Getty's Creek Farm Food Notes

Note:  This page shows all of our recipes and food notes, in alphabetical order.  If you know what you're looking for, you might prefer the Recipe Index page.

Look here new ideas for a favorite vegetable, or clues about an unfamiliar one.  For more detailed recipes or basic cooking instructions, try searching online, or The New Joy of Cooking by the Beckers.  My favorite source for new ways to cook vegetables is Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian.  Foods are listed in alphabetical order below, with our favorite ways to prepare them.  Stay tuned for new entries.

Greens and Fresh Herbs have their own sections, as well as some individual entries.

Tuesday
Jan152013

Arugula

Arugula is not a subtle plant.  Its unmistakable flavor, bitterness, and spicy kick generally make people love it or hate it.  When it is tiny--the baby arugula we sell in bags--has a delicate, aromatic flavor; big, bunched arugula is intense and dramatic. Often, our arugula has tiny round holes in the leaves.  These are from flea beetles, who are among arugula's biggest fans; you won't find any of them in your greens, since they jump off when harvesters approach.  (Summer arugula without holes has probably been grown under row-covers or sprayed with insecticides--ask your farmer!)

Arugula is great added to a salad of mixed greens. The peppery compounds in it are volatile, so if you chop it, it will be tamer.  Vinaigrette dressings also mellow its spiciness.  In our house, arugula is often eaten on its own, with olive oil, salt, and pepper; chopped onion and grated cheese are good on that too. 

You can cook arugula; it still tastes like arugula, and is still a bitter green, but loses its heat entirely.  Use it instead of mustard or spinach; it cooks very quickly.  Substitute it for basil in pesto (see the basil recipes) for a non-spicy but very arugula-flavored treat--it stays green, too.

Thursday
May032012

Asparagus

Asparagus is delicious, and only available fresh in the spring.  It's also quick to cook, and goes well with lots of things--we've had it lately alongside pot roast, rice, and leftover red coconut curry with tofu.

Some say that asparagus is best when it is "young and slender." The truth is that asparagus stalks emerge from the ground already as slender or as stout as they will get.  They grow taller, not much fatter, as the days go by.  Thick asparagus stalks are a sign of a robust crown, with plenty of stored energy to send up its shoots.  Flavor is affected most by freshness.  As for tenderness: Any fresh asparagus will be tender if it is properly cooked.  Overcooked asparagus is mushy inside and tough outside.  Slender stalks are easier to cook evenly, which may have given rise to the slender-equals-tender myth; I recommend cutting thick stalks in half lengthwise.

Before cooking asparagus, snap the bottom off of each stalk.  (Some of this snapped-off part is tender inside, and can be peeled and cooked, if you want to get the most out of your asparagus.  You can also use this part for soup, and strain out the fibers after cooking.)

My favorite way to cook asparagus at present is this:  First, cut thicker stalks in half lengthwise, then cut all the stalks in half crosswise.  Heat some butter (less than a tablespoon) in a cast-iron or nonstick skillet big enough to hold all the asparagus in not more than 2 layers.  You want medium-high heat.  Arrange the asparagus in the skillet so that as much of it as possible is lying flat on the bottom, and cover the pan for a couple of minutes.  Then uncover it.  When some of the asparagus turns a darker green, start poking it with a paring knife; when you find one that is just tender, take it out and put it on a plate.  Stir now and then so different surfaces can brown, and keep removing the stalks as they become tender (hint: small ones cook faster).  When they're all piled on the plate, salt and pepper them, and serve them warm. 

Asparagus is also great broiled:  Cut thick stalks in half lengthwise, brush with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt; and broil a few inches from the flame until they are tender to a paring knife and showing lots of brown spots.  Delicious, but keep a close eye on it to prevent overcooking.

Thursday
May032012

Basil

Keep your fresh basil fresh by putting it in a jar of water, like cut flowers--don't refrigerate it!

