Post by our producer Stacy Paris (aka pariseats.tumblr.com)
A popular trend with chefs these days, at least in the Los Angeles area, seems to be “Farm to Table.” A lot of restaurants are using local, organic farms and creating recipes from what’s available for you to eat. Last weekend I had the ultimate “Farm to Table” experience! As part of a series of videos we are producing for Whole Foods, Focus Creeps and I visited Kenter Canyon Farms in Ventura, CA a couple of weeks ago to interview Andrea Crawford and her husband Robert who run the farm. Consisting of mainly herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage, etc) and lettuces including lots of kale and chard they not only distribute to Whole Foods but also to a lot of the local LA farmers markets.
We arrived at 6am (no fun), for the VIP tour. They took us to a few of their growing sites and encouraged us to taste anything we wanted from the ground (all organic). How often do you get the chance to pick up basil, mint (chocolate mint!), heirloom tomatoes, peppers, chard, kale…the list goes on and on…right from the ground. It was a pretty amazing experience.
Along the way, Andrea was also grabbing a basket of herbs and veggies that we then brought to their house where she proceeded to cook up an amazing feast using all these fresh ingredients. Although Kale has been around for a while, I have discovered it in the past few years and cooking a TON of it the past year. So I was super excited when Andrea cooked up her Winter Greens Pie consisting of homemade crust and kale, chard, fennel, leek, raisins and pinenuts. It was as delicious as it sounded and looked. She also cooked up a Roasted Tomato and winter squash soup with homemade creme fraiche! The meals were delicious, but what made it that much more unreal was the ultimate farm to table experience. I was eating meals cooked with vegetables we had just picked that morning from their farm! It definitely made me want to eat more local and organic than I already do and support all our local farmers.
As a producer for Foundation Content, I have the pleasure of getting to learn about new things based on what project we are working on at the time. This project was definitely one of my favorites so far since I was able to bring together what I do for work and my love of food (check out pariseats.tumblr.com)! Hopefully, you will get the same pleasure after watching our video and maybe re-creating these dishes with Andrea’s recipes!
Winter Greens Pie with Raisins and Pine Nuts
I make this pie with a combination of Lacinato Kale and Golden Chard. I slice the greens very finely—the culinary term is “chiffonade.” You can make the pie in a rectangular or round tart pan*. A few lightly dressed salad greens make the perfect accompaniment.
6 ounces organic unsalted butter, room temperature
2 ounces non-hydrogeonated organic vegetable shortening, room temperature
1 ¾ cups organic unbleached all purpose flour
½ cup King Arthur whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 -5 tablespoons ice water
1 bunch (about 10-ounces) Lacinato kale, ribs removed and very finely sliced, about 4 cups
2 small bunches yellow chard, tough stems discarded, very finely chopped, about 4 cups
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, quartered and very thinly sliced
2 medium-sized leeks, white and pale green parts only, very thinly sliced
6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
½ cup raisins
2 tablespoons pinenuts
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
1 Egg white, beaten to blend
For the crust: Using a wooden spoon, blend the butter and the shortening until smooth. Add both flours and salt. Using pastry cutter or fingertips, blend flour into butter mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add ice water and stir with a fork until moist clumps form. Gather the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into two even pieces. Form each piece into a 6-inch long log. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate 20 minutes. (Dough can be made up to 4 days ahead.)
For the filling: Combine the kale and chard in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the kosher salt and let stand until wilted, about 1 hour. Working in batches, arrange a layer of greens on a clean dishtowel. Roll-up the greens in the towel and squeeze to remove excess moisture.
Meanwhile: heat the olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the fennel and leeks and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the kale mixture and stir briefly over medium-low heat until the greens are just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer the filling to a large bowl and let stand until cooled to room temperature. Mix in the goat cheese, raisins and pine nuts and season the filling to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Roll one dough log out on a lightly floured surface to an 11×15-inch rectangle. Carefully transfer the dough to an 8 1/2-x12-inch tart pan with 1-inch-high sides and a removeable bottom. Press the dough onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim dough even to the edge of pan. Spoon filling into the crust and spread evenly.
Roll the second log out to a 9×13-inch rectangle. Transfer the dough to the tart, pressing the dough at the edges to seal. Using a small sharp knife, make several small cuts in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush the top of the pie with egg white and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about I hour. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature.
*If making a round tart, form the dough into balls and flatten the balls into disks. Roll the dough out to two 12-inch rounds. Prepare the pie as directed using a 10-inch round tart pan with remeovable bottom and 1-inch high sides.