Bill Withers: Another West Virginia Treasure

Photo is a screen shot  of a video of Bill Withers at his induction into the 2015 class of the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, with Stevie Wonder.

Susan Haggerty sang her a capella version of the Bill Withers classic, "Grandma's Hands" last night at the BAM Jam in Blackburg (which I got to attend thanks to an invitation from Doug Chancy, who plays with his wife Betty Hahn and with Jamie Munn Simmons and Simone Patterson in Smart Mouth.) 

Editor's note:  I first published this piece on December 19, 2015 at 4:35 pm  and last edited it on January 15, 2016 to include the painting illustrating "Grandma's Hands" and links to the Withers bio at the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame and to the West Virginia Coal Towns entry on his hometown of Slab Fork, as well as tags.


If you don't recognize Bill Withers's name, surely, you will recognize his songs which, in addition to his 1971 hit "Grandma's Hands", include Grammy winner "Ain't No Sunshine," "Just the Two of Us," "I Wish You Well" and "Lean on Me."

Although it took until 2015 for the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame to recognize Withers, his native West Virginia recognized him, along with the likes of Hazel Dickens, in 2007, the inaugural year of its own Music Hall of Fame.    The Ernie Barnes painting which Withers commissioned to illustrate "Grandma's Hands"  in 2008, was Barnes's last major commission before he died in 2009.  It is part of the Hall's permanent collection.

Born in the Raleigh County coal town of  Slab Fork, Withers left to join the Navy before moving to California to work in an airplane factory and starting his musical career.
Withers stepped away from the industry in 1985, as he explained in this interview with Allison Glock, when

this guy at my record label who wanted me to do stuff like cover Elvis Presley songs . Get the hell out of here. I got tired of it. Most of my dreams came true and some of my nightmares, too. I had a pretty good run. And by then I had a family and some kids, so I went about trying to do a good job at that. Without even thinking about it, I just went ahead with my life.

Here is an extended bio from the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame where Withers describes growing up in West Virginia and his career.

Here's an interview with Withers about his induction from West Virginia Public Radio that year:

You can find Carl Wiser's 2004 interview, in which Withers talks about the inspiration for some of his lyrics in Song Facts. 


Roasted Carrot Salad with Toasted Sesame Seeds, Peanuts, Apples and Orange Juice

Photo by Lindsey S. Love

Sally asked me to have the recipe ready early for Glade Road Growing's last 2015 farm share on 11/24.  She says the share will be similar to last week with plenty of carrots and that maybe I could provide a recipe for Thanksgiving dinner, so I thought a roasted carrot salad would be nice.  Lindsey Love has such great photographs on her food blog that I thought I'd share this one, although her recipe (which only serves two) includes shallots and blood oranges and has fennel seeds rather than peanuts and parsley instead of cilantro.


Serves six

1.  Scrub and roast 1 pound of carrots and half a pound of peeled small onions with the root end cut off   at 475 degrees F for about 20 minutes either in a preheated oven on a cookie sheet lined in parchment paper or, as I do, on a countertop convection oven.

2.  While carrots and onions are roasting, squeeze one orange for the juice into a large bowl. If you like you can also grate about a half a tablespoon of the zest off the orange peel.  Wash two apples, cut in quarters to remove core and then slice thinly with a sharp knife.  Add apples to bowl and toss with the orange juice to keep them from turning brown.   Chop  1/2 cup of fresh cilantro and reserve for topping. 

3.  Smash and peel 4 cloves of garlic and chop coarsely.  Chop about a tablespoon of fresh ginger root. 

4.  In an oiled cast iron skillet toast 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds until they turn light tan and begin to pop.  Remove them from skillet.  Add enough extra virgin olive oil to coat bottom of skillet and saute the garlic and the ginger until tender.  Let cool a bit and then toss sesame seeds and garlic and ginger with apples.

5.  When the carrots and onions are finished roasting, let cool enough that you can handle them comfortably.  Split the carrots in half lengthwise if they are small.  If they are larger, you may want to cut them in half crosswise and then in quarters lengthwise.  Cut the onions in half and then slice thinly.

6.  Toss in the bowl with the apples and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Top with roasted unsalted peanuts and cilantro and serve warm or at room temperature.


Arugula and Winter Squash Salad with Quinoa, Feta, Walnuts and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Photo by cookbook author and photographer Erin Alderson for her version of this recipe in her blog NaturallyElla.com


Sally tells me that 11/17/15 the farm share for Glade Road Growing will include butternut squash, carrots, arugula, salad mix, kale, garlic and a big hakurai turnip.  Since the arugula is sweet enough in the cooler weather to eat raw, I thought I'd make a main course salad.  Mine adds pomegranate seeds and uses walnuts instead of pecans and a bit of balsamic vinegar dressing, rather than honey, but this picture was just so beautiful, that when I found it, I stopped looking for something more representative.


Serves 6

1.  Preheat your conventional over to 450 degrees, unless you are going to use a counter top convection over, as I do.   Rinse the butternut squash and cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and reserve to roast.  Put the squash cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Roast in oven for about 40 minutes, until tender.  Remove and let cool enough to handle.  Pull the peel away and then dice the squash into 1/2 inch cubes.  (Some folks peel and cube the squash first, but that's not as easy.

2. While the squash is roasting, cook 1 cup of raw quinoa by bringing it to a boil in a heavy-bottomed lidded sauce pan with two cups of cold water.  Remove from oven and drain water and rinse well to remove the saponin, which coats the grain and can make it bitter.  Add 1 3/4 cups of fresh cold water, cover  and return to a boil and simmer for five minutes.  Turn off heat and let sit for at least 20 minutes. 

3.  While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the pomegranate by slicing 1/4-inch off of the stem end  and placing the fruit cut side down on the cutting board to stabilize it. The pomegranate's blossom end, the one that looks like a crown, should be on top.  Use the paring knife to a cut a circle around the blossom end, angling in and cut it out.  Make several cuts from top to bottom around the pomegranate just through the red part of the skin.  Working over a large bowl, gently pry open the pomegranate and pry away the seeds from the peel and membranes.  Discard the peel and membranes.

  Rinse the arugula in a basin of cool water.  Drain and wash a second time in clean water, then put in a colander to drain.

5.  To make the vinaigrette, combine the following in a bottle with a well-fitting lid:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar or lime juice
Freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (for fat-free version, substitute either 1 tablespoon fruit juice concentrate--apple or white grape--and 3 tablespoons water OR 4 tablespoons wine)
1 teaspoon your favorite sweetener (honey, agave, demerara sugar)
2 peeled and crushed cloves free garlic and/or 1 T finely minced onion. 

 6.  Fluff the quinoa with a fork and toss with the arugula with the pomegranate seeds and the squash, 2/3 cup of crumbled feta and 1/2 cup of walnuts  in a large bowl.  Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve.


Peanut Curry with Winter Squash, Mustard Greens and Garbanzo Beans

Photo by Paige Green of a mustard green curry and tofu recipe by chef  Bryant Terry of Oakland found in his 2014 cookbook Afro-Vegan.  


