Grilled Apple Tossed Salad

Grilled Apple Tossed Salad

There is just so much to like about this salad from Taste of Home. Not only does it taste good, it’s good for you. And nearly all of the ingredients can purchased at Colchester Neighborhood Farm including the fresh lettuce, Red Russian Kale and Curly Kale for the greens, apples, raw honey, and Blue Cheese. So why not stop into Colchester Farm today and make this sweet and tasty salad tonight. Feel free to grill up some fresh chicken to add a little protein. 


  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup white or regular balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha Asian hot chili sauce
  • 2 large apples, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 package (5 ounces) spring mix salad greens
  • 1 cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese


  • For dressing, whisk together first eight ingredients. In a bowl, toss apples with 1/4 cup dressing.
  • Place apple slices on a grill rack over medium heat; reserve dressing left in bowl. Grill apples, covered, until tender and lightly browned, 3-4 minutes per side, brushing with reserved marinade.
  • To serve, toss greens with remaining dressing. Top with grilled apples, walnuts and cheese.
Health Tip: Lighten this salad by leaving off the walnuts and blue cheese. You’ll save 150 calories per serving, but the grilled apples and homemade dressing will still make it taste as if it came from a restaurant.

Editor’s Note

To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Easy and Cool Summer Salad

Easy and Cool Summer Salad

With temperatures hovering well into the 80s and the dew point inching toward the 70s, nobody wants to cook on the grill or the stove, for that matter.  These are the days when cool summer salads really hit the spot and nothing tastes better than a salad made with veggies picked right from the garden. Fortunately, all of the main ingredients in this salad from Allrecipes can be purchased at Colchester Neighborhood Farm, which has plenty of freshly harvested zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers for sale.

Cucumber Tomato Salad with Zucchini and Black Olives in Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette



Apple, Fennel, & Kohlrabi Salad

Apple, Fennel, & Kohlrabi Salad

If you are searching for a wonderful summer salad to serve that uses freshly harvested produce such as Fennel and Kohlrabi, then you have to check out this recipe. The spicy flavors of the kohlrabi and greens combined with tart apples and sweet roasted pecans make this a dish that is sure to delight the taste buds. We found this recipe at wildgreensandsardines and it is, by far, one of the best ways to serve up kohlrabi and fennel on a warm summer night.

Apple, Fennel, & Kohlrabi Salad with Maple-Roasted Pecans

serves 4 
1 tart apple
1 medium fennel bulb
1 small kohlrabi
2 medium-sized carrots
Bunch of of mizuna leaves or other spicy greens (such as arugula, watercress)
White wine caraway vinaigrette (recipe to follow)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Maple Roasted Pecans (recipe to follow)

Thinly slice the apple, fennel, kohlrabi (with a mandolin or sharp knife).  Julienne or thinly slice the carrots.  Chop the mizuna.  Add all the vegetables to a large bowl.  Toss with dressing.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Top with maple roasted pecans.

White Wine Caraway Vinaigrette

1/4 cup of olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon *toasted and ground caraway seeds
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon ground dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a bowl.  Whisk until well combined.

*To toast the caraway seeds: Heat a small skillet over high heat.  When hot, add the whole caraway seeds to the dry skillet.  Shake the pan to keep the seeds moving around until they darken slightly and give off an earthy aroma, about 1 minute.  Transfer the seeds to a mortar and pestle or spice/coffee grinder.  Grind to a powder.

Maple-Roasted Pecans

2 cups pecans
1/4 cup maple syrup
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Spread the pecans on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown and toasty.

Heat the maple syrup in a small pot or pan until warmed through, 2-3 minutes.  Drizzle the warm maple syrup over the pecans.  Season with salt and pepper, and cayenne to taste.  Stir to combine.

Spread out with a spatula so the pecans are in a single layer.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let sit until the maple syrup hardens.

Fresh from the farm is an experience

Fresh from the farm is an experience

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables from a local farm stand not only demonstrates healthy eating habits to children, it can teach them the value of supporting local agriculture. If we’re lucky, the trip to the farm can result in a few cherished memories. There is no denying that tomatoes or lettuce picked the same day  taste better than the produce purchased from the grocery store. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of harvesting food from a backyard garden rather than a refrigerator, you will agree that the “chore” itself could be as fun as the food was tasty. I remember picking vegetables with my grandfather; he taught me how to choose the ripest and sweetest tomatoes and how to determine when peppers were ready to be picked. Even sweeter than those tomatoes are the memories of the experience that I still carry with me today.


