Monday, September 26, 2011

Week 21, CSA

Seasonal Update

For some crops this has been one of the best growing seasons, and for others, one of the worst. We cannot complain about the rain, rain, rain we have had the last several weeks as drought conditions are so devastating, long-lasting, and costly in several ways. This has been one of the more wet spring and summer seasons, and October (one of the driest months of the year) will be starting off rainy as well. It is good for the groundwater to be recharged and ponds and streams to replenish going into winter.

Our mid season tomatoes produced well and there was an abundance during peak season. Lettuces and bell peppers were prolific after the late start, and early season summer squash was in the shares for 6 weeks. This is one of the farm’s best garlic crops ever!

You are aware of the cold, wet spring and the delay is some crops being planted – now we are seeing some residual effects. The eggplant and hot peppers were later going into the field and never seemed to latch onto their favorite growing conditions. Other long-growing-season crops such as Brussels sprouts and celeriac were affected early in their life cycle and only now do we see the effects in little or no production.

The recent change from hot to cold temperature came at least 4 weeks early this season putting the brakes on tomato and berry ripening. The later summer squash and zucchini plants were in stand-ing water after the big summer storm, cooked in 98° days, and the plants still surviving are now trying to produce squashes, it is just too cold for them to grow very fast with nights in the 40’s for the last couple of weeks.

Though several growers report it one of their worst years due to climatic challenges, at the farm we worked hard to balance the good results with the disappointing harvests and provide you a well-balanced share each week.

We survey our membership each season to help us improve our CSA program. We always appreciate your time in sharing your comments. A link to the online survey is being sent by email this week – if you need a paper copy mailed, just give us a call.

Finally, our Heritage breed and broad-breasted breed Certified Organic turkeys are sizing up nicely. Elmwood is one of just a few farms in the US that grow heritage breed turkeys that are also Certified Organic, making these holiday turkeys a very special item.

We keep the breeding stock hens and toms here year-round. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy recognizes some of our breeds as in danger of extinction. Most farms cannot afford the costs and upkeep of keeping heritage breed animals without a supporting source of income to offset the expenses, so Slow Food USA is helping to spread the word and promote heritage breed products as a food source. By creating demand for heritage foods, then farms can work to produce and maintain heritage breeds.

We take pre-orders for Elmwood turkeys either in person or though email. They are processed at a USDA inspected facility and will be ready for pickup the weekend prior to Thanksgiving or for December holidays. Just contact the farm and we’ll share more details with you on expected available sizes, the differences in taste and appearance dependent on heritage or broad-breasted breeds, and pricing.

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

Swiss Chard – organic

Celery – organic

Onion – organic

Sweet Peppers – organic

Spaghetti Squash

Sweet Potatoes – organic

Tomatoes - organic

Garlic - organic

Potatoes - organic

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin
Thanks to a CSA member for sharing this recipe from the popular blog, smitten kitchen .com. She substituted skim milk and Swiss cheese and reports that it is a fabulous recipe used as an entrée. As written, serves 12.

¼ C (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 pounds Swiss chard, leaves and stems separated and both cut into 1-inch pieces
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 C heavy cream or whole milk
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T flour
2 pounds medium red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick rounds
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ¼ C (about 5 ounces) coarsely grated Gruyére cheese

Prep greens: Cook onion in 2 T butter in a wide 8-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Add chard stems, pinch of nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender but not browned, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to moderately high and add chard leaves by large handfuls, stirring, until all greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper then transfer greens to a colander to drain well and press out liquid with back of a large spoon.

Make sauce: Combine cream or milk and garlic in small saucepan; bring to simmer; keep warm. Melt 2 T butter in a medium heavy saucepan over moderate heat and stir in flour. Cook roux, whisking, one minute, then slowly whisk in warm cream/milk and boil, whisking, one minute. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Assemble gratin: Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter deep 9×13 baking dish. Spread half of sweet potatoes in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, a quarter of the herbs and a ¼ C of the cheese. Distribute half of the greens mixture over the cheese, then sprinkle salt, pepper, a quarter of the herbs and ¼ C of the cheese over it. Pour half of béchamel sauce over the first two layers then continue with the remaining sweet potatoes, more salt, pepper, herbs and cheese and then the remaining greens, salt, pepper and herbs. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the gratin, pressing the vegetables slightly to ensure that they are as submerged as possible. Sprinkle with the last ¼ C of cheese.

