Veggie Feast (CSA) July 17, 2019

Notes from the Farm

Although convenient and cost effective we decided not to order chicks from the hatchery this year.  Living conditions in many factory farms can be marginal, or downright awful so we are turning the task over to our hens (who all seem to be in the mood to nest this summer). They are having some success!  Five more chicks hatched out on Saturday.  We have four mama hens teaching their chicks how to be free range farm chickens.  Maybe you will spot them when picking up your vegetables.

This Week’s Veggie Feast

Veggie Feast July 17, 2019

Snow peas, snap peas, romaine, parsley, turnips, fresh garlic, summer squash, cilantro

New This Week

Snap peas

Snap peas are some of the sweetest, crunchiest, juiciest veggies ever!  Of course they can be sauteed, lightly steamed and added to salads and dishes, but why not just eat them right out of the sack?  They store pretty well in the fridge.

Romaine lettuce

Romaine has a thicker leaf structure than many lettuces, giving it that great crunch so many love in Caesar salad.  Although we soak the lettuce heads in water and get it as clean as possible you will still need to give it a rinse once you strip the leaves off for your salad.

Turnips

Salad turnips are in the same family as broccoli, cabbage, radishes … It seems humans need to thank the Brassicaceae family for giving us so much nutrition.  Salad turnips can be eaten raw, like a radish or lightly steamed.

Yellow zucchini

This is the first year we decided not to plant yellow crookneck squash.  We have grown crookneck for years, but judging from the farmer’s market table it was not nearly as popular as zucchini.  Golden zucchini is a first for us, so let us know how you like it.

Recipes

This recipe is fairly involved, but good for the gourmets out there.  Smitten Kitchen is an entertaining and funny blog suggested by one of my friends who is passionate about cooking.

Roberta’s Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad

  • SERVINGS: 2, BUT YOU’LL HAVE EXTRA WALNUTS AND DRESSING
You’ll have extra dressing (it makes 1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cups) and extra walnuts (it makes about 2 1/4 cups). The dressing keeps for one week in the fridge. The walnuts will keep easily 2 weeks in a jar at room temperature.
ROASTED GARLIC DRESSING
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (175 grams) olive oil, plus a splash for the garlic
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) smooth dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (21 grams) white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) sherry vinegar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 5 anchovy fillets
  • Juice of half a lemon, plus more if needed
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
CANDIED WALNUTS
    • 2 cups (180 grams) walnut halves
    • 2 large egg whites
    • 3 packed tablespoons (30 grams) dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup (75 grams) honey
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) kosher salt
ASSEMBLY
  • 2 romaine hearts, ends trimmed, leaves separated
  • 1/3 cup roasted garlic dressing (above)
  • 2 ounces pecorino romano cheese
  • A handful of candied walnuts (above)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

To make the roasted garlic dressing: Heat your oven to 350°F. Cut a quarter inch off the head of garlic and place the head, cut side up, on a big square of aluminum foil. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Wrap it tightly in the foil and bake for a little less than 1 hour.

Remove the garlic from the oven and let it cool in the foil. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of 4 or 5 cloves and set the rest aside for another use (“its really good just spread on grilled bread,” the book tells us). Leave the oven on for the walnuts.

Put the roasted garlic, the raw clove of garlic, mustard, vinegars, egg yolks, anchovies, and lemon juice into a blender or food processor and blend for 30 seconds or until combined. With the machine one, add the olive oil in a slow, thin stream until it’s incorporated and the dressing looks smooth. Taste and add salt, pepper, and more lemon juice as desired.

Meanwhile, make the walnuts: Put the nuts on a baking sheet and toast 8 minutes, turing your baking sheet and tossing the nuts around halfway through.Remove them from the oven and let them cool. Turn the oven down to 275°F. Cover a large baking sheet with foil and (do what I didn’t do), coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they begin to have body but not until they form soft peaks. Add the brown sugar, honey, and about 10 turns of a pepper grinder’s worth of black pepper to the whites, and combine. Add the walnuts to the mixture and mix until they’re all well coated. Spread them on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle them evenly with the salt. Bake for about 24 minutes, turning the baking sheet about halfway through. The nuts should be dry and not sticky. Remove them from the oven and let them cool.

