CSA July 17, 2013

Notes from the Farm

Our week has mainly been filled with weeding and moving water.  Pretty exciting stuff.  Leon scored some used irrigation pipe at an auction that we are now putting to good use.  This allows us to irrigate more effectively without dragging garden hoses over the crops. The crops are growing gangbusters with the continuing hot weather.

calfWhile weeding and irrigating and weeding and irrigating and… we had a pleasant surprise.  June’s long awaited calf was born last Friday.   July (just following suit) is a healthy, beautiful heifer.

We gave you a break on kale this week, but you still have to eat your Swiss chard.

This Week’s CSA

This week’s share will include new potatoesonionsgarlicbasilnapa cabbagesnow peassnap peas, broccoli, and more greens.

Storage Notes

Make sure you are storing new potatoes in a cool dark place to help prolong their storage life.  Please take time to read notes on storing basil, as it is a tender herb that turns brown quickly.  Both the napa cabbage and broccoli will do well stored in plastic bags in the refrigerator.  Cabbage can last for some time in the fridge but its nutritional value will decrease with time.

Usage Notes

For anyone needing an idea on how to use up the horseradish and beets from previous shares, Renee (our webmaster) shared a great recipe for a beet salad that looks delicious.  If you don’t like goat cheese, feta or bleu cheese will make a great substitute.  This salad will make a great side dish for a variety of grilled items, from hamburgers to grilled lamb kebabs.

The broccoli, peas, and cabbage will go well in various stir fry dishes or any Thai-inspired meal.  Several of these items can be thinly sliced and used for spring or egg roll fillings.  Use the recipe for Vietnamese Spring rolls as a guideline to create your favorite filling for a vegetarian roll or one with poached shrimp.

Both snow and snap peas have edible pods but typically need to have the tough string removed that helps hold the shell together.  Snow peas are flat, pale green pods with barely formed peas, while snap peas look more like shelling peas but the pods are sweet and edible.  Please refer to the website for details on how to treat peas.  If you would like to put up peas for freezing, they will need to be blanched in boiling salted water for 30 seconds and then chilled in an ice bath before freezing.

Pale and crinkled, Napa cabbage resembles a vegetable football that is lighter in flavor than a green or red cabbage.  With its mild flavor, napa cabbage is perfect for an Asian style coleslaw, stir fries, or use the whole leaves for stuffing.  For those of you who love fermenting vegetable projects, napa cabbage will make some excellent kimchi.  Searching saveur.com for ‘kimchi, will give you several ideas on how to make and use kimchi.

A member of the genus Brassica, broccoli appears to have originated in Italy and spread from there to England and so forth.  Broccoli takes to many forms of preparation, including steamed, sautéed, stir fried, roasted or even grilled.  Typically the tops and upper stems are the only parts eaten but the lower stalk is quite edible as well, it just needs to be peeled to reveal the tender interior.  If you plan on adding broccoli to summer salads or appetizer platters, it typically needs to be  blanched and cooled quickly in an ice bath.  Leftover cooked broccoli can be used in breakfast dishes, thrown in salads, or added as a pizza topping.  Broccoli pairs well with olive oil, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, mustard, cheddar cheese, parmesan, olive, marjoram, oregano, and bacon.


Braised Red Potatoes with Lemon and Herbs   (Serves 4-6)

From Cook’s Illustrated  May/June 2013

My new favorite way to cook taters with tasty results that go well with anything!

1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, unpeeled, halved

2 cups water

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 garlic cloves, peeled

3 sprigs fresh thyme, oregano, or marjoram

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice (1/2 lemon squeezed)

pepper to taste

2 tablespoons minced chives or green onion stems, optional

Arrange potatoes in single layer, cut side down, in 12-inch nonstick skillet.  Add water, butter, garlic, herb of choice and salt; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove lid and use spoon to remove garlic to cutting board; discard any whole herb stems (thyme, oregano, marjoram).  Increase heat to medium-high heat and vigorously simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until water evaporates and butter starts to sizzle, 15-20 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, mince garlic to paste.  Transfer paste to bowl and stir in lemon juice and pepper.

Continue to cook potatoes, swirling pan frequently until butter browns and cut sides of potatoes turn spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes longer.  Off heat, add garlic mixture and chives and toss thoroughly to coat.