We had a great visit to Milkweed Farm this week to pick up the first share of the 2012 season. Thanks to Lucretia’s warmly welcoming attitude, and the host of farm animals wandering around (including an adorable group of chicks and some precocious pigs), I felt like a kid experiencing the crazy and beautiful chaos of farm life for the first time.
The produce was beautiful with lots of greens, Hakurei turnips, baby beets, chive flowers and the added bonus of homemade Rhubarb Sauce and our choice of a sage or parsley plant.
In my excitement of working with local produce again, I ended up cooking a rather large meal with a good sampling of the items that were included. I thought it would be a fun challenge to create a 100% local meal, so we also stopped by Wealden Farm for some additional items (mostly Maine butter, cheese and tomatoes).
We cooked with a variation of the Hakurei turnip recipe that was included in the share. We chopped the turnips and cooked them in butter from Bisson’s Farm, organic Maine maple syrup and some of the chive stems and flowers from the share. After the turnips had cooked for about 12 minutes (we like them to be a little on the crisper side), we added a huge helping of chopped kale and swiss chard and sautéed for a couple of minutes.
Finally, we made an amazing salad that was a combination of the arugula and the spinach with the chive flowers, tomatoes from Wealden Farm and goat cheese from York Hill Farm.
The chive flowers were both a tasty and beautiful addition to the stir-fry and the salad. If you’ve never cooked with chive flowers before, you should try them. They are like a spicy, semi-strong onion – we pulled apart the flower for the stir-fry and left them whole for the salad. Everything I’ve read about chive flowers says to discard the stems as apparently they are not as tasty once they flower, but not wanting to waste them, we chopped and used them in the stir-fry. They were perfectly delicious.
Totally encouraged by the success of our local meal (and I’ll admit, a little proud), we decided to add a dessert of unpasteurized yogurt from Winter Hill Farm, with a layer of the tart rhubarb sauce from Milkweed and a little drizzle of Maine maple syrup. It was the perfect end to a delicious meal and a great way to get excited for the 2012 farm share season!