Bake gratin for about 1 hour until golden and bubbly, and most of the liquid is absorbed. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Do ahead: You can make the entire gratin but not bake it up to a day in advance and keep it in the fridge. You can also make and bake the gratin and reheat it. Gratins reheat well, but they take almost as much time to gently heat through as they do to bake in the first place, especially deep ones like this.

Smoky Sweet Potato Soup
Martha Stewart recipe, serves 10.

3 T extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small leek, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed well
1 tart green apple, peeled, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 celery stalk thinly sliced
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 in cubes
6 C chicken stock
1 medium canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ C salted pepitas (green hulled pumpkin seeds) you can substitute roasted seeds from your winter squashes; see recipe below

Heat oil in a large pot over medum heat. Cook garlic and leek until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add apple, celery, and ginger, and cook for 3 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and stock, and simmer until sweet potatoes are trender, about 15 minutes. Add chipotle chile.

Working in batches, transfer mixture to a blender, and puree until smooth, transfering soup to a large bowl as you work. You might also use a hand held soup blender. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with pepitas before serving.

Curry Roasted Pumpkin Seedsthis recipe can be used for any pumpkin or winter squash seeds.

Separate seeds from pulp.

For every 2 C of seeds, combine 3-4 T curry powder, 1 ½ C warm water, 1 T lemon juice, and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil to dissolve curry; add seeds. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Drain, place seeds on an oiled cookie sheet and bake in 250° F oven for 60-75 minutes or until dried out.

Monday, September 19, 2011

CSA News, Week 20

What ARE you gonna eat?

As the 2011 CSA summer share season winds down, we wanted to take this opportunity to help you make good food choices for this fall and winter. (We have 2 more pickups for summer CSA after this one!)

Many of you have signed up for the Fall Shares, so we don’t have to worry about you all. The rest of you will be searching the shelves for produce to prepare the same great recipes that you enjoyed this summer. Some may even backslide into “store bought” eggs! Horrors! And who knows anything about those meats?

So we are here to help. At Elmwood we preserved some of the abundance in our freezer for consumption at the end of the season. Hopefully you did as well, either from your box or larger lot purchase at the farmers market. We will continue to have root crops, cooking greens, lettuce fixings, well into the fall, depending on when the frost or freezing temperatures arrive. Surely we will see you at the farmers market for these!

New this year, we have diced heirloom tomatoes in glass jars, processed one week when we had one of those flushes of growth talked about in last week’s newsletter. We had them professionally packed for you to enjoy in the off-season. And, no BPAs to worry about that is found some of the canned stuff, as we chose to use glass 32 oz jars. Plus, Elmwood salsa is back – both mild and hot in 16 oz jars. We can make a meal out of it, as nachos are quick and easy to prepare.

Take some time to think about the kind of cooking and types of recipes you like to use in shorter day seasons. Make the soups and stews with the best local organic ingredients we have. Relish in the diversity of those roasted root veggies.

Our commitment to you does not end with your last CSA pickup the first week of October. Your commitment to us does not have to end then either, as we will be at the Saturday morning farmers market in downtown Lexington all fall and winter. We strive to eat well-balanced meals year-round with products we grow on the farm. We want you to be able to do the same thing, which is one reason we started the Fall CSA and are still planting for end-of-year harvesting.

We really do worry about those of you that we don’t see for awhile. What are you eating? We will make every effort to be sure you have access all year. After all, we are partners with you in this operation, not just fair weather friends.

