Promised Land CSA Week Ten July 14th 2014
- Fruit Shares should be unpacked when received and fruit should be sorted and washed. Unripe fruit should be carefully monitored on the kitchen counter. If placing in a brown bag to finish ripening please pay close attention. The fruit comes directly from the orchard and although we inspect it as we “pack it” it needs immediate attention for lasting quality.
Farm News from Jane
Well I finally got my moonlit cruise on the pond Saturday evening; the temperature was perfect, the bugs were absent, the only thing missing was the moon! We were ready and waiting for the 8pm rising but of course the sky was still bright and we hadn’t figured on the tree line time. Finally just before 9pm we had a clear shot. The July moon is also known as the Thunder moon or the Superior moon. It sure was big and bright shining through the bedroom window that night.
The regular rainfall has helped all the crops grow lush including the weeds. We are now weeding and cultivating through each vegetable block as well as the blueberries. The blueberries are looking good size perhaps in part to the weather but also due to the decreased amount of berries on the bushes. They are getting blue, sweet and plump. We hope to begin picking next week for shares. The onions are also sizing up and we decided not to wait for them to become jumbo before harvesting. Some years as we wait for size the sweet onions begin to soften in the ground when the field conditions are too wet; so sweet Walla Walla onions are coming your way this week. They are the northern version of the popular southern Vidalia onion; mild and extremely sweet. Do be careful when sautéing them as they soften quickly. Last week Andrew was able to trellis all the tomatoes and tomatillos in the field. This is an incredibly time consuming and repetitive process. But the benefits sure are far reaching or perhaps I should say “close reaching”. Reaching up and across instead of searching through bushy tangled vines on the ground is much nicer. It is also helpful to keep the vines off the damp ground to discourage diseases. The cherry tomatoes in the high tunnel are ripening now and we hope to begin harvesting them soon.
We will soon have all the ingredients for a typical summer salad; all we are lacking is peppers. They are blossoming and starting to fruit and so are the eggplant. We will also begin to dig potatoes next week if the field conditions are right. New red potatoes are snow white inside and are very sweet and creamy; just add butter!
We planted another block of crucifers and the carrots have emerged from the ground. It’s difficult to think about fall crops but we have to always be planning ahead for the next season. More beets have been seeded and also rutabaga. In another month we will begin seeding for winter crops in the high tunnels. Thinking about the upcoming season reminds me of Vivaldi’s beautiful Four Seasons. It’s such a beautiful score. But let’s just enjoy this season one day at a time; warm days, cool nights, lots of sunshine and lush green landscapes. We are just one thought away from paradise.
Enjoy the bounty, Jane
Produce: Walla Walla Onion Purple Kohlrabi Swiss chard Celery
Head Lettuce Golden Beets Summer squash Cucumbers
Tree Fruit: Sweet cherries
– Cherries and all fruit should be removed from bags and inspected; they are fresh from the orchards and field heat or moisture can cause fruit to spoil more quickly.
Wash fruits and then allow to “dry” in a colander in the fridge. If the fruit needs a few days to complete ripening keep within eyesight on the counter and check daily for ripeness and then refrigerate.
– Celery can be placed in a shallow container of water in the refrigerator to keep it crisp.
– The sweet onions are fresh from the field with their green tops; the tops may be used for favoring in broth or soup.
Just discard greens after simmering.
-Walla Walla onions are great raw as they are mild and sweet; but be careful not to overcook them as they are also a softer onion!
2 T 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
SALAD GREENS WITH CHINESE SALAD DRESSING
1/3 C sesame or olive oil; 1 tsp minced garlic, pressed to a paste; 1-2 tsp grated fresh gingerroot or 1/4 tsp powdered ginger; dash of cayenne; 2 T fresh lemon juice; 1 tsp sesame seeds; 1 T chopped green onion, salad greens or Chinese cabbage.
Mix all ingredients (except greens); toss with greens. This is also good with bok choy, snow peas, or cucumbers.
