At United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s annual Farm to Fork Dinner, guests can taste fresh produce and more from local farmers while helping those who need it most.
Each year, the event benefits UNC’s Community Health Department, which serves low-income, uninsured and under-insured people and families and helps them access health care services.
The fifth annual dinner took place Aug. 17 at Stone Meadow Gardens, 1273 Country Club Road, Clarks Summit. State Street Grill, 114 S. State St., Clarks Summit, catered the event using only local food. Local Flavor is all about spreading community love — the food is just a bonus. UNC’s Community Health Department earned a $50 gift card from Riccardo’s Market, 1219 Wheeler Ave., Dunmore, through Local Flavor Gives Back thanks to State Street Grill Executive Chef Sara McCully’s Roasted Red Beet and Goat Cheese Terrine.
Made with all local ingredients — including cheese from Calkins Creamery, Honesdale, and Clarks Summit’s Thirteen Olives balsamic and olive oil — the dish is simple to put together, McCully said. The most time-consuming part is roasting the beets, which can take up to two to three hours.
“You need to have patience,” McCully said. “Beets take a long time, but it’s worth it.”
“The heirloom tomatoes are really what make it,” added Dana Cuff, State Street Grill catering director, of the plating. “It’s also just very pretty.”
The dish truly was as lovely looking as it was delicious. With its colorful array of vegetables, the fresh produce burst with flavor. The terrine’s cheese, meanwhile, tasted creamy and cool, and it paired nicely with the rich beets and sweet honey.
In addition to the terrine and salad, Farm to Fork Dinner guests tasted several appetizers, entrees and desserts. Menu items included Honesdale’s Hardler Farms Bacon-Wrapped Peaches with Creamy Sweet Onion Cheese Dip, Chives and Sherry Wine Drizzle, and Waverly’s Fullers Overlook Farm Deviled Eggs, Fresh Dill and Black Garlic.
When organizers got together to plan a fundraiser years ago, they wanted it to have something to do with health and healthy eating, said Jill Eidenberg, UNC director of development, and farm-to-table dinners were starting to become popular. It’s been a successful event, she added, and has raised about $10,000 for the cause over the past five years, which includes providing local people with services such as transportation help, medication management, health screenings and management, care coordination, education and social support.
“Any way we can help the community and highlight our local farmers, what more can we ask for?” Eidenberg said. “It’s been a fun way to give back to that community support.”
State Street Grill Executive Chef Sara McCully’s Roasted Red Beet and Goat Cheese Terrine
3 or 4 red beets
2 yellow beets
2 cups water
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
Fresh sprigs of rosemary and thyme
Place the beets in separate roasting pans with the water, vinegar, salt and herbs. Cover in foil and roast in a 375 F oven for 2 to 3 hours until the beets are soft. Let cool in the liquid. (The liquid will help the skins from the beets peel off nicely.)
With a clean kitchen towel, rub the skins off the beets until they are clean.
For the goat cheese filling:
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons local buckwheat honey
Pinch of salt
Mix ingredients very well until incorporated.
Slice the yellow and red beets into disks about 1/6-inch thick and layer with the cheese filling. In between layers, add chopped fresh chives and sliced blueberries. Layer the beets about 3 to 4 tiers high. Garnish with fresh blueberries, local honey and edible flowers such as nasturtiums, pansies or orchids.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT