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The Story of Bandit and the Cows

Week of May 10, 2015

It never fails! No matter how much I plan, farming never seems to happen at a leisurely pace!  You spend all winter preparing, all spring dodging rain storms and waiting for the ground to dry out, and then when it does, inevitably it is either Easter or Mother’s day weekend! The nerve! One would think that “mother nature” could time the farming season to be a little more hospitable.

Actually, nature has a lot more things going on than farming. Spring time is an amazingly long season from crocuses to daffodils to lilac and apple blossoms. Nature has to provide a lot of food and shelter for all the other critters in our local communities and the Klesick Farm is as a welcome and hospitable place as they come. One of our friends just told me he saw a river otter traveling across the road by our farm! I’m thinking that this could explain why Bandit, our collie/lab puppy, has been hanging around the river more lately.

The other day when I was coming out of the house I about tripped over Chungo, the older lab, and Sapphire, the kitten, who were lounging around in the sun on the front porch! Now I always make the mental note of how many animals are out in the yard, so I start counting: 1, 2…where is Bandit? I start my usual whistle and call and wait. No Bandit. Usually, no Bandit means only one thing: MISCHIEF! A little more whistling and a little more calling and walking and as I turn the corner around the house, 3 football fields away I saw him!  He was running in circles around all 30 COWS! The cows had been here for a few weeks and today he finally discovered them.

Stephen and I head out to the cows to get Bandit. Oh boy was he ever happy to see us: tail a-wagging and tongue a-flopping. The next day I turned Bandit out in the morning and headed out myself an hour later. I started counting: Chungo, Sapphire, and…where’s Bandit? This time I skipped the whistling and calling and walked to the back of the house (Bandit is not the only one learning new tricks around here). As sure as my name is Tristan, I saw him 300 yards away. This time all the cows had moved to the upper part of the pasture; Bandit had 29 all balled up and there was one rogue noncompliant cow about 40 yards off the herd. Bandit was equally positioned between them with his head switching back and forth, back and forth looking from the 29 to the one.

All of the sudden, he bolted towards the noncompliant cow, moved him toward the herd, and then moved them all back to where they were the last night! That is some serious natural instincts. This time I get the breakfast bowls and start clanging them together. And Bandit comes bounding home, tail a-wagging and tongue a-flopping.

 

tristan-sign

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The Orchard, the Rain, and the Race

Week of April 26, 2015

I really enjoy being involved in my kiddo’s activities, so whether one is playing ball, running track, or at play practice I am “moving mountains” to make it to their events! And this time of year, when farming is pressing it literally feels like moving a mountain! I am sure most of you can relate! Who isn’t busy?! I find myself farming between games and practices and at night! I am hoping to get more peas in the ground next week in between rain events this and get a good chunk of potatoes planted. I remember thinking “Who needs headlights on their tractors?” A farmer who has active kids, that’s who needs headlights on their tractor!

Well the other night, Stephen and I had just returned from little league practice and as is our nightly custom, we wandered out to the orchard to check on the mason bees, blossoms, gold finches, sparrows and tent caterpillars.

I love the orchard this time of year; the trees are waking up and the blossoms smell incredible and look amazing. I love all the activity from the birds to bees. Stephen at the ripe old age of 8 has a good eye for the orchard and often beats me to our usual check points. Bandit our new lab/collie puppy (being a collie and being a puppy) is usually out ahead looking for moles, voles, or field mice while Chungo, our old timer lab, takes his time to get out with us. In fact more often than not, Chungo and I are traveling together and Stephen and Bandit are out in front J.

For this mission, the clouds were foretelling a wet adventure and we knew it. As the clouds were getting darker and filling with water, and as night was encroaching, the natural progression looked to be a downpour! We were busy hunting hard for those defoliating caterpillars, working to remove them from the trees, when one big drop hit, followed by another big drop and another until it was going to be a soaker of an event. Before us in the branches, there was one last caterpillar nest to pull off the trees, and then another and another! At last Stephen says, “My sweatshirt isn’t very good in the rain” and in an instant, he takes off for the house!

