Monthly Archives: August 2020

Week #15; Lows and highs of the week.

“I’m waterboarding in my own sweat.”

Yup, it’s been that kind of week.  The quote above was overheard during a sweaty sweet corn harvest.  The derecho two weeks ago blew down parts of this week’s sweet corn field.  That was the same storm that damaged so much field corn in Iowa.  Sweet corn still ripens when blown down but is much harder to pick because the stalks are a tangled mess.  Even though outside, we wear our masks when working this close together.  The harvest was worth the sweat.  This is an unusually nice batch of corn.

Everyone claims a row (if you can find it), picks the ripe ears and puts them on a conveyor attached to our harvest wagon.  Ben and Karen count every ear, an essential step for dividing up the corn.

And now the highs

We are grateful that farming allows us some semblance of normalcy.  Our small community can work together and socialize every day, unlike many people working in isolation.  Above, we had a socially-distant happy hour to mark two crew members returning to school or other work.  It takes two photos to show everyone!  People sitting close together share a household.  It was a treat to sit around and share a few cold drinks.

Our second planting of kale and collards is ready for its first harvest.  Leaves from these young plants are very tender, a difficult thing to achieve during hot summer weather.  It was an easy harvest.  The field is weed-free and open to cooling winds.  In a planting this large, we can spread out and take off our masks.  You may have noticed that we stopped sending greens earlier this summer.  The first planting gets tough and fibrous.  It’s a pleasure to move into our second planting.

On a 90 degree day, this is everyone’s favorite path back to the buildings, cooled by irrigation spray.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #15, August 27/28, 2020
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

Sweet corn, ~10 ears
Collards or kale, 1 bunch
Watermelon (by site, yellow or red)
Plum & slicing tomatoes, 3 lb total
Peppers (bell/ frying), ~2
Carrots, ~2 lb
Walla Walla onion, 1 0r 2
Garlic, 1 bulb
Curly parsley, 1 bunch
By site; Silver Slicer cucumber or a few snack peppers or an extra frying pepper.

Next week’s box will probably contain tomatoes, sweet corn, melon, peppers, greens and other summer veggies.

Sweet corn – This batch of ‘Incredible’ variety is the prettiest batch yet.  We expect to have sweet corn again next week.

Garlic –  These large-cloved bulbs are the German Extra Hardy strain.

Curly parsley – We are finally sending an herb other than basil!  Enjoy it!

Mixed plum & slicing tomatoes – Wow, the tomatoes ripened quickly during this hot spell.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I encourage you to spread your tomatoes on plates so you can keep an eye on them.  Eat first the ripest ones or any showing flaws.  The yellow arrow shows small inconsequential flaws that will grow with time.  Eat now.

Left, fully ripe yellow tomato.  Right, less ripe yellow tomato, showing some greenish coloring.
Yellow tomatoes get very soft when they are ripe.  We’re experimenting with harvesting yellow tomatoes less ripe, so you have a chance to eat them before they are overripe.  You might get a tomato that’s ready to eat (above, left) or you might get one that needs a day or two on your kitchen counter (above, right).


Visit our 2020 Recipe Log or our 2019 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Corn, Pepper and Pinto Bean Burritos
Corn, Kale and Goat Cheese Fritters
Pizza with Tomatoes and Peppers

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Zesty Corn Relish
Parmesan and Kale Frittata topped with Fresh Tomatoes
Spicy Tomato Juice

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Chickpea and Collards Curry with Tomato and Coconut Milk


Adapted from Bon Appetit
Takes 2 hours (a little more if making the crust from scratch)
Serves 4-6

