Greens, Eggs and Ham Pizza

The inspiration for this recipe is from Leslie, the nutrition education manager at St Louis’ Operation Food Search.  I had so much fun & great pleasure meeting Leslie at a pizza cook-off party in Craig & Denise Evans’ home a few weeks ago. When I don’t have locally grown, organic greens from my farmer’s market friends, I purchase Organic Girl greens at a local Schnucks grocery store. I was at the store yesterday and picked up a card about a St Louis Organic Girl recipe contest. The prize is a $50 Schnucks gift card. Today, I tweaked the recipe and submitted it in the contest. If it wins, I will donate the $5o gift card to Operation Food Search….wish us luck!!

Greens, Eggs and Ham Pizza

3-4 cups of coarsely chopped Organic Girl SUPERGREENS
4 oz. prosciutto or cooked smoked bacon, thinkly sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms, sauteed
1 cup sliced sweet onion, caramelized (browned in olive oil & butter)
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced & lightly sauteed
1/4- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
2 TBLS. (plus) extra virgin olive oil
4 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven with pizza stone to 450°. Roll out pizza dough on a hot pizza stone. Par-bake for 5 minutes. Remove pizza dough from oven. Brush liberally with olive oil and sprinkle sliced garlic over crust. Spread Organic Girl Supergreens evenly over the top of the pizza dough. Then top the Supergreens with prosciutto or bacon, caramelized onions, mushrooms & parmesan cheese. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Press a small depression into each of the 4 corners of the pizza. Crack an egg into each of the depressions. Place spoonfuls of ricotta around remaining pizza. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake pizza in the oven for about 10- 12 minutes until the eggs are soft to medium set (ideally egg yolks should not be firm)

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Volunteers – Where Would We Be Without Them?

Let me begin by apologizing for the break in our updates. We had a volunteer, Lori Collier, doing a wonderful job contributing to the blog and serving as “staff photographer”. Lori had some changes in her situation that caused her to have to stop contributing to the market blog nor will she be taking photos for the blog, the website and the market Facebook pages. We miss her already but would like to offer our thanks for all that she did. Her contributions and “vision” of how the market can use both with the website and the blog to help build the market were very creative and helpful. René and I will try to take up the slack but  it will be a real challenge to fill Lori’s shoes.

Again, thank you Lori for all that you did!

Bourbeuse Creek Shiitake Mushrooms: Forest Farm Fresh Fungi

Until I visited Bourbeuse Creek Mushrooms at the market last week, I had never seen such beautiful shiitake mushrooms.

These mushrooms are grown on logs cut from maple trees near St. James, Missouri. The logs are drilled with holes and inoculated. After sealing the holes with wax, the logs sit for one year. After one year, the logs are soaked in water for 24 hours. The logs are then placed in a cool, dark place where they will begin fruiting. Within 5-6 days, the logs look like this.

The mushrooms are ready to harvest when the top no longer curls over the gills. Notice the plugged holes on this log.

Commercially grown shiitake mushrooms are often grown on sawdust blocks and may not have the same nutrition profile of the log-grown version. Log-grown shiitakes will have varying shapes and pure white gills. Commercially grown shiitakes may appear more uniform in shape and will have a less meaty texture. Sawdust block shiitake mushrooms can be labeled USDA organic. Check labels to see if “forest farmed” appears on the package.

“…shiitake mushrooms are an excellent source of three B vitamins (vitamins B2, B5 and B6); a very good source of one additional B vitamin (B2); a very good source of six minerals (manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, copper and zinc); a very good source of dietary fiber; and a good source of protein, magnesium, and vitamin D (in the D2 form).” – WHFoods

With my shiitake mushrooms, I removed the stems, sliced them and prepared a simple saute in order to add the mushrooms to a roast beef wrap with lettuce and goat cheese for lunch. I ended up wishing I had more mushrooms and less roast beef! They were absolutely delicious.

Visit Bourbeuse Creek Mushrooms at the Ellisville Community Farmer’s Market, Thursdays from 4-7 pm.

Stormy Week Six

Last week family obligations that me from visiting the market. Rene and I asked Valerie Dalton to cover the market as a guest blogger. As I saw the wild weather move in, I wondered what was happening at Bluebird Park. Here is Valerie’s report on the market before the rain began.