Since I have an equally strong desire to not get any wetter and also have longer legs, I was able to catch up and get back to the house first. Now, if truth be told, I had a little help here:  as soon as Stephen took off running, so did Bandit our mostly collie puppy, who quickly caught up to Stephen and then began to herd him towards the barn and not the house. VICTORY was mine as I arrived at the house first – marginally drier than Stephen, Bandit and Chungo!

 

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The Thanksgiving Proclamation

The Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington, D.C.

October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President:  Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,

Secretary of State

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Passing the Baton

John, Gordon, and Hugh come by every week and pick up some of our food bank donations. They are a part of a team that, for Klesick Family Farm (KFF), begins with you. Yes, you. Through your partnership with KFF, we are able to bless hundreds of families throughout our delivery areas. We are currently serving eight different food banks in Island, Skagit and Snohomish Counties weekly through our Neighbor Helping Neighbor initiative. With your help, so far this year we have been able to donate upwards of 650 boxes of organically grown produce and would love to see that number grow to 1,000 boxes of good for the year.

John, Gordon and Hugh are the middle legs of a relay race, where good food ends up in their vans on the way to the Stanwood Camano Food Bank or His Pantry food bank at Camano Chapel. Once there, the baton makes its way to many more volunteers who sort, merchandise and finally help our neighbors in need. But it all begins with the donation of a $26 box of good. For just $26 a month you can purchase a Neighbor Helping Neighbor food bank box and begin an act of compassion—one that will send a message of hope (and good food) all the way through the channel of volunteers on its way to a family in need.

Around Thanksgiving and the holidays, in particular, the sting of hunger hurts a little more. So for more than a decade KFF has sponsored a $26 donation Holiday Box. This is the same Holiday Box that we offer to our customers for their Thanksgiving meal, but we discount the donation Holiday Box in order to make it easier for customers to bless others in  our community.

Klesick Family Farm is committed to serving our neighbors in need. We are thankful to partner with you and John and Gordon and Hugh and the hundreds of other volunteers to offer a good food solution and an act of compassion to help others.

Would you consider joining us this Thanksgiving by starting another relay race and investing $26 to help our neighbors in need? We have made it super easy, just order online or contact our office and we will do the rest.

Thank you in advance for your continued partnership.

 

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FARM DREAMS

Originally Published in The Herald: Sunday, November 23, 2008

Story and photos by Dan Bates, Herald Photographer

THE HEART

Tristan Klesick may not be able to feed 5,000 people with a couple of fish and five loaves of bread, but he does possess strong Christian faith, unusually good food-growing skills and some great ideas for helping people bless other people.

“I know others have the heart to bless people with food,” Tristan says. “And with our farm staff and products, and our delivery vans, we have the means to help them do it.”

Tristan started a program called Neighbor Helping Neighbor about 10 years ago, but it isn’t advertised. He is low key about it and he won’t pressure others to use it. He merely would like to provide a conduit that people can use, by their own choice, to bless others with food.

It’s a not-for-profit function of the farm, something Tristan and his family believe in. They would do it themselves, anyway, but providing a way for others to use them increases the bounty for everyone. So far this year, about 340 family boxes and 100 holiday boxes have been donated.

People can purchase a box of food and have it delivered to someone they know who needs it. Or, what is more often the case, people ask the Klesick Farm to donate it to the food bank. The Klesick Family Farm matches every fourth box that customers donate.

THE SOUL

She is all too young, and alone, holding a baby in a carrier. She avoids drawing attention to herself as she nervously looks over the food at the Snohomish Food Bank.

It’s clear she can’t carry groceries and hold the 2-week-old baby at the same time.

Ed Stocker, 82, kindly invites her to set the baby down next to him. He’ll gladly watch the child.

She is reluctant to separate from that baby, even for a minute. Yet, she finally leaves the child, quickly gathers some food and carries it to her car.

