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Natural Awakenings Chicago

Spring Veggie Recipes: From a Farm Kitchen

Apr 25, 2019 04:23PM

"On sunny spring days, we spend our days in the field planting new crops and harvesting. When the weather is rainy, we are in the greenhouse, seeding crops and focused on indoor projects. Since there’s a lot to do around the farm in the springtime, I like to keep dinners simple and focused on fresh spring ingredients,” says Jen Miller, of Prairie Wind Family Farm, in Grayslake.



Arugula Pesto

Yields: 4 to 6 servings

2 cloves garlic, chopped

⅓ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

4 cups loosely packed arugula leaves, washed and dried

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

In the bowl of a food processor, place the garlic, pine nuts, arugula, and grated cheese. Pulse to chop finely.

With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil until the pesto has a smooth consistency (you may not need all the oil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve on pasta or add to the top of a grilled pizza.


Feta-Radish Spread

Yields: 4 servings

1 cup chopped radishes

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 cup very thinly sliced young greens (e.g., spinach, chard)

8 oz cream cheese, softened

4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Stir together all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with crackers, pita chips or baguette slices.


Spring Herb Salad

Yields: 4 servings

2 cups oak leaf or Bibb lettuce leaves

1 cup parsley leaves

1 cup fresh dill

½ cup fresh chives

1 cup arugula leaves 

1 cup sliced almonds

Salt and coarsely ground black pepper

¼ tsp red chile flakes

3 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp olive oil

Wash the herbs and greens by immersing the leaves in cold water and swish around to loosen any dirt. Dry in a salad spinner or by spreading them on clean kitchen towels.

Place pan on stove and add almonds to dry roast. Sauté over low heat until the almonds are golden.

When ready to serve, place greens in a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, chile flakes, almonds, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Jen Miller, of Prairie Wind Family Farm, which grows a wide variety of certified organic vegetables and pasture-raised hens for eggs, and provides fresh fruit to CSA members, delivered to north and western suburban locations. Early summer shares start in June. For more information and to sign up for this year’s harvest, visit