Farm Blog

Tomato Basil Salad with Fresh Mozzarella

Tomato Basil Salad with Fresh Mozzarella

The sweetest tomatoes and fragrant basil come together in this simple late summer salad.   Serve as a side or atop a bed of greens for a beautiful salad.   No extra dressing necessary.  The juice from the tomatoes combined with the EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar make 

Tzatziki

Tzatziki

Classic Tzatziki sauce is hard to pass up and it’s way easy to make.   We use it as a creamy salad dressing, on top of our homemade falafel or just dipping for a delicious fresh pita bread.  Great way to use the cucumbers! 2 cups 

BBF Pulled Beef BBQ

BBF Pulled Beef BBQ

This recipe uses BBF beef cuts like Chuck, Arm and Brisket that love a low, slow braise.   Braising transforms these less tender cuts into moist, fall apart meat for your favorite pulled beef sandwiches.   Grilling the meat is purely for infusing your recipe with authentic grilled flavor.  Grilling is not necessary to achieve tenderness, but it sure maximizes the delicious flavor.

6 lbs. BBF Beef Chuck Roast, Arm Roast, Brisket or some combination

Chili Powder

Salt

Pepper

Granulated Garlic

Apple Cider Vinegar

Generously rub beef roasts with a combination of Chili Powder, Salt, Pepper and Granulated Garlic.   Beef can be seasoned and allowed to sit overnight or even a few hours before grilling.   Place seasoned beef on prepared grill using indirect heat for approximately 2 hours, rotating and flipping meat roughly every 30 minutes.    After cooking time, beef will be cooked through but not fork tender.

Place grilled beef in preheated crock pot and cover with liquid.   We used the liquid from our canned tomatoes but other choices include water, broth or some combination.  To reduce cooking time, bring the braising liquid to a simmer before covering the beef.   Add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar.  Braise meat until fork tender, approximately 5 hours.  Be sure to check the meat after about 4 hours for tenderness.   Beef is done when easily pierced and pulled apart with a fork.

Remove beef and allow to slightly cool.  While beef is cooling, ladle cooking broth into quart jars or glass pyrex and allow fat and broth to separate.

Using your favorite BBQ sauce or our recipe for Molasses BBQ Sauce, place 2 cups sauce and 1 cup defatted broth into bowl and whisk to combine.   Pour over beef and toss.    Add more sauce/broth until it’s just the way you like it.

Now create your favorite sandwich!   Spoon the tender, sauced pulled beef onto your favorite bun, add condiments, slice of onion and enjoy!

Tip:  Remaining broth can be frozen and used as the cooking broth for your next braise or added to BBQ sauce for another pulled meat recipe.   It’s loaded with flavor and nutrition so be sure to save!

Garlic Scape Hummus

Garlic Scape Hummus

1 – 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas 3-5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (depending on taste) 2 tablespoons tahini 2 garlic scapes, bulb removed and set aside, tender part of stems chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 

Creamy Buttermilk Spinach Dressing

Creamy Buttermilk Spinach Dressing

Just a forewarning…..this may be the best creamy salad dressing you’ll ever try. My mother, Barb, made this dressing every year when spinach was being harvested from her garden.   Mom grew a beautiful garden and there were staples on the table every spring – tender 

Herbed White Bean and Italian Sausage Stew

Herbed White Bean and Italian Sausage Stew

We’ve taken a N.Y. Times recipe, tweaked it to our liking and come up with a stew that is definitely a keeper.

We’ve added a few chopped sweet peppers to the stew from our stash of our frozen 2021 peppers.  They add sweetness and color plus we’re just crazy about peppers.   We didn’t have thyme on hand so we just used Rosemary and it was fantastic.  The original recipe did not include a chopped green, but that is one of our favorite ways to finish a soup.  You can use most any chopped green you have on hand.

Finally, you could make the stew by using 1 lb. BBF bulk Italian sausage instead of links.   Skip the first step of cooking the sausage.  Instead, make tender pork dumplings by adding teaspoon size pieces of sausage to the stew after the greens are cooked.  The raw sausage will easily cook very quickly – no need to precook the sausage.   Just simmer gently for a few minutes and then serve.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 pkg BBF Italian sausage links, use 4 sausages, sliced into ¾” pieces
2 tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 lg onion, chopped
2 sweet peppers, any color, chopped or use frozen chopped peppers
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound dried great Northern or navy beans
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 thyme sprigs
1 large rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
2 c finely chopped greens – cabbage, Napa cabbage, kale, spinach, etc.
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium. Add the sausage and brown until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.

