The Heat is On
This week we finished harvesting wheat, drying it in the sun, and sending it to our own vintage mill, which turns the wheat berries into flour we use in Bramble & Hare dishes and sell at the Farm Store and Market booths. We also continued the chickpea harvest. We’ll dry the legumes and use them throughout the year. In addition, we are getting ready to plant more broccoli and cauliflower—the starts are in the shade beside the fields, poised for planting under Colorado’s blue skies and insistent sunlight. Long rows of outdoor tomatoes, which were mostly green just two weeks ago, today broadcast their readiness for topping burgers, getting simmered into sauce and commingling with other vegetables for gazpacho. And peppers are coming on strong, while eggplant is finally bulbous and teasing us with whispers about baba ganoush and ratatouille.
It takes a while for Colorado’s full vegetable cornucopia to announce its readiness for the season’s final act. But once the curtain opens, it’s quite a show. We savor it every year, and right now we sense the curtain’s steady rise.
We planted ourselves in this week’s long blast of arid heat to harvest the many vegetables that finally are ready for your counters and plates, as well as for our team of culinary magicians who work in Bramble & Hare’s kitchen. Come visit us! We’ll be at the Farm Store at 4975 Jay Road from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. through Sunday. On Saturday, you’ll find us at Boulder County Farmers Market booths in Boulder and Longmont. And the restaurant part of the most true farm-to-table operation in the United States, Bramble & Hare, is open for dinner service every evening except for Sunday.
We look forward to spending time with you. Stay cool! The uncomfortable 90-something temperatures are supposed to stick around for a week or so. But then the forecast predicts the return of cooler afternoons.
August 21 Harvest Celebration Dirt Dinner: Garbanzo beans
Join us at Bramble & Hare on Monday, August 21 for an especially joyous Harvest Celebration Dirt Dinner event. We’ll honor chickpeas all evening, one of the most versatile and important vegetables in the world. And don’t forget: Please do alert us to any dietary restrictionsupon booking reservations for Monday night’s event.
In Arabic, hummus is the word for chickpeas. The legumes are of vital importance across the Middle East, where cooked chickpeas are blitzed with tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon, salt and spices to craft hummus (the dish), and dried chickpeas get ground with other spices and turned into falafel. Their centrality to the region is no shock: the wild progenitor of chickpeas, Cicer reticulatum, is only found in Turkey today, where it was domesticated. Evidence suggests that chickpeas were one of the earliest cultivated legumes in history, dating back to 7000 BC.
Chickpeas figure into many dishes across the India subcontinent, and endure as one of the region’s most popular vegetarian ingredients. The legumes get ground into flour, which is widely used in many Indian dishes; it is especially popular as the base of a batter for frying vegetables. In Burma, chickpea flour is turned into a tofu-like product. In France and Italy, chickpea flour is formed into flatbreads—socca in France, and farinata in Italy—that make our hearts sing.
Chickpeas are glorious gifts to humanity. We cannot wait to share with you the four chickpea dishes, plus a welcome garbanzo aperitif, that we have developed for Monday night’s can’t-miss event.
Meanwhile, the hospitality team is eager to once again invite guests to order simply “white” or “red” wines, all of which have been curated by our outstanding sommelier Logan to complement our evening’s dinner, which arrive wrapped in burlap. Diners who participate in the engaging challenge then receive the sort of taste, aroma, color and texture scorecards that sommeliers use to understand wine, and to take part in blind tastings. From there, guests have fun exploring the wines and guessing at their varietals, countries of origin and more.
At each of our dinners, the sommelier game has captured the imaginations of guests who signed up; we love watching them having fun tasting and talking about the wine, and then researching the wines once they learned their identity.
Not interested in using the sommelier’s grid during dinner? No problem. You can order the bottles of wine that Logan selected to pair with the meal, or you can work with a server to discover something you love on the wine list, or turn to cocktails and other beverages. Either way, we cannot wait to welcome you into our dining room in downtown Boulder and share four courses of culinary excellence with you.
The celebration, on Monday, August 21 in our convivial dining room, costs $87, plus tax, gratuity and adult beverages. When making a reservation, it is important to include dietary restrictions, so we can best accommodate; we rely mostly on the fruits of our fields for our dishes, and while accommodating dietary restrictions is something we do with pleasure, it is especially helpful in our case to have a little bit of advance notice.