To assemble: Place the romaine leaves in a large bowl. Pour about 1/4 cup roasted garlic dressing over the leaves, using your fingers to toss and coat the leaves evenly. (The book warns that tongs will damage the leaves here, and won’t distribute the dressing as easily.) Use the remaining tablespoon or so if needed, to taste (Romaine hearts vary a lot in size).

Divide the lettuce between two plates. Grate the Pecorino over each plate. Scatter the walnuts over the two plates and give each a grind of black pepper. Eat with a knife and fork, blissfully.

Source:  Smitten Kitchen

Burrata with Charred and Raw Sugar Snap Peas

If you can’t find burrata, look for buffalo mozzarella, and if you can’t find that, just fine the freshest that you can. You might find that you want up to a pound of it as it doesn’t spread out into as many bites as burrata. Slice it open (or into a few thick slices, laid out on a plate), and let it warm up if you’ve got the time. It makes a big difference. “In a perfect world, mozzarella will never have been refrigerated, but these are imperfect times,” Music explains, to my delight.

  • 1 8-ounce ball burrata
  • Olive oil, for drizzling and brushing
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Half a lemon
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas
  • 1 to 2 thick-cut slices crusty bread (I’m using miche here)
  • A handful of mint and basil leaves, torn or thinly sliced
  • Chiles in oil or red pepper flakes to serve

Butterfly your burrata: Drain burrata and gently dab dry on a paper towel. Place on serving platter. Begin to cut in half vertically (i.e. into left and right halves) but stop halfway and turn knife sideways (in either direction) and cut out to wall of burrata but not through. Use knife to flip it open onto the plate, then spread the center cream a bit into a flat layer. Repeat on second side. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky salt. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare everything else, or up to an hour, if you have the time. Taking the chill off it is the key for the creamiest insides and best flavor.Trim/de-string your sugar snaps and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil (or more, to taste), many grinds of black pepper, and sea salt and toss to evenly coat.

Grate or shred your bread with your fingers into coarse crumbs. I omitted my crusts because they were stale and very dark. You want a little shy of 1 cup.

Grill instructions: Prepare your grill for medium-high direct heat.

Make the crumbs on the grill: Place a small cast iron frying pan on a medium-high heat on your grill and place the torn bread and a glug of olive oil inside, enough to dampen the crumbs. Season with salt and cook the crumbs, stirring from time to time, until they’re golden and crisp. About a minute before they reach the perfect color, finely grate the zest of half a lemon over them and stir to heat and combine. Set crumbs aside.

Grill your sugar snaps: Place half your prepared sugar snaps in on a wire rack or grill basket on a grill and grill, tossing occasionally, until charred in spots, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer back to bowl with remaining raw sugar snaps and toss to combine.

Stove instructions: Make the crumbs on the stove by following the above instructions but use a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat, the same one you’ll use again for the sugar snaps. Scoop the crumbs out into a bowl to cool.

Blister your sugar snaps on the stove: Heat the large, heavy frying pan you used for the crumbs over high heat. Add half of prepared sugar snaps and cook, tossing occasionally, until charred in spots, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer back to bowl with remaining raw sugar snaps and toss to combine.

To finish: Scatter charred and raw sugar snap mixture over butterflied burrata along with crumbs. Drizzle with more olive oil, flaky sea salt. Add mint or basil leaves and serve with chiles in oil or red pepper flakes to taste.

Source:  Smitten Kitchen

Veggie Feast (CSA) July 10, 2019

Notes from the Farm

Two week old chick hanging out with mom

There is always something happening on the farm.  We enjoy watching the farm chicks learn how to scratch, chase bugs and navigate the social hierarchy from Mother Hen.

This Week’s Veggie Feast

The weather of late has been ideal for spending time outdoors. The abundance of rain and coolness has prolonged all the beautiful shades of green in the valley and (crossed fingers) delayed our fire season.  It has also slowed the crops down.  We are waiting for the cauliflower to open, the cucumbers to fruit and even the chard to send out some more leaves.  Alas this summer’s growing season has taken it’s sweet time.  We thank you for being patient.  Most crops look like they will do well, they just need some more heat.

