Recipe: Simply Summer

Enjoy the bounty of the warmest part of the year with this simple and delicious local meal
recipes by Nicole Wolverton and Allison Kelsey of FarmtoPhilly.com

Salad: Uzbek Tomato & Onion Salad

  • 1 pint large cherry tomatoes (or three big slicing tomatoes)
  • 3 large spring onions (or one medium onion)
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill (or one tsp. dried)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground chili pepper (can be New Mexico, Turkish, Aleppo)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • fresh chives, snipped

Directions:

  1. Slice the tomatoes and onion thinly, including the green part of the onion. (If you wish, you can mellow the raw onion by soaking the slices in cold water for 15 minutes.) Chop the dill. Mix salt, chili and cumin together. Combine all the ingredients and let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with snipped chives.

Appetizer: Fresh Sage Gougeres

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted local butter (Green Meadow Farm)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. whole wheat pastry flour (Fair Food Farmstand)
  • 4 tbsp. white pastry flour (Fair Food Farmstand)
  • 2 fresh local eggs (Countryside Organics)
  • 3 oz. hard, sharp local cheese (Lesher from Keswick Creamery)
  • 4 tbsp. fresh sage, thinly sliced, then chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat the water, two tablespoons of butter and salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter melts. In a small bowl, combine the flours and empty into the saucepan. Whisk quickly, until the mixture forms a loose ball that pulls away from the side of the pan. Continue to stir over low heat for another minute, then remove from the stove. Empty the dough back into your flour bowl and let cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, melt one tablespoon of butter in a small skillet and add the sage. Stir well and cook over medium heat until the sage becomes slightly crispy.

  2. Add one beaten egg to the dough, mixing entirely, and then add the next egg. Add the cheese and the fried sage, mixing well. Place the dough in a pastry bag or a sealable bag with one corner cut. Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper then pipe the dough out onto the sheets. Make each gougère about two inches in diameter, and leave at least an inch of space between each puff.

  3. Place the cookie sheets in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove the gougères from the oven and immediately pierce them in the side with a small, sharp knife to release the steam. Serve immediately, or reheat for five minutes before serving in a 350 degree oven.

Main Course: Dutch Oven-Roasted Pork Shoulder

  • 1 2lb. pork shoulder (pork butt, Boston butt) boned or bone-in (Country Time Farm)

For the rub:

  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tbsp. marjoram, tightly packed (Red Earth Farm)
  • 2 cloves garlic

For the sauce:

  • 1 tbsp. marjoram, chopped and lightly packed (Red Earth Farm)
  • 1/2 cup white wine or dry vermouth

The night before:

  • Make the rub for the pork shoulder. Finely chop the marjoram leaves. Using the flat side of a chef’s knife, smash the garlic. With a mortar and pestle, combine the marjoram, garlic, salt, and pepper, and grind into a paste. Rub all over the pork shoulder, cover and refrigerate overnight.

The day of:

  1. Arrange the racks of the oven to make enough clearance for the Dutch oven, and preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Remove the pork shoulder from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature as the oven preheats.
  2. Place the pork shoulder in the Dutch oven and cover. Alternately, you could use a deep baking dish tightly covered in aluminum foil. Cook for three to three-and-a-half hours. Allow for variations in time based upon the size of the pork shoulder and the presence or absence of the bone. Look for the meat to be nearly falling apart or, in some cases, falling away from the bone. Remove from the Dutch oven, place on a serving dish and cover with foil.
  3. Pour the pan juices into a tempered glass bowl and refrigerate the bowl for 15 minutes, allowing the juices to separate. Remove the bowl and spoon off half of the fat that has risen to the top.
  4. Place the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and pour in the wine, scraping at the bottom of the Dutch oven to remove any browned bits. Add the pan juices and marjoram, and stir. Continue to cook over medium-high heat until the sauce thickens. When it is sufficiently thick, you should be able to drag a spoon through it and see the bottom of the pan in its wake. Pour some of the sauce over the shoulder and the rest in a gravy boat, and serve. 

Side Dish: Simple Oven-Roasted Potatoes

  • 2 lbs. waxy potatoes (new, fingerling, etc...)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2-3 sprigs of rosemary (Red Earth Farm)
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash and cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. (The exact dimensions of “bite-size” are less important than the uniformity of the cutting.) Place the potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water. Bring the pot to a boil and continue for five minutes. Meanwhile, remove the rosemary leaves from the sprigs. Drain the potatoes and allow to cool.

  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cover the bottom of a roasting pan with olive oil. (The pan should be big enough to fit all of the potatoes in a single layer without overcrowding.) Add the potatoes, garlic cloves, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Stir to coat.
  3. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove, stir and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. The potatoes should have a golden brown crust. A note on timing: To cook this dish concurrently with the pork shoulder, have the potatoes boiled, mixed with the other ingredients and spread in the pan. As soon as the pork is removed from the oven, set the temperature for the potatoes. Then, continue preparing the pan juices as the roast sits covered in foil.