We will be compiling recipes using seasonal ingredients from Bray Grove Farm's harvest. Let us know if you would like more recipes for a particular item or have any recipes to share.

Oven-baked Pencil Cob Northern Grits (Serves four)

1/2 cup stone-ground Pencil Cob corn
2 cups water
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350. In a large casserole dish combine first five ingredients. Roast for 30 minutes or until grits are creamy. Turn off oven heat, stir in the shredded cheddar and return to oven for five minutes. Serve while warm.

Corn-Belt Johnny Cakes (Serves two)

1 cup stone-ground Heritage Blend yellow corn
1 cup all purpose white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs

Combine first four ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine remaining three ingredients and whisk. Incorporate into the bowl containing the flour mixture, and let rest for ten minutes. Heat a large skillet (cast iron works well) and thinly coat with oil. Pour 1/4 cup of batter and, cooking in batches, lightly brown for a few minutes, flip and finish cook. Serve with butter and either maple or sorghum syrup.

Beet Green Soba

There are countless things to do with beets, but don't throw those greens away! They're ultra-nutricious and make a great alternative to other greens. 

One package Japanese soba noodles
One tablespoon canola oil
One garlic clove, crushed and minced
One bunch of beet greens, coarsely chopped
Two tablespoons soy sauce
Two tablespoons rice vinegar
Pinch of sugar
White pepper

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the noodles according to the manufacturer's instructions. Meanwhile, heat oil in a deep fry pan. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute. Add the beet greens and cook for another minute. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar. Cook over medium high heat to reduce liquid. Toss with the noodles, add a few grinds of white pepper, and serve

Swiss Chard with Farro

I really find the "ancient grains" quite interesting. Most are at least loosely related to our modern day wheat, but have the adaptability of rice with the added benefit that their cultivation doesn't require nearly as much water as most types of rice. Swiss chard is equally fascinating and, from what I read, the stems are actually the most nutritious part. This recipe is so healthy for you it offsets the added cheese, so no need to feel guilty.

One cup farro (Feel free to substitute emmer, einkorn, or any other whole grain.)
One tablespoon canola oil
Two garlic cloves, crushed and minced
One bunch of swiss chard, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
Salt and pepper

Bring pot of salted water to boil and cook the grain according to instruction. Pearled farro is usually around twenty minutes. Harder grains like einkorn close to thirty minutes. About ten minutes before the grain is cooked, heat a heavy casserole dish (cast iron is good) over medium high heat and add the oil and garlic. Sauté for about a minute and add the greens. Cook until wilted, then add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Before serving add the swiss cheese and allow it to melt in the reduced broth, salt and pepper to taste, then serve over the cooked grain.

Simmered Kikuza Squash

This Japanese heirloom pumpkin, introduced in the United States by the Oriental Seed Company of San Francisco in 1927, is similar to the more familiar Kabocha, albeit cinnamon colored instead of green. Its sweet and spicy flesh is suitable for a variety or recipes, but this is one of the more traditional ways of cooking pumpkin.

Three cups dashi*
One Kikuza squash, seeds removed and cut into pieces with skin on
Two tablespoons soy sauce
Two tablespoons mirin (Japanese cooking rice wine)
One tablespoon sake

Bring dashi to a boil and add the squash. Cover and cook at a steady simmer for 25 minutes. Add soy sauce, mirin, and sake. Continue to cook until the flesh of the squash is fork tender, about fifteen minutes. Let cool in the broth for about 10 minutes and serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Goes good with white rice.

*Dashi, the backbone of most Japanese cooking is made taking six cups of ice cold water and soaking a one ounce piece of kombu for about one hour in a sauce pan. After an hour, slowly bring the water up to a temperature just below a boil, then remove the kombu. Add a large handful of shaved bonito flakes and let soak for about two minutes. Pour contents of pan through a fine sieve or colander, then use the dashi stock as directed.

Maple Baked Squash

This will work with a variety of squashes, but it really works well with the Thelma Sanders. 

