Summer Share Two May 23rd 2017

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

Important information:

  • This week’s share is unfortunately light due to weather conditions. Once we get some sun and heat things will “pop” and the shares will grow quickly in volume; thanks for your patience!
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Farm News from Jane

Well the size and growth of the asparagus certainly changed with last week’s heat. Because we bundle it accordingly to diameter you would not know that we harvested mostly large and jumbo stalks for last week’s shares. Due to the temperature heating up the soil the majority of stalks were medium to small the last few days of harvest. I am always amazed what we learn experientially about the biology and culture of growing vegetables. We are always, always learning and because every growing season is unique there are lots and lots of opportunities to fine tune our propagation techniques…

We have been having some fields “tiled” which means that lines are placed underground to assist in the drainage of areas which hold water. These fields on a “wet” year cause delays in planting as well as slowing plant growth. Too much water is worse than not enough water. The solution for drought of course is watering or on a large scale, irrigating. It is like being cold; you can always put on more clothes but when it’s too hot there is only so much that you can take off! So having the field draining more efficiently will allow earlier planting and better soil health.  We are continually working to improve our farm’s soil and growing capacity on the same acreage.  Why grow bigger when you can grow better!

There were lots more transplants set out this last week including different colored eggplants, summer squash, cucumber and the first seeding of sweet corn. Do I hear YUM! Our sweet corn is rivaled by none for its flavor and sugar content. It is certainly worth the wait. So sometime in August perhaps when the blueberries are fading we’ll be lip smacking happy! There is so much to look forward to through the growing season; it’s the wait that is so difficult. Soon and very soon we are going to taste it all. Enjoy the nutrition and delicion; I’m like Thumper, “I made that part up myself”.

Enjoy the holiday with your favorite veteran and thank them for their sacrifice; providing us with protection and liberty and for their honor and integrity fulfilling the call. Blessings for health and happiness to all our veteran’s, Jane & family

 

Produce:   Asparagus   Rhubarb   Garlic greens

 

Produce tips:

- Garlic greens or “green” garlic is actually immature garlic which is used like green onions. You may use it raw or grilled, sautéed or roasted. The dark green tops are great for use in soup stock. If you have freezer space and not time at present, bag the greens and freeze them for later use. I had a grandmother who never wasted any veggies fresh or cooked. She always just “tossed” them in the freezer for a delicious, nutritious vegetable broth or soup. Hasteful and not wasteful! Store it in a plastic bag in the fridge. Garlic is gaining recognition for its health and healing benefits. Some of its therapeutic benefits include fighting infections, cancer prevention, stimulating the immune system, prevention and relief of bronchitis, use as an expectorant and decongestant, and reduction of blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Note: If the medicinal benefits are what you’re after, use your garlic raw!

– Asparagus: Raw asparagus ranks high in vitamins A, C and rich in potassium and zinc. Nibble on some raw asparagus for its full flavor and nutritional value. Like all vegetables, it will lose some though not all, of its B-complex and vitamin C during the cooking process. One cup contains no fat and only 35 calories.

- Rhubarb: may be washed, air dried and then frozen for later use or perhaps a smoothie. A good tonic for some of those kids who need a little more fiber! Slice some of the small stalks into your salad or hot or cold cereal for a zip! Using it as a sauce is a really good embellishment to yogurt, ice cream, hot cereal or a lovely topping for a scone or biscuit. Did you know that rhubarb is high in vitamins A and C and a variety of minerals, particularly calcium?  It is also believed to be a beneficial blood purifier and digestive aid.  It originated in China 4000 years ago where it was widely used as medicine. Russia was first to widely use it as food.

 

Recipes

ASPARAGUS QUICHE

9 inch pastry shell; 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated; ½ cup green garlic or onions, chopped; 1 cup asparagus, cooked and chopped; 4 eggs; 1 ½ cups milk; ½ tsp salt; ¼ tsp pepper; ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Place cheese, garlic or onions and asparagus in bottom of pie shell. Beat together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over ingredients in pie shell. Sprinkle parsley over top. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° and bake for 45 minutes more, or until quiche is golden brown and knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the quiche.

 

CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP WITH GARLIC AND PARMESAN

4 cups low or no-sodium vegetable or chicken broth, 2 Tbsp. butter, 1 small onion, 2 lbs. asparagus, 4 cloves garlic, ½ tsp. salt, 2 oz. Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream,

Measure the broth into a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, put a large pot or Dutch oven over low heat. Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the pot. As it melts, peel and chop the onion. Add the onion to the butter. Stir and cover. Increase heat to medium. Trim the tough ends off of the asparagus as described in the blog post above. Discard ends. Chop remaining asparagus into small (1/2-inch) pieces. Add to the onions. Stir and cover. Peel and mince the garlic. Add it to the asparagus along with the salt. Stir. At this point the broth should be finished heating. Add it to the asparagus. Cover. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook until asparagus is tender, 2-3 minutes. While it cooks, shred the parmesan.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add the cream and heat through over medium heat but do not bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.

