Summer Share One May 16th 2017

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

Important information:

  • Newsletters and distribution site information are available on our website @ http://promisedlandcsa.com/news/
  • Members who are splitting a share may consider taking turns picking up the share instead of trying to divide it first few weeks as the share is light in volume.
  • Tree fruit shares are still available for $250 for the 18 week season. They begin with cherries in early July and finish with apples the same week as the produce share. If you would like more information about the share please contact us.
  • Please remember that empty share boxes are to be returned next week and to exchange for a full one.

Farm News from Jane

And so we begin… Welcome to all of our members; new and old!

Although our first shares of the season are a bit light in volume we really like to start when the asparagus and rhubarb say “it’s time”. It also lets you “eases” into the share season and teases your palate. Today’s harvest began with a chilly 38 degrees but the sun quickly warmed us and dried up the dew. The black flies and no-see-ums are enjoying the weather conditions as much as the rhubarb and asparagus! Last year’s dry weather kept the bug population at bay but it caused us to be constantly watering to keep vegetables growing. The flavors of the vegetables though certainly weren’t lacking and the sugar levels were higher than usual. It will be interesting to see what comes our way this year.

I hope that everyone enjoyed the brightness of the full flower moon that’s just passed. I am always enamored with the different names that were given by the Native Americans. They truly understood seasonality. And if you are member you’ll also get to know seasonality and how the weather affects the food that we grow.

We have lots of vegetables planted in the field but the early plantings have not had too much growth during the cold and heavy rains we’ve experienced over the last few weeks. We received more than four inches along in one storm. For those of you on well water who may have had their concerns last season the water table is certainly back up! Water is usually the limiting factor for growth as long as the soil is healthy and full of nutrients. So hopefully this year we’ll grow, grow, grow… Green beans were planted today and the potatoes, onions, shallots, leeks, beets have also been planted. Peas are coming up both sugar snap and shelling. It was too wet to plant the snow peas but we may try them in the fall if the conditions are right. There is fennel and celery, celeriac, lettuces, salad greens, spinach, kohlrabi, cabbage and broccoli. We are hoping that this week’s heat will help the vegetables increase their rate of growth. Sweet corn will be seeded soon and so will the summer squash, melons eggplant and cucumbers plants after the chance of frost has passed. The tomatoes will be transplanted into the high tunnel where they are more protected from disease. The greenhouses have been filled, emptied, refilled and emptied again. We begin most of our vegetables there and set the plants out after they are hardy. It helps us have “full” beds and know to how many plants we actually have rather than plant the seeds and hope that they germinate. The growing conditions in the greenhouse give the vegetable plants quite a good “head start”. Well that’s enough farm news for this week; more to follow. And please do follow along with us. New pictures are always worth a thousand words on our facebook page! We hope that you enjoy your first “fruits” from the farm. If you have any questions or concerns over the season please feel free to contact us. We love to hear from our members!!!

Blessings from all of us, Daniel, Jane & Ben

 Produce:   Asparagus   Spinach   Rhubarb   Head lettuce   Garlic   

Produce tips:

- Asparagus varies with the weather. When it is cold it grows slowly and is more fibrous and the color less bright green.

I trim the ends with a knife until the knife almost slides through rather than cutting hard. As the weather warms you will notice that the asparagus is more tender and brighter green. There are just a few purple asparagus plants; if you received any you “won the prize”! The flavor and nutrition is the same as the green. To keep the asparagus really fresh slice off the ends and place upright in water in the fridge. Save ends for soup or stock!

- The Spinach is the last of the harvest from the high tunnel. We have planted spinach in the field and hope to harvest fresh spinach again next month.

- Head lettuce is immersed in water to cool and rinse off any surface debris. It will still need to be washed. I recommend the purchase of a salad spinner. It will be a good investment for the season as we raise quite a bit of head lettuce. I also recommend the purchase of a good vegetable brush. Although our root crops are washed they may still need a “finishing touch”.

