Fresh Spring Roots! -Recipes from May 7th

Greetings fellow foodies,

Yesterday felt like summer down at the waterfront, though our produce is still very much emanating spring. As you can see in the photo above, we are heavy on fresh new root crops, such as carrots, beets, potatoes, and Willamette Sweet Onions.

We generally cook some recipes multiple weeks in a row, during the duration of that vegetable’s prime season, so if you see something sampled without its recipe details, look back to the week it was debuted in. Yesterday over at our sample station, we cooked up the following:

  • Raw Hakurei Salad Turnips (May 1st post)
  • Pan-Fried Parsnips w/ Pea Top Salad (May 1st post)
  • Hot Beet Salad

HOT BEET SALAD:

  • 1 bunch beets
    • Beets, thinly sliced
    • Beet greens, chopped (It’s basically a free bunch of chard on top of your beets. Get your money’s worth, and eat dem greens!)
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 bunch arugula, chopped (In the past, I’ve also used chard, more beet greens, or spinach. Really anything will do!)IMG_2165 (2)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Directions:

  1. Put enough oil in the pan to coat the bottom, and bring up to heat (about medium high).
  2. Add in chopped leeks.  Sauté about 2 minutes.
    1. I’ve always composted the dark green tops of my leeks, but in recent months I decided to try chopping them right into my sauté. Much to my surprise, they were completely delicious, not too tough at all. Leeks are sold by the pound, so you might as well eat the whole thing.
  3. Add in about 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar. Sauté leeks about 2 minutes.Our beets are so vibrant this time of year! Look closely at your food and see the beauty can be so easily overlooked. Finding joy in seemingly mundane tasks can lead to a huge quality of life increase. Check out the deep velvety rings in these beets!
  4. Add in the sliced beets, stirring around to coat in the juices. You can sprinkle in a couple pinches of salt at this time. Sauté about 3 minutes.
  5. Add in the chopped beet greens. Stir around so that they cook down enough that you have more space in the pan. Then add in the chopped arugula. Sauté just about a minute, then turn off the heat.
  6. Let the dish finish off cooking for a few minutes, then taste test. Add more salt and balsamic vinegar to taste.

IMG_2167 (2)

I’d like to insert a closing note on the big question-“To peel or not to peel.” Whenever I make this beet dish at market, one of the first questions people ask is if they have to peel their beets. We seem to have all grown up with an understanding that beets must be blanched, peeled, cooled, and given a manicure before we can cook with them. Ultimately, whether you peel or not is totally up to you, and all paths lead to tasty. But I’d like to describe how highly beneficial it can be to never peel beets, or most vegetables for that matter.

  • Higher Nutritive Value: Roots, as we all know, grow in the soil. The skins on these vegetables are the only part of the plant that’s in direct contact with the soil surface. Because of this, the skin contains a different set of vitamins and nutrients that can’t be translocated into different parts of the plant.
  • Saves Time: Before I knew much about cooking, all I knew was that there were all these steps that you had to take to make good food. I largely thank my laziness for inspiring me to cut such predispositions out of my cooking. Initially, I thought I would just cut corners and suffer the consequences. What I realized is that there are no consequences. The peels don’t end up woody, burnt, or bitter. You don’t even notice they’re there. The more steps in a recipe, the less likely we all are to actually cook it, so it can be great to simplify things.

CSA 2011 – Week 17: More on Storing Vegetables!

It’s hard to believe, but melons are gone and squash is here! There will most likely be a winter squash in each box for the rest of the season. Provided below is more information on storing and keeping vegetables. These are storing tips from Johnny’s Seed catalog.

Vegetables that last…

1-2 months: Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, parsley, turnips, winter squash (acorn and delicata).
2-4 months: Leeks, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash (buttercup, hubbard, kabocha, and Spaghetti).
4 months plus: Beets, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, onions, parsnips, dried hot peppers, potatoes, rutabagas, butternut squash.

