Week #1 (5/26 & 6/1)

This week your basket contains: salad mix (lettuce & spinach), SNAP PEAS (half share baskets only), kohlrabi, cilantro (half share baskets only), cooking greens (kale & Swiss chard), green elephant garlic, garlic scapes (full share baskets only), and Chinese broccoli (full share baskets only).

Welcome to year 31 of vegetable deliveries from Pumpkin Ridge Gardens!  Even after all this time, we are still excited to be embarking on another year growing food for you.  We generally start our subscription year the first week of June.  Because 365 days is not evenly divisible by 7 the beginning day tends to creep earlier into May over the years.  We had considered taking this week off to readjust our start date but decided not to mostly because we saw the peas coming on and didn’t want to waste the first harvest.  On the other hand, we had hoped to have new red potatoes and beets or carrots this week, but they will need another week or so (the rule of thumb for new potatoes is that your harvest doubles every week you wait at this point in their development).  What we do have is lovely and tasty. 

KOHLRABI may not be familiar to you.  It is a relative of broccoli that develops a swollen stem that is sweet, milt and tasty.  If you like the stems of broccoli, you will love kohlrabi.  Most often you will want to peel the kohlrabi before use (the skin is toughest on the root end and much more tender at the top).  We like to grate it raw on salads.  You can find several recipes on our website recipe pages (see the address and the recipe password in the footer of this note; we always print it there).  This is an easy way to use kohlrabi. 

EASY ROASTED KOHLRABI

Trim leaves close to the bulb of the kohlrabi (no need to peel the bulb).  Cut the kohlrabi in half or quarters depending on its size and place on a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast at 450 degrees until the kohlrabi is tender.

GREEN ELEPHANT GARLIC can be used like leek.  It has a milder flavor than regular garlic and, when sautéed, can lend a bit of creaminess similar to what you get from shallots.  We often use green elephant garlic to make potato leek soup.  You can also use it as a regular garlic substitute.  This recipe was written for regular green garlic.  It will work with 1 or 2 green elephant garlics.

GREEN GARLIC GNOCCHI

5 Tbsp. butter, divided

4 green garlics, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

1/2 tsp. salt, plus more for cooking water

15 oz. whole milk ricotta

3 eggs

1/2 cup flour

In a medium frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 Tbsp. butter. Add green garlic and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. In a large bowl, stir ricotta and break up any lumps by mashing them against the side of the bowl. Add green garlic and stir to combine. In a medium bowl, beat eggs until light and foamy. Add eggs to ricotta mixture and stir to combine. Mix in flour. You should have a loose but thick dough. Cover and chill while you prepare the cooking water. Bring a large, wide pan of water to a boil. Add enough salt to make the water taste salty (about 1 Tbsp.) and reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. Meanwhile, turn oven to 200° and melt remaining 4 Tbsp. butter is a wide baking dish in the oven. Drop small spoonfuls of chilled ricotta mixture into the water, being careful not to crowd the pan. As they cook, the gnocchi will rise to the surface of the water and they must all be able to fit in a single layer. Poach until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to dish with melted butter. Cover dish and return to oven to keep gnocchi warm. Repeat with remaining batches until all batter is used. Serve gnocchi as soon as possible.

GARLIC SCAPES are the flower buds of the elephant garlic.  Snapping them off early focuses the plant’s energy into developing the bulb as its only viable reproduction system.  They can be use like garlic cloves or scallions.  I personally like to mince them, sauté them in butter, and mix them into scrambled eggs.

In most years we take the opportunity of our first note of the year to announce our summer schedule of subscriber pot luck lunches and pizza parties.  Right now we can not plan on having any gatherings in the foreseeable future.  It is our fervent hope that at the very least we will be able to have our carving pumpkin pick up weekend in October.  It is our favorite gathering of the year and would be very sad to miss it this year.  We will keep you posted.

IF YOU ARE A NEW SUBSCRIBER, please take a moment to bookmark our recipe page from our web site.  It contains hundreds of recipes arranged by vegetable.  It will help you get the most out of the items, some of which you may not be familiar with, that we will be delivering to you over the next 12 months.