Honey is here! Roger from Franklin Honey just delivered two cases of 1 lb jars of honey. $8.50. Just in time if allergies have been getting you. or if you love toast with butter and honey. or if you put honey in your tea. or if you just love honey!
We will be Open July 4th 10am to 12pm (NOT 2pm as previously advertised). I got carried away and almost forgot that we need to celebrate our country's Birthday!
There will be plenty of cabbage so offer to bring the cole slaw to the BBQ!
We will be digging new potatoes so you can make potato salad, too. There are zucchinis and fresh onions to grill. And lots of lettuce for green salads. There are scallions, carrots, salad turnips and maybe even cucumbers to put on top. There are beets to be roasted for a beet salad. And plenty of sugarsnap and snow peas for snacking. Flowers are abundant and maple syrup and fresh honey are in!
Friday we will be right back to our usual tricks . . . Fish Friday, lots of fresh produce. Saturday morning is Yoga with Patty in the Barn 9am to 10:15am.
We look forward to seeing you!!!!!
Baby Fennel, Fresh Onions, Napa, Lettuce, Scallions, Kohlrabi, Carrots, Zucchini, Fresh Flowers and more!
Friday Farmstand is Open! 2pm to 7pm. Jordan Brothers Seafood is here.
The farm is in full swing and we are excited for you all to try out our new driveway since it has rained. There is a great bounty of produce so take a moment to stop by and pick out something that will make your family wonder how you made such a delicious meal!!! Good ingredients make simple food taste spectacular.
If you are uncertain of what to do with some of this bounty (top example: kohlrabi) we have a very useful cookbook for sale at the farmstand. From Asparagus to Zucchini was put together by a consortium of CSAs in Madison, Wisconsin. It is arranged alphabetically by vegetable and gives a brief overview of each veg and then a couple pages of easy, yummy recipes. It's $19.95 at the farmstand.
We just got in a batch of Maple Syrup from Liberty Farm in Poultney, Vermont. Our wonderful friends, James and Sarah Elworthy have an organic dairy farm and a sugarbush (the technical term from the stand of sugar maples you harvest sap from). Pints are $10 and the larger jugs are $22. Treat those kids to some Saturday or Sunday morning pancakes and waffles with real maple syrup. That reminds me - Wild blueberries are ripening! I found ripe lowbush and highbush blueberries yesterday and they were super delicious. Find 'em before the birds do! (or visit Cook's Valley Farm in West Wrentham - Nate says strawberries are fading but raspberries are on and blueberries are starting).
Happy Fourth of July! The 4th falls on a Thursday this year. We think it's silly to have our regular farmstand hours (2pm to 7pm) so we will be open in the morning: 10am to 2pm on Thursday, July 4th.
My extremely talented stepmom, Elizabeth Gibbs, made beautiful cards from paintings she did based on our vegetables. She designed a little barn stamp and printed a recipe on the back of each veggie card. We finally were able to print them and get them packaged in farmstand safe little plastic envelopes. They are $2.50 each. I'm starting to realize that you could put together a pretty nice gift package from our farmstand: syrup, coffee, cookbook, flowers, card, and maybe even some fresh veggies!
Share Number Five!!!
Beets. I found a recipe for a soup with beets and fennel. It calls for kefir but you could certainly use yogurt. I love to just roast beets and slice them onto a salad with goat cheese and serve with a balsamic vinaigrette, but for more ideas go to our recipe page on the website and put beets into the "search recipes" box.
Scallions. I have been adding these to green salads, cole slaws, warm potato salads, everything!
Fresh Onions. 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.
Gnome Cabbage. Pointy headed green cabbage. The first choice for this weather/season is a cole slaw. The snow peas, fresh onions, scallions, and fennel could even join the party! If you want a hot side dish give this yummy cabbage with butter a try.
