04 Sep

Week 12 Garden Share

It  feels like fall out there.  It’s only the first week of September and the garden in already slowing down. The cool nights have put a damper on the robust growing that is typical in the summer heat.  We will see what happens over the course of the next few weeks.  I am hopeful that we do not receive a killing frost, as they are expecting one in Bozeman this week!

Eggs—I will have at least 7 dozen eggs here, and also some pullet eggs which as smaller and will sell for less money.

*** My friend, Bonnie Martinell, who owns Bojo Farms in Bridger is harvesting the first of her apples.  Her farm is organic and she specializes in fruit.  You can order them from me and she will begin delivering them next week on your CSA pick up day.  Here is a list of the available varieties.  I do not have the room to store them here, so send me an email or call with your orders.

Colette good eating great baking as is Red Baron these will be $2.00 per pound for 5 to 10lbs $1.85 per pound for a 35 lb box

Liberty great crisp eating apple keeps well these will be $2.50 per pound for 5 to 10 lbs or $2.25/lb for a 35lb box

Honey Crisp great crisp apple keeps well $3.25 per pound for 5 to 10 lbs $2.75 per pound for a 35lb box

She will have 8 more varieties later in the season.  This is another great opportunity to support a local producer who is doing such good things for her land and her community.  I also have some of her eggs here to sell and will try to have more next week.

This week share will contain, Heirloom and Cherry Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Slicing Cucumbers, beautiful Eggplant, Scallions, of course some Beets, Swiss Chard, Bell and Jalapeno Peppers, Radishes, Basil, and I am hoping for a few Beans again.

Please return your plastic containers and egg cartons.  It helps keep them out of the landfill and then I don’t have to purchase more plastic!

See you today –  Bodie & I will be waiting for you.

Caprese Salad
Basil is an excellent source of vitamins A and K, and a good source of vitamin C and manganese.
• 2 balls fresh mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces)
• 4 medium-size ripe tomatoes
• 12 red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
• Salt
• Freshly ground pepper
• Olive oil
• Balsamic vinegar, optional
• Fresh basil leaves
• Sprigs of basil, for garnish
1. Remove cheese from brine and cut into 8 slices. Slice each tomato into 3 slices.
2. Arrange tomato slices, cheese slices and cherry tomatoes on 4 salad plates.
3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, if desired. Top with fresh basil leaves. Garnish with a sprig of basil.

White Beans with Cheese and Basil

A new take on a Tuscan classic.

Serves: 6

Ingredients
• 1 1/2 cans (14—19 ounces) cannellini or other white beans, drained, 1/3 cup liquid reserved
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
• 3 tablespoons grated parmesan or romano cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Place the beans and reserved liquid in a large mixing bowl and partially mash the beans against the side of the bowl with a wooden spoon. Stir in the oil, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix in the basil. Place in a shallow 2 to 3 cup baking dish, and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

 

 

 

25 Aug

Weeks 10 & 11 Garden Share

Sorry about not posting last week.  I had some heart issues that required an EKG and was feeling out of sorts for a few days.  I am back to normal now!

What a change in the weather, huh?  From the extreme heat to cold and rainy…it seems to be the norm for us here in Montana.  We spent last Thursday out in the rain finishing up the harvest for your baskets, and I have been unable to get out into the gardens ever since as it is so muddy.  When the soil is wet it compacts when you walk, and when the plants are wet you don’t want to harvest because you run the risk of spreading disease like powdery and downy mildew.  This is the perfect time to weed however, so getting down and muddy is on the menu for a few days.

On another note, the Farmer’s Almanac is saying that fall is 4 to 5 weeks early this year (I can see the leaves already turning and some are even on the ground), and that our winter is going to be another cold and wet one…worse than last year!  There will be freezes in parts of the country that usually receive no freeze.  So it is not too early to start preparing.

I don’t know how long the garden will produce and it is always a gamble here, but I have been making sauerkraut, fermenting beets, and drying herbs in preparation for the long winter season.  I encourage you to think about using some of your CSA basket to put some food away, too.  If you need more produce, you can order extra if I have it available.  There are canning basket prices listed on my website.   http://scentsofbalance.com/product-category/garden-produce/   You can make pesto from the herbs and freeze it in zip locks or ice cube trays.  Make some pickles from the beets, cucs and zucchini, make salsa and tomato sauce with the peppers and tomatoes, eggplant can be made into ratatouille, and you can blanch and freeze any of the greens including the beet tops.  I am including some ideas and recipes at the end of this newsletter for you to try.

Food prices are continuing to rise as a result of the challenging weather that the majority of farm lands have been experiencing this past year.  I feel that we must be diligent in continuing to learn how to be more self sufficient as a community.  One of the ways we can do this is by strengthening our food systems.  Continue to support local growers here in Montana and the surrounding area so that they can stay in business.  Source out local eggs, poultry, meat, fruit and veggies.  If you need more information I can certainly give you  some names of local producers.  I am sure that Marlene Wilkin who is our egg goddess will continue to have eggs.  Her production will increase as the summer ends as her new young chicks will begin laying.  I also have a friend in Bridger who has an organic orchard. She will have apple and plums for sale.  If you are wanting any to make sauces or jams, I will post her prices when she begins harvesting.

I am hoping the warmer weather sets in again and stays for awhile so that the cabbages, beans, melons and winter squashes grow big and strong and produce heavy crops.  The lettuce that I planted last month is coming up and will be good for fall harvest.  Radishes, braising greens, scallions and green snap beans will also be ready in a few weeks if the weather holds.  The plantings of cauliflower and broccoli were eaten by those darn flea beetles…again!  There are a few plants still struggling, but if we have an early freeze, there will not be enough time for them to head up.  There are certain challenges when we farm organically…always the weather and then the bugs and soil diseases.  And, everyear is different!  I guess that is how we continue to learn.

