Eat better, live better!
The food is our main reason for farming. Once you begin to regularly cook meals at home and eat truly fresh produce, it is nearly impossible to settle for less. It does take time, but the return is grand!
You’ll feel better physically and mentally, plus you’ll spend more time around a table with the people you love.
Everything that we sell is grown by us on Snow’s Bend! We know everything that has happened from seed to your kitchen.
It is all grown using organic practices, but more importantly we let our young children graze straight from the field with the full confidence of its clean and pure goodness!
Join today and enjoy the benefits of eating well all year!
A FARM TO CALL YOUR OWN
Forming a strong connection between the people eating the produce grown on Snow’s Bend and the farmers growing it, as well as between eaters and the land the food is grown upon, is one of the most important (and enjoyable) aspects of our job!
CSA members are invited to the farm for our annual Harvest Party, for occasional work days, discounted farm tours and tastings, as well as new events planned for this coming year.
Last year we hosted multiple CSA events in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, including a Tomato Tasting and a Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest!
When you join our CSA, you are joining a strong community of people that give thought to the food they are eating, the people that are doing the work, and the care of the land.
GROWN WITH CARE
We put a great deal of thought and effort into our growing practices, which include hand weeding, cover cropping, Integrated Pest Management, hoeing, soil science, and crop rotation to name a few.
With confidence, we can answer any and all questions about the produce in your CSA box and how it was grown.
Snow’s Bend is a little piece of the planet we strive to protect. We are strongly connected to this place, so take seriously our responsibility to leave it better than we found it.
Wendell Berry ends his poem Prayers and Sayings of a Mad Farmer with the words “Make the world a better piece of ground.” That is what we strive for everyday!
SHARE IN AN AGRICULTURAL HISTORY
We are not the first to farm Snow’s Bend and, hopefully, will not be the last.
The first people that we know of were associated with Moundville and their time here dates back to sometime around the 1500s. There is a mound located on the farm (see the photo of our son standing on top of it) and many pieces of pottery were found here in the 1930s. Maize was their main crop, but there were others. Currently, more archeological research is being done on Snow’s Bend!
This land has seen many iterations of agriculture; from sharecroppers and sugarcane to cattle and row crops. Once, in the 1970s, the entire acreage (almost 200 acres) was planted in turnip and mustard greens. Pictured is the conveyor used to harvest those greens and men packing them down into a container.
And then there is us...we are still writing our story.
I am on a personal journey to connect the dots and the people that have farmed this land.
Follow along with us!
PRESERVING THE SMALL FAMILY FARM
Before we began our farming endeavor, David’s family land was leased to other farmers. In 2004, we took over the lease and were the first generation to be the ones actually working the land.
We have two young children and feel all too well the struggle to balance farm and family, but realize the importance of raising the next generation with a knowledge of food and what it takes to produce it.
This is our full-time, and only, job. If we do not succeed, we do not get paid.
We could not do it without our incredible staff! They work harder than you can imagine, and they do so with care, for the land and for our customers.
It is critical to us that every person working on Snow’s Bend is paid well, takes time off, and has a good life!
Feel good about the food you eat, not just the health benefits and deliciousness of it, but also the people behind it!
From Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing the pastry
1 large onion, diced
1 bunch chard, stems and leaves finely shredded but kept separate
5 ounces celery, thinly sliced
1 ¾ green onion, chopped
1 ¾ ounce arugula
1 ounce flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 ounce mint, chopped
2/3 ounce dill, chopped
4 ounces anari or ricotta cheese, crumbled
3 ½ ounces aged Cheddar cheese, grated
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large free-range eggs
1/3 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp superfine sugar
9 ounces filo pastry
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour the olive oil into a large, deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 8 minutes without browning. Add the chard stems and the celery and continue cooking for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chard leaves, increase the heat to medium-high, and stir as you cook for 4 minutes, until the leaves wilt. Add the green onion, arugula, and herbs and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and transfer to a colander to cool.
Once the mixture is cool, squeeze out as much water as you can and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the three cheeses, lemon zest, eggs, salt, pepper, and sugar and mix well.
