Week #4 6/19 & 22

This week your basket contains: snap peas (full shares), Asian broccoli OR broccoli, bok choy, spinach, kohlrabi, TURNIPS (half shares), beets (full shares), BUNCHING ONIONS, and lettuce. 

OUR FIRST SUBSCRIBER DAY OF THE YEAR IS THIS SUNDAY, June 24th  from 11AM to 3 PM.  Come out to the farm to meet us, share a pot luck lunch (we’ll be baking pizza in our wood-fired oven), tour the farm, and get to know other families who get our veggie baskets.  Bring along a dish to share and your preferred beverage and enjoy your farm!

We’ve hit something of an inflection point in the gardens.  This is the last week for spinach (until fall) and the strawberries will be finished soon.  On the other hand, we harvested the first few zucchini and cucumbers and they will soon be in everyone’s baskets.  We are also transplanting and seeding all the summer crops we all crave (sweet corn has germinated!)  At the same time, we are starting all the winter and over-wintering crops that will be harvested well into next spring (cabbage, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, etc.) and the leeks are in and growing well.  It is amazingly busy here, but that makes it exciting, too.  This warmer than usual spring has been hard on our broccoli, especially the earliest varieties.  We grow several varieties with various lengths of time from seeding to harvest.  This allows us to seed and transplant all the broccoli at once and still have staggered harvest.  This year, the fastest varieties got too much heat to quickly which made them form heads before the plants had good size.  Fortunately, the later varieties look bigger and better, so we are looking forward to improved harvests over the coming weeks.  This recipe is a good way to use both your beets and either the Asian broccoli or regular broccoli.

BEET AND BROCCOLI SALAD 

A great salad can be made with beets and broccoli. We steam the broccoli and beets together with the sliced beets on bottom.  Generally, when the broccoli is done (i.e. just turned dark green and starting to get tender) the beets are also done.  We then toss them in a simple vinaigrette and serve them either warm or cold.  This vinaigrette is the one we use:

VINAIGRETTE

1 clove garlic

1 tsp salt

3 Tbs red wine vinegar

1 tsp wet mustard

5 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

black pepper

Press garlic into the bottom of  your salad bowl.  With a fork, mix well with salt until it forms a paste.  Mix in vinegar and mustard until salt is dissolved.  Whisk in olive oil to make an emulsion.  Add black pepper to taste.  These proportions are in no way set in stone.  You should experiment to find the proportions you prefer.  Also, other spices, herbs and vinegars can be used to vary the dressing.

This recipe can be made with either turnips or kohlrabi (or both).

SPINACH AND TURNIP BHAJI

7 ounces small turnips, peeled and finely chopped

1 pound frozen chopped spinach or other greens

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons grated ginger

1 onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil.  Add the turnips.  Cook 1 – 2 minutes. Add the spinach and paprika.  Cook 2 – 3 minutes or until all the water has evaporated. Mash the mixture to the best of your ability and remove from heat. Heat the oil in a second saucepan over low heat. Add the ginger and onion and cook 2 – 3 minutes.  Add the vegetables from the first saucepan.  Mix well and toss until everything is well seasoned.  Serve with the lemon juice.

For her farmers’ market booth, Polly is in need of PAPER BAGS WITH HANDLES.  Just leave them out with your empty basket, and our driver Terrance will pick them up.  Thanks.

Week # 3 (6/12 & 15)

This week your basket contains: snap peas (half shares), broccoli and/or Asian broccoli (full shares), bok choy, kohlrabi (half shares), spinach, new potatoes, green garlic, and lettuce. 

I love garlic, so I have happily substituted green garlic for the spring onion in this recipe with good results. 

NEW POTATO AND SPRING ONION PIZZA

1  pizza dough
Cornmeal and/or flour for pan or pizza stone
1 spring onion, chopped using white and light green parts
3-4 medium new potatoes, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere, aged Gouda or other flavorful cheese
Heat oven to 450ー F.  Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal or flour and place the dough on top.  Combine the onions, potatoes, thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and oil in a large bowl. Scatter the potato mixture over the dough and sprinkle with the cheese.  Bake until the crust is golden, about 20 minutes. Slice into wedges and transfer to individual plates.

