Promised Land CSA Week Four June 2nd 2014
- Please watch for an upcoming meat share offering.
- Past newsletters are archived on our website @ www.promisedland csa.com under posts.
Farm News from Jane
Many hands lighten the load! That is what we experienced literally this past week with our first worker share days.
We’ve had some great help and some enjoyable time getting to know each other; at least while we were processing and packing rhubarb and this week prepping Swiss chard. Other field jobs we were too far from each other to carry on any conversation. We were all very pleased at how well and smoothly the time and work went. Tuesday workers endured a bit of heat during the first weeding experience on the farm but everyone was a good sport and there were no complaints. Today’s bug picking was a first for a few but with a pair of gloves and delicious eggplant to benefit from on the horizon everyone was able to “get the job done”!
Although the weather forecast had been calling for rain for over a week we experienced none so last week the irrigation pipes and reels were rolled out and the process began. The peas especially seemed to grow overnight. The first planting is now blossoming and so the pea pods are beginning to form. We are still hoping to benefit by an inch or two of rain tonight or tomorrow. Watering is helpful but there is nothing like a “shower” from heaven.
This week there is no head lettuce but we do have some lovely Napa cabbage and Swiss chard to enjoy. The Swiss chard variety is called Rainbow chard and the name says it all; red, orange, pink, yellow and white and a few in between shades. The leaves are small yet but are extremely tender. As the season progresses their size usually grows to colossal but all sizes are equally nutritious and delicious. In fact although we sometimes call immature vegetables “baby vegetables” most veggies with the exception of sprouts increase in nutrition the closer they reach full maturity. So save the “baby” vegetable experience for your favorite restaurant and enjoy the full nutritional experience at home.
The first “meat” chickens went to the processor today and so the next meat share will have the first of our rotationally grazed chicken available. The flavor of these pasture raised birds is incredible and although most people don’t frequently roast a chicken these are worth the oven time to experience. Or get an “old hand” to teach you how to separate the chicken into smaller pieces; after a few times you will have conquered the skill. After all BBQ season is here!
Lots of vegetables, meats and fruit yet to come…. Enjoy each tasty week, Jane
Produce: Broccoli Rainbow chard Asparagus Napa (Chinese) Cabbage Rhubarb
– Napa Cabbage can be eaten fresh just like Romaine lettuce or used as a wrap.
– Swiss Chard leaves wilt down quickly so slice the leaves off the stalk first ten slice/chop the stalk and sauté for a few minutes before adding the chopped/sliced leaves. Add a flavored vinegar or soy sauce to season before serving. If you have any green garlic or onions left sauté them with the Swiss chard stalks.
– Sunday’s Buffalo News Parade section had a lovely looking recipe for Asparagus Ricotta Tart if you have time to spend in the kitchen!
– Did you know that Swiss chard developed form the common beetroot and is high in Vitamins A, E, and C and minerals such as iron and calcium. Minerals are more readily absorbed from chard than spinach, chard contains no oxalic acid, an element present in spinach that tends to bind minerals and render them unavailable during digestion.
– Rhubarb leaves are very high in oxalic acid determining their “poisonous” status.
4 medium eggs; 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese; 1/4 cup flour; 1 tsp. baking powder; 2 Tbsp. canola oil; 1/2 lb. bacon, cooked crisp then crumbled; 3/4 cup cooked asparagus, cut into 1/4-inch pieces; 2 oz. chopped green chilies; 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese; Salt and white pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray miniature muffin pans with nonstick spray; set aside. In food processor, blend eggs briefly and add cottage cheese. Pulse to blend. Add flour, baking powder, and oil; blend. Stir in bacon, asparagus, chilies, and cheese. Add salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into muffin pans. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. To serve place zingers on a bed of shredded lettuce.
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.
Risotto with Rhubarb and Asparagus
Ingredients for 4 persons: 9 ounces (1+1/3 C) of risotto rice (Arborio type), approximately 4C water or veg. bouillon, 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 8 ounces of cream cheese, 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. Start cooking the rice by adding the vegetarian broth as needed.
