Saturday, June 6, 2015

Spring Savor from Local Farmers

With three farmers markets and one farm store nearby, it's easy to find spring produce and local meat and poultry.  Many of the vendors have spring greens, radishes, turnips, beets, baby carrots, peas, strawberries, rhubarb, summer squash, broccoli and green tomatoes.  Working H Farm supplies grass fed beef, pork and lamb and the first grass-fed chickens of the season!  

Ragout of Lamb with Turnips, Peas, Asparagus and Farro (above) features local meat, turnips and peas.  

Four Pea Salad has my favorite "Pea Shoots" from Deberry Farm, peas, snap peas and snow peas.  Served with a fresh lemon, olive oil and vinegar dressing.

Zucchini Dutch Baby has fresh grated zucchini from the Thursday  South Community Farmers Market  and broccoli from the Tuesday  Westover Market.  The romaine lettuce is from Sickles Farm.

My favorite way to fix beets is in a salad with fresh orange segments.  These beets from the South Community Market were so fresh the skin was thin and so easy to peel.  I make my salad with walnuts, fresh cut cilantro and a fresh orange juice, oil and vinegar dressing.

Working H Farm raises grass fed free range chickens which are available now throughout the summer months.  It's cold here in the winter-much too cold for free range chickens.  The owners laughed at me when I asked, "Is it fresh?", as I'm thinking the feathers had just been removed.  I stuffed onion, herbs and celery leaves under the skin prior to roasting and this chicken was the best I every had!

I was so please to find the Fresh Spring Wheat from McConnell Mill for sale at Working H Farm.  Tom is a colleague, a WVU Extension Agent, who works with small farms.  I love these Apple Nut Pancakes made with hard red spring wheat.

Here are two of the recipes:

Ragout of Lamb, Spring Vegetables with Farro

(Serves 4)

Brown lamb pieces in oil, turning until browned, about 8 minutes.  Season with fresh ground pepper.  Transfer to a plate.
2 lamb chops, approximately 1/2 pound, cut in 3/4 inch pieces
Fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil

Add shallot to pan and saute a few minutes.
1 shallot, diced

Add garlic and vinegar.  Cook until syrupy, about 1 minute.
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Add wine, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by one-fourth.
1/2 cup red wine

Add broth, lamb and herbs.  (I added the 2 small bones to the mixture).  Simmer gently, partially covered, about 1 hour.  Add more water if necessary.
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh cut herbs
2 bay leaves

Stir in farro and cook 20 minutes.
1/2 cup farro

Add turnips and cook about 30 minutes.
6-8 salad turnips, trimmed and scrubbed

Stir in asparagus and peas.  Cook 5 minutes.
1/4 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut in 1 inch pieces
1 cup peas

Add greens and stir to wilt.
1 cup spinach, torn in small pieces

The recipe is from Bon Appetit.  

Zucchini Dutch Baby

(Serves 2)

Whisk together in a measuring cup.  
1 cup grated zucchini
1/3 cup evaporated skim milk
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon fresh cut thyme
1 tablespoon part-skim ricotta cheese

Heat oil in 2 individual cast iron skillets.
2 teaspoons olive oil (1 teaspoon per skillet)
Add batter to cast iron skillets.
1/2 cup batter per skillet 

Dollop with ricotta cheese (3 tablespoons on top of each skillet)
6 tablespoons part-skim ricotta cheese
Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash.
Mrs. Dash
I steamed my broccoli in a zipper bag in microwave for 30 seconds.
Garnish top of each with broccoli.
6 sprigs fresh broccoli spears

Transfer to preheated 425 F oven and bake for 20 minutes.

This recipe was inspired by Rachael Ray. 



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