Monday, June 30, 2008

Week 8, CSA, July 2008

News From the Farm . . .

In order to offer certified organic produce, we must first start with certified organic seed. We can grow crops for the seeds ourselves (as we do some tomatoes, beans, and grains), or we must make sure that the seed we use comes from parent stock that is also certified organic. There are a handful of seed companies we source from including Seeds of Change, Peaceful Valley, and Johnny’s Select Seeds. A problem arises when we find a specific variety, lettuce for example, that grows well in KY climate, has a nice appearance, and tastes great – but may be no longer available from one year to the next – a crop failure, or the seed producer changes plans, or the seed company just discontinues it. Each year we seem to be holding our own “seed trials” to find a new “favorite” variety of something. We often include heirloom varieties that are more conditioned to producing well in the regions where they have been grown for many years – they may not be the newest trend or fancy color, but they remain consistent with flavor, production, and we can count on them to do well in our humidity.

We continue to only source non-genetically engineered seeds and plants. The genetically modified organism (GMO) seeds – those that have been developed in a lab will not be found in nature. We do use some open pollinated seeds, heirloom seeds, and hybrid cross seeds. There is much more to learn for all of us on seed saving, seed banks, and protection of seed stock.

In Your Share . . .
Items will vary depending on your harvest and pickup day and the share size - every share may not have every item listed.

Broccoli – organic
Our last broccoli planting for spring harvest is now coming on ready to go. The organic varieties come from European types. They are not as dense or domelike heads that we are used to seeing in our California supermarket broccoli. The color also varies from a bluish-green to more of a sea-green. Use as you would any broccoli, and be sure to wash carefully. If you plan to eat it raw, you can soak the heads a little bit in light soapy water to remove any loopers. They are very difficult in cole crops (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) this late in the season.

Carrots – organic – new this week!
The slow growing carrot acts as a barometer of moisture and dryness in the soil – its shape an indicator of the ease or challenge of spring weather. We continue working to build good soil structure by adding compost, trying to avoid compaction, plowing when the soil is not too heavy with moisture, and other good practices.The long straight Daikon radish grows in a row nearby to the curly, crinkly carrots – the soils are the same, so why aren’t both veggies smooth and straight? We don't have one answer, but the temperament and growing needs of the carrot are higher than the radish. This week’s harvest was transplanted from the greenhouse, which also may contribute to its octopus–like appearance. Hopefully, later plantings will be straighter. Enjoy raw, or steam, sauté, bake or puree. Keep refrigerated.

Cauliflower – organic – new this week!
This week brings the first harvest of cauliflower. This organic variety takes the warmer KY springs better than others. The cream tint (rather than more snow white we see in fall cauliflower) is from sunshine and heat. The cauliflower packs a punch with nutrition containing lots of vitamins and minerals. Enjoy raw with dip or in a green salad. Marinate with radish or cucumber in favorite dressing. Steam and top with lemon-butter sauce. Find a new recipe below.

Cucumber – new this week!
Our first patch of slicing cucumbers is ready this week. Store refrigerated as cucumbers are mostly made of water and will dehydrate quickly. Peel if desired but not necessary.

Daikon Radish – organic – new this week!
Possibly a new veggie to your household, the daikon radish is a basic to the Japanese diet. It is often served raw, or pickled as a condiment, or a cooked vegetable. The greens should be eaten fairly soon, but the long white root can be stored refrigerated for several weeks. It can grow up to two feet or more in length without losing quality as a small round red radish might.
Slice the daikon into rounds and serve with cream cheese or dip. Sauté slices or quarters with garlic or ginger. Shred with carrots and make cole slaw. Add vinegar to make quick pickles, either alone or with carrots and cukes.

Garlic Scapes – organic
Remember that you can use all of the green part that is tender as you would regular cloves of garlic. You can also replace green onions with the finely chopped garlic scapes. The heads can be use as well, offering a milder garlic flavor than the traditional clove coming from the head. This gets harvested a little later on.

