Food ideas for early July

Here are more enjoyable meals we’ve had recently, rooted in our farm’s products and other local food sources. As early summer items start to come on, we’re truly enjoying the ability to make diverse meals from truly fresh ingredients. One of the nice things about running a farm is that you get to eat all the seconds, produce that isn’t quite perfect enough for market but is plenty edible. So we end up with meals like these:

First, we have the vegan feast:

A vegan friend stayed with us for a few days last week, and we had a great time eating lots of meals fully sourced in some newly-available products like potatoes, green beans, and amaranth greens. Above, you see: Herbed new potatoes. Freshly dug Yukon golds, cubed and boiled, with olive oil, dill, and parsley. Sauteed amaranth greens. We like these as a summer green, cooked just like any other (collards, kale, etc.). Here they’ve been sauteed with chopped fresh garlic and tomato vinegar. Fennel & friends salad. Lots of fresh veggies chopped and tossed with a simple vinegar dressing. Fennel, baby zucchini, string beans, sweet onions, and more. This was a great meal, almost entirely made from items harvested just before preparation, with lots of different flavors and textures to enjoy.

Next we have a nice combination of potatoes and garlic:

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At upper right is a nice “potato cake” Joanna tried from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Basically another form of potato pancakes (which we often make), this involved thinly sliced fresh potatoes, sweet onions, basil, cheese, and salt. It didn’t hold together like the recipe suggested, but it made an excellent hash. At bottom is a roasted fresh garlic bulb with a fresh flatbread to spread it on. This particular variety was Russian Giant, which we’re not selling. It roasted wonderfully into a smooth, buttery spread with a really mild flavor (a bit too mild for me, though tasty). There’s nothing like the flavor of roasted garlic.
And finally the fish chowder:
Made from a family recipe (my stepfather is an avid fisherman), this was based on a fat fish from Troutdale Farm. I started a roux of butter and flour, then sauteed some sweet onions. To this I added chopped potatoes and fresh shelled peas, and just enough water to cover. All this was boiled until tender, then I added the flaked fish along with salt and pepper. Finally I added fresh goat’s milk and the roux, and slowly simmered into a thick, delicious chowder. All the produce was ours, the fish, milk, and flour local, leaving just the butter as non-local. This was really, really tasty.

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