Happy Wednesday! Hope everyone has been staying cool during these hot summer days. Here are the veggies you found in your box this week.
Aisla Craig Onions. These are the large, fresh, and sweet onions you found in your box last week. You can use them any way you would usually use an onion. Here is a recipe one of my farmer friends, Sonya, sent me for Polenta: Sauté onions and garlic in some butter and/or oil in a cast iron fry pan (whatever size you want to fill with polenta) until nice and browned (add other veggies if desired, peppers, broccoli, tomato) add dry polenta and salt (depending on your liking). Her recipe calls for 3cups water to 1 cup polenta (corn grits), add half water half milk (or some cream) and some shredded cheddar. Stir it all up, let it simmer on low for 5-10 minutes until a lot of the liquid is soaked up, then let sit for 20 minutes. Spoon or slice and enjoy.
Cucumbers. More cucumbers here! Here is another recipe from my friend Sonya for making Quick Pickles. Easy to make and tasty to eat!
Ingredients: 2-4 cukes, 1 bunch scallions, 2-3 garlic scapes, 1 T dill, 1 cup hot water, 2T maple syrup, honey, or sweetner, 1 T salt, 3 T cider vinegar.
Directions: Slice each cuke lengthwise into 8 sticks, or into rounds. Chop scallions. Alternate layers of cukes and scallions in a non metal dish. Chop and scatter garlic scapes and dill on top. Mix water with maple syrup and add salt to dissolve; add vinegar and pour over cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours. note: When ready to replenish, add 1 T vinegar and 1 rounded teaspoon maple syrup to the brine and add more sliced cukes and scallions as needed. prepare a fresh solution after 2-3 batches.
Zucchini. We hope everyone is loving all of this zucchini as much as we are! And if your kids aren't, try this recipe for Zucchini Tots! They may be surprised at how great these taste. Running out of uses for Zucchini? How about for breakfast or a great afternoon snack! My mom got this recipe for Zucchini Bread from a farmer in Maine and it sure is delicious!
Summer Squash. Here is a fun way to eat and serve your summer squash. Try making these Vegetable Boats!:
3 summer squash; 1 Tbspn butter; 1 Tbspn olive oil; 2 Tbspns finely diced onion, 1 cup ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, 3 Tbspns dry bread crumbs, 1 egg, 1/2 tspn salt, 1/8 tspn ground pepper, 2 Tbspns salsa.
Directions: For Grilling: Halve zucchini length-wise, scoop out seeds. Grill or broil halved zucchini brushed with oil and sprinkled with salt (should be edible, but still firm.) Cut in halves. Seperately, in a skillet heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft. Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly. Add ricotta, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 2 Tbspns bread crumbs, egg, salsa, salt, and pepper until blended. Now, spoon the cheese mixture into the "boat" zucchini halves. Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese and bread crumbs on top. Bake filled pieces at 400F or grill until cheese browns.
Fennel. Slice thin and eat as raw salad with shredded parmagian and oil, roast, grill, or sauté, you can even make a gratin with it! Here is a recipe for Fennel Dip. It goes great as a dip or as salad dressing.
Ukon Gold Potatoes. Here is a recipe that uses both your potatoes and squash! Try this delicious Potato, Squash, and Goat Cheese Gratin. Or try this fun and easy recipe for Potato Puff Balls! Beat together 2 cups warm mashed potatoes, 2 tbs. chopped parsley, 2 tsp minced onion, salt, and 2 egg yolks. Beat 2 egg whites until stiff and fold in other ingredients. Bake in oiled muffin tins @350 deg. until browned. Yum!
1 Tomato. And so it begins! Tomato season is officially here. There weren't too many ready yesterday, as they have just started to ripen, but we were able to put one in everyone's box for a special treat this week! And there will be plenty more where that came from. We will be picking more and more each day, so get those tomato recipes ready!
Eggplant. It’s amazing how far one sliced eggplant can go. It all depends on the thickness of the slices. I usually don’t bother with salting and draining and rinsing. I just toss the slices with plenty of olive oil (eggplant is greedy that way), S & P and maybe some herbs. Then I bake them on a baking sheet at 375 or so, flipping once until nice color has developed and they are quite tender. You can do all sorts of things with roasted eggplant. You can have it right away in a pasta – with fresh tomato, basil, cheese. Or a cool salad of chopped roasted eggplant, feta, and mint. Eggplant is delicious grilled. And you can always do the classic eggplant parmesan with the flour, eggwash, seasoned breadcrumb sequence before pan frying then baking in a casserole with mozzarella and tomato sauce.
Bell Peppers. Who doesn't like a delicious pepper? The possibilities are endless! Slice it up, sprinkle it with salt or dip it in some veggie dip for a nutritious afternoon snack. Or use your onions and peppers as a classic topping for a homemade pizza. Dice it up for a salsa or sprinkle it on your salad.
Hot News At WBF
i need to leave to deliver to restaurants in PVD in about ten minutes so apologies in advance for subpar grammar, spelling, punctuation, forgetfulness.