The next time she arrives, she takes the baby right to Stocker and sets the carrier down next to him. Each time she returns, the women volunteering fawn over the baby while she gathers food. Her guard lowered now, the young mother chats happily with the women, and the old man.

The young woman hadn’t been afraid in the beginning, Stocker explained. She was embarrassed.

It’s not easy to seek help. It can be an art to give it.

THE BLESSING

Gail Brenchley of Snohomish donates Klesick boxes because she feeds her five kids produce grown by the Klesicks and sees the difference in how they eat.

“If people are getting fresh vegetables, they’ll eat them,” she said. “Their kids will eat them because they taste better.

“I like to give others the same thing I feed my own family.”

Eva Burns donates the Klesick Farm boxes because, she said, it’s the way she would like to be treated if she were in need.

The delivery is key, she said. Somebody else doing the lifting is what makes it possible for the 82-year-old Everett woman to bless others in this way.

Michele Payton said the Klesick Farm’s pre-order holiday box is a bargain at $30.

“You can donate a second holiday box to some family you know, or to the food bank for $25,” she said. “And you should see it!”

Still, the Camano Island woman cancelled her own Klesick Farm deliveries.

“Because of economics, I e-mailed the Klesick Farm saying I needed to suspend deliveries for a while, until things get better,” Payton said. “Tristan not only called and lowered the cost of my food box, but he counseled me on the economic situation; he’s very knowledgeable.

“It touched me. I was personally surprised by the generosity.”

“It isn’t ‘business as usual,’” Payton said. “It’s not just another good value, food-wise. What other place would call somebody?

“I’m not going to get a call from some CEO at Costco to say, ‘Hey, let me help you out for a while.’ ”

Vicki Grende, whose husband, Don, was on strike at Boeing for eight weeks with the Machinists union, recently e-mailed the Klesick Farm to thank them for charging them half-price throughout the strike and to let them know they would like to pay full price now.

The majority of the donated Klesick Farm boxes go to the Stanwood Camano Food Bank. Ed Stocker will pick up about 60 holiday boxes for the Snohomish Community Food Bank this week.

The food banks are accustomed to stocking fruits and vegetables from the big stores, product that is near the end of its shelf life, yet still good if consumed right away.

The Klesick boxes are different.

“The thing about the Klesick boxes is they’re fresh vegetables,” Stocker said. “They’re not culls. They’re strictly the best — the same food they deliver to their customers is what they send with me.”

“I will go any distance to pick up produce,” Stocker said. “With Tristan, that’s my trip because his kids and I like to talk duck hunting and goose hunting. Those kids, they’re just like my own.”

He thinks Tristan is OK, too. He notes that Tristan began farming as an adult, rather than growing up on a farm like everyone in the Stocker family.

“He has a different slant on agriculture than someone who grew up on the dirt,” Stocker said. “And that’s good!”

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A Homemade Thanksgiving

Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”

John Henry Jowett

 

It’s that time again isn’t it? Time to decide if the potatoes will be gratined or mashed. Mashed, definitely mashed. So then mashed with sour cream, heavy cream, butter or all of the above? Will the green beans be casseroled, roasted or simply blanched then tossed with browned butter? What sort of spice and herb mix will go into the stuffing? Perhaps you have had this all long figured out. Maybe there’s no change from year-to-year. I can appreciate that too.

I love scouring magazines, websites and cookbooks this time of year for the classics and new twists on the classics. But this year what I’m most struck with as I start to visualize the Thanksgiving table is not what recipes, flavors, and ingredients I’ll use but rather how incredibly thankful I am to have a spot at the table.

I’m finding myself less motivated by which method I’ll brine then roast the turkey and more inspired by the heart of the holiday; being thankful. The simple fact that I get to think about my potato preparation, which pies to include in the dessert line up, and who is joining me at the table, well, that’s enough.

