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Local Veggies in the Winter

by Micky Ellenbecker, Purchasing Assistant

As winter begins to set in, our local produce options become more limited. Sometimes it requires more effort and creativity on our part to incorporate these local veggies into our weekly menus and continue to support our local farms. We are quite lucky to work with so many passionate and skilled local growers and it is one of the more rewarding aspects of working at the Co-op. Nothing would please me (and I’m sure them!) more than to have your continued support for locally grown produce during the winter months. Who better to ask for inspiration than the farmers themselves! A big thank you to our contributors, and please enjoy!

FRIED POTATOES AND ONIONS

by Robert and Summer Schulz, New Traditions

Homestead, Hillsboro, WI

This simple dish is one of our favorites. A true family tradition that was first noticed in our “Up North” cabin (better described as a shack) in Marinette County, WI. This is where we'd go as kids with our dad to fish, hunt, and cut firewood. My dad still prepares this dish for breakfast at most of our family gatherings. We all love it. I feel this dish is extremely easy to prepare and affordable, yet it does take a bit of “touch” and experience to make it taste great. It has become a time-tested family favorite.

6 large or 12 small yellow potatoes

1 large or 2 medium-sized yellow onions

Salt

Pepper

3-4 Tbs. oil of your choice (lard, bacon fat, butter, olive oil, coconut oil)

Directions: Two options to prepare the potatoes: Either boil and peel off the skins or cut into 1/4” slices and boil with the skins on. (Our family tradition is to only use the smallest potatoes of the harvest and boil them first. Not a long boil, just 2-3 minutes. Test them with a fork. You don't want them to get mushy!! Let them cool a bit, and then we hand-pull the skins off with a paring knife. This makes the dish more “creamy” and takes out any rough texture). Whether made with the skins on or off, cut into 1/4-1/2” slices.

In a skillet (preferably a cast iron skillet) coat with your choice of oil. (Our choice would be either lard or olive oil, but if you use olive oil it's important not to bring the heat up too high too quick that you create smoke.) Add potatoes and cook down for about a minute or so. If the pan gets too hot, add water to make sure you don't burn the bottom.

Next, add the sliced/diced onions. Cook down the onions and potatoes until you notice the potatoes are getting soft. Again, make sure not to burn on the bottom of the skillet—keep flipping and turning. Begin seasoning with salt and pepper. Don't be shy with either.

For some variation, we like to add in hot pepper flakes or add sautéed kale or collards. Also, it's nice to have an accompaniment of baked winter squash, sauerkraut or kimchi, or a fresh salad. We always feel it's important to have a variety of color on the plate, as well as a balance of cooked and fresh foods.

 

CABBAGE BLUE CHEESE WALNUT SLAW

enjoyed by Mike and Cassie Noltnerwyss, Crossroads Community Farm, Cross Plains, WI (original recipe adapted from Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch)

Since we are local farmers, we try really hard to eat what we grow all year round. That means come January we are really craving the fresh, raw crispness of salads. This winter salad keeps us going as we wait for the early spring greens to come.

For the slaw, serves 4:

A quarter red cabbage

Half a fennel bulb (optional)

1 apple

1 medium carrots

Blue cheese (proportion to your liking)

1 handful of walnuts

Celeriac (a good chunk)

For the dressing:

2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

3 Tbs. peanut oil

2 Tbs. walnut oil

A pinch of sugar or honey

Directions: Shred the cabbage and fennel. Cut the apple into quarters, discarding the core, then slice finely. Shred the carrots into matchsticks (or grate coarsely). Slice the cheese thinly. Toast the walnuts in a nonstick pan until they smell warm and nutty. Thinly slice or grate the celeriac.

Make the dressing by mixing the vinegar and mustard with a little salt and black pepper. Beat in the peanut and walnut oils, then taste and add a little sweetness if necessary.

Toss the salad ingredients together gently so you don't break up the cheese too much. Drizzle the dressing on each individual plate.

 

WHITE BEAN & BEET DIP

by Andrea Yoder, Harmony Valley Farm, Viroquoa, WI

This makes a colorful and flavorful dip to serve with winter vegetable crudités such as kohlrabi, carrots, turnips, etc. It’s a good Super Bowl recipe as well as a good one for holiday parties, and it’s super simple to make. It’s also tasty on toast, incorporated into a veggie wrap, or used as the base for a veggie pizza.

Yields 3-4 cups. 

6-8 baby beets or 3-4 medium beets, cooked 

2 c. cooked cannellini beans, excess liquid drained off 

4-5 cloves garlic, peeled 

2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar 

2 Tbs. olive oil 

2 Tbs. lemon juice 

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin 

1 tsp. ground coriander 

1 1/2 tsp. salt freshly ground black pepper 

Directions: Peel cooked beets and cut into quarters. You should have approximately 1 cup of beets. Combine beets, beans and all remaining ingredients in a food processor. Process until you have a very smooth puree. If the mixture is too thick, thin it with a little bit of water. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to develop. Serve cold or at room temperature. 

 

SWEET POTATO RAVIOLI

enjoyed by Rufus Haucke, Keewaydin Farms, Viola, WI (original recipe adapted from Best-Ever 500 Simply Delicious Recipes)

1 large sweet potato

1/4 c. olive oil

1 Tbs. fresh basil

1 clove garlic, crushed

5 oz. ricotta cheese

2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese

2 8 oz. packets egg won ton wrappers

2 oz. butter

4 spring onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

10 oz. cream

basil leaves to serve

Directions: Preheat oven to 425ºF, place sweet potato on baking tray and drizzle with oil. Bake for 40 minutes, or until tender. Transfer the sweet potato to a bowl with ricotta, garlic, basil, and Parmesan and mash until smooth. Cover won ton wrappers with a damp towel. Place two level teaspoons of the sweet potato mixture into the center of one wrapper and brush the edges with a little water. Top with another wrapper. Place onto baking tray lined with baking paper and cover with a damp towel. Repeat until you have around 60 or so ravioli. Melt butter in frying pan. Add spring onions and garlic and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Add cream, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes, or until cream has reduced and thickened. Keep warm.

Bring large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook the ravioli in batches for 2-4 minutes, or just until tender. Drain well. Ladle the hot cream sauce over the top of the ravioli, garnish with the basil leaves and serve.

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