By today’s standards, however, we are not always as diligent about taking time to smell the roses…or as the case may be, the basil. In our rush to complete all of our errands, making a special trip to a local farm, exclusively for the purpose of buying cucumbers and tomatoes, can seem like an added chore and one that could easily be eliminated, if we just purchased our produce at the local grocery store, along with all of the other items on our list. But sometimes, these everyday chores are the same ones that create an experience and in the process, a lasting memory, for children and parents, alike. If we eliminate these so-called chores, we may be denying ourselves and our children the pleasure of true, quality time spent together.


When you buy your fruits and vegetables from Colchester Neighborhood Farm, consider blocking out an extra 15 minutes or 30 minutes for the “chore” because it could easily turn into a fun and wonderful experience. Colchester Neighborhood Farm is a social enterprise in every sense of the word. Employing adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities who are more than happy to wait on their customers at the farm stand, they are also eager to show off their farm, which includes chickens, a friendly donkey named Dapple, and some goats and their babies…yes the kids love the kids! A visit to Colchester Neighborhood Farm is more than just buying fresh fruits and vegetables, it is an opportunity for our children to learn about agriculture, to see how their food is grown and where it comes from. And going home with a few good memories along with some fresh tomatoes, organically grown cucumbers, and a bouquet of fresh flowers isn’t bad either.

Spring Salad with Strawberry Basil Dressing

Recipe courtesy of Randy Lucero and Erin DeMari at Smith House

Salad Ingredients:
6 cups or more of mixed greens chopped
In order to help stretch our salads we add any greens we receive from the farm such as Kale, leeks and swiss chard.
Add any additional veggies on hand such as tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, sprouts, scallions, walnuts (Get creative with whatever is on hand)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup of hulled and sliced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Combine all of the above ingredients together and puree. (use a blender or food processor)

Combine all the salad ingredients and toss with the fresh pureed dressing!

This salad is high in Vitamins A, C and Iron.

Nutrition info for Arugula, Kale, Mustard Greens & Dandelion Greens

Nutrition info for Arugula, Kale, Mustard Greens & Dandelion Greens

Arugula is low in calories and high in vitamin A and vitamin C.  One-half cup contains about two calories.

Kale eases lung congestion and is beneficial to the stomach, liver and immune system.  It contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes from macular degeneration and it also contains indole-3-carbinol, which may protect against colon cancer.  Kale is an excellent source of calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, and chlorophyll.

Mustard Greens are an excellent anticancer vegetable.  They may also be beneficial for colds, arthritis or depression.  While mustard greens sold in the United States are relatively mild in flavor, some mustard green varieties, especially those in Asia, can be as hot as a jalapeno pepper depending on their mustard oil content.

Dandelion Greens are beneficial to digestion and is an antiviral that may be useful in the treatment of AIDS and herpes.  It may also be useful in treating jaundice, cirrhosis, edema due to high blood pressure, gout, eczema and acne. Dandelion is also used to treat and prevent breast and lung tumors and premenstrual bloating.  Dandelion greens are high in vitamin A (in the form of the antioxidant carotenoid), vitamin C, and also contain calcium and potassium.  Dandelion root contains insulin, which lowers blood sugar in diabetics.

Recipe: Sautéed Greens & Braised Baby Bok Choy

Sautéed Greens

This recipe is a great tasting way of receiving the many health benefits of the super food Greens.  The leeks are a delicious complement, and this dish can be made very easily, so you can have it often.  Adding the oil at the end gives it a rich taste without heating it making this even healthier than most sautéed greens.

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes

1 C. sliced leeks, about 1 leek or Onions
4 C chopped Greens (Kale, Spinach, Mustard)
1/4 C + 1 T. chicken or vegetable broth
3 medium cloves garlic, pressed
1 t. fresh lemon juice
1 t. extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

1. Heat 1 T. broth in a 10-12 inch stainless steel skillet.  Sauté sliced leeks in broth over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add Greens, ¼ cup broth, cover and simmer on low heat for about 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
2. Toss with pressed garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Serves 2


Braised Baby Bok Choy (adapted by Carol D’Espinosa)

1 lb. baby Bok Choy or mature Bok Choy
2 T. Olive Oil
1/2 C. chopped Red Onion
1 t. Soy Sauce
1/2 t. Pepper
2 T. Rice Vinegar

1. Trim the base of the Bok Choy, then chop off the leaves.  Cut the base in half lengthwise, then cut the halves crosswise on a diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick strips.  Cut the leaves crosswise on diagonal 1½” wide strips.

