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Steamboat Magazine

Year-Round Recipes from Elkstone Farm

08/19/2021 12:02PM ● By Rachel Miller
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO – Why is Routt County’s farm-to-table food so delicious? It starts with the agriculture community. “The vast amount of farming and agriculture that we have in Routt County makes for excellent locally sourced seasonal cuisine,” says Russell Goodman, chef at Elkstone Farm, located just outside of Steamboat Springs in Strawberry Park. Goodman not only makes delicious dishes from the produce grown at Elkstone, but also teaches cooking classes and participates in planting and tending to the plants that produce his dishes’ ingredients. The team at Elkstone makes the most of each growing season with fruit trees, hay meadows, flower gardens and a year-round greenhouse.

Growing food in Steamboat Springs is a one-of-a-kind experience, Goodman says. “The altitude and weather present unique hurdles to the alpine farmer,” he says. “Our growing season is short, and we are prone to early and late frosts, surprise snows and all manner of meteorological phenomena, not to mention critters of all sizes.” While growing here is difficult, he explains, it results in flavor profiles that can’t be found elsewhere. Cold growing temperatures lead to crispier, sweeter results when growing vegetables like beets, turnips and cabbages. “The total collection of inputs – from the clay soil to the lack of rain to the early snows – results in vegetables that could not have been grown anywhere else,” he says.

The benefits of growing and buying food locally, Goodman adds, go well beyond the dinner table. “The simple act of growing food with land instead of developing it for another purpose is an act of love towards this community,” he says. “By growing, buying and eating locally produced vegetables, we keep resources and water in our community.”

Here are three seasonal recipes from Goodman and his team at Elkstone Farm.

Cucumber Shrub
Shrubs are delicious and tart non-alcoholic drink mixers suitable for adding to sparkling water or spirits. This cucumber shrub is an example that is easy and delicious to make at home.
2 small or 1 large diced cucumber
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup cider vinegar (or chokecherry blossom vinegar)
1. Blend the diced cucumber very well in a blender with the sugar and salt until liquefied.
2. Strain the liquid thoroughly, pressing to get all of the liquid out, and discard the pulp.
3. Add the vinegar to the sweetened cucumber juice and store refrigerated in a clean jar.
4. To use, add the shrub to sparkling water, water or spirits.

Chokecherry Blossom Vinegar
When the chokecherry trees bloom in spring, it is the perfect time to collect the blossoms for infusing into vinegar. The aromatic compounds released by the flowers resulting in their incredible cherry aroma can be captured in vinegar that then has an incredible, subtle cherry flavor. This vinegar is useful anywhere you would use vinegar, including in vinaigrettes, drizzled on fruit or as the base for a drinking shrub.
About 4 cups chokecherry blossoms
About 3 ½ cups cider vinegar
One-quart mason jar with lid
1. Collect the chokecherry blossoms. Be careful if you are on a ladder!
2. Put the blossoms in the mason jar.
3. Cover with the cider vinegar and refrigerate.
4. Best flavor will develop over time, at least one month.

Palisade Peach Gateau Breton
Brittany, France, is known for its butter. This dish is a locally inspired version of the French classic butter cake.
4 Palisade peaches, peeled and sliced
¼ cup cornstarch
2 egg yolks
1 whole eggs
300 grams flour
200 grams sugar
250 grams butter
A pinch sea salt
1. Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture looks crumbly.
2. Add the yolks and eggs and mix until the dough comes together.
3. Press about half the dough into the base of a tart mold or pie shell.
4. Toss the sliced peaches in the cornstarch and fill the shell.
5. Use the remaining dough to cover the peaches and bake at 360 degrees until completely cooked, about 20 minutes, checking every 10 minutes. Small tarts cook faster than big ones.

Learn more about Elkstone Farm at