Lettuce Head – organic
As we move from spring into summer, lettuce growing becomes more challenging. This week’s share contains one head of several types: Green Leaf, Romaine, Butterhead.

Yellow Summer Squash

Swiss Chard - organic
The Swiss chard can be enjoyed so many different ways. Use on sandwiches; wilt in hot water, then use to wrap other foods; use as the green layer in lasagna. Find a new recipe below.

Zucchini Squash

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Cinnamon-Spiced Swiss Chard Pancakes
Thanks to a CSA member who shared this recipe from
, originally from April 1999 issue of Bon Appetit. She has successfully substituted other types of greens for the chard, sometimes adding a little more flour – try yogurt as a dipping sauce.

2 bunch Swiss chard, stems cut away, leaves rinsed well and chopped
4 large eggs, beaten to blend

1 cup chopped onion
½ cup unsalted matzo meal
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
5 tablespoons (about) olive oil

Lemon wedges

Stir chard with any water still clinging to leaves in large pot over medium-high heat until just wilted but still green, about 3 minutes. Place in sieve; press out moisture. Cool completely. Combine eggs, onion, matzo meal, cinnamon, salt, allspice and pepper in medium bowl; blend well. Mix in chard.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Place baking sheet in oven. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, drop heaping 1 tablespoon Swiss chard mixture for each pancake into skillet; flatten to 1/2-inch thickness. Fry pancakes until golden brown and cooked through, adding more olive oil to skillet as necessary, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer pancakes to baking sheet in oven to keep warm after each batch. Serve warm with lemon wedges.

Cauliflower Gratin with Capers and Bread Crumbs
Mollie Katzen’s Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without

2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-large cauliflower
1 C chopped onion
1 to 2 T capers, drained
½ C fine bread crumbs
¼ C grated Parmesan or Swiss cheese

freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking tray with foil and brush it with 1 T of olive oil. Coat the bottom surface of 1 ½ quart grain pan with other 1 T of oil. Cut or break cauliflower into ¾ inch florets and spread them on baking sheet. Roast in center of oven for 10 minutes. Shake the tray to loosen the cauliflower, then sprinkle on onion and capers and roast for another 10 minutes. Remove tray from oven and transfer all to the prepared gratin pan. Combine bread crumbs and cheese and sprinkle over top of vegetables. Let it sit until shortly before serving, then place under a preheated broiler for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the top is crisp and brown. Watch it carefully as it can burn very easily. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Add pepper to taste. Yields 3 to 4 servings.

Shredded Daikon with Scallions and Sesame Seeds

from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors

1 ½ pound daikon, peeled
1 bunch scallions (green onions), including the greens (try your garlic scapes)
1 T sesame seeds
1 T light sesame or vegetable oil
1 tsp dark sesame oil
sea salt
soy sauce

Coarsely grate the daikon or cut into matchsticks. Slice the scallion on the diagonal into large pieces. Heat a skillet and toast the sesame seeds, shaking often until the smell good, about 3 minutes. Pour them into a dish, return the pan to the heat and add the oils. Add the scallions, cook for 1 minute, then add the daikon. (If it feels wet, it will exude water as it sits – squeeze it before adding to pan). Season with ½ tsp salt, sprinkle lightly with soy sauce, and sauté over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Tate for salt, add more soy if needed, toss with sesame seeds and serve. Serves 2 to 4.

Monday, June 23, 2008

CSA, Week 7

News About Food . . .
The local food movement continues to expand and develop here in Central Kentucky as well as in other regions. By joining a CSA program with a local farm, you are ahead of the curve in seeking to eat food grown by people you come to know, in an area close by to where you live, and food that is produced with a focus on not contaminating the earth, the air, the worker, and the food itself. Some call it “food with a face.”

