The line up:
Carrots with tops
Herbs (choose between Thai Basil, Chinese Leeks or Dill)
I’m playing catch up again this week! Will add cooking tips this weekend!
This share screams SALAD!
The line up:
Salad Mix (Pei Tsai, Ruby Streaks Mustard, Nasturtiums, Arugula, Purslane & Yukina Savoy)
Heirloom Beans (purple and yellow)
French Breakfast Radishes
Bananas and Plantains
A couple of weeks ago we harvested a salad mix for the shares and we really enjoyed eating the leftovers all week. This weeks salad mix is so appealing that we’re going to make sure there is some left for us. This mix has more variety and more color. It is beautiful to look at and it makes for a wild eating experience with spicy mustard and purslane which actually grows wild on the farm. To test it out we dressed it with a honey miso dressing, balancing out the spice of the greens with a coolness and sweetness. The dressing was inspired by a recipe on a container of Cold Mountain Miso; check out their website to find that recipe and a few others that sound pretty tasty.
I’ve been meaning to try a raw fennel salad. A few people at the market have recommend this exact recipe. Although it’s so simple I’d hardly call it a recipe. Take a look and tell me this isn’t mouth watering…
The bean plants this season have been doing really well and they just keep on giving (well beyond my expectations). Hopefully you aren’t sick of them yet. About these beans… you may have noticed they keep for a long time so you can always hold on to them for an extra week if you’re uninspired. I made a batch of Fasulakia with last weeks tomatoes and onions. Fasulakia is that saucy greek dish we learned about on The Fare Field with Anastasia from Mandolin Bistro back in December. They were also good in a quinoa salad Chef Bradley Heron prepared for episode 4. He cut them really tiny (I think he used a mandolin, but you can definitely achieve a similar cut by hand) and they blended in with the texture of the quinoa.
The line up:
Root Bunches (a mix of turnips, carrots and radishes)
Cabbage (your choice between red cabbage and napa cabbage)
I am very pleased with these mixed root bunches. They were fun to assemble and I think they’ll be fun in the kitchen. Save the greens separately in your fridge and always store any greens in a plastic bag or other sealed container. This helps retain moisture and will prevent wilting! Root tops (especially turnips and radish tops) are great for quiche. They are also juicable and soupable, you know, good for soups. Choose the bright green leaves and discard the yellowing or brown ones. The roots will keep for a long time, especially if you store them in sealed container too. You can roast a little bit of each for a colorful side dish. Try adding whole pealed garlic cloves and whole raw almonds to the roasting pan. Turnips and radishes are good sliced and seared in butter for breakfast with eggs and toast. A little of each shredded or sliced with a mandolin will top off any salad and make it awesome. Have fun with your mixed root bunches!
Nothing I’ve tried so far is as good as smoked paprika on eggplant. If you don’t stock it, please go out to the store and get some. Sprinkle it on slices of eggplant after drizzling them with olive oil on both sides and pop them in the oven on high for about 15-20 minutes. Simple and so satisfying.
I’m giving you guys every part of the broccoli plant. You’ll find a big floret, some smaller flower shoots, stem and leaves. Use it all. The tougher stems should be peeled, but the thinner more tender stems can be used as is. Stir fry all the part with butter, garlic and a little bit of broth (Chinese style) and serve over brown rice as a side to your main course. I also recently discovered broccoli is really good with mustard. Try this recipe for roasted broccoli pate; I made it almost two months ago and I’m still obsessed with it.
I’ll fill you in on a little dilemma we have on the farm. Not a big deal, but definitely an important issue to resolve. In a couple of weeks we are loosing access to electricity at the farm which means we wont be able to run our irrigation pump. Ironically it’s been raining very regularly this Winter so most of our established crops would probably be just fine without irrigation. On the other hand, seeding new beds becomes tricky without access to water. Any success would basically come down to luck. The good news is that we are smart and strong and we have allies and resources to come up with a solution. Will keep you posted.
The line up this week:
Heirloom Beans (yellow and purple)
I’m going to skip on recipes and tips for now because I’m playing catch up, but they’ll be up tomorrow or Saturday!
I realize these CSA posts are a tease for all the people who would like to join but can’t because our CSA fills up so fast. I’d like to mention that we are strategizing on how to make more shares avialable for next season. If you like what you see, make sure to join our mailing list and stay tuned for applications in June!
The line up:
I’d like to talk about the salad mix. It is composed of arugula, which you know well, pei tsai, which you tried earlier in the season (the very mild cabbage relative I like to grow instead of lettuce) and nasturtium leaves and flowers. I think nasturtium leaves will be a nice surprise for you, since it is unheard of in store bought mixes. It has a unique shape (for your visual appetite) and a zesty, mustardy bite to it. The arugula has a bite too, but a very different flavor so I think they’ll mix well. Pei tsai is there to mellow everything out; it should be refreshing. The leaf sizes will vary wildly and I recommend serving as is rather than chopping it up. Large and small leaves create a rustic salad that feels more fresh and “just-picked”. Try it, you’ll see what I mean.
I’m on a roasting kick. Chop it up, or not, oil it and season it, pop it in the oven on 375 for 15-30 minutes depending on what it is and voila. Dinner is served. On it’s own, with meat, over pasta or grains or beans, or both. Last season I suggested this roasted cabbage wedge salad and heard back that is was amazing from more members than usual. Bush beans are also nice roasted. Add a head of garlic worth of whole pealed cloves, a chopped onion, plenty of oil and your choice of herbs (I’ve been into sage sage sage lately).
