Saturday, August 30, 2014

Roots and Shoots Farm - 9th Week of CSA Food 2014


When I picked up my Week 9 CSA basket from Roots and Shoots Farm I did not expect that my golden beets would turn into pickles.

We have had golden beets before this season.  For this half share member, repeats hardly ever happen because of careful planning by owner, Robin Turner.  He makes a point of managing the variety from basket to basket.

I was delighted for the second go-around (and said as much to Robin) because I love roasted beets - particularly in a salad. And they might as well be golden because they sure look good on the plate.

Because they cellar so well, beets are one of the last items used up in our share. First to hit the kitchen counter here is the more delicate produce.

For almost two weeks I had it in my head that I would eventually roast my beets. It didn't happen. Maybe because of the big heat this past week. Instead, the beets were pickled.

Although my bunch only gave me two 500 ml jars of pickled beets, I found my Rødbeder groove.

Rødbeder is a Danish recipe for pickled beets.  It's practically a national dish.  My mother used to make rødbeder all the time. Sometimes just a few jars and sometimes it was a preserving bonanza.

I happily channeled my mother to make these gorgeous beets.


The entire basket was beautiful. Check it out for yourself. I have also included pictures of some of the dishes we made with our produce.  You can see why it's been a challenge to eat out this summer.  The fridge is constantly full.

Iceberg Lettuce

Adirondack Reds - Surprise! They have pink flesh!!

Beans - Green, purple and dragon tongue

Onions

Tomatoes

Curly Kale

Carrots

Cucumbers

Garlic

Green pepper

Zucchini

Golden beets

THE PARADE OF FOOD DISHES

Wedge Salad I used the Iceberg Lettuce. If you need a blue cheese dressing for the Wedge, I blogged about it here.

Hash browns with a poached egg. I did not realize our potatoes this week were a variety with pink flesh.  I found out they are called Adirondack Reds. They do keep their colour and apparently even more so when boiled or roasted.  I also used some of the onions and green peppers for this dish.

When I discovered the potatoes had a pink flesh I wanted to make an old-fashioned retro vintage potato salad with hard-boiled eggs and mayonnaise.  I did mince in some of the onions.  I used other potatoes too as well as green onions and chives.  I kind of thought the Adirondack Reds looked like big chunks of canned ham.  It actually was delicious. Just had to eat with my eyes closed! ;-)

I eat beans raw or steamed.  Pretty plain.  I think they deserve that - as does much produce.  But this time I was determined to be clever.  I decided to bake them with a coating and treat them as party food.  They were coated in flour (consider a gluten-free option), egg seasoned with Dijon and salt & pepper, panko and Parmesan seasoned with cayenne.  The dip is mayonnaise with chives, dill and Michaelsdolce's sriracha.

Heirloom Tomato Salad. I used one of my tomatoes from my CSA share, tomatoes from my garden and some tomatoes from the Ottawa Farmers' Market.  I like this salad because the Parmesan crisps add a bit of crunch. (They are easy to make!)

Bruschetta. I was able to use more of my tomatoes, onion and garlic.  I added basil from my garden and broiled a bit of Parmesan on top.

Greek Salad! I used a lot of my tomatoes, a cucumber, and some of the green peppers.  Also in there is olives, red onion and feta cheese from Milkhouse Farm and Dairy. Check out Milkhouse on social media.  I dare you to not fall in love with their sheep.

Judy Dempsey's Shakshuka recipe featured in the Ottawa Citizen.  I used onion, kale, green pepper, garlic from my basket.

The darling son took most of the carrots with him to Algonquin Park for his canoe trip. His paddle buddy took a great shot of their carrot sticks on the scene.

Agurkesalat is another Danish recipe I make often. It is a quick pickle recipe for cucumbers.

I often use my agurkesalat on my open-faced sandwiches.  It goes well with pork and beef. And in this case, lamb sausage from Milkhouse Farm and Dairy!

Zucchini Fritters.  We used all our zucchinis for this party snack.  The usual suspects of flour, egg, salt and pepper.  Plus green onions. Next time I'm going to add red pepper for colour. This dish has me wanting a Spiralizer.

Pickled beets.  Most people eat their pickled beets so fast that they don't make it into the pantry for winter.  Just to be a food safety nut, I did put these through the water bath canning technique to keep my options open.  Gift receivers like to know you went the extra mile for their safety too.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Roots and Shoots Farm - 7th Week of CSA Food 2014


This latest CSA basket from Roots and Shoots Farm went cottaging in the Muskokas!

Well not all of it. But most of it.  The beans, potatoes, onion, cabbage and some of the zucchinis.

I used the cucumber and some of the onion for a Food Day Canada Greek Salad.

The carrots and most of the fennel were roasted and eaten like sweet candy.

The garlic just tucked in here and there throughout the past two weeks.

I am about to pick up my next CSA basket in minutes.  I bet it will be just as luscious and good.

Take a tour through my CSA garden and you can also see some of the dishes we made in the past two weeks.  I am loving summer. What are you cooking up?

