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.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 23 or 26 CSA

Share contents:  1 pound of summer squashes, 1 pound of green beans, 1 pound of sweet onions, 1 butternut squash, 3/4 pound of Sweet Italian peppers, 1 1/2 pound of Papa Cacho fingerling potatoes, salad tomatoes (orange ones are Clementine, red ones are Mountain Magic).

Storage:  Butternut squash, peppers, and tomatoes can be kept out on your counter not in direct sun.  All else should be refrigerated.

Beans:  we don't have enough of any one variety to give the whole CSA the same kind. So...those of you picking up at RAD today will have Romano beans which are a snap bean.  Those of you who pick up at Catawba or the farm will have Goose beans which are a delicious heirloom pole bean variety that needs to be de-strung before preparing.  Some of the smaller ones haven't developed a string yet but if you can see the from of a bean inside the pod, chances are their a string to pull off the top and bottom of the pod.  The entire pod and beans within are edible.

The Papa Cacho fingerlings have a waxy texture and great flavor.  They are great oven roasted, boiled until just soft and smashed with a spatula and fried, in potato salad.
The sweet onions are very mild.  We mostly use them raw in salads around here.  A lot of their flavor is lost in cooking.
The butternut have been sitting for a few weeks and now and are ready to eat.

Summer Squash and Pepper Salad
Prepare 1 dry cup of bulgur wheat or quinoa or brown short grain rice.  While it is cooking and cooling, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
4 to 6 summer squashes, finely diced
1 sweet red pepper, stem and seeds removed, finely diced
1 sweet onion, very finely diced
1/2 cup of dill, parsley, mint (combination of the three or just one)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
salt and pepper
Combine the cooked grain and vegetables in a large bowl.  Toss to combine.
Whisk the herb(s), olive oil, and citrus juice in a small bowl.  Pour the dressing over the salad.  Add salt and black pepper to taste and combine all together.  Let sit for 15 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August 16 or 19

Share contents:  2 and 1/2 pounds of potatoes ( a mix of Nicola and Red Maria), 1 pound of yellow onions, 1 Italian eggplant, 3 pounds of Opalka paste tomatoes, sweet peppers (1 round of Hungary pimento, 1 sweet Italian, several Jimmy Nardello), 1 cantaloupe.
those of you who pick up on Saturday got your melon last Saturday
Storage:  Potatoes should be refrigerated if you're not going to eat them this week.  Onions can be kept out but will burn your eyes less when chopping them if you keep them refrigerated.  Melon should be eaten within 2 days or refrigerated.  Peppers, eggplant and tomatoes can be kept on your counter.

We are in the part of the season where there is not much green to eat.  Kales and chard are growing.  There will be baby beets with tops again soon and radishes in September.  We just planted lots of head lettuce.  So, feast on these hot weather veggies and know cooler crops are on the way!

Eggplant, Tomato, and Onion Gratin
From Chez Panisse
3 onions
3 cloves of garlic
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 or 3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 globe eggplant or 3 Japanese eggplant
3 ripe tomatoes

Peel and chop the onions and garlic very fine.  Stew them over medium  heat for about 5 minutes, until soft, in half the butter and olive oil, with the leaves of the thyme, the bay leaf, and salt and pepper.
Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick rounds.  Slice the tomatoes slightly thicker.
Preheat the oven to 400.  Butter a shallow gratin dish.  (Or pyrex or pie pan.)
Remove the bay leaf from the onions and spread them over the bottom of the dish.  Cover with overlapping rows of alternate tomato and eggplant slices.  Each slice should cover 2/3 of the preceding one.  Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, cover, and cook in the oven until the eggplant is soft enough to be cut with a spoon, about 45 minutes.  Uncover for the last 15 minutes or earlier if the tomatoes are giving up too much liquid.  Brush or spoon the juices over the top occasionally to prevent the top layer from drying out.  This gratin should be moist but not watery.  Serves 6 to 8.
 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 9 or 12 CSA

Your share this week includes:  1 yellow bell pepper, 1 antohi romania sweet pepper, 1 pound of red onions, 1 bunch of parsley, 2 small bulbs of fennel, 1/2 pound of okra, 1 head of garlic, 2 acorn squash, 3 pounds of a mix of japanese black trifele and garden peach tomatoes.
(You'll be weighing out your own tomatoes at the market pick-ups...those of you picking up elsewhere will have a paper bag with the tomatoes in it.)

Storage: fennel and parsley in bag with the air squeezed out in your refrigerator.  Okra in your fridge.  If its going to be a few days until you eat the okra, transfer it to a bowl or a paper bag...it will get moldy quicker in the plastic bag.  All other things can be kept on your counter.

