Amberjack with Radishes and Basil

With the cold spring many vegetable gardens are not as robust as they were this time last year. Our gardens and farm shares seem to have plentiful basil and radishes right now, so we found a simple recipe with those flavorful ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 fillets amberjack,* cleaned and skinned
  • 4 radishes, sliced thinly
  • 2 lemon leaves, torn, or 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 lemon leaves, torn, or 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 leaves fresh basil, torn
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped to yield 1/4 cup
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until just smoking.

Season both sides of the fillets with salt and pepper. Add fillets to pan and cook on one side for about 3 minutes.

Turn fillets over when browned and add radish slices and lemon leaves (or zest). Cook for 1 minute and add white wine.

When wine has evaporated, add fresh basil, and season, to taste. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali, 2001

 *Amberjack is an extra lean fish that has a firm texture, white meat with mild flavor. Substitutes  could be mahi-mahi, mullet, tilefish, grouper or shark.

‘Harvest Community’ program brings Westchester community together

Local food vendors such as the John Jay Homestead Farmer’s Market have partnered up with the Antioch Baptist Church of Bedford Hills to create Harvest Community, a program which redistributes excess produce to people in Bedford. Vendors that work with Harvest Community include Hilltop Hanover Farm, Stew Leonards, and grocery stores. Merle McJunkin, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, says many vendors are interested in donating their excess produce, but don’t have the time or means to. Harvest Community gives them a free, easy way.

“If farmers don’t sell everything at a farmer’s market, most farmers don’t take it to another place to try and sell it— they’ve got to get back to their fields, and the excess produce goes to the compost heap. So we have a crew there to receive whatever it is that they want to give, and we bring it back to the church, we sort it, we bag it, and we open our doors to the community,” said McJunkin.

McJunkin expressed his happiness with the high quality of the food distributed.

“We get everything from Jerusalem artichokes to beefsteak tomatoes. Those big boys that are like 6.99 a pound! Those juicy, tasty things for free, can you imagine? These are really, really good bags–most times we think the bags range in value between 25 and 30 dollars.”

Harvest Community is a flexible program—no sign up is required, and people who take bags do not have to give their names. Typically, each person gets one bag, but they can take more if they express a special need. McJunkin emphasized that Harvest community is not seen as a charity.

“Harvest Community isn’t like oh, look at the poor people in the community who can’t afford food. It’s more about bringing together the good hearts of all the people involved. The good hearts of the growers, who put their all into really growing fine produce and giving their best. The good hearts of the people here at the Church, who said they wanted to do what they could to help make the connection. And the good hearts of the people who respectfully received the bags, some of whom made donations as well. Some, in solidarity, said they’d like to come and volunteer, so we let them. It’s kind of a community share program.”

With the help of increased donations as well as increasing the distribution points to include local apartment complexes as well as the Church, Harvest Community has grown over the years—from distributing around 200 bags two years ago to over 700 last year. Harvest Community, however, is still looking to expand its donations from individual gardens. In fact, that’s how the genesis for Harvest Community, a program called Sharing Works, was started.

“Years ago, before she was a member here at Antioch, Wendy Webb-Weber would come and let the pastor Paul S. Briggs know that she had produce she wanted to share with the parishioners here. So she would bring it on a Saturday, and after Sunday services people were pleasantly surprised to see that someone from the community had thought enough to share their produce with them. And it went to good use!” 

Seeing how well received this program was inspired Antioch to work with Wendy and local farmers to expand it. Westchester farmers Mimi Edelman, Deb Taft and Doug DeCandia were part of the founding group, and Derek DiGuglielmo of EatLocalNY donated produce as well.

Says McJunkin;

“We took what she was already doing here at Antioch and decided to not make it focused on Antioch receiving, but rather to make Antioch participate in the sharing.”

Interested in getting involved?

Prospective volunteers can reach out to Antioch beginning Monday, July 17th by calling 914-241-0189. Harvest Community begins Saturday, August 12th, and is looking for volunteers to:

-Bring produce from their gardens

-Transport the food from the farmers markets back to the Church

-Receive, unload, sort, and bag the produce

-Go to sites beyond the Church to help with distribution

John Jay Homestead Farmer’s Market opens, featuring exciting new vendors

 

The John Jay farmer’s market opened on Saturday, June 10th, featuring exciting new vendors and changes made by the new market manager, Vanessa Pahucki.

