Extended CSA Week 2

In Your Share:

Potatoes
Yacon
Brussels Sprouts
Kale
Romaine
Cabbage
Rutabaga

Brussels sprouts are finally on!  They’re one of my favorites and a nice new fall flavor, but they sure take their time sizing up.  We’ve had them for a couple weeks at the farm stand, but we only just now have enough for all of you.  If you think you hate brussels sprouts, it might be because you’ve never had fresh ones cooked well or it might be genetic (some people have a gene that makes them taste like aspirin).  Or maybe they’re just not your jam.  Ours, though, are super fresh and nutty and delicious any way you make them.  I often roast them, either whole, halved, or shredded, and more recently I’ve gotten into sauteing them with leeks or shallots.  They’re also good raw, steamed, or braised.

I don’t typically do much to trim our brussels.  I find the outer leaves and base are all perfectly tender and edible, and I only trim them if there are bad spots or a particularly long stem end.  Brussels are like cauliflower in that they are excellent raw or lightly cooked, but they have an entirely different flavor profile that comes out as they caramelize with longer cooking times.  As such, they’re versatile and easy to use.

Also new today is a lovely head of red cabbage.  These are long season storage cabbages, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great for fresh eating.  They are dense, heavy heads, which helps them to keep better.  They’ll store for several weeks in a bag in the fridge, but the flavor will be best fresh.  This cabbage is great raw in slaws or tacos, braised, sauteed with brussels sprouts, or used in stuffings.  I assume it would make good sauerkraut, though I haven’t tried it myself.

We had yacon in the shares a couple weeks ago, but since it’s a new vegetable for many of you I’ll copy the info here.  Remember, it’s best raw, even though it doesn’t look like it!  Last night I made a Peruvian salad with quinoa, yacon, tomatoes, cilantro and parsley and it was delicious.

Yacon (pronounced yah-CONE) is a member of the sunflower family from the Andes.  This is the tuberous vegetable that looks like a sweet potato, oblong with dark skin.  We like to eat it raw, and it is sweet, tender, mild flavored, and juicy.  Think of jicama, asian pear, or even a cucumber.  We most often slice it up and eat it plain as a refreshing snack or side dish.  I like the flavor of the skin (it’s earthy and somewhat bitter), but you may prefer it peeled.  It will brown soon after cutting, you can toss it with a bit of lemon juice to keep it white.  It can also be cooked, though we love it’s crunchy texture so much that we never do.  Some people like to juice it (we recommend peeling it first).  Store it in the fridge in a plastic bag, it will dry out and soften if left on the counter for long.

 

Here is a link to a more in depth article about yacon in Mother Earth News.  One thing worth noting is that yacon’s sweetness is from inulin, which makes it extremely low in calories and a better choice for diabetics.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This is very easy and is my favorite way to eat Brussels sprouts. If you’ve never liked Brussels sprouts before, I suggest trying this while they are still very fresh and see if you change your mind. Serves 4.

 

Preheat the oven to 400.   Spread 1 lb Brussels sprouts in a baking dish so that they are one layer deep. Leave small ones whole and halve or quarter larger ones so all the pieces are a relatively uniform size. Stir together with:

3 Tbsp olive oil

            2 tsp balsamic vinegar

            Salt and pepper

            A sprig of rosemary

Roast, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are tender and the outsides have begun to caramelize, 20 to 35 minutes depending on the size. Remove the rosemary sprig and serve.

Extended CSA Week 1

Note that there is only one share size for extended season!  All bags are the same color, take any one.

In Your Share:

Carrots
Beets
Shallot
Fennel
Pepper
Bok Choy
Little Gem Pearls Lettuce
Cilantro or Parsley

Welcome to the extended season, which looks an awful lot like the regular season.  Today’s share is a bit smaller than full shares you’ve been getting but a bit bigger than half shares.  I love fall flavors and I think that many of our greens and roots come into their own in the cooler weather.  It takes a frost to really sweeten things up, but this year we’ve hardly gotten below 40.  Hopefully we’ll have a nice clear stretch at some point before too long, but nothing in the forecast yet.

We’re into our final bed of carrots which I’m hoping to make last through Thanksgiving.  We are getting them all harvested now, since the rain, rust fly, gophers, and raccoons are all zeroing in on them and I want to make sure we get most of them!  You will start to see more rust fly damage in these late season carrots, which looks like a darkened area at the tip or sometimes in the middle of the root.  We cull out the worst roots, but you may have to trim your carrots more than you did in the summer.  Rust fly damage is easy to cut out, or it’s not a big deal to just eat it (if I’m juicing I don’t usually bother to trim it).  We keep our carrots covered with a spun fabric row cover all season long to keep the flies off, but it gets harder to keep the cover on in the fall and these carrots have been in the ground a long time.