We grow mostly Genovese basil, which is the kind traditionally used in pesto--it has plenty of flavor and aroma.  We also like lemon basil, lime basil, Thai basil, and holy basil.  The first two are nice mixed with genovese in a pesto; those two and holy basil are also good for tea (lemon basil is my favorite for summer iced tea).  Thai basil is used in Thai cooking, giving dishes that distinctive anise flavor. 

All that said, however, the main point of basil in our opinion is pesto, and Genovese is the kind to use.  Traditional recipes are easily found online, but here is our favorite version, tailored to our tastes and budget:

Getty's Creek Sunflower Pesto (vegan): Grind to a coarse paste in food processor: 2 cups fresh basil, leaves only; 1/2-3/4 c freshly toasted sunflower seeds; 3 cloves garlic; 3/4 c extra virgin olive oil; 1-2 T lemon juice; Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Stir into 1 pound of cooked, cooled pasta, or 2-3 pounds of boiled potatoes.

To Freeze Pesto:Make a "pesto" using only the basil, oil, and lemon juice.  Freeze in ice cube trays or muffin tins, then remove and store in freezer bags in freezer.  Add to pasta sauces or spread on pizza--or add nuts, cheese, and garlic to make regular pesto.  The frozen stuff will be a bit less green than it was--black on the outside of the cubes--but it tastes heavenly in the middle of winter.

Pesto Spread for Crackers:  Mix 1/2 cup thawed pesto with 1/2 cup ground nuts and salt to taste.

 

Wednesday
Jun062012

Beets

Sean's mother used to say "beets taste like dirt." She meant it as a compliment, and she was right. Beets have a wonderful earthy flavor in their sweetness. We grow red and golden beets. Both roots and greens are edible. Treat the greens like chard--they are closely related, with a stronger "beety" taste. I like to boil small beet roots whole (leaving about an inch of the tops on so that the color doesn't bleed out), until a knife pierces easily all the way through. Then peel them, slice them crosswise to show off their pretty concentric rings, and eat them plain.

Thursday
Jun142012

Chinese Cabbage

We grow a lettucy type Chinese cabbage--you might not recognize it for what it is, on sight. It is good for stir-frying and kimchi, of course, but we like it best as a salad. Try it with a tahini dressing (just make vinaigrette, add a big dollop of tahini, and shake vigorously--it may need a little water to thin it) and sliced apples. Its spring-green coloring also goes great with thinly sliced kale. 

News flash: In 2012, we are loving Chinese cabbage braised.  Chop the stemmy part first and saute it in a little olive oil until it just starts to get tender; then add the chopped leafy part, still wet from washing, and cover the pan and cook a few more minutes.  It's so tender and sweet!

Thursday
May032012

Fresh Herbs

To use fresh herbs, rinse, remove any woody stems, and chop--then add them to almost anything!  Use about three times as much fresh herbs to replace dried ones in a recipe, by volume.  Storage:  Most herbs keep up to a week in the refrigerator, stored in a plastic bag.  If they wilt a bit they'll still be OK; compost any that turn black or slimy.

Basil:  We grow and eat and sell so much basil that it has its own section.  Also, we consider it a vegetable more than an herb--who ever heard of using half a pound of one herb on three servings of pasta?  Anyway, look under "Basil."

Mint:  Make tea by using about a tablespoon of fresh mint per cup of boiling water.  Make it stronger and add ice for iced tea.  Mint leaves are also nice in salads, or chopped and added to cooked sugar snap peas.  And try mint in the green smoothie recipe, under "greens."

Italian Parsley or flat-leaf parsley:  This has more flavor than a curly parsley, and holds up well when cooked.  I love it in soups, and also added by the handful when making homemade hummus.  It dries well.

Cutting celery:  This looks very like Italian parsley; when in doubt, smell it.  Celery smells like celery.  You can use this herb any way you'd use regular celery in cooking, though it's a different shape; it's a bit stronger than stalk celery, and is especially good for cooking.

