When intern Ian gave me his tour of the farm earlier this summer, he told me they have so much sorrel, they “didn’t know what to do with it all.” It’s true – they’ve got a LOT of sorrel. Look at it all growing in the hoophouse!
Sorrel has a bright, lemony, VERY intense flavor. If you’ve never tried it, I recommend you do – it is a truly unique taste experience!
So what DO you do with sorrel, especially when you’ve got so much you don’t know what to do with it? Even Chef Sinclair admits that, because of its intense, unusual flavor, it's a tough vegetable to cook with. But Farmer Ric says he always gets great suggestions about what to do with sorrel from his customers at the Downtown Growers' Market. Some throw it onto a salad, some use it in a soup, some even tear up the leaves and mix them in with pasta - YUM. Me, I thought I might make a salad dressing out of the tangy leaves.
What about you? What would you do with all that sorrel?
Have you looked at the walls at Farm & Table recently? If not, it might be time to look again! We are constantly featuring different local artists here at the restaurant; the art on our walls changes every three months.
Right now, for just one more month, you can see the vivid paintings of artist James Bolton. James is a talented painter from the Espanola Valley, and he studied English, Geology and Art at the University of New Mexico. After a tour in the army, he earned his Masters’ Degree in Art at UNM as well. He then moved to San Francisco where he regularly exhibited at the Hank Baum Gallery and taught Art at Stanislaus State University and San Jose State University. He was also a Guest Artist at Texas Tech University and Kent State University.
Since returning New Mexico, he has shown his work locally at Exhibit 208 and also out-of-state. He has work in various public collections including Yale University Art Gallery, Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts in San Francisco, AT&T in New York, and Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque.
Check out more of his art on his webpage. Appropriately, many of the works hanging in the restaurant now are Bolton’s striking paintings of fruit. Or just come into Farm & Table and see them for yourself!
I’ll admit it: I’m a little squeamish when it comes to bugs. Ladybugs are okay, but anything squirmy, slimy, or creepy-crawly I shudder at. So when Farmer Ric asked me to help out with his squash crop by killing squash bugs, I was more than a little scared – and with good reason.
“You’ve got to just take them and squish them like this,” he demonstrated, taking the ugliest-looking beetle I’ve ever seen with his bare fingers, and mashing it into the dirt. A tiny jet of bug juice sprayed out of the beetle’s backside. “Oh, and be careful,” he added. “They can squirt like that. And their juice is kind of stinky.”
Gross! Gross gross gross, I thought with every bug I squashed in my fingers. Their eggs, little brown seed-looking things I sometimes found on the bottom of the squash leaves, were no better: I mashed them with my thumb and forefinger into a yellowish-brown paste.
I gained a lot of respect and admiration for Farmer Ric and everything he does, pulling those bugs off every single plant individually. Ric called pulling the squash bugs “baptism by fire” into working on the farm - I just called it terrifying! But in the end I was proud that my work not only kept our summer squash crop healthy, but also keeps the winter squash safe from what would have been a gradual invasion.
Farmer Ric is primarily growing his squash for the blossoms, and he calls the actual squash an extra bonus. The blossoms we take off his hands in the restaurant in order to make our amazing summer appetizer, Squash & Blossom, a fried blossom and zucchini duo with basil aioli. Now, whenever I look at our Squash & Blossom, I think about all of the hard (and sometimes gross!) work that went into it. Every plate at Farm & Table is truly a work of art, both as it’s made in the kitchen and as it’s grown on the farm.
Back in 2012, our owner Cherie Montoya Austin had the idea to partner with other restaurants in Albuquerque during the harvest season to celebrate the incredible plentitude New Mexico provides us. So, Farm & Table along with Artichoke Cafe, Forque, Jennifer James 101 and Los Poblanos spent a week highlighting our local bounty with special dinners and events during Albuquerque's first Moveable Feast.
Now, two years later, with the help of Edible Santa Fe, the Moveable Feast has grown to last an entire month, and includes not just restaurants all over Albuquerque, but Santa Fe as well! This month is Moveable Feast month here in Albuquerque, and Moveable Feast month in Santa Fe is coming up in October. We are so proud and pleased to be a part of a community of restaurants that values and celebrates local food!