Two bulbs of Baby Fennel. The white bulbs with the feathery tall tops. The bulb is crunchy and refreshing and can be sliced thin for a salad, fennel slaw, or to be used for cooking (think of it as a celery substitute). The fronds are most likely going to end up in the compost, but they can be used to make stock - particularly seafood stock (if you have some shrimp or lobster shells or fish bones) for a wonderful seafood stew or risotto. They could also be an aromatic bed of herbs for cooking fish on top of - in parchment or in a baking dish covered with foil. You can make an herb dip with a sour cream or yogurt base. You could make a compound butter (whiz the herb in the food processor with butter), then roll it in a log and freeze it - you can slice off rounds to use whenever you want to cook with it.
Quart of Snow Peas. Chris was able to sell these to my picky eater niece and nephew and their cousins this weekend as "farm candy" They literally ate it up!! Snow peas are a delicious snack. They are also lovely sauteed. I enjoy the crunch that slivered snow peas add to a salad. I made a salad the other day with thinly sliced kohlrabi, napa cabbage, snow peas, lettuce, shredded carrot, and chopped mint. extra crunchy!
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, toated walnuts (add just before serving for extra crunch), feta, and chard (maybe wilted in with the onions).
2 Heads Green Lettuce. salad! Don't be afraid to try wrapping your meal with lettuce leaves. Chicken salad. avocado, cilantro, and bean salad. grilled chicken in peanut sauce.
1 Head of Radicchio. This is a bitter "green" and makes a wonderful foil for rich cheeses. There are some nice recipes I just added to the website that explain how to grill or roast radicchio. The simplest thing to do, however, is just cut it in half, cut out the core and slice it in ribbons to add to your salad. We enjoyed a roasted beet salad with goat cheese over a mixed bowl of frisee, radicchio, and one little red butterhead lettuce.
Zucchini. Most people are familiar with our friend the zucchini and at this time of year a fresh zucchini is still a welcome sight! We've been loving cutting them lengthwise and drizzling with olive oil and sprinkling with salt and pepper to put on the grill. I like to grill them before the other stuff so you are not tempted to undercook them as space becomes scarce or everything else cooks faster. A little bit of attention to getting the perfect tenderness on grilled zucchini makes a big difference. Martha Stewart's Seasonal Produce Guide (my new favorite website) features a quick and easy Salmon and Zucchini cooked in parchment. You could easily use your fennel fronds instead of dill for the fresh herb.
There was also a choice of either kohlrabi or hakurei turnips. Check out the last few weeks' suggestions for those.
Happy Summer Solstice Everyone! It is a beautiful longest day of the year, blue sky and sun with the full moon approaching. Thanks to our wonderful babysitter, Caroline, I've really had some time to commune with the plants in the fields for the past few days. The amazing array of insects has made me feel so good about not using any pesticides. The ladybugs are mating like crazy and I've been seeing lots of their eggs and larvae on black aphid infested lambs quarter (the aphids incidentally being farmed by ants). I found a new (to me) predator of the Colorado Potato Beetle larvae. Fat, healthy swallowtail butterfly caterpillars are munching on some dill. Dragonflies abound. We did have one very disappointing incident of finding leaf miner pupae throughout our trays of beets to be transplanted out. We had to make the difficult decision to throw out the entire planting. Planting all those pupa in the soil would perpetuate our leaf miner problem in the future. So be prepared for a blip in the beet supply. On a whole, however, things are really looking good. As much of a bummer the rain last week was, our sandy soil sure does thrive on it. The first planting of zucchini is really strong. We have sugarsnap and snow peas for the first time in several years (previous crop losses were due to geese). Lettuce is plentiful. Cabbages are in. We are still harvesting broccoli side shoots. We are already picking some cucumbers from our High Tunnel planting and green tomatoes are developing in there too. There are crunchy radishes, salad turnips, and carrots; yummy kale, swiss chard, and escarole; scallions, parsley, kohlrabi, beets, and more.
