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Farm News from Jane
Two less minutes of daylight; that is what we’ve lost since the summer solstice. We were up to fifteen hours and twenty minutes of daylight then. And come November we go below ten hours of daylight. What extremes, about five hours and fifty minutes less daylight at the beginning of winter. So, enjoy these long sunny days and the warm, balmy evenings; don’t let them slip away without fully appreciating what a delight they are…
Well this share certainly says “summer is here”. We have the first of the summer squash; just one per share this week but get ready because they quickly multiply! And yes, one can use yellow squash for “zucchini” bread. Perhaps the issue is no one wants to say, “Would you like a slice of squash bread”? And not only do we have the forecasted sugar snap peas but we also have shelling peas, as the rain and heat at the solstice brings them on quickly. We hope that the successive plantings that were slated to produce for four weeks will hold up for three. But time and the heat will tell the story. And we also have beets; small and sweet and with the greens for those who like their vitamins in the green form!
We had quite the harvest crew again today; lots of happy pickers and lots of good conversation. The morning always goes by so quickly. Usually pea harvest is a slow operation but this crew “got the job done” very efficiently.
Today is the first time Ben and sons “fired up” the irrigation reels. The first priority for watering were the carrots and the parsnips. What a blessing it has been to have sufficient rainfall until almost the first of July! Hallelujah; let it rain. Although, the showers that the irrigation provide are quite a beautiful site (and an attraction for little ones)! Enjoy your peas, beets and squash. Isn’t there are song like that? Oats peas, beans and barley grow…
Until next time, Jane
Produce: Sugar Snap peas Chioggia beets Shelling peas
Yellow squash Salad greens Scallions Garlic scapes
– Sugar snap peas are the ones that are crescent shaped and have edible pods. You can remove the stem end but that is an individual preference.
– Shelling peas are the straight ones and you will need to “unzip” from the blossom end to open them. Two pounds of peas equals approximately 2 cups of shelled peas.
– Chioggia beets are “candy striped”. They are delicious roasted or grilled. They and make a delicious addition to a salad either cooked or raw. It is best to slice them paper thin to utilize them raw. Let them marinade briefly in a vinaigrette before adding to the salad as they have a bit of a bite otherwise. To keep the greens fresh, remove them from the beets and refrigerate in a plastic bag. The greens can be rinsed and then tossed into a fry pan and heat just until they “wilt”. Add a bit of salt and vinegar and you have a treat!
Garlic scapes; try using the food processer to puree your garlic scapes and then utilizing an ice cube tray freeze into cubes and you’ll have garlic already measured for soups or sauces for another day or dish!
TWO-WAY STREET BEETS
1 bunch small beets; juice of 1/2 orange; 1/2 tablespoon butter, softened; pepper; 1/2 teaspoon peanut oil; 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil; 1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil; 1 tablespoon 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 tablespoons 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
BEETS A LA CRÈME
1/8 cup real butter; 1/2 cup heavy cream; 4 medium beets, cooked; Freshly ground pepper to taste; 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley; Salt to taste
Cut beets in thick julienne strips, cube, or slice as you prefer. In a large skillet, melt butter. Add beets and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring to coat beets evenly with butter. Season with salt; add cream and continue to cook until reduced to glaze just coating beets. Sprinkle heavily with pepper and parsley. Serve immediately.
DICED BEETS WITH ORANGE ZEST AND YOGURT SAUCE
1/2 lb. beets, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes; 1/8 cup cider vinegar; zest of 1 orange, grated (about 1 tbsp.); 1/8tsp. ground mace; 1/8 tsp. ground cloves; 1/8 tsp. salt; freshly ground black pepper; 1/8 cup plain low-fat yogurt; 1 tbsp. fresh orange juice; 1/2 tsp. honey
Preheat the oven to 3750 F. In an 11/2-quart ovenproof casserole with a lid, combine the beets, vinegar, 1/4 cup of water, orange zest, mace, cloves, salt and pepper. Bake the beet mixture, covered, for one hour. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, mix together the yogurt and orange juice in a small bowl. Refrigerate the sauce until ready to serve. Remove the beets from the oven and stir in the honey. Serve immediately, topped with the yogurt sauce. Serves 2
MARINATED BEET AND SUMMER SQUASH SALAD
2 Medium-size beets, cooked, peeled and thinly sliced; 4 bunching onions, thinly sliced; 1/4 Cup olive oil; 3 Tbsp tarragon vinegar; 1/2 Tbsp sugar; 2 Small yellow summer squash (or zucchini, or a combination), cut into 1/4-inch slices; 1 Tbsp minced dill; 3/4 Cup 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. 3 servings
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 julienned or finely chopped. Sprinkle with 2 tsp of sugar. Mix together 1/4 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.
