October 29th Market Recipes ft. Romanesco

Our brassicas are loving this crisp autumn weather! The brassica family is home to many fall favorites, such as romanesco, kohlrabi, radishes, and cabbage. Sadly I wasn’t able to take pictures before our samples were gobbled up yesterday, so I’ve included some other market photos for your viewing pleasure. Here’s what we sampled up downtown in the cool sunshine:

  • Watermelon Radishes, raw (October 8th Post)img_2948-2
  • Black Radishes, raw (October 8th Post)
  • Romanesco with Leeks and Chard Stem
  • Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash with Pimento Peppers

Romanesco with Leeks and Chard Stem:

Romanesco, although commonly thought of as a type of cauliflower, is actually just as separate from cauliflower as broccoli is. The formation and placement of leaves and other plant parts is called Phylotaxy, a process driven by the famous Fibonacci Sequence. Romanesco may be one of the only plants where the bare bones of this complicated mathematical form is visible and available for appreciation by the human eye. If you can bring yourself to cut into this beauty, Romanesco has an amazing nutty, cauliflower-like flavor.14656421_1322301794446585_2603067765083979695_n

  • INGREDIENTS:
    • 2 Leeks, sliced thin
    • 1 head Romanesco, broken into pieces
    • 1 bunch Chard, stems only
    • 1/2 head garlic, chopped finely (Beene Farm)
    • Olive oil
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • DIRECTIONS:
    • Broccoli and Romanesco look and taste nicest in a sauté if you maintain their form throughout the cooking process. The shapes that we chop things into change their texture and flavor. So instead of “chopping” it, try to use your knife to cut off individual little trees. Set aside.
    • Slice your leeks thinly. The entire leek is edible, even the dark green part! They cook down just the same.
    • Heat up your pan to medium-high with olive oil coating the bottom. Once up to temp, add in the leeks and let cook about 2 minutes.
    • Add in the romanesco and let cook covered 3-5 minutes.
    • Remove the stems from your chard leaves by slicing them out individually with your knife. Once you have a pile of bright stems, slice them thinly and add them into the pan.  Let cook another 3-5 minutes. I don’t like to crowd romanesco with leafy greens so that their beauty can be most appreciated, so the chard stem is a nice addition that adds some color without stealing the spotlight. But do make sure to save your greens and use them for some other delicious meal!
    • Finely chop the garlic and add it along with 1-2 pinches salt and pepper. Let cook another 3-5 minutes uncovered until the romanesco is cooked but still has some crunch.
    • Enjoy!

Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash with Pimento Peppers:

Acorn squash is the one winter squash that I grew up eating, which is strange since it is notoriously the blander of the squashes, requiring hefty quantities of butter and brown sugar to make it exciting. But the past two years we’ve been growing a new type of acorn squash that is supposed to put those bland old acorns to shame, with an intensely sweet flavor more like a delicata. It’s tiny, it’s golden, it’s Gill’s Golden Pippin. And because winter squash is always amazing when paired with peppers, I paired the sweet acorn with one of our sweetest pepper varieties, the pimento. Not only do we still have pimentos when it’s almost November, but they are still tasting as good as they did in the middle of August. 20161029_183524

  • INGREDIENTS:
    • 2 shallots, chopped fine
    • 2 Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash, sliced thin
    • 4 Pimento peppers, sliced thin
    • 1/2 head garlic, chopped finely (Beene Farm)
    • Olive oil
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • DIRECTIONS:
    • Slice off the ends off your acorn squash and then slice them in half. Scoop out the seeds, and slice lengthwise once more so that you have quarters. Make thin slices down the quarters and set aside.
    • Slice your pimento peppers in half and rip out the seeds and stem. Make thin slices down each pepper half and set aside as well.
    • Finely chop the shallots and garlic.
    • Heat up your pan to medium-high with olive oil coating the bottom. Once up to temp, add in the shallots and let cook about 2 minutes.
    • Add in the sliced pimentos and let cook covered about 3-5 minutes.
    • Add the acorn squash, garlic, and 1-2 pinches of salt to the pan and stir around. Cover and let cook about another 3-5 minutes.
    • Remove the lid and cook another 3-5 minutes until at desired softness. Add more salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

 

Dinner Menu for June 16-18, 2016

Antipasti

bread-olives   4.5

-duck rillette   5.5

-duck liver mousse  5.5

-pork pâté  5.5  all three 9.5

marinated grilled zucchini and kalamata olive  6.5

tomatoes – cucumbers tower 6.5

bruschetta/tomato/basil   6.5

bruschetta/duck/pickled beets/blue  6.5

GTF salad-tomato/cuke/blue cheese  7.5

roasted peppers  soup  5

zucchini &  ceci  soup  5

Pizze Rosse

garlic/basil/oregano/mozzarella    9.5

bleu/ham/onion/mozz  10.5

xxxxx/tomato/kale/mozz  10.5

 

Pizze Bianche

tomato/zukes/basil/mozz  10.5

egg/bacon/scallion/mozz 10.5

duck/kalamata/mozz   10.5

 

–add an egg or anchovies

for  2.

