Promised Land CSA Week Two May 19th 2014

Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

Important reminders:

  • Please remember shares boxes and egg cartons.
  • You may still add a fruit share to your membership; please email Jane @
  • Don’t forget to print out a copy of the first newsletter from May 10th as it contains the necessary information for missed pickups.
  • There are lots of recipes archived on our website @

Farm News from Jane

Well the cows have finally “graduated” to greener pastures today. They have only been able to enjoy the farmyard until the pasture grasses were tall enough for them to graze. More than a few times over the past few weeks the cows would see us and “bellow” at us as a friendly reminder that they were ready to “moo”ve. The pigs and chickens do not need the grass to be as tall as the cows do. They have been happily exploring new pastures on a regular rotation.

This week we are harvesting the first of the rhubarb. It has had ideal conditions, cool and moist. The stalks are crisp and tender. Some people think that if the rhubarb is more red or pink that it is sweeter but that is not so. Regardless of its color the rhubarb is tender and sweet-tart dependent on the growing conditions. So far this year the growing conditions have been especially nice. I’ve included a savory dish for the rhubarb as well as a few sweet dishes. Somehow even though it is a vegetable most people think of it as dessert food. I’m sure that it would be nice in a smoothie too but unless you have a real juicer I’m not sure that a blender/food processor can handle the “strings” of the rhubarb stalks; they are a lot like celery fiber. Sautéing it would also soften the fibers nicely. Rhubarb is high in vitamins A and C and a variety of minerals particularly calcium. As most vegetarians know there are lots of other ways to get your calcium without drinking milk; although I’d be sad without it.

The asparagus had been growing more rapidly with the warmer temperature that is until Sunday morning anyway. The 350 low gave us a morning off from harvesting however! We do have enough to share a whole pound this week though.

The share has expanded this week but will hopefully still fit into the half bushel box. It will be a while before we have a large volume of produce to share. But OOH it’s so good; seasonal eating. The flavors combined with the freshness makes vegetable at suppertime (or any time) something to look forward to! We hope that you enjoyed your first share of the season. Have a good week and enjoy the freshness, Jane


Produce:        Asparagus        Green Garlic        Rhubarb      

                                 Head Lettuce        Bok Choy


Produce Tips:

–          It is helpful to have a vegetable brush on hand for the rhubarb. We are not able to wash it and most of the residue from the mulch will brush off easily under running water. There will be other veggies like beets that have nooks and crannies that hold field soil so a vegetable brush is a handy kitchen tool when eating seasonally.

–          Salad spinners are great to have when we begin harvesting head lettuce form the field. We do chill it in cold water but are unable to remove the dirt between the leaves.

–          Asparagus should not need to be trimmed much as it is quite tender. Blanch lightly for 1-2 minutes or steam lightly to bring out the bright green color. Cooking longer will make it grey and mushy.

–          Bok choy is one of the best sources of calcium in the vegetable kingdom and has only 24 calories per cup!

–          Substitute green garlic for green onions in recipes.

–          Sometimes recipes contain ingredients which are not on hand. Substitute other oils, vinegars or sauces and create your own version. Recipes are helpful for ideas on “how to” prep and prepare new or unfamiliar vegetables.


Asparagus Lasagna

12 lbs. asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces; 3 Tbsp. butter; 2 green onions, chopped; 12 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped; 1/4 cup flour; 1 tsp. salt; 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper; 2 1/2 cups milk; 8 oz. lasagna noodles, cooked; 2 cups cottage cheese; 2 cups shredded jack cheese (or more); 1/2 -1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or more); Black pepper to taste (optional)

Cook asparagus and drain; let cool. Preheat oven to 3250 F. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add onions and mushrooms and cook over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Blend in flour, salt, and cayenne pepper. Gradually stir in milk. Cook sauce until thickened for additional 5 minutes. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Layer noodles (season with pepper for more spicy flavor), asparagus, cottage cheese, jack cheese, a third of the remaining sauce, and Parmesan cheese. Repeat to make three layers.  Bake for 45 minutes. Let stand 20 minutes before cutting to serve. Serves 12

Spear-It Sticks

8 asparagus tips, approximately 5 in. cooked or raw; 8 oz cream cheese; 1 cup chopped walnuts

Thoroughly dry asparagus. Coat each spear with cream cheese. Roll in walnuts. Refrigerate. Serve cold.


