Chervil Pesto

This autumn we have been excited to learn about different ways to use this fresh, tasty herb, and Erin discovered this delicious pesto.  

1/2 lb. chervil (mostly leaves, a bit of stem works fine)

about 2 1/2 cups sunflower oil

3/4 cup walnuts or hazelnuts

Juice from one lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)

Garlic and Salt to taste

Combine these ingredients and blend.  Add the sunflower oil 1/4 cup at a time and stop adding oil when the pesto is the consistency you like. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.  Toss the pesto with pasta and serve along with baked winter squash, roasted radicchio, stuffed sweet peppers, and other autumn favorites.  Yum.

Farmer's Pie

The traditional Shepherd's Pie is made with marinated lamb (or mutton), and potatoes.  Just the kinds of foods a herder tending sheep on a remote hilltop and camping in a wagon would have at hand. A loyal Persephone customer took umbrage at the fact that I called my version Shepherd's Pie, as mine did no use either lamb or mutton.  Hence the new name, Farmer's Pie. Whether or not I use meat (any kind works well), I always feature seasonal and/or storage vegetables as well.  This recipe fills a 9" x 13" baking dish and makes enough for four farmer appetites.  If you haven't got four farmers handy, you might have some leftovers, which also freeze well.

The protein:  In this case I used 1/2 pound of flank steak.

1 Tablespoon each of tamari, balsamic vinegar, and red wine

I sliced the steak thinly and cut the slices into bite-sized pieces, then marinated the pieces in the liquids for a couple of hours.  It takes only a short sautee on each side to brown these little pieces.  Set aside.

The vegetable:  4 cups chopped shallots and/or onions

Sunflower oil

2 cups chopped carrots

4 cups coarsely chopped savoy cabbage

1 cup corn (I  froze this last summer when corn was in season, so I can defrost some whenever I want to cook with it.)

salt and pepper to taste.

Fry the onion and/or shallot in sunflower oil in a heavy skillet until it is soft and lightly brown.  Set aside.  Sautee the carrots (separately from) the cabbage until they are soft and mostly-cooked but retain some firmness.  Mix all cooked vegetables and meat.  If you're not using meat, use more vegetables.  The brilliant part of this dish is that you can use whatever you have around ... just keep the overall volume the same, feature your favorites, and everything will be fine.

The potato:  8 cups chopped potatoes

salt and pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons minced parsley

Boil potatoes until tender, drain and mash with a whole lotta' butter (or your favorite fat or oil for mashing).  Mix with salt, pepper, and parsley.

Oil the 9 x 13 pan (pyrex or corningware works well).  Fill the bottom half with the protein and vegetable mix.  Fill the top half with mashed potatoes.

If you love cheese:  Cover the potatoes with thinly-sliced cheddar.  If you don't love cheese the contents of the pie are certainly flavorful enough to stand alone.

Bake the pie in a preheated 425 oven for 20 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the potato/cheese top is as toasty as you like it.




Celtuce Salad

One Stalk Celtuce

One Head Chioggia Radicchio

Three Beets, halved and cut into 1/4 inch slices(if the beet is especially large in diameter, quarter it before slicing)

Sunflower Oil


1/3 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts of other nuts, or sunflower seeds

1/3 cup raisins

Dash Balsamic Vinegar


Coat beet slices in oil and sprinkle with salt.  Roast in an oven preheated to 425 degrees, stirring occasionally, until cooked tender but slightly crisped on the edges, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel and slice the celtuce and shred the radicchio.

Mix all ingredients except vinegar.  Add salt, then vinegar, to taste.  

In this recipe there are many distinct flavors to complement the strong chicory flavor of the radicchio.  It is also a very pretty salad for your autumn dinner table.  Serves 4.

Kale Pesto

2 (packed) cups kale and parsley leaves, no stems, torn

1/4 cup nuts (I like roasted hazelnuts)

1/2 cup oil (I use sunflower, many people prefer olive)

1 clove garlic

lemon juice and salt to taste

Pulse kale, parsley, nuts, and garlic until finely chopped.  Pour oil in while processing until the mixture is smooth.  Add salt and lemon juice to taste if desired. 

Serve over pasta or veggies for two!

Spicy Sauteed Kale

1 lb. chopped kale

2 Tablespoons sunflower oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped fine (or more, to taste)

small pinch dried chili flakes (or to taste)

Steam the kale for about 2 minutes.  Heat a large heavy skillet with the oil, and add the garlic and chili pepper.  Add the steamed greens and cook for a couple of minutes.  Serve with pasta, rice, potatoes, or alone.  You can play with lots of variations here, adding a touch of honey, tamari, and/or balsamic vinegar in the greens' last minute of cooking.  Or substitute sesame oil for the sunflower.


Green, Green Soup

2 lbs. sorrel, spinach, chard, or a combination, chopped (remove the large stems if using chard, and reserve for a soup stock at a later time)

3 Tablespoons butter

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of ground nutmeg

5 cups stock (vegetable, chicken, turkey, or beef)

2 Tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

2 eggs

Melt the butter in a large deep saucepan.  Add the greens, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Cook until the greens wilt a little and add (already hot) stock and bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium so that the soup is bubbling but not boiling furiously.  Beat the eggs with the tamari/soy sauce.  Pour the egg mixture in to the pot of bubbling soup in a steady, slow stream, stirring the soup constantly.  

