Mid Summer Upon Us
We Think the Tractor's Sexy!

New Ideas for Old Favorites

Clagett Farm Recipes~ New Ideas for Old Favorites
Photos and Recipes~Rita Calvert 2007
Tips & Tidbits
So have you found the catnip at Clagett? I certainly have and here you see my best buddy, Coley foraging for his treat from the weekly share. WOW, what a week it was!

Further down you’ll see a cutie photo of Dakota holding a big ol’ bunch of Lamb’s Quarters.Dscn1961_9

Herb Talk from the Farm
Carrie planted some winter savory at Clagett she said because she’ll try most any perennial. However, it seems the strong character has us stumped on how to use it. Below is the overview.
Savory
Description:
An herb that has summer and winter varieties. Both have a strong, slightly peppery taste but the winter variety has a stronger, sharper and spicier flavor.
Look For:
Fresh leaves and crumbled dried leaves.
Best Uses: 
It's a special touch in bean dishes and is also good with most meats, in stuffing, or in tomato and onion dishes.

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Food of the Week . . . Summer Squash
Did you know that the powerful antioxidants found in summer squash, like vitamin C and beta carotene, have potent anti-inflammatory properties? Antioxidants help combat free radical activity, which can damage cell structures including DNA. By doing so, antioxidants boost immunity and help reduce risk of cancer and heart disease. To maximize the nutrients you derive from different types of summer squash, such as zucchini, purchase organically grown varieties whenever possible, so you can enjoy the entire squash—skin, seeds and flesh—without concern over pesticide residues. Summer squash can be served lightly cooked or raw with your favorite dip.

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One of Those Sublime Summer Salads
Serves 4

For the vinaigrette
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large shallot, minced (to yield 3 Tbs.)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons capers
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad
2 heads butter lettuce, such as Bibb or Boston (about 6 oz. each)
1 6 ounce can tuna, drained
1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or other bean of choice)
1 1/2 cup chopped fresh summer squash
1 cup fresh sprouts (of choice)
shredded basil lleaves
fresh radishes
sliced tomatoes

Make the vinaigrette:
In a small bowl, whisk togetehr the lemon juice, shallot, and mustard and then gradually whisk in the olive oil to create an emulsion. Add the tarragon and capers; season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until serving time.
Make the salad:
Tear the lettuce and greens into bite-size pieces.

Place the tuna,chickpeas,squash and sprouts in a salad bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette; toss to coat. Arrange the greens on plates and top with the tuna mixture. Garnish with tomatoes and radish and serve immediately.

Grilled Summer Squash with Olive Oil and Mint
Serves 4

12 ounces yellow summer squash, such as zucchini or crookneck
12 ounces green zucchini
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
about 1/8 teaspoon salt
about 1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons slivered fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice


Prepare barbecue grill and preheat for direct-heat cooking (the charcoal or gas flame is directly under the food ).

Rinse and drain squash. Cut each in half lengthwise, then into 1-inch pieces. In a bowl, mix vegetables with oil, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

If cooking over charcoal, use a grill skillet or basket; if cooking over gas, use a grill sheet or basket. Pour vegetables into grill skillet, sheet, or basket.

Place skillet or basket on grill over a solid bed of medium-hot coals or mediumhigh heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand just above grill level only 3 to 4 seconds). Keep charcoal grill uncovered; close lid on gas grill. Cook, gently shaking skillet once or twice to turn vegetables, until tender when pierced, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove vegetables from grill and return to bowl. Add mint leaves, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste; mix well. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.


Steamed Vegetable Medley
Serves 2

This dish is one of those gems that is easy, delicate, and delicious, giving you a way to have the benefits of fresh vegetables in your diet with little effort. Because it is steamed it gives you a healthier way to enjoy these vegetables without using heated oils. For a wonderful variation try steaming a piece of salmon or chicken on top of vegetables for a 1 dish meal that is quick, clean, and healthy.
• 1 cup thinly sliced carrot
• 2 cups chopped collard greens or other greens, stems removed
• 1 medium onion sliced thick
• 1 cup cubed zucchini (quarter lengthwise and slice about ½ inch thick)
• Dressing
• extra virgin olive oil to taste
• 1 medium clove garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• salt and cracked black pepper to taste
• *optional 1 teaspoon soy sauce

Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a steamer with a tight fitting lid. Add carrots, cover, and steam for 3 minutes. Without removing carrots add collard greens, and steam for another 3 minutes. Then add onion and zucchini and steam for another 3 minutes.

Remove from steamer and place in bowl. Toss with dressing ingredients.

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“Talk Talk” from the Farm
Just to keep the anticipation high...I have come up with the most marvelous dish combo-Humma-ghanoush!!! Stay tuned for eggplant harvest!
At the classic Food & Wine presents their hand-picked, 2007 "Best New Chefs" from across the nation to critics, chefs, and serious eaters. Here are some of their most tightly held secrets which are helpful tips to consider.

