Notes From the Farm
Tuesday morning we woke up to the first frost on the farm. Our dome and grass were covered in shiny white crystals. We spent some time Monday evening rolling out the frost cover to protect vulnerable crops. We covered tomatoes, basil and peppers, as well as our trial scarlet runner beans, pictured above. Leon set up the irrigation late Monday night and got up at 3 am on Tuesday to turn it on. The water protected the beans, winter squash and a few other crops. Today after harvest we rolled up the frost cover to store for the next go. This effort is time consuming, but allows us a longer growing season and more vegetables for everyone. Needless to say we are kind of tired, so excuse a potentially lame newsletter.
Oddly, the only frost damage we have noticed thus far is the parsley, which is generally frost hardy. The Swiss chard to the west and the zucchini to the east were untouched. The first frost usually ushers in a bit of harvest mania, like grey squirrels in an oak tree we get real busy. Tomorrow we will start the first onion haul so they can start drying down for storage.
The recipe “Swiss Chard with Potatoes” is inspired by friend and CSA member A.R. She sent us a lovely recipe on using copious amounts of Swiss Chard, with a smile. Right now that recipe is in my stack of papers and books, waiting to be found :-), The recipe below is similar in approach and ingredients. Bon appetit!
This Week’s Veggie Feast
Dragon Tongue Beans, Red Onion, Green Beans, Salad (Yah!), Carrots, Cucumber, Tomato Mix, Cauliflower, Swiss Chard, Yukon Gold Potatoes
New This Week
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.
Red onions have a little more zip than the sweet whites you have been getting. They are still fresh, or uncured, so best to use it up within the week. It can store in the fridge.
Swiss Chard with Potatoes
- 2 pounds yellow potatoes about 4 medium, peeled and diced (¾ inch)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 pounds Swiss chard ends trimmed, cleaned, ribs separated from the leafy part, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons olive oil separated
- 3-4 cloves garlic fresh, roughly chopped
- pinch red pepper flakes optional, or more
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice from ½ lemon and olive oil optional, to garnish, from ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil optional, to drizzle over the top
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
- Add the diced potatoes and the salt.
- Reduce heat to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until they become tender and can be easily pierced with a knife.
- While the potatoes are simmering, properly clean and chop the chard into ½ inch strips. (refer to details in post).
- When the potatoes are tender, add the chopped chard stems.
- Boil for 3-5 minutes or until just beginning to soften. The total time depends on their size.
- Next, add the leafy chopped portion of the chard and boil for approximately 30 seconds. Gently drain all the vegetables in a colander.
- Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet or cast iron pan.
- Add the coarsely chopped garlic and red pepper flakes (if using).
- Turn on the heat to medium-high. Once the garlic begins to sizzle and starts turning golden, reduce the heat to medium. Add the mixture of boiled chard and potatoes.
- Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
- Sauté until most of the liquid evaporates. Stir often.
- Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil.
- Serve immediately.
- Season your water properly with salt.
- Add the oil, garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) to the pan first, and then turn on the heat. This allows the garlic to slowly cook, preventing it from burning.
- Start cooking your potatoes in a pot of boiling water as we want to exterior to be soft.
- Add the lemon juice once the pan is off the heat to preserve its bright flavor.
Source: She Loves Biscotti