Mighty Food Farm’s Velvety Zucchini Soup
From The Berkshire Farm Table Cookbook by Elisa Spurgen Bildner and Robert Bildner with Chef Brian Alberg
Serves 4 – 6
Visit a Berkshire Farmers Market or local farm store for fresh ingredients!
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced scallion, white and green parts
7 to 8 garlic cloves
9 cups chopped zucchini (5-6 medium zucchini)
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
Zest of 2 lemons
2 cups lightly to moderately packed arugula
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering and fragrant. Add the onion, scallion, and garlic. Sauté, stirring frequently, until fragrant and the onion is translucent.
- Add the zucchini and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, salt, and lemon zest and bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cover. Simmer until the zucchini is tender and cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add the arugula. Using a countertop or immersion blender or food processor, blend the soup until completely pureed and smooth, working in batches if necessary. If using a countertop blender, put the lid on the blender, remove the center of the lid, and hold a folded towel over the opening while the machine is running, to prevent hot liquid from spurting.
- Return the soup to the pot and continue to simmer gently for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. The soup should be on the thicker side. Season with salt to taste before serving.
Visit Mighty Food Farm and learn more.
Pan-seared Pork Chops with Garlic, Sage and Coriander Seed
By Katy Sparks
2 heritage breed pork chops on the bone- each about 1 ½ inches thick
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced in half
1 healthy sprig of fresh sage, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seed
sea salt to taste- about 1 teaspoon divided between both sides of the chops
a few grinds of black pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil for searing
3 Tablespoons of dry marsala
1 Tablespoon of butter for finishing the sauce
Winter Tarte Tatin with Summer Fruit
1 roll of pre-made puff pastry
6 tablespoons butter
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1.5 pint jars of peaches or any other fruit, juice strained and saved for bellinis!
Heat oven to 375.
In medium cast iron pan melt butter on medium heat.
Add sugar and a pinch of salt mix together until resembles wet sand.
Add peaches and stir until sugar has melted. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook, shaking pan occasionally, until the melted sugar and butter bubble and begin to darken (about 10 minutes).
Remove from heat. Unwrap the puff pastry and cut corners to fit in pan. Put the pastry over the fruit, tucking the edges under. Cut two 3” slits into the pastry and bake 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and pastry is cooked through.
Remove from oven, let cool a couple of minutes. Using a offset spatula or butter knife loosen the tarte from the pan. Invert onto a plate and serve immediately with whip cream, ice cream or just as is. Enjoy!
Pastured Beef and Crimini Mushroom Bolognese with Juniper and Rosemary
By Katy Sparks @katysparkschef1
2 Tablespoons olive oil- I use Greek or Sicilian extra virgin olive oils for cooking
1 small white or yellow onion, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 slices bacon or 1 link of pork sausage (both optional if you prefer all beef)
8-10 medium crimini mushrooms, rinsed, dried and thinly sliced
1 pound of pastured (grass-fed) ground beef
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6-8 juniper berries, crushed with the back of a knife to release their oils and fragrance
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or roughly the needles from half of a full stem
½ cup of red wine
2 cups tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
1 cup whole milk from pastured cows
Generous amount of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or 4 nice dollops of fresh ricotta or if you are feeling hungry- both!
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed skillet with lid- a Dutch oven is perfect.
- Add the onions, garlic and bacon or sausage if using and stir until onions are translucent
- Add the crimini mushrooms and stir until they are lightly browned and tender- about 4 minutes
- “Bank” the sautéed vegetables to one side of the pan and add the ground beef to the opening you created on the pan’s bottom. Season the meat with salt and pepper
- Stir the beef until it is evenly browned. Add the remaining ingredients: the bay leaf, crushed juniper berries, rosemary, red wine, tomatoes and whole milk
- Stir well to combine all the ingredients, bring to a simmer and cover the dish and cook over low heat for 1-2 hours. Check occasionally and add a splash of water if the sauce is getting too thick.
- Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if desired but remember the cheese will add a certain saltiness.
