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We will be posting an occasional series of recipes using Wild Hive Farm Grains and other local ingredients. They may not be seasonal when you see them, so scroll through and see what fits the harvest at the time.  Enjoy!

Easy Polenta

1 cup Wild Hive Farm Fancy Polenta

3.5 cups water (add 2-4oz. more if you prefer it softer)

4 oz. Shredded local hard cheese (such as Sprout Creek Ouray or Amazing Real Live Food Company’s Stella Vallis Tomme)

Extra virgin olive oil or local butter

1tsp sea salt

To prepare: Combine all ingredients in saucepan except cheese. Soak for 1 or more hours, then bring to a boil while stirring, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Slow cook for 20 minutes stirring 2-3 times. Garnish with cheese and enjoy with friends.

To Make Polenta Cakes

Prepare as above, up to the addition of cheese. Pour cooked polenta into oiled loaf pans or a clean round tin can, opened on one end, and oiled. Refrigerate until it is cool and solid. Invert the container to release the polenta loaves and cut into ¾ inch slices, and season with sea salt and pepper. To grill: brush with olive oil and brown on a hot grill. To fry: cook in an iron pan with olive oil. To roast: oil a pan and place overlapping slices looking like fallen dominos. Splash with olive oil, pepper and sea salt and garnish with shredded cheese of choice, bake or roast in a 350º preheated oven and cook for 20-30minutes or until golden brown.

You can shape your polenta in cake form even days ahead and slice and serve for a quick, easy meal. The cakes can be frozen and thawed when needed.

Sautéed Wild Spring Vegetables

Soak veggies including field mustard, watercress, dandelions and nettles in salted cold water for 5 minutes or so, rinse, remove leaves from stems if necessary. Coarsely chop your assortment and place in boiling salted water for 1 minute, drain and chill in cold water. Drain again and heat olive oil in a pan, add chopped scallions or ramps and cook briefly, and then add chopped drained greens, salt and pepper. Lower heat and stir for about 5 minutes. Serve with polenta or cooked pasta. You can also take the blanched greens and/or raw sliced onions or ramps and stir them into the polenta just as it finishes. If serving soft, it’s all ready. If serving in cakes, the seasoning is incorporated.

Local Cholent Stew

This dish was built around stored winter vegetables, so there are big chunks of potatoes and carrots, with the meat being a flavoring ingredient but not the dominant element. This was a festive and sustaining dish of people with limited ingredients but who appreciated good and tasty fare.

4 medium potatoes cut into large chunks (skins on for flavor and minerals)

2 cups onion, peeled and chunked

2 cup chopped carrots, scrubbed and chunked

3-5 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped (as preferred)

2 pounds chuck roast, trim off fat, cut in large chunks

3 TBS oil (local sunflower oil is available, be on the lookout)

Pepper, to taste

3/4 cup soaked Wild Hive Farm Soft Wheat berries

1 cup dried beans, soaked, your choice, red, white, black or a mix

3 cups chicken or beef broth

1 TBS local honey or maple syrup

1 TBS smoked or regular paprika

2 frozen tomatoes, or 1cup tomato sauce

Salt and pepper to taste at the end

1.    Soak beans in a bowl covered by plenty of water. For a couple of hours if soaked in hot water, overnight if soaked in cold water
2.    Soak wheat berries separately in water.
3.    Brown the onion in oil in a heavy frying pan, then remove and put in crockpot.
4.    Lightly salt and pepper the meat chunks and brown the meat in the same frying pan in two batches transferring the browned meat to the crockpot.
5.    Deglaze the hot pan with a cup of the beef or chicken broth, stirring and scraping to get all the browned bits of goodies into the broth. Transfer to crockpot.
6.    Drain and rinse wheat berries and beans.
7.    Add carrots, beans, soft wheat berries, along with tomato or sauce, paprika, honey or maple syrup and top with chunks of potatoes, add broth and, if need be, additional water to cover.
8.    Turn crockpot on low and cook for 8-12 hours until tender, the rule of thumb is the longer it cooks the better it tastes. Add salt and pepper as desired.
9.    Enjoy with friends, family and whole grain bread.