This weeks basket should contain kale, beets, tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, peppers and basil.  I also have fresh dill seed heads if any of you want them to use in your pickles.  You will have to let me know though, as I won’t harvest  unless you order them.

Here are some of my favorite ways to preserve the garden harvests.

 

Foolproof Fruit Butter

Lower in sugar and much easier to make than preserves or jam, these tasty treats contain no butter. Their name simply refers to the smooth, creamy texture. Perhaps the best-known fruit butter in this country is apple butter, but you can also make peach butter, plum butter, apricot butter, pear butter, berry butter, and even tomato or pumpkin butter.

Makes about 4 pints

Ingredients:

5 pounds fruit (use apples, peaches or whatever is abundant); use an extra pound or two if you’re using fruits with a high water content, such as berries
2 cups cider, fruit juice, or water
Sugar or honey (optional)
Spices (ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger)

Directions:

Peel, core, and seed fruit, and cut into 1-inch hunks. Put the fruit and your liquid (cider, fruit juice, or water) into a large non-reactive pot, bring to a boil, and simmer (covered) for 20 minutes until the fruit is soft and mushy. Stir occasionally, and add a little water if the fruit begins to stick to the bottom, to prevent scorching.

Pour the mushy fruit into a large slow cooker. If possible set the cooker in a sheltered outdoor area so the heat and evaporating water won’t be indoors making an already hot day harder to bear. Cook, uncovered (turn a sieve upside down as a lid if insects are a concern), on medium or low for 10 to 12 hours, stirring occasionally, or until the butter is as thick as you like it. It will get brown and rich. You can’t overcook fruit butter, and in the slow cooker, you can’t scorch it as you can on the stove. If you don’t have a slow cooker, use the thickest-bottomed pot you have on your stove’s very lowest setting and be vigilant about stirring, especially as the butter starts to thicken up. There’s no set time for stovetop cooking; you just need to cook the fruit until it reaches your desired consistency.

When the butter is as thick as you want it, taste it to see if you need to add sugar or honey. I rarely add sweetener, but if you prefer sweet butters, add up to about 2 cups of sugar or 1 cup of honey. This is also the time to add spices if you like. Apples go well with 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon and a ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves; peaches go well with cinnamon and ground ginger. Stir until the spices are completely dissolved or blended.

Ladle the butter into hot, sterilized jars, and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath to seal them.

Sweet Squash Pickles

Pickles are almost synonymous with cucumbers in supermarkets, but you can pickle just about any veggie, and even some fruits, with delicious results. Zucchinis make great pickles, and goodness knows we can all use more ideas for using up an overly generous squash patch.

Makes about 3 pints

Ingredients:

2 pounds zucchinis or other tender summer squash (I especially like the Italian heirloom Costata Romanesco, which has lengthwise ridges that make for pretty slices)
1 pound onions
¼ cup non-iodized salt
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 Tablespoon mustard seed
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Directions:

Slice small squash into ¼-inch rounds. Or quarter larger squash lengthwise, peel, seed, and slice the long strips into ¼-inch slices; it’s OK to use those extra-large squash that grew too big to eat. Peel and core the onions. If using small onions, halve or quarter them, and if using medium to large onions, cut into rings ¼ inch thick. Layer the squash and onions in a stainless steel or ceramic bowl, sprinkling each layer with salt. Add remaining salt and just cover with cold water. Put a plate on top to weight down the veggies and let them soak for 2 hours (this pulls some moisture out of the veggies for crisper pickles). Rinse and drain.

After your squash have soaked, prepare your pickling brine. In a large non-reactive pot (glass, stainless steel, enamelware), combine the remaining ingredients (vinegar through cloves). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add drained veggies. Cover and let sit for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Then, pack into sterilized jars and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. (Follow the canning instructions the jar manufacturer has provided).

Zippy Zucchini Dills

Similar to the previous recipe, these spicy zucchini pickles can stand in for ordinary dill pickles, and they taste especially good on burgers!

Makes about 3 pints

Ingredients:

3 pounds zucchinis or other tender summer squash
¼ cup non-iodized salt
2 cups cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon mustard seed
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin
3 fresh dill heads (flowers or seeds), plus 3 big sprigs fresh dill weed, or ¼ cup dry dill seed

Directions:
Slice, soak, and drain the zucchini the same way you would for sweet pickles, allowing it to soak with the salt in some water for 2 hours.

Combine all remaining ingredients. If you’re using the ¼ cup dry dill seed, add that as well, but if you’re using fresh dill, exclude that until the very end. Follow the same process you’d use for sweet squash pickles. When filling the sterilized jars, put one fresh dill head and one fresh sprig of dill weed into each jar before adding the hot pickles.

Create Some Herbal Infusions

If I’m really industrious, I may harvest some of my frost-tender herbs such as basil, chives, tarragon, lemon balm, pineapple sage and lemon verbena to freeze in ice cube trays for winter use.

Feeling even more industrious? Fresh herbs can be used to make herbal-infused vodkas and herb-flavored sugars that you can hand out over the holidays, or just enjoy yourself in a hot toddy or your weekend baking.

Loaded Eggplant Rounds

Love loaded potato skins? Enjoy all that cheesy bacon flavor on top of these nutritious and delicious eggplant rounds!

Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 large eggplant
Olive oil spray
Garlic salt
1 and ½ cups reduced fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
¾ cup real bacon crumbles
6 scallions, chopped

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Slice eggplant into round discs, about ¼ – ½ inch thick (thinner rounds will get crispier).
Place the eggplant rounds on a baking sheet, spray both sides of each with a light coating of olive oil spray, and sprinkle with small amount of garlic salt.
Place the rounds in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until rounds are getting brown and crispy.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Top each round with the shredded cheese and the bacon crumbles.
Return the baking sheet to the over for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
Sprinkle the scallions over the rounds and serve.

