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Clagett Farm Recipes~ Preserving the Harvest

Photos and Recipes~Rita Calvert 2007


Farm Talk

So here we go with a lovely sampler which also represents

You may be a bit weary of eggplant at the moment, however when you remove a freezer batch of Humma-ghanoush in February your mouth will be a waterin’. Many of the other items on this Mezze plate can also be stored for winter consumption. Pickled okra, dehydrated tomatoes or smoked tomatoes in olive oil (we gave you that recipe) are just a few of keeping you happy through the winter months.

I have “rerun” some of the recipes so you don’t have to scroll way back on the Clagett Blog to find them.

Fall Farm Mezze Platter
Serves: a crowd or 1

roasted peppers with Balsamic
Clagett spicy greens
Sauteed Bright Lights Swiss chard stems, sliced
pickled Okra with whole coriander seeds (from Clagett)
Multi-colored tomatoes
with Herbes de Clagett Vinaigrette
Watermelon Radishes
Local grilled chicken


On a large platter, lay out the separate ingredients in mounds or whatever suits you. Let folks pick and choose as they wish.


Serves 4

You were given the alert this recipe was coming when the eggplant was bountiful. One could eat their weight in this dish! Its a great dip that is simple and fast. Use as a starter, a sauce or for a dip with crudités.

1 medium eggplant
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
juice and zest 1 lemon
1 cup chickpeas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, optional
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the grill to medium high.
Put the eggplant on the grill, close lid and grill/roast until charred and tender. Cool and scoop out the pulp with a large spoon. Place the eggplant flesh in a food processor with the garlic, lemon juice, zest and chickpeas Season well and whiz together. With the motor still running, pour in the sesame and olive oil and blend until the mixture is smooth.

Okra with Coriander and Tomatoes
Serves 8

1 pound chopped tomatoes
1 pound fresh okra
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions thinly sliced
 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon sugar
finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
salt and ground black pepper
Trim off any stalks from okra and leave whole. Heat oil in a saute pan and fry the onions
and coriander for 3-4 minutes until beginning to color.
Add okra and garlic and fry for 1 minute. Gently stir in the tomatoes and sugar and simmer
for about 15 minutes, until okra is tender, stirring onceor twice. Stir in lemon rind and
juice and add salt and pepper to taste, adding a little more sugar if necessary. Serve warm or cold.

Pickled Okra

5 pounds okra
8 cups vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup kosher salt
8 cloves garlic
8 or more dried or fresh chiles
lots of dill seed

Wash okra, leaving top cam and removing excess stem. Combine vinegar, water and kosher salt. Bring to a boil. Drop okra into boiling mixture (and chiles if you're using fresh chiles) and bring to a rolling boil. Place in hot, pint-sized sterilized jars. Add one clove of garlic and, if you're using
dried instead of fresh chiles, one or more dried hot chiles (depending on how hot you want them) and the dill seed to each jar. Seal while hot. Let stand 8 - 10 weeks before serving.

Herbes de Clagett 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 basil, thyme, oregano
2 teaspoons capers
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Fall Minestrone

Adapted from a TV Food Network recipe for our harvest, our Minestrone is healthy and flavorful all at the same time. Make sure you try this one when you are in the mood for a yummy, healthy, cozy dinner. The chop and drop method also makes it good for a weeknight. Even if there are only one or two of you, make the whole thing because the leftovers only get better!

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

1 small hot chile pepper

4 garlic cloves

2 medium onions, chopped
2 cups broccoli flowerettes

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery ribs, chopped with greens

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 stems of fresh rosemary

8 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced

1 medium zucchini, diced

1 small bunch of kale or chard, trimmed of tough ends and veins and coarsly chopped (4 to 5 cups)
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained [also called white kidney beans or red kidney]

1 cup fresh diced tomatoes plus1 14-ounce can petite diced tomatoes or chunky-style crushed tomatoes

1 quart chicken stock or broth

2 cups vegetable stock or broth

piece of rind of parmigiano cheese

1 cup mini macaroni pasta

Crusty bread, for mopping

Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the chile pepper, garlic, broccoli, onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the rosemary stems and the sage to the pot. [The rosemary will fall off the stem as it cooks.] Add the zucchini and chopped greens and stir them into the pot until all the greens wilt down, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the beans, tomatoes, stocks and cheese rind, then place a lid on the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Uncover and add the ditalini pasta. Cook the soup for 7 to 8 minutes at a rolling simmer, uncovered, until the pasta is al dente, with a bite to it. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the rind and then now bare rosemary stems (the leaves fall off into the soup as it cooks). [See, I told you.] Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the soup into shallow bowls and top with grated cheese.

Fall Festival this Saturday; books to prisons

Just a reminder--our Fall Festival is this Saturday from noon to 4pm at Clagett Farm.
It's free and open to everyone.

12-2pm potluck lunch
1:15-2pm and 3-3:45pm hayrides
1-2 pm guided hike (West)
3-4pm guided hike (East)
2:30pm silent auction winners announced and items distributed
1-4pm CSA pick-up in the barn (instead of the washing station)
Clagett Farm bluegrass band
children's crafts
help separate garlic cloves for planting
you-pick for shareholders
tour the farm at your leisure

Here are some photos from last year, taken by Roshani Kothari...

Clagett_farm_2006_192 Clagett_farm_2006_174 Clagett_farm_2006_204

One of our co-workers, Kenji, helps with an organization called Books To Prisons, which mails books to prison inmates who request them.  He would happy to take your donations of used books, if you wish to bring to them to the farm. 

