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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day at the Farm

Jake & I at Blooming Glen Farm
Yesterday I got to spend some time at Blooming Glen Farm, the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm right here in Blooming Glen (OK, I guess it's technically Perkasie, but close enough).  As they've done in past summers, Tricia Borneman and Tom Murtha invited me to do some demos at the farm while their members picked up their shares.

It's always fun to talk to these folks who are into good, fresh, healthy foods.  And since everything I made featured items that they were picking up, I hopefully gave them some ideas about how to use their shares.

And what great ingredients to use!  Squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes, sweet onions, potatoes, cucumbers, green beans, garlic and loads of incredible herbs.  I tried to find recipes that would highlight the flavors of these fresh foods, not cover them up.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the samples of these simple and delicious dishes.

The garlic from the farm is like nothing you buy at a grocery store.  It's crisp like an apple and has a much less harsh taste.  Just wonderful.  Pair that with the fresh taste of herbs and you can't go wrong.  With that in mind, one of the dishes I made was an Oregano-Lemon Pesto (from Cook's Illustrated magazine).  It couldn't be easier or more tasty.  Here's the recipe:

Makes 3/4 cup pesto, enough for 1 pound of pasta

Use medium-size garlic cloves.  Thoroughly dry the herbs before processing.  This is also delicious in a sandwich, on fish or grilled steak.

A line-up of tasty dishes!
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 3/4 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
7 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 oz crumbled feta cheese
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
  1.  Toast garlic in 10" skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and skins are just beginning to brown, about 5 min.  Add pine nuts and continue to cook until garlic is spotty brown and nuts are golden, 2-3 min.  When cool enough, peel the garlic.
  2. Process garlic, nuts, basil, oregano, oil, feta, zest, juice and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor until smooth, scraping down bowl as necessary, about 1 min.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  (Pesto can be covered with 1 Tbsp oil and refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to a month.)

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