Monday, May 17, 2010

Welcome to the 2010 Season of Elmwood's Community Supported Agriculture Program!

Week 1, In Your Share . . .
Share items may vary depending on your share size and harvest day. Each share may not have every item listed below.

If you have never had fresh asparagus, you are in for a treat. You will want to remove any of the tough ends that grows right at ground level. It is not necessary to cut the end on a long piece – just bend lightly until it breaks naturally. Short stalks may not have to be trimmed if the ends are tender or you may want to lightly peel away the outer skin at the bottom of the stalk. Enjoy raw, boiled, steamed, sautéed, baked, or roasted. To store, put the cut ends in water in a drinking glass or small bowl. Or wrap in a wet paper towel and place inside a container in your refrigerator. Quick tips for blanching are found below.

Garlic Greens - organic
Resembling a green onion, the delicate green garlic can be enjoyed only in the spring before the plant’s energy is put into making a bulb under the ground. Use all of the white and as much of the green you find tender - as you would a green onion – several inches up the stalk. You can enjoy any way you would a scallion or green onion or in any recipe that calls for garlic: sauté in olive oil, chop in salad or pasta, make pesto, or add to soups.

Baby Lettuce Head - organic
Find a small head of spring lettuce – this is fairly early for it, but we thought one small salad might be nice this week.

Radishes – organic
This week’s share includes a harvest of Easter Egg Radishes. The tops are edible if desired, but most people focus on the bulb. You can enjoy raw grated, sliced into bite-size pieces on a fresh green salad, or added to vinegar and water for a quick pickle with the cucumbers.

Over wintered Spinach – organic
We harvested two varieties this week: the green Bloomsdale and the red-stemmed Bordeaux. They are two that will handle our unpredictable winters and start growing earlier in the spring than new plantings. Only greens that were planted last fall are really large enough for harvest this week. We also benefit from eating spinach that has been through a frost as it has great flavor. Store in the bag or another container refrigerated.

Fresh Sage – organic
You can use fresh, or hang to dry. Remove the leaves from the stem before chopping.

Strawberries – organic
Yeh! Yeh! These do not need much description. Store refrigerated and enjoy soon – we harvest at the peak of ripeness to ensure the highest flavor for you.

Dried Beans – organic
Our organic beans are a farm favorite and we are learning more each year on growing dried beans. Popular in Italian, Mediterrean, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisine, our beans can be used in soups, stews, salads, or wraps and burritoes. These beans are fresh from the fall harvest and may not need to be soaked overnight before cooking. Find a new recipe below.

Over wintered Rutabagas – organic
This week we include the baby rutabagas to let you give them a try. They also can grow to a larger size without getting pithy or strong. Rutabagas are related both to turnips and cabbages with a delicate sweet flavor and texture. They can be roasted, boiled, steamed, stir-fried, mashed, or stewed. Quarter them and roast along with potatoes. Enhance the flavor of stews with chopped or quartered rutabagas. Dice them and add to soups. Stir-fry with onions. To eat raw, peel them with a vegetable peeler. Slice and enjoy as a snack. Chop, dice, or grate them and add to salads or slaw. Like other root veggies, rutabagas will keep for 3 to 4 weeks in the crisper of your refrigerator.

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Our thanks to a CSA member for sharing this seasonal recipe she found on the Internet.

½ shallot, finely chopped
2 T raspberry vinegar (she used another vinegar instead with equally favorable results)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
½ pound spinach, washed with stemmy ends removed
1 C strawberries, thinly sliced
1/3 C sliced almonds, toasted
2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

In a large bowl, whisk together shallot and vinegar. While whisking constantly, drizzle in oil to make vinaigrette. Add spinach, strawberries, almonds and goat cheese and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Marinated Asparagus
A popular way to eat asparagus is lightly cooked and marinated. Blanch asparagus by bringing to boil a large pot of water. Place asparagus in the boiling water for 3 minutes, then remove and immediately plunge into ice-cold water to cool. Drain. Using favorite marinade or vinaigrette, refrigerate in marinade for 4 to 6 hours. Drain, place on serving platter and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Fresh Spinach Topped with Beans, Garlic, and Sage
recipe adapted by a friend of the farm from an original she saw in Gourmet Magazine. Served warm, this is a nice entrée.

1 C beans
6 C room temperature water
2 T olive oil
4-5 garlic greens, using as much of stalk as tender
3 sprigs fresh sage, leaves removed from stem
¼ tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp coarse salt
½ pound fresh spinach, stemmy ends removed
Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle

Place beans in large bowl. Cover with cold water and let soak overnight.

Drain beans and place in heavy pot. Add water, olive oil, garlic, sage and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer over med-high heat. Reduce to med-low uncovered for 1½ hours stirring occasionally. Mix in salt and continue to simmer until tender adding water if needed. Meanwhile, steam spinach and drain. Transfer to serving bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Using slotted spoon, transfer beans to serving bowl atop spinach. Season with salt, pepper if desired and serve warm.