Thursday, June 24, 2010

Week 6, June 29th and July 2nd

The variety of chard I grow is called "bright lights". It is a beautiful addition to the garden...and even your flower garden. It is in the same family as spinach, so it is similar in flavor. I can cut this crop and it will regrow again and again throughout the season.

How do I eat chard? The smaller leaves can be cut up and eaten raw in your salads. Other wise, light cooking is good. You may use any of the greens recipes given out thus far.

What are the nutritional benefits of Swiss Chard?
High in Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, Thiamin, Folate and Zinc. Also high in Sodium
How do I store chard? You guessed it...crisper

Surfin' Simon! We went to the beach this weekend!!!

PYO Strawberries!!!

I hope you all enjoyed your quart of strawberries last week!!! I was pleasantly surprised picking, there are more berries than I anticipated and boy are they yummy! There are 3 different varieties: earliglow, honeyoye and jewel. Earliglow was hit the hardest in the freeze since it is the earliest. It is by far the best tasting, but you will find several small and "buttoned" berries due to freeze damage. They are still edible, just a bit more work : )

PYO Flower Garden
The Pick Your Own garden is starting to blossom! Feel free to wander the garden and start to pick things like: snow peas, daisies, marigolds and basil.
Please do not pick the rhubarb (it's the only thing that is not PYO, it just happens to be where I planted it--sorry)
This week's loot: lettuce, baby carrots (with tops--they make a yummy soup), chard, radish, tat soi, shell peas!, garlic scapes, mint, lemon balm, tarragon

Next week's loot: lettuce, baby carrots, baby beets, kale, shell peas, scallions, new potatoes?
Lemon Balm and Mint--This herbs are very versatile! You can use it in your meals or to make a refreshing sun tea...thought it would be perfect for the 4th of July picnics!
A little mint in fruit salad can dramatically change its flavor. Mint can also work well in green salads. A little mint and peanuts will give a salad a Southeastern Asian appeal. The herb is also commonly used in Middle Eastern food. One can garnish hummus with mint, or add a little chopped mint to tabbouleh. Mint mixed into couscous can enliven this otherwise plain grain derivative.
Cooked veggies like peas, corn and carrots can all be infused with mint flavor. A minute prior to ending cooking, add a mint leaf or two to these steamed vegetables. Remove the leaves before serving and you’ll have a new way to make these classic vegetables appealing.
Mint marinades or chopped mint goes very well with certain meats. Lamb is often served with mint, and is best known. Mint also complements certain types of seafood like lobster, scallops, and sole. Consider mint chutney with these, or lobster dipped in mint garlic butter.
If you enjoy Vietnamese food, don’t leave out the mint. Many of the “make your own” rolls served in Vietnamese restaurants include thin rice pancakes, strips or balls of cooked meat, and a beautiful pile of fresh herbs and dipping sauce to add together for an Asian style burrito. A little mint in Thai or Chinese egg rolls can also change the taste, or savory egg rolls could be dipped in a mint sauce. A tiny amount of chopped mint can garnish scrambled eggs, omelets, or egg foo yung.
loosely wrapping them in a towel and storing them in a crisper in the fridge, away from the fan. Freshness is key; tarragon loses its flavor as it dries out.
Tarragon works well in chicken, egg and fish dishes, and in cream or mustard sauces. I've even used it in soups with some success (it does tend to be a bit strong for very delicate soups). While the weather is still hot, try it in this cold Creamy Spinach and Tarragon Soup. Adventurous cooks should try it in a sorbet, like the one I mentioned above, or in this lovely, refreshing Tarragon-Spiked Lady Grey Iced Tea from Gourmet magazine.
Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Garlic Chips
Gourmet, November 2008
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise (or use scapes!)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried currants (we skipped this)
2 pounds green Swiss chard, stems and center ribs finely chopped and leaves coarsely chopped separately
1/2 cup water
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, cut into slivers
6 ounces feta, crumbled (1 1/2 cups)
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer garlic with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Cook onion in oil remaining in skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add currants and cook, stirring, until plumped, about 1 minute.
Stir chard stems into onion mixture with water and 3/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, covered, over medium-high heat until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in chard leaves and cook, covered, until stems and leaves are tender, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 5 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water and drain spaghetti.
Toss spaghetti with chard, olives, and 1/2 cup cooking water, adding more cooking water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with feta and garlic chips.

