Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 13, CSA News

Current Event: Thought You Would Want to Know

As Congress debates whether or not foods containing Genetically Modified ingredients should be required to be labeled as such, it’s time for us to weigh in on the issue. From our vantage point there are some substantive concerns, and we thought you would want to know our thoughts on what is currently going on.

What if these foods, with genetic codes that could never have possibly occurred in nature, only in a laboratory, disrupt the human microbiome in some yet to be seen way? When genes are transferred from one species to another, the naturally occurring chromosomes are altered to allow the organism to express certain traits that before were not possible. Sure they are ultimately just proteins, peptides, and such, most likely degraded by our digestive juices and microbial partners in our gut. But ecosystems evolve over long periods of time, and sudden mutant gene sequences are an anomaly.

The jury is still out on the impact of these foods on humans, and on the livestock that consume them, then producing meat and milk for our society. The fact that there is evidence of concern by legitimate scientists is enough to cause push-back until the science is clarified, one way or the other. But, there is more to the story.

In the Wild West days of genetic engineering of food crops, foreign genes were literally splattered into the crop plant with a type of gun. The resulting mix of cells were grown out using tissue culture techniques, and the ones that expressed the desired characteristics the best were saved for seed production and commercialization. Now, a bacterium is used to deliver the genes to a precise location on the chromosome where it is known to be the most advantageous, saving years of trial and error. So, if you need worm control for your corn, simply insert a virus into your corn genetics that kills the worm, and that trait will be in every cell of that corn plant. Problem solved. In those early days, corn farmers were required to keep some percentage of non-Genetically Engineered corn in their fields to allow the worms some refuge, and slow their ability to develop resistance to this low-dose killer. These refuge areas are no longer deemed necessary, thus there is now concern whether naturally occurring viruses will continue to be effective if ever needed.

Attempting to stay ahead of Mother Nature with technology is proving futile, at best. Now, “stacking” is the norm. Depending on which weeds and insect or disease pests you have, a corn farmer can select a designer package for their farm. The idea that farmers would spray less chemical toxins because GE would replace the need to control them with messy spray mixes, has not panned out. Now the genetic manipulation is tightly tied to a prescribed spray regimen. The most commonly used herbicides, Round-up (glysophate) and 2 4-D, are being linked to serious environmental and personal health issues. Round-up resistant weeds are showing up around the country as well. Please remember, farmers that grow these crops are not the bad guys. The marketplace and farm policy drives them to this as the only way to survive in the system that they know.

And if that is not enough, if a neighbor’s GMO corn pollen blows over and pollinates an organic farmer’s corn, it cannot be sold as organic. In fact, if the farmer saved some corn for seed that unknowingly had been contaminated, they can be sued by the seed company for stealing the “technology!” What? This flies in the face of an American farming culture that is known for responsibility: if the neighbor’s bull comes over the fence and destroys the corn, the neighbor is liable for the value of the corn. There are relatively few corn strains remaining that have zero degree of GE contamination. Certified Organic is the only way to know.

Organic certification agencies evaluate their organic farmer’s ability to keep GMOs out. Whether it is planting corn at a different time to reduce the risk of contamination, or verifying the seeds purchased are free of these technologies, documents and field buffers are scrutinized to the N’th degree. Processed foods that carry the organic label have undergone an un-imaginable dissection of the ingredients to assure consumers there are no genetically altered ingredients contained in them.

You will hear various numbers, but 90+ percent of the corn and soybeans in this country are now GMO! And since these show up in many thousands of processed foods, it is virtually impossible to avoid them without sourcing organic. Virtually all the beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and dairy products are from animals consuming these genetically engineered grains.

Just a few days ago, members of the US House of Representatives passed a potential law that consumers do not need to know whether or not a food product contains genetically engineered ingredients. It is now headed to the Senate to establish a federal policy that will supersede any state laws. This is in reaction to several states that passed laws declaring that foods containing GMOs sold in their state must be labeled because their citizens want to know. Why would our federal representatives mandate withholding information that generates concerns for so many people? Making a call or sending an email might make a difference. Sadly, bad public policy will force these GE foods upon our society, our environment, and our bodies. Ultimately, sourcing certified organic foods is the only way to know you are not supporting such practices.