November 19, the farm share from Glade Road Growing is slated to include watermelon radish, lettuce mix, tetsukabuki squash, red mustard greens, garlic and green peppers.

Since Bryant Terry is an advocate of farm fresh food, I thought I'd modify one of his recipes this week to use the squash, mustard greens, garlic and green peppers. His mentor, Alice Walker, has said of him that “Bryant Terry knows that good food should be an everyday right and not a privilege.” He is a 2015 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award winner who is currrently the inaugural Chef in Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco.  Maybe some of my lucky friends in that area were able to get a ticket for the (sold-out) November 15 reception and panel he is convening with Toni Tipton Martin, Gail Myers, Nicole Taylor, Caroline Randall Williams and moderator Psyche Williams-Forson to discuss the role that Black women have played historically and contemporarily in the production, distribution, and consumption of food.

Here's an interview with Chef Terry in the Washington Post and a video about his work as Chef in Residence.

By the way, when I was looking at food photos for inspiration, I found a tempting recipe by Emma D'Alessandro for a warm kale, citrus and watermelon radish salad, which for which you could substitute the mustard greens.


Serves 6

1.  The night or at least two hours before cook 1 pound of garbanzo beans.  In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid, cover the beans with 3 cups water, and and bring to a boil.  Rinse.  Return to pot, add ½ teaspoon sea salt and bring again to a boil again.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let stand over night or for at least one hour. Rinse a second time.  Add two cups of water and bring to a boil again and simmer on low heat until soft, about 1 hour with 2 bay leaves.

2.  I like to serve this over brown rice cooked with tumeric and olive oil, so at the same time you start the beans.  In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid, combine 2  cups brown rice , 4 cups water, and and bring to a boil.  Rinse.  Return to pot, add ½ teaspoon sea salt, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil  and 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric and bring again to a boil again.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and leave for 40 minutes until water is absorbed.

3.  While the rice is absorbing the water, roast the squash.  Unless you are using a countertop convection oven, as I do, preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Cut  the tetsukabuki squash in half and scoop out seeds.  You can reserve them to roast separately.  Invert upside down on a parchment covered cook sheet.  Roast for half an-hour and then let cook long enough so that you can cut it into cubes.  I leave the skin on and it will get tender, unlike butternut squash.  If you prefer, you can remove the skin.  Set the squash aside. 

If you don't have this type of squash, the recipe will work with any roasted winter squash or even roasted sweet potatoes.

3.  While the squash is roasting, peel and chop one large onion or more to make about 1 cup.   Mince a piece of fresh ginger to make 1 tablespoon.  Smash, peel and mince a similar amount of fresh garlic cloves.  Remove the seeds from a green pepper and finely chop.

4.  Grind a cup of roasted peanuts in a heavy duty blender or food processor.  You will use 2 tablespoons for this recipe.  You can store the rest in a covered jar in the fridge.  You can substitute fresh ground peanut butter from the store.  The jars of peanut butter really are NOT a sufficient substitute, but if you need to, you could used about 4 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter with no additives (avoid the "no-stir" versions.)

4.  In a oiled cast iron skillet, add 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until they pop, 2 to 3 minutes.   Add more oil to coat, add the onion and sauté until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add  more oil and add the green pepper and sauté until soft about 2 minutes.  Add the garlic, fresh ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground tumeric, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seads, 1/2 half teaspoon of cardomon, 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and cook until fragant.

5.  In a large saucepan with a tight lid, 3 cups of water, one can of diced unsalted tomatoes, 2 heaping tablespoons of the ground roasted peanuts, the vegetable/spice mixture and the cooked garbanzo beans. Stir.  Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6.   While the mixture is cooking, cut the mustard greens into bite-sized pieces.  After the first twenty minutes, add to the saucepan, along with the roasted squash and cook for another ten minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve garnished with cilantro over the cooked brown rice.

BTW, Chef Terry follows the Southern tradition and cooks the greens for the whole thirty minutes.  Mine will be brighter than pictured.


Pickled Daikon and Carrots

 Photo by Ariana Lindquist for Saveur Magazine

The 11/3/15 farm share from Glade Road Growing is slated to include lettuce mix, daikon radish, salad turnip, delicata squash, kale, garlic and peppers.

Daikon is a mild white winter radish, which I like as a pickled vegetable, served as a condiment with tofu or chicken, on a barbecue sandwich or added to a tossed salad.  Here's a simple recipe.


1.  Wash carrots and daikon radishes. Pat dry, peel and cut into matchsticks.

2.   In a bowl, combine the carrots, daikon,  2 tsp. kosher salt and 1 tsp. demerara sugar.   Let sit until the vegetables have wilted slightly and liquid pools at the bottom of the bowl, about 30 minutes. Drain vegetables; rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer vegetables to a medium bowl.

3.  Whisk together 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1⁄2 cup warm water and pour mixture over the vegetables. Stir to combine. Set mixture aside and let marinate for at least 1 hour, then you can refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to 4 weeks.


Navy Beans and Tatsoi with Roasted Fennel

Photo by Johnny Autry of Ashville accompanied a recipe similar to mine at Cooking Light.


 The October 27 farm share from Glade Road Growing is slated to include salad mix, fennel, butternut squash, tatsoi and green peppers. 

Fennel is a  perennial bulb with a feathery top, a relative of the carrot.  You can use the fronds in salads or as a garnish. 

The bulb and younger stems are firm and crunchy and taste mildly of anise. You can serve them raw and thinly sliced in salads and slaws.  I especially like raw fennel in combination with tart fruits such peaches and tomatoes, granny smith apples or oranges.  You can also cook the bulb until tender to  bring out the anise flavor, either as part of a roasted squash or  root vegetable medley or braised with chicken

Fennel seeds (not included this week) are used to flavor stews, breads and cookies.


Serves 8

1.  The night or at least a couple of hours before you plan to eat, bring one pound of dried  navy beans (about 2 cups) to a boil in a lidded heavy- bottomed saucepan with four cups of cold water.  Simmer five minutes. Rinse, cover again with water plus two cups, add a couple of bay leaves and bring back to boil. Turn off the stove and soak at least an hour or overnight. Rinse well and drain. Cover with colder water plus an inch and start to simmer. (Add water as necessary to keep the beans barely covered).  When the beans are tender, rinse, drain and set aside.  (You can cook the beans ahead of time and refrigerate in a lidded jar.)

2.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (or you can use a counter top convection oven to roast the fennel.  Wash fennel and tatsoi  in cold water and rinse and wash a second time.  Trim fronds and stems of the fennel and reserve for another use. Thinly slice the bulb.  If the stems of the tatsoi are tough, tear the leaves off and reserve the stems for a vegetable stock.   Smash, peel and mince two or more cloves of fresh garlic. Peel and thinly slice one onion.

3.  Combine fennel, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.  red pepper, and garlic in a large bowl; toss to coat fennel. Arrange mixture in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet or on the racks in the convection oven.

4.  Roast for ten minutes or more until brown.

5.  Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with  with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Add the onions and saute until tender and then add the  beans and cook together another 2 minutes.  Add fennel mixture and the tatsoi and cook until the tatsoi is wilted.

