Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October 11 or 14 first extended share

Contents:  1 1/2 pounds green snap beans, 1 1/2 pounds of broccoli florets, 1 pint of sugar snap peas, 1 bunch of carrots, 1 bunch of mixed radish, 2 kohlrabi, 1 head of green bibb lettuce, 1 head of radicchio, 2 pounds of russet potatoes.

Storage:  all things in refrigerator.  remove tops from carrots and radishes if you're keeping them more than a few days.

These beans in your share this week are quite possibly the prettiest beans we have ever grown.  Certainly the prettiest of 2017.  They taste good too!
Radicchio is the small red head in your share.  It is in the chicory family and so is bitter.  It is good grilled with olive oil, salt and pepper drizzled on it.  It is also great raw in a salad with apple or pear, toasted walnuts, blue cheese, and balsamic vinegar dressing.

Peeled and shredded kohlrabi, thinly sliced radishes and radish greens, and sugar snap peas cut on the diagonal or julienned are all great combined and dressed with a vinaigrette or mayonnaise slaw dressing.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October 4 or 7 Last Box of the Season

This weeks' share includes:  3 pounds of Carolina Ruby sweet potatoes, 1 Long Island Cheese pumpkin, 1 bunch of carrots, 1 bunch of purple radishes, 1 pound of broccoli, 1 bunch of collard greens, 1 head of garlic, 2 red onions.

Storage:  The sweet potatoes need another week to "cure" until they taste sweet so leave them in a dry, not so cool spot (a corner of your counter or the cabinet beside your fridge or dish washer) to finish converting their starches to sugars.  The pumpkin can be eaten now or allowed to continue its "curing" process.  If kept in a dry, coolish spot it will continue to sweeten over the next month.  It can be eaten now though if you want.  Garlic can be kept out.  All else in the refrigerator.

The pumpkin makes great soup or pie.  The texture seems a bit stringy when you scoop it from the baked skin but when pureed it becomes smooth.
The garlic in your share this week is a different variety than you've been getting.  It is German White and should be easier to peel.
The purple radishes are mild and the greens are nice.  Try making a salad using both.  If you cut the greens into thin ribbons and let them sit a few minutes with a sprinkling of salt and then massage them a little, the spines on the leaves will go away.
The lemon vinaigrette from last weeks' blog entry makes a fine dressing on lightly steamed broccoli.  Our kids gobbled it up.

Recipe for Sweet Potato and Black Bean Stew with Collards
This recipe is a good guideline.  You can omit and add on some of the ingredients they call for.  I add collard greens that are cut into thin ribbons and let cook in the simmering stew for the last 20 minutes or so.

So, we've made it thru another year with you as our weekly anchor.  There have been some real challenges as usual and some real losses as usual.  But we managed to bring you and you to pick up from us 22 weeks of vegetables.  Thank you!  It has been a pleasure to grow food for you.  Your participation in our CSA gives meaning to our work.  If you have credit left, you can spend it up until December 16 at the NATM on UNCA's campus.  After this week, Gaining Ground will be only at that market for the rest of 2017.  Again, Thank You!  We hope you have a beautiful Autumn!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

September 27 or 30

This weeks' share:  1 pound broccoli, 1 bunch baby carrots, 1 bunch turnips, 1 watermelon radish, 1 head of green bibb lettuce, 1 pound braising greens, 1 kohlrabi, 1 pound onions, 2 heads of garlic.

Storage:  All things except garlic and onions in the refrigerator, in bags with air squeezed out.

The turnip bunch includes 1 scarlet turnip and several japanese white turnips that are quite mild.  These are great for eating raw in salads or dipped in pesto.  They are also good in soup or roasted or braised.

The braising greens are mustards, tatsoi, leaf napa, arugula, baby bok choy.  The mix would be good sauteed with a little (or a lot) of garlic.  Also would be a good addition to soup.  The baby bok choy heads will need to be cut into individual leaves.