This will be the first year the John Jay market will not require exclusivity, meaning artisans can bring all their products, even if someone else is selling the same thing.  

“We felt exclusivity was a disadvantage to both the customers, who deserve choices, and the vendors, who should be allowed to bring all their local, sustainably grown items to market. We want our customers to have options,” said Pahucki.

The market is also welcoming many new vendors, including Dam Good English Muffins, Will-Yum Spice, Pickleicious, and The Peanut Principle. Pahucki thinks these new vendors will be very popular and bring exciting, unique new products to the market.

 Brandalyn Williams of Will-Yum spices expressed her excitement to be at the John Farmer’s Market for the first time, especially as the first spice vendor. She and her husband, Warren, started Will-Yum spices after the spices they gave out as their wedding favor were very well received.

“The reception has been great, and working at a farmer’s market is really a grassroots way to get out and meet people. Being that we do sell online, it’s a completely different business model actually being in person, and so it’s been great. It’s good to see that people not only come back, buy more, and replace their bottles, they also bring their friends over and buy for their friends and family,” said Williams.

Irvington Delight is another first-time vendor at John Jay, selling homemade Mediterranean and American cuisine.

“All our food is homemade, and all the grape leaves, basil, and mint we use is from our garden. Everything we make the day of or the night before, it’s all authentic, all 100% old family recipes, so hopefully everyone enjoys it” said Jordan, one of the owners of Irvington Delight.

 

Pahucki emphasized with these new vendors, everyone can find something at John Jay for them—from Conte’s, which has been selling fresh seafood in Westchester for over 65 years, to fresh fruit and vegetables from R & G Produce. These new vendors might bring some exciting changes, but the parts of John Jay that make it so special remain the same. Pahucki noted that John Jay’s location is a special and important part of the market.

“We’re on a historic farm, while many farmers markets are in concrete jungles, so when you come here you really feel the authenticity of the farmer’s market,” she said. 

The John Jay Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm, June 10th-October 28th. Stop by today to explore its diverse assortment of food!

Spaghetti with Summer Squash and Spinach

Summer Squash and spinach are among the delicious vegetables whose harvest periods are in June. Use their delicious flavors in this simple and easy recipe perfect for a summer dinner.

  • 8 ounces spaghetti (1/2 box)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, cubed
  • 1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large summer squash (or 2 med.), chopped
  • 3 cups of spinach
  • 1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water, until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water.

In large saute pan, heat butter and 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high. Add onions and garlic, and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Add squash and chili pepper flakes, and season the pan with salt. Saute until onions are browned, and squash is tender.

Stir in reserved pasta water and spinach, and cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Add parsley, and adjust salt, to taste.

Add drained and cooked pasta to the pan. Toss with remaining Tbsp. of olive oil if pasta seems dry. Serve immediately, topped with pumpkin seeds and Parm.

Thank you to Grace Dickinson of MindBodyGreen.com for this recipe!

Community Center Seeking Fresh Produce

This spring, Bedford 2020 is encouraging you to plant a little extra in your garden to harvest donations for people in our communities who are not able to afford local, fresh produce. For residents in the Town of Bedford, the Community Center of Northern Westchester is a great place to donate your produce.

While The Community Center of Northern Westchester encourages donations of all kind of food, the demand for fresh produce has increased over the years faster than the supply.

“There’s been a definite trend over the years in families gravitating to wanting fresh produce as the main sources of feeding their families over the canned and boxed goods, and they are always disappointed if the selection’s not great,” said Executive Director Clare Murray.

Especially in summer months when gardens are often bursting with produce, the Community Center encourages anyone with excess to donate what they can.

“Our goal is to try and always have as many donations as possible, so people have as much choice as possible,” said Murray.

Food donations can be brought to the rear entrance of the Community Center 10 a.m.-4 pm on Tuesdays-Fridays.

If you are not in the area, call your local food pantry and ask if they will take donations. If you know of a place that takes local food donations near you, let us know! We will create a list of donation centers and times for drop off on our website.

