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Swiss Chard Stuffed Acorn Squash with Garlic Cream Sauce

Although there are only 5 ingredients in this simple dish, it sure packs a punch and allows the hearty flavor of the vegetables speak for themselves.  As a great cold weather green that is packed with vitamins and fiber, the sauteed chard is mellowed by the soft roasted squash and warm garlic cream sauce. Impress your guests with this simple dish that is full of flavor, texture and nourishment. 

Ingredients:

1 Acorn Squash
1 Bunch Swiss Chard
4 cloves Garlic
¾ Cup Milk
2 Oz Feta Cheese

 

1.  Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp.
2.  Place aquash cut side down on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 400°F, until fork tender and set aside.
3. 
Peel cloves of garlic and add to oven for 10 minutes alongside the squash.
4.  Remove garlic and in a small mixing bowl, puree with milk and feta cheese, adding salt and pepper to taste.  5.  Coarsely chop chard and sauté in a medium saucepan with olive oil over high heat until wilty (stems are okay to use, add 2 or 3 minutes before leaves).
6.  Place sauteed chard into hallowed out squash and drizzle with cream sauce.  Bake for another 10 minutes and serve hot out of the oven. 

classic baked acorn squash

Photo courtesy of simplyrecipes.com

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Sweet and Tangy Shaved Fennel Salad

 

 

 

Fennel is widely cultivated for its aromatic seeds, flowers and bulb that closely resembles a sweet anise flavor, though not quite as strong.  It is light and crunchy and can be integrated into soup, roasted, sauteed or even served raw.  This recipe incorporates the crunch and sweetness of raw fennel with the fresh tang of lemon and serves as a great as a side dish to any meal.     

 

 

Ingredients:

1 fennel bulb, shaved paper thin with a mandoline or meat slicer

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves

1  Tbsp chopped flat-leafed parsley

2   Tbsp shaved Parmesan cheese

In a large mixing bowl, gently toss all of the ingredients together and serve immediately or chill before serving to allow flavors to blend.

 

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CSA Newsletter: Week of August 27, 2012

Every year during our largest annual fundraising event, the Duveneck Dinner, the farm crew has offered a meal for 10 served out in our fields as an item for silent auction.  Selling this unique experience has been an important way for the farm to support our fundraising and has also been a specialized kind of mission-oriented outreach.

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CSA Recipe: Summer Squash Basil Soup

We offer this recipe every year since it is such a simple, delicious use of squash and basil that makes a savory yet light summer meal soup.  There will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy this soup with the squash and basil that we expect to provide this season.

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CSA Recipe: Braised Fennel

Fennel is a highly aromatic and flavorful Mediterranean herb with a taste similar to anise. It has been growing beautifully in our fields, and we were happy to harvest it for the first time this week. The bulb, leaves, flowers, and seeds are edible. We hope you enjoy this recipe!

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Hidden Villa CSA Newsletter: Week of June 18, 2012

I think I speak for all of the farm crew when I say that some frustration has colored the last few days on the farm. The source of this disturbance to our normall ebullient field conversation comes from a strange influx of new pests. If you were to drive by our fields right now, you would probably see a large gathering of ravens. They might look like relatively happy, healthy ravens. They probably are. They should be, seeing as they are dining like kings and queens on the best seed sprouts and lettuce starts we can give them. In fact, they are probably eating ALL of the seeds and starts we plant. Next door to the feasting ravens is a massive invasion of leaf miners and flea beetles. Beyond that lies the usual but constant threat of cucumber beetles, slugs, rabbits, gophers, voles, and squirrels.

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CSA Recipe: Chard and Cheddar Sandwiches

When the chard comes on in our fields, the Farm Crew enjoys a quick and tasty lunch of fresh chard, good bread, and some delicious cheddar cheese.

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“You’re a… what?”

It’s hard to compete with the Bay Area in terms of its foodie passion and support of locavore eating. Nonetheless, I find that people I meet from San Francisco or the Silicon Valley are still surprised to hear that I’m a farmer. I see a look in their eye that says, “Whoa… that’s crazy.” But the longer I farm, the more I wonder how much is wrong with our food system if people have never met a farmer. How much trouble are we in if people my age (27) haven’t heard of anyone choosing it as a career? Next time I get that look, I want to say, “Don’t you eat? How do you not know a farmer?"

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Suzanne Allcroft
Thanks for your comment Rodica! I'm happy you agree.
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 10:32
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CSA Recipe: Roasted New Potatoes with Rosemary

If you think your kitchen is too hot to roast potatoes, you can also grill them on a charcoal grill along with whatever else you're BBQing. Be warned that new potatoes are small (especially when cut in half) and can slip through the grate, plus they burn quickly, so don't leave them over a direct flame for very long. After popping them on a hot grill, keep a close eye on them, flip them once after a few minutes or when they get nice brown grill marks, leave 'em on there until they are equally toasty on each side, transfer them to a bowl, then cover. The potatoes will continue to steam in the bowl, ensuring that they are completely cooked, creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside, and warm when the rest of your meal is being prepared. Or, you can pop them in the oven for the time-tested recipe below.

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Hidden Villa CSA Newsletter: Week of June 4, 2012

Photo Credit: Laurie Aubuchon

On our field walk today we saw newly sprouted bush beans coming in healthily next to fifteen lines of hearty looking potato plants. At the same time our old strawberry patch is almost completely inundated with noxious bind weed and some of the tomatoes that we planted on Friday have already been eaten by voles. It also rained on us, which was both good and bad. Getting a little extra water helps our crops grow but it also made it so that we couldn’t get into the field to do some needed tractor work and planting. The rain will also increase the weed pressure on all our crops.