Donate for Fall Festival's silent auction

The Fall Festival is coming soon--Saturday, October 20th.  One of our traditions for the festival is an auction.  Years ago it was a pie auction with a live auctioneer.  But without an auctioneer among us any longer we've switched to a silent auction, and we've expanded our auction items to include more than just pies (although baked goods are still wonderful auction items!).  We hope you'll consider donating some things for us to sell at the auction.  And just to entice you to come to the festival with money, here's a list of the items people have already promised to bring:
-a handmade quilt
-a handmade baby afghan
-a $100 gift certificate to The Little Fountain restaurant
-homemade picante sauce
-homemade gingerbread
-handmade scarves
-baskets of handmade soaps and other natural care products
-some vegetable-themed trivets
-a wool sweater
-coupons for bread
-a farm-themed children's book
-a large framed Clagett Farm photo

The festival will be from noon to 4pm, but we'll end the auction at 2:30pm.
We'll also have a potluck lunch (noon to 2pm), hayrides (1:15pm and 3pm), hikes through the woods (1pm and 3pm), live bluegrass music (12:30-2:30pm), and we'll be prepping garlic for planting thoughout if you feel like taking a seat and lending a hand. 

Once again, the festival is free and open to everyone. 
Hope to see you there!

Job seekers welcome

As of 4/8/08 we are no longer seeking applicants to work here in the 2008 season.

Tragically, we are losing two of our wonderful co-workers this winter.  Kenji is moving to California and Dave is moving to Rwanda.  So we'll be hiring several new staff next year, and if you're interested, or know someone who is, this is a great time to introduce yourselves to us. 

We are much more likely to hire individuals who have worked with us in the past--as volunteers, worksharers or otherwise--than people we have never worked with before.  In addition to helping us get a sense of the applicant's work style, it also helps the applicants when they have a clear idea of what the commute to the farm is like, and of course, what it really means to labor in the fields. 

We plan to hire both part-time and full-time staff, and our starting wage is currently $9/hour.  We'll begin interviewing in February and make our hiring decisions by around mid-March.  Positions will begin around April and end around the end of September, though this may vary considerably, depending our needs and the availability of the applicants. 

So just to be clear, we're not taking resumes now, but if you think you might want to work here next year, let us know you're interested, and give us a chance to get to know you now while we can work with you in the field.   


Okra, Clouds and Clagett Barns


Photos and recipes by Rita Calvert 2007
Most of these recipes were inspired from farm friends!

Okra Walnut Salad
Serves 8
Simple and fresh our lovely salad gets a bite from the very healthy horseradish.

1 pound fresh okra, cooked and sliced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped 
1/3 cup diced celery 
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish 
1/3 cup red wine vinaigrette 
8 cups Clagett salad greens 
1/2 to 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Combine okra and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; cover and chill at least 4 hours.
Toss together okra and salad greens; sprinkle with walnuts. Serve immediately.

Okra Gumbo Freezer Mix
Makes 4 pints
What a great idea this instant dinner packed away in the freezebox!

5 pounds fresh okra, sliced

6 medium onions, chopped

4 celery ribs, chopped

2 green bell peppers, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

4 bay leaves

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon pepper

Combine all ingredients; spoon into 2 (13- x 9-inch) pans. Cover with foil.
Bake at 300° for 2 hours, stirring after 1 hour. Let cool completely; spoon into 4 (1-pint) freezer containers, and freeze up to 4 months.


Apple-and-Gorgonzola Salad With Maple Dressing
Serves 6

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 cups Clagett mixed salad greens (we love the spicy mix)

2 large sliced local apples

1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

For Dressing:
Combine first 5 ingredients (through pepper), stirring well with a whisk.

Combine greens and apple in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle salad with Gorgonzola cheese and pecans.

Pasta with Braised Squash and Greens
Serves 4

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces cubed smoked tofu
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tiny minced hot chile pepper
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 pound summer squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces whole-wheat fusilli pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper

Put a large pot of water on to boil for cooking pasta.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tofu and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add onion to the pan; cook, stirring often, until softened and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Return the tofu to the pan and add broth and squash; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 5-8 minutes. Add chard and stir to immerse. Cover and cook until the squash and chard are tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Add the squash mixture, Parmesan, salt and pepper; toss to coat.


Spiced Apple Carrot Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting
Serves 10

Tangy yet fulfilling the sweet tooth as well as the nutrients, this fruity moist cake from Sunset magazine packs a powerful nutritional wallop without all of the fat. It certainly is fantastic as well simply dusted with cinnamon powdered sugar.

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups packed coarsely grated carrots (about 3 medium)

1 1/2 cups packed coarsely grated tart apples, such as Granny Smith (about 2 medium)

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, plus more for garnish


10 ounce fresh, mild chèvre (goat cheese), at room temperature

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease three 9-in. round cake pans and set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, spices, cocoa, pepper, and salt. Whisk to combine, then stir in oil and eggs. Stir in carrots, apples, and 1 cup walnuts.

Divide batter among pans and bake until cakes pull away from pan sides and a cake tester inserted in each center comes out clean, 25 minutes. Transfer cakes to cooling racks and let cool 10 minutes. Turn out onto racks and let cool completely.

Beat goat cheese, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar and mix until combined.

Once cakes are cool, arrange first layer on a large plate or platter. Spread some frosting over it, then top with second layer. Frost second layer and top with the third. Generously frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Chill cake at least 1 hour. Before serving, press walnuts lightly into sides of cake.