Chives have a mild onion flavor, best raw.  Try them mixed into cream cheese and spread on a bagel, or anywhere you want a fresh green onion flavor: egg salad, potato salad, baked potatoes, burritos...

Garlic chives are more garlicky than chives, but also mild, and are best lightly cooked--in omelets, stir fry, soup, or anywhere you'd use garlic.  (Chives have hollow leaves, like onions, and garlic chives have flat leaves, like garlic.)

Oregano is great anywhere you want that "pizza sauce" flavor.  It's also wonderful in pot roast, split pea soup, meat loaf, or minestrone.

Dill is sweet and aromatic.  We use it in egg salad, potato salad, homemade bread, and white bean soup.

Cilantro is traditional in both Mexican and Indian foods.  We eat it raw, as a topping for beans, curry, or chili, and of course it's great in salsa.  When it's abundant, we make cilantro chutney:  Chop about 2 cups (packed) fresh cilantro, 2 cloves garlic, a couple of tablespoons vinegar, a tablespoon of honey, salt, and a little water in a food processor until soupy.  This chutney is brilliant green and bright-flavored; it's good with Indian foods, and over fried sweet potatoes or potato cakes.  (Cilantro doesn't dry or freeze well; use it fresh.)

Sage is the classic flavor in Thanksgiving stuffing.  It's also good in squash soup, and as a seasoning for meatloaf or beef stew.

Mint and peppermint; lemon, lime, and holy basil:  These herbs make wonderful tea.  Lemon basil is our favorite for summer iced tea, with a peppery bite that makes it all the more refreshing.  Try your own combinations!

Herb Butter for biscuits or bread:  Blend 2 T or more of minced fresh herbs--dill and chives are especially good--into 1/2 cup butter.  Let stand for an hour for best flavor. 

Drying Herbs:  If you have a lot of fresh herbs, or just more than you can use right away, drying them is easy.  Most herbs dry well in a gas oven with the pilot light on, or an electric oven on the lowest setting (turn the knob lower than "warm" and see how low you can get) with the door a little open.  A fan will also work, if it's not too humid; in all cases, spread the herbs out on a screen, or hang them in small bunches, so they have plenty of airflow around them, and keep them out of sunlight.  When the herbs are very dry and brittle, strip the leaves from the stems and store in an airtight container.  If you aren't sure they're utterly dry, keep them in the freezer to prevent mold.  Some people dry herbs in the microwave.

 

Thursday
Oct272011

Garlic

Hardneck garlic, the kind we grow, is easier to peel than the softneck variety sold in most grocery stores, because it has a single layer of brittle clove wrappers instead of a bajillion layers of papery ones.  ("Bajillion" is a technical term used in the garlic farming trade.)  Just pry the bulb apart, whack the cloves with the side of a knife blade--or the bottom of a can of beans--and take the skin right off.  We grow two main varieties, from planting stock we got from two older farmers in the area; both are delicious, less harsh and more "garlicky" than store-bought types.  It will keep for months--generally until February--in a paper sack on your kitchen counter, or another dry, dark place at room temperature.  Or put some up in olive oil (see below).

Here's how we use garlic:  

Step 1: Saute a lot of it in olive oil.

Step 2:  Put it in whatever you are cooking, unless you are cooking oatmeal.

Step 3: Repeat often.

Garlic in Olive Oil:  To preserve garlic in olive oil, peel as much as you want (do this with a friend and it's more fun).  Put it all into a jar and pour in olive oil to cover.  Put a lid on it and store it in the fridge.  The garlic will stay pretty much as it went in, except it will gradually absorb some oil into itself, and the oil will be garlic-flavored after a while.  I don't know how long this keeps; we've never had it go bad before we ate it or the next harvest came in.