The concepts of food miles, carbon footprint, the true value of what good food costs (when environmental damage, obesity and disease, and fair worker wages are factored into food pro-duction rather than found elsewhere in our society) are not such odd-ball ideas these days. It used to be that sourcing locally produced good food items was the real challenge. Which farms are using organic prac-tices? Who raises local meats? Are there KY cheesemakers? What about jam, bread, milk, pickles, ice cream, honey, eggs, and even processed local items like salsas, soups, and pot pies? New groups and old groups with new focus now share such tips on where to find what. The internet has opened up the communications, and we all stand to benefit. By choosing healthy food and locally grown items, we will continue to see more things available as the demand increases. Please don’t hesitate to contact the farm if you need resources to help find local food items.

In Your Share . . .
As share sizes and harvest days vary, not all items will be in every share.

Bok Choy – organic
Remember that you can use both the stalk and green leaf, either together or in separate dishes. Try the bok choy chopped raw in your favorite cole slaw rather than a cabbage. Store refrigerated like all your leafy greens. Find a recipe below.

Fennel – organic – new this week!
This feathery green attached to a white bulb is enjoyed world-wide and found often in Mediterranean cooking. The delicate leaves can be used as fresh herb, while the bulb is sliced and eaten raw, baked, steamed, sautéed, or roasted. The stalks are a little more tough. The anise flavor of fennel was favored in ancient times as an aid for digestion or nervous condition. It is low in calories and high in Vit. A, calcium, iron and potassium. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks; the leaves can be removed and stored in a separate container.

Garlic Scapes – organic
Use the scapes in any manner you would use garlic cloves. Chop finely or use a processor since some stalks can be fibrous. Refrigerate or put in water in a vase.

Butterhead Lettuce – organic
The tender heads are delicate similar to bibb.

Snow Peas – organic
This variety, Oregon Giant, is a large pod, sweet pea similar to sugar snaps – you do eat the pod too! Some larger peas may have a string on one side that should be removed before preparing.

Yellow Summer Squash
Zucchini Squash – new this week!
Today we are harvesting both the early yellow squash and green zucchini. Store refrigerated.

Green Leaf Lettuce Head – organic

Broccoli – organic
Enjoy some side shoots of the broccoli plants after our center head harvest of two weeks ago.

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Garlic Scape Frittata
recipe from Mary Janes Farm, Idaho

¼ Cup hot water

4 large eggs
½ Cup chopped scallions
1 ½ Cups chopped garlic scapes
Salt & pepper
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Place garlic and scallions in a 10" skillet with 1 tsp oil, ¼ Cup water and a pinch of salt. Cook covered over medium-high heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well. Beat eggs with salt and pepper. Add remaining oil to skillet. When oil is hot, shake skillet to spread greens evenly, add eggs. Cover and cook over medium low heat until top is set (2-3 minutes). Serve hot or warm-cut into wedges. Serves two.

White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip, yields 1 ½ Cup
recipe from the June 18, 2008 NY Times; more recipes for garlic scapes can be found in this issue.

1/3 Cup sliced garlic scapes (3 to 4)
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
½ tsp coarse sea salt, more to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
¼ Cup extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling.

In a food processor, process garlic scapes with lemon juice, salt and pepper until finely chopped.

Add cannellini beans and process to a rough purée.
With motor running, slowly drizzle olive oil through feed tube and process until fairly smooth. Pulse in 2 or 3 tablespoons water, or more, until mixture is the consistency of a dip. Add more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice, if desired.

Spread out dip on a plate, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with more salt.

Zucchini, Fennel, and Andouille Pie
recipe from Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition

½ T butter, softened
3 T breadcrumbs
1 T olive oil
¾ C diced onion
¾ C diced fennel bulb

1 tsp minced garlic (can use garlic scapes)
2 C diced zucchini
4 ounces andouille sausage
½ tsp crushed fennel seed
salt and pepper
3 – 4 ounces Swiss cheese
3 large eggs
½ C milk
for garnish: chopped fennel leaves

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a pie plate with butter. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over buttered areas. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium. Add onion, fennel, and garlic; sauté until partially tender, about 5 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high; stir in zucchini, andouille, fennel seed, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until zucchini is tender, 3-5 minutes. Spread mixture onto platter to cool, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, grate cheese, sprinkle 2/3 into pie pan. Beat eggs with milk in bowl. Stir cooked vegetable mixture into egg mixture; pour into pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Apply garnish. Bake until set, about 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6-8 servings.

