- This is a weekly share distribution only.
- Please remember to bring your share box or put it out if you are a home delivery.
- My apology for not reminding winter share members at East Amherst, Depew and Park school distribution sites that distribution returned to Tuesdays for summer shares last week..
Farm News from Jane
What a changeable microclimate we live in; 93 degrees and needing the air conditioning for a few days and then a few days later the furnace is kicking on! Between the plenteous rainfall and the extreme heat last week, the asparagus was growing almost a foot a day. And now we have to “look” to be sure it is tall enough to pick! Thursday’s share members had asparagus that was a bit “shaggy”. The tips were beginning to open/blossom and then the asparagus beetle damage. This week you’ll need a vegetable brush to remove the small black spots from the beetles if you find them undesirable. And do you know what else grew like a weed? Yep, you guessed it the tomatoes. The tomatoes planted in the high tunnels have not only grown a lot in size they have also “pushed” their first set of blossoms. The only disappointing growth is the rhubarb. It is still not mature (tall enough) to harvest. I guess we wait another week or two. But if the asparagus was almost two weeks late then the rhubarb would be the same also…
We continue to seed in the greenhouse and transplant seedlings out into the fields. This week the peppers and rest of the tomatoes and leeks will go out and the second planting of Swiss chard. The white beets are “edging out the orange Flame Badger variety and so it will be interesting which varieties will reach the “finish” line first as the Chioggia and red beets are having the same race. The early plantings of green and yellow beans were seeded during the cold and wet weather and so their germination is poor. Perhaps if they mature together, we will have a share of mixed green & yellow beans; sounds lovely to me! The third planting of beans, the infamous Dragon Tongue variety have a great “stand” meaning a good population; so eventually there will be lots of beans.
We did harvest the last of the fall leeks to share with you; they are even sweeter in the spring, although they are smaller. So, the season is “off and running” and we are glad to be through the first week of distribution. It’s nice to get back into the swing of things and it was even better to see so many of you!
The full moon is on Friday so be watching both the eastern and western horizon for the beauty that’s free for the “looking”. The next three weeks lead up to the summer solstice on June 20th. Long days of beautiful sunlight and those warm, balmy evenings that are almost surreal… And be thankful, Jane
Produce: Asparagus Salad greens Leeks Green Garlic Head lettuce
– Asparagus could use a “brushing” with a vegetable brush under running water. The asparagus beetles leave block spots which dot the stalks.
– Leeks are tender and sweet! Either cut them into rings and run them under water in a colander or slice the leek halfway through down the length and rifle it leek under running water to remove any soil. They are delicious added to eggs, soups or a stir-fry. I like to grill them with asparagus; yummy!
– Head lettuce will need to be washed. A salad spinner is a god investment. If not after soaking in water place on a kitchen towel to dry.
– Green garlic is the immature stage of bulb garlic. It can be utilized like a green bunching onion (scallion). See recipe section. Substitute white portion of garlic stalk in recipes.
1 1/2-pound whole chicken, rinsed and quartered; 1 quart chicken stock; 1 bay leaf; 5 peppercorns; 2 whole cloves; 2 1/2 cups chopped leeks; 1/2 cup chopped carrots; 1/4 cup pearl barley; 2 tbsp chopped parsley; 1/4 cup chopped prunes (optional); salt and pepper
Place chicken in large pot with 1-quart water; add stock, bay leaf, peppercorns, and cloves. Bring to low boil, skimming as needed. Reduce to low simmer and cook about 1 1/2 hours, skimming as needed. Remove chicken; let cool. Remove any fat floating on stock, then strain through a very fine mesh colander lined with cheesecloth. Clean out soup pot and return stock to it. Add leeks and carrots, bring to boil, and add barley. Simmer until barley is cooked, about 35 minutes. Meanwhile, remove skin and bones from chicken; shred the meat. When barley is cooked, stir in chicken, parsley, and prunes, if using. Heat through. Season to taste. Makes 3-4 servings. Recipe from MACSAC
LEEK, MUSHROOM AND LEMON RISOTTO
8 ounces trimmed leeks; 8 ounces mushrooms; 2 tbsp olive oil 3 garlic cloves, crushed; 6 tbsp butter; 1 large onion, roughly chopped scant 1 3/4 cups rice; 5 cups hot vegetable stock; grated zest and juice of l lemon; 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese; 1/4 cup mixed chopped fresh chives and flat-leaf parsley; salt and freshly ground black pepper; lemon wedges and sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, to serve.
