Tumbleweed Farm Autumn Ratatouille

Autumn Ratatouille 4

There is a nip in the air as the days grow shorter here at Tumbleweed Farm. The morning harvest requires huge mugs of piping hot coffee, winter hats and recently, long johns worn underneath our work clothes. Autumn is definitely here to stay and our days of non-stop irrigating, heatstroke and crankiness are a distant memory.  Not only is fall a welcome change but it’s downright amazing! There is even fresh snow on Mt. Hood. Pinch me! Sunrise at Tumbleweed is looking better and better each day.

Tumbleweed Farm Sunrise

Even our chickens seem to be happier in this cooler weather. Taylor loves checking on them in the morning and having a little quality bonding time before tending to other farm chores. Bear (pictured below) loves a good morning cuddle! I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this enough but we eat a LOT of fresh eggs in our household. A typical breakfast is a green smoothie with a side of scrambled eggs, toast and a lot of coffee. It’s the perfect farmers fuel and we usually stay full for hours. I love raising chickens!

Taylor with Bear

Taylor fresh eggs

We are loving this slower pace and are equally loving the fall bounty. Our late season harvest is in full swing and winter squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, broccoli and winter greens are all coming in strong. I wanted to celebrate the flavors of the season in this simple autumn ratatouille. Not only is it incredibly delicious but it hits the spot on a chilly September evening.

Autumn Ratatouille 2

I don’t know about you all but I’ve only ever eaten a summer ratatouille.  And while I think it’s delicious I’m never quite in the mood for such a hearty and filling dish in the middle of summer. I was inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi, the author of Plenty to make a fall version of this summer classic. I changed his recipe quite a bit and eliminated some steps to simplify. What I wanted to highlight most was the end of summer produce with early fall crops. This dish is absolutely delicious and a cinch to whip up-if you don’t mind standing in front of the stove for a bit! This is the kind of meal that gets better with age and makes great leftovers.

Autumn Ratatouille 3

If there is the slightest nip in the air where you live I invite you to spend a little quality time in your kitchen creating this simple and comforting meal. We served our ratatouille over cooked green lentils for a hearty and filling main course. This would taste equally delicious over rice, quinoa or simply as is.  Grab a fork and enjoy!

Tumbleweed Farm Autumn Ratatouille

Dinner

A simple and flavorful fall dish highlighting seasonal vegetables. Serve over cooked green lentils, rice, or quinoa for a complete and filling meal.
  • PREP TIME
    15 mins.
  • COOK TIME
    45 mins.
  • 4 Tablespoons grapeseed oil (or another neutral high heat oil)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small green chile, thinly sliced (can sub a jalapeño)
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 parsnips, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 medium-small eggplant cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 small potato, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped


Serves 6

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy casserole dish or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and chile pepper. Cook for about 2 more minutes stirring often. Add the squash, parsnips, zucchini, eggplant and potato. Cook until the vegetables brown up a bit and become fragrant. About 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, honey, tomato paste, crushed red pepper flakes and plenty of salt and pepper. Cover the pan and lightly simmer the vegetables for about 30 minutes. Check often and if the veggies become too dry add a little water.
  3. After 30 minutes or so taste test the vegetables. They should be soft and the flavors should be melting together. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve over cooked lentils with plenty of fresh chopped cilantro.
*Use this recipe as a guide.
*Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary.
*Serving sizes will vary depending on the size of your vegetables.
*Have fun in the kitchen and don't be afraid to switch things up.

Roasted Eggplant Hummus

Eggplant hummus 1

Calling all eggplant lovers! This is my absolute favorite hummus recipe of the moment and I’m already dreading the end of eggplant season. I made my first version of this hummus over a month ago but I didn’t get around to photographing it. I finally made it again last week (camera close by!) and we’ve been enjoying it out in the fields with fresh veggies and crackers. It’s the perfect farmers fuel and I think you all will enjoy it as well!

Eggplant Harvest September

If you aren’t a big eggplant lover this may be your gateway recipe. It’s creamy, garlicky, and has a hint of spice that takes it to a whole new level. Roasted eggplant also gives this hummus a lovely smokey flavor and the addition of parsley ties this whole dip together.

