This Weeks Share: Head Lettuce, Endive/Escarole Mix, Baby Leaf Chard, Garlic Scapes, Radish bunch or Pods, Cilantro or Dill, Sugar-snap Peas and Strawberries (the herbs didn’t make it into the picture).
Head Lettuce: Lovely heads abound the farm…still. They are doing fabulous in this weather. So are the slugs. Hope you are enjoying much more lettuce than the aforementioned…:)
Endive/Escarole Mix: These greens are the baby leaves from our newer sowing of ‘chicories’ here on the farm. Chicories have a reputation of being bitter greens. Closely related to lettuce, endive and escarole are heartier and have a bitter edge. However, the baby leave’s we have for you this week are almost sugar compared to what they can taste like more mature. If you take the time to make this delicious, favorite salad’s pear dressing you are in for a delightful treat! Be forewarned that you will need a half dozen to 7 pears for the salad and the dressing combined. Totally worth it.
Farm Salad with Escarole, Watercress, Pears, Hazelnuts and Blue Cheese from Recipes from Americas Small Farms
- 1/3 cup blanched whole hazelnuts
- roasted pear vinaigrette (recipe follows)
- 1 head escarole, rinsed and leaves torn (1 bag Endive/Escarole mix works perfect)
- 1 bunch watercress, rinsed, drained and trimmed of tough stems
- 4 Bosc pears, cored and sliced
- 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- Sea salt and fresh milled pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spread hazelnuts on rimmed baking sheet and roast until they turn golden, 8-10 minutes. Set aside.
- Prepare the vinaigrette; measure 3/4 cup into a large bowl. Refrigerate the remaining vinaigrette for another use.
- Add the escarole, watercress, pears, hazelnuts and salt and pepper to taste into the bowl and toss to combine with vinaigrette.
- Place on individual chilled serving plates (6-8) and top each with crumbled blue cheese.
Roasted Pear Vinaigrette
- Preheat oven to 375F. Peel, quarter and core 3 Bosc pears. Arrange them in a roasting pan; sprinkle with 1 1/2 tsp sugar, and sea salt and fresh milled pepper to taste. Roast for about 20 minute,s or until tender.
- Remove pears and place in blender. Add 1/2 cup pear or cider vinegar and 1/4 cup apple juice to the roasting pan and whisk around to mix and loosen the drippings from pan. Pour the mixture into the blender. Add 1 tsp honey, and a dash of vanilla extract; DO NOT BLEND until cool.
- Blend until the pears are smooth and while blending gradually add 1 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup hazelnut oil. Taste and adjust your seasonings. Makes about 3 cups of Roasted Pear Vinaigrette.
Baby Leaf Chard: Delicious baby chard is nice and mild this week. As with other greens, the young are subtle and smooth while the older, mature leaves can be bitter. Enjoy these fresh in salads or give a light braise/saute’.
Garlic Scapes: The literal crown of the garlic plant, the scapes are the funky looking curly things in your bag. The part of the plant the furthest from the bulb, is also the most mild in comparison to cured garlic. Enjoy these raw in salads or lightly cook, braise, saute or roast along with ANY recipe.
Radish bunch or Pods: We hope to offer all of you your preference in the radish realm. The German Breakfast radish has been making a healthy showing lately in the fields. It is the long, carrot-looking red radish and it’s flavor can range near super spicy. The radish pods have been a hit with kids and very easy to accentuate your basic stir-fry into the new and fun.
Cilantro or Dill: What is your favorite herb? Cilantro is such a great match with eggs, sandwich wraps and of course dips and salsas. But dill also has a great place along with all seafood and soups. The dill here on the farm has the most amazing sweet flavor, we were eating raw today by the mouthful! I’ll be adding it to salad. And what we can’t eat I will freeze, to have around when our cucumbers are ready (for pickles). Freezing dill works but it does best with a quick parboil or blanch beforehand. See http://www.ehow.com/how_2199420_freeze-fresh-dill.html . I also read an interesting way to freeze cilantro by removing all the leaves from stems, lightly chop and place in empty ice-cube tray, add water and then when completely frozen place in small bags to use your “cilantro-cube” later in a recipe. I’d love to hear how you enjoy herbs in the kitchen. The recipe below calls for dried lime powder or whole preserved lime. If you can’t find either one, the rice can be cooked with 2 tsp lemon zest and seasoned with 2 Tbsp of lemon juice right before serving.