 

Veggie Feast July 10, 2019

Snow Peas, Tarragon, Fennel, Garlic Scapes, Bunching Onions, Hyssop, Lettuce Mix, and Spicy Mustard Greens

New This Week

Snow Peas

Snow peas are flat, pale green pods with barely formed peas. These tender peas can be eaten whole, and are delicious fresh, steamed, sautéed, or added to stir fries.

Tarragon

Tarragon is a perennial herb that is highly prized in French cuisine.  It is often used to flavor fish, poultry and egg dishes and also makes an excellent flavoring for vinegar.

Fennel

Small fennel bulbs are best for salads since they are tender, while larger bulbs are best suited for braising and baking. Fennel makes an interesting substitute for celery, and it takes well to braising, sautéing, grilling, and eating raw in salads. The feathery greens can be used for garnish or for seasoning egg salad, potato salad, or seafood dishes. Since the stalks are stringy, they are best used in soup stocks or throw them on the BBQ for aromatic smoke, cut off the stalks just where they emerge from the bulb. Fennel has a core, which is visible once the bulb is cut in half.  If the bulb is small it isn’t necessary to remove the core, but if the bulb is large the core will need to be removed with a paring knife. Fennel pairs well with olive oil, butter, thyme, orange, lemon, tomatoes, potatoes, olives, garlic, Parmesan and Gruyere cheese. If thinly sliced, the bulb makes a nice addition to an antipasti platter or goes well with pork.

 

Garlic scapes

Garlic scapes are the flower top off hardneck garlic. They look like a long green, curly pencil. The entire scape is edible, but there can be a tough section at the base of the yellowish-white blossom that could use more cooking time.  The green stems are most commonly cut into small pieces and cooked. Scapes are cut before the plant starts to fully flower, and provide a mild fresh garlic flavor that is great added to any dish where you would use a garlic clove. The sugar content is a bit higher so fresh scapes are best added towards the end of cooking to avoid any burning or bitter flavor. The scapes need to be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and are best used fresh since they do not store like whole garlic bulbs.   Garlic scapes are mild in flavor so you can add extra when substituting for garlic cloves.  They are a great addition to breakfast scrambles and stir fries.

Red Bunching onions

Hyssop

Native to the Mediterranean, hyssop has a long history of medicinal and culinary uses, including the main flavor in the liqueur Chartreuse. This aromatic herb is also loved by honey bees, producing a delicious honey. The flavor of the leaves is similar to thyme but stronger, making fresh leaves a great addition to meatballs, fish or fruit dishes. The flavors of hyssop show well in syrup, which is delicious poured over fresh fruit or added to sparkling water or ice tea.

 

Recipes

Hyssop Syrup

hyssop syrup1 large handful flowering stems and leaves of hyssop

1 ¼ cup water

¾ cup sugar

Put the sprigs of hyssop in small pan with the water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Strain into a glass measuring cup, pressing the stems with a wooden spoon to extract all the flavor and liquid. You should have about 1 cup of liquid. Add more water if needed. Return mixture to the pan, add sugar and heat gently, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Boil hard for 5 minutes. Skim and pour into a glass container to store in the refrigerator.

 

 

Split Pea Soup with Fennel and Tarragon

Simple tasty Split Pea Soup with Tarragon and Fennel | www.feastingathome.com

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion diced (white or yellow)
  • 1 cup celery diced (2 stalks)
  • 1 small fennel bulb, cored and finely diced (1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup split peas
  • ——-
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon
  • garnish with fresh tarragon leaves, creme fraiche, and a drizzle of truffle oil (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven, saute the onion, celery and fennel in the oil over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add broth and water, split peas and salt. Bring to a boil.
  2. Cover, simmer on medium low heat 1 hour and 15 minutes, checking and giving a stir after 1 hour.
  3. In a blender, add 1 cup water, 2 cups frozen peas and the fresh tarragon, and blend until smooth. This will give the soup a bright green color.
  4. At this point you could also blend the rest of the soup for a smooth consistency, or simply add the blended frozen pea/tarragon mixture directly into the soup pot. Taste, adjust salt.
  5. Gently warm it up before serving taking care not to over boil or you will loose the lovely green color.
  6. Garnish with fresh tarragon, and a drizzle of truffle oil (optional).

