June 11-June 17, 2012 CSA Newsletter

Week 3 ~ Share: Rhubarb, Swiss Chard/Spinach, Radish, Endive/Escarole, Green Garlic, Baby Bok Choi or Radish Rapini, and Head Lettuce.

Rhubarb: The delightfully sour, crisp red stalks of this huge leaf plant make it into your share this week. Most often the timing of this crops readiness is to early for the share baskets. This is the second recent year it has worked out for you well. There are strawberries coming on too, and nothing gets the berry season rolling quite like a strawberry-rhubarb pie! I made one yesterday and we had it for breakfast. It is great with a little milk or cream poured on top! There are many things you can do with your rhubarb if pie baking won’t be one of them. It’s delicious in a simple sauce with sugar to pour over ice-cream, bake into tarts or enjoy as a preserve, chutney or relish on sweet breads, toast or meats. In the past, I have trimmed it, cut it up into half-inch size pieces and froze it until the strawberries were ready. But we have also made nice chutney’s like the one below.

Rhubarb Chutney  adapted from Recipe’s From America’s Small Farms

  • 3-4 Rhubarb stalks trimmed and cut into half-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup saute’ed chopped onions (or your green garlic!)
  • 2 Tblspn dark or golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • salt to taste
  1. Bring 1/4 cup or so water and the rhubarb to a boil in a heavy saucepan on a simmering heat.
  2. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar to taste along with a pinch of salt.
  3. Add saute’ed onion and raisins and cook for a few minutes to incorporate flavors. Add a chopped apple or pear to cooking if preferred to raisins.
  4. Serve over pork-chops, chicken breast or flavorful fish.

Swiss Chard/Spinach: This bag of greens aims to make everyone happy. The spinach is looking fabulous and the swiss chard as well, so we hope to harvest enough for everyone to get a nice tasty bag with plenty to enjoy raw or even slightly braised. The spinach is fabulous raw and so is the baby chard, however larger chard leaves can leave some with a bitter taste in their mouth. Here is a recipe for one of my favorite salads whose dressing makes it devine, but it is not for vegetarians. We like this salad with spinach and small chard greens. Make a big salad, or save half the bag for wilted/warmed greens at another meal.

Spinach/Chard Salad with Warm Bacon Dijon Dressing

  • 8 ounces young spinach (and baby chard greens)
  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs
  • 6 slices Bacon
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard Dijon
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 large white mushrooms  sliced
  • 4 radish sliced
  • 1 very small, thinly sliced red onion (or green garlic)
  1. Remove stems from spinach leaves, wash, spin and pat dry thoroughly. Place in large mixing boil and put aside. Peel hard-cooked eggs and slice them into layered pieces.
  2. Fry the bacon until well done (crispy). Remove to towel to drain, reserving 1.5 Tblsps of the rendered fat from the bacon. When bacon cools, crumble and set aside.
  3. Transfer the fat into a small sauce-pan placed on low. Whisk in the red wine vinegar, sugar and Dijon mustard. Add sea salt and fresh pepper to taste.
  4. Add mushrooms, radish and onion (substituted for onion, green garlic ramps or scapes work amazing in this salad!) to the greens and toss well. Add the warm dressing and bacon and toss to combine.
  5. Place onto plates, and evenly divide the egg among the plates, season with fresh pepper and enjoy immediately….yummm.
Radish: Bright, beautiful, perfectly orbed (well sort-of) radish find it into the share again. We have a couple varieties coming on and getting bunched together. You can find a hot, spicy one, right after devouring an extremely mild crisp one. Hope you are enjoying them. Did anyone try them glazed?
Endive/Escarole: Our standard chicory greens make another appearance. There are many great recipes to take most all the bitterness out, and enjoy all their earthy green flavors.
Saute’ed Ginger Escarole  adapted from Food to Live By
  • coarse salt
  • your bag of Endive/Escarole leaves torn into bite-size pieces (bag of Bok Choi is a perfect substitute!)
  • 2 Tblspns toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tblspn grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Teriyaki sauce
  1. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large pot over high heat.  Add tspn salt and your greens. Cook for 1 minute. Remove and drain well in colander, then pat dry with towels.
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the greens, ginger and red pepper flakes and cook stirring occasionally, until the thicker parts of the endive or bok choi (stem base) are a nice tenderness and slightly browned on both sides. About 5-8 minutes.
  3. Brush the greens with your choice of teriyaki sauce and serve immediately.
Green Garlic: Most folks will be getting tender garlic tops, called scapes this week. Eat raw in salads or enjoy them in a favorite cooked dish. The whole curled end is edible and perfectly crispy-tender, but some toughness might be found at the very base of individual stems. Time for green-garlic pesto indeed!
Bok-Choi  or  Radish Rapini: We have a bonus item for your share’s this week. Many of you will enjoy the first of our Bok-Choi. There are a couple nice heads, but for the most part growing these tender tasty plants in early spring organically is difficult at best. Many, if not most of the outer leaves must be removed due to slug damage this year. For which, I will say there is no organic option for the field grower. So we have some nice small heads and also leaves for you.The rest of you will be getting another delicious bunch of new radish rapini. The rapini with a nice, clean, semi-spicy twist.
Head Lettuce: Again another head of lettuce for you. Try something different this week, as we have many types to choose from.
BERRY-SHARE: I remember us starting early with berry-share one other time, but yes, here we go! Our strawberry rows have been and will be picked over well and we have a nice amount to successfully start our berry-share this week. Two full pints of delicious Oregon Strawberries are yours for all berry-share members only. We aim to have Strawberries in the regular share’s for every member next week.
Happy Healthy Eating Fresh!
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