In Your Share

Half-Runner Green Beans - organic

Savoy Cabbage - organic

Garlic – organic

Leeks - organic

Okra - organic

Onion – organic

Pepper - organic

Raspberries - organic

Fresh Rosemary, Sage – organic

Sweet Potatoes – organic

Tomato – organic

Swiss Chard – organic

Radishes – organic

Acorn Squash

Recipes to Enjoy

Smoked Chile Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

A Bobby Flay recipe adapted and shared by a CSA member last fall. She suggested finding chipotle pepper puree in the Mexican food aisle of your local store, or you can puree whole chipotle peppers. Though thinly slicing the potatoes may take a little time, she said the result is well worth it!

2 C heavy cream

1 heaping T chipotle pepper puree

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1/8” thick)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk together cream and chipotle puree until smooth. In a 9 x 9 inch casserole dish, arrange a layer of potatoes, drizzle with about 3 tablespoons of the cream mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue layering potatoes, cream, salt and pepper (you will have many layers). Cover and bake for 30 minutes; remove cover and continue baking 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until cream has been absorbed, potatoes are cooked through, and the top is browned. Makes 4-6 servings.

Sweet Potato Wedges with Rosemary
from, Lorna Sass, 2008

2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed
2 T olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp soy sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ T chopped fresh rosemary

Set two racks in middle section of oven. Line two lipped baking sheets or large, shallow roasting pans with foil. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Halve potatoes crosswise (no need to peel). Cut each piece in half lengthwise. Then cut each piece into wedges about 1/2-inch thick. Spread out on baking sheets.

In a small bowl, blend oil, chili powder, and soy sauce. Dribble half of oil mixture over each batch of sweet potatoes and toss to coat. Arrange wedges in one layer with a little space between them. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 12 minutes. Turn slices over. Reverse shelves for baking sheets. Continue roasting until potatoes are tender, 8 to 12 minutes more. Sprinkle with additional salt, if needed. To serve: Transfer potatoes to a platter and toss in rosemary. Serve hot.

Warm Roasted-Garlic Dressing
A Martha Stewart recipe that can be used on salads, but is wonderful tossed with oven roasted vegetables, makes about 1 Cup.

1 garlic head
1/3 C white wine vinegar
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
2/3 C extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap garlic in foil. Roast until tender, about 1½ hours. Let cool slightly. Can be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight. Cut the head in half crosswise. Squeeze pulp into a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Whisk in vinegar and rosemary. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly. Use right away.

Monday, September 12, 2011

CSA News, Week 19

What Is a Normal

Growing Season?

Did you notice the big change in the weather this past week? The plants sure did! Remembering the extended cool wet April and May that led to a hot and wet (for us) June, July, August, and now an abrupt cool wet Labor Day week, we know there is a dramatic effect on the plants that supply your food.

Every year it is “something” as is to be expected when growing over 60 kinds of vegetables each year (over 200 different varieties). Each has its own internal clock and growth habit. Often different varieties of the same crop behave differently to the same environmental condition. So, we have our target dates to plant and the subsequent predicted harvest dates. As you are probably are aware by now, this year’s big swings in weather has altered the plan.

Your boxes were a little light early in the season simply because we could not get into the fields to plant due to the rain and mud. Once we were able to work the ground the “early stuff” went out the same time as the “mid season stuff.” We packed the shares more fully because it all came ready together and we wanted to make sure you shared in the doubled-up harvesting.

Then the hot temperatures told the plants to grow like crazy. That caused the tomatoes to flush their growth and the fruits to ripen at the same time, rather than the normal first fruit first, and later fruit set later. Some cooler natured plants just bolted into flower, never fruiting, because they were so unhappy they just wanted it all to be over.

Now, the welcome cooler weather has settled in rather suddenly telling the same summer plants that their season is over. The cool season crops for fall are planted and should do well; depending on how much sun they see this month. So, hopefully you put some of those greens or tomatoes in the freezer to enjoy this winter. The boxes always look different each week, as it is the plants’ way of showing you that it is in fact “always something.”

We appreciate your interest in eating seasonally, and going with the flow as we all work through this particular growing season. Sometimes even we still wonder, what is an average growing season?