This time of year is perfect for this salad.  This is an amazingly flexible recipe that you can alter to include (or exclude) just about anything you have on hand to match your taste.  You can use either your spinach or lettuce or a bit of both.

SALAD NICOISE

Steam the new potatoes until you are just able to penetrate them with a fork (this will be quite quick) and let cool.  Make a regular vinaigrette (see the recipe above), but add 1-2 Tbs. of soy sauce.  Add chopped scallions, 1 tsp. dill weed and any other herbs you might like.  Drain one can of tuna and mix into the vinaigrette.  Add snap peas, capers, shredded carrots, grated kohlrabi, chopped black olives and/or hard-boiled eggs and stir.  Add the potatoes, along with lettuce and/or spinach, toss well and serve.

GUANDONG-STYLE BOK CHOY

1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms (or substitute enoki or straw mushrooms)

1/2 pound bok choy

5 tsp. oyster or soy sauce

3 tsp. oil

Heat oil and stir-fry mushrooms in a wok for about 2 minutes. Add bok choy and stir fry until limp, about 1-2 minutes. Add oyster sauce (or soy sauce) and simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes. Serve with rice as a typical Chinese meal or substitute quinoa or amaranth, both grains with superior protein profiles.

For her farmers’ market booth, Polly is in need of BAGS WITH HANDLES.  Just leave them out with your empty basket, and our driver Terrance will pick them up.  Thanks. 

STRAWBERRIES ARE READY (thanks to our friends at Blooming Junction).  They cost $3.50 per pint, $18 per half flat (6 pints), $34 per flat (12 pints). Please let us know your order (via email) by noon the day before your delivery. Thanks!

OUR FIRST SUBSCRIBER DAY OF THE YEAR IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!  Sunday, June 24th  from 11AM to 3 PM has been set aside for subscribers to come out to the farm to meet us, share a pot luck lunch (we’ll be baking pizza in our wood-fired oven), tour the farm, and get to know other families who get our veggie baskets.  Bring along a dish to share and your preferred beverage and enjoy your farm!

Week #2 (6/5 & 8)

This week your basket contains: snap peas (full shares) or Asian broccoli (half shares), kohlrabi, spinach, NEW POTATOES, kale, herbs, and lettuce mix. 

New potatoes are one of the crops we wait for with bated breath.  Because these little gems are harvested while they are still developing, their skins are extremely tender and the sugars the tubers are storing have not been converted into starch.  Your herb bunches (which contain some combination of dill, cilantro, tarragon, oregano, sage and/or chives) pair very well with new potatoes whether you simply steam them or prepare them in this way:

EASY ROASTED NEW POTATOES

Last night Polly roasted new potatoes in a very simple way.  While I was grilling other things on the barbecue, she made a simple tray by folding up the edges of a small (1 foot square) piece of aluminum foil.  She poured in 2 –3 Tbs. of olive oil then placed halved new potatoes face down on the improvised tray.  She sprinkled them with salt, pepper, chopped scallions and dill.  We placed the tray on the lower level of the barbecue and turned it occasionally to insure even cooking.  When the spuds were tender to a fork, they were easy to pop off the foil and they came out with a nicely crisp cut face and a light fluffy center.  Yum!

For a quick and easy and tasty snack (that just happens to be healthy), this recipe from American Test Kitchen is perfect.

MICROWAVE KALE CHIPS

5-10 kale leaves

4 tsp. olive oil

Kosher salt

Remove stems from the kale leaves and tear into 2 inch strips.  Wash and thoroughly dry the leaves and toss them with oil in a large bowl.  Spread approximately 1/3 of the leaves on a large plate and sprinkle with salt.  Microwave for three minutes.  If leaves are crispy, transfer them to a serving bowl; if not, continue to microwave leaves in 30 second increments until crispy.  Repeat with remaining leaves in two batches.  The kale chips can be stored for up to a week in an air tight container.

This is perhaps the best way to serve kohlrabi, but I may say that in part because I love avocado, too!