These could also be served as an appetizer for your next party!

 

zucchini-pizza-boatsZucchini Pizza Boats

Yield: 12 boats, about 6 servings

Ingredients

6 small zucchini (2 1/2 lbs)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 oz)
1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (1.4 oz)
1/2 cup mini pepperoni slices
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner, set aside.

Cut each zucchini into halves through the length (if they don’t lye flat trim a thin portion from bottoms so that they will lye mostly flat. Pat insides dry with paper towels (cut portion). Align on prepared baking sheet. In a bowl, stir together olive oil and garlic then brush lightly over tops of zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste then brush a slightly heaping 1 Tbsp marinara sauce over each zucchini, leaving a small rim near edges uncoated. Sprinkle tops evenly with mozzarella cheese then with parmesan cheese. Top with pepperoni slices (placing them more near centers as the cheese will melt and spread). Bake in preheated oven 12 – 18 minutes (bake time will vary depending on how thick your zucchini are and how crisp/tender you want them).

Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped fresh oregano. Serve warm.

Here’s a great soup recipe to freeze!

Late Season Minestroni

Late-Summer Minestrone

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 young carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup celery, chopped thinly
2 small zucchini, green or yellow, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
2 ears fresh corn, shucked and cut off the cob
1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock, plus 2 cups water
4 large, ripe tomatoes chopped (about 2 cups)
125 g. (1/4 regular package) whole-wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves, loosely packed plus more for garnish
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)

1. Put 3 tablespoons oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, rosemary and zucchini. Cook, stirring, until vegetables soften somewhat, 5 minutes or so.

2. Add fresh corn and beans. Cook, stirring, for a minute or two, then add stock, water and chopped tomatoes; bring to a boil, then lower heat so mixture bubbles gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are quite soft and tomatoes broken up, about 10 minutes.

3. Add 1/2 cup basil and whole-wheat spaghetti. Cook another 5 to 7 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

To serve: ladle into bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Tear a few basil leaves and drop them in. Serve with fresh Parmesan, if desired.

 

 

13 Aug

Week 9 Summer Share

I have been blessed to have a new volunteer to help in the garden.  Morgann comes 1 day a week and she brings her pet chicken, Clarissa.  She is a heritage bird whose feet were severely frost bitten and her owners couldn’t keep her.  Morgann came to her rescue.  Bodie, Mara the cat and the rest of us love having her here, as she adds to the beauty, wildness and vitality of the gardens.

The new seedlings that we have been planting are starting to come up.  However, the flea beetles are loving them.  I am spraying with various organic sprays to keep them at bay, but with the extreme heat we have been experiencing I am having to overhead water more which just washes the botanicals right off!  All I can do is keep trying.

The first of the eggplant should be ready for you next week, and hopefully some peppers.  This weeks selection will include carrots, beets, kale, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, rhubarb and a selection of herbs.

If you have some favorite recipes that you would like to share with the CSA members, you can send them to me via email and I will include them in my newsletters.  It always so nice to have new material to add to the recipe box.

Marlene will be bringing eggs again this week.  Her chickens have not been producing as many eggs as usual because of the heat. But I should have at least 7 or 8 dozen.

Thank you all for letting me know that you are enjoying the newsletter.  I usually don’t get around to writing it until Wednesday night after I know what is going to be in your share for that week.  Sometimes I am exhausted from the days work, but I try my best to make it informative.

Pink Herbal Lemonade

The lavender and hibiscus flowers turn this refreshing lemonade a gorgeous hot-pink color. You’ll get the most juice from lemons that are at room temperature. If you can’t find hibiscus flowers, substitute four large strawberries, thinly sliced.
• 4 cups water
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
• 4 whole dried hibiscus flowers
• 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 large lemons)
• Lemon slices and whole lavender sprigs, for garnish
1. Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add sugar; stir to dissolve.
2. Add lavender and hibiscus flowers and steep, covered, for 5 minutes.
3. Strain and add lemon juice. Chill for several hours before serving.
4. Garnish with lemon slices and lavender sprigs.

Moroccan Carrot Radish Salad

Shredded salads are incredibly quick and easy, when you use the food processor. In this one, the peppery kick of radishes and sweet crunch of carrots are enhanced with the tangy lemon dressing. Sort through the radish leaves, discarding any wilted ones, and chop the good ones to toss with the salad.
Ingredients
• 4 large carrots
• 4 large red radishes
• Radish leaves, chopped, or spinach
• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup toasted pumpkinseeds
• 1/4 cup toasted, unsalted peanuts (optional)
• 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Preparation
Grate the carrots and radishes coarsely. Wash and sort the radish leaves, and chop or julienne. Put them in a bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and cumin, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk in the olive oil gradually. Pour the dressing over the carrots and toss to mix. Just before serving, add the pumpkinseeds, peanuts, and feta cheese and toss.

Beet Bundt Cake

16 servings

All I can say is TRUST ME. We use vegetables in other desserts (think carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie), so why not beets?

Ingredients
• 1/2 cup (120 ml) canola oil
• 1 1/2 cups (340 g) packed dark brown sugar
• 2 cups (450 g) puréed cooked (boiled or steamed) red beets (about 3 medium-size beets)
• 1/2 cup (90 g) semisweet chocolate chips, melted
• 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
• 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons (9 g) baking powder (look for aluminum-free)
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preparation
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5), and lightly oil a Bundt pan.
In a mixing bowl, cream together oil and brown sugar. Add beets, melted chocolate chips, and vanilla, and mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet beet mixture, and stir until just combined.
Pour into prepared Bundt pan, and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely. Before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar and top with blueberries, if desired.