Green Rice from Lucid Food
- 2 cups long-grain basmati rice
- 1 tsp saffron threads or powder
- 3 Tbsp Olive oil
- Sea salt
- 2 leeks, green and white parts, finely diced (we used green garlic)
- 1 tsp dried lime powder, or 1 preserved whole lime
- 1 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup minced fresh dill (we used 1 cup)
- 1 cup shelled, toasted pistachios
- Put rice in a large bowel and cover with cold water. Toss the rice with your hands a few times to remove starch, and drain. Repeat this process five times. Set aside.
- Pour 3 1/2 cups water into a small pot with a dash of salt and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, put the saffron in a small bowel with 2 Tbsp of water. Stir and set aside.
- Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the leeks and saute for 5 minutes. Add the rice, saffron water, and lime powder (or whole preserved lime) and cook, stirring often,for 2 minutes.
- Pour the boiling water over the rice, bring that to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
- Turn off heat and let the rice stand, covered for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. If the whole lime was used, discard.
- Transfer the rice to a large bowel and fold in the parsley, cilantro, dill and most of the pistachios. Season with sea salt. To serve, pile the rice on a platter and scatter the top with the rest of the pistachios. Yum.
Sugar-snap Peas: Finally they have arrived! The peas more plump, have the most sugar it seems, yet all are crisp, fresh and perfectly pea! Snap peas do not want to be over-cooked, so only barely cook them. That is if they last that long. For preperation just rinse and de-string them. You can steam them whole or cut in half. Most of you should be getting the sugar-snap peas, however some of the younger snow peas, and shelling peas were harvested as well. Unfortunately, these will not be a joy to eat raw, as they are fibrous and stringy. They instead will greatly soften and become enjoyable after steaming, cooking or stir-fry. Peas and mint are a wonderful combination, refreshing and light. If you have mint growing do try this delicious recipe…
Salad of Peas, Feta and Mint from Earth to Table – Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm
- 2 cups shucked fresh sweet peas (I have used thawed/previously frozen and another time have used pea pods roughly chopped).
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp local honey
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 radishes, finely sliced (We have used radish pods)
- 1 red onion finely sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- In a medium pot of boiling salted water, blanch peas until just tender and bright green, about 2-3 minutes. Refresh under cold water.
- In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, honey and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add peas, radish and onion: toss to coat. Add mint and gently toss. Sprinkle with feta.
Strawberries: We have a half-pint of strawberries to go with every half-share this week…again. We all got lucky, as we now have enough of these yummy, ripe, red gems all organically grown. Some of you will get our Hood’s and the rest of you will get the Tillamook’s and Sea Scape’s. The hood’s are the quintessential Oregon strawberry and their sweetness cannot be topped. However, our other varieties hold up better and last longer than just a day or two. We wish we had more strawberries and will be planting more for next season.
Berry Share-holders: We arrive at Week 1 for the start of berry-share this season with delicious strawberries for you. We finally have enough! They berry season begins. Now we need more sun.
FARM NEWS: The showers yesterday and today on the farm have made for some wet berry picking. But all in all the plants are loving this weather. The strawberries HAVE to be picked immediately each day, as this wet and warm climate is ideal for pathogens and mold/rot. So far we are keeping up. We are fortunate that this weather is now, and not when ALL the berries have ripened. That is one good reason the berry-season actually continues for three months in the Northwest. Hopefully Mr. Sun will make more appearances in the days to come! I have been busy helping with all things farm and haven’t been able to type as much, but will have some more nice recipes and more news after this evening. Also, our web-site is getting a new face! We are thrilled about this and can’t wait to show it off. Likely by the end of the week things can go live while we fine-tune all the details. We hope to have a much more user friendly blog/type web-site, with linking vegetables and recipes. It should be fun! More soon……
Thanks for all your support and for helping us make local, organic, sustainable farming a reality in our community!!