Beautiful beets today from our last bed, which we will also have to protect from the gophers.  They don’t usually bother our beets until fall, I suppose when other preferred foods are scarce.  These, though, are blemish free, large, and sweet with wonderful greens.  The lettuce is coming from the greenhouse, and as such is extra tender and more of an open head than our field lettuce.  It seems to be starting to bolt, but I’ve been eating them and they are sweet and tasty with no off flavors.

Today’s shallots are on the other end of the size spectrum from the last ones you got.  They are the overwintered, bulb grown shallots and this year’s were particularly small.  They’re a pain to peel, but they really pack a flavor punch.  If you don’t want to peel them, roast them whole with potatoes and fennel and peel them on your plate, or use them in stock.

If this is more veggies than you can use this week (especially folks who have been getting a half share), remember that the carrots and beets (greens removed) will store great in the fridge.  The shallots will keep on the counter for several weeks.  You could freeze the fennel: I’ve had success chopping it, roasting it, and freezing it to later use in soups, stuffings, and roasts.  You’ll probably use your peppers fresh, but they freeze well whole or cut into pieces and bagged.  The parsley or cilantro you could mince with oil and freeze (kind of like pesto), and the bok choy could probably be blanched and frozen (I haven’t actually tried that but it should work).  The lettuce, though, needs to be eaten fresh; try it in a green smoothie if you won’t eat enough salads and lettuce wraps.


Roasted Salmon Fennel and Bok Choy


By Amy Stafford , A Healthy Life for Me Blog.

From the blog: “This bright beautiful and healthy Roasted Salmon Fennel and Bok Choy recipe is made in one pan and is gorgeous enough to serve to company, but is so easy you will be making it once a week for the family. ” She uses crimini mushrooms, but it would be terrific right now with some wild chanterelles or boletes.

2 medium fennel bulbs, cored and sliced into 1/2″ thick wedges

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

bella mushrooms

2-3 heads bok choy, trimmed and cut into 1″ slivers

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

juice from one organic lemon

4-6 oz. skinless salmon filets

Gremolata:

1/2 cup packed fresh flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup salted shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon finely organic grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped

Pinch of kosher salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Use a rimmed baking sheet, you can line with foil for easy clean up.
  3. Place salmon on cutting board and drizzle lemon juice over top of salmon and a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper.
  4. In a bowl toss fennel, onion, mushrooms, olive oil and salt and pepper.
  5. Spread the vegetables evenly and roast for 15 minutes. Toss bok choy in empty bowl and coat with any remaining oil that is in the bowl.
  6. Remove pan and toss bok choy over top top of veggies, cook an additional 6-10 minutes.
  7. Remove pan from oven and push vegetables into a pile to make a bed for the salmon.
  8. Place the fillets on top of vegetables, spaced evenly.
  9. Return pan to oven and roast for 10-15 minutes
Gremolata:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Serve salmon and vegetables plated and topped with gremolata.

CSA Week 15

3 more weeks: final pickup October 18-22

In Your Share:

Carrots
Rutabaga
Green Onion
Romaine Lettuce
Chard or Komatsuna
Fennel
Zucchini or Cucumber (Half shares only)

Full Shares Only:

Beets
Basil
Salad Mix
Tomato or Eggplant

I keep trying to make the shares a bit smaller, and I think I might have succeeded today.  I’m sure some of you have some catching up to do, especially half share folks!  We are approaching the end of the main season CSA, but we still have lots of crops out there.  Unfortunately, all of our fall cauliflower is struggling.  The plants have grown beautifully and look healthy, but as the heads are browning as they form.  I believe this is a boron deficiency in our new field and I just started a spray program to try to remedy it (organically approved of course, it’s basically just borax).  Hopefully the final rotation will be salvageable and you’ll get more cauliflower soon, but in the mean time it’s an important fall crop that’s missing from your shares.  Sorry!

On the flip side, new today is a lovely rutabaga.  Rutabagas are one of the underappreciated vegetables.  They are sweeter and starchier than a turnip, and I think they shine in soups and stews, where their creamy texture and sweet mild flavor really comes out.  I peel them, since the skin is a bit spicy and bitter, then cube them up to add to a soup or roast.  Rutabagas keep well in a bag in the fridge.  Last week’s chicken soup recipe is a great way to use rutabaga.

