Week #1 (5/28 & 31)

This week your basket contains: potatoes, garlic scapes, baby carrots (full share baskets only), snap peas (half share baskets only), beets, kohlrabi, cilantro, and cooking greens (kale & Swiss chard). 

Both Polly & I are a bit floored by the fact that this is the first week of our 30TH YEAR OF SUBSCRIPTION FARMING!  We are happy you are along for the ride with us.  We’ve included a second sheet in your baskets today with tips on how to get the most out of your subscription.  It includes dates for the on-farm events we have planned for this year.  Check it out and mark your calendars. We are continuing to tabulate survey results and will be summarizing results in a blog post soon.  One take away we acting on now is to post a “projected harvest” list on our web site (under the Weekly Notes tab).  While we never know exactly what we will wind up putting in the baskets until we actually do the harvest, we will be giving you our best guess every Sunday. 

The kohlrabi (those green sputnik-looking things) is tender, sweet and very similar to broccoli stems.  They need to be peeled and can be used in stir-fries, sliced like carrot sticks or grated raw in green salads.  If you’ve never tried them before, eat them raw and fresh for the best flavor.  They can also be used in any recipe calling for turnip for a milder flavor.  This is our favorite kohlrabi recipe.  We find that even a tiny bit of cilantro really kicks up the flavor.

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.

BEET, TOMATO AND COCONUT CURRY

1 large onion

5 small vine-ripened tomatoes

2 large cloves garlic

One 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger root

4 small raw beets

1 small jalapeño or serrano chili pepper

1 tsp solid coconut oil

Handful cilantro stems

1/2 lemon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

Pinch ground cinnamon

2 cardamom pods

3 whole cloves

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup low-fat coconut milk

Cut the onion in half, then into very thin half-moon slices. Cut the tomato into small dice. Mince the garlic. Peel and grate enough ginger to yield 2 teaspoons. Scrub the beets well (or peel them), then cut them into small dice. Stem and seed the chili pepper then cut it lengthwise into very thin strips.  Melt the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Stir in the onion to coat; cook for about 6 minutes, stirring often, until golden and softened.  Meanwhile, coarsely chop the cilantro (tender leaves and stems). Squeeze juice from the lemon half into a small bowl.  Reduce the heat to medium; stir in the garlic and fresh ginger; cook for 2 minutes, then add the chili pepper, ground ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, plus the tomatoes and the water. As soon as the mixture starts to bubble at the edges, add the beets, stirring to incorporate. Cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the beets are fork-tender. Uncover and stir in the coconut milk, cilantro and lemon juice; cook for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes (for the flavors to meld).

Elephant garlic has a number of reproduction strategies.  In addition to the cloves in a head of elephant garlic, you may have noticed tiny bulblets clinging to the head.  These can take a couple of years in the soil before they sprout into a garlic plant.  Additionally, the plants put up a flower stalk at the same time the cloves start to form in the head.  By taking the flower buds (called scapes) off  when they are young and tender, we force the plant to put more energy into making larger cloves and heads.  We also get to eat these lovely treats.  While they can be used any way you would use scallions or regular garlic, the easiest way to use them is to sauté them in butter and then scramble eggs into them.  You can also use them in this recipe.  This is also a great recipe for your cooking greens and beet greens as well.

SPINACH, GREEN GARLIC AND MUSHROOM PIE

¾ Lb spinach and/or other greens

1 cup sliced green garlic

2 Tbs olive oil

2 eggs

1 Lb ricotta cheese

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups chopped onion

½ Lb oyster (or other) mushrooms

2 Tbs vermouth

1-2 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Prepare a dough as you would for pizza crust. Chop the spinach coarsely.  In a heavy pan, sauté the garlic in 1 Tbs of olive oil until limp.  Add the spinach with some salt and pepper and cook until the spinach is wilted and the water it releases is boiled off.  Remove from heat and toss with the lemon juice.  Beat one egg into the ricotta along with the parmesan cheese and mix with the cooked spinach mixture.

In another pan, sauté the onion in the remaining olive oil until it begins to brown.  Add mushroom and continue cooking until they begin to brown.  Add salt, pepper and vermouth and stir until the vermouth evaporates.

Lightly oil a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Roll out the dough to about 15×20 inches and place on cookie sheet.  Spread the Ricotta and spinach mixture onto the dough leaving approx. 3 inches around the edges and cover the cooked mushrooms over the spinach.  Pull the edges of the dough over the filling and fold together.  Beat the remaining egg with a spoonful of oil and brush onto the dough.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 35 minutes.  When it is fully cooked, allow it to cool for a few minutes before slicing into wedges for serving.

