Recipes from a Farm Kitchen

Ginger-Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

“Fresh ginger gives sweet potatoes a bright flavor, which pairs nicely with roasted chicken or pork chops,” explains Miller.

Yields: 4 servings

4 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 Tbsp 2 percent milk

½ tsp salt

1 tsp honey

2 lb sweet potatoes (about 2 large), peeled
      and chopped

2 Tbsp maple syrup

½ to 1 tsp grated fresh ginger to taste

Combine butter, milk, salt, honey and sweet potatoes into pan.

Cook uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, until potatoes fall apart when poked with fork (about 35 to 45 minutes).

Off heat, mash potatoes and stir in pepper, maple syrup and fresh ginger.


Pear Tart

When I have blemished fruit, I avoid wasting them by starting up the oven. This recipe is perfect for blemished pears,” says Jen Miller, of Prairie Wind Family Farm, in Grayslake.

Yields: One tart, serves 2 to 3


⅛ teaspoon salt [need fraction]

⅓ cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter

2 Tbsp canola oil

1 to 2 Tbsp cold water


1 large ripe, firm pear, peeled and
      thinly sliced

1 tsp plus ⅓ cup all-purpose flour,
      divided, plus additional for dusting

2 Tblsp sugar, divided

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

⅛ tsp grated nutmeg

¼ tsp grated fresh ginger (optional)

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Toss pear slices, 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt in a bowl.

Whisk ⅓ cup all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another bowl. Cut in butter with fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Sprinkle oil over the mixture and stir with a fork until evenly combined.

Add 1 tablespoon water and stir until the dough just stays together when pressed with a fork; add up to 1 additional tablespoon of water if the dough seems too dry.

Line a work surface with parchment paper, generously dust with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Form the dough into a small patty, dust the top with flour and roll into a 10-inch circle, adding more flour if necessary to prevent sticking. Transfer the crust to a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Lay the pear slices in decorative, overlapping circles on top of the crust, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Spoon any remaining pear juice over the slices.

Pick up the edges of the crust using a spatula and fold over the pears. The crust will not meet in the center.

Bake the tart until lightly browned and bubbling, about 40 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes before serving. 


Recipes courtesy of Jen Miller, of Prairie Wind Family Farm, which grows a wide variety of certified organic vegetables, pasture-raised hens for eggs and provides fresh fruit to CSA members, delivered year-round to north and western suburban locations. Winter produce and egg shares start in January and go through April. For more information and to sign up for the CSA season, visit



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