Coming to this realization was first met with a bit of fretting over the fact that it’s already into November and I haven’t given the food as much thought as I normally do. Thoughts of letting people down, and lackluster side dishes began to swirl before that rational voice inside my head, however soft it may be, began to whisper, “just be thankful.”

There will be a feast, maybe it won’t be as inspired as the Latin Thanksgiving menu we enjoyed last year but I will be thankful, grateful and very full by the end of the day.

 

TURKEY ROULADE WITH SAUSAGE STUFFING

inspired by Ina Garten

Serves 8

This is a twist on the classic bird but the classic flavors are all there. Extra bonus – it doesn’t take nearly as long to roast.

The most difficult part about this recipe is tying the stuffed turkey just prior to roasting. It makes the job much easier if you have an extra set of hands help you get the turkey to submit. It’s going to be messy and you’ll feel a bit clumsy. Be brave and confident as it will come together and your reward for such bravery will be a flavorful and moist turkey that will sure evoke elation and cheers as it’s brought to the table for (easy) carving.

3/4 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)

1/2 cup brandy

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 ½ cups diced onions (2 onions)

1 cup (1/2-inch-diced) celery (3 stalks)

3/4 pound pork sausage, casings removed

1 ½ teaspoons paprika

1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves

3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted

3 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix (homemade recipe below)

1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade

1 large egg, beaten

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons good mustard

1 whole turkey boned (save bones, wings and giblets for gravy and stock)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

 

Place the dried cherries in a small saucepan and pour in the brandy and 1/4 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, crumbling it into small bits with a fork, and saute, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, until cooked and browned. Stir in 1 teaspoon paprika and a pinch of salt. Add the cherries with the liquid, the chopped rosemary, and hazelnuts and cook for 2 more minutes. Scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.

Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, chicken stock, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir well. (The stuffing may be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan.

Lay the butterflied turkey skin side down on a cutting board. Sprinkle the meat with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and spread the mustard over the turkey.

Spread the stuffing in a 1/2-inch-thick layer over the meat, leaving a half-inch border on all sides. Don’t mound the stuffing or the turkey will be difficult to roll. (Place any leftover stuffing in a buttered gratin dish and bake for the last 45 minutes of roasting alongside the turkey.)

Starting at 1 end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll and tuck in any stuffing that tries to escape on the sides. Tie the roast firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder.

Place the stuffed turkey seam side down on the rack on the sheet pan. Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and remaining ½ teaspoon paprika, and roast for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until an instant-read thermometer registers 150 degrees F in the center.

Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Carve 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve warm with the extra stuffing.

 

Homemade Stuffing Mix

3 cups ½” diced rustic bread

½ cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, chives, tarragon, sage, rosemary, thyme etc.)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

pepper

 

Combine everything in a large bowl and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350*F until bread is golden and dried out, about 20 minutes. Stir the mixture halfway through the baking process. Taste and add more salt if desired.

 

-Ashley Rodriguez

Chef, feeder of three hungry children, creator of Not Without Salt and author of Date Night In, Running Press 2015.

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Know Your Produce: Collard Greens

Collard greens are part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, rutabaga and turnips. These nutrition powerhouses pack in lots of nutrients for a little amount of calories. If you are trying to eat healthier, cruciferous vegetables like collard greens should be at the very top of your grocery list. Collard greens are a great source of Vitamins A and K, as well as folate, manganese, and calcium.

Store: Loosely wrap greens in slightly damp paper towels, then place in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Wash just before using.

Prep: Hold each leaf by the stem. With the other hand, zip the leafy part off the stem. Discard the stems. (Chard stems may be cooked.) Cut the leaves into strips. Swirl the greens in a salad spinner filled with water. Lift out the basket; discard the water. Repeat until no dirt remains.

Use: Sauté tip: Heat oil in a large skillet. Add as many greens to the skillet as will fit, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing frequently. As the greens wilt, add more greens to the skillet. Cook until tender.

