Blooming Glen Farm | Recipes
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Recipes

So what’s the deal with pea shoots anyway? Their delicate leaves, curly-cue tendrils and succulent stems are popping up everywhere: at farmers markets, in CSA shares, and at your local health food stores. Pea shoots have long been prominent in Asian cuisine, but there are a few reasons for their newfound popularity.

For one, tender pea shoots tempt us with the promise of Spring, and with it warm weather and spring vegetables harvested from newly awakened soil. Even better, with a kid-friendly delicious flavor, pea shoots taste like fresh-from-the-vine peas, but much younger and sweeter.

Another reason they’ve become so popular is those crafty farmers of yours are always looking for something they can grow quickly and easily. Pea shoots offer the flavor of a pea, but can be harvested in just 10-21 days, depending on the time of year. At Blooming Glen Farm they are grown in trays of soil, on benches in a heated greenhouse, providing a nutrient dense crop that can be succession grown through the cold winter months.

So how nutritious are these little sprouts?  For just 10 calories and no fat, take a look at the nutrients in 2 cups of raw pea shoots: 35.5% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, 15% of Vitamin A, 8.75% of Vitamin E, 132% of Vitamin K, 10.5% of Folate, 5.75% of Thiamin, 7% of Riboflavin, and 4.75% of Vitamin B-6. Pea shoots are also packed full of carotenes— strong antioxidants that protect cells from damage and help prevent certain diseases.

So now that we’ve established that they are both nutritious and delicious, how do you cook with them? Most simply- enjoy raw in a fresh salad; they can take the place of lettuce or simply enhance any mix of greens with the pea shoot’s spring flavor. I love to add toasted walnuts, dried cherries and cranberries, and a warm vinaigrette, or for a quick side, serve a mound of pea shoots with just a squeeze of lemon. You can also easily swap them in for any soft, leafy green in a recipe- they cook very similar to baby spinach. Lightly stir-fry them with sesame oil and garlic or wilt them into any pasta dish or risotto, contributing a bright fresh taste. Another option: add pea shoots to a soup or scrambled eggs near the end of the cooking time. Check out our blog for a recipe for flatbread topped with butternut squash, goat cheese and pea shoots or Ensalata di Roso (Rice salad) with Pea tops.

To prepare and store pea shoots, there are just a few things to know. As a delicate green, it’s best to eat them within just a few days of purchase. They should be stored in the fridge like you would lettuce; and when ready to eat, coarse or yellow stems removed, and the pea shoots rinsed in cold water and drained to let dry.

This time of year, Blooming Glen Farm’s pea shoots can be found at the Easton Farmers Market Winter Mart on Saturdays from 10-1pm at the Nurture Nature Center, and at the Bucks County Foodshed Aliance’s Wrightstown Winter Farmers Market on the fourth Saturday of the month from 10-11am. And thanks to a new Healthy Eating Initiative spearheaded by a committed parent, pea shoots from Blooming Glen Farm made their way to the salad bar last week at Durham Nockamixon Elementary School in Palisades school district. A few new pea shoot converts were made!

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Ensalata di Rosa photograph by Kate Darlington.

Greens, glorious greens!It’s a gray February and we’re smack in the middle of winter, the colorful and nutritious Blooming Glen Farm bounty providing only a distant memory of warmer and tastier times… sigh. This time of year can be a real downer!  Lucky for us, there’s an easy way to boost our winter wellness while we await the new CSA season: Greens, glorious greens.

We’ve espoused the value of greens here before, and we’re happy to do it again. Simply put, there’s no better or easier way to boost your diet than to add some dark, leafy greens. They provide cancer-fighting vitamins and minerals, the fiber we need for heart and digestive health, and assistance to our body’s detoxification processes. All of which helps us feel lighter, gives us energy, and protects our health, making them an important element to winter wellness.

Of course, nothing beats Blooming Glen Farm greens- they have some limited offerings at the Easton Farmers Market winter mart, but during this coldest time of year, if your farms or markets don’t have any, supermarket offerings will do ;). Common varieties of greens found at the grocery store include collards, kale, mustard greens, arugula, spinach, escarole, and Swiss chard. Here in the blog, you can check out several greens recipes, listed below. There’s also a great “Guide to Leafy Greens” at RealSimple.com, and an informational post on greens (nutrition and variety info, how to select, store and prepare, links to recipes, etc.) on the Guidance for Growing website.  Surf the resources and recipes and commit to adding an extra serving of greens to your diet to help ward of the winter blahs!

