Week 8 ~ CSA Newsletter July 11-July 17, 2011

This Weeks Share: Lettuce, Turnips or Carrots, Summer Squash, Peas, Garlic Tops, Collard Greens or Endive/Escarole, Broccoli, and an Herb (bunch of Cilantro, Dill or Mint).

Lettuce: Can you believe it? Last year the lettuce in the regular share’s continued until mid-season (another long spring that was). Here we are at Week 8 with still a nice amount to go around for all. You will be receiving heads or mixed bags. It is great to hear how happy some of you are to count on a farm fresh salad each week. Other’s, I know, have been overwhelmed. I can say the lettuce won’t last the entire season (unless of course you have the salad-share). Enjoy it while it lasts.

Turnips or Carrots: Nice spring planted carrots and turnips are coming up to size for the vegetable share’s, however not entirely enough of a particular one or the other. This week we are harvesting partial crops of both. There will be more of each in the future. The young turnips are great fresh, of course as are the carrots. Below is a wonderful way to serve spring planted turnips. Their refreshing taste and texture is enhanced, but not overpowered, by a sweet, pungent sauce of juicy raisins and freshly grated ginger.

Ginger-Glazed Young Turnips with Cider and Raisins from Farmer John’s Cookbook

  • 1/2 tsp salt (plus a dash more later)
  • 1 bunch young turnips trimmed and peeled if thick skinned or flawed
  • 1/4 cup sugar or honey
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger (or more, to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup apple or grape cider (juice works fine)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsely (or try another herb)
  • some finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional garnish)
  1. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add a dash of salt, then the turnips. When the water returns to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer the turnips gently until tender but not mushy, 10-15 minutes depending on the size. Remove pot from heat and transfer the turnips to a dish to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, transfer 1/2 cup of the hot cooking water to a medium sauce pot. Stir in the sugar or honey, vinegar and ginger to taste. Add 1/2 tsp salt.
  3. Combine the cornstarch and cider in a small glass bowl; let stand until cornstarch is dissolved.
  4. Slice turnips in you desired manner, thickness and size.
  5. Place the pot with the ginger mixture over medium heat. Stir in the cider mixture and adjust the heat so the ingredients simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and thickened, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove pot from the heat; stir in the raisins and sliced turnips and continue to stir for a couple minutes, until the mixture reaches a thick, gravylike consistency. If necessary, stir in a bit more cider to reach desired consistency. Stop stirring and let it stand a couple minutes. Garnish with parsley (or another herb) and crystallized ginger.

Summer Squash: This summertime staple crop is to size and ready for it’s first picking and your share’s. These, subtlety flavored, firm gems can be enjoyed in so many ways. I’d bet you are all  familiar with the green zucchini, but we will have a hearty mixed variety of paddy-pans, crook-necks, round, fat, long and thin green, yellow and striped green to pale summer squash for you to try as the weeks go on.

Peas: We’re mostly picking the shelling peas today and through this week. These peas are best out of the pod. There is something relaxing and surely summertime about shucking peas. The kids and I eat them the entire time and occasionally get enough to cook  a dish. Two weeks prior I shared a favorite pea recipe. Scroll down near the end of the Week 6 Newsletter for Salad with Peas, Feta and Mint. If yours can last, they are also nice to freeze as well.

Garlic Scapes: More garlic tops for your enjoyment. They continue to be a lovely addition to every meal. They are super mild if you’re a hard-core garlic lover, but they add a nice green color.

Collard Greens or Endive/Escarole: Your braising greens this week will comprise one or the other. Both are fun flavors to cook and perfectly suited for braising. The Braised Collard Greens with Sweet-&-Sour Sauce from Farmer John is fantastic….go all the way back to Week 1 for the recipe, if you don’t have his book. Collards need longer to cook due to their thicker leaves and texture. The endive and escarole are lighter, but more bitter of greens. I like to try and eat greens everyday. The greens in the just mentioned recipe, as well as the recipe below can make a great side to most any main dishes. Paired with quinoa or rice they make a simple, healthy lunch. With a handful of chopped fresh herbs, just before your pan comes off the heat, give the greens a little something extra. This is an easy, basic method of cooking them….

