Notes from the Farm
Leon spent most of his time last week harvesting while Rye and I were visiting family. With the weather cooling and the days getting shorter we plan to do some serious harvesting in the next couple of weeks: getting carrots and beets out of the ground before the voles eat them all, digging up the potatoes and starting to cure a few winter squash.
We have a new crop of lettuce, basil and cucumbers in the ground, so we will see how they progress in the cooler weather. Happy eating
This Week’s Veggie Feast
New this week!
Nardellos are a sweet pepper. They can be eaten raw or cooked. I find their flavor to be especially sweet and tasty, although they are not as juicy as a bell pepper. These last fairly well in the fridge.
The edible part of a leek is the white part plus an inch or so of pale green. Smaller leeks are more tender, making them perfect for grilling or braising, while larger leeks are perfect for soup and gratins. Due to how leeks are grown, they often have lots of dirt between the leaves so they need to be washed well. Cut off the greens an inch above the white part and slice off the roots, leaving a thin piece attached so that the leaves remained joined at the base. Halve the leeks lengthwise down the middle to the root end. Rinse well under running water while you fan the leaves to make sure you are getting dirt stuck between leaves. Cut leaves can also be rinsed after cutting. If using in a soup, leeks do not caramelize well so they are best lightly cooked. In addition to the classic Vichyssoise and Cock-a-Leekie soups, leeks go well with potatoes, fennel, celery, capers, parmesan, goat cheese and olives.
These beauties lose the purple coloring once cooked, so if you want to retain their eye-catching beauty you will have to serve them raw, which shouldn’t be a problem because they are so juicy and yummy! In Katie’s words…..
The bright colored dragon tongue beans are considered a heirloom Dutch wax type green bean that originated in the Netherlands. This yellowish-green bean with variegated purple strips is great both raw and cooked. Once cooked or pickled, the purple color tends to dissipate. Like other varieties of bush beans, dragon tongue beans have an edible shell. Just remove the stem end before cooking. If not serving raw, these beans will make a great addition to bean salads, stir fries, salads, or cooked on their own for a side dish.
Crookneck is a variety of summer squash that can be used in a myriad of ways, used raw in salads and side dishes, sauteed, or baked. The skin on these squashes is very delicate. They store okay in an airtight container in the fridge, but they are really best used within a week.
Lemon basil, yukon gems, purple beets, tomaotes, dill, kale and green beans.