6.  Serve warm.  I like this recipe over cooked whole wheat pasta or rice and sprinkled with grated Asiago cheese.


Tri-Color Gnocchi (Potato, Beet and Ricotta, and Winter Squash)

Montage made from photographs from three food blogs(l. to r. by Suzie CastelloNealey Dozier Thompson and  Cooking with Manuela.) *

The October 20 farm share from Glade Road Growing is slated to include beets (without tops), gold potatoes, delicata squash, sweet peppers, bok choy and garlic. 

The potatoes made me decide to make gnocchi, the Italian version of a dumpling.  Doing some research, I learned that the squash and beets would be suitable, too.  I decided to make all three for a lovely tri-colored plate of pasta, sauteed in sage butter and topped with grated cheese . 

If you like you could try the same idea with spätzle (recipes for potato, beets and squash) the German version, a softer dumpling, which is quicker and easier, since you push the dough through a colander or large-holed grater, rather than form the dumplings individually.  The latter are traditionally sauteed in butter and topped with parsley.  Or they're delicious tossed with sauteed greens and topped with goat cheese, the way Bryan Picard makes his at the Bite House Restaurant on Cape Breton Island (that's the beet recipe I included at the link.)

It would also be fun to do three types of ravioli. (recipes for potato, beets and pumpkin, which could substitute winter squash).


1.  The night before, drain one pound of whole milk ricotta in a colander lined in cheese cloth over a bowl.

2.  Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.  Scrub the potatoes and 2 small or 1 medium beet and wash the delicata squash.  Cut the delicata squash in half and scoop out the seeds, which you can roast and salt.  Place veggies on a parchment lined rimmed cookie sheet, with the squash cut side down.  Roast the veggies until soft.  You can also roast the veggies in a countertop convection oven.

3.  Slip the peel off the potatoes and beets.  In separate bowls, pass them through a potato ricer, food mill or grate them over the large holes of a box grater, washing the utensil between uses to keep the colors separate. Scoop the squash from its skin and do the same.  The squash has more moisture, so you may want to drain the results through a clean tea towel in the colander.

4.  For the beet dough, add the drained ricotta, 1 egg and 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, salt and salt and freshly ground black pepper to the beets. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Add 2/3 cup of white whole wheat flour flour to the ricotta mixture and whisk together to mix. Set the mixture aside for a minimum of 2 hours in the refrigerator.  After it is chilled you will form the dough into  balls about the size of a ping pong ball. Roll the ball into a bowl of flour, carefully turning to lightly coat all sides, tapping off any excess. Lay each dumpling on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue forming the gnocchi until all the mixture is gone.

5.  For the squash dough, the proportion is 1.5 cups of the flour to 2.5 cups of the squash and 1 egg.  If you have less, adjust the flour and egg accordingly.  Mix the squash with 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, the eggs and a little bit of salt. Add the flour a bit at at the time, until you find the right consistency. 

6.  To make the potato dough, the ratio is 2 cup of white whole wheat flour to 3 pounds of potatoes  and 1 egg.  Make well in center of the potatoes in the first bowl and sprinkle all over with flour.  Place egg and a pinch of salt in center of well and using a fork, stir into flour and vegetable, just like making normal pasta. Once egg is mixed in, bring dough together, kneading gently until a ball is formed. Knead gently another 4 minutes until ball is dry to touch. Roll baseball-sized ball of dough into 3/4-inch diameter dowels and cut dowels into 1-inch long pieces.   Roll into balls if you want the shape to match the other gnocchi.  Or for the traditional shape, just flick the 1-inch long pieces off of  a fork.

7.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. To make the squash gnocchi, use two teaspoons to drop small amounts of the mixture into the simmering water. You probably will need to do this in three or four batches, depending on how big is your pot.  Put few enough in at a time so that they have space to move and don't stick to each other.  when they float to the surface,  cook for another 2 minutes.   Remove them to a plate covered in a paper towel to remove and extra moisture.

8.  You will cook the beet gnocchi the same way.  Using a slotted spoon, remove them to a plate covered in a paper towel to remove and extra moisture.

9.  To cook the potato gnocchi, pepare an ice bath to cool them.  Drop a small amount into boiling water and cook until they float (about 1 minute). Meanwhile, continue with remaining dough.  For these, as soon as the gnocchi float to top of the boiling water, remove them to ice bath. Continue until all have been cooled off. Let sit several minutes in bath and drain from ice and water.

10.  Melt butter in a skillet with fresh sage leaves. Let the butter lightly brown and the sage leaves become nice and crispy, about 10 minutes.  Toss in the gnocchi to warm and then serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese.


Lima, Mushroom, Squash and Kale Stew

Photo  from Martha Stewart Whole Living, December 2010 (no photographer credit)

The October 13 farm share from Glade Road Growing is slated to include sweet peppers, radishes, buttercup squash, salad mix (lettuce mix plus baby kale and baby tatsoi), garlic and a. bunch of kale.  Here's a hearty stew that uses the squash, garlic and kale plus mushrooms and dried lima beans.

Or if you'd prefer, I like to combine the radishes and squash with beets to make this Moroccan stew.


Serves 8

1.  At least several hours before you make the soup, cover 2 cups of dried lima beans with water and bring to  to a boil in a stainless steel pot with a fitted lid and heavy bottom.  Rinse well.  Cover again with four cups of water and bring to a boil a second time.  Turn down and let simmer for 5 minutes and then turn off heat and soak for an hour or overnight.

2.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Cut a butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds.  (You can removed the pulp from them and roast, as you would pumpkin seeds.)  Place cut side down on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and roast until soft.  You can do the same in a countertop convection oven.

3.  While squash is roasting, drain and rinse limas and cover with 4 cups of water in a large covered soup pot.  Add 2 bay leaves  and bring back to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  

4.  Rinse and peel 1 large onion and coarsely chop.  Smash, peel and thinly slice 8 cloves of fresh garlic.  Saute onions in a heated cast iron skillet coated in extra virgin olive oil until the onions are soft and fragrant.  Add garlic and cook for another minute or so and transfer both to the soup pot. 

5.  Rinse and pat dry 1 pound of mushrooms (white, crimini, and/or shitaki).  Thinly slice and saute in the same skillet, one layer at a time until golden brown and transfer to the soup pot.

6.  Rinse 6 stalks of celery and thinly slice on the diagonal.  Saute in the skillet until slightly softened and add to the soup pot.  Take a few spoonfuls of the broth from the pot and add to the skillet to deglaze and re-add to the soup pot.

7.  When squash is soft, peel skin and chop into cubes and add to the soup pot.

8.  Rinse kale.  Remove stems and reserve for other use, such as a soup stock.  Thinly slice leaves.  When beans are tender, stir in kale and cook until tender, about five minutes more.  Season with freshly ground pepper and 8 tablespoons of  miso, stirring well.  Serve warm in Serve in individual bowls.  To make this a main dish you can serve it over cooked grain such as barley or over cooked whole wheat, buckwheat or corn pasta.


Salad of Tatsoi, Carrots, Radishes and Cilantro Toasted Peanuts and Citrus Avocado Puree

from Alayna Tucker is from a salad she ate at Billy and Kristin Allin's restaurant Cakes & Ale  in Decatur, Georgia.