Note: dark leafy greens pair very will with savory items such as garlic, onions, and bacon (traditionally, they were paired with ham hocks or pig jowels), and balance out well when served with a dollop of coconut oil or a cultured whole milk dairy, such as sour cream or crème fraîche (or even butter) – saturated fat helps the body assimilate the fat-soluble vitamins, calcium, and minerals contained in the greens.

 

For more extensive information on Collard Greens, check out this article on Mercola.com

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Late Summer Soup

For weeks now people around me have been hinting at fall. “It’s coming!” they’ll say. Or, “Did you feel the chill in the air? It’s almost here.” And I would just simply look at them and shake my head, not yet. I wasn’t ready and fretted a bit not knowing if this would be the one year that I regret the coming of the next season. But I should know this by now; it happens in an instant and I think today is that instant.

We’ve just returned from three days of camping in the woods. A sort of last hurrah complete with a camp fire that never quit, a breezy hike to the beach, bacon cooked until crisp over the fire, stories told with sticky marshmallow covered fingers, and dirt, well, everywhere. As we were packing up our tents, the gray clouds started to sprinkle and the ice cream cone that I craved just the day before turned into a spiced cider craving. Suddenly, thoughts of apples hanging low in the trees made me giddy and raspberries seemed so last season. I’m craving butter baked into pies tucked around tart, crisp apples and sturdier vegetables roasted until sweet then whirred into a light, yet creamy soup that gently warms during the soft coolness of the evenings.

I have that sort of soup today (recipe below). It’s hearty and yet somehow light, which in my mind is the perfect setup for a transitional soup. You know, the sort that can still be enjoyed on a sunny day but satisfies when the days are getting shorter and you need more heft than the salads of summer can offer. This soup uses an assortment of vegetables with cauliflower making up the bulk, but really it could easily be adapted to what you have lying around. The idea is a tray filled with roasted vegetable blends with onions, stock and cooked potatoes, so that it’s creamy but not heavy cream creamy – that wouldn’t be right for a transitional soup.

There’s also the leek, which is a member of the allium family, but the flavor is lighter and somehow more refined. We could boast of all the vitamins found in leeks here too but we don’t want them getting a big head.

Their paper-thin layers tend to collect dirt so I like to cut the leeks in half then run them through cool water. From there I thinly slice them and use them as you would onions. But even raw in a salad they do just fine, as their flavor is less abrasive than their cousin’s. They are just the right match for this sort of late-summer soup.

I should have remembered that my moment would come eventually. The one where I’m suddenly ready for cool weather and cozy evenings at home, or maybe I’m just too tired and don’t want to think of unloading the car from our camping trip. Either way, tonight seems like the perfect one for this soup.

by Ashley Rodriguez                                                                           

Chef, food blogger, and full-time mom.

You can read more of her writings at www.notwithoutsalt.com

Creamy Roasted Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

1 medium head cauliflower,

1 large leek, white part cut in 1/2-inch slices

4 celery stalks, cut in 2-inch pieces

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, sliced

1 potato, diced

1 tsp thyme leaves

Pinch chili flake

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (or whole milk)

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Pepper

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 400° F.
  • Toss cauliflower, leeks, and celery with 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Roast on a baking sheet for an hour or until vegetables are tender and there is a good deep color on many bits of the vegetables.
  • In a large pot add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil shimmers add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted vegetables, potatoes, thyme, chile flakes, stock, coconut milk, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to the heat to medium low. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Carefully puree the soup in a blender. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Recipe adapted from the book Small Plates and Sweet Treats


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Ahh…Summer!

It’s here! I want to shout it from the rooftops, from the mountaintops, and from the sun-drenched beaches. Summer is definitely here. I see it in the overextended and heavy branches of my tomato plant, in the dirt covered toes of my kids, and in my neglected house, as we run out the door at the first sun sighting in an attempt to soak up as much vitamin D as we can.

We have plans to read books on the beach and wet our toes in the ocean. A new tent has been purchased and at least two camping trips are in the works. There are strawberries to pick and cherries are just coming on. Summer is here!

