- Tree fruit shares begin next week we hope to have both sweet cherries and apricots.
- Please remember to return any extra boxes this week.
Farm News form Jane
I hope that everyone enjoyed their sugar snap peas; the pods in that first planting were especially tender. The pods this week are a bit more mature but still tender and sweet. I’ve enjoyed them raw or with homemade dill dip. I’ve also added them to my salad for an extra sweet crunch. Summer salads are awesome…
We had quite the crew today; such great people working to harvest and process produce out on the holiday! Employers would be envious of our “staff”! With a few extra hands this morning we were done in no time and that allowed us to have time to transplant crucifers (cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cauliflower) for the fall. We also worked on suckering and trellising tomatoes in the outside field. They are growing nicely but not as fast as the saladette tomatoes in the high tunnel. They of course have near perfect growing conditions; regular watering lots of heat, and also a bit of help having a trellis network of their own. The way tomatoes grow who would think that they need any help!!!
This week we have a few more new veggies to add to the share box. Summer squash has begun and although the zucchini took a lot of insect damage the yellow squash looks fantastic. Does that mean the bugs like some of us think that the zucchini taste better! Or perhaps they are a just a bit more nutritious. Regardless we’ll start with two this week and as the second planting comes into production we’ll have more zucchini to go around. The fennel is beautiful and fragrant. I am anxious to try it in a stir fry this season. I’m sure that it would also make a great “quick” pickle to add to your plate.
We had a gorgeous day for picnic, parades and pool time. I was coveting that pool time earlier today while I was working in the tomatoes. Although the thermometer only read seventy something the sun did feel hotter. We’ve been very blessed with some rain this last week but did start up the irrigation to be sure that the blueberries, onions and potatoes receive enough moisture at the right time to develop good size and yield. If you follow us on facebook there was a sneak peek at some blueberries ripening. I’m a bit of a blueberry snob and will only eat “true blue” berries. I did find one as I passed them by trellising tomatoes, way up at the top of the bush and as Mr. Food used to say it “Ooh it’s so good”. They’ll need a little more time and heat before we break the threshold needed to begin picking for shares. In the meantime I’ll keep you posted to their flavor! Hope you had a great day. Say a prayer for our servicemen and women wherever they are, standing guard to protect our liberty. Fly your flag or say the Pledge but don’t forget our abundant blessing here in America.
Be faithful, Jane
Produce: Summer squash Celery Fennel Green onions
Garlic scapes Head lettuce Sugar snap peas
- Peas remember the peas have edible pods; they just need their “bonnets” removed.
- Summer squash is great grilled, steamed or stir fried. They are picked small so as to be tender and without mature seeds. The skin is quite delicate at this stage so they will not need much time to cook.
- Fennel: store in a plastic bag to keep fresh and crisp until utilizing. It is a member of the Umbel family along with carrots, celery, parsley, dill and anise. It is high in Vit A, calcium, potassium and iron. Try it raw with a dip, or as part of an antipasto platter or for dessert with a soft goat cheese. The flavor mellows when cooked and is a lovely roasted especially with pork or lamb. Slices may be sautéed first before adding to soup to lock in flavor. It may also be substituted for celery in recipes. Try cutting into quarters, drizzles it with olive oil, and bake until tender about 35 minutes. The fronds or feathery leaves can be used in a salad or substituted for dill. They are excellent on baked or broiled fish with butter and lemon.
- Celery is very aromatic and strong, much more than the irrigated varieties shipped from California. It’s great for soups and will freeze well; blanch first. It is also a nice addition to a salad. Its great added to a stir fry.
- Garlic scapes: Try grilling or frying them in hot oil. Chop and add to rice, scrambled eggs or if you have a lot on hand, how about making a batch of pickles. Please remember to bag them to keep them tender and crunchy otherwise they’ll get tough and fibrous as they continue to mature.