In Your Share :

Red Beets

Sweet Corn


Lacinato Kale Greens


Hot Chile Pepper

Sweet Bell Pepper




Potatoes and Kale Baked with Tomatoes and Bacon recipe by Katherine Deumling, Chair of Slow Food USA.  She says that “this makes quite a bit but it makes a great main dish and is excellent the next day so it’s seems worth making the whole amount but by all means reduce the quantities if you like.”
5-6 medium to large waxy potatoes (gold, red, fingerlings –use more if you’re using fingerlings), scrubbed and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 bunch kale, well washed and stems trimmed if they seem tough and then all of it chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 slices bacon, diced
1 ½ – 2 C chopped, drained canned tomatoes or chopped roasted tomatoes
1 ½  – 2 T olive oil
1 ½ tsp sea salt
freshly ground pepper
½ C whipping cream

Preheat oven to 400°F.  In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except the cream. Toss everything together well and transfer to an 8 x 13 or other large-ish baking dish. Pour the cream over everything. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir everything well—this is important to get the kale mixed in well and re-coated with liquid since it may still be a bit chewy. Return to oven, covered and bake another 20 – 30 minutes. If there is quite a bit of liquid in the pan you can remove the foil and bake uncovered to reduce it a bit.

When everything is tender remove from the oven and add the pepper and taste for salt.  Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.

Kale Salad with Pecorino and Walnuts, smitten kitchen updated recipe.  We’ve shared several kale salad recipes in past newsletters, but there is not a week that goes by that someone doesn’t mention how they finally tried eating kale as a salad, and how good it is!  We get a lot of requests for this type of salad recipe.

½ C walnut halves or pieces
¼ C golden raisins
1 T white wine vinegar
1 T water
¼ C panko or slightly coarse homemade breadcrumbs (from a thin slice of hearty bread)
1 tiny clove garlic, minced or pressed
coarse or kosher salt
3 T olive oil
1 bunch kale, washed and patted dry
2 oz (about ½ C) pecorino cheese, grated or ground in a food processor
juice of half a lemon
freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes, to taste

Prepare walnuts: Heat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet for 10 minutes, tossing once. Let cool and coarsely chop.

Prepare raisins: In a small saucepan over low heat, simmer white wine vinegar, water and raisins for 5 minutes, until plump and soft. Set aside in liquid.

Prepare crumbs: Toast bread crumbs, garlic and 2 tsp of the olive oil in a skillet together with a pinch of salt until golden. Set aside.

Prepare kale: Trim heavy stems off kale and remove ribs. I always find removing the ribs annoying with a knife, because the leaves want to roll in on the knife and make it hard to get a clean cut. Instead, I’ve taken to tearing the ribs off with my fingers, which is much easier for me. Stack sections of leaves and roll them into a tube, then cut them into very thin ribbons crosswise.

Assemble salad: Put kale in a large bowl. Add pecorino, walnuts and raisins (leaving any leftover vinegar mixture in dish), remaining 2 T olive oil and lemon juice and toss until all the kale ribbons are coated. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and some of the reserved vinegar mixture from the raisins, if needed. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving as it helps the ingredients come together. Just before serving, toss with breadcrumbs and, if needed, a final 1 tsp drizzle of olive oil.

Roasted Beet and Barley Salad, serves 6, recipe from Substitute another healthy grain for the barley if not already in your pantry.

1 lb small red beets
6 C water
¾ C pearled barley, rinsed
1¼ tsp salt, divided
¼ C cider vinegar
2 T olive oil
1½ T whole-grain mustard
1 T local honey
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 C thinly sliced celery
1 C thinly sliced radishes
¼ C sliced green onions
¼ C slivered fresh basil
½ C walnuts or pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 400°F. Scrub beets under running water. Wrap in foil, making a packet, and place in the oven. Roast until tender, about 1-1½ hours. When cool, slip off the skins with your fingers and quarter the beets. Meanwhile, combine water, barley, and ¾ tsp salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 40-50 minutes, until barley is just tender. Drain well and let cool. Whisk vinegar, oil, mustard, honey, pepper, and remaining salt in a large bowl. Add the beets, along with the rest of the ingredients, except for basil and nuts, and toss to coat. Let the mixture marinate in the dressing for about 15 minutes. Top with basil and nuts just before serving.