Acorn squash is the first of many winter squashes you'll get the rest of this CSA year.  They do not keep well so eat them soon.  There will be other varieties later that you can keep for longer.  Both of the peppers are sweet.  If you want hot peppers, you are welcome to take a few from the market stand.  If you want a large quantity for hot sauce or such, let me know and we'll give you a discount price. 

Pepper and Onion Salad
from Chez Panisse Vegetables
Seed and slice thin some peppers of different colors and varieties.  Slice a small to medium red onion very thin and toss together with the pepper slices, some pitted nicoise olives, and a spoonful of capers rinsed of brine.
Make a vinaigrette with red wine vinegar and good olive oil, and season with chopped garlic and jalapeno pepper(or another hot pepper variety) and red pepper flakes.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Cut basil leaves (or parsley) into a chiffonade and sprinkle over the salad.  This salad should be spicy and robust; taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

An Okra Recipe on Epicurious
The share this week also has just about all the ingredients for a good gumbo.  Or you can just oven roast the okra in a hot oven for about 20 minutes tossed in olive oil and salt.

This week is the 14th box of 22.  Over the next few weeks we'll be harvesting all the winter squash varieties and you'll see those in your share.  There will be sweet potatoes in the last couple of boxes.  Pole beans are on their way. Greens and lettuce will return in September.  Carrots and beets and radishes are sprouting in this cool and wet weather...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

How can it be August 2 or 5 already?

If anyone is interested in a box of tomatoes for canning or freezing, this is the week!  We have 20 pound boxes of heirloom paste tomatoes for $30 to the CSA only.  Let me know if you'd like to get one and I'll pack it up for you.
This weeks' share:  2 pounds of beets, 1 head of flat dutch cabbage, 2 pounds of desiree potatoes, 1 bunch of leeks, 1 celeriac, 1 quart of cherry tomatoes, 1 bulb of garlic.
Storage:  all but cherry tomatoes and garlic in the fridge.

The beets are without tops because the tops look terrible right now and you would to want to eat them.  The celeriac tops are great for making a stock or broth with but not great for eating whole because they are difficult to chew.

Following is a recipe for cabbage.  You could make borscht thought too with the beets and cabbage...
Cabbage in Vinegar
1head of cabbage
1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter
1 bay leaf
1/2 lemon
1 to 3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)

Boil cabbage 10 minutes in lightly salted water.  Drain and shred.  heat oil in skillet, add bay leaf and garlic and brown.  Add shredded cabbage, half lemon, salt and pepper and cook 15 minutes.  Pour water, vinegar and sugar over the cabbage, cover skillet and cook 10 minutes longer.  Serves 4.  (adapted from The Talisman Italian Cookbook)

Those of you who have been in our CSA for years have seen this recipe before...it is a favorite from "Farmer John's Cookbook".
Creamy Celeriac Soup
3 Tablespoons butter
1 bunch of leeks, quartered and sliced
1 celeriac, peeled, roughly chopped
3 to 5 potatoes, roughly chopped
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth/ stock
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or mace
1/2 cup cream or coconut milk or almond milk
salt and pepper to taste

1.Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add the leeks; cook until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the celeriac, potatoes, stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 25 minutes.
2. Let the soup cool slightly and then puree in a food processor or blender.  Return to the soup pot; stir in the cream, salt, and pepper to taste and heat on low until heated through.
This soup is good cold too.

The other day I cooked made a good beet salad of steamed beets cut into quarter sized chunks with a dressing of sour cream, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, fresh mint leaves and nasturtium flowers.  We liked it...


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 26 or 29 CSA

Share contents:
2 pounds of heirloom sauce tomatoes, 1 pink brandywine, 2 garden peach (tomatoes), 2 heads of garlic, 1 pound of red onion, 1 head of red celery, 2 pounds of orange carrots, 1 pound of zephry squash, 1 purple bell pepper.
Storage:
Garlic, pepper, and tomatoes on the counter (onions too if you'll eat them within the week).  Celery in a bag with the air squeezed out in the refrigerator.  Carrots and squash in refrigerator.

These are the last carrots for awhile...we lost a lot of our last planting and the next one is a ways off.  These carrots are surprisingly sweet for a July crop.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we are!
The red celery is an unusual character.  The flavor is strong and the texture is dense.  My favorite ways to use it are in an Italian style sofritto or in soup stock/ broth.  The very heart of it is tender and good chopped small and used in salads.  You can also dice the celery and freeze for use this winter in soups and sauces.

Sofritto
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large onions, diced
1 pound of carrots, diced
4 to 6 celery stalks (leaves too), diced
In a large heavy frying pan, heat the olive oil over low heat.  Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened and caramelized, about 1 hour.  Let cool, then transfer to the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.

