As spring arrives, most foodies’ thoughts turn to the local produce making its way to area farmers’ markets. To help usher in the fresh produce season, Boulderganic asked three county farms to share a favorite recipe that makes the most of their bounty.
Nestled between Longmont and Niwot, Ollin Farms is renowned for its high-quality produce, such as its heirloom tomatoes, as well as a commitment to educating the public about agricultural sustainability. Events such as farm dinners and the 2012 Festival of Flavor series of tastings and farm tours will provide opportunities to learn about Ollin’s growing practices and sample some of their bounty.
Kena Guttridge’s family operates the farm, and she shares a recipe based on her family’s love of soup.
“The soups also change to meet our nutritional needs at different times of the year, from the high-powered, nutrient-dense spring soups to the comforting winter soups,” she says. A seasonal green soup is a particular favorite as the farm shifts into gear. “As spring arrives and our bodies get used to the busy work days, this delicious and nutrient-dense soup features three of our favorite spring greens, providing plenty of energy for that spring work schedule.”
Spring Green Soup
½ pound spinach
½ pound Baby Red Russian kale
½ pound Yukina savoy
2 cloves garlic
¼ fresh onion
5 cups of water, vegetable broth or chicken broth
½ cup butter Salt to taste
Combine garlic, onion and broth or water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and add greens, stirring to reduce until all greens are wilted. Place in blender and blend for 30 seconds. Remove from blender and serve, salt to taste.
THREE LEAF FARM
Experienced restaurateurs Lenny and Sara Martinelli have long held a dream of growing food for their six local eateries, which include Leaf, Aji and the Huckleberry. They realized this dream last February, with their purchase of a 10-acre farm in Lafayette. Named Three Leaf Farm for their trio of children, plantings there include peppers, eggplant, salad greens, spinach, squash and pumpkins, broccoli, beans and fresh culinary herbs.
Sara Martinelli offers up a signature dish, Three Leaf Farms pasta.
“This dish is a sure sign that spring has arrived,” says Martinelli. “Our chef at Zucca, William Kelley, created this dish to utilize all the fresh produce coming from the farm. He wanted to highlight all the natural flavors of the vegetables while creating a dish that was satisfying and fresh.”
Three Leaf Farm Pasta
4 oz. fresh homemade spaghetti
3 oz. farm vegetables i.e. beets, arugula, peas
½ oz. asparagus 6 heirloom teardrop tomatoes
1 tbsp. fresh basil
1 oz. white wine
1 tbsp. butter, unsalted
½ oz. Gorgonzola Dolce cheese Procedure: Cook pasta in salted boiling water for four minutes.
Meanwhile, heat up saute pan and add farm veggies and asparagus. Cook until warm, three minutes.
Add teardrop tomatoes and basil.
Warm tomatoes, but do not cook.
Deglaze the pan with wine and reduce three-quarters. Add butter and melt until a creamy texture is achieved.
Drain pasta and add to veggies. Toss pasta well to incorporate all the fresh flavors. Salt to taste.
Mound pasta in bowl or on plate and top with Gorgonzola Dolce.
For a great addition, add favorite sprouts or shoots and enjoy.
CURE ORGANIC FARM
Cure Organic Farm’s produce can be found everywhere from its inviting on-site farm store to the finest local restaurants, including the Flagstaff House and Frasca. A CSA program distributes the 100 certified organic herbs, vegetables and flowers grown at this 10-acre spot.
Connie Findley of Cure introduces a lasagna with a twist, as this dish swaps out the pasta in favor of hearty polenta.
“This one comes from one of our CSA members, Michelle Drenick,” says Findley. “She teaches classes at our farm and is always experimenting and developing new ways to use our veggies. This is a great recipe and can be adapted for whatever vegetables you have on hand.”
Michelle’s Vegetable Layered Polenta Lasagna
Olive oil to coat the skillet
2 or more cloves garlic, minced
½-1 onion, chopped
2 ½ or more cups coarsely chopped veggies, such as chard, braising greens, mushrooms, squash, tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, fava beans, etc.
Herbs (such as basil, oregano, marjoram and thyme)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups low or nonfat milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup polenta
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup ricotta (and some fresh mozzarella)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly grease a casserole dish (2.5to 3-wquart).
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chard stems, stirring until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining veggies and cook until softened but still bright. Remove pan from heat, stir in chopped fresh or dried herbs.
Put milk, olive oil, salt and sugar in a large pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Slowly stir in the polenta. Cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken. Add one quarter-cup parmesan and continue stirring. Spread half of this mixture into prepared casserole dish. Spread the ricotta cheese evenly on top. Then add the veggie mixture. Finish with the remaining polenta and top with parmesan cheese.
Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, until golden brown on top. Tomato sauce can be spread on top of polenta, then sprinkled with cheese.