2. Place a large wok or a pan large enough to hold all the Bok Choy over medium heat.  When it is hot, add the olive oil and rotate the wok or pot a bit to coat it evenly.  When the oil is hot, add the onion and stir-fry until softened, 2-3 minutes.  Add the Bok Choy and season with the salt and pepper.  Cover and cook until tender crisp, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the vinegar and serve hot.

Serves 2 – 3

“Green” Recipes: Kale & Watercress

We have planted lots more greens than the typical kale and Swiss chard and spinach.
There are Asian greens and other high powered dark leafies coming along; general rule of thumb – the darker the green, the more highly nutritious ~ there is one called vita-green!
In a few weeks you will be seeing Bok Choy and other Choy family greens with beautiful colors and textures; Yukina Savoy, Komatsuna and some with equally beautiful variety names such as Summer Fest, Black Summer, Autumn Joy and Win Win.
For the most part, the greens are great eaten fresh in a salad or also braised or in a stir fry or smoothie.  They are all also easily interchangeable in recipes calling for Swiss chard, kale and spinach. 

From member Jamie…
I found kale and watercress recipes on a website called  They’re all meatless and sound pretty good.  I picked a few to share, but the website (maybe you’re familiar with it already) has lots of recipes using all kinds of good stuff! 

Quinoa with Mushrooms, Kale, and Sweet Potatoes 

Whole-Grain Spaghetti With Garlicky Kale and Tomatoes

Kale with Roasted Peppers and Olives

Kale and White Bean Soup

Chilled Sweet Pea and Watercress Soup

Gingery Sautéed Watercress and Shiitakes


One of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by human beings, these plants are members of the cabbage family, botanically related to garden cress and mustard — all noteworthy for a peppery, tangy flavor.

Enjoy watercress in stirfry, in soup, on pizza, on a sandwich, etc…

There are interesting recipes to be found on the watercress website…

For nutritional information on raw watercress go to

Recipe: Dandelion Greens

Be on the look out for the dandelions sprouting in your yard.  They are best eaten when very young!
This is a great salad with any greens:  keep the recipe handy for when you spot the “dandies”!

Dandelion and White Bean Salad
by Chef Carol D’Espinosa 

3 cups baby Dandelions
1 C. canned Cannelloni Beans, rinsed
¼ C. sliced red Onions
Grape Tomatoes
¼ C. Oil Cured Olives
Salt & Pepper

EVOO & Balsamic Vinegar or any Vinaigrette
Add dressing & toss just before serving.

Any Combo of veggies can be used in any proportion!!

 Chef Carol’s Abbreviations:
(EVOO) = Extra Virgin Olive Oil
C. = Cup     T. = Tablespoon     t. = Teaspoon 

Sautéed Greens and Garlic
by Chef Carol D’Espinosa 

1-3 sliced or chopped Garlic cloves
1 T. of EVOO in a skillet on med. heat sauté until garlic starts to turn light golden (1 min?)
Add 3 C. or so of Tender Greens, well drained but not dried
Toss 1-2 min. until just wilted.  Serve warm. 

I used this recipe on Tender Greens such as Dandelions, Spinach, Beet Greens, Broccoli Rabe, etc.
ENJOY! Chef Carol

Recipe: Swiss Chard, Onion, and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza

Here’s a pizza recipe sent from Dorian.   In her own words… “It really is one of the most delicious pizzas I’ve ever had.”

Swiss Chard, Onion and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza

Pizza dough:
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm (110 deg.) water
4 cups flour — I use 3 unbleached and 1 whole wheat
2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of the warm water.  Combine flour, salt, yeast mixture, rest of water and olive oil.  Knead for 10 minutes, or until dough is soft and silky but not sticky, adding more flour if necessary.  Cover and let rise until double, about 45 min.  Flatten out dough to fit baking stone or divide and flatten to desired sizes (this recipe makes 4 good-sized pizzas, enough to feed 4 with leftovers).   Cover with toppings and bake at 450 degrees for 10-20 minutes (depending on size) until golden brown.

Swiss chard, sliced into wide (1/2 inch) ribbons (washed but not cooked)
Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into rounds
Either thinly sliced red onion, or caramelized onions, or both
Either sun-dried tomatoes, or small slices/chunks of fresh tomato
fresh basil leaves
parmesan cheese
a very small amount of tomato sauce
balsamic vinegar
freshly ground pepper to taste

Put a thin film of tomato sauce over the surface of the dough.  Arrange slices of fresh mozzarella around the circle of dough.   Scatter the ribbons of swiss chard, the caramelized onion and the raw onion.  Arrange the sun-dried tomatoes or the fresh tomato around the dough.  Scatter the basil leaves.  Sprinkle the whole thing with parmesan cheese and a few grinds of pepper.  Bake at 450 deg. until the crust is golden and the mozzarella is beginning to brown.  Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top just before serving.