We're getting a real driveway! Kenny Blanchard is helping us bring some sand from a lower part of our field and digging out the muck that has been impeding farmstand traffic during the excessive rain this month. The farmstand will be OPEN during this project. The excavation will be happening before we open for the day or when we are closed. There will be a place for you to enter and exit and to park in the meantime. so come on down!
Don't forget our Wednesday morning hours - we are opening at 10am and stay open til 7pm as usual
Summer hours reminder:
Tuesday through Friday 2pm* to 7pm
*Wednesdays we open at 10am
Saturdays 10am to 2pm
Jordan Brothers Seafood Truck will be at the stand Tuesdays 2pm to 6pm and Fridays 2pm to 7pm
Iggy's Bread is always available at the stand. It is the perfect bread to slice on the bias, grill and rub with fresh garlic, drizzle with good olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Grill some seafood and veggies, throw together a salad and you have a magical feast! For those without a grill - you can also just toast the bread - it just needs to be a little crusty so it acts like a little grater for the garlic clove.
Sheldonville Roaster Coffee Beans are stocked.
Puddingstone Organic Eggs are available (and so are eggs from our small flock, while they last).
Franklin Honey has us at the top of their list of customers when they extract honey next. (i think soon!)
We depend on you all. Tell a friend! Make a habit of swinging in for your daily bread and salad fixings.
Thank you so much for your support! Take Care and Enjoy these gorgeous days!
Christy, Chris, and Baby Graham
Howdy Everybody! Can't believe it's already week four!!! This week's share contains:
2 kohlrabi. peel and snack. or shred for a quick slaw. or roast or grill.
Carrots. the first little cuties. scrub and snack. or cook (sautee or roast). or grate into a salad. Enjoy!
Green Cabbage. got any cilantro left? 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. I've had delicious Asian style slaws or ones with dried cranberries and nuts. You can also cook this cabbage down with onions for a lovely accompaniment to sausages or pork. How about cabbage curry? What about fish tacos? I always recommend making fish tacos when cabbage is around. Just grill or roast some white fish, thinly slice and chop the cabbage, seasoning with a pinch of salt and pinch of sugar to break it down a little while you prepare everything else. Make the special magical sauce - sometimes we do sour cream (maybe a little mayo? a squirt of kechup?), lime, hot sauce. We must liberate the recipe from Acapulco's in Franklin, which is a delicious white sauce I have not been able to replicate exactly. Meanwhile, fine dice some white onion and toss with chopped cilantro, a pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lime juice. Use flour or corn tortillas -warmed on the grill or in the oven - to wrap up the fish, cabbage, onion & cilantro, and magical sauce. Serve with some rice (perhaps jazzed up with some butter, cilantro and scallions) and voila! ole! yee haw!
Red Scallions. A red version! The bottoms would be great to chop into a salad, a pasta salad, grain salad, bean salad, etc. The tops are just like green scallion tops. great on a salad, in an egg scramble, enhancing mac & cheese or grilled cheese, etc.
2 heads of lettuce. This variety is called Magenta. I find it so crisp and crunchy and have been thoroughly enjoying the salads we've been making with it.
1 bunch of Hakurei Turnips. My favorite preparation for these is just sliced very thin on a crunchy green salad.
1 head of Broccoli. These are ready to go. I'd try to work this into dinner in the next night or two. Pasta salad is nice with broccoli. How about some sesame style noodles with broccoli served cold for lunch. Kids have been giving positive reviews of the fresh broccoli flavor - plain old steamed will do the trick there. Butter or mayo for toppings only if demanded (yes. mayo. my friend Martha taught me that in elementary school). Lemon and Broccoli are certainly complementary in a pasta dish, particularly with a white wine sauce including butter and finished with parmesan.
1 head of escarole. Our friend, Martha Stewart, has no fewer than 20 escarole recipes on her seasonal produce guide.