Sonya and Luke Harms from Harms Family Farm in Brookfield, Mass are adding some beautiful produce to the White Barn selection at the farmstand beginning today. Luke and Sonya use organic methods like we do here:
Luscious bunches of Green Curly Kale or Tuscan Kale
Large Beautiful Head Lettuces < our planting bolted over the weekend :(
AND MAPLE SYRUP. 100% Massachusetts Maple Syrup. Pints for $12.75
Choose between: Grade A (lighter and from the first sap - not boiled down so long) or Grade B (darker from later sap with a lower sugar content so boiled down longer). Read more on their website. If you can't decide buy both and do a blind taste test :)
We also have some excellent quality produce from the eastern Mass preferred farm mentor, farmer extraordinnaire, Chris Yoder, at Vanguarden CSA in Dover, MA. He also uses organic practices.
We sold out of the huge heads of broccoli we bought in from him, but we still have some pints of his red-skinned new potatoes (you probably think of them as Red Bliss). Keep an eye out for more of these two items if we are able to sneak in a trip to Dover.
Our Reminder Cards are HERE!!! We have paper business cards and Magnets! Take one or take a few. Hand 'em out to anyone interested or place them at your local business. Thank you in advance for spreading the word:
WBF Farmstand is OPEN:
Tuesday through Friday 12pm to 7pm (we'll begin closing at 6pm September 1st)
& Saturdays 10am to 2pm
Jordan Brothers Seafood is at the Farmstand: Tuesdays & Fridays 2pm to 6pm.
Thanks a Million for the fabulous support we've been experiencing this season!
Looking forward to the quintessential summer crops . . . . .
for now enjoy the glut of zukes and cukes
Christy, Chris, Graham, & the WBF Crew
Howdy CSA Faithfuls!!! Now it's time to describe your . . . Mystery Veggie Box Number 7
Gnome Cabbage. This is the pointy headed green cabbage. It is great for any cole slaw or cabbage salad. I like to add it to my sandwiches for an extra crunch! Here is a recipe for a Warm Cabbage with Butter. It is super easy to make and a delicious warm side dish for any meal!
Cucumbers. The cucumbers have been coming in strong. There will be a good amount of them in your box this week. With this amount, I suggest doing something to incorporate the cucumbers into the main part of a dish. For example, a cucumber salad or slice them for some pickles! If you're looking for something cool and refreshing during these hot days, try this great recipe for Cucumber Gazpacho.
Zucchini. This is another item that is plentiful in your box this week. Instead of just throwing them in with other vegetables to be roasted or grilled, try something that really highlights the zucchini - here's a fun recipe for Zucchini Lasagna.
Summer Squash. You could do a raw squash salad by marinating shaved or julienned squash with lemon juice and olive oil. Serve with parmesan. You can toss in chopped arugula to give it a little balance and some toasted pine nuts for extra flavor. Check out the Squash and Basil Recipe below!
Basil. With basil, the possibilities are endless! For something simple, add to a tomato and mozzarella salad with olive oil and a splash of red wine (or balsamic) vinegar. You can put it on pizza, sandwiches, pasta, etc! Pesto is another choice – whiz in the food processor with olive oil, garlic, parmesan or pecorino cheese, toasted nuts, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Use your summer squash and basil in this delicious recipe of Chilled Summer Squash and Basil Soup.
Beets. Roast 'em, grill 'em, pickle 'em! Add to a salad or make a beet salad of their own. You know the basics, but did you know you can make Beet Cupcakes? And that they're delicious, too! Relish in the look on your children's faces when they realize those yummy cupcakes they just ate were made with beets!
Pearl Drop Onions. These are great for anything you'd use an onion for. They are delicious pickled and we love to eat them raw chopped up in salads. Feeling a bit more adventurous? Try caramelizing or glazing your pearl drop onions. Here's a recipe for Glazed Pearl Onions from our friend Martha Stewart.
Fennel. Throw this on the grill as part of your summer cookout spread! The licorice flavor mellows a bit when cooked, and it tastes great seared on cast iron with a simple marinade with lemon and olive oil. Throw it on a bed of cous cous or quinoa! Or use your beets for this Beet and Fennel Soup. I've beeen having great results over our epic independence day weekend making a cabbage, fennel, and fresh red onion slaw with shredded radishes, chopped parsley & basil, and a fresh citrus vinaigrette. I've been making the slices super thin on the mandolin so it all blends together seamlessly.
1 head of lettuce. You might have noticed that you are no longer receiving way more lettuce than you know what to do with! It's the time of year when we are starting to transition more to our summer crops. But don't worry, when the Fall rolls around, the lettuce will be back in abundance. Enjoy the summer crops for now! If you have some radicchio still rolling around in the fridge from last week, you can make thin ribbons of that to bulk up your 1 head of lettuce salad :)
Thanks for bearing with us during this relatively lean week when our spring crops have petered out and our heat-loving summer crops are taking tons of field space, energy, and attention but are not quite producing . . . Your support is truly appreciated. Hope you're enjoying all your veg!
Christy and Chris and the WBF CREW
with special thanks to Caroline who used to be just a CSA member's daughter and is now our amazing second year babysitter, office manager, and author (with a few additions from me) of this year's CSA emails. HIP HIP HURRAY for Caroline. What will we do when you go back to college!!!!??????
Happy Holiday Everybody!!! 4th of July week! The summer feeling has really set in. Remember how long and cold and snowy this past winter was? Well now it is 90 and sunny, so soak it in!!! Happy Fireworks and Happy Birthday USA!
Broccoli. Include this broccoli with some roasted vegetables or throw it into a stir fry. Last night I had success throwing a miniscule amount of broccoli into some rice pilaf that had about ten minutes left to simmer. I just coarsely chopped the pint full of florets and stirred it into the hot rice. Before serving, I added some lemon juice, chopped parsley, and crumbled feta. I served it on the same platter with some half moons of sauteed summer squash and it was quite beautiful and delicious, too.
