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My Aunt Sarah’s Tomato Pie

Jul 13, 2021 | No Comments

My aunt made this pie when I was a kid, and it was so tasty I asked for the recipe. I’m recording it here, so in case I ever lose her handwritten note, I won’t have lost this perfect summer pie.

It’s easy enough for a kid to help make, and fun with layers of cheese and tomatoes and some decorating with basil at the end. I often make double this recipe for our family of four.

Cheers to my aunt Sarah, for making tomato season even better!

Ingredients:
1 9 inch pie crust (unbaked)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
8 oz mozzarella cheese, grated (or a blend with mozzarella)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp fresh basil, cut in chiffonade (reserve some whole leaves to decorate pie)
3-4 Tomatoes (more colors, more fun)

2 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Optional additions at the mozzarella layer stage:  an ear worth of fresh sweet corn kernels, 1 diced red bell pepper (or a spicy pepper if you want to kick it up), other herbs besides basil, chopped greens for a green layer or mixed in with mozzarella.

1. Make pie crust, if applicable.

2. Preheat oven to 400F.

3. Spread dijon mustard across the bottom of the unbaked pie crust.

4. Sprinkle grated cheese and garlic into pie crust to make an even layer.

5. Add basil and any other little things (like fresh sweet corn kernels cut off the cob, etc from the optionals above).

6. Slice tomatoes about a 1/4 inch thick or so, and layer over the top of the mozzarella, overlapping to make a nice tomato surface.

7. Gently drizzle olive oil around over the tomatoes to get some good coverage.

8. Sprinkle salt and pepper across the surface of the tomatoes.

9. Bake for about 40 minutes until tomatoes are nicely cooked through and the cheese has bubbled, and crust is cooked.

10. Serve either hot or cold, with a few basil leaves as garnish. If serving hot, let cool a few minutes for the cheese and tomato liquids to settle.

 

From Sarah Voiland, 2021.

In Blog

2021 CSA Pick-Your-Own (Updated 7/22)

Jun 9, 2020 | No Comments


As part of your Vegetable CSA membership, you have access to our Pick Your Own patches. The farm is family-friendly, so bring your little ones and check out our land. PYO includes herbs, flowers, berries, peas, tomatoes, tomatillos, hot peppers, and more (changes with the season).

June picking includes delicious strawberries, peas and herbs.

Late July, August, and September are great months to come for pick your own, as by then we’re brimming with crops like cherry tomatoes, basil, tomatillos, hot peppers, green beans, herbs, flowers, and husk cherries.

Pick Your Own is a perk for members that can make it out – we still aim to give all members the value of their share in harvested and delivered vegetables :). But of course, we want you to come out to visit. The whiteboards located in the barn have the most updated PYO limits and info, so please follow those if they differ from what is written online.

  • If you are traveling to the farm for over 1 hour to do the picking (Boston area and Worcester members), then you probably will come for picking only a few times during the season. This means that when you are here you can pick a lot at once, once the limits have gone up.
  • If you are a member from Franklin, Hampshire or Hampden County and you can easily make it to the farm each week, then we ask that you pick weekly but not as much each time. This is why there are different limits posted for each crop depending on where you are coming from.
  • Stand & Market Members ($300 level) can pick a lot at once if desired, but you must pay as you go (by using credit from your card). Prices are posted for each PYO crop on the board. There are sometimes limits on crops for Stand Members.

What to Bring and Where to Go
Come ready for outdoor weather. Also please bring containers to take your pickings home in, and leave the quart and pint containers for reuse if possible. If you have a car, share a ride! Meet some other local food loving people. You can post on our facebook seeking rides.

Updated COVID-19 Guidelines For 2021
All pickers should adhere to the current Massachusetts state guidelines for masking and social distancing. Those who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear masks while outside in the picking fields. Those who are unvaccinated and within six feet to others not within their immediate pod are recommended to continue to wear a mask. Thank you for your cooperation!

GRANBY Pick-Your-Own is now OPEN for the 2021 season!