Lay out a sheet of filo pastry and brush it with some olive oil. Cover with another sheet and continue in the same manner until you have 5 layers of filo brushed with oil, all covering an area large enough to line the sides and bottom of a 8 ½-inch pie dish, plus extra to hang over the rim. Line the pie dish with the pastry, fill with the herb mix, and fold the excess pastry over the edge of the filling, trimming the pastry as necessary to create a ¾-inch border.
Make another set of 5 filo layers brushed with oil and place them over the pie. Scrunch up the pastry a little to create a wavy, uneven top and trim the edges so it just covers the pie. Brush generously with olive oil and bake for 40 minutes, until the filo turns a nice golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.
Next Thursday, people around the country will gather with friends and family with one goal in mind - EAT! Tables will overflow with casserole dishes, trays of meat, pies, cakes and so much more.
For us, it all starts in the garden. I've compiled a few farm inspired dishes below that I hope you will consider adding to your table this holiday. CSA members can find many of the ingredients in their boxes this past week or next, and produce will be available at The Market at Pepper Place and Tuscaloosa River Market on Saturday morning.
A Note on our Recipes:
David and I both love to cook. It is one of our main motivations for growing vegetables. However, we are not recipe writers. Please view the following as rough templates and make them your own.
Salad Greens with Persimmon and Blue Cheese
You can use any salad greens you'd like in this salad. I love the sharp flavor of frisee and treviso, mixed with lettuce.
1/2 pound of salad greens (chopped treviso, frisee, lettuce, arugula, kale, or any other greens you would like)
1 to 2 persimmons
blue cheese to taste
Garlic-Lemon Dressing (recipe follows)
Toss the salad greens with the dressing and top with slices of fresh persimmon and crumbled blue cheese.
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of lemon juice, or a combination of lemon juice and your vinegar of juice
1 cup olive oil
A couple of pinches of salt, to taste
We always put dressing ingredients into a half-pint mason jar with a lid and shake to combine.
Fennel and Greens Dressing
1 bunch of cooking greens (collards, kale, chard, or any other), stems removed and leaves cut in chiffonade
2 medium or 4 small green bell-type peppers, deseeded and cut into dice
1 medium onion, cut into dice
4 to 6 small fennel bulbs, or 2 to 3 large, fronds removed, stems cut into ¼-inch rounds and bulb sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Herbs of choice, I used a ¼ teaspoon dried savory from the garden
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups broth
6 cups croutons
Cut bread into 1-inch cubes and toss with olive oil and salt.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
While the croutons are baking, cook the vegetables, starting with the onions, peppers, and fennel stems.
After about 10 minutes, add the fennel bulbs and garlic. When you can smell the garlic, add the greens and cook until tender.
In a large bowl, combine the croutons, vegetables, and herbs then add salt to taste and stir. Add the broth and mix again.
Put all of this into a baking dish and bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 10 minutes.
Aromatic Rice Stuffed Pumpkins
You can adapt this recipe to the number of people you would like to serve. Our Seminole Pie Pumpkins could serve 2 to 4, depending on the number of other dishes being served.
Cut a circle in the top of the pumpkins and scoop out the seeds.
Add a ½-inch of water to the bottom of the pumpkins and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.
While the pumpkins bake, make the aromatic rice - be sure to substitute the dried turmeric for fresh!
When the pumpkins are soft, pull them out of the oven.
When they are cool enough to handle, fill them with the aromatic rice and bake for another 10 minutes.
Top with cilantro and toasted pine nuts.
Smashed Sweets with Toasted Pecans
Our sweet potatoes need nothing more than butter and salt! I add the pecans for a bit of texture.
Bake sweet potatoes on 425 degrees for about 1 hour, until soft and fragrant.
Allow to cool and remove skins, placing the sweet potato into a large bowl.
Add butter and salt to taste and smash.
Place this mixture in a baking dish.
Top with slightly candied pecans (toasted in a skillet with butter, a sprinkle of sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon until aromatic).
Bake again for 5 to 10 minutes.
This cake is SO delicious! It tastes like gingerbread cookies, but has the airy-ness of cake. It is the perfect combination of salty and sweet.
