Tag: Union Square Events

From the KITCHEN: SUMMER VEGETABLE SALAD WITH LENTILS AND FIVE ACRE FARMS HONEY KEFIR

From the KITCHEN:

SUMMER VEGETABLE SALAD WITH LENTILS AND FIVE ACRE FARMS HONEY KEFIR


This recipe is more about the idea and less about which specific vegetables, lettuces or edible flowers you decide to use. It combines varying textures from the vegetables; smooth, refined and delicate sweet richness from the kefir; a wonderful balance of subtle heat from the jalapeno pepper; flavorful greens and strong meatiness from the lentils. I add a wonderful extra virgin olive oil and enough acid and salt to properly season all of this. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 pint of summer tomatoes, assorted sizes and colors
• 1 pint of summer tomatoes, assorted sizes and colors
• ¼ cup beluga lentils, raw
• ½ cup Five Acre Farms Local Honey Kefir
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
• ½ tsp kosher salt or fleur de sel
• 1 cup sliced cucumber

• 2 tbsp fresh marigold flower petals
• 1 jalapeno pepper (12 thin (1/16”) slices of jalapeno pepper, seeds included)
• 1 radish
• 6 asparagus stalks
• 8 green beans
• 1 cup of assorted local greens, whichever you desire (pea shoots, spinach, small basil leaves and celery leaves)

1. To cook lentils, simmer them in 2 cups of water with 1 tbsp salt until just cooked through and drain and cool. Set aside.

1. To cook lentils, simmer them in 2 cups of water with 1 tbsp salt until just cooked through and drain and cool. Set aside.

2. Wash all vegetables and cut them into desired shapes. Not all things should or need to be cut equally. Both larger and smaller chunks of tomatoes are nice to have.

3. Shave the radishes and jalapeno peppers thin enough (1/16”).

4. Blanch asparagus in boiling salted water for 15 seconds. Allow to cool before cutting into two-inch pieces.

5. Wash and dry greens with absorbent towels.

6. Drizzle a copious amount of honey kefir on your individual plates or serving platter. Separately, in a mixing bowl, add all of your greens, veggies, salt, half of the vinegar and half of the olive oil and carefully mix to incorporate and taste. Adjust the seasoning if you think it needs more of anything. In a separate bowl, add additional seasoning of oil, salt and vinegar to the lentils.

7. Carefully (or less carefully) assemble your dish to your desired effect.

8. Add on the marigold flowers last because they are incredibly delicate.

JOHN KARANGIS — Executive Chef, Union Square Events

Early in his career while studying Fine Dining Management, John recognized his passion for cooking and was accepted as a culinary student under Chef Andre Daguin and Chef Yves Pinard in Paris. Upon returning to the United States, John landed a job in the kitchen at UNION SQUARE CAFE under Chef Michael Romano, where he cooked for three years. From there, he worked in some of the most acclaimed kitchens on the West Coast and in New York, including GRAMERCY TAVERN and SQUARE ONE in San Francisco. He then accepted the role of Executive Chef at RESTAURANT ASSOCIATES, and later at GOLDMAN SACHS, delivering world class dining and hospitality to an elite clientele. Returning to the culinary roots where his career began, today John brings his passion for excellence and hospitality to the UNION SQUARE EVENTS team.

LOCAL FOOD MEETS THE MAINSTREAM: A CONVERSATION WITH FOUNDER & CEO DAN HORAN

LOCAL FOOD MEETS THE MAINSTREAM:

A CONVERSATION WITH FOUNDER & CEO DAN HORAN


DAN HORAN founded FIVE ACRE FARMS in 2010 to keep farmers farming and expand access to the region’s best local food. In this interview, he offers his perspective on the company’s mission, its work to bring local food into the mainstream and what it means to be Positively Local®.

How does Five Acre Farms define local food?

The way we look at it, local is about more than just distance. Local means knowing where our food comes from and what practices and processes were used along the way. It means paying farmers fairly to support their responsible farming and business practices. Local means growing the region’s economy and actively participating in the community. It means restoring the connection between farmer and consumer. We like to call this being “Positively Local®”.

What distance is considered local? Is it 50 miles—or 500?

Some people say 50 miles. Others say 500. Under the federal food safety law, local food is produced within 275 miles of where it’s sold. We think that makes sense for the Northeast, though to us, mileage is just one aspect of local. So much goes into growing, processing and distributing food that it’s more realistic to think of that effort as regional rather than going on only within the borders of your own state.

How do you select your participating farmers?

We travel around the Northeast, meeting with farmers and introducing ourselves, FIVE ACRE FARMS and how we work. Once we identify a prospective partner, we make a number of farm visits and learn about their farming practices and processes. We take our time to make sure that we have the shared vision and goals needed for a successful partnership.

Isn’t the farmers’ market the place to buy local food?

I love farmers’ markets. Having started my career as an organic farmer, I learned my first lessons in sales at farmers’ markets and always encourage people to buy directly from farmers. I also believe in keeping farmers farming by making their products more broadly available to consumers. FIVE ACRE FARMS helps farmers get into the mainstream, beginning at the supermarket—where Americans spend the most time food shopping.

Is it possible to buy local food year-round?

While it can be a challenge to buy local all year long, you should be able to get local milk and eggs throughout the year regardless of where you live. Take advantage of that to buy the freshest milk and eggs you can get your hands on. You’ll taste the difference. Other possibilities will vary by region. In the Northeast, where I live, I can buy local apples and root vegetables year-round.

How can I make sure that my neighborhood supermarket carries local food?

Hopefully, you’re noticing more and more local tags and labels in your store. If not, ask the store manager to buy local. Be sure to mention specific local items that you and your family like. Give the store leads by telling them about your favorite area farms. In my experience, grocery stores appreciate and respond quickly to this kind of input. If your store already has a local buying program, applaud its efforts, help spread the word and offer feedback.

There are so many products and claims out there. What’s your advice for making good choices when shopping local in the grocery store?

The key is to know your sources as much as possible. Start with a couple of items, and learn where they come from, who makes them and exactly how they’re handled. If you know the farmer, then you’re well on your way to being able to make a good decision. Sometimes information about the source is purposely hidden from you, and you’ll be able to tell when that’s the case. Knowing that we all lead busy lives, FIVE ACRE FARMS tries to make things simple. When you see our label, you know where your food comes from. You know that it’s local, delicious and healthy. You know that, because we vet our farms carefully, the farmers who produced it treat their animals properly, care for their farmland and groundwater and conserve energy. We do the legwork for you.

Where can I find Five Acre Farms outside the grocery store?

Our focus has always been, as we sometimes put it, bringing the farmers market to the supermarket. We’re also finding a wealth of opportunities to build on that focus by being the local solution in other places as well—like, for example, coffee shops and restaurants, including the new Kellogg’s NYC cereal café in Times Square. We even have local flying at 35,000 feet, where our products are used by UNION SQUARE EVENTS in creating in-flight menus for DELTA. We’re bringing local food into the mainstream where it should be, making it part of our everyday lives.

Graze on Local Farm Fare with Delta, Union Square Events Partnership
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