Large shares: carrots, lettuce, snow peas, scallions, broccoli, mustard greens, Italian parsley, summer squash, radishes, French lavender
Small shares: lettuce, cabbage, beets, Italian parsley, summer squash, shell peas, French lavender
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. Join the Facebook group and share recipes and ideas! The idea here is for you all to share and inspire each other with how to best use your csa share. https://www.facebook.com/groups/558968384285129/
3. 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.
4. 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. 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.
5.Try out pickling, freezing and canning. There are many great books and blogs out there that have amazing suggestions.
6. 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.
Feel free to add to this list via email or on the facebook group if you have come up with other tips and solutions that work to your lifestyle.
With that, here are a few bits of information on new items this week:
French lavender: Both shares will receive a bunch of French lavender this week. You can keep the lavender as a flower arrangement, dry the blossoms and use it for teas and sachets, or cook with it. I have used lavender to make cookies, ice cream, and even for a honey lavender glaze for roast chicken. You can toss the stalks on the grill to add flavor and aroma to grilled meats. Lavender is a known medicinal herb with soothing and relaxing properties as well. I love this variety for its long full flower spikes and heady fragrance. Enjoy!
Shell peas: For those who don’t know the shell peas are the large, long, thick pods. You break these open to reveal the tiny little peas inside. Shell them out with your thumb into a bowl. 1 lb will get you about 1 cup of fresh peas. They are excellent just lightly steamed with a sea salt and butter. Overcooking may turn them to mush!
Snow peas are also known as Chinese pea pods since they are often used in stir-fries. They are flat with very small peas inside; the whole pod is edible, although the tough “strings” along the edges are usually removed before eating. Snow peas are mildly flavored and can be served raw or cooked.
Italian parsley (which is also known as flat parsley or flat-leaf parsley) has dark flat leaves and slender stems, with a bright and slightly bitter flavor. Amazingly, the stems have more flavor and aroma than the leaves! Parsley stems are one of the traditional ingredients in the bouquet garni and sachet d’epices, which are used for flavoring stocks, soups and sauces. Parsley is also very nutritious and is very high in, iron, calcium, folate, and vitamin K, C and A.
Mustard greens are delicate and peppery, but less bitter than kale and collards. You can use them sauteed, in fried rice, in soups , and as a minor addition to salads. See recipe below.
Have a great week, Asha
Italian Style Salsa Verde: In a small bowl, combine ½ cup coarsely chopped Italian Parsley, ¼ cup each coarsely chopped chives, fennel fronds, or dill, mint leaves, tarragon and shallots; 2 tbsp finely chopped capers; 2 tsp coarsely chopped sage leaves, and ¾ tsp kosher salt. Whisk in 1 ¼ cups fruity extra virgin olive oil. Taste and adjust salt. Chill overnight if possible, so flavors can marry. Makes 1 ¾ cups.
Quick Sauerkraut: Thinly slice 1 head of cabbage and place in a large microwave safe bowl with 1 ¼ cups apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup apple cider, 1 tbsp crushed toasted caraway seeds, and 2 tbsp kosher salt. Cover with a large piece of plastic wrap and seal edges. Microwave on high, 4 to 5 minutes. Let sit, still covered, until cabbage has absorbed its brine and bowl is cool to the touch, about 15 minutes. (from Sunset magazine May 2012)
Lavender Coffee Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make the topping: 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 tsp. cinnamon. Mix together and set aside. Make the batter: 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tbs. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, mix and set aside. Cream ¾ cup butter, add in 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp dried lavender buds (pulse this in blender with ½ cup of the above sugar), ½ cup brown sugar, 3 eggs, 1 ½ cups buttermilk or sour cream or thin yogurt, and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Put in pan. (See below) Put half of the batter into your pan, top with 1/2 of the topping. Swirl it in gently with a fork so it is just lightly blended. Repeat. Pan sizes and baking times. One 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan 50 to 60 minutes. One 9-inch spring form pan for 60 to 70 minutes. Two 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch loaf pans for 40 to 50 minutes. Two 8-inch round or square cake pans for 30 to 35 minutes. Bake until done. The top will spring back when pressed gently in middle or use toothpick or knife in center of cake, if it comes out clean, remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes before you remove it from your pan.
Mustard Greens: In a large saute pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil and saute 1 1/2 cusp thinnly sliced onions, over medium heat until the onions start to caramelize and brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add 2 cloves minced fresh garlic and coook a minute more. Add in 1 lb mustard greens that have been washed and torn into large peices, and 2 to 3 tbsp chicken broth and cook until the greens are barely wilted. Toss with 1/4 tsp sesame oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Zuchinni Oven Chips: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp finely chopped green garlic, 1/8 tsp black pepper and mox together in a bowl. Place 1 cup milk in a shallow bowl. Slice 2 summer squash into 1/4 inch thick slices. Drip slices into milk and then coat with the crumb mixture. Place on an oiled baking rack that is set over a baking sheet. Bake for 30 min or unitl browned and crisp.
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. (daikon would work great). (from the November 2011 issue of SunsetMagazine).
Lavender and Honey Roasted Chicken: In a non-reactive bowl combine; 1 tbsp fresh thyme, 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, 1 tsp fresh lavender, ½ cup honey, 1 ½ tsp fresh marjoram, 1 minced garlic clove. 1 minced shallot, ¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar and stir thoroughly. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Season a whole roasting chicken with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Baste the chicken with the lavender honey mixture every 5 minutes or so for an additional 30 minutes or until completely cooked. The bird is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees. Do not overcook. Once finished you can brush additional marinade over the flesh and skin. (from food.com)
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)
Tabbouleh: Cook 4 cups coarse bulgur or quinoa, and cool slightly. Combine bulgur or quinoa, 1 large grated carrot, 2 cups tightly packed fresh Italian parsley leaves and 2 tbsp dried currants. In a jar combine, 3 tbsp olive oil, 4 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 large clove roasted garlic, 1/3 cup fresh mint, minced, 1 tbsp lemon zest, and ½ tsp sea salt. Shake well to blend. Pour the dressing over the bulgur mixture and toss to thoroughly coat the grains. Taste and add more olive oil, lemon juice, mint or salt as needed.
Quick sesame snow peas: Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a large skillet. Add in ½ lb snow peas that have been washed, stringed and patted dry and cook stirring and tossing for 1 ½ minutes until the snow peas are just barely cooked but warmed through. Remove from heat and toss the peas with 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice. Cover and let rest for several minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste and toasted sesame seeds.