CSA 2018 – Week 6: The Art of Noticing

CSA Newsletter – Week 6


The Art of Noticing

Though not many of us work on a farm these days, there are still things that we notice about the changing seasons. This past week we all experienced this summer’s first major heat wave. Many of us respond by packing away sweaters and thick pants and turning our attention to clothing that is light and/or able to survive a jump into the river. Some of us may feel a craving to eat lighter, cooler foods as opposed to the heavier, hotter foods that we glom onto in the winter months. Though we may be far removed from our subsistence-farming lives, we cannot escape the need to  respond and adapt to our changing environment.

On the farm the heat wave produced a thousand new things to notice. The crops seem to be doubling in size every few days, but that means that the weeds are doing the same thing. Suddenly the hoop houses that have been giving our hot-weather crops the head start they need are holding more heat than the plants can withstand. Within just one week, the amount to harvest has pretty much doubled, the weed pressure seems to have tripled, and the need to shade all of our hoop houses with hand-thrown mud one Nancy’s yogurt cup at a time has become immediate.

The more energy the sun gives us in a day, the more the plants capture, and the more work there is for us all to do. It is known that we will not get to everything on the to-do list every day, and so a highly educated triage of tasks must be done to decide what must be done when. The weeds in the salad field may be five times taller than the lettuce, but that field will get tilled in next week so it’s a better use of our time to weed the winter squash that has tiny weeds but will be in the field until October.

Those who have been farming for their entire lives have spent their lives honing in the art of noticing required to adapt and respond to the changing seasons. Farming is so beautifully complicated, so realistically chaotic just like the weather that it depends on. All we can do is continue to hone in our own art of noticing so that we know how best to ride the ups and downs of the seasons year after year.

Best, Laura Bennett


Table of Box Contents

  • Gold Beets—If you already love beets, then you’ll definitely love these gold beets. For those who struggle to enjoy beets however, gold beets can be an excellent first step into appreciating a milder version of beet flavor that is particularly sweet. Out in the field, we’ve come to call these “mangos,” because when you peel them the inner color looks just like the tropical fruit.
  • Summer Cabbage
  • Fresh Shallots— Shallots are a cross between garlic and onions, which you can see from the way they often bulb up in twos or threes. Their flavor is a perfect balance, much stronger than onion, yet not tricky to peel like garlic. I use them as an onion substitute in everything!
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchiniexcellent grilled whole! A few of you got Cocazelle zucchini, which are striped and have thicker skins, great for holding up on the grill.
  • Sweet Slice Cucumbers— These cucumbers may have thicker and more rumply skins, however their flavor is by far the sweetest out of the other cucumbers that we grow. Thinly slice into salads to avoid the skin’s texture, or peel if desired. If you have a mandolin or a spiralizer, thinly slice long strips of cukes and season with toasted sesame oil, vinegar, and salt for a delicious fresh salad
  • Nicola Potatoes—their waxy and buttery flavor makes these perfect for roasting as they hold their shape well.
  • Lettuce Surprise—this week’s box contains a mix of different lettuce types.
  • Semi-Sweet Onions
  • Blueberries!

Recipes

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Beet Slaw with Pistachios and Raisins

“The pistachio butter underneath the slaw is like an Asian peanut sauce, bringing a much fuller nut flavor than the pistachios could offer alone. As you eat the dish, the juices from the slaw dissolve the pistachio butter and make a crazy good sort of vinaigrette. 

Servings 4 people
Author Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar (or any acid)
  • 1 1/4 lb beets; use a mix of colors if you can
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • pistachio butter (or any nut butter)
  • Suggested Additions: cabbage & fennel, sliced thinly

Instructions

  1. Combine the garlic, raisins, and vinegar in a large bowl and let sit for 1 hour.

  2. Grate the beets on the large holes of a box grater or cut into fine julienne. Yes, your hands will get stained, but the color fades quickly.

  3. Remove the garlic from the raisins and discard. And the beets, lemon juice, most of the parsley and mint (save the rest for finishing), and chili flakes. Season with 1.5 tsp salt and lots of black pepper and toss. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then taste—the slaw should be tart, spicy, peppery, and sweet. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, then add ¼ cup olive oil. Toss and taste again.

  4. To serve, plate and top with the slaw. Finish with reserved fresh herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.

