I Made This: Cumin Carrot Soup

Cumin Carrot Soup, Cumin Carrot Soup recipe, the green garlic Cumin Carrot Soup, bittman Cumin Carrot Soup, carrots, soup

I think it’s safe to say that winter, if you can even call it that, is over for New York City. I’ve been saving this soup recipe to post on a chilly day, but today’s dreary weather will have to do. Every year, we get a boatload of carrots in our farm share, so I’m always looking for new recipes to do something more interesting than simply roasting them or throwing them in a stir-fry. So when Matt came across this cumin carrot soup recipe from Mark Bittman (one of our go-to chefs for simple, delicious recipes), we knew it was a must — plus, I really wanted to make a soup so we could use our new immersion blender.

Local highlight: carrots (duh!) from Phillips Farms in Hunterdon County, NJ

Cumin Carrot Soup, Cumin Carrot Soup recipe, the green garlic Cumin Carrot Soup, bittman Cumin Carrot Soup, carrots, soup

This recipe is really as easy as they come. There are only six ingredients, and all you have to do is roast the cuminy carrots until soft, sweet, and browned, then simmer them with onions and more spices in rich vegetable stock, and blend. Voila! Delicious, velvety soup. Top with cilantro, toasted nuts, or a dollop of creme fraiche. This recipe makes quite a bit of soup (six large bowls, maybe?). We ate it for dinner, and enjoyed the leftovers for several days. The soup keeps very well.

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I Made This: Baked Egg Boats

There is little I love more than sleeping in on the weekend. More so on Saturdays than Sundays. Waking up late on Saturdays feels refreshing and enlivening while waking up late on Sundays feels slightly overwhelming, as the forthcoming week looms before you. But no matter if you’re enjoying a long relaxing brunch on Saturday or looking forward to one last weekend treat before buckling down and preparing for the week ahead, these amazingly delicious baked egg boats are the perfect weekend brunch.

Local highlights:
– Sourdough baguettes from Buon Pane in Hudson County, NJ
– Green onions from Phillips Farms in Hunterdon County, NJ

I found this recipe while browsing Pinterest, and while mine didn’t puff up nearly as beautifully as these, the tasty egg, bacon, and cheese mixture still seeped deep into the bread, making them wildly delicious.

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I Made This: Pasta With Butternut Squash, Sage & Pine Nuts

butternut squash, pasta, pine nuts, sage, cooking, recipes

Local highlight: Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is one of my favorite vegetables. Its sweet, creamy richness is irresistible to me, so I’m always pleased to find a lovely mound of beautiful butternuts at my weekly market during the winter. Recently I turned one of these darlings into one of the most delicious pasta dishes I have ever made. No lie. The chopped butternut squash is roasted with chopped onion, minced garlic, and olive oil until its soft and nearly spreadable. Then the squash and cooked pasta are pan-fried together with sage and pine nuts to deepen the flavors and make the pasta a bit crispy.

butternut squash, pasta, pine nuts, sage, cooking, recipes

I found this recipe on The Kitchn, and I followed the directions almost exactly. I did not have a sweet onion, so I subsisted half of a regular onion, but since the onion is roasted with the squash, it still became sweet. I also used rotini in place of farfalle. I think this prohibited the pasta from getting as crispy as The Kitchn describes, but it was still incredibly tasty.

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Composting with GrowNYC

Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket, grand army plaza, gap market, grownyc, grownyc markets, grownyc composting, grownyc compost collection, composting nyc© Jessica Dailey

Saturdays are my favorite day of the week. Not only is there no work, but it’s market day, which means I can stock up on delicious fresh food, and I can empty the growing compost bag in my refrigerator. Since we joined our summer CSA two years ago, composting has become just as second nature as recycling. While there are plenty of home composting bins and kits, I have no need for a continuous supply of soil (tiny apartment with small windows = not a lot of plants), but GrowNYC makes it incredibly easy for everyone in New York City to compost, even if you don’t want the byproduct. Just collect your food scraps in a container or plastic bag, and drop them off at one of GrowNYC’s compost collections at various city Greenmarkets.

Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket, grand army plaza, gap market, grownyc, grownyc markets, grownyc composting, grownyc compost collection, composting nycvia GrowNYC website

As of January 28, 2012, GrowNYC had collected a whopping 349,286 pounds of food scraps! Today, the GrowNYC representative at Grand Army Plaza told me that this winter, just at Grand Army Plaza, they collect about 1,500 to 2,000 pounds per week — a rather incredible amount considering that the expanding composting program is less than a year old. Before March 5, 2011, GrowNYC only collect compost at a handful of markets that worked with third party partners, but now 11 of the biggest markets offer collection stations.

Food accounts for 17 percent of New York City’s waste stream, but through composting, we can turn our food scraps into a useful byproduct that will help grown more fresh produce. You can even buy the fertile soil at GrowNYC’s collection sites. For more details on what GrowNYC allows in the compost, visit their website.

Rooftop Farming in the Winter

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Recently, I had the pleasure of working with Wilder Quarterly, a new Brooklyn-based magazine aimed at modern growers and gardeners working in odd spaces (i.e. cities). The magazine’s publisher reached out to be to share a few of their latest stories on Inhabitat, and I gladly accepted as soon as I saw that they did a feature on one of my latest obsessions: rooftop farming. But what intrigued me most was that this story was for their winter issue — and winter isn’t exactly a lush and fertile time for farming anywhere, let alone on a wind-strapped warehouse roof in Brooklyn. Written by Eagle Street Rooftop Farm manager Annie Novak, the story in Wilder shares the ins and outs of wintery rooftop farming, while beautifully reflecting on the cyclical nature of life. You can read more about Annie’s experiences here.