Blooming Glen Farm Beet greens recipes:

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

The real winners of Blooming Glen Farm’s third annual pie bake-off contest were all of us tasters who had the chance to sample the 15 mouth-watering pie entries, including “Green Tomato Cranberry Maple”, “Wild Foraged Paw-Paw”, “Asian Pear and Ginger”, “Butternut Squash and Pecan”, “Chocolate Almond Custard Pear” and “Crab Apple”. With almost 100 people tasting and voting, the following three pies were the top winners.

Maple Custard Pie with Candied Bacon, by Michelle Guerriero, First Place and the trophy winner!

First place winner Michelle with the trophy, to be held for one year and passed on to next year's winner

“I love cooking, but have less of a passion for baking. As I pondered the type of pie I was going to bake for the contest, I decided to join my two favorite flavor profiles in cooking: sweet and savory. Somehow candied bacon came to mind. Slowly, the creation started coming together. I thought, ‘what goes better with bacon than maple?’ Voila: Maple Custard Pie with Candied Bacon was conceived. I didn’t plan to put the whipped cream on, but I had extra heavy cream, so I whipped it up with some maple syrup and nutmeg. I’m glad I did, as I think it made a ‘light’ (not ‘lite!’) element to the pie. I will admit, I played a little dirty including bacon in my pie. I mean, who can lose with bacon?! In any case, I’m glad people liked it. It gives me some motivation to cultivate my baking skills!”- Michelle Guerriero

Pie Crust:
1 1/2 cups organic flour
1/2 cup lard (I used Ledamete Grass Farm’s lard)
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons ice cold water

Add flour and salt in food processor, pulse. Add lard, pulse until blended. Add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until pearl-size beads form. Dump on lightly floured surface, roll into ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. Take out, roll, then mold into pie pan.

Filling (from smittenkitchen.com):
3/4 cup maple syrup (organic)
2 1/4 cup heavy cream (organic)
4 egg yolks (organic)
1 whole egg (organic)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (organic)

In a medium saucepan, bring maple syrup to a low boil. Stir in cream and bring to simmer, making small bubbles form on side, but do not bring to a full rolling boil. Remove from heat.

In a standing mixer (or by hand, if you choose), whisk together egg yolks and egg. Add vanilla extract, salt and nutmeg. Keeping the whisk at a medium-high speed, slowly add the cream mixture to the eggs. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and pour the hot mixture into your pie crust.

Bake at 325 degrees until firm to touch but jiggles slightly when moved, about 30-45 minutes (depending on the depth of pie it could be longer). Let cool to room temperature.

Whipped cream:
heavy cream (organic)
maple syrup (to taste)
grated nutmeg (to taste)

Whip until soft peaks form.

Candied bacon:
8 pieces of thinly sliced bacon or pancetta (I used all-natural pancetta from Whole Foods)
maple syrup (organic)
brown sugar (organic)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In one bowl, pour about 1 cup maple syrup. In a separate bowl, add approximately 1 cup brown sugar. One at a time, dip the bacon in the maple syrup, removing excess syrup from bacon with your fingers, then dip in the brown sugar to coat. Place on baking sheet with non-stick foil or parchment paper. Repeat with all pieces (doing two batches if there’s not enough room on the pan). Place parchment paper over top of the bacon and top with another cookie sheet. This will help keep the bacon flat while baking.

Place in oven for about 20 minutes. Check under top layer of parchment paper for doneness. They should be golden and done (not fatty). If they still look “fatty,” just give them more time. Remove and place on a separate piece of parchment paper. They will firm up more as they dry and the maple/brown sugar hardens.

To assemble:
When pie is cooled to room temperature, add whipped cream on top in a layer. Then add crumbled bacon over whipped cream (you could even place one piece of bacon per slice for presentation).

Almond Pear Pie with Raspberry Glaze by Bernadette Rodrigo, Second Place.

“I developed this recipe by mixing components from various sources. I chose to use pears because they are a wonderful seasonal fruit and often over shadowed by apples. I wanted to duplicate the rich almond filling found in European pastries and the raspberry glaze gives this pie an extra burst of fruit flavor.”- Bernadette Rodrigo

The pie tasting line.

