Kohlrabi (kol-RAH-bee), sometimes called “cabbage turnip,” is a large spherical shaped vegetable that can be pale green, light yellow, or pinkish-purple. It looks like a root vegetable, but is actually the swollen base of the stem. The leaves have usually been removed before you purchase it, so there will be short leaf stems sprouting from various parts of the sphere. Continue Reading
Kale is easy to grow in our climate, and can grow year round except in the most extreme cold winters. The taste of the leaves becomes sweeter as the winter progresses, making it a wonderful cold weather vegetable when little else is being harvested locally. There’s even a variety of kale called “Hungry Gap,” a British term for the time between summer growing seasons. Continue Reading
Strawberries! The first of the season! These strawberries were from Boxx Berry Farm (Ferndale), though there are also many other producers in Whatcom County.
For a good demonstration of the advantages of buying local produce, try comparing a quart of Boxx’s fresh strawberries to a quart purchased from a chain grocer. These Boxx berries were deep red and fully ripe over the whole berry, while the grocery berries usually have white or green patches that aren’t ripe. The Boxx berries were in perfect condition throughout the whole basket, while grocery berries may be bruised and spoiled near the bottom of the basket. Finally, grocery berries frequently have a sour taste and require sweetening to enjoy. The Boxx berries were naturally sweet right from the basket. Perfection! Continue Reading
I enjoy starting with a classic, ordinary recipe and making it local and special. This week I was in the mood to bake bread, so I decided to attempt an improved, locavore grilled cheese sandwich.
I knew just the cheese to make it special–Appel Farms’ Sweet Red Pepper Gouda. Homemade bread, artisan cheese, spread fresh basil leaves over it, and voila! I could almost taste it just thinking about it! Continue Reading
Fast and flavorful, this dill salad dressing combines well with nearly any salad ingredients. It’s smooth enough to go with spicier ones such as arugula, mesclun salad mixes, etc., but also adds enough flavor to perk up blander ingredients, such as hard-boiled eggs or plain lettuce.
Since no salad oil is produced here in Whatcom County that I know of, I’m constantly looking for alternatives for dressing bases. The tangy taste of yogurt is light enough to go with most greens, and also combines well with many herbs. You can achieve a rich variety of flavors by blending yogurt with such fresh local herbs as lemon balm, sorrel, basil, dill and more. Don’t forget the garlic! Continue Reading
By late spring many of the salad greens are ripe enough for first harvest. Fresh local leaf lettuces in various colors, salad mixtures with flavor powerhouses such as arugula, mesclun, mizuna, and frisee, and so much more have begun to show up in grocery stores, home gardens, and farmers markets.
When I want to make a meal of a salad, it becomes the “kitchen sink” variety. I go through my produce drawer and mix in a little of everything. Continue Reading
My grandmother was a classic “handful of this, pinch of that” Indiana farm wife cook. When I was young, we moved across the country so I didn’t often have the opportunity to learn how she prepared the amazing meals she served to family and farm hands every day, with ingredients from her garden and the farm. Continue Reading
Mustard greens are an ingredient I hadn’t worked with before. In fact, I somehow have managed to never even taste them. When I saw fresh local mustard greens in the produce case at Terra Organica this week, I decided it was time to fill in that gap in my eating experiences. Continue Reading
Garlic scapes are the curly, peculiar-looking thickened parts in the middle of the garlic stem where the flower and seed head eventually forms. Farmers raising garlic usually trim off the scapes before they fully form. Instead of putting energy into flowering, it encourages the plants to use the energy to form larger bulbs at the base of the stem. Continue Reading