BEANS

  • Local Regular Share CSA Members: 1 quart
  • Local Small Share CSA Members: 1 pint
  • Boston & Worcester CSA Members: 2 quarts for Regular Shares / 1 quart for Small Shares
  • General Public: $6 per quart / $4 per pint

BLUEBERRIES

  • Local Regular Share CSA Members: 1 pint
  • Local Small Share CSA Members: 1 half-pint
  • Boston & Worcester CSA Members: 2 pints for Regular Shares / 1 pint for Small Shares
  • General Public: $6 per pint/ $4 per half-pint

NOTE: Our blueberries are a new crop from very young bushes, and not much is available for PYO, but we are sharing a little bit this year for the fun of picking off the bushes! For more amounts of berries for preserving, please order in bulk here. Thanks!

HERBS (Oregano, Chives, Thyme, Savory, Mint)

  • Local Regular Share CSA Members: Pick as needed
  • Local Small Share CSA Members: Pick as needed
  • Boston & Worcester CSA Members: Pick as needed
  • General Public: $2 per bunch

BASIL & PARSLEY

  • Local Regular Share CSA Members: Pick as needed
  • Local Small Share CSA Members: Pick as needed
  • Boston & Worcester CSA Members: Pick as needed
  • General Public: $5 per pound

CHERRY TOMATOES (EARLY)

  • Local Regular Share CSA Members: 1 half-pint
  • Local Small Share CSA Members: A handful
  • Boston & Worcester CSA Members: N/A
  • General Public: $5 per half-pint

Pick Your Own details are inside the farm store in the center of the barn at 7 Carver St., including a map of field areas and a list of picking limits, and often containers for harvesting. Any time the farm store is open you can come pick! To find farm store hours you can check our farm store page. The PYO is all self-serve, but please be sure to sign in at the PYO station, wash your hands, and check in with staff.

 

Enjoy the season and the fields!

In Blog

Current COVID-19 Policies on the Farm

Apr 14, 2020 | No Comments

Dear farm members and friends,

Here is where you can find out about our updated COVID-19 policies – we will be updating periodically with any changes!

Our regular practices include following stringent sanitation procedures as a GAP food safety certified farm.  As COVID-19 has unfolded, we have continually updated our procedures to include the best practices recommended by the CDC, and state and local authorities.    

In early March, we began implementing COVID-19 specific policies and procedures.   We continue to update our procedures and provide training to employees as the CDC’s, state and local recommendations change.

Packing crew filling boxes with fresh greens and goods.

Here is a snap-shot of our regular policies as well as our COVID-19 enhancements: 

  • Employees have always been trained and told to stay home when sick.  This is a required part of regular food safety training as part of GAP food safety certification.
  • In early March we began to provide additional training and guidance to employees regarding the symptoms of COVID-19, ways to avoid spreading COVID-19, and when to stay home from work and self-isolate or quarantine if an employee or contact contracts COVID-19.  We prepared a plan to notify individuals that an employee has come in contact with if any employee reports that they or a close contact were exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Hand washing.  We wash our hands a lot; we always have. Our policies and procedures contain detailed requirements for how and when employees wash their hands as part of GAP food safety certification.  We have plenty of soap and water with a designated hand washing sink in the packing department and at the farm offices in Montague and Granby, and in the fields in season.  GAP does not permit using hand sanitizer as a substitute for hand-washing. Our trash receptacles for paper towels are no touch.
  • Food contact and high use surfaces are regularly sanitized with bleach and other GAP recommended cleaning supplies in accordance with GAP food safety standards.   As of March 13th, we required increased sanitizing of frequent touch surfaces.
  • Gloves have always been stocked regularly for sanitary handling in the packing department. 
  • As of March 15th the majority of our office staff began working remotely.   We have made various accommodations for higher risk individuals and staff with children at home.
  • In-person meetings for remaining on-site staff have been held following the CDC’s recommended social distancing guidelines.  All department managers were instructed to set up and maintain work stations 6ft or more apart.  Frequent reminders regarding the social distancing protocols are provided.  Each department team has developed additional practices regarding social distancing and contact reduction that are unique to that department’s specific operation.  Employees continue to receive notice and training regarding policy changes and best practices via posters, email, and in-department training.
  • As of March 19th we shared our policy regarding picking-up and deliveries to our CSA and preorder customers.   Delivery drivers are required to wear masks at drop off, and change gloves between drop offs.  Drivers have been instructed to follow social distancing guidelines during deliveries. 
  • We are participating in farmers’ markets with new guidelines, including picking orders so customers are not handling food items, keeping set distances, and limited customers in market at a time. We use our protocols for sanitizing and handling food flow through our stand at the farmers market.
  • As of March 27th we posted information regarding paid time off under the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  This Act became effective on April 1st.   We provided on-farm trainings for employees regarding the benefits available under this new program. We also continue with our regular paid sick time program that has been in place for years.
  • As of March 30th three-layer cloth masks were issued to all packing and retail employees. 
  • As of early April, field crew who did not already have their own masks or face coverings have received masks. My mum, Ella, has been very busy sewing.   
  • Our HR Manager has been emailing and checking in with all the employees frequently regarding policy changes and responding to questions and concerns in a timely manner. We have an open line of communication available for all staff to contact and communicate. We are sharing stress management and personal care resources too.
  • PYO fields are opening for the season in June, with specific guidelines for distancing, wearing a mask, handwashing and more. Check in in Granby to learn the details when you come to pick.

