Gingered Cantaloupe with Sage Honey.

Fresh fruit makes the simplest dessert and is that perfect sweet ending to any meal.

We always look forward to the early summer garden with fresh corn-on-the-cob and tomatoes bursting in bright vivid colors. But there’s really something to be said about the early fall garden. For us here in Central Illinois that’s when our “orange” fruits and vegetables ripen giving us big beautiful pumpkins, the sweetest sweet potatoes, plump carrots, and a personal favorite, juicy sweet fruits like redhaven peaches and cantaloupe. It’s the cantaloupe that is highlighted in this fruit dessert.

Cantaloupe is perfect sliced in wedges and eaten plain, but if you want to elevate the flavors cut the fruit into melon balls and mix them with freshly grated ginger and a drizzle of sage honey. That peppery tang in the fresh ginger just hits the tongue in the most delightful way and changes the cantaloupe giving it a more dynamic flavor. Then the sage honey comes in with a sweet, clover-like flavor and tames the ginger. But what really brings it all together is the floral undertones in all three of the ingredients. The flavors explode in your mouth and then come together in a gentle swaying dance.

Just use a light hand with both the ginger and honey. Fresh ginger can be very potent and can overtake the more mellow cantaloupe. You know the rule: you can always add more, but you cannot take it away.

Black and Blue Salad

It’s product recipe time and this one couldn’t be easier, or tastier! The classic Black and Blue Salad using our Spaghetti and Steak Seasonings.

CROUTONS

What is it about the bottom of a loaf of bread that is just so sad? In our kitchen the older the bread gets the less love it receives until it starts to look like a science project. That is until we decided to look at stale bread with new eyes and giving it a second life. One of our favorite ways to use older bread is to make homemade croutons. Croutons are extremely easy to make and with garden season just ahead perfect with salads giving them that wonderful crunch. We like to use rustic bread which gives the croutons an airiness, but you can use any bread you have on hand. Season the bread with our Spaghetti Seasoning to give it a kick of flavor. Blends especially well with a black and blue salad.

DRESSING

We know blue cheese dressing sounds like the obvious choice here, but we really love the taste of balsamic vinaigrette with steak. To tie the croutons and the salad together we mix up our own vinaigrette using an envelope of good seasons zesty Italian.  Here’s the recipe: Mix 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons water, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese with a package of Italian seasoning.

Black and Blue Salad

Cedar Oak Farms
A simple, yet delicious, salad using the bold blend of our Steak Seasoning. Homemade croutons made with our rustic country bread and spaghettis seasoning.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

SALAD

  • 2 black angus boneless strip steaks
  • 2 tablespoons COFarms Steak Seasoning
  • 4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

CROUTONS

  • 1/4 loaf rustic country bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons COFarms Spaghetti Seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Sprinkle both sides of steak with Steak Seasoning and set aside bringing to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes and place in large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and Sprinkle with seasoning. Toss to coat. Arrange the cubes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Heat a grilling pan over medium-high heat, add the steaks and cook 3 -4 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Let steak stand 5 minutes before cutting across the grain into thin slices.
  • Divide the lettuce and parsley between to large salad bowls. Arrange onion, avocado, tomatoes, croutons and crumbled blue cheese on lettuce. Top with sliced steak. Serve with dressing of your choice.
Keyword Beef, Salad, Spaghetti Seasoning, Steak Seasoning

Roasted Corn & Mascarpone Ravioli

Spring awakens the gardens here on the farm and we are excited to share some of our favorite garden-fresh recipes. April’s farm-to-table recipe is handmade ravioli stuffed with a roasted corn filling, fresh herbs, with a lightly sweet wine cream sauce.