You can then add to this sofritto the tomatoes and let cook until desired consistency along with some fresh oregano, basil, or parsley and use as a pasta sauce.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 19 or 22 CSA

Share contents:  3 pounds of heirloom tomatoes, 1 bunch of Italian parsley, 1 pound of yellow onions, 1 pound of a mix of yellow wax beans and green snap beans, 1 head of summer crisp lettuce, 2 pounds of Masquerade potatoes, 1 pint of cherry tomatoes.

Storage:  Yellow onions do not need to be refrigerated.  Tomatoes will taste better if they aren't refrigerated.  Everything else will keep best in a refrigerator drawer.

We pick our tomatoes vine ripe so they need to be eaten within a couple days or else store them in the refrigerator.  Those of you that pick up at market will be weighing out your own tomatoes.  Amy will have it all set up for you Wednesday and I will on Saturday.  Catawba and farm pick-ups will have a paper bag that contains them.  Also, there will be a crate of potatoes there for you to grab a 2nd pound from.  We had a miscommunication about how many to put in the boxes yesterday.  Those picking up at Catawba or the farm will have 2 pounds in your share already.

Tomato Pie, tomato salad, tomato sandwiches, tomato sauce, tomato soup, tomato juice, salsa...
A Recipe for Tomato Pie

The Masquerade potatoes have thin skin so there is no need to peel them.  They are great roasted, made into home fries, or boiled and smashed and fried.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July 12 or 15

Share contents for this week:  1 bag of basil, 2 heads of garlic, 1 bunch of fresh shallots, 1 celeriac, 1 head of savoy cabbage, 2 shintokiwa cucumbers, 2 pounds of romano beans, 1 pint of cherry tomatoes.

Storage:  garlic can be kept out of the fridge.  Cherry tomatoes too, if you'll be eating them within a couple days.  Basil is sensitive to cold and will turn black if not kept properly.  If you're going to keep it a few days before using or turning into pesto, put it into a cloth bag or roll it up in a cloth before refrigerating.  Everything else needs to be kept in the refrigerator.

The celeriac tops are great for using in stock or broth or diced very fine and used in tomato sauce.  They are quite fibrous and can be hard to chew but do a hold a lot of celery flavor.  The bulb is the good stuff for eating.  It needs to be peeled and then can be added to soups, mashed with potatoes, shaved raw into salad, or blanched and used in a salad I'll give a recipe for below.
Fresh shallots tops can be used liked green onions raw or sauteed or added to a stock.  The red part is what we use when a recipe calls for shallots.  They have a flavor that is more intense than sweet onions and at the same time less hot.  They are a great ingredient in vinaigrettes and sliced thinly and added to salads.
Savoy cabbage is great for slaw and also makes wonderful cooked dishes including creamed cabbage and braised cabbage.
Shintokiwa cucumbers are a Japanese variety that tastes amazing despite their underwhelming looks.  They are our favorite this year for salads.
Romano beans are a green snap bean with sweet flavor.

Celeriac and Cucumber Salad
Remove the tops from the celeriac and peel.  Cut the celeriac into 1/8 inch thick slices and place in a pot with enough water to cover.  Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to the water.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove the celeriac form the water and cool with cold water of ice cubes.
When the celeriac pieces are cool enough to handle, cut them into long, narrow strips and place in a bowl.  Thinly slice the 2 cucumbers and add to the bowl.
Thinly slice 1 shallot and add to the bowl.
Make a dressing of:
1/2 cup mayonaisse
1 dill pickle diced fine
2 teaspoons of capers
a few sprigs of parsley chopped fine
a squeeze of anchovy paste, about 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
a few leaves of mint or anise hyssop
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of ume boshi vinegar (or salt to taste)
black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients well and add to the bowl with the vegetables.  Let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.
This is also great with thinly sliced savoy cabbage and becomes a slaw. 

 Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad
From Chez Panisse by Alice Waters
1 pound of green beans
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 large shallot
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Optional:  basil or other herb
Top and tail the beans, and parboil them in slated water until tender.  Drain and immediately spread them out to cool.  (The beans retain more flavor if you avoid shocking them in cold water.) Cut he cherry tomatoes in half.
For the vinaigrette, peel and dice the shallot fine and put in a bowl with the vinegar, salt and pepper.  Whisk in the olive oil.  Taste and adjust the balance with more vinegar, oil, or salt, as needed.  Toss the cherry tomatoes in with the vinaigrette; this can sit for a while.  Do not add the green beans until just before serving or they will discolor from the acid in the vinegar.  For variety, the salad can be garnished with basil or some other fresh herb such as parsley, chervil, or hyssop.

