Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cafe and Pride Fest

Well you may have noticed that we're a little behind schedule for the cafe. Looks like the "soft" opening will now be next Monday or Tuesday. It is looking great and we're super excited about expanding our menu in the coming weeks.

Also, if you are at Pride Fest this weekend be sure to stop by our booth. We'll be selling wraps, cucumber/feta salad, pasta salad, and hummus. Yum. The Local Harvest Gang also again has a booth at the Tower Grove Farmer's Market. We'll have wraps, parfaits, and yerbe mate.

Also we have a few pints of sour cherries left at the store. Eat them plain or remove the pits, add a little sugar and make a small tart. We also have some very local peaches--and I mean very local--as in near Kingshighway.

Have a super swell weekend.
Yours in good eating,

Sunday, June 22, 2008


It's a great time for Quiche. Mmm. Here's a dish I made last night. I like to make a big ol' quiche so I use a large, deep, ceramic pie pan. If using a small pan you will probably have some leftover dough and I would cut the filling a little. Let me also say that even though I used an enormous pie pan, four of us ate the whole thing. Sure, I had good intentions to save a piece for my son who was already in bed, but alas he'll have to wait to have some of his mama's quiche. Sad.

Nut crust:
1/2 cup walnuts or almonds
1 1/2-1 3/4 cup flour (can mix a little whole wheat flour in with white)
5 TBLS butter
5-6 TBLS ice cold water

Grind nuts ( I use a small coffee grinder to do this) until they are super small and try not to get to nut butter consistency although I've had this happen and the recipe still works. Mix nuts, flour and butter. Mix together using a pastry cutter or forks. Do this until it is consistency of cornmeal. Then slowly mix in water until the dough sticks together. You want the dough to be slightly moist not wet. Roll out and chill until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 375

1 medium red onion
1/2 lb swiss chard chopped (can use broccoli, kale, mushrooms)
5 slices of tomato
5 eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used Nancy's Organic Plain. You can use milk instead of yogurt for a softer quiche consistency. I like mine a little more firm. )
6 0z grated cheese ( I used Morningland Dairy Med Sharp. Be sure to use a cheese with a lot of flavor)
fresh herbs (I used dill, parsley, and chives)
ground pepper

Saute onion in a little olive oil until onion begins to soften. Add chopped chard (be sure to remove most of the stem especially if they are big leaves) and saute until wilted. While this is cooking, mix eggs and yogurt together. Cut (I just use kitchen scissors to cut fresh herbs ) herbs and add to mixture. I would say I probably had a 1/4 cup of herbs total. Mix in salt and pepper.

Putting it together:
If you haven't already, put pie crust into your pie pan. Now add a layer of cheese to bottom. This keeps your crust from getting soggy by providing a barrier of fat. Mmm. Next add chard/onion mixture. Pour custard on top of your filling. Lay tomato slices on top and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Let it cool. We served ours with a little cucumber/tomato salad and bread.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gas Hole

Quick heads up about a movie showing this weekend. Figured some of you would be interested.
Here's the info:
JUNE 20-22
Narrated by Peter Gallagher
" St. Louis was an amazing experience! The response was huge and we are thrilled that "GasHole" did so well it was extended for another weekend." - Scott D. Roberts & Jeremy Wagener directors/producers
The film tackles the enormously timely issue of gas consumption and alternative fuel.

Showing Friday, June 20 at 7:15 p.m., Saturday June 21, 2:30, 4:45, & 7:15 and Sunday, June 22 at 2:30, 4:45 & 7:15 at the Hi-Pointe Theater at 1005 McCausland Ave, St Louis, MO 63117, ironically under the shadow of our favorite, giant Amoco sign at Clayton Road and McCausland Avenue, will premiere The Film Racket's new documentary, GasHole.
GasHole tickets for the June 20-22 shows are $8.75 for adults and $6.75 for seniors, students and matinees. Tickets are available now at and at the door day of the shows.

Check out our site and to learn more about the movie and read some reviews.

