Monday, June 15, 2009

CSA Week 6

In Your Share
As always shares may vary depending on share size and harvest day. Each share may not contain every item below.

Bok Choy – organic
This smaller head of tender bok choy from the newest planting can be enjoyed chopped raw with an Asian style dressing (add in your raw kohlrabi and/or turnip and/or cuke). Also, don’t hesitate to try a quick stir-fry; the white or green stalk is the most savored portion of the vegetable. Store refrigerated.

Find the first slicing cucumbers of the season. They will keep best refrigerated, as this veggie is 98% water! Enjoy sliced in green salad, raw as a snack, or make a white vinegar and water marinade in a bowl and submerge your sliced cucumbers for a nice complement at lunch. Refrigerate before serving for a few hours or overnight. Will keep several days in the ‘quick pickle’ marinade.

Fennel – organic
The long stalks with hairy fern-like leaves are your fresh fennel bulbs and fronds. It has a long history as a popular item grown in ancient Greece. Fennel is known to aid in digestion, cure poor eyesight, help a nervous condition, and even repel insects. Store refrigerated and realize that the anise aroma will spread throughout your fridge. You can separate the leaves from the bulb to store if you want to keep in closed containers. Fennel is quite popular as a fresh herb seasoning with baked or broiled fish along with lemon.

Garlic Scapes – organic
A garlic scape is the center stalk of a hard neck garlic plant. Earlier this season, you had the entire green garlic plant including the stalk, leaves, and roots. The stalk grows above the ground and can be enjoyed many ways 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. The flower head is also edible. You can make pesto; chop in salads; or sauté similar to green onions. Store refrigerated or in water in a vase.

Kohlrabi – organic
The round, ball-like item with just a few random leaves coming out is your kohlrabi. This alien vegetable grows best in cooler weather and is in the same family as turnip and broccoli. It contains a lot of fiber and is high in Vits. A and C. Long a popular veggie in the upper Midwestern states, we are starting to see it more here in the South. You do want to peel the outer tough skin, then either plan to enjoy raw or cook. Kids, especially, seem to like the raw, sweet kohlrabi sticks – but you can also add to fresh green salads, your cucumber vinegar bowl, or even into coleslaw.

One of the favorites at the farm is sautéing in a little butter or olive oil then eating as a side dish topped with black pepper or other seasonings. The kohlrabi has an unexpected sweetness that you really have to try to appreciate! It has a short season and is only available here in the spring and fall.

Spring Salad Mix – organic
This may be the last week of spring lettuces, as we just can’t predict how our next plantings will shape up with the heat/rain weather patterns of late. We plant with the intent to have spinach, lettuces or salad mix into July. But, the heat is not a friend to tender salad greens and the plants become unsuitable for harvest.

Yellow Squash
One of the most versatile summer vegetables, the squash can be enjoyed raw when sliced small, or cooked in many ways. When squash is harvested smaller, the skin is tender and it is unnecessary to peel. Also, the seeds are smaller and easier to digest. When harvested fresh, the flavor is strongest before the squash loses moisture through natural evaporation. Just remove the stem end before preparing and store refrigerated.

Lettuce Heads – organic
One more head of the Green Romaine for your weekly salads.

Turnips with Turnip Greens - organic
These Purple Top White Turnips seem to really love the warm and rainy days. The bulb can be separated from the greens for storage and will store refrige-rated for up to 4 weeks. You may want to peel and dice to sauté with kohlrabi, add to a squash dish, or oven roast on its own with some finely chopped garlic scapes and olive oil. Turnips can be mashed like potatoes with some milk or yogurt; and a farm favorite includes oven roasting with a maple syrup glaze. Enjoy the greens separately either steamed, boiled country style with seasonings, or chopped and added to eggs in quiche or breakfast burritos. Remove big stems for quick-cooking recipes.

Recipes to Enjoy

Shredded Kohlrabi
2-3 kohlrabi, peeled and shredded
2 T butter
1/3 C chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 T fresh herbs (you can use chopped fennel leaf)

In large skillet, place the kohlrabi, butter, stock, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 3-4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Serve sprinkled with fresh herbs. Makes 2-4 servings.

Squash Fritters
recipe from Sue McCoy

3 T vegetable oil, divided
1 egg, beaten
2/3 C milk
½ C self-rising cornmeal
1 C packed grated yellow squash or zucchini
2 T grated onion
2 T sour cream
2 T finely shredded Parmesan cheese
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
prepared salsa

Combine 2 T oil, egg, milk, cornmeal, squash, onion, sour cream, cheese, cayenne, salt and black pepper; mix well. Add additional milk for a thinner consistency or another tablespoon of cornmeal if batter is too runny.

Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Spoon ¼ C batter per fritter into skillet. Cook until golden, about 4 minutes on first side and 2 minutes on second side. Repeat, with remaining batter.

Serve with salsa. Serves 4 as an entrée, 8 as a side.

Fennel Egg Salad
recipe from From Asparagus to Zucchini, makes 2 cups

6 large eggs
1/3 C finely chopped fennel bulb or stalk
2-3 T chopped fennel leaves
2-4 T finely chopped sweet red onion
4 T mayonnaise
1 ½ T white wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Place eggs in saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil. Turn off heat. Cover pan tightly and set timer for 9 minutes. When timer goes off, drain eggs and immerse them in cold water for 10-15 minutes.

Peel and quarter eggs; place in food processor and using the pulse button, pulse until finely chopped, 8-12 times.

Add remaining ingredients; pulse until ingredients are well blended, 3-6 more times.
Use as a sandwich filling, a spread for crackers, or a garnish for tossed green salads.

Chinese Dressing Salad
recipe from Oak Ridge Farm, can be used on any type of chopped greens or bok choy or cucumbers

1/3 C sesame or olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic (try using your garlic scapes here, use a little more than 1 tsp and finely chop)
1-2 tsp grated fresh gingerroot (1/4 tsp powder)
dash of cayenne
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp seasme seeds
1 T chopped green onion

Mix all ingredients; toss with greens or shredded / diced/ matchsticks of vegetables. Makes about ½ C dressing.