Notes from the Farm
The past week we have mainly focused on harvesting the garlic crop. This is a little bit like finally getting to unwrap a present that you’ve had to look at for three months, except you know you’re getting garlic. What you don’t know is whether the garlic is big, and beautiful, or small, and disease ridden and hardly worth the effort.
This year we have the best garlic we’ve ever grown thanks to renewing our seed a few years back. Check it out!
The garlic will cure for about three weeks in a cool, shaded shelter. After curing it is clipped off the stem, sorted and cleaned. Garlic can then be stored through the winter.
This Week’s CSA
We have several new vegetables coming your way!
Green Cabbage: Are you tired of kale yet? Here’s a different green to add crunch to your salad, or texture to your stir fry.
Broccoli: My dad eats broccoli because it’s good for him. And so should you. Steam it, bake it, eat it raw – see recipe below.
Red onion: Something to go with the green. First of the year, still pretty small, but it has more bite than the sweet onions.
Celery stalks or Celeriac: Stems from a bulb called celeriac. I was first introduced to this vegetable by my friend Ala who comes from the Czech Republic. The root is harvested in late fall, but some of the stalks can be harvested now. Beware, this is not the celery you are used to getting at the store, juicy stalks with mild flavor. This celery packs a powerful punch and not crunchy nor juicy but rather tough to chew. Slice it and dice it and use as a seasoning or make celery salt.
Spanish Roja Garlic: A robust flavored garlic that grows well in cool climates, roja is easy to peel and tastes great.
Lettuce Mix with Nasturtium Blossoms: Five varieties of lettuce with edible flowers.
Other goodies include Yukon Gold potatoes, sweet onions, oregano and green bell pepper.
Leaves from one bunch of celery
flaky sea salt (see notes)
I’ve made celery salt with a number of different types of salt, and the flaky, whispers of Maldon sea salt is my current favorite. The shards are similar in size to the crumbled celery leaves, which works nicely. With some of the finer sea salts, you get more separation. Which is not what you want.
Pick the leaves from each celery stalk, leaving the stems behind. The outer leaves tend to be dark green and hearty, the inner leaves pale green and tender. I use them all.
Rinse the leaves with cold water in a strainer, then shake off as much of the water as you can. At this point you want to dry the leaves as much as possible, so they toast (not steam) when you cook them. Gently pat them dry in a clean dish towel, or paper towels. Once dry you have two options for toasting the leaves.
1) If I have a lot of leaves, I arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet, then bake in a 350F / 180C oven for about 5-7 minutes. Bake until dehydrated and crispy, but not browned.
2) If I have fewer leaves, or just don’t feel like heating the oven, I’ll throw them in a large skillet. Single layer if possible, over medium-low heat. Again, you want to barely toast them, not brown the leaves much.
In either case, when you’re done cooking. Remove from heat and let the leaves cool completely. They’ll crisp up even more at this point. When cool, use your fingers to crumble the leaves completely, discarding any leaves that aren’t crispy.
Combine equal parts celery leaves and salt in a jar, and either stir or shake to distribute the celery leaves evenly throughout.
Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 5 min
Source: 101 Cookbooks
1 head chopped broccoli
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/4 cup diced red onion (optional)
bacon pieces (also optional)
equal parts balsamic vinegar and olive oil for the dressing
Mix, dress and put in fridge for a few hours to let flavors mingle.
Source: Leon’s sister, thanks J!