Week #6 (7/5 & 8)

This week your basket contains: snap peas, potatoes, parsley ,kale, zucchini, cucumber, ELEPHANT GARLIC, spring onions, and broccoli.

It is no secret that this spring and early summer weather is not “normal”.  Some crops have hated it (such as the peas) but others have been very happy.  One of them is the broccoli.  In most years, our spring broccoli is smaller and less hardy than the fall crop.  This year, we are very happy with how it has been coming on.  You all have a good amount of broccoli this week and this is one of our favorite ways to use it.

BOW TIES WITH BROCCOLI PESTO

1 lb. broccoli flowerets

2 or 3 cloves garlic

½ c. grated Parmesan

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 ½ tsp. sesame oil

½ tsp salt

12 oz dried bow tie pasta (farfalle)

1-2 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar

1 small tomato, chopped

In a large pan, bring 8 cups water to a boil over medium high heat. Stir in broccoli and cook until just tender to bite (about 7 minutes). Immediately drain broccoli, immerse in ice water to cool, then drain again. In a food processor or blender, combine a third of the broccoli with garlic, cheese, olive oil, sesame oil, salt and 3 Tbsp. of water. Blend until smooth. Scrape down side of container, add half of remaining broccoli, blend until smooth, then repeat with the remaining broccoli. In a large pan, bring about 3 quarts of water to a boil, stir in pasta and cook until just tender to bite, 8-10 minutes. Drain pasta well. Transfer to a large serving bowl and stir in vinegar. Add pesto and mix gently but thoroughly. Garnish with tomato and serve immediately. Serves 4. From Low-fat Vegetarian Cookbook from Sunset Books 1995.

Another crop that did very well for us this year is elephant garlic.  We are always proud of our elephant garlic in no small part because every head we grow came from the 10 heads we found growing on the farm when we moved here in 1989.  We’ve saved heads and planted the cloves over the year and now grow over 1500 heads of elephant garlic a year!

BAKED ELEPHANT GARLIC

Elephant garlic is not a true garlic, it is a leek.  It has a milder garlic flavor which means you can use it the same way as regular garlic in even larger quantities.  The mildness also makes it very well suited to mashing in potatoes, roasting on kabobs or slicing into scalloped potatoes.  Our favorite way to use it is roasted: take a knife and cut through the wrappers at the neck of the garlic.  Peel the wrapper so that the head stays intact at the root end.  Pour 2 Tbsp. olive oil or a pat of butter on top of the head, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, until the skins on the cloves are browning.  Add a little water to the bottom of the pan and keep baking for 15 minutes.  The garlic should be soft.  It can be squeezed out of the clove onto crusty French bread.  Top with goat cheese and accompany with red wine.  Enjoy!

We’ve hit a bit of a gap in lettuce production this week.  Fortunately we have good kale and a great recipe for kale salad.  When mixing the salad by hand, don’t skimp on the time you spend massaging the kale.  The more time you put into it the more tender the kale will be, and the more the flavors will infuse it as well.

KALE SALAD

1/8 cup flax or olive oil

1/8 cup lemon juice

1 Tbs. soy sauce

1 bunch kale

1 small onion thinly sliced

shredded carrot

¼ cup  sunflower seeds

sesame seeds

sprouts (optional)

sliced mushrooms (optional)

Mix oil, lemon juice, and soy sauce.  Add the thinly slice onion and set aside to marinate while preparing salad greens.  Wash and coarsely chop the greens and place in a large bowl for easy mixing.  Add carrots, seeds, and any optional ingredients to the greens and mix gently by hand.  Pour dressing and onion mixture over greens and continue mixing by hand to insure even coating and aiding absorption of the dressing.  Let sit for 20-30 minutes before serving.

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