Fresh Ginger and Molasses Cake
From Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat
Makes two 9-inch cakes
1 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
1 cup sugar
1 cup neutral-tasting oil
1 cup molasses
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup boiling water
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups Vanilla Cream (recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Set a rack in the upper third of the oven. Grease two 9-inch cake pans, then line with parchment paper. Grease and sprinkle generously with flour, tap out the excess, and set aside.
Puree the fresh ginger and sugar together in a food processor or blender until completely smooth, about 4 minutes. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl and add the oil and molasses. Whisk to combine and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper, salt, and baking soda, then sift into a large bowl. Set aside.
Whisk the boiling water into the sugar-oil mixture until evenly combined.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and gradually whisk in the water-oil mixture until incorporated. Gradually whisk in the eggs and stir until smooth. The batter will be thin.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Drop the pan onto the counter from a height of 3 inches a couple of times to release any air bubbles that may have formed.
Bake in the upper third of the oven for 38 to 40 minutes, until the cakes spring back from the touch and just pull away from the edges of the pan. An inserted toothpick should come out clean.
Cool the cakes completely on a wire rack before unmolding them from the pan and peeling off the parchment paper.
To serve, place one layer down on a cake plate. Spread 1 cup Vanilla Cream in the center of the cake and gently place the second layer atop it. Spread the remaining cream onto the center of the top layer and chill for up to 2 hours before serving.
Alternatively, top with cream cheese frosting, serve with ice cream, or simply dust cakes with powdered sugar. The batter also makes for fantastic cupcakes!
Tightly wrapped, this cake will keep for 4 days at room temperature, or for 2 months in the freezer.
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
Scraped seeds from ¼ vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chill a large, deep metal bowl (or the bowl of your standing mixer) and the whisk (or whisk attachment) in the freezer for at least 20 minutes before you begin. When the bowl is chilled, prepare the cream with the vanilla seeds or extract, then add the sugar.
I prefer to whip cream by hand because it gives me more control, so I’m less likely to overwhip it and end up with butter. If you’d like to use a mixer, run it at a low speed. Whisk until the first soft peaks appear. If using a machine, switch to a handheld whisk and continue to whisk until all the liquid cream has been incorporated and the texture of the cream is uniformly soft and billowy. Taste and adjust sweetness and vanilla as desired. Keep chilled until serving.
Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days. Use a whisk to bring deflated cream back to soft peaks as needed.
This super-tuber adds incredible flavor and color to meals and teas! It leaves you feeling warm and healthy.
The aromatic rice recipe below is the best rice I have ever tasted!
And the tea left me feeling incredibly satisfied on a cold, gray day.
Fresh turmeric can be substituted for dried in any recipe and adds a depth of flavor.
Ginger and Turmeric Aromatic Rice
1 cup white basmati rice
1.5 cups water
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or oil of choice)
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon ginger peeled and grated
1 teaspoon fresh turmeric peeled and grated*
1 teaspoon sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
¼ cup pine nuts toasted
Add all ingredients for the rice except for the dried cranberries to a small pot, cover, and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until rice has absorbed all liquid, 15 minutes (or according to package instructions). NOTE: if using a rice other than white basmati rice, follow package instructions for amount of water and cook time.
A few minutes before rice is finished cooking, stir the dried cranberries into the rice - this allows them to plump up and lends more flavor to the rice. Re-place the cover and continue to cook.
Taste rice for flavor and add more sea salt if desired. Serve with fresh cilantro and pine nuts alongside your favorite main dish.
Golden Milk Turmeric Tea
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk, preferably coconut milk beverage or almond milk
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 (1-inch) piece turmeric, unpeeled, thinly sliced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Ground cinnamon (for serving)
Whisk coconut milk, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, honey, coconut oil, peppercorns, and 1 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have melded, about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into mugs and top with a dash of cinnamon.
Golden milk can be made 5 days ahead. Store in an airtight container and chill. Warm before serving.