1 batch favorite store-bough pie crust (or make your own; my favorite tomato pie crust is here)
4-5 pounds tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1-1/2 cups shredded havarti*
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)
1/2 Walla Walla onion, thinly sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. If making your crust from scratch, get this going first so it has plenty of time to chill in the freezer. If not, hop to step 3.
  3. Core tomatoes and then cut into 1/4-inch slices. Lay tomato slices out on two large baking sheets so that they are mostly in a single layer. This may take four pounds of tomatoes or it may take five depending on how thick your slices are. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven for 45 minutes until the tomatoes look dehydrated and most of the liquid has evaporated. Rotate your pans a couple times to ensure even cooking.
  4. While the tomatoes bake, melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Add garlic and cook until the butter smells browned. It will foam and then turn clear and then begin to brown, about 5-8 minutes. Stir and check the pan often during this process to ensure it does not burn. Place a fine mesh sieve over a small bowl and strain out garlic while saving the butter.
  5. Transfer garlic to a cutting board and finely chop.
  6. Combine garlic, mayonnaise, cheddar, parmesan, and parsley in a small bowl. Stir until smooth.
  7. By now your tomatoes should be done cooking. Remove them from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375 degrees.
  8. Roll out your pie crust and place in a 10-inch pie pan. If using a pre-made frozen pie crust, I recommend using two crusts. This is a lot of tomatoes and it will overflow if you just use one. Place aluminum foil and pie weights (or rice or dried beans) inside and bake for 15 minutes. If you purchased a pre-made crust you can skip this step.
  9. Remove crust from oven. Place all but the 10 (of the most perfect) roast tomato slices into the pie crust in even layers. Spread mayo mixture over the top and then arrange 10-12 cooked tomatoes over the top followed by thinly sliced onion. Glaze the whole thing with your prepared garlic butter by slowly drizzling evenly over the top.
  10. Bake for 45- 55 minutes until the crust is golden. Let cool at least 5 minutes before slicing or devouring.

*Any favorite cheese would work here. I love havarti and tomato together, but a mild cheddar, Gruyere or Swiss would all also work great!

Serves 8-12 as a side
Takes 40 minutes

1 pound pasta, the type is your choice
1 silver slicer, seeded and diced
1/2 Walla Walla (or other sweet) onion
3 colored peppers, diced
4 ears corn, husks removed

1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon white wine or white vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil on the stove over high heat. Once boiling, add pasta and cook to al dente according to package directions.
  2. While pasta cooks, prepare your dressing by whisking together all ingredients.
  3. Drain pasta in a colander and let sit for a minute to lose some of the water, then add to a large bowl. Add dressing to noodles while they’re still warm and toss to combine. Set aside.
  4. Refill stock pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add sweet corn and cook for 7 minutes. Meanwhile, chop your other veggies. Rinse corn under cold water to cool and then cut off kernels with a knife. Add cucumber, onion, peppers, and corn to bowl. Toss to combine.
  5. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired.


20 minutes
Serves 4-6

1 bunch collards or kale, stems removed, thinly sliced
1 pounds carrot, peeled and shredded (or cut into matchsticks
4 ounce feta, crumbled
2 cups toasted pecans, toasted for 5 minutes in a 400 degree oven and roughly chopped

Maple Dijon Dressing
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 hefty pinches salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)

  1. In a large bowl, combine collards (or kale) and carrots.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients until smooth. Add to greens and carrots, and toss until well-coated.
  3. Add feta and pecans. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.


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Week #14, Our planting is almost finished.

Look at those empty seedling benches!  We have just a few flats of seedlings still to transplant this year, mostly bok choy and other fall greens.

The greenhouses are long empty of plants.  Now, we’re curing onions in the largest greenhouse.  It’s a good place for the onions to dry down and mature before we move them into the barn loft.

Steve seeded one of our final summer cover crops tonight.  This is a good moment to seed quick-growing annual cover crops, especially as vegetable crop finish and fields open up.  Soon we’ll begin seeding overwintering fall cover crops that protect the soil in winter, then fix nitrogen in spring.

This seeding is sunn hemp, an interesting, fast-growing legume.  This is our second sunn hemp planting this season.  It is a new cover crop for us, and we are impressed with the quick, lush growth in our fields planted in July.  As a legume, we can hope for nitrogen fixation.  I’ll take some photos soon so you can see how beautiful the fields are.

We are back to irrigating and would really appreciate some rain.  These young carrots need the water but we’re also irrigating this field so it will be easier to weed in the next two days.  It’s the next field on our weeding schedule.