Green Cabbage. This cabbage is perfect for some fresh cole slaw or delicious fish tacos. got any cilantro? try making this peanut-cilantro cole slaw. Or just do the classic. It's surprising how sweet fresh cabbage tastes. These are the type of cabbage most often used to make cabbage rolls, too. Blanch whole leaves and roll a stuffing into them (rice, mushrooms, and ground beef are common, but be creative!), then bake in a casserole dish with tomato sauce or some combo of wine and broth. Cabbage can certainly be stir fried. I suggest browsing the internet for some creative slaw alternatives to the traditional mayo, vinegar slaw.
1 zucchini (possibly a golden zucchini), 1 yellow squash. Vertical slices of zukes are quick to prepare and super easy to manage on the grill. Season the raw veg with salt & pepper and toss with a blend of high-heat veggie oil (like organic canola or sunflower) and olive oil (for flavor). Do note that veggies take longer than most things on the grill so maybe do them first. A little flourish of chopped parsley and a dash of balsamic and olive oil makes a nice room temp grilled veggie salad. Another idea for the zucchini is a recipe I learned during my farming travels in Italy: Zucchini and Basil Carbonara. We made this for the farm crew a few weeks ago and it was a huge hit! Zucchini and Basil always make a great pair.
1 slicing cucumber. great for your salad or just sliced thin and doused with a small amount of seasoned rice wine vinegar and a small pinch of salt, toss to coat, cover and stick in the fridge. When you come back you have a delightful mild pickle.
1 bunch of carrots. Looking for a use of your carrots besides a fun, crunchy snack or a topping to a salad? Try this awesome Honey-Glazed Carrot recipe!
1 head of radicchio. We like just chopping the radicchio thin to add to lettuce for a tasty salad mix. Radicchio may also be grilled: Cut the head into halves or quarters, leaving the core in place (to hold the leaves together). Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Find a cool spot on the grill and turn the radicchio as needed to wilt it. After grilling, drizzle generously with olive oil and flavorful red wine vinegar; add S & P and serve. the natural bitterness of radicchio is balanced by richness and acidity - like goat cheese and balsamic.
3 heads of lettuce: 2 "freckles" and 1 panisse. No this is not dirt on your lettuce - it is our "freckles" lettuce. The darker spots are just the natural markings of the lettuce. This variety is extra tasty so enjoy!! Panisse is the lime green oakleaf variety. tasty crunch in the core surrounded by gorgeous and tender outer leaves.
scallions. I think by now you all have gotten some good ideas of when and where to use your scallions (if not, consult previous emails!). For something new, try this delicious and simple Scallion Couscous. It makes a perfect side dish to any chicken, fish, or pork!
1 bunch of fresh onions "tropeana lunga" (aka torpedo onions). Fresh red onions that are kind of like a big fat red scallion. Great for mincing as a base to a roasted beet salad, guacamole, balsamic vinaigrette, pasta salad. anything. use like a red onion - they are just a little milder. The entire onion (tops, too) can be sliced in half vertically and marinated and grilled with your other grilled veggies.
2 bulbs of fennel. Great for a Fennel Slaw, Fennel Salad, or Fennel & Beet Soup (you could definitely use yogurt in place of the kefir in the soup recipe). I find the key to raw fennel is to slice it very, very thin. I normally cut it down the middle - making the cut perpendicular to the flatter part of the bulb. I cut out most of the core (kind of like in a cabbage). Then I use my awesome little adjustable Japanese mandoline to make paper thin slices, shaving it from the bottom up. I like to season them with salt & pepper to draw out some of the natural liquid. I like to combine the fennel with thinly shaved red onion (or our fresh red torpedo onions), toss with a citrus vinaigrette (or at least lemon juice and olive oil), and voila!
parsley. chop and add to anything - pasta, rice, sandwiches, salad, grilled veggies, etc.
Have Fun! and Keep up the Good Work of Eating in Season!!!!
Brocoli- include in roasting vegetables of stir fry
Hello Everyone! We hope you are all enjoying this warm summer weather. What a stretch of gorgeous beach, pool, lake, BBQ, sporting event spectating, patio dining, summer vacation weather. I may be the only one around wishing we could just get some rain!!! Our plants are thirsty but our farmers tans are coming along nicely!
A few announcements to share with you this week:
- First. Most Important: We will be CLOSED on Friday, July 4th. Jordan Brothers Seafood will also NOT be there. The only Jordan Brothers Seafood truck appearance at WBF this week is TODAY, Tuesday, July 1st, from 2pm to 6pm as usual!!!! We hope you have a safe and fun day celebrating on Friday and beyond!
- Also, No Yoga in the Barn on Saturday, July 5th. Our farmstand will be open as usual, 10am to 2pm. Normally we have Yoga in the Barn with Patty every Saturday 9am to 10:15am. Bring your mat, water, layers if needed, and $13. No reservation required, just wake up Saturday and decide if you feel like stretching, relaxing, and tuning in to Patty's super chill vibe. At 10:30 Yoga Patty transforms into Grandma Patty and plays with our son Graham for the remainder of the farmstand :)
- If you have perfectly clean egg cartons or pint or quart containers please bring them by the Farmstand. We can definitely reuse them! We are actually going out to - yikes - buy new egg cartons today - I feel a twinge of regret for overuse of packaging mixed with a twinge of pride that our hens are producing so many eggs!!!