FENNEL EGG SALAD
6 large eggs (not too fresh! they will be difficult to peel if very fresh); 1/3 cup finely chopped fennel stalk; 2-3 tablespoons chopped fennel leaves; 2-4 tablespoons finely chopped sweet red onion; 4 tablespoons mayonnaise; 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar; 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard; salt and pepper to taste
Place eggs in saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil. Turn off heat. Cover pan tightly and set timer for 9 minutes. When timer goes off, drain eggs and immerse them in ice water 10-15 minutes. Peel and quarter eggs; place in food processor and, using the pulse button, pulse until finely chopped, 8-12 times. Add remaining ingredients; pulse until ingredients are well blended, 3-6 more times. Use as a sandwich filling, a spread for crackers, a cold sauce for chilled asparagus, or a garnish for tossed green salads. Makes 2 cups; Recipe from MACSAC
PASTA WITH FENNEL
1 bulb fennel, trimmed & quartered; 1/2 lb fettuccini; 1 Tbsp olive oil; Grated Parmesan cheese; Parsley (garnish)
Simmer fennel in 4 quarts salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Lift fennel from water and slice. Keep warm. In the fennel water, cook the fettuccini until al dente. Drain pasta. Add olive oil and fennel. Serve with sprinkle of Parmesan and parsley. Make 3 servings
1 large fennel bulb, including the greens; 1 tbsp unsalted butter; 1/2 tbsp olive oil; sea salt and freshly ground pepper; grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon; 1/2 garlic clove, minced; 1/4 to 1/2 pound fettuccine; Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Peel or discard, if badly bruised, the tough outer layers of the fennel, then quarter the bulbs, setting aside the greens, and slice thinly. (The core will cook to tenderness.) Heat a large pot of water for the pasta. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with the olive oil in a wide skillet. Add the fennel and sauté over high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned in places, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Toss with the lemon juice, and then add 1 cup water. Reduce the heat and cook, covered, until the liquid has evaporated. Add another 1/2 cup water and continue cooking in this fashion until the fennel is very soft and deep gold in color, about 25 minutes in all. Season with pepper. Chop a handful of fennel greens-enough to make about Y3 cup-with the garlic and lemon zest and set aside. Add salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook until the pasta is al dente. Scoop it out and add it to the pan with the fennel and the chopped greens. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Serve with the cheese, finely grated or thinly shaved over the top. Serves 4 to 6
1 tablespoon olive oil; 1/2 cup finely chopped onion; 1/2 cup finely chopped celery; 1/2 cup finely chopped peeled carrot; 1 cup finely chopped fennel bulb; 1 cup quinoa, rinsed; 1 1/2 cups water; 1/2 cup finely chopped black olives; Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer over medium-low heat until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in the olives, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot. SERVES 6 TO 8 Recipe from The Big Book of Vegetarian
SUGAR SNAP PEAS WITH MUSHROOMS
2 tablespoon oil; 1/2 mushrooms, sliced; 1 pound fresh sugar snap peas, cut into half crosswise; 2 Teaspoons soy sauce; 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed
Heat oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and stir fry until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer 3 minutes. Increase heat, add peas and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce. Cover and cook 1 minute longer. Sprinkle with sesame seed and serve. 4 servings
PASTA WITH PEAS, FRESH BASIL, AND BREAD CRUMBS
sea salt and freshly ground pepper; 1/2 pound small pasta shapes; 4 tbsp butter; 1/4 cup finely diced scallion; 1 pound sugar snap peas; 3 tbsp chopped basil; 1 tsp grated lemon zest; 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs; ½ cup chopped parsley or more basil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt and the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet, add the scallion, and cook gently for a few minutes, until softened. Add the peas, basil, and 1 cup of the pasta water and stew until the peas are bright green and tender, 1 or 2 minutes. Add the lemon zest. Crisp the bread crumbs in the remaining butter or oil in a small skillet. When the pasta is done, drain it, add it directly to the peas, and toss. Taste for salt, season with pepper, and toss with the parsley and bread crumbs.