- Remove the bay leaf and serve over pasta or polenta and garnish with the cheeses.
Mashed Sweet Potato and Apple with Smoked Chili and Maple
By Katy Sparks @katysparkschef1
1 large sweet potato, scrubbed but unpeeled
2 small, or 1 large apple, rinsed and cored but unpeeled
2 Tablespoons Maple syrup- I prefer Grade B for its richer flavor
½ tea. cinnamon
¼ tea. fine sea salt
¼ cup buttermilk (at room temperature)
1-2 teaspoons of minced chipotles in adobo
2-3 Tablespoons butter
8-12 fresh Sage leaves
Optional: 2 Tablespoons of crumbled feta
- Preheat oven on roast setting to 400 degrees.
- Cut the sweet potato and apples into medium sized chunks. Place the chunks in an oven-proof casserole with the maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and a ¼ cup of cold water. Cover the casserole dish and steam/roast for 30 minutes or until both the sweet potatoes and the apples are very tender.
- While the sweet potato and apple mixture is roasting, “fry” the sage leaves in butter. Using a non-stick pan, bring the butter up to the foamy stage, add the sage leaves and cook over low heat until the leaves start to crisp. Drain the sage on paper towel but reserve the sage-scented browned butter for garnishing the mash.
- Using a potato masher or even a fork, crush the sweet potato and apple together while drizzling in the buttermilk and folding in the minced chipotles. Taste for seasoning, adding more chipotle, salt or maple syrup if desired.
- Transfer the mash to a serving bowl and garnish with the reserved sage butter and the sage leaves. Sprinkle with crumbled feta if using.
New Potato and Swiss Chard Soup with Gochujang
By Katy Sparks @katysparkschef1
The casually gorgeous piles of multi-colored Swiss chard at Indian Line Farm’s stall called out to me this past weekend. And the freshly dug Yukon Gold potatoes at the next stall had something to say as well. With any soup, you want to start with a great stock or broth- be it vegetable, chicken, beef or fish. In this case I tapped into my cache of frozen roasted chicken jus from my last herb roasted chicken in the spring, thinned down with a little filtered water. The weather has been so wet and chilly lately that making soup feels appealing even in mid July! Gochujang (a dense Korean condiment made by fermenting red chili, glutinous rice and soybeans) looks light it would be fiercely spicy given the deep red color, but in the right dose it is about so much more than heat- it lends a sweet, complex deeply fermented umami flavor to these seasonal ingredients so that with a slice of country bread you have a meal.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, minced
4 small to medium Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
1 ½ quarts broth or stock of your choice
pinch of sea salt
1 Tablespoon pastured butter
1 head Swiss Chard of any color
pinch of sea salt
4 teaspoons Gochujang- one for each serving to be mixed in just before serving
Using a heavy bottomed pot, place over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering a little, add the onion and garlic and stir vigorously, lower the heat and cook while stirring until the onions are translucent.
Add the potatoes, the stock and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are quite tender- about 15 minutes.
Strip the leafy parts of the chard away from the stems and cut the leaves into ½ inch thick ribbons. Separately mince the stems. Heat a sauté pan or skillet over medium high heat. Add the butter and once it is sizzling a little add the stems. Give the stems a one minute head start before adding the leaves. Stir constantly until the chard is nicely wilted but still vibrantly colored. Season with a pinch of sea salt.
Ladle the potatoes and broth into each bowl, divide up the sautéed chard and pass around the Gochujang. Enjoy!
Mud Season Mudslide
By Berkshire Mountain Distillers
1.5 oz. BMD Ice Glen Vodka
1 oz. Coffee Liqueur
1 oz. Baileys Irish Cream
1.5 oz. Heavy Cream (Find dairy at these Berkshire Grown Member farm stores!)
Add the vodka, coffee liqueur, Baileys, and heavy cream to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled fizz glass our coup, and garnish with freshly shaved chocolate.
For more local sourcing, check out Berkshire Grown’s interactive map to Find Food and Farms: berkshiregrown.org, or pick up a print copy of the Guide to Local Food & Farms.