 

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Cucumber-Fennel Fizz

“Imagine it’s 100°F with 90 percent humidity; the air is still and sodden. You are hot and sticky, and even breathing requires effort. What you need is a nice, cold drink. Cucumber Fennel Fizz is the perfect blend of tangy and refreshing. The cucumber is the standout flavor with a hint of fennel in the background. The lime juice and vinegar add a nicely sour edge. The fizz makes everything livelier. You feel invigorated; you can once again face the world.”

Servings 2 drinks
Author Adapted from Food52

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz apple cider vinegar
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 inch fresh fennel bulb
  • 1 can club soda or ginger ale
  • 2 short stalks fresh fennel for garnish
  • 10 (frozen) blueberries
  • 3 oz gin (optional)

Instructions

  1. Skin cucumber, cut into 4 chunks, and toss into blender.

  2. Add lime juice, apple cider vinegar, ice, and 1-inch fresh fennel bulb. Add gin if using. Blend until smooth and foamy, about 1 minute. Don’t be tempted to add more liquid unless your cucumber is exceptionally dry and it refuses to blend. (In which case add a dash of soda.)

  3. Split the cucumber mix between two glasses, adding either club soda or ginger ale in a 1:1 ratio. Add 5 frozen or fresh blueberries to each glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh fennel.

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Zucchini Pancakes

— adapted from Food52 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup grated potato
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 pinch breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp sour cream or yogurt

Instructions

  1. Grate your zucchini and potato using the largest hole on your grater. Let stand in a colander for at least 30 minutes to drain. They will hold together better when you drain out maximum moisture. Salt generously

  2. In a bowl, beat egg, chopped parsley, and lemon zest. Add pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Roll and squeeze zucchini/potato mixture in a towel to soak up moisture. Add pinch of breadcrumbs to soak up any leftover wetness.

  4. Combine zucchini/potato mixture with egg mixture. Stir well and coat.

  5. Turn on oven to 200°F and place cookie sheet with foil in there to keep your pancakes warm as you make them. 

  6. Heat 13” skillet on medium high heat. Melt 1 Tbsp of butter. You can use olive oil if you prefer, but butter is delicious. When foam subsides, drop a spoonful of your pancake mixture in. You don’t really need to form it in advance, but pat it with a spatula and try to flatten it out as much as possible—it’ll be more crispy that way.

  7. Cook 2 at a time until golden brown on each side, then place in oven to keep warm to make additional pancakes. Serve as soon as possible, with a dollop of sour cream or (drained Greek) yogurt on top for extra richness.

 

CSA 2018 – Week 5: Nonstop Growth and Constant Change

CSA Newsletter – Week 5


Nonstop Growth and Constant Change

One of the many benefits of working on the farm is getting the chance to watch the plants around you grow. Every day it amazes me that we, for example, go through every cucumber and zucchini patch every single day to only pick the fruits that are perfectly ripe, a choreographed dance around our patchwork fields.

There is such a science to knowing exactly how to do this that it becomes embodied by those who have spent their lives honing their craft. Many would describe this as an art—the art of harvesting, the art of weeding, the art of pruning tomatoes—yet somehow that word doesn’t seem to quite capture the impressive amount of knowledge needed to bring these plants to fruition. Growing vegetables requires the science of harvesting, the science of hoeing, the science of pruning tomatoes, knowledges on par with any complex calculus.

At certain times of the season with cucumbers, for instance, ripeness means a dead blossom, whereas in others ripeness is more dependent on a shift in color. Yet sometimes the fruits are a little lighter because they’re planted in a field that is slightly nutrient deficient and you can’t go by the same color test as you normally do in that field in this year. Instead you have to see whether or not the ribbing is filled out or not. And then the spring planting is ripped out to make way for something else and you must become accustomed to new summer varieties. You must embrace constant change and remain flexible.

Every single vegetable that comes off of this farm is first gazed upon by someone who is looking at it in order to decide whether or not it is ready, whether or not it is good. As we each make our way through the tightly packed rows of plants bursting with fruit, we take years of experience and embodied knowledge and shove it into a single glance where we ask ourselves—should I pick this? All the while knowing that what is not ready today only awaits our asking of the same question tomorrow. In this way we are reminded that there is always a relationship before there is food.

