Local Ingredients
Shitake mushrooms from Mother Earth Organics
Trumpet mushrooms from Oley Valley Mushrooms (through WinterHarvestPhilly.org)
Garlic from Beechwood Orchards
Basil from Gehman Family Farms

1/2 lb pasta (fusilli, fettuccine, spaghetti)
shitake & trumpet mushrooms, remove stems and slice
3 cloves garlic, minced
canola oil, salt and pepper
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup grated parmesan (am looking for local alternatives)
1/2 cup basil, sliced thinly (optional)

Prepare pasta according to instructions, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Heat large skillet with oil and add garlic. Cook 1 minute, then add shitakes and saute a few more minutes until browned. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat. Add reserved pasta water. Add cooked pasta to skillet with cheese and basil. Combine and serve immediately.

Pretty sure the mushrooms would be good on their own, cooked with the lemon juice. The tartness really brings out their natural flavor!


Pesto Zucchini Orzo

Clearly this needs a better name, but we’re going with this for now. It’s a lovely way to make pasta stretch or hide zucchini from finicky eaters. 

Local ingredients:
Yellow Zucchini from Down to Earth (Rittenhouse Square Farmer’s Market)
Goat Cheese from Kirchenberg Dairy
Basil from Flaim Farm
Garlic from Hilltop Farm 

Make pesto – for mine I used basil, pine nuts or walnut, oil, garlic and salt.  

Cook 1/4lb of orzo in boiling water. While that is cooking, grate a yellow or green zucchini (not yellow squash). When orzo is almost finished, add grated zucchini and let cook for two minutes to lightly blanch zucchini. Drain and put back in pot. Add 2 tablespoons pesto and mix. Place goat cheese on a plate or in a bowl and put hot pasta on top. This will melt the cheese into a nice sauce consistency. 

I was lucky enough to end up with a case of blueberries from Blueberry Bill in New Jersey. They were going a bit soft, which is great for jamming. In order to can the berries, the sugar content must be high enough to preserve the fruit and avoid bugs. This is the lowest amount I have seen in recipes, but it seemed to work just fine. 

8 pints local blueberries
8 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice (2 fresh lemons)
cinnamon, cloves, spices

I prefer a no-pectin jam, which takes longer but isn’t gummy. In order to do this, the jam must be cooked over several days to thicken and even then, it will be more like syrup than jam. Perfect for mixing into yogurt or serving with pancakes or toast. I leave some blueberries whole for an added treat. 

Puree 12 cups of blueberries and place in a large pot with rest of blueberries and the sugar. Mix thorough and leave for a few hours or overnight until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil and add spices – cinnamon, ginger, etc. Boil 10 minutes, cover and let stand overnight. Repeat a few times over 2 days. You can test the thickness by placing a spoonful on top of a frozen plate and seeing how think the jam is. Or you can test in between boils.  

Prepare a canner and sterilize 12 half-pint jars. Bring jam to a boil and add lemon juice at this point. Fill hot jars with boiling hot jam and process according to directions on canner. At almost sea-level, I did a hot water bath can for 10 minutes and they sealed immediately. 

You may have a little extra, which keeps nicely in the fridge or you can make a lovely, refreshing summer drink. 

1 cup cold local milk
2 T cooled jam
1/4 cup oatmeal

Place the three ingredients in a blender (even add a little ice) and puree until smooth. The jam already has cinnamon, but you can add more for flavor.  

Local Ingredients
Farro from Cayuga Organics
Broccoli from Highland Orchards
Carrots from Highland Orchards
Asparagus from Brogue Hydroponics

Cook farro by simmering for 30-45 minutes until tender, let cool. (Can soak overnight to decrease cooking time.) Lightly steam broccoli, carrots and asparagus until crisp-tender and then chop into small pieces.

Chop dried fruit (cherries, raisins, etc) and pecans or walnut into small pieces and mix with farro and chopped vegetables.  

Toss with salad dressing of choice. (Lemon juice, oil, nutritional yeast & pepper works well; a miso-ginger might also work well.) 

Winter Berry Elixir

The summer me was very kind to the winter me this year, freezing a case of blueberries for my consumption later. My plans had been to make some more jam but found myself craving smoothies instead. 

There’s something about the cold and the lack of sunlight that makes berries all the more appealing in winter, but outside of paying $6 at the grocery store for a tiny bit of raspberries, it’s not a likely find unless you self-freeze. This year however, I lucked out. A Mennonite couple had frozen a ton of raspberries which I bought and Paradise Hill is still supplying our area with fresh Cranberries which also freeze quite well and easily. 

Local Ingredients

Frozen Blueberries – Stoney Creek Farm, NJ
Frozen Cranberries (or fresh) – Paradise Hill Farm, NJ
Frozen Raspberries – Hidden View, PA
Pequea Valley Plain Yogurt (optional)

Place all this and some water in a blender for an excellent drink. Add more water to make a juice, add yogurt to make a meal. While sick, I added in an organic orange (peel and all) for more vitamin C. This is certainly not the super sweet smoothies you will find at most places, but after awhile the bite of the cranberry really makes this the best. 

Maybe the nicer name would be the “soup for roommate who has laryngitis.” Regardless, this is a hearty winter soup that packs a punch. Most ingredients were purchased through Winter Harvest, a local buying club run by Farm to City.

Onions from Zook Family Farm
Garlic from Walnut Hill Farm (leftover from this summer)
Carrots from Landisdale Farm
Potatoes from Mast Farms
Sweet Potatoes from Dante Spina & Sons
Red Kale from  Landisdale Farm
Bok Choy from Menno Stoltzfus Farm

Finely chop onions & garlic and mine carrots. Add to large soup pot with some oil and saute until tender and a bit browned. Add in salt & thyme (from your garden or back deck). Chop up some celery or other vegetables if you like.

Chop up potatoes & sweet potatoes into bite size chunks and add to onions. Saute a bit and then add in a lot of water. Cook for 5 minutes.

Wash kale and bok choy. Remove woody stems from kale but keep bok choy stems.  Slice into 1/2″ strips and add to potato mixture. Cook for 8-10 minutes more until potatoes are tender and kale is no longer tough.

Eat as is or remove some or all of the mixture and blend. Add hot peppers for extra cold & flu fighting.

You can also start this soup with some veg or regular chorizo.

Salsa Verde

August is canning season! Yes, it’s really hot in my kitchen right now, but in order to preserve for a long winter, a necessary discomfort. Blueberry and blackberry jams, tomatoes, pickled okra & asparagus are already up. Hoping to get in some apricot jam, red salsa, peaches, dilly beans, and pickled peppers before the summer is through. Today’s hit was this:

Salsa Verde
5 C chopped tomatillos (available locally, but not sure where mine came from!)
1 C seeded, chopped jalapeño peppers or crystal ahi if you can get them
2 cups chopped onions from Landisdale farms
1 cup lemon or lime juice
6 cloves garlic, smashed from Walnut Hill farm
1 tablespoon ground cumin (optional)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
No need to chop finely! Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan over high heat until mixture begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Let cool for a bit and puree in blender in small batches (be careful when blending hot liquid!) Ladle hot salsa into prepared pint jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Process in a boiling water canner according to directions: 15 minutes at 0–1,000 feet altitude; 20 minutes at 1,001–6,000 feet. It is very important to boil the jars first, use new lids, and get the proportions of acid and salt correctly. You can also make this and eat it fresh instead of canning!
Am going to basically do the same thing with red tomatoes but will post that too!