Eggplant hummus 3

Eggplant hummus 2

Grab your favorite crackers and veggies and dip away! Happy Friday.

Roasted Eggplant Hummus

Appetizers & Snacks

Roasted eggplant brings a subtle smokey flavor to this rich and creamy hummus.
  • PREP TIME
    10 mins.
  • COOK TIME
    35-45 mins.
  • 1 medium-sized Italian eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, if from the can rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, tough stems removed
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (add more or less depending on spice preference)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil + more for serving
  • salt and pepper to taste

Garnishes:

  • Minced parsley
  • pine nuts
  • extra olive oil for serving


Serves 6 servings

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the eggplant slices cut side down on a prepared baking sheet and roast until fork tender and slightly charred on the skins. Anywhere from 30 -45 minutes. Start checking eggplant after about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it slightly cool.
  2. Scoop out the eggplant flesh and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and whirl away until smooth and well combined. You may have to stop the processor a few times to scrape down the sides. Taste test and adjust seasonings as necessary. If the mixture is too thick add a little more oil or water. Season to taste with plenty of salt and pepper.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
*Use this recipe as a guide.
*Always adjust measurements and ingredients to suite your personal preference.
*Taste test as you go.
*Have fun in the kitchen!

Roasted Fennel & Beet Wheat Berry Salad

Roasted Fennel & Beet Salad

We made it! It’s officially autumn which means it’s time to crank up the oven and spend some quality time in a toasty warm kitchen.

Tumbleweed Farm has finally gotten the memo that summer is officially over and we are busy harvesting a lot of root veggies and cooler weather crops. We’ve even had a little rain! I love this change of pace and I wanted to celebrate the first day of autumn with my favorite root vegetable. The mighty beet!

Andrea Beet Harvest 3

Beets in the fields

Since the days have grown shorter we have been able to sleep in later and call it a day from the fields quite a bit earlier. It’s been amazing! We’re enjoying relaxing a bit and hanging out in the kitchen with a bottle of wine, good food and lovely friends.

Roasted Fennel & Beet Salad2

This salad is a combination of a few of my favorite things. Fennel and beets are a lovely pair and the addition of chewy wheat berries, a handful of mizuna (you can sub with arugula) and a tangy dressing make this the perfect weeknight dinner.

If you aren’t a huge fan of fennel you can leave it out and add a sliced yellow onion in its place. Taylor has mixed feelings about fennel-he doesn’t like it raw but tolerates it roasted. This salad however, had him saying “I think I may like fennel now”. Win!

Fennel in the field

If the weather has cooled down a bit in your area I encourage you to slip into your slippers, pour a glass of your favorite house red, invite a few friends over and dine on this simple and delicious meal. Bon appétit.

Roasted Fennel & Beet Salad3

Roasted Fennel & Beet Wheat Berry Salad

Dinner

Fennel and beets pair nicely in this seasonal salad.
  • PREP TIME
    15 mins.
  • COOK TIME
    45 mins.
  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 1-2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil (or another neutral oil)
  • 2 medium-sized beets, scrubbed and cut into small 1/4 inch chunks
  • 3 medium-sized fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch pieces (save a few fronds for garnish)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-5 generous handfuls of fresh mizuna (or arugula)
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup crumbled organic feta cheese (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon dijon style mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey


Serves 4

  1. Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together until well combined. Taste test and adjust as necessary.
  2. Combine 1 cup wheat berries with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until wheat berries are tender.  This can take anywhere from 35-45 minutes. Start checking berries after 35 minutes. They should be chewy but not tough. Drain any excess water if there is any.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the sliced fennel and beets together in a bowl. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on a prepared baking sheet. Roast in the oven until beets are fork tender and fennel has browned up a bit. About 15-20 minutes. Toss veggies halfway through cooking.
  4. In a large bowl toss the roasted veggies, wheat berries and mizuna until well combined-the mizuna will wilt down a bit with the hot veggies. Drizzle with the dressing (you may have extra dressing). Divide among 4 plates and top with toasted almonds, feta cheese and fennel fronds. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Use this recipe as a guide.
*Always use your best judgment and make adjustments according to your taste preference and serving sizes.
*Have fun in the kitchen and don't be afraid to try something new.
* The dressing will last 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.