Simple autumn recipes prepared with Hippy Pilgrim’s artisanal garlic salts and seasonings burst with homegrown flavor.
By Judy Fosdick
Photography by Kate Rogan
When Susannah Sapir was a child, she learned an important lesson from working in her mother’s backyard vegetable garden and eating the delicious meals she created: Fresh food tastes great. This early introduction to gardening and cooking inspired the Plympton resident to follow her own culinary path and eventually led her to create her own farm-to-table garlic salt company, Hippy Pilgrim.
Sapir discovered the magic of garlic as a young adult, whipping up garlicky shrimp scampi and other meals in her college dorm room using only a hot plate and a microwave. Years later, she started making cooking videos that were aired on Plymouth Area Community Access Television. This experience led Sapir to receive an invitation to audition for the pilot season of the reality cooking show, “The Next Food Network Star,” in 2005. Sapir placed fourth in the competition and the experience launched her into a 15-year television career during which she appeared on numerous food shows.
It was around this time that Sapir received a container of homemade garlic salt as a gift. She fell in love with the flavor and the convenience of the product, so she decided to try her hand at making batches of fresh garlic salt in her own kitchen. At the time, Sapir’s two sons were young, and she was always aiming to create tasty, fuss-free meals and adding a pinch of garlic salt to the vegetables on their plates was a “mommy win.”.
“Kosher salt, fresh garlic, and pepper make the perfect all-in-one pinch,” says Sapir, who began preparing larger batches of garlic salt to give as holiday gifts. Inspired by the rave reviews from her family and friends, Sapir took a leap of faith to launch her own garlic salt business in 2013. Hippy Pilgrim now offers a range of 14 garlic salt blends, including Sapir’s original recipe. Favorites include the Thanksgiving Garlic Salt, which is infused with Rosemary, Sage, Marjoram and Thyme, a Pinot Noir Garlic Salt made with wine from Artis Winery in Pembroke, and a knock-your-socks-off Hippy Pilgrim Coffee Rub made with locally sourced and roasted coffee.
Sapir has always made her products using fresh ingredients from local farms whenever possible, but during the pandemic she found herself struggling to source enough local garlic to meet demands. To save her business, she rolled up her sleeves and planted her own garlic. Sapir enlisted the help of a garden design expert who helped her design the garlic field and herb gardens on her Plympton property.
This summer, Sapir harvested her first crop of 1,400 garlic plants, as well as a variety of herbs, horseradish, jalapenos and other produce. Sapir dries the garlic in barns rented from local farmers and prepares each batch of Hippy Pilgrim garlic salts and seasonings in a professional kitchen at her home. Surplus produce is sold at her farm stand or donated to local food pantries and she offers a free pick-your-own herb garden to locals.
People come from miles away to shop at the Hippy Pilgrim products roadside farm stand. Sapir also sells her products at farmers markets across the South Shore and on the Hippy Pilgrim website. She continues to make cooking videos in her own home kitchen, too (social media savvy folks can follow her on TikTok).
In many ways, Sapir’s life has come full circle. She enjoys educating her customers about the value of cooking with fresh local ingredients and sharing simple recipes that feature her delicious seasoning blends. Sapir includes a hand-written note with each Hippy Pilgrim order, thanking the customer for their purchase.
Inside the Hippy Pilgrim farm stand, a cloth drawstring gift bag for sale on the Hippy Pilgrim website has a printed quote from French chef and writer Marcel Boulestin.
“Peace and happiness begin, geographically, where garlic is used in cooking.”
Sapir has certainly found this sentiment to be true, and she hopes her garlic salts bring a little joy to her customers, one flavorful meal at a time.
Harvest Salad with Butternut “Croutons” and Easy Cranberry Vinaigrette
Combine squash, oil, garlic salt and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla sugar in a bowl and toss to coat evenly. Air fry at 400 degrees until browned (9-12 minutes) and sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of vanilla sugar. Serve atop your salad as faux croutons.
Tip: Assemble salad while the croutons are cooking.
This is a tangy and versatile vinaigrette. I like to make it in a mason jar and just shake it up quickly. This is also great drizzled on warm pork or poultry, green beans or grain and bean salads. Simply add all of the ingredients to a mason jar and shake well. This recipe can be doubled or tripled easily.
Hippy Pilgrim’s Butternut Squash Ravioli
This recipe couldn’t be easier and the results can make meals all week!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Fill a small roasting pan halfway with water.
Split the squash down the middle and remove the seeds.
Place the squash (flesh side up) in the water. Brush the flesh of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with Pumpkin Spice Vanilla Sugar and Hippy Pilgrim Thanksgiving Garlic Salt. Roast at 350 degrees for 60 to 90 minutes until soft and tender.
While the squash is roasting, begin preparing the sauce by melting the butter in a pan. Skim off the foam and add the sugar, spices, orange zest and garlic. Heat for one minute and set aside.
To make the ravioli filling, combine butternut squash and Dipping Oil Starter Base and mix well. Fill the center of each wonton wrapper with 1 teaspoon of filling. Do not overfill. Use the reserved egg white to coat the edges of the wrapper and fold the wonton in half to form a triangle. Press the tines of a fork into the edges to seal the two sides.
Boil wontons for 1 to 3 minutes in salted water and remove with a strainer or slotted spoon and place on a plate. Drizzle with a little butter sauce and top with a sprinkle of Pumpkin Spice Vanilla Sugar, a sprinkle of the Dipping Oil Starter Base and a tiny sprinkle of Thanksgiving Garlic Salt. Optional garnishes include grated orange zest, fresh pomegranate seeds and toasted pine nuts or walnuts for some crunch.
TIP: You can make the raviolis in advance and freeze them on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, place in Ziploc Bags and boil them up whenever youíre in the mood!
Roasted Carrots with Hot Honey and Pistachios
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat a baking pan with parchment paper.
Add carrots, olive oil, garlic salt and sugar to the pan and toss by hand to coat.
Roast carrots until browned and tender for about 30 minutes.
Drizzle with hot honey and garnish with pistachios and more garlic salt.
Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken
This recipe couldn’t be easier and the results can make meals all week!
Place water in a roasting pan and add the chicken. Rub the chicken all over with the oil, garlic salt and salt free seasoning. Roast at 325 degrees until the juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees for white meat and closer to 170 degrees for the darker meat.
Remove chicken from the oven and loosely cover with foil and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes. (Save the pan juices and the chicken carcass for chicken broth later in the week.)
Serve chicken on its own or atop Harvest Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette (recipe on page 85).