Week #42 (3/15 & 18)

This week your basket contains: Leeks, potatoes, winter squash, collards, salad mix (lettuce, endive, kale and French sorrel), and PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLI OR CAULIFLOWER

We are signing up new people as subscribers for the 2016-17 year that starts May 31stIf you know any friends or neighbors who would like to be a subscriber, please have them visit our web site (PumpkinRidgeGardens.com) for details on how to sign up.  Another option for them (and a fun event for you) is the CSA SHARE FAIR.  This event, sponsored by PACSAC (our local CSA farmers’ group) will be held THIS Saturday, March 19, 10 – 2 @ The Redd, 831 SE Salmon, Portland.  There will be many farmers and other food purveyors all together so people can have a one-stop-shopping opportunity to see what CSA options and other services are available.  There will be kids’ events and (last year there was a baby lamb for petting!)  Come see us, and bring along a friend or two! If you have a friend who signs up with us, at the sharefair or otherwise, we will send you a free bouquet of flowers on a delivery day of your choosing.

We are approaching the end of the season for leeks.  As they prepare to put up flower stalks, the very center of the leek will start getting tough and stringy.  This is easily removed (slicing through the length of the leek helps) and the remainder of the leek is still very usable.  These recipes for leeks are  good ways to use the smaller leeks we have this week.

BRAISING LEEKS

Trim the leeks, but keep whole.  If you have a particularly long leek, cut into 6-8 inch sections, treating each section as a whole leek.  Split down one side to within 1 inch of the base.  Rinse under lukewarm water to clean.  In a heavy bottomed pan, melt 2-3 Tbs of butter (or use equivalent in olive oil).  Roll the leeks around in the butter or oil until they are well coated and cook until slightly browned.  Add stock or water to half cover the leeks and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and continue to simmer until the base can be easily pierced with a knife.  Drain off any remaining liquid and serve with a cream sauce or tomato sauce (either of which can be made with the left over braising liquid).  From The Victory Garden Cookbook.

MIDDLE EASTERN LEEKS

Try splitting the leeks in half to clean and then chopping into one or two inch lengths and simmering  until tender in olive oil with some lemon, salt and pepper, dried mint, crushed garlic, a little bit of water and a tiny bit of sugar.  They are supposed to cool and then be topped with chopped parsley but they usually don’t last that long here.  They can also be boiled and the other ingredients (minus the water) poured over as a dressing.   See Claudia Roden and The New Book of Middle Eastern Food for more.

Here are a couple of recipes for winter salad mixes.

WINTER PESTO

5 cups greens

3 cloves garlic

½ cup olive oil

½ cup toasted walnuts

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ tsp. salt

Squeeze the garlic into a food processor, add remaining ingredients except the cheese and process until it becomes a smooth green paste.  Stir in Parmesan, taste and adjust seasonings.  This can be served on pasta, dolloped on toast or used as the base for soup.

PEAR SALAD DRESSING

2 pears

1/4-1/2 cup white wine

2 Tbs. Dijon mustard

1 shallot, chopped

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup rice wine or sherry vinegar

fresh thyme

3/4 cup olive oil

Peel, seed and rough chop pears and braise in wine until nearly all liquid is gone.  Put cooked pears in food processor or blender.  Add remaining ingredients, except olive oil, to processor or blender and mix until nearly smooth.  Add the olive oil in a steady stream while machine is on.  Add salt and ground pepper to taste.  Warm and serve over spinach to create a wilted salad or serve room temperature over salad greens.  Add more fresh ground pepper to salad, and if desired, roasted hazelnuts chopped and/or blue, goat or feta cheese. From Caprial Pence:

TULIPS are starting to bloom here on the farm.  Polly can put together a beautiful bouquet of 10 tulips plus other seasonal blooms and/or greens for only $6.  If you email us your order, we can deliver the bouquet with your veggies!

RHUBARB is starting to show stems!  In a few weeks, we will be able to send you enough for a pie (approx.. 1 Lb.) for only $3.  Email your order now and we will send it along as it is available.

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