Tip: Reserve 1/4 cup (55 g) of the puréed beets (or purée a fourth beet) to create a red/pink frosting or ganache, using confectioners’ sugar and butter. For a ganache, use the water in which you cooked the beets to thin out the topping. For frosting, fluff up using a hand mixer.

Roasted Beet Salad

The addition of lightly cooked pears to this classic salad combination will likely make this already sweet vegetable more palatable to even the pickiest of eaters.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

4 medium beets (about 1 1/2 pounds), ends trimmed
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges each
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups arugula (optional)
4 tablespoons (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese
Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. Wrap the beets in foil and set on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife easily pierces the beets. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Peel the beets, cut each into 8 wedges (wear disposable rubber gloves if you’re concerned about the beets staining on your hands), and transfer to a bowl.

3. Meanwhile, combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until reduced by about half and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Set aside.

4. Place the walnuts in a large nonstick skillet and cook over medium-high heat, shaking the pan often, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Transfer to the bowl with the beets.

5. Add the oil to the skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add the pears and cook for 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

6. Add the reserved vinegar mixture, the salt, and pepper to the beets, tossing to coat well. Place 1/2 cup arugula (if using) on each of 4 plates and top with the beet mixture and pears. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon blue cheese.

Linguine and Zucchini with Bagna Cauda Sauce

6 servings

2 garlic cloves, minced
7 flat anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 pound linguine
2 pounds zucchini, cut into 1/8-inch matchsticks

Cook garlic with anchovies in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook linguine in a pasta pot of well-salted boiling water until al dente, adding zucchini 2 minutes before pasta is ready. Drain, then toss with sauce.

See you on Thursday …..4 to 6 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

06 Aug

Week 8 Summer Share

It’s hard to believe that we are already at the half way mark for the CSA season.  My body is telling me that it is indeed true, but I am certainly not ready for fall just yet.  As much as I have found this past few week’s heat index challenging, I still want to feel some more gentle summer heat and be able to experience the sights, smells and sounds of the vibrant gardens.  Barb and I are still seeding.  In fact, new plantings of orange cauliflower, broccoli, radish, cabbage, kale, swiss chard and beans have been planted within the last few days, in the hope that we will have a long fall and be able to supply you with these veggies before a hard freeze.  Since the early season’s broccoli crop was a disappointment (AGAIN!), maybe the fall crop will be better.

I have the feeling that some of you are not really taking advantage of the newsletter, which is a little disappointing to me.  It was my hope that you would be able to experience through my writing, a sense of what a production garden is all about.  I try to include easy and new recipes for you to try, as I know most of you work and have time constraints as to food prep, especially during the busy summer season.  It takes a certain amount of time to put together this newsletter, so if you would let me know if it is something you are interested in receiving and are finding it helpful, please let me know.  I certainly want it to be interesting, educational and a good read for you.

This week’s harvest will provide for you tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, scallions, beets, Swiss chard and the French bean medley, along with basil.

I am planning on doing more fermenting this year.  Last year was my first experience at making saurkraut, and it turned out great.  I am now going to take advantage of the abundance of beets that the garden is producing.  I hope you are not getting too tired of them, but they are such a wonderful veggie and so good for the liver.  Here is a link to a recipe that I am going to try.  Maybe you would like to experiment, too.  http://harmoniousbelly.com/2010/08/lacto-fermented-beets/. 

I know I have talked to most of you about the ease of roasting vegetables.  I have included a recipe for a different method of oven roasting, and this would be a great week to try it.

I will have eggs again.  I only sold 3 dozen last week, so I am hoping that you will take advantage of this offer in order to make it beneficial to Marlene so that she continues to bring them.

picmhXETH

Greek Style Roasted Vegetables

2 lbs zucchini, cut in 1/2-inch slices (or use half & half zucchini and eggplant. Make sure you salt to sweat the eggplant before using as they put off allot of water.)

1 lb potato, cut in 1/2-inch slices

2 green sweet peppers, membrane and seeds removed and cut into chunks

5 garlic cloves, crushed

2 cups tomatoes cut into chunks or slices (peel if you wish)

1/2 teaspoon white sugar

2 onions, thinly sliced

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

2 teaspoons fresh dill or 2 teaspoons fennel

1/4 cup virgin olive oil

Fresh chopped parsley, dill, Greek oregano or fennel (for garnish)

Feta or parmesan cheese or use both!

Directions:

Mix together the garlic, tomatoes and sugar.
Oil an oven dish large enough to hold all the ingredients.
Place some onion on the bottom of the dish.
Mix together the remaining vegetables
Add a layer on top of the onions.
Top with some of the tomato mixture.
Season with salt & pepper.
Sprinkle some of the herbs on top and drizzle with the oil.
Continue layering until all ingredients have been used ending with a layer of the herbs and drizzle with oil (this may be 3-4 layers depending on the depth and size of your dish).
Cover and cook in a 350°F oven for 1-1 1/2 hours.
Uncover and top with cheese for the last 15 minutes.
Garnish with the remaining fresh herbs and serve.

Serves 6

Caprese Salad Recipe

Basil is an excellent source of vitamins A and K, and a good source of vitamin C and manganese.
• 2 balls fresh mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces)
• 4 medium-size ripe tomatoes
• 12 red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
• Salt
• Freshly ground pepper
• Olive oil
• Balsamic vinegar, optional
• Fresh basil leaves
• Sprigs of basil, for garnish
1. Remove cheese from brine and cut into 8 slices. Slice each tomato into 3 slices.
2. Arrange tomato slices, cheese slices and cherry tomatoes on 4 salad plates.
3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, if desired. Top with fresh basil leaves. Garnish with a sprig of basil.

 

30 Jul

Week 7 Summer Share

My grandaughter, Katie, is here visiting from Costa Rica.  I set her to task picking raspberries.  Isn’t she beautiful?  She is a born gardener.  I wish she would move back and help me in the gardens.  Summer here is off season there.  It could just work!