Makes 1/2 cup dressing. Recipe from Oak Ridge Farm
SPRING GREENS RISOTTO
3 T olive oil; 1/2 c chopped green onions; 1 1/2 c Arborio rice; 1/2 tsp salt; 4 c hot chicken or vegetable broth, divided; 4 c coarsely chopped chard; 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg (optional); 1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in heavy pot over medium- high heat. Add onions; cook 3 minutes. Add rice and salt. Cook and stir until rice begins to color. 2. Add 1/2 c broth; cook and stir until most of broth is absorbed. Add 1 1/2 c broth; simmer, stirring occasionally, until mostly absorbed, about 10 minutes. Add remaining broth. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place greens on top of rice. Cover and simmer 3 min. Stir in greens. Simmer and stir a few min. more until broth is absorbed and rice is tender but moist. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and serve. Recipe from Farm-Fresh Recipes.
LIGHT CREAM OF CELERY SOUP
1 large potato, diced; 2 c chopped celery; 1 ½ cups of water; ¾ tsp salt, plus ¼ tsp; ½ cup onion, finely minced; 2-3T sour cream, half and half or heavy cream; freshly minced celery leaves for garnish
Place potato, 2 c. celery, water and ¾ tsp salt in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes – until everything is soft. Puree and transfer to a larger saucepan. Melt butter in a small skillet. Add onion, finely minced celery, celery seed and ¼ tsp salt. Sauté about 8 to 10 minutes – until the vegetables are just tender. Add to puree. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except garnish. Heat gently (don’t cook or boil) and serve topped with garnish. Serves 3 to 4.
3 c. thinly sliced celery; 1/2 c. grated carrots; 1 apple, unpeeled, cored and chopped; 1/2 c. mayonnaise; 2 tbsps. sugar; 1/2 tsp. salt; 2 tbsps. vinegar
Combine celery, carrots and apple in bowl. Blend together remaining ingredients. Fold into celery mixture. Chill at least 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings. Recipe from America’s Best Vegetable Recipes.
1 bunch celery; 1 small yellow onion, chopped; 6-8 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, chopped; Light sesame oil; 3-4 scallions, chopped; 2-3 teaspoons tamari sauce; Dash garlic powder
Clean and trim celery leaves. Cut stalks into 4- to 6-inch pieces. Sauté onion and parsley in oil. Wash celery and place wet pieces into sauté mixture. Add Y4 cup water and the chopped scallions. Sprinkle with tamari sauce, extra dash sesame oil, and dash garlic powder. Cover. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove cover. Increase heat and cook celery, turning, until slightly browned. Serves 4 to 6. Recipe from The Fruit and Vegetable Stand.
SPICY CUCUMBER SALAD
2 cucumbers; 1 T white vinegar or rice wine vinegar; 2 T sesame oil; 1/2 tsp salt; 1 tsp soy sauce; 1 T sugar; 1 Thai Dragon hot pepper (If you don’t have a Thai Dragon hot pepper, substitute hot red pepper flakes or hot pepper sauce.
Peel the cucumbers, cut lengthwise in two, and scrape out the seeds. Cut cucumbers crosswise into half moons. Whisk the remaining ingredients together and toss with the cucumbers to coat them. You can control how hot the dish becomes by removing the seeds and pulp of the pepper or you can use just a slice or two of the hot pepper. Makes 4 servings.
TWO-WAY STREET BEETS
1 bunch small beets; juice of 1/2 orange; 1/2 T butter, softened; pepper; 1/2 tsp peanut oil; 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil; 1/2 tsp hot chili oil; 1 T 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
BEET GREENS FIESOLE
1/2 pound beet greens, washed and trimmed; 1 1/2 T olive oil; Salt and freshly ground pepper; 1 garlic scape, minced to taste
Cook beet greens in salted boiling water until just tender, about 7 minutes. Drain well, pressing greens to sides of colander or sieve to remove all moisture. In a medium-size skillet, sauté garlic in olive oil until just brown, about 1 minute. Add beet greens; mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat greens through. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
MARINATED BEET AND SUMMER SQUASH SALAD
2 Medium-size beets, cooked, peeled and thinly sliced; 4 bunching onions, thinly sliced; 1/4 C olive oil; 3 T tarragon vinegar; 1/2 T sugar; 2 Small yellow summer squash (or zucchini, or a combination), cut into 1/4-inch slices; 1 T minced dill; 3/4 C sour cream; Salt and black pepper; 2 Scallions, each with 3 inches green top, coarsely chopped
Directions: Toss together the beets and onions with 1/8 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. In another bowl toss together the squash slices, the remainder of the oil and vinegar, and the dill. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Just prior to serving, drain the squash and toss all the vegetables together with the sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding additional sugar and vinegar if desired for a more distinctive sweet-and-sour taste. Yield: Three servings.