Roasted Corn & Mascarpone Ravioli

Cedar Oak Farms
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients
  

Pasta:

  • 4 eggs3 ½ cups flour1 tsp salt1-2 tablespoons water

Filling:

  • 4 ears of corn shucked and desilked
  • 2/3 cup mascarpone
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Sauce:

  • 1/2 sweet onion diced
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup sweet white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano destemmed

Instructions
 

  • Crack the eggs into a glass measuring cup. Add enough water to measure 7/8 cups, if necessary.
  • Place the flour and salt into the stand-up mixer bowl. Attach bowl and paddle attachment to the mixer. Mix on low gradually adding the eggs. Mix for 30 seconds.
  • Exchange the paddle attached with the dough hook. Mix on low and knead for 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
  • Heat some olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat for about a minute, until shimmering. Add the corn and cook over medium-high heat for about 2-2 1/2 minutes, then give each cob a quarter turn and continue cooking for 2-2 1/2 minutes a side, repeating until all four sides are cooked and nicely seasoned. This will take approximately 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Remove corn and let cool slightly just until able to handle. Cut the corn off the cobs and place in a medium bowl. Add the mascarpone and let melt slightly before adding the egg, heavy cream, thyme, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well.
  • Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and process using the pasta roller attachment. Thin the pasta starting on the 1 setting and work the dough through the 5 settings. Lay 2 of the pasta strips on a clean lightly floured surface. Brush the pasta with slightly beaten egg whites.
  • Evenly position a teaspoon of corn filling along the pasta strips. Lay the last 2 strips of pasta over the cheese filling slightly pressing into forms.
  • Evenly cut the pasta with a pizza cutter or ravioli form. Using fork twine press the edges of the past to seal.
  • Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the ravioli and return to a boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the ravioli float to the top and the filling is hot, 4 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the onion and shallot and sauté until soft, about 3 – 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute, or until garlic is fragrant. Stir in the wine and let simmer until reduced to about 2 tablespoons of liquid. Add the heavy cream, half-and-half, thyme, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pasta and stir to cover.
  • Remove from heat. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Keyword Pasta

Brussels Sprout Pizza

Craving a light and tasty pizza! This Brussel Sprout Pizza is brushed with garlic oil, caramelized onion, roasted brussels sprouts, bacon, cheeses, and fresh herbs all on a brick oven crust.


Brussels Sprout Pizza

Cedar Oak Farms
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package brick oven pizza crust (2 crusts)
  • 4 tablespoons garlic olive oil ((see recipe above))
  • 1 large caramelized sweet onion ((see recipe above))
  • 1 cup roasted brussel sprouts ((see recipe above))
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (like rosemary and oregano, divided)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Using a pastry brush, generously brush the pizza crusts with the garlic oil.
  • Layer the onion over the crust, equally divide the onion between the crusts.
  • Divide the brussel sprouts between the crusts, arranging them strategically between the onion.
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the herbs over each crust.
  • Equally divide the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle over each pizza.
  • Sprinkle the remaining herbs over the cheese.
  • Equally divide the parmesan cheese and sprinkle over each pizza.
  • Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Keyword Pizzas & Flatbreads

Mushroom & Leek Flatbread

Herb-roasted mushrooms, flatbread pizza, kale pecan pesto, and creamy melted muenster cheese. This recipe is a garden buster taking advantage of many fresh garden items: leek, kale, and herbs.

Mushroom & Leek Flatbread

Cedar Oak Farms
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces organic baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons fresh herbs like oregano, sage, and thyme, chopped
  • 1 leek, root and outer layer removed and sliced
  • 2 cups kale, loosely packed
  • 2 tablespoons pecans
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil + more for drizzling, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 package refrigerated flatbread dough
  • 4 ounces Muenster cheese, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half
  • Cedar Oak Farms Smoked Sea Salt

Instructions
 

  • Place the mushrooms and herbs in a medium bowl. Drizzle with enough olive oil to coat mushrooms. Season with COFarms Smoked Sea Salt and let sit for 20 minutes to absorb flavors.
  • Pour the mushrooms, oil and all, into a skillet and sauté for 5 – 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and butter in a medium nonstick pan. Heat until butter starts to foam, add the leeks. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a tight lid, and let cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with COFarms smoked sea salt. Remove from heat and let cool slightly
  • Place the kale and pecans in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the water pulse until combined. Season with COFarms smoked sea salt.
  • Unroll the flatbread dough on a 13×9-inch baking sheet with parchment paper down. Spread the kale pesto over the dough. Layer on the mushrooms and leeks. Bake at 425°F oven for 14 – 18 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven.
  • Place the cheese cubs and half-and-half in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 1 minutes. Stir and continue melting at 30 seconds intervals until a smooth consistency. Drizzle over the flatbread.
  • Serve immediately.
Keyword Meatless, Pizzas & Flatbreads, Smoked Sea Salt