Like homesteading itself (timeless, creative, sustainable), many of our homesteading stories of yore haven’t lost their inspiration or relevance, and the folks who graced the cover shots haven’t lost their touch. If you’ve yet to check out our past homesteading stories (visit localflavormagazine.com), we suggest you meet jewelers Marian Denipah and Steve LaRance in last year’s “Working with the Earth”; homesteader, mother, blogger extraordinaire Erin O’Neill in “A Life Home Grown,” 2015; and sustainable inspiration and Ampersand Sustainable Learning Director Amanda Bramble of “In Harmony,” 2012, our very first homestead issue.
The inherently fresh and forward-looking feel of springtime, new growth, longer days becomes yet more personal, down-to-earth and magical when you meet the folks who have their hands in this local soil—metaphorically or literally—creating, reviving and gleaning its bounty. We asked Erin, Amanda and Steve for their takes on “down-home” recipes, and in return, they shared with us tastes of themselves, this earth, and simply some delicious down-homestead goodness.
Steamy Swiss Chard Dip
from Erin O’Neill
This recipe, Erin says, “is not pretty, but once you taste it, you will appreciate its beauty. [It’s] great for a potluck because you simply must share (or you will regret it later, trust me!).”
3-5 pounds Swiss chard—separate the leaves and stalks; chop both into small pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onion (about 5 ounces)
12 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sour cream
1½ cups finely grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup whole milk yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped scallions for garnish
Get the biggest baking dish you have, and as much Swiss Chard as you have—around 3-5 pounds. Chop stems and leaves separately. Toss stems with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees. Add leaves gradually in handfuls and stir every 7 minutes (approximately). Everything will shrink down considerably. Once everything looks pretty well roasted, take out of the oven and cool.
Meanwhile, chop onions and garlic and sauté them in butter in a skillet. Once you have all your things sautéed, put half of everything in the food processor. This makes a nice creamy effect.
I then add sour cream, parmesan and yogurt. Now add the rest of your sautéed onions, garlic and chard and just pulse quickly to mix everything together.
Now transfer to a baking dish and put in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until warm. Sprinkle with a bit more parmesan and scallions and serve.
Check out Erin’s awesome, inspiring blog, Seedsandstones.blog.
Creamy Calabacitas and Green Chile Relish
from Steve LaRance and Marian Denipah of Denipah-LaRance Fine Art
“This is our family favorite! We are always trying to get kids to eat veggies and drink more milk,” Steve says. “I make a green chile relish on the side so small children can add at their discretion.”
10-12 small tender squash—I use half yellow and half green squash—clean and cut tips, slice into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, skin and chop
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine (or 2 heaping teaspoons of chopped garlic)
6-8 ears of corn, cut kernels off cob (or 2 cans white shoe-peg corn)
1 cup milk
4-ounce stick unsalted butter
12 ounces Velveta, cut into pieces
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
In a large pot, combine all the veggies—squash, onion, garlic, corn—into pot. On stove top, over medium heat, add milk, butter, cheese. Let cook for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring so it won’t burn on bottom. Then salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a side dish or veggie meal.
Green Chile Relish
4 teaspoons of olive oil
1 cup of chopped green chile
1 small onion chopped
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
In a large cast-iron pan, heat olive oil then add chile, onion and garlic, and brown for about 10 to 15 minutes till caramelized. Add to your own discretion to the calabacitas. Enjoy!
Check out Marian and Steve’s Facebook page, Denipah-Larance Fine Art.
Seasonal Sunchoke Salad
from Amanda Bramble of Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center
“My favorite recipes are always the ones I can harvest fresh from my garden and greenhouse,” Amanda says. “Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem artichokes) are a delicious yet misunderstood root vegetable native to North America. I paw them out of the soft soil of my garden before their spring growth begins.”
Chop and toss:
Head of lettuce, Romaine if possible
A couple handfuls of shredded cabbage—salted and left to sit a while
Small bouquet of kale, massaged with olive oil and marinated in splashes of lime juice and salt at least an hour
Sunchokes—a handful or more tubers sautéed till soft inside, yet crispy outside
Herbs, picked fresh, like sorrel and parsley
Toasted pecans, cooled
Hard-boiled egg, sliced
Dress with a blend of garlic, mustard, agave nectar, olive oil, lemon, herbs, water, salt and pepper. As with many truly local dishes, ingredients and proportions change with seasonal availability.
Visit ampersandproject.org for information about Amanda and Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center.
by Mia Rose Poris