Source: Feasting at Home

Tarragon Vinegar

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch tarragon
  • Apple cider or white wine vinegar

Instructions

  • Cut tarragon into 1-2 inch pieces and place in a clean glass jar.
  • Fill the jar with vinegar so all of the herb is covered.  Cover with a lid. (Obviously the higher the ratio of tarragon to vinegar will make a stronger flavored product)
  • Let steep for at least 3 weeks, taste to test for flavor.
  • When fully steeped strain the vinegar into another clean glass jar, cap and store.

Grilled Garlic Scapes

Grilled Garlic Scapes with Sea Salt

Ingredients

  • 1 pound garlic scapes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the grill to a medium flame.
  2. Wash and dry the garlic scapes. Trim the ends and leave whole.
  3. Massage the scapes with oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss them on the grill and brown both sides. They’re done with they are soft on the inside and golden brown and bright green on the outside.
  5. Serve the garlic scapes hot off the grill with salt if desired.

Source:  With Food and Love

Veggie Feast (CSA) July 3, 2019

Notes from the Farm

Besides the usual farm activity this week we had the privilege of meeting some of the reptiles that are either living on the farm or passing through.  We have seen a few snakes in the past but this year we are seeing more than usual.  The snake in the photo is in a hoop-house and didn’t seem to mind that I was weeding in it’s presence.

The turtle was a complete surprise.  It simply showed up a few paces from our back door.

This Week’s Veggie Feast

Veggie Feast July 3, 2019

Lots of new greens this week: wild amaranth, wild quinoa, and kale, salad mix, green onions, spearmint, and oregano

 

New This Week

Spearmint

Spearmint is a mild flavored mint that can be chopped up and added to salads, and sauces.  Or even better try a tasty beverage.  See recipes below.

Green Onions

Using green onions is fairly straightforward since the only inedible part is the very root end, which needs to be sliced off.  The white base can be cooked or added raw to salads, while the green tops are used as a raw garnish.

Wild Amaranth

Although this plant is abundant on our farm I never ate it until my friend Anna came to visit in the summer one year.  Walking around the farm to “pick” our supper she harvested a bunch of wild amaranth.  I had always thought of amaranth as a weed (classifying a plant as a weed is really just an opinion), but she told me she ate it frequently when she lived in Malawi, Africa.  Yum!  Wild amaranth has a mild flavor, and can be cooked in the same manner as one cooks spinach.

Lamb’s quarters

Lamb’s quarters are another little known, and thus little eaten green.  Lamb’s quarters are a wild annual green with dull green leaves that have toothed edges. This annual is considered a weed by many but is entirely edible; belonging to the spinach and beet family. The leaves are an excellent source of vitamin C and iron.  If tender, leaves can be eaten raw in a salad. Lamb’s quarters can also be lightly cooked and substituted for spinach in many recipes, including lasagna and quiche.  Looking for a recipe? Spring Green Phyllo Rolls.

Red Russian Kale

The dark green, red-stemmed Russian kale may be one of the sweetest greens in the kale family. The tips of the leaves are tender enough to be eaten raw, but are  improved by cooking which tenderizes the tough parts of the leaf. Russian kale has tough, woody stems, however, so be sure to remove as much of them as possible before cooking.

 

Lettuce mix with Nasturtium and Arugula Blossoms

Salad is always tasty, but even better with beautiful, edible flowers.  These flowers are a bit zippy!

 

Recipes

Mint Ice Cubes

Place 2 to 3 mint leaves into each cell of a heatproof ice cube tray. Fill the cells with the boiling water, then let stand for 10 minutes; remove the leaves if desired. Freeze the ice cube tray until solid.

Source:  All Recipes

Mojito

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 5 mint leaves
  • ice cubes
  • 2 fluid ounces white rum
  • 4 fluid ounces soda water
  • 1 lime wedge

Directions

Muddle the lime juice, sugar, and mint leaves together in the bottom of a cocktail glass until the mint has broken down a bit, about 1 minute. Fill the glass with ice cubes. Add the rum and soda water over the ice. Pour the mixture back and forth from from the glass to another glass to mix. Garnish with the lime wedge and enjoy.