- We are trying some new things with our flowers this year. I vowed to "cut back" on flowers this year (he he), but I have a lifelong love of flowers and could not resist seeding them in the greenhouse this spring and then all the perennials I've planted over the years produce no matter what - thus the fantastic peony bonanza earlier this season. Anyway, apologies to those of you who have come to depend on our bouquets for the inconsistent supply so far. The annuals are beginning to come in and I'm trying to weave our flowers into the fabric of the farm routine (rather than treating them as my personal pet project to constantly move to the backburner)
- Our new flower regime is this: The regular bouquets will continue to be $12 plus tax. We are also now offering smaller bouquets in old-fashioned mason jars, which will be $8 plus tax, with a $2 refundable* deposit on the jar if you would like to take that too. The third option is tiny little bouquets in jelly jars, which will be $4 plus tax, with a $1 refundable* deposit on the jar. We may occasionally offer cut flowers by the stem for you to arrange on your own and I'm attempting to plant a lot of our annuals near the farmstand so we can offer a pick-your-own option. Stay tuned! For now, Come on by and check out the jars! *We will refund your $2 deposit on old-fashioned quart mason jars and your $1 deposit on jelly jars. If you need a vase for your big bouquet just take it, people are always bringing us millions - you can return it or not. Jars, though, are a hot commodity in my glass-jar/wooden-box-obsessed-mind.
- VEGGIES! Need some vegetables to add to your 4th of July cookout? You know where to find us! We have been very busy picking, washing and packing all sorts of delicious fresh food. Some seasonal specialties that would be super sides for the weekend:
- Fennel. Great for a Fennel Slaw, Fennel Salad, or Fennel & Beet Soup (you could definitely use yogurt in place of the kefir). I find the key to raw fennel is to slice it very, very thin. I normally cut it down the middle - making the cut perpendicular to the flatter part of the bulb. I cut out most of the core (kind of like in a cabbage). Then I use my awesome little adjustable Japanese mandoline to make paper thin slices. I like to season them with salt & pepper to draw out some of the natural liquid. I do the same thing with red onion (or our fresh red torpedo onions), toss the onions and fennel together with a citrus vinaigrette, and voila!
- Cabbage. gorgeous little green cabbages. Cole Slaw - perennial BBQ fave. Cabbage is also KEY for fish tacos!
- Fresh Onions, Zucchini & Yellow Squash for the Grill (or whatever you want, obviously). I like to cut the onions in half vertically and grill them tops & all. Vertical slices of zukes are also quick to prepare and super easy to manage on the grill. Season the raw veg with salt & pepper and toss with a blend of high-heat veggie oil (like organic canola or sunflower) and olive oil (for flavor). Do note that veggies take longer than most things on the grill so maybe do them first. A little flourish of chopped parsley and a dash of balsamic and olive oil makes a nice room temp grilled veggie salad to have ready as you do quick stuff like burgers, dogs, steaks, fish, etc. afterwards.
- Lettuce. Not only do you need a shred for your burger, our lettuce is plain old delicious. My stepmom commented as she walked into the kitchen where I was chopping and washing lettuce that it smelled great. She said she thinks the aroma of lettuce is underrated. I do have to agree! It is definitely distinctive anyway. A refreshing green salad is the perfect foil to the richer and breadier items at the BBQ. Refer to one of my past blog entries about how to wash head lettuce.
- The edible-podded Snap Peas, & Snow Peas are perfect for kids to eat raw, to put in a slaw, or give some pop to your potato salad. For the first time this year we grew Shelling Peas - the sweet little guys you take out of the shell and steam ever so briefly, mix with a dot of butter and say, "Yum! I've never had these not out of a freezer bag or a can!"
- Beets - awesome for a Roasted Beet Salad. You can even do the roasting in a foil packet on the grill if the grill is going to be going for a while. If you must, beets will hold up quite nicely to steaming or boiling and those methods are much faster. A salad of quartered roasted beets, diced tropeana lunga fresh onions (the red torpedo onions), fresh herbs, a balsamic vinaigrette, and crumbled goat cheese or feta is sure to be a hit. Roasted beets are also great on a green salad. beets and avocado & beets and blue cheese are also winning combos. Save the good-looking tops to steam or sautee for a cooking green or zoom up in a health-nut smoothie. Ladies LOVE Beets! yes, it is a generalization, but it might be biological . . .
Hello everyone! Happy official summer to you all. We have some great items in the box this week for you!