1 bunch of scallions, sliced
1 bok choy, stems separated, washed, and quartered lengthwise
2 to 3 medium turnips, greens removed (can be cooked with the bok choy), washed and quartered
1 Eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 to 3 Sweet Peppers, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can of coconut milk
1 stalk of lemongrass or 1 tsp. dried
Red curry paste to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Over medium heat, sauté the turnips, eggplant, and sweet peppers about cook 5 minutes. Add the bok choy and minced garlic.
In a small pot combine the coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, and add the red curry paste a little bit at a time until the desired flavor is reached. Allow to simmer for 10 or 15 minutes, then strain and add this to the vegetables. Serve over buckwheat soba noodles and top with scallions and toasted sesame seeds.
*You can add mushrooms to this recipe; cook them along with the turnips, eggplant, and sweet peppers.
Okra and Greens Gumbo
Adapted from the Gumbo Z’herbes recipe in Susan Spicer’s Crescent City Cooking
Makes 8 to 10 servings
½ cup oil
½ cup flour
2 medium onions, chopped
2 sweet peppers, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 medium turnips, chopped
1 cup plus ½ cup chopped scallions
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups of greens, coarsely chopped (mustard greens, turnip greens, kale or chard)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon file powder
2 quarts stock (chicken, vegetable, or shrimp)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Bouquet garni (made with parsley stems, bay leaf, and thyme)
2 cups okra, chopped
Salt and pepper
Cooked white rice, optional
Also optional, cooked chicken, shrimp, and/or sausage
Heat ½ cup oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Carefully whisk in the flour. Continue whisking until the roux is the color of peanut butter, or a little darker.
Add the onions, sweet peppers, celery, turnips, 1 cup of scallions, and garlic, and cook, stirring to coat vegetables with roux, for 5 minutes.
Add the greens, stir, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until they are wilted; add the thyme and file powder.
Stir in the chicken stock, 2 cups at a time, bringing the mixture to a boil after each addition. Whisk in the oyster liquor and Worcestershire sauce.
Bring the gumbo to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the okra and the bouquet garni and cook over medium-low heat for about 1 hour, adding more chicken stock or water if the mixture gets too thick.
Season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
To serve the gumbo, ladle generous portions into bowls and garnish with remaining scallions, and hot rice, if desired.
These fresh-from-the-farm ingredients available at The Market at Pepper Place and Tuscaloosa River Market, as well as in CSA boxes!
Sweet Potato, Potato, and Turnip Gratin with Thyme and Gruyere
1 pound of potatoes
1 pound medium red-skinned sweet potatoes
1 pound of turnips
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups (packed) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 5 ounces)
Using a mandoline (or knife if you do not have a mandolin), cut the potatoes, sweet potatoes, and turnips in 1/8-inch rounds. Combine cream, butter, and garlic in medium saucepan; bring to simmer. Remove from heat. Place thyme leaves in a small bowl. Mix sea salt and black pepper in another small bowl.
Butter small baking dish or pie pan. Alternate slices of sweet potato, potato, and turnip, standing on their skin side, to fill the dish or pan. Sprinkle thyme and salt mixture over the slices, separating if necessary and allowing some of the salt and herbs to fall between the slices. Pour cream mixture over gratin, pressing lightly to submerge potato mixture as much as possible. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
DO AHEAD Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Remove plastic wrap before baking.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover gratin tightly with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until top of gratin is golden and most of liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes; serve.
With a salad, it makes a meal!
It is greens season! We have plenty to choose from, but this week I have turnip greens on my mind and specifically a turnip green calzone with sweet peppers and smoked cheddar.
Turnip Green Calzones
Makes 2 calzones
1 pizza crust recipe (included below)
1 large bunch of turnip greens
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minces
As many sweet peppers as you’d like, chopped
4 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, grated (you could substitute gouda or other cheeses, but if you can find smoked cheddar, it is really the best)
1 egg, whisked
A tomato or some tomato sauce (Most have sauce on the side, but I just put a couple of spoonfuls in the filling and it was great that way!)
Heat your oven to 450 degrees.
While the crust is rising, cook the onion and peppers in some olive oil in a skillet.
When they begin to soften, add the garlic and turnip greens. Once cooked, you can add in a couple of spoonfuls of tomato sauce (or save for the side if you would rather).