 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July 5 or 8 CSA

Share contents:  1 bunch of King Richard Leeks, 3 pounds of Satina Potatoes, 1 bunch of sorrel, 1 bunch of chiogga beets, 2 pounds of summer squash ( combo of patty pan, zephyr, and yellow straightneck), 1 pound of lemon cucumber.

Storage:  everything in the refrigerator.  Beets and leeks in bags or wrapped in a cloth.

Sorrel is a tangy green.  You have 1 bunch in your share this week.  It tastes like lemons and is awesome in pesto as well as in the soup recipe below.Chiogga beets are an heirloom Italian variety, known for their beautiful 2 toned interior.  Their flavor is slightly less intense than the dark red varieties.  Lemon cucumbers are so called because of their round, yellow appearance.  They taste like cucumbers and are great for eating alone or adding to salads, water, juice.  Satina potatoes have a smooth texture and great flavor for soup, roasting, or mashing.

We made a simple and delicious squash casserole the other day with layers of thinly sliced squash and onion, sprinkled with salt and pepper and a little oregano, topped with cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs.

Roasted Beets in Salad
Preheat the oven to 400.  Remove the tops, leaving 1/4 inch of stem.  Wash thoroughly and put them in a baking pan with a splash of water.  Cover with a tight fitting lid or foil and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until they can be easily pierced through with a sharp knife.  Uncover and let cool.
Peel the beets and cut of the tops and tails.  Cut them in half or quarters and dress.  Here are some dressing suggestions:
Beets, sherry vinegar, citrus zest, tarragon, a little crushed garlic.
Beets, white wine vinegar, shallots, fennel, sorrel.
Beets, balsamic vinegar, shallots, toasted walnuts.

Potato, Leek, and Sorrel Soup
2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 medium to large leeks, cleaned and chopped, using all of the whites and at least half of the greens
3 cups chicken broth or water
4 oz. sorrel, taken off the stem and chopped roughly
1/2-3/4 cup heavy cream or milk, to taste
salt and pepper
2 T olive oil
1 T butter
In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil and butter. Add the leeks and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and the stock or water. Bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down to a simmer and cover. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the sorrel. If you have a hand blender (I hope you do, because it will make you happy), stick it in the pot and blend until smooth. You can also transfer to a regular blender in batches if you prefer, or haven’t followed my advice about the hand blender. When the soup is all blended, add the milk or cream and rewarm gently, taking care not to boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve garnished with the creme fraiche that’s sitting in your fridge.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

June 28 or July 1

As I type the dates for this week, I am struck by how quickly June has gone by.  It makes sense if I think about what work we are doing these days...maybe its these cool mornings throwing me off.  We are busy harvesting and storing the potato crop, 1 variety at a time.  The storage onions are ready to harvest, and the first tomatoes are ripening on the vines.  We worry about late blight coming on the wind and settling onto our field tomatoes.  We have been keeping them healthy thus far with good nutrition...We are planning ahead to fall and seeding broccoli and brussel sprouts in the greenhouse.  We harvested our tiny winter wheat crop on Monday.  Life on the farm.

Your share this week:  1 head of curly endive, 1 bulb of fennel, 1 bunch of cipollini onions, 1 bunch of Italian parsley, 1 bunch of purple basil, 1 head of garlic, 2 suhyo cucumbers, 1 pint of baby patty pan squash, 1 bigger squash or zucchini, 1 green celery.

I like to make a pesto with parsley and purple basil, garlic, salt, extra virgin olive oil, and lemon juice.  I store it in a jar with a little olive oil poured over the top to keep it green and a tight lid in the refrigerator.  Basil tends to get a mildew disease here in the heat of July so we're putting it in the boxes now in case that happens.

Summer Squash with Garlic and Herbs
Cut the little patty pans into quarters.  Thinly slice larger squash or julienne.  Saute in olive oil in a skillet until tender and just beginning to brown.  Add a generous amount of freshly chopped garlic and basil and season with salt and pepper.  cook just a minute longer until you can smell the garlic.  Squeeze a little lemon juice over it and serve.

Braised Florence Fennel
from Chez Panisse
Cut the leafy tops and stem from the fennel bulb.  Chop fine a few sprigs of the leaves and reserve.  Cut the bulb in half lengthwise through the core and cut each half into 2 or 3 equal wedges.
Put fennel wedges in a saucepan with a good inch of water, a liberal dousing of olive oil, a generous sprinkling of freshly ground fennel seed, and the chopped reserved fennel leaves; season with salt.  Cover and cook over moderate heat for about 20 minutes, shaking occasionally, until the fennel wedges are soft and can be pierced through easily with a knife but are still intact.  Add a little more water during cooking, if needed, to maintain a small amount of liquid in the bottom of the pan.  The olive oil and water should emulsify into a flavorful, thick broth.
Squeeze in some lemon juice to balance the olive oil.  Adjust the seasoning.  Serve the fennel with a little of the lemony broth.
this is great served with fish or chicken or over pasta with a grating of Parmesan