Beef and Bok Choy
Thanks to a CSA member who adapted a recipe from The Essential Asian Cookbook (Whitecap Books). She made this without the beef using half the amount of oil and sauces, and omitted the basil; she reports it was very tasty!

1 ¼ pound bok choy
2 T oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed (can use garlic scapes)
8 ounces rump steak, thinly sliced
2 T soy sauce
1 T sweet sherry
2 T chopped fresh basil
2 tsp sesame oil

Wash the bok choy and drain it. Cut the leaves and stalks into strips. Heat 1 T oil in a frying pan or wok; add the garlic and stir-fry until tender, about 3 minutes.
Add the remaining oil and heat; add the meat in small batches and stir-fry for 3 minutes over high heat until the meat has browned but is not cooked through. Remove meat and garlic from pan.
Stir-fry the bok choy for 30 seconds or until just wilted. Add the meat, soy sauce, and sherry. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until meat is tender.
Add the basil and sesame oil and toss well. Serve immediately.

Monday, June 16, 2008

What a Difference a Year Makes!

CSA, Week 6, June 2008

The pop-up rainstorms have been good to the farm so far. We have not had storm or hail damage during the last week like others in the area. Last Friday evening brought 2.4 inches when it was very much needed. We received more on Monday morning (though a little challenging to harvest in). Even with a cool spring, several weeks of a contin-uous dry wind quickly dries out plants and the soil. Looking back one year ago, we were already in the midst of the ‘07drought. Unlike last year, we have been able to plant corn, beans, beets, and Brussels sprouts and achieve successful germination in the fields. We do contend with fast-growing weeds that often will outpace the desired plant if not addressed within 2 or 3 days, mostly with hand work of chopping and pulling. It is sad to know about farms in the Midwest experiencing the worst possible flooding; but from our own exper-iences with drought, both last year and in the late 1980’s when our spring-fed well ran out of water, we really don’t want either extreme!

The first cutting, raking and baling of hay is al-most complete. Grasses and clovers have contin-ued strong growth in the pastures for the grazing cattle and sheep (and the chickens and turkeys too). In general, most things look good!

In Your Share . . .
Items will vary depending on your harvest and pickup day and the share size - every share may not have every item listed.

Beets – organic – new this week!
We harvested today a mixture of Heirloom Chioggia (pink outside, pink and white striped on the inside), Dark Red Beets, Golden Beets, and some Sweet White Beets. They all can be cooked whole; steamed, sautéed, or oven-roasted. Roasting brings out a sweet flavor enjoyed by folks who think they don’t care for beets. Refrigerate the bulbs several weeks if desired, but cut off the tops 1-2 inches just above the root for long-time storage. The greens should be used fairly soon, are desirable as a mild salad or cooking green, and can be mixed with chard or spinach.

Cilantro – organic – new this week!
Found in many types of cooking styles, cilantro is more desired as a fresh herb in American cooking. It grows well in cooler weather and must be replanted often to withstand hot temperatures. Cilantro likes cool refrigeration to maintain freshness. Can be frozen or dried (but flavor is lost when dried).Use in green salad, pasta, or with sautéed veggies. Add to homemade salsas, marinade, or vinaigrettes.

Garlic Scapes – organic – new this week!
Garlic scapes are the center stalks of the hard neck garlic plant. Early in the season, you had the green garlic leaves of the garlic plant. Both grow above the ground and can be enjoyed in many dishes while we wait for the bulbs to fill out into cloves underground. Use the scapes in any manner you would use garlic cloves. Chop finely or use a processor since some stalks can be fibrous. The heads are also edible. You can make pesto; chop in salads; or sauté similar to green onions. Store refrigerated or in water in a vase.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce Head – organic
This week’s healthy head is an heirloom variety that is unique in appearance and full of flavor. Bronze Arrow, a loose leaf rather than heading type, handles the heat better than some other types.