Swiss Chard SaladIngredients
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch Swiss chard, cut into wide ribbons
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil on a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until tender and aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and balsamic vinegar; cook and stir until the chard is wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Carrot Top Soup [serves 4] (there are several carrot top soup recipes on the web, check em out!)1 bunch carrots, including the greens
1/2 cup brown rice
1 or 2 garlic scapes
6 cups water, light chicken stock, or vegetable stock
thyme, to taste, and whatever other herbs suit your fancy (the Valymyst
Herb blends work great in this)
salt & pepper, to taste
In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cups water to a boil. Add rice. Simmeruntil tender, and set aside. While the rice is cooking, pluck the lacyleaves of the carrot greens off their stems, enough for 2 to 3 cups,loosely packed. Wash thoroughly, then chop finely. Chop the carrotsinto fairly small pieces.
Melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a soup pot. Add the carrot topsand carrots, garlic and herbs. Cook for a few minutes, turningeverything a few times, then add the water or stock, and salt. Bring toa boil, and simmer until the carrots are almost cooked. Add the rice,heat through until the carrots are tender, then taste for salt andseason with pepper.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Week 5, June 22nd and 25th

Happy Father's Day, Dora!!!

Saturday Dudley's eggs cracked open and 7 little ducks popped out! They are too cute : ) Be sure to say hello to them, but please move slowly and don't crowd her too much, she is very protective and nervous. Dora is so proud.

After you see the baby ducks, head up to the house barn to see the baby turkeys. They arrived on Thursday and are super cute as well. Please be careful of their pole holding up the heat's a little precarious.

Veggie of the Week: The Radish

Some of you may recall a slew of radishes around this time last year, well here we are again. Can you believe an entire year has gone by since you ate a fresh radish?!! I do not grow loads of them just to say I have vegetables to give you though. They are said to be a great companion plant to squashes, helping to keep squash bugs away. So this is why they are a little alter than early spring too...I do not plant them until I seed my winter squash which is done after frost danger. (That is what the following photo interplanting of winter squash and radish.)
How do I eat them? Of course everyone knows a raw radish can go in a salad, but did you know you can eat the greens cooked too?
What is the nutritional value?
  • Radishes have high contents of vitamin C, which is a well-known cancer-preventing antioxidant element.
  • The greens (leaves) of radish contain 6 times the vitamin C normally found in the root. Also the leaves have substantial quantity of iron, calcium, and thiamine.
  • As radishes are a good source of potassium, folic acid, and molybdenum, it provides energy at the cellular level, develops the nervous system, and also functions the kidneys.
  • Radishes help in relieving constipation as it contains high amounts of carbohydrates. It aids in digestion and improves liver health, as the sulfur-based phytochemicals help induce bile secretion.
  • Also, with the presence of potassium, radishes aid in better kidney and urinary tract health.
  • If you are on a diet plan, consuming radish on a daily basis can help you lose weight. It contains very low calories, makes you feel full without eating too much, and has high amounts of water contents.
How do I store them? I like to wash them, remove the tops (store those separate) and place the roots in a container with a lid--it's like a mini crisper!