It’s been another hot week here!  We could use some rain to give us a break from watering.  We have been reseeding and weeding.  The dreaded purslane tends to take over so we try to get it out before it sets seeds.  It is an annual weed and spreads its seeds prolifically, so this time of year is a good time to get it out!  I planted a trap crop of nastursiums to attract the flea beetles and keep them off of the brassicas.  It is working fairly well, but the new seedlings of radishes that are just coming up are already riddled with holes.  Drats!   Just one of the many challenges of growing organically.  We get so used to seeing the perfect produce at the grocers that we have come to expect the same from organically grown crops.  Even though there may be some cosmetic damage, the vitality and flavor that you get from locally grown organic produce is a thousand times better, and the environment is not harmed by the use of toxic herbicides and pesticides.

If you are not completely satisfied with your weekly share, I want to know.   I want to make sure that you are happy with the produce.  Your comments help me get better at what I do.

Eggs will be available every week for $3 per dozen.  Please return your egg cartons, as Marlene, the egg/chicken goddess, recycles them.  Ditto on any plastic cartons that are used to package produce in your weekly basket.  I try not to purchase plastic packaging, so recycling those clamshells that you get at the market is a win for you and me and a win for the environment.

This weeks share includes carrots, red cabbage, beautiful purple, yellow and green French beans, yellow and green summer squash, cucumbers, kale and Italian basil.  Pick up your share between 4 & 6 PM.  Please let me know if you are not able to come, so that I don’t wait for you.

The following recipes are quick and simple, and take advantage of several of the items in your produce box this week.

Salad Primavera

Serving Size: 8

Ingredients

• 1 Cup Basmati Rice
• 8 oz Flavored Tofu, drained and diced
• 2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
• 4 Green Onions, chopped
• 1/2 Orange or Yellow Bell Pepper, diced
• 1 Cucumber, peeled, quartered and sliced
• 1 Yellow or Green Summer Squash, diced
• 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
• 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
• 1/2 Cup Olive Oil

Instructions
1. In a medium sauce pan bring two cups of water and the rice to boiling. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is fluffy.
2. Remove the rice from the heat. Cool and transfer to a large serving bowl.
3. Add tofu, tomatoes, green onion, bell pepper, cucumber, and squash to the rice and stir to combine.
4. In a blender or small bowl with whisk, quickly blend together the vinegar, mustard and olive oil to create and emulsion dressing.
5. Drizzle the dressing over the rice mixture and toss to combine.
6. Serve and Enjoy!

Strawberry, Cantaloupe and Basil Salad

Serves 4
• 1 cantaloupe
• 1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved
• 3⁄4 cup dessert wine
• Fresh basil leaves

1. Cut cantaloupe in half; seed, slice and peel. Place in a large bowl. Add strawberries and toss gently.

2. Pour wine over fruit; cover and chill 30 minutes.

3. Arrange on a salad plate; top with basil leaves.

 

Green Beans with Lemon

Ingredients
• 1/2 pound haricots verts (thin French green beans) or regular green beans
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves (wash and dry before chopping)
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
• freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Trim regular green beans if using and in a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook beans until crisp-tender (2 minutes for haricots verts or 3 to 4 minutes for regular green beans) and drain in a colander.
In a bowl toss beans with lemon juice, parsley, lemon zest, and pepper and season with salt.

23 Jul

Week 6 – Summer share

Hot! Hot!  Hot!  Need I say more?  We have been trying to get as much done in th early part of the day, as we begin to wilt by early afternoon….the plants, too!  With the heat also come the bugs, and the flea beetles  have arrived in full force.  They love to chew on all of the brassicas, mustards, radish and even the lower leaves of the tomatoes.  I treated some of the beds this past weekend with biological organisms that are supposed to weaken the immune systems of the soil dwelling beetles so that they stop producing and eventually die.  As with all organic methods it will be a slow process and I am sure there will still be some damage to the plants.  However, seeing a few holes in the leaves is so much better that eating food sprayed with toxic chemicals.  The plants don’t have to look perfect in order to be nutritious.  The vital goodness will still be there.

As a result of the heat, the summer squash and peppers are finally starting to grow!  Still not enough for your share this week, but I should have some for you next week.  I am hoping for beans, too!  Keep your fingers crossed.  Every year the garden has its successes and challenges.  This year the broccoli was not great, but the cauliflower and cabbages have been beautiful.  I have never experienced slow growing summer squash.  This year is the first time for me!

Your share this week will include garlic, braising greens, Parisienne carrots, beautiful beets, Swiss chard, scallions, cauliflower, small early tomatoes and herbs including basil.

Thursday is a long day for me, so if you are not going to be able to pick up your share by 6 PM, please call and let me know.

I am getting rid of several rows of large lavender plants, in order to make room for more strawberries.  You are welcome to come and dig out  as many as you would like.  They are big, healthy plants.  Otherwise, I will be throwing them out.

I will continue to have fresh eggs for you at $3 per dozen, and you can either return your egg cartons here or at the Good Earth Market so that they can be reused.

I hope you enjoy the recipes below.  I have been  roasting the cauliflower and it is delicious and so quick and easy to make.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

Servings: 6

Tender roasted cauliflower tossed in olive oil and garlic is topped with Parmesan cheese and broiled until golden brown.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a large casserole dish.

Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag. Add cauliflower, and shake to mix. Pour into the prepared casserole dish, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown.

 

Stir-Fry It! The Anything Goes Meal!

Greens love the cool weather of spring. Here is a basic recipe for using a bunch of greens, usually the first items to appear in a CSA share, at the farmer’s market, and in your garden. Serve with rice or noodles.

