Archive for May, 2013

spring time potato salad

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

ramps thyme and chives

We’re up at the farm planting/weeding this week. I’m supposed to be taking advantage of the quiet to work on some material for BlogHer Food’13 since baby Robin and I are leaving for Texas in a little over a week to talk crowd funding with food bloggers.  Naturally I’m totally procrastinating and spending all my time perfecting a spring time version of potato salad. I’ve heard that some people eat when they are anxious; Seems I get excited and then have to cook the same recipe over and over while taking photographs. It’s a bit of an issue but I might as well go with it.

This Salad uses new potatoes, the perennial herbs that are available in Ontario gardens in spring time, fresh from the garden radishes, foraged ramps along with tons of mustard and a few glugs of local white wine. I hope you like it as much as we do.


2.5 pounds of new potatoes (it’s especially nice if a few of them are blue)

2 radishes, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/4 cup of white wine

2 tablespoons of dijon mustard

1 tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard

2 ramps (or green onions), finely sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

2 table spoons chopped fresh chives, if you can add a few blossoms please do

sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Start by boiling your little potatoes whole for 15 minutes.  When they are cooked and have had a few minutes to cool down, cut them all in half.

While your tiny potatoes are still cooking start making your dressing. You can whisk the ingredients together if you like but we like to use a jar and then shake it all up. Thinly slice the ramps and chives, chop up your thyme, and  combine all your ingredients except the potatoes and the radishes in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Then simply shake the jar, or even better, get some kids to help out by shaking it up for you. The mustard really emulsifies the dressing.

Once your dressing is ready, coat your potatoes in it.  It’s nicer if they are still warm when you dress them.

Now it’s time to get fancy. Use your vegetable peeler to slice your radishes super thin.  So thin even little children will admire their prettiness. I slice them directly into the salad.

Herb Potato Salad

That’s it.  Give your potato salad a final toss. You can eat this at room temperature or put in in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. If you have them, it’s nice to garnish it with a few chive blossoms.
This salad is perfect for a picnic and goes really well with my crustless quiche.

Crustless Quiche

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Crustless Quiche

Crustless Quiche is such a simple dinner that tastes as good as it looks.
Start with staple ingredients; eggs, milk, cheese, then you just add whatever seasonal vegetables you happen to have on hand.

Preheat your over to 350

6 eggs

1/2 cup of organic milk

1/2 cup of cheese (any cheese will do, this quiche used about 8 small balls of buffalo mozzarella)

sea salt

ground pepper

butter to grease you pie plate

1 cup seasonal veggies

fresh or dried herbs

Simply whisk together your eggs, milk, cheese, salt and pepper.
Then add your veggies and herbs.  Last night we used a mix of cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup of chopped leeks, along with basil and parsley. Next week I’m planning on using ramps, spinach and monforte perorino fresco sheep cheese from our fresh city farms CSA along with these really nice eggs from Pyramid Farm and Ferments.

Mix it all up, pour it into a well buttered pie plate and cook for 45 minutes at 350.  Let your quiche rest for 10 minutes before serving and dig in. It’s particularly good with potato salad.

Crustless Quiche with tomatoes

Kale Caesar Salad; Eating Local in Prince Edward County

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Kale Caesar Salad from

Caesar Salad has always been in heavy rotation on our weekly menus and recently we’ve had some Caesar salad epiphanies.

Here is a list of simple caesar salad ideas that have made us a little giddy. And garlicky.

Chopping Kale from

Ceasar Salad is amazing with kale.  Romaine is nice, but kale is nutrient dense and filling and I actually find it easer to grow than lettuce.  Any sort of kale will do, Red Russian, Lacinato, any of the curly varieties. This time of year I always throw in a handful of dandelion greens since they’re so plentiful free and everywhere.


Recently I attended a workshop with cutco knives and I learned about chiffonade chopping. Learning something new makes me really happy. This is the perfect way to cut kale for a salad where you will be eating it raw.  The action of rolling the leaves before cutting them softens them up much like massaging the kale does in my raw kale and beets salad. Just tear out most of the stem, roll a few leaves together tightly and chop with a good sharp knife.  My understanding is that chiffonade is usually reserved for herbs and fine chopping and with kale you’ll want to chop roughly every inch or two.

Chopping Kale Chiffonade

Chopping Kale Chiffonade

 Chopping Kale Chiffonade

Chopping Kale Chiffonade

Mushrooms. Mushrooms really go with Ceasar salad. You can either throw them in as an gluten free alternative to croutons or serve them on the side. We’ve been buying these perfect little button ones straight from the Highline mushroom farm outside of Wellington, Ontario and they are delightful.

Kale Ceasar Salad

When we do feel like croutons the bakery just down the road from the farm  just happens to have a full selection of gluten free baked goods including perfect pumpernickel bread. We just toast up a few slices from Schroedter’s, chop it up and we’re good to go.

Some final thoughts:

Bacon is better than bacon bits, period. Fry up extra a breakfast and save it for your salad.

Salad is often our main course and I like to switch up what we serve on the side. It’s great with organic chicken, a good glass of local cider from the County Cider Company, a slice of lemon, sheep curds from Monforte.

Like most things, it’s best enjoyed while siting in a field admiring a day’s work.

 Picnic Salad with County Cider

Gentle Lentil Soup

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Gentle Lentil Soup

As a recovering vegetarian, Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook is in regular rotation around here.  When I’m in a panic and don’t know what to make for dinner I often make this from-memory, tweaked-for-my-family version of her Lentil soup. It’s really simple since it only uses one pot, takes one hour and you don’t need to presoak the lentils.

In addition to being delicious, lentils make a such a nice naturally iron rich first food for babies. This soup was one of baby Robin’s first solid foods around the middle of his first year and he gobbles it right up off a tiny vintage baby spoon every time I serve it.

Baby Led Weaning with tiny spoon

3 cups of dry red Canadian lentils

8 cups of water (sometimes I use a cup or two of chicken stock if I have some around)

1 glug of olive oil

2 stalks of celery with leaves

1 peeled yam

3 peeled carrots

8-10 cloves of garlic

2 large shallots or onions

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons of sea salt

1/2 teaspoon of thyme

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

red wine vinegar

 Lentil Soup Ingredients

Start by giving your lentils a quick rinse and strain under cold water.
Then combine your lentils, water, olive oil and salt in a large thick bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Once things are boiling, lower the heat to the lowest setting, cover and gently simmer for 30 minutes.  While the lentils are cooking you have plenty of time to prepare the rest of the ingredients and remind your children to use gentle touches.

Cooking with Cutco

Now you start your chopping. Soup is pretty much all about chopping.  I have some new cutco knives and I have to say having the right knives has greatly improved my mood while making dinner with littles at my feet or on my back.

I cut all my veggies into slices and then smash the 10 cloves of garlic with the side of my knife before cutting it finely. I like to think that the more garlic and onions in a recipe, the more love. The more smashing of garlic, the more fun.

After your lentils have been simmering slowly for 30 minutes you can add all your chopped up vegetables and herbs. Turn the heat up a little bit and gently cook, partially covered for another 30 minutes.

When you’re ready to eat, drizzle the top of each bowl with red wine vinegar and enjoy.

Bowl of lentil soup

This recipe is my entry in the Love Your Lentils Canada Challenge.  I’d love it if you could take a second and vote for my soup over at