From the Farm: Recipes

Portuguese Kale Soup

FOUND IN: on December 16, 2012

Here's a way to turn those winter greens into the main event. Many years ago, my husband and I lived on the beautiful coast of Rhode Island  Just down the road from us was a Portuguese diner that featured this simple and hearty soup. It became a staple in our repertoire. It includes 2 traditional sausages from that area, chourico (pronounced "shorice") and linguica (soft "c"). However, I have made it with many sausage substitutes and it is always satisfying.

Yield: 8 portions                         Prep Time: 15 minutes                                   Cook Time: 20 - 30 minutes

  • 1 lb chorizo (links, not bulk) or andouille sausage (or 1/2 lb each of chourico and linquica, if you can find them)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 qts chicken stock, more if desired
  • 1 lb waxy white potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 can white beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, washed and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pierce the sausages to prevent bursting and brown them, whole, in a saute pan, until they are firm and evenly brown. Set aside and let cool. Pour off some of the fat in the pan, leaving just enough to saute the onions and celery.

Saute the onions and celery in the pan and put them, along with the diced potatoes, in a large pot with the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer. Slice the sausage into bite sized pieces and add to the pot. When the potatoes are nearly cooked, add the kale and let it wilt. Skim off any excess fat from the soup as it simmers. Add the beans, season the soup with salt and pepper, and serve with crusty bread.

Hint: cut the greens into smaller than usual pieces so that they can be eaten with a spoon without dribbling.

This soup can be served as a hearty stew, with less liquid and more solids, or as a brothy soup. Add more or less chicken broth to your particular preference.

From the Farm: Recipes

Winter Orange Salad

FOUND IN: on December 15, 2012

Oranges are the one ingredient that can really brighten a winter day. I use them in many ways, both fresh and cooked, but one of my favorite things to do with them is to add them to salads. Winter salad greens are so tender and the oranges add just the right sweetness, tartness, and zest. Think of oranges as your tomato replacement for the cold months. Here is a simple, elegant, and beautiful salad to try.

Yield: 4 plated salads

  • 5 small Oranges
  • 1/4 Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed Orange Juice
  • 2 TBS fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Orange Zest
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 head Butter Lettuce, such as Tennis Ball or May Queen
Remove the zest from one of the oranges, before peeling them. Either grate it with a small microplane or zester or thinly slice it from the fruit and then mince it. Juice that orange and set the juice aside. To peel the oranges, take a thin slice off the top and bottom and set the orange on the flat spot you have just created. Using a sharp french knife (chef's knife), slice the peel away in thin slices, leaving no white part behind. Then slice the meat of the orange into 1/4" cartwheels. Set aside.
Combine the rest of the ingredients, whisk together and season to taste. Thinly slice the red onion. Line the plates with lettuce leaves. Top with orange slices, garnish with red onion, and drizzle the dressing over the oranges.
Variations: This salad combines well with slices of avocado, or thinly sliced radishes, as well.
For an appetizer, place the oranges in the center of a small platter, surround with the lettuce leaves, and let guests create lettuce wraps with the mixture.



From the Farm: Recipes

Roasted Root Vegetables

FOUND IN: Entree, Sides on December 15, 2012

Nothing is easier than roasting vegetables, and when I am pressed for time and find myself with too many vegetables, it is my go-to solution. Once roasted, they have so many uses that I am always happy to have a large batch and none ever go to waste. Choose as many of these root vegetables as you like, or only one.

  • Beets
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Turnips
  • Rutabagas
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic Cloves, whole
  • Olive Oil
  • Sherry vinegar (or rice or white wine vinegar)
  • Rosemary, fresh, optional (don't use dried here)

Here's the method: Choose any or all of the above vegetables. Preheat oven to 375. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 30 minutes, approximately.

Peel the vegetables, cut them into rather large pieces and as similar in size and shape as possible. I.e., if beets are small, I half them, but if large I quarter or cut in eights, so that all pieces cook evenly. With parsnips or carrots, I cut them on the diagonal in 1/2" wide pieces, etc. Cutting large pieces saves time, too.

In a large, wide bowl, put 2 TBS olive oil, 1 TB sherry vinegar (or substitute), 1 tsp kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Swish this around a little, then add in all of the vegetables  and lightly toss them together until coated. Pour the coated vegetables into a large roasting pan, add a branch of fresh rosemary and put into the oven. Set a timer for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, drizzle about a tsp of honey over the vegetables and add 1 TB butter. Stir the vegetables gently. The butter and honey are to help give them a crisp, brown skin, not to over-sweeten them. By themselves, the vegetables are plenty sweet, so don't overdo it.  Check every 5 to 10 minutes until the vegetables are nicely browned and pierce easily with a knife.

What to do with them?

  • Serve them as-is, with any roasted meat, poultry or fish. Having these in the fridge makes dinner so easy!
  • Serve them as an entree with cooked greens or a salad. (So satisfying that you will not miss the meat.)
  • While warm, puree some of them, add vegetable or chicken stock, season and create a hearty soup. Serve with crusty bread. Hint: if you are planning to puree them, don't roast them too brown.
  • A puree of roasted vegetables makes an elegant side dish, or sauce, with thinly sliced pork or beef.
  • Let them cool slightly and arrange them over tender winter salad greens for an unusual and delicious salad. Dress with a little more vinegar and olive oil.
  • Slide them into a crusty roll with a slice of left over meatloaf, tomato sauce and sliced mozzarella, wrap in foil and heat. Lunch!