Tucker doesn't provide a recipe, but she lists the ingredients as tatsoi, carrot, radish, fresh cilantro and peanuts, served with a citrus avocado puree.  Since the October 6 farmshare from Glade Road Growing  is slated to  tat soi, radish and carrot (as well as include lettuce mix, bunch arugula and delicata squash) I used this photograph as inspiration for today's recipe.  Tatsoi, like its more famous cousin bok choy is an Asian green in the mustard family.


Serves 4

1.  Rinse and drain tatsoi, radish, carrot and cilantro.  (If the radish comes with the greens remove them and use for a savory salad green with the arugula and lettuce mix.  If you're not making this recipe today, go ahead and separate the leaves from the bulbs of the radish, as both will keep better separately.)  Thinly slice the radishes and carrots into round slices using a sharp knife or a mandoline.  Separate the tatsoi leaves.  If the tat soi leaves are large, tear into several pieces.  Pull the leaves off the stems of the cilantro.  Store any extra cilantro in a lidded glass jar inverted in the refrigerator.

2.  To make the dressing, halve, peel and de-pit one ripe avocado. Smash, peel and mince one clove of garlic. Squeeze 2 tablespoons of orange juice and 1 tablespoon of lime juice. In a blender or food processor, puree puree the avocado, garlic, orange juice, and lime juice. Season with 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes and a dash of sea salt and fresh ground pepper. With the machine on, gradually blend in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil.

3.  Dress the tatsoi and vegetables but keep separate.  Divide the tatsoi among four plates or bowls.  Arrange the radish and carrot slices on top of each serving.  Garnish with cilantro and toasted peanuts and serve immediately.   If you'd like this to be a main coarse, rather than a side, you can add cook beans or chopped cooked chicken.


While I'm at here's another recipe for the squash and radishes, a jewel-toned Moroccan stew I really like. You can use the tatsoi as a cooked green with tempeh or in a stew with tempeh or tofu and the squash, rather than sweet potatoes.  The arugula is yummy served wilted in a salad with pears and cheese or tossed with whole wheat pasta, walnuts and asiago cheese.



Photo by Levi Brown


The farm share for Glade Road Growing for the week of September 29 will include tomatoes.  With fall coming on, I thought I would include a recipe for one of my favorite salads before it's too late for this year.

Insalta Caprese ("Salad of Capri") is said, by some, to mirror the colors of the Italian flag.  Others accord that honor to Insalata Tricolore, which adds arugula. Caprese is traditionally served as an antipasto. While some demand summer tomatoes grown in the mineral rich soil near Vesuvius, tomatoes from our local farm will do quite nicely.


Serves serves four.

1.  Finely chop two tablespoons of pitted kalamata olives.  In a small bowl stir together with 
two tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.

2.  Cut three medium tomatoes into four 1/4-inch-thick slices.  Cut one eight ounce ball of fresh mozzarella (traditionally buffalo mozzarella) into eight 1/4-inch-thick slices.  Wash 16 fresh basil leaves and pat dry.  Place a slice of tomato on each of 4 small plates; sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Top each with a slice of mozzarella, then a basil leaf. Repeat layering one more time. Top each stack with a slice of tomato and garnish with basil leaves.

3. Drizzle olive dressing over each stack. Serve immediately.


Spaghetti Squash with Spicey Tomato Sauce and Lentil, Mushroom and Millet Balls

Photo by Jodi Moreno

Serves 4

1. To bake the spaghetti squash, pre-heat the oven to 375º. Place the squash on a baking sheet (whole) and bake for about 1 hour. Let it rest until you are ready to assemble the spaghetti squash and sauce.
2. Keep the oven on at the same temp to cook the veggie balls. While the squash is baking, rinse 1/2 cup of raw millet and place in a small pot with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 25-30 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. While the millet is cooking, place 2 cups of dried red lentils in a medium pot with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain the lentils and run them under cold water. Drain well.

4. While the lentils are cooking, peel and finely chop one red onion to make one cup and smash, peel and mince 8 cloves of garlic. Wash and finely chop 1/2 pound of mushrooms. Place a cast iron pan over medium heat, add the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic for about 2 minutes. Remove half and reserve for sauce. Then add the mushrooms and cook until browned. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

5. In large bowl, combine the lentils with the mushrooms mixture. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Next, lightly beat two eggs, add and stir. Then add 1/4 whole wheat cup of flour (or substitute garbanzo flour, if you want the recipe to be gluten free) and stir. Lastly, add the millet and stir until everything is combined. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for 20 minutes (or longer) while you start to make the sauce.

6. In a cast iron pan, add the remaining onions and garlic and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes and cook in 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil until tender, about another three minutes. Add 1/2 cup of fresh chopped basil leaves and one pound of chopped tomatoes (or two small cans of unsalted diced tomatoes.) Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20-30 minutes.

7. While the sauce is simmering, shape the veggie balls by rolling between your palms and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes.

8. Remove veggie balls from the oven, and finish cooking in the tomato sauce for several minutes.

9. Cut the cooked squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and the pulp and discard. Then, continue to remove the insides by scraping with a spoon and place the spaghetti squash in a large bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt.

10. Spoon the sauce over the squash. Give it a light toss to combine. Spoon the spaghetti squash with the sauce onto plates, and finish with a couple of veggie balls. Serve warm with an optional garnish of some crushed red pepper, chopped parsley, and/or parmesan cheese.


Bok Choy, Hakurei Turnip Greens and Red Peppers with Garlic and Ginger

Photo from Bev Weidner (bio) from her recipe at her blog Bevcooks.com.  Her recipe  uses spinach and omits the salad turnips.


Serves 4

Sally tells me that the farm share from Glade Road Growing for September 15 will include two salad turnips, garlic, one head bok choy, a sweet pepper, one pound of tomatoes, salad greens and an eggplant.  Here's a simple recipe for the bok chok, turnips, sweet pepper and garlic that I like.  If you want to use it as a main course, you can add thinly sliced tempeh or cooked chicken.

Serves 4

1.  Wash the red sweet pepper, bok choy, and turnips and greens  in cool water.  Prepare the vegetables and keep separate as they require different cooking times.   Remove stem and seeds from the pepper and slice into thin strips.  Trim the ends off the bok choy and separate the leaves in a separate pile.  Cut the root end off the turnips and reserve for a separate use.  Remove the stems and reserve for soup stock.  Thinly slice the leaves. (The turnip bulbs would be  great in a salad with the tomatoes and salad greens.  If the turnips come without greens this week, thinly slice the bulbs for this recipe and use along with an onion quartered and thinly sliced and 2 stalks of celery thinly sliced on the slant, to make up the volume of vegetables you'll need.)

2. In a dry skillet toast raw sesame seeds until they begin to pop and are light tan.  Remove from heat and when cool, store in a lidded glass jar.  You will use about a tablespoon or more for this recipe.

3.  Cut the ends off four  fresh garlic cloves, smash, peel and mince.  Mince enough fresh ginger to make one tablespoon.

