Recipes

Japanese-Style Zucchini and Onions

Zucchini often gets cooked with other vegetables, which can result in it getting mushy.  This simple recipe allows you to focus on the zuke.  You could serve it with sauteed spinach and grilled tofu for a complete meal, but resist … Continue reading

Zucchini “Pasta” with Green Garlic and Peas

Use a vegetable peeler or mandolin to turn zucchini in very thin, wide noodles to make an all-vegetable “pasta” dish.  The thin slices actually retain more of their texture when cooked than thicker slices would, while still becoming tender. Trim … Continue reading

Tangelo-Polenta Cakes with Strawberries

I am a sucker for brunch-type items covered in strawberries and drizzled with yogurt.  This is a gluten-free recipe that is not as quick as pancakes or waffles but can be prepared in advance or overnight and then cooked quickly … Continue reading

Springtime Lettuce Wraps

A mixture of cooked and raw ingredients for the filling make for a satisfying light meal or appetizer. Rinse 1 C. of Quinoa in water and drain.  Bring a Cup of water to a boil and add the quinoa, then … Continue reading

Asparagus No-coise Salad

Well the experts say it can’t be a Nicoise salad without tomatoes, but we’re many weeks away from having any of those.  This salad matches asparagus and snap peas with the potatoes, capers, olives and eggs for a hardy, intense … Continue reading

Sweet Potato Oven Fries with Rosemary and Garlic

I recently made dinner for a good friend who is both a TFF subscriber and an excellent cook, who had somehow never made this recipe.  I guess I have never put it in the newletter before because it’s so simple.  … Continue reading

Asparagus Spring Onion Soup

This is a light soup full of spring flavors and perfect for serving on a drizzling April evening.  You can skip the step of roasting the asparagus tips if you’re in a hurry, but it adds both flavor and a … Continue reading

Asparagus-Cabbage Salad with Tahini Dressing

This salad combines blanched asparagus and raw cabbage with a variety of flavors and textures. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil.  Meanwhile, trim the tough bases off 1 bunch of asparagus.  Drop the asparagus into the … Continue reading

Baked Polenta with Leeks and Asparagus

There are several different ways to prepare polenta with these two vegetables.  This variation yields a gratin-like dish with rich, caramelized leeks on the bottom, a crispy crust on top, and moist interior.  You can easily double this recipe if … Continue reading

Asparagus with Spring Onion Vinagrette

Very lightly cooked asparagus is tossed with a flavorful dressing and then served on letttuce leaves. Finely mince 1 medium spring onion, white and green parts both.  Toss with 6 T. lemon juice or white wine/champagne vinegar.  Allow to sit … Continue reading

Ethiopian Cabbage, Carrots and Potatoes

My grandmother was born in Ireland, and I grew up dreading the corned beef and cabbage that she made each year on St. Patrick’s Day.  This vegetarian recipe keeps the cooked vegetables from the Irish combo but adds more interesting … Continue reading

Veggie “Nest” Salad with Warm Eggs

This is a relatively simple recipe but the timing is tricky.  If the roasted vegetables get cool before you finish cooking the eggs, you can put them back in the warm oven for a couple of minutes before tossing the … Continue reading

Namusa Rice Salad

Namusa is a Japanese dish of lightly pickled carrots and radish.  This recipe adds cooked sushi rice and a few other components to turn it into a more filling dish.  If you eat fish, you can add raw sushi-grade tuna … Continue reading

Colcannon Gratin

If you love Colcannon, the traditional Irish side dish of boiled potatoes and cabbage or kale, you may hate this recipe.  It maintains many of the same flavors, but adds a crispy top and a deliciously caramelized bottom. Bring a large pot … Continue reading

Butternut Squash Gratin with Fennel and Spring Onions

This is a simple and light savory gratin. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Clean 3-4 spring onions and cut the white parts in half lengthwise, then chop roughly.  Reserve the greens. Trim the greens off 1 fennel bulb, then … Continue reading

Cauliflower-Tofu Laap

This is a Thai dish — also called “larb” that is traditionally made with ground meat.  Here, minced cauliflower and crumbled tofu provide the same texture. Use a fork to crumble 12 oz. of firm or extra firm tofu.  Marinate … Continue reading

Korean-Style Cooked Spinach Salad

In this recipe, cooked bunching spinach takes on a chewy, almost meaty texture and absorbs lots of complex flavors.  This dish is often served alongside kimchi. Remove the bases but not the stems from 1 bunch of Spinach.  Soak the … Continue reading

Kimchee with Watermelon Radish

Kimchee is a lightly fermented cabbage salad that takes about a week to be ready.  You don’t need any special equipment to make it other than a glass jar with a rubber seal. Fill a large glass or metal bowl … Continue reading

