We rarely take people up on press trip offers, but when Earthbound Organic invited us to visit their plant and farms, Maggy and I signed on. Here was an innovative company who had found a way to serve up beautiful, clean, organic baby greens to us, and millions of others all across the country – we wanted to get to know them.
I got to know Earthbound Organic as a consumer fourteen years ago when I started buying their signature mixed baby greens at Costco. It’s a product that has transformed my salad eating. Pre-Earthbound, making salad was a big deal. I date back to a time when salad started with a head of iceberg, but even Maggy and Sharon remember the days when making salad meant pulling out the salad spinner.
These days, salad is as easy as reaching into the fridge for a one-pound clamshell and grabbing a handful of pre-washed mixed baby greens. Often products like this come with a price. If you want convenience, you must compromise quality and flavor. Not here. Earthbound is convenient, and the greens are pristine and pure.
This was my experience of Earthbound Organic before Maggy and I arrived at their Farm Stand in Carmel Valley, California for our opening night dinner. Here we dined alfresco in a rustic pavilion, decorated earthy-gorgeous.
Often on press trips we go fancy restaurants and eat dishes cooked by celebrity chefs. Not here. Their chef Sarah LaCasse, at heart a mom, knew exactly what us weary travelers needed. All of her dishes were simple, yet deeply satisfying. One of our favorites that night was Skillet Butternut Squash and Kale With Maple-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, a recipe we offer here.
Co-founder Myra Goodman (author of two beautiful cookbooks) joined us for dinner and told a bit of her inspiring story, how she and her husband, Drew, went from selling pre-washed salad greens out of their 2 1/2-acre farm and 600-square-foot house in 1986 to becoming the 53,000 acre organic farm they are today.
The story doesn’t end here. In the coming weeks Maggy will share a little of what we learned on our farm and factory tour and another great recipe.
Skillet Butternut Squash and Kale With Maple-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
3/4 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 generous cups peeled, seeded, and 1-inch cubed butternut squash
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
4 generous cups washed, stemmed, and torn kale leaves
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss pumpkin seeds with 1 tablespoon of the oil, syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and cayenne; turn onto a small parchment-line pan; roast until fragrant and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile place squash, 1/3 cup of water, a sprinkling of salt, garlic, rosemary and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Cover and turn burner on high; steam until is tender and water evaporates about 5 minutes. Uncover pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until squash is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add kale, cook until wilted, a couple of minutes longer. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and serve.