My mum with hand-sewn triple-layer masks for our crew.

CSA Farm Shares will be boxed for the beginning of the Summer CSA season, until guidelines and common sense allow for returning to our market-style pickups. We have piloted no-contact pickups over the spring, and have a good system down for folks coming to get shares to stay distanced from each other, and get their produce easily.

We will continue to monitor the recommendations from the CDC, and state and local government and change our practices accordingly.  Please reach out if you have questions!

Thank you,

Sarah, Ryan and the Red Fire Farm team.

Updated as of June 10, 2020. We will update again if policies change.

In Blog

A Letter to Our Customers Regarding COVID-19 Protocols

Apr 7, 2020 | No Comments

Dear farm members and friends,

We are writing you regarding a complaint made by four employees through the Pioneer Valley Workers Center which was emailed to us on April 5th.  The complaint alleges unsafe working conditions related to COVID-19.  The Center has also publicized that there is a strike.

Ryan and I, as well as the farm’s employees, were deeply dismayed and shocked to read the Center’s allegations.  We have worked hard to develop and maintain recommended best practices with respect to farm operations. 

Our regular practices include following stringent sanitation procedures as a GAP food safety certified farm.  As COVID-19 has unfolded, we have continually updated our procedures to include the best practices recommended by the CDC, and state and local authorities.    

In early March, we began implementing COVID-19 specific policies and procedures.   We continue to update our procedures and provide training to employees as the CDC’s, state and local recommendations change.

Packing crew filling boxes with fresh greens and goods this week.

We were also shocked because there is no strike.  

Our incredible packing and farm staff continues to work daily to grow, harvest and deliver local produce.   On March 24th  four employees left the farm citing a reason unrelated to the farm’s safety practices or COVID-19 in the workplace.   

The Center’s email includes a list of demands purportedly from those employees.   However, as you can read below, the farm’s normal policies and procedures along with our COVID-19 enhanced practices already met those demands well before we received the Center’s April 5th email.

Here is a snap-shot of our regular policies as well as our COVID-19 enhancements: 

