GOOD­NESS

Emma Boyd meets the peo­ple be­hind the pro­duce and cooks with their bounty

Cuisine - - CONTENTS - Recipes, food styling & pho­tog­ra­phy Emma Boyd

WHEN WE BE­GAN brain­storm­ing for this is­sue’s theme “time”, I knew right away that I wanted to fo­cus on the idea of tak­ing the time to dis­cover lo­cal pro­duc­ers. Of course this is by no means a new con­cept, but it’s one that has been res­onat­ing with me more and more re­cently, and it can be hugely re­ward­ing.

A move from sub­ur­ban Auck­land to semi-ru­ral Taranaki al­most a year ago has seen my ap­proach to food change sig­nif­i­cantly. On our three-quar­ter-acre sec­tion we have 60 or so fruit trees, the fruit of which we eat and pre­serve. Our chooks for­age un­der the trees and pro­vide us with eggs (when we can find them!), as well as fer­til­is­ing the soil in which we grow our veg­eta­bles.

We buy our milk from the farm gate and stop at stalls along the road­side to buy veg­eta­bles we don’t yet grow our­selves. This ap­proach means that I feel far more con­nected to the food that nour­ishes us, know­ing ex­actly where it comes from and how it has been grown. What’s more, I have found that this has made me more re­source­ful and less waste­ful, which is also a won­der­ful thing! And as our days are pep­pered with con­ver­sa­tions with lo­cal peo­ple from all walks of life, I can feel our roots begin­ning to find a hold in our new home.

For this is­sue’s Good­ness fea­ture, it felt like a log­i­cal pro­gres­sion to col­lab­o­rate with sev­eral lo­cal pro­duc­ers, us­ing their pro­duce to write my recipes. As I met with each of them in their places of work and they told me their sto­ries, it be­came ap­par­ent that com­mon threads wove among them – the likes of sup­port­ing lo­cal grow­ers and com­mu­ni­ties, pro­duc­ing in more sus­tain­able ways and be­ing en­thu­si­as­tic and pas­sion­ate about their pro­cesses and prod­ucts. Their sto­ries I share be­low.

KAITAKE FARM

NES­TLED IN THE FOOTHILLS of the Kaitake Ranges you’ll find Kaitake Farm, once an or­ganic ki­wifruit or­chard over­seen by Gaye and Mur­ray Dixon, now a thriv­ing mar­ket gar­den run by their son Toby and his friend and busi­ness part­ner Ryan Gut. A chance meet­ing be­tween the pair just over a year ago re­vealed their mu­tual in­ter­est in healthy liv­ing and grow­ing spray-free veg­eta­bles, and sub­se­quently Kaitake Farm was born.

While the foot­print of this mar­ket gar­den is rel­a­tively small, Dixon and Gut’s bio-in­ten­sive gar­den­ing meth­ods en­able high yields of the pro­duce they grow. Salad greens have been a sta­ple, along­side a se­lec­tion of sea­sonal veg­eta­bles that grow well in the con­di­tions. The gar­den’s win­ter crops in­cluded beet­root, turnips, sil­ver­beet, kale, spinach and car­rots, and over sum­mer they grow toma­toes, cap­sicums, cu­cum­bers and zuc­chini.

It’s all-con­sum­ing work and both Gut and Dixon live on site, one in a car­a­van and the other in a pur­pose-built off-grid cabin, which al­lows them to squeeze the most they can out of every day­light hour. They sell their pro­duce to a hand­ful of lo­cal restau­rants and also do a roar­ing trade at Beach Road Milk Co, the lo­cal farm-gate milk sup­plier. De­spite be­ing only a lit­tle over a year in, the de­mand for Kaitake Farm’s prod­uct is such that they are show­ing no signs of slow­ing down. So while sup­ply is cur­rently their main fo­cus, the two are full of new ideas, and are ex­cited for the fu­ture of or­gan­i­cally grown food in Taranaki. kaitake­farm.co.nz

CAR­ROT TARTE TATIN SERVES 4-6 AS A LIGHT LUNCH WITH A SALAD / PREPA­RA­TION 30 MIN­UTES PLUS REST­ING / COOK­ING 30 MIN­UTES

The pas­try recipe makes enough for two tarts, so freeze half to use another time. 175g flour 105g but­ter, wrapped in foil, frozen,

plus 2 tea­spoons ex­tra but­ter 75ml wa­ter, chilled 350g car­rots, sliced into rounds about 7mm thick (us­ing mar­ket-fresh car­rots re­sults in a sweeter, tastier tart) 3 ta­ble­spoons olive oil 1 onion, quar­tered, thinly sliced 1 clove gar­lic, minced 2 sprigs rose­mary 2 ta­ble­spoons brown su­gar 125g goat’s cheese, soft­ened to room

tem­per­a­ture 3 ta­ble­spoons Greek yo­ghurt lemon wedges and green salad to serve Pre­heat the oven to 200°C and line a 23cm loose-bot­tomed cake tin with bak­ing pa­per.

Put the flour in a bowl and add a pinch of salt. Re­move the but­ter from the freezer and peel back the foil so the heat from your hands is not di­rectly trans­fer­ring to the but­ter. Grate the but­ter into the flour, stop­ping from time to time to stir the but­ter in with a but­ter knife.