Three new employees started work in the last week or so.  Their arrival was cheered by the other crew members.  We have felt quite short-handed the last few weeks as several crew members left us to return to school or their pre-pandemic careers.  Above, new guy Janson loads tomatoes into the truck.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #14, August 20/21, 2020
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ purple
– Sampler/ sun

Slicing tomatoes, 2.5 – 3 lb
Watermelon (red OR orange OR yellow, by site)
Carrots, 2 lb
Cherry tomatoes, 1 pint
Peppers, ~2
Jalapeno chile (hot), 1
Cucumber, 1 or 2 large + 1 small
Walla Walla onion, 1 or 2
White onion, 1 or 2
Basil, ~2 sprigs
By site; red cabbage OR globe eggplant OR Swiss chard
If your red cabbage is small, you’ll get a bag of pickling cucumbers too.

Next week’s box will probably contain tomatoes, peppers and other summer crops.

Slicing tomatoes – This batch are in good shape.  I still encourage you to spread your tomatoes on plates on your counter so you can keep an eye on them.  If small flaws develop, eat those tomatoes first.
Cucumbers – This is the final delivery of cucumbers!
Onions – You’ll receive both white and Walla Walla onions this week.  They are easy to tell apart.  See photo.  Walla Wallas are the sweet onions we’ve sent so far this year.  White onions are more pungent and less watery.  Neither type fries particularly well, although you have a better chance with a white onion.  

From left, white onion and Walla Walla onion.


Visit our 2020 Recipe Log or our 2019 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Salad with Tomato, Cucumber, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Vinaigrette
Grilled Red Cabbage with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing
Shredded Carrot Cabbage and Chicken Salad with Honey Poppy Seed Dressing

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Braised Red Cabbage and Horseradish Sauce
Spicy Tomtato Basil Salsa
Cucumber and Carrot Kimchi Style Salad

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Watermelon Gazpacho



Takes 10 minutes
Makes 1 quart caprese
Serves 1 hungry person for lunch or 2 less hungry non-farming people

1-2 pounds slicer tomatoes (if they’re out of season, don’t even bother), cored and cut into thick slices
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 ounces fresh mozzarella ball, halved and cut into thick slices
1/4 cup minced basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Grab a quart mason jar (or a 4-cup pyrex or other container). Place 1-2 sliced tomatoes in bottom of container. Layer a handful of cherry tomatoes on top followed by a few slices of mozzarella. Sprinkle with a quarter of the basil. Repeat until you’ve used all ingredients or filled your container (whichever comes first).
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic. Cover and shake gently so that olive oil and balsamic coat tomatoes throughout.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper just before serving. (I have my own Kosher salt jar and pepper grinder at work for exactly this kind of purpose. I suggest you do the same.


Makes 2 large or 4 small floats
Takes 5 minutes

1 small watermelon or 1/2 large watermelon (any color!), preferably chilled
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Pinch Kosher salt
1 (12-ounce) can lime seltzer, preferably chilled
2 cups frozen yogurt or custard scoops

  1. Scoop watermelon out with a spoon or cut into cubes and place in food processor or blender. You want about 4 cups. Add water, sugar, lime juice and salt. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  2. Using a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth, strain watermelon into a measuring cup or mason jar. It should be about 2 cups. Add seltzer.
  3. Divide frozen yogurt or custard into two or four glasses (depending on how many you are serving) and pour watermelon soda over. ENJOY!



Takes 30 minutes
Makes 4 cups
Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 red or yellow pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1-2 hot peppers of your choice, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1-1/2 cups milk, divided
1 8-ounce block cream cheese, cut into cubes
3 cups shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, Cheddar, and Brick would all work—or use a blend)
2 tomatoes, cored and diced

  1. Melt butter in a large saute pan or deep skillet over medium low heat. Add onion, peppers, and salt. Saute for 10 minutes until vegetables soften and become very fragrant.
  2. Add ½ cup of the milk along with the cream cheese. Stir consistently until the cheese has melted and is mostly smooth. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Add remaining milk followed by shredded cheese. Stir until incorporated, about 5 minutes, and remove from heat.
  4. Add diced tomatoes and gently stir until combined. At this point it is ready to go! You can puree it with an immersion blender or food processor for a smoother texture.
  5. Serve with chips, guacamole and salsa or use it for a big old plate of dinner nachos.


