Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How we used it: Figs

There is a massive abundance of figs right now. Since we took over the farm three years ago, the fig tree has grown three fold. We are constantly looking for different fig uses. Farmer No. 1 has made vast quantities of jam. We are almost figged out.

This fig tart recipe asked for 1.5 lbs of fresh figs. No problem there.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Best Pie in the World

Have you ever heard of Grape Pie? We hadn't either, but when we discovered our Concord Grape vine actually produced lots and lots of fragrant, juicy grapes, we started looking for recipes. A friend recommended Grape Pie, so we tried it. The result is a fabulous, sweet pie similar to blueberry pie, but very grape-y and delicious. Here are the steps to make your very own:

Step 1: Harvest the grapes or buy from the local market (they are in season now!). 4-5 cups are needed for a 9-10 inch pie.

Step 2: A little labor intensive, but each grape has a seed inside that must be removed. Squeeze the grape so the inside pops out into a bowl, and put grape the skin in another bowl.

Step 3: Heat the insides with the seeds in a skillet until they turn pale yellow and the seeds become loose. Push the insides through a fine strainer or food mill to separate the seeds from the juice and pulp.

Step 4: Combine strained juice/pulp with skins, 1 cup sugar, 1 T lemon juice, 3 T cornstarch and stir until smooth. Pour into an unbaked pie crust (homemade crust is worth it!), dot with butter pats, and cover. Cut vents. Sprinkle crust with sugar and cinnamon (the cinnamon is key for the perfect flavor). Bake at 450 degrees for 30 mins, then 375 degrees for 30 mins until bubbling through the vents.

Step Five: Enjoy this slice of heaven with a little vanilla ice cream!

Monday, September 7, 2009

If you can’t “beet” ‘em, join ‘em

Hello! This is guest blogger, Farmer 1st Place (1st Place as in the street. I can only hope to one day be a 1st place, blue ribbon farmer). My only regret in moving to Brooklyn is my lack of a back yard and place to grow my own vegetables. Luckily, Farmer No.1 and Farmer No.2 are quite generous with their bounty and thus, prevent any envious thoughts I may have over their beautiful space.
This weekend, they entrusted me with lots of beets and orders to make something delicious to share at dinner that night. I’ve been really inspired by Mark Bittman’s article “101 Simple Salads for the Summer” which he wrote for his “The Minimalist” column in the NY Times. #32 on the list suggest pairing beets with corn, arugula and shallots- yum! I had also picked up some really cute sunburst/pattypan squash from the Park Slope farmers market, as well as some green peppercorn goat cheese (and we all know the love story of beets an goat cheese...). This is what came together:

I peeled and chopped the beets (red and golden!) in large chunks of equal size. I also chopped to the squash to about the same size and tossed them both in olive oil, salt and pepper. I then roasted the beets on 400 degrees. After about 15 minutes, I added the squash and cooked everything for another 40 minutes (til they seemed tender, but the beets hadn’t went to mush. While that was in the oven, I boiled 2 ears of sweet corn (also from the farmers market) and cut the kernels off. This would be even yummier if you could grill the corn, but I also think it’s perfectly acceptable to use good quality frozen corn. I mixed the three vegetables with chopped shallots and let them cool. Once they were at room temp, I mixed them, with a big handful of arugula, the crumbled goat cheese and more salt and pepper. Pretty simple and pretty darn yummy. The colors were also quite festive.(top two images by Farmer No.2, bottom two by my stupid iphone)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How we used it: eggplant, peppers, basil

For dinner tonight we grilled eggplant and peppers, topped with feta cheese, basil, olive oil, lemon juice. It was very tasty. The lemon and basil really make it complete.