Temperature and humidity play a big role in a vegetable’s ability to store. Here are some tips on how these vegetables store best below:

Cold and Humid: Beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, leeks, parsley, radishes, rutabagas, and turnips.
Cool and Humid: Potatoes.
Cold and Dry: Garlic and Onions (this is why these are best stored when dry in a paper bag, or a bag with holes; not plastic).
Cool and Dry: Pumpkins, winter squash.

Winter Squash Information:
Acorn: Last up to 3 months
Spaghetti Squash: Lasts up to 3 months
Delicata and similar types: Stores up to 4 months
Buttercup: Sweeter after storing for a few weeks; keeps up to 4 months
Kabocha: Gets sweeter when stored for a few weeks; green varieties keep from 4-5 months. Grey varieties will keep up to 6 months.
Butternut and Hubbard: Best a few weeks after harvest; will store up to 6 months.
All Squash stores best if it’s stem is still intact.

Squash Towels! Have any old towels laying around the house that need a new home? Bring them down to GTF! We are at the brink of a wonderful squash washing season and are in need of old towel donations for drying them. We’ll gladly take them off your hands!

What’s in the Box?

1.5 lb Potatoes (nicola)– Steam, roast, fry, mash; you can do just about anything with these!

Carrots, bunched – Shred them on salad, sauté in butter with salt, or eat plain.

2 onions (wallas)– Caramelize, eat raw sliced thin on sandwiches, or add to a slaw or potato salad.

1 bunch of scallions– Chop raw for salad, mix chopped green tops with cheese or eggs.

2 delicata squash– Roast with olive oil and salt, add onions, scallions, or even chopped peppers if you’d like.

1 bunch of red kale– Sauté in butter or olive oil and salt. (See recipe)

2 colored peppers- Grill, roast, or just eat raw; they are sweet.

1 bag baby onions – Cut them into quarters and add to vegetable roasts or sautés.

1 Cauliflower or Romanesco– Roast with olive oil and salt, top with cheese and scallions.

Red oak, cardinal, red Leaf, or green leaf lettuce- Make a salad, or add to sandwiches. Use to make lettuce wraps.

Tomatoes (approximately 2 lbs) – Chop raw on salad or sandwiches.

Roasted Cauliflower with cheese
1 large head or 2 small heads of cauliflower or Romanesco, cut into quarter size or larger pieces.
4 tablespoons of melted butter
Handful of baby onions(6 or so), cut in half and then sliced into quarters
1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion tops
Pinch of salt
1 cup of sourdough or whole grain bread crumbs (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the cauliflower, onions, scallion tops, butter and salt together. Place in a baking pan or dish and in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is mostly cooked but not brown yet. Add the shredded cheese on top and continue roasting until the cheese melts and starts to bubble and turn a light shade of brown. Add the bread crumbs in with the cheese if you want bread crumbs. This dish is versatile and a variety of seasonings can be used in it, such as chile flakes, chopped peppers, tomatoes, or even parsley. Mix it up! Try new things!

Roasted Delicata Squash
Cut the squash in half. Remove the seeds (you can save these seeds and roast them for eating or dry them for planting). Cut the squash up into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a baking pan or casserole dish with olive oil, some pieces of butter and salt. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, checking the squash and mixing it every 10 minutes or so. For a crispier, more caramelized flavor turn the oven on broil for about 3-5 minutes at the end. Keep a close eye on it, the squash will brown fast. I like to eat the skins of the delicata, they are not tough and have a good flavor. Try seasonings with minced garlic if you want! But it’s wonderful plain as well.

Dan the Man’s Red Kale Specialty
1 bunch red kale
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

Cut the leaves of the kale off where they end. You can remove the stem part if it’s too thick for your liking. Chiffonade (cut very thinly) the leaves and combine all the ingredients into one bowl. Mix thoroughly and serve. You can let it sit for 15-20 minutes before serving if you like, the kale will seem more cooked if you do. Dan says this recipe is a great way to eat any type of kale and the two acids in the recipe are what actually cook the kale. It is also great leftover the next day, the kale is tender as if it had been lightly cooked. Adjust the ingredients to your liking. If you like more soy sauce and less rice vinegar try that, or add some raw minced garlic if you want.

Enjoy!

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 2: Food is Your Best Medicine

About a week ago, I had a bumpy morning here at the farm. Things were just not going my way. Then Rodrigo, field crew manager, pulled me from the barn to have me help him pick some basil. While picking basil, he told me that when he’s feeling down or depressed, he just goes into the basil house takes a deep breath of the basil aroma and then everything is better. By the time we were done picking the basil, I felt much better. I don’t know if there is any proof that his theory is valid all of the time, but it definitely worked for me.

Basil is just one of many herbs and plants that can be used medicinally. There are several vegetables in the CSA box this week that can help with everyday ailments. For example, studies have found that spinach is a great vegetable to eat if you tend to have migraines or headaches. (Spinach is high in magnesium and people who tend to have migraines or headaches tend to be magnesium deficient.)

It has also been proven that vegetables with vitamin K are beneficial in warding off bruises and helping them heal fast. Vitamin K can be found in leafy greens such as spinach and chard (featured in this weeks CSA box)! Greens can also help to prevent or slow down cataracts as well. Cataracts is a condition in which the lens of one or both eyes becomes cloudy or opaque. A study done by the American Journal of Nutrition found that broccoli and spinach contain a high amount of carotenoids (an antioxidant), which can help reduce the risk of cataracts. Further studies found that turnip greens contain the highest amount of beneficial carotenoids. That goes to show you, those greens are worth saving!

The information above was obtained from a book about healing with food by James A. Duke. He also emphasizes over and over again the benefits of onions and garlic as well, especially raw he says. Garlic and onions have proven to help treat and or prevent asthma, bronchitis, colds, flu, coughs, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, pneumonia and sinusitis! I knew they were good for you but man, I didn’t know they were that great!

It is really amazing how much eating good food can affect your every day health and mood. I know first hand I grew up eating pretty lousy frozen veggies and it seems since I’ve been actively eating fresh produce, I think I’ve gotten happier and healthier each year! Who knows what the actual reason is, but I’d like to credit it mostly to a good diet. Cheers to health and enjoy your veggies!

Lisa Hargest
CSA coordinator

 What’s in the box?

  • 1.5 lb Colorado Rose Potatoes ($5.00) – These are best steamed or fried
  • Chard ($2.50) – You can steam or sauté these, or use them in place of spinach in the recipe below.
  • Spinach ($2.50) – It tastes great with garlic sautéed. (see recipe)
  • Cilantro ($2.00) – Great addition to salads or soups. (see recipes)
  • Kohlrabi ($1.00) – Goes well grated on salad, or in stir fries.
  • 2 Summer squash ($1.50) – Try them sautéed, grated raw, in soup, or stir-fried.
  • White Turnips ($3.00 ) – Eat raw on salad, or see recipe.
  • Romaine or Cardinal Lettuce ($2.00) – Great on salad or in sandwiches.
  • Blueberry Jam ($5.00) – Use as a topping on toast or pancakes. Great in yogurt!
  • 2 cucumber ($3.00) – Eat raw on salad, or marinate. (see recipe)

 If you were shopping at the market, the total cost of this box would be:  $27.50

Recipe Suggestions

Glazed Turnips (from Sally Fallon)

1 bunch of white turnips

1-2 Tablespoons of butter

3/4 cup stock (vegetable or chicken)

Herbs (optional)

  • Cut turnips in half. Plunge turnips into boiled salted water for 3-5minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  • Sauté in butter until lightly browned.
  • Add stock and boil down until turnips are coated and liquid has almost completely evaporated.
  • Add herbs such as parsley or cilantro and serve.

If you would like to cook greens with the turnips, add in the last 3 minutes of cooking.