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Week #13, The derecho missed us.

We are very fortunate that Monday’s derecho skipped our farm on its path of destruction across the Midwest.  We were close to the edge of the storm, which left us 2.2 inches of rain and this beautiful rainbow.   The day before, the weather forecast predicted 0.15 inches rain, so this was quite a change.  We welcome the rain but worry for the Iowa’s farmers who had 10 million acres of crops damaged or destroyed.  What a loss.

Tossed Melons

You cannot choose to join our melon harvest crew; you have to audition.  Auditions are held at lunch.  Billy tosses a melon to random people to check their reflexes.  Once the melon is dropped and cracked, auditions are over and they eat the melon.  
Above, Steve (out of view) chooses ripe melons, then tosses to Billy (in back), who tosses to Maggie on the wagon.

Maggie washes the melon and …

… tosses to Anna who puts it in a bin.  

Once we’re done, Steve goes in the house to lie down on the floor a bit and stretch his back.  It’s a big job.  Beth

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #13, August 13/14, 2020
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

Sweet corn, ~10 to 11 ears
Green beans, 1.3 lb
Slicing & plum tomatoes, ~3 lb
Red Summercrisp lettuce
Red frying pepper, 1
Cucumbers or pickles
Walla Walla onion
Basil, a few sprigs
By site, orange watermelon OR muskmelon.

Next week’s box will probably contain tomatoes and other summer vegetables.

Sweet corn – This planting is the ‘Vision’ variety, the same as last week.  We hope you enjoy it.  We think it is a terrific variety.

Pickles – Some people get normal slicing cucumbers, some get Silver Slicer cukes, some get pickles.  Of course, pickles can be used for refrigerator pickles but are really great as a crisp salad cucumber too.


Visit our 2020 Recipe Log or our 2019 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Parmesan Corn on the Cob
Pepper and Watermelon Salsa
Composed Salad with Tunafish and Boiled Eggs

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Corn and Wild Rice Fritter
Garlic Basil Marinated Veggie and Fruit Kebabs
Tofu, Green Bean, Bell Pepper Stir Fry with Rice

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Summertime Paella


Makes 1 pizza
Serves 3-4
Takes 45 minutes

1/2 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
3 ears sweet corn
1/2 Walla Walla, finely chopped
1/2 batch favorite pizza dough (or 1 store-bought pizza crusts)
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. While you wait for the oven to preheat, prepare you basil sauce. Combine basil, garlic, lemon and salt in a small bowl. Stir to combine then add olive oil and slowly incorporate.
  3. Bring a large kettle of water to a boil. Once boiling, cook corn for 3 minutes.* Rinse under cold water.
  4. Use a knife to remove kernels from ears. Place in a medium bowl along with onion.
  5. When oven is pre-heated, roll out crust and bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Spread basil sauce on pre-baked crust. Top with sweet corn mixture and shredded cheese. Finish with red pepper flakes. Bake for 10-15 minutes longer until crust and cheese are golden brown.
  7. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.


Takes 30 minutes
Serves 4-6

2 pounds tomatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons butter
2 ears sweet corn, kernels cut off cob (no need to cook first!)
1 red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup whole milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup polenta (also known as corn grits, cornmeal or polenta; I’m obsessed with this polenta from my friends at Meadowlark Organics)