Calabacitas Soup (Cheesy Squash and Corn Soup) Our thanks to a CSA member who shares that she found this soup more than 10 years ago on the Cooking Light community board. She says, “I have altered it through the years and I have found it to be extremely flexible. Have lots of corn? Use more. Like less heat, opt out of the jalapeno, etc.” Some versions call for canned green chilies.

1 T olive oil
1 C chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and diced
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground cumin
At least 2 C of chicken or vegetable broth
1½ C chopped tomatoes
4 medium squash and/or zucchini, diced
2 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
3 oz light cream cheese, cubed
½ C shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat olive oil and sauté the onion until tender. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook 1 minute longer. Add the squash and/or zucchini and corn and cook an additional 1 minute. Add chicken broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, or until squash is barely tender. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream cheese and shredded cheese. Stir until cheeses are melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with additional shredded cheese and cilantro.

Five Minute Beets, Deborah Madison recipe, serves 4-6
3-5 beets, about 1 pound
1 T butter
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
Lemon juice or vinegar to taste
2 T chopped parsley, tarragon, dill, or other herb

Grate beets into a coarse shred. Melt the butter in a skillet, add the beets, and toss them with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Add ¼ C water, then cover the pan and cook over medium heat until the beets are tender. Remove the lid and raise the heat to boil off any excess water. Taste for salt, season with a little lemon juice or vinegar—balsamic or red wine is good—and toss with the herb. Stir in a tablespoon of yogurt or sour cream if desired.

Monday, July 20, 2015

CSA Week 12

Spreading the Word

As new-this-season Elmwood Stock Farm farm share members are finding out, we work hard to educate our “people” about the virtues of organic farming and eating through our CSA newsletter. We have been writing these newsletter posts weekly, for many years, the majority of which can be found on our Elmwood blog. We hope to help ya’ll know more of what we know, and you can then spread the word to friends and family. A recent posting about pesticides and genetic engineering of food crops seems to have resonated with several of you, and you may want to learn more, and know more about how to deal with such issues.

First we suggest you take a few minutes to search some websites like the Non-GMO Project Report, or google “Dirty Dozen Foods”. A consumer watchdog group, Beyond Pesticides, works tirelessly to educate folks about how food is raised and processed. Did you know that unless you are eating organic zucchini, yellow squash, or sweet corn, there is a good chance it will be a GMO? One needs to be careful about the accuracy of online research, but as we stated in an earlier post: there is a preponderance of evidence that such crops are not good for the environment or the consumer of these foods. There are no labeling requirements, so the grower or the retailer don’t have to tell you, in fact the farmer may or may not know themselves if a crop is a GMO unless they have asked for confirmation one way or another.

Dig a little deeper into the scary toxins out in the environment and you will find a recent Harvard Study about the use of a modern day class of insecticides, neonicotinoids. Used by many grain farmers, it is now believed to be responsible for the decline in the honey bee population, as well as the development of chemical-resistant weeds that can only be controlled by mechanical methods. These things do impact the environment, if not you directly. Every time you buy commercially raised beef, pork, chicken, or milk you are supporting the use of these chemicals and GMO technology.

The Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK) is adding consumer education to its Mission, alongside its ongoing work of helping farmers adopt organic production practices. In fact, there will be several consumer sessions at the annual conference next March 6-7, held just south of Louisville in Shepardsville, KY. OAK plans to offer seminars on home cheese making with dairy farmers showing the quality difference of organic versus commercial milk. Sessions on fermenting and preservation of organic foods will be popular, to learn how to eat local, organic foods all year. We think it will be great to have organic farmers and consumers breaking bread together with opportunities to network and learn from each other.

In its other work, the OAK board of directors is developing a set of talking points that allows any of its board members to deliver a wealth of information to school groups, civic or church groups, book clubs, or any other collection of interested individuals. Dates are booked at wellness centers, environmental conferences, and neighborhood associations; and OAK will gladly make time to present at meetings or conferences you may be organizing. OAK’s farmers are targeting the medical community this winter because of the obvious link between diet and health.

Once you delve in and learn a little more, we know it will motivate you to eat organic foods. Every time you take a bite you can marvel at the flavor, know you are doing your part to help the environment, and don’t have to worry about what else might be in there affecting your health. Thanks for your support by partnering with an organic farm, and eat in Peace.   