4.   Cut two sheets of nori paper into thin strips.

5.   In a saucepan, bring water to boil and cook eight ounces of sorba noodles until al dente, about five minutes.  Drain and set aside.

6. In a medium skillet heat four tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of toasted sesame oil over medium high. Add the garlic, ginger and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper and let bloom for about a minute. Add the red bell pepper (and onions and turnip bulbs if you are using) and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the baby bok choy along with two tablepoons of mirin or other sherry and saute to wilt, an additional 3 or 4 minutes. Lastly add the turnip greens (and celery if you are using) about 1 minute. Add the soba noodles to the skillet and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, top with cilantro, nori strips, sesame seeds and a squeeze of lemon.


Every 107 seconds: Why Every Rape Kit Should Be Tested

Photo by Pat Sullivan, AP

Every 107 seconds
, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States. In July, USA Today estimated that hundreds of thousands of rape kits sat untested in police and crime storage facilities across the U.S.

Each untested kit represents an opportunity lost: to confirm a known suspect; to connect the suspect to other crimes; to identify an unknown assailant; to exonerate the wrongly convicted or accused. Yesterday's newly announced $41 million in federal funds to 20 jurisdictions, combined with the New York County District Attorney’s Office's own grant program of $38 million--hopes to to eliminate the backlog in 43 jurisdictions in 27 states across the country.

There are those who say that government has no role in solving our problems, that journalism is a watchdog that has lost its teeth. But in New York City, when officials began testing every rape kit, the arrest rate for rape jumped from 40% to 70%. In Cleveland, Rachel Dissell's six years of rape kit reporting has helped to convict 100 rapists. Twenty-seven states is a good start. If this proves to work, how about fifty?


Living on Almost Nothing

Cover from Kathryn Edin and Luke Shaefer's new book published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on September 1, 2015.  (240 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0544303188).  Edin is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University. Shaefer, associate professor of social work at University of Michigan.

H/T Zaid Jilani (twitter) of AlterNet via Appalachian Studies scholar Herbert Reid.

A conversation with the authors on September 9 live broadcast from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM (EDT) at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.


Delicata Squash and Quinoa with Dried Cranberries, Sunflower Seeds and Cheddar Cheese

Photo from Kaylee Pauley's Lemon and Basil food blog

Sally tells me the farm share for Glade Road Growing for September 8 will include:  2 delicata squash, a red onion, lettuce mix, a sweet pepper, a banana pepper and possibly 1 or two small tomatoes.

Delicata squash is a winter squash that is much easier to slice than butternuts or hubbards!

Serves 4

1. Preheat  oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly oil baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil.

2.  In a covered saucepan, bring one cup of quinoa to a boil in 2 cups of water.  Drain water and rinse.  Add a scant 2 cups of water and bring to a boil a second time.  Simmer for five minutes and then turn off heat and let continue cooking until water in absorbed.

3.  While the quinoa is cooking, coarsely chop the red pepper and red onion and saute in a cast iron skillet.

4.  Also slice the delicata squash into ½" rings, discarding the ends and seeds from middle. Lay them flat, in single layer, on baking sheet(s) and sprinkle with one 1 tablespoon of demerara sugar.  Bake for 10 minutes, then flip each piece over and bake additional 5 minutes, or until tender and cooked to your liking.

4.  While squash is cooking, grate 4 ounces of extra sharp cheddar.  Once quinoa has cooked, fluff with a fork and add onions and peppers. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon quinoa mixture out onto four bowls, sprinkle each bowl with 1 tablespoon of raw sunflower seeds, 1 tablespoon of dried cranberries, and grated cheddar and stir.  Top with squash slices.


Monkey House Travels to Glade Road Growing September 10 to host Peterson Brothers Band

From Dave Roye's YouTube video of the Peterson Brothers Band's gig at the T-Bone Walker Blues Fest in Linden, Texas on June 21, 2013.  You can see more photos of the band (taken by Nashville photographer Dean Dixon) at the festival's archives for 2013.  An interview from Buddy Guy's Legends is here.

The Peterson Brothers Band--Glenn, Jr, 18 (right) and Alex, 16 (left)--will come to Blacksburg's  Glade Road Growing 7 pm on September 10, hosted by Monkey House Concerts. From Bastrop, TX (near Austin), the brothers started out playing piano seven years ago, but "it didn't really click" for either of them.  Their parents asked if they'd like to try something else and they've been playing blues since 2009 with Glenn as lead guitar and singer, while his brother Alex plays bass guitar and violin and sings. 

In 2011, Buddy Guy invited them (then  14 and 12) on stage to play with him at the Moody Theater in Austin Texas on Sept. 3 2011.  Here's the video:

2013 winners of the Best Under 18 Band at the Austin Music Awards, the City named October 3 Peterson Brothers Band Day.  The previous year, they had come in 7th in that category.

On July 20th, 2015,  the brothers  released their self-titled CD on Blue Point records produced by Michael Freeman at their regular happy hour gig at the  Continental Club.

Freeman was engineer and producer of the 2010 Grammy winner for Best Traditional Blues Album, Joined at the Hip: featuring blues pianist Pinetop Perkins and drummer and harmonica player Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (both of whom died the following year.)  According to Deborah Sengupta Stith, a music writer for the Austin American-Statesman, Freeman met the brothers when they performed at a birthday party for Perkins shortly before Perkins died.


Watermelon, Juliet Tomato and Carmen Pepper Salad with Feta and Lime-Ginger-Kalamata Dressing

Photo by Pornchai Mittongtare for Simply Zov, Rustic Classics with a Mediterranean Twist by Zov Karamardian as featured in Jaden Hair's SteamyKitchen.com

The September farm share for Glade Road Growing is expected to include:  eggplant, Juliet tomatoes, lettuce mix and red carmen peppers.

While it's still summer I wanted to include a recipe for a salad that included watermelon.    The Juliet tomatoes are slightly larger than a grape tomato and shaped like a Roma.  They are sweet and perfect for this salad, although the photograph shows larger mixed heirloom tomatoes. Do not refrigerate them (or any fresh tomatoes) as they will get pulpy.

The vinaigrette is my own and I use basil, rather than mint and dice my onions fine and keep the cuke's skins and seeds (unless the seeds are large, then I scoop them out with a spoon.)

Lime Ginger Dressing:
1. Mince one tablespoon of fresh ginger.  Grate the zest off of one fresh lime. Finely chop two tablespoons of Kalamata olives, pits removed.

 2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the ginger, zest and 2 tablespoons of lime juice and 2 teaspoons of demerera sugar.  Gradually whisk in 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil.  Stir in olives and add fresh ground pepper to taste.  If you want, you can store this in  tightly-sealed jar in the refigerator.  Let the dressing stand at room temperature until the olive oil liquefies, about 20 minutes, before shaking to blend.

1.  Peel alternating strips of a small cucumber.  Slice thinly.  Peel and cut off stem of one small onion and finely dice.  Cut the Juliet tomatoes in half.  Cut peppers in half and remove stem, seeds and white membrane.  Cut into bite-size chunks.  Thinly slice 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves.  Place in a large bowl.
2.  Remove rind and seeds from watermelon and cut into bite size chunks to make an equal volume with the veggies in step one and add to bowl.