  1. Preheat your grill to medium high heat. Alternatively, if you don’t have a grill, preheat the broiler of your oven.
  2. In a medium bowl combine tomato slices with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss gently to combine. Place on preheated grill. Grill for 10-15 minutes until blackened on both sides. Remove to a bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, get your polenta going. You can easily walk away from your grilling veggies for 5 minute intervals to do this inside, but if you have a burner on your grill, by all means use that to make the polenta!
  4. In a large stock pot or sauce pan, melt butter. Add corn, pepper, remaining salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until beginning to soften (about 5 minutes). Add in water and milk. Increase heat to medium high and wait for mixture to just begin bubbling. Stir once or twice with a whisk while waiting for it to bubble to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Pour in polenta slowly, whisking while you pour them in to create a smooth texture. Reduce heat to a low simmer and continue whisking every couple minutes to keep the mixture from clumping or sticking. When polenta looks creamy and consistent, it’s ready! It can cook very quickly, about 10 minutes. If they cease up while you prepare other parts of your meal, just cook them over low heat and add more milk until they have the desired consistency.
  6. Add about a half cup of polenta to a large bowl, top with tomatoes.


Adapted from Vegetarian Times
Serves 4
Takes 20 minutes.

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half if large (about 4-5 cups)
1 head washed lettuce, thinly sliced
1/2 Walla Walla onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2-3 large tomatoes, diced
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 minced garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
Flaky sea salt, for serving

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook for 4 minutes then rinse under cold water. Pat dry with a towel.
  2. Toss together lettuce, beans, onion, and tomatoes in a large bowl (or four small bowls). Top with feta and walnuts.
  3. Whisk sherry vinegar with dried oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic. Once combined, whisk in olive oil. Taste and adjust flavors as desired. Drizzle over salad. Sprinkle with a little extra flaky sea salt right before serving.


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Week #12, Tomato care

Another spectacular sunset.  What a joy.

Ripe (top) and less ripe tomatoes (bottom).

Tomato care, Basil care

This week’s tomatoes will hold better than last week’s.  We were late to recognize problems in our earliest planting.  We have stopped harvesting the problematic varieties, and have minimized washing to avoid bruising.  You might need to wash some of your tomatoes but we think it’s worth the effort to help keep them in better condition.  The cooler temperatures this week help a lot too.

Steve and I were trying to figure out how we missed these issues at harvest last week.  Then we realized “Oh, we were in a food safety inspection that day.”  

Tomatoes retain their best flavor and texture when stored at room temperature, no lower than 55oF.  However, you should refrigerate your tomatoes if they are fully ripe and you don’t expect to eat them right away.  It is better to sacrifice a little flavor and texture than to lose your tomatoes to rot.  Also, fully ripe tomatoes are less sensitive to chilling injury.

As usual, we pack a mix of ripe and less-ripe tomatoes so you can stretch them through the week.  The top tomatoes in the photo above are ready to eat.  The bottom tomatoes can ripen at room temperature for a few days.

(Left) I encourage you to spread your tomatoes on plates so you can watch them.  Eat first the ripest ones or any showing flaws.  The yellow arrow shows small inconsequential flaws that will grow with time.  Eat now.

(Right) Expect to wash your tomatoes.  We handle the ripe tomatoes as little as possible to avoid bruising. The purple arrows show leaf residue bits stuck to the tomato.  Wet the tomato and the residue will come right off.

This week’s basil is a branched stalk that needs to be cut into smaller stalks (at the arrows) before putting into a jar of water and storing at room temperature.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #12
– Weekly shares
– EOW/  purple
– Sampler/ sun

Green beans, 1.5 lb
Carrots, ~2 lb
Slicing tomatoes, ~3 lb
Lettuce, Summercrisp
Zucchini, probably 1
Red peppers (bell or frying), probably 2
Walla Walla onion
Basil, 1 medium bunch
By site, cucumber OR pickles OR broccoli OR eggplant
By site, muskmelon OR watermelon.

Next week’s box will probably contain tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, melon and more.

Basil – I realize that we have sent a lot of basil this summer but it is lush and beautiful so we’re happy to share it. Please freeze any extra. You’ll be glad to have it in winter, or even later this season.

Muskmelon (for some sites) –  Some melons are ripe and ready to eat.  Some need to ripen a day or two on your kitchen counter.  Keep at room temperature but refrigerate if not eaten within 2 – 3 days.