Turmeric Tonic

You might enjoy turmeric as a spice commonly found in Indian food. But with research showing turmeric’s powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, why not incorporate it into your diet in more ways? Harness turmeric’s broad health benefits in this recipe from Katonah Juice. This refreshing drink uses the sweetness from carrots and apples and incorporates a little kick with the turmeric and lemon.

Turmeric Tonic

  • Two carrots
  • Two celery stalks
  • Two golden delicious apples
  • Five small pieces of turmeric
  • One tablespoon of lemon juice

Juice ingredients and drink, or let chill for an hour before enjoying!

Katonah Juice

Our Buy It section often celebrates area businesses who buy local food, and Katonah Juice will be juicing local produce all summer long, so check them out!

Growing up with a mother who worked as a cook and baker, Krystal of Katonah Juice has been exposed the food industry for as long as she can remember. While she began juicing in her early 20’s to improve her health, juicing has grown into her passion which she hopes to use to better the health of the community. Today, she co-runs Katonah Juice with Will and Chris Ryder, who own the Katonah Pharmacy. Katonah Juice sells organic fruit smoothies and acai bowls along with juices.

Katonah Juice purchases organic and local produce whenever possible—Ace Naturals, Ryder Farm (no relation to the owners), and Snow Hill Organics are among its favorite distributors. Popular drinks at Katonah Juice include the Green Goddess smoothie, full of antioxidant rich matcha powder, and Krystal’s favorite—Peanut Butter and Jelly. Krystal loves incorporates various types of protein such as bone broth into her smoothies.

Katonah Pharmacy is optimistic that selling these healthy products is a way to forward the Pharmacy’s goal of providing alternate, holistic approaches to health along with conventional pharmaceutical needs.

“We don’t want the pharmacy department to be your only stop, we want it to be the last,” says Will Ryder.

The Juice Bar is located in the back of Katonah Pharmacy and is open 9-5 Mondays-Fridays, 10-5 on Saturdays, and 10-2.30 on Sundays. Stop by today for a delicious and healthy treat!

You can try a turmeric juice recipe from Katonah Juice here

Sow What Now? Best Bets for June Sowing

 

May 31, 2017|

Planting too early in the spring is one of the most common garden mistakes. But this time of year a different misconception among new gardeners is equally unfruitful: Not planting because they think it’s too late.

Whether you’re just getting your first seeds in the ground, or you’re starting the process of succession planting, June is still a great time to sow seeds.

Best crops for direct-seeding during the month of June:

  • radishes
  • lettuce
  • beans
  • cucumbers
  • basil
  • cilantro
  • Swiss chard
  • zucchini

Make sure that the crops you sow now will give you plenty to harvest by checking the days to maturity listed for the variety. All of the crops listed above grow well through the summer months, mature quickly, and will offer a good harvest even if planted later this month. Not surprisingly, most of them are considered warm-season crops, but even some cool-season crops, including lettuce and radishes, can still do well when grown throughout the summer. You’ll have the most success with these by paying attention to irrigation, planting in a corner of the garden that gets some afternoon shade, or by harvesting when plants are slightly under full size. Summer lettuces can be harvested as baby greens instead of mature heads to help ensure that the leaves remain tender and without bitterness.

For more garden tips, visit Shanynsiegel.com

InterGenerate and Neighbors Link Offer Farm Market

neighbors-link-farm-market-veggies

Photo by Mey Marple

InterGenerate is a local non-profit founded to help bring fresh local food to more people.  They have started three community gardens and an egg co-op in Northern Westchester in the past seven years.

This summer InterGenerate began a new kind of project- a partnership with Neighbors Link.  Neighbors Link’s mission is to strengthen the whole community through the healthy integration of immigrants and has offered trainings on healthy eating in conjunction with the Northern Westchester Hospital. However, are many people in their community who want to buy fresh vegetables but who cannot afford farmer’s market prices.  To solve this problem, InterGenerate collaborated with Neighbors Link to create a subsidized produce market for Neighbors Link participants.

Photo by Mey Marple

Photo by Mey Marple

InterGenerate purchased food from area farmers and combined it with donations from InterGenerate’s Giving Gardens and from Hilltop Hanover Farm in order to be able to sell the produce at below farmer’s market prices.  The market was run by Neighbors Link community leaders and supported by their program staff members.  It was open only to the Neighbors Link community because InterGenerate does not want to undercut any of the area farmer’s markets.