Kohlrabi Slaw

1 Grated Kohlrabi

2 Chopped cucumbers

Dressing:

1/4 cup Apple Cider vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon course mustard

Pinch of salt

  • Whisk vinegar, honey, mustard and a pinch of salt. Add  olive oil as you whisk.
  • Add dressing to cucumber kohlrabi mixture.

You can add chopped cilantro to this for a cooling effect. Or add chopped fresh garlic too if you still have some left from last week!

 

Spinach Feta Pastries (from Sally Fallon)

Serves 4-5

1 1/2 cups blanched spinach, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup toasted nuts (almonds or pine nuts work well)

Salt and pepper

1 cup feta cheese

Pie dough or yoghurt dough, see below

  • Mix spinach with onion, and nuts. Season to taste.
  • Form dough into 1-inch balls and coat in flour. Roll into rounds.
  • Place a tablespoon of spinach filling on each and top with 2 teaspoons of crumbled cheese.
  • Fold edges to form a three-sided pastry, leaving a gap in the middle for air to escape.
  • Place on a well-greased pan and brush with butter. Bakes at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden.

*Note, you can use chard, turnip greens, or spinach in this recipe.

Yoghurt Dough

1/2 cup plain whole yoghurt

1/2 cup butter

2 cups fresh whole wheat or spelt flour

  • Cream the yoghurt with the butter.
  • Blend in flour and salt.
  • Cover and leave in a warm place for 12-24 hours.

CSA 2011 – Week 1: Welcome to the Family

Greetings from Sally and John

Hi….  This is the official greeting from John and Sally.  We want to welcome back our old members and send greetings to our new ones.  The first boxes of the new year were packed today and are going out tomorrow.   Everyone around the farm and particularly the packing shed crew was remembering how much effort and time it takes to pick, clean, and pack the produce for 200 CSA boxes.  They were really relieved the other 135 boxes get packed at the end of the week.

Right now we are really happy we delayed the start of your boxes for two weeks.  If we had started when we had planned to, it would not have been nearly as abundant.  At this point we are wondering why we haven’t done this earlier and are thinking mid-June to mid-November might be the wave of the future. We will be definitely looking for your opinions on this matter at the end of the season. Thanks for being flexible and supportive of our late season start up. You passed your first test for being high quality CSA members.

Even though we plant virtually all year long, last week was probably our biggest planting week of the year. That week usually occurs a couple of weeks earlier than it did this season, but things are in the ground and, with sunshine, good things will happen. Now is a great time to wander around the farm: plants are young, succulent, and vibrant.  We are not having any organized events until later in the season, but we have maps for self-guided tours, and you are warmly invited to drop on by.

By way of events, we are going to be bringing back the work party scenario for those of you who would like to put a little of GTF’s finest dirt under your fingernails. We will also have a big harvest party around pumpkin time. Last year’s pumpkin crop was a long delayed afterthought and pretty much a total bust. We have them in the ground right on time this year! Enjoy your first box and plan on a great summer of eating and trying new recipes.

Welcome from Lisa

Hello from Lisa! I’m your new CSA coordinator. Let me share a little Winter overview and my little story of how I landed here at the farm. We had a pretty good winter (despite the late cold rains), and now we’re gearing up to kick off this season. It seems as though the rain started late and went on longer this year, because as I recall, January was quite nice. In the meantime, the Johns (John E, B, and P) and some of the crew managed to build a new office basically upstairs from the old office. I was amazed at how fast they put the whole project together – not to mention it looks great! We were all ready and moved upstairs by the middle of March.

Meanwhile, I spent most of my winter milking a couple of cows down the road and working on the CSA registration. It was quite meditative to milk the cows. I thoroughly enjoyed making lots of cheese, butter, and yogurt. I may be able to continue this hobby through the season, but I won’t have near as much time to devote to it!