Recipe: Mixed Greens Soup

1 lg. bunch mixed Greens (kale, collards, beet greens, vita greens, what have you?), lg. stems removed,
rinsed, roughly chopped & steamed for 5 minutes in 1 Cup Water
Garlic Powder, Onion Powder or Sautee 1 small diced Onion & 1-2 cloves of chopped Garlic Sauteed in 1 T. Olive oil
In a small pan heat
1 1/2 C. Milk 
1 1/2 T. Flour or 2 t. Cornstarch
Whisk flour into milk and bring to a boil.
Add to steamed greens.  Cool.  Purree in blender, food proccessor or use an emersion blender.
Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.  May be served cool, warm or hot.
Chef Carol

Recipes: Greens (the underappreciated vegetable)

Most Greens are dynamic super-foods, but all too often people are left scratching their heads about how to maximize its flavor and texture.  Yes, there are natural born kale lovers out there, but others might need a little coaxing.  This recipe will go beyond coaxing, and might just convert the greens-wary into the greens-loving.

Greens are underappreciated vegetables; they have a deep, rich taste that combines nicely with ginger and sesame.  Some are more robust in flavor.


Emerald Sesame Greens

1 bunch of GREENS (Spinach, Kale, Mustard, Chard, etc.)
½  t. sesame oil
½ t. canola oil
1 t. minced garlic
1 t. minced ginger
1 T. water
1 t. low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 t. sesame seeds
¼ t. ground red pepper

1. Wash the greens but do not pat it dry. Coarsely chop it.
2. In a 12-inch skillet or wok, warm the sesame and canola oils over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, and sauté until the garlic is lightly browned. Add the greens with the water that clings to it and sauté it, sprinkling with water until it’s tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the tamari or soy sauce, sesame seeds, and ground red pepper.


Sautéed Greens

This recipe is a great tasting way of receiving the many health benefits of the super food Greens.  The leeks are a delicious complement, and this dish can be made very easily, so you can have it often.  Adding the oil at the end gives it a rich taste without heating it, making this even healthier than most sautéed greens. 

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes

1 C. sliced leeks, about 1 leek or Onions
4 C chopped Greens (Kale, Spinach, Mustard  
1/4 C + 1 TBS chicken or vegetable broth 
3 medium cloves garlic, pressed 
1 t. fresh lemon juice 
1 t. extra virgin olive oil 
salt and black pepper to taste 

1. Heat 1 TBS broth in a 10-12 inch stainless steel skillet. Healthy Sauté sliced leeks in broth over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add Greens, ¼ cup broth, cover and simmer on low heat for about 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
2. Toss with pressed garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper. 

Serves 2

Recipe: Italian Veggie Bake

Hello Cooks,
Check this out; you can use some of our produce.  We’ll have all of the ingredients for these (except for the mushrooms) in a few weeks.

Italian Veggie Bake
Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 1 hr 20 min
Makes: 14 servings, 1/2 cup each

1 large onion, chopped
1 small unpeeled eggplant, cubed
1 medium zucchini, cubed
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 pkg. (6 oz.) sliced mushrooms
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Italian-style stewed tomatoes, drained, cut up
1/3 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

 Heat dressing in large skillet on medium heat.
Add onion; cook 5 min. or until tender.  
Add eggplant; cook and stir 5 min.
Add zucchini, pepper and mushrooms; cook and stir 5 min.
Add tomatoes, bring to boil.
Reduce heat to low; cover.
Simmer 15 min. or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
Pour mixture into casserole dish; sprinkle with cheese.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

PREHEAT oven to 350°F
Bake 25 to 30 min. or until heated through.

This dish tastes even better if prepared the day before.  Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Special Extra:
Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley just before serving

Nutrition Bonus:
The red peppers in this flavorful low fat side dish and provide a good source of vitamin C.

Diet Exchange:
1 Vegetable, 1/2 Fat

Nutrition (per serving):
Calories 50
Total fat 3g
Saturated fat 1g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 150mg
Carbohydrate 6g
Dietary fiber 2g
Sugars 3g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A 10% DV
Vitamin C 25% DV
Calcium 4% DV