Serves three.

Sorrel and Potato Soup

adapted from The Greens Cookbook, by Deborah Madison

5 Tablespoons butter

7 cups vegetable stock or water

1 - 2 leeks, sliced thin (about 1/2 lb.  I like to use the green parts as well as the white)

1 - 2 bundles sorrel (remove stems and reserve for use in soup stock.  You are looking for about 8 cups of roughly chopped leaves.)

1/2 teaspoon salt or more, to taste

1 1/2 lbs. potatoes chopped in medium-sized pieces (1/2 inch)

freshly-ground pepper

1 Tablespoon chives, sliced thin, for garnish

Melt butter in a soup pot with 1/2 cup of the water.  Add the leeks, sorrel, and salt, and stew, covered, for 5 minutes over medium to low heat.  Add the potatoes and cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the rest of the water and gradually bring it to a boil.  Quickly lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.  You can mash the potatoes roughly for a smoother soup if you like.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed, and garnish with the chives.

Serves four.


Rapini Quiche with Three-Root Crust

For the crust:

1/2 cup each grated carrot, rutabaga, and parsnip

3 Tablespoons rice flour

3 Tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper

Combine the grated roots, flour, and salt and pepper.  Melt the butter and combine with the roots, etc.  Pat a thin layer of this mixture into the bottom and sides of a greased, 9 inch pie plate (pyrex is ideal).  Bake in a preheated 375 oven for about 15 - 20 minutes or until very light brown.  If you are a cheese fan, grate 1/3 lb. swiss or cheddar and sprinkle evenly on the hot crust.

For the filling:

1 Tablespoon sunflower oil

1/2 lbs. leeks, onions, or shallots, chopped small

1/4 teaspoon each dried tarragon and thyme

1/3 lbs. chopped rapini (about one bundle)


4 eggs, beaten well

Optional:  paprika

Heat oil in a heavy skillet and sautee leeks, onions, or shallots until softened.  Add herbs and salt and sautee a moment more.  Add chopped rapini (or you can substitute kale, collards, braising mix, or sprouting broccoli!) and cook briefly to soften and reduce a bit.  Spread the vegetable mixture on top of the cheese on the crust.  If you love milk, add 1 cup milk to the 4 beaten eggs.  If not, add 1/2 cup water to the beaten eggs.  If you are making a cheeseless quiche, add a bit of salt to your filling (1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon?).  Sprinkle paprika over the top of the quiche if desired.  Bake at 375 for 35 - 45 minutes or until egg is set and cooked.  Cool briefly before serving.

Hearty Winter Pot Pie and Mashed Potatoes

You don't have to wait until winter to make pot pie, but winter roots make a very fine base for this tasty dish.

Crust for the Pot Pie
Please use your favorite piecrust recipe (I like one from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone).  Make enough for one 9" pie shell at least an hour ahead of time so the dough can chill, and it will roll out better.  For years I thought I had to make both a top and and bottom crust for pot pie, but Nina Planck freed me forever when I read her recipe for apple Tarte Tatin in her wonderful The Farmers' Market Cookbook.  Now I just make one crust to top the pot pie, tucking the edges down around the filling.
I no longer eat wheat but I still have plenty to enjoy in this recipe.  I've got mountains of mashed potatoes, or if I like I cancook up a bowl of rice to accompany the filling.  Or if gluten free pastry is your thing, go ahead and give it a whirl.

The Filling
Cut up enough vegetables into bite-sized pieces to make 8 cups.  In winter I like to use carrots, parsnips, celeriac, and rutabaga.  Other options for fall include fennel, winter squash, and brussels sprouts, or for summer you can also try fennel, peas, beans, and corn.  (At this time of year I sometimes use corn, peas, and beans which we froze last summer.)
Toss the cut vegetables with sunflower oil and salt and roast at 425 for about 20 minutes or until as tender as you like them.  One way to get nice roasted vegetables is to use large roasting pans and fill them with just a shallow layer of vegetables.  Also, stir the vegetables only as often as you need to keep them from burning.
Add 2 cups of your favorite protein, cooked and cut in bite-sized pieces (chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, tofu, egg ...) or if you prefer, just use more vegetables.

Mushroom and Onion Gravy
1 lb. mushrooms (crimini are nice), sliced
oil or butter
two large onions
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme
6 Tablespoons rice flour
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 1/4 cup red wine (a burgundy is good)
2 Tablespoons tamari
3 cups water

Sautee the mushrooms in oil or butter.  Spreading them out among several pans helps them sautee well rather than steam.  
Peel and halve the two large onions and slice between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick.  Set mushrooms aside and sautee onions, salting lightly.  Once they are cooked, combine the onions and mushrooms in a cast-iron or heavy saucepan and add the pepper, sage, and thyme.  Stir and sautee a moment more, then stir in the flour, then the nutritional yeast.  Next, stir in the wine, followed by the tamari, then the water.  Raise the heat and cover if necessary to bring the gravy to a boil.  Lower to a simmer and remove the cover, cooking and stirring until the gravy is as thick as you like it.  Taste for seasoning and adjust salt, pepper, etc. of necessary.

