- If you are traveling to the farm please remember that County Line Rd. is closed from Rt. 20 to the farm this week; it is accessible from the north.
Farm News from Jane
The fragrance that has been lingering in the air the last week or two has been intoxicating. The combination of warm temperatures and humidity seem to capture all the scents of nature in bloom whether cultivated or wild. The purple clover is in blossom as well as peonies and iris. What a delight to get up early in the morning to harvest the asparagus next to the woods and breathe in Mother Nature’s perfume.
And what a wonderful beginning to workers shares we’ve had! Many hands truly do make the work go quickly but the best part is the conversations and joy of working together. There is something special about being part of a team effort with a common goal. All the energy and enthusiasm has quite an encouraging effect on our family. When others come alongside you it makes you feel that what you are doing is special and valued. It is also nice to get to know a few more members a bit more intimately and share what brought them to our farm and CSA. Everyone’s story is special and reminds us of how interconnected we are in this life. We need each other in all the various roles we have. We are different but maybe not as much as we thought! What brings us together is greater that what separates us after all; but enough waxing on life and on to the veggies…
We have a few new things to share this week; first of all there are green onions to replace the green garlic. But we are not entirely done with the garlic because the “scapes” are making an early escape. With quite a few members walking down the rows of garlic we quickly gathered enough scapes for shares. If you are unfamiliar with the scape it is the seed shoot pushing up out of the garlic leaves. They are very potent and can be used just like the green garlic or garlic cloves. And they make a wonderful pesto. Because we harvesting the scapes just as they are making their appearance they are not quite as large and well developed as other seasons. Removing the shoot early prompts the garlic plant to give all its energy to producing a larger bulb; the bigger the better in this case! Anyone who has separated garlic cloves would agree that the larger the bulb the easier it is to separate them. And who doesn’t love garlic; delicious, nutritious and medicinal. And then there is kohlrabi; say it with me “COLE ROBBIE”; kohl for cabbage and rabi for turnip. It is a close relative of broccoli. Its edible globe is actually a swollen stem and grows above the ground so is not a “root” vegetable as many people think. Its family is brassica oleracea and variety very fittingly is named gongylodes. Some members have named it the “alien” vegetable. This week we are harvesting it with its edible leaves intact. And we have asparagus back this week.
Did you know that asparagus is a member of the lily family just as onions and garlic? And regardless of its diameter it is sweet, tender and tasty. As the plant matures in years the sprouts get thicker. Years ago when we would find a jumbo stalk we would call it a “Spartacus” and had a friendly family competition to see who found the largest one! We were hoping to have Napa cabbage this week but it is going the way of the Bok choi and going to seed before it is well developed. We hope that you all enjoy your veggies this week as we happily enjoyed harvesting them, with our new friends of course! Until next week, Jane
Produce: Green onions Purple Kohlrabi Garlic scapes 2 Head lettuces Asparagus
– Remove the leaves of the kohlrabi and store them in a plastic bag in the fridge; the globes do not need to be bagged but will keep longer in the fridge. Sauté them lightly like beet greens.
– Bag and refrigerate garlic scapes to keep them crisp.
2 kohlrabi; water to cover; 1/8 cup oil; 1/2 tablespoon wine vinegar; 1/8 teaspoon dill seeds; pinch of pepper; salt to taste; 1 tablespoon 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
Unsalted butter, softened; pumpernickel bread; thick-sliced kohlrabi; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Generously butter 2 slices of bread and make a sandwich with the kohlrabi as the “meat.” Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 1 serving. Recipe from Leslie France
1.5 lbs. kohlrabi; 1 cup beef stock; 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid; 1/2 cup milk; 3 T butter; 3 T flour; salt and cayenne pepper; 1/4 cup whipping cream; ½ T chopped parsley
Peel and slice kohlrabi knobs. Strip away the tenderest leaves and mince them. Place leaves and slices in a small saucepan. Barely cover with beef stock. Cook 20 minutes, or until the slices are tender. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Mix with milk. Drain the kohlrabi thoroughly. In another saucepan melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in flour. Season to taste with salt and cayenne. Blend in liquid. Return to heat and stir until sauce boils. Blend in whipping cream. Add well-drained kohlrabi to the sauce and reheat. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley. Makes 3 servings.
