Monday, July 11, 2011

Week 10, CSA News

From the Kitchen . . .

One of the most fun AND one of the most challenging aspects of subscribing to a CSA is trying to figure out how to prepare that one item that is new to you. Or, wishing you had a new, easy way to prepare a favorite item.

Elmwood’s own Vanessa Oliver has joined the culinary team at The Wholesome Chef in Lexington to offer a series of cooking classes this summer. One class offered on July 21 by Vanessa is titled: “What is THAT?” Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My CSA Basket. Many of you will recognize Vanessa’s familiar face from the Saturday morning farmers market where she helps all of us to learn to prepare and enjoy those beet greens, kohlrabi, Napa cabbage, Daikon radish and more.

Chef-Owner of The Wholesome Chef, Carolyn Gilles, has put together a wonderful selection of cooking classes featuring healthy and whole-some dishes sourced from locally grown foods. Learn more about Carolyn and her culinary team at TheWholesomeChef.Com or phone (859) 379-2192. You can register for classes online (including Vanessa’s class on loving your CSA) but don’t dally as class sizes are limited.

In Your Share . . .
Items in shares may vary depending on your share size and harvest day. Every share may not contain every item listed below.

Broccoli – organic

Swiss Chard - organic


Fresh Garlic – organic
So far this season you have had the green garlic, similar to a green onion, and garlic scapes. We now are harvesting the whole garlic bulbs and included a whole head in your share today. Garlic plants are dug from the ground, tied onto sticks, and hung into the barn to dry. We have not yet cleaned it for you as we will later in the season, so you get the whole head today, a little soil and all. You can store this garlic at room temp-erature or in your pantry and allow drying. It should be flavorful and tender – a nice treat!

Green Lettuce and Salad Mix – organic

This year we are pleased to be able to continue including lettuces in your shares this far along into the hot part of the sea-son. When the air and soil temperatures are too warm, the lettuce seed will not germinate. These were planted a little while back, some have been irrigated, and some benefited from rainfall at just the right time. We try to choose lettuces that are in their prime before the heads start making a flower and the taste becomes bitter. The key to keeping your lettuces and other greens fresh is moving to refrigeration as soon as you can; store in a sealed container in the fridge, and include a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture in-side the container.If you tire of fresh salads, use your greens in a smoothie, and don’t be afraid to add to a stir-fry or pasta dish – watch closely as lettuce will cook quickly!

Swiss Chard – organic
Your Rainbow Swiss Chard will continue to grow well even in hot weather. This makes it available here in KY in the summer when spinach just cannot grow in the heat. It is more like spinach than kale as the leaves will wilt or cook down fast and it will take on the flavors of other foods when prepared together. Enjoy prepared many ways and refrigerate to store.

Tigerella Tomatoes
Find a handful of the small salad tomatoes today, Tigerella variety. Though organically grown, the cropping area of these plants is in the 3-year transition to being Certified Organic, so they are not yet certifiable. Do not refrigerate for best flavor and a little more ripening that may be needed for one or two. Enjoy.

Yellow Squash - organic

Red Beets with Tops – organic

Patty Pan Squash

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Sarah’s Stuffed Squash
We’ve enjoyed this yummy dish a couple of times this season prepared by Elmwood’s farm chef, Sarah. Our thanks to her for feeding all of us at the farm a nutritious and wholesome meal each midday and for sharing this favorite recipe

3-4 yellow squash, cut in half
½ medium onion , peeled and chopped
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and chopped
3-4 small salad tomatoes, chopped
olive oil
1 T fresh chopped or ½ T dried favorite herbs (Sarah uses fresh basil and oregano)
stale bread, processed into crumbs

1. Cut squash in half. Scoop out seeds. Set aside.

2. Cover bottom of sauté or fry pan with olive oil and sauté onions and garlic in oil. Add tomatoes at the end to just heat. Stir in herbs. Add this mixture to bread crumbs. Should be moist. If not moist enough, can add water or broth or wine (Cook’s choice!).

3. Stuff squash and place in baking dish. Cover with foil and cook at 350° for 1 hour. For softer squash, put water in bottom of pan and it will steam squash while it cooks.

Green Smoothie, recipe shared by Vanessa Oliver

1-2 cups greens (start with 1 cup if new to you, can use spinach, beet tops, kale, be creative)
1 frozen banana
1 cup almond milk
1/ 2 tsp maple syrup

Put all ingredients in your blender. Vanessa has also added strawberries, strawberry jam, and blueberries with success!

Green Pastitsio
Our thanks to a CSA member for sharing another of her favorites using Swiss chard. The recipe as written can be strong with a minty flavor, so she often substitutes another favorite herb such as fresh basil.

1 pound pasta
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
1 large or 2 medium bundles chard, stemmed and chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill leaves
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup crumbled feta
1 cup freshly shredded or grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF. Heat the water to a boil for pasta, salt the water, and undercook the pasta by about 2 minutes.

While the water comes to a boil, heat the EVOO in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add the garlic and onions. Soften for a few minutes, then stir in the chard to wilt. Add the dill, mint, parsley and black pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer and keep the greens warm.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a saucepot over medium to medium-high heat. As soon as the butter melts, add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened.

Drain the pasta and place it back in the hot pot. Stir it together with the greens and feta to combine; taste to adjust the seasoning.

Place the pasta in a casserole dish and top with the béchamel sauce you just made, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Bake in the oven until bubbly and brown, 20 min-utes, or cool and cover and store for a make-ahead meal.

Pasta with Broccoli and Ginger
We’ve shared this farm favorite recipe before, but had a recent request for a pasta and broccoli dish. This recipe makes use of your entire broccoli head including the stem.

1 bunch broccoli (1 ½ lbs)
1½ cups chicken 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 package directions

1. Cut broccoli florets from stem. Trim to small florets.
2. Peel and slice stems. Process sliced stems and ½ cup broth in food processor until very fine.
3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Add ginger, garlic, and red pepper. Cook 15 seconds.
5. Stir in pureed broccoli mixture, florets, remaining 1 cup broth and salt.
6. Boil, stirring occasionally, just until broccoli is tender, 5 to 8 minutes.
7. Toss with pasta.