This week herbs are in abundance. It would be a great week to try some different methods of herb preservation. Herbs do well with their stems in clean water, like in a jar on the counter or in a jar with a plastic bag over the tops in the fridge for extra long life. There must not be any leaves in the water so either strip the stems or don’t fill the water too high or some combo. Just as with cut flowers, their longevity depends on perfectly clean water. If possible place the jars in a cool place out of sunlight. These herbs also store very well in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. If you know you won’t be able to use all this herbage fresh you have several options: drying, pesto, compound butter, flavored vinegar, etc. There are lots and lots of possibilities. You could make an herb dip or mayo or salad dressing. You can tear fresh herb leaves into your salad mix if you want a little burst of flavor. To dry herbs, hang the bunch upside down in a cool place out of direct sun. you can hook them onto a nail or rig up a piece of string to hang them on. You can make pestos in a blender of food processor. You’ll have an easier time if you coarsely chop the ingredients before they go in (particularly with a blender). The garlic scapes would be an excellent combo with parsley pesto. You can freeze your product in ice cube trays and then store in a freezer bag (dated and labeled, of course) to use at will for the rest of the season – when you want to add flavor to a winter soup, or to a potato salad two weeks from now. Compound butters are fabulous, let your imagination be your guide. Roughly chop your herbs/ingredients of choice and put in a food processor with room temperature butter (quantity depends on how much stuff you’re using and what ratio you like). Blend well, scraping around the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl before the final blend. Turn out onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper and form into a log. Put in the freezer. Move to a dated, labeled freezer bag and now you have a flavor vehicle on hand. Slice off a few rounds of your herb butter to add to mashed potatoes, fish to roast, tuck under the skin of a roast chicken, roll hot corn-on-the-cob in it. Thaw to room temp to serve on fresh biscuits or Iggy’s French rolls. Let your imaginations go wild – and then tell me about your ideas!!!
Parsley. A touch of parsley can add such brightness to most any dish. There are lots of nutrients in this supergreen leaf. I like to give the parsley treatment to all sorts of things: Creamy Polenta, Risotto, Soups, Bread Crumbs for Oven Baked Chicken, Salad Dressings, Marinades, Egg Scrambles, Salsa, Mayo, Sandwiches, you name it. It is important not to overpower your family/dinner guests with the entire bunch of parsley on one dish. It does have a strong flavor, which not everyone loves like me. Parsley is the counterbalance to garlic in terms of breath freshening. A small bunch in a batch of pesto gives a nice balance to the fresh garlic.
Dill. You can cook dill with seafood, use it in pasta or potato salads, or make tasty dips with! Or use some cucumbers to try this recipe for Fresh Pickles.
Cilantro. This herb is fabulous and versatile. It can really pull together a tray of nachos or some bean and cheese burritos. But cilantro is also the perfect finish for Thai curries or fish tacos. I find white onions, finely diced with chopped cilantro, salt, and a squeeze of lime is a wonderful addition to any sort of taco, burrito, or even as a condiment with grilled fish or meat. Fresh chopped cilantro is also the secret to stepping up a jar of salsa to enjoy with tortilla chips. You could also use a food processor and lots of this parsley to make a great Indian-style green chutney.
Swiss Chard. Steam or sautee with garlic and olive oil. I usually tear the leaves from the stem, as the stems can be stringy with the large chard leaves. If you want to use the stems, just dice them and add with the garlic, before adding the greens. Chard is nice for making a simple pasta (chard and ricotta or chard, feta, toasted walnuts) or for adding to a grain salad (maybe with some pine nuts and golden raisins). Great for adding to a soup or an egg scramble.
3 Heads of Lettuce (Red Romaine, Green Butterhead, and Green Leaf)
Escarole. This is the head of green lettuce-looking stuff. Escarole is a bitter green that can be eaten raw torn into a salad, but is more often cooked or added to soups. My favorite preparation is Escarole & White Beans. I cook the coarsely chopped greens with olive oil and garlic, add a can of cannelloni beans with the juice, add enough stock for the desired thickness of the soup, and simmer until the flavors meld a little bit. You could certainly include sausage or little meatballs (for an Italian Wedding Soup style). Or try this Lentil Soup with sausage and escarole!
Beets. Beets store best with the tops off. Beets will keep for quite a while, topless, in a plastic bag in the fridge. Most people are used to boiling or steaming beets. If you boil – I suggest doing them whole, removing when fork tender, and peeling afterwards with a fork and knife. Steaming is a way to cook them pretty fast, particularly if you slice them into thin rounds first. The best flavor comes from roasting the beets. Scrub the beets, put them on a cookie sheet in a foil packet, drizzling a little bit of olive oil and tossing in a pinch of salt before sealing tightly. Bake at 400 or so for about an hour. When done, I remove from the oven, but leave in the foil. I think it tends to steam and make the peel easier to remove. I like to do that when they’ve cooled, but you can do it while they are hot if you use a fork and knife. At this point, you can serve the roasted beets as a side or keep on hand for adding to salads or you can make a roasted beet salad – diced roasted beets with minced red onion, parsley, and blue cheese with shallot-balsamic vinaigrette is excellent. Goat cheese is always a popular topping for some roasted beets. And you can even use the beet greens for some tasty dishes too, like this one!
Pearl Drop Onions. These will keep freshest in the fridge (treat them almost as a scallion). Good-looking green tops can be used like scallion greens. The bulb is a nice sweet onion. Perfect for a quick pickle, dicing to put on a hot dog, halving to put on a skewer to grill, as a base to tuna salad, or anywhere you would normally want to have an onion.
qt. Snow peas
1 slicing cucumber
1 Kohlrabi. The easiest preparation is to peel the outer skin and slice it into veggie sticks for snacking with a creamy dressing. Sprinkling with lemon juice and salt also makes a great, quick snack! Grate it into a fresh slaw or roast cubes of it. I think it would be good cut into matchsticks for a stir-fry with your bok choy as well. I looked up some recipes and found that kohlrabi is popular for Indian curries. A lot of the recipes include the kohlrabi greens, too! Here is one recipe I found. I haven't tried this one yet, so if you do, let me know how it is!
Happy 4th Share! We have some great items for you this week.