One squash, cut in half with seeds removed*
One tablespoon oil or butter
One tablespoon maple syrup
Salt & Pepper

Heat oven to 425. Coat each half of squash with oil or butter, then salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, coat flesh with maple syrup, and then broil in oven for a few minutes to caramelize the syrup.

*Save those seeds! Remove any remaining connecting tissue, toss with salt, and bake for a few minutes until they start to brown and pop. Feel free to share. Or eat them all by yourself in the kitchen while you do the cooking. No one will notice.

Mizuna and Potatoes

While mizuna can be used sparingly in a salad to add a peppery kick, it really shines with a little heat. In this case, hot potatoes wilt this Japanese mustard green just enough to make it extra delicious.

One pound potatoes, cut into 1/8ths lengthwise
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
One garlic clove, smashed and chopped
One small bunch mizuna, coarsely chopped
Salt & pepper

Heat oven to 425. Toss potatoes with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and garlic. Place the potato mixture in a parchment-lined casserole dish. Bake for 35 minutes or until brown. Put the hot potatoes in a large bowl, add the remaining olive oil and mizuna, then toss. Salt and pepper to taste.

Kale Slaw

We love kale. With late summer's combination of heat (which made the lettuces in the ground bolt) and dry weather (which stunted the growth of the new lettuce crop) putting the brakes on our lettuce production, kale has been the backbone of our nightly salad with dinner. Very simple to make and perfect for the last few hot days of the season.

One tablespoon mayonnaise
One teaspoon stoneground mustard
One teaspoon maple syrup (Honey will work too.)
1/2 teaspoon stoneground mustard
One bunch of Kale, chopped
Salt & pepper

Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl and add chopped kale. Toss to combine. Salt and pepper to taste. The flavor improves if refrigerated for at least one half hour and the dressing softens the kale a bit too.

Maple Glazed Carrots

Nothing beats the natural sweetness of a carrot dug fresh from the ground. Except maybe adding a little more sweetness. There are a lot of variations on this recipe (butter vs. oil, maple syrup vs. honey vs. sorghum) but it all comes down to a little bit of fat, a little bit of sugar, and fresh dug carrots.

One bunch of carrots, sliced on bias
One tablespoon maple syrup 
One tablespoon butter
Salt & pepper

Add the first four ingredients to a cold sauté pan. Add just enough water to nearly cover carrots. Turn burner to high. Stir occasionally to keep carrots from cooking down and to keep things evenly mixed. Continue to cook just until all the water has cooked off. Serve.

Tronchuda Kale Soup

Based on the ubiquitous "chicken soup" of Portugal where it's a national dish, then passed through a Yankee prism (it's extremely popular on Cape Cod due to a large Portuguese population). This soup is basically a bean and bacon soup with the addition of Tronchuda (aka Portuguese) kale, which is very cabbage-like compared to its relatives with a similar name. If it's too warm for soup, it freezes well. And winter isn't too far off.

One tablespoon olive oil
Two strips bacon (or for vegetarians, Upton's vegan bacon is great.)
One medium onion
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Three cloves garlic
Four cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
One cup cooked white beans, Great Northern, Soldier, etc. (canned will do in a pinch)
One pound kale, sliced and chopped
One large potato, cubed
Salt & pepper

Heat oil in soup pot and add bacon. Cook until brown and drain excess fat if cooking with real bacon. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook for one minute, then add broth. Bring to boil. Add white bean, kale, and potato. Return to boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 30 minutes. 

Summer Cucumber Salad

We're always looking for new ways to use cucumbers, which have been so plentiful this summer. The recent heatwave combined with dry weather really took a toll on the lettuce, so this refreshing salad is great replacement to leaf salad.

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup yogurt
One medium cucumber, sliced thin
One carrot, sliced thin
salt and pepper

Whisk the sugar in the vinegar until dissolved. Add the yogurt and stir until combined. In a medium sized bowl toss the dressing with the cucumber and carrot. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate and allow to rest for one hour before serving to let theflavors combine.

