Life on the farm has slowed way, way down. Typically we meet some sort of gradual slow down in September, but this year feels more like a very sudden stop. The late summer/early fall crops met a very abrupt end and the peak fall greens, roots and brassicas are arriving a bit later with such cool weather. Everything left in the field that still requires a continuous harvest (think sweet peppers and plum tomatoes) is ripening so slowly, we can easily harvest it all in a couple hours (instead of a couple times each week).
We have a bit less to sell to our restaurants than we expected and we’re sending the crew home early much more often, but mostly, it feels nice. Farming never usually gives you less to do than you expect. Projects and harvests are always taking three times as much time as we plan for and we’re very used to the feeling of being buried. We’re much more unfamiliar with the feeling of being caught up– especially while the weather is still nice.
We’re using the time to strategize for next year, finish big outdoor projects, and rekindle our adventurous side. We’re spending our evenings watching football and sipping cocktails while we plot out a trip to the Driftless to celebrate our anniversary, a backpacking journey through Pictured Rocks National Lake and several more fishing outings before it gets too cold. It’s strangely wonderful and makes me dream of a much more balanced farming existence.
Because there isn’t a ton coming out of the fields right now, I’m having to get a bit more creative with what is. We’ve been bringing home loads of hot peppers and are having tons of fun experimenting with them right now. This past weekend brought a cherry bomb compound butter, spicy croutons for eggplant, and some simple blistered shishitos. (All of which will likely make it to the blog as I continue to refine them).
But the best of my creations and the dish we loved so much we had to make it twice in seven days was this picture perfect, super simple, deeply nourishing Shishito & Potato Breakfast Bake.
This is a great dish to make on the weekend when you’ve got a busy week coming up because although it’s got eggs in it (and breakfast in the name), it’s one of those meals that can be eaten any time of day. It’s simple to portion out. It reheats well. And it’s a complete meal packed full of protein, carbohydrates and fresh veg that will really fill you up. We love to add a ton of salsa (pictured here with my very favorite tomatillo salsa) to up the veggie factor and often also add on a simple salad or a pile of microgreens.
We are really loving this recipe and hope you enjoy it too!
SHISHITO & POTATO BREAKFAST BAKE
Though I call for shishitos (and really love it with them!), a lot of peppers could work great here. Poblanos would be an excellent alternative as well as pretty much any sweet pepper (bell, fryer, red, green). You’re going for a cup of any diced pepper and can absolute substitute whatever you have on hand– just make sure you keep in mind that shishitos are fairly mild. You won’t want to substitute in something much spicier (like a jalapeno) for the full cup. Use one or two jalapenos with something sweeter to balance out the heat.
Takes 1 hour (most of it inactive)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 cups shredded potatoes
6-8 shishito peppers, sliced (about 1 cup)
1/2 yellow onion (or 1/2 bunch scallions), diced
1 pound breakfast sausage, browned**
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup favorite cheese (I used a lovely dill havarti)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 9×13 casserole dish with olive oil.
- Combine potatoes, peppers, onion and pork sausage in prepared casserole dish. Toss to combine.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Add hot sauce, mustard powder, and salt. Pour evenly over potato mixture.
- Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the eggs are set. Add cheese and cook 5 minutes longer just to melt (or lightly brown).
**If you are vegetarian, feel free to substitute in mushrooms for the sausage. I’d recommend using 16-20 ounces of the most flavorful mushrooms you can find (shittake is my favorite choice!) and adding in a couple cloves of garlic, a tablespoon of dried sage and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes while sautéing them.