Carrots. We’ll start with a favorite! And one that I am pretty confident most of you are familiar with. These are some of our first carrots of the season. They are great for snacking or for grating into a salad. Or you can throw them in with some other veggies and roast them all together.
Arugula. Chopped arugula is really good in a sandwich. Lots of flavor and vibrancy to add to tuna salad or turkey or veggie wrap (I recommend sprouts, shredded carrot, arugula, cheese or cream cheese, and a little salad dressing). It also works well in grilled sandwiches and as a topping for pizza (after it comes out of the oven). A classic is to make a basic margherita pizza - tomato, mozzarella, basil and then as soon as it comes out of the oven be armed with thinly sliced prosciutto and clean, dry arugula leaves (you may want to chop the leaves in your share so they aren't too big). Place one layer of prosciutto and one scattered layer of arugula. I've had this combination at a few restaurants with a balsamic glaze drizzled over it and it is delicious!
Swiss Chard. Steam it up like spinach and serve with some butter and cider vinegar. or make it part of a main dish such as a frittata. A nice simple pasta can be thrown together with caramelized onions, toasted walnuts (add just before serving for extra crunch), feta, and chard (maybe wilted in with the onions).
Snow peas. Just like carrots, snow peas are another fun veggie to eat raw for a snack. Or you can also slice them and add to a salad or a stir fry. I recommend snapping off the ends in order to peel off the tough string that runs down the side. You can also use these snow peas in the Crunchy Napa Cabbage Slaw recipe linked below.
Napa Cabbage. Napa is much more tender and sweet than other cabbages. If you are making a slaw with it, a much lighter dressing can be used than with your usual green cabbage. I like sliced Napa in a wrap sandwich (particularly with buffalo chicken, parsley, chunks of blue cheese, and shredded carrot). It's also mild enough to add to a regular green salad. Try this great recipe for Crunchy Napa Cabbage Slaw and use your snow peas, too!
Scallions. These are so tender and sweet you can use them right up to the tip of the leaves. I usually just peel off any dirty outer layer from the base of the white "bulb" at the bottom and they're ready to use. Looking for some ideas of where to use your scallions? How about sprinkled over a soup for some added color and flavor? You can also add them to any salad, sandwich or stir-fry. Feeling adventurous? Try this recipe for Scallion Pancakes
Dill. You can cook dill with seafood, use it in pasta or potato salads, or make tasty dips with. As the days are finally starting to heat up, you might be looking for some cool, refreshing recipes. Try this simple recipe for Dilly Cucumber Salad. If you want to have an option to use dill once it is out of season, make a compound butter. Compound butter just means butter that has been food processed with something to flavor it – dill, for example. You could throw in some lemon zest for extra zing if you feel inspired. Plop it out onto a piece of parchment paper and form a log out of it, roll it up, twist up the ends like a salami and stick it in the freezer. Now anytime you want to make dill mashed potatoes or salmon with dill, just cut off a slice and add it to your dish. This is a method you can use for all sorts of herbs, hot peppers, garlic, etc.
Garlic Scapes. those green, pungent curly cues. Kind of like a twisty, spicy, garlic-flavored chive. You can chop them up as a substitute for garlic. There were many ideas in the email last week but if you are looking for more, try making your own Ranch Dressing! This recipe incorporates your dill, too!
Bok Choy. Bok Choy is a great way to add some extra nutrition to your soup, salad, or stir fry!
4 Heads of Lettuce. Salad Extravaganza!
We hope you are enjoying your weekly mystery box! We have tons to do at the farm to try to care for all of the things we have planted, stay on top of harvesting things at their peak freshness, and keep planting!
We are tired and busy, but truly happy to have the life we do. Our son, Graham, is growing up in a wonderful place, with tons of family around and the most marvelous babysitter you could dream of, Caroline. She even put together this email, based on archived CSA emails past. She is truly a wonder!
The longest day of the year is coming right up and then SUMMER is official!
Another mystery box of marvels from the farm!
If you didn't notice, we have devised a new sign-in scheme. You each have a clothespin w your name on it hanging on a line right next to the display share. I wanted to let you all know in advance, but did not have a chance. Many of you spotted the pins and threw it in the basket, just as intended. You will never have to try to sign in on a wet whiteboard or a soggy piece of paper again. I will know exactly who did not pick up by one look at the remaining pins.
Sugarsnap Peas. These peas are a fun and yummy snack for kids (or you!) to eat raw. They make a perfect pairing with your favorite hummus. Somehow, they taste even better sauteed in a pan with a little butter until they are bright green. I always snap their stem end and unzip the string, for raw or cooked. These peas are great to add to a pasta salad or potato salad - maybe cut in thirds or halves.
Garlic Scapes. those green, pungent curly cues. Kind of like a twisty, spicy, garlic-flavored chive. You can chop them up as a substitute for garlic. Mince them into mashed potatoes or if you want to be deluxe: heat the half n half and butter to be added to your potatoes separately, first, along with the minced scapes – the flavor will infuse throughout. Mash that with your cooked potatoes – adjusting for salt and pepper, of course. The tips of the scapes can also be featured on their own – just sautéed in olive oil or butter. You can make a pesto with them. You can make a butter – just food process with room temperature butter. This can be spread on bread, stuffed under the skin of a chicken for roasting, slathered on fish to be grilled. Butters like this can be frozen if you want to have garlic scape flavor available all summer. Or use them for the Kohlrabi patties recipe beow!