In Your Share :


Green Beans

Savoy Cabbage

Sweet Corn



Fresh Herb

Fresh Onion

Yellow Squash OR Zucchini


Red Russian Kale


Braised Chicken with Kale, serves 4-6 (adapted from
2 T olive oil, divided
1 cut-up whole chicken or 4 each Elmwood thighs and drumsticks
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb kale, trimmed of any tough stems
1 jar Elmwood salsa
2 C chicken broth
1 T red wine vinegar
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Mix flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl and use to dredge pieces of chicken. Brown chicken in olive oil (reserving 2 tsp for kale) in Dutch oven, about 1 ½ minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Add remaining oil and garlic to pan and cook briefly, until fragrant. Add kale and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Return chicken to pan. Cover and bake at 325°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove chicken and stir in vinegar. Serve chicken over kale mixture. 

Easy Squash Chips, makes about 1 C, recipe from Persnickety Plates
1 yellow squash or green zucchini
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Any additional seasonings
Preheat your oven to 250°F and line a baking dish with aluminum foil; set aside. Slice the squash very thinly, either by hand or with a mandolin. Put the squash disks into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, as well as any additionally seasonings (herbs, seasoned salt, red pepper flakes, etc.) Lay the squash in a single layer on the prepared baking dish and bake for 2 hours.

You can make the recipe as large as you want by increasing the number of squash or zucchini used.

Bread Salad with Corn, Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs, serves 4-6, adapted from Fresh
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 small garlic clove
Salt to taste
2 T red wine vinegar
½ C packed fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, mint, or your favorite)
½ loaf rustic French or Italian peasant bread (something firm and chewy), crusts trimmed and bread cubed
½ C plus 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
Corn kernels from 4-6 ears of corn (about 3 C), blanch ears in boiling water for 1 minute before cutting away from husks
1½ C cherry or plum size tomatoes, cut in half and lightly salted, or 2 small beefsteak tomatoes, cut into large dice and salted
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put the onion slices in a bowl filled with ice water. Mash the garlic clove with a pinch of salt and whisk the paste into the vinegar. Bruise 1 T of fresh herb leaves and add to the garlic/vinegar. Put the bread cubes on a baking sheet, toss with 2 T olive oil, and bake until crisp and golden brown on outside but soft inside, about 10 minutes; let cool. Drain the onions and remove/discard the bruised herb leaves. Whisk the remaining oil into the vinegar mixture and toss with the corn, onion, tomatoes, and bread. Check for seasoning. Let sit between 15-30 minutes. Roughly chop the remaining herbs and toss with the salad just before serving. 

Coleslaw with Fennel, adapted from Simply in Season, serves 4-6

½ head savoy cabbage, shredded
1 bulb fennel, cut in quarters, cored and thinly sliced
2 carrots, shredded
¼ onion, thinly sliced
¼ C mayonnaise
1 ½ T apple cider vinegar
1 ½ T honey
1 t fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp Dijon type mustard
½ tsp fennel seeds
Toss together cabbage, fennel, carrot and onion in a large bowl. Whisk together other ingredients in a smaller bowl. Pour dressing over vegetables. Toss well to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Roasted Squash & Fennel with Thyme, 4 servings, about 2/3 C each, our thanks to a CSA member for sharing this tasty recipe!

2 small summer squash
1 ½ cups sliced fennel bulb (about 1 small bulb), plus 1 T chopped fennel fronds, divided
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 T chopped fresh thyme
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
¼ C thinly sliced garlic

Preheat oven to 450°F. Quarter squash lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Combine the squash with sliced fennel, oil, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread the mixture evenly on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and roast until the vegetables are tender and the fennel is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes more. Stir in fennel fronds and serve.

Fennel Cucumber Salsa, makes 4 C, from

1 cucumber, diced
1 fennel bulb, diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
½ red onion, chopped
½ C pickled banana peppers, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 T local honey
3 T fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and let sit at least 20 minutes. Serve with tortillas or sliced baguette or as an accompaniment to grilled meats.


The original Benedictine recipe is said to have been created in Louisville by Jennie Benedict. When folks move away from KY, they are surprised to learn that this popular creamy spread used for sandwiches or as a dip is not known in other parts of the country. The version below makes quite a bit (3-3 ½ C), you can reduce to meet your needs if desired; keeps very well refrigerated.