Pie Crust:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 sticks chilled butter
3 egg yolks
4 tablespoons ice water

Combine flour and sugar. Chop butter into 1/2-inch squares and add to flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, blend until it resembles course meal. In a small bowl lightly beat egg yolks and water. Add liquid to the flour mixture, tossing with a fork, until evenly distributes. Mixture will be crumbly. Use hands to press the dough into a ball. Turn out onto counter top and kneed a few times, smearing the butter forming the dough into a ball. Flatten into a disc. Wrap and refrigerate.

Poached Pears:
1 cup sugar
4 cups water
1/4 cup raspberry preserves
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
4 pears, peeled, halved and cored

Combine first four ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then lower to a slow simmer. Add pears and simmer 10 minutes. Turn off heat and allow pears to soak 10 more minutes. Then remove pears from pot and allow them to cool. Reserve poaching liquid.

Filling:
1/2 cup blanched almonds, finely ground
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract

Mix all ingredient until well combined.

To assemble:
Roll out pastry dough into pie pan. Cover with almond filling. Slice pears and arrange on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Crust and filling will brown. While pie bakes make glaze.

Raspberry Glaze:
3/4 cup raspberry preserves
2 tablespoon poaching liquid

Combine in sauce pan over low heat. Stir to incorporate ingredients. When mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat. Use a pastry brush to gently paint glaze over hot pie. Allow pie to cool completely. Enjoy!

Pecan Pie, by Corbin Williams, Third Place.

A classic, Corbin’s pecan pie comes from his mother’s recipe. It arrived at the contest still warm and gooey from the oven.

Apple Caramel Pie with Pecans by Meredith Stone

Pastry for one 9-inch pie crust
3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1 cup dark or light corn syrup
1 cup pecan halves or broken pecans

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare pastry. Combine eggs, sugar, salt, butter and syrup; beat thoroughly. Stir in nuts. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan. Bake 40-50 minutes or until filling is set and pastry is nicely browned. Cool and enjoy.

I am a pretty indiscriminate veggie lover; however, every once and awhile a root or shoot passes my path that I just can’t wrap my head around liking. Turnips have always been that way for me. I never hated them, but they generally fall under the “why bother” category in my book. That is, until I realized I’ve never actually given turnips a fair go of it.

Determined to change my relationship with the lowly purple-top turnip, I devised this recipe. It would be perfectly delicious with any combination of root vegetables, but it is particularly suited to the turnip. Maple syrup contrasts the bitterness that is associated with turnips (although, upon closer inspection, ours are quite sweet right now). Cardamom enhances the spicy and earthy taste of the oft-maligned root. Roasting brings out the sweetness in everything.

Maple and Cardamom Glazed Root Veggies

Serves 2-3 as a side dish.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Start with 2 pounds of root vegetables–I used half purple-top turnips and half carrots. Peel veggies if need-be (definitely recommended for turnips, not so much with carrots). Dice all veggies into similar sizes, about 1/2 inch cubes. In a mixing bowl, toss veggies with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil of choice (I chose coconut). Spread the veggies in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the preheated oven.

While the vegetables are roasting, make the maple glaze. In a small sauce pan on medium heat, whisk together 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1 pinch red pepper flakes1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 more tablespoon of oil. Heat for just 30 seconds to 1 minute, and remove from heat.

After about 20 minutes in the oven, flip the veggies with a big spatula so that the bottom sides won’t burn. Reduce heat to 400 degrees and continue roasting for another 10 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown.

Toss roasted vegetables with the maple glaze, the juice of half a lemon or lime, and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley, and voilà, you’ve just made turnips delicious!

Note: After I served up the veggies, I had a ton of leftover glaze, which I couldn’t bear to pour down the drain. Instead, I combined it with more lime juice and used it for yummy dressing on a simple kale salad.

Text and photography by Kate Darlington – Blooming Glen Farm second year intern, fresh food enthusiast, and budding food blogger. She also writes for the Digging Deep Campaign as well as for her personal blog, Growing Things.

Butternut Squash & Leek CasseroleNothing says autumn harvest like a butternut squash, right? Like its buddy, the delicata squash, butternut is low in calories, carbs, and fat, and high in vitamins A and C. Butternut squash also provides a very healthy dose of the minerals, potassium and manganese, and is a good source of vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, and magnesium. Additionally, the carotenoids that provide its gorgeous color also deliver antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As if that weren’t enough, butternut squash also lives up to its silky, delicious, buttery name. Beauty and brains — you just can’t beat it!