 

Secondi          (three course meal $29)

braised mary’s chicken breast/potatoes/zucchini/chard  17.5

duck/beets/potato/lentils/mint/thyme honey  18.5

albacore/ceci/tomato/basil/radicchio/olive aioli*  19.5

hanger  steak/smashed potato/chard/summer squash/pesto  19.5

pork chop/strata/chard/caramelized onions   18.5

sausage/belly/tongue/kale/new potatoes/carrot/turnip/salsa verde 17.5

stuffed magda squash/brown rice/new onion/baby carrot/black kale  16.5

 

To Finish

chocolate mousse/strawberry/thyme anglaise   6.5

brúlée grapefruit/buttermilk tart/caramel   6.5

angelsfood cake/marionberry/strawberry/pastry crème/chantilly  6.5

toasted almond pot de crème/almond crunch/chocolate  6.5

Late Fall CSA Box 2011

Cannot bear to think of what you are going to do when your vegetable boxes end? Fret no longer…

We are offering a late fall CSA! These boxes will be perfect for those of you who love root crops such as carrots, beets, turnips, celeriac, parsnips and potatoes! It will also include winter greens: kale, collards, chard, bok choy, and cabbage. Winter squash, leeks, and onions will be included in these boxes as well, along with a bag of salad mix every week!

We will be able to offer 2 pickup sites on Saturdays only:

1) Portland Saturday Market
2) the GTF Farm
We may be able to add another pickup location in Corvallis if someone has a nice sheltered garage or space by their house that they could offer.
It will run for 4 weeks, from November 19th-December 10th, $100 for 4 weeks.

CSA 2011 – Week 8: Crop Rotation and Irrigation 101

Last week’s discussion with John was so interesting that I decided to follow Joelene Jebbia, our Irrigation manager, around for an hour to learn more about what she does. She began similarly to John, socket wrench in hand out to fix a spigot in the circle garden’s irrigation riser. I spent most of this time just watching what she was doing, and gazing at the amazing array of tools she has in her truck. Once she changed the spigot, we headed out to a greenhouse thatrecently had a fall crop of potatoes planted in it. Joelene was setting up the drip irrigation in it since the seedlings had started to pop out of the ground. As she was busy doing her thing, I got to pick her brain about how she decides what gets planted where and how intensive irrigating all 50 acres really is.

She explained to me that she keeps a record of everything that we plant each year, how much of it, and when it is planted. This aids her in the winter when she plans out where everything is going to go. For next season, for example, it is good to know where brassicas (kale, cabbage, broccoli, etc.) were planted so that we do not plant onions in those places because they seem to do poorly in an area where brassicas once were. It is also important to not plant the same crop into the same ground consecutively. For example, if you plant arugula in one area, and the last of the planting got flea beetles, as it often does, and then you plant more arugula into that same soil, then that new crop will not thrive because there are already existing flea beetles in the soil that will eat it before it gets a chance to thrive.

As Joelene pulled the drip lines down the rows of potatoes, she elaborated that she also takes into consideration the micro-climates of each field. For example, how much sun the field gets, and what time of day it gets sun, compared to how much sun the potential crop likes. Thinking about whether the field is on high or low ground, therefore if it will be wet or just moist early in the season, is another huge factor.

Joelene explained that every year her plans get thrown off a little just by the weather patterns. For example, this year she planned to plant our onion crop just west of the compost piles, but when it was time to plant, the ground was way too wet to plant into. So, she shifted the plan slightly and it will work out. When deciding where everything gets planted, she also thinks about ease of watering, her other main task at the farm. She has to make sure that she will be able to access all of the crops with either overhead or drip irrigation and make it logistically workable for her.