AVOCADO AND KOHLRABI SALAD

3 medium kohlrabi, bulbs

2 ripe avocados

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 scallion, chopped

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

salt

fresh ground pepper

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Peel the kohlrabi by cutting off the top and bottom, and peeling with a potato peeler. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, then cut the slices into chunks. Place in a bowl. Cut avocados in half lengthwise. Tap the blade of a heavy knife in the pit, twist to remove, and discard. Quarter and peel avocados, then cut into chunks. Drizzle lime juice over avocados to prevent browning and to add flavor; set aside. Whisk together green onion, balsamic vinegar, oil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour dressing over kohlrabi and mix to cover. Mix together the chunked avocados and the kohlrabi mixture. Make a bed of the salad on four plates, and sprinkle each with feta cheese. 

STRAWBERRIES ARE READY (thanks to our friends at Blooming Junction).  They cost $3.50 per pint, $18 per half flat (6 pints), $34 per flat (12 pints). Please let us know your order (via email) by noon the day before your delivery. Thanks!

OUR FIRST SUBSCRIBER DAY OF THE YEAR IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!  Sunday, June 24th  from 11AM to 3 PM has been set aside for subscribers to come out to the farm to meet us, share a pot luck lunch (we’ll be baking pizza in our wood-fired oven), tour the farm, and get to know other families who get our veggie baskets.  Bring along a dish to share and your preferred beverage and enjoy your farm!

Strawberries!

We didn’t replant strawberries last year, so we will have a gap in home-grown production. Our friends at Blooming Junction have berries grown with organic techniques that we can deliver with your basket. They cost $3.50 per pint, $18 per half flat (6 pints), $34 per flat (12 pints). Please let us know your order by noon the day before your delivery. Thanks!

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Week #1 (5/29 & 6/1)

This week your basket contains: green elephant garlic, SNAP PEAS, BABY BOK CHOY, Asian broccoli OR kohlrabi, spinach, BEETS (full shares baskets), carrots (half share baskets), garlic scapes (full share baskets)  and lettuce mix. 

WELCOME TO OUR 29TH YEAR OF SUBSCRIPTION FARMING!  We are excited to be growing food for you and your family.  We’ve included an extra sheet today with tips on how to get the most out of your basket each week as well as other information to help make your subscription as useful and enjoyable as it can be.  MESH PRODUCE BAGS are part of our efforts to reduce our use of plastic.  We’ve made a bulk purchase of bags that we can provide to you at cost.  We will write your name on them and when you return them to us in your empty basket we will fill them again the next week.  They cost $2 per bag and we suggest 4-6 bags (2-3 for each of your baskets).  Just email to order.  THE RECIPE DATABASE ON OUR WEBSITE HAS A NEW PASSWORD.  It is now “YumYum” (without quotes).  This will always be printed in the footer of your weekly note for easy reference.

One effect of the driest May on record is that spring greens are bolting (i.e. putting up flower stalks) faster than usual.  We’ve seen early signs that our spinach is headed that way so moved on to harvesting whole plants rather than leaves like we did last week.  Fortunately, we staggered plantings so we will have good spinach for a while yet.  This is a great way to use a lot of greens.

SPANAKOPITA

1 lb. mixed greens

1 onion or 2 leeks, chopped

½ lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 clove garlic

3 eggs

6 oz. feta cheese

¼ c. parmesan cheese, grated

1 tsp. oregano

¼ tsp. rosemary (optional)

¼ tsp. nutmeg

¼ lb. butter (1 stick)

