Monday, May 16, 2011

Week 2, CSA

In Your Share . . .
Items in the shares may vary depending on your share size and day of harvest. All shares during the week may not have the exact same items.


Heirloom Black 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, your beans can be used in soups, stews, salads, or wraps and burritoes. You can soak in water overnight – remove any pod, chaf, or debris before cooking.

Garlic Greens – organic
Several recipes are out and about for using the spring garlic greens. Find a new recipe below. Remember that the garlic can be used in anything calling for garlic cloves or anything calling for green onions, you will just have garlic flavor rather than onion flavor. Also you can chop and freeze to use later on in a sauté, soup, or to make green garlic pesto.

Fresh Herb: Sage – organic
The aromatic Sage is one of the most popular fresh-cut herbs. Sage has a long history dating to the Romans. It is associated with immortality and mental sharpness, and even Charlemagne had it grown in his royal gardens for its benefits to the human body.The leaves are chopped and eaten fresh in salads, topping pasta, with meats, or with cheese. Dried it can be used many ways and will be stronger in flavor. Keep refrigerated rolled in a damp paper towel or in a small glass in water, in the fridge if you can. Fry sage leaves lightly in butter and enjoy the resulting butter-sage sauce over pasta. Use when preparing your dried beans this week as a nice complementary flavor.

Over wintered Spinach – organic
Enjoy this tender leaved red-stemmed spinach that does well in cold weather. Once it warms up, we won’t see this variety again until the fall season. Eat raw as salad, use in a soup or sauté, or add to pasta or a pizza.

Strawberries – organic
All shares have strawberries today. These are picked at full ripeness and have nice flavor. Warm temperatures the end of last week pushed many berries to ripen, but two days of cold, wet has slowed them again. We’ll have more as the days warm up.

Radishes – organic

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Asparagus with Green Garlic
This recipe adapted from original in New York Times – one tip is knowing when you sauté or roast asparagus
in hot olive oil, the asparagus will have a much more concentrated flavor than it would if steamed or blanched. Add the garlic to the pan once the asparagus is just about done, so that the garlic cooks only long enough to soften and sweeten.

1-2 small bulb green garlic
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 to 1 ½ pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch lengths
Freshly ground pepper
1 T chopped flat-leaf parsley or favorite herb

Remove any thick skins from each clove, and cut the garlic into thin slices.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the asparagus and salt to taste. Sauté until the asparagus is tender and the skin has shriveled slightly, about five minutes. Add the garlic, and continue to sauté for another minute until the garlic is translucent. Adjust salt, add the pepper and parsley, and serve. Quantities can be adjusted depending on amount of asparagus on hand. Recipe as is serves 4.

Basic Black Bean Soup

Soak your beans overnight in approximately 4 Cups of water to be ready to prepare

1 C black beans
4 C water for soaking
2 C water

After soaking beans do not discard soaking water, rather put all the beans and soaking water into a pot. Add additional water and simmer gently for one hour. Salt and pepper to taste.

During this time you can add one or any number of these items: diced onion, tomato, garlic greens, spinach, chiles, cilantro, lime juice, ground cumin, carrot, celery, bay leaf, sage or whatever spices you prefer. Serves 4. Stores well refrigerated.

Asparagus, Garlic & Chicken Pasta
Our thanks to a CSA member for sharing this recipe she served last week. She reports even her teenager liked it! Serve with green salad topped with assorted radishes, finishing with strawberries for dessert!! Perfect!!

3 cups dry penne pasta
1 T olive oil
½ Vidalia onion, thinly sliced wedges
2 garlic greens, thinly sliced whites, some green
½ C chicken broth
1 bunch asparagus
2 chicken breasts, cooked, and thinly sliced
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
black pepper to taste
2 oz. cream cheese, light is fine
2 T. grated Parmesan

Cook penne according to package directions, drain when done. Put 1 T olive oil in large sauté pan, sauté onion, garlic greens, and dried red pepper flakes until softened. Snap tough ends from bottom of asparagus spears. Snap spears into pieces the size of the penne. Add asparagus to sautéed onions. Add a little of the chicken broth to lightly steam asparagus. When the asparagus starts to soften a little, add the chicken and the rest of the chicken broth. Stir in salt, pepper, cream cheese and grated Parmesan. When the cream cheese is melted, stir in drained pasta and mix well. If you didn't have cooked chicken breasts, you could begin by sautéing your chicken breasts in the olive oil until done, placing them
aside to cool for slicing, and continuing with the sautéing of the onion, garlic greens and dried red pepper flakes in the same pan.