Red Butterhead Lettuce – organic
This week find a striking butterhead heirloom variety, Carmona Red. We are unable to grown iceberg type of lettuces here as the heat gets the plants before they can make a tight head. We think the butterheads are a nicer alternative.

Green Leaf Lettuce Head – organic
This week’s green leaf is the first harvest from our most recent planting.

Snow Peas – organic – new this week!

This variety, Oregon Giant, is a large pod, sweet pea similar to sugar snaps – you do eat the pod too! Some larger peas may have a string on one side that should be removed before preparing.

Spinach – organic
We continue to harvest from our spinach beds although the plants will not get much larger, nor produce a lot more. The heat and longer days cause the leaves to thicken and flavor to become diminished. Chop and enjoy raw or add to a pasta dish.

Summer Squash – new this week!
Our squash plantings include yellow straight-neck summer squash, green zucchini, pale green cousa, and round patty pan types. Today we are harvesting the early yellow squash/green zucchini squash. Store refrigerated for a week or more. Find a new recipe below.

Red Leaf Lettuce – organic
This week’s red leaf head is a French crisp head variety, Rouge de Grenoblouse. It is one of the more sweet red lettuces, which usually have stronger flavors. The more color in the vegetable, the more nutrition!

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Garlic Scape Pesto
This recipe is shared by a member who found it on the internet when researching garlic scapes.

1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes), top flowery part removed, cut into ¼ inch slices

1/3 cup walnuts
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 -1/2 cup grated parmigiano
1/2 teaspoon saltblack pepper to taste

Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add parmigiano to taste; add salt and pepper. Makes about 6 ounces of pesto. Keeps for up to one week in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For ½ pound short pasta such as penne, add about 2 Tablespoons of pesto to cooked pasta along with 2 Tablespoons of the pasta water and stir until pasta is well coated.

Rice With Squash and Cumin

an excellent tasting recipe from The Food Network

5 to 6 assorted small squashes, zucchini, yellow summer squashes, patty pans

1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed (you can use your chopped garlic scapes)
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cooked rice, (aromatic is nice)
1 bunch parsley leaves, washed and chopped roughly (substitute cilantro if desired)

Trim squashes and cut into small 1/4-inch diced.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan and add 1/3 of the diced squashes and some salt and pepper. Sauté small batches briefly over high heat stirring often until lightly browned and slightly soft. Transfer to a bowl.

Cook diced onion in remaining olive oil in frying pan over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook briefly. Add cumin, reduce heat to low, cook stirring about 2 minutes, and then add to squashes in bowl. Add rice and chopped parsley and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Salad Mix with Beets and Feta

adapted from Rock Spring Farm

Wash, dry, and tear your lettuce ready for salad toppings. Plan ahead to roast beets in advance.
2 tsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbs. olive or nut oil
1 lb roasted red beets
3 cups salad mix
1/4 lb feta cheese, crumbled

Whisk together the vinegar and oil to make avinaigrette. Add salt to taste. Slice the beets thinly and toss with a little bit of the vinaigrette. Combine the greens with the vinaigrette, and arrange over the beet slices. Crumble feta on top.

To Roast Beets:

Scrub beets and trim tops to 1 inch (leaving a little stem prevents the bleeding common with red beets). Place in foil, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly. Oven roast 350-400 degrees or put on grill for 30 minutes – 1 hour depending on size of beets. Beets are done when can be easily pierced with a fork. Let cool and remove skins.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Week 5, CSA

News from the Farm . . .
Giving a report from the farm about current jobs, the crops, and expected produce harvest also has to include a weather report. Unless someone keeps a garden (food or flower), has employment that depends on weather conditions, or is involved in an outdoor sport, one does not realize how challenging and often unpredictable localized climate conditions affect our lives. As little as ten years ago, local radio and television meterologists used to include in their forecasts information that was geared toward farming schedules. The coverage area was much smaller, so rainfall prediction, for example, was more accurate since it was for a smaller, more local area. With the closure of the National Weather Service office in Central KY, the consolidation of radio and television stations resulting in fewer folks working in weather, and the focus of our local economy moving away from agriculture to indoor industry – meterology applied to a crop farm is practically not available.

