Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Warm Kale Salad - Dedicated to Cathy Hume

A few weeks ago, when I did the demo with kale, this was something I threw together on the fly. It wasn't anything I thought would be very impressive, but as I ran through the recipe, my mind changed about the whole thing!  It turned out to be a big hit with Dave and Cathy.  In fact, they have been begging me to post this recipe ever since.  Short of procrastinating, finally I've got it for you.

I must tell you how easy this was to make and how quick it was ready to eat. Remember, this is just my way of doing it - please feel free to adjust the recipe and add your own twist on it.  Let me know in the comments how it turned out and what you did.   I'm all about learning something new.

Warm Kale Salad

3 tbsp small diced sweet onions
2 tsp fine chopped garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp dried cranberries
1 bunch kale, washed, drained, & roughly chopped
1 1/2 tbsp feta cheese
Salt to taste

  1. Over a med to high heat skillet, sweat out onions and garlic in oil.
  2. When the onions just start to caramelize, add in the kale and cover.
  3. After about a minute, remove the lid and toss in dried cranberries.  Cover again (the water left on the kale after washing it will help create the steam to wilt it down).
  4. After one more minute, or until just wilted though, remove the lid and toss in feta cheese.  Season to taste.
  5. Portion out and enjoy.
One of the great things about demoing at the farm, is having "all you can eat" fresh cut greens available at lunch time.  Having an endless amount of fresh produce at my fingertips helps give me just what I need to make it though the day.  It gives me the taste I crave, and aids my creative mind.  I hope you all have the same thing and can appreciate the hard work and love that goes into each and every plant out there.

Here's to you, Miss Cathy,
Eat well.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

At the Farm

Yesterday was a great day at the farm.  We had a very busy member day - so great to see everyone pick up their shares when you know they've all got Thanksgiving leftovers filling up the fridge!  I heard more than one person say they "needed their greens" to supplement all the corn and mashed potatoes at home.  Love hearing that!  One member in particular told me she was excited to try out collard greens so much after we discussed it last weekend that she made up a batch to serve at her family's Thanksgiving.  They were a smash hit and leftovers were scarce.  Don't forget how much those things cook down!

After weeks of planting and nurturing all the plants and watching them grow, it all finally paid off!  I was able to bring home my own member's share of produce.  

First thing's first: Wash everything and bag it up for the fridge.  I need this stuff to be ready to go whenever I need it!

My bounty

So this whole time, I'm staring at all the green drying out and thinking about everything I can do with it.  I love having so much fresh produce at my disposal - a stocked fridge (and stocked pantry) is one of my favorite things in life.  But with this much produce I've also got to be considering shelf life and how I can use it all up before it goes bad.  This usually means inviting a few friends over for an impromptu "clean out the fridge night" dinner.

I also came home today with quite a bit of fresh herbs from the farm.  Lucky for me, my girlfriend appreciates all the fresh herbs too and doesn't mind when I take over the kitchen to hang them all to dry!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


The day before "Turkey Day" has been a busy one for as long as I can remember - things to do, people to see, and food to make. Needless to say, my day and evening has been spent in my own kitchen, making all kinds of things. My big contribution to the big dinner tomorrow, an apple compote, was a fairly easy task if you ask me. I kicked it up, and added a few little things that really made it my own.

Don't be afraid of "stepping out of the box," but keep it simple. 

I also helped make some prosciutto-wrapped Gorgonzola-stuffed dates, which will be baked then drizzled with a balsamic local honey reduction (I'm really looking forward to that!).  The dates, paired with your favorite table wine or glass of champagne, would make a wonderful date night appetizer.

A few other items I was able to whip up: cinnamon crumble to go with the compote, and just for dinner tonight, butternut squash and coconut milk puree over home-made curry pasta. Keep an eye out for those recipes. 

Whatever fills your day, remember to enjoy the little things - time with your love ones and people close to you. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kale & Pomegranate Salad

This past weekend, out at the farm, I performed a demo of kale recipes to the members at the market.  I hadn't really decided exactly what dish I'd be creating, but knew I wanted to utilize all seasonal produce.  Items like kale, pomegranates, and cranberries were on my mind, and I was very happy with the results!

Kale & Pomegranate Salad
inspired by this recipe
serves 2-4

6-8 kale leaves
1 1/2 tbsp shelled sunflower seeds
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
1 1/2 tbsp dried cranberries
2 ea red radishes, sliced thinly
4 tbsp pomegranate juice
3 1/2 tbsp walnut oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt, to taste


  1. Wash and dry kale leaves, remove center ribs and chop them into small pieces
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add radishes, roughly chopped dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, walnut oil, pomegranate juice and red pepper flakes.
  3. Add chopped kale and pomegranate seeds to the bowl and toss.  Season with salt to taste and serve.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Beginning

Hi everyone!  I'm John N Carminati, a professional culinarian who happens to spend part of my time working at a local farm.  I was given the chance to grow and nurture the food I love to cook with, and I jumped at the opportunity!  This has resulted in the beautiful marriage of my love food to the ability to grow it in my own back yard. Understanding the origin of each ingredient and its journey to the plate is great knowledge to have and really gives me the opportunity to utilize every part of the ingredient from start to finish.  I'm always striving to learn new things, whether about myself or my passion for growing and cooking food.  I hope some of that knowledge and passion rubs off on this blog and anyone who might be reading.