Warm Curly Endive Salad with Cipollini Onions
adapted from Chez Panisse
Thoroughly wash and dry a head of curly endive.  Make a vinaigrette with red wine vinegar and a little balsamic vinegar, some finely mashed garlic, salt, and olive oil.  Slice a sweet cipollin onion very thin, and in a large saute pan, saute it quickly in a little olive oil until limp and a little browned.  Add the curly endive and the vinaigrette and toss quickly over heat until the endive is just starting to wilt.  Grind some pepper over the salad and serve it by itself- or as a main dish with a grilled pork chop.

Below is a link to an interesting recipe.  It is good without the beets too.
Beet, Cucumber, and Celery Relish

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June 21 or 24

First Day of Summer!
Share contents:
1 bunch of carrots, 1 head of "Early Jersey Wakefield" cabbage, 1 bunch of red onions, 1 pound of snap beans, 2 pounds of cucumbers, 1 1/2 pounds of red new potatoes.

Storage:
everything in the fridge.  If you want to use the onion tops, do so in the 1st couple days while they are fresh.  Carrot tops should be removed from the carrots if you're going to keep them more than a few days.

Early Jersey Wakefield is an heirloom cabbage variety.  It is known for its conical shape and tender, sweet flavor.  It makes great coleslaw or sauerkraut.

A Coleslaw Recipe
1 head of cabbage
1 small red onion
a few sprigs of cilantro or dill
juice of 1 lime
2 to 3 teaspoons of white wine vinegar
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Tear off and discard outer leaves if wilted.  Quarter the head and remove the core.  Slice the quarters crosswise into thin strips.  Slice the onion lengthwise as thin as possible.  Coarsely chop the herb(s).
Combine all the vegetables in a large bowl and toss with the lime juice, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper.  Taste and, if necessary, add more vinegar, salt and pepper.  Serve at room temperature.

Green Bean and New Potato Salad
1 pound green beans
1 pound of new potatoes
1 red onion
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Wash potatoes and cut into chunks of desired size.  Boil until just fork tender.  Remove from water and place in a bowl.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the vinegar over the potatoes and set aside.
top and tail the beans, and parboil them in salted water until tender.  Drain and immediately spread them out to cool.
For the vinaigrette, peel and dice the onion fine and put in a bowl with the remaining vinegar and salt and pepper.  Whisk in the olive oil.  Taste and adjust with more vinegar or salt or pepper, as needed.  Toss the potatoes in with the vinaigrette; this can sit for awhile.  Do not add the green beans until just before serving or they will discolor from the acid in the vinaigrette.
The salad can be tossed with dill, basil, parsley, or hyssop.
adapted from Chez Panisse

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

June 14 or 17 CSA

Share contents this week:
1 head of Bambi lettuce, 1 pint of snow peas, 1 bunch of cippollini spring onions, 1 1/2 # Austrian crescent fingerling potatoes, Costata Romanesca zucchini, 1 bunch of red beets, 1 bunch of dill, 2 bulbs of garlic.
Storage:
Garlic and potatoes, loose or in a paper bag in the fridge.  All other things in plastic bags with air squeezed out in fridge.

Costata Romanesca is a traditional Italian zucchini with a nutty flavor and drier texture than dark green zucchinis.  Its flavor is superior even when large.
Austrian Crescent potatoes have a waxy texture which makes them great for warm potato salad, oven fries, or boiling.

Pasta with Zucchini, Walnuts, and Pesto
from Chez Panisse by Alice Waters
Trim ends off and julienne 2 zucchini and saute in olive oil until tender and starting to brown.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook fresh noodles and add to the pan with a ladle of the pasta water or some chicken stock; some toasted walnuts, roughly chopped; and pesto sauce.  Turn off the heat and toss well, taste for seasoning, and serve with grated Parmesan. 

Try roasting the beets and making a warm beet salad with fresh dill, chopped spring onions and a simple vinaigrette.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

June 7 or 10 CSA

Share contents:  1&1/2# broccoli florets, 1 bunch of small yellow onions, 1 bag of green kale, 1 head of napa cabbage, 1 fennel bulb, 1 bunch of multi-color carrots, 1# zephyr summer squash (you may also have a patty pan or yellow straight-neck too).

Storage:  You can leave the onions out on the counter.  All else should be stored in your vegetables drawers in the refrigerator.