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

Swiss Chard – organic


Popcorn – organic
Find a deep yellow colored ear of popcorn, ready to shell off the cob and pop up for a family treat. Store at room temperature or in your pantry – the more dry your popcorn, the easier it will PoP! To prepare freshly grown corn, heat the oil in a covered pan at medium high. Then carefully add a few corn kernels to the oil, using care to not splash oil, and top with the lid. Listen for the kernels to begin popping. After a couple of minutes, shake the pan slightly across the burner to prevent any kernels from burning. When the popping stops, remove and enjoy.

Potatoes – organic

Raspberries - organic

Fresh Sage – organic

Stripetti Squash
Store this hard skin squash in your pantry until ready to use, as this item will keep for you for weeks with no need to refrigerate. Boil whole; or halve and bake with flesh side down in a little water until done; remove seeds. Fleck out strands with a fork. Not sure how to flavor or season? Try using your faavorite pasta recipe and substitute the stripetti squash for the angel hair or spaghetti or linguine. It has lower calories than pasta, and is a super-veggie for those who watch their gluten intake.

Tomato – organic

Garlic – organic

Leeks – organic

Pepper –organic

Recipes to Enjoy

Asian Chicken Salad Wraps
Our thanks to a CSA member for sharing this favorite recipe. She substituted Swiss chard for the greens! She mentioned that this recipe is heavenly, but also a little labor intensive.

1 T Soy Sauce
3 T Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 T Honey
1 scant T sesame oil
½ tsp red pepper flakes (less if you don't like spicy)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ C cooked chicken, chopped
3 C torn romaine
1 C torn spinach
2 green onions, chopped
1 large carrot, shredded
2 Roma tomato, chopped
½ C red pepper, chopped
2 T cilantro, minced
6-8 tortillas

Combine dressing ingredients. Combine chopped chicken and rest of ingredients. Toss with dressing. Warm tortillas in sauté pan, spoon filling into tortilla. Serve immediately

Recipe from Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert’s Simply in Season

3-4 T butter
4 C potatoes, shredded
½ tsp salt or more to taste
1-1½ C Colby or cheddar cheese

Melt butter in large frypan. Sauté potatoes with salt until cooked and slightly browned, stirring occasionally. Press potatoes into pan, allow to cook another minute, then flip and fry the other side. While bottom gets crisp, top with cheese. When melted, cut into wedges and serve. Serves 4.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Week 18, CSA

Poultry on Pasture

At Elmwood Stock Farm we employ several different production systems to supply you with the best eggs and meats for your nourishment. Each type of poultry has unique inherent capabilities and housing needs for the birds to prosper, be safe, and happy.

The “egg mobiles” look like a small A-frame structure, attached to a four-wheel wagon. There are many features within this structure specific for egg laying chickens. Along the sides, under the eve, are a series of boxes the hens can access to lay their eggs in a bed of wood shavings. A group of 300 hens share about 30 nest boxes, with some boxes filled with 15 or 20 eggs each day, while others are empty. We gather the eggs twice daily. The egg mobile also has a series of roosts under the roof where the birds go each evening to rest away from the watchful eye of the owls.

We use small flexible irrigation tubing, which snakes along the pasture behind the house from the nearby hose outlet to keep a reservoir of water full that is inside the egg mobile. The drinkers are gravity fed systems that have a trough of water for the birds to drink. As they drink the water from the trough it becomes lighter in weight, which causes the spring to raise it up slightly, which opens the valve to allow more water to flow into the trough.

Once per week or so, our 1950 International Harvester tractor pulls the egg mobile to a fresh location, and the electrified net fencing is replaced around the birds and their house to protect them from ground predators. This new area provides excellent grazing of clover, grass and small weeds, along with any unsuspecting insects that cannot fly away. The house provides protection from rain, shade from the sun, and a safe zone when a hawk comes to check out the chickens. In the winter, we have plastic sidewalls that drop down to ground level for additional weather protection.

The turkeys, when small, must also have lightweight flight netting over their heads, not to keep them in, but to keep aerial predators out. One year when we experienced a lot of predator pressure, we had to add fishing line in a spider web type pattern over the laying hens to protect them as well.