To assemble the pot pie, fill a 10 inch cast-iron skillet with the vegetable and protein filling, douse it with a generous helping of gravy (you will have extra gravy left over for your mashed potatoes), then cover it with your crust.  You can brush beaten egg on top of the crust if you like for a nice crisp, brown top.  Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes or until the crust is a nice golden brown.  This pie should feed 3 or 4 people depending on what side dishes you serve.  It makes great leftovers too.

Mashed Potatoes and Shallot Butter
One potato per person you are serving (I use large ones for our farm appetites; you can choose smaller potatoes depending on your crowd's needs.)
As much butter as you dare (I fall close to the Anthony Bourdain end of the butter use spectrum ... but I usually do not show my guests how much butter I am using.  You might like to start with a Tablespoon of butter per large potato and adjust up or down according to your preference.)
Two shallots, peeled and sliced thinly

Cut the potatoes into roughly 3/4 inch chunks and bring to a boil with enough water to cover in a large pot.  Lower the heat so the water doesn't boil over but keep the potatoes cooking at a good boil.  Once the potatoes test tender, drain the water and replace in the pot.
Meanwhile, melt and heat the butter in a heavy skillet and add the sliced shallots, salting lightly.  Allow to cook until evenly light brown, stirring only often enough to avoid burning.  Add the butter and sauteed shallots to the potatoes and mash.  Add salt and pepper to taste if you like or encourage your guests to dress their own potatoes with as much salt, pepper, and/or gravy as they like.  Leftover mashed potatoes are never a bad thing either.

Round out this meal with a cooked winter squash or ... of course ...a fresh vegetable slaw!

Okay, so I just got home from a big trip to see family back east, and one of the best things about this is ... the food!  I am really delighting in the tastes of the farm.  Here are some simple recipes for a cold winter.

Welcome Home Breakfast
(If you are not yet accustomed to eating vegetables for breakfast, give it a try and see how much fun it can be to start your day with a juicy, crunchy, bite of energy.)
Two eggs:  get a small cast-iron or stainless steel skillet nice and hot and add some sunflower oil, butter, lard, or the cooking fat of your choice.  Cook the eggs to your satisfaction: over easy, scrambled, over hard with the yolks broken, or you could always poach or soft-boil the eggs if you prefer.

Red cabbage and carrots:  Thinly slice/shred enough red cabbage to make about 1/3 cup, and about the same amount of carrot.  Drizzle with enough sunflower oil to barely coat, and toss with salt to taste and just a dash of rice vinegar.

Feeds one.  Multiply as necessary for additional breakfasters or if you have a particularly hearty appetite.

Welcome Home Dinner
A splendid grouping of some of the vegetables closest at hand at this time of year

Lovely Onion Soup
adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook

6 Tablespoons butter
5 cups thinly-sliced onions
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon thyme
4 cloves chopped garlic
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup white wine
1 quart chicken, turkey, or vegetable stock
salt to taste (usually somewhere between one and two teaspoons)

Heat the butter, 3 Tablespoons in each of two heavy skillets.  Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften and begin to brown slightly.  Using two skillets allows the onions to sautee more than steam.  Add mustard and thyme and cook a couple minutes more, then add garlic and cook for a few more minutes.  Add honey and wine and cook for a few minutes.  Then combine the onion mixture(s) with the stock in one large kettle.  Bring it to a simmer, then allow to stay warm without boiling for about 20 minutes.  Add salt to taste.  Serves three.  
If you want to get fancy, cut three slices of bread (Bread Board Rye is a great one for this.  If you need gf bread try New Cascadia's Levain.).  Generously butter these with mustard butter (see Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Butter recipe from December 18, 2015, on the Seasonal Recipes page of our and top with a slice of swiss or gruyere cheese.  Pop into the broiler to melt and brown the cheese (watch carefully; it doesn't take long!).  Place a slice of the completed bread/butter/cheese melt in the bottom of each diner's bowl before ladling the onion soup on top.  Yum.

Roasted Squash Slices

I had always just halved and baked squash on a cookie sheet, but my world was forever rocked when I learned from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (I repeat, if you do not already have this book please purchase one right away.) about slicing squash and roasting it.  The neck of a butternut squash is easy for this because it is a dense mass without seeds.  But you can halve any kind of squash, scoop out the seeds, and proceed to make slices between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick.  Don't worry about the skin.  If you really want to peel the squash before slicing go ahead, but I promise you it will be fine to leave it on.
Grease a cookie sheet with sunflower oil and arrange the slices in a single layer, and sprinkle generously with salt and freshly-ground pepper.  Putting the squash in a single layer takes more space than if the squash were just piled, but it's worth it for the crispy, seasoned edges you get this way.  One 9 x 13 cooking sheet of slices yields enough for 2 or 3 people, depending on appetite, but these are great leftover too.  Cook the trays of sliced squash in an oven preheated to 425 degrees.  After about 15 minutes on the first side, flip the slices with a spatula.  Cook the second side about 12 minutes more, until browned but not too dark.  Cooking time will vary slightly according to the water and sugar contents of your squash so stay nearby and check that second side to make sure it doesn't burn.