It’s hard to believe that this will be my fourth full season working here at the farm. I remember when I was just traveling through for a couple of months back in the summer of 2007. I came to talk to JC, Sally, and John about a possible job. I came straight from Maryland and it just so happens I was staying with some people right here in Philomath for a couple of months. I had never been to Oregon before, and I was taken aback by how nice everyone is here. I remember Sally describing the farm as a ’vortex’  and in my fourth year here. I can definitely agree with that! I’ve been privileged to work with almost everyone here, and they are all wonderful. It’s so nice to have a family here. With that being said, I would like to welcome all of you to the GTF family, and I’m sure we are going to have a great season!

Logistics

I would like to remind everyone to bring their own bags or container for transferring the veggies into so that you can leave the blue tubs with us! Also, please notify me a week in advance when you are going to miss a week so that you can receive your credit. Remember we allow up to 2 credits throughout the 22-week season. Salad members, I would also like to emphasize that “salad addicts” get salad every week and “salad lovers” get salad on the 1st and 3rd full weeks (Monday-Sunday) of each month. The check off sheet will indicate if it is a “salad lovers” week.

What’s in the box?

  • 1.5 lb Colorado Rose Potatoes ($5.25) – Best steamed or fried.
  • Baby Onions ($2.50) – Enjoy raw or cooked, a great addition to any salad, stir-fry or soup. Chop onion tops and add to soft cheese, salad, soup or stir fry.
  • Spinach ($2.50) – Eat raw as salad or gently cook until they wilt, go great with garlic
  • Dill ($1.00) – Goes great with potatoes or cucumbers
  • Mustard Greens Bunch ($2.50) – Sauté or braise with olive oil , garlic and salt, they go great in stir fries or cooked with beans.
  • Carrots ($3.00) – Soups, stir-fried, raw to snack on.
  • White Turnips ($3.00 ) – Each raw on salad or see recipe.
  • Red Leaf Lettuce ($2.00) – Great for salad or on sandwiches.
  • Green Garlic ($1.00) – See recipes.
  • 1 Cucumber ($1.00) – Eat raw on salad, marinate in dressing below.

 If you were shopping at the market, the total cost of this box would be:  $23.75

Recipe Suggestions

Salad Dressing

Salad dressings can either make or break a meal or dish. However, they are simple to make and quite versatile. The basis is always an acid and an oil or lipid. You can add various additions such as honey, mustard, herbs, garlic, shallots, or whatever your heart desires. Be creative! I’ll share with you a simple salad dressing to start with, but it goes well with a lot of different veggies.

Lemon-Garlic Dressing

1 lemon (meyer lemon if available)

Pinch of salt

2-3 cloves green garlic, chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • Squeeze juice out of the lemon and into a small bowl. Take any seeds out.
  • Chop garlic and add to lemon juice, add pinch of salt.
  • Whisk olive oil in and season more to taste. If it’s bitter add a little honey.

This dressing will go great with the cucumbers, add dill to the dressing if you want! It would also go well with the white turnips,  carrots, spinach, and red leaf lettuce.

Roasted White Turnips

The first time I ate these turnips I vowed to never cook them because they are so good raw. Then, just this last year I ate them roasted, and man they are scrumptious roasted too.

1 bunch white turnips

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of red chile flakes

2-3 cloves green garlic, chopped

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Chop white turnips off of greens and set greens aside.
  • Chop turnips in half  if small or in quarters if large.
  • Toss with olive oil and salt,  place into pan and in the oven.
  • Chop turnip greens into strips, and set aside.
  • After turnips have roasted for about 10 minutes, add turnip greens, a pinch of chile flakes and chopped garlic.
  • Allow to roast for another 3 minutes or until turnips are roasted to your liking.
  • For even better results try blanching white turnips first. Add Parmesan cheese on top to kick it up a notch.

Announcement from Wild Garden Seed

Our Own Frank Morton still has some spaces in a seed saving workshop on Saturday June 25th from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Here at GTF. He is gearing this workshop towards home gardeners interested in seed saving. The cost is $120 including lunch catered by the chefs here at the farm. You can sign up online by going to www.wildgardenseed.com. If you have any questions, e-mail Anaka at anaka@wildgardenseed.com