- Thanks for your gentle handling of new boxes!
Farm News from Jane
Asparagus, Asparagus, Asparagus; kind of like the vegan version of the song “Aquarius” from the musical “Hair”.
This is the time of season when we want to create an “ode to asparagus”. Maybe we are getting a bit bored or fatigued with this early morning ritual. Perhaps when the last school bus rolls out of site we can say also say good bye to picking asparagus for this year. It’s almost that time but wait; do I hear the call of the summer squash? Will they be the next version of our early morning saga? Our journey through the summer season is only just beginning! As summer begins this week we have are delighted to have a few new veggies to harvest this week. As we picked spinach, washed beets and cleaned green onions we had great conversation. We have a few new worker share members which makes the time harvesting, cleaning, boxing or weeding so much more fun and fast. It’s also a great way to get some sunshine, fresh country air and exercise. Of course the “yoga ladies” are already very limber so bending, stretching, squatting and lifting is a breeze for them! It always takes a few weeks for the rest of us to “tone up” those muscles not frequently called into action…
Most of the winter squash was planted over the weekend. What a timely rain shower we had yesterday not only for the newly transplanted squash but for all the veggies. The peas will especially benefit while they are now blossoming, and the blueberries will grow larger in size and the “set” of fruit looks great. The newly mowed hayfields will also appreciate the rain we’re having. Some areas however had quite the deluge last Thursday and it is making planting corn and making hay a difficult process. It always amazing that in such a small area we can have such different micro climates. I imagine the “lake effect wind pattern” is a powerful force of nature when it collides with hills and valleys…
Sadly, we have had to put up more electric fence to keep the deer out of the Swiss chard and peas. Although our farm’s beauty is partially related to the surrounding woods it does provide habitat for the wildlife who like to eat nutritiously also! Well, here’s to summer; the time so many of us so anxiously await. Savor the flavor and the fragrance of the season from the One who provides it all, Jane
Produce: Asparagus Green onions (scallions) Garlic scapes
Red beets Head lettuce Spinach
-Asparagus tips are slightly opened this week due to the heat. They are still very tasty and tender. We have been picking for about six weeks and so the harvest will begin to wind down as we’ll allow the asparagus to grow tall and mature to the fern stage. This allows the asparagus plants begin to create their reserves for next season. In the meantime we will work on weed control in the two asparagus beds.
- Beets: We were able to harvest the beets with the tops intact. The deer have eaten a few of the leaves off some but the remainder are very tender, tasty and extremely nutritious. The easiest way to prepare the tops is to rinse them with water and then while still damp, wilt them ever so slightly and season as desired. Some prefer just salt and vinegar. There are recipes available for the greens as well as the beet roots. The beet root itself can be boiled; leave an inch or so of the top so that they don’t “bleed” and lose their color while cooking. Or cut into chunks while raw, coat with olive oil and grill or roast. They are a nice addition to a green salad after grilling. Adding a sprinkle of vinaigrette and feta cheese makes them absolutely divine!
-Spinach was harvested today and as this past weekend’s heat has caused the plants to “bolt” and go to seed. This will be the only share of early spinach. There may be a fall planting.
- Green onions otherwise known as scallions are a great addition to a salad, pasta, potato or any marinated-style salads or even a vegetable stir-fry. Both the green and white parts of the scallion are edible: the green has a milder flavor and makes an attractive garnish. Generally, the white part of the scallion is sharper tasting, or more onion-y, and is more often used when it will be cooked. The whole scallion can be grilled or roasted.
Prep: Rinse scallions under cold running water and pull off any bruised or slimy green leaves. Cut off and discard the root end, or trim it if using whole scallions. Storing: Wrap whole, trimmed scallions in a paper towel and put them in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator.
Rhubarb: There is one final recipe for rhubarb freezer jam from one of our members for those of you who may still have lingering rhubarb in their fridge
EASY RHUBARB FREEZER JAM
4 cups chopped rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds rhubarb leaf stalks), 3/4 to 1 1/4 cups sugar, 2 T water.
Place all the ingredients in a medium sized pot over low heat, starting with the lesser amount of sugar. Stir constantly until all of the sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb pieces fall apart. When the compote is about as thick as applesauce, turn off the heat. Taste, and add additional sugar if you desire more sweetness. Keep in mind, though, that the sour flavor is part of what is special about rhubarb. If you do add additional sugar, return the heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Fill freezer containers with the rhubarb jam, leaving an inch of head space. Small containers no larger than a pint are recommended, so that when you thaw one it isn’t an overwhelming amount of jam to use up. Alternatively, fill quart size freezer bags with 8 to 16 ounces of the jam. Rhubarb jam will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. It is still safe to eat after that but the quality will decline. Freshly made, unfrozen rhubarb jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Variations: -Strawberry-rhubarb is a classic combination. Simply replace 1/2 of the rhubarb with hulled, chopped strawberries and reduce the amount of sugar.