1 lb. filo dough

Wash and chop greens into ribbons. Bring 2 quarts of water to the boil. Drop in greens and boil for about 5 minutes. Drain in colander. Saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms in the olive oil with salt and pepper until tender. Squeeze any remaining moisture out of greens and stir them in to sauté pan. Cook for a few more minutes, then remove from heat.  Beat the eggs in a large bowl and crumble in the feta. Add the parmesan, black pepper, nutmeg, oregano and optional rosemary. Add a little salt, remembering that feta is salty. Stir in greens sauté mix.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt the stick of butter and brush a 2 or 3 quart oblong baking pan with it. Spread the filo dough out flat next to the pan. Brush the top layer with butter and lift it and the layer under it onto pan. brush next sheet with butter and lay it and the layer under it onto pan at a slight angle to the last layer. Continue to layer the sheets of filo, brushing every other one with butter and turning each one slightly so that the edges fan out over the sides of the pan. Stop when you have about 8 sheets left.  Spread the greens mixture evenly over the filo dough in pan, pushing it to the corners. Fold the edges of the filo dough over the mixture. Take the remaining sheets of filo and layer them on top of the greens mixture, again brushing every other sheet with butter, but this time pushing the edges down into the sides of the pan. It is difficult to do this neatly; just rumple the edges down into the sides of the pan (they will form a nice crisp edge after baking). Brush the top of the spanakopita with butter and make 1/2” deep diagonal slashes across it with a sharp knife.  Bake for 50 minutes, until the crust is puffed and golden. Cut into squares or diamonds and serve immediately.

Baby bok choy is an item requested in one survey returned to us (we’ll be making a blog post soon to let you know more survey results). We usually either harvest leaves for greens mix or let the bok choy go to full size before harvesting.  This time we double planted the bed (5 rows by 6 inches instead of 3 rows by 12 inches) and cut out every other row for baby sized plants.  We’ll have at least one more harvest, of larger bok choy.  This is a great sauce for stir fry (a great way to cook baby bok choy).

SESAME GINGER STIR-FRY SAUCE

4 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

2 Tbs lemon juice

1 Tbs grated ginger

4 Tbs soy sauce

3 Tbs rice vinegar

1/4 cup veg. or sesame oil

hot pepper oil (optional)

2 cloves garlic, minced

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, sesame seeds, and hot pepper to taste.  Pour over stir-fry when all ingredients are cooked and mix well.

STRAWBERRIES ARE READY (thanks to our friends at Blooming Junction).  They cost $3.50 per pint, $18 per half flat (6 pints), $34 per flat (12 pints). Please let us know your order (via email) by noon the day before your delivery. Thanks!

Week #52 (5/22 & 25)

This week your basket contains: green elephant garlic, KOHLRABI (full shares), spinach, BEETS (half shares), CARROTS, and lettuce mix. 

THIS IS THE FINAL DELIVERY OF THE 2017-18 YEAR! Thank you all for the support and encouragement that helped us make our 28th year a success.  Now, on to year 29!

New crops keep coming on slowly. We’ve moved outside for our spinach and are pleased with its quality.  Nigella Lawson’s recipe below is an interesting new twist on spinach salad.

SPINACH SALAD WITH LEMON AND MINT

1 lemon

⅓ cup fresh mint leaves, finely sliced, more for garnish

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces baby spinach leaves

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Cut off top and bottom of lemon, and slice off skin and pith. Cut lemon flesh into rounds 1/4-inch thick, then slice each round into eighths. In a salad bowl, combine lemon, mint, and salt. Season with pepper to taste. Add spinach and oil, and toss well. Garnish with additional mint, and serve. By Nigella Lawson

Carrots are a notoriously frustrating crop.  They take a long time to germinate, are incredibly fragile when they do germinate and are victim to just about every pest from slugs, to deer, to gophers, to carrot rust flies.  One trade off you have to make when seeding carrots is how thickly to seed.  Too light and if germination is poor you get too few roots; too heavy and with good germination you either have to thin (time consuming and boring as all get out) or you get tiny crowded carrots.  This year our seeding in the hoop house found a third way to frustrate us.  We seeded heavily and germination was not too heavy (so far so good) however, the seeds continued to germinate in flushes so we wound up with a mixed bed in terms of how thickly the roots were growing so the question became whether to thin or not to thin or to thin here and there?  In the end we’ve been able to harvest these first roots as a sort of thinning/harvest.  With a bit of luck, where they were crowded the smaller carrots will now have space to fill out in the coming weeks.  In any case, we love the flavor of these early carrots (a variety called Mokum).  We think you will agree.  If you don’t just munch them raw, this would be a good recipe to try.  The recipe is for quite a bit more carrots than we gave, but reducing the recipe proportionately should be easy.  We would also substitute green garlic for the cloves called for.

