Large shares: 2 heads lettuce, mustard greens, fennel, turnip, sweet onions, scallions, beets, snow peas, garlic scapes, rosemary
Small shares: lettuce, carrots, beets, radishes or fennel, sweet onions, snow peas, garlic scapes, rosemary
Dear CSA members,
Here we are at week 3 of the csa and we are starting to get into the groove of how our summer weeks will pass. We hope you are getting into the groove of things as well!. Part of joining a CSA is making a commitment to support local agriculture as well as a commitment to yourself to cook and eat fresh and healthy food at home. So, I thought I would share a few tips on making the most of your csa membership this summer.
1. Read the newsletter and recipes: reading the newsletter will give you not only quick updates on what we are doing around the farm but also information about new and different vegetables, storage tips, as well as recipes to try.
2. The night before your pickup, take inventory. I recommend going through your fridge and making use of anything leftover from the previous week so you don’t end up with a ton of back stock clogging up your fridge. I like to make a soup stock or pesto (both freeze well) for later use or juice any leftovers for a quick nutrient dense snack.
3. When you get home with your share do some prep-work. Remove any greens from root crops that you won’t be using. Cutting off radish, beet and carrot tops helps the roots stay fresher longer. If you are going to use the greens pre soak them in cold water, drain, and pack in a separate bag. Soak your lettuces and then spin them dry in a salad spinner. They will also keep better when clean and dry. I like to keep my herbs in a jar of water with a plastic bag tented over it on the self in my fridge. Change the water every couple of days. (except for rosemary which can be left out to dry or stored as is in the fridge). Later in the season, onions, garlic, tomatoes will keep better when they are dried thoroughly and placed on a shelf in a cool dry location.
4.Try out pickling, freezing and canning. There are many great books and blogs out there that have amazing suggestions.
5. And last, enjoy eating more and different vegetables! The less processed foods you eat the better fresh fruits and vegetables taste – replace processed foods with whole foods. I like to add vegetables into breakfast scrambles, green juices, make oven roasted chips out of summer squash and kale… find ways to increase your intake of fresh produce, its good for you! Or, make a meal for someone in need of some good food and share the wealth.
A run down on new crops this week:
We were able to harvest some sweet onions that we overwintered from last fall for you. They are a bit small but should be delicious. We have snow peas again this week. They are really tasty but I hope to have some shell peas next week to change things up a bit.
The long frondy herb with the large flat white bulb on the end is fennel. (This is in the large share box only this week). It is one many may be unfamiliar with but is very delicious if you give it a try. Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with a licorice or anise flavor. It is often used in Mediterranean cuisine, especially in Italy and France. Store your fennel in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use as soon as possible as it rapidly begins to loose its flavor once harvested.
Mustard greens: These Ruby streaks mustard greens are very young and tender and can add a wonderful peppery dimension to many dishes. You can temper the pungency of mustard greens use a combination of heat, salt and fat to cook them. Mustard greens are found in Southern American, Indian, Japanese, Chinese and African cuisines. The link below has an in depth write up on the many health benefits of eating mustard greens.
Fresh rosemary: Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb with a bright woodsy-citrusy scent. The fresh herb is more subtle that dried and is great for roasted meats and vegetables, in soups, or infused in oil to use for dressings. To make your own rosemary-infused oil, place a sprig or two of completely dry rosemary leaves into a glass jar, top with olive oil, replace the lid, and shake lightly. Store in a warm, dark place for two weeks, strain, and then simply pour back into the glass jar. Use ¼ cup for a fragrant bath or blend with balsamic vinegar to drizzle all over a salad for a delicious dressing. You can dry the rosemary by just leaving out on the counter until competely dehydrated.
Have a great week,
Wilted greens: Cook in a large skillet until crisp 4 to 5 slices bacon. Drain on paper towels, cool and crumble. Pour all but 2 tbsp of the bacon drippings out of the pan. Reheat and add ¼ cup cider vinegar, 2 to 3 tsp sugar, the bacon and 2 tsp mustard seeds and 1 tsp minced onion. Mean while place in a salad bowl al large bunch turnip or mustard greens, coarsely chopped. Pour the hot dressing over the greens and toss. Serve at once garnised with 2 sliced hard boiled eggs.