Today’s fennel is one of the nicest rotations we’ve grown, and they are huge and sweet and tender.  We will try not to overwhelm you with fennel, but we do have a lot of it coming up.  I made a fennel apple salad the other night that was delicious, and fennel would be another great addition to that chicken soup.  We also have another lovely head of romaine, which you can also expect to see more of through the fall (though probably not for a couple of weeks).  There will continue to be lots of beets, half shares got a break this week but we have lots more sized up in the field.  Somehow they all come on at once…

On the other hand, we’ve finally caught up with the green onions.  There is just one more rotation, and with the cooler nights and shorter days they aren’t growing quite so quickly.  We’ll have them once or twice more, and then we’ll have to wait until next spring until we see them again.  This will likely also be the last bunch of basil, it’s slowed down considerably and is getting stressed.  It becomes more spicy and less sweet and floral this time of year, so it’s probably time to say goodbye.

Note that this Saturday (Oct 1) is the final week for Neskowin Farmers Market.  After this week, we will only be open at the farm stand on Tuesdays from 10 to 4.  CSA members picking up at the market will get their last few shares at the farm, and can choose to pick up on Saturdays or switch to a Tuesday or Thursday pickup.  The final main season CSA pickup is the week of October 16.


Fennel Apple Salad

I made this salad this weekend for an off the grid vegan potluck.  It is refreshing and nutritious, and made good use of some fresh fall ingredients.  I used honeycrisp apples, but I think any apple would work.

 

1 bulb fennel, quartered and sliced thinly
2 medium apples, sliced into wide matchsticks
1 Tbsp minced fresh chives
1 Tbsp minced fresh sage
1/4 c minced fresh parsley
1 fresh green chili, minced
1 Tbsp lemon juice (or more to taste)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
Salt to taste

 

Prepare the apples and toss in the lemon juice.  Mix together in a large bowl with all remaining ingredients.  Serve cold.


Oat and Rutabaga Pilaf with Toasted Walnuts

From The Complete Vegan Cookbook by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay, this pilaf uses whole oat groats in place of rice. Serves 6 as a side dish.

 

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add:

½ medium yellow onion, diced

            1 ½ cups peeled and finely diced rutabaga

Stir and sauté for 3 minutes. Add:

1 c uncooked oat groats

            1 clove garlic, minced

            1 tsp dried thyme

            1 tsp celery seeds

Saute a few minutes longer. Add:

2 c vegetable or chicken stock

            ½ tsp salt (or to taste)

            Several grinds black pepper

Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to very low, and cook 45 minutes. Without removing the lid, turn off the heat and allot the pot to stand for 10 minutes. Transfer the pilaf to a serving dish and add:

2 Tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley

            1/3 c toasted walnut pieces

Toss gently to distribute evenly, and serve hot.

CSA Week 14

This is the final week for Gleneden Beach Market!  If the market is your pick up site, you will continue to pick up on Thursdays from 1 to 6 inside the Side Door Cafe.

In your share:

img_0390 img_0391Beets
Carrots
Watermelon Radish
Broccoli or Napa Cabbage
Red Onion
Green Onion
Baby Bok Choy
Kale
Salad Mix
Basil

Full Shares Only:

Fennel
Cucumber or Zucchini

 

img_0388What a beautiful, colorful share today.  Some of you even have golden beets in place of our usual red beets, which are one of the prettiest vegetables we’ve harvested this year.  (More coming in future weeks, this was just the first pick).  Golden beets are similar in flavor and can be used interchangeably with red beets.  I find that they are a bit less fruity but have more of a sweet honey flavor, and they don’t bleed red into everything they are in.  This summer’s beets have taken their time coming on, but now we are picking out of 6 different rotations at once.  You can expect lots more beets in your fall shares, although the golden beets will be less common.

 

If you don’t use the beets right away, remember to detach the greens so the roots store better.  And remember, the greens are my favorite part, cooked with the roots, on their own, or with other greens!  If you haven’t fallen for beets yet or are just looking for something different, you might try pickling them or juicing them.

 

On the other side of the prettiness spectrum are the watermelon radishes.  These are usually quite beautiful, called “watermelon” because of their green and white skin and red flesh.  These, however, got lots of bug damage or something and most of them were deformed.  We did several rounds of culling to end up with some that are decent enough for the CSA, and most of the rest we gave to our neighbor’s pig.  However, even when we cut into some of the ugliest radishes, nearly all the damage was on the surface, and the insides were blemish free and tasty:

img_0383 img_0384

 

Watermelon Radishes are tasty radishes that can be eaten raw or cooked.  They’re pretty spicy, so if you’re not a big fan of radish spice (like me) you’d probably prefer them cooked.  The majority of the spice is in the skin, so I recommend peeling them, which probably goes without saying with these.  These will store well in a bag in the fridge.

 

Today’s bag is a great one for stir fries or a hearty miso soup.  You could use the radish, bok choy, napa cabbage, green onions, and carrots for a flavorful and colorful bowl.  Or try a noodle salad with raw or lightly cooked veggies and a peanut sauce.

