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.