Parsley. A touch of parsley can add such brightness to most any dish. There are lots of nutrients in this supergreen leaf. This is so good for you, you should just chop it fine and keep it in a little dish in the fridge. 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. One of my favorite things as a kid was boiled potatoes with butter and parsley - good olive oil would be a fine substitute for the butter.
Pint of Sugarsnap Peas. These peas are a fun and yummy snack for kids to eat raw. 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.
1 bunch of bok choy. We've been enjoying bok choy sauteed in peanut oil with fresh chopped garlic and ginger. We finish it with a little hoisin sauce and soy and voila.
this one was a whopper. the wash station crew was claiming it was tough to close some of the boxes.
this week there was:
Kohlrabi. We’ll start with the most mysterious: 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 and broccoli, as well .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.
Broccoli. Big luscious heads of broccoli. Time to do a broccoli centric dish. My standby is Tofu and Broccoli with peanut sauce from one of the Moosewood cookbooks. Grilled broccoli is lovely – I like to toss the florets with garlic, olive oil, and soy sauce before putting them in a grill basket over not too intense of a flame (unless you like Cajun style). Broccoli Quiche. Broccoli soup. Roasted Broccoli. Chicken and broccoli with pasta and lemon white wine sauce or alfredo. For something different, check out this recipe for Broccoli Slaw. . Broccoli always jazzes up Mac & Cheese or could be an element in a fritatta or quiche.
bunch of Hakurei turnips. The little white globes, a Japanese salad turnip. They are certainly mild enough to eat raw and treat like a radish. I also recommend treating them as a starch, sliced and sauteed with butter, finished with salt and pepper. We had a great meal last week of grilled steaks (from our buddy James' farm) and turnips w/ butter, and turnip greens sauteed w/ olive oil and green garlic.
3 Heads of Lettuce
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!
bunch of Hakurei turnips. The little white globes, a Japanese salad turnip. They are certainly mild enough to eat raw and treat like a radish. I also recommend treating them as a starch. sliced and sauteed with butter, finished with salt and pepper. we had a great meal last week of grilled steaks (from our buddy James' Liberty Farm), turnips w/ butter, and turnip greens sauteed w/ olive oil and green garlic.
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.
Bright Lights Swiss Chard. a slight change-up in the cooking greens department, chard instead of kale this week. My favorite way to eat chard is to steam it and add a pat of butter while it's still hot, then a few drops of apple cider vinegar. It is also excellent sauteed with olive oil and garlic. A nice touch for a side dish is to add pine nuts, golden raisins, and just a touch of balsamic vinegar. A pasta i used to have at the farm I worked at in Oregon was: Caramelized Onions, Wilted Chard, Toasted Walnuts, and Feta. Slice the leaves thin and add it to an omelette, like spinach. Lots of recipes for spinach work with swiss chard. One note: When cooking you may want to either cut off the stems, chop and add them to start cooking early, or discard them (especially later in the season). I usually tear the leaves from the stem, as the stems can be stringy with the large chard leaves.
Frisee. The big frilly lettuce looking head. This is a chicory/endive so it is slightly more bitter than lettuce, but can be used the same way. I just chop it up, wash and spin and use as a salad base. Frisee pairs especially nice with something sweet or rich or both. Think cheese, nuts, roasted beets, poached pears. It also holds up really nicely to a warm dressing that can tame its bitterness just a tad. You could even try using it like escarole - in a soup with white beans. if you are a fan of bacon, try this salad I found on epicurious.com
WRENTHAM RESIDENTS/REGISTERED VOTERS PLEASE SUPPORT US AT TOWN MEETING JUNE 10TH
VOTE YES ON ADDING AN ACCESSORY USE TO AGRICULTURAL ZONING. (THIS IS COMPLETELY SEPARATE FROM THE RE-ZONING ON MADISON ST. THAT YOU SEE ALL THE LAWN SIGNS ABOUT)
"The mission of White Barn Farm is to preserve open space and this historic family property by growing food in a beautiful living landscape that will inspire feasting in celebration of natural beauty and our local economy. White Barn Farm aims to make Wrentham a funner and tastier place to live."
