This week has been hot.
This week has been hot.
I woke up early this morning with the hopes of catching some lovely morning light for this next recipe. Alas, this was not to be the case, however I was able to make do.
We moved this week.
It’s been exhausting and disorienting. But Thom and I have spent more time together now than we have in perhaps the last two months, and its been great. We’ve made each other smile a lot, even though the move has left us tearing our hair out.
I finally set up my office this afternoon, the sun came out yesterday, and I thought about writing an entry for the blog for the first time since we started to move.
Tomorrow I plan on sharing more recipes. I had some successes with rhubarb that have made me very happy. And can you believe it, no pie yet! But I’ve been stocking up on rhubarb, chopping it into bits and storing it in our new stand alone freezer.
I got my most recent three pounds of rhubarb from Live Free Farm last week, which happened to be my first escape from working and unpacking. It was great. The market was nice, and Thom came with me to shoot a few pictures.
Suffice is to say, Thom only really took pictures of babies last Thursday. It was a sunny, baby kind of market, which seemed fitting with all the seedlings. If you haven’t seen a picture of Live Free’s youngest farmer, Violet, you’re really missing out.
Get ready for more local food recipes starting tomorrow morning, and I hope to see you at Exeter’s market this week!
Rhubarb has been a constant source of wonder for me ever since I was a child. I was born in Berkeley, CA, and I remember my parents had huge rhubarb stalks that grew up behind the house. I asked about them a lot – what they were, what they tasted like, how you cooked them….
I’ll have to admit, when faced with the challenge of cooking nettles, I felt a little nervous. If you’ve ever been stung by one you’ll know what I mean. Though they have a great nutty flavor when cooked, nettles leave some nasty little welts when they’re raw. I’ve been told that nettles are really high in protein and iron, especially for a leafy green.
I did a little research, and found out that nettles are great in creamy soups. My potted herb garden has been going kind of crazy outside, so I needed to trim it, and I decided to throw those in the mix with the stinging nettles. The sweet man from Mona Farm got me hooked on the idea of quail eggs, and my boyfriend suggested throwing in a few chunks of potatoes and a recipe was born.
For those of you new to nettles, they’re fairly abundant in New England. I’ve found a few at the farmers markets, and got my first bundle from Live Free Farm, but you can also forage them in field areas. I found a nice blog post on the subject for those interested in finding them, themselves. http://and-here-we-are.blogspot.com/2013/03/foraging-for-nettles-its-fun.html
DO NOT handle the nettles without gloves. I can’t emphasize this enough. Once they’re cooked the chemical that stings steams off, but prior to that you can get really painful surprises.
I decided to add in the quail eggs mainly because of the wonderful man from Mona Farm, and the fact that I love quail’s eggs, but I never know what to do with them. After trying them in soup I am happy to say they make a nice alternative to dumplings.
Spring Nettle and Root Vegetable Soup with Poached Quail Eggs
Add the water and bring it up to a rolling boil. Drop the nettles and herbs in the water and let them boil for just a few minutes before bringing the water down to a simmer. Let simmer until the potatoes are completely soft.
(For this next step I used an inversion blender, however you can also use a regular blender or a food processor. Inversion blenders are awesome for soup however.) Blend all the ingredients until you’re left with a smooth broth. At this point don’t expect it to be too thick. Add salt to taste. Leave on low simmer throughout.
Chop up the rest of the shallots, garlic, and potatoes. It’s fine to leave the skin on these potatoes. In another pan pour a little olive oil and sautee the rest of the ingredients. Cook for about 20 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are nice and soft. Pour them into the nettle and cream broth and combine.
Poaching the Quail Eggs
Gently slide the egg into the boiling water and off the ladle. As soon as the white turns opaque the egg is ready to come back out. Because you’re serving them in hot soup its ok for them to be slightly under poached. They can be kept in a dish half full of water for up to 24 hours, if you want to serve them later.
Poach three to five eggs per bowl of soup, depending on how many people you’re serving. Once the eggs are poached, ladle the soup into bowls, plop the quail eggs in with the soup and enjoy! I find this dish goes very nicely with a bright salad!
I was really excited to post a recipe that readers would be able to pick up ingredients for at tomorrows market. Unfortunately, life caught up with me, so I ran out of time to take pictures of the recipe after I polished it up.
Luckily I came up with a plan! Below I’m listing the ingredients you’ll need for the recipe, which I will post on Monday. I’m not going to tell you what it is yet, but I can promise it’s a fun one that’s well worth the wait.
Radishes have the benefit of being easy to eat and super yummy. You can literally just rinse them, chop off the greens and eat them raw. They’re like natures bite sized snack.
Live Free Farm is on a well known plot of land on the Winnicut River. It’s hard not to be floored by the sheer mythology of the place and its buildings….
I keep trying to put the cart before the horse.