Oven Roasted Corn

There's the old joke about the recipe for boiled water. Well guess what. This recipe is about as simple. in fact, I don't think it's possible for a recipe to be any simpler than this one. Prep time? None. Ingredients? One. Short of eating the corn while it's still on the stalk, this is as basic as basic gets. Try this recipe and you'll never boil corn again.

Fresh picked corn on the cob, still in the husks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the corn, still in it's husk, directly on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove husk, eat and enjoy. That's all there is to it. In fact, you'll find removing the husk and silk is a lot easier when it's cooked than when its uncooked. If you want to get fancy, you can use butter and salt. But then that's three ingredients. And you've made the recipe three times more complicated.

Cashew Bok Choy

So much better than takeout because A) the vegetables are fresher B) the cooking is probably healthier and C) you didn't need to leave the house. Feel free to substitute the protein of your choice if tofu isn't your thing. But trust me. You'll like this tofu. It isn't deep fried so it's low in fat and baking until crisp brings out the nutty tones of the soybean.

One block tofu, drained and cubed
One head Bok Choy (Pac Choi) coarsely chopped
One tablespoon canola oil
Three cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
1/4 cup cashews, shelled
One and a half cup vegetable stock
Two tablespoons soy sauce
Two tablespoons cornstarch
One tablespoon sesame oil (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place cubed tofu on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy. (This step can be done up to a day in advance and refrigerated.)

Heat oil in saute pan and add garlic. Cook for 30 seconds and add red pepper flakes. Add chopped bok choy and stir fry for one minute. Add cashews with the tofu and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add vegetable stock, soy sauce, and bring to a boil. Add cornstarch and reduce heat to low, stirring sauce until thickened. Drizzle with optional sesame oil and serve next to white rice. 

Crook Neck Pizza

Pizza is always good. Homemade pizza is even better. If you want to take a short cut, you can buy a pre-made crust, but this is really worth the extra effort. 

3/4 cup water (room temperature)
pinch yeast
1 1/2 cup flour plus 1/4 cup reserved
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 can of tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 cup water
1 medium crook neck squash, thinly sliced
handful of whole basil leaves
8 ounces fresh mozzarella

Combine the water and a pinch of yeast (and I do mean a pinch) in the bowl of your mixer with the kneader attachment. (If you don't have a mixer a food processor will work. If you don't have a food processor, you can knead this by hand.) Add the flour, salt, and olive oil. Mix with a spoon so that it's a shaggy mess. Now turn on your mixer and knead. Slowly add the reserved flour. The goal here is to get the ball of dough to stop being a pool at the bottom and turn into a ball, without becoming rock hard. The exact amount of flour will vary depending upon the air temperature and humidity. But don't worry. It sounds more complicated than it is and remember, too wet is better than too dry. 

After a ball is formed, place this on a large sheet of parchment paper. Let rest under a bowl for 30 minutes. Heat oven to at least 450. While that is resting, add the tomato paste, oregano, and garlic to a bowl. Slowly add the water to the mixture. Make it as thin or as thick as you want. There is no one right way.

Now here's the fun part. Take another large sheet of parchment paper, cover the ball (after removing the bowl) and roll it out flat into a pizza shape. Carefully peel the top parchment off and you now have a perfect thin crust waiting for the oven. Place the crust and parchment on a baking sheet, top with the sauce, the sliced crooked neck squash, basil, and the mozzarella. Now bake for maybe 10 minutes, keeping an eye on it to make sure the crust is crispy brown but not so bad that it's badly burned. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Slice, eat and enjoy.

One note. Making a pizza this way is great. It works. Trust me. But technically, parchment paper is only rated to go up to 350 degrees. So it will get burned. But the pizza will be really, really good. So ignore the charred parchment paper. It won't stick to the crust and your friends and family will be impressed with your pizza making skill.

Zucchini Fries

These are really delicious and amazingly easy. I suppose you could cut them into disc shapes and it would work out just fine, but then you couldn't call them "fries." And who doesn't love fries?

