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

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