Recipe from the Fresh Vegetable Cookbook.
CREAMY KOHLRABI SOUP
2T butter, 1 onion; chopped, 1# kohlrabi; peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice, 2.5 C. vegetable broth, 2.5 C. milk, 1 bay leaf, 1 pinch of salt, grated black pepper to taste
Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Cook and stir onion in melted butter until soft, about 10 minutes. Add kohlrabi; cook and stir another 2 minutes. Pour vegetable broth and milk over the onion mixture. Add bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, place a cover on the pot, and reduce heat to low; cook at a simmer until kohlrabi is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf; allow the soup to cool slightly. Pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway. Pulse the blender a few times before leaving on to puree. Work in batches until all soup is blended. Return pureed soup to stockpot; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle orzo pasta into the soup; cover the stockpot and simmer until the orzo is tender, about 10 minutes. Allrecipe.com
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 hard boiled eggs. So be creative and if you’re also entertaining start with a glass bowl. Start with your greens then layer with raw peas, peppers, celery, green onions or whatever is on hand. Add a layer of Swiss cheese or meat julienned or finely chopped. Sprinkle with 2 tsp of sugar. Mix together 1/2 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 optional vinaigrette dressing if desired.
Vinaigrette:1/2 cup olive, 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 substitute yogurt for some of the mayo or sour cream if you’d prefer.
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 bok choy, snow peas, or cucumbers.
Makes 1/2 cup dressing. Recipe from Oak Ridge Farm
GARLIC SCAPE PESTO
8 oz. scapes cut in 1 in. pieces and processed with 1 cup Olive oil, 2 cups Parmesan cheese and ½ cup Lemon juice.
1/2 cup butter; 2 garlic scapes, minced; 1 Tablespoon parsley; 1/2 teaspoon oregano
Soften butter to room temperature. Combine other ingredients, mixing well. Use with meats, breads, and vegetables. Yields 1/2 cup.
ZIPPY GARLIC DRESSING
2/3 c. salad oil; 1/4 c. wine vinegar; 1 tsp. sugar; 3/4 tsp. salt; 3/4 tsp. dry mustard; Dash freshly ground pepper; 1 garlic scape, minced
In a screw-top jar, combine all ingredients; shake well. Chill thoroughly before serving. Makes about 1 cup.
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.
ASPARAGUS AND MIXED GREENS SALAD
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; I 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
FRESH ASPARAGUS COUSCOUS SALAD
DRESSING: 1 garlic scape, very finely chopped; 6 scallions, white parts only, finely chopped (reserve greens for salad);
6 Tbsp. lime juice; 1 tsp. salt; freshly ground black pepper; 1/4 cup vegetable oil; 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
SALAD: 1/3 cup finely chopped onion; 2 Tsp. vegetable oil; 2/3 cup each fish or chicken stock, water, and couscous;
1 lb. asparagus, sliced diagonally into 1/3-inch slices, reserve tips; l/3 lb. cooked small shrimp
In a small bowl mix the garlic, scallions, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside. In a medium saucepan sauté the onions in oil over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Add the stock and water. Bring to a boil, then stir in the couscous, remove from heat, and cover. After 5 minutes, fluff with a fork and allow to stand 5 more minutes, then fluff again. Transfer to a large dish and refrigerate. As other ingredients are readied, remove and fluff every 10 minutes. Blanch the asparagus until tender but crisp. Place into iced water for 2 minutes, drain and set on towels to absorb extra moisture. Whip the oil into dressing with a fork, then stir in the dill. Mix the asparagus, radishes, green onions, shrimp, and dressing into the couscous. Serve over a lettuce leaf base, garnishing with the asparagus tips.