One medium to large zucchini
1 cup flour
1 cup bread crumbs (I use panko but any will work)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water or milk
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons live oil

Peel zucchini and cut into "fry" shapes, which are basically 3" long and 1/2" square logs. Beat the egg with the water and set aside. Combine the oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper with the flour and set aside. Add the bread crumbs to a third bowl. Dredge the cut zucchini in the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs. Put in the refrigerator for about a half hour. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375. Place the breaded zucchini on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, turning once about half way through. Goes great with marinara sauce but we like them plain too.

Refrigerator Pickles

No need to trouble yourself with the complexity of proper canning. These pickles could last a month in the refrigerator. But I bet you eat them first. The recipe can be doubled or tripled, but this works well for a single jar's worth. 

Fresh pickling cucumbers (enough to fill a one quart jar)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tsps pickling salt
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Wash and slice the cucumbers. Thick or thin is up to you! Pack the cucumber and the sliced onion into a washed jar. (I sterilize mine with boiling water, but fresh from the dishwasher will also work.) Meanwhile, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil, then carefully pour the liquid into the jar, leaving about 1/2" of space from the top. Now screw on the lid, place in the refrigerator and leave for at least 24 hours. A few days is better. Then, when temptation strikes, enjoy your homemade pickles. 

Carrot Top Pesto

In the spirit of head to tail, or in this case root to leaf, most every part of the vegetable can be used rather than discarded. Take carrots. While everyone knows to eat the orange part, the leafy greens wind up in the trash, or if they're lucky, the compost pile. But there's a lot that can be done with the top half of this well-known vegetable. 

One small bunch of carrot tops, washed
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons nuts (Pine nuts work well, but so do walnuts and pistachios)
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Black pepper

In a food processor (or in a mortar and pestle if you're a traditionalist) grind the garlic and nuts into a coarse paste. Add the carrot tops and the basil. Continue to grind while slowly adding olive oil. When fully incorporated, fold in Parmesan, add a grind or two of pepper, and you're done. Now toss with pasta, spread on bruschetta, or use in any other way traditionally reserved for classic pesto.

Noodles and Greens

Loosely based on an old fashioned way of cooking "a mess of greens" in which the vegetables are slow cooked in a liquid referred to as "potlikker," the origins of which go back to Antebellum South. (There's a long historical tangent to be followed, including a sidebar into the "Potlikker and Cornpone Debate of 1931" but I'll leave that for another day.) My convoluted point being, don't throw that cooking liquid away! It's good eating and good for you. 

The greens can be whatever is in your CSA box this week. Collards are great. Same for turnip greens. Kale and mustard will work too and cook a little faster. The noodles are not a traditional component, but they help round things out and make for a hearty meal. Traditionalists would throw a ham hock in at the start of the cooking and probably replace the canola oil with bacon drippings, but this is a vegetarian version so we've already taken the train off the tracks. Feel free to add a handful of cooked beans if you want some protein in there. Serves two.

1 tablespoon canola oil
small onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke
Bunch greens, with stems trimmed and chopped, and leaves cut into a chiffonade.*
8 ounces noodles (I use extra wide Amish egg noodles or make my own from scratch, but even Italian store bought penne pasta will do in a pinch.)
Pepper vinegar (optional)

*To chiffonade something, stack and roll a small pile of leaves and then slice into thin ribbons.

Heat oil in a deep saucepan and add onion with the garlic. Saute for about five minutes until onion starts to brown. Add vinegar to deglaze pan. Add sugar. Add chopped greens along with broth and liquid smoke, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. About 20 minutes before the greens are through cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook noodles as instructed. Toss drained pasta with the greens and enjoy. Add a splash or two pepper vinegar if you like, to add a little spice.

Kale Chips
Just like potato chips. Except with kale. Yum. 

1 bunch of kale
Olive oil
Sea salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry the kale as best as possible. You want to get rid of as much surface moisture as you can. Spread kale leaves in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle oil over the kale and bake for about 10 minutes. You want them crispy but not burned so keep a watchful eye on them. Sprinkle with salt and enjoy warm. 