Ingredients (or whatever other vegetables you have kicking around)

1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 bunch green garlic tops, chopped
½ lb of carrots
1-2 cups of snow peas, sugar snap peas, or green beans
1-2 bunches of greens (think tat soi, Chinese cabbage, pac choi, or Swiss chard, beet tops or kale), coarsely chopped
Tofu or chicken, cut into 1 inch cubes

Sauté your tofu or chicken in oil and turn a few times, until golden and cooked through. Remove from pan. Sauté your carrots until mostly tender, then add the peas or beans, scallions, and garlic greens. Add the chopped up leafy greens and cover until they wilt down. Add your stir fry sauce, stir to coat the vegetables, and heat through for s few minutes. Spoon over noodles or rice.

 

Potato, Bacon, and Greens Frittata

You can substitute sliced Canadian bacon for a lower-fat alternative in this hearty Spanish egg dish.

Serves: 6

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups roasted or boiled potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3/4 cup cooked greens, such as mustard, chard, spinach or kale, chopped
2 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large sweet onions, thickly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
8 large eggs, lightly beaten

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet with ovenproof handle over medium heat. Add onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook, turning with tongs, 10 minutes, or until well browned. Stir in vinegar and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in potatoes, greens, bacon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

2. Pour eggs over vegetables and stir to blend. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to set, 3 minutes. Place skillet in oven and cook until set, 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. To serve, loosen around edges with rubber spatula and turn out onto plate.

 

Roasted Garlic & Tomato Bruschetta

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1 garlic head, whole
3 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium tomato, diced
¼ cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
12 slices baguette, 1/2-inch thick

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the top 1/3 off of the garlic head, exposing cloves. Place on foil; drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over the head of garlic and sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper. Wrap with foil. Bake in preheated oven 1 hour or until tender. Let cool.
2. Meanwhile, combine tomato, basil, 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste in medium bowl; set aside.
3. Squeeze garlic out of skins. Mix garlic, cream cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese in a small bowl; set aside
4. Arrange bread slices on baking sheet; spread garlic cream cheese mixture over one side of each slice; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Bake in preheated 350°F oven 12 minutes or until golden brown. Top with tomato mixture and remaining cheese.

16 Jul

Week 5 – summer share

It’s been another fast and furious week of planting, harvesting, fertilizing and weeding.  The cooler weather on Monday and Tuesday provided the opportunity to do some foliar fertilizing.  The tomatoes needed to be tied up to the fencing and the suckers pinched.  I dug all of the garlic that was planted last fall and it is drying on screens in the shade under the Blue Spruce.   The beans are starting to flower and there are tiny little summer squash and cucumbers on the vines.  Today Barbara seeded new plantings of more beans, carrots and radish….scallions will go in tomorrow.  Successive planting is ongoing as we want to make sure that we have a nice selection of veggies for you throughout the summer.   I hear that the heat that we experienced today is going to stay with us all through next week.  I was hoping for some rain, but don’t think it will be coming any time soon.

I hope you enjoyed your cauliflower last week.  I roasted mine with beets, onions, scallions and of course, garlic!  It was wonderful finished with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh dill.

This weeks share will include cabbage, kale, scallions, radish, beets, carrots and rhubarb.   I have included some recipes that use some of this weeks selection.

Just a reminder to remember to bring your boxes or bags and if you aren’t going to be able to pick up your share, please let me know ahead of time,  so that I don’t wait for you thinking you are coming.

Sweet Beet Dressed Slaw

4 servings

Ingredients
• 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
• 2 small to medium-sized red beets, peeled and grated
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
• 8 to 10 radishes, julienned
• 1/2 small head red cabbage, thinly shredded (can substitute green cabbage)
• 3 bias cut scallions
• 2 rounded spoonfuls dill pickle relish

Directions

Preheat a medium size skillet over medium-high heat with 3 turns of the pan of extra-virgin olive oil, about 3 tablespoons. Once you see the oil ripple in the pan add the grated beets, season with some salt and pepper and cook stirring every now and then until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the beets to a bowl and let them cool down a bit. Add the mustard and the vinegar to the beets. Whisk in the remaining extra-virgin olive oil in a slow and steady stream. Add the fresh dill, radishes, shredded cabbage, sliced scallions and relish and toss to combine, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve now or the next day.

 

Cabbage and Pear Slaw

4 servings

Ingredients
• 1 cup chopped pears
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 2 tablespoons apple cider
• 1 teaspoon brown sugar
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
• 1 medium red onion, sliced
• 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Directions

Give the pears a rough chop.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, cider, sugar, and salt and pepper, to taste. Add the pear, cabbage, onion, and parsley. Toss everything together, taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper

 

Chicken and Kale in Parmesan Cream Sauce

“Chicken and kale in a creamy and cheesy sauce makes a great topping for pasta.”

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 pinch sea salt
6 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, diced
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (3 ounce) package grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Combine kale, water, red wine vinegar, and sea salt in a saucepan; cook over medium heat until the kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, reserving the liquid. Set the kale aside.
2. Combine the reserved liquid and the chicken in the saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir the kale, cream, butter, and black pepper through the chicken; cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the mixture is hot, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the mixture; cook and stir until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

09 Jul

Week 4 Summer CSA share

Snap Peas

It’s been out of the fry pan into the fire this past week.  The days have been so hot that Barb and I have found it callenging working in the garden in the afternoons.  With both of us now in our 70’s we just can’t take the heat like we used to.  That being said, the summer squash and peppers are loving it and really starting to grow.  I was really worried there for awhile, as they just were just sitting there.   This time last year we were almost ready to harvest the first of the zucchini….not so this year.  With the cool nights of the past few weeks, they just were not liking it!  Everything is looking pretty good out there right now.  The flea beetles,  which were quite bothersome in the early spring last year, are just now starting to show their nasty faces.  It’s a good thing that this is the final harvest for the braising greens, as the beetles love those crops!