  • Employees have always been trained and told to stay home when sick.  This is a required part of regular food safety training as part of GAP food safety certification.
  • In early March we began to provide additional training and guidance to employees regarding the symptoms of COVID-19, ways to avoid spreading COVID-19, and when to stay home from work and self-isolate or quarantine if an employee or contact contracts COVID-19.  We prepared a plan to notify individuals that an employee has come in contact with if any employee reports that they or a close contact were exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Hand washing.  We wash our hands a lot; we always have. Our policies and procedures contain detailed requirements for how and when employees wash their hands as part of GAP food safety certification.  We have plenty of soap and water with a designated hand washing sink in the packing department and at the farm offices in Montague and Granby, and in the fields in season.  GAP does not permit using hand sanitizer as a substitute for hand-washing.
  • Our trash receptacles for paper towels are no touch.
  • Food contact and high use surfaces are regularly sanitized with bleach and other GAP recommended cleaning supplies in accordance with GAP food safety standards.   As of March 13th, we required increased sanitizing of frequent touch surfaces.
  • Gloves have always been stocked regularly for sanitary handling in the packing department. 
  • As of March 15th the majority of our office staff began working remotely.   We have made various accommodations for higher risk individuals and staff with children at home.
  • In-person meetings for remaining on-site staff have been held following the CDC’s recommended social distancing guidelines.  All department managers were instructed to set up and maintain work stations 6ft or more apart.  Frequent reminders regarding the social distancing protocols are provided.  Each department has additional practices regarding social distancing and contact reduction that are unique to that department’s specific operation.   Employees continue to receive notice and training regarding policy changes and best practices via posters, email, and in-department training.
  • As of March 19th we shared our policy regarding picking-up and deliveries to our CSA and preorder customers.   Delivery drivers are required to change gloves between drop offs.  Drivers have been instructed to follow social distancing guidelines during deliveries. 
  • The only farmers’ market where we currently vend is designed for good social distancing.  We use our protocols regarding sanitizing and handling food flow through our stand at the farmers market.
  • As of March 27th we posted information regarding paid time off under the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  This Act became effective on April 1st.   This week we will be providing on-farm trainings for employees regarding the benefits available under this new program.
  • As of March 30th three-layer cloth masks were issued to all packing and retail employees.  We are currently in the process of making additional masks for our outdoor crew.  My mum, Ella, has been very busy sewing.   
  • The CDC did not issue its recommendation regarding masks until April 3rd.  Governor Baker made his recommendation regarding wearing masks on April 5th.
  • Our HR Manager has been emailing and checking in with all the employees frequently regarding policy changes and responding to questions and concerns in a timely manner. We have an open line of communication available for those four people, and all staff, to contact and communicate with us.

My mum with hand-sewn triple-layer masks for our crew.

We will continue to monitor the recommendations from the CDC, and state and local government and change our practices accordingly.   

We would hate to see our business harmed or your support lessened as a result of misinformation from the Center or the four employees who have stopped working for personal reasons unrelated to our COVID-19 safety practices.

We very much appreciate your continued support.

Thank-you,

Sarah, Ryan and the Red Fire Farm team.

COVID-19 Update

Mar 29, 2020 | No Comments

Hello to our dear farm members and friends,

We are working in every way we can to find ways to offer fresh food safely as everything changes. Our goal is to get you produce as directly as possible, with the fewest people and handling steps in the chain from field to you.

My family and farm crew thank you so very much for the Summer, Spring and Deep Winter CSA sign ups, the pre-orders and market attendance we’ve seen in the last few weeks. Making the connections with you now, in the creative ways we can, is the way we can keep farming. Please stay tuned for how to get our food, and if you’d like to follow our farm news, sign up here.

Farmer Sarah in the greenhouse with the plants. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram, and visit the tag #RedFireFarmSchool for some fun close-ups on crops and things happening around the farm.

Agriculture has been designated as an essential service and we are moving forward. Spring is always risky on a farm, like a trust fall, but we are going forward like we have for the last 20 years, adjusting plans a little, planting for a summer of delicious food for you, our community. Our greenhouse is already full of beautiful plants and we have begun planting in the field! Strawberries will be ripening so soon!

Food Safety:
At the farm, we follow food safety protocols all the time to keep your produce safe, and we maintain GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) food safety certification, with regular farm inspections by state officials. We also have extra steps in place right now to help keep things clean and keep our employees healthy.

Some details about our COVID-19 policy on the farm. as of 3/28/20:

  • Regularly sharing resources and staff training on COVID-19 symptoms and to stay home if you are sick or if a person in your household is sick, or if you know you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, and review of our paid sick time resources.
  • Social distancing during work of 6 feet, and remote work options for our office staff.
  • Continuing to require proper hand-washing
  • Increased sanitization of frequently touched surfaces
  • Limiting on-farm access to essential services only, and reducing staff access to our packing department.
  • Delivery, CSA, and market protocols for sanitizing surfaces and reduced contact.
  • Frequent review and communication of updates from the CDC and state.

We will keep updating our policy as developments happen!

For our Summer CSA, we plan to follow the active CDC guidelines when shares begin and adapt by offering pre-boxed produce and social distancing practices for pickups as needed. We will figure out how to best offer choice options during pickups while still making it safe. With most of our shares happening at well-ventilated or outdoor locations, I think it’s going to be a great way to get your food!