Roll out one round of dough and place it on a flour or cornmeal dusted baking sheet. On one half of the circle, sprinkle one quarter of the cheese then place half of the filling, leaving one inch on every edge. Top with another quarter of the cheese and fold the empty half of dough over. Fold the edge and crimp shut. Cut decorative vents in the top. Coat with whisked egg and repeat with the other round of dough.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust has a nice golden hue.
Adapted from Bottega Favorita by Frank Stitt
1 ¼ cups warm water
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil
Cornmeal for dusting (optional)
Pour the warm water into a small bowl, stir in the honey, and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Set aside to proof until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Combine the flours and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a large bowl and a sturdy hand mixer). Add the yeast mixture and olive oil and mix on low speed until the dough forms a mass on the paddle and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove the dough and divide into 2 equal portions. Put on a flour-dusted baking sheet, cover with a towel, and set aside in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes, or until almost doubled. (You can make this dough ahead and refrigerate it overnight if necessary; allow it to come to room temperature before continuing.)
The premier pod of summer, okra is in its prime right now. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of produce. Long and tender, tapered at the end with symmetrical ridges running the length of it, segments cut from it are star-shaped with an almost perfectly round seed nestled inside each of the eight chambers, or locules.
You can spend much of a day prepping and stirring a pot of gumbo, filling your home with the scent of supper, or you can toss whole pods in olive oil and salt and roast them in 30 minutes. And, don't forget, it is a superfood!
Hundreds of pounds of the vegetable are coming out of our garden each week. We, and our CSA members, often feel buried under it at this point in the year, so we solicited recipes for some mid-season inspiration.
The “Okra in Sesame Coconut Sauce” was the clear winner,
with “Tomato and Grilled Okra Panzanella Salad” coming in second.
There was not enough time to prepare all of the recipes entered, so we voted on the top 6 to try. The other four dishes were "Mock Shoe", "Okra with Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs", "Undecided Okra Stew", and "Okra with Harissa and Feta".
Many thanks to everyone that entered! And a huge thank you to Jennifer and everyone at Spirits Wine Cellar for hosting the recipe tasting!
All 6 recipes for the dishes at the tasting are included below.
Okra in sesame coconut sauce
from Jana Wheeler
2 teaspoons oil
3-4 cups okra, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
Cook until okra is slightly crisp, 8-9 minutes, add a pinch of salt, stirring occasionally
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3/4 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or powder)
3/4 cup chopped red onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch knob ginger, minced
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or a fresh one)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 -1 teaspoon Garam Masala
3/4 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened!)
Heat oil in skillet. Add coriander and cumin seeds and cook for 30 sec. Add onion, garlic, ginger, cook about 5 minutes.
Add turmeric, cayenne, salt, garam masala, stir a few seconds. Add tomato, sesame seeds, coconut, cook 3-4 minutes, mash tomato a bit. Let slightly cool, transfer to a blender with 1/2 cup water, blend until smooth.
Add puree and okra back to skillet, cook for about 5 minutes.
Amazing over rice, with flatbread, other curries if we feel fancy, or by itself! :)
Tomato and Grilled Okra Panzanella Salad
from Elizabeth Alford
2 cups okra, grilled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups heirloom tomato, cut into 1 inch cubes/pieces (a firmer tomato is preferable, like the Cherokee Purple)
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 1/2 T. Kosher salt
Small (or 1/2 regular) french baguette, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 gloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or smashed
2 T sherry vinegar
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/3 - 1/2 c. olive oil
1 tsp dijon
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Toss whole okra lightly in olive or canola oil. Grill 3-4 minutes each side over medium-high heat, until grill marks develop. Remove from grill, allow to cool, then chop roughly into 1-inch pieces.
2. Over high heat, melt 1/4 cup butter and blend with 1/2 cup olive oil. Add 3 cloves garlic and cook until fragrant. Toss in bread cubes so they are well coated with oil/butter. Cook until bread crumbs begin to develop golden-brown color. Remove croutons from heat and remove garlic cloves. Place croutons on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees 10-15 minutes until crisp and golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
3. In large salad bowl, combine tomato, okra, croutons, kosher salt, and basil. Allow to sit while dressing is made.
4. Whisk together all dressing ingredients until well emulsified. Toss with salad and allow to sit 15-20 minutes before serving.
