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From Their Farms to Your Table
From Their Farms to Your Table
Photography Courtesy of Lines + Angles, and by
Colorful Stories and Vibrant Dishes from Every Corner of Maine

Writer Kate Shaffer and photographer Derek Bissonnette bring the vibrancy of the Maine food system into focus on the pages of The Maine Farm Table Cookbook: 125 Homegrown Recipes from the Pine Tree State (Countryman Press, June 2021). Through the lens of Bissonnette’s camera and via Shaffer’s lyrical pen, readers get planted in wheat fields in Somerset and Aroostook counties and then are transported into the commercial kitchen of renowned bakers Kerry Hanney of Night Moves Bread + Pie in Biddeford and Lydia Moffet and Tim Semler at Tinder Hearth in Brooksville, who use local flours in products from Baltic rye bread to wood-fired pizza dough.


Readers visit Dandelion Spring Farm in Bowdoinham to harvest vegetables with farmer Beth Schiller and move into the kitchen to make her recipe for Wilted Frisee Salad with Ground Lamb and Fresh Chile. Shaffer explains Colin and Arianna Smorawski’s techniques for humanely and sustainably raising the heritage Meishan pigs on Roaring Lion Farm in Sedgwick, and then she steps cooks through her recipe for Pork Chops in Creamy Pepper Sauce.


Readers can take a turn in Linda Greenlaw’s lobster boat docked in Surry, ride in a flat-bottom boat to see oysters growing in floating cages with Abigail Carroll, founder of Nonesuch Oysters in Scarborough, and make their own pot of Blue Hill Bay Mussels with Crispy Kale as chef Devin Finigan serves them in her Deer Isle restaurant, Aragosta at Goose Cove.


Shaffer admits in her introduction that no single book could tell the story of every one of Maine’s 7,600 farms on record. But the stories she does tell, and the recipes she’s chosen to illustrate how good local Maine food can be, are well worth the read.


Here are a few summertime recipes to whet your appetite for your own copy of The Maine Farm Table Cookbook, available at your favorite local bookseller now.


Strawberry Bruschetta with Ricotta and Arugula

For this recipe, Shaffer suggests seeking the cold smoked ricotta from Crooked Face Creamery in Skowhegan, as the smoke mixes magically with the fresh fruit and peppery greens.


Makes 8 servings

2 cups fresh hulled and diced strawberries

2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

Sea salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 baguette

1 cup ricotta cheese

2 cups arugula, washed and chopped if the leaves are large


Preparation — Toss diced strawberries and pomegranate seeds with a pinch of salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

Cut baguette, on bias, into at least 8 slices, preferably more.

Spread slices with ricotta cheese and top with arugula. Spoon strawberries and pomegranate on top
before serving.


Young Carrots with Lemon, Thyme, and Olive Oil

Four Season Farm in Harborside, an experimental market garden concept formulated by renowned gardener Eliot Coleman, is famous for its young “candy carrots” which are only 4–6 inches long and have a uniformly narrow shape that makes it easy to cook them evenly while still whole.


Makes 4 servings

2 pounds young carrots, peeled

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ cup chopped fresh thyme

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Preparation — Preheat the oven to 375°. Toss the carrots with the olive oil, honey, lemon juice, thyme, and plenty of salt and pepper to taste in a roasting pan. Roast until just tender to the tip of a knife, basting once or twice with juices from the pan, 40–50 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve straight away.


Honey- and Soy-Glazed Brook Trout

When native brook trout started manifesting environmental mercury from the fresh waterways in northern Maine, the Aroostook Band of Micmacs developed a fish farm to protect this traditional tribal food. The brook trout raised at the Micmac Farms aquaculture facility in Caribou have distinctive pink flesh due to their diet of freshwater shrimp, earthworms, and soy protein.


Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons honey

¼ cup dark soy sauce

2 large brook trout fillets, pin bones removed

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons canola oil

8 ounces green beans, trimmed

Sea salt, to taste

1 lime, cut in half

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


Preparation — Preheat the oven to 400°. Whisk together the honey and soy sauce in a small bowl until the honey dissolves. Arrange the trout fillets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with about half the glaze. Season with a little black pepper. Roast the fish until opaque and firm to the touch with a slight spring, 10–12 minutes.


In the meantime, heat the canola oil in a large skillet or wok, swirling to coat the surface; if using a wok, preheat it before adding the oil. Add the beans and a pinch of salt and pepper, stir-frying for 2 minutes. Cover with a lid and steam over reduced heat until tender to the bite, 2–3 minutes. Remove the lid and set off the heat until ready to serve. Remove the trout from the oven when ready.


Transfer the trout and beans to a serving platter. Spoon over the remaining glaze and squeeze over some lime juice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve straight away.

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