Spaghetti Squash Pho  

This is a vegan recipe that uses spaghetti squash instead of the usual rice noodles to soak up the complex flavors of the traditional Vietnamese spiced broth. For the broth:  There are several ways to go here.  The easiest route is … Continue reading

Cauliflower-Potato-Celery Soup 

Celery plays a big role in the flavor of this creamy soup.  For a vegan soup, you can substitute coconut oil for the butter. Non-vegans can add some cream or yogurt before serving to make it extra creamy. Optional:  Trim … Continue reading

Warm Romanesco Salad with Tahini Dressing 

If you’re going to cook and eat a vegetable with fractalized florets, you may as well make it the centerpiece of the dish. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Thinly slice the bottom of 1 spring onion, then … Continue reading

Food Safety and Fake Science

Happy New Year and welcome to the 2018 Terra Firma fruit and vegetable season! Some of you were probably among the 5 million Americans who travelled by air this holiday season, including me.  If you were on a crowded plane … Continue reading

Coconut-oil Roasted Butternut Squash

We had a bumper crop of Butternut Squash this year, and a complete failure of our Sweet Potatoes, so I’ve been sending along lots of butternut recipes.  While I used to prefer sweet potatoes to butternut when diced and roasted, … Continue reading

Romanesco Caponata

This traditional Italian antipasto is generally made with eggplant but is much prettier with Romanesco broccoli.  You can eat this as a salad, or toss it with a chunky pasta like shells or rigatoni. Remove the stems from 1 head of … Continue reading

Butternut-Polenta Griddle Cakes Two Ways

You can go two ways with this recipe, which is actually not cooked on a griddle but in the oven.  You can add leeks and cheese and serve with a salad or sauteed greens for a savory dish.  Or you … Continue reading

Vegan Caesar with Beet Croutons 

Making “croutons” out of beets doesn’t take any more effort than it does with bread, although it takes a little longer.  And making vegan caesar dressing is easy using hummus that you probably already have in your fridge. Cut the … Continue reading

Butternut-Caramel Pudding Cake 

This is a holiday recipe to show off how delicious winter squash desserts can be.  If you are short on time you could just make the cake which is very good itself but the caramel kicks it up a notch.  … Continue reading

Seared Broccoli-Potato Chowder

I love making soup, but I am not a big fan of boiling broccoli.  This recipe sears the broccoli in a skillet, which avoids bad smells and adds extra flavor from caramelization.  I used mild-ish poblano chiles for this but … Continue reading

Gold Beet, Green Bean and Fennel Quinoa Salad

Beets and Beans are cooked, and the fennel is marinated raw.  For convenience the beets are steamed in this recipe, but they can also be oven roasted.  This is a salad can be a whole meal. Bring a large pot … Continue reading

Cabbage, Leek and Potato Sizzle

Not exactly a casserole or gratin, the Sizzle uses a combination of cooking methods to produce a unique hybrid dish of soft-cooked vegetables and crisp potatoes. Preheat the oven to 375. Cut 2 large or 4 medium potatoes into a small dice.  … Continue reading

Butternut Custard with Roasted Persimmons

Looking for a healthier Halloween-themed dessert? You can make the custard ahead of time, but wait until just before serving to roast the persimmons so they are still warm.  This recipe has very little added sugar and lots of beta … Continue reading

Potato-Leek-Green Bean Salad

You can serve this salad warm or cold but don’t add the green beans until just before serving to conserve their bright color. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Scrub 1 lb. of potatoes.  Trim 1/2 lb. of … Continue reading

Beet-Arborio Rice Pilaf

Beet-Arborio Rice Pilaf Simpler to make than a risotto, this is delicious on its own or it can be stuffed into acorn squash halves and baked again topped with cheese. Cut the leaves off 1 bunch of beets.  Scrub the beets. … Continue reading

Garlicky Roasted Green Beans and Potatoes

This is an old classic.  Tossed with arugula, it makes a filling dinner salad. Trim 1/2 lb. green beans.  Cut in 2-3 pieces. Core and remove the seeds from 3-4 sweet peppers, then cut into rounds or half rounds. Cut 1 lb. of … Continue reading

Delicata-Green Bean Gratin

Green Bean Casserole with all natural ingredients.  This recipe puts the onions at the bottom of the dish, where they get caramelized and crispy without having to fry them.  You can either make this with the traditional white Bechamel sauce, … Continue reading