Roasted turnips
Root vegetables are incredibly versatile vegetables. One of the best methods to cook them is by roasting. It seems to bring their natural sweetness out. 

1 bunch of turnips, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
Seasoning (Thyme, oregano, marjoram, smoked paprika, or even grated Parmesan all work)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Toss the turnips with the oil and then with the seasoning. Spread turnips in a shallow roasting pan being careful not to crowd them. (Lining the pan with parchment helps with clean up.) Roast in oven for 30 minutes, turning the vegetables every 15 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425 and roast for an additional 20 minutes or until brown and caramelized. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Basic Greens
This isn't as much a recipe as it is a blueprint. Feel free to add, subtract, modify, or improvise. Exact measurements aren't given because there isn't a definitive version. We love greens of all types and we eat some variation of this on a regular basis. Simply choose one of each, add as little or as much as you like, mix and match, experiment!

1 bunch of greens, chopped (Mustard, kale, beet, turnip, etc.)
Sweet (honey, sugar, maple syrup, sorghum, etc.)
Sour (vinegar, can be rice, red wine, champagne, balsamic, etc.)
Salty (Sea salt, soy sauce, etc.)
Spicy (red pepper flakes, sriracha, hot sauce, etc.

Heat oil in a large sauté pan and heat garlic until lightly brown. Add greens and cook until wilted. Add sweet, sour, salty, and spicy to taste. Cook for a few minutes to reduce liquid. If greens need a little more cooking time, add a splash or two of water. Serve.

Turnip Chips
Amazingly easy and remarkably good. The minimalist in me says to keep things spare with a light sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground pepper. But for you maximalists, feel free to run amok. Curry powder, BBQ dry rub, or any combination of dried herbs can make these chips extra fun.

1 bunch of turnips, greens removed for another use.
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and heat oven to 375. Wash and slice the turnips with a mandolin or Japanese vegetable slicer. (If you have a steady hand and good skills, a chef's knife will do.) Not too thick and not too thin. Toss the sliced turnips in a large bowl with the olive oil and flavoring of your choice. Spread the slices on the parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10. The actual time will vary depending on the thickness of the slices, but you want them to be brown and crispy. Eat immediately. 

Mountain Greens
A staple from Appalachia, most recipes incorporate bacon in the dressing. Feel free if that's your preference, but this vegan version is pretty good too, albeit a bit untraditional. Feel free to mix and match the greens, depending upon what's in the current week's CSA box.

1 large bunch of mixed greens (Mustard, kale, chard, turnip, beet etc.) coarsely chopped.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1/8 cup Kentucky bourbon
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
salt & pepper

Sautee the onion in olive oil until softened and starting to caramelize. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until thickened. (About five minutes.) Set aside. Heat a fry pan over medium-high heat and add dressing. Add mixed greens and toss in dressing until softened and wilting. Salt and pepper to taste. Eat!

Rapini & Pistachio Pasta
Spelled "raab" or "rabe" or "rape" or sometimes called "rapini," it's a popular Italian vegetable related to cabbage and turnips. In 1773, Italian chef and food philosopher Vincenzo Corrado wrote that rabe should be cooked with violent heat and boiled little so as not to lose its green and tasty virtue. Taking this advice to heart, we did this for dinner the other night with pasta and it was darn good with it's virtue firmly intact. 

1 bunch of broccoi rabe
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 pistachios
1/3 cup whole milk ricotta
8 ounces dry pasta (penne works well)
shaved pecorino

Bring pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. In the meantime, chop the rabe into 2" pieces. Follow the instructions on your dry pasta and, while the pasta cooks, heat a saute pan with the olive oil and red pepper flakes. Add the garlic and pistachios and cook over low heat, being careful not to burn the garlic. When four minutes is remaining on the pasta, add the chopped rabe. When finished, drain the pasta and the rabe together and pour into a large bowl. Add the garlic and pistachio oil and toss to combine. Add the ricotta, plus a few grinds of pepper. Serve with shaved pecorino on top.