Yellow Squash Sicilian Style
from The Talisman Italian Cookbook
1 pound of squash, sliced thin
2T olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2 T wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp fresh mint leaves
Place squash in skillet with oil and garlic and cook gently until squash is tender.  Add vinegar, salt, sugar and mint leaves and cook 2 minutes longer.  Serves 4

Broccoli Roman Style
11/2 # broccoli
3 T olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup dry red wine
Wash broccoli well and drain.  (Use whole florets.)  Place olive oil and garlic in a large skillet and brown garlic.  Add broccoli, salt and pepper and cook 5 minutes.  Add wine, cover skillet and cook over very low flame 20 minutes, or until broccoli is tender, stirring gently so as not to break florets.
I like to eat this with a little crushed red pepper and grated Parmesan.

Napa cabbage makes great slaw, especially with fennel and grated carrots.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 31 or June 3

Share contents:
2 pounds new "red gold" potatoes, 1 head of golden celery, 1 bunch of scallions, 1 bunch of Italian parsley, 1 head of romaine lettuce, 1 head of cauliflower, 1 bunch of red beets, 1 bunch of garlic scapes, 1/2 pound of snow peas.

Storage:
Everything in the refrigerator.  New potatoes need to be transferred to a breathable bag so they don't get moldy.  Celery, scallions, and parsley will keep longer in a bag with the air squeezed out.  Beet greens should be removed form roots and stored in a bag if you're not going to eat them within 24 hours.
Calendula and borage in the foreground and lettuce and leeks to the left.  I love the combination of these 2 flowers to look at and the pollinating insects love it as well!
Warm Potato Salad with Sour Cream
2 pounds of new potatoes
2 to 4 scallions
3/4 cup cream
salt and pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
sherry vinegar
a few sprigs of parsley

Boil the potatoes in their skin until tender; drain.  When they are cool enough to handle, cut them into 1/4 inches slices.
Chop the scallions, green parts too, into thin coins and put them in a small saucepan with the cream.  Season with salt and pepper and warm gently to soften the scallions.  When scallions are softened, take the pan off the heat and stir in the sour cream.
When you are ready to serve the salad, put the potatoes in the cream mixture, add a splash or 2 of sherry vinegar to taste and warm again gently.  Taste for salt and add more if needed.  Serve garnished with freshly ground black pepper and chopped parsley.
This recipe adapted from Chez Panisse

Click on the link below for a beet tabouleh recipe.

 Beet and Bulgur Salad


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May 24 or May 27 CSA

It was a muddy, wet harvest day but we found a lot of beautiful vegetables out there!  Rainy days have a unique beauty in that the colors are more vivid, sound carries differently so that the birds calls are more pronounced, and there is no race to get things harvested before the sun and heat become too intense.  Quite nice, really, in our salmon orange rain gear!

Your share this week contains:
1 head of red bibb lettuce, 1 kohlrabi, 1 pound of broccoli, 1/2 pound of sugar snap peas, 1 pound of snow peas, 1 bunch of scallions, 1 bunch of white turnips, 1 bunch of garlic scapes, 1 pint of strawberries.

Storage:
Eat the strawberries today!  We pick them ripe so they taste good but they will not keep long.  Everything else needs to be kept in the refrigerator.  Keep things in plastic bags with the air squeezed out or wrapped in a damp cloth.

JULIENNED SNOW PEA SALAD WITH SPRING HERBS
from Root to Leaf by Steven Satterfield
1 pound of snow peas
2 garlic scapes, blanched or grilled
2 T Meyer Lemon Sauce (seee below)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mixed fresh spring herbs (mint, violet, pansy, coriander flower)
  (other herbs could be dill, parsley, cilantro, anise hyssop)
Thinly slice the snow peas lengthwise and transfer them to a large bowl.  Slice the cooked garlic scapes crosswise and add to the bowl.  Toss with Meyer Lemon Sauce and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  garnish with herbs.

Meyer Lemon Sauce
1 Meyer Lemon, quartered and seeds removed
1 stalk of green garlic or 1 garlic clove
(or a few garlic scapes)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

TURNIP and TURNIP GREEN SOUP
from Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters
1 small yellow onion
1 clove of garlic (or a few garlic scapes)
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 T unsalted butter
1 bunch turnips with greens
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp thyme leaves
1 small piece of prosciutto or smoked bacon
4 cups rich chicken stock
salt and pepper
Reggiano Parmesan cheese

Peel and slice the onion and garlic thin.  Put in a pot with the olive oil and butter and 1 tablespoon of water and stew, covered, until they are soft and translucent.  Trim off the stems and greens from the turnips and reserve the greens.  Do not peel the turnips.  Trim off their roots, slice the turnips thin and add them to the pot.  Stew them for a few minutes, until they begin to soften.  Add the bay leaf, thyme, prosciutto or bacon, stock, and salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer over low heat for about 1/2 hour.