Add the tomato paste and cumin to the pot. Cook, stirring constantly, until dark golden, about 1 minute. Immediately, add the carrots, celery, onion, peppers and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, 8 cups water, salt, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low simmering gently until the beans are tender, about 2 hours. Add more water, if needed, to make sure the beans remain submerged.

When beans are tender, add chopped greens of your choice and cook until tender. Return the sausage to the pot.  Stir in the vinegar and black pepper.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Serve drizzled with more vinegar and olive oil, if desired.

Cheese Blintz with Fruit Topping

Cheese Blintz with Fruit Topping

Laura treated us with these beautiful Cheese Blintz for a recent breakfast.   They are a simple crêpe, filled with a ricotta filling and topped with a fruit sauce or jam.  This is not an overly sweet breakfast.   But, if you have a sweet tooth, feel 

Winter for the Laying Hens

Winter for the Laying Hens

The growing year for our laying hens is divided into two seasons – active grazing and winter.  During the active grazing season, we are rotating our hens through a series of pasture areas with our movable electric netting.   Depending on the rate of recovery on 

Winter Squash Salad with Nuts & Dried Cranberries

Winter Squash Salad with Nuts & Dried Cranberries

This is a delicious fall/winter salad that’s been appearing on our table quite often lately.  Serve it as a side dish or eaten as a vegetarian meal.  We use Butternut Squash – our hands down favorite for its dense texture and natural sweetness.

1 Butternut Squash
1/2 lb BBF Salad Greens – for fresh salad and wilting
Organic Sunflower Seeds, Pecans or Walnuts
Organic Dried Cranberries
Classic Vinaigrette

Coarsely chop your favorite wilting greens. We often use arugula, swiss chard, escarole or kale. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice Butternut squash into 1″ slices. We do not peel our squash and eat the tender skin. Peel if you prefer. Using a high heat safe fat like coconut oil, oil a cookie sheet and place squash on pan. Roast squash for 15-20 minutes and flip when bottom has browned and caramelized. Continue cooking another 15 min or until pieces are just tender.

Remove butternut from the oven and scatter chopped greens over the top. Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Place back in oven and roast for another 5 minutes just until greens have wilted.

Prepare fresh salad greens by tearing or chopping into serving size pieces and placing in a large shallow bowl. Drizzle with your homemade vinaigrette and toss.

Pour roasted squash and greens over the fresh salad greens. Gently toss. Add organic sunflower seeds, pecans, walnuts and/or dried organic cranberries. Serve immediately.

Serving this with dollops of creamy goat cheese or a really good feta would put this over the top.

Butternut Squash Pie

Butternut Squash Pie

We substitute Butternut Squash to make our pumpkin pie.  Butternut is dense, sweet, not stringy and makes a superior tasting pie. This recipe comes from Fannie Farmer, but we’ve made some changes. We prefer Sucanat for white sugar and we back it down, because Butternut 

Green Tomato Salad

Green Tomato Salad

We are always looking for good recipes to use the green tomatoes we harvest at the end of the season.  This salad received a thumbs up! 3 large green tomatoes, cored, quartered and thinly sliced 2 tsp salt 1 cucumber, thinly sliced 1/2 medium size 

Albondigas Soup – Traditional Mexican Meatball Soup

Albondigas Soup – Traditional Mexican Meatball Soup

We can thank Chef Monika Sudakov of the lovely Chestnut Street Inn in Sheffield, IL for sharing this delicious soup recipe.   Chef Monika is an amazing chef.   The combination of her culinary talent and appreciation for real food, often grown locally, makes every meal at Chestnut Street Inn delicious start to finish.

This is an excellent, simple soup recipe.  Use the best ingredients possible for the best flavor.

1 lb ground pork (can sub ground lamb or BBF breakfast sausage)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 c carrot, finely minced
1/2 cup cilantro leaf, chopped and/or flat leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin

The Soup

6 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 – 28 oz can organic whole tomatoes, diced OR 4-6 summer fresh tomatoes, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced or ½ tsp dried
2 cups summer squash, diced
1/2 cup cilantro

Make the meatballs first by combining pork, garlic, carrot, cilantro, salt, pepper and cumin. Form 1″ meatballs on cookie sheet and set in refrigerator.

For soup, combine chicken broth, onion, celery, tomatoes and their liquid, cumin and oregano in large pot.  Bring to simmer and continue cooking until celery and onions are tender.  Turn up the heat a bit and drop meatballs in the soup.  Return to simmer and cook another 10 minutes until meatballs cooked through.   Add zucchini and cook until tender.   Add fresh cilantro to finish.   Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Additions:  When we have so many vegetables coming from the garden, we’ll add a few favorites to this soup including broccoli florets, diced chard stems and leaves.  Kale is also excellent chopped and added to the soup.  We always add a leafy green to our homemade soups.