EGGS:  Our older hens are busy growing new feathers so our production is lower than we would like.  We will work to get you all as many eggs as you ordered as soon as we can (the young hens are doing well, but just can’t keep up with demand).  If you ordered eggs and didn’t get any this week, drop me a reminder email to double check I have you on the list.  You can order 3, 6, 9, or 12 eggs per week.  The cost is $6/doz. (or fraction thereof).

STRAWBERRIES ARE RIPE!  We grow Shuksan strawberries which, in our opinion, is the tastiest variety around.  When we planted our first crop of them in 1990 our neighbor, a long-time berry grower, called them “the Cadillac of strawberries”.  The cost is $3.50/pt., $18 for 6pts, or $34 for 12 pts.  Just email to order and we will do our best.

FLOWERS ARE COMING ON STRONG.  Polly can put together a beautiful bouquet of approx. 25 stems for $7.  We will deliver them with your veggies (please leave out a vase or bucket with water to keep them fresh) so you can have a touch of the farm’s beauty in your home for the week.  Just email to order.

Week #47 (4/16 & 19)

This week your basket contains: potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli or Brussels sprout raab, greens mix (collards, kale and Swiss chard), radishes, mustard greens, and leeks. 

RHUBARB is ready!  You can order a bunch (approx. 1 lb) for $3

When radishes come on, they come on with a vengeance!  This is a great way to use the abundance of radishes you have today.

INDIAN RADISH WITH CHOPPED RADISH GREENS

18-20 medium radishes

1/2 lb. radish greens, chopped

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1/2 Tbsp. coriander seeds

1/4 tsp. ajwain seeds

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/4 tsp. cayenne or paprika

2 tsp. maple or brown sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. fresh lime or lemon juice

Wash and trim radishes, thinly slice.  Place the radishes in a steaming basket, lay greens on top and steam until tender-crisp.  Combine the cumin, coriander and ajwain seeds in a small bowl.  In a large, heavy bottomed nonstick pan, heat the oil over high heat.  When it is hot but not smoking, add the spice seeds and fry until they darken a few shades.  Seconds later, add the radishes and greens.  Stir in the turmeric, cayenne or paprika, and sweetener.  Reduce the heat to moderate and fry for 4-5 minutes.  Remove from the heat, add the salt and lime or lemon juice and toss to mix well.  Serves 4.  Adapted from The Best of Lord Krishna’s Cuisine by Yamuna Devi.

This is perhaps the best recipe we have for using large volumes of greens you may have on hand including endive, mustard, radish tops, arugula, etc.  It is also easy to substitute leeks for onions.

MIXED GREENS ENCHILADAS

2 Tbs. veg. oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 onion, chopped

4 cups coarsely chopped greens

1 Tbs. butter

1 Tbs. flour

½ cup milk

½ cup grated cheddar cheese

6 corn tortillas

½ cup salsa

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Heat oil, sauté onion & garlic until golden.  Add greens in small amounts until cooked down.  In another pan, melt butter, stir in flour, add milk slowly and then cheese.  Stir until thick then mix into cooked greens.  Fill the tortillas, roll and place in a lightly oiled baking dish.  Spread salsa over and bake for 25 minutes, until edges of tortillas are crisp.  Adapted from The Cook’s Garden catalog.

If you have pale green raab in your basket today, it is Brussels sprouts raab. It will have a faint, mild Brussels sprout flavor that is very tasty and sweet.

“MAPO” TOFU

2 cakes extra firm tofu

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup dry sherry

2 Tbs vinegar

1 1/2 Tbs grated fresh ginger

3 Tbs tomato paste

1 cup water

1 Tbs sesame oil

3 cloves garlic pressed

cayenne pepper to taste

2 cups thinly sliced onion

1 large bunch broccoli in 3 inch spears (or use purple sprouting Broccoli)

4 cups sliced mushrooms (1 lb.)

2 Tbs cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbs cold water

toasted walnuts

3 scallions sliced diagonally

Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes and set aside.  Whisk together soy, sherry, vinegar, ginger, tomato paste, water sesame oil and garlic and cayenne and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan or wok.  Sauté onions for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.  Add broccoli and sauté for 3 minutes then add mushrooms and continue sautéing and stirring for 3 minutes.  Pour in the sauce and add tofu.  Lower heat, cover and simmer until the tofu is heated through.  Add the dissolved cornstarch, bring back to a simmer while stirring until the sauce thickens.  Serve on rice garnished with walnuts and scallions.  Serves 4-6.