 

Today’s red onion will be the last fresh onion of the year, and we’ll be moving into cured onions only by next week.  The fields are starting to look a bit bare, in fact, as we wrap up one harvest after the next.  Soon we’ll see crops dropping off, and we’ve probably seen the last of the green beans (except Friday folks, who missed out last week).  Cucumbers and zucchini are quickly dropping off, and the basil is starting to look stressed as the nights get colder.  I sowed the first cover crop last week, and by the end of the month the field should be ready for the winter rains.  Gleneden Market ends this week (CSA members will continue to pick up their shares at the Side Door Cafe), and the Neskowin Market ends October 1 (members will continue to pick up their shares at the farm).  The farm is transitioning out of summer.

 


Sautéed Radishes Recipe with Brown Butter and Lemon Sauce

When searching for watermelon radish recipes, I saw a few suggestions for sauteing them in brown butter.  This recipe from Organic Authority (by Kimberley Stakal) calls for red radishes, but I’ve adapted it here for watermelon radish.

1 medium watermelon radish, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon lest
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh parsley, for serving

 

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium until butter foams then subsides, about 1 minute. Add radishes and a pinch of salt; cook until radishes are lightly browned on the outside and fork-tender on the inside, stirring, about 10 minutes. Remove radishes with a slotted spoon to serving plate.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet, along with lemon juice and zest. Cook until butter browns lightly and sauce cooks down, stirring occasionally, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste.

Spoon sauce over radishes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


Loaded Vegetable Miso Soup

From dairyfreecooking.com by Ashley Adams.  She says:

This is not your typical miso soup, this one is loaded with tons of good things–onion, garlic, carrots, kale, tofu, and broccoli! This recipe is great for weeknight meals—it takes barely anytime to throw together and feels splendidly healthy and nutritious. Feel free to add other vegetables to your soup—it is LOADED, after all! Other veggies that work well for this soup are cauliflower, shitake mushrooms, ginger, cabbage and bok choy. (Just make sure that you add greens like bok choy at the end, to avoid over-cooking!)

 

1 T. olive oil or canola oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

1 T. minced garlic

1 medium carrot, thinly sliced

2 cups roughly chopped kale (or cabbage)

3 quarts dashi or other stock (dashi is available in Asian markets, but vegetable stock will work as well if this is not available)

3 T. white miso

1 16-ounce Chinese-style tofu, pressed and chopped into 1” cubes

1 cup fresh broccoli floret

4 scallions, finely chopped

Salt, to taste

 

1.In a stock pot or soup pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil or canola oil. Once hot, add the onions, garlic, and carrots, stirring frequently until the onions are soft and fragrant. Add the kale and satuee for 1 minute more, or just until the kale becomes bright green but is still quite crisp. Add the dashi or stock and bring to a light simmer. Turn down the heat to low.

 

2.Ladle one cup of the stock into a small bowl.  Add the miso, and stir to dissolve. Add the cup of miso mixture to the broth and return the soup to a gentle simmer, taking care not to let the soup come to a boil. Add the tofu cubes, broccoli florets and the scallions, and simmer for 2 minutes longer, or until the broccoli is bright green and tender-crisp. Transfer to bowls and serve immediately.

CSA Week 12

In Your Share:

Shallots
Beets or Beans
Green Onion
Fennel
Zucchini and/or cucumber
Carrots
Cilantro and/or Basil
Chard or Komatsuna

Full Shares Only:

Potatoes
Tomato or Eggplant

We’re at the point in the season where there aren’t a whole lot of new items, just lots of familiar old friends.  We’ve still got a nice selection of fall veggies coming up, including peppers, brussels sprouts, leeks, cabbages, pumpkins, and more, but for now we get to enjoy the summer bounty for a little longer.  Cucumbers ebbed a bit last week but are back on strong this week, the zucchini are pumping out new fruits, and the green onions, carrots, and potatoes just keep on giving.  By the end of September the days will be getting shorter and we’ll see several crops check out for the season, but for now we are still at peak production!

Also around this time of year, people start asking about the end of the season.  As a reminder, the main season CSA runs until October 21.  The Gleneden Beach Market ends September 15, and the Neskowin Farmers Market ends October 1.  Our farm stand will continue until Thanksgiving.

The one new item for everyone today is a beautiful shallot.  These are much much bigger than what you usually see in stores, but they are shallots nonetheless.  Most shallots are grown from overwintered bulbs (like garlic), but these are grown from seed with our onions.  Seed grown shallots get much larger, but still have tons of flavor and store extremely well.  If you’re not familiar with shallots, they are similar to onions but more savory and flavorful, and less sweet.  You can use them in place of onions in many recipes and can usually use less than the recipe calls for.  Some people describe their flavor as a cross between onions and garlic, but I just think they have a wonderful flavor all their own.  Yours are probably fine to store on the counter, unless you have one that has all of the papery skin peeled off (in which case keep it in a bag in the fridge).