Rene described the scene as the windy storm was upon the market. “The wind and rain came in torrents. We all had to hold tents down and then many of them buckled & collapsed with the weight of the rainwater on top of them. It was quite the storm. Everything & everyone got soaked. When the rain died down, we all pitched in, worked together and took it all down…everyone was soaked and getting cold.”

Rene and George finished the night by assessing the repairs needed on the tents and drying everything out. George got to work on the tents that can be fixed this week. Only two were beyond repair.

Storms continue to hit the region this week. We all hope for a more dry Thursday tomorrow afternoon.

Rough Shop plays the market this week

The St. Louis band Rough Shop will play at the Ellisville Community Farmers Market this Thursday, July 7. With a video from their holiday show in December 2010, here’s a little Christmas in July music to help stay cool.

Healthy Harvest Gardens: Olives are here!

Olea Estate Olives

Photo: Healthy Harvest Gardens, Olea Estates

Karl Burgart reported in his newsletter that the much-anticipated olives arrived from Greece last week!  Healthy Harvest Gardens is packing the olives in eco-friendly containers in #1 ($15.99) and #2 ($28.99) pound size.  Orders can also be made for an entire barrel at $15/lb (27 lb barrel). When you order the barrel you will get 2 pounds free!

Healthy Harvest Gardens currently has fresh picked kale, chard, basil, turnips and some new potatoes to offer at the markets.

Karl says fresh cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, beans, potatoes, eggplant, melons, and peppers are on the way very soon.

A Brief Word of Thanks

As organizers of the Ellisville Community Farmers Market, René and I work very hard to make it a success. It has been a heartwarming season with many people stepping up to help make it a success. It sounds trite to say that it could not happen without them but it is so true. I am not going to name names at this point, I will save that for another post, but I wanted to share something else.

Now and then something comes up that really stands out. I wanted to give special recognition and my thanks to a local blogger that is not really connected to the market, but has been very diligent about reporting our activities on her own blog and is doing a wonderful job of supporting all the local farmer’s markets. “Dancing Woman’s Perspective” is a fun read and very informative and I encourage you to check out her blog for the latest report on farmers markets in the area.  Thank you, “Dancing Woman”, for your kind words.

Tell us what you love

Fresh and Fired Up with Jack Mac

Chef Jack Mac preparing farm fresh food

Chef Jack Mac stole the show last night at the Ellisville Community Farmer’s Market. With equal parts cooking instruction and demonstration, Jack MacMurray III talked easily with the crowd in his outdoor tented kitchen.

His passion for quality ingredients came through in the delicious food he prepared. “This garlic was just picked,” he would mention while prepping ingredients. Summer squash with blackberries simmered in beer started things off, followed by a warm cabbage and kale salad with a spicy dressing. Lamb sliders with a three-cheese sauce and crispy onions were possibly the biggest crowd pleasers. Market regular Mike Brabo from Vesterbrook Farm provided the lamb for the cooking demonstration. Not surprisingly, he sold out of lamb last night. Handing the last two pounds to his customer, he assured other market goers that he would be back with more next week and it will still be on special.

To learn more about Jack Mac’s Distinctive Taste, visit his website. Be sure to check out the complete gallery of pictures from Week Five at the Ellisville Community Farmer’s Market.

Sweet Neems: Chemical-free garden pest prevention

If you are a gardener looking for a way to control pests without the use of chemicals, visit Eadie Branson at the Sweet Anny’s Soaps tent this week. While surrounded by a delightful scent of homemade soap and candles, Eadie will explain how the use of Sweet Neems can control all kind of little garden bugs like aphids and scales.

Sweet Neems for the garden

Use Sweet Neem oil to control garden pests

What is Neems? Neem oil comes from the pressed seed of the neem tree and has been used for thousands of years in India. It is not only safe for humans, but is also used in some medicines. It has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

Neem oil is used for preparing cosmetics such as soaps and shampoos, and is useful for skin care such as acne treatment, and keeping skin elasticity. Neem oil has been found to be an effective mosquito repellent.

Sources: http://www.sweetannyssoaps.com/sweet-neems.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azadirachta_indica