Spiced Potato Croquettes
I adapted this recipe from The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi, an encyclopedic volume of many fine recipes given to me in 1988 by my parents (thanks Mom and Dad!)  It is a great way to use leftover mashed potatoes.

3 large potatoes (about 1 3/4 lbs.)
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3 Tablespoons chickpea of wheat flour
1 teaspoon minced fresh chili pepper (I use peppers I put in the freezer last summer, but if you don't have either of these, use dried chili flakes but significantly less ... 1/4 teaspoon at most ... unless you like things quite hot.)
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Chop and boil the potatoes until cooked but not mushy.  Mash them thoroughly (The original recipe says to peel the potatoes and put them through a ricer, but I like the flavor and nutrition in the skins.).  Add all the seasonings and the flour to the potatoes and mix.  Add the lemon juice last and mix to create a soft dough-like consistency which holds together ... not too wet.
Meanwhile, heat a heavy skillet and add plenty of oil or ghee*.  Make 8 - 10 potato patties with your hands and fry in batches of a single layer at a time in the skillet, turning each patty once with a spatula to get both sides nicely browned.  Any leftovers (also known as Welcome Home Lunch!) taste great. 
*If you are feeling ambitious and want to make your own ghee at home (much cheaper than purchasing!), put a stick of unsalted butter in a stainless steel pot and cook over the lowest heat possible (I mean, really, very low, if you don't want burning) until all the solids have fallen to the bottom of the pan and a foamy layer has risen to the top.  skim off the foam, pour the clarified butter into another container (without letting any of the solids from the bottom of the pan come along for the ride), and store in the refrigerator and use as needed.

Beet and Cabbage Slaw

1/2 lb. each of beets and cabbage (it really doesn't matter what color cabbage or beet, though if you want you can mix it up with red cabbage and gold beet or red beets and green cabbage, etc.  Savoy cabbage works great too.)  Thinly slice or shred the cabbage and shred the beets.  Combine and mix in a salad bowl.  
Dress with enough sunflower oil to lightly coat.  Salt to taste.  Stir in about a Tablespoon of brown rice vinegar.  
Lightly toast 1/4 cup sunflower seeds with just a pinch of cayenne pepper in a heavy cast-iron skillet.  Serve the slaw garnished with seeds or serve the seeds on the side if you prefer.


There's no taste like home.

Simple Sungold Summer Salad

3 pints sungold (or other) cherry tomato, sliced in half

handful fresh basil leaves, or to taste, chopped fine

dash of light oil

salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste

1-2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste

Mix tomatoes and basil with a sprinkling of oil (just enough to coat), add salt and pepper to taste, and add vinegar to taste.  Toss and serve (serves 4 as a side).


Tomatillos for Breakfast (no, really!)

a few Tablespoons of coarsely-chopped red onion

just a bit of finely-chopped jalapeno

3 ripe tomatillos, skinned and chopped in bite-sized pieces

a leaf of your favorite green (collard, kale, chard, radicchio ...), chopped as coarse or fine as you like it

2 eggs

Heat a small cast-iron or heavy stainless steel skillet over medium heat.  Add a bit of light oil (or butter if you prefer) to grease the pan.  Sautee onion until it is softened, then add jalapeno and tomatillo and sautee a few minutes more.  Add the greens and sautee a few moments more to soften (if you like you can lightly salt here).  Crack the contents of the two eggs into the pan and scramble them into the veggies with a fork until the eggs are as cooked as you like them.  Eat and enjoy with toast, wrapped in a lettuce leaf, with potatoes, grits, or your other favorite breakfast foods.  A great way to start the day.

Delectable Fennel with Raisins

2 fennel bulbs, sliced thin

2 Tablespoons butter

1 cup raisins

Heat a cast-iron or heavy stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat.  Melt butter.  Add fennel bulbs and sautee, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until golden.  Add 1/4 cup of water and the raisins, cover and reduce heat to medium, and cook for two minutes.  Remove cover, stir, and add salt to taste.  You can even cook it for longer if you would like it even more caramelized.
Serves 4 as a side dish.


2 Tablespoons sunflower oil

1 1/2 lbs. summer squash, medium diced (choose any kind of squash or a combination!)


2 Tablespoons oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 bulb fennel, halved, cored, each half cut in thirds and thinly-sliced


a generous helping of chopped basil (also consider garnishing the soup with basil leaves)

2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

freshly-ground black pepper, and salt, to taste

1 1/2 cups milk, sour cream, or yogurt

Toss chopped summer squash with oil and salt and roast in a baking pan until the squash is tender and lightly-browned.  Meanwhile, saute the onions and fennel, lightly salted, in an oiled skillet until soft and fragrant.  Combine all vegetables in a soup pot with the stock and seasonings.  Cook enough to heat the liquids, but do not boil.  Add the milk, cream, or yogurt.  If you can't eat dairy but would like to thicken this soup, try boiling and mashing some potatoes with butter, and stirring the mashed potatoes into the soup until the texture is as you like it.  For a smoother soup, puree in a blender or pass through a food mill.  Makes about 8 cups.

Serve with roast beets, and a nice green salad or pasta salad.