It’s also been a while since we included fennel.  This is a beautiful rotation, and the bulbs are all very tender, sweet, and fresh.  Remember that fennel can be used raw in salads, roasted with potatoes, or added to soups and stuffings.  Think of it like an anise-flavored celery.  The white bulb is the best part, and it gets tougher as you cut up the stalks.  The leaves are edible but I find they don’t have much flavor.  They do add a nice touch of color and texture to a salad or roast, though!

About half of you have rainbow chard as your green today.  Chard is in the same family as spinach and beets (unlike kale, which is in the same family as broccoli).  As such, it has a fruity flavor similar to beet greens and is also high in oxalic acid.  This is why raw chard can leave you with a funny feeling on your teeth, especially if you are sensitive to the oxalic acid.  I tend to prefer my chard cooked, and I love the crunchy texture and bright colors of the stems in a dish.  You can combine your chard and beet greens together if you like, they cook very similarly.  They are both good sauteed, steamed, in soup, or baked into a casserole or gratin.  They are also high in iron as well as lots of other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Some full shares have eggplant today.  Our eggplants are looking healthy but haven’t been producing a lot of fruit, but I think we should be able to get it to most of you over the next couple of weeks.  Eggplant is one of my absolute favorite vegetables, I love its succulent texture.  I tend to like it roasted or grilled and eaten on top of or beside just about anything, but it’s also lovely in stir fries and curries or turned into baba ganouj.  Ours are the long slender Japanese type, and I like to eat the skin.  To prepare them, cut off the stem end and either slice them lengthwise or cut them into chunks.  Eggplant absorb quite a bit of oil in cooking, so some people like to salt them and let them sit for 15 or 20 minutes to cut down on that.  Store eggplant in a bag in the fridge, though they’ll be all right on the counter for a day or two.


Chard with Orange and Shallots

Here’s a new take on chard from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.   He says: A perfect winter dish, this warm salad has vibrant color and tangy sweet-sour flavor. The skin of the orange or tangerine becomes almost candied and provides a nice chew, but if you’d rather not eat it, simply peel before chopping.

Other vegetables you can use: any chard, bok choy, kale, or any cabbage. For the citrus, use kumquats (quartered) if available.

1 pound chard, washed and trimmed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons sugar

1 small orange or tangerine, seeded and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Cut the stems out of the chard leaves. Cut the leaves into wide ribbons and slice the stems (on the diagonal if you like); keep the leaves and stems separate.

2. Put the oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium heat. Add the shallots and sugar and cook for a minute, then stir in the orange or tangerine bits and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until everything is caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar.

3. Return the heat to medium and stir in the chard stems. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften a bit, just a minute or two. Add the chard ribbons, cover, and turn off the heat. Let the chard steam for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir and re-cover the pan for another couple of minutes. Sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper and serve immediately or within an hour or two at room temperature.

 


Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad

From Food and Wine Magazine, by Andrew Goetz and Matthew Malin.

4 beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges (1 1/2 pounds)

2 thyme sprigs

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large fennel bulb with fronds—bulb cut into 1/2-inch wedges, 1 tablespoon chopped fronds

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium baking dish, toss the beets with the thyme, the water and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and cook for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Let cool slightly. Discard the thyme.

In a small baking dish, drizzle the fennel wedges with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until tender and lightly browned.

Pour the beet juices into a bowl and whisk in the vinegar. Add the beets, fennel wedges and fronds and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

CSA Week 7

In your share:

New Potatoes: Austrian Crescent
Purplette Onion
Carrots
Zucchini or Cucumber
Basil
Cauliflower
Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes or Green Beans

Full shares only:

Baby Turnips
Cabbage
Italian Parsley

This is another beautiful summer share!  We’re getting to some of my favorite veggies today, including cauliflower.  A few of you got some already, but it’s been a bit slow to come on this year.  And now we have 3 rotations coming on at once, so I expect there will be quite a bit in the next couple of weeks.  I love our cauliflower, especially roasted (cut into florets, tossed in olive oil and salt, and roasted at 400 until it’s soft with crispy edges).  It’s also great raw, made into soup, or steamed and used in salad.  As cauliflower cooks, different flavor profiles emerge.  Raw cauliflower has more of the sulfurous cabbagey flavor, but as it cooks those compounds denature and other, nuttier flavors appear.  So if you (or someone in your family) don’t like cauliflower, you might try roasting it: it’s actually a very different flavor.  Mike never used to like it until he tried it roasted, and now he loves it!

