Crop Talk

Owner Mike Geller at his Stamford market location (available for shopping; see hours at mikesorganicdelivery.com). – Photo by Diane Sembrot

The big supermarkets have a lot of stuff. Everything you could want to make strawberry pancakes for Sunday brunch and a meatball sandwich for Wednesday’s lunch. But there’s more to shopping than just filling up a cart, especially these days. And that’s why we checked in with Mike’s Organic. The Stamford-based small business delivers organic food—fresh vegetables and fruit, meat and dairy—including dressings and seasonings, for healthful home cooking.

A summer/fall CSA package, for example, that runs from June 8 until December 28, brings to your home plenty of produce, eggs, meat and cheese for the omnivore-loving family. A sample of each week’s delivery includes a fruit-and-veggie basket, one dozen eggs; a selection of what’s available of pasture-raised beef, chicken, pork, lamb and wild-caught fish; and a piece of cheddar, Parmigiano, ricotta, mozzarella, Camembert or other grass-fed cheese. (Yes, clients can modify meat, fish and cheese selection if they don’t eat certain kinds of these foods.) Shoppers can also add a few cans of Rise Coffee for a delicious morning perk.

Head to mikesorganicdelivery.com to see prices and to find recipes, including one for a Blueberry Peach Cobbler.


MIKE GELLER ON CSAs:

“A CSA—community-supported agriculture—connects consumers and farmers through a share of produce that changes on a weekly basis, offering you the opportunity to eat with the seasons and support small, local farms in the process. Typically, CSAs will include a variety of vegetables, and sometimes fruit, that changes weekly depending upon what the farmer/farmers are picking.

“As a general rule, I live by the adage ‘Know thy farmer.’ This applies to signing up for a CSA as well. If you have some information on the farm, what types of crops it grows and what its practices are, it will allow you to make a more informed decision about signing up.

“If there is ever a time to give a CSA a chance, it’s now! Our farmers need us now more than ever. As many farms rely significantly on business from restaurants, farmers’ markets and other sources, a great way to support our farms right now is through a CSA.

“This crisis has highlighted the importance of small, local farms. If planes stop flying or processing plants close, it is they that will feed us. Let us never forget that.”

See more about Mike’s Organic CSA on its website.

Home deliveries include the essentials, including farm-fresh eggs. – Eggs and Soup by Mike’s Organic
below: The Stamford market is open for shopping (limited customers at a time, as of press time), and head online for ordering or to pick a recipe to try. – Photo by Diane Sembrot

 

LET’S GET COOKING

ZUCCHINI CARPACCIO

INGREDIENTS
2 medium zucchini
Salt
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ the juice of a fresh lemon
2 to 3 tablespoons fruity olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or chopped almonds, and/or chopped fresh herbs
1 teaspoon raw honey, 1 tablespoon raisins or fresh Parmesan shavings (optional)

DIRECTIONS
STEP 1
Slice zucchini lengthwise with a mandoline or chef’s knife as thinly as you can, and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place in a colander for 30 minutes to remove the excess moisture, tossing occasionally.

STEP 2
Dry on paper towels and arrange the zucchini in layers in a shallow serving dish, adding slices of garlic between the layers. Drizzle with lemon juice and marinate, refrigerated, for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour. If you have more than two layers, you may need to turn the zucchini upside down every 15 minutes to coat them evenly with the lemon juice.

TO SERVE
Arrange a few slices of zucchini on each plate. (Remove and discard garlic slices as you go.) Drizzle with olive oil and top with nuts and/or herbs. If you wish, add a few drops of runny honey, a few raisins or some Parmesan shavings.


PASTA WITH CHERRY TOMATOES & GOAT CHEESE

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds red and yellow cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound penne
6 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
Additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS
STEP 1
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

STEP 2
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Halve each tomato and place cut side up in one flat layer on the baking sheets. Drizzle the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle on the salt. Roast until the tomatoes are dried around the edges but still moist, about two hours.

STEP 3
Crumble the goat cheese into large chunks and refrigerate until ready to serve the pasta.

STEP 4
Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to the package directions. Remove 1 cup of the cooking liquid and reserve. Drain the pasta well and return to the pot. Add the tomatoes, goat cheese, basil, reserved cooking liquid, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Zucchini ©arunsri – stock.adobe.com; Goat Cheese ©bigacis – stock.adobe.com; Tomatoes ©mates – stock.adobe.com
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