3.  Drain and rinse 7 oz. of feta and cut into 1/2 inch cubes and add to bowl.
4.  Just before serving, add enough dressing to coat and toss lightly.  If you'd like serve on a bed of  lettuce mix or thinly sliced kale or spinach.


Save Our Towns Summit in Abingdon September 9-10

Abingdon, VA, Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center
A block of rooms have been made available (under “Virginia Tech”) at the Comfort Inn & Suites, Exit 14, 1093 Ole Berry Road, Abingdon, VA 24210 276-698-3040.
$49: Registration - September 10
$35: September 9th Optional Regional Tour for participants 
To register online: https://www2.cpe.vt.edu/ShopCartEdit.aspx?section_id=6376
All other registrations, download pdf: http://www.cpe.vt.edu/reg/saveourtowns/saveourtowns.pdf


Wednesday, September 9th (Optional tour for participants)

11:30 a.m. – Noon Registration (@ Heartwood) for Regional Tour – Community Assets
Noon Depart Heartwood – Trolley Transportation Provided
12:30 – 1:45 p.m. Harvest Table Restaurant – Meadowview, Virginia
Lunch and discussion of the restaurant’s philosophy, the farm that supports the restaurant.
Other topics include community capacity building in Meadowview.
1:45 – 2:15 p.m. Trolley Transportation Provided – Municipal Lot Abingdon
2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Presentations at the Farmer’s Market, Abingdon
Origins and development of the market. Its use as both a market and a venue. Discussion regarding the “Rooted in Appalachia” program, local wineries, craft brewing industry, and the Creeper Trail.
3:15 – 3:30 p.m. Walk to the Arts Depot
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Arts and Culture Presentation at the Arts Depot. The presentation will focus on arts incubation and development and issues and opportunities related to local artists.
4:30 p.m. Trolley Transportation Provided – Guided Downtown Tour – Return to Heartwood
5:00 – 5:45 p.m. The Crooked Road Presentation at Heartwood with Jack Hinshelwood. Presentation topic will focus on the creative economy and identification of local cultural assets.
6:00 p.m. Dinner on your own

Thursday, September 10th (Summit)

7:30 a.m. Exhibit Set-Up Begins
8:00 – 9:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 a.m. Opening General Session Welcome/Set the Stage: Keith Pierce, Moderator and Greg Kelly, Abingdon Town Manager; Keynote Presentation: Basil Gooden, State Director, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, Commonwealth of VirginiaUSDA Rural Development

10:00 – 10:45 a.m. CONCURRENT SESSION I:

  • Housing for All
  • Main Street Initiatives
  • Infrastructure: Planning and Funding
  • Meet the Towns from Save Our Towns Internet Series

10:45 – 11:15 a.m. Networking Break with Resource Providers and Poster Showcase
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CONCURRENT SESSION II:

  • Asset Mapping Maintaining Technology/Broadband
  • Infrastructure: Maintenance and Funding
  • Being Proactive in the New Economy: Tourism, Internet Biz, Incubator
  • Meet the Towns from Save Our Towns Internet Series

12:15 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch + General Session:  Keynote Presentation: Appalachian storyteller Saundra Kelley
1:30 – 2:15 p.m. Action Planning – Town Hall Meeting – How will we use what we have learned today? (Keith Pierce, facilitator)
2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Closing Session
“As you go out perspectives – realistic next steps”: Suzanne Morse Moomaw, Director, Community Design Research Center/Academic lead, Appalachian Prosperity Project, University of Virginia
3:15 p.m. Networking & Refreshment Break in Exhibit Hall (Resource/Poster Showcase)
4:00 p.m. Adjournment


On Asters and Wood Asters

Some of my friends, such as Rachel, rescue animals. I have done the same in the past, but my current landlord nixes the idea, so I rescue plants. You might have noticed the horticulture death camps aka Kroger and Walmart and one apartment I shared with a roommate who shall go unnamed.

I have a velvet plant propagated from a cutting from a straggly victim of said roommate before she could kill it.  I've got an orchid that's re-bloomed and last fall I picked up a New York aster, my favorite blue, the color of the periwinkles my dad raised.  My friend Cara kept all of them alive (she called them the Green Wellingtons) during my time away from home after an unfortunate December run-in with a car in a crosswalk (I was the pedestrian) that left me with shattered legs, a dropped foot and a still painful broken shoulder which made my left arm pretty useless.

So, when Cara wrote me a note back in April to say she and Mike were about to leave leaving the country for 13 days starting Wednesday and she needed to return my plants, I was apprehensive. After all, I was still homebound and could barely feed and water myself.  It fell to Mike to bring them by.  And although he was  on his way to a gig, he kindly helped me re-pot them into lighter containers which I'd be able to take to the sink from my desk one at a time via walker.

Happily, my bedroom is sunny and all of the houseplants are doing well, and if anything, helping  me heal, however slowly. I've even got a new addition, a basil plant which Sue brought me.

New York asters, though, require full sun. I thought my adopted had baked to death recently, since I couldn't set it in the ground (the landlord warned his groundskeeper might mistake it for a week unless I marked it clearly and I just wasn't up to digging a hole anyway.)  Full of guilt and sadness, I watered the pot of scorched stalks and leaves one last time and set it with some small measure of optimism  against the building.

The aster failed to come back to life. In fact, it dried up until it resembled a tumbleweed. I even announced its demise to one of my favorite circulation staff members whom I had promised a start if I were able to divide the root stock. (She too loves the color and had kept it on her desk for the day while I ran errands until I could return to the library to take it home.)  She consoled me that she had lost some of her rose bushes.

And then today, a small miracle, new green leaves! If this aster doesn't make it after all, my next will be a wood aster, even if I have to buy it retail. Strangely, this beautiful late flowering native plant is sometimes called a weed because it can grow almost anywhere, loves the shade and can tolerate dry soil.  Fittingly, its largest populations can be found in Appalachia, although it's been known to thrive even in Central Park.  While the white version is most common, there's even a variety in my favorite color.  And looking at its photograph, I think it is even lovelier than the domesticated version; its disk florets start out yellow, but eventually turn purple.


Garlic and Ginger Roasted String Beans and Red Peppers with Red Onion, Coconut and Lime Dressing

Photo by Kalyn Denny inspired my own recipe.  The vinaigrette  is a variation on one by the wonderful Molly Kazen, who uses hers in a recipe for roasted eggplant.

The veggies in the August 24 share from Glade Road Growing is slated to include:  eggplant, green beans, sweet red Italian peppers, red onions and lettuce mix.  If you wanted you could also use the eggplant in this recipe.  I have a green bean and cucumber salad here and a Salad Niçoise that includes green beans here.  I love green beans so much, I've even got a poem about them (published some decades back in Artemis.


