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It's Farm Season

This year, the winter seemed harsher and longer then usual. But suddenly, everything is green and lush, which means that spring is here and we are getting local vegetables once again.

We support a family of farmers in southern White County, the Cook’s, at Cedar Hollow Farm, by subscribing to a weekly share program. We got to know them by going to the weekly So Called Farmers Market at the Sautee-Nacoochee Center. The Cook family always had unusual vegetables and beautiful flowers, so when we went a few years back and noticed their absence, we asked Steve of Steve’s Famous Greens, where the family was. He told us they started a weekly subscription plan and wouldn’t be coming to market any longer. Disappointed but excited, I was able to reconnect with Carolyn and we have been members of their subscription plan ever since.

Every Tuesday, we get to ride out to the Cook family’s land and pick from what they picked earlier in the day. Its great because if there is something one of us doesn’t like (Clark won’t eat beets, I’ve tried!), there are plenty of other freshly picked things to choice from.

May starts out with greens. Kale, several varieties of lettuce, spinach, mustards, green onions, leeks, tatsoi, radishes, sugar snap peas, garlic scapes, beet greens, beets, broccoli, basil and other herbs.
Winter salads just don’t do it for us any more so we have been making up for lost time and have been eating like rabbits since we started farm pick up two weeks ago.

We try to buy foods as locally and minimally processed as possible and have eliminated eating things like commercially produced salad dressings. When I look at labels and don’t know what ingredients are, or even how to pronounce them or see high fructose corn syrup or sugar as a main ingredient, more times then not, I will put them back. Oil and vinegar are my usual choice for dressings because of this, but sometimes, I miss the complexity and flavors that a bottled dressing has.

Today, I experimented and came up with a new vinaigrette using our Chambourcin Spread. Since our spread is low in sugar, its light sweetness mixed with the acidity of the vinegar makes for a fantastic and flavorful dressing. Here I use it over my mixed green salad with goat cheese, scallions, pecans, topped with my sister Betsy’s Pickled Sweet Cherries.

Here’ the recipe.

Unicoi Preserves Chambourcin Vinaigrette

1 T. Unicoi Preserves Chambourcin Spread
2 T. Red Wine Vinegar
1 T. Olive Oil
1 small clove Garlic, finely chopped
A few rosemary leaves, finely chopped

In a small bowl, whisk Chambourcin spread, red wine vinegar, garlic and rosemary until combined. Add olive oil, a few grinds of black pepper and a pinch of salt. Whisk til smooth.
If rosemary isn’t your thing, try it with fresh basil or mint.

Makes enough for a generous two servings