The lovely Madeline who worked here in 2013 and '14 (Salem customers will remember her at market) was a kitchen wizard.  Madeline always used the finest seasonal ingredients to the best effect.  I have adapted her recipe for broccoli slaw, which she adapted from the fine food blog listed below (the author of the blog says even her recipe is an adaptation, so this is clearly a flexible recipe which can change depending on what you have at hand.).

This is our version.

For the slaw:
1 1/2 lb. broccoli, cut into small (1/3 inch?) chunks
3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds

1/2 cup dried fruit such as raisins, currants, or cranberries

2 red spring onions, sliced fine (yes you can use the greens too!)

Mix all ingredients.

For the dressing:

1/2 cup plain cultured yogurt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

1 Tablespoon honey

Toss with the vegetables, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves four as a side dish, with a little leftover perhaps.

You really can have fun playing with this basic format.  Thinly-sliced fennel is really nice in this slaw too, as is celtuce shopped small, pickled onions or shallot in place of fresh, cilantro, dill, basil, or parsley ... go to it!


1/3 cup light oil such as sunflower

1 medium onion, minced, about 1/2 cup

pinch salt

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1 Tablespoon finely chopped dill leaf

1 cup sour cream

Pour oil into an 8" skillet at medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add onion, salt, and sugar.  Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the onion browns, about 10 minutes.  Pour the onion and oil into a fine strainer and reserve the oil in the refrigerator for another use.  Stir the onion and dill into the sour cream.  If time allows, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.  Serve with dipping vegetables and chips.



1 Lb. potatoes, quartered and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1/2 lb. onions, medium diced

12 cloves whole, peeled red garlic

1 lb.  broccoli, cut in smallish chunks


1 teaspoon minced jalapeno pepper (we have these in our freezer from last season)

6 eggs, beaten well

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 bundle dill leaf, finely chopped

Line a 9 x 13’ baking pan (pyrex or corningware work better than metal) with a 3 Tablespoons of cooking oil.  Add sliced potatoes, chopped onions, and peeled garlic and toss with the oil.  Add a generous sprinkling of salt to the top and put in a preheated 425 oven.  After about 10 minutes, add the chopped broccoli and stir so that everything browns evenly.  In another 10 minutes, add chopped jalapeno to the vegetables and stir.  When the vegetables are tender, remove the pan from the oven.  Mix the beaten eggs with salt and dill and pour this mixture over the top of the roasted vegetables.  Sprinkle the top with some smoked paprika if you are feeling especially festive.  Return the pan to the 425 oven for 20minutes or until the eggs are set and the top is very lightly browned.  I promise that the garlic cloves sweeten and mellow tremendously with roasting and are not at all spicy (especially our Persephone red garlic), but if you’re not a big fan of garlic this recipe can certainly pass muster with less, or without garlic at all.  Or try garlic whistles for a milder flavor.


I was recently served a burger wrapped in a steamed collard leaf (thickest part of the stem removed), which was pure joy.  It doesn't matter what kind of burger, so don't even worry about it.  Lentil, quinoa, sunflower, bison, turkey, pork, beef, chicken, fish, black bean, ... you name it ... it's terrific with collards.  And now that you're thinking about a burger wrapped in collard greens, just think how many other kinds of wraps you could try.  One friend uses collards in her favorite stuffed cabbage leaves recipe ... they are equally good in a stuffed grape leaf recipe.  Send us your favorite recipe with collards.  If we love it we'll pass it along to for everyone to enjoy, and we'll give you a special treat with our thanks.  In the meantime, here is a tried-and-true farm recipe which many of you have seen on one of our market handouts.

Southern Style Collards

2 bundles collards, chopped coarsely (thickest parts of stems removed and reserved for your next stir fry or soup stock)
2 Tablespoons butter
one small red onion, diced
4 (or more, to taste) cloves garlic, sliced
red pepper flakes, and salt, to taste

Cook the collards in salted boiling water for 10 minutes.  Drain, and reserve the cooking water separately.
Heat the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until just browned.  Add diced onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes, to taste.  (Variation:  dice a couple of strips of bacon and fry just before adding the onion.) 
Cook until the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally.  Add the greens and about 1/4 cup of their cooking water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook for about half-an-hour and adjust salt to taste.
Please note: if you prefer your collard greens not-quite-so-cooked, you can skip the boiling and just sautee, adding a bit of water, until the greens are as done as you like them.
Serve with blackeyed peas and cornbread.

Mid-Winter Recipes

So I'm always talking about how our stewing hens make a great soup, but I haven't yet shared many chicken soup recipes with you.  Now is a great time, while various illnesses are running rampant through schools, homes, and workplaces, to eat soup.  And I'm always mentioning soup stock, but if you've never made it and are wondering what the deal is I'll tell you about it.