Resources: A helpful and continuously updated resource for science-based food safety tips now is Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide, by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats. Also, the CDC has a page about how to take care if you get sick, and more resources to explore from there.

Food Security:

We are worried about how we all are going to get our whole community fed while many people are out of work. We are offering sliding scale options and payment plans for our summer CSA and also SNAP/EBT payment options at the lowest end of our scale with HIP reimbursement. Please get in touch with us if you need a different payment plan, or if you would like to help subsidize CSA shares for lower income members.

As we have for years, we continue to donate produce weekly to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and we will find ways to rescue and donate even more. We will be working with our partners in the Worcester and Boston area during the summer CSA season, like Food For Free and Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

Please get in touch with us via email if possible for any questions, as our office phone coverage is limited now.

Thank you very much for thinking of our farm during this time!

~ Sarah, Ryan, Wally and Chester Voiland, and all the farm crew.

In Blog

National Popcorn Day!

Jan 16, 2020 | No Comments

These beautiful cobs can be popped as-is in a paper bag in your microwave!

You might love popcorn, and not even know, that this very Sunday, January 19, is National Popcorn Day! A wintery Sunday is perfect for celebrating  this amaizing food :). Nowadays it’s claim to fame is as an excellent accompaniment to movies, but popcorn has a long history, and we have compiled a few tasty bits to enjoy below.

 Harvested in the fall and dried naturally in our greenhouses, RFF popcorn is a real treat!

You can pick up a cob or two (or five or six, because who can say no to popcorn) at our winter farmers’ market booths this Saturday in Northampton, Somerville, and Wayland, and at Red Fire North, and every weekend at our farmers’ markets.

Read on for how to  cook up our popcorn, popcorn history, and fun things to do on National Popcorn Day!

How to Pop RFF Popcorn

POPCORN VIDEO: Watch and listen as Dan from the farm makes popcorn in his microwave!

Unlike the microwave popcorn or bagged kernels you might buy at the grocery store, RFF organic popcorn comes to you straight off the cob. But don’t get intimidated — getting it popped is simple and fun!

Microwave method: Remove any damaged kernels and place the cob into a paper bag (brown lunch bags or grocery bags work great), folding the top shut. Heat for approximately two and a half minutes, but be sure to stay close by and listen for the popping to slow. Once the popping is reduced to 1-2 seconds between kernels, your popcorn is done. Let the bag sit for a few minutes and slowly open the top to vent the steam. Pour the popped kernels into a bowl and season to taste with melted butter and/or salt. A few popped pieces might stay stuck on the cob, which, once cooled, can be eaten as well! You can try re-popping a cob with lots of remaining kernels.

You can see some of the popped corn on the cob in this photo by CSA member Isabella Montillo Carter.

 

Stove top method: Remove any damaged kernels and strip off the remaining into a bowl. This can be done with the fingers or by pushing kernels off with a small spoon. If you have two ears, try rubbing them together! Next, heat a tablespoon or so of high-temperature oil (like canola, coconut or corn oil) on high in the bottom of a thick-bottomed pot or saucepan. Pour in the kernels and spread evenly across the bottom of the pan before covering with a lid. When the popping begins, start shaking the pan back and forth a bit over the heat to keep already-popped kernels from burning on the bottom. When popping slows to 1-2 seconds, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the popcorn to a bowl for eating. Season as you like!

Popcorn.org has a crazy collection of popcorn recipes that you can check out and enjoy! Like Adobo and Roasted Peanut Popcorn, which you could simplify if using oil to stick the ingredients to the popcorn, and Caramel Corn Crunch.

A Brief History of Popcorn 

 

Popcorn harvested in Granby.

As you chow down, consider that popcorn was first cultivated centuries ago by ancient Native Americans, Aztecs, and Incas. The oldest known popcorn found so far was discovered in a cave in New Mexico in 1948 and dated back almost 5,600 years. Popped corn was cherished in ancient Aztec society, being used both as a source of food and as decoration for religious ceremonies. Eventually, after the colonization of the Americas by Europeans, popcorn spread across the rest of the world.

 

More recently, popcorn grew in popularity in the United States as farming boomed during the 1800s. Later, during the Great Depression, bags of popcorn selling for no more than a dime became a way for those with just a little money to splurge and treat themselves to a special meal.