Butternut squash tastes divine after roasting, which really brings out its sweetness. It also makes a great soup, where you can add savory elements for a great depth of flavor — a loaf of Bakers on Broad bread completes this tasty meal! Finally, pair butternut squash with whole grains; the smooth texture of the squash makes an excellent partner to hardy whole grains. The cool weather inspired the butternut squash casserole recipe below, which also uses in-season leeks. Let the oven warm up the house and serve this comfort food with a side of green’s from this week’s share.

References and recommended links:

Butternut Squash & Leek CasseroleButternut Squash & Leek Casserole
Ingredients
1 tbs grapeseed oil
3 leeks, sliced into half-moons
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can coconut milk
1/4+ tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbs chopped herbs (rosemary, sage, and/or thyme work great)
1 box (13.25oz) dried whole wheat elbow macaroni
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

Method
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Lightly spray a 9- x 13-inch casserole dish with grapeseed oil.

Heat oil in a heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add squash, coconut milk, cayenne, salt, and pepper and turn up heat to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until squash is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in herbs and simmer another minute.

Meanwhile, cook macaroni al dente, about 7 minutes. Rinse in cold water, drain, and put into a large bowl. Transfer squash mixture to bowl with macaroni. Add salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer to casserole dish and top with bread crumbs. Bake until it begins to brown and is cooked throughout, about 25 minutes.

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

Cabbage and apples are a classic combination–and it’s no coincidence since they are both staples of the fall and winter diet. This week, the Blooming Glen Farm cabbage of choice is the crinkly-leafed savoy. Savoy cabbage comes from Northern Italy, where it is known as cavolo verza.

The inspiration for this recipe came from one of my favorite food blogs, Nourished Kitchen. I took some liberties, though, replacing onions with leeks and green cabbage with savoy. Because savoy is sweeter and more tender than other cabbages, I eliminated one apple and some cooking time from the original recipe.

Cider-Braised Cabbage and Apples

Cut the roots and most of the greens off 3 leeks, slice lengthwise, and rinse any grit from between the layers. Slice crosswise thinly and fry in a hot skillet with 2 tablespoons of butter. When the leeks begin to brown, add 1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced. Cook for another 5 minutes until apples start to soften.

Reduce heat to medium. To the skillet, add 1 savoy cabbage, cored and thickly sliced and 1 bay leaf. Stir to bring apples and leeks to the top. As the cabbage begins to wilt down, pour 1-1/2 cups apple cider into the skillet. Simmer for about 15 minutes until apples and cabbage are soft and most of the liquid is evaporated. Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, toss to combine, and remove from heat.

Pair this dish with pork, and you’ve got yourself a time-honored flavor combination that can’t be beat (I chose a juicy bratwurst). If pork isn’t your style, it would also go very nicely with a roast chicken and/or savory white cannellini beans.

Text and photography by Kate Darlington – Blooming Glen Farm second year intern, fresh food enthusiast, and budding food blogger. She also writes for the Digging Deep Campaign as well as for her personal blog, Growing Things.

The knobby warty exterior of celeriac, also called celery root, hides a delightful interior. Peel away the rough skin and inside is the smooth ivory flesh, a wonderful aromatic alternative to starchy potatoes. Celeriac is one of those vegetables that can seem intimidating, but after some experimentation it will quickly become a versatile favorite in your kitchen.

Though celeriac will keep for many months in your refrigerator, and up to 6 months in the right root cellar conditions, hopefully you will be inspired to use it sooner. This first idea, because it really is more an idea than a recipe, utilizes celeriac in its raw state. Thanks to nutrition coach Patti Lombardi, who taught a class here at the farm All About Greens, this is quickly on its way to becoming a lunchtime staple in our house!

Spicy Green Wraps

First take one large flour tortilla– I used the biggest ones I could find at Whole Foods- “All Natural Roll-Ups made with whole wheat flour“. Next, decide what you want to use as the “glue”. Patti suggested organic refried pinto beans– spread evenly over the tortilla, and for a little added flavor and spice, a bit of spicy black bean dip (or salsa if you prefer). Hummus would be another idea.

After painting on the “glue”, roughly chop 1/2 a bunch of arugula and pile it down the middle of the tortilla. (You can also experiment with lettuce or kale, always putting the softer greens down first onto the tortilla).

Next comes the crunch- add some finely chopped cabbage. Grate 1/3  of a celeriac, spread on top of the cabbage. Add three grated french breakfast radishes on top of that, and some thinly slivered fennel. I happened to have some ripe avocado, so that went into the mix. Lightly season with sea salt and squeeze a bit of lemon wedge on top.