-Ginger pairs wonderfully with rhubarb. Add 1 – 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger or 1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized (candied) ginger to the recipe.
-Turn the jam into rhubarb sorbet by chilling the jam in the refrigerator overnight (8 – 12 hours), or as long as 24 hours. Process in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Recipe from Abigail Size and “The Spruce”
SAVORY GREEN ONION NOODLE CAKE
4 eggs, ½ C chopped green onions, 2 T chopped cilantro or parsley, ½ t grated ginger, 8 oz. spaghettini (thin spaghetti) , cooked, rinsed, drained well and tossed with 2-3 t sesame oil, salt and ground black pepper, 3 T peanut oil, divided, sprigs or cilantro or parsley
Beat eggs, stir in green onions, cilantro or parsley, and ginger. Add spaghetti and salt and pepper to taste; mix well with your hands. Heat half the peanut oil in an 8-10 inch nonstick skillet over medium-high flame. Spread pasta mixture into pan, press it down. And even with a spatula. Cook until the bottom is golden and cake is “set”. 6-10 minutes. Wearing oven mitts place a platter over the skillet and flip the noodle cake back onto platter. Heat remaining oil in skillet, slide cake back in and cook until the second side is golden. Slide the noodle cake back onto the platter and garnish with the herb sprigs. Makes 4-6 servings; Recipe form MACSAC
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
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
STEAM GRILLED GREEN ONIONS
12 green onions, rinsed, ends trimmed, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2 tablespoons butter, cut , 2 T butter, cut into small pieces, salt and ground black pepper to taste (optional)
Preheat a grill for medium-low heat. Cut a sheet of aluminum foil to about 12×15 inches. Arrange the green onions side by side in the center of the foil sheet. Sprinkle the onions evenly with the garlic, salt, and pepper. Arrange butter over the onions. Keeping the green onions flat, fold the foil to make a sealed cooking pouch. Place the foil packet on the preheated grill away from the main heat source. Allow the green onions to steam 5 to 7 minutes. Recipe from Allrecipes.com
ASPARAGUS SPINACH SALAD
3/4 pounds asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces; 5 T olive oil; 1/8 tsp salt; 3/4 pounds penne or other medium tube pasta; 1/8 cup chopped green onions (leeks or scapes); 3 T white wine vinegar; 1 T soy sauce; 3 oz spinach; 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cashews; 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Place asparagus in a 13-in x9-in baking dish. Drizzle with 1 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; 6-8 servings
TWO-WAY STREET BEETS
1 bunch small beets; juice of 1/2 orange; 1/2 tablespoon butter, softened; pepper; 1/2 teaspoon peanut oil; 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil; 1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil; 1 tablespoon soy sauce
Cut beets off stems. Gently scrub beets: Wash the greens. Cut stems into 3-inch pieces and coarsely chop the greens; set aside stems and greens in separate piles. Steam beets until tender, 20-30 minutes. Cool briefly, slip off skins, and cut into wedges. Toss with orange juice, butter, and pepper to taste; cover and keep warm. Meanwhile, heat heavy skillet over medium flame. Add oils. Add stems; sauté 2-3 minutes. Add greens; cook, tossing often, until limp. Toss in soy sauce and pepper to taste. Arrange beets over greens on platter. Makes 3 servings; Recipe from MACSAC
DICED BEETS WITH ORANGE ZEST AND YOGURT SAUCE
1/2 lb. beets, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes; 1/8 cup cider vinegar; zest of 1 orange, grated (about 1 tbsp.); 1/8tsp. ground mace; 1/8 tsp. ground cloves; 1/8 tsp. salt; freshly ground black pepper; 1/8 cup plain low-fat yogurt; 1 tbsp. fresh orange juice; 1/2 tsp. honey
Preheat the oven to 3750 F. In an 11/2-quart ovenproof casserole with a lid, combine the beets, vinegar, 1/4 cup of water, orange zest, mace, cloves, salt and pepper. Bake the beet mixture, covered, for one hour. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, mix together the yogurt and orange juice in a small bowl. Refrigerate the sauce until ready to serve. Remove the beets from the oven and stir in the honey. Serve immediately, topped with the yogurt sauce. Serves 2
BEET RHUBARB TUNA SALAD
1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup white or brown sugar, 1 stalk rhubarb, chopped, 1 can of tuna, chunks or flakes, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 3 medium sized beets, boiled, peeled, cut in 1/2″-3/4″ cubes, 1 stalk celery, chopped, (substitute celeriac) 1 carrot, julienned, lettuce, washed and cut or ripped by hand, salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan on medium heat. Wait for the sugar to completely dissolve before adding the chopped rhubarb. Once it starts boiling again, time for 1.5 minutes and take off the heat to cool. Quickly drain the now-mushy rhubarb (keep the syrup to use for sauce or meat marinade) and place in a medium size bowl. Add mayonnaise, tuna, celery and fresh ground pepper. Mix them together first and add salt to suit your taste. You can either add the beets now or just top your salad with it to avoid having a bright pink salad. Serve on a bed of lettuce or on its own.