Serve room temperature as an appetizer or top with your favorite grilled protein for a complete meal!
from Suzanne Hoye
1 cup Conecuh Sausage, cut into small pieces
2cups okra, bite sized pieces
2cups corn cut from cob
1/2cup onion. Chopped
1/2 cup red pepper. Chopped
1/2 cup water
1 large tomatoe cut into bite sized pieces
2-3 tbsp butter, divided
Salt and pepper
Brown the sausage in a Dutch oven using a small amount of butter. Medium heat. Remove and set aside when browned
Add a little butter to the pan and melt. Add onion and pepper, cook a minute or so til onion is transparent. Remove and set aside
Add the rest of the butter, melt, add corn and okra. Cook about 5 minutes, til tender. Add the sausage, onion and pepper and water to the mix. Bring to a boil. Add tomato and turn down the heat to low. Cook 5 minutes, salt and pepper to taste, then serve. If you have any leftovers, it’s even good cold
Okra with cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs
from Stefani Mugnaini
I split the pods on the bias. With bigger pods, maybe two cuts.
Dice onion and mince garlic, throw everything in a very hot skillet, in the order of okra-onion-garlic, adding the onion after the okra gets a little charred and blistered, and the garlic after the onions start Browning.
Season with salt, pepper, cumin or Chipotle powder.
Then I toss a few cherry tomatoes in, toss everything just long enough for the tomatoes to pop, and then serve, garnished with chopped fresh herbs. Basil or savory or Italian parsley.
Undecided Okra Stew
(6 servings, vegan, probably low-fat)
from Chase Wrenn
I love okra curries. I love gumbo. This isn’t either, but it’s what I make when I can’t decide which I want. Feel free to turn up the heat with more spices.
1-2 lbs okra, trimmed and cut into ½” pieces
2 medium onions
2 ribs celery
1 red bell pepper
1 jalapeño pepper
2 tsp each of
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil (plus more if needed)
2 tsp dried thyme
1 block super-firm tofu, cubed
1 large can crushed tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
2 (dry) cups rice, prepared according to package instructions. (Basmati is great; I like long grain brown rice with this)
Food processor and pressure cooker (I use an Instant Pot). You could do this without them and just simmer on the stove until you’re happy with it, but I think this way is most convenient.
Okra with Harissa and Feta
from Brett Louise
Remove ends of okra and slice pods lengthwise down the middle. Season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet and add okra to skillet. Cook at medium-high heat for about 8 minutes, or until okra has softened and charred a bit.
Add a bit of cumin and a bit of garlic powder (alternatively, you can mince and sautee garlic with the okra). Reduce heat to medium-low. Add one to three heaping tablespoons of harissa (to taste, depending on your desired spice level and amount of okra).
Stir about two minutes more, until heated through. To serve, top with lots of crumbled feta, or if you prefer, a generous dollop of yogurt. Yum!
ROSELLE (also called gongura or Jamaican sorrel)
A couple of years ago Rao, our entomologist friend from India, gave us a small number of roselle plants. We were immediately hooked and have been enjoying it ever since, adding more plants each year. It thrives in the sweltering temperatures of late summer in Alabama and it has a unique flavor that always leaves me wanting more.
His suggested preparation is to toast mustard seeds in oil, adding garlic and a chile pepper (optional), and then briefly sautéing the roselle leaves with those ingredients. We tried it this way and it was delicious. The flavor is a bit sour, like sorrel or rhubarb, and there is some okra-ness in the texture. The tart recipe below features both of those aspects – the sourness is used as in a rhubarb tart and the texture serves to help the tart ‘set’.
Roselle is in the same family as okra and hibiscus. We are currently harvesting the leaves, but the calyces (“the sepals of a flower, typically forming a whorl that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a flower in bud”) can also be harvested and used in the same way as culinary hibiscus, as in a tea.
Roselle is also used in pickling and can be paired with lentils or shrimp.
Please let us know what you think!