New “tools” used today include personal localized satellite radar downloaded to a pc or cell phone. A farmer’s log of air temperatures, precipation, soil temperatures, and other observations of nature from year to year aid in making critical decisions on planting, transplanting, hay cutting, crop harvest, and irrigation.

Hail, floods, tornados, and ice storms are obvious “big events” in weather. Drought is just as serious. Recent public awareness of issues surrounding municipal water sourcing along with water usage restrictions should have made us all aware of the problems of drought. Utilizing last century systems such as cisterns and deep wells are a small step towards a back-up plan in food production farming.

Farm Report . . .
High air temperatures and dry winds are beginning to affect some crops. With the late spring (cold soil temperatures and cool air temperatures preventing plant growth) followed by the high heat, many spring crops will have a shortened harvest period. Broccoli (see below), lettuces, spinach, heavy greens, and peas are already affected by unharvestable plants or low yield.

Garlic, onion and early potato plants look green and healthy; we hope to not have to set up irrigation on these crops prior to harvest. Transplanting and chopping out weeds continues on the days we are not picking. The summer tomatoes, peppers, egg-plant, and cucumbers are well-established. Direct seeded crops of sweet corn, edamame, and root veggies are underway. Most of the late tomatoes are ready to go out, along with plantings of winter squash and sweet potatoes. The perennial herb plants are in the ground; mulching and setting up the irrigation system continues.

In Your Share . . .
Not every share will have every item as it depends on your share size and day of harvest.

Strawberries – organic

Broccoli – organic – new this week!
We are harvesting from three plantings this week – this was not the plan. Intended to grow and mature at different weeks during the spring, all of the broccoli plants are starting to bolt from the high heat. By going from a compact head the size of a golf ball to an open-stemmed flower within a 24-hour period, this year the spring broccoli will be considered a lost crop.
Each share may have three or four tiny heads rather than the single large head that is expected. As a result of the heat, today’s tiny harvest may be the only yield from the spring broccoli plants.

Green Oak Leaf Lettuce Head – organic
This frilly leaf lettuce is as tasty as it is pretty! Due to the heat, refresh in a water bath before refrigerating if necessary.

Red Romaine Lettuce Head – organic
The organic Red Romaine harvested this week is Rouge d’Hiver, a French Heirloom variety, one of the most striking in appearance making a very pretty head. It also will keep quite awhile in your refrigerator.

Red Leaf Lettuce – organic
The Batavian type lettuce has purplish-red leaves with a pale green inside. Named Rouge de’Grenoblouse, it maintains a sweet flavor even in a hot season.

Sugar Snap Peas – organic – new this week!
Snap peas are a sweet indicator of spring in Kentucky. This organic variety, Sugar Sprint, is a stringless snap pea (both the pod and the pea are edible). Eat fresh in salads or lightly sauté in olive oil to bring out the flavor. You may want to quickly blanche in boiling water, then throw into an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Add to your lettuce or pasta salad, or enjoy as a snack or appetizer with your favorite dip.

Spinach – organic
Our next two plantings of fresh spinach are beginning to size up. Enjoy raw in salads or in wraps, add to any pasta or egg recipe, or cook by steaming or sautéing. Just remember how much it shrinks down when cooked. Add a little vinegar when ready to eat.

Radishes – organic
This week’s harvest of French Breakfast and Plum Purple offers a spicy kick to your fresh green salad. Try a quick-pickle recipe for sliced radishes and sliced turnips to enjoy with sushi, in place of a cucumber pickle, or add to your falafels or other sandwiches.
Sliced radishes served on bread with butter is an old-time favorite Southern snack.