Best, Laura Bennett


Table of Box Contents

  • Green Bell Pepper—We don’t actually grow green bell peppers, in fact, such a variety doesn’t really exist. Green bells are just unripe bell peppers that would turn color if left on the plant longer. But being “unripe” doesn’t have to mean that something is less delicious. It contains less sugars, but this just lends green bells to a more savory flavor profile than sweet.
  • Broccoli—First broccoli of the season always goes to our beloved CSA customers. Enjoy!
  • Purple Haze Carrots—bright orange inside and deep purple outside. Round slices in a salad really pop. These are also delicious roasted.
  • Jalapeno—First of the season and they’re hot! Remove seeds and webbing to cool off.
  • Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Scallion—I always try to use my entire bunch of scallions all the way to the top. The greens are excellent in eggs, sautés, or in stock.
  • Zucchiniexcellent grilled whole! A few of you got Cocazelle zucchini, which are striped and have thicker skins, great for holding up on the grill.
  • Persian Cucumbers
  • Colorado Rose Potatoes
  • Lettuce—this week you have either green leaf or red leaf lettuce
  • Semi-Sweet Onion
  • Boysenberries

Recipes

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Summer Pad Thai

This is my personal pad Thai recipe that I’ve adapted. As someone who loves pad Thai and definitely never thought I could make it myself, I’m really happy with this recipe and it’s really easy to make. It’s definitely alternative as there is nut butter and not tamarind in the sauce, but it’s a delicious way to enjoy your vegetables nonetheless. Alter to your own taste as always! You can add pretty much any vegetable and as long as you chop it long and thin it’ll blend in just fine.

Author Laura Bennett

Ingredients

Veggie Saute

  • 1 bunch Cilantro (roots in saute, leaves raw as garnish)
  • 1 bunch Scallions (1/2 in saute, 1/2 raw as garnish)
  • 1/2 bunch Carrots, sliced long and thin
  • 1 Zucchini, sliced long and thin
  • 1 head Broccoli, sliced long and thin
  • 1 Sweet Onion, sliced thin
  • Oil (I use coconut)
  • Fish sauce, tamari, garlic, or whatever you'd like

Pad Thai Sauce & Noodles

  • 2/3 cup Stock (pork, chicken, or veggie)
  • 6 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 6-8 tbsp Brown Sugar (it may sound strange, but you can replace the sugar with strawberry jam or mashed fresh strawberries and it's delicious!)
  • 2 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce/Tamari (use 4 tbsp if you don't use fish sauce)
  • 1 tbsp Hot Sauce/Chili Oil
  • ~1 cup Nut Butter (I use peanut or sunflower seed)
  • 8 oz Pad Thai noodles (or if you have a spiralizer you can make carrot and zucchini noodles!)

Instructions

  1. Chop all your veggies up beforehand. With Pad Thai, I have found that taking care to slice things thin and long really affects the final product’s taste and beauty! Set aside.

  2. Put all sauce ingredients together in a pot (omit nut butter) and bring up to a simmer. Once it’s hot, add in your nut butter and stir around to dissolve into the sauce. You can control the thickness of the sauce depending on how much you add.

  3. Meanwhile, heat up some oil in a big pan and get your veggie stir fry going. First add in your sweet onion, and after a minute or two add in some tamari or soy sauce and let sauté another few minutes more

  4. Then add your cilantro root (everything below the twist tie), carrots, scallion, and zucchini. Let sauté about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a sprinkle of salt, and don’t let the veggies lose their fresh crunch!

  5. Boil some water and cook your noodles, careful not to overcook them. Drain noodles, mix into sauce to coat them.

  6. Plate the noodles, put veggies on top, and garnish with whatever you like. I suggest raw cilantro, peanuts, cucumber, and scallions. Enjoy!

 

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Swiss Chard Cakes with Greek Yogurt

Makes 6-10 cakes. 

“Greens and tart yogurt are a match made in heaven! These little cakes contain a mixture of blanched Swiss chard with ricotta, Parmesan, and herbs.” —adapted from https://food52.com/recipes/34567-swiss-chard-cakes-with-greek-yogurt

Ingredients

  • 1-2 bunches Swiss Chard
  • 4 leaves Basil, sliced thin
  • 1 cup Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 3/4 cup Milk or Coconut Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 tbsp Ghee or Oil, plus more for frying
  • 1/3 cup Greek Yogurt

Instructions

  1. Wash and drain the chard, then place in a pot of boiling water. Cover and cook over high heat until chard is just wilted, about 2 minutes (the chard should be tender but not overcooked, so watch it carefully). When the chard is done, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a colander to cool and drain.

