A few years ago, I joined a farm share a fab friend organizes it every summer. She coordinates with a farmer in Western Indiana who dutifully sends half and full shares of vegetables, herbs, and and other summer bounty to us every Friday. I’ve really enjoyed it because it’s forced me to figure out what to do with some things to eat them up before the next week’s share arrives. Every year, it’s a little later in the summer before things get away from me and I’m overwhelmed with produce.
Over time, the email list has become an impromptu recipe exchange with folks posting what they’re doing with something from the week’s deliveries. Last year, I swore I was going to start to put some of it online. I think I’ll add a new page for each month. Feel free to post if you made something and it worked or you have additional ideas.
You can see more photos on Instagram @feedmedrinkme.
Mint Simple Syrup — Perfect for cocktails! Oh, so good! Also, perfect for using up all of those little bottles. Use equal parts turbinado sugar and water. Add to pan with 2 cups fresh chopped mint per cup of sugar. Heat just enough to dissolve the sugar, then remove from the heat and let steep for 2-4 hours. When it’s as strong — and minty! — as you’d like, strain into bottles and refrigerate. Make mint juleps and mojitos immediately.
Mint Sugar — Good for cocktail glasses, baking, or muddling in mint juleps or mojitos! Also, great in iced tea, lemonade, or sprinkled over strawberries. Remove mint leaves from the stem. Mince 1/4 cup finely, then add to 1 cup sugar. Spread out to dry for a few hours on parchment paper, then toss in the food processor to fine it. Store in jars, and give it a toss in the food processor again to liven it up.
Sage Salt — Perfect for poultry and veg. And amazingly easy to finely chop sage leaves, spread it on parchment paper and let it dry out overnight. I kind of winged it using 44 sage leaves and 1 cup of Kosher salt. I minced the sage, then left it to dry overnight on parchment paper. Then crushed it further and mixed with the salt. Frances Menu has a nice looking recipe where you coat them in oil and oven dry them that looks fun. Or I might try the Tuscan Garlic Herb salt from Splendid Table.
Shaved Asparagus and Green Onion Tart — I used the base recipe forSmitten Kitchen’s shaved asparagus pizza, but subbed, puff pastry for pizza crust. I also added a creme fraiche/chive base and cheese. I used feta. But goat cheese would have been sublime or gruyere with bacon.
Chive Blossom Compound Butter: I love compound butters. They’re a great way to use up fresh herbs and they freeze well. Plus, they’re nice to pack in jars to give as gifts. After I’ve mixed the room temperature butter with the herbs, I roll it into a log in parchment paper. I chopped about a cup or so of fresh chives and chive blossoms, then added 3 sticks of room temperature butter. Start with two and see how you’re doing on ratio. Add more butter if needed. Mix until completely incorporated — add a little salt if needed. Plop the butter onto a sheet of parchment paper, then carefully roll it into a log. Then twist the ends to compress it into a uniform cylinder. Or, pack in jars. Use it for eggs. Or on steak. Or anything, really.
Old School Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing: I’ll tweak the dressing when I make this again, but it hit all of right spots — hard boiled egg, onion, mushrooms, wilty spinach, and, of course, bacon. I used Alton Brown’s recipe. Of course.
Asparagus, Spinach, and Gruyere Dutch Baby: Again from the fabulous Smitten Kitchen, her recipe for a billowy pancake offers important tips like preheating your pan for the poofiest of the poofy. I wilted the vegetables separately and added them after baking.
Oregano Lemon Chicken: From Carnal Dish and her recipe for One Pot Lemon Oregano Chicken. I used chicken thighs, loads of fresh oregano, and chive blossoms in the marinade, and several lemons that needed using in the chicken and rice.
Rhubarb Cordial: From David Liebovitz via Smitten Kitchen, this mixture of rhubarb, gin and sugar looks just about perfect to me. (I just ordered David’s new cocktails book, Drinking French, which promises lots of cordials, syrups, and other cocktail fixins.
Kale Salad with Shallot Dressing: This is my go-to kale salad. The recipe calls for dates, almonds, and parmesan, but I use whatever I have on hand. The dressing is great (don’t skip the honey) and the nuts, cheese, and dried fruit are all interchangeable. (I like dried cranberries, pecans, and grated parm, but this week’s salad gets pine nuts and gruyere.) You can make it ahead for a dinner and it keeps well in the fridge for a day or two.
Summer Pasta with Goat Cheese, Lemon, and Asparagus: This recipe from Smitten Kitchen is wonderfully adaptable and an easy staple for summer. You can use any sort of pasta shape, sub fresh peas for the asparagus, top with parm, and serve it warm or room temp (like for a pasta salad or outside dinner.) The creamy goat cheese makes it magic.
Tips: When I make salad dressing, like for the kale salad, I put all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid. It’s easy to shake it when originally mixing, but it also makes it easy to keep unused dressing in the fridge. You can just keep adding to the jar to keep your dressing topped up — perfect for those fresh greens arriving weekly.