Irrigation takes up a lot of her time year round, and most intensively this time of year. We grow crops in 31 different hoop houses that need to be watered on top of our outdoor crops. For the outdoor crop irrigation, Joelene and Sarah will start laying pipes down in April and continue through June until all the fields are set. Of course, there are a lot of repairs on pumps, drip lines, and pipes that go along with this.

This time of year is the busiest for keeping up with all of the watering, and outdoor watering will usually continue well into October depending on the season. The variability of the weather patterns plays a huge role in all of this, and working with mother nature seems to be your best bet. The potato house was all set up for watering, 2 of 4 that would get done today. After she placed her tools back in their locations, she drove to the tractor where she would begin her next task.

What’s in the box?

1.5 lb Potatoes (Rose Gold) – Steam, roast, or mash. These are versatile.
Carrots, bunched – They are great raw, on salad, slaw or stir fried.
1 bunch Walla Walla onions – Chop the onions and eat raw on salads or soups. Try them grilled! The top green part goes well with eggs, cheese, stir fries or pasta.
1 bunch chard– steam, or sauté these greens, much like spinach but not quite as tender.
1 purple pepper– It is wonderful grilled, sautéed, roasted, or raw.
Assorted Summer squash – Try them sautéed, grilled, in a soup or stir fried. Try hollowing out and stuffing the round ones with a grain mixture, goes well with cheese, meat, mushrooms, then bake or grill them for 15-20 minutes.
1 cucumber – Eat raw, on salad, or marinate them.
1 radicchio– They are wonderful grilled and topped with balsamic vinegar.
1 bunch cilantro– Make salsa with the tomatoes! Eat with cucumbers or squash.
Romaine lettuce – Make a salad, or add to sandwiches.
2 tomatoes – Chop raw on salad, sandwiches, or make salsa with cilantro and onions.
1 pint blueberries – I would be surprised if these made it home!

Stuffed Squash
4-5 assorted summer squash
3-4 small-medium Walla Walla onions, chopped
3/4 cup nuts, (almonds work best) ground
1 cup cooked brown rice, quinoa, or bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated cheese, (your choice, Swiss, cheddar or parmesan work well)
2 eggs
2 cloves finely minced garlic
Salt and pepper

For Zucchini, cut ends off and cut them in half long ways and scoop out the inside and set aside. For the rounded squash (patty pans or 8-ball) cut the first inch top off and scoop the inside out. Sauté the onions in olive oil, chop the squash flesh and squeeze any water out. Add this to the onions and cook a little longer. Beat the eggs and add to the nuts, rice (or grain of some sort), cheese, garlic, pinch of salt If the mixture is too runny add more of the grain. Stuff the squash with the mixture and bake in a slightly oiled pan at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Variation: add other spices if you would like, cilantro would go nicely, or even add some chopped tomato or chard.

Radicchio Salad
1 head of radicchio finely shredded
2 oranges, peeled and divided into sections
3 baby onions, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Dressing:
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt
Touch of sugar or honey

Place onions on an oiled cookie sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake at 300 degrees for several hours, until onions are dried out and brown. Mix radicchio with dressing and top with orange wedges and onion slices.
Variations: Add cucumber, grated carrots or peppers to this salad. Also, chop your head of lettuce and mix it in with the radicchio for a larger size salad for more people.

 

From Seed to Supper

Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the entire life of the vegetables that we pack into your CSA boxes every week; from being seeded into the soil, to its demise in your kitchen. It might not be directly apparent, but an enormous amount of time and care go into planning, planting, fertilizing, watering, weeding, harvesting, and packing a single item that is produced on our farm.  I decided to take a closer look at onions, something that is called for more often than not, and generally overlooked for being ordinary. What is story behind the Walla-Walla onions that are in your box today?

Walla Walla Onions

Your Walla-Walla seed was ordered way back last fall from a seed company by our seed and irrigation manager, Jolene.  She maps out the whole farms planting schedule a year or so in advance. Jolene compares records, and draws from her considerable past experience, and then she decides what and when to plant. This year the first week of September was when your Walla-Walla seeds went into the tilled soil. These onions take about one to two weeks to germinate, (or sprout) and then the real work of keeping them alive begins. These onions will over winter outside, which means that they are very vulnerable to the elements, to animals, insects, and disease.