Then it’s time to wrap it up. Lift the side of the tortilla closest to you (the edge at the bottom of the photo on the top right). Roll away from you into a big tube, using your fingers to press the greens under the wrap and your thumbs to keep the wrap rolling, pressing down tightly as you roll. Don’t worry if you rip it on your first try (I did), but my second one came out perfect. Cut in half (serves 2).

*In the class Patti held here at the farm, her version contained sweet peppers and grated carrot (no radishes), which was a bit sweeter. The great thing about these wraps is you can adjust to your taste, and use whatever happens to be in the share that week. You could also add chicken or turkey if you desire.

Simple Celeriac Saute

A lot of recipes with celeriac have you partnering it with potatoes in a mash, roasting it with other assorted root vegetables, or adding it to a soup. In this simple stove-top dish, celeriac plays the starring role. Lightly seasoned, the flavor of the celeriac shines through, making for a wonderful side dish. I also imagine it would be great on top of lentils.

Using a paring knife carefully off the rough exterior of one celeriac. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Over high heat, put a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the cubed celeriac, a handful of thyme leaves, and 2 cloves finely chopped garlic. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Stir to coat and fry for about 5 minutes. Turn down to a simmer and add 3-4 tablespoons water or stock– I used 3 cubes homemade chicken stock I’d frozen in ice cube trays.  Place a lid on top and cook for around 25 minutes, until tender. You can leave in the celeriac in cubes or smash it a little (somewhere in between a cube and a mash). (*Recipe courtesy of JamieOliver.com)

Celeriac Gratin

So far we’ve done celeriac raw and a simple seasoned stove-top celeriac saute. Now let’s do an indulgent comfort dish, sure to please any picky eaters in your family.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2 quart gratin dish, or large deep dish pie plate. Scatter 4 thinly sliced shallots over the bottom of the dish. Take two large peeled celeriacs, cut in half, then cut each half into 1/4-inch thick slices, and julienne. Arrange evenly in gratin dish. Sprinkle 2 sprigs thyme leaves over celeriac.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, dash of nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Pour over celeriac. Sprinkle on top 3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese and 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until top is brown and bubbly and cream is thickened and reduced, about 20-30 more minutes. Let cool 10 minutes and serve. (*Recipe from MarthaStewart.com)

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

This week marks the official beginning of fall, and both the weather and veggies seem to agree with the calendar. This is a perfect soup for the transitioning season. It is rich and creamy without being too heavy. When roasted, fennel becomes deeply sweet (totally different from the crisp and refreshing taste of raw fennel) and leeks develop a wonderful caramelized flavor. Celeriac lends body and depth to this creamy soup. A touch of tangy blue cheese and crunchy chickpea crackers make it complete.

Roasted Fennel and Leek Soup

Cut off most of the green parts of 2 fennel bulbs and 3 leeks (save a few of the fennel fronds for garnish). Slice the leeks in half long-ways and run the layers under water to remove grit. Chop fennel bulbs and leeks into 1-inch chunks.

Cut away the ugly outside of  1 celeriac and chop into 1/2-inch chunks. Combine with fennel and leeks and toss with a sprinkle of salt and enough olive oil to coat. Spread veggies in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes (stirring once or twice) until they begin to brown and caramelize.

When the veggies are done roasting, combine them with 4 cups of milk, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard powder. Heat until milk is hot, but do not boil. When heated through, use an immersion blender or food processor to puree until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with chickpea crackers (recipe below), crumbled blue cheese, and a sprinkle of chopped fennel frond for an added touch of the gourmet.

Gluten-Free Chickpea Flour Crackers

Combine 1 cup chickpea flour, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds2 teaspoons olive oil, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Slowly stir in 1/4 cup water until a thick dough is formed. Roll dough out into a thin layer (1/8 inch or so) on a cutting board and cut into cracker-sized pieces. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees until golden brown and crisp (I did this at the same time I was roasting the veggies).

This recipe is easily adaptable–replace fennel seeds with chopped herbs, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, etc. Cut into thinner strips for a salad garnish, or into wedges for dipping into hummus or spinach dip.

Text and photography by Kate Darlington – Blooming Glen Farm second year intern, fresh food enthusiast, and budding food blogger. She also writes for the Digging Deep Campaign as well as for her personal blog, Growing Things.

