Jalapeno peppers that electrify a salsa. Leafy Swiss chard, sauteed in earthy cumin. Leeks, verdant and bright. These are the tastes of summer—and just a few of the seasonal items grown by farmers in the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project.
New Entry is an initiative of Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. It supports burgeoning small-scale farmers whose stories are as diverse as their bounty. Here are four of those farmers, complete with their favorite warm-weather recipes.
Oyster mushrooms from Whitemarz Farm in Lunenberg
Jorge Marcuza and Daniela Márquez started their 1.5-acre farm in central Massachusetts five years ago, shortly after arriving in the United States from Mexico. The couple farmed in their home country, too, but it was very different.
“Here, you have four—or more—seasons!” Marcuza says, laughing. “In Mexico, you get only one client, and you sell everything to that client. You specialize in one crop.”
Now, the pair sells more than 40 vegetables. Garlicky oyster mushrooms are a favorite. But, more than any food, Marcuza appreciates the bonding.
“What I love about farming is that we get to work together as a family, outside, spending time together,” he says.
Jorge and Daniela's Sauteed Oyster Mushroom Recipe
10 ounces oyster mushrooms
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
Gently pat the mushrooms with a clean towel to absorb any excess moisture. Trim off the hard stem at the base of each clump of mushrooms. Separate large clusters into more bite-sized pieces, using your hands or a knife.
Place a large (10-12-inch) nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. When a drop of water sizzles and evaporates on contact, add the oil to the pan. Arrange the mushrooms in one layer. Cook, without turning, until one side is golden brown and crisp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and toss. (Note: If the mushrooms don’t fit in one layer in your pan, cook them in two batches, adding a little more oil as needed.)
Transfer the mushrooms to a serving platter. Without returning the pan to the heat, add the butter, garlic, and parsley to the hot pan, swirling until the butter melts and the garlic is fragrant.
Pour the garlic butter over the mushrooms and serve. Makes four servings.
Note: Recipe adapted from familystylefood.com/sauteed-oyster-mushrooms