Welcome to Mountain View Farm CSA in Easthampton MA




Mountain View Farm is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project serving Western Massachusetts and the Pioneer Valley. Members visit the farm in Easthampton, MA at the base of beautiful Mt. Tom throughout the growing season to pick up their share of seasonally available produce as well as a wide variety of U-Pick crops. Land for the CSA is farmed in Easthampton, Hadley, and Northampton.



All produce is certified organic.



Winner of the Best Local CSA or Best Local Farm Award 8 Years in a Row!








Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ralph's Chilli con Carne

Source: Ralph S. Sturgen, August 19, 2016

[I do not make the common American “chili soup” with tomatoes.  Rather, I make a chili and meat sauce to serve on top of a plate of rice and beans.  It’s one of the first recipes I learned – in, probably, 1969.  
I  do not use commercial chili powder.  It’s somebody else’s idea of the proper proportions of dried/ground red chilis, cumin, oregano, garlic, salt, and, often, cayenne pepper. I prefer to use those ingredients according to my mood and taste at the moment.
I am puzzled by the use of oregano.  I am not familiar with its use in other Tex-Mex dishes.  Cilantro is more common.]

(I like to use my mother’s cast iron Dutch oven but any heavy-bottomed,  non-reactive pan will do.)


Chop a medium onion and sauté it in fat* until it is translucent.

Add 3 cloves thinly sliced garlic and sauté until the edges just start to brown (a few seconds).

Turn off the heat and stir in enough ground dried mild chili** to make a thick paste, 1/3 – 1/2 C. depending on how much chili you’re making..  (This is the backbone of the dish, not its heat, so be generous.)

Add 1 lb. beef*** (cut into fine to medium chunk) and stir to coat it well with the paste.  

Add and mix well:
  2 Tbsp. ground cumin,
¼ C dried oregano (cilantro?) (or 3/4 C fresh),
a few grindings of black pepper,
1 Tbsp salt,
whatever hot pepper**** you are using, and
1 – 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar.


Let stand as long as several hours to allow the meat to absorb the flavors.

Cover with water and bring to a simmer.  
Simmer gently until the sauce is smooth and the meat is tender.

(Like many such dishes, “standing” time helps meld and enrich the flavors.    It’s most testosterone-inducing incarnations might survive well at room temperature, due to the food-preserving character of capsaicin, but I’ll recommend a day or three in the fridge.)

Put a bed of rice on your plate.  (Cooked in your usual way.  I like Carolina-brand brown rice.)

Put a bed of beans on top of the bed of rice.  (I use canned pinto beans, cooked plainly.  Cooking in a ham hock or rendered bacon broth is tasty….a bit of fat usually helps beans.  Other beans may be more traditional or more to your liking.)

Put some chili con carne on top of the beans


*Traditional would be tallow or lard.  I usually use achiote (anato)-infused olive oil.  Any other fat of your choice will work just fine.

** Ground ancho chili is the most common but any dried mild red chili will do:  New Mexico, Chimayo, California, Pasilla, Abrol, etc.

***I usually use beef but any red meat will do:  bison, venison, goat, lamb, etc

****Make the dish as testosterone-inducing, or not, as you wish.  I prefer the gentler heat of ripe jalapeno, chipotle, cherry, or ripe Cubanelle to the much sharper cayenne or habanera or even the in-between serrano.  Your choice.  To those learned in the Scoville scale….have fun.  My taste runs hotter than my wife’s so I make the pot not-too-hot and ply one of those bottles of hot sauce I keep around for my own plate.


Avocado Cup Salad, 2 Ways

Source: Smitten Kitchen, April 23, 2014
Avocado Cup Salads with Black Bean Confetti
Ingredients
1 cup black beans, cooked, drained (about 2/3 of a 15-ounce can)
1 large bell pepper, finely diced 
1/4 cup finely diced white or red onion
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 lime)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Dashes of hot sauce or pinches of cayenne, to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnish
4 ripe avocados
Directions
Mix black beans, pepper, onion and jalapeno in a medium bowl. In a small dish, whisk olive oil, lime juice, salt, cumin and hot sauce or cayenne. Adjust dressing seasonings to taste. Halve avocados and remove pits. Score avocado halves with a knife, cutting lines in both directions to form a grid, but being careful not to through the skin. 
If you’re serving all four avocados right away, go ahead and mix the dressing and salad ingredients together, then heap each avocado half with salad and dressing and garnish with cilantro. If you’d like to stretch this over several days of lunches or the like, keep the mixed salad ingredients and dressing in separate dishes. When you’re ready to eat, cut and score your avocado, dot a little dressing directly on each half, heap with salad filling and drizzle with more dressing. Garnish with cilantro.
Eat with a spoon. 
Avocado Cup Salads with Cucumbers, Radishes and Ginger-Miso Dressing
Ingredients
1 cup finely diced cucumber (from about half a long English or 2 small Persian cukes), seeds removed
1 cup finely diced radishes (from about 4 large red ones)
2 scallions, finely chopped
4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons white miso (shiromiso, which is more mild/less salty)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated or minced fresh ginger root (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
4 ripe avocados
Directions
Mix cucumber, radishes and scallions in a medium bowl. In a small dish, whisk sesame oil, miso, rice vinegar and ginger. Add dressing flavor and seasonings to taste. Halve avocados and remove pits. Score avocado halves with a knife, cutting lines in both directions to form a grid, but being careful not to through the skin. 
If you’re serving all four avocados right away, go ahead and mix the dressing and salad ingredients together, then heap each avocado half with salad and dressing and garnish with mix of sesame seeds. If you’d like to stretch this over several days of lunches or the like, keep the mixed salad ingredients and dressing in separate dishes. When you’re ready to eat, cut and score your avocado, dot a little dressing directly on each half, heap with salad filling and drizzle with more dressing. Garnish with mix of seeds. 
Eat with a spoon.