Once all the but­ter is grated, pour in the wa­ter and stir it in us­ing the but­ter knife. Us­ing your hands, quickly work the dough into a ball then re­frig­er­ate for at least half an hour. (This step can be done a day or two in ad­vance.)

Put the car­rot rounds in a saucepan, just cover with salted wa­ter, bring to the boil then sim­mer for 4 min­utes or un­til cooked through. Drain and set aside.

Di­vide the dough in two and put one half in the freezer to use another time. Roll the other half out to 3mm4mm thick and cut out a cir­cle that is slightly big­ger than the tin.

In a heavy-bot­tomed fry­ing pan, heat 1 ta­ble­spoon of the oil and fry the onion, gar­lic and rose­mary un­til soft and translu­cent. Re­move from the pan and set aside.

Heat another ta­ble­spoon of oil in the pan with­out clean­ing it and in batches, fry the car­rot un­til it turns golden brown and starts to caramelise. Re­move the car­rot from the pan and again with­out clean­ing, add the ex­tra but­ter and the brown su­gar to the pan and heat un­til the su­gar is dis­solved.

Pour this mix­ture into the bot­tom of the tin and work­ing quickly with a spoon (it will start to harden), roughly spread it around the tin. Place the sprigs of rose­mary on top of this fol­lowed by the car­rots and then the onion mix­ture. Sea­son with sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per and put the pas­try round on top, tuck­ing in the edges. Bake for 25 min­utes or un­til the pas­try is golden brown and cooked through.

While the tart is cook­ing, put the goat’s cheese in a food pro­ces­sor with the re­main­ing ta­ble­spoon of olive oil and the yo­ghurt. Sea­son with freshly ground black pep­per and process un­til smooth.

To serve, grate the lemon zest over the tart, dol­lop with the goat’s cheese whip and serve with lemon wedges and a sim­ple green salad. (V)

JUNO GIN

AF­TER 20 YEARS in Aus­tralia, Jo and Dave James of Juno Gin de­cided to re­turn to their home­town to em­bark on a new en­deav­our to­gether. Though nei­ther had dis­tilled spir­its be­fore, both had worked in the food in­dus­try and felt it made sense to draw upon their col­lec­tive knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence to be­gin their own busi­ness.

Their still was com­pleted in May by lo­cal man­u­fac­turer Rivet, known for creat­ing the fa­cade of the renowned Len Lye Cen­tre. It was at this point that pro­duc­tion be­gan in earnest to de­liver Juno Gin’s pre-or­ders.

Al­though the cou­ple cur­rently im­port their ju­niper berries (gin, by def­i­ni­tion, must de­rive at least 50 per cent of its botan­i­cals from ju­niper berries), they are work­ing with Massey Univer­sity and an iwi group to de­velop a com­mer­cial ju­niper-grow­ing op­er­a­tion here in New Zealand.

Juno Gin’s base spirit is bought in from nearby Fon­terra, a by-prod­uct of the milk pro­duc­tion process whereby spe­cial­ist yeasts are added to whey to con­vert the milk sug­ars into al­co­hol, re­sult­ing in a high-qual­ity spirit.

The cou­ple source their aro­mat­ics from lo­cal grow­ers as well as pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als (af­ter I met with them, they stopped by our gar­den for a hand­ful of man­darins and berg­amot oranges).

Juno Gin is now avail­able through the web­site and se­lected liquor stores. juno­gin.co.nz

CIT­RUS SALAD WITH GIN SYRUP & BRANDY SNAPS SERVES 6 / PREPA­RA­TION 30 MIN­UTES / COOK­ING 25 MIN­UTES

55g but­ter 80g brown su­gar 40g flour ½ tea­spoon gin­ger ½ tea­spoon cin­na­mon ⅔ cup freshly squeezed or­ange juice ½ cup freshly squeezed grape­fruit juice 3 ta­ble­spoons golden caster su­gar 3 ta­ble­spoons Juno Gin 3 oranges 2 grape­fruit 2 limes 125g pun­net blueberries and small mint

leaves or shred­ded mint to serve 900g lab­neh (made fol­low­ing the recipe

in Chop Chop on page 30) Pre­heat the oven to 180°C and line a bak­ing tray with bak­ing pa­per. Put the but­ter and brown su­gar in a saucepan and melt, stir­ring, un­til the su­gar dis­solves. Re­move from the heat and set aside to cool a lit­tle be­fore stir­ring in the flour, spices and a pinch of salt.

Spoon tea­spoons of the mix onto the bak­ing tray, leav­ing plenty of space for spread­ing. Bake for 8 min­utes or un­til bub­bly and golden, keep­ing an eye on them as they will burn quickly. Re­move from the oven, cool then blitz in a food pro­ces­sor to form rough crumbs. Store in an air­tight con­tainer.

Pour the or­ange and grape­fruit juice into a saucepan, add the caster su­gar, bring to the boil then sim­mer for about 15 min­utes or un­til it starts to be­come syrupy. Leave to cool, stir in the gin then pour into a bowl.

