Week 51: Together Through Food
Spring 2020 will go down as one of the most challenging springs for Moutoux Orchard as well as us all in society. No matter what your individual story has been, we all have an incredibly special and unique connection with each other – the food we eat, the farm we support and the farm that supports us. We may not be having the same experiences, living the same truths, or sharing meals at the same table but we are together through food.
This weather… while we have many choice words it is the one thing which we have zero control. Moutoux Orchard experienced huge losses with the harsh May frost. In total, the farm had 3 nights of frost and temps dropping as low as 27F. A frost this late is unheard of in our region, and several days’ worth even more so. All in all, much was lost including 100% of the tomato plants. But through Moutoux’s network of farmers and friends, the farm was able to re-secure and re-plant. Putting in hours upon hours of additional labor in the fields, digging deep to play catch up. As of Friday, the farm was estimating only about 1 week behind schedule. The Moutoux Crew never ceases to amaze with their hard work and dedication.
As Brian Brett poetically said, “Farming is a profession of hope” and being a part of Moutoux Orchard CSA gives hope. May every slice of summer produce be extra special, may we soon be sharing meals at the same table. But for now, a huge THANK YOU and virtual cheers to the Moutoux Crew for going above and beyond for its members. Thank you for keeping us together through food.
Please return all yogurt containers AND cream jars.
Make sure to bring back CLEAN milk jars for next week.
With a new bulk order delivery arriving soon and the spring lull nearing its end, this week we are diving into some pantry recipes, the lunch/dinner edition!
LENTIL-SMOTHERED GREENS ON FRIED BREAD
⅔ cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil; plus more for serving
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 diakon radish, finely diced
5 roasted garlic cloves, separated
¾ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1½ tsp. smoked paprika, plus more for serving
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
½ cup green split lentils
1 1/4 cup water or bone broth
2 bunches hardy greens (such as mature spinach, kale, collards and/or Swiss chard), stems removed, leaves torn into large pieces
1 lemon, halved
4 thick slices country-style bread
Heat ⅔ cup oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium. Add onion, diakon and 4 roasted garlic cloves and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 8–10 minutes. Add red pepper flakes, 1½ tsp. paprika, and 1 tsp. salt and stir to combine. Add lentils and 1¼ cups water/broth and stir again, scraping down sides of pot so that all of the lentils are submerged. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until lentils are 2/3 of the way cooked through (~30 to 35 minutes)
Uncover to lay greens on top of lentils, but do not stir or toss them in. Re-cover pot and cook until the greens are wilted, 10–15 minutes.
Uncover pot, check lentils for doneness, and if ready stir mixture a few times to coat greens. If the lentils are not yet ready, simmer for 5-minute increments and re-check.
Once greens are stirred in, simmer uncovered until most of the liquid is evaporated and lentils are saucy (not brothy), about 2 minutes. Squeeze juice of a lemon half into lentils. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Cover and keep warm.
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-low. Add 2 slices of bread and cook until golden and crisp underneath, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plates and turn fried side up. Repeat with 1 Tbsp. oil and remaining bread. Rub fried side of each slice with a little roasted garlic; season with salt.
Generously spoon lentil mixture over toast; drizzle with oil and lightly sprinkle with more paprika. Cut remaining lemon half into wedges and serve alongside for squeezing over.
NOTES: This recipe is extremely flexible with spices, add what you like. Can use raw or roasted garlic cloves, whichever you have on hand.
SAUSAGES AND GREENS SHEET PAN
1 1/2 lb. turnips, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 lb. (about 4 links) uncooked sausage
3 Tbsp. sherry or red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. honey
1 large bunch kale or collard greens, stems removed, leaves torn into large pieces
Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss turnips, 2 Tbsp. oil, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper on an 18x13" rimmed baking sheet. Prick sausages all over with a sharp knife, then nestle among potatoes. Roast, turning sausage and tossing turnips halfway through, until turnips are lightly browned and just barely fork-tender and sausage is just cooked through, 12–14 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, mustard, honey, and remaining 6 Tbsp. olive oil, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a large bowl. Pour about 1/4 cup dressing into a small bowl or pitcher and reserve for serving. Toss greens in remaining (about 2 Tbsp.) dressing, using your hands to massage dressing evenly into leaves.
