- This is the first distribution for odd biweekly shares at the farm, the Massachusetts Ave. Project and city home deliveries. Just a reminder that odd weeks of CSA distribution are 3,5,7 etc.
- Newsletters are posted on our website @ http:/promisedlandcsa.com/news/ for biweekly members who want to get “all the news” and recipes. Otherwise you’ll just receive the biweekly email when it is your share week. If you are receiving the newsletter out of sequence; please let us know.
- The Monk’s Artisan bread share was cancelled due to the lack of enough interest. We are hoping to try again next season with more information earlier for enrollment; thanks for your interest!
- Please remember to bring your boxes to distribution or leave them out at home delivery sites.
- There is still time to add a tree fruit share.
Farm News from Jane
I hope that everyone was able to enjoy the gorgeous full moon last week. It was enormous and bright orange; it looked more like a harvest moon but I suppose we are harvesting! I so enjoy all the simple pleasures that nature has to offer. I do have to admit that I missed bringing in any spring perennial blooms of lilacs and lily of the valley this year but now the peonies are in bloom. The lilacs came and went so quickly this season and the “rust” started before they were even fully open. The fragrance was not dimmed however; as intoxicating as ever! As I write I can see the cattle grazing in the pasture and unfortunately one of the cows is in “heat”. You would think someone was dying out the with all the mournful sounds that you hear. But better now then during the night; I hope that’s the case anyway!!!
We added a vegetable to the list this week; swiss chard. It was just large enough to begin harvesting. Once we begin it makes a frequent appearance in the share. For those whom are new to chard it is a very versatile and is nutritious vegetable. The beet actually evolved form the leafy swiss chard. It is high in vitamins A, E and C, and minerals like iron and calcium. Minerals are more readily absorbed from chard than they are from spinach. Chard also contains no oxalic acid, an element present in spinach that tends to bind minerals and render them unavailable during digestion. Lots more information about chard under “produce tips”.
We continue to transplant more vegetables out in the field each week. The cucumbers are looking great but the peas did slow down with the intense heat of last week; 90+ degrees, really! Peas like it cool. The tomatoes in high tunnel #3 are enormous and the ones out in the filed look great too. Some like it hot and some not!
For those of you whom are receiving your first share this week; enjoy the freshness and flavors of spring; summer’s a comin… Eat healthy, Jane
Produce: Asparagus Rhubarb Green Garlic Head Lettuce Swiss Chard
Coming soon: Beets & Garlic scapes
– Head lettuce; is washed but sometimes the soil is trapped between the leaves.
– Asparagus; may need to be rinsed under running water if you see tiny black “dots” A vegetable brush works well also. Tenderness is not determined by width; we prefer the big ones! Asparagus lasts best if ends are cut and then placed upright in a container of water.
– Rhubarb; This is the last week for rhubarb harvest. See former newsletters for lots of recipes! Color does not affect flavor but I agree red is nice!
– Green garlic is growing in size but is still tender and tasty; enjoy! The scapes are emerging and coming soon… If unfamiliar- it is immature garlic that can be sliced as green onions for salads or vegetable sautéing or roasting. Substitute green garlic for cloves in recipes
– Swiss chard is called rainbow chard because of the multi colors. Hopefully each time we share it you will receive a different “bouquet. It is young and tender and although the recipes call for “cooking” it may be chiffonade raw into a salad. Or try it in a smoothie! The process of chiffonade is slicing ribbon sized pieces. Try folding it in half after removing the center stalk. When cooking always start with the stalk sections and then add leaved when the stalks are beginning to soften. It’s very nice in a stir fry. Chard should be bagged in plastic or wrapped in damp paper towel. Chard also freezes well; blanch three minutes, rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process, drain, squeeze lightly, and place in an air tight container such as a zip-lock freezer bag. It’s great added to soups; this week may even be soup weather!
2 lbs. asparagus; 2 to 3 tbsp dill pickle pieces; 1 cup olive oil; ½ cup vinegar; salt and pepper to taste; pinch dry mustard or paprika; 2 to 3 tbsp chives
Steam asparagus until the color changes and just tender. Chop pickle pieces finely. Combine with remaining ingredients. Chill. Serve sauce over chilled asparagus. Makes 6-8 serves.
1-2 lbs. asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces; 3 Tbsp. butter; 2 green onions or garlic, 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 spicier 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
CHICKEN ASPARAGUS BAKE
5 Tbsp. each butter and flour; 11/2 cups chicken broth; 6-oz. can mushroom, 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 WITH CREAM SAUCE
Asparagus, chopped and lightly cooked; 1 cup milk; ½ tbsp butter; ½ tbsp cornstarch; fresh oregano; salt and pepper
Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup milk; set aside. Melt butter in small saucepan; add milk stir well. Heat mixture till very hot, but do not boil. Add cornstarch and milk, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Stir until thickened. Adjust seasonings. Pour cream sauce over asparagus and serve.
