Harvesting different types of peppers at the Quail Hill Farm
Reporting in from the Quail Hill Farm on October 30th. My membership here extends back to the early days, having joined New York’s first Community Supported Agriculture adventure (CSA) in 1993 I’m always thrilled to harvest here.
Harvesting carrots was my first task. Take a look at our carrot video in the Estia Seed to Plate series. Once I was finished with the pitchfork in the carrot bed I moved on to find an abundance of chili’s three beds to the west. As always my eye was distracted by the beauty of the farm that’s been created and maintained by the Quail Hill crew now run by farmer Layton and mentored by poet and seed specialist Scott Chaskey.
Last week my email inbox featured a note from my pal Laura’s wife Catherine. She had visited a garden—planted by a man she spoke fondly of—and she carried a large bag filled with peppers home that day. Her note to me requested a recipe that might properly celebrate the harvest.
I responded with Sofrito, a unique salsa crafted differently by every chef who includes it in their pantry. The following recipe is mine.
It is important to note that, once you properly clean all ingredients prior to slicing and dicing, you use plenty of oil so that all ingredients are submerged, chilled and left in an anaerobic state. Homemade Sofrito will provide color and flavor to your plates for months to come. This Sofrito is added to Estia’s paella, included in cioppino broth and adds color and flavor to our fish tacos.
Makes 4 quarts
- 3 heads garlic
- 5 hot chili peppers
- 10 mild chili peppers
- 10 sweet chili peppers
- 5 red onions
- 10 tomatillos
- 4 bunches cilantro
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- ½ gallon olive oil
Chop all ingredients fine, combine in a bowl and then transfer to jars. Place tops on tightly and refrigerate.