Watermelon (for some sites) – These are red, seeded melons.  If uncut, watermelon can be stored at room temperature for a week.  Refrigerate once it’s cut.

Korean melon (for some sites; yellow, oblong) – These unusual melons are sweet and crisp, reminiscent of a good honeydew.  This new variety ‘Torpedo’ is an improvement over previous varieties.  The melon is ready to eat if the color is rich yellow and the melon is pleasantly fragrant.  If there’s a tinge of green, ripen the melon at room temperature for no more than three days.  Refrigerate once ripe.

Cucumbers (for some sites) – We now have both normal and Silver Slicer cucumbers to share.  We’ll scatter the Silver Slicers among the boxes as they are ready.  They are medium-sized white cucumbers with thin skins.  They can be used interchangeably with slicing cucumbers in recipes, or mixed together.  However, their best use is as a snack.  Hand these to the kids on the ride home from picking up your CSA box.  There’s no need to peel them.  As usual, store all types of cucumbers in the warmest part of your fridge.

Typical slicing cucumbers (top) and smaller ‘Silver Slicer’ cukes (bottom).


Visit our 2020 Recipe Log or our 2019 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Carrot Apple Muffin
Grilled Green Beans
Black Beans with Vegetables and Yellow Rice

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Grilled Zucchini and Tomato Lettuce Wraps
Soba Noodles with Shrimp, Carrots, Pepper and Green Beans in Lime Peanut Sauce
Roasted Carrot White Bean Dip with Basil

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Penne with Green Beans and Tomatoes


Takes 20 minutes
Serves 1-4

1 teaspoon neutral cooking oil (I love hazelnut oil if you happen to have it, otherwise plain old Canola will do just fine)
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup almonds, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons butter
Flaky sea salt, optional 

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large heavy skillet. As usual, cast-iron is best. Add green beans, turn the heat up to medium high and cook for 5 minutes, until the beans start to blacken in place.
  2. Add 1/2 cup water, turn the burner down to medium, and cook until no water remains, about 3 minutes. Continue cooking 2 minutes longer than add your almonds. Cook until mixture smells nutty and almonds are toasted, about 2 minutes more.
  3. Remove the pan from heat. Add butter and swirl the pan until it melts. Serve immediately. Season with flaky sea salt.


Takes 30 minutes
Serves 2 as a side or 1 as a meal

2 bunches very small (almost baby) carrots or 1 large bunch carrots (ideally with greens)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  1. Remove carrot tops and set to the side for Carrot Top Chimichurri. If using very small carrots, you can leave them whole and halve the ones that are more “small” then “very small” lengthwise. If using a larger bunch, halve small carrots lengthwise and/or quarter the largest ones. The smaller the better. We want these beauties to get very tender.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat in a large heavy skillet (cast-iron is preferable). Add carrots and season with salt. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until carrots are just beginning to char in places.
  4. Place in oven and roast for another 10 minutes, until carrots are very tender and charred in more places.
  5. Add maple syrup and balsamic. Toss to combine, making sure any juices that are collecting at the bottom of the pan are coating the carrots as best they can. Roast additional two minutes until sauce caramelizes.
  6. Serve carrots warm with chimichurri sauce.


Takes 30 minutes
Serves 4

8- 12 pieces of bacon (less if thick-cut, more if thin)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
Handful of additional basil leaves
1/2 head lettuce
8 slices toasted bread, preferably sourdough
1 pound tomatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Flaky sea salt

  1. Lay bacon flat on a baking sheet (in a single layer) and place in a cold oven. Turn oven to 400 degrees and set the timer for 20 minutes. Depending on the thickness of your bacon, it should be perfectly cooked after 20 minutes. It will take a bit longer if thick-cut. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together mayo, garlic and basil.
  3. Spread mayo mixture on all slices of toasted bread. Top half of the slices with 3 or 4 lettuce leaves followed by a few basil leaves, press it down slightly and then add bacon (2-3 slices per piece of bread). Add 1-2 thick slices of tomato followed by a drizzle of balsamic and pinch of sea salt. Top with remaining pieces of toast. Enjoy!


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