Chicken Soup for mid-Winter Health

For the Stock:

One stewing hen
One large celeriac root, hairy part of the roots trimmed off and the remainder cut in 2 inch chunks
2 medium onions, quartered, skin, roots, and all
2 large carrots, cut in 2"chunks
1/2 bundle parsley, no need to chop
1 teaspoon salt

In a large soup pot, place the hen and vegetables and salt and enough water to cover everything.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer, covered, for four hours.  Strain through a colander.  Once the meat has cooled enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones and discard bones.
It's that simple!  You now have a rich and flavorful stock to use right now in the soup of your choice, or to freeze for later use.  Once you learn how simple it is you can substitute many vegetables and herbs using this very basic recipe.  If you prefer not to use chicken, a stock made from vegetables alone is still a very tasty option (you can add a dab of butter or oil to it for some extra richness if desired.), and it only needs to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

For the soup:

1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons sunflower oil

2 or three leeks, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1 cup celeriac, diced (after peeling)
1 teaspoon each dried thyme and tarragon
4 cups chopped or sliced carrots
2/3 cup sliced gobo or burdock root (hopefully you stocked up on gobo from Wintergreen Farm last fall and have some in your 'fridge!)
3/4 cup white jasmine or basmati rice
10 cups stock/water
meat from the cooked stewing hen
1/2 bundle cutting celery, minced
3 cups chopped kale (stems also)
1 Tablespoon vinegar
Salt to taste

In a heavy soup pot, sautee the leeks in butter and oil (salt lightly), stirring occasionally, for several minutes, until the leeks are soft and translucent.  Add the celeriac and stir, cooking for several minutes.  Add herbs and stir again.  Stir in carrots and cook for several more minutes, then add gobo and do the same.  Stir in rice to coat with oil and seasonings and cook for a few minutes more.  Add cooked chicken, plus the stock (if you do not have enough stock for 10 cups, substitute enough water to complete).  Simmer (I've learned that soups taste better when they are not allowed to boil for long.) until the vegetables seem nicely tender and the rice is cooked (10-15 minutes).  Add the cutting celery and simmer for a few minutes.  Add the kale and cook a couple minutes more.  Add vinegar and salt to taste just before serving.

This recipe feeds five and yields a generous amount left-over to freeze for winter emergencies when you're feeling under the weather and need some good soup, quick. 
Of course, you can make a smaller recipe and freeze the leftover stock and chicken for another use.
This soup goes well with baked winter squash and a slaw of savoy cabbage, grated beet, and grated carrot.
If you've been reading these recipes for a while now and don't yet know how to make slaw, you'll just have to call and invite yourself over to dinner.  We'll fix you up right away.
Enjoy in good health.

Here are some great winter recipes ... though winter is fading as weather warms, seeds sprout, buds break, and chicks peep, we are still enjoying sweet roots from storage as well as tender, vibrant new growth from the plants which have bravely overwintered in the fields.

These three recipes come to us from our friend Ann, who lived and worked with us in 1996 ... gosh, that's twenty years ago now!
Ann quickly embraced cooking with farm ingredients and home food systems when she came here, and for years afterward she has sent us recipes she enjoyed as well as tales of other culinary adventures, like perfecting her method for making butter at home from fresh cream, or making gnocchi from scratch.

Hot Borscht

2 medium onions, diced
2 Tablespoons sunflower oil
2 cups shredded carrot
2 cups shredded beets
2 cups shredded potatoes
4 cups thinly-shredded cabbage
6 cups water
2 cups tomato puree or pulp(when tomato season hits like a hurricane next fall, remember to stock up and can or freeze plenty to go into winter sauces and soups!)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Sautee diced onions in a heavy soup pot containing heated oil until the onions are translucent.  Add each of the other shredded vegetables in turn, stirring and cooking each for a few minutes.  Meanwhile, bring the water and tomatoes to a boil.  Add liquid and salt to the veggies and simmer about 30 minutes, until the veggies are tender.  When the cooking is completed, add the lemon juice.  Traditionally served with a dollop of sour cream, or you can try yogurt or creme fraiche.

Serves 4 and goes well with baked winter squash, a mixed salad, or sauteed kale or rapini.

Potage Bonne Femme

2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon oil
1 1/2 cups sliced leeks
2 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 teaspoon tarragon
3 cups potatoes, diced
6 cups water or stock
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon honey
ground pepper, to taste
chopped parsley of cutting celery

Heat oil and butter in a 5 quart soup pot.  When melted, add leeks and carrot, stir to coat, and cook over gentle heat until hot and impregnated with fat.  Add tarragon and stir while cooking the leek and carrot.  You can scrub and dice the potatoes while the other veggies are cooking.  Add potatoes to the pot along with the water, salt, and honey.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes. 
Puree soup in a blender or push through a food mill or coarse sieve depending on your preferred texture.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parsley or cutting celery.
Serves 4 and is great accompanied by a quiche or frittata, roast beets, and salad.

Potatoes au Gratin

This recipe is from Ann's Mom.

3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
2 Cups milk
5 medium to large potatoes, sliced thin
1 onion, sliced thin
3 Cups grated cheese (sharp or medium cheddar works well)

Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Stir in the flour, then slowly and gradually add the milk, stirring and cooking until a thin sauce results. 
Spoon some sauce into the bottom of a heavy baking dish (pyrex or cast iron works well).  Add a layer of sliced potatoes and most of the onions, and top with 2 1/2 cups grated cheese.  Layer in the remaining potatoes and onions.  Pour the remaining sauce over the top, and then the remaining cheese.  Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350.  Remove the cover and cook for 20 more minutes to brown the top.
Serves 4 and goes well with the borscht above and some nice greens ... braised or a salad.

