Notes From the Farm
We are still seeding crops and transplanting starts. It has been a challenge working around the cool weather, rain and wet fields. Too much moisture and not enough warmth equals rot, or low germination. On the plus side the early summer crops are loving the cool weather conditions. Enjoy this week’s selection of greens, as well as the first radishes!
This Week’s Veggie Feast
Spinach, Baby Pac Choi, Radish, Spearmint, Rhubarb, Asparagus
New This Week
Native to Persia, spinach has been under cultivation since the 4th century. Inedible wild relations can still be found in the region, but fortunately cultivation has created varieties that grow in many climates. This versatile leafy green made its way through China, India, and finally Europe, which makes this green usable in a variety of cuisines. Spinach takes well to being cooked or used fresh, just make sure to remove any large stems.
Bok choy is a member of the brassica family and is a popular addition to many Asian dishes. Bok choy can be eaten raw but is often sauteed or steamed. See the recipe below.
This year we grew Pink Lady Slipper radishes. Pretty pink on the outside, white and crunchy on the inside.
The rain and cool weather have been kind to the spearmint this year. Add spearmint to juices, teas, summer drinks, salads, spring rolls or try the recipe below.
Asparagus and Egg Salad with Walnuts and Mint
- 4 large eggs, cold from fridge
- 1/2 cup (1 ounce or 30 grams) grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces or 55 grams) finely chopped lightly well-toasted walnuts
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Dried chile flakes
- 1 pound asparagus, any thickness, tough ends trimmed
- About 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
Bring a small/medium pot of water to boil. Gently lower in eggs and reduce heat to a simmer. Boil for 8 1/2 minutes, then quickly transfer eggs to an ice-cold water bath. Leave them there while you prepare the other ingredients, but ideally at least 10 minutes.
Place parmesan, walnuts, and lemon zest in the bottom of a large bowl, along with 1 teaspoon salt, many grind of black pepper, and about 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes (or more or less to taste; I used half because: kids). Stir to combine.
Cut the asparagus on a sharp angle into very thin slices and add to the parmesan mixture. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice and toss some more. Taste and adjust the flavors to your preference by adding more salt, black pepper, chile flakes, or lemon juice, and go a little bit heavy, so the flavors don’t disappear once you add the eggs. Add mint and olive oil toss, adjusting seasoning again.
Peel your cooled eggs. Cut in half, then each half into 6 to 8 chunks. Add to bowl with asparagus and give it one or two gentle stirs (I don’t want to get them too mashed up here).
Eat as is, or scoop onto 6 to 8 toasts or 3 large matzo sheets, halved into 6 more manageable “toasts” (obviously this would negate the gluten-free categorization).
Source: Smitten Kitchen
Ginger Garlic Noodle Soup with Bok Choy
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 shallots – diced
- 1 bunch green onions – chopped, green and white divided
- 4 cloves garlic – minced
- 2 tablespoon ginger – fresh, minced
- 5.5 cups low sodium chicken broth – or vegetable broth for vegan
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce – or Tamari for a Gluten Free option
- 10 oz crimini mushrooms – sliced
- 6 oz rice noodles
- 1.5 heads bok choy – roughly chopped
- sesame seeds – for topping
- red pepper flakes – for topping
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium-sized stockpot over medium heat.
- To the oil add the diced shallots and mix well. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the shallots turn translucent and start to soften. Stir often.
- Chop the end off of each green onion- dividing the white part from the green part. Chop and set aside the green part for topping. Meanwhile, finely chop the white part of each green onion.
- Add the white part of the green onions, minced garlic, and ginger to the shallots and mix. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes or until garlic and ginger is fragrant.
- Carefully pour the chicken stock or water (or mix) into the pot and bring to a simmer. To the pot add the star anise and soy sauce. Cover and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove lid from the pot and carefully remove and discard each star anise from the soup.
- Add the sliced mushrooms, uncooked noodles, and bok choy to the pot and simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until noodles and bok choy are tender. Season to taste.
- Divide soup between bowls and garnish with sesame seeds, the green parts of green onions and red pepper flakes (if desired).
Source: The Forked Spoon
Spinach Salad with Apples and Almonds
1 large bunch of spinach, stemmed
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
juice of one fresh lime, about 1/4 cup
1 tablespoon honey
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, optional
1 good eating apple or your favorite fruit
1/4 cup olive oil
Stem spinach leaves. Wash well and then spin dry. Cut the largest leaves into halves or thirds.
Roast almonds for 7-8 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let cool and roughly chop almonds.
For the dressing, grind whole spices in a spice grinder. In a small bowl, combine ground spices, honey, lime juice, salt and pepper. Quarter the apple, remove the core, and slice into thin lengthwise pieces. Toss slices with the dressing.
Put the spinach in a stainless steel or wooden bowl. Heat the olive oil in a small pan until nearly smoking. Pour over the spinach with one hand, while using tongs to toss the spinach with the other. If the spinach in not sufficiently wilted, press clumps on it into the hot pan using the tongs. Then toss the spinach with the apples and dressing. Check for salt and pepper. Garnish with toasted almonds.
Source: Courtesy of Edward Espe Brown: Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings