• Salad:

    • 3 lbs potatoes, scrubbed and cut into half inch cubes
    • chopped green olives
    • a few hard boiled eggs
    • handful of chopped roasted red peppers (we roast our own and freeze them in the fall)
    • a scoop of capers
    • fresh carrots, diced up mini
    • fresh peas or greens or any other veggie (colored cauliflower is great)
    • Fresh herbs (cilantro, dill, basil, thyme, tarragon, anything you like, in any combination)

    Steam or boil the cubed spuds until just tender (don't overcook! they keep cooking even after you drain the water). Add the rest of the ingredients to the drained spuds.

    Dressing:

    I always wing it, but I usually do some combo of the following in the blender to taste:

    • glug of olive oil
    • a couple big spoonfuls of mayo or vegenaise
    • splash of tamari (soy sauce
    • little glug of vinegar (cider or red wine is good)
    • plop of sweet pickles & their juices (we make our own in the fall and our recipe includes onions)
    • salt
    • pepper
    • dash of Cranky Baby Hot Sauce

    Blend. Pour over the potato mixture and mix together.

  • yield: Makes 8 first-course servings

    This soup can be pureed by pressing it through a strainer or a food mill. It can also be pureed in a blender and then strained.

    Ingredients

    Spice mix

    • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
    • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
    • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
    • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
    • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

    Soup

    • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 4 stalks chopped celery
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion or shallot
    • 1 cup chopped carrots
    • 1/4 cup chopped peeled fresh ginger (from about 3-inch-long piece)
    • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 pound bell peppers, chopped
    • 1 3/4 cups chopped fresh fennel bulb
    • 3 pounds tomatoes, diced (about 8 cups)
    • 5 1/4 cups vegetable broth
    • 2 teaspoons (about) hot pepper sauce
    • 1 pound fresh crabmeat, picked over
    • Thinly sliced radishes (optional)
    • Chopped fresh chives (optional)

    Preparation
    For spice mix:
    Toast all ingredients in heavy medium skillet over medium heat until spices darken slightly in color and start to pop, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Cool in skillet. Transfer to spice mill and grind finely.
    For soup:
    Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion/shallots, and carrots. Sauté until vegetables soften slightly, about 8 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and sauté 3 minutes. Add bell peppers and fennel. Stir 2 minutes to coat. Add tomatoes; cook until tomatoes soften and break down, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add broth and bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until all vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Add ground spice mix; return soup to boil. Remove from heat; cover and steep 20 minutes.
    Place coarse sieve over large bowl. Working with 2 cups at a time, strain soup into bowl, pressing liquid and most of solids through sieve. Season soup to taste with hot pepper sauce, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate soup until cold, at least 3 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)
    Ladle soup into 8 shallow bowls. Divide crabmeat among bowls. Garnish with radish slices and chives.

  • Being the web guy for Valley Flora has it's benefits. Each week brings cucumbers, radishes, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, squash and any number of odd but tasty items that pile up -- hey a geek can only eat so many vegetables between pizza and espresso!

     Oh I grill and salad to my hearts content but each Wednesday yet more produce comes and I'm still left over with whatever I didn't get around to gnoshing on the previous week. Fresh food is wonderful but what's worse is watching it slowly wilt into mush so I hit on a simple solution: Vinaigrette Slury

     I have a big covered stainless steel bowl in my fridge filled with vinegar, olive oil, chopped up garlic, some basil, cilantro, black pepper, a bit of marjoram, some jalapeno or crushed red pepper and Dijon mustard -- a classic vinaigrette but heavy on the vinegar (I use a combo of red wine and apple cider vinegar). As the Valley Flora Veg get a little on the squishy side I just chop them up and throw them in the bowl. Cucumbers, tomatoes & onions do especially good in this bath, but squashes, and even spinach will soak up the goodness for quite a while without turning to yuk.

     So whatever I'm making, I just grab out some of that pickled veg and add it. For fresh salads it's great as a bit of spice and vinegar, it's freaking awesome on hot bagels with creme cheese and even better as a crunch on a taco or as a side to a nice bit of lamb. Best part is, it doesn't go bad!

     

    So don't despair if your veg are going soft -- just open up a vinegar spa in your fridge and let them soak

     

    BTW: Lee's Bees Honey just went live with a bunch of Oregon honey just south at Cape Blanco so check out the new site.  Still working on it but I think it's going to be pretty cool.

