>THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• Pea Shoots (see Winter Make-up Week 1 for recipes)
• Lacinato Kale
• Wild Greens (see Winter Make-up Week 4 for recipes)
• Beet Greens with Baby Beets
• Green Garlic or Salad Onions or Garlic Scapes (see Winter Make-up Week 3 for Scapes recipes, and Winter Make-up Week 2 for Green Garlic)
• Fresh Mint
Fruit shares will start next week with Strawberries from our neighbor, T & M Berries
• Shelling Peas
• Sugar Snap Peas
• Green Onions
U-PICK AT THE FARM:
We have some flowers now that overwintered and volunteered from last year. Bachelor buttons, larkspur, poppies, love-in-a-mist, and black-eyed susans.
Welcome new subscribers, and those returning from previous years and/or previous seasons!
The quantity of produce is low this week, as it typically is the first week of the summer season. But we are gearing up for a full summer. So many things are on the way! We find that our new subscribers use these early weeks to ease into the CSA/subscription eating style, getting used to eating seasonally and using what is given. Please feel free to ask any questions you might have. Email is the best way to reach me in the summer, as I’m not comfortable returning phone calls after dark.
At the moment, the summer solstice is upon us and we are incredibly overwhelmed with work. Not that I’m an extremely “new age” or spiritual, but it is the longest day of the year. Our life is chaotic and without structure. I reflect on our peaceful winter family time often. We get up at 5:30, do chores, get the kids off to their respective daytime activities. Then we are able to focus on work for a few hours until they come home exhausted. Then we go back to work until about 9:00pm, then do evening chores. We rarely cook and eat dinner now—instead we snack on vegetables, fruit from the market (it helps to set up next to organic fruit vendors), and dairy. With our own milk cow, we drink a lot of milk and eat a lot of yogurt, and some of my cheeses from last fall are ready to eat. However, Sunday night I have a farmers market dinner, with wild salmon from Loki Fish, ravioli from the pasta vendor there, and whatever fresh green thing I bring home as leftovers. Monday is usually my only other “cooking” day, and I try to make it something easy.
Every spring I wait anxiously for the beet greens to be ready to make this pasta dish. It’s from the Chez Panisse “Vegetables” book. I love the combination of flavors and the lovely rosy hue it turns the pasta. We use whole wheat bowties usually, and it still turns pink, which means Della will eat it.
Please look at previous blog posts as indicated for recipes for the unusual items. And, if you have any cooking ideas of your own, be sure and post them in “comments” on the blog.
BEET GREEN PASTA
1/4 cup Currants
1 to 2 bunches Beet Greens
1 small bunch Fresh Mint
1 medium Red Onion (or a few salad onions)
1 to 2 cloves Garlic
1 Bay Leaf
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/2 pound Dried Pasta, such as rotini, penne, bowties
Salt and Pepper
1. Cover the currants with boiling water, let them soak for 15 minutes, and drain them. While they are soaking, wash the beet greens, strip the leaves from the stems, and cut the leaves into chiffonade. Chop the stems into 2-inch lengths. Stem the mint, wash the leaves and chop into a chiffonade (ribbons).
2. Put on a pot of salted water for the pasta. Peel the onions and the garlic and chop them both fine. Sauté them with the bay leaf over medium heat in 1/8 cup of olive oil for about 5 minutes or until they are translucent. Add the beet leaves and stems and the currants and cook 5 minutes more, covered. Meanwhile, when the water has come to a boil, add the pasta. Uncover the beet greens, season wtih salt and pepper, and add the mint leaves. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and toss well with the sauce, moistening it with a ladle of the pasta water and the rest of the olive oil. Serve immediately.
STIR-FRIED BEET GREENS WITH GINGER & GREEN CHILES
1-1/2 tbsp. Peanut or Canola Oil
1/2 fresh Hot Green Chile, cut into long, fine slivers
1-1/2 slices Fresh Ginger, cut into long, fine slivers
1/2 pound Beet Greens, cut crosswise into fine ribbons
Dash Salt, or to taste
1. Put the oil in a large pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the chile and ginger. Stir a few times and put in the beet greens. Stir a few times and then cover the pan.
2. Turn the heat down to low and cook until the leaves have wilted. Add the salt and stir a few times. Add 4 tbsp. water, bring to a simmer, and cover.
3. Cook on low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the greens are tender. Stir every now and then during this period. Serve with pasta or rice.
And another kale recipe from Angelic Organics, a CSA farm in Illinois:
1/4 cup Chopped Walnuts
1 tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. Salt, divided
1/2 pound Kale, coarsely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (about 1-1/2 ounces)
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1. Toast the chopped walnuts in a dry, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat, stirring constantly, until they start to brown in spots and become fragrant. Be careful not to overtoast them, as they will burn very quickly once they are toasted. Immediately transfer the walnuts to a dish to cool.
2. Bring two quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt, then add the kale. Cook kale until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.
3. Put the garlic, walnuts, and kale in a blender or food processor; pulse until well combined. With the blender or food processor running, pour in the olive oil in a steady, smooth, pencil-thin stream.
4. When the ingredients are thoroughly combined, transfer to a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, and pepper. Serve hot.