BRATWURST KOHLRABI VEGETABLE SOUP WITH PUMPERNICKEL DILL CROUTONS
1 T butter, divided, 1/3 c thin-sliced dill pickles, 2 cooked bratwursts, thin-sliced, 1/2 tsp dill weed, 1 c chopped onions, salt and pepper, 2 medium kohlrabi, peeled, thin-sliced, and chopped, 1/2 c thin-sliced bok choy stalks, 2 tsp fennel seeds, 1 1/2 T butter, melted, 3 cans (each 14 1/2 ounces) beef broth
Croutons: 1/2 teaspoon dill weed, 1 cup thin-sliced potatoes, 1 1/2 cups cubed pumpernickel bread
Brown bratwurst in pot with 1/2 tablespoon butter. Remove and reserve meat. Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter, onions, kohlrabi, celery, and fennel seeds; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in beef broth, potatoes, pickles, dill weed, bratwurst, and 2/3 cup water; simmer 40 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 1 or more hours to develop flavor. To make croutons, combine ingredients; bake 10-15 minutes in 400-degree oven, tossing occasionally. Serve with reheated soup. Serves 6; Recipe from MACSAC
2 kohlrabi; water to cover; 1/8 c oil; 1/2 T wine vinegar; 1/8 tsp dill seeds; pinch of pepper; salt to taste; 1 T yogurt
Cook kohlrabi in water until tender. Drain and reserve liquid for soup. Cool, peel and cut into strips. Combine remaining ingredients, pour over kohlrabi and serve as a salad or side dish. 2 servings
Grate kohlrabi, place in colander, and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes to drain. Heat 2 T. butter over medium heat. Add 1 small onion chopped, and sauté a few minutes. Stir in kohlrabi, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium and cook two more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in fresh herbs. Serves 1-2.
YELLOW BEETS AND GREEN BEAN SALAD (Beans coming next week!)
1/2 pound crisp green beans with the ends snipped; 3 medium-size yellow beets, diced; 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon; 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley; 5 ounces plain low-fat yogurt; 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste); 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice; 1 garlic clove, crushed; Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a saucepan, cook the green beans in rapidly boiling water for 7 minutes or until they are tender but crisp. In a separate saucepan, cook the beets until they are tender. (You may cook both in the microwave according to your oven’s instructions if you prefer.) Cool rapidly under cold running water and peel the beets. Combine the beans with the beets, the tarragon, and half the parsley in a medium-size serving bowl. Mix well but gently. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Stir the yogurt mixture into the green bean mixture and garnish with the remaining parsley. Serve immediately. 4 servings; Recipe from Herbal Soups, Salads, Breads and Sweets.
CHERRY-ALMOND LOAF CAKE
1 c blanched almonds; 1 c plus 2 T all-purpose flour; 1 tsp baking powder; 1/2 tsp sea salt; 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature; 3/4 c plus 1 teaspoon sugar 3 eggs, at room temperature; 1/4 tsp almond extract; 1/2 tsp vanilla extract; 2 1/2 c pitted cherries; confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter and flour a 5×8-inch loaf pan. Coarsely chop the almonds in a food processor. Remove 1.4 cup and set it aside. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the remaining almonds and process until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Cream the butter with the 3/4 cup sugar in the food processor, then add the eggs one at a time, incorporating each one fully as you go. Add the flavorings, then half the flour-almond mixture. Pulse several times to incorporate. Add the remainder and pulse until smooth. Scrape into the prepared pan and cover with the cherries. Mix the reserved almonds with the teaspoon of sugar and sprinkle over the top of the cake. Bake the cake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan, then turn it out and transfer to a cake plate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. Serves 8; Recipes from Local Flavors.