We dream of hosting a film series projected on the barn, musical performances, farm tours and dinners, and weddings in alignment with our mission of making Wrentham a funner and tastier place to live. When we approached the town to get the proper permits and whatnot to make these dreams happen, we found there was not really a definition for these sort of activities on a farm in a residential area (we are not zoned commercial - which is good for our mission of preserving open space).
Here is what the Draft Looks Like:
DRAFT Agricultural Accessory Uses BYLAW (4/10/13)
Amend Article 4.2 as follows:
H. ACCESSORY USES
9. Agricultural Accessory Uses
Add the following new definition in alphabetical order to Article 2 Definitions:
Agricultural Accessory Uses
Food service, programs and revenue-generating events, such as tours, dinners, weddings, and musical performances, which are appropriate in scale to the premises and any surrounding residential area, including the preparation and serving of food and beverages for such events. These accessory uses are to supplement the income from the agricultural use of land as exempted from regulations or restrictions in zoning bylaws as defined in Section 3, Chapter 40A of Massachusetts General Laws. Adequate off-street parking must be provided.
The listed accessory uses are only allowed on land whose primary use is agriculture, which is already defined by the state (rather than defining it redundantly within this accessory use amendment). That means your neighbor cannot open a movie theater in their back yard just by planting a row of radishes in their garden. The agricultural use must be the primary use and primary source of income. Our town zoning bylaw defines agricultural uses to include farms, nurseries, orchards, and the subsequent sales from those uses. (farmstands) The farms in town right now (as far as I know) include White Barn Farm, Cook's Valley Farm, The Big Apple, and a new operation in West Wrentham called New Heritage Farm.
The farmer must scale his accessory uses to be appropriate to the premises and the surrounding residential area and provide off-street parking for his patrons. He would need to obtain appropriate Board of Health permits and coordinate with the public safety officials to determine if a police detail is needed.
We would be so so grateful if you could talk about this upcoming vote with your friends and neighbors, distinguishing it from the Madison St. Re-Zoning vote. We would appreciate any sort of social media sharing you can offer, as well. This amendment is not just to make our crazy dreams a reality - it is to contribute to the financial viability of our farm, which we hope allows our farm to continue operating and, most importantly, will preserve this place as open space and a working farm. There is the added bonus that these activities will bring some cultural enrichment to the town.
Thank you for taking your valuable time to read about this. Please, please go to town meeting on Monday, June 10th and stand up for your farms! The meeting is scheduled to run from 7:30pm to 11pm at the King Philip High School.
It's June and White Barn Farm is open full time for the Summer.
Roadside Stand Hours:
Tuesday through Friday 2pm* to 7pm
*Wednesdays we open at 10am!!!
Saturday 10am to 2pm
The Jordan Brothers Seafood Truck is at the farmstand on Tuesdays, 2pm to 6pm, and Fridays, 2pm to 7pm
We always have:
- Iggy's Bread
- Sheldonville Roasters Coffee
- Puddingstone Organics eggs
- our own fresh-cut Flowers
- and our fresh produce, of course!!!
- Honey and Maple Syrup when available
TODAY IS OUR FIRST WEDNESDAY MORNING MARKET!! come on down!
Peonies and Baptisia are the stars of our fresh flower bouquets. They look great!
Thank you as always for your support!!!
White Barn Farm
Hi Again Everyone! Thanks for sitting through that terrible traffic to get your shares yesterday. What a frustration. As we were weeding in the flower field we heard a man screaming in his car. I would have thought he was in labor if men were capable of that sort of thing. Yikes! Anyway, thanks for all making it, bringing your boxes back, and generally being a great group! Don't forget Tuesday is a Jordan Brothers Seafood day - but they are only here until 6pm on Tuesdays (just found out). We always have Iggy's Bread, Sheldonville Roasters Coffee, Puddingstone Organics Eggs, and fresh flowers to finish off your table . . .