FRESH GREENS PASTA PIE
3 ounces vermicelli; 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened; 1/6 cup grated Parmesan cheese; 2 1/2 eggs; 1 teaspoon cooking oil; 1/2 small onion, chopped; 1 cup chopped fresh spinach or other greens; 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese; 1/6 cup milk; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper; pinch ground nutmeg
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large pie plate. Cook vermicelli according to package directions; drain. Stir butter and Parmesan cheese into hot vermicelli. Beat 2 of the eggs and stir well into pasta. Spoon mixture into pie plate, and use a spoon to shape vermicelli into a pie shell. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 10 minutes. Set aside. Heat oil in small skillet; add onion and sauté until tender. Beat the remaining 3 eggs and combine with spinach, mozzarella, milk, seasonings, and sautéed onions. Spoon spinach mixture into pasta shell. Cover pie with aluminum foil. Bake 35 minutes; uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Makes 3 servings
Recipe from Crystal Lake Gardens
3 c. cooked rice (l c. uncooked); 1 c. chopped spinach; 2 eggs, well beaten; 1 c. milk; 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce; 1 1/4 tsp. salt; 2 tsp. grated onion; 1/4 c. butter or margarine 1/2 c. grated sharp cheese
Toss rice and spinach together with fork. Add eggs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt and onion. Toss gently to mix, using care not to mash rice. Pour into greased 2-qt. baking dish; dot with butter and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in slow oven (325°) 30 to 40 minutes. Makes 8 servings
Note: Add a few chopped blanched almonds, if you like. You can substitute 1/2 c. chopped parsley for half of the spinach.
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, (substitute chopped garlic scapes); 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. Serves 6
Recipe from The Best 50 Garlic Recipes
GARLIC, CHICKPEA AND SPINACH SOUP
2 tablespoons olive oil; 4 garlic cloves, crushed; 1 onion, roughly chopped; 2 teaspoons ground cumin; 2 teaspoons ground coriander; 5 cups vegetable stock; 12 ounces potatoes, peeled and finely chopped; 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained; 1 tablespoon cornstarch; 2/3 cup heavy cream; 2 tablespoons light tahini (sesame seed paste); 7 ounces spinach, shredded; cayenne pepper; salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the garlic and onion for 5 minutes, or until they are softened and golden brown. Stir in the cumin and coriander and cook for another minute. Pour in the stock and add the chopped potatoes to the pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas and simmer for 5 minutes more, or until the potatoes and chickpeas are just tender. Blend together the cornstarch, cream, tahini and plenty of seasoning. Stir into the soup with the spinach. Bring to a boil, stirring, and simmer for another 2 minutes. Season with cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Serve immediately, sprinkled with a little cayenne pepper. Four servings;
Recipe from Vegetarian the best ever recipe collection
WHEAT BERRY SALAD WITH GREENS & BEETS
3 medium beets, 6 tablespoons olive oil, Salt and Freshly ground pepper, 2 cups whole wheat berries
1 bunch kale or 2 cups spinach, 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or other vinegar, 1⁄2 cup minced shallots, 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage, or 1 tsp if dried, 2 garlic gloves, 1⁄2 cup dry white wine
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and roast chopped beets until tender. Bring wheat berries, 5 cups water, and 1⁄4 teaspoon salt to a boil. Cook over medium heat until tender. About 25-30 minutes. Remove stems from kale, slice leaves, and add to pot with wheat berries (or chop and add spinach or other greens if using). Cover and remove from heat. Steam until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain and mix in a bowl with beets, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Use salt and pepper to taste, toss. In a medium skillet heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, add shallots and a pinch of salt and cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes or until brown. Add the sage and cook for one minute, add garlic and cook for an additional minute while stirring. And wine and simmer, while continuing to stir, until evaporated. Add to salad, toss, and serve. Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Recipe form Red Fire farm
WARM SPINACH SALAD WITH A TOUCH OF PURPLE
Dressing:, 1/3 c olive oil, 1/4 c maple syrup, 1/4 c balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp Dijon mustard (optional), A bunch worth of Chive Flowers (if in season), A handful of chopped Chives, salt and pepper
Salad: spinach, 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced (optional, could also use tempeh sautéed with tamari)
Radishes, sliced into thin rounds, even maybe done with a peeler. Put olive oil and chive flowers in a pan over medium heat. Sauté flowers until wilted. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and bring to a boil. Toss a good handful of spinach in the pan and stir it around for half a minute, then pour it all over the rest of your spinach. Garnish with slices of egg and thin shavings of radish. Salt and pepper on top if needed. From Sarah Ingraham 2009, Red Fire Farm