Take Your Time
Johnny wants people to feel that they are eating in his home so he slows it down and lets people enjoy themselves. "It's not unusual for a meal to take three hours," he said. 

Matthew Dillon - Sitka & Spruce, Seattle, Washington
When I asked Matt what his secret is, he smiled devilishly and replied "if I told you, it wouldn't be a secret." Good point Matt. Finally, he gave it up and said, "Have close relationships with farmers and purveyors. Learn from them. It's through these relationships that you can trust you're getting the best."

Ian Schnoebelen - Iris, New Orleans, Louisiana
Citrus Salt 
Add citrus salt to seafood for a nice lift. Take lime, lemon, orange peels or zest, and blend them in a food processor with some kosher salt and you're done. 
Paul  Vivrant - Vie, Western Springs, Illinois

Pickling Juices
Use quality ingredients (Vivrant recommends good champagne vinegar, Meyer lemons and sea salt) to pickle vegetables and get two for the price of one: You can use the pickling juices as a vinaigrette or a marinade for fish and meats.
April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig, New York, New York

Acidity
Add acidity in everything to bring out the flavor in food. Lemon, orange, tomatoes, lime, aged balsamic vinegar or cherry vinaigrette makes every dish brighter.
Sean O' Brien - Myth, San Francisco, California

Make Your Own Salt
Ditch the iodized salts and make your own flavored kind - take herbs like Rosemary from your garden and crush them up with some salt for an enhanced flavor.
Gavin Kaysen - El Bizcocho, San Diego, California

Pimente d' Espelette (a ground red chile pepper)
Season fish with pimente d' espelette instead of using pepper. Pepper adds a bittery taste while pimente de espelette makes fish sweeter. Superb in ceviche.
Steve Corry - Five Fifty Five, Portland, Maine

Taste Your Food
Taste it when you buy it. Taste it when you bring it home. Taste it as you cook it and taste it before you serve it. His motto: "Go for it, even at the farmers market. You won't get arrested."

Gabriel Bremer - Salts, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Go Global
Always research new techniques. Gabriel looks to Spain, Italy, and even old Japanese techniques to discover ways to add something new to his cooking.
Johnny Monis - Komi, Washington DC

 

Cold Cuke and Carrot Soup
Serves 4-6  

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 1/4 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons each toasted cumin and coriander seeds, ground
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
6 cups peeled and chopped fresh cukes
2 to 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 1/2 cups good quality sherry (fino or amontillado)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Garnish: light sour cream or yogurt and either one or a combination of the following fresh herbs: chives, parsley, basil, tarragon

Heat the oil in a large soup pot and add the onion, garlic and carrots. Cook over moderate heat until the vegetables are soft but not browned.
Add the spices and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add the cukes and 2 cups of stock.

Cool the mixture slightly and puree in a food processor until smooth. Stir in the sherry and more stock if the soup seems too thick.Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Serve garnished with a dollop of light sour cream and chopped fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, basil, tarragon or a combination. Can be made 3 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


Yellow Gazpacho with Smoked Salmon "Spheres"
Serves 6

For the yellow gazpacho:
1 3/4 pounds very ripe, yellow or orange tomatoes
3 medium (1 pound) charred, peeled and seeded yellow bell peppers
1 medium (1 1/2 cups) chopped onions
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/8 teaspoon (big pinch) saffron threads
1 teensy dragon chile or 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup fruity white wine such as Gewurztraminer or Riesling
1 cup rich shrimp, chicken or vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground white pepper
fresh lemon juice, to taste
1/4 cup each diced, seeded cucumber, sweet red onion and avocado
Smoked Salmon Spheres
Garnish: fresh basil

For the smoked salmon spheres:
3/4 pound good quality smoked salmon, very coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped sweet red onion
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon finely minced lemon zest
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro (or a mixture of fresh basil and mint)

In a food mill or blender, puree the tomatoes and peppers and strain, pressing down hard on the solids. Set aside. You should have approximately 3 cups of puree.
In a saute pan over moderate heat, saute the onions, garlic, saffron and chile in olive oil until softened but not brown.Add wine and the stock and continue to cook uncovered for another 6-8 minutes until vegetables are very soft.

Puree in a food processor or blender and add to the tomato juice mixture and season to taste with salt, pepper and drops of lemon juice. Chill.

Mix salmon, onion, garlic, zest and cilantro together and season lightly with salt and pepper. Form into even heaping teaspoon size meatballs and set aside, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.To serve, ladle the soup into chilled bowls and scatter the diced cucumber, onion and avocado on top. Divide the Smoked Salmon Spheres among the bowls. Sprinkle basil over the top and serve immediately.


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