- Rhubarb varies in color from green to red. The flavor is the same regardless of the color. Although the red is more eye appealing it is not any sweeter. It is more tender and mild this spring due to the cold and moist weather we’ve received.

- Garlic is from last year’s crop. Some may be beginning to sprout but the bulb is still delicious! We will begin to harvest freshly pulled garlic greens next week.

 

Recipes

PANROASTED ASPARAGUS

1 T. olive oil or 1/2 T. oil and 1/2 T. butter 1 pound asparagus spears salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil and/or butter over medium-high heat until melted. Roll asparagus in oil until they are well coated. Cover and cook for 5 minutes until asparagus is bright green and still crisp. Uncover and increase heat to high; season with salt and pepper if desired. Cook until spears are tender and well browned along one side, using tongs to move spears from center to outside of pan to ensure all are browned and evenly done. The same may be accomplished in the oven at 450 or on the grill in foil or a foil pan. This is when you recycle your Chinese take-out pans! You may also cook them directly on the grill provided they are well-coated in olive oil first. Watch carefully.

 

ASPARAGUS SPINACH SALAD

1-1/2 pounds asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces; 2 T plus 1/2 cup olive oil; 1/4 tsp salt; 1-1/2 pounds penne or other medium tube pasta; 1/4 cup chopped green onions (leeks or scapes); 6 T white wine vinegar; 2 T soy sauce; 6 oz spinach; 1 cup coarsely chopped cashews; 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Place asparagus in a 13-in x9-in baking dish. Drizzle with 2 T olive oil; sprinkle with salt. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring every 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. For dressing, combine the onions, vinegar and soy sauce in a blender; cover and process. While processing, gradually add the remaining oil in a steady stream. In a large salad bowl, combine pasta, spinach and asparagus. Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cashews and cheese. Serve immediately. 14-16 serving

 

CHICKEN ASPARAGUS BAKE

5 Tbsp. each butter and flour; 11/2 cups chicken broth; 6-oz. can mushrooms, drained; Dash pepper; 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and sliced; l lb. cooked fresh asparagus spears; 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs; 2 Tbsp. each toasted slivered almonds, and melted butter

Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt butter; blend in flour. Add chicken broth; cook and stir until mixture is thickened. Add mushrooms and pepper. Place chicken in bottom of 6 x 10 x 1/2-inch baking dish. Drizzle with half the mushroom sauce. Arrange asparagus spears over sauce, then pour on remaining sauce. Combine crumbs, almonds, and melted butter. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake 20 minutes.

 

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

 

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) see note1. 8 ounces of cream cheese (originally it calls for Robiola) see note 2. Vegetarian bouillon, follow recipe on the box, 1 tablespoon of butter. Steam the asparagus tips and the most tender 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 by substituting the vegetarian broth for water as needed.

 

CHEESY SPINACH

Mix: 1 eggs; 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice; 1/3 cup brown rice, cooked; 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley; 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional); salt and pepper to taste

Mix separately: 1/2 large bunch of spinach, chopped and steamed; 1/3 cup cottage cheese; 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese; 1egg, plus 1 egg white; salt and pepper to taste; a pinch of cayenne pepper

Spread the ingredients from the first mixture in the bottom of a greased casserole. Spread the spinach mixture over them. Bake at 350 degrees until firm, 45-60 minutes. Makes 3-4 servings

Recipe from Max, the cook at Red Caboose Day Care Center

 

SAUSAGE SOUP WITH SPINACH AND RICE

1 lb. hot Italian sausage; 1 tsp. dried oregano; 1 tbs. olive oil; 1 tsp. dried basil; 1 cup chopped onion; 3 cups fresh baby spinach, torn; 3 cloves garlic, crushed into 2-3 inch pieces; 9 cups chicken broth; 2 cups cooked long-grain rice; 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, with juice; salt and pepper to taste; 3 tbs. tomato paste; 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté sausage in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove from pot and discard drippings. Add olive oil to pot and heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Return sausage to pot. Add broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano and basil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add spinach and rice and simmer until spinach is just wilted. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese. Servings: 6