Photo by Mey Marple

Photo by Mey Marple

The InterGenerate mission is to make it possible for more people to get fresh local food and to support area farmers in the process.  They received generous donations from Hilltop Hanover farm and were able to purchase vegetables at reasonable prices from Seedswell Farm in Mt. Kisco, Ryder Farm, and Harvest Moon in Brewster.  They also received eggs from Chestnut Ridge Farm.  The market operated until the beginning of October.

Over the winter InterGenerate will explore ways to make the market serve a greater number of community members and will participate in Bedford 2020’s March 2017 Food Summit’s Share It Track.

SunRaven Farm Allium Frittata and SunChoke Soup

Although the season has begun to change and the quantity of ripe berries on farm stands has dwindled, there are still plenty of fresh ingredients that naturally transcend seasonal boundaries.

SunRaven Farm has shared with us two delicious recipes featuring two unique ingredients: Allium and Sunchoke. In case you are not familiar with our featured ingredients, Allium, the genus name for onions, leeks, shallots and garlic, is a perennial plant that sprouts beautiful purple flowers in the spring. Sunchoke, a tuber that resembles ginger in appearance and artichoke in taste, is also known as earth apple, sunroot, topinambour and Jerusalem artichoke.

Enjoy the shift into autumn by surprising your guests, or yourself, with an unexpected ingredient at the center of your meal!

 

SunRaven Farm Allium Frittata
Serves 8 people

allium

 

Ingredients:
Handful of Seasonal Herbs
4 Cups Sliced Allium of Choice (Leeks, Red Onion, etc…)
10 Farm Eggs
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Ghee or Butter
Olive Oil

 

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 450o
In a 10 inch cast iron skillet, over medium heat, add 2 TBSP Butter (or Ghee) and 2 TBSP Olive Oil, until butter bubbles. Add Allium and sauté until wilted (approximately 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Add chopped herbs (thyme, marjoram, rosemary….), salt and pepper to taste. Beat eggs and add to vegetable-herb-cheese mixture. Mix gently.
Over medium-high heat add 2 TBSP each Butter and Olive oil until butter bubbles. Add egg mixture and let set up (3-5 minutes). Place in preheated oven for an additional 10`15 minutes until top begins to brown slightly. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes.
Invert over serving platter and let cool toward room temperature. Serve at any point based on your preference.
Enjoy!

 

SunRaven SunChoke Soup
Serves 8 appetizer portions

Ingredients:
• 4-5 tablespoons unsalted butter (can substitute oil to make this vegan)
• 2 large leeks, divided, sliced across the width in thin strips, white and light green parts only
• 4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
• 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed, and mincedsunchoke
• 3 stalks lemongrass, smashed and cut in two to fit in the pot (they need to be easy to retrieve before pureeing the soup)
• 1-1/2 pound sunchokes (also called Jerusalem Artichokes), well-scrubbed to remove most of the skin and sliced 1/8″ thick
• 8 cups vegetable broth
• 1/3 cup nut milk
• 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
• lemon zest to taste
• cilantro for garnish

Instructions:
1. Wash and scrub clean artichokes with a potato brush. This will effectively clean the sunchokes (no need to peel!) Slice fairly thinly and soak in lemon water to keep them from turning color.
2. Melt the butter in a soup pot and saute one-half of the leeks and all of the shallots, garlic, and lemongrass until the leeks and shallots are soft and the mixture is very aromatic (about 10-15 minutes).
3. Add the sunchokes and mix to thoroughly cover the sunchokes with the leeks lemongrass mixture. Cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Add the broth and bring to a simmer until the sunchokes are tender (about 40 minutes). If you don’t have any broth, you can use water. Remove the lemongrass stalks and puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Pour back into the soup pot and reheat. Add the nutmilk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add lemon zest to taste. Also, you can add fresh parsley. I added chopped roasted chestnuts at this stage as well for a sweet chewy surprise.
5. For a garnish, fry the other half of the leek strips in olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice until they were fairly crispy. Top the soup with a pinch of them and freshly chopped parsley.
6. Don’t forget to use the “missing ingredient”— your attention, awareness and devotion. As its name suggests, the sunchoke is a child of the sun, the source of all substantive life that we know.