Turnips – organic
These Purple Top White Globe Turnips are the traditional American variety. Remove the tops to enjoy steamed, boiled, sautéed, or with pasta. The bulbs will store refrigerated for several weeks. Peel and enjoy sliced or grated raw; steam or boil and serve with butter; oven roast to bring out natural sweetness; add chunks to kabobs on the grill; oven bake with chicken along with radishes, potatoes, and carrots.

Sweet Basil – organic – new this week!
Use fresh basil fairly soon in salad, pasta, marinara, or as pesto. Seal in container to store in refrigerator as cold temperatures will turn the leaves dark.

Romaine Lettuce – organic
This organic variety, Green Forest, is one of the darkest green types of romaine lettuce. It has a good sized head, not easy in this hot weather. Romaine will keep the longest in your refrigerator.

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Pasta with Broccoli and Ginger

1 bunch broccoli (1 ½ lbs)
1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth, divided
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1/8 to ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
½ tsp salt
1 lb fusilli, rotelle or radiatore pasta, cooked according to pasta directions

Cut broccoli florets from stem. Trim to small florets. Peel and slice stems. Process sliced stems and ½ cup broth in food processor until very fine.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic, and red pepper. Cook 15 seconds. Stir in pureed broccoli mixture, florets, remaining 1 cup broth and salt. Boil, stirring occasionally, just until broccoli is tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Toss with pasta.

Spinach, Walnut, and Curried-Apple Salad
adapted from Cooking Light, March 2002

1 ½ cups thinly sliced Granny Smith (or tart) apple
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 tsp red curry powder
3 Tbsp cider vinegar

2 Tbsp chicken or vegetable broth
1 Tbsp honey
½ lb fresh spinach
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts, toasted
2 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (optional)

Heat skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add apple and onion. Sauté 3 minutes. Stir in curry powder and sauté 1 minute. Stir in vinegar, broth, and honey. Remove from heat.

Place spinach in large bowl. Pour warm apple mixture over spinach. Toss well. Sprinkle with nuts and bacon (if using). Makes 6 servings.

Wilted Lettuce Salad
We get a lot of requests at farmers market on how to make this traditional Kentucky spring salad.

6 slices bacon
½ cup sliced green onion
¼ cup vinegar
4 tsp sugar
8 cups torn lettuce leaves

Fry bacon. Drain on paper towels. To grease, add vinegar, sugar, onion, and crumbled bacon. Heat until hot. Pour over lettuce.

Monday, June 2, 2008

June - Week 4, CSA

News from the Farm Kitchen . . .

Thanks to Mollie Katzen, author of Moosewood Cookbook for tips to sneak more vegetables into your eating plans. Her recent cookbook, Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without, offers several tried and true recipes using both common and the more unusual vegetables.

Her tips include going “taller” on your pizzas and sandwiches: pile the leftover veggies from last nights’ dinner onto a pre-made pizza crust or onto your open-faced sandwich bread. Try stuffing a hollowed-out already baked potato with sauteed, steamed, or grilled vegetables; top with cheese and broil. Add veggies to cooked pasta and season with olive oil, garlic and herbs; may be eaten cold as salad or heated. Add leftover veggies to your scrambled eggs for added punch in the morning!

Other sources of fresh vegetable recipes include Local Flavors: Coooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets by Deborah Madison along with her Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone; Greene on Greens by Bert Greene; books by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, authors of The Silver Palate Cookbook; Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables by Farmer John Peterson and Angelelic Organics; From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce by the Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition; and books by Alice Waters, leader of Slow Food and founder of Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkley.

Online resources for recipes include the following:

Please share any recipes, cooking tips, or recipe sources with us that you find are family favorites using your CSA produce items this summer.

In Your Share . . .

Items will vary depending on your harvest and pickup day and the share size - every share may not have every item listed.

Enjoy this last harvest of fresh asparagus. Try grilling outdoors and serving with balsamic vinegar.