Watermelon radishes are a bit stronger in flavor than the french breakfast radishes.  They are good sliced very thin or shredded into salads.

Watermelon radish, Baby turnip, And Kohlrabi Slaw
Remove the greens from 1 watermelon radish, wash the radish, and thinly slice into coins
Remove the greens from the turnips and wash the tops and set aside.
Wash the turnips and thinly slice into coins.
Shake excess water from the turnip greens and slice into thin ribbons.
Remove the greens from the kohlrabi, peel, and shred.
Combine all the vegetables in a bowl.
Thinly slice 1 small red onion and add to bowl.

Make a dressing of Lemon Vinaigrette from Root to Leaf
Makes 1 1/2 cups (more than enough for this salad)
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a blender, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Cover and blend at medium speed until all the ingredients are smooth.  With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream until the dressing emulsifies- it will be a lemony yellow and a little creamy.  Taste for seasoning.

Pour desired amount of dressing over the vegetables and combine well.  Extra dressing can be stored in an airtight jar for a week and used on other salads!

Next week is the last share of the regular season CSA.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

September 20 or 23

The waiting continues...diversity is a little hard to find right now in quantities large enough for the CSA boxes.  Cyril and I did see a few heads of broccoli yesterday and we will be digging the first sweet potatoes this week so you'll get some in one of the last 2 boxes of the regular season share.
This week:  1 head of romaine lettuce, 1 bunch of radish, 1 head of bok choy, 2 pounds of onions (red and yellow), 4 pounds of potatoes (papa cacho fingerlings and satina), 1 bunch of sorrel.
Help yourself to hot peppers if you'd like some!  Those who don't generally pick up at makret, stop by for hot peppers or let us know you want some.

Storage: everything in the refrigerator.

Sorrel and potato soup, sorrel pesto over oven roasted fingerlings, radish/red onion/sorrel salad, mashed potatoes rolled up in romaine leaves served with a spicy radish slaw...

Apple, Bok Choy, and Radish Slaw
from Steven Satterfield's Root to Leaf

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 medium tart, crisp apple
1 medium watermelon radish (or several smaller radishes)
1 medium head of bok choy
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place the apple cider in a medium bowl.  Quarter and de-seed the apple.  Thinly slice the apple quarters.  Julienne the apple slices into matchsticks.  Thinly slice the radishes, then cut the thin slices into matchsticks; add to the bowl with the apple and vinegar.  Trim the bok choy by removing the core at the base.  Separate each leaf and rinse well.  Cut each leaf lengthwise down the center of the rib.  Lay the trimmed leaves one on top of another and cut them crosswise into thin pieces.  Add the leaves to the bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss with the olive oil.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

September 13 or 16 CSA

This weeks' share:  1 bunch of radishes, 1/2 pound cut lettuce, 1/3 pound arugula, 1 pound of goose beans, 1 small fennel bulb, 1/2 pound of garlic, 2 butternut squash.

Storage:  garlic and butternut out of refrigerator, all else in refrigerator.  We do not have a giant lettuce spinner so the lettuce and arugula are rather wet.  If you'd like them to keep longer, either spin them yourself or put a cloth or paper towel in the bags to take up some of the moisture.

Goose Beans need to have their strings pulled off.  The pods that have blushed to mostly pink can be shelled and the pod discarded.  The pods that are still green can be snapped and cooked with the beans in them.  Pole beans are high in iron, fiber, and protein.

I like to string and snap / shell the goose beans, place them in a pot of water that just covers the beans along with an onion and a bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and let simmer until tender; about 45 minutes.
In the mean time I peel and dice several cloves of garlic and place in a pool of olive oil.  Add to that the zest of half a lemon, the juice of a whole lemon, course salt to taste and black pepper.
When the beans are to desired tenderness, strain off the water (save the water!, which by now has good flavor and makes good soup broth or rice cooking water).
Put the beans in a bowl and pour the garlic dressing over them.  Stir well and let sit 30 minutes to marinate.  Enjoy with some good, crusty bread.  Nice with a side of fresh radish...