If the small plants don’t succumb to any of the above threats they still must compete with the growth of other plants, namely weeds. Weeds are serious competitors, I talked with Rodrigo, our Field and Production Manager, and he said a crew of six weeded the onion field three times. Each time it took a six day work week, of 12 hour work days. That’s 72 hours per person for each onion weeding session, a total of 1296 man-hours of just weeding! That same crew also fertilizes the field three times, 12 hours a shot, for 36 more hours, all that on top of how long it takes to originally prepare the field. Whew. In addition to keep the onions from rotting this year, Colin has been spraying oxidate, an OMRI Tilth approved spray that basically works like hydrogen peroxide for plants. This spring the plants really needed extra protection from fungi that thrive in the cool, wet weather we’ve been swamped with. Not all of them make it of course, this year we lost about 30% of what we seeded, but that’s a risk that you have to be willing to take.

So after all this, how long does it take our surviving onions to reach maturity? We are just beginning to harvest our first Walla-Walla’s and its now mid-June. In a year with better weather we may have seen them sooner, but as it is its 10 and a half months out from the time that these baby’s went into the ground.  For this time, the field doesn’t produce anything else, but it consumes a great deal.

The end of the line comes when we harvest the onions. They come in off the field, we spray them off, and send them down our old conveyer belt to be washed again, and then we pack them away into tubs that either get loaded into trucks, and sent off to market, or we carefully arrange them into CSA tubs and send them off to you. Regardless, when it reaches the consumer, a lot comes down to cost.

So how much did the individual onion seed cost? What about the gas for the tractor that tilled the field? How much did all the labor cost? What are the other farmers charging? How much did we charge last year? How much human thought and energy went into this single onion? And how do you really put a fair price on that? I’ve glossed over the whole process a bit, but I’m willing to bet that the onion that you’ll slice into your pan has a far more detailed and delicate history then you may have thought. People often talk about how expensive organic food can be, but when you think about all that it took to make the delicious, local, pure items in your box, think again, because really, these onions are priceless.

Devon  Sanders

CSA Coordinator

What’s in the box?

Beets—3.00$- try baking the root, and then sautéing the greens the same way you would chard or kale

Carrots—3.00$

Fennel—2.00$-see recipe

Chard—2.50$-see recipe

Lettuce—2.00$

Kohlrabi—1.00$-see recipe, Kohlrabi has a flavor similar to broccoli, peel it raw,  slice and  add to salads, or use for dipping into creamy sauces.

Red Potatoes—4.50$

Zucchini—1.25$

Walla Walla Onion—1.50$

Strawberries—3.50$

If you were shopping at the market, this box would cost—24.25$

Recipe Suggestions

 Fennel and Kohlrabi Salad

1 medium head of Fennel
1 medium kohlrabi
1 large handful small capers
The juice of 1 large lemon  (1/2 is  for crisping the fennel)
1 large garlic clove
Twice the amount of extra virgin olive oil (as lemon juice)
Black pepper
Sea salt
1 heaped teaspoon wholegrain mustard

– Slice the fennel as thinly as you can and add to a bowl of cold water and the lemon juice. Slice the kohlrabi and then pare strips off each slice with a vegetable peeler (this is to get wafer thin slices). Add to the bowl with the fennel.

– To make the lemon-caper dressing: Crush the garlic with a generous pinch of sea salt in a pestle and mortar (or in a mug with the base of a wooded spoon). Add some black pepper and a heaped teaspoon of wholegrain mustard. Stir together.

– Add the juice of 1 large lemon, the capers and twice the amount of olive oil. Whisk to mix.

– Drain the water from the salad and place in a bowl . Add the dressing and stir to coat.

Chard Frittata

1 lb. Swiss chard or spinach, stems trimmed and chopped
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 tsp. summer savory, minced (optional)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
8 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup your choice of cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

– Turn on broiler. Place Swiss chard in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Cover and cook 3-6 minutes or until just wilted. Drain, squeezing out excess liquid. Set aside.

– Melt butter in a heavy ovenproof 10 inch skillet over medium high heat. Sauté potatoes and summer savory about 3 minutes or until potatoes are light brown. Stir in onions and sauté another 2 minutes.

– Combine remaining ingredients, except chard and cheese, in a bowl. Stir in chard and grated cheese. Pour over onion potato mixture.

– Cook over low heat about 10 minutes or until top is slightly runny and bottom is set. Place under broiler about 2 minutes until top is set and golden. Cut into wedges to serve.

– Serves 6

How easily happiness begins by dicing onions,

A lump of sweet butter slithers and swirls across the floor of the sauté pan, especially if its errant   path crosses a tiny slick of olive oil.

Then a tumble of onions.

                                                                                                        ONIONS, by William Mathews