Us­ing a par­ing knife, re­move the skin and all the white pith from the cit­rus fruit. Start­ing with one of the oranges and work­ing over the bowl con­tain­ing the syrup (to catch the juices), cut down one side of a seg­ment, sep­a­rat­ing the mem­brane from the fruit. Cut down the other side then gen­tly pull the seg­ment away and put into the bowl. Re­peat with the re­main­ing or­ange seg­ments be­fore work­ing your way through the rest of the fruit. Gen­tly mix to coat all the fruit in the syrup and leave for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight be­fore serv­ing.

To serve, spread a ta­ble­spoon of the lab­neh onto a small plate, top with the cit­rus salad and syrup and then the brandy snaps. Gar­nish with blueberries and mint to serve.

GREEN MEAD­OWS BEEF

THE CAREY FAM­ILY FARM lies south of Opunake, a stone’s throw from the wa­ters of the wild west coast. To the east the pres­ence of Maunga Taranaki is keenly felt, al­most as if it is stand­ing guard over the 420-acre farm and the cat­tle that graze it.

Farmed for 47 years by Joe and Margy Carey (and be­fore them Joe’s par­ents), the Carey farm was run ex­clu­sively as a dairy farm un­til 2008, when the de­ci­sion was made to con­vert to cat­tle farm­ing. Four years later, in 2012, the fam­ily felt there was an op­por­tu­nity to sell di­rect to mar­ket, and the cou­ple’s three sons came on board to form the Green Mead­ows Beef brand. Co­in­cid­ing with a re­newed con­sumer in­ter­est in the ori­gins and pro­duc­tion meth­ods of food, their tim­ing proved im­pec­ca­ble.

The Careys raise their An­gus cat­tle us­ing tra­di­tional farm­ing meth­ods whereby the an­i­mals eat only grass, silage and hay (grown on the farm) and source wa­ter from a com­mu­nity-owned wa­ter scheme. Own­ing their own butch­ery en­sures to­tal con­trol of their prod­uct from farm to plate and also en­ables them to sell di­rect to Taranaki lo­cals from the butch­ery door.

Their award-win­ning web­site reaches cus­tomers na­tion­wide and of­fers a range of pack­ages, from 3.5kg beef boxes to whole beasts, butchered and de­liv­ered fresh to the door. In 2016 well-known chef Michael Van de Elzen joined the team and cre­ated a range of prod­ucts un­der the “Good From Scratch” phi­los­o­phy in­clud­ing beef and beet­root meat­balls and burger pat­ties, with ad­di­tional flavour com­bi­na­tions in the pipe­line.

Green Mead­ows Beef now em­ploys 12 peo­ple, and af­ter five years the Careys are ex­cited to con­tinue to push the bound­aries of what it means to be a farmer. green­mead­ows­beef.co.nz

BEEF, BLUE CHEESE & BEET­ROOT BURG­ERS WITH PICK­LED PEAR

MAKES 8 BURG­ERS / PREPA­RA­TION 25 MIN­UTES / COOK­ING 20 MIN­UTES ⅔ cup white wine vine­gar 1½ ta­ble­spoons honey 2 firm pears, cored, thinly sliced 1 tea­spoon pep­per­corns 4 strips lemon zest 500g Green Mead­ows Pre­mium

An­gus Beef 1 medium beet­root (about 125g),

peeled, coarsely grated ½ red onion (about 100g), finely diced 2 cloves gar­lic, minced 1 ta­ble­spoon thyme, finely chopped 1 ta­ble­spoon tomato sauce 1 tea­spoon brown su­gar 2 tea­spoons whole­grain mus­tard 50g pine nuts, toasted 100g blue cheese (I used Kāpiti

Kiko­rangi) 8 burger buns 1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil may­on­naise to serve 8 slices tasty cheese to serve wa­ter­cress or rocket to serve Pour the white wine vine­gar into a bowl, add the honey and mash it up with a fork so it dis­solves. Once dis­solved, add the pear, pep­per­corns and lemon zest. Mix to com­bine then set aside while you make the pat­ties.

Put the beef, beet­root, onion, gar­lic, thyme, tomato sauce, brown su­gar, mus­tard and pine nuts in a bowl, sea­son gen­er­ously with freshly ground black pep­per and us­ing clean hands, mix well to com­bine. Roughly crum­ble in the blue cheese and mix again to com­bine. Shape into 8 pat­ties and re­frig­er­ate un­til ready to cook.

Cut the buns in two, put onto a bak­ing tray and grill in the oven un­til lightly browned. Set aside.

Re­move the pat­ties from the fridge and heat the oil in a heavy-bot­tomed fry­ing pan. Fry the pat­ties in batches for about 4-5 min­utes on each side or un­til just cooked through.

Spread the bot­tom half of the burger buns with may­on­naise, top with the pat­ties, then the slices of cheese, and re­turn to the grill to melt.

Once melted, re­move from the oven and top with slices of pear and a hand­ful of wa­ter­cress or rocket. Pop on the tops to serve.

BEEF, BLUE CHEESE & BEET­ROOT BURG­ERS WITH PICK­LED PEAR recipe page 106

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