10 years of Wayward Seed Farm, my 10 favorite things to grow and eat!
1. Alliums/Onion Family I know, I know… I can’t write a blog or newsletter without expounding the joy of allium growing! I think we have relegated onions to the background of our cooking imagination. At WSF they are a main attraction on the farm and in the kitchen. Spicy, sweet, assertive and robust, they make you cry with their power and laugh with joy when you taste them. Charred candy onions, poached leeks, pickled cippolinis, caramelized hard onions, grilled Rossa di Milano onions, roasted shallots… And don’t forget the garlic.
2. Candystick Carrots We never grow enough Candystick carrots! Never. No, the variety we use is not really called Candystick. We created that name after eating so many of these raw on the first day of fall harvest. It was like eating Halloween candy or a bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups in one sitting. They were sweet like candy. So yes, Candystick is a shameless marketing ploy, but in defense, it does properly describe these carrots. They never disappoint and kids love them. My favorite way to eat them is either raw or roasted with butter and shallots.
3. Japanese Sweet Potatoes Complex and delicate. They yield about half of what we get from our orange varieties, but the low yield is worth it. They don’t
really need butter or seasoning. Remarkable flavor.
4. Romanesco One of the most difficult, nutrient needy crops we grow. I call Romanesco the rarefied air because it is. I think it tastes like pistachios and milk when roasted. The “King of Vegetables.” We will always try to grow it.
5. Sheepnose Pimento Pepper A wonderful Ohio heirloom pimento pepper. Very low yielding. We hope to save seeds this season, selecting specimens for flavor and yield. I love these lightly pickled on pizza!
6. Collards They are fun to grow and extremely plentiful. Short or long cooked, collards bring delicious flavor. Next time, pass up the kale and cooks some collards.
7. Paste Tomatoes I know this is not a proper analogy but I think paste tomatoes are like the best supporting actors who don’t win awards. Versatile, plentiful, utilitarian and indispensable. You need them for your soups, salsas, sauces and pantry. They lay the foundation for great cooking. I think I’m going to name my heirloom paste to
mato seeds after Steve Buscemi or William H Macy…
8. Kabocha Squash Sometimes in the evening when I’m thinking about a sweet treat or dessert I think back about WSF’s early collaborations with Jeni’s Ice Creams. They made ice cream with our Kabocha Squash, and it was simply divine. I miss it. It was that dry, sweet flesh of the squash…Kabocha is one of a kind. And so was that ice cream.
9. Romano Beans Flat Italian green beans are legendary. They might really be my number 1. Cook them with heirloom tomatoes and Rossa di Milano onions. Seriously. I’m dead serious. Flat beans, heirloom tomatoes, Rossa di Milano onions. If I invited my hero Anthony Bourdain to the farm, I would make him these beans. They are so good that he would take one taste and respond with an expletive filled soliloquy of joy. Maybe someday…
10. Fennel Love it or hate it…fennel is one of the most flavorful vegetables in the kitchen. It is lovely in chicken soups or shaved raw for salads. Give it a try and then try again. It is really versatile.
And now to this week’s winner, lucky number 21… Tiffany Page! Congratulations Tiffany!
Next week’s prize? It’s the big one. A FREE CSA share for the entire 2016 season! Sign up now (if you haven’t already) for your chance to win.
Read Full Post »