Eggplant and Roasted Tomato Farro Salad

Source: Love and Lemons

Ingredients
  • 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 3-4 small eggplant
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • ¾ cup uncooked farro
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Big handful of arugula
  • Big handful of torn basil
  • Generous splashes of sherry vinegar
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cherry tomatoes on the baking sheet and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes until they’re shriveled up and golden brown around the edges - about 30-35 minutes, depending on the size of your tomatoes.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farro and reduce heat to a high simmer. Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.
  3. Chop the eggplant into 1-inch pieces and place on a paper towel with a few pinches of salt. Let it sit for about 20 minutes. As water releases from the eggplant flesh, pat it dry.
  4. In a large skillet, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat, add the eggplant and cook until it’s tender and golden brown on each side, about 10-12 minutes. Add the chickpeas and garlic halfway through, along with a few pinches of salt and pepper.
  5. Add the roasted tomatoes, cooked eggplant and chickpea mixture, pine nuts, arugula and basil to the large bowl with the farro. Add a generous splash of sherry vinegar and toss. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (and more sherry vinegar if necessary), to taste.
Notes
Make this gluten free by using quinoa instead of the farro.

Pattypan Panzanella

Source: Love and Lemons

Ingredients

  • 5-6 small pattypan squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ clove garlic, minced
  • sherry vinegar, for drizzling
  • ½ cup mini mozzarella balls, sliced in half (skip if vegan)
  • 4-5 slices stale sourdough bread, sliced into 1-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • big handful of torn fresh basil leaves
  • generous pinches of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Heat a grill pan to medium. Toss the squash pieces with a drizzle of olive oil, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Place the squash onto the grill pan and grill each side until the squash is tender and char marks form (about 2 minutes per side).
  2. Place the cherry tomatoes and cucumbers in a large bowl and toss with a drizzle of olive oil, the minced garlic, a drizzle of sherry vinegar, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Toss again.
  3. When the squash is done, add it to the bowl along with mozzarella, bread, pine nuts, and basil.
  4. Add more olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Let the salad sit at room temp for about 15 minutes so that the bread has the chance to soak up the flavorful juices.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Cold Cucumber Soup with Yogurt and Dill

Source: Food and Wine, June 2013

Ingredients

  • 2 large European cucumbers (2 1/4 pounds), halved and seeded—1/2 cup finely diced, the rest coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed dill
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons loosely packed tarragon leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground white pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Directions

In a blender, combine the chopped cucumber with the yogurt, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, dill, parsley, tarragon and the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Season the soup again just before serving. Pour the soup into bowls. Garnish with the finely diced cucumber, red onion and a drizzle of olive oil and serve.

Chilled Carrot Soup

Source: MARTHA STEWART LIVING, JUNE 2009

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 pounds carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh unseasoned coarse breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Thinly sliced baby carrots, for garnish
  • Directions
  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add carrots, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until carrots are very soft, 25 to 30 minutes. 
  • Filling a blender halfway and covering with a kitchen towel, puree soup in batches. Stir in honey, and season with saltand pepper. Chill soup for at least 3 hours or up to overnight. 
  • Before serving, prepare breadcrumbs: Heat olive oil in a medium-size saute pan over medium-high heat. Add fresh unseasoned coarse breadcrumbs. Stir constantly until toasted and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and let cool. Stir in finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon breadcrumb mixture, and thinly sliced baby carrots if desired.

Summer Borscht

Source: Food Network

Ingredients

5 medium fresh beets (about 2 pounds without tops)
Kosher salt
2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
16 ounces sour cream, plus extra for serving
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons Champagne vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 cups medium-diced English cucumber, seeds removed
1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus extra for serving


Directions

Place the beets in a large pot of boiling salted water and cook uncovered until the beets are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the beets to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve and also set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the beet cooking liquid, the chicken stock, sour cream, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt, and the pepper. 


Peel the cooled beets with a small paring knife or rub the skins off with your hands. Cut the beets in small to medium dice. Add the beets, cucumber, scallions, and dill to the soup. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. 

Season, to taste, and serve cold with a dollop of sour cream and an extra sprig of fresh dill.


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