Be sure to check out last year's blogs for recipes too--there are great greens recipes (Greens Pasta Pie), a radish dip to die for as well as a radish top soup!!!
This week's loot: lettuce, radish, the last of the hakureis (for now), tat soi, pac choi, spinach, beet greens, scapes, oregano, strawberries?
Next week's loot: lettuce, greens, baby carrots, shell peas?
Recipes: Sauteed Radishes and Sugar Snaps with Dill (I don't have all of the ingredients yet for this recipe, but I will and I just didn't want to miss putting it out there, it sounded so good!) Adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2004
1 tablespoon butter1
tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
12 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed, strings removed
2 cups thinly sliced radishes (about 1 large bunch)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon dill seeds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Melt butter with oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add sugar snap peas, cook for one to two minutes, and radishes sauteing until crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Add orange juice and dill seeds; stir 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chopped dill. Transfer to bowl; serve.
Holistic Health Coaching
1 large bunch greens, de-stemmed, washed and chopped (kale, collards, swiss chard)
½ yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced (or approx. 1 tsp)
6-8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled or chopped into small pieces
5-6 large mushrooms, chopped
3 eggs
1 cup brown rice
¼ cup pine nuts (optional)
􀂃 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
􀂃 Cook brown rice in water until water is absorbed. Spread rice in bottom and about
one inch up sides of pie plate or any glass/ceramic dish. Use hands or spoon to
press firmly to create the “crust.”
􀂃 Blanch greens in hot water for about one minute, drain water, then place in bowl.
(This step can be skipped, and greens can be added to mixture raw.)
􀂃 Add all other ingredients to greens in bowl and stir until everything is coated with
􀂃 Pour mixture over rice and sprinkle top with pine nuts.
􀂃 Bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes. The top should just begin to turn
golden brown.
􀂃 Cut and serve like pie.
Yields 6-8 servings
Also try adding: diced tomatoes, scallions, peppers, tofu, pre-cooked beans, pumpkin
seeds, chicken, ham, diced parsnips, turnips or carrots.
©2009 Kendall Scott Wellness. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Week 4, June 15th and 18th

Garlic Scapes

These beautiful curly Q's mark that summer is near. They may leave your breath a little to be desired while snuggling after you dinner but, trust me, it's worth it.

What is a garlic scape? It is the start of what would become the stem and flower of garlic. If it did fully go to flower, it would look very similar to the chive flowers, but lighter in color.
How do I eat it? You may eat it raw or cooked...use it in place of garlic, but note it has a stronger flavor.

What is its nutritional value? High in calcium and very high in vitamin C

How should it be stored? Refrigerator

...this week you get two highlighted veggies...
Kohl Rabi
The name kohlrabi comes from the German kohl, meaning cabbage, and rabi, or turnip, and that kind of sums it up.

How do I eat that alien vegetable?! Raw or cooked, grated or sliced, roasted or baked...

What is its nutritional value? 1 cup of kohlrabi contains a mere 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 19% of your daily potassium intake, 10% of B6, and 139% of your daily vitamin C intake! Between scapes and rabi, it's like having oranges in Maine!

How do I store it? You guessed it, the crisper

Farm News
So I hope that you are having as much fun eating your veggies as I am growing them!

Farmer: Yes, yes I am CRAZY busy right now and need to multiply myself by 5, but things are looking great and my workshares are pulling their weight and then some (they have been AWESOME!!!).

Simon: He is 0-2 this year with the porcupines...bummer

Dudley and Dora: Still no ducklings and Dora is bored, he misses Dudley

Cats: Rambunctious as ever and caught 2 mice

Strawberries: I picked the first five while weeding yesterday! Sorry, I ate them all.

Veggies: Looking awesome!!! Lost 4 tomato tops to an unknown rodent, but the trap is set...and I am running out of space to plant my transplants, but I think that is a good thing, we should be set for fall and winter harvest :)

This week's loot: garlic scapes, lettuce, chard, tat soi, pac choi, kohl rabi, hakuri turnips

Next week: lettuce, beet greens, scapes, another green...strawberries?

10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)
1/3 cup slivered almonds (you could toast them lightly, if you'd like)
About 1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt
Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, almonds and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle). Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese. If you like the texture, stop; if you'd like it a little thinner, add some more oil. Season with salt.
If you're not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed airtight and frozen for a couple of months, by which time tomatoes should be at their juiciest.