CHILLED SUGAR SNAP PEA SOUP WITH FRESH MINT
1 large Vidalia onion, minced; 1 tablespoon butter; 2 tablespoons olive oil; 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock; 1 pound sugar snap peas, ends trimmed; 1/2 cup heavy cream; 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves, plus small sprigs for garnish; salt and cracked pepper to taste; Crème fraiche or sour cream for serving; Minced radishes for garnish
In a heavy stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onion in the butter and oil until translucent. Add the stock and bring to a rolling boil. Drop in the sugar snap peas and let boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Puree the soup and stir in the cream, mint, and salt and pepper. Allow the soup to cool to room temperature, and then chill in the refrigerator. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche in the center of the bowl. Garnish with minced radish and mint sprigs. Recipe from The Café Pongo Cookbook
LEAF LETTUCE AND MANDARIN SALAD
1 bunch leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite-size pieces; 2 cups thinly sliced celery; 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley; 4 green onions, thinly sliced, including some greens; 2 11-ounce cans mandarin oranges, drained;
Dressing: 2 tablespoons sugar; 2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar; 1/4 cup vegetable oil; 1/2 teaspoon salt; freshly ground pepper to taste; 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce
Garnish: 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
Combine lettuce, celery, parsley. Green onions and mandarin oranges in salad bowl. Combine dressing ingredients, mixing well. Toss salad with dressing just before serving. Sprinkle almonds over top. Serves 8 to 10
LIGHT CREAM OF CELERY SOUP
1 large potato, diced; 2 cups chopped celery; 1 ½ cups of water; ¾ tsp salt, plus ¼ tsp; ½ cup onion, finely minced; ½ cup celery, finely minced (use innermost stalks); ½ tsp celery seed; ½ cup milk, warmed; white pepper to taste; 2 -3 tbsp sour cream, half and half or heavy cream; freshly minced celery leaves for garnish
Place potato, 2 cups celery, water and ¾ tsp salt in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes – until everything is soft. Puree and transfer to a larger saucepan. Melt butter in a small skillet. Add onion, finely minced celery, celery seed and ¼ tsp salt. Sauté about 8 to 10 minutes – until the vegetables are just tender. Add to puree. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except garnish. Heat gently (don’t cook or boil) and serve topped with garnish. Serves 3 to 4
BRAISED CELERY HEARTS
1 bunch celery; 1 cup chicken stock; 1 tbsp whole wheat flour; 1 tbsp water; salt to taste; 1/8 tsp pepper; 2 tbsp dry whole grain bread crumbs; 1 tbsp unhulled sesame seeds
Remove some of the tops and leaves. Cut remaining hearts in half lengthwise. Put into a skillet, add the stock, cover tightly and cook until celery is tender (approximately 20 minutes). Preheat oven to 350°F. Take out the celery and place in a buttered shallow baking dish. Make paste of flour and water and stir into the juices in the skillet. Add salt and pepper and cook until sauce is slightly thick. Pour sauce over celery in the casserole, top with crumbs and sesame seeds and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Yield: 4 servings
1/4 cup butter; 2 tbsp water; 1 tsp instant chicken bouillon granules; 4 cups diagonally sliced celery; 1/2 tsp salt; 1 tsp sugar; 2 tbsp flour; 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce; 1/2 cup water; 1 ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese; 2 tbsp bread crumbs
Heat butter, 2 tbsp water and chicken bouillon granules in saucepan. Add celery and cook 10 minutes. Stir in salt, sugar and flour, then tomato sauce and ½ cup water; cook until hot. Alternate layers of celery mixture and cheese in 1 ½ qt. casserole, ending with cheese. Top with crumbs. Bake in moderate oven (350°) 30 to 35 minutes. Makes 6 servings
3 c. sliced celery; 1 egg, beaten; 2 tbsps. Flour; 2 tbsps. Sugar; 3/4 tsp. salt; 1/8 tsp. pepper; 2 tbsps. Vinegar; 1 c. water; 1/4 c. dairy sour cream