 

We’re into our first bulb onions today, and I’ve given each of you a bunch of a variety called purplette.  These are a mini red onion that are extra savory, I love them roasted in with potatoes, or last week I sliced them in half and put them on the grill.  You’ll have fresh onions for the next few weeks, so they should be stored in the fridge in a bag.  You can eat the greens still, or use them in stock.  I thought I’d give you all a break from green onions today, although we have hundreds more out there so next week we’re back on.

 

But you’re probably most excited about the tomatoes and green beans!  Our tomato picks are getting bigger, but we still don’t have enough for the entire CSA.  I will give cherry tomatoes or some of our heirloom slicers to as many of you as possible (especially if you haven’t gotten any yet).  This is shaping up to be our best tomato year in a while, and within a couple of weeks our second rotation should be into full production.  In the mean time, they’re also the highest quality tomatoes we’ve grown in a while, so enjoy them!  Remember to keep them on the counter, tomatoes don’t do well in the fridge.

 

And fortunately, if you don’t get tomatoes this week, our green beans are just coming on.  We grow 2 types, a French filet variety called Maxibel (these are long, round, and slender) and a Romano type (these are large and flat and often called Italian green beans).  The Maxibels are more sweet and tender and are especially good raw, while the Romanos have a wonderful, robust beany flavor that holds up well to grilling and cooking.  You can use both in just about any recipe calling for green beans.  I love to grill beans whole, especially the Romanos.  Toss them in olive oil and cook them over medium low heat for a few minutes a side: yum!  You can also eat them raw, slice them into salads, steam them with butter, use them in stir fries, pickle them, or whatever you like.  We are careful in our picking, so all the beans you get from me should be at prime eating stage without lots of starchiness or bitterness.

 

Today’s new potatoes are Austrian Crescent fingerlings.  These have a lovely flavor, a dense waxy texture, and are easy to prep.  I’ve been eating potatoes just about every day, I can’t get enough of them when they are fresh out of the ground like this.  So enjoy!


Farro Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Tomato, and Basil

I made this for a potluck this weekend, and it was quick, easy, hearty, and tasty!  If you don’t have tomatoes today, you could add some wine vinegar and thinly sliced green beans instead.  Farro is a nutty, delicious relative of wheat, available at Trillium.

 

To cook the farro, bring 5 c water to a rolling boil in a medium saucepan.  Add 1 1/2 c whole farro reduce heat to medium, and cook for 30 to 40 minutes (less if using pearled farro), until tender but al dente.  Drain excess water.

 

Meanwhile, roast the cauliflower.  Cut 1 medium head cauliflower into small florets, toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil and spread on a baking sheet.  Roast at 400, stirring occasionally, until florets are tender and the edges are browned.  (Optional: add 1 c chopped onion about halfway through cooking).

 

To make the salad, mix together cooked farro and roasted cauliflower with:

1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 bunch basil, leaves picked and sliced

3 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Serve at room temperature.

 


 

Home Fermented Vegetables

Fermentation is a great way to preserve vegetables and add great nutrition.  CSA member Hollis Baley is a nutritionist in Pacific City who firmly believes in the health benefits of fermentation.  She’s posted a few recipes for homemade sauerkraut and fermented carrots and basil that sound amazing.  For today’s recipe, I’m going to refer you to her.  Follow the links to see some great instructions for home fermentation:

Homemade Sauerkraut by Hollis Baley

Carrot Basil Cilantro Fermented Vegetables by Hollis Baley

CSA Week 2

Carrots
Green Onion
Overwintered Onion
Radishes (Some drop sites may get baby turnips)
Parsley
Kohlrabi

Full Shares Only:

Baby Bok Choy
Butterhead Lettuce
Cilantro

 

A few repeats and a few new items for the second week: remember that it’s still very early in the season and we don’t have a whole lot to choose from yet!  You’ll recognize the carrots from last week, these will be the last of our greenhouse carrots and we’re hoping to start harvesting from the field next week.  I’ve also included parsley again, which I know will be a challenge for some.  If you don’t want to use it all now, you can dry it for later, or crush it up and mix it with oil (like pesto) to freeze.  To dry it, you can use a dehydrator or hang it in a warm sunny spot for a few days.  Once it’s fully dry crush it up and store it in a mason jar.

 

Today we have the first kohlrabi, which I know is new to many.  (Returning members, we are growing a lot less this year, but it’s one of the earliest veggies to be ready).  I love kohlrabi, and I usually slice it raw and eat it sprinkled with salt, dipped in hummus, or wrapped in a sushi roll.  It needs to be peeled and the tough bottom part cut off, the fleshy part of the bulb is the part you want.  These are a little smaller than we usually harvest them, so they are very tender.  Kohlrabi has a sweet flavor like a broccoli stem, and it’s crunchy and juicy.  If you don’t want to snack on it, you can include it in a stir fry, grill or roast it with olive oil and salt, or pickle it.

