>THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• Swiss Chard
• Amaranth or Mallow Greens
• Salad Onions
• Thai Basil or Marjoram
Rival apricots from Rama Farms in Bridgeport
I’m happy I was able to find any fruit this week. Rama farms came through for me though with more of these incredible apricots. Next week will be the beginning of peach season. I’m still working on getting some blueberries to make up for last week, but they’re hard to get in the quantity that we need.
U-PICK THIS WEEK:
Sorry, there is no u-pick this week.
Weeding is the order of the week now. Weeding and planting. Planting fall greens and roots, weeding salad, greens, carrots, and getting the jungle cleaned out between the beds in the squash, cabbages and pumpkin patch—this section alone is nearly 1/4 of our farm this year. The plastic mulch has saved us an incredible amount of weeding. All that needs to be done really is cleaning between the beds, which can be done with the rototiller if caught early enough. However, everything was perfect in the hot week, but it was so dusty I just couldn’t get to it all, and then it rained. The 6-inch weeds that were perfect rototiller munching size became 2 feet tall. Then by the end of another week they are 3 feet tall. I got about half-way finished but now they have to be cut first because the rototiller keeps binding up. Still, it beats hoeing and hand-weeding. It would have cost us over $1000, probably $2000 to hand weed and hand cultivate those rows without the plastic. And, it saves so much water by holding in moisture. We’ll probably only need to water once or twice the whole rest of the summer. If the ground was exposed and we had to use sprinklers, we’d be watering every other week and the plants would be moisture deprived.
We need to get MIke moving on his tractor cultivating so those rows of new basil and greens and carrots can get cleaned up and aerated, and then he can get moving on the winter carrots, beets, and greens. We’re planning lots of colors of everything to brighten up those grey days. I’ve had so many people asking if we had golden beets and the striped “Chioggia” beets. I prefer to wait and have them in the winter, when it’s easier for the farm to get boring. Now we’ve got so many choices in the summer coming up, we don’t really need all those colors of roots.
If I can keep Cosmo out of the tomato greenhouse, we may have enough to share with everyone next week. And the broccoli should be big enough. I’m guessing two more weeks on the green beans because the fruits are only an inch long.
• Stir-Fry Greens
MEDITERRANEAN SUMMER GREENS SAUCE
1 1/2 tbsp. Chopped Raisins (optional)
1 tbsp. Salt
2 pounds Greens (spinach, escarole, chard, collards, or other greens, or a mixture)
2-4 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and smashed, not minced
4-6 Anchovy Fillets drained and mashed
2 tbsp. Capers, rinsed and drained
10 Black Olives, pitted and halved
1/8 tsp. Black Pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1. Soak raisins in hot water until plump, about 15 minutes.
2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the salt, then add the greens. Simmer until tender, 3 to 10 minutes. (Spinach will need only a few minutes, while collards will need about 10)
3. Drain the greens in a colander and run under cold water. When cool, squeeze out excess water with your hands.
4. If using Swiss Chard, heat 2 tbsp. of oil in a sauté pan. Add the chopped chard stems and sauté over medium heat until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
5. Wipe the pan clean; return it to the burner and heat 2 more tbsp of oil. Add the garlic and cook, turning often, until lightl brownd and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the garlic and discard it.
6. Add the cooked and drained greens (and the chard stems if using) to the pan with the garlic-infused oil and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the anchovies to taste; add capers. Stir to combine and continue to cook for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from heat. Set the mixture aside to cool for 10 minutes. Transfer the greens mixture from the skillet to a food processor (do not use a blender).
7. Drain rasisins and squeeze out excess moisture. Add the raisins, olives, and hot pepper flakes to the processor. Pulse process just until mixture is finely chopped and combined, but not puréed. You can also chop the ingredients using a large chef’s knife.
8. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Best if used the day it is made.
GRILLED ZUCCHINI SALAD WITH PURSLANE AND TOMATO
1 tsp finely grated Fresh Lemon Zest
3 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tbsp finely chopped Shallot or Onion
1/4 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp Salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin Olive Oil, plus additional for brushing zucchini
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
3 tbsp chopped fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley
4 Zucchini (1 3/4 to 2 lb total), halved lengthwise
12 oz Purslane, thick stems removed (4 cups)
10 oz Pear or Cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1. Prepare grill for cooking. If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom of grill.
2.Make dressing: Whisk together zest, lemon juice, shallot, mustard, and salt in a small bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until dressing is emulsified. Whisk in pepper and parsley.
3. Grill zucchini: Lightly brush zucchini all over with oil. When fire is hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 1 to 2 seconds), grill zucchini, cut sides down first, on lightly oiled grill rack, uncovered, turning once, until zucchini are just tender, 8 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and cool slightly, then cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
4. Toss zucchini with purslane, tomatoes, and dressing in a large bowl. Serve immediately.