Week 1 of our CSA 2011 ~ Welcome!

This Weeks Share: Head Lettuce, bunch Radish, baby Arugula, green Garlic, Kale, Collard greens, Endive/Escarole mix, (Broccoli Raab) Rapini or Bok Choi.

Lettuce: Many tasty full heads of lettuce abound the farm and make it into your share this week. If this cool, wet Spring has done anything, it’s grown lovely lettuce and greens! We have many types and textures for you to choose from. Green leafs, red leafs, little gems of curly and deer tongue, oak leafs, butter heads, loose-leafs and romaines are all included for your selection. The flavors are nice and mild, subtly sweet and refined by our Oregon mist.

Radish: Your crisp bunch of radish this week will be comprised of Cherry Bells and/or French Breakfast with some Easter Eggs thrown in for good measure. Some are medium heat to spicy, but we have found so far that most are refreshingly mild and so don’t last long around here.

Flat bread with Radishes, Feta and Spring Herbs   adapted from  Sur La Tables’  Eating Local

  • Lavash (Middle Eastern flatbread) or pita bread
  • Feta
  • Toasted walnut halves
  • Radishes, trimmed
  • Green Onions or Chives
  • Fresh herb sprigs (such as dill, mint, cilantro, Italian parsley and tarragon) thick stems removed, but leaves left whole.
  • Edible flowers such as nasturtiums or borage
  1. Warm the lavash bread (according to package) until soft and pliable. If using pita bread, preheat oven to 350 F. Wrap the pita bread in aluminum foil and bake until hot throughout, about 10 minutes.
  2. Put the feta in a serving bowl. On a large platter, arrange the walnut halves, radishes, green onions, herbs and flowers in an attractive manner.
  3. Serve the warm bread with the platter of feta cheese and the herbs. Enjoy with guests as hors d’oeuvres or a light lunch.

Arugula: The baby-leaf arugula for you this week will make a nice addition to your salads. It is a spicy little leaf, which some describe as bitter and others characterize as having a “peppery-mustardy” flavor. It is worth noting that the older the leaves, the more intense the flavor. Younger leaves are tender and have a milder taste and therefore are best for salads. Older leaves may be slightly bitter and more peppery and are more appropriate for sautéing or steaming.

Green Garlic: Oh how you have been missed! Garlic is one of my favorite things and to have it green is a real treat. This lovely ramp is delightful from the immature bulb all the way up to the last 6 inches of tips. Chop it all (discarding the yellow tippy-tops) and add it raw to salads or simmer in your stir-fry. You can certainly tell it’s garlic, but the flavor is soft and mild garlic, as opposed to the heat of a classic cured bulb. Experiment with it. You’ll like it.

Kale, Collards, Endive/Escarole: So here you have your braising greens friends. Please don’t let all of these seem overwhelming, because if you are new to cooked greens, they cook down a lot! As with most greens, the smaller, younger leaves are tender enough to consume raw, while the older leaves respond well to light cooking which removes bitterness. Through the course of the season I will be posting as many recipes for cooked greens as I can find. I hope to have a nice collection for us all at years end. We have tried the following recipe with Endive as well as Collards.

Braised Collard Greens with Sweet-and-Sour Sauce   from Farmer John’s Cookbook

  • 1/4 cup   water
  • 1/4 cup   sweet sherry
  • 3 Tbsp  soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tsp    sugar
  • 1/2 tsp  Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2  1/2 lbs  collard greens, with stems removed and discarded, sliced crosswise
  • dash rice vinegar
  1. Bring the water, sherry, soy or tamari, sugar and five-spice powder to a boil in a large, heavy pot.
  2. Add the collard greens; cover. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until very tender, 15-20 minutes. Add more water if needed to keep mixture from drying out.
  3. Uncover the pot and continue simmering until the mixture no longer resembles a soup, 3-4 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
  4. Stir in dash of vinegar. Season to taste with more sugar, soy sauce or rice vinegar.
Massaged Kale and Currant Salad  from  Feeding the Whole Family
  • 1 bunch Kale
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 3/4 cup diced apple (about 1/2 apple)
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbs unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  1. De-stem kale by ripping leaves away from stems. Wash and pat dry the leaves. Stack the leaves and cut into thin ribbons. Put kale into large mixing bowl. Add salt and gently massage it into the kale with your hands for 2 minutes.
  2. Stir onion, currants, apple, and sunflower seeds into kale. Dress with oil and vinegar and salt to taste. When at desired flavor, toss in the cheese. This salad will keep for several days and still be great! It actually gets better as the days go by.

Rapini (Broccoli Raab): Some of you will take home rapini or also known as broccoli raab or rabe. The leaves, stalks, and flower heads can be cooked (steam, stir-fry, braise, broil or saute) and eaten just like regular broccoli and have a flavor similar to broccoli but more pungent. It is quite tasty with a nutty flavor and slightly bitter taste. We love to snack on it raw.

Broccoli Rabe Saute’   from  Recipes From America’s Small Farms

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe or rapini
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1  1/2 Tbs lemon juice
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  1. Rinse the rapini carefully, removing and discarding any thick, large stems. Drain well and pat dry.
  2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat; add the garlic and saute’ until golden brown, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the rapini; increase the heat to medium-high. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until the rapini is wilted, about 5 minutes.
  4. Season with the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Bok Choi: Some of you will take home bok choi instead of the rapini this week. We have gorgeous, green, full heads with thick white stalks that we love to snack like celery.

FARM NEWS~

What a day…completely appropriate for a Monday AND the first day of our 2011 season….exhausting. Actually we have been running hard for a while now, but the fun all started today!  Here’s to the early weeks…… the season of GREENS! I have to admit I am still a little foggy getting back into the blogging/news writing again, but I will warm up to it, just as the ground will eventually warm up for the squash and cucumbers. I strongly encourage and welcome your thoughts, ideas, and recipes too and will post them as often as I am able. Thanks again for all of your wonderful support of our Love Farm community! I truly can’t wait to be seeing your smiling faces again each week and I greatly look forward to meeting you new ones.

Warm Regards~

Your loving farmers Kip and Amy

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