Farm to Table.
What is it? It means taking what’s best, and freshest, from nature, and bringing it to your table and family. Just like we like to take the best from the ranch (think: lavender, sweet grass), and infuse it in our products (Ranch to Tub!), we love to use fresh, organic foods in our home and in our entertaining.
How do you do this in practice? At best, try it yourself, whether on a small or large scale. Start a window herb garden, or, if you have the room outdoors, start a fruit and vegetable garden.
If you don’t think you have much of a green thumb, then head to your local farmers market as often as possible. Stock up on produce that you know is grown locally. During the winter months, do your best to shop organically at your local stores. If they do have a local foods section, try that too. Better yet, plan ahead during the summer and fall, and freeze produce from your own garden or local farmers markets.
Ready to try? Below we’ve put together a festive, Farm to Table menu – perfect for a September harvest celebration. You’ll want to find a good, local wine and invite your neighbors.
Farm to Table Harvest Menu
Peach, Prosciutto, & Goat Cheese Pizzas
Makes 4 individual pizzas
- 1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water (110–115°F)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 firm-ripe peaches, cut into thin wedges and halved crosswise
- 8 very thin prosciutto slices, torn into pieces
- 3 oz soft mild goat cheese, crumbled
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- Special equipment: a pizza stone and baker’s peel
Make dough and let rise:
Stir yeast and sugar into water until dissolved and let stand 5 minutes, or until foamy. Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl and add yeast mixture, stirring until a dough forms. Knead dough on a floured surface 5 minutes. Put in an oiled large bowl and turn to coat.
Let rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
While dough is rising, put pizza stone in lowest position of oven (on oven floor if gas, lowest rack position if electric; remove other racks in either case) and preheat oven to highest setting (500–550°F; allow about 1 hour to preheat with stone).
Quarter dough on floured surface and dust with flour. Shape and stretch 2 pieces of dough into 7- by 5-inch ovals (keep remaining dough covered).
Sprinkle baker’s peel generously with flour and carefully transfer ovals to it. Jerk peel; if dough sticks, lift it and sprinkle flour underneath.
Top and bake pizzas:
Working quickly, brush ovals with some oil and top each with one fourth of peaches, prosciutto, cheese, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.
Line up far edge of peel with far edge of stone and tilt peel, jerking it gently. When edge of first pizza touches stone, quickly pull back peel to completely transfer pizzas to stone (do not move pizzas).
Bake until crisp and golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Slide peel under pizzas to remove from oven.
Shape, top, and bake 2 more pizzas in same manner. Drizzle remaining oil over pizzas.
Roasted Chicken Legs with Plum Chili Salsa
8 whole chicken legs (about 4 1/2 pounds)
For the marinade:
- 4 large ripe purple or red plums (about 1 pound), chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Oriental sesame oil
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced seeded fresh jalapeño pepper (wear rubber gloves)
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh gingerroot
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
For the Plum Chili Salsa:
- 1 pound ripe purple or red plums (about 4 large ), diced (about 3 cups)
- 1/3 cup minced red onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh coriander
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced seeded fresh jalapeño pepper (wear rubber gloves)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
- ripe plum wedges
- lime wedges
- whole fresh mint leaves
In a food processor purée the plums, the garlic paste, the oil, the soy sauce, the orange juice, the vinegar, the sugar, the jalapeño, the gingerroot, the mustard, and black pepper to taste until the mixture is smooth. In a large saucepan bring the marinade to a boil, simmer it, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until it is reduced to about 2 cups, and let it cool.
In a large shallow dish arrange the chicken, pricked in several places with a fork, in one layer, pour the marinade over it, reserving 1/4 cup for the salsa, and let the chicken marinate, covered and chilled, turning it once, for at least 1 hour or, preferably, overnight. Transfer the chicken to an oiled rack set over a foil-lined roasting pan, spoon the marinade over it, and roast the chicken in the upper third of a preheated 450°F. oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is cooked through.
Make the salsa while the chicken is roasting. In a bowl stir together the plums, the onion, the coriander, the mint, the jalapeño, the lime juice, the sugar, some of the reserved marinade to taste, salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange the chicken on a heated platter, garnish it with the plum wedges, the lime wedges, and the mint leaves, and serve it hot or at room temperature with the salsa.
Corn on the Cob with Cheese & Lime
- 4 ears of corn in the husk
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
- 3/4 cup shredded cotija or feta
- Accompaniment: lime wedges
Soak corn in husks in cold water 10 minutes. Drain corn and grill on a rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals until husks are charred, about 10 minutes. Shuck corn and grill until kernels are browned in spots, about 10 minutes.
While corn is grilling, in a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise and cayenne. Using the small teardrop-shaped holes on a four-sided grater grate cotija.
Brush mayonnaise mixture onto hot corn and sprinkle with cojita.
Serve corn on the cob with lime wedges.
Brandied Poached Peaches
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 cups water
- 5 (4-inch-long) strips fresh orange zest
- 1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
- 8 firm-ripe small peaches (2 to 2 1/2 lb total)
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons brandy or Cognac
Bring sugar, orange juice, water, zest, and vanilla bean to a boil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add peaches, stem ends up. Cover pan and reduce heat, then poach peaches at a bare simmer 8 minutes. Turn peaches over and continue to poach, covered, until tender, 7 to 8 minutes more.
Transfer peaches with a slotted spoon to a bowl or shallow dish to cool, reserving poaching liquid in saucepan. Lift out vanilla bean pod and scrape seeds into poaching liquid, then boil liquid until reduced to about 1 cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour syrup through a sieve into a small bowl or glass measure and cool. Stir in brandy (to taste).
Peel peaches and serve whole with syrup.