Promised Land CSA Week Five June 9th 2014
- This week we are switching to the larger share box. They are all brand new and very stiff so please be gentle as possible as you unfold them. If unsure how please have someone demonstrate it for you. The damage and torn boxes adds significant cost to our CSA share.
Farm News from Jane
Bigger boxes, bigger leaves; or perhaps I should say bigger leaves require bigger boxes! We were all amazed at the growth of all the plants over the last week. The Swiss chard leaves are so big we did not want to crush them and so we decided to get out the BIG boxes. The combination of irrigating, rain and being almost at the summer solstice with maximum sunlight and day length caused rapid growth of all the vegetables. That is except for the asparagus which is winding down. This will be the last week for both asparagus and rhubarb. We will be moving on to sugar snap peas, beets, green onions and perhaps even some strawberries next week. I am always quite hopeful when it comes to crop yields but this year I have to admit that the extreme winter weather and wind chill caused a bit more damage to the strawberries and blueberries than I have previously thought. The south row of blueberries has quite a few dead or empty branches at the tip where they experienced the worst of the wind. But Mother Nature’s natural method of pruning causes the same effect as the pruning which we do in the spring; bigger fruit but less of it. Time will tell what the crop will be; not every year will be like the stellar blueberry crop we had last season! The strawberries are turning red but have not put on any size as yet. Although the strawberries got off to a later start their internal clock tells them to ripen regardless of size. The few we have sampled although small are sweet and delicious.
The tomatoes in the high tunnel are now trellised and growing tall. It seems as though the “protected environment” must be close to ideal conditions as you can just about measure daily growth. We were able to transplant most of the winter squash last week as well as another bed of beets, cucumbers, melons, zucchini and yellow squash. The tomatillos grow so fast in the greenhouse it seems as though there would “crawl” right out to the field. They remind me of that movie with the man eating plant which doubled its size overnight. We have begun seeding the later crops such as the crucifers which include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts. The greenhouse get filled and emptied on a regular basis for quite a few months. We are so fortunate to be able to raise all our own transplants. Daniel after many years of trial and error has gained much practical wisdom raising our plants. He has really done an exceptional job this season. We hope that you enjoy the last of the rhubarb and asparagus and get ready for those very sweet sugar snap peas. (They are the ones with the edible pods). Boil’em, fry’em but don’t put them in a stew just eat them raw; that’s what’s best to do!
Enjoy the full Strawberry moon on Friday; I’m going to get out my paddle boat for a romantic moonlight cruise on the pond. Moonlight serenade anyone? Until next week, Jane
Produce: Salad Greens Head Lettuce Swiss chard Asparagus Rhubarb
– Salad greens are triple washed so rewashing is unnecessary.
– Swiss chard will keep best if stored in a plastic bag in the fridge,
– Swiss chard can be lightly blanched and then well drained and frozen in freezer bags for use in soups, stews or even lasagna.
– Try using large amounts of greens as the basis for a main dish meal by adding proteins like nuts, seeds, hard boiled eggs or beans. Three ounces is one nutritional serving!
ASPARAGUS AND MIXED GREENS SALAD
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; 1 pound asparagus, cut on the diagonal into I-inch pieces; Salt and ground black pepper; 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar; I small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons); 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves; 6 ounces mixed greens (about 12 cups); 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped medium
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until beginning to smoke. Add the asparagus, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; cook until browned and tender crisp, about 4 minutes, stirring once every minute. Transfer to a large plate and cool 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 4 tablespoons oil, the vinegar, shallot, tarragon, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in a medium bowl until combined. In a large bowl, toss the greens with 2 tablespoons of the dressing and divide among salad plates. Toss the asparagus with the remaining dressing and place a portion of it over the greens; sprinkle the chopped eggs evenly over the salads and serve. Serves 4-6.
