A few quick things:
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- We took a fieldtrip to Philly this week, which means new Valley Shepherd cheeses hit the case. While supplies last!
- SO MUCH GOOD STUFF — broccoli (arriving mid-day Thursday), Romanesco cauliflower, arugula, figs, a few final heirloom tomatoes and New Mexico Green Chiles, and FRESH GINGER.
- We’re having a final caprese salad of the season tonight. *sniff*
- This week’s staff pick: Small Valley Milling Emmer, one of my favorites.
Scroll down for the full list of what we’ll have this week!
I wrote a perhaps unreasonably long staff pick “blurb” for emmer, and captioned and posted photos of our trip to Barcelona, so…that’s all I’ve got this week.
Except the one thing I did think of that I specifically wanted to tell you about was that last night I got home to find that Dusty had already eaten dinner (boo), and wanted to throw to something pretty quick and easy. I boiled some pasta, rinsed some baby red Russian kale, and pulled some cacio e pepe butter out of the freezer (made with Shepherd’s Delight and Royer Mountain — the Oldwick Shepherd we’ll have this week would be wonderful, too!). Did a very quick wilt of the kale, stirred in the cacio e pepe butter, tossed the pasta in with a spoonful of the pasta water — yum!
The picture to the right features a spiced green sauce (which is just part of the recipe linked there), which we made an adaptation of last week and then really enjoyed having around to dollop on subsequent meals. All this to say — this is another plug for Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons which just keeps delighting me (and offers a number of sauces that can be pre-made and then adapted to various meals).
This week’s Staff Pick from Julia
Small Valley Milling Whole Emmer – normally $8; this week $6.80
When I refer to the emmer we carry, I usually say “farro”. The price card even says Emmer/Farro. But they aren’t truly the same product — all emmer is farro, but not all farro is emmer!
Farro refers to three different species of hulled wheat — spelt, einkorn, and emmer. Although none of these are the species we usually think of as wheat (“bread wheat”), it’s important to note that they still aren’t suitable for folks with celiac disease or wheat allergies. All three get “ancient grain” status, with emmer and einkorn originating probably in southeastern Turkey around maybe 9000 BCE and spelt (basically a cross between the two) following not long after. All three are less widely cultivated than they once were and my unresearched sense is that emmer may be the least well-known in the US.
Emmer, though, is our staff pick for this week, whether you call it by its properest name (well, maybe its properest name is Triticum dicoccum, but I never call it that!) or by the more general “farro”. I feel somewhat justified in defaulting to farro because in Italy, which is almost certainly the world’s biggest consumer of farro, a certifying agency (like the kind that regulates use of the word “champagne”), requires that the farro sold under its seal be the emmer species.
None of this really matters, though, if what you’re mostly interested in is eating it (and I am mostly interested in eating it). It’s a little bit like bulgur wheat (the stuff in tabbouli) but a little chewier, a little higher in protein, and a little higher in fiber. One important piece about the emmer we carry is that it’s a whole, unhulled grain. Much of the commercially available emmer is pearled or semi-pearled, which, from a practical standpoint, means that many recipes you might find online call for a shorter cooking time than our whole emmer needs.
Ease of cooking, though, is one of my favorite parts of emmer — you boil it (like pasta, not rice, but for 45 minutes) or InstantPot it (25 minutes), strain it, and then move on. Since you’re not trying to get the grain to absorb all of the cooking liquid, it’s not very sensitive to how much water you add (in the InstantPot, I put a strainer basket in the main pot, and then fill with water to an inch or two over the level of the emmer), and you don’t have to worry about being present at the exact right moment to turn down the heat on the stove. Because it’s got something of an al dente texture even when fully cooked, I also find that timing is very forgiving. More than once, I’ve started a batch in the InstantPot on a Sunday afternoon while doing a hundred other things, come back a couple hours later thinking maybe I’d find mush and been very pleasantly surprised!
A batch in the InstantPot on a Sunday afternoon is, by the way, one of my favorite things. Sometimes I use it for a “real” meal right away, but often I just put it straight into the fridge to supplement salads and lunches through the week. I hate to use the words “grain bowl”, but it really is an ideal base for piling on all kinds of veggies, krauts, nuts, eggs, anything your heart desires.
As Dusty and I were first starting to focus our diets more heavily on local foods, grains felt like something we’d probably never be able to do locally, at least not without feeling like there was some sacrifice. While I’m not planning to rid my cupboards of arborio (or, really, any of the white rices in there), I have realized that we don’t stock quinoa anymore, and even brown rice seems to have fallen by the wayside a bit. I’ve subbed in farro in recipes calling for freekeh; you could do the same for wheat berries. This summer, I made a farro-based tabbouli. Thanks to the hint of nuttiness, it goes really well with slightly sweet roasted veggies, like sweet potatoes or butternut squash (I like an acidic/tart dressing then). It’s also great in soups, and could easily replace barley or rice for added body.
I was already convinced that there were many culinary possibilities for farro, but then I found this recipe for a Savory Farro Tart, and now I think they might be endless.
P.S. We also have two recipes on this very site that call for emmer/farro! Farro with Sausage, Bok Choy, and Garlic and Warm Radish & Farro Salad with Anchovy Butter & Roasted Almonds. Recipe calls for red radishes, but I bet you could sub in the French Breakfast radishes we’ve got this week no problem. Just sayin’.
- Green Curly Kale
- Rainbow Chard
- Honeycrisp Apples
- Grimes Golden Apples then Jonathan Apples
- Fresh Ginger (does this go here?)
- Mixed Herbs – Rosemary, Sage, & Thyme
- A little bit of Basil
- Lions Mane
- Red Onions
- Yellow Onions
- White Onions
- Romanesco Cauliflower
- Japanese Eggplant
- Green Bell Peppers
- Mixed Hot Peppers
- Habanada Peppers
- New Mexico Green Peppers
- Yummy Snack Peppers
- Yukon Gold Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes
- Purple Sweet Potatoes
- Red Beets
- French Breakfast Radishes
- Baby Red Russian Kale
- Lettuce Mix
- Mesclun Mix
- Ruby Streaks Mustard Greens
- Pie Pumpkins
- Butternut Squash
- Delicata Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
- Heirloom Tomatoes (limited quantities)
- Green Tomatoes
- McGrath’s Original
- Sesame Original
- Pumpkin & Butter Pan Bread
- Nutty Irishman
- Cheesy Bread
- Cranberry Orange
- Baguettes (fresh Saturday only; available frozen every day)