What do you do when you want fresh, organic produce and you can’t find a reliable source in your local area? Start your own farm! That’s what the first-generation owners of Salem Farms did. Since 2012, Rochelle Boman and her family have been growing produce for their family and the Topeka community. Today, they supply their produce to local restaurants, school districts, grocers, weekly farmers markets and also offer an online store with convenient 6-day pickup. (And this stuff makes a GREAT salad!!!)
Their farm also boasts a large aquaponics system, which if you’ve never seen one in action is pretty amazing. Watch the video below as Rochelle explains the incredible process that gave me some wonderful, tasty lettuce for this week’s recipe.
Also, if you like Kansas State Football and would like to know more about Salem Farms, then you’re in luck! Saturday, September 2nd is the Agriculture Game Day at KSU! There will be opportunities to taste a variety of Kansas products including Salem Farms produce, there will activities during the game itself, and SOMEBODY will have a special role on the field at the beginning of the game!!! So come out for a great day of football and agriculture. I’ll be sharing more details soon!
Mixed Greens Salad with Beets, Feta, and Pistachio Vinaigrette
12 -14 oz. mixed tender greens, I used a combination of aquaponic lettuces from Salem Farms along with baby spinach and baby kale
3-4 medium beets, cooked until fork tender, peeled and diced
6 oz. feta cheese crumbles
Vinaigrette, recipe below
Place greens onto a large serving platter; drizzle with vinaigrette then toss gently to dress greens. Top salad with diced beets and Feta. Serve at once.
1/3 cup pistachios
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbs. Kansas honey, raw and unfiltered
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup good olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Place pistachios into the bowl of a food processor; process until pistachios are a fine texture.Add vinegar, honey, and lemon juice to pistachios. With motor running, add olive oil, processing until dressing is nicely emulsified.
Zucchini and Herbed Goat Cheese Tart
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
flour, for rolling out the puff pastry
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
4 oz. herbed goat cheese, softened
3-4 small zucchini
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Good olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Carefully unfold the puff pastry sheet onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, gently roll the puff pastry into a large rectangle, approx 12 x 16 inches in size.
Carefully transfer the puff pastry to the prepared baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to score a 3/4″ border around the edge of the puff pastry; do not cut all the way through. Use a fork to prick holes inside the border of the puff pastry; place the sheet pan into the freezer to chill the pastry dough, 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the ricotta and goat cheese in a small bowl; reserve.
Trim the ends of the zucchini, then using a vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini lengthwise into long, thin ribbons. Place the zucchini ribbons into a large bowl; sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, tossing gently to combine.
When the pastry dough is chilled, return the baking sheet to your work surface. Spread the prepared ricotta/goat cheese mixture evenly over the pastry, leaving the border exposed. Place the zucchini ribbons on top, then drizzle the ribbons with a bit of good olive oil.
Bake the tart, uncovered, on the center oven rack until the crust is very puffed and golden brown, and the zucchini is softened, 35-40 minutes. Allow the tart to cool slightly before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Tips for Working With Puff Pastry
To thaw puff pastry, remove it from the package, wrap in plastic and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Or, thaw on the cupboard for 20-30 minutes, taking care not to let puff pastry get to warm to work with.
Be sure the puff pastry sheets are fully thawed before you try to unfold them. If you begin unfolding the puff pastry and it tears, this is a sign it’s not ready to cooperate just yet. Once the pastry has fully thawed, it will easily unfold for you.
Puff pastry will keep in the fridge for only about 2 days. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Keeping puff pastry on hand in your freezer allows you to have an appetizer, as in the case of this zucchini tart, OR a tasty dessert ready in only minutes. And, because of the magic “puffiness” of puff pastry, it also looks quite impressive.
Now You’re Cookin’,
**These recipes were featured on Chef Alli’s Farm Fresh Kitchen with From the Land of Kansas, as part of WIBW 13 News This Morning, August 2017. To order your favorite From the Land of Kansas products and ingredients, visit the From the Land of Kansas Marketplace!
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