Source:  All Recipes

Mediterranean Mint Lemonade

Mediterranean-Style Mint Lemonade | The Mediterranean Dish. An intense, frothy, perfectly refreshing homemade lemonade. There is a small trick that makes all the difference! See the recipe on TheMediterraneanDish.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 large lemons (or limes), washed, cut into small pieces, and seeds removed
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 bunch fresh mint leaves, stems removed (about 25–40 mint leaves), more for later
  • 1 cup sugar, more to your liking

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add all the ingredients to the pitcher of a high-quality blender. Cover and push blend or liquefy (high-speed function), until you achieve the desired drink consistency.
  2. Taste and add more sugar or mint leaves, if you like. Blend again.
  3. Pour the lemonade into a serving pitcher through a mesh strainer. Add fresh mint leaves to the pitcher. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
  4. If you like, strain the lemonade again as you pour into serving glasses. Enjoy cold!

Veggie Feast (CSA) June 26, 2019

Notes from the Farm

 

This week has been close to overwhelming, but not quite.  Leon has been psychologically gearing up for haying season, watching all those storm clouds and potential rain showers, while fixing his ancient hay baler.  Meanwhile the race to keep the weeds at bay continues, as does the mulching and planting (still getting a few late season crops in the ground).  The most exciting news is in your veggie box, strawberries!

 

This Week’s Veggie Feast

Veggie Feast June 26, 2019

Salad mix, Napa cabbage, green garlic, dock leaves, strawberries and parsley

New This Week

Strawberries

These delicate beauties are delicious and perishable!  Although most of you will probably eat them before you even get home IF you need to keep them for later use there is some useful information on Shari’s Berries website.

Parsley

Parsley is a great addition to salads, soups, sauces, etc.  This herb stores pretty well in the fridge, but it is so nutritious we encourage you to eat it up!  Recipe ideas below.

Recipes

Gremolata

Note: Gremolata is an Italian condiment traditionally used to accompany a veal dish.  It could be served with meats, pastas, crackers….

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch parsley, washed and dried (enough to make 1 cup loosely-packed)
  • 1 clove garlic, papery skin removed
  • 2 organic lemons, washed and dried

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prep the parsley: Remove the leaves from the parsley — enough to make 1 cup when very loosely packed.
  2. Chop the parsley: Chop the parsley with a chef’s knife until it is nearly finely chopped. It should be less than 1/2 cup.
  3. Add the garlic: Using a fine-toothed grater, grate the garlic clove over the parsley.
  4. Add the lemon: Using the same grater (don’t bother to wash it), grate just the zest from the two lemons on top of the garlic.
  5. Finish the chopping: Continue to chop the parsley, mixing in the garlic and lemon as you go, until the parsley is chopped very fine.
  6. Use or store: Use the gremolata right away or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one day.

Source: Kitchn

Parsley Sauce

parsley sauce

 

(makes about 1 cup of sauce)

This bright sauce will pair well with grilled vegetables, steamed potatoes, a simple pasta dish, and grilled seafood.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 small garlic cloves (or fresh green garlic)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon dried or fresh tarragon
  • ¾ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 large shallot or 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • Grated peel of 1 lemon
  • ¾ to 1 cup olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar to taste
  • Salt

Directions

  • Pound the garlic in a mortar with the sea salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, and tarragon to make a smooth paste.
  • Add about 2 tablespoons of the parsley, and work it into the paste.
  • Stir in the rest of the parsley with the shallot or scallions, the lemon peel, and the olive oil.
  • Let this mixture stand covered while the flavors infuse for an hour or more.
  • Just before serving, add the vinegar and salt to taste.

Veggie Feast (CSA) June 19, 2019

Notes from the Farm

 

This week we have concentrated on mulching.  Mulching is a terrific tool for a number of reasons.  It holds moisture in the soil, which reduces the need for irrigation, adds biomass to the soil, provides shade, and battles the weeds.  Some crops that take all summer to grow, or that are harvested throughout the summer take extra care, which means extra weeding.  It’s nice when the fields are weed free, but it’s also not necessary.  A good layer of mulch can inhibit most unwanted vegetation giving the crops the necessary sunlight and space to thrive.