Wash the turnip greens and cut them into 1/2 inch wide strips and stir them into the soup.  Simmer the soup for another 10 minutes or so, until the greens are soft and tender.  Garnish the soup with a few curls of shaved Parmesan.
Serves 4.
Note: Water or vegetable stock may be substituted for the chicken stock, and the proscuitto omitted for a meatless version of this soup.

You can make a great salad with the red bibb, sugar snap peas, strawberries, and balsamic-maple syrup dressing.
DRESSING
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 T maple syrup
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, diced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake well to mix.  Make 30 minute ahead of time.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

May 17 or 20 CSA

This weeks' share contains:
1 quart of strawberries, 1 head of red bibb lettuce, 1 head of frisee endive, 3/4# kale, 1/2# arugula, 1 bunch of dill, 2 green garlic, 1 bunch of hakurei turnips, 1 bunch of purple radish.

Storage:
lettuce, endive, kale, arugula will all keep best in a bag with the air squeezed out in the fridge.  If you aren't going to eat the turnip or radish greens within 2 days, cut them off of the roots and compost them or store separately in a bag with the air squeezed out.  Green garlic can be kept in drawer of fridge.  Dill will keep best wrapped in a damp cloth or paper towel.  If you won't be eating the berries right away, they keep best in a glass or plastic container with a paper towel in the bottom and a lid on in the fridge.

The arugula in your share is rather holey.  This is the work of a small insect that is difficult to control by organic means.  The one thing that can be sprayed is a broad-spectrum insecticide that kills all the beneficial insects as well as honey bees so we have chosen not to use it.  There is nothing wrong with the arugula but if you don't like the looks of it, make a pesto with it or add it to stir-fry or soup and you won't be able to see the holes any more.

You can make an excellent pesto of the arugula, green garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and then use it as a dip for the mild hakurei turnips and the radishes.

The endive is very mild and is good raw in salads or lightly sauteed and added to white beans or chicken soup.

SAUTEED KALE

Ingredients


Directions

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

May 10 or 13 First share 2017

This weeks' share contains:  1 pint of strawberries, 1 head of romaine lettuce, 1 head of mini bibb lettuce, 1 purple kohlrabi, 2 green garlics, 1/2 pound of spinach, 1 bunch of cilantro, 1 bunch of radish, 1 head of bok choi, 1 bunch of swiss chard.

Storage:  Everything this week will store best in the fridge.  All the greens will keep best in plastic bags with the air squeezed out.  Strawberries will be best eaten today.  Cilantro can be kept in a glass of water with the roots down in the water in the fridge.

Anne's Radish Salad
1 bunch radish (any small variety)
1 small red onion
1T fresh orange juice
1T ume-plum vinegar
1T extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. separate radish tops from the roots.  wash and chop radish tops and place in a bowl with the ume plum vinegar; bruise greens slightly while mixing with vinegar; let sit.

2. thinly slice radishes and red onion; place in a bowl with other ingredients; add radish tops and combine everything well.  let sit 10 minutes before eating.

GREEN GARLIC INFORMATIONAL
You can use green garlic in any application where you would use cured garlic.
Green garlic is the freshest form of garlic you can use.
 It is straight out of the ground and has had no drying time so it has a sweeter, milder flavor than cured garlic.
It is best stored in the refrigerator and used within 2 weeks.
The green top part can be used to make soup broth or stock.  It imparts great flavor but is tough to chew so should be strained off before using the stock or broth.




May 10 or 13 First Share of 2017 Logistical information



Some logistical information:
When you get your  share from a market pick-up, you will transfer the contents of the box to a cloth bag and leave the wax box with us.  Those of you in the CSA last year may still have your bag.  Anyone who needs a new one or for new members we will have bags at the 1st pick-up.  Then you need to bring those back with you each week.  Those picking up at Catawba will receive your share in the bag already and just need to return an empty bag each week when you go to get your share.

If you haven't paid yet, please bring a check with you this week when you pick up.  If you are picking up at Catawba, please mail your check.  There will not be anyone from the farm at that pick-up.

If you are picking up at Catawba, you go to the bartender and tell them your picking up a CSA share and give them your name.  They will get it from the cooler for you.  Please get in touch with us if you have any issues at Catawba.  The bartender is doing us a favor and cannot help with issues you have related to the CSA. Also, YOU MUST get your share on Wednesday at Catawba.  They do not keep them in the cooler for you longer than that.  They do not have enough space to store them overnight and we do not go back there and get boxes that weren't picked up.

If you are picking up at market, look for Gaining Ground Farm and speak with Anne or Amy.  We will get you your box and show you where the exchange box is.  If you don't make it to market to get your box, we bring it back to  the farm and put it in our cooler.  It is up to you to arrange to come get it at the farm or have it brought to the next market.