Yellow, purple and green beans.

One pound of potatoes.

White and Purple Onions.

Music garlic.

Cucumbers.

Fennel.

Zucchini and Summer Squash.

Cabbage.

Carrots.

Dinosaur Kale.

Greek Salad using the cucumbers and spring onion from the CSA basket.  I also bought Roots and Shoots Farm's tomatoes at the Ottawa Farmers' Market Westboro. The beautiful fresh feta is from Milkhouse Farm and Dairy.  They have wonderful artisan sheep cheeses.  And they are local.

I made up the cabbage into coleslaw but didn't dress it until we were ready to eat. It was used in a number of meals at the cottage.  I make my own dressing, taking inspiration from Bobby Flay's Creamy Coleslaw recipe.  Some of the beans were lightly steamed and some we ate raw.

More coleslaw!  A cabbage head goes a long way.  The zucchinis I didn't use for a special summer squash salad went into a zucchini dish with also included tomatoes and garlic.  Zippy.  More great cottage flavours.

Of course the quintessential cottage food is hash browns.  The sizzle is just about to come up in this pan as the potatoes and spring onion hit the stove with a big slop of butter and steak spices.  The final result had many tasty brown bits.

They look old and wrinkled but these roasted carrots were all sweetness and candy.  I ate them right off the stem.  A little olive oil, salt and pepper and then they spent time in the oven at 375F.  Watch them after 30 - 40 minutes to see how much wrinkle you like.  Trust your nose too.

What fennel I didn't use for a slaw dish served with trout went into the oven to be roasted with an onion and some shallots.  I thought I would use them in a pasta dish but they didn't get that far.  I nibbled. Then nibbled some more.  Roasted vegetables are pretty irresistible. Roughchop Ottawa said this looked Noma'esque. I am going to take it as a compliment.

My summer squash salad was inspired by Supply and Demand.  I have had their rendition a few times now and love, love, love it.  They also use sunflower seeds and microgreens to garnish it.  Their dressing is olive oil, champagne vinegar and juice from their pickled ramps.  I substituted dill pickle juice. Thank you Supply and Demand for keeping me playing with my vegetables.

I forgot I had my dinosaur kale in the downstairs fridge.  It was the last item to use up. Finding inspiration on an Instagram post from @thefeedfeed, I decided to add it to a quiche.  I let it wilt with the onions in the frying pan to help reduce its wetness. I treat it similar to spinach in that way.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Whetting Your Appetite - Love Ottawa


This morning I received a pocket call on the home phone at 6:01 am.  Thank you to caller 'Anonymous' for that.  There was heavy breathing and a cough, but not in the way you might think.  If you think THAT way.

Based on the lead-in picture, it could suggest that this post is going to be about the newly opened Holland's Cake and Shake, but it's not. Actually, it is a bit. But it's not the main event. Though possibly the prettiest, and for sure sweetest.

I was up before the dogs barking and the hammers dropping symphonically on the many renovation projects surrounding my turret. On the plus side, it did get me out of the house. And the reason I bolted to an early start was because a Euro Capp in a blue cup was waiting for me at Café qui pense on Main Street.

When I went to bed last night, I didn't know I was going to get up early.

I didn't know I was going to start the day with an Equator Coffee Roasters' Ethiopian Single Origin bean.



I didn't know I was going to Holland's Cake and Shake.



I knew nothing of what would happen in between.

Like meeting the brains and photographer behind The Love Ottawa Project, Dwayne Brown.



Buying a baguette at True Loaf Bread Company.



Scouting some Société Orignal Goat's Milk Jam at The Red Apron.



But settling for less calories and a more practical solution for lunch with a savory galette smothered in roasted kale, cherry tomatoes, caramelized onions and feta.



Finding out that when everyone is looking up, looking WAY up at Beyond The Pale Brewery, they are checking on the vertical hop garden - part of the Community Grow Hop!



Discovering the location of SuzyQ's new quarters. Her doughnuts have textures. So why not the place.



Meeting Elvis. The truffle.



And his Maker.



Getting a $50 parking ticket from the remarkably efficient City of Ottawa. (12 minutes less talking could have saved me a bundle.)



None of this would have been part of my day if I didn't get that pocket call and then see a tweet minutes later that went something like this.


To which I replied...

And so began the conversation.

As I set my table for tea and cake tonight, the details of the very full morning came flooding back over me. A few nuggets stand out.

Embrace living in the moment. Living in the now.

Listen. Listen for possibilities.

Today I learned that how you frame a story isn't just in what you include in the picture but sometimes it's what you don't.

Cakes and treats from Holland's Cake and Shake on Armstrong across from the Parkdale Market. Bottom left: Pineapple Coconut Cream Cheese Caramel Cake $4. Middle: Orange Crush Meringue Tart $4. Top: Raspberry Shortcake $4. Bottom right: Elvis Truffle - Peanut Butter, Banana and Bacon, covered in White Chocolate $2.50.
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