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Posts Tagged ‘Produce’

Fennel and Potato Salad

Fennel and Potato Salad

August is here, and with it comes the peak of our produce season. With more and more amazing local fruits, vegetables and herbs to complement our bi-weekly deliveries direct from California, the options are pretty much endless.

This delicious and light potato salad uses the brininess of preserved lemon and balances it with the brightness of fennel and fresh herbs. Potatoes are generally associated with winter and colder months but they are actually dug from the ground now. The summer brings us new potatoes with thin skin and a more pronounced potato flavor. Fennel balances this dish with a light crunch.

Fennel and Potato Salad

1 pound of new potatoes
1 medium bulb of fennel
1/4 cup  of olive oil
1/8 of a preserved lemon, finely minced (available at our cheese counter)
1 small clove of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons of a fresh herb of your choice, minced (oregano, dill, parsley, or thyme all work well)
Black pepper to taste

Wash the potatoes and cut into bite sized pieces (leave the skin on). If you are using a small potato, you may not even need to cut them. Cook the potatoes in a pot of lightly salted water.

Meanwhile, very thinly slice the fennel bulb and pull off one small handful of the fennel fronds. Toss in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Add potatoes when they are finished cooking (fork tender). Gently blend all of the ingredients together and chill for at least about an hour to allow the flavors to blend.

 

Grace Lichaa is a cheesemonger at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge, loves bike adventures, and has a special love of turning good food into beautiful meals.

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Big Orange Tomatoes - Red Fire Farm

Big Orange Tomatoes – Red Fire Farm

Spring has finally snuck back into town and I am getting excited about the local, organic produce that will soon be gracing our shelves! On one especially stunning Monday morning, I had the chance to chat with Max Jiusto, the Harvest Manager at Red Fire Farm‘s Montague, MA location (they also have land in Granby, MA).

So what about this winter? Max explained that the extension of winter that we have all been bemoaning set Red Fire back about two weeks in their planting schedule. Even when the top layer of soil started to thaw, the lower layers remained frozen, so water couldn’t drain down into the ground and would just pool in the fields, making planting impossible. They started the plants in the greenhouse at the normal time, however, so even though they will be going into the ground about two weeks late, Max is hopeful that with a little cooperation from the weather, the plants will be able to catch up in their growth and end up maturing right on schedule. (more…)

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Citrus - lemons, limes, tangerines, oranges and kumquats

As those of you have been by our South End store during the past few weeks may have noticed, despite the slow drag as spring gradually gains ground in the battle to wrest our weather from winter’s claws, we have been fortunate to have a bit of sunshine gracing our shelves. This sunshine comes in the form of produce from the small, organic farms we work with in California. (more…)

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A Representative Selection of Our Top 10 for 2013

At the end of each year, staff members at all three of our shops – in Cambridge, the South End of Boston and in New York – fill out a staff survey. We reflect on what we have tasted over the course of the past year – moments where we were surprised (both pleasantly and unpleasantly), new and exciting food experiences, as well as the flavors we found ourselves returning to time and again. We pick our favorites and share memorable moments. Some tried-and-true items appear in our survey results year after year – other items are new and exciting finds from the current year – goodies in this instance that distinguished 2013 from all others. Here are our top ten picks culled from this year’s survey results! (more…)

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A Medley of Vegetables

Fall is in the air, but before we trade the summer bounty of local fruits and vegetables for the dark days of winter (and endless cold-storage beets and potatoes) there’s still the fall harvest to look forward to — the time when hearty root vegetables are fresh and exciting; a rustic prelude to the winter holidays.

Going to school in upstate New York, harvest time was always my favorite. The excitement of a new semester was accentuated by the chance to experiment with the season’s best local produce, and scouring farmers markets for new ingredients is how I fell in love with “nose-to-tail” vegetable eating. While we don’t have to eke out every last nutrient from our food supply to survive, using all the edible parts of vegetables can be both practical and fun. (more…)

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Zucchini - Red Fire Farm

This recipe for “Crispy Zucchini Fries” celebrates a wonderful summer crop from Red Fire Farm in Granby, MA. Serve with a favorite marinara sauce or even a sweet and tangy honey mustard. Sean, our beer buyer, suggests pairing it with Backyahd, a not overly hoppy, refreshing and light IPA from Foolproof Brewing Company of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. (more…)

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Organic Pea Greens from Allen Farms (Westport, MA)

Organic Pea Greens from Allen Farms (Westport, MA)

With these high temps, many staff members have fired up their grills for burgers, fish and grilled veggies. This recipe for “Pea Greens, Pecorino and Grilled Spring Onions” is an easy little salad featuring seasonal produce – delicious red spring onions and pea greens. To wash it all down, Sean, our beer buyer, recommends Idle Hands Craft Ales’ Pandora – an American-style saison that’s fresh and bright! (more…)

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The Team at Full Belly Farm

The Team at Full Belly Farm

As many of you know, the local produce season is winding down and we’re seeing a lot less variety coming in from the fields. Like much of the country, we look to California for fruits and vegetables when our own region cannot sustainably supply them. (more…)

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Rockville Market Farm - Harvesting

Harvesting at Rockville Market Farm*

The cheese counter at Formaggio Kitchen is pasted with articles, vintage cheese labels, stickers, helpful tips and lovely old pictures from our early days in business. All are interesting to peruse, but one sticker in particular always resonates with me as I pass it daily – a small, hardly noticeable, green sticker right at the entrance to the counter. It reads, “No Farms, No Food.” This statement may seem obvious, but in a time where triple-washed, packaged, pre-cut and peeled vegetables are the norm, it is difficult to remember that everything we eat was grown by farmers in wide spaces, deep in the dirt. By maintaining close relationships with the farmers that produce our food, the gap from field to consumer is ultimately closed and enormous benefits are immediately apparent. Not only is it now possible to know the exact date of harvest, but we can discuss the pest management techniques used on the farm, inquire about the diet of livestock and poultry, and even know the farmer’s most recommended crop of the week. With this in mind, Formaggio Kitchen aims to be an equally transparent connection between our customers and farmers. We are happy to talk at length about the practices of each farm and alert customers as to when we receive produce from each grower. Recommending the perfect fruit or vegetable comes naturally when we are so highly tuned into what is happening on the fields! In that spirit, here is an in-depth look at some of our favorite farms and growers in the New England area. (more…)

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PumpkinFor New England bakers, the time of year has come when pumpkin makes its appearance on the menu. These goodies are invariably accompanied by crisp, autumn days, clear blue skies and beautiful fall foliage.

I recently learned that canned pumpkin in the supermarket is not a reduced form of jack o’ lanterns. What you get in those cans is a type of squash, just not the one we cut up and decorate for Halloween.

In the US, about 80 percent of the canned pumpkin market is held by Libby’s and they use something called the Dickinson pumpkin, which is paler and a bit more oblong than jack o’ lantern pumpkins. (more…)

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