Pristine rolling acreage as if from a beautifully painted canvas sets vastly on both sides of the winding avenue called Stenton. A place where time seems to stay the same, solid. Dotting pastures of shaded and lush greens provide brief glimpses of equally pristine animals contentedly roaming designated areas of rotation, deep shiny Black Angus cows, perfectly glossed, finely groomed, noble like horses, creamy white sheep, and in the spring, new baby lambs, Cheviot, playing about. It has always been this way for as long as I can remember.
The power of this mighty farm is calming, despite requiring a rapid trained eye to take it all in and catch what might be currently displaying in the pasture as the two laned twists and turns along with its cross road, Flourtown, leave little edge way for slowing off the gas petal pace or veering onto its manicured lining traveling through the quick moving traffic.
Within the four hundred and fifty acre property whose grounds have been in continuous farming since the days of William Penn also includes a fruit orchard, egg laying chickens, and, limited acreage growing a selection of fresh herbs and vegetables. The herbs, vegetables, eggs, and fresh ground Angus beef are among items available at the farm stand now open on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 3 and 6 pm. Entry to the stand is off of Flourtown Road located at the top of the drive just beyond the sheep barn. You can read more about Erdenheim Farm here.
Last week, on a school conference half- day (fortunately welcomed with one of the first days in months of bright blue skies, sunshine and warmth) I loaded my grandson, the J-Dude, and his best buddy, Richard, into the car for a ride down along the winding road of Stenton Avenue. Actually, I had enticed them a possible view of the new baby horse shown trotting along with its mama the first time out of the stall on the farms video. No luck there. But the boys did get an earlier glimpse of the sheep before rounding up into the barn for their dinner.
No matter, already filling the boys high spirits that spring day afternoon off of school had been plenty of running, climbing trees, chasing Canadian Geese, snakes (true), and shooting water pistols, all at spring fever accentuated heights. As for me, I finally got to take my foot off of the gas petal on the quick moving two lane road and take in a bit of the place that has provided so much calm and delight over the years. Included in the day’s market order at Erdenheim Farm was the impeccably fresh baby Tuscan Kale and delicate, brightly colored, Chive Blossoms packed with flavor and clean scent inspiring this simple but lovely dish with Herb Tuna Salad atop. The sweetness of the Clementine as a dressing mixed with the lightness of grape seed oil combines well with the slight bitterness of kale.
In a few days after filling you in on Sunday’s Philly Farm and Food Show, I’ll share a recipe on what I did with the rest of this fresh, crisp and tasty baby Tuscan Kale, combining it with the tender thyme blossoms also purchased on my Erdenheim Farm Stand visit. And in case you are wondering, from the just picked, clear bagged, perfectly chilled selection of greens, herbs, and other assorted items carried in the small farm shop, yes, all of it, just like the vision of its rolling exterior acreage fit for a canvas is, pristine.
- 2 12 ounce cans albacore tuna in water, drained
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 6-8 scallions (green onions) finely chopped
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 lemons, juiced and strained
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more or less to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, more or less to taste
- 1 cup raw, fresh small Tuscan Kale, per individual salad, cut chiffonade into half inch strips then cut in half for bite size pieces
- 1/4 cup any small edible decorative greens, curly endive, micro greens, Korean water cress or green water cress per individual salad
- 3 edible fresh chive blossoms per individual salad
- 5-6 clementines, halved, juiced and strained
- 3 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Using a fork gently flake and separate albacore tuna in a large glass bowl. Stir in celery and scallions then carefully blend through the mayonnaise before combining in the fresh lemon juice. Sprinkle in the parsley and mint then the kosher salt and pepper, check seasoning adding a bit more salt or lemon juice if desired. Assemble salad placing approximately one cup of the sliced dressed Tuscan Kale pieces into the center of the plate. Using a measuring cup make a scoop of tuna salad and lay on top of the kale. Lightly dress assorted mixed greens and place decoratively on outer edges around plate. Top with three edible fresh chive blossoms.
- For the Dressing
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together clementine juice with the grape seed oil, add in salt and pepper, whisk again, check flavor adding in a bit more of any ingredient as desired