Farm Dinner with Idyll Farms

Jennie meets a goat

Jennie meets a goat

Bare Knuckle barn at dusk

Bare Knuckle barn at dusk



In 2009 when Jess and I started Bare Knuckle Farm, the plan was always to eventually have a food business that was fed by the farm. What I didn’t expect when we started the private dinner business last year was how those dinners would be supported by the other farms around us. We grow vegetables and pork. And our neighbors have their own specializations, and it means just as much to me to feature those specialty food products as it does to showcase our own.

 For the past couple of years, Idyll Farms has been making some of the best goat cheeses around. With a herd of 100 goats, they are creating at least 10 different types of milk products—everything from fresh chevre to goat’s milk caramel to aged tome and goat ricotta.

So who better to work with on our first collaborative dinner than our neighbors from just over the hill! A huge thank you to Mark, Amy, Madeline and the entire Idyll Farms crew for making this such a successful dinner. Thank you also to the women who helped me throughout: Rose Hollander, who has been a food comrade of mine for ages; Annie Comperchio, who worked double duty making the cheese, selling the cheese and then coming to our farm to help carry out the dinner; and Cassie Stanzler, who grew the vegetables, sold the vegetables, came back to harvest more vegetables for the next day’s market and then served and washed dishes. I couldn’t have done this alone and even if I could have it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. And a perpetual thanks to Jess for supporting me and running the farm like a well-oiled machine.

Amy and Mark Spitznagel with their goats.

Amy and Mark Spitznagel with their goats.

Food from the Garden

Kale, Chard, Salad Greens, Beets, Peas, Summer Squash, Cherry Tomatoes, Radicchio, Herbs, Kholrabi, Baby Potatoes, Purplette Onions, Broccoli and Carrots.

 From the Pantry

Onion Jam, Pickled Green Beans, Pickled Carrots, Fruit Jams, Blueberry Aigre Doux, Pickled Tomatoes, Pickled Apples, Eggplant Relish and Siracha Eggplant

 From the Freezer

Pork, Bacon, Roasted Peppers, Pureed Eggplant, Tongue of Fire Beans, Lardo, Autumn Olive Berries

 From Our Neighbors

Arugula, Dried Cherries, Raspberries, Blueberries and Green Beans

 From Idyll Farms

Fresh Chevre, Sweetened Chevre, Tome, Aged Cour de la Crème, Goat’s Caramel, Ricotta, Camembert and Ash Rind Chevre 

Idyll's Beautiful Barns

Idyll's Beautiful Barns

And that became this menu…


To Start…

 Eggplant Relish with Goat Camembert

For Dinner… 

Beet Carpacchio with Arugula, Pickled Apples and Slivered Tome

Snap Peas, Ricotta Nefla with Purple Basil, Hazelnuts and Brown Butter 

Tomatoes, Summer Squash and Green Beans with Chevre Sherry Sabayon 

Slow-Cooked Ham with Grilled Radicchio, Wild Rice,

and Goat’s Milk Caramel 

For Dessert…

Sweetened Chevre with Plumberry Jam,

Fresh Fruit and Maple Syrup Granola


Tomatoes, Summer Squash and Green Beans with Chevre Sherry Sabayon

 1 pt cherry tomatoes

2-3 very small green and yellow summer squash

1 qt green beans

Fresh Chevre Sabayon

6 egg yolks

½ C cream Sherry

pinch of salt

6 oz fresh chevre

1 bu parsley, finely chopped

  • Cut the tomatoes in half
  • Shave the squash into paper thin pieces (a mandolin is extremely helpful with this)
  • Blanch the green beans in heavily salted water and then cool

 For the Sabayon

  • Over a double boiler, whisk the eggs and sherry together until completely frothy and stable (about 8-12 minutes) being sure to whisk the sides to keep the eggs from curdling
  • Add the salt and the chevre and whisk to combine

To plate

  • Toss the summer squash and green beans in a good glug of olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  • Divide the vegetables between bowls or arrange onto one large platter
  • Make the sabayon and pour over the vegetables
  • Garnish the top with the parsley jazz


Making Sabayon

Making Sabayon

Peas, Ricotta Brown Butter and Hazelnuts

1 pt snap peas

4oz hazelnuts, toasted

1 bu basil (preferably purple)

4 oz ricotta (preferably Idyll Farm Goat Ricotta)

¼ lb butter

3 C orange juice

2 T apple cider vinegar

¼ C olive oil

For the Brown Butter Vinaigrette

  • In a sauce pan, reduce the orange juice until it is very thick and syrupy
  • Transfer to a bowl
  • In a clean pan, brown the butter until very dark and toasty
  • Whisk the butter into the orange juice
  • Add the apple cider vinegar and olive oil
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning

To plate

  • Pile the snap peas in the center of the plate or platter
  • Dot with the ricotta
  • Drizzle with the brown butter vinaigrette
  • Sprinkle with the hazelnuts
  • Garnish with the torn basil

And thanks to Daniel Caudill for writing about our dinner on and for taking this lovely photo of us assembling the Vegetables with Chèvre Sabayon.