Blooming Glen Farm | herbs
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herbs Tag

bg_blog lentil potato chard salad 2This versatile summer salad is not only packed with flavor & nutrition, but also uses several recent share ingredients.  We’ve talked about the healthy stuff in potatoes & Swiss chard here before; combining them with lentils, a good source of both plant-based protein & iron, allows this salad to stand in as a hearty side or a main dish.  Roasting the potatoes & chard brings a smokey flavor & unique texture that contrasts perfectly with the raw ingredients. Note: this is a good time to roast some other veggies (beets & kohlrabi, fennel, peppers, eggplant, turnips, etc.) while you have the oven on!

Try serving this salad on top a bed of chopped spring greens, with a side of grilled string beans & your favorite protein, or topped with a fried farm-fresh egg.

Roasted Potato & Chard Salad with Lentils
bg_blog lentil potato chard saladIngredients
1 cup black, green or brown lentils (black pictured)
6 potatoes (~1-1/2 lb), cut into cubes
3+ cups Swiss chard, roughly chopped
Salt & pepper
Grapeseed or other high-heat cooking oil
3 spring onion bulbs (~1/3 cup), finely diced
1 fennel bulb (~1/3 cup), finely diced — or try celery
1-2 clove green (or other) garlic, minced
3 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS Dijon mustard
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup fresh herbs, finely chopped (optional)

Method
Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

In a medium pan, bring lentils, water, and ~1/2 teaspoon salt to boil. Simmer the lentils until tender, ~20 minutes. Drain and put aside

Meanwhile, toss potatoes with a little grapeseed oil & a sprinkle of salt & pepper, then place on a single layer on a cookie sheet. Roast until tender & lightly browned, ~20 minutes. Repeat with Swiss chard, roast until wilted & drying, but not crispy, ~10 mins.

In a large bowl, combine the onion, fennel or celery, garlic & lemon juice, then allow to sit for a few minutes. Whisk in mustard & olive oil. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Add lentils, potatoes & herbs to the bowl & toss to combine. Serve warm or chill until ready to serve.

gfg_head shot mPost 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!

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!

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.

I’m sure you are as excited as we are to have the first batch of this season’s potatoes make its way into your CSA share. Fresh out of the dirt, these pink little nuggets have a flavorful, earthy goodness that is hard to beat. One important thing to note about this week’s variety–Dark Red Norland–is that they are a “new” potato and have not been cured, so the skin is really delicate. This is great because you don’t have to peel them, but it also means they will look a little tattered from tumbling in our root washer.

I still think they are mighty pretty : )

Dark Red Norland

The first thing I usually want to do when potatoes come into season (besides mashing them with a pound of butter) is make a simple cold potato salad. Since I’m looking for a new way to incorporate more fresh herbs into my dishes, I concocted this “fancy” version of potato salad with four kinds of herbs and those delicious yellow wax beans you have the choice of picking this week. I encourage you to eat this one warm or at room temperature. The flavors seem to develop much better. ENJOY!

Herb Potato Salad with Yellow Wax Beans
*This recipe actually uses 7 items from this weeks share!

-Cut 2 pounds of new potatoes into bit size cubes and bring them to a boil in a large pot of salted water. Boil for 10 minutes or until “fork tender”.

-In the meantime, chop:

1 sweet onion
1 bunch of celery (about 5 stalks)
a handful each of chives, parsley, dill, and french tarragon

-Cut the stems off of a half-quart (or 1/2 pound) of  fresh yellow wax beans (green beans can also be used). Blanch them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes and then transfer immediately into a bowl of ice water. Chop into bit-size bits. [***I actually just threw them in with the potatoes that were already boiling on the stove and it turned out just great!]

-Drain the cooked potatoes and toss in the beans, veggies and herbs.

-Pour in a simple vinaigrette made with 3 tablespoons of red or white wine vinegar, 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard, and salt to taste.

Recipe and photos by Jana Smart- Blooming Glen Farm employee and frequent creator of creative recipes using farm fresh seasonal ingredients. Check out more of her recipes on her food blog http://www.agrarianeats.blogspot.com/