This year for the Moveable Feast, Farm & Table is offering a special, prix-fixe, four-course menu TONIGHT and every Thursday throughout the month of August for $39. We are also offering a three-course brunch special this Saturday and every Saturday in August for $22. We hope you will join us for this special celebration!
Please also check out Edible Santa Fe's webpage webpage for a complete list of participating restaurants and events happening for Moveable Feast. We'll see you there!
Moveable Feast at Farm & Table
Thursday Night Dinner
Wine Pairings Available for $16
Every ingredient listed below is LOCAL
grape leaves | dill | garlic
tomato | cucumbers | feta cheese
blackberry | ancho | pork loin
tarragon | honey
Grilled Pork Loin
red chile | pear | blue corn
apples | honey | red chile | pecans
Hey you!! What are you doing this weekend? Are you going to the Downtown Grower’s Market? If you’re not you should, because this year not only can you buy delicious Sol Harvest produce at the Farm & Table farm stand on Sundays from 10am-2pm, but you can also find it right in downtown Albuquerque!
Right now at the Sol Harvest stand, Farmer Ric is selling flowers, herbs, peaches, plums, summer squash, tomatoes, okra and and a special herbal-blend tea made by our own Zoe - and much more. The Downtown Growers' Market is located at Robinson Park on 10th Street and Copper, and runs every Saturday from 7am to noon. In addition to Sol Harvest, you can also find goods from Sterling Farms, Chispas Farms, Exotic Edibles of Edgewood, Heidi's Raspberry Jam (all of whom are Farm & Table vendors), and more. If you’ve never been, it’s a must-go – one of Albuquerque’s most delightful summer activities.
The Downtown Growers Market only runs May through November, so go before it’s gone! Say hi to Farmer Ric and Aimee while you’re there!
You can also join Ric and Aimee for a VOLUNTEER NIGHT, this Tuesday, August 8th. Come and help out on the Sol Harvest Farm – rain or shine – from 6pm to 8pm, and enjoy free pizza and beer with your fellow volunteers afterward!
Some dishes – like this one – just scream summertime in New Mexico. Obviously, at Farm & Table we absolutely LOVE dishes like this! We’re so crazy about this week’s pasta special we had to share it on the blog:
That’s caramelized onion angliotti in a warm meyer lemon-thyme vinaigrette. The angliotti is stuffed with goat cheese (local from Old Windmill, of course!) and FIVE different kinds of caramelized LOCAL onions: red and yellow onions from the CDC, shallots from Chispas Farms, leeks from Sterling Gardens, and sweet white onions from local farmer C.E. Laird.
The whole plate is topped off with some local squash, zucchini and tomatoes.
This pasta dish is so seasonal it could make you weep… it’s like summer on a plate.
Happy eating – and happy summer!!!
Summer is here, which means we are diving head first into the most exciting time on the farm! At Sol Harvest, we just finished harvesting our potatoes for the season, and the new sunchokes that were transplanted this spring are growing like gangbusters. We’re looking forward to using those in the restaurant this fall!
Today, intern Ian gave me a tour of the farm and showed me some of the projects he is most excited about. Ian’s favorite part of the farm right now is the hoop-house, which is thriving despite all odds. This spring, Farmer Ric decided to double his growing space with an extension to the hoop-house. Then, after slowly working on it for months, 48 hours after finishing the project, 70 mile-an-hour winds ripped through, tearing the plastic off the top and causing structural damage to the hoop-house.
It looked like they were set back irreparably far, but Ian says Ric rallied, ordered more plastic right away, gathered up his farmer friends to help fix the damage, and in the end, they were only set back one week! Now, the hoop-house is chock-full of what Ian calls exciting “experiments.”
First, he showed me a row of kale that earlier in the year was looking sickly and not producing well. But, he says, with a lot of love and attention and very careful pruning, the kale is looking great and thriving. Ian showed me how he had pruned the entire bottom of all the plants, and harvested the leaves close to the stalks to encourage growth.
Ian also showed me some new spinach plants that were planted in compost he got to make himself. The compost, he says, is made out of food from the restaurant, dead plants from the farm, and old compost from last year that was worked back into the mix. It must have turned out well, because the spinach is already growing like crazy! Ian says they will have a fantastic crop in a month or so.