I always consider green tomatoes a bonus veggie: An unexpected and tasty gift us CSA members get during the summer-fall transition of share season. For the most part, green tomatoes carry much of the same nutritional value as their red counterparts.  They’re both very good sources of vitamins A, C, and K, manganese, and potassium, and both deliver health-boosting fiber.  Green tomatoes, however, have the added nutritional benefit of being a very good source of the B5 vitamin, pantothenic acid, which is essential in aiding in the metabolizing of carbohydrates, fat, and protein.

Green tomatoes are firmer than their red buddies, so they hold up nice to pickling, cooking, and baking without turning to mush. They have a tart flavor when eaten raw, which some people don’t prefer, but pairing them with a sweeter veggie like red tomatoes, corn, and/or onion, creates a great sweet-and-sour balance.  Green tomatoes bring a brightness to soups, sauces, and salsas, where they also pair well with hot peppers and spices.  Of course, fried green tomatoes is probably the dish we’re most familiar with, but green tomatoes actually do really well baked — either as baked green tomatoes or in savory breads and biscuits.  The recipe below is probably my favorite green tomato recipe; it’s a frittata suitable for a quick breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Check out the links below for more green tomato nutritional info and links to other yummy recipes!

References and recommended links:

Green Tomato Frittata

Ingredients
1-1/2 green tomatoes, sliced about 1/4″-1/2″ inch thick, lightly sprinkled with salt and pepper
1/2 green tomato, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
1 frying pepper, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
1 poblano pepper, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup cornmeal for dredging
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tablespoons fresh herbs (basil, parsley, chives, and/or thyme are all good here)
10 large eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking spray

Method
Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

Dredge tomato slices in cornmeal. Coat a large oven-safe skillet (cast iron works great) with cooking spray and fry each tomato slice for 2 minutes. Spray tomato again, and flip, frying again for 2-3 minutes. Set slices aside, and wipe pan clean.  Spray skillet again with cooking spray, add onion, and cook until translucent and soft, about 3 minutes.  Add pinch or two of salt and garlic and mix well. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and peppers, and mix until combined well.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until all veggies are softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in fresh herbs.

Meanwhile, beat eggs and season with salt and pepper.

Add egg mixture to skillet, turn heat up to medium-high, and lightly combine the ingredients, allowing the egg to distribute evenly throughout the filling, and making sure there is an egg coating on the bottom of the pan.  Place the fried sliced green tomatoes on the top of the frittata. Turn heat down to medium, and cook until edges begin to set, about 3-4 minutes. Place frittata in oven and cook until the center is firmly set, about 12 minutes.

Finish frittata under the broiler until it’s lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool and set for 10-15 minutes. Loosen the edges with spatula and slice for serving.

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

Wet weather aside, I’m welcoming the cooler temperatures of late because they have allowed me to reacquaint myself with my kitchen. It seems like I’ve taken a hiatus recently from actually cooking. Instead of cooking meals, I’ve been favoring anything fresh I can throw into the same bowl. Now that it’s not 100 degrees in my kitchen, I’m a bit more excited to prepare a real dinner.

And what better way to celebrate my reintroduction to cooking than with juicy pork chops, fragrant herbs, and creamy swiss chard? This meal is easy, quick, and heavenly. It’s got all the advantages of a one-pot meal, but all the elegance of a steak house entree. The perfect end to a day spent working in the rain. (I could barely manage to squeeze in the photo shoot before scarfing it down).

Herbed Pork Chops with Dijon Swiss Chard

Rub both sides of 2 pork chops with salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped sage and thyme (both can be found in the Discovery Garden during your CSA pick-up, or at our farmstand at market).

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add pork chops. Sear chops, about 4 minutes per side, until there is a nice crust of fried herbs and meat is just cooked through. Remove from pan and cover with foil to keep warm.

Using the same pan, reduce heat to medium and add  1/2 yellow onion, chopped. Cook until translucent. Add 3/4 pound swiss chard, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped. When chard has partially wilted, stir in 3 tablespoons dijon mustard and 1/4 cup half-and-half or whole milk. Continue cooking the chard until it is fully wilted and the sauce has thickened a bit.

Top a mound of chard with a pork chop and drizzle any remaining sauce from the pan on top. Fluffy homemade biscuits drizzled in local honey make a divine addition to the meal, but it would go equally well with some crusty bread or steamed rice. (Serves 2)

Text and photography by Kate Darlington – Blooming Glen Farm second year intern, fresh food enthusiast, and budding food blogger. She also writes for the Digging Deep Campaign as well as for her personal blog, Growing Things.