Organic feed is taken to the birds twice daily so the poultry can consumer it. We don’t leave feed grain out all the time or the beautiful songbirds will learn to come in and eat it!

As you can see, caring for poultry takes a lot of planning, twice daily “chores”, and special attention at critical times. At Elmwood we raise the meat and eggs with the natural behavior and characteristics of the birds in mind. We make sure they are safe, have plenty of wholesome pasture and grains to eat, and a secure place to lay their eggs. All this, without harming any wildlife that also wants to enjoy poultry or hen fruit for breakfast!

In Your Share

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

Celery – organic
Refrigerate as soon as possible to keep fresh. Wrap in a damp towel or place in a plastic bag and store in the hydrator drawer for up to 2 weeks. Like we advise on many of your veggies, use the freezer for long-term storage. Slice, then spread on a cookie sheet and place into the freezer. When all the chunks are frozen, pack them into any airtight container and return to the freezer. Celery pieces will be soft when thawed and best used in soups and stews, less so in salads.

Swiss Chard - organic


Garlic – organic

Kale Greens –organic

Fresh Thyme – organic


Okra – organic

Potatoes – organic
Our first harvest of the season for gold potatoes is always a cheerful time, as everyone loves potatoes, right? Oven roast, bake, mash, boil, or panfry, this variety performs well prepared many different ways. We have rinsed field dirt and suggest refrigerating until ready to prepare. You may want to consider the kale and potato soup this week, a recipe included.

Acorn Squash
Search this blog for many recipes. Week 22, Oct 2009 is the most popular acorn squash recipe. Apricots, yummy!

Tomatoes – organic

Peppers – organic

Recipes to Enjoy

Chard Utopia
Recipe from Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert’s Simply in Season.

2 C onion, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp salt
1 T olive oil
2 ½ pounds Swiss chard, stemmed, finely chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 T flour
2 C feta cheese, crumbled
1 C cottage cheese
pepper, to taste
1 pound frozen phyllo pastry sheets, thawed
olive oil

In a large frypan, sauté onion, basil, oregano, and salt in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add chard and cook until wilted, 5-8 minutes. Sprinkle in garlic and flour, stir and cook over medium heat, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in cheeses and pepper.
Place a sheet of phyllo in an oiled 9 x 13 inch pan. Brush or lightly spray sheet with olive oil. Repeat 7 times. Spread half the filling evenly on top. Add 8 more sheets of oiled phyllo. Cover with the rest of the filling and follow with remaining sheets of phyllo, oiling each, including the top sheet. Tuck in the edges and bake uncovered in preheated oven at 375° until golden and crispy, 45 minutes. Serves 8-10.

Greens with Potatoes, a Deborah Madison recipe
4 boiling potatoes, about 1 pound
1 to 2 pounds greens, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
½ tsp red pepper flakes
2 tomatoes, if in season, peeled and diced

Cover the potatoes with cold water, add salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, then peel and coarsely chop. Simmer the greens in a large skillet, until tender, then drain. You may need to do this in two batches. Return the skillet to the stove, add the oil, and heat with the garlic and pepper flakes. When you can smell the garlic, add the greens, potatoes, and tomatoes. Cook over medium heat, breaking up the potatoes with a fork and mashing them into the greens to make a kind of rough hash. Taste for salt and serve drizzled with olive oil over the top.

Portuguese Kale Soup
Thanks to a CSA member for this Rachel Ray recipe utilizing almost all CSA ingredients. She often doubles it and likes to freeze it for the winter (though it may be suitable for our weather this week).

1 T olive oil

1 T finely chopped garlic
½ C diced onions
½ diced turnip
½ C diced carrots
1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
6 ounces chopped spicy Portuguese sausage, or chorizo
bay leaves
2 T chopped fresh
parsley leaves (try using your celery leaf, very good substitute!)
2 T chopped fresh thyme leaves
6 C beef stock
1 C
kidney beans
6 ounces diced
10 ounces diced

In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onions, turnips and carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the kale, sausage, bay leaves, parsley and thyme and mix well.

