Thursday, July 05, 2007

OLS dinner 2007 02

Did you hear? One Local Summer got so big, it needed its very own website. In its honor, I present to you, a very big OLS post this week ;)

Nyuhm, nyuhm!

One Local Summer 2007, Dinner Menu 02
  • Fresh blueberries (someone's front yard produce stand - 6 miles) and black raspberries (picked while on a bike ride through Lenape Park in Perkasie - 5 miles).
  • Troegs DreamWeaver Wheat Ale (Troeg's Brewery - 95 miles).
  • Steamed Swiss chard, beet greens and kohrabi greens, sautéed with scallions and shredded kohlrabi (all from our Blooming Glen Farm CSA crop share - 5 miles). Nonlocal ingredients used: olive oil, salt, pepper.
  • Focaccia (Baker's on Broad - 0 miles), spread with pink pesto made from garlic scapes, purple basil (both from Blooming Glen) and cherries (bought by kah for me at her CSA, Pennypack, who imported them from Lancaster, PA - 84 miles), then layered with steamed then lightly sautéed purple kale, and with steamed then lightly sautéed summer squash and scallions, and sprinkled with chopped basil and parsley (all Blooming Glen). Nonlocal ingredients used: olive oil, salt.
  • Stir fried seitan (Ray's Seitan in Philadelphia - 37 miles), scallions, basil and parsley (from Blooming Glen, of course). Nonlocal ingredients used: olive oil.
I was recently turned onto a local organic flour source, the Annville Flouring Mill in Lancaster, by Meredith (edge effect). I've ordered flour, but until it arrives, I'm happy to feature bread from my favorite bakers (Linda and Raphael from Bakers on Broad) who live and bake just a couple blocks away. The opened shop just about two years ago, and I've been visiting a few times a month to buy their amazing complet bread and olive rolls. Occasionally, we'll pick up some fun-to-decorate focaccia, too :)

I happened across kohlrabi patties on frugelmom's photo stream earlier this week and I plan to veganize her recipe in the future. I couldn't wait to try out her method of shredding kohlrabi, though. It was a great way to incorporate an additional texture and flavor into our usual steamed-stir-fried greens.

I split a share from our CSA with my sister and when we hooked up to break up the order, she mentioned a garlic scape pesto recipe she saw online. We talked a bit about it, and eying up the gorgeous purple basil we had just received and considering the remaining handful of garlic scapes from last week, I decided to make a spread for the focaccia. I processed all of the eight or nine garlic scapes, all four stems of purple basil and the last stem of green basil from last week's share with some olive oil. The result was fragrant, but extremely bitter. Ugh. Realizing that I used all of my garlic scapes and basil, I quickly became bitter myself.

I certainly couldn't toss the mixture; I had to find something sweet, local and currently in my kitchen, to add to the mix. I was frustrated, grumpy and pissy, banging around the kitchen, when Jason suggested adding a handful of the cherries I had out on the counter. Cherries? Cherries to pesto?! That would never... or would it?

Well... why not?

At like a million dollars a pint (or four, whatever), I couldn't imagine it was the smart thing to do. I already used my entire lot of scapes and basil and now felt like I was getting ready to toss $8 worth of cherries. "And the cherry season is so shooort," I whined.

Luckily, Jase tapped into his superhero patience and encouraged me to start with just a bit of chopped cherry and a teaspoon of the pesto. He's so smart, I know.

It was passable, so we pitted and processed abut 15 cherries into the pesto and spread it onto the focaccia. I added a layer of greens and scallions, then summer squash, and baked it all at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. The end result was way more than passable. It was divine. The high temperature really brought out the cherry sugars, accentuating the garlic and basil flavors. Also, I think that just by baking the scapes, their bitterness was subdued.

I'm glad I didn't just toss the pesto and give up. Something I don't know I would have done, had I not been preparing my weekly local meal. Losing the ingredients was just not an option - I mean, I only get so many garlic scapes a season! Plus, what would the farmers at Blooming Glen think if I just wasted that food?! Man.

Another OLS week down! A little more dramatic than last week, but still fun to prepare and so delicious to eat :)


Ben Garland said...

I can't wait until we all run a hostel and live together. We're going to be the healthiest, most well-fed people ever!

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

One local summer is awesome! What a great project to be a part - it looks fabulous! I'm hip to The Four Agreements because of your post a while back, and I just wanted to thank you for that! :)

leendaluu said...

Great post! I picked mountains of cherries yesterday and was looking for something unusual to do with them so I think a pesto experiment is in order..thanks!

Peg said...

You're totally in love with your farm, aren't you? I love that. I feel the same way about ours. Great save on your CSA.

Mikaela said...

That is so awesome, Vicki :D :D :D

Yes, Peg, I am *so* in love with my farm!