Lemon-Thyme Cake

You will get a lot of thyme this summer (which is as it should be) and although it’s fussy to deal with, the effort is definitely worth it. Here’s an idea borrowed from “Taproot” magazine that yields an incredibly fresh tasting treat, dairy free. Just picked fresh strawberries and the helpers added to the delight!

For the cake:
1 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. arrowroot starch/flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
Zest of 2 lemons
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 c. almond milk
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. olive oil

For the Coconut whipped cream:
14-oz can full-fat coconut milk, chilled at least 4 hours
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. maple syrup

For the garnish:
8 – 10 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 c. sliced strawberries (fresh raspberries could be used when in season)
Shaved chocolate (optional)

 

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8 or 9 inch spring-form pan with parchment paper.

To make the cake, whisk together flours, arrowroot, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the sugar, thyme, lemon zest, juice, almond milk, water and oil in a smaller bowl. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake 30 – 35 minutes or until done. Let cool completely then remove from pan.

To make the coconut whipped cream, open the can of chilled coconut milk and scoop out the thick, creamy coconut cream at the top (reserve the water for another use). In a medium bowl, beat the cream with vanilla and maple syrup until smooth.

Cover the cooled cake with the coconut cream, top with fruit and garnish with sprigs of thyme and shaved chocolate if desired. Enjoy!

Sautéed Green Beans

This week’s farm share included some new green beans and beautiful red onions. I combined them for this simple side dish but It could be eaten as a main, especially if you substitute chick peas for the sliced almonds.
  • One large red onion
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • A quart of green beans, nibbed
  • Quarter lemon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Handful of sliced almonds (or chick peas)
Sauté onions for a few minutes before adding beans. Put a lid on the pan and let steam for another three minutes. Add lemon, maple syrup and salt and pepper to taste.
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Rhubarb Cookies

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups rhubarb diced (fresh or frozen)
1 tbs sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla, beat to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until combined.
Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and repeat until all the ingredients are combined.
Sprinkle 1 tbs sugar over rhubarb.  Add rhubarb and walnuts to dough and beat until combined.
Drop by tablespoons of batter onto the prepared baking sheets.
Bake 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies start to brown and the tops of the cookies get a little colour.
Let cool slightly, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
Taste great frozen!

 

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

This has got to be one of the best rhubarb recipes I’ve tried.  I found it in the Canadian Living Kitchen and adapted it somewhat. My beaters weren’t working so I mixed it all by hand so I don’t know if that contributed to yumminess but here is my version:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. brown sugar (scant)
  • 2 c. All purpose flour
  • 2 eggs (from Victorsfarmshares 😉 )
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c. plain yogurt
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 3 – 4 cups chopped rhubarb (from victorsfarmshares)

Topping:

  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Method:

Grease a 9″ springform pan.  Set aside.

Combine topping ingredients in small bowl until crumbly.  Set aside

In a large bowl, mix butter with brown sugar until creamy.  Beat in eggs one at a time. beat in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt. In another small bowl, mix together yogurt and water. Add flour mixture alternatively with yogurt mixture to butter mixture until just blended.  Fold in 3 c. chopped rhubarb.  Scrape into springform pan.  Top with remaining cup of rhubarb and then Topping mixture.  Bake at 350 until the cake tester inserted in centre of the cake comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours.  Let cool in pan on a rack for 5 min.  Remove side of the pan.  Serve with icecream for a truly decadent dessert or on it’s own as a snack with coffee.  Serves 8 – 10.

Rhubarb Muffins

I’ve been searching for a good rhubarb muffin recipe that doesn’t go all soggy and has lots of flavour.  Finally I just adapted the tried and true “morning glory” muffins and the outcome didn’t last long!  Delicious, a little bit crunchy, and tastes like spring.

Into a large bowl mix:
2 c. all purpose flour (I use 1 c. spelt, 1 c. all purpose)
3/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
Stir in:
2 c. grated carrots
1/2 c. chopped nuts
1 apple, grated, skin on
1 1/2 – 2 c. chopped fresh rhubarb
In bowl beat:
3 eggs
1 c. salad oil (I used melted butter)
1 tsp. vanilla
Stir into flour mixture until just combined.
Spoon into muffin cups.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.
Makes 24 medium sized muffins.

VICTOR’S FARM SHARES – WEEK ONE (June 1/15)

In your basket this week:

  • Rhubarb
  • Arugula
  • Spinach/lettuce mix
  • Onions
  • Radishes
  • Oregano

A word on storing/using your produce…

Of most importance for all of your produce is to store it as quickly as possible in your fridge.  This cannot be stressed enough.  The quicker you get it into a cool environment, the longer it will keep. Our hope is, though, that it will all be consumed before this time next week!

Rhubarb–

Can be kept in the fridge for a least a week. Rinse it under cold running water and place in a plastic bag. We like it fresh used in muffins, cake, platz, or as plain rhubarb sauce.  To freeze, cut about 1/4” off both ends, chop into 1/2” chunks, put in a freezer bag and freeze.

Spinach/Lettuces/Arugula–

As soon as possible (especially if the lettuce has been picked wet due to rain), wash your lettuces by dumping it into the sink or a large bowl filled with cold water.  Gently swish the lettuces in the water.  If there is a lot of soil on the lettuce, rinse it again under cold running water as you take it out of the sink or bowl and then place it in a spinner and spin thoroughly.  Pack it lightly in a clean plastic bag (just re-use the one we give you but make sure it is clean and dried) and store in fridge.  If you do this as soon as you get your lettuce home, it will stay fresh for a least a week or two, depending on the type of lettuce.  Oakleaf lettuce is the most tender kind we grow and it should be eaten within a few days.

Oregano (and most other leaf herbs)–

Wash and store as for lettuces. Cut the stems off and chop finely or crush before using in salads, sauces, marinades, on pizza, etc.

Onions and Radishes–

You don’t have to wash these before storing.  Simply place in a plastic bag in the fridge.  The onions this week are young and tender and both the greens and bulb are delicious.  Onions keep longer if you leave the root ends on while storing.  Similarly, radishes keep longer with their green leaves on.

Generally, having your produce washed and ready to use in the fridge makes it much easier to grab for a snack or meal and we find that doesn’t end up hanging around in the fridge until limp and useless.

Recipe (Find more here): 

Picking for first day of 2015 farm shares and a neighbour from Welland dropped by to admire the gardens.  He told me of an Italian recipe his wife makes with fresh arugula so I thought I’d try it.  There are no exact measurements but this will give you the idea:
  • Chopped green onions
  • Chopped fresh oregano (he didn’t have this in his recipe but I thought it couldn’t hurt!)
  • Saute in butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Add fresh chopped tomatoes (we will have to wait a bit for those so I used some canned ones from last fall).
  • Stir into hot cooked pasta along with fresh arugula.
  • Pasta Primivera!
I am not a pasta lover so this doesn’t get a 5 star rating from me.  But it certainly is fresh tasting and I’m sure our neighbour made a much better version than I as I sent him home happy with his own bag of arugula.

Find more recipes here