Here is an article on roselle:
Heat 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil in a pan.
Add clean and plucked roselle leaves to the hot pan.
Fry until the leaves wilt. Set them aside to cool completely.
To the same pan, add more oil and fry the chiles until crispy. Switch off and add cumin.
When they cool down, add them to a food processor with garlic and salt. Blend until smooth.
Add the leaves and pulse to get a coarse texture.
Adapted from rareseeds.com
1½ cups sugar
1 tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup water
4 cups roselle leaves, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon lemon extract
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 tart crust
Mix together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a saucepan and add whisk in the water. Place over medium-heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add in the roselle, cover, and cook until tender, anywhere between 20-40 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the lemon extract and butter. Stir in the pecan pieces and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Roll the tart crust out and bake for 10 minutes (pie weights recommended). Place the filling in the curst and return to oven and bake for another 30 minutes. Serve cool.
Burmese Roselle Leaves with Bamboo Shoots & Shrimp - Chin Baung Kyaw
“In Burmese cuisine, roselle leaves are called chin baung ywet or sour leaf. It is perhaps the most widely eaten and popular vegetable in Burma. The leaves are fried with garlic, dried or fresh prawns and green chili or cooked with fish. A light soup (hinjo) made from roselle leaves and dried shrimp is also a popular dish."
1 bundle roselle leaves, washed and chopped
1 (8 oz.) pkg. bamboo shoots, fresh or pickled and sliced
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional for vegetarians)
6 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
8-10 cloves of garlic, diced
1 green chili, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 tsp. shrimp paste/ngapi (optional for vegetarians)
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1 Tbsp. fish sauce (optional for vegetarians)
Marinate shrimp in fish sauce and turmeric for 15 minutes and set aside.
Heat oil over medium-high heat and fry garlic, onions and chilies until onions turn translucent.
Add tomatoes and shrimp paste and stir-fry until tomatoes break down and oil resurfaces.
Add roselle leaves and bamboo shoots, mix thoroughly and simmer over medium heat until roselle leaves are cooked and all liquid is absorbed.
Add marinated shrimp and cook for another 5 minutes.
Serve with steamed rice.
SWEET POTATO GREENS
You know the tuber well from pies and fries, but did you know that you can also eat the leaves? They have been in staple in many countries, especially in African cuisine, for as long as sweet potatoes have been grown.
I made a simple salad by cutting the leaves very thinly (chiffonade) and marinating them with minced shallot, vinegar, olive oil, and salt. After that it sat for 15 minutes or so, I added some chopped tomatoes. We ate it with crab cakes and were impressed with how the leaves holding their texture. The flavor was mild.
Sauteed Sweet Potato Greens
From The Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson
Serves 4 as a side
"They are wonderfully rich in vitamins A and K and in polyphenols, and have magical way of hitting that hot pan and wilting into a beautiful pile of silky goodness in a minute's time."
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 pound sweet potato greens, stems finely chopped and leaves torn
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon cold unsalted butter
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Place the largest saute pan you have on the stove, or use a wok. Crank up the heat to high, and when the pan is blazing hot, turn on the hood vent. Add the grapeseed oil and swirl it around in the pan. When the first wisps of smoke waft off the oil, add the greens. Cook them for 1 minute, as you would spinach, quickly stirring them around halfway through. Season with kosher salt while they are cooking, and then add the lemon juice, butter, and red pepper flakes, stirring well to combine. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the greens to a paper-towel-lined plate. Blot off the excess moisture and serve immediately.
Vadouvan and Corn and Sweet Potato Leaves
From Heritage by Sean Brock
Serves 6 as a side
“I can never understand why more people in the South don’t eat them (sweet potato leaves). Other cultures consider them a treat and here are all these farmers in the South growing sweet potatoes who have never tasted the leaves, much less tried to sell them.”
4 ears corn in the husk, soaked in water for 1 hour
12 sweet potato leaves
1 tablespoon Vadouvan spice (recipe below)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Put the corn on a rimmed baking sheet and bake it for 15 minutes, or until the kernels are soft. Remove it from the oven.