 

Today, thanks to the advent of movie theaters and microwave ovens, popcorn remains a staple in snacking both in the United States and the world over. In America alone, it’s estimated that over 13 billion quarts of popcorn are eaten every year. Yum!

 

Get Corny with Popcorn Day Activities:

There’s more to National Popcorn Day than just eating, of course. Here are a few activities you can do with your family or friends at home to help celebrate. Be sure to check out Popcorn.org for the complete list:

  • Popcorn football: Like paper football, but with popcorn kernels! How many field goals can you make? Bonus points for kicking popcorn into your playing partner’s mouth!
  • Popcorn stringing: Christmas has passed, but you can still string up popcorn. Try hanging up outside to draw in local birds for a snack!
  • Write a popcorn haiku: The traditional Japanese 5-7-5 syllable poem, but adapted for popcorn. Here’s ours…

Popcorn in the pan

Blowing up like Beyoncé

In the house tonight!

Have a happy National Popcorn Day!

Ali’s Eggplant Parmesan

Aug 13, 2019 | No Comments

Direct from our Operations and Harvest Manager, Ali Jacobs, who makes this recipe every year in big batches!

This recipe can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled, I usually make about 5 at once in half sheet catering pans and freeze them for the winter, freeze before baking, to cook from frozen let defrost overnight in fridge, then cook normally. This is not a school night recipe, it’s complicated and involves a lot of time and utensils, that’s why I like to make multiples so I’m only doing the effort once. It can also be a great family project to do with kids, even if they’re not big eggplant fans they’ll enjoy the breading process and layering the final casserole.

 

Ingredients:
1 cup olive oil
1-2 Eggplants
2-3 cups Breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp salt (or to taste)
1 cup flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Fresh Oregano – 4-5 Tbsp
Fresh Basil – 4-5 Tbsp

2 Qt Tomato sauce or Heirloom Tomato Puree

2 lb fresh Mozzarella Cheese (can use shredded if you want, but better ingredients = better flavor)
1 Qt ricotta cheese
1-2 cups parmesan cheese

 

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Slice eggplant into 1/4-1/2 inch slices.

3. Prepare a work area with a large plate or bowl of flour, a bowl of the egg and milk mixed together, and a plate or bowl of the breadcrumbs, herbs and salt mixed together. (You can also add some parmesan to the breadcrumb mixture for extra cheesiness).

4. In order, dip a slice of eggplant into the flour, making sure to cover all sides, then into the egg mixture, then into the breadcrumbs.

5. Place breaded eggplant slices onto a baking sheet that has been generously greased with olive oil.

6. Using a basting brush or oil sprayer to lightly oil the tops of the breaded eggplant slices. If you don’t have either of these you can drizzle oil quickly over the surface of the eggplant, however, be careful not to put too much on or they will become soggy.

7. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes or until the breading has developed a crispy crust and the eggplant is cooked through.

8. Remove from oven and set aside.

9. Slice the mozzarella as thinly as possible, ideally about 1/4 inch thick slices.

10. In a deep 9×13 or larger casserole dish begin to layer your ingredients. Cover the bottom of the pan in a coating of sauce, this doesn’t need to be thick, just ensure it’s fully covered, then place a single layer of eggplant slices, don’t worry about holes between them, follow with a layer of cheese, I like to be a little conservative with the mozzarella so that it will get into every layer of the casserole, and fill in the gaps between with ricotta, you don’t need to have a perfectly even distribution of cheese, it’s going to melt and move, just get a slice or dollop every couple inches across the whole surface. Follow with a sprinkle of parmesan.

11. Continue layering, sauce, eggplant, cheese. I use a bit more sauce in the middle layers than I did on the bottom. You should end up with about 3 layers of eggplant.

12, On the top layer put an extra layer of sauce and then put the remainder of the parmesan (or to taste).

13. Bake in the oven at 375F, covered, for half an hour, then uncover and bake for another 15-30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese on top is golden brown.

Leftover components can be used to make another, smaller casserole, or eggplant ricotta rolls, or anything else you can think of.

From Ali Jacobs, 2019.