This Week’s Veggie Feast

June 19, 2019 Veggie Feast

Radishes, Spinach, Salad Mix, Cilantro, Napa Cabbage

New This Week

Salad mix

This week’s salad mix is a combination of lettuce and some spicy mustards thrown in for color, texture and zip.  Enjoy!

Cilantro

One of my favorite spring herbs, cilantro is used in cuisines worldwide.  These delicate greens are best stored in the fridge in an airtight container.  Wash right before using.

Napa Cabbage

Napa cabbage, also called Chinese cabbage is the main ingredient in kimchi, a highly popular fermented food.  It is a versatile vegetable, used in salads, Asian coleslaw, as a wrap, in stir fries… Stores pretty well wrapped up in the fridge, but like all produce tastes best, and most nutritious fresh.

Recipes

Kimchi

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds napa cabbage, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (one large cabbage) 
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • 2 cups radish, cut into matchstick strips (optional, or use carrots) 
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, sliced ( 2-3 disks, peels ok) 
  • 6 cloves garlic, whole
  • 1 shallot, quartered (optional)
  • 2–6 tablespoons Korean-style red pepper flakes (gochugaru) See notes!
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce ( or use vegan fish sauce, miso, or soy sauce), more to taste 
  • 2 teaspoons sugar ( or alternative)
  •  OPTIONAL :1 tablespoon glutenous rice powder ( see notes)

Instructions

  1. Reserve 1-2 outer leaves of the napa cabbage and refrigerate for later use (wrap in plastic). Cut remaining cabbage and place it in a bowl with the salt and toss. Add enough cool water to cover the cabbage and stir until salt is dissolved. Keep the cabbage submerged with a plate over the bowl and let stand at room temperature 6-8 hours (giving a stir midway through if possible) or overnight.
  2. Drain the cabbage, saving the brine. Rinse cabbage, drain, squeeze out any excess water and place it back in the bowl,  adding the radish and scallions.
  3. Place the ginger, garlic, shallot, red pepper flakes, fish sauce ( or alternatives) and sugar in your food processor. Process until well combined, pulsing, until it becomes a paste. Scoop over the cabbage and using tongs or gloves, mix and massage the vegetables and the red pepper mixture together really well, until well coated. Pack the cabbage into a large  two quart glass jar (or two,  1 quart jars)  or a crock, leaving 1-2 inches room at the top for juices to release. Add a little of the reserved brine to just cover the vegetables, pressing them down a bit. Place the whole cabbage leaf over top, pressing down- this should help keep the kimchi submerged under the brine. You can also use a fermentation weight placed over top the whole leaf to keep it submerged. 
  4.  Cover loosely with a lid ( allowing air to escape) and place the jar in a baking dish (or big bowl) to collect any juices that may escape. (The idea though, is to keep as much of the flavorful juice in the jar, so don’t over fill)
  5. Leave on the counter for 3 days, then store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator where it will continue to ferment. You can press down on the kimchi daily with the back of a wooden spoon to keep it submerged.
  6. After 3 days, the kimchi is ready, but won’t achieve its full flavor and complexity, until about 2 weeks ( in the fridge) slowly fermenting.   The longer you ferment, the more complex and sour the taste.  
  7. This will keep for months on end in the fridge ( as long as it is submerged in the brine)  and will continue to ferment very slowly, getting more and more flavorful. 
  8. To serve it in a bowl as a side dish, scoop out using a slotted spoon, drizzle with sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds, fresh scallions.

notes

For milder kimchi, start with 2 tablespoons Korean chili flakes ( you can always stir in more). I like a spicy version with 6 tablespoons. 4 tablespoons is medium spicy.

If you like your kimchi, thick, and less watery,  you can use sweet rice powder (also called glutinous rice powder ) to thicken. Cook 1 tablespoon glutenous rice powder with ½ cup water, in a small pot over medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils. Let cool, still whisking occasionally. Add to the chili paste in the food processor. Continue with recipe.

