Saturday, May 29, 2010


Thursday was the first week of the 2010 farm share. Things are a little different this year. Scott and Tricia (the farmers who grow the food we eat) opened up a mercantile in Kirkwood where members, in addition to picking up their farm share there, can purchase additional locally grown and humanely raised beef, pork, chickens, dairy products, baked goods, and other pantry staples.

The reason I mention this is because I am helping them out a little bit. I'm manning the store on Thursday afternoons and it was really interesting to interact with all of the other people who were picking up their shares. Anyway, as one member picked up her share she said something like, "I have never had a turnip. I don't know what to do with those." I told her that they were great mashed (like potatoes) or roasted. She told me that she didn't know how to roast. So I thought I would share my roasting technique for those who have never learned how. I'm also throwing in a similar recipe for grilled spring onions.

Roasted Turnips
olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub turmips. (I don't peel the turnips from the farm share. There's no weird wax coating on them.) Cut turnip into uniform pieces. Drizzle with olive oil, a little S&P and fresh thyme. Toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes, flipping them around the 10 minute mark.

Grilled Spring Onions
spring onions
olive oil
salt & pepper

Rinse and trim onions. Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper. Toss to coat.

Place them on a hot grill over direct heat for about a minute. Flip and grill another minute.

I garnish the turnips with a little bit of fresh parsley. Roasting gives them a nice chewy outside while keeping the inside tender.

Some nice char marks on the onions.

The nice thing about super fresh vegetables is that they don't require a ton of herbs and spices or fancy preparation. This is my favorite time of the year. When I can enjoy the taste of fresh, simply prepared ingredients straight from Missouri farms.

Companion Early Bird Outlet

I love bread. I especially love Companion Bread. Their products are made here in St. Louis and aren't loaded down with a bunch of preservatives and junk. Most of the breads contain flour, water, salt and yeast. "That's it" as their bags say. I don't remember why or how, but for some reason I ended up following Companion on Twitter. A couple of months ago, they tweeted that they were opening up the factory on the weekends and selling their products themselves at a discount. A deep discount. Breads go for $2 a pound and sweets go for $3.50 a pound.

I'm not great with numbers or measurements, but to give you an idea of what that looks like, I bought all this for $11 yesterday. That's a loaf of rustic french, a loaf of ciabatta, 4 sandwich rolls, 2 croissants, 2 blueberry bagels, 2 Morning Spice muffins and 2 blueberry muffins.

These aren't day old breads or anything. They are just whatever the bakers felt like making the night before.

Did I tell you I got a free canvas bag for mentioning that I follow them on Twitter? How cute is that? I know people are gonna be jealous at the farmers markets.

The Early Bird Outlet is held Friday-Sunday from 7-12 at 4555 Gustine.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

I am not a flawless person. In fact, springtime is the time when one of my biggest faults comes to light. I am a berry hoarder. I am the jerk in line in front of you at the farmers markets who buys the last 6 pints of berries from the last guy who has them. I've got some kind of insatiable desire for local berries. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries. You name it; I want it.

Anyway, this salad is a great way to use what is currently for sale at the markets. Unfortunately, I can't really print a recipe because it's kind of just a mishmash of things.

Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Spring Onions
Lemon Juice
Olive Oil
Poppy Seeds

I got the spinach from Maplewood. Super fresh and tender. Rinsed, spun dry, and picked for big stems.

I bought 6 pints of strawberries at Thies Farm out in North County. They had tons of berries! I grabbed a few and sliced them.

I figured some candied pecans would be nice on the salad, so I grabbed some that we got at the farmers market in San Antonio. These were Al's Nuts port wine pecans. They got roughly chopped.

I mixed one part lemon juice to 3 parts olive oil, a splash of water, around a teaspoon of poppy seeds, some pepper, and a little squeeze of honey in a jar and shook it up.

I topped the spinach, berries, and nuts with a little sliced green onion, a couple tablespoons of dressing and some more fresh cracked pepper.

One of my absolute favorite salads because it uses all of my springtime favorites and reminds me that winter is over.