Serves 4

1.  To make coconut milk,  heat 2 cups of water on the stove until it’s hot, but not boiling.  Put 1 cup dried coconut chips in a blender and add hot water.  Blend on high  for 2 minutes or until you get a creamy, thick homemade coconut milk.  Line a strainer or colander with cheesecloth. Pour the coconut milk through the lined strainer into a bowl. This will remove any larger remaining coconut meat. When you’re done pouring the coconut milk through the strainer, ball up the cheesecloth and give it a good squeeze to press the remaining liquid through. You can use your residual coconut caught in the cheesecloth in a recipe that calls for coconut.  You will need 3 tablespoons to make 3/4 of a cup dressing.  Transfer coconut milk from the bowl into a lidded glass container and keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.  Or you can preserve the unused portion longer by freezing it in an ice cube tray. Once firm, transfer the cubes to a wide mouth canning jar for longer storage to pull out what you need, when you need it.

2.  To make the dressing, finely chop  4  tablespoon of  red onion.  In a small bowl, combine with 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 3 tablespoons of the coconut milk,½ teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon demerara sugar or honey and whisk to thoroughly blend. Drizzle in 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, whisking as you go, until it is fully incorporated.  Store in a tightly covered container (a small jar with a lid is ideal) in the refrigerator. Shake and/or stir from the bottom before use. Makes about ¾ cup.

3.   Preheat oven to 450F (or I used my countertop convection oven at the same temperature.

4.  Mince enough fresh garlic (4-5 large cloves) to make a heaping tablespoon. Peel fresh ginger root and finely mince enough a heaping tablespoon.  Add to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a small container and let it marinate.

5.  Cut red peppers in fourths lengthwise, removing the stems and seeds and trimming any white pithy parts.   Cut into thin strps.  Trim ends of green beans and cut them in half.  Put in a medium-sized bowl and toss with the seasoned olive oil from Step 4. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Spread the vegetables out on a large baking sheet, arranging it so vegetables aren't crowded (as much as you can.) Roast 15 minutes, or until a few beans are starting to look browned and the veggies are tender-crisp.

6.  Place 4 tablespoons of the dressing in a shallow dish or large pie pan.  Transfer the still-hot veggies directly to dressing in the dish.  Let them  it sit to absorb the dressing as they cool to room temperature.  Stir in another 2 tablespoons or so of the dressing.  Cover and refrigerate for at least and hour or up to two days.  Serve cold or at cool room temperature. Top, if you'd like with red pepper flakes and toasted chopped peanuts. 


Pickled Summer Veggies!

I found this gorgeous photo at the website for  Virginia Willis (bio).  My friend Jessica Schultz, aka the Bagel Lady, had been asking about about okra recipes. This is for her, right now.  Maybe I'll get to use it for Glade Road Growing, if the share ever includes Sally and JP's okra.


Serves 8

1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water to make a bath. Remove alternating stripes of peel from a cuke and set aside. Halve and thinly slice one red onion. Sut 1 large garlic clove (or more!) into slivers.

2. Cut 8 cups assorted veggies such as carrots, cauliflower florets, green beans, wax beans, and small okra. Over high heat, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook these veggeies vegetables in the boiling water until vibrant in color but still firm, 1-2 minutes. Drain well in a colander, and then set the colander with the veggies in the ice-water bath to set the color and stop the cooking, making sure the vegetables are submerged. Drain well. Set aside.

3. Place ½ the red onion, garlic, 1 tsp. each of mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and white peppercorns in the bottom of a large sealable bowl or jar. Transfer the blanched vegetables to the jar, layering to alternate the color and texture. Layer in remaining ½ onion, cucumber, and 4 small red peppers.

3. In a large saucepan over medium high heat, combine 6 cups white vinegar, 2 cups demerara sugar, and 3/4 cup kosher salt and cook until just under a boil. Pour mixture directly over vegetables and spices. Depending on the size container and the size of the vegetables you may not use all of the vinegar. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Cover or seal and store refrigerated, stirring occasionally, for at least 48 hours. Serve well-chilled.


Chard with Tomatoes and Tempeh

Photo is cropped by one  Gnoe of Utrech, Holland.


Veggies in the farm share from Glade Road Growing the week of August 18 are expected to include:  sweet peppers, eggplant, garlic, tomatoes, and rainbow chard. 

I like to serve this recipe over cooked brown rice, quinoa or buckwheat kasha, drizzled with a bit of balsamic vinegar. 

Two previous recipes are for eggplant rollups with chard and chard with a balsamic vinegar and rosemary syrup.  The chard would also be great tossed with warm cooked lentils to wilt  and then chillded and served in a salad with the tomatoes, the peppers and some feta cheese.

Serves 4

1.  Wash and rinse chard twice and drain in collander.  Slice stems and chard leaves in 1/2 pieces, keeping stems separate.

2.  Wash tomatoes and dice.

3.  Peel and smash 8 cloves of garlic and chop finely
3 cloves garlic, minced

4.  Cut  2 blocks of tempeh into cubes

5.  Saute tempeh and garlic in a cast iron skillet coated well with extra virgin olive oil until light brown in color.  Add chard stems, red pepper flakes and sea salt to taste with some more oil and cook for a couple of minutes until stems are soft.

6.  Transfer to a covered saucepan.   Add chopped chard leaves and a bit more oil, mixing well to coat evenly.  Cover and let simmer for about 6-8 minutes, until leaves are wilted. Stir occasionally. When chard is done, add tomatoes.


Amanda Pauley's story ""Jack Nicely" will be in October Carve Magazine

Looking forward to the October issue of  Carve Magazine,  which will include  Amanda Pauley​'s (website) story "Jack Nicely" (She placed 3rd in the magazine's annual Raymond Carver Short Story Contest   Andre Dubus III judged.)

Amanda, who Amanda received an MFA from Hollins in 2014, wrote there were over 1200 entries and tells something of the story's history on her Facebook page:

This story began to form when I worked at Social Services and was given a tour of the DCSE, and later interviewed an employee there. Then it was written, rewritten, rewritten in a different point of view, and REJECTED 32 times.

Her two years at Social Services had already yielded another published story, "Braids" in  the third issue of the Masters Review Anthology. (You can read an interview on that story here.)  "Butchering" appeared in Mud Season Review, along with another interview. You can read her story, "An Ace Up My Sleeve" in Gravel.  Shennandoah Magazine published her flash fiction piece "Hope."  Steel Toe Review published her story, "Muddy Water." 

 Her work has also appeared in  Arts & Letters ("The Window"), Clinch Mountain Review ("Dark Eyes"), West Trade Review ("Blind Fish") and  Canyon Voices.


Chickpea Ratatouille with Quinoa

Photo from Sonia Lacasse at The Healthy Foodie

Glade Road Growing's  vegetable share for the week of August 11 is expected to include tomatoes, red onions, sweet peppers, eggplant and summer squash.  As Sally suggested, this is perfect for ratatouille.  Two years ago, I posted a recipe here and have another one for you today.


Serves 6

1.  Cook 1 and 1/2 cups of dry chickpeas.  In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid, cover with 3 cups water, and and bring to a boil.  Rinse.  Return to pot, add ½ teaspoon sea salt and bring again to a boil again.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let stand over night or for at least one hour. Rinse a second time.  Add two cups of water and bring to a boil again and simmer on low heat until soft, about 1 hour.