If you have someone picking up your box for you, PLEASE be sure they know our farm name and your name.  There are many farms doing CSA pick-up at market and it is confusing if they don't have the proper information.

If you know you are going to miss a pick-up due to vacation etc., the following options are available.  You can have someone else get your share.  You can have credit for up to 2 missed weeks that you can spend in $21 increments at the market stand OR you can get 2 extra boxes throughout the season.  You can shift to the other pick-up day.  In order to get credit for missed pick-ups YOU MUST let us know by Monday at 6 pm for Wednesday pick up or by 6pm Thursday for Saturday pick-up.

THE BEST WAY TO GET IN TOUCH WITH US IS:  email:  gainesground@gmail.com OR call or text Anne at:  828-545-2362

If there are other people sharing your share with you that would like the weekly emails, please let me know!

Thank you Thank you Thank you!   We are excited to begin again and thank you for joining us!  Cheers!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

2017 CSA Sign Up!

CSA Information and sign up for 2016 

 

      CSA Starting to fill up, Meeting is not required to reserve your spot.  But we still would love to see you!


We offer a wide variety of vegetables each week that are all grown in accordance with organic standards.  More info about our farm is on our website:  www.gaininggroundfarm-nc.com
  
Examples of weekly boxes, Regular and Small, from years past are posted as you scroll through this blog.

Hey All Happy New Year!  We have been placing orders with seed companies, lining up fertilizer and potting soil shipments, and reviewing this past season.  We have been critical through the years of so many aspects of our business of growing food.  The way we have been operating the CSA has been a main topic of conversation this fall and winter.   The CSA model is very important to our farm and we want to continue to improve on it.  It is a commitment on so many levels for both the farmer and the member.
     2017 CSA:
We want you to feel a connection to our farm and us a connection to you.  We feel that the best way to achieve this is by sharing the physical place/space with you.

All members are strongly encouraged to attend one meeting held at the farm before the season starts.  The meeting will be structured in order to keep it short and sweet, then with time to walk around.  Many of you have been to the farm in the past, many have not.  A lot has changed and we want to show you where and how your food is grown.  We are proud of what we are doing here and want you to experience it as well.  The meeting will be a chance for us to hear concerns from members, show you around the farm, and meet face to face before the season gets started.
     The 4th Thursday of every month we will be hosting a potluck.  Come and lets share the food that we collaborated on producing together.  
  
We will not be doing substitutions, or packing special boxes.  Instead, we will have an exchange box at market where members will be able to take something they want more of, and leave something that they do not desire.  Those of you with food intolerance/allergies will need to choose a market pick-up in order to utilize this system.
There will be 1 share size this year.  Slightly larger than the small share of years past and a bit smaller than the regular size.  This means that all boxes will include 7 to 10 types of vegetables per week picked at the height of their flavor and freshness.  The CSA will still be 22 weeks and the cost will be $450 ($20/week).  This means that your box will contain at least $20 worth of veggies and often a good deal more.
We hope theses changes are something that works for you and that we can continue to grow food for you.  We hope that these changes make for a more meaningful experience for all of us.

CSA SHARE OPTIONS
We offer 1 share size for the 22 week main season share:

Full Season Share:
The box will include 7 to 10 types of vegetables each week.  It is difficult to say for certain how many people this will feed because everyone's eating habits are different.  Generally though, this will feed 2 adults and a child most of your vegetables for a week.
It last 22 weeks starting May 10 and ending October 4. (Saturday pick up starts May 14 and ends October8.)

Full season share $450


Extended Fall Share:
This share provides 5 boxes from October 11 thru November 8.  Fall crops include carrots, beets, leeks, spinach, greens, sweet potatoes, shallots, winter squash, Irish potatoes.  Most of the veggies in these boxes will store into the holiday season.  You can sign up for this now or in early fall.

Fall share: $150



Pick-Ups:
Wednesdays:
River Arts District Market, (All Souls Pizza Parking Lot, Clingman Ave)) 2 to 6 pm.
Catawba Brewery, (32 Banks Ave Downtown Asheville) 4 to 10 pm

Saturdays: (limited number of pick-ups)
North Asheville Market, (UNCA Campus) 8 am to noon


Payment:
     Down payment of 1/2 the total is due upon registration.   Please include a contact number, email addresses for share members who want to be on the mailing list, a snail mail address, and pick-up preference with your payment!
Payment can be made by check to:

Gaining Ground Farm,
298 Sluder Branch Rd.
Leicester NC 28748


Thanks for supporting our farm and please feel free to email Anne at gainesground@gmail.com or call at 828-545-2362 with any questions!
                                       
                                     www.gaininggroundfarm-nc.com