Sauteed Leafy Greens from Lucid Food

  • 1 bunch leafy greens
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced (or your bunch of garlic tops)
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Slice out any fibrous inner stems of your greens and discard. Coarsely chop greens, making sure there are no long strands, then submerge them in cold water (sink works great!). Swish them around the water thoroughly and then place in colander. No need to dry them. The water helps the cooking process.
  2. Heat a large saute’ pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Throw in half of the greens, saute’ them for 30 seconds (until they have shrank some), then add the other half.
  3. Saute’ until leaves are tender, but still bright green, about 3 minutes (but can be up to 10 minutes  for heavy kale’s and collards). Add dash of salt as you cook. Add the garlic and saute’ for 1 minute more.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the red pepper flakes if using them. Serve hot, seasoned with just lemon juice and freshly ground pepper. Personally I usually cannot help but add my homemade Italian dressing before serving. I’ll post the recipe some time, but it is just a light basic oil and vinegar dressing. Eat those greens!

Broccoli: Broccoli crowns make it back into your share. We enjoyed a lot of broccoli last week. It is one of our favorite veggies. We don’t have a clever name yet, like coleslaw for cold broccoli salads, but that doesn’t make it any less special or delicious. Our farm broccoli is great simply steamed with butter and salt, but why not try a cold salad this summer?

Sesame Broccoli Salad adapted from Recipe’s from America’s Small Farms

  • Steam 2-3 large broccoli crowns until bright green, but still tenderly crisp (al-dente’). Drain well. Set aside or refrigerate if a cold salad is desired.
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Asian sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  1. Whisk together all but the seeds in a large bowl.
  2. Toast the sesame seeds in a heavy skillet; let cool.
  3. Mix the broccoli and half the sesame seeds into the dressing. Marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, but up to a couple hours. Toss occasionally.
  4. Transfer broccoli to a platter. Pour dressing over it and sprinkle with the rest of the sesame seeds.

Fresh Herb: This week we have more fresh herbs. It may be Cilantro, Dill or Mint making it to your table. For me, cooking with herbs makes the act more enjoyable. I love to add fresh herbs to most things I cook…and I don’t always have rhyme nor reason. I find them delightful in salads and in eggs. 

Spicy Cilantro Slaw from The Herbal Kitchen-Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Sriracha sauce (Thai hot pepper sauce)
  • 1 lb green cabbage, very finely sliced
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely sliced
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, soy sauce, and Sriracha sauce in a large bowl.
  2. Toss in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Refrigerate at least an hour to wilt cabbage and blend flavors.

BERRY-SHARE ~  This week we are in transition with our berry crops. We’ve pretty much picked our strawberry patch clean of all it is going to really produce this year. However, small amounts may make it to each day’s pick-up. The black raspberries are ripening nicely. So are an early black-berry variety we have. Berry-share members, for this week your two pints may be a compilation of sorts or one type just mentioned. This will be Week 3 for the berry-share with7 weeks to go.

FARM NEWS ~  Lovely weather we’re having isn’t it? I love the heat and don’t mind the rain, but this high 70’s low 80’s stuff is just about perfect to us. It gradually ripens fruits and vegetables and doesn’t particularly stress any one crop. Things can stay irrigated with relative ease and hoeing nor harvesting breaks a back drenching sweat! We’ll take it. The fields are looking fuller as our row plantings become completely established and we knock back tall weeds hoping to flower. The labor of love continues.

On a discouraging note….the hot prospect of our pumpkin patch for kiddos this year may leave us less than wanting. Germination in the field basically failed. We are soon going to miss the already late last window to reseed it. I’ll keep you all posted. : (  Sadly, this may be filed away for next Fall.

On a happy note, I am hoping to have a pickle-making-party! How many of you would like to get together and make pickles? We will have a hefty heap of small cucumbers coming on and they need to go somewhere! We should also have all the dill….I’m still working out the details but if you want to participate, buy your jars now and please let me know. I may even combine the day with a fermentation work-shop too! Interested?

We have been graciously blessed with our help this year. Wonderful volunteers and work-for-share members have literally blown us away with their skills and tenacious determination. We are honored to feed them…you know who you are (I hope!). Here is one of my favorite’s sacked out in the field while her mom transplants away…..Incredible. Much love…

We want to put out a huge thank-you to our member’s – all of you – for supporting our farm! We are 1/3 of the way through 2011 CSA Season and are doing it all by YOUR efforts and willingness to eat local, healthy and safely. We love you!

Farmer Kip and Amy

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2 Comments

Filed under CSA Newsletter, General Blogroll

2 responses to “Week 8 ~ CSA Newsletter July 11-July 17, 2011

  1. Interested! Would love to attend a pickle-making party (and fermentation work-shop). I have all the tools. Hopefully a weekend? 🙂

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