Kohlrabi. The easiest preparation is to peel the outer skin and slice it into veggie sticks for snacking with a creamy dressing. It can also be grated for a fresh slaw. I enjoy roasted cubes or rounds of kohlrabi – it doesn’t take long to cook through – it’s much more tender than a potato or a turnip. My most sublime experience with kohlrabi was when I had it roasted as part of a medley. My general rule for roasting is: preheat the oven to 400 or 425. Chop the veggies (medium cubes or vaguely uniform sized rounds). Put right onto the cookie sheet you will bake on. add salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. toss with your hands. put in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Use a flat metal spatula to flip once, another 10-15 or until fork tender. This goes for all sorts of things to come in your share: turnips, beets, carrots, rutabaga, squash, and potatoes. Or try this fun recipe for Kohlrabi patties and use your peas and garlic scapes, too!
Beets. Beets store best with the tops off. Beets will keep for quite a while, topless, in a plastic bag in the fridge. Most people are used to boiling or steaming beets. If you boil – I suggest doing them whole, removing when fork tender, and peeling afterwards with a fork and knife. Steaming is a way to cook them pretty fast, particularly if you slice them into thin rounds first. The best flavor comes from roasting the beets. Scrub the beets, put them on a cookie sheet in a foil packet, drizzling a little bit of olive oil and tossing in a pinch of salt before sealing tightly. Bake at 400 or so for about an hour. Larger beets take longer, smaller beets shorter – just test for fork tenderness. When done, I remove from the oven, but leave in the foil. I think it tends to steam and make the peel easier to remove. I like to do that when they’ve cooled, but you can do it while they are hot if you use a fork and knife. Careful! Beet juice is a natural dye. At this point, you can serve the roasted beets as a side or keep on hand for adding to salads or you can make a roasted beet salad – diced roasted beets with minced red onion, parsley, and blue cheese with shallot-balsamic vinaigrette is excellent. Be creative!
Kale. This would be a perfect quality of kale to try a kale salad - usually marinated with some sort of acid - vinegar or lemon juice to tenderize the leaves and then tossed with other delicious things. Have you tried kale chips yet? This fun and healthy recipe is a perfect snack! Tear leaves into 2-inch pieces and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of coarse salt. Spread on rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 300 degrees for 30-35 minutes, stirring half way through. And voila! You have a perfect healthy snack that you might even get the kids to eat!
Scallions. Green onions. With fresh scallions you can pretty much use the greens right up to the tops. I love to have them with eggs.. I'll use the white part to cook in a little butter before adding some eggs whipped with a little half and half and shredded cheddar. I add the greens just as the eggs set up and nothing tastes better on multi-grain toast. We chop scallions on salads, put them in a veggie sandwich. You can grill marinated scallions briefly to bring out their sweetness. They are lovely in a potato salad or pasta salad. Anywhere you want some crunch and flavor. They are mild enough to chop into a green salad. They are great for making tuna, egg, or chicken salad. Great in Mexican dishes – to top nachos, add to a burrito or taco, or just to add to rice.
Escarole. This is the head of green lettuce-looking stuff. Escarole is a bitter green that can be eaten raw torn into a salad, but is more often cooked or added to soups. My favorite preparation is Escarole & White Beans. I cook the coarsely chopped greens with olive oil and garlic, add a can of cannelloni beans with the juice, add enough stock for the desired thickness of the soup, and simmer until the flavors meld a little bit. You could certainly include sausage or little meatballs (for an Italian Wedding Soup style). Or try this delicious Escarole Salad recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart!
Frisee. This is a bitter salad green that you may find familiar from wintertime mesclun mixes or salads at fancy restaurants. One lovely thing about bitter greens is that they pair so nicely with some tasty fat and something acidic. Feel free to just cut off the bottom, wash the leaves, and throw into any salad you wish. If you're looking for something besides a salad, this Fusilli Carbonara recipe will be perfect for incorporating your frisee.
3 Heads of Lettuce
Hi everyone!!! Thanks for the nice feedback and the excellent attendance and/or communication if you were late or couldn't pick up until today. Here's this week's rundown . . .
Purple Kohlrabi. We’ll start with the most mysterious: Kohlrabi. The bunch of three small purple-skinned veggies that look like they just arrived from outer space. Kohlrabi is in the broccoli, cabbage, kale family and it is technically a fat stem, although it looks a little like a root. Indeed, it can be treated a lot like a root. It is good raw or cooked. The easiest preparation is to peel the outer skin and slice it into veggie sticks for snacking with a creamy dressing. (Hot tip: slice the bottom of the bulb off so it has a flat surface to sit on the cutting board – then use a knife to slice off the peel from the top down.) It can also be grated for a fresh slaw. I enjoy roasted cubes or rounds of kohlrabi – it doesn’t take long to cook through – it’s much more tender than a potato or a turnip. I looked up some recipes and found that kohlrabi is popular for Indian curries. I think it would be good cut into matchsticks for a stir-fry with your bok choy as well.
Scallions. These are so tender and sweet you can use them right up to the tip of the leaves. I usually just peel off any dirty outer layer from the base of the white "bulb" at the bottom and they're ready to use . . . I love them in a salad, slaw, or tuna salad. They transform an egg and cheese scramble into something perfect to throw into a tortilla with a spoonful of salsa and sour cream. Love 'em. They will be getting larger every time you see them :)
Radishes. Add thinly sliced or grated radishes to your lettuce for a simple, lovely salad. or try this neat Radish Butter served on a slice of good French bread.