Kohlrabi – organic – new this week!
The alien looking vegetable with leaves coming out of a bulb is the kohlrabi – a member of the brassica family, like broccoli and cabbage. The leaves should be removed and can be cooked with other greens, but most dishes focus on the bulb. You will need to peel the bulb, but this veggie has excellent flavor either raw or cooked. Grate it into salads or thinly slice as a snack -food similar to carrots. We have had several reports that raw kohlrabi is a favorite for kids. The bulb will store well in your refrigerator for several weeks once the leaves are removed.
This highly nutritious vegetable is high in fiber, potassium and calcium while low in calories. Find a recipe below.

Salad Mix – organic
This week’s harvest comes from several varieties including green leaf, red oak leaf and the beautiful Rubin’s Red romaine. While field dirt has been rinsed, you do need to wash well before eating. Try a new recipe below with salad greens and fresh strawberries!

Strawberries - organic
After last season’s Easter weekend freeze-out that caused so much of the KY fruit to be lost for the season, we are pleased with this year’s strawberry yields. A wetter spring does mean less concentrated sugar in the fruit, but we think the flavor has changed over the last four weeks – jam making does not require as much sugar as recipes suggest. If you have extra berries, try rinsing well, hulling the stems, and putting in freezer bags to store for the winter. Even a pint or so makes a nice treat when there is snow on the ground outside.

Spinach - organic

Our next two plantings of fresh spinach are beginning to size up. Enjoy raw in salads or in wraps, add to any pasta or egg recipe, or cook by steaming or sautéing. Just remember how much it shrinks down when cooked. Add a little vinegar when ready to eat.

Swiss Chard - organic

Enjoy your rainbow Swiss chard chopped into ribbons and added to a lettuce salad, or sautéed with the kohlrabi this week.

Green Leaf Lettuce – organic
The Thai Green is an organic variety of the most popular type of green leaf lettuce. Butterheads are an organic variety of a popular type of green leaf lettuce – similar to Bibb lettuce, they have tender leaves with wonderful flavor.

Sugar Snap Peas – organic – new this week!

Snap peas are a sweet indicator of spring in Kentucky. This organic variety, Sugar Sprint, is a stringless snap pea (both the pod and the pea are edible). Eat fresh in salads or lightly sauté in olive oil to bring out the flavor. You may want to quickly blanche in boiling water, then throw into an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Add to your lettuce or pasta salad, or enjoy as a snack or appetizer with your favorite dip.

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Fresh Strawberry Pie
recipe from a friend of the farm

1 baked and cooled 9-inch pie shell
3 pints fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt

1. Cover the bottom of the pie shell with the prettiest berries, arranging them stem-side down.
2. Mash remaining berries (about 1 pint).
3. Put into a medium saucepan. Add sugar, water, cornstarch, and salt.
4. Stir over medium heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 1 minute, stirring, until thickened and clear.
5. Remove from heat. Let cool until barely warm.
6. Pour over berries in pie shell.
7. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or until set.

Basic Method for Cooking Kohlrabi

adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham

1 pound kohlrabi
melted butter
freshly ground pepper
Cut off the tops of the kohlrabi and peel and slice the globes. Cook, uncovered, in boiling, salted water until tender, about 20 –30 minutes (cook less if the kohlrabi is very small). Or, steam on a a rack, over boiling water, covered for about 15 minutes until tender. Drain, toss with melted butter and season to taste.

Option: Kohlrabi au Gratin
Put the cooked, seasoned kohlrabi in a shallow, buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with ½ C freshly grated Parmesan cheese and put under the broiler until the cheese has melted.

Simple Spring Salad with Vanilla Vinaigrette
recipe adapted by Melissa for use at the farm

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp minced chives or green onion
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt
Black pepper to taste

6 cups spring mix greens
½ cup chopped green onions (green & white parts)
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries or peaches
½ cup sliced almonds

Toast almonds in dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until golden and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat immediately. Let cool.

Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and transfer to cruet. Set aside.

Place greens in large bowl and drizzle with 2 Tbsp vinaigrette. Divide among 4 salad plates and sprinkle with green onions. Mound strawberries in center of greens and sprinkle with almonds. Drizzle each salad with 1 tsp of vinaigrette and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.