     

    -Zachary the VF web geek

     

    • 1 pound  turnips (more with greens attached)
    • 3/4 pound baby carrots (about 2 pounds with green attached)
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

    Trim turnips and carrots, leaving about 1/2-inch stems if green were attached, and peel if desired.  In a steamer set over boiling water steam turnips and carrots separately, covered, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Vegetables may be prepared up to this point 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.
    In a large heavy skillet cook vegetables in butter with sugar and salt and pepper to taste over moderately low heat, stirring, until heated through and glazed, about 4 minutes.
    Adapted from epicurious.com

  • Serves 10.
    Roasted carrots, parsnips, and celeriac add great depth of flavor to this unique stuffing. Recipes for the homemade cornbread and the stuffing are included here:

     
     

    CORNBREAD FOR DRESSING
    Makes 12 cups of 1/2 inch cubed cornbread.

    • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
    • 5 large eggs
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 1/4 cups cornmeal
    • 3 tablespoons melted butter



    Preparation
    Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously butter 9x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in cornmeal, then melted butter. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
    Bake cornbread until top is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Cool cornbread in pan on rack. DO AHEAD: Cornbread can be made 1 day ahead. Cool completely, cover, and store at room temperature.
     
    STUFFING

    • 1 lb. shallots, cut into wedges
    • 2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices peeled carrots (about 3/4 pound)
    • 2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices peeled parsnips (about 3/4 pound)
    • 2 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled celeriac (about 3/4 pound)
    • 2/3 cup olive oil, divided
    • 1 pound crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, stemmed, caps halved
    • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
    • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
    • 2 teaspoons dried crushed rosemary
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
    • 6 cups 1/2-inch cubes cornbread (see recipe below)
    • 3 large eggs, beaten to blend
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth


    Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 425°F. Place shallots, carrots, parsnips, and celeriac in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 1/3 cup oil over and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Place mushrooms and garlic on another rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with remaining 1/3 cup oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast root vegetables until tender and brown around edges, stirring every 15 minutes, about 1 hour. Roast mushrooms and garlic until tender, stirring once, about 30 minutes. Place root vegetables and mushrooms in large bowl. Place garlic in small bowl; mash with fork until pureed. Add pureed garlic, thyme, rosemary, and sage to vegetables; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Vegetable mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cool vegetables, cover, and chill. Bring mixture to room temperature before continuing.
    Place cornbread cubes on large rimmed baking sheet. Let bread cubes stand at room temperature to dry slightly, about 1 hour.
    Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 13x9x2- inch oval baking dish. Add cornbread cubes to vegetables; toss to distribute evenly. Add eggs; toss to coat. Drizzle with melted butter; toss to coat. Add broth and stir to combine (mixture will be very moist). Transfer mixture to prepared dish.
    Bake dressing uncovered until lightly browned and crisp around edges, about 45 minutes.

  • yield: Serves 4

    • 2 cups thinly sliced carrots
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 tablesoon sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • chopped parsley


    Preparation
    Diagonally cut carrots into 1/8-inch-thick slices. In a heavy saucepan combine all ingredients and cook, covered, over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and a glaze has started to form-about 15 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

  • Helps to have a mandolin for this recipe (the kitchen slicing gadget, not the musical instrument....though that, too, could help:).
    Serves 6.
     

    • 1 to 2 pounds carrots
    • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
    • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 pound Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
    • Equipment: an adjustable blade slicer fitted with 1/8-inch julienne attachment


     
    Cut carrots crosswise into 2-inch pieces, then julienne with slicer. If you don't have a slicer, you can either do this by hand, or just grate them. Whisk together vinegar, brown sugar, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.
    Toss cabbage and carrots in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season with salt and let stand 30 minutes before serving.

  • I winged it the other night with the ingredients I had on hand, and this curry came out deeee-lish!
     
    I buttercup winter squash, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
    any other veggies you have on hand (I had some last late-season eggplants and peppers from the greenhouse, as well as all this stuff):

    • brussels sprouts, halved
    • hakurei turnips, quartered
    • carrots, cut into 1" chunks
    • parsnips, cut into 1" chunks
    • celeriac, cut into 1/2" chunks
    • kale or chard, cut into ribbons
    • onions or leeks, diced

    1 can coconut milk
    dash of fish sauce
    Thai curry paste, to taste
    salt, to taste
     
    Sautee all your veggies in a large saucepan coated in olive oil, starting with your onions/leeks, celeriac and squash. Cook for 5-10 minutes on medium heat. Add carrots and parsnips and other hearty veg. After everything has begun to soften slightly, push the veggies to the corner of the pan and pour the coconut milk into the skillet. Stir in the Thai Curry paste to taste and fish sauce. Get a good even coconut milk slurry going, then mix all the veggies up with it. Simmer together until the veggies are tender. At the last minute, add the chard or kale and cook just long enought to wilt it down. Add salt to taste.
     
    Serve over rice or quinoa. Tastes great with a cashew garnish.

  • Serves 8.
     

    To add richness, sauté three ounces sliced pancetta until crisp; crumble over before serving.

     

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 pound carrots (about 4 large), peeled, cut into 3x1/4x1/4-inch sticks
    • 1 pound large parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, cut into 3x1/4x1/4-inch sticks
    • Coarse kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey (such as heather, chestnut, or wildflower)



    Preparation
    Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and parsnips. Sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Sauté until vegetables are beginning to brown at edges, about 12 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
    Add butter, rosemary, and honey to vegetables. Toss over medium heat until heated through and vegetables are glazed, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.

  • Serves 6. Takes about 45 minutes - a quick, easy fall soup!
     
    Ingredients:

    • 4 bacon slices (optional)
    • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
    • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
    • 1/2 pounds carrots, chopped
    • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
    • 3 thyme sprigs
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 3 1/2 cups veggie or chicken broth
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar



     
    Preparation:
    Cook bacon in a 4-to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
    Add garlic and caraway seeds to fat in pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. If skipping the bacon, substitute butter or olive oil for the fat. Add squash, carrots, apple, thyme, bay leaves, broth, water, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and boil, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaves.
    Purée about 4 cups soup in a blender, in batches if necessary, until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return to pot and season with salt, pepper, and vinegar. Serve topped with crumbled bacon.

  • Kale and White Bean Soup

    yield: Makes 6 main-course servings
    active time: 1 hr
    total time: 3 hr

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy
    • 2 onions or leeks, coarsely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 5 cups chicken or veggie broth
    • 2 qt water
    • 1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
    • 8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1 lb kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped

    Preparation
    Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.
    Cook onions/leeks in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.
    While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.
    Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.
    Cooks'notes: •Soup is best if made 1 or 2 days ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered. Thin with water if necessary.

  • This is a somewhat-involved soup, made entirely from scratch, but it relies on all your current veggies, plus a few that are still to come.

    Vegetable broth

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 large carrots, peeled, sliced
    • 2 medium onions, sliced
    • 1 medium fresh fennel bulb, sliced
    • 1 medium celery root (celeriac), peeled, sliced
    • 1/2 head of garlic, crushed (with peel)
    • 6 large fresh Italian parsley sprigs
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 1 large fresh rosemary sprig
    • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 16 cups water

    Garlic croutons

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 cups 1/2-inch cubes baguette or rustic country-style bread

    Vegetable soup

    • 1 cup dried cranberry beans or cannellini (white kidney beans)
    • 4 small carrots, peeled, sliced
    • 3 large shallots, thinly sliced
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 medium white-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
    • 1 cup sliced trimmed Italian pole beans or green beans (about 5 ounces)
    • 1 cup 1/2-inch cubes peeled celery root (celeriac)
    • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
    • 4 kale leaves, thinly sliced crosswise
    • 2 1/2-pints red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • Freshly shaved parmesan or asiaggo cheese

     
    Preparation
    For vegetable broth:
    Heat oil in very large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots and next 7 ingredients. Sauté until vegetables are golden and begin to soften, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and tomato paste; stir to blend. Add 16 cups water and bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 2 1/2 hours.
    Strain vegetable mixture, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids in strainer. Measure 13 cups broth and pour into large bowl (reserve remaining broth for another use). Season broth with salt. DO AHEAD: Can be made 5 days ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.
    for garlic croutons:
    Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add bread cubes; stir until crisp and golden, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat; cool. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
    For vegetable soup:
    Place cranberry beans in medium bowl; add enough cold water to cover beans by 2 inches. Let stand at room temperature overnight. Drain. Place beans in large saucepan; add enough cold water to cover beans by 3 inches. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Drain beans; set aside.
    Bring 13 cups vegetable broth to simmer in large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots and next 7 ingredients to broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. DO AHEAD: Soup and beans can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill beans. Cool soup slightly, then chill until cold. Cover and keep chilled. Rewarm soup over medium heat before continuing.
    Add cranberry beans and kale and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in cherry tomatoes and parsley; simmer just until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.
    Ladle vegetable soup into bowls. Garnish with garlic croutons and shaved cheese and serve.