Anybody have a good salad dressing suggestion?! I’m stuck in an olive oil and red wine vinegar rut, although I’m not complaining, I’m enjoying it. Maybe the same dressing in the roasted cabbage wedge recipe would be nice with our salad mix. If you make it, just make a lot and use it twice.
Today was a sad day at the farm and I feel like writing about it will ease the pain.
I made the tough decision to pull out more than half of our tomato plants because they were just having a hard time in this world. I would like to blame the weather because it has been the rainiest winter I can remember, which means blight, mold and rot for tomatoes, but there were other factors at play, some of which could have been managed better. For example, the chickens have been breaking in left and right, under the fence and over the gate. They peck at the fruit as soon as it begins to ripen and considering the amount of fruit eaten by caterpillars or cracked from too much water, that left practically none for us. We could have done a better job of fencing out the flock from the beginning. We could have also done a better job at spraying for caterpillars. Water under the bridge.
Lets say we had been more on top of the fence and the caterpillars… there were still nematodes and stink bugs, two of the worst tomato enemies and hardest pests to control organically in full swing in our tomato field. I was hoping for a break from these guys because we planted tomatoes in a brand new field, in a new area of the farm, with new soil which was very successfully planted with a Sunn Hemp cover crop over the summer. No such luck.
So here we are mid-season without enough tomatoes for the CSA shares and only a tease at our farmers market table. Se la vie.
The line up:
Purple Top Turnips (with greens)
Stuffed peppers. Cubanelle are perfect for stuffing. They are a mild thin walled pepper with a large cavity for stuffing. My recommendation is chopped onions and mozzarella on the inside, sprinkled with herbs (oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, etc) on the outside and popped in the oven on something like 375 for something like 15 minutes. Yum.
Turnips are not a favorite out there, I know. But they are nutritious and beautiful so lets give them a chance. The tops should be stored separate from the roots if it’s going to be more than a day or two. Use the tops as a spinach supplement, just like I have recommended with radish tops. The roots are typically used in soups, but I fell in love with this recipe for caramelized turnips last week. I used a vegan bouillon and honey instead of the sugar and chicken bouillon in the recipe and it worked great. Also check out this post about turnips from another farm for many many tips and ideas.
Based on the survey I did with the CSA application last year it turns out most people do not appreciate celery in the shares. That said, I planted a lot less celery and will probably only distribute it once this season. Celery is a staple. Don’t hate. It keeps a long time and in some cultures it is as useful as garlic and onions. For example, a Jamaican friend told me that pretty much every Jamaican dish begins with sauteed red peppers, onions and celery. What about making celery salt to have around the rest of the year to sprinkle on toast, eggs, salads or soups?! Look at this simple recipe from 101cooks.com
I hate to tell you but this week marks the halfway point of the season. It’s my favorite time because we have more food in the field than at the beginning or the end. Everything is happening right now. Greens, peppers and tomatoes, cabbage is almost almost ready, carrots, fennel, beans…. everything.
The line up:
Hon Tsai Tai
This Kale Market Salad from 101cookbooks.com is perfect for this week! You might have almost all of the ingredients between last week’s share and this one. By the way, I’ve been trying lots of recipes from this particular blog and whenever I’m missing an ingredient I just make due with what I’ve got and hands down every time it works out for the best. I think it’s because her style encourages incorporating seasonal veggies and improvisation. Give this kale salad a look.
Wow this Caramelized Fennel and Goat Cheese Flat Bread looks easy, simple and so so good.
Galangal grows beautifully in our garden, but it’s uses are limited in the kitchen. Make sure to store it in the fridge and use it soon because it doesn’t stay fresh as long as ginger. Maybe you’re in a soup craze like me, probably due to the cold fronts. Start adding medallions of galangal to your soup bases for an earthy and floral undertone.
Hey CSA members, especially you newbies, do you want to visit the garden where your veggies are growing? You are welcome anytime and we are almost halfway through the season. The fields look beautiful right now. How about a visit Sunday, January 19th? Email me an RSVP or just let me know at the market when you come pick up your share.
The line up:
Hon Tsai Tai
Baby Pac Choi
Eggplant (mixed Asian varieties)
Grapefruit and Tangelos
and an assortment of Herbs (your pick between Lemongrass, Dill, Rosemary, Oregano, Chinese Leeks, etc.)
Feeling overwhelmed with greens? Maybe it’s time to revisit my quiche post.
Everyone seems to really enjoy the baby pac choi. Last week some of our crop went to Michael’s Genuine and they posted an instagram photo that is pretty inspiring. The description reads, “Beautiful @littleriverfarm bok choi grilled with Lila onion vinaigrette, soy, peanuts, yum”. Look at it and try to recreate it!
After you get past the beauty of these eggplants, try cutting them length wise into 1/4 inch slices and baking on high heat with a liberal drizzle of oil, salt and pepper. Bake until toasty on each side; you may need to flip them once. They are good enough to eat alone, as a side dish or as the star of the dinner with greens and maybe potatoes or yucca.
During the growing season I try really hard to keep my Sundays free for family, cleaning and catching up on hammock time, but this past Sunday I made an exception. A large group of great people came by for a farm tour and work session in the field. They brought hats, boots, kids, dogs, cameras and a delicious watermelon we all shared on the deck by the pond. It was truly a beautiful Sunday afternoon.