My days are planned around the food we can eat, in an attempt to sneak in as much of this season’s bounty as I can possibly muster. Berries are in our morning oatmeal and sit atop our freshly made frozen yogurt to cool us down in the afternoon. I pick vibrant green mint and chives and toss them into eggs and blend them into salad dressings. The cherries never even make it into the food, as the kids devour them by the bagful before I get to them. Corn sits next to our grilled chicken and is tossed into our salads, along with nectarines and fresh herbs. Summer is here!

If screaming from the mountaintops isn’t your thing, my featured salad recipe (below) will do it for you. It is loaded with all the best of summer: fruit so juicy it drips to the floor and turns everything sticky, sweet corn, and green-staining herbs – all making this salad the best sort of food for a picnic. Serve alongside barbecued chicken or vegetables for a complete meal. Put aside any leftovers for tomorrow, so you can linger in the sun all day without worrying about dinner. It’s the salad that heralds the arrival of summer for you, so you can just sit and enjoy it all.

Ashley Rodriguez

Food blogger www.notwithoutsalt.com

 

GREEN RICE SALAD WITH NECTARINES AND CORN

Recipe from Vibrant Food, by Kimberley Hasselbrink  (serves 3-4)

 

Green Rice:

3/4 cup brown basmati rice

1 1/4 cups, water plus 1 to 2 tablespoons more for the sauce

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped

Zest and juice of 1 small lime

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Fine salt

 

Grilled Corn:

2 small ears fresh corn, husks and silk removed

Extra-virgin olive oil

Fine sea salt

1/2 lime

 

Other Ingredients:

2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish

2 medium-ripe nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced lengthwise

1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (I used Feta)

 

Directions:

1.            In a small saucepan, combine the rice and water, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Let the rice stand for a few minutes, then fluff. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

2.            Preheat the broiler.

3.            To grill the corn, lightly oil both ears of corn and place in a small baking dish. Broil about 6 inches from the heat, turning every few minutes, until golden and blackened in spots, 10 -15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside until cool enough to handle. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cob to yield about 1 cup. If you have more than this amount, save it for another use. Transfer the kernels to a bowl and toss with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime. Set aside.

4.            Transfer the rice to a large bowl. In a blender, combine the cilantro, parsley, jalapeño, lime zest and juice, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon water. Blend until smooth. Add up to 1 more tablespoon of water to thin the sauce if it’s too thick. Spoon the mixture over the rice, scraping any remaining sauce out of the blender with a spatula, and mix until the rice is evenly coated.

5.            To finish, add the corn and additional parsley and cilantro to the rice. Toss to combine. Transfer the rice to a serving platter. Sprinkle the nectarines and queso fresco over the rice in even layers. Garnish with additional parsley and cilantro. Best if served immediately. Can be made up to a day in advance; bring to room temperature before serving.

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A Salad of Nectarines and Asparagus

4 servings

Ingredients:

1 small bunch asparagus, sliced on the bias

1 teaspoon oil

Zest of one lemon, reserve 1/2 lemon for juice

1 clove garlic, minced

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon minced shallot

3 tablespoons olive oil

5-6 cups mixed greens, such as lettuces, spinach leaves, young kale, arugula

2 nectarines, thinly sliced lengthwise

2-3 ounces Feta or Chèvre, crumbled

1/4 cup chopped, toasted almonds

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Parsley for garnish, optional

 

Directions:

1.            In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the asparagus in one teaspoon oil, stirring occasionally, for about four minutes, until bright green. Add garlic, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute more. Turn off heat and finish with a squeeze of juice from half the lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

2.            Make the dressing by whisking together the Balsamic vinegar with the shallot. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk vigorously until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3.            In a large salad bowl, toss the greens with the dressing. Top with the asparagus, Feta, chopped almonds and finish with slices of nectarine. Garnish with parsley if desired. Best when  served immediately.

Recipe adapted from theyearinfood.com