Scatter dressed leaves in an even layer over sausage and potatoes. Roast, tossing greens halfway through, until greens are tender and charred in places, 3–5 minutes.
Separate sausage, turnips, and greens into sections to serve, if desired, or toss all together. Serve with reserved dressing alongside.
NOTES: Extra delicious topped with cooked or fried chickpeas!
BIG BATCH PARMESAN POLENTA
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
3 cups cornmeal
1½ cups finely grated Parmesan
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Bring 9 cups water to a boil in a medium pot over high. Add salt and reduce heat to medium-low. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, gradually stream in polenta. Cook, stirring often, until thick and creamy, 30–35 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and pepper.
NOTE: Serve as a side to any meal!
BEANS AND GREENS POLENTA BAKE
3 cups still-warm Parmesean polenta (recipe above)
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1.5 cups cooked pinto beans (1/2 cup dried)
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 bunch kale, tough ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
1 Tbsp. white or red wine vinegar
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
Cook pinto beans and Parmesan polenta separately and set aside.
Pour warm polenta into a large ovenproof skillet or a ceramic baking dish or metal baking pan and spread into an even layer (ideally about 1” thick). Let cool, then cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 week.
Preheat oven to 500°F. Heat garlic and ¼ cup oil in a large skillet over medium, stirring occasionally, until garlic is fragrant and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add beans and red pepper flakes (if using), then, working in batches, add kale, letting it wilt slightly after each addition before adding more, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and evenly darkened in color, about 3 minutes. Stir in vinegar and salt and cook, still stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in ¼ cup Parmesan.
Scrape kale mixture over prepared polenta and spread into an even layer. Drizzle with more oil and sprinkle with more Parmesan.
Transfer skillet to oven and bake until polenta is warmed through and topping is lightly crisped and browned, 8–10 minutes.
For the tahini sauce:
1 clove garlic, quartered
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
For the Buddha bowls:
1 cup brown rice (or any grain of your choice)
2 large sweet potatoes (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (1/2 cup dried)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 bunch hearty greens (kale, collards, chard), leaves cut into 1-inch strips
For the tahini sauce:
In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and 1/4 cup water and blend until smooth. (If the sauce is too thick, add water as needed to reach the desired consistency.) Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Set aside. (The dressing can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)
For the Buddha bowls:
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Cook the grains and chickpeas separately and set aside. This can be done in advance and stored in fridge.
In a medium bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, orange zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix well until the potatoes are evenly coated.
Spread the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Flip them with a spatula and roast until the potatoes are tender and beginning to brown, an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the chickpeas, 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, the paprika, cumin, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Mix well until the chickpeas are thoroughly coated.
Spread the chickpeas on a rimmed baking sheet and roast with the sweet potatoes until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring them once halfway through.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the greens, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover, add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the greens are completely wilted and cooked through, an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Discard the garlic cloves.
Put 1/2 cup of the cooked grain in the bottom of each of four serving bowls. Top each bowl with equal portions of the roasted sweet potatoes, roasted chickpeas, and sautéed greens. Drizzle with the tahini sauce and serve with extra sauce passed separately.
DARK CHOCOLATE CHUNK OATMEAL COOKIE BARS
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2-3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4-1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup melted butter
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chunks
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with butter or line with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, salt, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until the dough is moist and all the ingredients are combined. The dough will be crumbly. Mix in the chocolate chunks.
Press the dough into the prepared baking dish. It will seem crumbly. Transfer to the oven and bake 18-20 minutes or until the edges are set and the bars are golden. Sprinkle with flaky salt (if desired). Let cool and then cut into bars.