This week will provide you with the last of the spring peas, beautiful heads of cauliflower, broccoli florets, radishes, swiss chard, a colorful mix of heirloom beets with their tops, baby carrots and, of course some herbs.  I am really pleased with the cauliflower.  In past years I have found it difficult to grow them perfectly…similar to the broccoli.  But this year I think I was blessed.  They look spectacular.

Be sure and top your carrots before storing them.  We leave the tops on because it is a great way to bundle and present them.  You can either put them in a zip lock bag, or store them in water for crisp snacking.

The beet tops are considered a green.  They can be braised, steamed, added to stir frys and Thai curries, or roasted with other veggies in a 450 degree oven.  The beets can be steamed, boiled, pickled and I even like them grated raw into a green salad.  If they are boiled or steamed, the skins slip right off.  Otherwise you may want to peel them.  I actually like the peels….just like carrots, as long as you scrub them good.

I am excited to announce that I will  have organic, free range eggs available here every week for you to pick up.  My friend Marlene Wilkin lives just down the road on Independent Lane.  She grows heritage birds and her eggs are wonderful.  I thought it would be a great way to introduce you to another local producer and give you the opportunity to cross one more thing off of your grocery  list.  The eggs will sell for $3 a dozen.

Don’t forget to bring your bags or boxes!

See you on Thursday…4-6 P

New recipies for your enjoyment.

Spicy Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas

Serves 3-4

1 lb. sugar snap peas
2 T soy sauce (can use low-sodium soy sauce if you prefer)
1 tsp. sesame seed oil
1 tsp. Sriracha sauce
2-3 slices fresh ginger root
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 T peanut oil
1 tsp. black sesame seeds or sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Remove the strings from the each sugar snap pea by snapping the stem end and pulling the string down the side, then slice each one on the diagonal. (The sugar snap peas actually have a string on each side, but on most of them I only removed the string from one side.)

Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, and Sriracha sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

Put the wok or heavy frying pan on the burner and preheat at least one minute. (It should feel very hot if you hold your hand above the wok.) When wok is hot, add the oil and let it heat until the oil is shimmering (about 15-30 seconds, depending on how hot your stove gets.) Add the sliced ginger root and garlic and stir-fry just long enough so that they become fragrant and season the oil, then remove. (Be careful not to brown the ginger and garlic or they will have a bitter taste.)

Add the sliced sugar snap peas and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until the peas turn bright green and are just starting to cook, about 2 minutes. Pour in the sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce just starts to coat the peas, about 1 minute more. (There will be some sauce in the bottom of the wok, but not much.) Serve hot, sprinkled with black sesame seeds or sesame seeds if desired.

 

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Roasted cauliflower florets are the crunchy centerpiece of this salad, which is dressed with a sprightly vinaigrette.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup pitted green olives
1/4 cup cleaned, trimmed, and thinly sliced radishes
4 cups watercress or you can substitute other tender greens
1/2 cup whole parsley leaves
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup Apple-Cider Vinaigrette

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Place cauliflower in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast cauliflower until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Set aside and let cool, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Transfer cauliflower to a bowl and add cherries, almonds, olives, radishes, watercress, parsley, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with vinaigrette; toss to combine and serve.

 

Simple Spring Greens and Radish Sauté Recipe

Keep your health on track with this scrumptious and vitamin-rich radish sauté.

SERVES 4

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch radishes, sliced
4 green onions, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
6 generous cups packed, chopped greens (such as beet greens and chard)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sauté radishes for 3 minutes.

Add green onions and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, sugar, celery seed and chopped greens; sauté for 2 to 3 minutes more or until greens are wilted.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

 

02 Jul

Happy 4th of July & week 3 of your garden share

It looks like summer might have finally arrived.  At least the peppers and winter squash think so, as I swear they have doubled in size!  They have really liked the warmer weather the last couple of days.  The wind did toss them around a little, but I think we are well on our way now for a beautiful season.

I began harvesting the lavender this past weekend.  I was in “La La Land” for a couple of days.  It is so fragrant and relaxing sitting amongst those flowers with the bees and butterflies.  It almost felt like I  was not working!   This is the perfect time to get some, as it is fresh.  Nothing better than hanging  a bunch in your bathroom or bedroom.  The humidity of the bathroom brings out the fragrance even more, and in the bedroom you are lulled to sleep by Lavender’s gentle aroma.  You can also hang some in your kitchen to remind you to stick a few sprigs in your sugar bowl or honey jar.  Its a wonderful addition to homemade lemonaide, too.    The bundles sell for $15.  I will continue the harvest over the next few weeks, so if you would like to preorder this season’s Lavender, let me know.  I will have some available on Thursday.

This weeks share will include spinach, the last of the lettuce (for a little while), braising greens, beets, scallions, rainbow radish, snap peas and herbs.  With all of the holiday celebrations going on this weekend, take advantage of all the veggies and greens and put together beautiful appetizer platters to munch on while waiting for those burgers and brats!  You can use the spearmint and lemon balm to make flavored waters and iced teas.  If you want to walk on the wild side why not muddle some up in a top shelf gin or vodka for a “to die for” martini.

See you on Thursday….4-6 PM.

5 Ways to Enjoy Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar snap peas are in season now and ready to enjoy in so many ways. Here are 5 delicious, easy ideas:

1. In the raw with a dip of 1 cup plain yogurt, 1/3 cup crumbled feta, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns.
2. In succotash, sauté with freshly cut corn kernels (scrape the milk from the cob to make it creamy), scallions, and cherry tomatoes.
3. Blanched and tossed with buttered egg noodles, parsley, and garlic.
4. Roasted with olive oil and sea salt beneath the broiler until crisp-tender and lightly browned on the edges; drizzle with a few drops of toasted sesame oil before serving.
5. Tossed warm with fresh pesto and toasted pine nuts.
HINT: Before you eat them, snap off the stem and remove the stringy spines on both sides of the pod.

