serve over ice.

Cold Cucumber Avocado Soup

Ingredients
3 slicing cucumbers, peeled and seeded, roughly chopped
2 avocados
1/2 cup lime juice
1 tbs honey
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste

Purée all the ingredients. Refrigerate until cold. Serve garnished with cucumber salsa. (Recipe follows)

Cucumber Salsa

2 kirby cucumbers, diced (no need to peel)
1 tbs onion, finely diced
1 tbs garlic, finely diced
cilantro, one handful, chopped
juice of one lime
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Use as garnish on cucumber soup, or on top of a grilled white fish. Also wonderful with chips!

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.  Recipes provided by Kristin Moyer, Blooming Glen Farm Chef.

Pick-your-own string beans are a sure sign that summer has arrived at Blooming Glen!  Although we often don’t think about these beans as being particularly healthful, they actually have “impressive antioxidant capacity,” containing flavanoids, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K.  They’re a fantastic source of dietary fiber, which helps facilitate the passage of waste through our gut, as well as the mineral silicon, which works with calcium and magnesium to aid bone health.  And, because it’s in the pea and bean family, they also offer a nice bit of plant-based protein.

Given the heat wave we’re in the midst of, I’m sticking with cool ingredients once again for this week’s recipe — which has certainly been a theme here on the blog as of late! (If you haven’t already, check out last week’s recipe for Raw Mediterranean Squash & Greens Salad and Kristin’s awesome Raw Veggie Hash with Green Garlic Vinaigrette in a Lettuce Bundle.) Although there is a bit of stove time needed for blanching the vegetables, the recipe below requires very little cooking, little time, and little effort.  It’s a perfect dish to make ahead and have on hand for a healthy meal side dish or snack.  If you only have one bunch of scapes on hand, no worries! The optimal string beans-to-garlic scapes ratio may be a little off, but just use what you have 🙂  You can also skip the scapes all together; you may want to add a clove or two of minced garlic or a bit of granulated garlic to the marinades below.  There are three variations of the recipe, of which the Asian is pictured.

Cold Marinated String Beans & Scapes


Basic
1 quart string beans, trimmed
2 bunches garlic scapes, trimmed and cut in quarters
1/3 cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce
3 tbs sesame oil
1/2 tbs agave, or other sweetener

Asian
1 quart string beans, trimmed
2 bunches garlic scapes, trimmed and cut in quarters
3 tbs mirin
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
2 tbs cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce
2 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs sesame seeds
1 tsp minced ginger
pinch of crushed red pepper, or more to taste

Italian
1 quart string beans, trimmed
1 bunch garlic scapes, trimmed and cut in quarters
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs Italian seasoning, or combination of basil, oregano, and thyme

Boil a large pot of water. Blanch veggies: Add string beans to boiling water for 3 minutes, then add scapes, and blanch for 2 more minutes. Drain veggies and drop into ice bath to stop cooking. Drain again and set aside.

In a large resealable bag (or container with a tight fitting lid), add veggies and all of the remaining ingredients. Zip the bag closed and shake until veggies are evenly coated. Let cool in the fridge for a couple hours, tossing them once or twice. Or, marinate overnight.  Toss once more before serving.

Post sources
Nutrition Data
Web MD
WH Foods

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!