Kale Salad with Roasted Green Beans and Peppers

In this salad, the acid of the tomato juice and the warmth of the roasted vegetables tenderize the chewy kale. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Dice 1 large or 2 small tomatoes, then place in a bowl.  Sprinkle with salt. … Continue reading

Fall Green Bean Salad 

You can make this salad with Asian Pears or Tomatoes. Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to boil. Trim and rinse 1/2 lb. green beans.  Drop into the boiling water.  When the water returns to a boil, drain and rinse … Continue reading

Roasted Eggplant Ratatouille

A combination of roasting and slow cooking a variety of vegetables gives an old vegetarian standard new flavors and textures.  You can also make this recipe on a gas grill with a closing lid — that’s how I made it. … Continue reading

Delicata Gratin

This recipe can be prepared in the oven or on a gas grill.  The trick to using your grill as an oven is to preheat it first, then turn the burners way down and close the top when you start … Continue reading

Roasted Pepper Tomato Salad with Ricotta

This week’s pepper-tomato recipe combines roasted peppers with raw tomatoes.  The thin-skinned frying peppers get roasted with olive oil and garlic.  The salty ingredients (ricotta, olives and optional anchovies) help balance out the sweetness of the vegetables and accentuate their … Continue reading

Sicilian-Style Potato Stew

With fall quickly approaching, it’s time to start slow-cooking.  The Italian and Hungarian sweet peppers we grow are perfect for frying and stewing as in this recipe. Peel and chop 1 small onion (or half a larger one). Peel and mince 5 cloves … Continue reading

Homemade Watermelon-Coconut Fruit Popsicles

You can use any type of container to make these but it’s easier to do with the  plastic popsicle molds.  You will need to purchase popsicle sticks or something similar either way. Cut a watermelon in half, then scoop out 3 … Continue reading

Fig and Nectarine Crumble

Fig and Nectarine Crumble This dessert is very easy and quick to make, and yet incredibly delicious.  You can also use peaches in this recipe but you will want to peel them first. Make the pastry by combining 8 T.  salted butter, room … Continue reading

Potato-Corn Fritters with Cucumber Raita

This fritter recipe is tasty, but really it’s just an excuse to eat more Raita, the refreshing and flavorful yogurt-based sauce.  It also goes great with everything from curries to burgers and keeps well for a week. For the Raita: … Continue reading

Corn-Zucchini Chowder

Chock full of veggies with a little bit of richness from the butter and half and half.  You could use coconut oil and milk for a vegan version. Shuck 3 ears of corn and cut the kernels off the cobs. Cut the … Continue reading

Roasted Potatoes and Tomatoes with Garlic & Herbs

Pre-heat the oven to 450. Brush a cookie sheet very liberally with olive oil. Wash 1 lb. of potatoes.  Cut smaller ones in half lengthwise to make wedges.  Cut the large ones in quarters lengthwise.  Arrange on the cookie sheet. … Continue reading

Caponata-style Green Beans 

Chop 1 onion and mince 3 cloves of garlic. Dice tomatoes to make 1 1/2 C. Pull the leaves off basil stems to make 1 C. Rinse and trim 1/2 lb. green beans, then cut in 2-3 pieces each. Heat … Continue reading

New Potato and Roasted Corn Salad

Roasting the corn adds a smoky, rich flavor, as does the chipotle.   Wash 1 lb. of potatoes and then boil in salted water until just tender, 10-15 minutes.  Drain, rinse and allow to cool. Remove the silk and any … Continue reading

Blistered Green Beans with Spicy Pesto

This method of cooking beans is referred to in Chinese Cuisine as “twice-cooked”.  This recipe has European origins. For the pesto:  Rinse 1 bunch of basil and remove all the leaves.  Peel and mince 1 large clove of garlic. Puree … Continue reading

Marinated Zucchini and Spinach Salad

You can use lettuce or arugula in place of, or in addition to, the spinach. Use a vegetable peeler or mandolin to very thinly slice zucchini lengthwise.  It’s hard to get them paper-thin, but that’s the goal. Combine 2 T. … Continue reading

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The Pest You Can Barely See

How’s this for a clickbait grabber:  “This tiny insect you’ve never heard of and can barely see is the most destructive pest in the world!” And it’s true.  Thrips are tiny insects, barely visible to the naked eye, that feed on … Continue reading

First the Good News

It can be hard to stay positive in our world today, and it’s hard to escape the bad news even if you try.  When you’re writing a weekly newsletter like this one, the “experts” will tell you to make sure … Continue reading

Turning on the Pumps

For farms in California, water is the lifeblood flowing through them and keeping them alive.  At Terra Firma, the “heart” of our farm is the big natural gas engine that pumps water to our fields from the Putah South Canal … Continue reading