SUGAR SNAP PEAS WITH MUSHROOMS
2 tablespoon oil; 1/2 mushrooms, sliced; 1-pound fresh sugar snap peas, cut into half crosswise; 2 Teaspoons soy sauce; 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed
Heat oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and stir fry until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer 3 minutes. Increase heat, add peas and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce. Cover and cook 1 minute longer. Sprinkle with sesame seed and serve. 4 servings
SUGAR SNAP PEAS AND RED GRAPES
3/4 lb. sugar snap peas, strings and stems removed; 1 tbsp. unsalted butter; 1 shallot, finely chopped; 1/4 tsp. salt; freshly ground black pepper; l-2 cup seedless red grapes, halved lengthwise; 1 tbsp. dry white wine
Blanch the peas in boiling water for two minutes. Drain the peas, and then refresh them under cold running water until cool. Drain them again and set them aside. Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Cook the shallot until soft – about two minutes. Add the peas, salt and pepper, and cook until the peas are heated through – two to three minutes. Add the grapes and wine, and cook until the wine has evaporated – about one minute. Serve immediately.
4 lettuce leaves, shredded; 1 cup shelled fresh peas; 1/6 cup sliced green onions; 1/2 teaspoon sugar; Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1/8 cup heavy cream; 1/2 teaspoon cream-style horseradish; 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley; 1 tablespoon real butter, melted
Place moist lettuce leaves in bottom of l0-inch skillet or heavy saucepan. Sprinkle peas over lettuce and top with green onions, sugar, sprinkle of salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until peas are tender. Raise heat and reduce any moisture from pan, being careful not to scorch peas. Remove lettuce if desired. Whip cream; add horseradish and parsley. Fold in butter and mix with peas. Serve immediately. Serves 3
CABBAGE AND PEAS
1 1/2 c fresh peas; 1 small head cabbage, chopped; Salt and pepper to taste; 2 tbsp butter
Cook peas in boiling salted water in saucepan until tender; drain. Cook cabbage in another saucepan in a small amount of water until tender crisp; drain. Combine vegetables; season with salt, pepper and butter.
PASTA WITH PEAS, FRESH BASIL, AND BREAD CRUMBS
sea salt and freshly ground pepper; 1/2 pound small pasta shapes; 4 tbsp butter; 1/4 cup finely diced scallion; 1 pound sugar snap peas; 3 tbsp chopped basil; 1 tsp grated lemon zest; 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs; ½ cup chopped parsley or more basil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt and the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet, add the scallion, and cook gently for a few minutes, until softened. Add the peas, basil, and 1 cup of the pasta water and stew until the peas are bright green and tender, 1 or 2 minutes. Add the lemon zest. Crisp the bread crumbs in the remaining butter or oil in a small skillet. When the pasta is done, drain it, add it directly to the peas, and toss. Taste for salt, season with pepper, and toss with the parsley and bread crumbs.
GREEN PEAS LORRAINE
3 tbsp butter; 1/3 cup water; 2 cups sugar snap peas; 2 tbsp finely chopped onion; 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley; 1 tsp sugar; 1/2 tsp salt; 1/8 tsp pepper; 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (optional); 4 to 6 outside lettuce leaves, finely shredded; ½ cup light cream
Heat butter, water and peas together. Add onion, parsley, sugar and seasonings. Cover and simmer until peas are almost tender. Stir in lettuce. Continue cooking 5 minutes longer. Blend in cream. Heat and serve. Makes 5 to 6 servings.