1 ½ lb cream cheese, softened to room temperature
4-6 cucumbers, depending on size; peeled, seeded, pureed
1 medium yellow onion, grated
1 tsp salt
1-2 T mayonnaise
5-7 drops hot sauce

Peel, seed, crude chop cucumber. Puree. Strain through cheesecloth. Gently squeeze out all possible liquid. Return to rinsed and dried food processor with remaining ingredients. Adjust salt and hot sauce to taste.

Week 11, CSA Farm Share News

Too Much of a Good Thing

We fielded lots of questions this past weekend about the impact of all this rain on the farm. The farm is better off with more rain than less, but this year, the almost daily pattern is relentless. The combination of heavy down pours, little sunshine, and foggy mornings have a devastating effect on our crop production.

The most noticeable effect to the casual observer is the preponderance of weeds. Since we use no toxic chemical herbicides, we rely solely on mechanical means of weed control. With the fields so wet for so long, there is no way we can drive between the rows and “plow out” the weeds that grow between the rows. Normally, we run the rows every couple of weeks to catch the weeds when they are small with weak root systems. The fields that looked pretty good when all the rains came, now have a thick blanket of weeds between the rows and starting to compete with the planted crop for sunlight and nutrients. We have to “chop out” the weeds between the crop plants in the row by hand hoeing or really mostly hand pulling. This cannot be done in these saturated conditions either. Johnson Grass is a particularly aggressive exotic invasive grassy weed that can grow 6-8 feet tall and spreads by seeds as well as insidious stolons, or underground stems.

Next you might notice there are fewer young plantings of crops in the fields. We are unable to make as many successive plantings to keep harvestable fruit available to pick. We are seeding more transplants to try to keep on schedule, but when the early beans or greens become less productive, there may be less of them available when the time comes.

Less noticeable right now is the lack of fruit from lack of pollination. We depend on the bees to pollinate many crops and they cannot get out to forage as they normally would with all the rainfall. When they are forced into the hive during heavy down pours, the hot damp conditions cause them to become quite agitated, they cannot travel as far for foraging, and are out less hours per day. In the case of a squash or melon plant, the male and female flowers are only open for one day; many get missed, therefore reducing the number of fruits to mature. The pollen is so wet it is hard to move to the female flowers and the nectar, where actual honey comes from, is watery and less nutritious to the brood for which it is meant. The heavy rains can actually knock flowers off some plants like beans and tomato. 

Some devastating plant diseases proliferate in these hot humid conditions. Some of the more common of these are early blight and late blight on tomatoes. Many of you may have seen the lower leaves turn brown and wither away on your tomatoes. This is one, or both, of these diseases. With the wet weather, the spores sporeolate at a much more rapid rate, in some cases they can defoliate a plant before the fruits even ripen. Another common problem in these conditions is with the downy and/or powdery mildews on the squash and melons. These give the leaves a white powdery appearance, hence the name, and can quickly rob the plant of any photosynthetic capability and rob the existing nutrients, reducing its ability to make fruit. Even commercial chemical intensive agriculture has trouble controlling these diseases in these conditions which is why so many vegetables are grown in less-humid areas of California.

Then there are the root crops. We pulled the garlic in the rainy conditions which is really labor intensive to wash all the mud off. But the real problem is the potatoes are laying in such wet soil, they become waterlogged, soft, and susceptible to insects that normally are not interested in them. Not sure what we are going to find out there yet.

The hay cannot be cut at the proper stage of maturity for winter feed for the livestock which means it will have less nutritive value and there will be less of it to boot. The gravel roads have some bad wash outs and we have to cut up tree limbs periodically. We won’t even mention all the mud that has to be washed off boots and rain jackets several times a day.

This is just the reality of farming for the local market. This has been, and will continue to be a challenging and memorable production year for us. We are doing the best we can, and appreciate your patience as we work through it. And by the way, you will never hear a seasoned farmer say “I wish it would stop raining” as rain is always better than a drought.