Caramelized Fennel: Wash and trim a large bulb of fennel, removing the root and stems. Slice diagonally as you would an onion into thin slices. Discard any tough core if present. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add fennel and ¼ cup chopped onion. Reduce heat to medium low and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until fennel softens. Add 1 tsp sugar and ½ tsp kosher salt and continue to cook until fennel is caramelized and tender about 7 to 10 more minutes.
Quick Pickled Beets: Combine 4 medium beets, scrubbed, trimmed, halved, and cut into ¼ inch slices. 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced. ¾ cup apple juice or water, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 1/8 tsp ground allspice, and a pinch of sea salt in a pressure cooker. Lock the lid into place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat by running cold water over the cooker in your sink. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape. To serve, lift the beets out of the liquid with a slotted spoon. Serve warm or chilled. (from Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen by Lorna Sass).
Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens: trim one bunch medium beets with tops to 1 inch. Wash and chop greens and stems. Scrub beets and wrap tightly in heavy duty foil. Roast in the 400 degree oven until tender, 50 minutes. Cool, peel and cut into wedges. Sauté greens, stems and 2 tsp minced garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium heat until tender, 6 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, 2 tbsp each pistachios and goat cheese. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. ( from Prevention magazine June 2012)
Honey Balsamic Beet Salad: place 2 lbs trimmed and scrubbed baby beets in a baking pan. Combine ½ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp honey, and 1 tbsp olive oil; pour over the beets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender. On a platter combine ½ cups cooked quinoa, 2 cups watercress or arugula, and the beets and roasting juices. Top with chopped fresh tarragon.(from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine November 2012)
Rosemary Potatoes with Sweet Onions: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice 3 lbs potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Skin 2 cups worth of sweet onions, cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss onions and potatoes with 3 tbsp olive oil in a large bowl. Add 2 tbp crushed fresh rosemary and sea salt and pepper to taste. Roast the potatoes until they are brown and crispy.
Nori Radish Toasts: Slice a 12 in. section of baguette in half length-wise, cut into 2-in. pieces, and toast in a 350 degree oven until golden brown on edges. Using scissors, snip 1 large sheet toasted nori into bits, then pulverize in a spice grinder. Mix nori powder with about 5 tbsp butter; smear thickly onto toasts. Top with thinly sliced radishes and radish greens. (from the November 2011 issue of Sunset Magazine).
Bacon wrapped garlic scapes: cut 12 6 to 8 inch long peices of garlic scape.tightly wrap each scape with a peice of thin cut bacon. When all the scapes are wrapped heat a heavy skillet over medium heat.Cook until the bacon browns on one side, then turn them. Cover the pan with a lid and cook turning occasionally until the bacon is brown and the scapes tender. Remove from the pan, drain on paper towels and serve immediately.
Fennel Gratin with Pecorino and Lemon: lightly oil a shallow 2 quart glass or ceramic baking dish. Heat 5 tbsp oil in a large wide pot over medium heat. Add 1 sliced onion and 3 cloves minced garlic; sauté until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add 5 large fresh fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, and cut into ¼ inch slices. Increase heat to medium high and saute until fennel is slightly softened and beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 18 minutes. Stir in ½ cup chicken broth, 2 tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley, and 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme. Reduce heat to medium low; simmer until most of the broth is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the baking dish. Make the crumb topping: melt 3 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ¾ cup panko bread crumbs and sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Stir in 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, 1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley, and 1 ½ tsp finely grated lemon peel. Preheat oven to 425. Sprinkle panko mixture over fennel. Bake until gratin is heated through and topping is deep golden, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.
Roasted carrots: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss together 1 ½ lbs carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks, olive oil to coat, several sprigs fresh thyme, and salt and black pepper to taste. Spread the carrots in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until golden and tender, about 1 hour.
Sauteed Snow Peas with Scallions and Radishes: Trim ¾ lb Snow Peas. Slice 8 scallions(white and pale green parts only) into 2- inch lengths. Trim and quarter 8 radishes. In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt 1 tbsp butter. Add the snow peas; cook stirring frequently, until just beginning to soften (do not brown), 3 to 4 minutes. Add the scallions and radishes; season with coarse sea salt and pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until scallions soften and snow peas are crisp-tender. 1 to 2 minutes more. (From Everyday Food, June 2004)