Small shares: green leaf lettuce, lacinato kale, carrots, scallions, snow peas, garlic scapes, cilantro
Large shares: 2 heads green leaf lettuce, lacinato kale, carrots, scallions, garlic scapes, radishes, salad turnips, cilantro
Dear CSA members.
We are rapidly approaching the summer solstice, our longest day of the year, and everything in nature, the greenhouses and fields is growing like crazy. The days are super long and with the recent moisture from rains and the warm temperatures you can virtually watch the plants grow before your eyes! That would be fun and easier if we could actually sit still for a minute! There is so much work to do this time of year we often feel like hamsters running on one of those little wheels. Going and going and seemingly never getting anywhere.
I know it will get better once we settle into a summer routine, but at the moment we are still planting our fall crops while trying to keep up with weeding (guess what, the weeds grow faster than anything this time of year), irrigating, and getting into the harvesting and delivering routine. We’re working out some early season kinks but as I said, I know we will get into a good routine soon.
We have an abundance of beautiful lettuce and greens like kale this time of the year and they are very crisp and delicious in the early season. Sometimes during the heat of the summer lettuce can be in short supply… so we must enjoy it while we can.
We also have our first bunches of carrots this week! They are super tender and delicious this time of year. These are going to be excellent raw or cooked. You an also use the tops in stir-fries and pesto (several people shared recipes with me last year).
Lacinato Kale: This kale variety, also known as Tuscan Kale, has a long tradition in Italian cuisine. It is often used in soups such as Minestrone, blanched and sauteed in olive oil, or wilted with sea salt and used raw in salads. All types of kale are extremely high in nutrients and is known as one of the worlds healthiest foods!
Cilantro is an herb that has been used in cuisine from Asia to the new world and has been cultivated for 3000 years or more. The seeds, known as coriander are also used as a spice. Apparently, coriander seeds have even been found in Egyptian tombs! Cilantro is great in salsas, dressings, to season beans, as topping for chili and burritos, or in Indian and Thai dishes. Store by placing the roots in a small jar of water and tenting a plastic bag on top, then place in the refrigerator. It will keep a long time like this.
Baked Kale Chips: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a non -insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems of one bunch of kale and tear into bite sized pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle the leaves with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Spread out on the cookie sheet in a single layer and bake until the edges are brown but not burnt, about 10 to 15 minutes. ( Like potato chips but way healthier!)
Ginger Scallion Sauce: 2 1/2 cups thinnly sliced scallions (greens and tops), 1/2 cup finely minced fresh ginger, 1/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil, 1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce, 3/4 tp sherry vinegar or mirin, 3/4 tsp kosher salt. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Add additional salt if needed. Excellent with soba noodles, in miso soup, with chicken etc.
Oriental Cilantro Slaw: Shred 1 medium cabbage (6 cups). Place the cabbge in a large serving bowl. Mix in 1 large shredded carrot, 1 cup tightly packed minced fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup thinnnly sliced scallions. In a jar combine, 3 tbsp canola oil, 3 to 4 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp tamari, 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and finely chopped and sea salt to taste. Shake well to blend, pour dressing over the salad and toss well. Add more lime juice and tamari as needed. Garnish with 1/2 cup chopped toasted and salted peanuts.
Kale Caesar Salad: Preheat oven to 300. For croutons, mince 2 garlic cloves, in a medium saucepan warm ¼ cup olive oil and the minced garlic over low heat; remove. Add 4 cups bread cubed into 1 inch pieces. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt. Stir to coat. Spread bread pieces in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown, stirring once. Cool completely. Meanwhile, for the dressing, in a blender combine 4 cloves garlic, ½ cup olive oil, 6 anchovy filets, ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, and 2 egg yolks. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove stems from 3 large bunches of lacinato kale and thinly slice the leaves. Add the dressing, and using your hands work the dressing into the kale. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. To serve, sprinkle with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese and top with croutons.