2.  In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid, combine 1 1/2  cup quinoa, 3 cups water, and and bring to a boil.  Rinse.  Return to pot, add ½ teaspoon sea salt and bring again to a boil again.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and leave for 20 minutes until water is absorbed.

3.  While quinoa is cooking, wash, peel and chop onion.  If you are using cherry tomatoes, cut in half.  Otherwise chop coarsely to make 2 cups.  Cut 1 eggplant (about 1 pound) into 1/2-inch pieces.   Cut squash in half lengthwise and cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick pieces.  Cut peppers in half and remove seeds and stems and slice into 1 inch pieces.  Smash and peel 6 cloves of garlic and mince.  Rinse basil and remove leaves from stems to make about 1/2 cup. 

4.  Heat 1 TB extra virgin olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion  and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minutes.  Remove to plate.  Replenish oil and cook peppers until soft.  Remove to plate and repeat for squash and then egg plant.

5.  In a 3 quart covered saucepan, add tomatoes, cooked vegetables, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until eggplant is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the cooked chickpeas and cook just until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove the vegetables from heat and stir in  fresh basil leaves.

6.  Uncover the quinoa and fluff with a fork. Divide among six bowls and top with vegetables and, if you like, some shaved Parmesan or Asiago cheese.


Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad (Yum Makeua Yao)

Photo from Rachel Cox of Rachel Cooks Thai

The farm share for Glade Road Growing for the week of August 4 is slated to include: tomatoes, lettuce mix, cucumber,  cilantro, and eggplant.  I thought I'd travel this week to Thailand, inspired by Rachel Cox, but substituting this homemade vegetarian sauce for the traditional fish sauce and peanuts for the dried shrimp...


Serves 4

1.  To make the sauce,  the night before, combine in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil:
      1 1/2 cups shredded seaweed
      1/2 cup of dried shitaki mushrooms
      6 cups water
      6 fat cloves garlic, crushed but not peeled
      1 T peppercorns

Lower heat and simmer about 20 minutes. Strain and return the liquid back to the pot. Add 1 cup soy sauce, bring back to a boil and cook until mixture is reduced.  Remove from heat, cool and  and stir in 1 TB miso.  Decant into a bottle and keep in the refrigerator.

2.  If we have oriental eggplant this week, use them whole.  If they are the Italian variety, you can cut them in half. Grill outside or roast in oven or convection oven until soft to the touch, which will take about 20-30 minutes.   Remove and let cool in a covered container.

3.  While the eggplant is cooking, boil 4 eggs (duck eggs are great, or chicken eggs, if you don't have them) for approximately 7 minutes to achieve a soft boiled egg. Allow to cool and then peel.
4.  Chop 1/4 cup of cilantro coarsely.  Thinly slice 2 TB of shallots or thinly chop the same amount of red onions.  

5.  To prepare dressing, combine:
      1 T sauce from step one
      1 T lime juice
      1 T demerara  sugar
      1/2 tsp.  dried red chili peppers 

6.   Peel the eggplant and cut into bite-sized pieces. You should have roughly 1 cup. If you have more or less, adjust the amounts of the other ingredients accordingly. Combine the  eggplant with the chopped cilantro, 4 T chopped toasted peanuts and dressing. Divide into four bowls. Slice the soft boiled eggs in half one to the side of each salad. ( (If you are feeding vegans, you can substitute a block of tempeh, sliced thinly.)  Serve while the eggplant is still slightly warm.


Curried Eggplant, Tomatoes and Chickpeas with Basil

Photo by Con Poulos appeared on the Real Simple website.  He's one of my favorite food photographers.  See more of his work at the link.

The expected vegetables in the Glade Road Growing farm share for the week of July 28 will be include:  tomatoes, head lettuce, summer squash, green peppers, basil, sweet onions and maybe an eggplant.  Here's a recipe for an Indian curry.  If you don't have an egg plant, you can make this with summer squash or with steamed potatoes and cauliflower.  (This share is also perfect for making ratatouille, a recipe I provided two years ago.)

Serves 4

1.  To cook 1 cup dry chickpeas,  in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid, cover with 2 cups water, and and bring to a boil.  Rinse.  Return to pot, add ½ teaspoon sea salt and bring again to a boil again.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let stand over night or for at least one hour. Rinse a second time two cups of swater and bring to a boil again and simmer on low heat until soft, about 1 hour.

2.  In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid, combine 1 cup basmati brown rice , 2 cups water, and and bring to a boil.  Rinse.  Return to pot, add ½ teaspoon sea salt and bring again to a boil again.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and leave for 40 minutes until water is absorbed. 

3.  While rice is cooking, wash, peel and chop one onion.  If you are using cherry tomatoes, cut in half.  Otherwise chop coarsely.  Cut 1 eggplant (about 1 pound) into 1/2-inch pieces.

4.  Measure out these spices:
1/2 tsp gound cumin 
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

5. Toast spices in a dry cast iron skillet and set to the side.

6.  Heat 1 TB extra virgin olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, eggplant, spices, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until eggplant is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the cooked chickpeas and cook just until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove the vegetables from heat and stir in  1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves.

7.  Uncover the rice and fluff with a fork. Divide among four bowls and top with vegetables and a spoonful of non-fat plain yogurt.


Eggplant, Tomato, Cucumber and Cilantro Pasta Salad

Photo from Joanne Mumola Williams recipe.

The expected bag of vegetables from Glade Road Growing for the week of July 21 will include: tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, garlic, and an eggplant.  This recipe includes the tomatoes, cucumber, cilantro, garlic and eggplant.  With days getting hotter, you may want to prepare the cooked parts of this pasta salad in the early morning while it is still cooler and then serve it in the evening for dinner.


Serves 4

1.  Wash and dice one unpeeled eggplant.  Place in a steamer basket and sprinkle generously with salt and toss to distribute salt.  Let sit in the sink for at least 15 minutes until the eggplant sweats.

2.  Peel and smash and finely chop garlic and  and one or more large portobello mushroom caps.

3.  While eggplant is sweating, bring water salted water with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to a boil.  Add 4 ounces of whole wheat spaghetti and return to boil.  Cook for about 7 minutes or until al dente.  Drain pasta, reserving water in the pot to cook the eggplant.  Toss pasta with a bit more olive oil and set aside to cool and then chill in the refrigerator.

4.  Leaving the eggplant in the steamer basket, rinse off salt.  Bring pasta water back to a slow boil and steam eggplant until cooked - about 10 minutes.

5.  In a skillet, heat olive oil and stir in 1/8 teaspoon of pepper flakes, garlic and chopped mushrooms and cook until soft and add eggplant and cook for another five minutes to meld flavors.  Cool and toss cooked veggies with pasta and refrigerate.

6.  Chop tomatoes,  1/2 cup of cilantro leaves,  cucumber with skins on (but seeds removed if too large) and mince about 1 tablespoon of raw onions.

7.  Divide the pasta and veggie mixture among four small bowls.    If you would like this to be a main dish, you can also add in at least a half cup of cooked, chilled chickpeas or lentils  to each bowl. Garnish with raw veggies and with olives and feta cheese, if desired.