July 12, 2018

5 Farm Fresh Salad Dressings for Summer


One way to motivate yourself to eat more salad this summer is to have a tasty, homemade dressing drizzled on top. Freshly made avocado ranch dressing can turn a boring green salad into something exquisite. The secret is using fresh, seasonal produce in combination with good quality oils, vinegars or dairy. We know that store-bought dressings are convenient, but homemade tastes better, costs less and is so much better for you. Plus, most of these dressings can be made in less than 10 minutes. So here are our top 5 favorite dressing recipes to get you prepping for a summer of lusciously dressed salads.


Avocado Ranch

Serves 12
Kids and adults alike will love this creamy ranch-style dressing. It also makes a great dip for veggies.

1/4 cup mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and quartered
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup of milk (add extra for a thinner consistency)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste

1) Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Pulse until creamy. Add additional milk if you would like a thinner consistency for your dressing.

2) Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Drizzle over salad or use as a dip for vegetables.

Click here for a print friendly version of the recipe.


Champagne and Herb Vinaigrette

Serves 6-8
This is the dressing that we use over our Arugula Salad with Grilled Peaches, however, it is one of those delicious dressings that will make you love anything you pour it over. Use it on salads or as a marinade for your meats and veggies.

2 small garlic cloves, finely minced
1 shallot, finely minced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup of champagne vinegar (or substitute with red wine vinegar)
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until combined.

2) Store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Click here for a print friendly version of the recipe.

Lemon and Basil Vinaigrette

Serves 4-6
We are huge fans of everything basil right now and with summer in full force, the supply of basil is plentiful on the farm. Not only is this delicious on salads, but try drizzling it over some bruschetta for a new twist on a classic summer appetizer.

3 tablespoons fresh basil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1-1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1) Place basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, mustard and lemon juice in a blender.

2) Pulse a few times, then slowly pour the olive oil in the blender.

3) Continue to blend until vinaigrette is smooth.

4) Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

5) Store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Click here for a print friendly version of the recipe.


Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Serves 8
The perfect summer salad dressing made with just 3 simple ingredients.

1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1) Place blueberries in a small saucepan, add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.

2) Cook on medium low heat until berries are soft and thickened.

3) Place 1/2 cup of the berry mixture in a blender with the olive oil and vinegar. Blend on high until well combined.

4) Allow to cool, store in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.

Notes: You will have some of the berry mixture left over. You can use it in yogurt, on top of ice cream, or on toast.

Click here for a print friendly version of the recipe.


Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette

Serves 14-16
This one pairs well with just about any leafy green or veggie. Plus, it makes an amazing sauce for anything grilled! If you're feeling adventurous, try grilling your peppers instead of roasting in the oven.

1 large red peppers (1 cup roasted)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, or basil and chives


1) Cut the red peppers in half, remove the stem and seeds. Place the red peppers on a baking sheet with the cut side facing down.

2) Place the baking sheet on the top shelf in the oven and broil until the outer layer of the skin has blackened, about 10-20 minutes.

3) Place the peppers in a zip-lock bag or other sealable container, seal and let them cool until you can handle them, about 20 minutes. Remove the skins from the peppers. The skins should easily "pinch" off.

4) Blend the peppers, vinegar, water, olive oil, garlic, honey, salt and pepper until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a jar and stir in chopped parsley. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Click here for a print friendly version of the recipe.

How To Add Produce and Farm Products To Your Delivery: CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. The Market is open from noon on Thursday until 10 am, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add the products to your delivery.

Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood.

July 5, 2018

Canyon Fire

County Fire 3

Farm News

With the summer harvest on us, we were watching the weather closely – hot, low humidity and windy. A note of caution was sent to the irrigation team as these are the conditions that are ideal for drying out crops. Late in the afternoon, rumblings of a fire up the valley were heard. The rumblings soon turned into fact and a huge plume of smoke could be seen rising into the sky; it looked like a cloud. Turns out the weather that dries out crops grows wild fires too.

It was not long until the fire roared into a serious issue.  Sirens and aircraft became background noise, but their efforts yielded nothing – the fire was now almost 10,000 acres. The location of the fire was detailed by the farms and ranches of specific people we knew. Those locations were so much more personal than the clinical facts delivered by the officials. The fire was following the hills on the south side of our valley. In my head, I played forward what could happen. Our farm, in the flat of the valley and fully irrigated, was in little to no danger. The hills across the street however, where the two horses were out, fell into the danger category. By the night, the horses were caught and brought back to their corral.

A post shared by Thaddeus Barsotti (@farmerthaddeus) on

Sleeping lightly, the vibrating of my phone wakes me up at midnight. A friend is calling. I answer and in a factual tone, he tells me the fire is heading towards his ranch and they told him to evacuate – he is looking for a place to put his livestock. We chat about some options. The following morning the fire has passed; it has burned up the hills and passed our spot in the valley. Our neighbor returns his livestock to his ranch and notes that the fire burned right up to the firebreak he disked into the dry grass at the edge of his property.

With the local old-timers, we talk about where it is burning now. They scratch their heads and think out loud confirming with each other that never in their lives can they remember that remote and rugged patch of brush burning. I think about the thick, dry brush that for decades has gone without its natural pruning from fire. Its burning was inevitable.

County Fire 1

Ash falls from the sky, and over the farm, lingers a thick layer of smoke. The smell of smoke has become normal.  A cloud is no longer the best analogy to describe it, not as thick as a fog that sits a couple of hundred feet off the ground. I can see clearly all of the hills that surround the farm now − bright yellow grass and oak trees until the layer of smoke. Directly west, about a mile away, the hills are black and charred. The smoldering makes it hard to see the details, but it clearly was burned.

Click here for County Fire updates on the CalFire website.