Archive | Fall 2007 Recipes


chestnutsThe Story: CHESTNUTS

“Chestnuts roasting over an open fire……”, or so the song goes.

Try this, to the same tune of course: “Chestnuts growing in Iowa….”

It’s true. Chestnuts grow in Iowa, and now is the season to get them fresh. The Southeast Iowa Nut Growers Association (SING) is a cooperative of tree nut growers from Iowa, Missouri and Illinois committed to raising the nuts with little or no soil erosion, chemicals or pesticides. The result? “People just go nuts about them” says John Wittrig of J & B’s chestnut farm in Winfield, Iowa. Whether you are a nut for roasting, baking or stuffing, grab your chestnuts now while supplies last. And you can enjoy the fire later.

The recipe


1/2 pound fresh chestnuts
3 tart apples
1 lemon
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons white wine
Whipped cream

Roast and peel chestnuts.*Peel and core apples and slice into thin wedges
Zest and juice lemon
Combine chestnuts, apples, lemon, water and honey in saucepan and simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
Add wine and chill
Serve with whipped cream.

* To roast chestnuts in an oven, preheat the oven to about 425º. Make an x-slit … Read More

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goatThe Story: GOAT

The Iowa Meat Goat Association ( was formed in 2003, when it became clear that there was a proliferation of goat breeders across the state. Now there are over 100 members of the group who direct market their goat meat to consumers. Goat meat tends to be leaner than beef, pork or lamb, but with just as much protein and iron. Goat meat is also a staple of many world cuisines – from India to Latin America to the Caribbean and now, Iowa. Kristine Jepsen explores how Iowa got into the goat mix in Edible Iowa River Valley’s autumn, 2007 issue.

The recipe


Adopted from “Karen Palmersheim’s Farm Bureau 2006 Cook Off Recipes”

2 lbs. goat stew meat
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 hot pepper, chopped and seeded
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups water
Salt/pepper to taste

Cube meat, Combine with onion, garlic, hot pepper, curry powder, salt, pepper, and marinate for at least one hour.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and brown the meat and vegetables until evenly cooked.

Add water, cover and simmer for about 1 hour. Adjust seasonings … Read More

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pumpkinsThe Story: PUMPKINS

Lena Gilbert has farming in her blood. She worked on farming cooperative in Israel in the late 70s. Local farmers markets rooted her while living in San Francisco during the 80s. After a total of nearly 20 years away from Iowa, Lena returned to Linn County in 2002 and returned to her working farm roots. Once back in her hometown, she started at a truck farm. Soon enough however, she started her own place and Lena’s Farmstand & Pumpkin Patch, opened 2005.

“We grow and harvest vegetables from A to Z,” Gilbert said of her nine acres in Springville, just north of Mount Vernon. When other farm stands are beginning to pack up for the season, The Lena’s Pumpkin Patch is in its full fall glory, with a variety of pumpkins, gourds and squash that are hard to find at any grocery store. Gilbert aims for family friendly, with a junior corn maze that’s free to visitors and a small gift shop also featuring locally made jam, specialty books for children, cookbooks and decorative items.

Of course, Lena has a favorite recipe for each one of her crops. But this pumpkin pie recipe, she claims, … Read More

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pearsThe Story: PEARS

It used to be that pear orchards were relatively common across the Iowan landscape. Now, most of Iowa’s pears are grown in backyards, producing fruit for those lucky enough to have a tree nearby. Iowa’s pears seem to grow most prolifically along the Iowa’s northern and central Mississippi bank, where bartletts, luscious, kieffer and summercrisps fruit in the late summer and early fall. Pears continue to ripen off tree, making them tasty even after the picking is done.

Poached pears are a warm addition to a cool autumn night. This recipe calls for Jasper Winery’s Lucy Lane wine, a sweet, concord grape based wine perfect for fruit poaching. Lucy Lane is named after Jasper Winery’s resident dog, Lucy, who lives at the winery with the Groben family – Jean, Paul and Mason. Jean and Paul run Jasper’s operations in Newton, and Mason, their son, is the master winemaker. Lucy supervises.

The Recipe


6 small firm but ripe Anjou pears, peeled
3 and 1/2 cups Jasper Winery’s Lucy Lane white wine
2 cups pear juice or cider
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Combine wine, pear juice and cinnamon stick in large pot.

Scrape … Read More

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October is National Pork Month, or so says the National Pork Board which is in the business of promoting big, commercial pork producers. That’s big, commercial business here in Iowa where pork is one of the state’s major products. In fact, up to one quarter of the country’s pork comes from Iowa. That’s a lot of pigs. That’s a lot of pork. That’s a lot of business.

