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!