The Second Share consisted of:
Napa Cabbage. The football shaped white and light green cabbage is our fast-growing, early friend the Napa Cabbage. We find this cabbage very versatile. It is great sliced to add crunch to tacos (a la iceberg) or roll-up sandwiches. It is sublime in an Asian style coleslaw. It can also be included in a stir-fry. A simple preparation would be a fry of onions, carrots, celery, sweet pepper, mushrooms and broccoli. Throw in the thinly sliced Napa at the end. Barely cook – add a nice flavorful sauce – try whisking together honey, garlic, fresh citrus juice, chili sauce, soy sauce, a little balsamic vinegar, and some olive oil, perhaps a touch of toasted sesame oil at the end. Taste and adjust until you think it’s great. Either add this sauce to the stir fry (without adding so much the veggies get soggy) or serve at the table along with a pot of rice.
little bag of Arugula. it is a little spicy. I find it usually needs some balance. Try it chopped on a sandwich. finishing a simple pizza with mozzarella and thin slices of prosciutto melted on. We had leftover steak from the grill the other day and made a big platter with a good bed of arugula, gave it the salt and pepper treatment. sliced the steak and arranged it over the arugula, a little more S&P, then fresh squeezed lemon juice (I use a little mini strainer to catch the seeds as I drizzle on the juice) and finish with good extra virgin olive oil. the final flourish was parmigiano shaved with a peeler on top. The cold steak, oil, lemon juice, and cheese were an excellent balance to the spicy, tender greens.
Bok Choy. Hopefully you enjoyed this last week. It's 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. Last year I did a nice recipe with quartered bok choy in a pyrex baking dish, tossed with garlic, ginger, olive oil, a dash of soy sauce, and topped with slices of lemon. 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.
Broccoli. a wee bit o brocc. Along with the bok choy, and scapes, you have a nice base for a stir fry. or a pizza topping, omelet filling, etc.
Handful of Garlic Scapes: those green, pungent curly cues. Kind of like a twisty, spicy, garlic-flavored chive. These are the flower buds of the garlic plant. since farmers have to cut them off the plant to encourage energy to go to growing the bulb instead of flowering and maturing seeds, we have come up with wonderful uses for these cutie little garlic whistles, as I've also heard them called. 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.
3 Heads Baby Romaine: 2 Red and 1 Green
Cilantro. Yum. Fish tacos? White onion and cilantro with some lime juice. Cilantro is great with fish or curries or thai food. I recommend a cilantro butter for grilled fish. One of our favorite lunches is good old tuna sandwiches – with minced red onion, capers, cilantro, olive oil, a touch of mayo, and salt and pepper. A cheese quesadilla is heightened with a mincing of cilantro and red onion. A mango salsa or guacamole are other great options for our favorite love-it-or-hate-it herb.
Kale. Check out the Basic Cooking Greens method.
1 head 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. If you are going to make the frisee salad (below), I recommend using both the escarole and frisee together. Otherwise, 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). I recently heard of stuffed escarole rolls. I assume you quickly blanch or steam the whole leaves to make them pliable, then fill with a rice, cheese, and herb stuffing, then bake with a little sauce or stock. But to be sure I would look up a recipe.
1 head frisee. 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. If you want to make a feature dish, try this recipe from Alice Waters’ wonderful cookbook, The Art of Simple Food, (which I recommend owning as a CSA member):
POACHED EGG WITH CURLY ENDIVE SALAD
-Remove the dark green outer leaves from 2 large heads of curly endive (frisee) * you could also use escarole, spinach, or dandelion greens. Separate into individual leaves and wash and dry well.
-Cut into 1/3 inch pieces: 2 bacon slices
-Warm in a small heavy pan, over medium heat: 2 tablespoons olive oil
Add the bacon pieces and cook until brown and rendered, but not crisp. Remove from the pan. Pour off the fat from the pan and reserve.
