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.

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.
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.