  2. In a small bowl, cover the thinly sliced basil leaves with two tablespoons of the boiling water and set aside.

  3. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. In a larger bowl, mix together the ricotta, Parmesan, milk, and eggs until blended. Add the ghee and basil. Whisk in the flour mixture. Return to the chard and squeeze out as much water as possible, then chop it finely. It should yield between 10-12 cups. Stir the chopped chard into the mixture until well combined.

  4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add a few tablespoons of ghee. Drop the batter by the spoonfuls into the hot pan, making whatever sized cake you wish, to make between 6-8 cakes. The batter is quite thick, so you must give it plenty of time to cook through (about 3 minutes per side or longer, depending on the size). They should be golden brown. Only turn the cakes once and resist the urge to pat them down.

  5. Remove the cakes from the pan and serve warm with a dollop of Greek yogurt and some fresh basil.

CSA 2018: Week 4 – Celebrating Diversity through Food

CSA Newsletter – Week 4


Celebrating Diversity through Food

Summer is the season of diversity for food in the Pacific Northwest. The familiar watermelon slices, iceberg lettuce salads, and potato salads are classic and consistently delicious summer picnic treats, yes, but there is also such a fuller range of flavors and textures to be enjoyed in this world when one travels outside what they are used to.

Salads are a great way to easily incorporate a diversity of flavors and textures into your food life without having to experiment with complicated recipes. A salad can simply be a bunch of raw veggies chopped up into a bowl and tossed with dressing, either store-bought or home-made. You can throw just about anything in, including cheese, nuts, and cooked meats. Salads allow the cacophony of flavors and textures present to be enjoyed as individual elements in harmony, rather than blending everything together to taste more or less the same as can occur in a soup or sauté. Diversity is about standing out, not about blending in.

As you enjoy your meals this season, remember the diversity present on your plate and in this world. Your sweet, tangy tomatoes and colorful, creamy potatoes developed in the microclimates of the Andean mountains in South America before ever making their way to Italy. Your crisp cucumbers originated in India before becoming mainstream in American salad bars. The common carrot that many Americans know only as prepackaged, rounded nubs started out its life in the soils of Iran and Afghanistan. The all-powerful garlic had its start in Central Asia before taking over the world’s palate. The foods that we think of as typically American are indebted to countless cultures and hard-working hands that cared for these plants throughout history. Each meal connects us to our fellow man across the globe and across time. As Wendell Berry so eloquently put it,

“Eaters, that is, must understand that eating takes place inescapably in the world, that it is inescapably an agricultural act, and that how we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used.”

Best,
Laura Bennett


Table of Box Contents

  • Siletz Tomatoes—These are my favorite tomatoes that we grow! Many a customer across the sample table at the farmers’ market have converted to the way of the tomato over these beauts. For an early tomato, these fruits are particularly sweet and flavorful.
  • BasilOur basil is in its prime; it’s the perfect time to be putting it on literally everything!
  • Boysenberries—We grow two types of boysenberries. The fuzzy variety is a traditional boysenberry, whereas the sleek variety is a variety called Newberry. Both are super sweet with an accompanying tartness that makes for a great zing.
  • Purple Kohlrabi—Peel, slice thinly, enjoy raw.
  • GarlicOur fresh spring garlic from earlier in the season is now starting to dry. Flavor is intensifying throughout the drying process, and the large cloves make for easy peeling and chopping.
  • Zucchiniexcellent grilled whole!
  • White Russian Kale
  • Sweet Slice CucumbersThese cucumbers’ flavor is by far the sweetest out of the other cucumbers that we grow. Thinly slice into salads to avoid the skin’s texture, or peel if desired. If you have a mandolin or a spiralizer, thinly slice long strips of cukes and season with toasted sesame oil, vinegar, and salt for a delicious fresh salad.
  • Huckleberry Gold Potatoes
  • CarrotsIf you’re looking for new, exciting things to do with carrots, add them into salad described above in the cucumber section, or roast/steam them and puree with caramelized onion and garlic as a soup.
  • Green Oak Lettuce—buttery & oak-shaped
  • Semi-Sweet OnionThese dried yellow onions are quite sweet with a slight acidic punch.