Three Heads of Lettuce: Australe red butterhead, Green Romaine, and Bergam's Green Greenleaf. My method for making heads of lettuce manageable is to wash them all at once. We fill the sink, a large bowl, or the bowl of the salad spinner with cold water. I cut the base of each head of lettuce off to release the leaves. Holding the head together, I run some cool water over the base of the leaves and rub off any obvious clods of dirt (not into the bowl - just down the drain). Then I plunge all of the leaves under the water and swish around a bit. I let the dirt settle to the bottom and lift the leaves out into a colander or the drain part of the salad spinner. Spin, inspect, dump excess water from the bottom of the spinner and rearrange the leaves and spin again if it looks really wet still. Tear leaves into a salad bowl for an immediate salad if you want. Or put the whole washed leaves loosely packed into a plastic bag, placing a paper towel inside the bag to catch any excess water if you see any water pooling. loosely turn over the top of the plastic bag and store in the fridge. Now you have a wonderful prepared commodity awaiting rather than a bunch of work to do every time you want to use lettuce.
Frisee. You may have thought this was a head of lettuce, but it has a very curly serrated leaf. It was the head wrapped in the rubber band - the reason for that being that we attempt to blanch the centers for that primo butter yellow leaf color in the center. This is a curly endive and is not pronounced “frizzy” like my hair. It’s French: “Friz-zay” (it means frizzy in French). This is a bitter salad green that you may find familiar from wintertime mesclun mixes or salads at fancy restaurants. One lovely thing about bitter greens is that they pair so nicely with some tasty fat and something acidic. Feel free to just cut off the bottom, wash the leaves, and throw into any salad you wish. Martha Stewart is bubbling over with fantastic ideas for frisee: a simple salad w/ dijon vinaigrette, a meal of a salad w/ lardons and poached eggs, and a simple variation on pasta carbonara. Martha and her incredible staff have a wonderful "Seasonal Produce Recipe Guide" webpage that you should probably put on the bookmark bar or whatever it is you people w/ modern phones do. It's worth looking at for the pictures alone.
Bok Choy. Bok choy is great sautéed with garlic, a little oil, soy sauce, and chicken stock. You can either quarter it or slice it. I tend to add the stems first and greens second if I slice it cross-wise. In the past I've done a nice recipe with quartered bok choy in a pyrex baking dish, tossed with (green) garlic, zested ginger root that I keep in the freezer, olive oil, a dash of soy sauce, and slices of lemon on top. I placed salt and peppered white fish on top of the lemons, added a few pats of butter, covered with foil and baked at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Start a pot of rice at the beginning of the process and you’ll have a nice meal done in about 35 minutes. Bok choy is great for stir fry, too. We got this splendid email from a new CSA Member:
i have a recipe to share for the delicious baby bok choi - this recipe might be a mainstay in many folks' repertoires, but, if not . . . here it is; it's a crowd pleaser and every time i serve this, or take it to a pot luck, i alway receive requests for the rundown.
i pulled it off the internet a couple years ago and have modified some of the ingredients - creative cooks can substitute honey or agave for the sugar measurement, and i'm sure that there are other things that could be added with success (fruit, other nuts, cranberries, apple slices, maybe peaches, when in season).
Bok choi salad
• 1 large, or 2 small, bok choi, washed and chopped in bite size pieces – include bulb and leaf (rinse well after chopping)
• Three scallions, sliced in small rings – include bulb and green shoot
Combine choi and scallions in a large bowl
Tip: after prepping this nut/noodle topping, keep it in a bowl to one side for individual servings; over a few hours, the nuts/noodles will wilt from the moisture in the greens
• 1 cup sliced or chopped almonds
• 1 packet Ramen noodles - discard ‘flavor packet’- crunched in small pieces
• 1 tablespoon of butter (optional)
Spread nuts, crunched noodles (and butter() on a baking sheet and broil (or bake), for a few minutes, until lightly toasted and crunchy - KEEP AN EYE ON IT, toasting can quickly lead to burning (i speak from experience)
Tip: mix, shake, and store the dressing in a small lidded jam jar – for ease in traveling to a pot luck, or for re-use tomorrow
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of soy sauce (i use organic tamari - low sodium - less 'inky' and less salty than usual brands)
serve salad in a big bowl with nut/noodle mix and dressing on the side, unless you expect a greens-appreciative crowd (in which case you can drizzle the dressing on the salad mix and add the topping just before serving).
Swiss Chard. Steam or sautee with garlic and olive oil. I usually tear the leaves from the stem, as the stems can be stringy with the large chard leaves. If you want to use the stems, just dice them and add with the garlic, before adding the greens. Chard is nice for making a simple pasta (chard and ricotta or chard, feta, toasted walnuts) or for adding to a grain salad (maybe with some pine nuts and golden raisins). Great for adding to a soup or an egg scramble or frittata.
one herb plant: either a 3-pack of parsley or basil, or a 4" pot of thyme, or a mini 6-pack of scallions. If you missed this, come by the farmstand and ask and we will help you find it. The options were: 3pack of basil or parsley, mini6pack of scallions, or 4" pot of thyme (chives are also available)
Thanks and see you next week!!!
Christy, Chris, and the WBF Crew