In Your Share :

Green Beans
Sweet Corn
Fresh Onion
Sweet Pepper
Swiss Chard



Pasta with Greens, Onions, and Carrots, serves 6 (adapted from
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Click to see savings3 cups (1/3-inch) diagonally cut carrots
2 1/2 cups sliced onion (about 1 large)
Click to see savings1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, chopped
Click to see savings1/2 cup dry white wine (or additional stock if preferred)
8 cups trimmed chopped kale, chard or other favorite green
Click to see savings1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
Click to see savings1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add carrot to pan; cook 12 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring occasionally. Place in a large bowl; keep warm.

2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium-low heat. Add onion to pan; cook 20 minutes or until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in thyme and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine (or stock); cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in greens and broth; cook, covered, 5 minutes or until kale is tender. Uncover; cook 4 minutes or until kale is very tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Add drained pasta to greens mixture. Stir in carrots, 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Add remaining 1/4 cup cooking liquid if needed to moisten. Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Lebanese Meatballs with Cucumber Sauce (meatballs: Urban Simplicity, 7-spice blend: CSA member)

For the Meatballs:
1/2 cup medium bulgur wheat                                              
3/4 pound boneless lamb (or beef), diced or ground
1/2 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Seven-Spice Blend (1 Tbsp each: ground allspice, black pepper, and cinnamon; 1 tsp each ground cloves, coriander, ginger, and nutmeg)
Place the bulgur in a bowl, cover with warm water and let soak 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze out excess liquid. Place the bulgur along with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and process for until you have a smooth paste (about a minute), scraping down sides halfway through. Stir in the mint and shape into small balls and refrigerate for ½ hour. Bake, fry, sauté, or poach the meatballs and serve with yogurt sauce.

For the Cucumber Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup yogurt
1 small cucumber, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small bunch mint, minced
1/4 small onion, minced
1/4 tsp salt
Combine all of the ingredients in a small glass or ceramic bowl, cover securely and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve with the meatballs.

Swiss Chard Frittata, Serves 4 (Martha Stewart Living)
1 large egg
10 large egg whites
1/3 cup fresh ricotta cheese
½ tsp coarse salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 leaves Swiss chard (4 ounces) sliced ½ inch thick crosswise (1 ¼ cups), stalks removed and chopped into ½ inch pieces (1/2 cup)
½ large onion, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk together egg, whites, ricotta, ¼ tsp salt, and pepper in a bowl. Heat oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add Swiss chard stalks and onion and cook about 4 minutes, until tender. Add leaves and cook, stirring, until tender, about 1.5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining salt. Add egg mixture and stir to distribute vegetables evenly. Place skillet in oven and bake until eggs have set, about 13 minutes. Serve hot. 

Swiss Chard with Raisins and Almonds, Serves 4 (Gourmet Magazine)
½ large onion, sliced lengthwise 1/4 –inch thick (1 cup)
2 ½ Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¼ tsp Spanish smoked paprika
2 lb. Swiss chard, center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup water
¼ cup coarsely chopped almonds with skins
Cook onion with ¼ tsp salt in 2 Tbsp oil in a 5 to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring, until softened. Sprinkle with paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chard in batches, stirring frequently, until wilted, then add raisins and water. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, about 7 minutes. Season with salt. Cook almonds in remaining ½ Tbsp oil in a small heavy skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until golden, 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle almonds over chard.

Corn Soufflé Puddings, serves 6 (Fresh)
1 cup milk
2 cups corn kernels (from about 3 ears)
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs, separated
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp sliced fresh chives
½ cup heavy cream
Puree milk and 1 ¼ cups corn kernels in a blender. Strain through a sieve, using a spatula to push as much pulp through as possible; you should have about 1 ½ ups puree. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook for one minute. Slowly whisk in corn puree and stir over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes; mixture should have the consistency of pudding. Let cool completely. Preheat oven to 400°F and butter six 6-oz ramekins. When puree mixture is cool, stir in egg yolks, remaining corn, salt pepper, and chives. Next, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into the soufflé base, half at a time. Fill ramekins just over ¾ full and set in a baking dish. Pour hot water into dish to come halfway up the sides of ramekins. Bake until puddings are puffed, set, and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Rotate pan once during baking. Cool ramekins outside of baking dish. Remove cooled soufflés from ramekins into a gratin dish and drizzle with cream. Put back in oven until the cream bubbles, about 10 minutes.