    Recipes

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    Whipped Basil-Garlic-Feta Dip

    Adapted from https://domesticsuperhero.com/whipped-basil-feta-dip/ 

    Ingredients

    • 8 oz feta crumbles or block feta
    • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup basil leaves, tightly packed
    • 1-2 cloves garlic
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice, or cider vinegar, or wine
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • raw veggies for dipping: kohlrabi, cukes, carrots

    Instructions

    1. If using a block of feta, first place it in the food processor and pulse to crumble. Next add the cream cheese, basil, and garlic and process on high for 1 minute or until creamy and smooth.

    2. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and combine for a few more seconds until nice and smooth.

    3. Remove from processor bowl and place in an air-tight container in the fridge. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, but the longer the better (overnight if possible before a party). The dip is best at room temperature, so remove from fridge a bit before serving.

    4. Serve with raw vegetable slices, baguette slices, crackers, pretzels, or whatever you prefer- Enjoy! 

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    Boysen-Basil Salad

    From our sample table at the PSU Farmers’ Market. The flavor combination of balsamic vinegar, basil, boysenberries is AMAZING.

    Ingredients

    • 1/2-1 head green oak lettuce, roughly chopped
    • 1/3-1/2 bunch basil, thinly sliced
    • 1 pint boysenberries, halved
    • 1 cucumber, sliced into wedges
    • 1 zucchini, sliced into wedges
    • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
    • 1 tomato, chopped into bite-sized pieces
    • 1/4 onion, thinly sliced

    Dressing

    • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/5 onion, minced
    • balsamic vinegar & olive oil
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • 1 raw egg (optional)
    • Optional-yet-super-tasty additions: any cheese, cubed or crumbled; nuts: walnuts, hazelnuts, seeds; herbs

    Instructions

    1. Mince your onion and garlic and put into small bowl with vinegar, oil, salt & pepper.

    2. Chop all of your vegetables for your salad and throw into a large bowl, except the berries and tomatoes. Once done chopping mix everything together. 

    3. If you want to make your dressing a little creamier, whip an egg up well and whip it into the dressing.

    4. Pour your dressing over the salad and toss to incorporate. Add more salt, vinegar, and oil to taste.

    5. Add in the berries and tomatoes at the end as they will become mush if stirred much. Enjoy!

     

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    The Kale Salad that Started it All

    Tip from Joshua McFadden—

    “A trick to ensure tender kale without long cooking: Freeze the kale raw (and trimmed) for a few hours; freezing will break down the fibers. Cook it straight from the freezer.”

    Author Adapted from Six Seasons, p. 309

    Ingredients

    • 1 bunch kale, thick ribs cut out
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup parmesan/Romano cheese, finely grated
    • olive oil
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1/8 tsp dried chili flakes
    • salt & pepper
    • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

    Instructions

    1. Stack several kale leaves on top of one another and roll them up into a tight cylinder. With a sharp knife, slice crosswise into very thin, about 1/16th inch ribbons (this is called chiffonade). Pile the kale into a bowl.

    2. Put the chopped garlic on a cutting board and mince it even more until you have a paste (you can sort of smash and scrape the garlic with the side of the knife as well). Transfer the garlic to a small bowl, add ¼ cup parmesan, a healthy glug of olive oil, the lemon juice, chile flakes, ¼ teaspoon salt, and plenty of twists of black pepper, and whisk to combine.

    3. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss well to thoroughly combine (you can use your clean hands for this, to be efficient). Taste and adjust with more lemon, salt, chili flakes, or black pepper. Let the salad sit for about 5 minutes so the kale softens slightly. Top with the breadcrumbs, shower with more cheese, and drizzle with more oil.

