• To make about 1 quart of dressing, use approximately:

    • 2 cups sunflower oil (or other mild vegetable oil)
    • 1/8 c toasted sesame oil
    • 2-3 big spoonfuls mayo
    • 3 big spoonfuls of tahini paste
    • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
    • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
    • an inch long nub of fresh ginger
    • a few glugs of maple syrup, to taste

    Put everything in the blender and mix until smooth. Adjust to taste. I never measure...if it's not salty enough, add more tamari. If it's too acidic, add more oil/mayo and/or maple syrup.

  • Sesame Kale Salad

    Serves 4-6


    1 bunch fresh kale

    2 Tbs soy sauce

    2 Tbs toasted sesame oil

    1 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

    1 clove garlic, minced

    2 tsp honey or other sweetener

    1 Tbs apple cider vinegar

    dash of black or red pepper to taste


    Strip kale leaves from stems. Chop stems and greens. Steam stems a couple minutes then add the greens and steam until just tender. Drain; let kale cool enough to handle it. Squeeze out as much water as possible. Place in a serving bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients in another bowl; add to the greens. Mix, chill and serve.

    • 2 teaspoons butter
    • 1 cup pecan halves
    • 2 tablespoons golden brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/8 teaspoon (scant) cayenne pepper

    • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar*
    • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/4 cup olive oil

    • 2 medium apples, quartered, cored, thinly sliced crosswise
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 5 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (or combination of cabbages - red, green, savoy, napa)
    • 3/4 cup dried tart cherries or cranberries (about 5 ounces)

    Melt butter in nonstick medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add pecans and stir 1 minute. Add brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne; stir until nuts are coated, about 1 minute. Transfer nuts to foil sheet and cool.

    Whisk both vinegars and mustard in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Do ahead Spiced pecans and dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Store pecans airtight at room temperature. Cover and chill dressing; bring to room temperature and rewhisk before using.

    Toss apples with lemon juice in large bowl. Add cabbages and dried cherries; mix. Add dressing and toss. Stir in pecans and season salad with salt and pepper.

  • Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup rice vinegar (not seasoned)
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon grated peeled ginger
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 fresh jalapeno chile, finely chopped, with seeds
    • 1 small head Napa cabbage (1 1/2 pounds), cored and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
    • 1 bunch scallions, sliced (optional) or substitute finely sliced leek
    • 1 apple, diced or julienned (optional)
    • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro


    Whisk together vinegar, sugar, ginger, oil, chile, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Let stand, tossing occasionally, 10 minutes.


  • Being the web guy for Valley Flora has it's benefits. Each week brings cucumbers, radishes, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, squash and any number of odd but tasty items that pile up -- hey a geek can only eat so many vegetables between pizza and espresso!

     Oh I grill and salad to my hearts content but each Wednesday yet more produce comes and I'm still left over with whatever I didn't get around to gnoshing on the previous week. Fresh food is wonderful but what's worse is watching it slowly wilt into mush so I hit on a simple solution: Vinaigrette Slury

     I have a big covered stainless steel bowl in my fridge filled with vinegar, olive oil, chopped up garlic, some basil, cilantro, black pepper, a bit of marjoram, some jalapeno or crushed red pepper and Dijon mustard -- a classic vinaigrette but heavy on the vinegar (I use a combo of red wine and apple cider vinegar). As the Valley Flora Veg get a little on the squishy side I just chop them up and throw them in the bowl. Cucumbers, tomatoes & onions do especially good in this bath, but squashes, and even spinach will soak up the goodness for quite a while without turning to yuk.

     So whatever I'm making, I just grab out some of that pickled veg and add it. For fresh salads it's great as a bit of spice and vinegar, it's freaking awesome on hot bagels with creme cheese and even better as a crunch on a taco or as a side to a nice bit of lamb. Best part is, it doesn't go bad!


    So don't despair if your veg are going soft -- just open up a vinegar spa in your fridge and let them soak


    BTW: Lee's Bees Honey just went live with a bunch of Oregon honey just south at Cape Blanco so check out the new site.  Still working on it but I think it's going to be pretty cool.