-To make the dressing, mix together:
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed (you could use a 1 inch piece of your green garlic)
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons bacon fat (if you omit the bacon just add this amount of olive oil to make up for it)
taste for salt and acid and adjust as needed.
-Fill a heavy saucepan with 4 cups of water and add: 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Heat to just below a simmer and slide in: 4 eggs, cracked from their shells
Poach for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and keep warm. Put the vinaigrette into a large bowl (remove the crushed garlic clove), add the bacon, and put the bowl over the pan of hot water to warm. Add the greens and toss well. Divide the greens among 4 warm plates. Gently blot the eggs dry, and put 1 egg on top of each salad. Grind a little black pepper over the top and serve immediately.
(Feel free to make some rustic croutons and toss them while still hot with fine chopped garlic. Dress the croutons with a little vinaigrette and toss with the greens.)
Happy Wednesday, Tuesday Members! Thank you for all making it to the first CSA Pick up! Most of you are seasoned pros by now, but I do want to apologize and make excuses for being late in sending this, all the while regaling you with tales of the farm. I hate to say it, but let's be honest, it is difficult for me to get the Tuesday email out on time. Luckily, there are excellent websites with recipe ideas - try Martha Stewart and epicurious. Our website also has a really good recipe page on which you can search by ingredient (just make sure to jot down or photograph the white board list of what was in the share so you know what to search for). Also, we will soon have a cookbook called From Asparagus to Zucchini for sale at the farmstand which has really great ideas, organized alphabetically by vegetable, amassed by the CSA Coalition of Madison, Wisconsin.
Excuses, Excuses: It has been a wild experience trying to be new parents and pull off the farm this year. The cool spring and recent string of rain have thrown another monkey wrench into the mix. Basically, we are trying to get all of our frost sensitive crops out into the field. The string of rain held us up last week, as we were not able to prep the fields. We felt bad until there was a dangerous frost Saturday night - we were able to cover all of our plants still in their trays on our hardening off table. During the holiday Monday we managed to wrangle two wonderful farm crew to help me plant all of the peppers and eggplant - which you can watch grow this season in the field next to our farmstand. Tuesday we had our first CSA harvest, first Tuesday market, and were trying to get all of our tomatoes in the ground. We are using a biodegradable black plastic mulch for tomatoes which is put down by a fancy implement on the back of the tractor. It took much longer to work out the kinks of operating that machine than we were expecting and our precious time ticked down. Workers had places to be. Our overachieving farm crew members had to run off to award ceremonies or to take care of their newly purchased homes and our lovely babysitter Caroline goes home at four! It is absolutely wild trying to manage it all! Luckily, another amazing farm crew member, Karen, who was at the farmstand yesterday, just got home from Spain and hadn't had much Graham-time yet. I guiltily fed Graham then brought him over to play with her while she ran the farmstand. Amazing. He was asleep in the backpack when I returned an hour and a half later. During that time I was able to plant all 500 feet of cherry tomatoes riding solo on the back of the transplanter with the intrepid Dylan piloting down the plastic mulched beds, not tearing a shred. I finally came inside around 7pm and remembered I had not emailed our CSA members about their first share. Yikes! I forced myself to give it a go after supper and our website told me we had exceeded our mailing list member limit and I would have to upgrade before I could send another email. A sign from above to go to bed. Honestly, I was thankful. But I copied and pasted some descriptions of what to do with the veggies from past years, our website host had upgraded me for free by the morning, and here is the result.
Now. What was that stuff in the share?