 

ASPARAGUS LASAGNA

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 more spicy 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

 

OPEN-FACE ASPARAGUS-EGG SANDWICHES

2 tbsp butter or margarine; 2 tbsp flour; 1/2 cups milk; 1/2 cups chicken broth; 3 hard-cooked eggs, sliced; 1/2 tbsp minced onion; 1/2 tsp salt; 1/8 tsp pepper; 2 cups cooked asparagus, cut in 1 1/2″ pieces; 3 hamburger buns, split and toasted; 4 slices bacon, chopped, fried crisp and drained

Melt butter in saucepan; blend in flour. Add milk and broth; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and bubbly. Add eggs, onion, salt, pepper and asparagus. Heat thoroughly. Serve on toasted bun halves. Sprinkle bacon over top. Makes 3 servings

 

ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH PARMESAN BREADCRUMBS

2 bunches asparagus (about 2 pounds). Trimmed, 2 T olive oil divided, ¼ t salt, ¼ t pepper, ¼ C grated parmesan cheese, 1/3 C whole-wheat panko bread crumbs, 3 T toasted hazelnuts, chopped, 2 t lemon zest
Positions racks in center and upper levels of oven; preheat to 4250 . Toss asparagus, 1 T oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the center of the oven until tender, 10 -12 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 T oil with the parmesan, breadcrumbs, hazelnuts, and lemon zest. Remove the asparagus form the oven. Turn the broiler to high. Sprinkle the topping on the asparagus. Broil in the upper third of the oven until lightly crisped, 1-2 minutes.

Serves 4; recipe from Eating Well magazine

 

RHUBARB MUFFINS

2 cups flour; ½ cup sugar; 1 tbsp baking powder; ½ tsp salt; ¾ cup milk; 3 tbsp oil; 1 egg, beaten; 1 cup finely chopped rhubarb; 1 tsp orange zest

Heat oven to 400°. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; mix well. Stir in rhubarb and orange zest. In a small bowl combine milk, oil and egg; blend well. Add to dry ingredients; stir just until moistened. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 400° for 18-23 minutes. Cool 1 minute and remove from pans. Best the first day. Adapted from Pillsbury’s Healthy Baking Cookbook

 

RHUBARB SWEETIE

3 cups diced, fresh rhubarb (or 3 cups frozen, thawed); 2 tablespoons orange juice; 1/3 cup honey; 1 tablespoon butter; 1 egg, beaten; 1/4 cup honey; 1 teaspoon vanilla; 2 tablespoons sour cream; 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1/2 teaspoon soda

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking pan. Arrange rhubarb in prepared pan. Mix orange juice and honey and drizzle over rhubarb. Dot with butter. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine egg, honey, vanilla, and sour cream. Mix flour, salt, and soda and add to egg mixture. Spread batter over rhubarb and bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.  Recipe from Naturally Delicious Desserts and Snacks.

 

RHUBARB SYRUP

4 cups (1 L) sliced fresh or thawed frozen rhubarb, 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar, 1 strip lemon rind

In saucepan over medium-high heat, bring rhubarb, sugar, 1 cup water and lemon zest to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb breaks down and mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Strain into bowl, pressing solids gently to extract liquid; discard solids. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 5 days. This rosy syrup is a great way to enjoy fresh rhubarb in the spring, but it’s also delish when made with frozen rhubarb year-round. Use the syrup as the base for a Rhubarb Mint Fizz  or mix it with club soda or your favorite sparkling water for a refreshing mocktail.

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen Source: Canadian Living Magazine: May 2014

 

ROASTED RHUBARB SALAD

2 c 1/2 inch pieces fresh rhubarb, 2 T sugar, 2T balsamic vinegar, 1T canola oil, 1T minced green garlic, ¼ t salt, ¼ t freshly ground pepper, 8 cups mixed greens, ½ c crumbled goat cheese or feta, ¼ c chopped walnuts, toasted, ¼ c golden raisins.

Preheat oven to 4500. Toss rhubarb with sugar in a medium bowl until well coated; let stand, stirring once or twice, for about ten minutes. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile whisk vinegar, oil garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add greens; toss to coat with the dressing. Divide the greens among 4 plates. Top with the rhubarb, goat cheese (or feta), walnuts and raisins.

* Recipe from Serena Beneduce; modified and shared by CSA members Sebastiano Andreana and Concetta Beneduce

 

RHUBARB CRUMB BARS                                                                                                                         For the Streusel: 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus room-temperature butter for pan, 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan, 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt                                                                                                                                                   For the Cake: 1/2 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, 1 tablespoon light-brown sugar, 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled), 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 large eggs, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter and flour parchment and pan, tapping out excess flour.                                         Make streusel: Whisk together butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.                                                                                            Make cake: In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup flour. In another medium bowl, whisk 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time. With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with rhubarb and top with streusel. Bake cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake from pan. Cut into 16 bars.

 

ALICE WATER’S GREEN GARLIC SPAGHETTI
1 pound spaghetti, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 heads green garlic (or 4 cloves regular garlic), thinly sliced, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, small pinch of red pepper flakes
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the spaghetti. Cook until al dente, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water before draining. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large (3-quart) saucepan over medium heat until shimming. Add the garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup of water. Cover and sweat, stirring occasionally, until soft, adding more water if necessary to keep the garlic from caramelizing too much. Add the cooked pasta to the garlic mixture and toss well to combine. Add some pasta cooking water if necessary to bring the dish to a creamy consistency. Serve with more olive oil and the minced tops of the green garlic, if desired.

Suggested Tweaks: Though I love the resolute simplicity of this dish (there’s not even Parmesan), some might want more flavor in the base. Waters has a few suggestions: adding anchovies or olives, using more herbs, or even some cherry tomatoes. I also suggest finishing it with fresh, fruity olive oil at the end.