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.
• 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
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
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?
• 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
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.
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
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
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