 

You can also use kohlrabi greens, they will be closer in texture to cabbage and benefit from slower cooking methods like braising.  Remember you can eat your radish greens, they could be stewed in with kohlrabi greens, or I more often throw them in a stir fry or cook them with rice.  I don’t like them raw so much because of their prickly texture.

 

We have the first of our onions today, and there will be lots more to come!  You’ve gotten a lovely fresh bunch of scallions, which add lots of mild onion flavor to salads, noodle dishes, and more.  Cut off the little roots and use the rest of the bunch raw or cooked.  You also have an overwintered onion that we planted in October and are just harvesting now.  You may have gotten a red onion, a white cippolini type, or a sweet yellow one.  All three are tasty and can be used the same, they just have different flavor profiles.  When onions are fresh like this they should be kept in the fridge, and you can use the green part as well as the bulb.  I love fresh onions, and we grow several kinds that you’ll be getting throughout the season.  Our main summer onion crop is off to a fantastic start!

 

We don’t have salad for you today, just heads of lettuce for full share folks.  Harvests have been tight here, and we had a couple bad rotations of salad paired with a delay setting up irrigation that forced us to rework our crop plan.  But we plant salad weekly and there are a couple nice rotations coming up soon.  Full share folks also have a nice fresh bunch of cilantro, which will go well with those green onions in a noodle salad or salsa. Store it (and everything else this week) in a plastic bag in the fridge.


Kohlrabi Pickle Chips

I like kohlrabi raw so much that I have yet to actually make anything with it that I like more. These easy pickles would maintain the appealing texture of kohlrabi, but dress it up a little. This recipe can also be used with cucumbers.

Peel and thinly slice:

1 ½ to 2 lb kohlrabi

            3 small onions

Mix together:

¼ cup pickling salt

            1 quart ice water

Pour this over the vegetables and soak them for 3 hours.

Drain them, rinse them, and place them in a bowl. Bring to a boil:

2 c vinegar

            2/3 c sugar

            1 Tbsp mustard seeds

            1 tsp celery seeds

            ¼ tsp turmeric

Cook for 3 minutes and pour it over the vegetables. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for 3 days.


Carrot, Parsley, and Chickpea Salad

Adapted from Cooking New American by Martha Holmberg. The chickpeas in this refreshing salad make it a substantial vegetarian meal, or an intriguing side. This recipe can be made in advance; just add the dressing right before serving. A unique combination of textures and flavors: scallions, radishes, and a splash of citrusy lemon make it piquant, lively, and delicious.

 

1 can chickpeas, (or equivalent cooked from dried), drained and rinsed

1 cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

1 cup loosely-packed shredded carrot

1/2 cup sliced radishes

1/2 cup chopped fresh scallions or onions

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Salt and pepper, to taste

6 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup crumbled feta or toasted pine nuts (optional)

 

Put 1/2 cup of the chickpeas in a mixing bowl and mash them into a coarse paste with a potato masher or large wooden spoon. Toss in the remaining chickpeas along with the parsley, carrot, radishes, and onions. Stir to combine.

For the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few generous grinds of black pepper. Continue whisking while adding the olive oil in a slow stream.

When ready to serve, pour dressing over the salad and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Top with feta or pine nuts, if using, and serve immediately.

CSA Share Notes: Week 1

IMG_0130Carrots
Baby Turnips
Italian Parsley
Baby Bok Choy
Green butterhead lettuce (half shares) or Salad Mix (full shares)

Full Shares Only:
Pink Beauty Radishes
Kale

CSA is finally here! I’ve been worried I wouldn’t have enough for you all, but I think we’ve pulled together a pretty nice share for this early in the season (we’ve had a lot of hot weather, but it’s still early!).  Remember that the shares will be a bit light the first few weeks and will build as new crops become available. But I love these spring shares with their sweet tender greens and roots; there’s an early season quality that you just can’t replicate later in the year.  The prize of the week is a toss up between these gorgeous carrots or the perfect baby turnips.  My preference would go to the turnips: this is one of the nicest rotations we’ve grown, and they are coming out of our new field!

 

If you haven’t yet tried baby turnips, you’re in for a treat.  These are a whole different animal than your grandma’s turnips: they are sweet and creamy and the greens are some of my favorites.  I like the roots best raw, either sliced into a salad, eaten plain, or dipped in hummus. You can also roast, grill, or saute the roots, but I’d at least try them raw before cooking them! I typically do a light steam or saute with the greens, and they are especially good finished with a splash of white wine.  They are also good in a salad, or used as a bed for a hot steak or piece of fish.  Pretty much anything you would do with spinach will work with these lovelies.