2 Green Garlic. Use the white part just like garlic. This is the immature garlic plant. At this stage it is tender enough to dice up and use fresh. The big green tops could go in a stock pot. Or try making green garlic aioli
Bok Choy . Those little leafy vase shaped veggies. super great for stir-fries. excellent sauteed in olive oil with a touch of fresh garlic, ginger, soy sauce and stock. nice with white fish. There is a great recipe for glazed bok choy. It is a natural for a stir fry - I usually cut across the base to get little half moons of stem to throw in earlier and then more coarsely chop the greens to add later. Several folks have recommended a crunchy raw bok choy salad.
Red Russian Kale. This I like to prepare with generous olive oil in the large pan (I have a really useful cheapo nonstick wok w/ a fry pan handle from an Asian grocery store). Slices of garlic (don't worry about mincing). add salt immediately so the garlic doesn't get too brown. when it starts to smell great add the coarsely chopped kale. When it is bright green and tender, it is done. sop up all the extra oil with good bread. Note: when kale gets more mature the stems can get tough, in which case it is better to strip the leaves off the stems. you can always chop the stems small and start cooking them first. We think this week's primo first-picking kale is still tender.
Spinach. I like to use my standard greens treatment: olive oil and garlic. Hot tip: after the spinach turns bright green and softens, turn off the heat and tilt the pan, shoving all the spinach to the high and dry side. drain the watery stuff. unless you wanted that moisture for something you were adding it to . . It is great in a pasta, lasagna, or raw, chopped in a veggie sandwich, or melted into a grilled cheese or quesadilla, featured in an omelet (maybe with feta and red onion), or even topping a pizza (make sure to squeeze out excess liquid if you add cooked spinach – no soggy bottom pizzas!)
1 bunch of 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 some roasted fish. I find white onions, finely diced with 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.
Pea Tendrils. That wild bunch of tangly greens. This is the pea plant and you'll find it has the flavor of peas. We normally just harvest the tips and those very tender tendrils are good for salad or otherwise eating raw. This bunch you may find has a little tougher lower stems. For that reason I would probably use this bunch to make a pea tendril pesto. just coarsely chop the bunch and food process or blend with olive oil, salt, and finish with some parmesan and toasted nuts, if you like. This can be a spread for crackers, crostini, or a sandwich or a sauce for pasta (ricotta would be a good match for a creamy sauce) or, heck, to add to a box of annie's white cheddar mac & cheese. You could also chop and sautee these greens and add them to something that would love a little pea flavor flair: parmesan risotto or pasta carbonara, for example.
Crunchy Royale Radishes. The bright red globes. i recommend thinly sliced. if you have a mandoline (the culinary, not musical instrument) this is a perfect opportunity to make paper thin slices of radishes served on little slices of good bread with butter and a shake of salt. also good shaved on a salad and dressed with white balsamic vinaigrette. Try them quartered for a crudite or sauteed briefly in butter.
Arugula. an excellent base for a salad. We dunk our greens to cool them down and sometimes bag cut greens to portion them out, but really you should wash them and dry them in a salad spinner and store them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag so they stay fresh. Lots of people say “green bags” work really well and can be reused quite a few times – I think they can be found at Ocean State Job Lot. A really simple and delicious salad is created by tossing with a pinch of salt, some grinds of black pepper, the juice of a half lemon, and a spash or two of tasty extra-virgin olive oil. Finish that with Parmigiano Reggiano peeled on top with a vegetable peeler and you should be in food heaven. Quesadillas with thinly sliced spicy salami and coarsely chopped arugula and a good melting cheese are so tasty and were my favorite meal to find at train stops in Italy.Two Heads of Mini Romaine – one red and one green To wash these, I like to fill a large bowl, the bottom of the salad spinner, the sink, whatever, with cold water and twist the core off the bottom of the lettuce, push in the leaves, swish for a minute and after a few moments lift them out (so the dirt settles) and put in the spinner. Dry and store in a plastic bag, including a paper towel if you think there is still a lot of water left (pools of water cause rot). I like to store the leaves whole and tear them into a salad or put on a sandwich as needed. We've been enjoying the crunch of these early little lettuces, chopped into ribbons and served on tacos.