Week 4~ June 18th-June 24th, 2012 ~CSA Newsletter

This Weeks Share: Peas, Radish, Arugula or Cilantro, Garlic Scapes (tops), Strawberries, Rhubarb and a Bag of mixed Gourmet Greens (mostly lettuces).

Peas: Week 4 enters peas into your share. Large flat pods of sugary sweetness are ready, being harvested, and awaiting your eating pleasure. We are picking the snow-peas and the young snap peas this week. Munch on them raw or in salads and they are also delicious in a stir-fry. The recipe below is super quick and tasty and it makes use of your peas, green garlic and cilantro in one delicious dish!

Pea Saute’ with Sesame adapted from Cooking in Season

  • 2 cups Snow peas and/or snap peas (tips trimmed and stringy midrib removed)
  • 2 Tblspn Sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup slivered scallions or chopped green garlic
  • 3 Tblspn lightly chopped fresh cilantro
  • Olive oil and Sesame oil
  1. Toast the sesame seeds on your stove-top in a dry wide saute’ pan on medium. Shake pan occasionally. Seeds will become fragrant. This method takes 3-5 minutes opposed to 15 minutes toasted in the oven. Spread seeds on a towel or plate to cool.
  2. Place 1 Tblspn olive oil in a saute pan on medium. When oil is hot saute’  the peas until tender, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl combine the scallions, cilantro, sautee’d peas and toasted sesame seeds. Drizzle with the sesame oil and toss. Add sea salt to taste.

Radish: More yummy red balls of intense flavor for you this week. We’re growing Champion, Easter-Egg mix, and Cherry Bells and despite some leaf damage by flea beetles on the Easter-Egg mix, they are all looking pretty darn good and tasting even better. I have been enjoying your very nice comments, thank-you. Due to this vegetables mild to medium spiciness, radish makes a lovely salsa.

Radish Mango Salsa adapted from Cooking in Season

  • 1 bunch radish greens removed washed and trimmed.
  • 1 medium size mango
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 minced fresh chile of your preferred hotness
  • 2 Tblspn lime juice
  • 2 Tblspn chopped cilantro
  1. Dice radish, mango, and onion. Combine all the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. This salsa is wonderful with grilled poultry, also with fresh guacamole and tortilla chips.

Arugula or Cilantro: This week we are harvesting small bags (less than a quart) of either Arugula or Cilantro for your share. They are both tender herbs that enjoy complementing a main dish or salad. Both herbs were openly despised by Julia Child (no disrespect to her!), but don’t let that stop you if you still haven’t tried them. You had Arugula in Week 2. It’s a peppery, sharp, intensely flavored green also called ‘Rocket’ and fine in small amounts fresh roasted on pizza or in a dish. The cilantro is the quintessential herb of pico-de-gallo salsas. When first arriving home with these herbs, dry them on a towel and then you can place back in a bag to store in the refrigerator. Take out, and wash as needed. Store dry. Excess moisture in the bags will cause them to turn slimy.

Garlic Scapes: The tender, becoming spicy garlic flavored tops of our garlic plant rows are being harvested again this week for your pleasure. Green garlic in it’s various forms is a culinary delight in Spring. In the past weeks the flavors have gone from very soft and subtle to now mildly spicy. We love them and use them for all things fresh. I added some to a veggie tray yesterday and was delighted by folks snacking on the tendrils raw dipped in Uncle Dan’s! And loving them!

Strawberries: As promised last week, this week we are  harvesting enough strawberries for everyone. Each half-share will receive a full pint of tasty Oregon strawberries, mostly Hood’s with some Tillamook’s thrown into the possibility mix. Berry-Share Members, you will take your 2 pints plus the bonus pint in the regular-share. Yum!

Rhubarb: To go along with the fabulously sweet strawberries, everyone will be able to try their hand at a strawberry/rhubarb sweet or savory combo this week. The flavors together are a match we are quite fond of, and it’s such a joy to be experiencing it this year! We are leaving the trimming up to you. Many enjoy rhubarb in a more savory dish or even a chutney or relish. The sour, tart flavors soften when cooked but remain enough to partner well with honey or sugar for a condiment overt meats or even hearty vegetables like squash.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote with Vanilla and Cardamon from Cooking in Season

  • 4 cups 1/2-inch-thick sliced rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus more to taste
  • 6 Tablspn fresh orange juice, plus more to taste
  • 3 Tblsp honey
  • 1/4 tspn plus 1/8 tspn ground cardamon
  • 1/4 tspn salt 1 small vanilla bean
  • 3 cups hulled and thickly sliced strawberries (about 2 pints)
  1. Combine the rhubarb, sugar, orange juice, honey, all the cardamon, and the salt in a heavy 3-quart stainless steel saucepan.
  2. With a paring knife, slit open the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds with the back of the knife, and add the seeds and the scraped out pod to the saucepan.
  3. Bring to a simmer  over medium-low heat, stirring often. Simmer until the rhubarb releases its juice and becomes tender but still retains its shape, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the strawberries and simmer until they start to soften and the  rhubarb breaks down slightly, 1 to 3 minutes.
  4. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Make an ice bath by filling a larger bowl with ice and water.Chill the compote over the ice bath at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until completely cool, 10 to 15 minutes. Discard the vanilla pod. Taste the compote and add more sugar or orange juice, if needed.

Bag of Small mixed Gourmet Greens: We are forgoing heads altogether this week. Instead we are harvesting loose-leaf greens. These will be mostly Lettuces in mixed bags for all. The regular vegetable share will be getting mixed small lettuces or, what normally the Lettuce-share is only privileged to get. Lettuce-share folks, we will have bags of Spinach/Chard/Choi for you (instead of 2 bags of mixed lettuce!) in addition to your mixed bag o greens in the regular-share this week. Some of the flavors I sampled today are verging on mildly bitter to perfectly sweet. Mostly the lettuce crosses with endive or Frisee’ are starting to get a touch of bitter in the leaves, which has more to do with genetics than fresh readiness. Those leaves are the extra-frizzy looking deep red ones. And remember, the dryer they are stored, the longer they seem to last, as excess moisture in plastic bags with greens (or any veggies) will inevitably produce slime.

Berry-Share: 2 full Pints of Oregon Strawberries. Hoods or Tillamooks.

Lettuce-share: 1 nice-size bag full of Spinach/Chard/Choi mixed greens.

FARM NEWS: Hope you all had a wonderful Father’s Day. The weather was pretty good. This week is chocked full of meetings and appointments as well as everything else we do with 4 consecutive days of harvesting for our seven different pick-up/drop-off locations. It’s busy and already at Monday night, we’re feeling exhausted.  I will catch you up with more news on the crops and farm life in general next week. Hope you can enjoy something special or at least acknowledgement of the official change from spring to summer (4 pm on Wednesday). It feels much too early for the days to be getting shorter again….but soon…here we go.

Thanks for your Support!!

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