 

The carrots are also quite lovely, though they aren’t our usual variety (the seed was backordered so we had to improvise).  These were started in the greenhouse back in February, and I’ve been holding them back to make sure we had carrots for the first CSA shares.  They are delicious raw or cooked and I never bother peeling them.  I don’t use carrot tops much, except to feed them to our chickens, but some folks like to use them in smoothies, stocks, or pesto. Remove them from the roots so the roots will keep better.

 

Italian parsley is especially tender and delicious this early in the season.  I prefer it to the curly type: I think it is more tender and flavorful. It’s excellent in pasta dishes, salads, pesto, or tabouleh.  You can use the leaves and the stems.  Parsley is also particularly nutritious (as are turnip greens and bok choy), so eat it up.

 

Everyone has a nice head of baby bok choy, which I would probably grill or stir fry with soy sauce and ginger.  Make sure to eat the succulent stems, since I think they are the best part. You could also eat this raw, try slicing it up and mixing it into a cold noodle dish.  Full shares have kale, either the red Russian (wide, frilly leaves with purple stems) or the Tuscan type (dark blue green with bumpy texture). Both are good raw or cooked, made into juice or blended into smoothies, eaten as salad or dried into chips.

 

Our salad is a little sparse right now, since we’ve been behind schedule getting irrigation set up in our new field. So half shares got a really nice little head of fresh green butter lettuce, while full shares got our standard mix.  There will be plenty of both for everyone, but this early in the season we have to take whatever we can get, and fortunately it’s all delicious.


Quinoa Salad with Parsley, Carrots, and Turnips

When the first new vegetables come on in the summer, I’m so excited that I tend to make the same thing over and over to revel in the fresh flavors. This has been my June favorite this year, and it’s simple but very satisfying.

2 c quinoa
1 bunch parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bunch carrots, sliced diagonally
Roots and greens from 1/2 bunch turnips, roots cut into 1/2″ cubes, greens chopped

1 c walnuts, toasted
¼ c olive oil
Salt to taste

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa, cover, and turn the heat to low. Cook until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir together. Serve hot or at room temp.


Salad Dressings: Simple Vinaigrette and Lemon Maple

I give these recipes every year, but considering how much salad you’ll be getting, I think they’re worth throwing out there again. The vinaigrette takes about 2 minutes and comes to us from Alice Waters, the other is one of my favorites. These are basic staples in our kitchen.

Vinaigrette:

In a small bowl whisk together:

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar (I often use apple cider vinegar)
Salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Stir to dissolve the salt, taste, and adjust if needed. Gradually beat in with a fork or small whisk:

3 to 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Taste as you go and stop when it tastes right.

Optional: add garlic and/or diced shallot to the vinegar, or fresh herbs to the finished dressing. Or beat in a little mustard before adding the oil.

Lemon Maple:

Juice of 1 lemon
¼ tsp salt
¼ c olive oil
1 ½ tsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs

Whisk together lemon juice and salt. Add olive oil and whisk until well combined. Whisk in maple syrup. Stir in herbs.

CSA Notes Extended Week 2

In your share Extended Week 2:

 Carrots
Onion
Yacon
Fennel
Pepper
Kale
Cilantro
Lettuce
Brussels Sprouts (Trillium) or Salad Mix (Farm and PC)

Rain, rain, rain this week!  I’m sure many of you have breathed a sigh of relief, as we got over 10 inches in the last week at the farm.  The river has risen higher than it has in almost a year, and I expect the salmon are on their way.  With that much rain that quickly, we did have a few spots of erosion in the field, but for the most part our cover crop did its job.  Most of the erosion happened in mole tunnels that allowed the water to build up speed on its way through the field.

There’s a new crop today, which is probably a new vegetable for most of you.  It is yacon (pronounced yah-CONE), a member of the sunflower family from the Andes.

Continue reading “CSA Notes Extended Week 2”

CSA Share Notes Week 6

In your share week 6:

All Shares:
Sugar Snap Peas
Basil
Salad Mix
Carrots
Green Onion
Zucchini
New potatoes: Austrian Crescent

Full shares only:
Kale
Broccoli (Trillium and PC)
Eggplant or Cucumber (Farm)

Summer crops keep coming, and we’re finally starting to harvest our potatoes.  New potatoes are the tubers off of vines that are still green and growing, as opposed to those that have died back and cured in the ground.  They should be stored in the fridge, rather than on the counter. Continue reading “CSA Share Notes Week 6”