Patchwork Green is a hillside and ridgetop farm overlooking the beautiful Canoe Creek Valley several miles north of Decorah, Iowa. Our family grows five acres of vegetables on a farm near Decorah, Iowa. We grow a wide variety of high quality, chemical-free vegetables using sustainable techniques.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Simple pasta recipe for late fall/winter Brussels sprouts

Here is a very simple pasta recipe that calls for late fall/winter Brussels sprouts.  Substituting meat and vegetables is easy with this recipe.

Brussels Sprouts Linguini
1/2 pound linguini
Salt and Pepper
6 oz unsliced pancetta or 6 slices thick cut bacon, diced
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 pound Brussels sprouts, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine
3 oz Parmesan, grated

Cook pasta in boiling salted water for about 8 minutes, until al dente.  Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.  Drain noodles.  While pasta is cooking, saute meat and onion in a large deep skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and the onions are caramelized, 8-10 minutes.  Add sprouts and garlic and saute, stirring, until leaves are bright green, 2 minutes.  Stir in wine, scraping brown bits from bottom of skillet.  Add pasta, grated Parmesan, and 1/2 to 3/4 cup reserved pasta water and stir until Parmesan is melted and pasta is creamy and well coated.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately sprinkled with pepper and shaved Parmesan.

From Country Living magazine, 2/2015

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Patchwork Green Farm 2015 shares available!

Oh, Happy Snow to you all!  

It is so beautiful today to see the blue sky over the perfect blanket of February snow.  I hope you are
all well, and that you can enjoy this winter weather with the knowledge that we'll be starting vegetable seeds in less than a month, and hope to have potatoes in the ground in 10 short weeks.

Patchwork Green Farm CSA shares are now available for the coming season.  We sincerely hope to have your membership again in our farming and culinary adventure here in Decorah.  I'll be mailing out order forms and pertinent information in the next two weeks, but the website is ready to roll.  You can read about the share options (same prices as last year!) and order via Paypal or check there.

I've been enjoying Mollie Katzen's new cookbook this week, and wrote up a little review that I hope will inspire you to try some new vegetable dishes this winter, and look forward to LOTS of great vegetable dishes this summer and fall!

The Heart of the Plate
I met cookbook author Mollie Katzen at a Seed Savers Exchange summer camp-out conference a few years ago.  I gushed about how her recipes have been my go-to source for vegetable prep for decades.  Besides feeding my family with her super-creative and practical dishes, I have copied her recipes (and my modifications/substitutions) into many Patchwork Green CSA newsletters.  I'm sure CSA's all across the country have done the same.  Although she was gracious about my praise, she
encouraged me to help her sell her cookbooks, rather than just 'stealing' her work.  Yeah, point well taken.  I still share her vegetable preparation ideas, but often modify her basic recipes based on what we are harvesting each week and my own kitchen experience.

I recently picked up a copy of her 2013 cookbook, "The Heart of the Plate," (view at Amazon) at the Decorah Public Library.  I would highly recommend doing the same, or actually purchasing this great volume.  Since she first wrote the groundbreaking vegetarian "Moosewood Cookbook" in the 1970's, she has continued to lead the way in the culinary exploration of local, fresh fruits and vegetables, ethnic prep techniques and both simple and multi-step recipes.

In her new book, Katzen shares how she has become confident creating vegetable-centric main dishes that don't rely on heavy cheese, butter and egg proteins.  Most of the seasoning ingredients are common spice drawer staples.  She is always thorough in her explanation of techniques, use of ingredients and precise cooking instructions.  "The Heart of the Plate" has a series of Asian noodle/vegetable dishes, yummy veggie burgers, fun soups and amazing salads.  I started market recipes that I would like to try, and the book now has a bouquet of paper shreds (my bookmarks of choice!) sprouting out the top.  I am going to start tonight with some nice variations on a simple coleslaw, a black bean 'burger' and a basmati and wild rice salad.  I'm also pumped to master the "Quick Pickled Red Onions" recipe for all sorts of uses.

I'm pretty sure that you could create six months of amazing dishes using Patchwork Green vegetables using recipes and ideas from this cookbook.  Try a bunch of them, and at the least, you will learn some new prep techniques and settle on some "new standbys."  Isn't that always the goal when trying recipes?