Tag csa

Parties That Cook Gears Up for Cooking Farm to Table: Classic Crostini Recipe

As we gear up for our first Cooking Farm to Table Class this weekend, I think it’s time we give everyone a “taste” of what’s in store. No, we cannot send you a care package of ingredients used! (Though Canvas Ranch, the family-run farm where we are hosting this class, offers a Summer Season CSA program.) What we can do is open your eyes to one of our classic recipes to be featured this Saturday: Crostini of Goat Cheese and Tomato Jam – YUM. You can find this recipe in our Appetizer Recipe Library, and can find the tomatoes at Canvas Ranch this weekend!

Crostini of Goat Cheese and Tomato Jam

Tomato Jam:
1 1/2 pounds ripe beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, peeled and chopped, reserving any juice
3/4 cups sugar
1 orange, peeled and sectioned, roughly chopped, reserving any juice
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon lemon (or regular) thyme, chopped

1 baguette, sliced diagonally into slices 1/4-inch thick
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled
7 ounces goat cheese at room temperature

Thyme sprigs for garnish

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Make Jam: Place tomatoes, sugar, orange, lemon zest/juice (including tomato and orange juices) and salt in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour tomato mixture into a large-sized sauté pan over moderate-high heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until a jam-like thickness is achieved, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and add thyme. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until it is cool to the touch, about 15 minutes. Alternatively, place bowl in freezer for 5-10 minutes.

Make Crostini: Brush the bread slices on one side with olive oil. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and cook until the slices are golden around the edges and crisp, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Rub one side of each crostini with a clove of garlic.

Assembly: Spread 1 Tablespoon of the goat cheese evenly over the toasts. Top with a dollop of tomato jam on the goat cheese. Garnish with a sprig of thyme. Serve immediately.

Do You Know Where Your Food Comes From?

Where do you get your produce? Or rather, how far does it travel to get to you? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is becoming more and more popular as consumers become more aware of these questions.  CSAs provide high quality, organic, locally farmed produce to consumers, support local farms, and reduce costs for both farmers and consumers by cutting out the middle man.

A friend in San Francisco raved about Farm Fresh To You (FFTY) and how they delivered a wonderful mix of seasonal fruits and vegetables to her door every week.  I instantly fell in love with the idea.  I had become busy with work and did not have enough time to go to the market.  At the same time, I had become more obsessed with food and wanted to work with what was in season.  But whenever I walked into a supermarket, I always ended up with the same veggies and fruits, and I stayed away from the organic produce because it was more expensive.  Once I signed up for FFTY, however, I’d get whatever was in season — all organic — and it became a great way to force myself to start working with more unfamiliar produce.  I still remember the day I pulled leeks out of the box and thought to myself — What am I supposed to do with these?

That’s why some CSA’s like FFTY make sure to include a weekly newsletter with recipes for some of the items in the delivered box.  Harvest Moon Farms, servicing Chicago, takes it one step further and provides not only recipes by a professional chef, but cocktail recipes and pairings as well as wine pairings by LUSH Wine and Spirits.

If you wanted to get even more local, Seattle MicroFarm brings the farm to your back yard.  They create, maintain, and cultivate a MicroFarm for you, visiting weekly to harvest your crops for you.

Whether it’s the convenience of delivery, fun cocktail pairings, or urban microfarming that ultimately draws you in, take comfort in knowing you are helping to create a sustainable food system that reduces carbon emissions from trucking and flying in food from large distances.