Pumpkin Pudding

3 cups baked pumpkin (a 3 1/2 pound pumpkin should yield what you need.), or try a combination of pumpkin with delicata and or buttercup or kabocha
3/4 cup honey
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon powdered cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten
2 eggs whites, beaten until stiff peaks form

Combine all ingredients but egg whites until smooth.  You can use an egg beater for a smoother mix if desired, or leave some chunks in if you like it that way.  Fold in beaten egg whites, then pour the completed mixture into a buttered 9 inch pyrex pan, and bake at 375 for about 35-40 minutes, or until center is set and a tester comes out clean.  Serve hot or cold.

Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Butter
adapted from one of Deborah Madison's recipes in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone ... please buy this book!

about 2 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts (from two stalks should be sufficient)
sunflower oil
4 Tablespoons butter, room temperature/softened
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
one small shallot (about two Tablespoons, minced
2 Tablespoons stoneground or dijon mustard
salt and freshly-ground pepper

Trim the base of the brussels sprouts and slice larger sprouts in half.  Toss with sunflower and salt and roast at 425, stirring once or twice, for about 25 minutes, or until tender and lightly-browned.
While sprouts are roasting, mash the warm butter and add the garlic, shallot, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir this mixture into the brussels sprouts once roasted.  Good served hot or cold.  An appetizer or side for 2-4 people (depending on how much they love brussels sprouts!).


As we all prepare for the farmer's favorite holiday harvest celebration, we can become so focused on the grand feast that we may run out of ideas for everyday meals.  Here at Persephone we are still enjoying a rich and varied diet with all of the seasonal best.  Here are some recipes we have enjoyed in the last few weeks which you might like to try.

Asian Salad in Savoy Cabbage Bowls

I got the idea for this dish while staring at a small head of savoy cabbage.  The leaves are so beautifully curved, I thought it might make a very functional bowl in addition to being beautiful and delicious.  The "bowl" can also serve as a utensil:  lift it, slightly folded, full of salad, for a taco-like experience.

3 gobo roots (also known as Burdock!  If you live and shop in Portland please buy some gobo from the good folks at Wintergreen Farm, who sell at the Hollywood and PSU markets.), cut in fine julienne
4 carrots, cut fine julienne
2 small onions, cut in half and sliced thin
1 large kohlrabi, peeled and sliced, then cut fine julienne
8 ounces "pad thai" style rice noodles
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
4 Tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1 Tablespoon honey
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 bundle cilantro, chopped fine

Heat water to a boil and cook rice noodles to your desired tenderness.  For the sauce, combine crushed garlic, sesame oil, tamari, honey, and vinegar and set aside.  (Adjust seasonings to taste.) Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron wok or skillet over medium heat and add a generous coating of light cooking oil.  Sautee the burdock, stirring occasionally, until lightly-browned.  Push it to the edges of the pan and add carrots to the center.  Sautee for a few minutes, until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally.  Add a couple Tablespoons of sauce and cook a few minutes more.  Follow the same procedure with the onions, making sure they cook until they are quite soft, and the kohlrabi, making sure it retains some of its lovely crispness.  Mix the cooked vegetables with the noodles and add as much sauce as your tastebuds desire (you will likely have some sauce leftover.).  Serve in savoy cabbage leaves (medium-sized ones work best), and garnish with as much cilantro as you like.  Serves 6 as a side.  

Fried Green Tomatoes

The only kind of tomatoes we've got left.  This is a tangy, satisfying appetizer or side dish.
Start with as many medium-sized tomatoes as the mouths you wish to feed.  Cut into wedges (about 1/2 inch thick at their widest part).  Dredge in cornmeal seasoned with salt and ground black pepper, and fry until golden-brown over medium heat in a heavy skillet with a generous splash of sunflower oil.

Celeriac and Apple Slaw

Ever wonder what to do with celeriac (celery root)?  A market customer taught me about this slaw and it was an instant favorite.

1 head celeriac (1 1/2 - 2 lbs.)
1 lb. sweet-tart apples   *Note!  Gold Rush apples from La Mancha Orchard (they sell at the Corvallis and PSU markets) are the absolute best for this recipe!  Liberty apples from La Manchaare a close second.  *
1 Tablespoon sunflower oil
honey (just a bit)
2 - 3 Tablespoons lemon juice

Coarsely grate the celeriac (once you've peeled it) and the apples (unpeeled).  Toss with oil to coat, sprinkle salt to taste and toss, then toss in the honey, then the lemon juice, to taste.  Perfect for a winter treat.  Serves 4 - 6.

Potato Latkes

Traditionally for Hanukkah, but I can never wait that long.  Potatoes and onions fried in lots of oil?  Bring it on! 

