Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April's Quick Farmers' Market Update

We've been hard at work planning weekly and monthly events, demonstrations, and activities for the farmers' market. We got great ideas from all the farmers and market patrons, like yourself. Get excited, we definitely are!!

If you've got any ideas of things you'd like to see (or taste... yum!), let us know at the Charlestown Land Trust. We love to see you at the market at the Cross Mills' Public Library on Friday mornings.

To get a little taste for upcoming events at the farmers' market this summer (yes, the pun was fully intended):
- Charlestown Farmers' Market Recipe Contest
- and much, much more!!

Dates will be posted online and at the market once we have a full calendar.

We can't wait to see you at the market this summer!!!

( Charlestown Farmers' Market at the Cross Mills' Public Library)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Foodie & Farm Events in Southern Rhode Island: Mark Your Calendars!!

Get your calendars out and your green sharpies, I’ve got two great events for you to write in and attend in southern Rhode Island.

The first event consists of one of my favorite things: bread & bread making. The class will be called "Bread Baking 101". It is on Tuesday, April 19th from 2:30pm  to 5:30pm at the Peace Dale Congregational Church in Wakefield, RI. The Charlestown Land Trust (CLT), the Jonny Cake Center (JCC), and Southern RI Volunteers (SRIV) have teamed together to produce this great event for you. Space and food is semi limited, an RSVP would be greatly appreciated (even if it’s a few hours ahead of the event). Karen Jarret will be teaching you how to make bread and you will be able to take a loaf of rising bread home.

The second event is the 10th year anniversary of the East Farm Spring Festival. This will be on May 7th from 10am-2pm at East Farm. The URI Outreach Center organizes this great event for families, foodies, locavores, those interested in environmental issues, gardeners, fish enthusiasts, farm lovers, and just about anyone. It is a great event to bring children to or to bring the child in you to have fun in the spring time. A “Paint a Fish Tote” booth will be available along with free pH soil testing, food, music, and more. It is a blast and a wonderful time outside. If you’re looking for compost bins, gardening tips, and fun, this is the place for you.

Hope you’ve marked your calendars!!! I will see you at these fun events!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Narragansett Creamery Recipe: Gnudi with Lemon-Thyme Butter and Breadcrumbs

It’s a sunny Friday here in South County. What a wonderful spring day! To top off a great morning, I got my Narragansett Creamery newsletter today in my inbox. Narragansett Creamery has been one of the vendors at the Charlestown Farmers’ Market for the past few years. They have a bundle of cheese varieties (with Rhode Island based names in many cases!) that are sure to satisfy your palate.

One of my favorite things about their newsletter is that it always comes with a recipe. This time, the recipe focuses on a contemporary plate suggested by one of the cheese makers. I enjoy that it includes chard. I know I’m always looking for chard recipes, especially when it is in season in Rhode Island.

Let me know what you think!

Happy Eating!

Below is the recipe, provided by Narragansett Creamery via email:

Gnudi with Lemon-Thyme Butter and Breadcrumbs

  • 1 pound Narragansett Creamery Renaissane Ricotta
  • 12 ounces young red or rainbow chard (can substitute Lacinato kale, spinach, or another dark leafy green)
  • 1 egg (the pastured eggs we buy are in the large to extra-large range)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium lemon (preferably organic), zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for forming
  • 1 stick plus 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • several fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup soft fresh breadcrumbs

Drain the ricotta in a cheesecloth-lined strainer suspended over a bowl for at least 2 hours at room temperature. Save or discard the whey. 

Clean the chard well in plenty of cool water to remove any grit. Pat dry and remove the stems by folding the leaves like a book with the stem facing out, and cutting at an angle. Roll the leaves into a cigar shape, cut it in half lengthwise, then chop into small pieces. Cook the chard in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes, drain, cool, and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. You should end up with about 1 cup of chopped chard. (This step can be done ahead of time.)

Transfer the strained ricotta to a deep mixing bowl, and beat it with a flexible spatula or the back of a spoon until fluffy. Lightly beat the egg and add it to the ricotta along with the grated cheese. Add a pinch of salt, a grinding or two of pepper, and a teaspoon or so of lemon zest.

Add the cooked chard and 1/2 cup of flour to the ricotta mixture and stir until the flour is completely incorporated into the batter and the chard is evenly distributed throughout.
 Lightly flour your hands and scoop out a spoonful of the batter. Gently roll it into a sphere about the size of a large gumball. Place on a parchment-lined tray or sheet pan and repeat until you have rolled out all of the batter (you should end up with about two dozen gnudi). Refrigerate the gnudi until you are ready to boil them (the gnudi can also be frozen at this point).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a wide skillet, melt the 2 Tablespoons of butter. Add the breadcrumbs and stir well, then cook until they are browned and crisp. Remove the breadcrumbs to a bowl and toss them with about a teaspoon each of fresh thyme leaves and lemon zest.

Wipe out the skillet and melt the remaining stick of butter. Add several thyme sprigs and cook over low heat, being careful not to brown the butter. Add the lemon juice to the pan, stirring through.

Add the gnudi to the boiling water in batches. When the gnudi float to the top of the pot, allow them to cook a minute or two before removing them with a spider or slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate, repeating until all are cooked.

Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the starchy water to the butter and lemon mixture, stirring through. Remove the thyme stems and discard.
 Add the cooked gnudi to the lemon-thyme butter and toss gently. Divide the gnudi and sauce between 4-6 warmed, shallow bowls, topping each serving with some of the lemon-thyme breadcrumbs.