CSA 2018 – Week 3: Eating the Sun—A Solanaceous Solstice

Late June organic vegetable box

CSA Newsletter – Week 3


Eating the Sun—A Solanaceous Solstice

Howdy folks,

It’s already the last week of June and we’ve finally got long hot days to show for it. Last week we shifted officially from spring to summer on the solstice, a shift that can be seen embodied all around the farm. We are all starting our work days earlier and ending later, building physical and mental muscles to deal with the exponential growth of our crops and the labor needed to bring them from farm to table. The packing shed is once again filling up with our familiar yellow crates of ripe, red tomatoes. Tomatoes have only been trickling into markets a flat or two at a time so far, but they are now beginning to explode into full production. You can expect these sweet red fruits in your box in just a couple of weeks!

Peppers, a solanaceous cousin of tomatoes, are also on their way in. This week the first green bell peppers were just harvested, and jalapenos are not far behind. Solanaceae is the plant family that includes tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and potatoes. It is no coincidence that the Latin root sol is present in both Solanaceae and solstice. Solanaceous plants are known for being high-heat crops that need a lot of sun for their fruits to ripen. The solstices are the two times of year when the sun reaches either its highest or lowest point in the sky, marked by the longest and shortest days of the season. Either way, these words revolve around the sun just as we do.

Summer in the Pacific Northwest is quite the celebration of fruits brought to us by the sun. In tropical places there are fruits maturing at all times of the year, but here in Oregon, we have but three precious months to enjoy the fruits that capture the power of the sun in sweet and spicy vegetable form.

Table of Box Contents

  • Beet Greens w/ Mini Beets—Early summer beet thinnings are tiny and tender, and greens are delicate and velvety like spinach.
  • MintThis familiar herb is of course delicious in sun teas and cocktails (mojitos, anyone?). Mint is also an excellent addition to salads, as are all fresh herbs.
  • Baby White Onions—These little morsels are packed with sugars and a buttery, mellow onion flavor. They are excellent roasted over the flame and then drizzled with oil and salt and eaten whole.
  • ZucchiniMy personal favorite spring vegetable, zucchini is incredibly versatile. The trick with it is to not let it turn to mush. Whether you’re grilling, stir-frying, or baking, wait to salt until you’re done with the cooking process. Salt tends to break cell walls, draw water out, and turn things to mush.
  • Sweet Slice CucumbersThese cucumbers may have thicker and more rumply skins, however their flavor is by far the sweetest out of the other cucumbers that we grow. Thinly slice into salads to avoid the skin’s texture, or peel if desired. If you have a mandolin or a spiralizer, thinly slice long strips of cukes and season with toasted sesame oil, vinegar, and salt for a delicious fresh salad.
  • Colorado Rose Potatoes—Red on the outside, white on the inside, less waxy, great for mashing or for potato salads. I love them roasted w/ parsley & lemon.
  • CarrotsIf you’re looking for new, exciting things to do with carrots, add them into salad described above in the cucumber section, or roast/steam them and puree with caramelized onion and garlic as a soup.
  • Romaine Lettuce—This lettuce has the thickest, crispest leaves, perfect for a Caesar salad on a hot day. If you’ve never made a Caesar salad at home before, it is much easier than you might think! https://food52.com/recipes/26367-caesar-salad
  • Bulb OnionsThese dried yellow onions are quite sweet with a slight acidic punch.

Recipes

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Black Kale and Roasted Beet Salad

Adapted from the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook by Ellen Jackson, p.193. 

The recipe provides the below measurements, however I highly recommend just putting a few dashes of oil and vinegar and salt to your taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch beets, greens attached
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 bunch black kale
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

  2. Trim the beet greens, pick out the nice-looking leaves, wash, and set them aside. Your beets are small and will roast up wonderfully whole. I like to keep the root tails on, as they become crispy in contrast with the butter sweet rootlet that they’re attached to. Put the beets in a small roasting pan and toss them with 1 tablespoon (a splash) of the oil and a generous pinch of salt. Add about 2 tablespoons (another splash) of water to the pan, or enough to just cover the bottom. Tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast the beets until they are tender when pierced with a fork, about 20-25 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot with several inches of generously salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. If desired, trim and discard the stems from the reserved beet greens, though I leave them in, and then roughly chop the leaves. Stir the chopped kale and beet greens into the boiling water and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 3 minutes. 

  4. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil shimmers, add the garlic and sauté until it is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the vinegar, and gently swirl the pan to combine it with the oil.

  5. Pour the dressing over the beets, toss to coat them, and ad the beets to the greens. Toss again and season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve the salad at room temperature slightly chilled.

