Friday, April 18, 2014

RECIPE: Boneless Leg of Lamb with Chimichurri Sauce Compliments of Kristin N.

Grilled Lamb from Leyden Glen 

Back on the block....Boneless Leg of Lamb .... get it at Amherst Farmers' Market Opening April 19  (Tomorrow!)
Boneless leg of lamb - 1 1/2 to 3 pounds
For Chimmichurri Sauce
4 cloves of fresh garlic peeled
1 cup parsley leaves (removed from stalks)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (or more if you like things spicy)
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
To cook lamb:
Prepare grill. Cut the strings that are tying the leg together. Rub salt and pepper on both sides of the boneless leg.
The boneless leg of lamb shown grilled for 10 minutes on one side over a rather high heat, 6 minutes on the other. The best thing to do is to test with a meat thermometer unless you have a natural feel for cooking meat. Our lamb was 130 degrees when it came off the grill. Let it stand for 10 minutes. Slice thinly and plate.
Chimichurri Sauce:
In a food processor, process garlic. Add parsley and oregano and process until chopped fine. This is not a pesto so don't liquefy the herbs. Transfer to a bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir and set aside. Is best if flavors meld in the fridge. Serve as a sauce for the grilled lamb.
The Chimmichurri Sauce will keep for at least a day. Leftovers are good on any kind of vegetable or potato salad. It is a flavorful sauce with a fresh zingy taste.
Copyright 2014 Kristin Nicholas

Monday, April 14, 2014

Future Farmers Weigh In: Derek Silva

Derek Silva 

VL: Where are you from Derek Silva?
DS: A portuguese community in Lowell, Massachusetts

VL: What year are you?
DS: I’m finishing up my third year and I’ll be graduating in one semester.

VL: What is your major and area of interest?
DS: Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences with a concentration in Sustainable Food and Farming.  My interest is in aquaculture, which is an often forgotten aspect of agriculture that that has only been growing bigger and bigger in recent years.  I also have an interest of one day working in the tropics in developing countries.

VL: What got you interested in agriculture?
DS: Farming is a big part of my family’s past and I spent a lot of time on farms as a child.  The idea of growing my own food and raising my own animals just stuck with me.

VL: What are your thoughts studying agriculture in western mass?
DS: I think western mass is a great place to study agriculture because it’s such a big part of the daily life here and the atmosphere is very supportive of it.

VL: What are your thoughts on GMOs?
DS: From my experience, when people hear GMO they have very strong feelings either for or against.  There doesn’t seem to be much of a middle ground where people can calmly and rationally discuss GMOs.  With that being said, the thought of eating foods that have been genetically modified seems wrong to me and I haven’t read any studies that conclusively show GMOs to be the solution we need.  However, I try to stay open-minded and maybe some day, after significant study, we’ll see that GMOs aren’t all that bad.

VL: How can a farmer make a difference in today’s world of big agriculture?
DS: I think a farmer is making a difference as soon as they decide to be a farmer.  Even just a backyard farmer can have a huge impact on family, neighbors and their community.  I think the perfect phrase to describe farming in this country is out of sight, out of mind.  It’s been forgotten and by becoming a farmer, you’re bringing it back to people’s attention.

VL: What does having a chapter of the National Agriculture Honor Society mean to you and to the school?
It’s very rewarding.  The people at UMass who study agriculture already know that Stockbridge, its professors and its students are all great people.  To me having a chapter of the National Agriculture Honor Society is a recognition that we’re doing something right and it serves as encouragement to keep working.

VL: What do you recommend to students who are interested in going into agriculture?
DS: Do it.  I think the best way to learn in agriculture is to just get out there and not be afraid to mess up.  Plant some vegetables, visit farms, talk to farmers, do whatever you can.  If you show people that you’re really interested I think you’ll find there are a lot of people out there who will support you.

VL: What did you have for breakfast?
A bowl of oatmeal with strawberries and a cup of fair trade coffee.