Modern farming is the most deeply impactful of human activities - reshaping ecosystems, causing dramatic losses to biodiversity and contributing to climate change. I don't claim that our wee farm is "the solution" to the environmental crisis facing our world, but I do believe that my small efforts to grow food with respect for the living earth and its other creatures (even the microscopic creatures) is part of a solution and that all who are willing to support this kind of farming are investing in the kind of world they want future generations to inherit.
Gado Gado is one of our favourite ways to eat the bounty of summer vegetables. Basically, on a bed of rice, you top a variety of vegetables (really anything goes) and hard boiled eggs. On top of the “salad” you pour a peanut-sauce dressing. We cut up a variety of veggies and hard boiled eggs and put them in bowls on the table, then people can create their own dish. Here’s what we had this week:
Hard boiled eggs
Swiss chard sliced finely
Gado Gado Peanut Sauce – enough for 6-8 people
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 cup finely chopped onions
• 1 bay leaf
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 or 2 fresh hot peppers, minced, or ½ 1 1 teaspoon cayenne
• 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
• 1½ tablespoons peeled and fresh grated ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds (optional)
• 2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate – don’t worry if you don’t have it
• 2 cups water
• 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
• 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 2 cups smooth peanut butter – use almond butter if you need
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
To make the peanut sauce:
1. Warm the oil in a covered saucepan on low heat.
2. Add the onions, bay leaf, and salt and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the hot peppers or cayenne, garlic, ginger, coriander, if using, and tamarind concentrate.
4. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the water, coconut milk, and vinegar, increase the heat to a low simmer, and cook, covered for 3 minutes.
6. Stir in the peanut butter and sugar until the sauce is smooth.
7. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, on low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
8. Remove the bay leaf.
9. Stir in the soy sauce, and add more to taste.
10. While the sauce is cooking, prepare and steam vegetables you like until they are just tender.
11. Serve Gado Gado on a large serving platter or on individual plates.
12. Spread a bed of spinach leaves on the platter or plates.
13. Arrange steamed and raw vegetables on top–they can be warm, room temperature, or cool.
14. Add some of the extras.
15. Serve the peanut sauce in a separate bowl or ladle some over the vegetables and pass more at the table.
I found myself apologizing last Tuesday afternoon that there weren't as many veggies, that things would get more plentiful, and assuring you that the tomatoes were growing! If you have been with us through a full season you will know this to be indeed true. Abundance comes. I seem to need reminding though. There is a certain amount of anxiety that comes at the beginining of the season as we wait eagerly for things to mature and ripen. Some crops don't come in as fast as you'd like, some get accidentally mown over, some got invaded by weeds and some just take longer. Eating with the season and waiting for things to come is part of eating locally. And so we eat beautiful lettuce, crispy kale, flavourful arugula, crunchy bok choy, colourful purple onions, and we season with fresh herbs. We sauté eggs topped with swiss chard and Mt. Moriarty cheese. And when the cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes come - we'll be ready! Here's to summer 2019!
Recipe of the week:Spinach Pie with Polenta crustI am gluten free and have often looked for GF phyllo pastry with no luck. This spring we ran across this recipe and tried it. It's not exactly like spanikopita but the flavours were right! The recipe calls for a LOT of spinach (frozen, in packages). We used about 3 pounds of mixed greens (spinach, chard, kale and sorrel). I would suggest using that amount and not the 5 pounds she suggested. It's super easy to put together because you just pour the polenta into the pan. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Here's a link to the recipe
1 c. Flour
2 t. Baking powder
1/2 t. Salt
2 T. Oil and 1 T. Butter
2/3 c. Milk
1/4 c. Sugar
Cut rhubarb in pieces, to cover bottom of 8x8 pan.
Mix all batter ingredients and pour over.
Sprinkle with 2/3 c. brown sugar.
Pour 2/3 c. boiling water over batter.
Bake at 375 until brown about 40 minutes.
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