ROASTED CARROTS WITH GARLIC AND THYME

1 ½  Lbs carrots, peeled

10 – 12 small garlic cloves

2 Tbs Olive oil

salt and pepper

thyme sprig

chopped parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut carrots into 1-2 inch pieces, toss with oil, then season with salt and pepper.  Put them in a roomy baking dish with the unpeeled garlic and thyme sprig.  Add 2 Tbs of water, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake until tender, 25-45 minutes.  Check at least twice to make sure there is moisture in the pan and stir the carrots gently.  Toward the end, remove foil and continue roasting until liquid is reduced and the carrots are browned.  Serve garnished with parsley.  Note:  The unpeeled garlic cloves can be squeezed to remove the creamy garlic, which can be used as a spread on bread or mixed with the carrots for a stronger garlic flavor.  Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.

For half shares, this is an easy way to enjoy beets (full shares can find kohlrabi recipes in last week’s note or on our web site).

BEETS ROLLED IN HORSERADISH BUTTER

4 beets

2 Tbs butter

1 Tbs apple cider vinegar

1 Tbs freshly grated horseradish

Salt & fresh ground pepper (to taste)
Begin by scrubbing and cleaning the beets.  Cook beets 30 minutes in lightly salted boiling water, or bake until tender.  Rinse under cool water and slip off the skins.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish root.  Add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.  Add the cooked beets, stirring gently to coat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  From The Cook’s Garden.

Week #51 (5/14 & 18)

This week your basket contains: green elephant garlic, radish (full shares), KOHLRABI (half shares), spinach, GARLIC SCAPES OR Asian broccoli (half shares), Swiss chard or Asian broccoli (full shares), and lettuce mix. 

NEXT WEEK IS THE FINAL DELIVERY OF THE 2017-18 YEAR! If you will NOT be continuing with us for the next year, please make sure that all your baskets are on your porch for our driver to pick up.

We’ve started delivering the starts you ordered (you still have time to order as well!).  If you didn’t get your full order, it is because some items are not quite ready for the garden.  We expect to deliver them next week.

This week’s harvest has been a bit of mix and match kind of affair.  We have new items developing, but they just haven’t entirely caught up to the point where they are enough for everyone.  Asian broccoli has been slowly increasing, but isn’t quite there yet.  Similarly, KOHLRABI is just about ready but not quite.

Garlic scapes are an interesting side benefit of growing certain types of garlic.  Elephant garlic and “hard neck” regular garlic have multiple reproduction strategies.  They create the bulbs we eat that will, if re-planted, grow into new plants.  They also send up a flower for seed.  By snapping off the flower bud we force the plant to focus all its energy into the bulb with the side benefit of getting these tasty tender garlic scapes that can be used like regular garlic cloves or scallions.  Perhaps my favorite way of using them is to sauté them in butter and then scrambling eggs into them.

KOHLRABI is a relative of broccoli that produces a swollen stem that is tender, mild and sweet.  It can be eaten raw or cooked.  Raw it is great cut into batons for dipping or grated onto green salads.  Cooked it is a good substitute in any recipe calling for turnips.  This is also a very easy way to use it.

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.

With both lettuce mix and spinach in your baskets this week, you have the option of adding the spinach to your salad or cooking it.  We really like this dressing with spinach.

AVOCADO DRESSING

1 cup +1 tsp  extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds (or pine nuts)

2 cloves garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

1 avocado, skinned and pitted

1 tsp sea salt

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 small onion, minced

Place minced onion in a bowl and cover with lemon juice and set aside to marinate.  This will mellow the raw onion flavor.  Heat a small skillet with 1 tsp of olive oil and add raw pumpkin seeds. Cook until seeds are golden brown (3-4 min). Set aside to cool.  In a food processor, chop two cloves of garlic. Add lemon juice and onion, avocado, and salt. Blend until smooth.  Slowly pour in the remaining olive oil while the food processor is on high  (You can optionally add ½ c. parmesan or pecorino cheese to the dressing)  You can make the dressing as thick or thin as you want, just add more or less olive oil.