Wash the leeks well. Slice in half lengthwise and roughly chop. Wipe the mushrooms with paper towels and roughly chop. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the garlic for 1 minute. Add the leeks, mushrooms and plenty of seasoning and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until softened and browned. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the pan and cook the onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute. Add a ladleful of stock to the pan and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in more liquid as each ladleful is absorbed; this should take 20-25 minutes. The risotto will turn thick and creamy, and the rice should be tender but not sticky. Just before serving, stir in the leeks, mushrooms, remaining butter, grated lemon zest and 3 tablespoons of the juice, half the Parmesan and the herbs. Adjust the seasoning and serve, sprinkled with the remaining Parmesan and herbs. Serve with lemon wedges and sprigs of flat -leaf parsley. Serves 4
LEEK AND POTATO SOUP
3 c sliced leeks; 3 c diced peeled potatoes; 2 qts water; 1 Tbsp salt; 1/4 c heavy cream or 3 Tbsp butter, softened; 2 Tbsp fresh minced chives or parsley
Simmer leeks and potatoes in water with salt, partially covered 40-50 minutes, or until tender. Mash vegetables with fork or put through food mill. Set pot off heat and stir in cream or butter. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with herbs. Makes 8 servings
BAKED EGGS WITH CREAMY LEEKS
1 tablespoon butter, plus extra for greasing; 8 ounces leeks, thinly sliced; 5-6 tablespoons whipping cream; freshly grated nutmeg; 4 eggs; salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Generously butter the bottoms and sides of four ramekins or individual soufflé dishes. Melt the butter in a small frying pan and cook the leeks over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned. Add 3 tablespoons of the cream and cook gently for about 5 minutes, until the leeks are very soft and the cream has thickened a little. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Arrange the ramekins in a small roasting pan and divide the leeks among them. Break an egg into each, spoon 1-2 teaspoons of the remaining cream over each egg and season lightly. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the side of the ramekins or soufflé dishes. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the whites are set and the yolks are still soft, or a little longer if you prefer them more well done. Serves 4
3-4 medium leeks; 3-4 ounces sesame or walnut oil; 2 cloves garlic, chopped; 1 small piece ginger, grated; l/2 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; 2 tablespoons tamari sauce
Clip root hairs and remove most of the green leaf from leeks. Cut lengthwise in half. In large skillet, covered, simmer leeks in 1/4-inch boiling water until just soft. Drain. Heat oil, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper in skillet. Place leeks in hot skillet. Brown on one side. Turn and brown other sides. Sprinkle with tamari sauce.
Serves 4. Recipe from The Fruit and Vegetable Stand.
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
SAUTÉED SPRING GREENS WITH BACON AND MUSTARD SEEDS
2 ounces thick-cut bacon, finely diced, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 large shallot, thinly sliced, 1 hot red chile, seeded and finely chopped, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds, 1 1/4 pounds mixed young spring greens, such as dandelion, mustard, collards, Tuscan kale and spinach—stems and inner ribs trimmed, leaves cut into ribbons, salt, freshly ground pepper, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
In a large skillet, cook the diced bacon in the olive oil over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the shallot, chile and mustard seeds and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the greens, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing frequently, until wilted and tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and serve. Make Ahead: The cooked greens can be refrigerated overnight.
Recipe from foodandwine.com
6 oz. crumbled blue cheese, at room temperature, 2/3 C vegetable oil , 1/3 C mayonnaise , 2 T white wine vinegar , 1 T hot sauce, such as Crystal or Louisiana, plus more if desired, Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Salad: 1 head lettuce, cut into quarters through the equator (circular slices), 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters , 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled or chopped into pieces , 1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
For the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the blue cheese, oil, mayonnaise, vinegar and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper and add more hot sauce if preferred. Set aside.
For the salad: Divide the lettuce rounds among 4 plates. Pour 1/2 cup of the dressing over each. Top each with one-quarter of the tomatoes and bacon. Sprinkle some chives on top. Serve immediately.
Trim and wash your leeks and sauté with ½ cup of butter or substitute half with olive oil in a large kettle. Sauté leeks just until they start to brown. Add 2 cups of cups of stock or bouillon and bring to a boil. Add 2- 4 cups of washed, trimmed and sliced asparagus (1/2”) pieces and bring back to a simmer and then simmer just until tender. Add 1 qt. of milk and start to heat. Meanwhile slowly whisk 2 cups of milk into ¾ cup flour until completely blended. Stir into soup and stir until heated and thickened. You may add extra bouillon or 1 tsp salt and white pepper to flavor. 6 servings
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
8 asparagus tips, approx. 5 inches 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.
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.
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
1/2 lb. salt cod; 3 tbsp olive oil; ¼-1/2 cup heavy cream; 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled; pepper to taste; 1/2 cup mashed potatoes (optional)
Soak cod overnight in cold water to cover. Change water more than once if cod seems very salty and dry. Drain and rinse well. Simmer very gently in fresh water 10-15 minutes, or until cod is soft. Warm the oil and cream in separate pans. Mash the garlic and put it in a food processor. Add the drained cod and process until blended. With the processor running, add half the oil gradually through the lid opening, then half the cream. Repeat and process until puree is smooth. Add pepper and taste for seasoning. If you add potatoes, beat them in by hand. Serves 3-4
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained; 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste); 2 tbs. water; 1 tbs. olive oil; juice and pulp of 2 lemons, seeds removed; 6 cloves garlic, pressed; 1 tsp. chili powder; 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper; l/2 tsp. salt; 1/4 tsp. paprika
Combine all ingredients, except paprika, with a food processor. Process for 4 minutes, or until smooth. Scoop into a serving bowl and sprinkle with paprika. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve chilled. Servings 8-12
Recipe from The Best 50 Garlic Recipes
SPAGHETTI WITH GARLIC-BASIL CREAM SAUCE
6 oz. dried spaghetti; 1/4 cup butter; 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed; 1 cup light cream; 1 tbs. plus 1 tsp. minced fresh basil; 1/2 tsp. dried thyme; l/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper; freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Cook spaghetti in a medium pot according to package instructions. Melt butter in a small deep skillet. Add garlic and sauté for 3 minutes over low heat. Pour in cream and add 1 tbs. basil, thyme and pepper. Stir thoroughly. Simmer over medium-low heat, covered but vented, for 7 to 9 minutes, or until thickened. Stir occasionally. If sauce becomes too thick, add more cream to thin. Pour sauce over spaghetti and sprinkle with fresh basil. Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese. Servings: 2; Recipe from The Best 50 Garlic Recipes