They are also going to be selling organic popcorn at the theatre. Yeah.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fennel and fava beans

Local Harvest Grocery is overflowing with delicious produce both local and non-local organic. Local yummies-zucchini, squash, spinach, fennel, kohlrabi, GARGANTUAN broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, lettuce, and spring onions. Mmm, mmm good. Non-local tasty treats include fava beans, peaches, plums, pink lady apples, and grapefruit.

Tonight I made a pasta with fava beans and spinach, a side of lightly sauteed fennel, and sliced tomato with balsamic vinegar. I am new to the fava bean and I'm now a convert. Clara (our catering manager and maker of Clara's hummus, black bean dip, artichoke dip, etc....) told me how to prepare that crazy fava. First bust open the big pod, then throw the beans in boiling water for a few minutes. Drain and then remove the skin of the bean. You're left with a bright green bean. I then sauteed it in a little butter and olive oil, and added a bit of salt and pepper. I added spinach to the same pan after a few minutes and cooked it down a bit. As per Pat's suggestion, I mashed the fava beans and tossed the beans and spinach with some Parmesan cheese. I served it on Mangia Pasta (tagliatelle) and tossed it with a little more olive oil. Not kidding you--it was one of the tastiest meals.

The fennel was also unbelievably good. I chopped it and lightly sauteed it in butter and that's it. I just used a little. It was so nutty and flavorful. I wish I had more 'cause I'm still thinking about it.

Yours in a vegetable bounty,

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Summertime at LHG

Tonight I had a hard time coming up with a plan for dinner. After a day outside gardening and attending an afternoon outside BBQ, I wanted to eat something cool. Some Dippity ice cream or gelato came to mind (both 10% off right now by the way) but I'd just be hungry in half an hour. It's still too early for the bounty of tomatoes that will arrive in a few weeks so no tomato/mozzarella salads or juicy sandwiches with fresh tomato. Urgh.

So we ate egg salad sandwiches on a Companion baguette. I used eggs from Farrar Out Farms, a little mayonnaise (sorry we don't sell the kind I used), mustard, pickle, onion, celery and I added fresh dill and parsley from my garden and used the last of my lettuce (it'll probably be bitter in a couple of days). It was so good and we ate it outside which seemed appropriate.

And here's a weird thought--I wonder why no one ever sells plain hard boiled eggs. Stores sell cut carrots, celery, cheese, etc, but really, it's harder to boil an egg than cut up celery. And you know every now and then you just want a hard boiled egg. Hmm.

Stay dry this week and let's hope for some sun so our farmers' crops can grow.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Permits and cycling

We had our zoning hearing last Thursday (May 29) for Local Harvest Cafe and Catering. The best I could gather it looks like everything is a go as long as we provide parking for folks. Lucky for us our fabulous landlord Rich Codd already had a plan in place for that. I have to say I was more nervous than I would have thought when going before this commission. And I think that nervousness stifled me for awhile, 'cause the second I got outside I started thinking about how weird it was that we absolutely had to have parking in order to get the permit.

So, is this because 1) The city knows that restaurants with parking are more successful? 2) The city is concerned that the cafe would take spaces from residents since it is both commercial and residential or 3) Is the City of St. Louis in cahoots with the big oil companies? It all made me feel sad again about how car dependent we all are--me included. This ruling came at the same time I was reading this amazing article in Bicycling magazine (June 2008) called "The Way It Should Be Is The Way It Is." How great it would be if we all rode our bikes more often. The article tells of the author's trip to Holland and details the resources they have put into major bikeways. That's right, bikeways not highways. It's a great read full of mind boggling stats like the fact that in Groningen, they expect that in 2008 65% of all trips in the city will be made by bicycle--65%. Shocking. Even in the most bike friendly areas of the U.S. the highest rates are about 3%.

Good news is the cafe will open and we'll have all of our permits, etc. And I guess the good news is that you can park your car at the cafe. And even more good news, you can also park your bike.

Can't wait to see you at the cafe--hopefully around June 20!