6 large potatoes (about 8 cups grated)
2 medium yellow onions (about 2 cups chopped)
1/4 cup rice flour
2 - 3 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
4 eggs, beaten

Mix grated potatoes and chopped onions.  Mix in rice flour, salt, and pepper until evenly-blended.  Then add the beaten eggs.  Heat a heavy skillet (or several, if you would like the cooking to go more quickly), give each skillet a generous helping of sunflower oil, and spoon in the potato mixture , making thin cakes about 3-4 inches in diameter.
The key is knowing when to turn the latkes.  Too soon means you miss out on that lovely browning of the edges.  Not soon enough means, well, burning.  The nose is a good judge of when, or you can lift a cake and peek underneath for clues.  Once the latkes are cooked on both sides, place them on paper bags to drain a bit.  Continue to add oil to the pans whenever they get too dry, and make sure the oil heats up before dropping more mixture on.
Makes 24 latkes.  Serve with sour cream and applesauce.

Potato and Cauliflower Curry

1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 " section ginger root, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 Tablespoons oil
2 Tablespoons butter
3 medium potatoes, cut in 1/2 " chunks
2 lbs. cauliflower, cut in bite-sized pieces
1/2 lb. chopped tomatoes (or 1 cup tomato puree plus 1/2 cup water)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander (or substitute fresh cilantro and add it when you add the parsley)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil and butter in a heavy kettle.  Add the jalapeno, ginger, cumin, and mustard seeds, and cook until the seeds sputter and pop.  Add potatoes and cauliflower and cook 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Add the tomatoes, turmeric, coriander, salt, and half the parsley and stir well.  Cook gently over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are as tender as you like them.  Add the remaining parsley and serve with baked squash, and a salad of endive, arugula, and sliced apple.
Serves 2-3.

Here is a recipe for tomato soup which I made the other night for dinner.  As an accompanying salad, I started with chopped 'righteous radicchio roast' (see recipe posted on July 4 of this year), added roasted beets, chopped hard-boiled egg, and chopped celtuce.  Yum!

Farmhouse Tomato Soup

light cooking oil
3/4 lb, shallots, peeled and sliced thin
one large bulb fennel, cored, quartered, and sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1/2 teaspoon thyme
5 lbs. slicing tomatoes, roughly chopped(Feel like doubling the recipe for company or leftovers?  Save on 10 lbs. slicing tomatoes at $16.00)
1/2 lb. potatoes, boiled and mashed with a dab of butter
3 eggs, beaten well
salt to taste

Warm the oil in a heavy saucepot and sautee shallots at medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent.  Add the fennel, tarragon, and thyme and sautee several minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is quite soft.  Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for twenty minutes or so, until they have simmered to a mostly liquid state.  Add mashed potatoes.  At this point you can blend the soup if you love a smooth texture.  If you like chunky homestyle, you can run a hand-powered egg beater through the soup.  Next, add beaten eggs while stirring constantly (the potatoes and eggs thicken and flavor the soup, and add an interesting egg-drop effect as well.).  Add salt to taste and enjoy.  Serves 3.

This season one of our helpers on the farm, Carlos, is a graduate of culinary institute and has worked in several restaurants.  We've discovered the many advantages to having someone who can cook, and who has cooked professionally, on our team.  He understands deadlines, and how to organize his work time efficiently.  He has good manual dexterity.  He is calm under pressure, and also has a great sense of humour and appreciation for the absurd (a real asset on a working farm).  And have I mentioned he can cook?
So.  Cauliflower and green salsa.  Not a combination I would have imagined, but I found out it is fabulous.  Here's Carlos' recipe so you can try it for yourself.

Cauliflower with Green Salsa

for the salsa:

12-15 each tomatillos, whole, husks removed
4 each red onions, about 3 inches diameter, cut in half
4 each poblano peppers, whole

Roast all vegetables directly over an open flame (the burners on a gas stove work fine) until blackened on the outside (start with the onions; they take longest).  Bring a pot of about 1 1/2 quarts water to boil.  As the vegetables are done, place them in the boiling water and cook until tender.  Drain cooked vegetables and blend until smooth (you can add more of the cooking water for a thinner salsa if desired).  Season with salt to taste.

the cauliflower:

2 medium heads cauliflower
light flavored cooking oil

Cut the cauliflower heads into 8 -10 pieces, with the core intact.  Heat oil in a heavy pan to the point of smoking.  Add cauliflower pieces to oil and sear until golden brown (takes less than 10 minutes).  Place seared cauliflower in a heavy 9 x 13 baking dish (or equivalent size).  Pour salsa over the cauliflower.  Bake at 425 for 30 - 45 minutes or until as tender as you like.

Serves 4 - 6 as a side dish; great with black beans and rice, tortillas, and cucumber salad.
Thanks, Carlos.

Roasted Potato, Corn and Tomatillo Salad

6 cups fresh corn
1 lb. potatoes, cut in 3/4 inch chunks
1 pt sun gold (or other cherry) tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 cup tomatillos, quartered
½ cup light oil
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp. mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Toss potato chunks in oil to coat, salt lightly, and roast in a pan in a preheated 425 oven until tender (30-40 minutes), stirring occasionally.
Strip corn kernels from ears with a knife. Heat a heavy pan over medium flame. Pour a single layer of corn in the pan and roast, stirring frequently, until the corn begins to color and give off a smoky aroma (3-5 min) and set aside. Continue until all the corn is done.  Add potatoes to corn along with cilantro. Whisk together oil vinegar and mustard and pour over veggies. Season with salt an pepper. Add sun golds and tomatillos, toss lightly and serve. Tastes like summer!