Add the
beef stock, beans and tomatoes. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium
saucepan, bring salted water to a boil and add the diced potatoes. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and add them to the soup.

Remove the bay leaves, serve hot. Serves 4.

Caramelized Onion and Apple Tart
Did you know that apples are ready at the markets and the orchards? Use your fresh onions and local apples for this savory dish, from Bravetart. com

1 favorite flaky pastry dough, ready to roll out (Bravetart has a recipe for homemade)
1 large onion
splash of oil or butter
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
a small handful of a salty cheese; Gruyere or a blue work quite well
1 apple

Halve and peel the onion, then cut it into thin slices. Use a splash of oil or butter and saute the onion slices on medium low heat until quite caramelized, thirty minutes or so. If you see the edges of the onion blackening before they’ve taken on much overall color, turn the heat down. When the onions have a rich caramel color, stir in the balsamic and shut off the heat. Season with salt and pepper and cool to room temperature. You can facilitate this process by transferring the onions to a plate and spreading them out to cool.

While the onions cool, roll the dough to about a 1/4” thickness in the shape of your choice. It’s a rustic sort of tart, so don’t worry about trimming the edges or making sure the shape is too precise. Roll. Transfer the dough to an ungreased sheet pan.
Refrigerate the rolled dough, no need to wrap, at least 15 minutes to give the gluten ample time to relax so it won’t shrink. Definitely chill the dough until the onions have cooled. Seriously. Putting hot or even warm onions on something made of butter can only lead to disaster. Wait.

When the onions have cooled, scatter them over the tart. Next, slice a whole apple as thinly as you can manage. You don’t need a mandolin or anything, just take your time and you’ll be able to get some pretty seriously thin slices. No need to core the apples, just slice straight through. You can easily pick the seeds out of the slices and keep the pretty starburst shape intact. Arrange as many or few apple slices on the tart as you like; I use six, but don’t hesitate to do more if you want!

Now sprinkle whatever cheese you’re using over the tart. Listen: this isn’t a pizza. It’s not even a flat quiche. Easy on the cheese, okay? You’re just wanting to add a few salty bites, the tart dough is incredibly rich and buttery, and big gobs of cheese will really make this a greasy, inelegant snack.

Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Check on the tart from time to time, if you notice any out of control air bubbles, pull the tart partway out of the oven and poke the bubble with a toothpick or a knife to release the steam. Put it back in the oven and carry on. Cool the tart for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving. The tart will remain wonderfully flakey even at room temperature several hours later so you can prepare ahead if needed. Enjoy!

Kale Winter Pasta, Heidi Swanson recipe
Thanks to a CSA member for sharing this kale recipe for those who don’t like cooked kale – it makes a delicious pesto-like sauce for pasta!

4 cloves of garlic, peeled

4 small shallots, peeled

1 small bunch of kale - 1/2 lb, stalks removed, washed well

1/3 C extra virgin olive oil

1/3 C goat cheese (or Parmesan), plus more for topping

2 T + hot pasta water

fine grain sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

fresh lemon juice - optional

12 oz dried penne pasta

fresh thyme - and thyme flowers

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the boiling water generously, and add the garlic and shallots. Boil for 2-3 minutes, stir in the kale and cook for another ten seconds. Don't overcook. Working quickly, use a slotted spoon or strainer to fish the greens, garlic, and shallots from the water. Use a food processor to puree the ingredients along with the olive oil and goat cheese. Add a couple tablespoons of hot pasta water if needed to thin things out. Then season with a touch of salt and plenty of black pepper. Taste. Depending on your goat cheese, you might need a little extra acidic oomph if your sauce is a bit flat. If so, add fresh lemon juice a bit at a time until you're happy with it the sauce. Set aside.

Reheat the pot of water and boil the pasta per package instructions. Drain and toss immediately with the green sauce. Serve topped with a few pinches of fresh thyme, and more crumbled cheese. Serves 4-6.