 

Green Goddess Dip with Vegetables and Homemade Pita Chips

The best thing about this crowd-pleasing platter is that you can offer up whatever is fresh in your garden or from the farmers’ market.

Serves: 20

Ingredients
3 6-inch whole-wheat pitas
2 tsp canola oil
cumin
chili powder
kosher salt
2 cups chopped avocado (about 2)
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt or plain nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2/3 cup chopped fresh chives, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
7 cups assorted fresh vegetables, raw or lightly steamed (e.g., beet slices, baby carrots, sliced fennel, julienned jicama, snow peas, radish, scallions)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut each pita into 8 wedges. Brush with oil and sprinkle with ground cumin, chili powder, and kosher salt–all to taste. Bake for 8 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Turn off oven and let chips stand for 15 minutes or until crispy.
2. Meanwhile, put avocado, yogurt, lemon juice, vinegar, 1/3 cup chives, parsley, and salt to taste in a small food processor or blender and puree until creamy. Stir in most of remaining chives, reserving some to garnish dip.
3. To serve, spoon the dip into a small bowl and surround with vegetables and pita chips on a platter.

Spinach Salad

This is a classic salad that is hearty enough for a meal! Add some crumbled blue cheese if you like. Soup and bread complement this nicely.

• 1- 1 1/2 lbs washed spinach, either baby leaf or mature (if using mature leaves, rip up into smaller pieces)
• 8-12 pieces of bacon
• One small red onion, sliced thinly
• 4-6 hardboiled eggs, peeled and chopped or quartered

Warm Bacon Dressing

• 5 tablespoons reserved bacon fat (or use olive oil if you feel weird about bacon fat)
• 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• salt and black pepper, to taste
Cook bacon until very crisp in a skillet, in batches if necessary. Drain bacon pieces on a paper towel, and add 5 tablespoons of bacon fat to a small saucepan. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients, mix well, and warm over low heat.
Place the spinach in a large bowl with bacon and onion. Just before eating, add the warm dressing and toss to evenly coat spinach. Divide onto 4 plates and top with chopped eggs and blue cheese, if using.

 

25 Jun

Your second week

It was so nice to see you all last week.  Some familiar faces and lots of new faces graced the garden shed so things are off to a grand start.  The weather has been cool, so those heat loving plants like the peppers, eggplant and basil are just sitting there wondering what they are supposed to do.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that we do not get any hail this week and night temperatures increase.  I am hearing that next week is going to really hot!  Extreme temperature fluctuations are really hard on the plants, as they do not have the time to acclimate.

This weeks harvest will of course provide lots more greens.  Don’t get discouraged, as when things heat up, there will not be as many, so take advantage of the bounty and blanch and freeze them for your winter soups and stews.  This weeks share will include radish, scallions, lettuce, spinach, braising greens, broccoli and herbs.   The snap peas are looking wonderful and setting their pods, so they will be in next weeks share.  The cabbage is soon to follow.

I will have strawberries for sale for those of you who would  like some.  They sell for $7 a quart.  You can pre-order larger amounts if you want to make jams or chutneys, or freeze some for your smoothies.  They will  only be available for another week or so, and then the raspberries will follow.

Just a reminder to please remember to bring your bags or boxes in which to place your share, as I will not be providing them.

See you on T

Here are some recipes for you to try.

Bow Tie Pasta with Spinach, Tomato, and Olives
With appealing Mediterranean flavorings, you’ll feel like you’re vacationing. For a non-veg variation, toss in some grilled shrimp or chicken breast.
Serves: 4

Ingredients
12 ounces bow tie pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups chopped fresh or canned tomato
2 cups baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons sliced kalamata or other ripe olives (about 5 to 6 olives)
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
Directions
1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Before draining, scoop out 1/2 cup of the pasta-cooking water and reserve. Drain the pasta and return it to the cooking pot to keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, combine the oil and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and fragrant. Do not brown. Add the tomato and cook for about 4 minutes longer, or until the tomato starts to soften. Add the spinach and cook, tossing, for about 1 minute more, or until wilted. Stir in the lemon juice, olives, capers, pepper, and salt. Reduce the heat to low.
3. Add the tomato mixture to the reserved pasta and toss to coat. Add a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking water, if needed, to moisten the pasta.
4. Serve sprinkled with cheese.

Spinach Salad with Strawberries + Pine Nuts

Ingredients

1 cucumber, peeled and diced
2 1/2 cups spinach
2 cups quartered strawberries
3 tbsp. roasted pine nuts (roasted on a skillet over the stove on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring)
1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tbsp. canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Peel and dice the cucumber, and slice the strawberries.

Roast the pine nuts in a skillet on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly roasted.

In a bowl combine the cucumber, spinach, strawberries, and pine nuts.

Mix the Dijon mustard, honey, white wine vinegar, and canola oil in a small cup.

Add the dressing to the salad and toss to mix, adding some salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately.

Potato, Bacon, and Greens Frittata

You can substitute sliced Canadian bacon for a lower-fat alternative in this hearty Spanish egg dish.

Serves: 6

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups roasted or boiled potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3/4 cup cooked greens, such as mustard or kale, chopped
2 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large sweet onions, thickly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
8 large eggs, lightly beaten

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet with ovenproof handle over medium heat. Add onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook, turning with tongs, 10 minutes, or until well browned. Stir in vinegar and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in potatoes, greens, bacon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

2. Pour eggs over vegetables and stir to blend. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to set, 3 minutes. Place skillet in oven and cook until set, 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. To serve, loosen around edges with rubber spatula and turn out onto platter.