Spring Orzo Salad

8 oz. orzo pasta ; 1/2 cup bunching onions, finely chopped; 8 oz. mushrooms, quartered; 1 lb. asparagus, tips trimmed, stems cut into ‘/2-inch rounds; 1 cup frozen peas; 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts, optional

Vinaigrette: 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar; 2 Tbs. olive oil; 2 tsp. whole-grain mustard; 1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar

Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse under cold water, and drain. Set aside.  Coat nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and place over medium heat. Add onions, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions are soft. Raise heat to medium-high, stir in mushrooms, and cook 5 minutes. Add asparagus, and cook 3 to 4 minutes more, or until asparagus are crisp-tender. Stir in peas, season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat. To make Vinaigrette: Whisk together all ingredients in small bowl until emulsified. Place pasta, vegetables, and vinaigrette in large bowl, and stir to combine. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, if desired. Serves 6


Bok Choy Soup

Chicken stock; bok choy, chopped; l tsp sugar; rice noodles, cooked

Measure as much chicken stock as you would like to have soup. Heat stock, add bok choy and sugar. Cook until bok choy is tender and heated through. Remove from heat, add noodles and serve.


Bok choy with Soy Sauce

1 pound bok choy; 2 tablespoons peanut oil; 1-2 tablespoons plum sauce

Trim the bok choy, removing any discolored leaves and damaged stems. Tear into manageable pieces. Heat a wok until hot, add the oil and swirl it around. Add the bok choy and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until the greens have wilted a little. Add the plum sauce and continue to stir-fry for a few seconds more, until the greens are cooked but still slightly crisp. Serve immediately. Serves 3-4


Sesame Soy Braised Bok Choy

1/2 head bok choy; 1 tbsp peanut oil; 1/2 tbsp grated ginger; 1 tbsp minced garlic; 1/4 cup chicken stock; 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil; 1 tbsp soy sauce; 1 tsp rice vinegar; 1 tsp sugar; salt and pepper; 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Trim the root end off the bok choy head. Slice the leafy portions of the plant from the stalks. Cut both the leaves and the stalks into large matchstick-size pieces (“julienne”), keeping the two piles separate. Heat very large, heavy skillet or wok until it looks hazy over the surface, 2-4 minutes. Add peanut oil and swirl it to coat the pan. Add bok choy stems; stir-fry about 5 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry briefly. Add bok choy greens, chicken stock, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until bok choy is tender and glazed with sauce, 5-8 minutes. Remove cover, sprinkle with sesame seeds, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until excess liquid evaporates, 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste. Makes 2 servings. Recipe from MACSAC


Rhubarb Bread    

¾ cup honey, ½ cup oil, 1 egg, 1cup buttermilk, yogurt, or sour milk, 1 T. soda, 2 1/2cups whole wheat flour, 1 t. salt 1-2cups or rhubarb, diced, ½ T vanilla, 1/2cup chopped nuts. Topping: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1t.cinnamon, 1 1/2T butter

Preheat oven to 325degrees. Mix honey and oil, add egg and beat well. Dissolve soda in buttermilk, and then set aside. Mix salt and flour and add to honey oil mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in rhubarb, vanilla, and nuts. Pour into a 9×5 greased bread pan. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over the batter. Bake @ 325 for 1 hour.   * If you are using white flour decrease soda to 1 t.


Rhubarb Sauce

2 cups rhubarb, chopped; 1/4 c. sugar; 2 T. water; 2 teaspoons cornstarch or clear jell (opt.)

Place chopped rhubarb in a saucepan and stir in water. Stir sugar and cornstarch together then stir into rhubarb. Cook over medium heat approximately 5 minutes or until tender. It may be served warm or cold. Refrigerate covered.


Red Wine Vinaigrette

2 oz. olive oil; 4 oz. red wine vinegar; 2 T. parsley, I T. Dijon Mustard; 1 tsp minced garlic; 2 tsp sugar; dash of salt and pepper.

Mix all ingredients together by shaking for best results. Pour over greens and enjoy!


Risotto with Rhubarb and Asparagus

Ingredients for  4 persons: 9 ounces of risotto rice (Arborio type), 6  stalks of fresh rhubarb, cut in pieces, and skin removed, 10 asparagus including tips and the most tender parts, 5 scallions (or green garlic), 2 tsp pink pepper

1 glass dry white wine, (use the rest to drink when serving the risotto), 8 oz. cream cheese, vegetarian bouillon; follow recipe on the box, 1 tablespoon of butter.

Steam the asparagus tips and the tenderest parts, or just blanch them for 1 minute

Sauté at medium heat the chopped scallions and the butter. When the scallions are wilted, add the rice and stir it gently so that the butter coats the rice. Add the wine, and let the alcohol evaporate. Finish cooking the rice as directed substituting veg. bouillon for water.