Suggested Alterations

  1. Since you don’t have kale in your box this week, you could use lettuce instead and add it in raw rather than blanching it with the beet greens.

  2. Roast carrots with beets and add into salad. Roasted roots can be a great replacement for croutons.

  3. Add in mint, other herbs, thinly sliced raw onion, top with sunflower seeds or sesame seeds, yum!

 

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Will's Seasonal Smoothies

Will first became acquainted with GTF as a CSA member himself, and now he is our CSA manager. Throughout his time eating GTF veggies, one of his favorite things to do with greens is to make smoothies and juices. Every day the smoothie is different depending on what we have at the farm, and every day I come into work I look forward to tasting the new combination. This recipe is for the smoothie he happened to make this Monday, which was so delicious and thirst-quenching, however he changes it up all the time and never uses exact measurements. Shake it up, try it out, and experiment what ratios you like best.

Author word of mouth from your CSA manager, Will

Ingredients

  • 1/4 - 1/3 bunch kale or chard or beet greens (thicker green)
  • 1/4-1/3 head romaine lettuce (any lettuce)
  • mint, ginger, or other herb
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2-1 1/2 cups mango & pineapple (any fruit; Will often uses frozen fruit, though fresh market fruit would be great as well)
  • water up to the max

Instructions

  1. If you desire a totally smooth texture without pulp, and you happen to have a juicer and are willing to clean all those little parts (you can see where my bias lies), then go ahead and juice all of your ingredients together easy peasy. Will and I are both more into making simple smoothies in blenders as there is less clean up and we don’t mind a little pulp, so the following instructions are for a blender.

  2. Dump your fruit into the blender first. 

  3. Slice your cucumber into small chunks and dump on top of the fruit

  4. Rip a few leaves off of your kale, lettuce, and herb, and shove into blender whole.

  5. Fill the blender up to the max line with water, cap it, and blend until smooth.

  6. Will doesn’t add any sugar, and the smoothies come out lightly sweet and perfect, I think. Refrigerate before drinking for most refreshing experience.

 

CSA 2018 – Week 2: Busy Days & Brassica Bliss


CSA Newsletter – Week 2


Busy Days and Brassica Bliss

Welcome to the second week of CSA, folks!

We hope that you enjoyed your first week of veggies. Things are really ramping up here at the farm. June is an impossible time where it seems that everything needs to happen all at once, when there is so much to do and summer hasn’t even officially begun yet. There are spring crops to be harvested, summer crops to be weeded, fall crops to be planted, and winter crops to be seeded. It seems like there’s no way to get it all done in time, and sometimes you don’t, but somehow it all ends up working out, as your box of produce goes to show.

There are many exciting additions to your box this week including kohlrabi, basil, fresh garlic, and Lacinato kale, also known as black kale. Garlic and basil are as valuable as gold, powerfully fragrant and medicinal—there isn’t much of anything I wouldn’t put garlic or basil on. It’s also interesting to notice that in this box there are three different brassica cousins—kohlrabi, radishes, and kale—that emphasize three different parts of the plant.

Once upon a time there was an ancestral brassica—not quite a cabbage, or a kale, or a radish, but some leafy looking thing with a sulfurous flavor. Over many years of traditional breeding and selecting the best plants, humans brought the vegetables into existence that we are familiar with today. There is only so much energy in a plant that can be allocated. For radishes, the majority of the energy is allocated to the root. For kale, the energy goes to the leaves. And for the strange alien creature that is kohlrabi, the energy gets prioritized to create an enlarged and sweetened stem. Kohlrabi actually sits right on top of the soil as it grows, almost as if it were sitting on the ground peacefully with its legs crossed as it soaks up the sun.

