Twice a month we take a look at local restaurants, farms and farmers markets featured on episodes of UNC-TV’s Flavor, NC. This week, we highlight the fourth episode of season two, in which hostess Lisa Prince highlights Carrigan Farms in Mooreville and Chef Tim Groody of FS Food group in the Charlotte area.
“It happens every spring in North Carolina,” said Lisa. “Strawberry signs popping up like roadside wild flowers.” In this episode Lisa visits with Doug Carrigan on his fourth-generation farm in Mooresville. The Carrigan Farm, in operation since 1852, is where Doug’s great-grandfather grew cotton and his grandfather and father raised dairy and beef cows. Now, Doug grows horticultural crops like strawberries and his farm is active in agritourism. He hosts weddings, school outings and more at the farm year-round. During Lisa’s visit, strawberries, asparagus and lettuce were in season.
In the episode, Doug offers advice for picking strawberries (spoiler alert – “they’re color-coded, pick the red ones”) and freezing berries. To freeze whole berries, take the green stem off and place individually on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, place in a plastic bag and seal. The berries can then be removed one at a time to enjoy in smoothies or other recipes. Store fresh strawberries in the refrigerator.
There are about 250 strawberry farms in North Carolina. Strawberry seasons usually starts in April. Find a pick-your-own farm near you at www.ncfarmfresh.com.
While at the farm, Lisa grills up a few delicious recipes with Chef Tim Groody of FS Food Group. Following is his recipe for grilled garden pizza.
Pizza dough stretched thin (1/8th-inch-thick)
½ cup chopped tomatoes
½ pound sliced or grated fresh mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons chopped green garlic (*or regular garlic if green is not available)
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 cup baby greens
11 pieces asparagus
1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
Combine all vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
Brush one side of the pizza dough with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place oiled side down on hot grill. When toasted, move half a turn to produce cross marks on the crust if desired. Flip to a cooler side of the grill when toasted. Brush with olive oil and layer the tomatoes and asparagus on the crust, followed by the cheese and basil. Close grill and cook until cheese just melts. Toss the baby greens with vinaigrette to taste. Remove pizza to a cutting board and slice. Cover with salad. Serve & Enjoy!