Notes from the Farm
First CSA of the season! Planting seedlings, sowing seeds and weeding. This is a busy and varied time of the year. Since it was snowing two weeks ago we are glad that it is now sunny and warm.
This Week’s CSA
Is everyone craving greens? We hope so. In your box you will find:
Nutrition packed spinach to help you feel strong.
Radishes: Some of them are mild, some of them are hot!
Tatsoi leaves are dark green and spoon-shaped with a mild cabbage flavor. A member of the Chinese cabbage family, tatsoi greens can be added to a salad mix or tossed with sesame oil and rice vinegar for a side salad. The leaves can also be added to a stir fry, wonton filling, or soup.
Asparagus has a long history, according to Wikipedia it is pictured as an offering on an Egyptian frieze dating to 3000 BC. Of course people were probably eating it long before. It is a perennial plant that grows in the early spring. The young shoots are tender and quick to cook. We had grill-roasted asparagus two nights ago. Yum.
Native to the Mediterranean region, oregano is used widely in Italian, Mexican, and Greek cuisine. The fresh leaves provide robust flavor that is slightly peppery, with notes of camphor and lemon. The sharpness of this fresh herb mellows when dried. While there are flavor differences in the various varieties of oregano, once dried it can be used in many types of dishes.
Another member of the mint family, thyme is the herb of French cuisine. This highly aromatic herb is integral to many soups, sauces, stocks, and the traditional bouquet garni. To remove the fresh leaves from the stem, gently run your fingertips down, towards the thicker part of the stem.
Lambs quarter is often considered a weed in our land of food abundance, but it is cultivated in other areas of the world. We did actually see that a large seed company in North America is now carrying lamb’s quarter seeds and promoting it as a salad additive. It is highly nutritious, with a mild flavor, very similar to spinach. You can eat it raw in salads, or lightly cook it. Some suggestions in the recipes below. Have fun.
Adapted from Wildman Steve Brill’s fabulous cook book, The Wild Vegetarian Cookbook. And found on Wild Blessings website, where apparently her passion is Jesus and wild foods.
Just a note, you can eat the stems too, they are a just chewier.
Lambs Quarter Spread
2 cloves garlic
1 small red onion
3 cups Lambs 1/4 leaves
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup toasted nuts (I use walnuts or almonds)
1/3 cup kalamata olives
2 T miso
1 T chili paste or 1 t cayenne pepper or to taste
1. chop the garlic in a food processor
2. add the onion chop
3. add the remaining ingredients and process or chop until finely chopped
Makes 2 1/2 cups
Serve with pita chips or as a spread on a healthy sandwich
Cream of Lambs Quarter Soup
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 pound unsprayed lambsquarter
- 1 cup light or ‘half-and-half’ cream
- Salt, pepper, and nutmeg, to taste
- In a heavy-bottomed medium pot, cook the onions in the butter, over medium-low heat until onions have softened (about 5 to 10 minutes). Add the flour and stir constantly, cooking for a minute. Add the chicken broth slowly, a little at a time, while whisking well to avoid the flour lumping. Simmer the soup for about 10 minutes or until thickened, whisking frequently.
- Add the lambsquarter, and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes or until lambsquarter is tender but has not lost its vibrant color. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Using a hand blender or a counter top blender, purée the soup until smooth and velvety.
- Return the soup to its saucepan, add the cream and return to heat. Bring the soup back up to temperature but do not boil after the cream has been added.
- Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Enjoy with warm crusty bread or croutons.
Yield: 6 servings
Source: PBS Food