Table of Box Contents

  • Purple Kohlrabi—Remove skin with a knife or peeler. You can add thin slices or grated kohlrabi to salads or cut spears to dip into hummus. Kohlrabi is also a great addition to coleslaws.
  • BasilExcellent sliced thinly on top of pretty much every dish. I cut the bottom half inch of stems off and place in a glass of water on the counter to store.
  • Fresh Garlic—For garlic lovers, this is the best time of year to eat! Normally, by the time we see garlic it’s dried and thus takes a long time to peel. Fresh garlic has yet to mature all the way and is therefore slightly milder but it can be chopped through with ease without having to peel each clove. There is a hard stem in the center of the bulb that needs to be removed, but other than that you can slice right through like butter. Little tip—add garlic into the pan later in the cooking process to preserve flavor.
  • RadishesThe hotter it gets outside the hotter our radishes get. Their incredibly crisp texture and spicy flavor are great additions to salads or slaws.
  • Lacinato Kale— Remove stems, slice leaves thinly and sauté lightly with fresh garlic and onion. Top with fried eggs for a quick, delicious, and hearty breakfast.
  • Katrina CucumbersExcellent thinly sliced into long thin strips with a mandolin or spiralizer
  • Colorado Rose Potatoes—Red on the outside, white on the inside, less waxy, great for mashing or for potato salads
  • CarrotsCarrots are one of the first fresh digs of spring that we all look forward to, a marker of the season’s new start.
  • Spring Lettuce—This week you have large, lush heads of green leaf lettuce. The large leaves are perfect for wraps or sliced can yield many salads.
  • Bulb Onions—These onions are quite sweet with a slight acidic punch.

Recipes

A Note About Recipes…

To me, recipes are first and foremost meant to be broken! I see recipes as a great way to get inspiration for the type of dish you’d like to make with what you have. There’s no need to fret about exact measurements, or if you are missing an ingredient and have to substitute something else, or if you don’t follow the directions exactly. This is your life, your vegetables, your pantry, your body—do as you please! Cooking and eating meals with friends and family are a big part of what it means to be human. It doesn’t matter if you just chop everything up into a big salad or stir-fry and season with salt and pepper, it’ll still be delicious. Sometimes simple is best.

Print

Grilled Radishes with Dates, Apples, and Radish Tops

“When you cook a radish, it loses much of its spicy heat and becomes quite friendly. The cooked radishes also develop a texture similar to the apples in this dish. Some grated extra-sharp cheddar would also be nice in this dish.”

Author Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden, p. 115

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch radishes (with their tops if they're fresh)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • dried chile flakes
  • red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 4 oz pitted dates, cut into small bits
  • 1 apple, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped (toasted is great)

Instructions

  1. If you’re using the greens, cut them from the bunch of radishes and wash well in cool water, as you would salad greens. Dry in salad spinner or let air dry a few minutes.

  2. Heat a slick of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and when it’s hot, add the greens. Toss with tongs until the greens are slightly wilted. Season with salt, black pepper, and a few chile flakes and cook for another few seconds, until the greens are tender.

  3. When the greens are cool enough to handle (but still warm), roughly chop them, then pile them into a bowl. Douse with a couple teaspoons of vinegar and toss to blend. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper, chile flakes, and vinegar. When the flavors are bright and balanced, toss with a small glug of olive oil. Set aside. 

  4. Prepare a charcoal grill if you can, heat a gas grill to high, or heat the oven to 450°F.

  5. Scrub the radishes. Grill or roast the whole radishes—with no oil—until they are slightly soft when you squeeze them, 12-15 minutes depending on their size (slightly longer if you’re roasting them). Turn them a few times during grilling. Let the radishes cool, then cut them in half.

  6. Toss the halved radishes in a large bowl with the dates, apple, onion, marinated radish tops, and parsley. Add ¼ cup vinegar, 1 tsp salt, lots of twists of pepper, and ½ teaspoon chile flakes and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add ¼ cup olive oil and the almonds, toss again, taste again, and make any final adjustments to the seasoning.

 

Print

Spicy Cucumber Salad

Adapted from Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking, p.135

For more information and step-by-step photos, click this link https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/oi-muchim 

“Try this instead of your usual salad when you’re looking for something cool, crisp, and spicy. The dish should be assembled just before serving; if you have to prepare it ahead of time, keep the cucumber and seasoning sauce separate from each other and mix them together at the last minute. Also, it’s best to make only what you need for one meal; leftovers will never be as good as the just-made.”

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cucumbers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Korean hot pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Cut the cucumber lengthwise in half. Cut diagonally into thin slices. 

  2. Put the cucumbers in a bowl, add all the remaining ingredients, and mix well with a wooden spoon or your hands. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

We’d love to see what you’re doing with your CSA box! Tag us on social media @gatheringtogetherfarm!

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