 

Thursday
May312012

Garlic scapes

These curly things are a secondary product of hardneck garlic.  The garlic plant sends up this stalk in late spring; it starts out spiralling around, then straightens up and forms a little bulb-shaped head at the top.  Inside are many tiny "bulbils," which are like miniature garlic cloves.  When the head dries and shatters, the garlic's offspring get scattered like seeds--but, like all garlic, these are actually clones of the parent plant.

Scapes are in season for only a couple of weeks each spring.  To use them, cut off the pointy part at the top, which is tough.  Then you can chop and saute the scape like green onion (scapes cook faster), or leave them whole and steam them for a few minutes.  They have a mild garlicky taste, and the texture of asparagus or green beans.  We eat them--steamed or sauteed--as a main vegetable, not just a seasoning.  Try them sauteed and mixed with black beans and cooked kale, seasoned with cumin.



Friday
May102013

Green Garlic

Green garlic is garlic--harvested before it begins to form cloves and bulbs. It's similar in shape and texture to green onions, and can be used much the same way, but--surprise!--it tastes like garlic. It can range from quite mild to spicy, but never as hot as mature garlic. We eat it whole like green onions with egg-salad sandwiches, chopped in omelets or tacos, and sauteed and added to pretty much anything. Not oatmeal.

Tuesday
Jan152013

Green onions

Are green onions the same thing as scallions?  Around here, yes. (Elsewhere, "scallions" might mean the green tops of shallots.)  Green onions are the same species as storage onions.  They are a good choice to grow without insecticides, because of the onion maggots that often infest growing onion plants.  These critters will kill some of the crop early on (of any kind of onion), but the really frustrating damage comes when maggots have tunneled unseen into your bulb onions and, after all that work, cause them to shrivel and rot in storage.  Green onions get maggots too, but you can see the damage at that stage, and throw out the bad ones at harvest; they're also planted much more closely, so the same number of onion maggots in a row will damage a smaller percentage of the crop.

How to use them:  Of course green onions are familiar raw, eaten whole or in salads, topping a baked potato, or mixed into sandwich fillings.  We also use them cooked, much like storage onions.  The white part can be chopped and sauteed to add to any dish; it will be less sweet than sauteed storage onions usually are, but has a good onion flavor.  The green parts can be treated this way too, but we prefer to chop them and add them to a soup or other dish at the last minute, so they're just wilted, not well cooked.  They're nice when they keep a bit of their green crunch.

Thursday
Nov032011

Greens

We grow a variety of greens, for salad and cooking.  I won't tell you how good-for-you greens are, because you know that.   Most of the greens we grow are either lettuces or Brassicas--that is, related to broccoli, cabbage, and mustard.  Eating greens used to feel like a duty to me; since I discovered all these possibilities, they are one of the joys of eating.  Look under variety names for more detailed descriptions and ideas:  Arugula, bekana, mizuna, tat soi, kale, lettuce, endive, collards, radicchio.

 

How we eat greens:

1. Salad.  Chop and add dressing of your choice.  If I'm feeling creative (or hungry) I might add toasted sunflower seeds, a poached egg or cheese or sardines, sliced apples, and/or homemade croutons.  The dip under "piracicaba" makes a nice creamy dressing, with a little more water.  Chop kale in thin ribbons and wilt it with a hot vinaigrette, then add toasted sunflower seeds. 

2.  Cooked.  We saute delicate greens briefly in a little oil.  For kale and collards, add a little water and cover the pan, cooking until they are tender.  Or half and inch of water to a boil, add your greens, cook until tender, and drain.  ("Tender" is a matter of taste--so taste, and learn what is tender enough for you!)  We dress our greens with vinegar, salt, and pepper, sometimes a little honey.

3.  Pesto.  You can make pesto with any kind of greens--anyway, all the ones we've tried have been good.  Just remove any long stems, which might turn out stringy when ground.  Tat soi is our favorite at the moment--lots of flavor--but I'm thinking that tat soi and arugula might be good together.  A bonus is that, unlike basil, greens STAY GREEN after grinding.  So your pesto is still gorgeous after an hour, or even the next day.  Just use a basil pesto recipe, and put the result on pasta or--better yet--boiled potatoes.