  • Carrot bread from my mother years ago so unable to attribute to any original source.  So easy to make.
    Ingredients:
    1 1/3 C sugar
    1 1/3 c water
    4 Tablespoons butter
    1 C grated raw carrots
    1 C raisens
    1 tsp. salt
    2 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp allspice
    1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    1/4 tsp . clove
    2 C flour
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 1/ 2  C walnuts.
    Combine sugar, water, butter, carrots, raisens, spices, salt. stirring well, bring to boil. Boil 5 min. Cool. ( overnight is fine)
    Stir together all dry ingredients. Add  to boiled mixture. beat well.  Add nuts. Pour into   greased & dusted with flour  loaf pan
    Bake  350 degrees for about an hr.
    PLEASE NOTE:  Valley Flora large carrots so sweet that I reduced the sugar to 1 c.  Bet one could even use less as bread still quite sweet
    Despite the sugar   I would consider this a " healthy" bread and good and spicy.Maybe one could reduce the spices also if more to your taste.& maybe the carrot flavor would shine through more.  Also even if the tooth pick comes out clean before the 1 hr. keep baking. Mine was soggy in the middle. But still delightful especially when reheated. Addicting really.
     

  • This is a great way to enjoy any and all root vegetables, particularly when they're as colorful as beets and rainbow carrots are.
     
    1 bunch carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    1 fennel bulb, cut into even thick slices
    1 bunch or 1.5 pounds beets, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    Any other seasonal roots: potatoes, sweet potatoes, celeriac, parsnips, etc., cut into even 1/2 inch cubes.
    Glug of olive oil
    Sea salt
    Rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram - any combination of herbs, dried or fresh
     

    • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
    • Mix all the cubed roots together. Coat evenly with a good glug of olive oil, a good sprinkle of salt, and the herbs (chopped if using fresh). Toss well.
    • Spread out evenly on a cookie sheet.
    • Bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes, checking frequently and turning with a spatula to prevent sticking. Cook until a little bit crispy and golden.
    • Taste for salt and other seasonings. Enjoy plain, or with ketchup or hot sauce. Also great with eggs, like hashbrowns.
  • When we make kaleslaw - which is alot, especially in the fall and winter when the lettuce is gone but the kale, cabbage and carrots still persist - we kind of just wing it each time, using whatever we have on hand. The basic trio is kale, cabbage and carrots, but it's great to add apples, nuts, feta or anything else to jazz it up.
     
    Slaw
    1 bunch kale, stems trimmed, leaves finely chopped
    1/2 of a red cabbage, thinly sliced
    1 bunch carrots, grated
    Handful of currants, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, toasted pinenuts (or any other nut) or any other treats you like
    Optional: chopped apple, celery, onions or any other veggies you're fond of
     
    Dressing
    1 cup olive oil
    1/3 cup rice and/or cider vinegar
    splash of tamari or soy sauce
    splash of sesame oil
    spoonful of tahini
    a few big spoonfuls of mayo or vegenaise
    2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
    dash of chile flakes or fresh minced chiles
    Tbs. of sesame seeds
    Glug of maple syrup, or a heaping Tbs. of brown sugar
     

    • Prep the slaw and mix together
    • Make the dressing, pour it over the slaw and toss.
    • YUM.

     

  • Don't just throw them away! The tender tops on your carrots are great in soups! Here's one rendition, based on a recipe from Local Flavors:
     
    1 bunch carrots, the tops and the roots
    2 Tbs butter
    3 Tbs. white rice
    1 bunch purplette onions
    2 thyme sprigs
    2 Tbs. chopped dill, parsley or celery leaves
    sea salt and freshly ground pepper
    6 cups veggie stock or chicken stock
     

    • Pull or pluck the lacy leaves of the carrot greens off their stems. You should have between 2-3 cups, loosely packed. Wash, then chop finely. Grate the carrots, or chop them finely.
    • Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the carrot tops and carrots, rice, onions, and herbs. Cook for several minutes, turning everthing a few times, then season with 1.5 tsp. salt and add the stock.
    • Bring to a boil and simmger until the rice is cooked, 16-18 minutes.
    • Taste for salt, season with pepper and serve.
  • Zoe set me up with some of her fine leeks a while back and I came up with a pretty tasty application.  
     
    Chopped up the leeks into one inch sections after cleaning and gave them a quick saute with some marsala curry powder (or whatever) and a bit of olive oil.  Then I stuffed the chicken with them and gave the chicken liberal coating of tandoori paste and baked with potatoes.  The leaks steam themselves inside the chicken and impart a nice flavor and it helps keep it moist.
     
    Now you might not want to eat all those leeks along with your chicken on the first go around, but I always make a soup from the left overs so when you go to simmer up the bones just throw all those leeks in and you've got a great soup base.  Then add carrots, celery, or whatever veggies (maybe noodles or rice) you've got and you'll have a great curry flavored chicken soup!
    Now thats Leeky!
     
    -Zachary (will geek for food)