OPEN-FACE ASPARAGUS-EGG SANDWICHES
2 tbsp butter or margarine; 2 tbsp flour; 1/2 cups milk; 1/2 cups chicken broth; 3 hard-cooked eggs, sliced; 1/2 tbsp minced onion; 1/2 tsp salt; 1/8 tsp pepper; 2 cups cooked asparagus, cut in 1 1/2″ pieces; 3 hamburger buns, split and toasted; 4 slices bacon, chopped, fried crisp and drained
Melt butter in saucepan; blend in flour. Add milk and broth; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and bubbly. Add eggs, onion, salt, pepper and asparagus. Heat thoroughly. Serve on toasted bun halves. Sprinkle bacon over top. Makes 3 servings.
RHUBARB DESSERT SURPRISE
6 c diced rhubarb; 3 1/2 c sugar, divided; 6 Tbsp butter, softened; 2 c flour; 2 tsp baking powder; 1 tsp salt, divided; 1 c milk; 2 Tbsp corn starch; 3/4 c boiling water
Spread rhubarb over bottom of buttered 9×13-inch baking pan. In a mixing bowl, cream together 1 1/2 c sugar and butter. Into another bowl, sift flour, baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Add portions of flour mixture to sugar mixture, alternating with portions of milk; mix well. Spread mixture over rhubarb. Mix remaining 2 c sugar, corn starch and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Pour over batter. Slowly pour or spoon boiling water over the top. Bake at 350 degrees 1 hour.
The top will look crusty, uneven and golden. Note: This dessert forms its own unusual crust. Makes 8-10 servings.
Recipe from Farm-Fresh Recipes.
SALAD GREENS WITH JOHN’S OIL AND VINEGAR DRESSING
1 cup red wine vinegar; 1 tablespoon honey; 1 cup olive or canola oil; 1 pinch salt; 1 tablespoon horseradish mustard; 1 pinch pepper; 5 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste); salad greens
Mix all ingredients (except greens). Toss with greens. This recipe was inspired by Rob Summerbell. Makes about 3 cups dressing. Recipe from Zephyr Community Farm
CHARLEMAGNE SALAD WITH HOT BRIE DRESSING
Salad greens; 1/4 cup white wine vinegar; 1 tablespoon lemon juice; garlic croutons; 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard; 1/4 cup olive oil; 4-5 ounces ripe brie, rind removed, cheese cut, or cheese of your choice; 2 teaspoons minced shallots or green onions into small pieces and brought to room temperature; 1 teaspoon minced garlic; freshly ground pepper
Clean the greens; dry them in a salad spinner or kitchen towels. Tear greens into bite-size pieces and toss with garlic croutons in a large bowl. Warm oil in a heavy skillet. Add shallots or onions and garlic and cook until golden, 3-5 minutes. Blend in vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard. Add the cheese a little at a time, stirring constantly. Toss the hot dressing with the greens and croutons. Serve immediately with freshly ground pepper. Makes 6 servings.
Recipe from Matthew and Susan Smith, Blue Valley Gardens
SWISS CHARD QUICHE
1 LB. Swiss chard or spinach, cook and drain thoroughly; 4 eggs, beaten; 1 cup milk; 1 cup Swiss cheese shredded; 1 cup bread cubed; 1/2 cup sliced green onions; 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated. Combine all ingredients with cooked greens. Pour into 2 quart baking dish. Cover and bake in 3750 oven until set, 25-30 min.
SWISS CHARD PIZZA
First Chop the chard leaves and stems separately. Then microwave them separately as the stems will take a bit longer. Knead dough into pan. Massage oil onto dough. Spread on the chopped chard leaves then cover with chopped onion, 4 garlic cloves, oregano, chopped stems and grated parmesan cheese. Cover with another layer of dough which you have rolled out to approximate size. Vent the cover with holes to allow extra moisture to escape. Bake for 25 minutes at 3250.
SWISS CHARD NOODLE BAKE
1 pound fresh Swiss chard, cooked just until wilted, drained and chopped; 1/2 pound penne or ziti noodles, freshly cooked and drained; 1/2 pound ricotta cheese; 1 15-ounce jars marinara sauce; 2 eggs, lightly beaten; 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese; 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley; 1 tsp salt; 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 3-quart casserole or baking dish. Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and blend thoroughly. Turn into prepared dish and bake until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 4.