When the corn is cool enough to handle, remove the husks and silk and cut the kernels from the cobs. Set aside. (This can be done up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate the kernels, and bring them back to room temperature when ready to proceed.)
Wash the sweet potatoes leaves, drain them, and pat them dry. Make stacks of the leaves, roll them into cylinders, and cut them into ½-inch-wide ribbons.
Combine the corn and sweet potato leaves in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Vadouvan and butter and toss to coat. (This can be kept warm on the back of the stove for no more than 8 minutes. It should be made as close to serving time as possible.)
From Heritage by Sean Brock
Makes ½ cup
“This spice mix is great on pumpkin and fall squash, as well as on lamb, lobster, and scallops. Vadouvan is a curry powder that takes its influences from both India and France.”
1 pound sweet onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces shallots, halved
6 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 ½ teaspoons thinly sliced fresh curry leaves (optional)
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Working in batches, pulse the onions in a food processor until very coarsely chopped; it’s okay if there are a few large pieces remaining. Repeat with the shallots, and then the garlic.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until it shimmers. Add the onions, shallots, and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat to low and cook until the onions and shallots are golden and lightly browned in spots, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Grind the fenugreek seeds in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Add them to the onion mixture, along with all the remaining ingredients, and stir until combined. Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheets as thinly and evenly as possible. Bake, stirring occasionally and rotating the baking sheets, for 1 to 1 ¼ hours, until the mixture is well browned and barely moist. Cool to room temperature, then transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate.
Tightly covered, the spice mix can be refrigerated for up to 10 days.
Sweet Potato Leaves Salad
1 large bunch sweet potato leaves, stems removed and cleaned
3 pieces medium tomatoes, sliced
1 thumb ginger, shredded
1 medium red onion, sliced
6 tablespoons sugar cane vinegar
½ teaspoon white sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups water
Place water in a cooking pot and let boil.
Blanch the sweet potato leaves. This is done by putting the leaves in boiling water. Let it stay for about 20 to 30 seconds. Remove the leaves and submerge in a bowl of cold water for 30 seconds, and let dry.
In a large bowl, combine sweet potato leaves, tomatoes, ginger, onion, sugar, salt, pepper, and vinegar. Gently toss until all the ingredients are distributed.
Serve as an appetizer. Share and enjoy!
3 cups rice
5 cups gongura (Roselle or Jamaican sorrel leaves)
1 medium onion
½ tsp - cumin
1 spicy cinnamon stick
3 anise stars
3-5 bay leaves
4 tbsp. - ghee
1 tbsp. - oil
1-2 tsp - coriander powder
½ tsp - chili powder
5 green chilies
5 sprigs cilantro
Soak rice for at-least 1 hour
Cut onion, carrots and potatoes into cubes. Place deep X shaped slit to eggplant.
Separate gongura leaves from stem. Discard stem.
In a pot, add 2 tbsp. oil. Then add gongura, ¼ of onion and green chilies. Close the lid and cook till soft. Let it cool and grind to paste. Add water if needed. Keep it semi solid consistency. It should be watery also like paste.
Meanwhile to another pot, add 4½ cups of water and boil. Now add bay leaf and rice. Lower flame to low, and cook rice till water drains.
Take big pot, add ghee.
Add cumin, star anise, cinnamon fry till golden brown.
Add onion, carrot, eggplant and potatoes. Close lid and cook for 10 minutes.
Add salt, stir and cook for 5 more minutes.
Now add gongura paste, chili powder and coriander powder. Cook for 5 minutes.
Now take gongura mixture into another bowl. Leave 1 layer of mixture on the bottom. Now add a layer of rice. On top of rice add another layer of gongura mixture. Add layers till all gongura and rice is placed. Place aluminum foil on the pot and close lid on top of foil. Placing aluminum foil ensures steam not to escape. We cooked rice partly, by this process we are cooking rice in gongura steam. Gongura taste penetrates rice and gives it aromatic flavor and taste.
Close lid and cook on very low flame for almost 20-30 minutes till rice is cooked.
Mix well, garnish with cilantro. Serve hot immediately.
NEWS FROM THE BEND
From planting time to the growing and harvesting seasons,