Member recipe for greens with pecans

A CSA member told me how to make this, and it sounds great:  Saute onions in olive oil; add chopped turnip and radish greens (or any kind, probably) and some red wine and vegetable broth; cover and simmer until tender; serve topped with toasted pecans.

Greens smoothie

I cook most of the greens I eat, since raw ones are hard for me to digest.  But this smoothie is easy on the tummy and delicious.  I drink one every morning for breakfast.  Really.  It's good.

In a blender, combine 1 1/2 cups of milk or "other milk" (see sunflower milk, below), 2 T honey, a pinch of salt, a couple of sprigs of fresh mint, and around 1 1/2 cups (if you packed it down) of raw green veggies.  (I've been using lettuce and piracicaba mostly, but anything mild would be fine.  Experiment to get the sweetness and mintiness you like.)  Blend on high speed until the green stuff is tiny specks.  Drink slowly.

Sunflower milk:  This is what I use in my smoothies; it's cheap, nutritious, and yummy, but it's a little more trouble than something ready-made.  Soak about 3 T raw sunfower seeds overnight in water.  Drain and put in the blender.  Add enough water to make 1 1/2 cups, then blend at high speed for a while--two minutes?  The longer the better, but it's loud.  Pour the result through a wire-mesh strainer, stirring and pressing with a spoon (this is optional, but it makes the smoothie smooth). 

Greens in soup:

We steam greens and add them to our potato soup when we serve it.  This lets family members decide for themselves how much they want; it also means that leftover soup doesn't end up full of overcooked greens when it's reheated.  Greens pesto (see above) can also be spooned into hot soup--this is good in potato soup too, and in tomato-based veggie soups. 

Preserving greens:

Greens are very good frozen.  Bring water to a boil, and drop in chopped greens (you can do about a quart of greens at a time, loosely packed, in a gallon of water).  Cover the pan and keep the heat on while you wait three minutes.  Spoon the greens out in to a bowl of cold water, let them cool at least three minutes, and then drain them.  These are handy to use if you pack them tightly into a muffin tin or ice-cube tray, freeze them, then take them out and store them in a freezer bag. 

 

 

 



Thursday
Oct202011

KALE

Our three favorite ways to prepare kale as of Fall 2011:

1.  Plain and Simple Kale:  Bring an inch or so of water to a boil.  Pull the stems off the kale, chop it, and add it to the water. Cover, cook a few minutes, stirring a couple of times and tasting to see when it's tender enough for you.  Drain well (you can squeeze it), and serve with your favorite vinegar and salt and pepper.

2.  Potato Kale Soup:  Make a creamy potato soup.  Cook kale as above, and add it to your soup bowl when serving.  This means your kale is always perfectly cooked and green, even when the soup is left over--you just cook a fresh batch each meal.

3.  Wilted Kale sesame salad:  Remove stems from kale and chop the leaves in thin strips.  Saute some garlic in olive oil.  Add the kale, stir and cook just until it's really wilted down.  Stir in a little vinegar, honey, seesame oil, and salt.

Friday
May172013

Oregano

Dried oregano is a familiar herb to anyone who's eaten pizza; it's good in meatballs too, and bean soup. We dry a lot of oregano for winter use, and in the spring, we have to shift gears to remember how to use it fresh--it's almost a different herb. The main idea is to use a lot of it, and to use it raw or barely cooked. It has a bright, intense flavor when raw, but loses a lot of it in cooking. Try a pasta salad with blanched asparagus, vinaigrette, garlic chives, and chopped raw oregano. Or add a handful of minced leaves to any dish that's just coming off the heat--this is great to do with sweet potato home-fries, and I bet it would be just as good with fried or roasted potatoes. You can also put the leaves in a blender with your vinaigrette ingredients, for an aromatic herb salad dressing.