Lentil and Rhubarb Stew with Indian Spices
3 or 4 stalks rhubarb, strings removed, chopped; 1 cup orange lentils, well washed; 2-3 T minced ginger; 1 T minced garlic; 4 cardamom pods; 1T mustard seeds; 2 cloves; 1 tsp cracked black pepper; 1 dried ancho or other mild chili, optional; salt; chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
Combine all ingredients except salt and cilantro in a saucepan and add water to cover by about 1 inch. Cook at a steady simmer until lentils and rhubarb are quite soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove cloves and, if you like, cardamom pods. Add salt, then taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
Yield 4 servings; Time 40 Minutes Mark Bittman Source: THE NEW YORK TIMES
Chinese Cabbage Salad
5 cups chopped Chinese cabbage; 3/4 c. sliced or shredded radishes, 11/2 cups chow mein noodles (the crunchy ones); 1 cup crushed peanuts; 1/4 cup sesame seeds (black, if available); 2 tablespoons rice vinegar; 4 tablespoons sesame oil; 3 tablespoons soy sauce; 1 tablespoon honey; 1/2-1 teaspoon dry mustard
Combine cabbage, radishes, chow mein noodles, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Mix remaining ingredients. Toss with cabbage, using just enough dressing to suit your taste. Makes 6-8 servings. Recipe from Dog Hollow Farm
Salad Greens with Chinese Salad Dressing
1/3 cup sesame or olive oil; 1 teaspoon minced garlic, pressed to a paste; 1-2 teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot or 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger; dash of cayenne; 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice; 1 teaspoon sesame seeds; 1 tablespoon chopped green onion, salad greens or Chinese cabbage
Mix all ingredients (except greens); toss with greens. This is also good with Napa cabbage, bok choy, snow peas, or cucumbers. Makes 1/2 cup dressing. Recipe from Oak Ridge Farm
Napa Wasabi Slaw
1 tablespoon wasabi paste; 1 tablespoon soy sauce; 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar; 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar; 1/4 cup sesame oil; 1 cup orange juice; 1 head Napa cabbage, very thinly sliced; 6 carrots, shredded; 1 chopped onion; 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Whisk wasabi, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, and orange juice until thoroughly combined. Toss with vegetables and sesame “”seeds. Makes 6-8 servings. Recipe from MACSAC
1 head broccoli, flower and stems chopped; 1/2 lb. fried bacon, crumbled; 1/2 cup chopped red onion; 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese Dressing: Stir together:1/2 cup mayonnaise; 1/4 cup sugar; 1 Tbsp vinegar
Mix all salad ingredients and stir in dressing. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
(Adjust ingredients to the amount of broccoli available).
Rhubarb Custard Kuchen
CRUST: 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour; 1/2 teaspoon baking powder; 1/8 teaspoon salt; 3/4 cup unsalted butter; 1 egg, beaten; 1 tablespoon whole milk
FILLING: 1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups); 1 egg, beaten; 3/4 cup whole milk; 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract; 1 cup sugar; 1 teaspoon cinnamon; 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 4000 F. sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined. Cut in the butter. Add the egg and milk and continue to process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 2 minutes. Gently press the mixture into the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch pan. Fill the kuchen: Spoon the rhubarb into the pan. Whisk together the egg, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl, and pour evenly over the top of the rhubarb. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a medium bowl, and sprinkle evenly on top of the rhubarb mixture. Bake in the oven until the top is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 45 minutes. 12 Servings; Recipe from Liberty Hill Farm.
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.
Rhubarb mustard salsa (For Grilled Fish)
1 tsp olive oil, ½ lb rhubarb, ½ c sugar, 1½ T Dijon mustard, ½ small red onion, chopped, ¼ tsp lime juice, 1 T chopped fresh parsley, 1 tsp chopped fresh basil, salt, freshly gr. black pepper.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat; add rhubarb and sugar, cook, stirring often, until rhubarb is soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.
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.