Cook celery in boiling salted water until tender; drain. Meanwhile, blend together egg, flour, sugar, salt and pepper in saucepan. Blend in vinegar and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add sour cream. Add to drained celery. Makes 6 servings; Recipe from America’s Best Vegetable Recipes
CELERY AND WATER CHESTNUT CASSEROLE
2 chicken bouillon cubes; 1 3/4 c. boiling water; 1 bunch celery, bias cut in 3/4″ pieces; 1/2 tsp. salt; Dash pepper; 1/2 tsp. crushed basil leaves; 2 tbsps. Cornstarch; 2 tbsps. cold water; 2 (5 oz.) cans water chestnuts, drained and sliced; 1/2 c. sliced almonds; 1/3 c. fine dry bread crumbs; 2 tbsps. melted butter or margarine
Dissolve bouillon cubes in boiling water. Combine celery with bouillon and seasonings, cover and cook until celery is tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. Blend cornstarch with cold water; gradually stir into celery mixture. Cook and stir until thickened. Add water chestnuts and almonds. Turn into 2-qt. casserole. Toss crumbs with melted butter; sprinkle over top of celery. Bake, uncovered, in moderate oven (350°) about 25 minutes. Makes 5 to 6 servings
Recipe from America’s Best Vegetable Recipes.
CHEESE-TOPPED SUMMER SQUASH
1 patty pan, crookneck or zucchini; 1/2 cup boiling water; 1 tsp. butter; pinch of seasoning salt; 2 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
Cut squash in half. (Cut patty pan crosswise; crookneck or zucchini lengthwise.) Cook in boiling, salted water about 10 minutes or just until barely tender. Drain. Arrange in flat baking dish. With fork pierce centers of squash several times. Melt butter and add salt. Spoon over squash halves. Pierce again so seasoned butter will be absorbed. Bake in 350°F oven or grill about 20 minutes. Top with cheese and bake 10 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted. Makes 2 servings
SUMMER SQUASH SOUP SMYRNA
2 Medium-size summer squash or zucchini; 3 Cups plain yogurt; 4 Tablespoons each lemon juice and vinegar; 3 Tablespoons olive oil; 1/2 Tablespoons curry powder; 3 Cups tomato juice; Salt and black pepper; 6 Tablespoons minced fresh celery leaves
Seed and chop the squash. Simmer until tender in enough water to barely cover. Drain well, then puree. In a large bowl, beat the yogurt until smooth, then mix in the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil and curry; stir in the squash and tomato juice. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper, and refrigerate, covered, for 4 hours. Serve cold, garnished with minced celery leaves. Serves 6 to 8
PESTO- TOPPED GRILLED SUMMER SQUASH
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil; 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts; 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil; 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese; 1 clove garlic, minced; 2 teaspoons lemon juice; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 2 medium summer squash (about 1 pound), sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick; Canola or olive oil cooking spray
Preheat grill to medium-high. Combine basil, pine nuts, oil, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl. Coat both sides of squash slices with cooking spray. Grill the squash until browned and tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve topped with the pesto. Makes 4 servings
2 small summer squash; 1 ½ cups onion, sliced; 1 tbsp olive oil; 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary plus more to garnish; 11/4 tsp salt; 11/4 tsp freshly ground pepper; 11/4 cup thinly sliced garlic
Preheat oven to 450°F. Quarter squash lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Combine the squash with sliced onion, oil, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread the mixture evenly on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and roast until the vegetables are tender and the fennel is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes more. Stir in extra rosemary and serve. Makes 4 servings, about 2/3 cup each
Adapted from Eating Well magazine
ZIPPY GARLIC DRESSING
2/3 c. salad oil; 1/4 c. wine vinegar; 1 tsp. sugar; 3/4 tsp. salt; 3/4 tsp. dry mustard; Dash freshly ground pepper; 1 garlic scape, minced
In a screw-top jar, combine all ingredients; shake well. Chill thoroughly before serving.