Thursday
May312012

Peas

We grow sugar snap peas, the sweetest of the edible-pod varieties.  The best way to eat these is just to snack on them: break off the stem end first, pulling the string down the side.  If you get tired of that, you might want to add them to a stir fry (they're sweeter than snow peas, and take longer to cook), or steam them lightly and add some butter and chopped mint leaves for a fresh springtime treat.



Thursday
Nov032011

PIRACICABA

Piracicaba (peera-see-CAH-bah) is a hybrid of broccoli and rapini, developed in Brazil.  Our market neighbor Pete, of Lost Pond Farm, introduced us to it, and we owe him one--this is a wonderful vegetable.  It has the flavor of broccoli, but sweeter, and the small "heads," the stems, and the leaves are all tender and delicious.  It's great raw, or steamed just until the stems are tender.  You can substitute it for broccoli in quiche or add it to a stir-fry.  And, unlike broccoli, it thrives all summer long.

Harmony Dip for Piracicaba:  (raved over by Harmony School's 3rd and 4th graders) These quantities are approximate--taste and adjust to your satisfaction:  Mix together about 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 1-2 tablespoons of honey, and salt and pepper to taste.  You can also add minced chives, and/or crushed garlic.  Add a little water if it's too thick (and a little more mayo if that makes it too thin).  Serve with raw piracicaba, lettuce leaves, or other veggies.



Thursday
May032012

Radicchio

Radicchio is a chicory, related to dandelions and those blue chicory flowers you see along road edges.  Its leaves mix red, green, and white, and form loose, crisp heads.  Some folks are thrilled at radicchio's bitter flavor, and don't need any encouragement to load up their sandwiches and salads with this gorgeous green.  For the rest of the greens-eating public, it's wise to mix radicchio with lettuce and other mild greens in salad; its bitterness sets off other flavors well, and its color is stunning alongside pale green lettuce and dark green kale.

Tuesday
Jan152013

Rutabagas

Rutabagas are similar to turnips...and not.  I, for one, can't stand turnips but LOVE rutabagas.  They are sweeter than turnips, without that mustardy bite, and have beautiful golden flesh.  Rutabagas store for a long time in a loosely-closed plastic bag in the fridge.  The ones at the store are waxed, so must be peeled; our home-grown ones don't need peeling.

We cook rutabagas the same ways we cook potatoes: diced for home-fries; cut in chunks and oven-roasted with a light coating of olive oil; boiled and mashed with butter.  If (like me) you don't care for the turnip-mustard taste, make sure to cook them to complete tenderness--they are sweetest that way.  We remember fondly a Scandinavian rutabaga souffle-casserole for which I've lost the recipe--it was delicious, and included a hint of nutmeg.  Rutabagas are also nice grated in stir-fry, or sliced thinly and eaten raw.  In The Victory Garden Cookbook, Marian Morash offers a recipe for honey-glazed rutabaga disks that is wonderful: slice them between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick, brush with melted butter, bake at 350 for 15 minutes, then turn them over and brush with more butter and honey, bake another 15 minutes, and do the same once more--they should be completely tender. 

And this winter we are eating quarts and quarts of delicious rutabaga "kraut-chi," to borrow Sandor Katz's term for vegetable ferments that aren't exactly sauerkraut or kimchi.  "Sauerreuben" is in fact a traditional variation of sauerkraut, made with turnips or rutabagas, but ours is not authentic.  We grate the rutabagas, then mix them with enough plain salt to make them taste salty, and knead with our hands until there is lots of liquid released.  Then we pack it tightly into a jar, pressing down so the shreds are covered with liquid, cover it against bugs, and let it sit on the counter for 3 to 7 days, until it's salty-sour.  This is really easy, healthful, and GOOD--if you want more information, check out Katz's The Art of Fermentation at the MCPL.