    -Zachary the VF web geek


    • 1 1/2 pounds turnip greens or other braising greens (see cooks’ note, below), tough stems discarded and greens torn into small pieces
    • 1 (1/2 to 3/4-pound) ham hock, rinsed
    • 3 1/2 cups water
    • 2 Gala apples
    • 3/4 pounds turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
    •  1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

    Bring greens, ham hock, water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large heavy pot. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until greens are almost tender, about 20 minutes.
    Meanwhile, peel apples and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
    Add turnips and apples to greens with vinegar, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook at a bare simmer, covered, stirring and turning ham hock occasionally, until turnips and apples are tender but not falling apart, about 20 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in butter and salt to taste.
    Remove ham hock and finely chop any tender meat, discarding skin, bone, and tough meat. Add chopped meat to pot.
     •Any braising green such as kale, collards, or beet greens can be substituted for or combined with the turnip greens. Cooking times will vary.
    •Dish can be made 1 day ahead and chilled.
    Adapted from epicurious.com

  • 2 medium russet-style potatoes, scrubbed
    2 zucchini
    2 eggs
    1 tsp.  onion powder
    1 1/2 Tbsp.  olive oil, divided
    1.  Shred potatoes and zucchini.  Place in bowl.  Add eggs and onion powder; mix well.
    2.  Heat 1 tsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Working in batches, spoon mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, into heated skillet.  Leave an inch or more betweet fritters.
    3.  Cook 5 minutes or until light brown on bottom;  turn and cook on second side 3-5 minutes or until browned.  Replenish oil in skillet as needed.
    4.  Serve with your choice of condiments;  marinara sauce, ketchup, apple sauce, sour cream, etc.

  • Makes 12 servings
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or other nuts)
    1/2 cup honey
    6 large apples
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
    boiling water
    1.  Mix nuts with honey.  Core apples to within 1/2 inch of bottom, being careful not to pierce the bottom of the apples.
    2.  Fill the cavity with walnut-honey mixture.  Dot the top of each apple with butter and, if desired, sprinkle the cinnamon.
    3.  Place the apples in an ovenproof dish just big enough to hold them.  Pour boiling water to 1 inch level; cover with foil.
    4.  Bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees, or until tender but hold shape.  Serve warm or cold.

  • Makes 12 servings
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or other nuts)
    1/2 cup honey
    6 large apples
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
    boiling water
    1.  Mix nuts with honey.  Core apples to within 1/2 inch of bottom, being careful not to pierce the bottom of the apples.
    2.  Fill the cavity with walnut-honey mixture.  Dot the top of each apple with butter and, if desired, sprinkle the cinnamon.
    3.  Place the apples in an ovenproof dish just big enough to hold them.  Pour boiling water to 1 inch level; cover with foil.
    4.  Bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees, or until tender but hold shape.  Serve warm or cold.

  • Makes 4 servings
    4-5 apples, peeled and sliced
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 cup water
    3/4 cup flour
    1/4 lb. butter, softened
    1 cup sugar
    1.  Place apple slices in buttered 9 by 5 by 4 inch loaf pan.
    2. Combine water and cinnamon.  Pour over apples.
    3.  In food processor or with pastry blender, blend flour, butter and sugar until crumbly.  Pour mixture on top of apples and pack down, making sure all apples are covered.  Bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees, until browned and bubbly.  Best served warm with vanilla ice cream.
    Note:  Feel free to experiment by adding rolled oats, chopped walnuts, or anything else you might like.

  • Serves 8-10
    This recipe might even convert the Brussels sprouts haters of the world...(ahem, Roger.....)

    • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, divided
    • 1/2 pound shallots, thinly sliced
    • Coarse kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • 4 teaspoons sugar
    • 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 cup water
    • optional: 6 slices of crispy cooked bacon


    Melt 3 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Sauté until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar. Stir until brown and glazed, about 3 minutes.
    Halve brussels sprouts lengthwise. Cut lengthwise into thin (1/8-inch) slices. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sprouts; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until brown at edges, 6 minutes. Add 1 cup water and 3 tablespoons butter. Sauté until most of water evaporates and sprouts are tender but still bright green, 3 minutes. Add shallots; season with salt and pepper. Crumble chunks of bacon and mix in, optional.

  • Serves 6. Takes about 45 minutes - a quick, easy fall soup!