Blueberry Lemonade

Jul 19, 2019 | No Comments

The most gorgeous color, and super simple. This was inspired by our neighbor Leo and his awesome blueberry lemonade stand!

Ingredients:
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup sweetener, sugar, or maple syrup
1 cup blueberries (plus a few in reserve for topping)
mint to garnish if you like

Makes 1/2 gallon.

Put all the ingredients except mint in a blender and add a little cold water. Blend until smooth. Put in a half gallon container and fill up to the top with cold water. Shake or stir to mix. Serve in cups with ice, little sprigs of mint and a few whole blueberries to top.

Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Oct 25, 2018 | No Comments

This recipe makes nice tender baked sweet potato fries with good browning. We grow three types of sweet potatoes most years, Japanese Murasaki with purple skins and white interior, Bonita with white skin and white flesh, and Orleans Orange, the classic deep orange inside and out. You can find them at the farm stores or markets to get a sampler of them to bake up and taste side by side. Oven fries are especially good for making a tasting, as the ingredients are so simple and you can taste each flavor.

Ingredients:
Sweet Potatoes
Olive Oil
Coconut oil (optional)

Salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice up however many sweet potatoes you want to eat into big chunky fries, all of similar thickness, for even cooking. Toss in a bowl, with enough olive oil to coat, and a little salt.

If you have coconut oil, I like to put a tablespoon or two on a baking sheet and set it in the oven for a minute to melt. Then spread the oil around the pan for a good coating. You could oil the pan with another high heat oil. I think the oil on the bottom gets them to brown better.

Spread the sweet potatoes across the pan so none are piled on top of each other, and each has good contact with the pan. Cover the pan with tin foil. Put in the oven and bake until sweet potatoes are tender, about a 1/2 hr.

Then remove the foil, and put the pan back in the oven to brown. Don’t stir, as this will mess up the browning. Scope the fries out periodically as they bake until you get the level of browning you want.

Serve with ketchup or dipped in a spicy mayo spiked with RFF hot sauce ;).

Eminently Adjustable Spicy Garlic Basil Lo Mein

Jul 31, 2018 | No Comments

A recipe from long-time CSA member Cheryl Munn! It features gluten-free ingredients. This recipe plays very well with seasonal adjusting and making with the produce that’s ready right now.  To honor that, I added “Eminently Adjustable” to her title, highlighting the excellent potential for local eating contained within.

You can easily get creative, subbing other onion family crops for shallots, other greens or broccoli for the bok choy or cabbage, something else flavorful for the peppers, and such. This here is a dish that is great fresh, but also as a lunch for the next day (or days if you like to make a bunch).

Sauce:
3/4 cup vegetable broth or water
1/3 cup low sodium gluten free tamari
2 Tbsp chili paste, or 1 Tbsp tomato paste and 1-2 Tbsp sriracha [use all tomato paste if you don’t want it spicy]
3 Tbsp coconut sugar or 80 milligrams pure stevia
1 Tbsp dried basil or 1/3 cup fresh chopped
1 Tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 Tbsp arrowroot

Lo Mein:
1 lb gluten free brown rice spaghetti, 14 oz brown rice fettuccine or Lo Mein noodles, cooked
12 ozs baby bok choy or cabbage, cut into 1/4″ strips
1 sweet red pepper diced or sliced thin
1 yellow pepper diced or sliced thin
1 lb carrots julienned (rainbow carrots would be good in this)
2 stalks celery diced
1/3 cup finely minced shallots
5 large garlic cloves minced

Directions:

Add ingredients for sauce, except arrowroot, to a bowl and whisk together. Add arrowroot, whisk and set aside. [a sub option for arrowroot powder is corn starch]

Cook pasta or lo mein noodles according to package directions, rinse and set aside.

While the noodles are cooking, prep vegetables as directed above. Put prepared vegetables except bok choy or cabbage in a large wok.  Cook vegetables on medium high 3 minutes, stir to keep from burning. Place cover on wok and cook 3-4 minutes. Remove lid, add bok choy or cabbage to wok and stir into other vegetables. Cook another 3 minutes. Add sauce to vegetables, stir, let simmer 2 minutes to thicken. Shut off heat, add noodles, stir until well mixed. Serve!

Recipe and photos from Cheryl Munn, 2018