Saturday, March 8, 2014
Portland farmer’s market devotees will surely miss Fishbowl Farm of Bowdoinham since this past Saturday was their last day at the market. But owners Chris and Gallit Cavendish have other farming plans in the offing. The couple has decided to focus on growing specialty greens to wholesale to food shops and restaurants in Maine.
Gallit Cavendish with daughter Calliope
You will still be able to buy their greens at many area food shops and to enjoy them at local restaurants too. Rosemont Market, Browne Trading Company and Aurora carry their greens; and the restaurants that they supply include Five-fifty Five, Hugo’s, Duckfat, Harraseeket Inn, Flatbread Company, Bar Lola, to name a few.
Before their farming careers began nearly 10 years ago, Chris was a licensed architect working in Portland and Gallit was a professionally trained chef with stellar credentials. She graduated from the famed Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, NY, followed by stints at New York’s Restaurant Daniel, the Waldorf Astoria, the Greenbrier at White Sulpher Springs and various locales in Europe before returning to Maine. She then became chef de cuisine at the Harraseeket Inn., which is where she met her husband who delivered produce to the restaurant from his small Bowdoinham farm.
Gallit and Chris Cavendish at their market stand earlier this winter
Gallit still loves to cook and she shared with me two recipes that she prepared over the holidays for family and friends.
Servings: about 18 pieces
3/4 pound Fishbowl Farm spinach (2 bags)
2 medium onions, chopped finely
1 head garlic or 7 small cloves, chopped finely
5 ounces feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped toasted nuts (walnuts, pine nuts or almonds)
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/16 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 box filo dough, thawed
1 stick butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a sauté pan over medium heat add olive oil. Cook onions and garlic over medium heat until translucent (approximately 3 min). Add chopped spinach. Cook until wilted. Remove from heat, place in colander to drain excess liquid. When cool, squeeze out excess liquid.
Open filo and lay out on counter with very lightly dampened towel over filo so that dough remains damp. Lay one sheet in front of you. Brush filo with melted butter. Repeat with two more sheets. Cut the filo into thirds lengthwise creating 3 rectangles.
To make a triangle shaped Spanakopita, place 1 1/2 tablespoons in bottom right corner of filo dough. Fold the filo dough to create a triangle enclosing the spinach. Continue to flip and fold the triangle for the entire length of the dough with no open edges. Brush top of triangle with butter. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet tray.
Repeat the same process using sets of 3 sheets of filo as before prepare the triangles with the spinach that remains. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden.
Butternut squash and coconut milk soup
4 small butternut squash
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cans coconut milk
2 cups water or stock (chicken or vegetable)
Garnish: Toasted, unsweetened coconut
Freshly chopped parsley and cilantro
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pierce squash 8-10 times with fork. Roast in oven on cookie sheet until soft to touch (around 1 hour). Remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove skin, cut in half and remove seeds then dice squash into 1 inch squares. Set aside.
In a 6-8 quart pot, heat olive oil. Cook onions over medium heat until translucent. Add squash to onions. Add 2 cans of coconut milk or cream. Add 2 cans of water or stock. Liquid will come to 1 1/2-2 inches above squash. Bring soup to boil and lower to simmer. Cook until squash is soft.
Blend with immersion wand or in blender. If using a blender, do not fill past half way with soup and blend in batches until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and garnish with toast unsweetened shredded coconut, parsley and cilantro.
Add 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger before blending.
Or add one diced apple and cook with onions.
Or add 1 teaspoon ground coriander and cumin.
John Golden has written about food, dining and lifestyle subjects for Downeast magazine, the Boston Globe, Cottages and Gardens magazine, Gourmet magazine, Cuisine magazine, the New York Times and the New York Post.
In his highly opinionated blog, John reports on his experiences dining out all over Maine and his visits with food personalities, farmers and farmers’ markets throughout the state.