    • 4 bacon slices (optional)
    • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
    • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
    • 1/2 pounds carrots, chopped
    • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
    • 3 thyme sprigs
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 3 1/2 cups veggie or chicken broth
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

    Cook bacon in a 4-to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
    Add garlic and caraway seeds to fat in pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. If skipping the bacon, substitute butter or olive oil for the fat. Add squash, carrots, apple, thyme, bay leaves, broth, water, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and boil, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaves.
    Purée about 4 cups soup in a blender, in batches if necessary, until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return to pot and season with salt, pepper, and vinegar. Serve topped with crumbled bacon.

  • Adapted from Gourmet...

    Makes 8 servings (about 10 cups)

    The roasted acorn squash tastes fabulous when scooped up with spoonfuls of the beet soup. But if oven space is limited, simply serve the soup in bowls.

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    For roasted squash

    • 8 (1- to 1 1/4-pound) acorn squash
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

    For soup

    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 5 medium beets (about 2 pounds without greens), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 red apple such as Gala or Braeburn, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
    • 4 to 5 cups water
    • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

    Roast squash:
    Preheat oven to 375°F.
    Cut off "tops" of squash (about 1 inch from stem end) and reserve. Scoop out seeds and discard. Cut a very thin slice off bottoms of squash to create a stable base. Brush "bowls" and tops all over with oil and sprinkle salt inside. Arrange squash bowls, with tops alongside, stem ends up, in 2 large shallow baking pans.
    Roast squash in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of pans halfway through baking, until flesh of squash is just tender, about 1 1/4hours total.
    Make soup while squash roast:
    Cook onion in oil in a 5-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add beets and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.
    Add broth and 4 cups water, then simmer, uncovered, until beets are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in vinegar and brown sugar.
    Purée soup in 3 batches in a blender until very smooth, at least 1 minute per batch (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a large bowl. Return soup to pan, then season with salt and pepper and reheat. If soup is too thick, add enough water to thin to desired consistency.
    Serve soup in squash bowls.
    Cooks' notes: • Squash flesh shrinks during baking; if a small hole forms, serve soup in squash but set in a soup bowl.
    • Soup can be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered.

  • When we make kaleslaw - which is alot, especially in the fall and winter when the lettuce is gone but the kale, cabbage and carrots still persist - we kind of just wing it each time, using whatever we have on hand. The basic trio is kale, cabbage and carrots, but it's great to add apples, nuts, feta or anything else to jazz it up.
    1 bunch kale, stems trimmed, leaves finely chopped
    1/2 of a red cabbage, thinly sliced
    1 bunch carrots, grated
    Handful of currants, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, toasted pinenuts (or any other nut) or any other treats you like
    Optional: chopped apple, celery, onions or any other veggies you're fond of
    1 cup olive oil
    1/3 cup rice and/or cider vinegar
    splash of tamari or soy sauce
    splash of sesame oil
    spoonful of tahini
    a few big spoonfuls of mayo or vegenaise
    2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
    dash of chile flakes or fresh minced chiles
    Tbs. of sesame seeds
    Glug of maple syrup, or a heaping Tbs. of brown sugar

    • Prep the slaw and mix together
    • Make the dressing, pour it over the slaw and toss.
    • YUM.


  • Apples aren't exactly in season yet, but the combination of sweet/tart apple with the kohlrabi, all mixed together with a mustard vinaigrette is a delight! If you have any hakurei turnips from last week still in the fridge, add them in (julienned like the kohlrabi). You can also throw in some diced celery if you have any on hand.
    The Salad
    Thickly peel your kohlrabi and cut into fine julienne strips. Slice or grate an apple - your favorite variety - and toss into a bowl with the kohlrabi. If you're adding turnips or celery, add them to the mix.
    Mustard Vinaigrette:
    2 T red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar or fresh lemon juice
    2 shallots, finely diced
    1 garlic clove, minced
    salt and fresh ground pepper
    1 T fresh dijon mustard
    2 T creme fraiche or sour cream
    1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
    2 T snipped chives
    1 T chopped parsley
    3 T capers, rinsed
    Combine the vinegar, shallots, garlic, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes, then vigorously whisk in the mustard, creme fraiche and oil until thick and smooth. Grind in a little pepper, then stir in the herbs and capers. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
    Serves 4-6
    Adapted from Deborah Madison's cookbook: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

  • apple of turnip
    pear of radish
    your purple globe snaps
    with seeking sun fingers