Source: Feasting at Home

Napa Cabbage Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Ingredients

1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 pound Napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced crosswise (4 cups)
6 radishes, diced
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced diagonally

Instructions

Whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, shallot, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl until sugar has dissolved, then whisk in chives.

Toss cabbage, radishes, and celery with dressing.

Source:  Smitten Kitchen

Veggie Feast (CSA) June 12, 2019

Notes from the Farm

For the past week we have been concentrating on getting the rest of the warm weather crops (cucumbers, melons and winter squash) out into the fields.  This involved readying the soil; removing the quake grass, discing in the small weeds, making beds and irrigating the dry soil.  So much effort goes into the preparation of a viable space to grow vegetables.  A good foundation makes all the difference.

 

This Week’s Veggie Feast

Spinach, Spicy Mustard Greens, Garlic Greens, Tatsoi (oops! not in the photo shoot), Oregano, Radishes and Asparagus

 

New This Week

Spinach

Woe to those who know only the taste of stale spinach.  Freshness is a must for this vegetable. The leaves of this spinach crop are thick, crisp and oh so yummy.  Perfection! Some fun facts about spinach: 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.

Spicy Mustard Greens

A combination of three mustard greens, Ruby Streaks, Golden Frills, and Mizuna.  All have serrated leaves and a slightly pungent bite.  Excellent addition to any salad, or sandwich.

Garlic greens

Young, tender garlic, not yet formed into bulbs,but still with that pungent, vibrant taste!  Remove the roots before using.  The stem is still tender so you can use the lower half of the stem and the developing white bulb.   Use as you would a clove of garlic.  See recipe below

Garlic Greens

Tatsoi

Tatsoi, an Asian green, is also in the mustard family. This versatile green can be eaten raw in a salad or sandwich, sauteed, paired with eggs, baked in a hot dish, added to soup….similar in usage to spinach.

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.  To learn how to dry herbs click here.

Easter Egg Radishes

Delightful, colorful, bunches of fun.  Two radish recipes below, for the root AND the greens.

 

Recipes

Roasted Radishes

roasted radishes on sheet pan photo

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Cut radishes into halves; cut any large radishes into quarters. Stir olive oil and oregano together in a bowl and toss radishes in mixture to coat. Spread radishes onto baking sheet; sprinkle with salt.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven until tender but firm in the centers, tossing every 5 minutes, 15 to 20 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice.

Source: Adapted from Rachel Cooks

Radish Leaf Pesto

Radish Leaf Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 large handfuls of good-looking radish leaves, stems removed
  • 30 grams (1 ounce) hard cheese, such as pecorino or parmesan, grated or shaved using a vegetable peeler
  • 30 grams (1 ounce) nuts, such as pistachios, almonds, or pinenuts (avoid walnuts, which make the end result too bitter in my opinion)
  • 1 clove garlic, germ removed, cut in four
  • a short ribbon of lemon zest cut thinly from an organic lemon with a vegetable peeler (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to get the consistency you like
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ground chili pepper

Directions

  1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender, and process in short pulses until smooth. You will likely have to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
  2. Add more oil and pulse again to get the consistency you prefer. (This can also be done with a mortar and pestle; it’s great for karma and triceps.)
  3. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and pack into an airtight container.

Notes: Use within a few days (it will keep longer if you pour a thin layer of oil on the surface) or freeze.

Source: C&Z

Green Garlic Toast

Image for Green Garlic Toast

Ingredients

  •  Slices of crusty bread
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 ½ tablespoons chopped young green garlic stalks, white and green parts
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
  •  Large pinch red chile flakes
  • 1 regular (not green) garlic clove, halved

Directions

  1. Heat the broiler. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and broil them, flipping them halfway through cooking time, until golden on both sides. Keep warm.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the butter, cheese, green garlic, chives, pepper, salt and chile.
  3. Rub the toast with the cut side of the regular garlic clove, then spread with the green garlic butter. Broil toast again for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, until the tops lightly brown and the butter melts. Serve hot or warm.

Source: NYT cooking