Thursday
Oct272011

Shiitake Mushrooms

The basics:  Shiitakes can be used any way you would use the more familiar button mushrooms, except that you remove the stems from shiitakes (they are great in soup stock), and shiitakes take a little longer to cook.  Experiment! 

Our three favorite ways to cook shiitakes:

You will notice a theme here: oil.  Mushrooms in general seem to prefer cooking in oil--water makes them, well, watery. 

1. Saute.  First saute garlic or onions in olive oil or butter.  Then add your stemmed and sliced shiitakes.  Cook them until they are soft, or keep going until they get a bit browned.  Add salt and pepper.  These mushrooms are great as a side dish for anything from pesto to beef.  They are also delicious in scrambled eggs, as a pasta or pizza topping, or just by themselves.  We like them in potato soup, too.

2. Sandwich.  Remove the shiitake stems, and cook the whole caps, laid flat, in a skillet with some olive oil.  This takes a while; press them down with a spatula now and then, and cook on both sides until they are lightly browned and tender.  Assemble a sandwich with whatever else you want: tomatoes, cheese, mayo, relish, arugula...

3.  Shiitake burgers.  We make this one differently every time, but here's the basic method:  Put maybe a cup and a half of shiitake caps (raw) into the food processor and chop them fine.  Add an egg or two (depending on the eggs' size), salt and pepper, chopped garlic, herbs, and several handfuls of breadcrumbs.  Run the food processor just enough to get this all well mixed.  Make burgers with your hands and fry them (the burgers, not your hands) in oil in a cast iron or nonstick skillet.  We like these served on their own, without bread--horseradish and mayonnaise is a nice topping.

Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe has a yummy recipe for savory mushroom bread pudding.  And don't forget about Thanksgiving stuffing!

Wednesday
Jun192013

Sugar snap peas

Sugar snap peas, which we only have in the spring, are an edible-pod pea with a sweet, sweet flavor.  Break off the stem end and peel the string away, then just eat the whole thing.  If you get tired of that, they are also delicious cooked: stir-fry or steam them whole, just until some of the pods start to open along the seams, or even less than that.  We steam them with garlic scapes, toss it all with butter, and serve up a big bowlful.  They're sort of like snow peas, yes, but much sweeter.
Thursday
Nov032011

SWEET POTATOES

Sweet potatoes are in the morning glory family, and are amazing vegetables.  Nutritionally they are way up there in the vegetable world--but I am not going to give you all that data; it's boring, and anyway, which would you rather eat--a multivitamin, or a piece of pie?  Right.  Sweet potatoes are so good you can class them with pie, even if you aren't making sweet potato pie--but they are really, really good for you.

 Our favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes:

 1.  Home-fries.  Most of our sweet potatoes get cooked this way.  Dice them, put them in some oil in a cast-iron skillet (OK to pile them up), and cook as you would potatoes.  You can put a lid on for a while to speed up the cooking.  Stir often; they cook faster and burn more easily than potatoes.  Add some more oil partway through for better browning.  These are delicious AND beautiful served next to a heap of fresh-cooked kale--a favorite lunch here on the farm.

 2.  Sweet potato pie.  My recipe:   2 1/2 c cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (no peels); 3 eggs; 1/2 c honey; 1 coconut milk; 1 t vanilla; 1/2 t salt.  Mix very well; pour into unbaked crust; bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then 350 for 55 minutes, or until the top is cracking and the edges of the filling are getting a little browned.  If you use a blender to mix it, you don't have to mash the sweet potatoes first.  This pie is perfectly fine to eat for breakfast.  Or supper, for that matter.

 3.  Baked.  Poke some holes in them and bake them for about an hour at about 350 degrees--you might want to put them on a baking sheet, because sometimes they drip.  Serve with butter.

 4.  In split pea soup, with regular potatoes too.  Yum.