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Siena Farms Blog

Thursday October 20, 2011

Sausage & Kale Soup

Now that it’s the season for hard squashes and dark, leafy greens we thought we’d pass along another great, easy, hands-off recipe for your fall veg!

White Bean, Sausage & Kale Soup

  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage (casings removed)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 pound dry white beans (canellini or great northern), rinsed
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 14 oz canned, diced tomato
  • 1 large bunch kale, thick stems removed and chopped
  • Parmigiano-reggiano cheese (optional)

Cook the sausage in a medium skillet until lightly browned.  Use a wooden spoon to break up the pieces while you cook so you have small crumbles of sausage.  Deglaze the pan with red wine vinegar and scrape everything (including drippings!) into the pot of a large crockpot.  Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, chicken broth, thyme, and canned tomato.  Stir in dried white beans and cook on medium for 6-8 hours.  (If you have a parmigiano-reggiano rind in your fridge, add it to the soup to infuse flavor while it cooks.)

About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the chopped, cleaned kale and test seasoning.  Salt and pepper to taste.  (This will largely depend on the saltiness of the stock you are using.)

Serve with croutons and a couple shavings of fresh cheese, if desired.  This is the perfect soup to start in the morning and enjoy when you come home after a long day!

Friday October 14, 2011

Nature’s Favorite Chip

Who needs potato chips when you’ve got awesome, fall kale!  We hope our CSA members jump for joy when they see beautiful, leafy, Tuscan kale in their weekly farmshare because it’s truly a special veggie.  If you’re tired of sauteing it, adding to soups & stews or braising it – why not make a chip.  It’s a basic idea that you can make truly your own by adding spices, aged cheeses, and exotic salts.  Give it a go…!

Baked Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale (about 6 oz of leaves)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Place baking sheet on a rack to cool.

*If you decide to sprinkle with cheese or other spices, you may want to line the baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.  Also, if you are adding cheese, it’s best to cook halfway, then flip the kale, sprinkle the cheese and finish baking.

Monday October 3, 2011

All About Celery Root!

For chefs, perhaps the most unsung hero of fall-flavor is the celery root.  Also referred to as Celeriac, celery root is prized for its soft, celery-like flavor with notes of anise, toasted hazelnuts, and fresh earth.  Don’t let the craggy exterior scare you – what lies inside is filled with flavor, will stay fresh in a root cellar, and can be enjoyed raw or cooked.  Shave it in a salad or try one of these two gems from Nigel Slater’s book, Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch.

Celery Root & Sausage Salad

  • 1 lb. celery root
  • 4 plump, garlicky sausage
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley

Peel the celery root and dip into cold water with a drop of lemon juice as you go.  (This will prevent oxidation.)  Cut into pieces about 1/8″ thick.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook celery root for seven to ten minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife.

Meanwhile, fry or grill sausages, slice thinly and place in a large salad bowl.  If they crumble that’s fine!

Prepare the dressing using both oils, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and salt.  Whisk together.  Add roughly chopped parsley to the dressing and pour over sausages.  Toss everything together with the cooked celery root and try not to finish the whole bowl…!

Baked Celery Root & Parsnip Cake

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 lb. parsnip
  • 1 lb. celery root
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons vegetable stock

Peel the onion, slice into thin rounds, and place in a large bowl.  Peel the parsnips and celery root and also slice thinly – toss together with onions.  (Your slices should be almost thin enough to see through.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and melt butter in a shallow, oven-proof pan.  Layer in the vegetables seasoning with salt, pepper, and thyme as you go.  Be generous with the salt!  When all the vegetables have been layered in, pour the stock over the top.

Cover with a round of wax paper or aluminum foil and press down well on top of the cake.  Bake for about an hour and 10 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife.  Remove the cover and turn heat up to 425 degrees.  Bake for another ten minutes or until the top is crispy and has a nice golden color.  Enjoy!