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September 6 or 9 CSA

This weeks' share contains:  1 pound of curly green kale, 1 head of Chinese golden celery, 2 pounds of Papa Cacho fingerling potatoes, Sweet peppers, 1 pound of summer squash, 1 pound of red onions.

Storage:  all but red onions and peppers need to be refrigerated.  If you plan to keep the onions longer than a week, they will last longer refrigerated.  Same with the peppers.

Celery, Apple, Pecan and Watercress Salad
from Chez Panisse, what would I do without this cookbook?
(You can substitute kale for watercress in this salad)
2/3 cup pecan halves
1 tart, crisp apple
several ribs of the golden celery
1/2 cup Creme Fraiche
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch watercress, thick stems removed (or several kale leaves, thick stems removed and leaves torn into smallish pieces)

Heat the oven to 300.  Place the pecans on a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven.  Roast until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  Let cool.  Meanwhile, cut the apple into quarters and remove the seeds and core from each quarter.  Slice each quarter into 3 pieces lengthwise, then cut in half crosswise.

Trim the ends from the celery ribs, wash the ribs, and slice into small pieces.  In a large bowl, combine the apples, celery, and pecans.  In a small bowl, mix together the creme fraiche, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper.  Spoon the dressing into the celery mixture and stir well to combine.  Toss with the watercress just before serving, or with the kale 10 minutes before serving.  Taste for seasoning.

The Papa Cacho potatoes are a fingerling type so they have a waxier texture.  They make great potato salad and are great roasted.
The golden celery is great in stir fries, soups, and small amounts in salad.
This is the last of the summer squash.  We've been enjoying it sauteed with red onion and sweet peppers and a little salt and pepper.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

August 30 or September 2

Share contents:  1 pound of half runner beans, 3/4 pound of okra, 1 1/2 pounds of sweet peppers, 2 pounds of Desiree potatoes, 3 bulbs of garlic, 1 butternut squash, 1 cucumber.

Storage:  peppers, garlic, and squash out of fridge and out of direct sunlight.  All else in fridge. If you're going to be a few days before eating the okra, switch it from the plastic bag to a paper one or a bowl.

Half runner beans are a small green bean of big popularity in the south.  They are typically prepared in a broth with smoked pork bacon or jowl and onion and cooked slow and long.  They are also good prepared in many other ways that green beans are used and have great flavor on their own.  In the ones I have cooked so far, some have string and some do not.  I think the fuller the bean pod is with formed beans, the more likely it has a string.
Following is a recipe from Steven Satterfield's Root to Leaf Cookbook
Green Beans, Roasted Pepper, and Potato Salad
1/2 pound potatoes
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 anchovy fillet
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 roasted red or yellow bell peppers, cleaned and seeded
2 cups blanched green beans

Chop the potatoes into chunks of desired size.  Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water by 2 inches.  Add the vinegar and salt to the water and place over medium-high heat.  Cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes, then drain well in a colander and set aside.
In a small bowl, mash the anchovy fillet with the back of a fork.  Make the dressing by adding the citrus juice and zest, shallot, chopped parsley, and olive oil to the bowl and whisk to combine.
Toss the potatoes with the dressing while they're still warm.
Slice the roasted peppers into thin strips, about the same size as the green beans.  Toss the blanched green beans and peppers together, including any juice from roasting the peppers, then add to the potato mixture and toss to combine.  Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.  Serve at room temperature.

I think that next week you'll start seeing greens and leaves in the shares again.  We are in the late summer portion of the year where it is difficult to have pretty greens due to the heat.  If you aren't in the mood for eating all the potatoes that are coming at you these weeks, they will keep for months in a drawer in your refrigerator (not in a plastic bag).  Also, the garlic will keep if stored in a dry and cool-ish spot out of direct sun.
The hot peppers continue so help yourself to a few at market if you'd like.