New Red Fire Head Lettuce
Jeicho Head Lettuce
El Jefe Hot Pepper
Notes from the Farm
The shift is always notable.
This is the first week the farmstand isn't open mid-week... this is the first week kids are back full time in school... the first week that the roads are surprisingly empty... and maybe the first week of feeling like we missed something, some part of summer, while we weren't paying attention.
The Fall of the Year is magical, and soon enough we'll be leaning into it, but it's hard to not be hit by instant nostalgia for what just happened... the sun, laughing, swimming, seeing friends, being unencumbered by the climate.
Summer doesn't require us to add anything... it allows us to shed what we need or want to shed... it's the easiest time of the year, the freest, and now it's gone... and that's ok, but it doesn't mean we have to be happy about it.
As we ramp down here at the farm, I think about those lost moments... the times I didn't look up, or didn't pause, the sense that there wasn't enough time... maybe there wasn't enough time, but it was the time we had, and it was pretty good... but maybe, next time, next year, I'll be just a little more present, see if I can't slow that clock just a little more, and preempt the nostalgia with appreciation... maybe, we'll see...
1 1/2 cups walnut halves, toasted and cooled (or any nut really... I use cashews)
2 pounds red or Chioggia beets, peeled and chopped (3 cups)
1 small clove garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground Aleppo pepper
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, such as Al Wadi
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh cilantro and sliced radishes, for serving
Puree nuts, beets, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, Aleppo pepper, and molasses in a food processor until combined, about 30 seconds. Stream in oil; puree to a coarse but even texture. Season with salt and black pepper. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. Serve, topped with more oil and cilantro, with radishes alongside.
Balsamic-Red Onion, Chard & Gorgonzola Tart
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 small red onions, halved and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 small bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
All-purpose flour for rolling
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of a 17-oz./530-g package), thawed
1/4 lb. (125 g) Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a fry pan over high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and season with salt and pepper. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn a deep brown, about 10 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the onions to a bowl.
Return the pan to medium-high heat; do not wipe the pan clean. Warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and add the chard. Season with salt and pepper and sauté, tossing the chard to coat in the oil, just until beginning to wilt, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the onions, toss to combine and let cool.
On a floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry into a 10-by-14-inch (25-by-35-cm) rectangle. Fold over 1 inch (2.5 cm) of each side of the dough to create a border. Fold the dough gently in half, center it on the prepared baking sheet and unfold.
Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork. Distribute the chard and onion mixture evenly around the tart and top with the cheese, leaving the borders uncovered. Brush the borders of the tart with the egg. Bake until golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into squares and serve. Serves 4
Roasted Eggplant Dip
1 large eggplant
4 garlic cloves (skin on)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
Paprika, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place eggplant and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with 2 tablespoons oil. Roast until garlic is soft and golden, 20 minutes. Remove garlic and set aside. Continue to roast eggplant until soft and deflated, 20 to 25 minutes more. Let cool 20 minutes.
Slice eggplant open and scrape flesh into the bowl of a food processor. Peel garlic and add to bowl, along with lemon juice, tahini, salt, and 2 tablespoons oil. Process until smooth. (To store, refrigerate, up to 2 days.) Serve drizzled with more oil and a sprinkle of paprika if desired.