Here in Iowa, we have lots of small farmers doing great things with pork, the all natural way and without conventional confinement. One such is Grass Run Farms in Dorchester, Iowa, which raises heritage varieties of pork without antibiotics or hormones. Farmers Ryan and Kristine Jepsen also raise grass fed beef and humanely raised veal. And, in their spare time, the Jepsens are actively working to create a strong local food system in northeast Iowa through the Northeast Iowa Food & Farm Coalition, which was featured as an Edible Endeavor in Edible Iowa River Valley’s Spring, 2007 issue.

This recipe, provided by Iowa City’s New Pioneer Co-op ( combines pork with apples, allowing these two local flavors to fall together just in time for autumn.

The RecipeRead More

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basilThe Story: BASIL

Indian Summer has brought summer back to Iowa this September; summer without the summer humidity, but happily with the summer sunshine. It’s unclear how long these days will last, but in the meantime, it gives us all more time to indulge in seasonal favorites.

This pesto recipe, a twist on the traditional with the addition of feta, was whipped up by Edible Iowa River Valley writer Eugenia Gratto and was featured on her blog at

You can read the whole post here. 

The Recipe

(Makes enough for about 1.5 pounds of pasta)

Four cloves garlic
1/4 c. pine nuts (Toasted, if you’d like)
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
Three c. packed washed basil leaves
3 oz. feta cheese
Approx. 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
Additional salt to taste

1. In a food processor, combine the garlic, pine nuts and salt. Pulse until the ingredients are chopped finely, scraping the bowl if needed.
2. Add the basil and pulse again, approximately 10-20 times, until the basil is combined with the other ingredients.
3. Crumble the feta into the bowl and pulse five times to combine.
4. Drizzle the olive oil into the feed tube … Read More

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applesThe Story: APPLES

Iowa was once the second largest apple producer in the country, not behind Washington but behind Michigan. The ubiquitous Red Delicious apple was originally called the Hawkeye, and was developed in the late 1800s by Madison County farmer Jesse Hiatt. He sold the rights to the Stark Brothers Fruit Company of Missouri, which propagated cuttings from the original tree near Peru, Iowa, and hybridized it out of all resemblance to it’s origins. Today, Red Delicious apples found in grocery stores are bred for appearance and durability, not flavor.

This recipe first appeared in EIRV #1. It’s the apple sauce recipe used by Joyce Wilson of Wilson’s Orchard near Iowa City.

Treasures like Wilson’s Orchard, and the other orchards around the state, will survive only so long as there is demand for their luscious products. Buying more and preserving the excess is a good way to support the artisan-orchardists of Iowa, while also getting lots of tasty treats for your family.

The Recipe


Choose your favorite kind of apples, since nearly any kind will do. You’ll adjust the sweetness at the end. Leaving the peels on will change the texture, flavor and sometimes the … Read More

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brussel sproutsThe Story: BRUSSEL SPROUTS

My parents have a wonderful house in Western Massachusetts, where they used to haphazardly experiment in a small garden plot set against a panorama of idyllic rolling hills. They are not farmers by any means, (my father was born and bred in the Bronx, NY and my mother is a Bostonian by birth but a New Yorker by design) yet they grew a few bits of the predictable things like lettuce and tomatoes and basil and maybe even a few stalks of sweet corn. One of their pride and joys each season was their Brussels sprout plants. When the plants came up, tall and firm with each tiny head stacked nicely above the other, my parents cut it off and proudly posed with it – Grant Wood style. Squint, and it almost looked like Iowa.

Ever since I was a kid, I loved Brussels sprouts and even favored them the stereotypical way – steamed until mushy and then coated in butter, lemon and a dash of salt and pepper. But these babies were best roasted with garlic and olive oil until they were brown and crunchy on the outside, but fresh and tender underneath. I still … Read More

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jalapenosThe Story: JALAPENO CHILES

Barry Eastman is a big fan of local produce and uses it with regularity at Rudy’s Taco’s in Waterloo. One of his favorites, this Pico de gallo, uses a ton of end-of-the-summer produce. “Pico de gallo means ‘beak of the rooster’ because this fresh salsa has a sharp bite to it,” Eastman said. “It’s a fast, fresh, simple salsa that tastes great on everything.”

The Recipe


3 jalapeno chiles
3 serrano chiles, chopped with seeds
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1 medium-sized ripe garden tomato- chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lime
In a bowl, mix together all ingredients. It makes 2 to 3 cups.

Recipe courtesy of:

Barry Eastman
2410 Falls Drive
Waterloo, IA 50701

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