This is why I love small scale diversified organic farming. Everyday is a new and different challenge and I get to work outside with a small crew of good friends to grow some of the best food I have ever had in my life.

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What to Plant?

The Hidden Villa Farm Crew picks what to plant not just from seed catalogues but also through trial and error and collective memory. What varieties of peppers have done well here? Which broccoli gave us the best heads and regrowth? I am learning that there are a lot of considerations when choosing seeds and plant varieties. Each seed we grow is a dedication of time and resources, so we make careful selections based on what has been successful in the past, what works for our climate, and what other local growers recommend.

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CSA Recipe: The Farm Crew's Perfect Kale

Everyone on the farm has a favorite cooking method or prized tips for turning dark, leafy kale, into a bowl of tender, tasty (and incredibly healthy) greens. This recipe combines the Farm Crew's favorite tips on how to make the perfect greens. 

Don't forget that you can purchase fresh veggies, fruits, eggs, and meats from Hidden Villa's stall every week Los Altos Farmers' Market, held 4 to 8 pm every Thursday in downtown Los Altos.

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Hidden Villa Interns visit Community Services Agency Mountain View

By Suzanne Allcroft, Agriculture Intern

Hidden Villa's Interns recently had our weekly enrichment class at Community Services Agency (CSA) Mountain View to learn about the organization and volunteer at its food bank. We donate a quarter of the produce we grow at Hidden Villa to the CSA Mountain View food bank during the farm season, so I was curious to see where our produce goes and how it's distributed.

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Hidden Villa CSA Newsletter: Week of May 28, 2012

Hi CSA members! I’m Suzanne Allcroft, and I’m grateful to be entering my second year as an intern at Hidden Villa. With one farming season under my belt, I’m looking forward to what I can learn from my second. Last year I think my eyes were so wide open from moving to the farm from San Francisco, I wonder if I farmed half of last season in shock (a good shock).

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CSA Recipe: Baby Japanese Turnips

Photo: Interns Nathan and Jeff at Hidden Villa's stall at the Los Altos Farmers' Market. Photo Credit: Laurie Aubuchon

Radish, beet, or turnip greens are just as edible as the vegetables they top, so don't throw them away! This CSA recipe pairs Japanese turnips with their greens, which you can find in this week's basket. And remember, even if you aren't a CSA member, you can purchase fresh veggies, fruits, eggs, and meats from Hidden Villa's stall every week Los Altos Farmers' Market, held 4 to 8 pm every Thursday in downtown Los Altos.

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Hidden Villa CSA Newsletter: Week of May 21, 2012

Photo: Joey and Max at Let’s Go Farm in Santa Rosa

Hello CSA Members. It’s Taylor, your newest member of the Hidden Villa Farm Crew. As Jason mentioned in the last newsletter, I joined the Hidden Villa community in the beginning of April. I am coming to Hidden Villa with some farming and gardening experience from small farms in both Boston, MA and Western Marin County here in California. The internship program at Hidden Villa is a very exciting prospect for me as I am working with wonderful people and taking a strong first step towards my goal of one day running my own farm. So far I have been acclimating to life here on the farm, building new muscles I never knew I had, showing off blisters, eating and growing amazing food, and generally having a great time.

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CSA Recipe: Bok Choi Salad

With the start of the CSA season comes the return of Recipes from the CSA Kitchen! This spring slaw, featuring the bok choi, oregano, and spring onions you found in your first CSA basket, is a welcome departure from a standard cabbage mix.

And remember, even if you aren't a CSA member, you can purchase fresh veggies, fruits, eggs, and meats from Hidden Villa's stall every week Los Altos Farmers' Market, held 4 to 8 pm every Thursday in downtown Los Altos.
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Kennedy Middle School Pizza Party

By Suzanne Allcroft, Agriculture Intern

This Tuesday I had the privilege of attending a pizza party hosted by a group of students from Kennedy Middle School.  But this wasn’t just any pizza party. The students made everything from scratch (even the cheese!) and it marked the finale of an after school class called Kitchen Literacy: Cooking, Nutrition, and Food Justice. For the final class, the students had invited their parents and teachers to enjoy their cooking.

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Hidden Villa Edible Plant Sale this Week

By Suzanne Allcroft, Agriculture Intern

Have you ever tried growing your own food? You may be a veteran gardener or you may be intimidated by the thought of keeping something alive. Whichever you are, if you’re tempted by the idea of picking something off the vine that you grew or grabbing something from your garden to cook for dinner, I encourage you to visit our plant sale this weekend.

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Bryden Johnston
Hi Rita, Thank you for checking in! The Hidden Villa Plant Sale is May 4, 2013 from 9:00am-1:00pm and the Native Plant Sale will ... Read More
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 15:18
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Cider-braised Lamb Shanks

This dish, featured at Hidden Villa's Second Annual Meat Tasting Tour, combines the sweet-tart flavor of hard apple cider with the earthy aroma of rosemary for an intensely flavorful sauce that, when lamb is in the picture, begs for a chewy slice of bread to mop up what's left in the pan (if there is anything left). By first browning the shanks then braising them in a Dutch oven for a few hours over low heat you are creating a rich, silky sauce and fork tender lamb that will reinvigorate your tired tastebuds in time for spring. Photo courtesy of the Los Altos Town Crier.

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