We also walked by Zoe’s herb garden, which Ian says the harvest about two pounds from every week, and huge, beautiful row of more sorrel than they know what to do with!
Finally, Ian showed me his personal project, a garden of the “three sisters” – that’s beans, corn and squash. Ian says that Ric gave he and Zoe about 40 feet of space on the farm to do whatever they want with – so Ian decided to plant beans, corn and squash with seeds he had gotten from various “seed swaps.” He’s growing multi-colored popcorn corn, bolita beans, and Hopi pumpkin, to name a few varieties – plus many more. It’s all growing great – Ian should be proud!
I loved taking a tour with Ian and getting a sneak peak of all the wonderful food that will be making its way into the restaurant later this summer and fall. Next time you come to eat at Farm & Table, feel free to wander around the field and see all of the exciting things Sol Harvest is growing for yourself!
Many of you may remember the adorable Maria, Farmer Ric's intern at Sol Harvest last year. Well, Maria's year here has ended and she is on to big and exciting things. (P.S. Maria, we miss you! When are you coming back to say hi!?), and now there are two new interns on the farm.
Meet Ian and Zoe - they started their Sol Harvest internship a little over a month ago, and here they are with the lettuce seeds they started as their very first project at Sol Harvest, getting ready to transplant them into the hoophouse. This was their first "seed-iversary"!
Both Ian and Zoe say they are having a great time working at Sol Harvest so far. They love working outside and being on the farm, and getting to know each other and Farmer Ric. They say everyone on the farm is super-cool (well, we could have told them that!) and they love how much responsibility they are already entrusted with. Zoe says Ian is Compost King, for example - compost is his project - and she is the Herb and Flower Liaison. Anything that needs to be done with herbs and flowers goes straight to her. Yay, Ian and Zoe! We love the work you do!
Zoe is originally from Albuquerque, and is getting back to her roots (no pun intended!). She had been living in New York, but she didn't like the fend-for-yourself attitude of the city. She missed the feeling of community she had here and the sense that when a neighbor needs something you help them out. She likes farming for that reason - it teaches you to be self-sufficient, how to do for yourself and others. "If something goes wrong," she told me, "you have to figure it out yourself." She likes that, she said, because "you can't find everything in life on Google."
Ian is also from Albuquerque, and comes to us from La Montanita Co-op (one of our favorite businesses - the CDC helps us connect us to a lot of local vendors). Ian is here to learn more about sustainable farming, because his passion is in connecting, advocating, and sharing knowledge about sustainability. His favorite part of the internship has been doing tours and workdays with students and other members of the community. If a group of 22 students come out to the farm, he says, and one person leaves saying, "Cool! I want to be a farmer!" he considers that a big win - for the same reason he decided to come to Sol Harvest himself: "Because the world just needs more farmers."
Join us for a four-course wine dinner to welcome spring! We will focus on first of the season harvested and foraged ingredients such as asparagus, strawberries, tender greens, peas, baby roots, wood sorrel, and wild mushrooms! There will also be a special focus on delicious goat milk cheeses from Old Windmill Dairy. Each course will be paired with a range of refreshing wines. This dinner is also a nation-wide collaboration with Chefs Collaborative to honor earth day and celebrate sustainable ingredients!
April 22 | Reservation times vary | $65
This is an all-inclusive fixed-price dinner with limited seating.
If there are dietary restrictions or allergies, please inform us at the time of making your reservation.
To make a reservation please email
or call 505-503-7124.
Look what we just got in!!!
You’re looking at the very first asparagus of the season, courtesy of ARCA Organics and Farmer Sean Ludden. Thank you Farmer Sean! We remember Farmer Sean’s asparagus from last year, when we got to take a tour of ARCA with Farmer Sean and see their amazing, giant asparagus field.
Chef Sinclair has been in the kitchen all day today, lovingly peeling and blanching each and every stalk, and working on some very special creations to offer this weekend, that highlight our little treasures:
This is the small plate on special this evening – asparagus with crumbled brioche, jamon iberico, parmesan, green garlic and a duck egg. What a beautiful and delicate spring dish. We love the changing seasons!!