Chef Daniel Varano’s Sautéed Swiss Chard with Bacon

4 Servings



Olive oil

1 cup thick bacon or pancetta, ¼ inch diced

3 cloves of garlic, smashed

Pinch kosher salt approx. 1/8 tsp

Crushed red pepper flakes

1 bunch Swiss chard, cleaned trimmed

½ cup chicken or vegetable stock



1. Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil. Add diced bacon and cook until bacon begins to golden. Add crushed red pepper and garlic, sauté 2-3 min longer.

2. Cut swiss chard stems on an angle into 1/2 inch pieces, and the leaves into 1 1/2 inch strips. Add Swiss chard stems and chicken or vegetable stock. Cook until the stock has mostly evaporated.

3. Add Swiss chard leaves tossing until wilted, season with salt and pepper.

4 Servings


1 pound fresh green beans washed and trimmed

¼ large red onion, thinly sliced

½ pint grape tomatoes halved

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

¼ cup Italian dressing



1. Steam green beans in ½ inch boiling salted water 5-6 minutes. Shock beans in ice water, drain well.

2. Place beans in a large bowl and combine with onions and tomatoes

3. Dress the salad just before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Chef Daniel Varano’s Green Bean Salad with Red Onion and Tomatoes



1  14oz bag spinach or fresh leaf spinach

1 small can mandarin oranges or two fresh oranges 

½ small red onion

½ cup walnuts 

¼ lb single piece pancetta, diced ¼ inch thick pieces

Shaved parmesan cheese for garnish

Olive oil


Balsamic –honey dressing:

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 

1 tsp Dijon mustard 

2 tsp honey 

Salt/pepper as needed 

Grated zest of one orange 

Juice of half orange 

½ c. olive oil



1. Heat a sauté pan on medium heat. Glaze pan with olive oil and add the pancetta. Allow to get brown and crispy, then remove and place on paper towel to drain. 

2. In a large salad bowl, toss together spinach, orange segments, walnuts, and red onions. Dress lightly with salad dressing. Top with pancetta. 


Salad Dressing-

Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil slowly until smooth.


Chef Daniel Varano’s Spinach and Mandarin Salad 


1 Japanese or Italian eggplant 

1 small zucchini 

1 cubanelle pepper 

8 medium mushrooms trimmed in season, halved 

½ cup extra virgin olive oil fro brushing 

2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves or ½ tbsp dried 


1. Preheat grill, moderate heat.

2. Cut the eggplant, zucchini, and cubanelle pepper into slices and brush each side with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Cook until vegetables are just tender 3-5 minutes on each side, each veg. has a different density so some may need to cook longer than others. Remove from grill and arrange on platter with fresh thyme leaves.


*Note : if using a grill pan, an even dice cut on veg. is preferred. Cherry tomatoes can be added towards the end of grilling. Varieties of seasonal squash such as an 8 ball, golden rod or summer make an excellent choice. 

Chef Daniel Varano’s Grilled Seasonal Vegetable Platter 

Check out our new cookbook filled with delicious recipes curated by Chef Dan Varano.


Now available for purchase at The LEAF or on our online store.

A collection of some of the best recipes you can make with our fresh, locally grown produce.

4 Servings

 Corn with Scallion-Lime Butter



4 Ears of Corn

Unsalted butter, softened

1 Lime (zest)

2 Scallions

Salt and Pepper 


1. Pulse 1/2 stick of softened, unslated butter with the grated zest of 1 lime, 2 sliced scallions and 1/4 tsp kosher salt in the food processor. 

2. Boil 4 ears of corn until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and spread with the butter. Season with salt and pepper.



Adapted from FoodNetwork

4 Servings





Crusty bread

2 1/2 Lbs of Slicing Tomatoes

1/2 Red Onion

1 Cup Torn Basil

2/3 Cup Olive Oil

1/4 Cup capers

Red Wine Vinegar







1. Spread 8 cups of cubed crusty bread on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until toasted, 8-10 min.

2. Transfer the bread to a bowl and add 2 1/2 pounds of chopped tomatoes, sliced oinon, basil, olive oil, capers, and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and gently toss. 



Adapted from FoodNetwork

4 Servings



The LEAF Staff's Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

Mark's Choice:


Mashed Potatoes

(From Tricia Yearwood)

Serves 4



5-6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

10-12 cloves garlic

Kosher salt

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

4 tablespoons butter




In a medium saucepot, combine the potatoes, garlic and 1 tablespoon salt. Add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes.

Strain the potatoes and garlic and then rice them back into the pot. Add the milk, chicken stock, white pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Place the pot over low heat and stir until the mixture comes together and is heated through. Remove from the heat and mix in the butter until melted in.

Serve immediately or wrap in foil and hold in a low oven.





Julia's Choice:


Glazed Fall Vegetables

(From Claire's Corner Copia Cookbook)

Serves 4



2 large sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces

1 large white potato, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces

3 medium carrots, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces

1 small yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch rings

1 medium acorn squash, halved, seeded, and peeled, each half cut into thirds

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, cut into 8 pieces

1/4 cup water



Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the sweet and white potatoes, carrots, onions, and acorn squash in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Toss well.


Turn into a rectangular glass baking dish. Scatter the butter or margarine pieces over the top. Pour the water into the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and stir the vegetables. Continue baking about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are softened to your liking and lightly browned. 


Dom's Choice:


Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

(From Ina Garten)

Serves 6



1 1/2 pounds Brussels sporuts, trimmed and cut in half through the core

4 ounces pancetta, 1/4 inch diced

1/4 cup good olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon syrupy balsamic vinegar



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the Brussels sprouts on a sheet pan, including some of the loose leaves, which get crispy when they're roasted. Add the pancetta, olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, toss with your hands, and spread out in a single layer. Roast the Brussels sprouts for 20 to 30 minutes, until they're tender and nicely browned and the pancetta is cooked. Toss once during roasting. Remove from the oven, drizzle immediately with the balsamic vinegar, and toss again. Taste for seasonings, and serve hot. 





Jack's Choice:


Apple Crisp

(From The Chunky Chef)

Serves 6



6 apples, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided

1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup old fashioned oats



Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Butter an 8x8 baking dish, or spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, add chopped apples, granulated sugar, 3/4 tsp of the cinnamon and lemon juice.  Stir to combine, then transfer to prepared baking dish.

In a separate mixing bowl, add topping ingredients (brown sugar, oats, flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, salt, and diced cold butter).  Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the oat mixture, using a slight downward twisting motion, until mixture resembled pea-sized crumbs.  Alternatively, you can use two forks or even your hands to cut butter into the mixture.

Spread topping over apples in baking dish, and gently pat to even it out.  Bake 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.

Serve warm and enjoy!

Matt's Choice:


Seasoned Green Beans 

(From Mark Ramsay)

Serves 4



1 pound of green beans 

Olive Oil

Montreal Steak seasoning



Heat 3 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.

Put green beans in the pan and stir to coat the beans with oil.

Add 1 Tablespoon of Montreal Steak Seasoning and continue to saute the beans until warm but still crisp.


Quick Links To Recipes

Aunt Peg's Choice:


How To Make Cranberry Compote


12 oz fresh cranberries, washed and drained

1 bosc pear, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 inch fresh ginger, chopped fine

1 cup white sugar

3/4 cup water 



Put all ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a boil and simmer gently for ½ hr.

As it is cooling, taste and add additional sugar as required.

Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Note that the cranberry sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.








The Lewis Educational Agricultural Farm


65 Blueberry Lane, Southington CT 06489

Mark (860) 919-6127