CHILLED SUGAR SNAP PEA SOUP WITH FRESH MINT
1 large Vidalia onion, minced; 1 tablespoon butter; 2 tablespoons olive oil; 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock; 1 pound sugar snap peas, ends trimmed; 1/2 cup heavy cream; 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves, plus small sprigs for garnish; salt and cracked pepper to taste; Crème fraiche, clotted cream, or sour cream for serving; Minced radishes for garnish
In a heavy stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onion in the butter and oil until translucent. Add the stock and bring to a rolling boil. Drop in the sugar snap peas and let boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Puree the soup and stir in the cream, mint, and salt and pepper. Allow the soup to cool to room temperature, and then chill in the refrigerator. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche in the center of the bowl. Garnish with minced radish and mint sprigs. Recipe from The Café Pongo Cookbook
SESAME GARLIC SNAP PEA SALAD
1 lb. fresh sugar snap peas, 6 T toasted sesame oil, 2 tsp. seasoned rice vinegar, 1 tsp. Aleppo chili flakes, 1 clove of garlic, mashed, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. sesame seeds
Put the snap peas in a medium bowl or a gallon size zip-top bag. In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, rice vinegar, chili flakes, garlic, and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning if you’d like it a little saltier, etc. Pour dressing over the snap peas and toss to coat well. Sprinkle on sesame seeds and toss again to distribute them. Keeps well in the fridge for a day. Serves about 4 as a side salad.
Recipe from The Hungry Mouse website
CHEESE-TOPPED SUMMER SQUASH
1 patty pan, crookneck or zucchini; 1/2 cup boiling water; 1 tsp. butter; pinch of seasoning salt; 2 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
Cut squash in half. (Cut patty pan crosswise; crookneck or zucchini lengthwise.) Cook in boiling, salted water about 10 minutes or just until barely tender. Drain. Arrange in flat baking dish. With fork pierce centers of squash several times. Melt butter and add salt. Spoon over squash halves. Pierce again so seasoned butter will be absorbed. Bake in 350°F oven or grill about 20 minutes. Top with cheese and bake 10 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted. Makes 2 servings.
PESTO- TOPPED GRILLED SUMMER SQUASH
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil; 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts; 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil; 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese; 1 clove garlic, minced; 2 teaspoons lemon juice; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 2 medium summer squash (about 1 pound), sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick; Canola or olive oil cooking spray
Preheat grill to medium-high. Combine basil, pine nuts, oil, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl. Coat both sides of squash slices with cooking spray. Grill the squash until browned and tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve topped with the pesto. Makes 4 servings.
GREEK SUMMER-SQUASH GRILLED PIZZA
Prep: 20 min.; Ready In; 20 min.
1-pound whole-wheat pizza dough, ½ cup roasted red pepper hummus, 2 cups thinly sliced summer squash, 1 cup crumbled feta cheese ½ cup slivered fresh basil, Ground pepper for garnish
Preheat grill to medium-high. Roll dough into a 12-inch oval on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a lightly floured large baking sheet. Bring the dough, hummus, squash and feta to the grill. Oil the grill rack. Transfer the crust to the grill. Close the lid and cook until puffed and lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, turn the crust over. Spread the crust with the hummus and top with the squash and the feta. Close the lid and cook until the cheese is melted and the crust is lightly browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes more. Return the pizza to the baking sheet. Top with basil and pepper, if desired. Recipe from Eatingwell.com
Trim and remove the skin of 2 zucchini with a vegetable peeler. Peel the flesh into long vertical strips, 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide. Toss in a large bowl with 12 thinly sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves (plus 1/2 teaspoon oil from the jar), 1 teaspoons lemon· zest, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
LEMONY ZUCCHINI (Yellow squash) BREAD
4 c. flour, 1 ½ c. sugar, 1 pkg. instant lemon pudding, 1/2T soda, 1 t. powder, 4 eggs, 1t. salt, 1 ¼ c. milk, 1 c. oil, 3T lemon juice, 2t. grated lemon peel, 1t. salt, 1t. lemon ext., 2 c. shredded zucchini, ¼ c. poppy seeds.
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, pudding mix, soda, powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk, oil, lemon juice and extract. Stir in dry ingredients until moistened and fold in zucchini, poppy seeds and lemon peel. Pour into 2 greased 9×5 loaf pans. Bake @ 350 for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans.