Members of Rosebank Farms' Community Supported Agriculture program look forward to the recipes Louise Bennett shares in the CSA's monthly newsletter. They're simple recipes with a splash of creativity, always putting the veggies' flavor first. Bennett has a reputation as a good cook.
Visitors to the farm's roadside stand on Johns Island near the Kiawah-Seabrook roundabout also seek out a few words with her, whether chatting about the weather or learning more about the heirloom tomatoes or varieties of eggplant.
Sidi Limehouse and Louise Bennett have been partners in Rosebank Farms, 100 acres off Betsy Kerrison Parkway, for years. They are carrying on a tradition of farming the land going back to the 18th century, now practicing semi-organic methods or as organic as possible.
While others might have bowed out or at least slowed down, Limehouse and Bennett keep going strong — no apparent ebb in their passion for growing good things.
Bennett recalls holiday memories:
“Thanksgiving at our house always meant cooking a turkey, stuffing, rice, gravy, asparagus casserole, sweet potato casserole, butterbeans and cranberry sauce. For dessert, there was ambrosia and Miss Anna's coconut cake.
“But my parents cooked two dinners every year; the second one was for a family less fortunate than we. For years it was the same family. This tradition was one of my first lessons in generosity.”
Kale and Pumpkin Salad
1 heirloom pumpkin
1 bunch lacinato kale
Louise's note: “The beauties of this salad are that it is simple; it can serve two or 100; the pumpkin can be prepared ahead, refrigerated and warmed before serving. Best of all, it is healthy. Acorn or butternut squash may be substituted for pumpkin and any variety of kale may be used.”
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and dry pumpkin. Cut in half and remove seeds and fibers. Slice pumpkin in ½-inch segments.
Place segments in a large bowl and drizzle olive oil over them. Toss until all are covered with oil. Arrange on a heavy-rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Check for browning; if they are browned, turn over and roast for 20 minutes more. When tender and browned on both sides, remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt.
While pumpkin roasts, remove stems from kale, wash and tear into small pieces. Pat kale dry and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt. Dress lightly with balsamic vinaigrette and massage the leaves for a minute or so —this procedure tenderizes kale. Set aside until pumpkin cools.
To serve, place kale in a shallow salad bowl or a platter, arrange pumpkin segments on the kale and dress pumpkin lightly.
Variations: The salad can be dressed up with almonds or pecans, dried cranberries, goat or blue cheese.