This would work well for spinach and/or Swiss chard.

PASTA SHELLS WITH GREENS

1 -1/2 Lbs mixed greens

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 c. olive oil

small pasta shells for 4 people

salt and pepper to taste

6 chopped canned tomatoes

hard cheese

Heat a large pan of water for the pasta.  Chop greens finely, discarding any tough stem ends.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the greens with the garlic stirring often.  The greens will reduce in volume.  When the greens are soft but still a vibrant green, season with salt and pepper and add the tomatoes.  Continue cooking to reduce the juice from the tomatoes.  When the pasta has cooked, drain and divide into serving bowls.  Top with the mixed greens and tomatoes, then sprinkle on some hard cheese such as asiago, pecorino or parmesan.   Serve immediately.

Week #50 (5/8 & 11)

This week your basket contains: green elephant garlic, radish (half shares), turnips (full shares), parsley, mint, cooking greens (chard and bok choi), and lettuce mix. 

Thank you to everyone who has returned their renewal forms and surveys.  IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO, PLEASE DO SO AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. We are getting good ideas from surveys, which we will tabulate and communicate as they come in. One thing we have already done in response to a suggestion is to post a projected harvest list for the week on our website. Look for that on Sunday to make your meal planning easier. WE STILL HAVE SPACES AVAILABLE FOR NEXT YEAR’S VEGGIE SUBSCRIPTION.  If you have friends, family, or neighbors who might like our service, please direct them to our web site.  If they sign up, we’ll reward you with a FREE MONTH OF FLOWER BOUQUETS. RHUBARB is ready!  We will put together a bunch (approx. 1 Lb.) for just $3.  Just email us to order.

This week we harvested, almost exclusively, new lettuces seeded since February.  They include one variety that is perhaps our favorite, despite the difficulty of growing it.  Deer Tongue is a 19th century variety that is very difficult to find.  This green lettuce has curved, tongue shaped leaves that seem to be a cross between romaine lettuce and butterhead lettuce.  It has an amazing flavor that is buttery and nutty as well as a silky mouth feel.  There is only a very short window of time in which we can successfully grow it (and only in a hoop house).  It seems to be very day-length sensitive and every pest in the world prefer it to all other food.  Slugs and flea beetles seek it out, and if a deer happens to find a bed of lettuce, they will eat all the Deer Tongue before trying other varieties.

Deer Tongue

Inspired by a recipe by Kathy Gunst, this sauce transforms grilled meat, fish or vegetables. It can also be used as a marinade or spooned into soups and salads.

CHIMICHURRI

¾ cup parsley, large stems removed

1/3 c. mint leaves

2 Tbsp. capers, drained

1 small green garlic, white and pale green part chopped

4 Tbsp. olive oil

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

½ Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Can be covered and stored in the fridge for a few days until needed. Makes about ¾ cup.

It has taken me a long time to think of parsley as more than garnish.  I’ve started adding it to basil when I make pesto and really like the way it comes out.  Additionally, featuring parsley in salads, like tabouli, or this recipe  is a great use of parsley.

LEOMONY RICE AND PARSLEY SALAD

1 cup Arborio rice

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

1 cup Italian parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

1/2 small sweet Italian, diced

1/3 cup black olives, coarsely chopped

1 Tbs.capers

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Lemon wedges

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and simmer over moderate heat until just tender, about 14 minutes. Drain thoroughly. In a large bowl, toss the rice with the olive oil and lemon juice. Stir in the parsley, pepper, olives, capers and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon wedges.  Adapted from foodandwine.com.

ASIAN LETTUCE WRAPS

16 lettuce leaves

1 pound lean ground beef

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 green garlic, minced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons minced pickled ginger

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Asian chile pepper sauce (optional)

1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil

Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside. In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef in 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring often and reducing the heat to medium, if necessary. Drain, and set aside to cool. Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the onions, and stir. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked beef; continue cooking until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter, and pile meat mixture in the center. To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat into a lettuce leaf. Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito, and enjoy!