2 tablespoons olive oil; salt and pepper to taste; 3 cloves garlic, flattened or smashed with the flat of a knife; 1/4 cup golden raisins; 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts; 1-pound spinach, chard, collards, or other greens, stemmed and well washed
Heat oil over high flame in very large skillet. Add garlic cloves and stir-fry until golden, about 30 seconds. Discard garlic. Toss in greens. Season with salt and pepper. Cover; wilt greens 2-3 minutes. Add raisins and pine nuts. Check for seasoning and serve. Makes 2-4 servings. MACSAC
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 8-10
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 hardboiled 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.
BUTTERMILK GARLIC DRESSING
1-2 medium garlic cloves; 4 tablespoons minced leeks; 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar; 1/2 cup buttermilk; 1/3 cup sour cream; large pinch sugar; 1/2 cup olive oil
Mince garlic; mash to a paste with fork or back of knife. Whisk garlic, leeks, vinegar, buttermilk, sour cream, and sugar in bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Makes almost 11/2 cups. Recipe from MACSAC
HEAVENLY RICE AND CHARD
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts; 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper; 11/2 cups long-grain white rice; 4 cups chopped fresh chard, packed; 5 tbs. butter; 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed; 3/4 cup chicken stock; 2 medium onions, finely chopped; 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese; 1/4 tsp. salt
Roast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until golden brown. Set aside. Prepare rice according to package instructions. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add garlic and onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and chard and sauté for 3 minutes, or until chard becomes limp.
Add chicken stock and cooked rice. Sauté for 5 minutes or until rice is steaming hot. Stir in Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts. Remove from heat. Keep covered and serve warm.
Servings: 4-6; Recipe from The Best 50 Garlic Recipes
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 by 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.
CARAMELIZED ONION, BEET, AND RHUBARB COMPOTE *Save rhubarb for next week’s beets 4 C chopped onions, 1 T olive oil, 1 1/2 cup beet puree (from 1-2 large beets), 4 C chopped , rhubarb, pinch salt, dash allspice, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1 bay leaf, optional: 1 tsp maple syrup* Bring a large pot of water to boil. Scrub beets, and place in water. Boil for 30-40 minutes, or until they are tender when punctured. Remove from pot, and place in a bowl of cool water. Then slip off skins, coarsely chop beet, and place in a blender or food processor. Add about 1/4 cup of water, pulse a few times, then run on high until you have a smooth puree, adding just enough additional water to get it moving. While beets are boiling, prepare onions and rhubarb. Place onions and a sprinkling of salt in a saucepan with about 2 Tbsp water, maple syrup, and heat. Cover, and cook for 5-10 minutes on low heat, until onions begin to caramelize. Then add rhubarb, thyme, coriander, and bay leaf. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Then add 1 1/2 cups of the beet puree, stir to mix, and cook an additional 5 minutes, until flavored through and everything is well mixed. Remove from heat, remove bay leaf, and place in small jars or containers. May be frozen or keep refrigerated for 7 days. Yield: about 4 cups
GRILLED CHICKEN WITH RHUBARB RELISH Relish: 3 cups diced rhubarb, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon grated orange zest, 1 cup orange juice, 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped, 2 shallots minced
Chicken: 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, salt and pepper, 1 T fresh lemon juice, Olive oil Place all relish ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring every so often, for about 10 minutes or until mixture thickens. Cool. Preheat the grill. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Brush with lemon juice and oil. Grill about 6 min. per side.
1+1/4 C whole wheat pastry flour, 1+1/4 C white flour, ½ C sugar, 1T baking powder, 1t cardamom or cinnamon, ½ t salt, ½ C butter, 1+1/2 C finely chopped rhubarb, ½ C cream, ¼ C milk, 1 t vanilla, coarse sugar for top (if desired)
Preheat oven to 4000. Whisk together dry ingredients, cut in butter until coarse crumbs. Add rhubarb, toss to coat. In a separate bowl whisk together cream, milk and vanilla. Stir into crumb mixture just until moistened. Turn onto floured surface, kneading gently 4-5 times. Divide in half, pat into 6” circles cutting each into 8 wedges, Sprinkle with sugar and bake 18-22 minutes. Hint: May use all whole milk instead of half cream or used other fruits and spices. *If using cherries substitute almond extract for vanilla. Recipe from Pam Hull
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 375degree oven until set, 25-30 min.
CHARD CHEESE BAKE
1# Swiss chard or spinach; cook and drain thoroughly, 4 eggs, beaten, 1 C milk, 1 C Swiss cheese, shredded, 1 C bread, cubed, 1/2C sliced green onions, 1/4C Parmesan cheese, grated
Combine all ingredients. Pour into a greased 2 qt. baking dish. Cover and bake in preheated oven at 3750 until set. 25-30 minutes. Recipe from Farming magazine
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. 4 servings
CHARD SOUP WITH CREAM CHEESE “CROUTONS”
3 packed cups finely chopped chard leaves; 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed and at room temperature; 4 cups chicken broth; salt (if necessary) and pepper
Combine chard and chicken broth in a pot. Bring to simmer and cook until chard is wilted and tender, about 6 minutes. You may leave it as is or puree it with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender. Reheat if necessary. Season to taste with salt (if you’ve used canned stock, you may not need to add salt) and pepper. Divide the cubed cream cheese into 3 or 4 soup plates. Pour the hot soup over the cream cheese and serve immediately. Makes 3-4 servings. Recipe from MACSA