Garlic Scape Paste
I just chop and then place my scapes in the blender with olive oil and salt then put it in the fridge and scoop it out as the "oil" for any dish...I cooked my tat soi in it last night--yum!

ROASTED KOHLRABIHands-on time: 10 minutes Time to table: 45 minutes Serves 4 (smallish servings since roasted vegetables shrink so much)
1 1/2 pounds fresh kohlrabi, ends trimmed, thick green skin sliced off with a knife, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic (garlic is optional, to my taste)
Good vinegar
Set oven to 450F. Toss the diced kohlrabi with olive oil, garlic and salt in a bowl. (The kohlrabi can be tossed with oil and seasonings right on the pan but uses more oil.) Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and put into oven (it needn't be fully preheated) and roast for 30 - 35 minutes, stirring every five minutes after about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with a good vinegar (probably at the table so the kohlrabi doesn't get squishy).
Quick Kohlrabi Pickles2-4 small kohlrabi bulbs, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/2" cubes
Good olive oil (optional)
Rice vinegar (not sweetened, available in Asian grocery stores and some well-stocked supermarkets. If you don't have rice vinegar, you could substitute something rather mellow - white wine or sherry vinegar, or even white vinegar with just a pinch of sugar added)
Kosher Salt
Fresh Black Pepper
Place the kohlrabi chunks in the bowl of a lidded, airtight container. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil, a good splash of vinegar, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Replace the lid and shake well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Place in fridge, shaking occasionally. They are best after they have marinated for a few hours, and will last about a week, becoming more intensely flavored but still largely retaining their lovely texture.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Week 3, June 8th and 11th

Hakurei Turnips

These delightful globes are crunchy, sweet, a tad spicy and fun to grow! They are turnips, but unlike any other you may have tried. They are a "specialty" Japanese turnip--see you don't need to go to the farmer's market to get fancy food : ) You can use them like a radish; on your salad, sliced on your sandwich or cook em up for a slightly sweeter, softer addition to your meal.

"If you tend to run screaming from turnips, then pretty little hakurei turnips just may turn you around."
What is the nutritional value? They are low in calories, high in vitamin C, and fiber.

How can you eat them? raw or cooked
How do you store them? Crisper...we all need just one big crisper in the spring!

These look a little wilty because I took the photo at high noon on a very windy day. (Note to photographer: don't take photos of vegetables at that time.)
Rain!!! Did you ever think I would put three exclamation points after the word "rain" after last year? We were really lucky this weekend and got about 2 inches here and no wind--whew! The plants are all soooo happy. I am supposed to hill the taters at 6 and 12 inches, but they went straight from 2" to 12" in three days! Of course the weeds liked the bit of rain too so this week's list mostly entails weeding, with a little transplanting intermixed.
This week's loot: beet greens, lettuce mix, hakurei turnips with greens, mustard greens, arugula, spinach, tat soi--spring greens baby!
Next week's loot: more greens : )
Sauteed turnips: 2 bunches hakurei turnips with greens
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup white wine
Rinse the turnips and greens well. Cut the greens from the turnips and chop into 2-inch pieces. Trim any straggly roots from the turnips and discard. Cut the turnips into quarters or eighths, depending on size. In a sauté pan with a lid, heat the olive oil and butter. Add the turnips, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and sauté until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the turnips from the pan. Add the greens to the pan, along with any moisture still clinging to the leaves. Cover the pan and allow the greens to cook, stirring once or twice, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until almost all the liquid is gone. Return the turnips to the pan; cook 1 to 2 minutes to heat through. Serve immediately.

Baked Hakurei Turnips
Remove greens from turnips, leaving about one inch of stem attached to the turnip. Wash and place in saucepan. Cover with water and boil until tender. Drain turnips, place in baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees until golden brown. Sprinkle with sea salt and eat the whole turnip, stem and all. The greens can be sautéed.
--From Rosebank Farms