Farmers Markets in Boulder and Longmont
We grow many fields of squash, and all of the varieties, from zucchini to pattypan to yellow longneck, yield vast amounts of gorgeous squash blossoms, which we harvest and sell at the market booths and farm store.
One question comes up a lot: How should we prepare squash blossoms? Stuffing and frying them is classic. They also are wonderful in salads, incorporated into quesadillas, blended into pastas and starring in frittatas, among other things.
We don’t often eat flowers in the United States, but there’s no sensible reason for it. Their flavors can be wonderful, and of course flowers often add beauty to the plate. Squash blossoms taste faintly of squash, and possess an outstanding texture for cooking. They are simultaneously sturdy, supple and capacious, and widely embraced in professional kitchens.
We will have loads of these brilliant orange beauties for weeks. Pick some up, and start cooking! One of the easiest dishes is squash blossom enchiladas.
To make this arresting dish, widely savored across Mexico, heat a skillet and add a little vegetable oil to the pan. Place a flour tortilla in the hot skillet and scatter about 1/3 of a cup of shredded mozzarella and two tablespoons of a queso fresco cheese evenly over the top. A little sliced green onion scattered over the cheese adds welcome crunch and zing to the dish. Then lay a few squash blossoms on one side of the tortilla, and fold the other side over the blossom-spangled half of the tortilla. Cook for a few minutes, flipping it occasionally, until both sides are crisp and golden. Slice it into wedges, and serve.
Meanwhile, we plan to lard our booths with quite a bounty of organic vegetables and meats from livestock that grazed on organic pasture at the weekend markets!
At our booths this week, which are open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Boulder and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Longmont, look for:
- Squash blossoms
- Sunflower bouquets
- Tat soi
- Mizuna, green and purple
- Romaine lettuce
- Salad mix
- Roving wool from our sheep
- Cuts of lamb
Not up for enduring the heat at Saturday’s market? We understand. You can park right in front of our Farm Store at 4975 Jay Road and walk away with armfuls of organic vegetables, meats from livestock that grazed on organic pasture, provisions and foods crafted by our culinary team and a wide range of products from local artisans. The heat? It barely interfered with your quick Farm Store visit.
Please visit us at the Farm Store, located at 4975 Jay Road and open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., for:
- Squash blossoms
- Sunflower bouquets
- Tat soi
- Green mustard
- Salad mix
- Chicken eggs
- Duck eggs
- Guinea eggs
Black Cat Grains and flours and legumes
- Sourdough bread
- Cuts of Black Cat heritage lamb
- Cuts of Black Cat Organic Farm pork
- Dog food
Black Cat Farm Provisions
- Onion soup
- Roasted tomato sauce with basil and garlic
- Basque piperade
- Yellow Tomato Sauce with French thyme
- Tomato shallot fonduto
- Salsa amarilla con rajas
- Spicy harissa
- Big B’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Frog Hollow Farmstead Apple Butter
- Annie Bee’s Hand-Poured Beeswax Candles
- Havenly Baked Gluten-Free Bread
- Boulder Broth
- Bjorn’s Colorado Honey and doggie treats
- Boulder Valley Honey
- Bolder Chips tortilla chips
- Pueblo Seed Grains Co. cookies, cereals, grits and more
- Heartbeets Veggie Burgers and doggie treats
- Spark + Honey Granola
- Green tahini spreads
- Mountain Girl Pickles
- Project Umami Tempeh and bacon
- Silver Canyon Coffee
- Vegan charcuterie from Greece
- Italian risotto rice
- Humble Suds cleaning products
- Growing Organic probiotic soaps
- BeeOch beard and body care products
- Purple Fence Farm salves, beard oils
- Vital You toner mists, soaps
- Bjorn’s face wash and sunscreen
Bramble & Hare
Farm tomato soup—the star ingredient comes from our farm. Farm gnocchi—Black Cat Organic Farm potatoes. Beet salad, our beets. Fried green tomatoes starring our organic fruit. Spring onion risotto with Detroit beets and braised fennel from the farm. The summer squash and cherry tomatoes in the pan-seared salmon dish, the red pepper, onions and turnips in the braised rabbit leg, and the polenta, celery and salsa components in the beef dish—all from our organic farm.
No other restaurant in the United States comes close to Bramble & Hare when it comes to alignment between farm and table. We’d love to take care of you in this Colorado treasure. As the harvest season continues to ramp up, the menus change with even more regularity and oomph.
See you soon!