Recipe from The Best 50 Garlic Recipes

 

ROASTED GARLIC AND SPINACH QUICHE

1 bulb roasted garlic; 1 tbs. butter; 1 small onion, finely chopped; 4 eggs; 1 cup milk; 1/4 tsp. chili powder; 1/2 tsp. salt; 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper; 1 cup cooked spinach, fresh or frozen drained well; 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese; 1/4 tsp. vegetable oil for oiling pan

Heat oven to 350°. Separate roasted garlic cloves, peel and mash in a small bowl to form a paste. Melt butter in a skillet. Add onion and sauté until soft; about 6 minutes. Add garlic paste and sauté for 4 minutes. Blend together and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, chili powder, salt and pepper. In another bowl, combine garlic-onion mixture with spinach and cheese. Mix well. Spread spinach mixture firmly in a lightly oiled 99inch quiche or pie pan. Pour egg mixture evenly over spinach.

Bake for 40 minutes. Quiche is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Servings: 6

Recipe from The Best 50 Garlic Recipes.

 

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 CAKE

1 ½ cup sugar; ½ cup butter; 1 tsp vanilla; ½ tsp salt; 1 egg; 2 cups flour; 1 cup sour milk; 1 tsp baking soda; 2 cups rhubarb, chopped; ½ cup sugar; 1 tsp cinnamon

Cream sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. Add egg; blend well. Add flour alternately with sour milk and soda. Blend in rhubarb. Pour into a 9×13 pan and sprinkle with ½ cup sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

 

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.

 

RHUBARB LEMON BARS

Crust: 2 C flour, 1 C butter, ½ C sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Mix 2 cups flour, butter, and 1/2 cup white sugar together in a bowl until crumbly; press into the bottom of a 12×9-inch baking dish. Bake in preheated oven until crust is light brown, 25 to 30 minutes

Filling: 4 eggs, 1 C sugar, 6 T flour, 2 C chopped rhubarb, (or more to taste), 1 C shredded coconut, 6 T lemon juice, 2 t vanilla

Beat eggs, 1 cup sugar, and 6 tablespoons flour together in a bowl until smooth; add rhubarb, coconut, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and stir to coat. Pour the rhubarb mixture over the crust. Bake in preheated oven until the fruit layer is set, 35 to 40 minutes. Let bars cool completely before serving. May add more sugar or less to taste.

 

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!

 

LAYERED SALAD

Layered salad is pretty self-explanatory; the idea of layering whatever veggies over greens and topping with cheese or even julienne strips of meat garnish with olives or hard boiled eggs. So be creative and if you’re also entertaining start with a glass bowl. Start with your greens then layer with shelled raw peas, zucchini, and celery if it’s on hand, and green onions. Add a layer of Swiss cheese or meat julienne or finely chopped. Sprinkle with 2 tsp of sugar. Mix together 1/2 cup mayo, 1/4 cup sour cream and 1 T. of horseradish if desired until well blended. Spread evenly over the top. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of Romano cheese. Cover and chill overnight. Serve with the following Vinaigrette dressing if desired. 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil 3 T wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt. Pepper to taste (freshly ground is always a nice touch), and 1/2 tsp. of dry mustard. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well. Serve over layered salad. Garnish with black olives and sieved hard-boiled eggs. You may always substitute yogurt for some of the mayo or sour cream if you’re watching your fat intake.

 

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

 

BASIC CREAMY DRESSING

Because this versatile, rich, and creamy dressing keeps for several days, it can be a staple in your refrigerator.

1/3 cup mayonnaise; 1/4 cup plain yogurt; 7 tablespoons buttermilk; 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3 days. Makes about 1 cup (eight 2-tablespoon servings)

 

BASIC CREAMY DRESSING VARIATIONS

• Increase the amount of pepper to 1 teaspoon for a ranch-style dressing.

• Add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, cilantro, or dill.

• Add 1 teaspoon of grated orange peel and 1 tablespoon of honey for a fruit-salad dressing.

• Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste.