Hello again CSA members, and welcome to week two. Check out the “In Your Share” list on the right side of the page to find out what scrumptious veggies we’re planning to bring you this week!
I’m beginning to catch the first tiny glimpses of summer on the farm through the forests of spring greens. Over the last couple of weeks we planted rows of summer squash and zucchini, cucumbers, and melons at the Teller Farm. With names like “Sugar Baby” and “Midnight Lightning,” I have high hopes for our little sun-lovers! We’ve also been transplanting other true summer crops like basil, eggplant and peppers from the greenhouse to the ground. As veteran CSA members will recall, spring is always heavy on the greens, but not to fear! There are reds, oranges, purples and yes…new and exciting greens on the horizon.
A few reminders:
While I realize that today is Memorial Day and many people may have been traveling over the weekend, it is still very important that you come to your scheduled pick-up. It creates a lot of extra work for our staff (and our INCREDIBLE volunteers, Ru and Bob Wing) to transport and store your share if you miss your pick-up. That said, please read your pick-up reminder email carefully for instructions on where to pick up your share if you absolutely cannot make it.
Secondly, please please PLEASE don’t hesitate to ask questions or give feedback at pick-up! Myself and the rest of the Red Wagon staff have been taking home lots of green goodies as well and we likely all have some helpful storage and cooking tips up our sleeves. We know that it takes some practice to use up your share each week and we are here to help!
Finally, thank you to those who left comments on last week’s newsletter. I LOVE to hear from members about how you’ve been using and enjoying your shares! I hope you will use the blog to ask questions, share cooking tips or anything else that comes to mind each week. (Just click the “Leave a Comment” link at the very bottom of the post.)
Thank you all again for your wonderful support and enthusiasm. See you at pick-up!
FROM THE FARM AND KITCHEN with Mo
Happy week #2 CSA’ers. I was at the 63rd Street Farm CSA pick-up last week with Sally and met some of you. We are so gosh darned excited to have a CSA pick-up at our farm this season. We lease private land at the Teller Farm so we have never been able to have a pick-up site on the farm before. To provide food to our close neighbors at the farm where we are producing food feels great! Many of you mentioned that you had been with Pachamama’s CSA and how happy you are to have a local CSA again. Others told me that they are neighbors and have been walking or driving by, watching us ‘grow’ and joined when they saw the sign on the fence. For whatever reason you joined, thank you so much neighbors!
Speaking of being excited… How about the strawberries you got last week?!(Monday pick-up will get some today.) Surprise!!! We grew the strawberries at the 63rd St Farm. We planted them last May and weren’t really sure what to expect with yields or timing. This is our first stab at growing perennial fruit for the CSA or Market other than rhubarb. We have been really happy with what we are getting. Hope you are too!
In your shares this week you will get hakurei turnips. I like them best raw with a little salt (and beer). Some people go crazy for them pan roasted. Here is a recipe I like if you want to try them cooked.
(Slightly adapted from bon appetit)
- 1 bunch Hakurei turnips, greens reserved
- Olive oil or unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons sugar or honey
- Kosher salt
Place turnips in a large skillet; add water to cover turnips halfway. Add butter, sugar and a large pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is syrupy and turnips are tender, about 15 minutes. (If turnips are tender before liquid has reduced, use a slotted spoon to transfer turnips to a plate and reduce liquid until syrupy. Return turnips to pan and stir to coat well.) **This can be done up to 4 hours ahead of time. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm before continuing.
Add turnip greens to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt.
You will have a choice this week of baby kale or spinach. If you haven’t tried kale salad yet you need to try it at least once this season. You can use baby kale or any bunched kale you get in your share this year. If you Google ‘massaged kale salad’ you will get a million recipes, but basically you put your washed kale in a bowl and put 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 tablespoons of either vinegar or lemon or lime juice, a smashed clove of garlic (leave garlic out of you want) and a good sprinkling of salt. Then you massage all of the ingredients together with your hands. Really work it in. It turns a beautiful bright green. You can make this early in the morning or even the day before you want to eat it. Massaging takes the bitterness out of the kale, takes off the raw edge and changes the texture to be more like cooked kale. I made some to take to a party last night along with an Asian noodle salad I made with pea shoots.
I wasn’t thinking of the newsletter at the time, and on the way out the door snapped a quick (not very good) picture when it dawned on me I might talk about kale salad today. The kale salad is on the right. I just wanted to show how pretty the kale is. I used the pea shoots like sprouts in the Asian salad.
One tip with the pea shoots. I wash them with my lettuce, spin them and just store them in the fridge together. I like to run some scissors through the pea shoots to make them easier to eat raw. If you sauté them I would leave them whole.
Last week Amy gave you a recipe for broccoli raab. My husband isn’t a big fan of raab, or kale for that matter. He doesn’t like the bitterness. I hear that feedback from some CSA’ers, too. If you like the bitter bite of brassica’s just sautéing works for you. If you want to remove the bitterness and bring out the nutty taste, try blanching the greens. I took some pictures of me preparing the greens and using the scapes you will get in your share this week.
Here are the scapes chopped with the raab washed and ready to blanch in the background.
Blanching the raab and sautéing the scapes while the raab blanches. See how green it gets?
For two of us about ½ a bunch of raab and ½ the scapes is enough. I add half of the scapes to the pan and put half in a container for later.
Use the rest in an omelet or add to pasta or grains for a quick dinner.
I hope you try some of these ideas. Leave a comment or question if you like, and have a great week.
Thanks for the strawberries, what a treat! We ate almost all of them before we even got home. My boyfriend said “wow, these are way better than store bought strawberries!”. Thanks again!
Here is a soup recipe where we used the garlic scapes and the greens. Didn’t mention they came from Red Wagon Farms here, but we did on Facebook!
My hubby invented a delicious CSA concoction – baby kale, white radishes, green garlic, and Italian sausage all sauteed in olive oil, then finished with balsamic vinegar, and served over soft polenta. He’s getting in the spirit!
Mary inspired me to make soup too. I used her recipe to start, but it became an everything soup. Walking onions, garlic, braising greens, some leftover cooked spinach and Raab from last week’s share, beans, corn, leftover diced chicken and even leftover pasta sauce since I didn’t have canned or fresh tomatoes. Nice way to clear the fridge and it went right into the freezer.
I also made mashed turnips that came out great from this recipe: http://fairsharenews.blogspot.com/2009/06/week-6-what-to-do-with-your-share.html. I wish I had drained it before adding the butter. The kids wouldn’t touch it but my hubby and I loved it. Both boys (4 and 2) loved eating the hakurei turnips raw and sliced thin. They’re really mild and delicious. I also sauteed some of the garlic, onion, and braising greens for an omelette or something in the morning. Oh, and I made kale chips too from kale I bought (why?) from the market last week. Thanks CSA! I’m exhausted from cooking and barely dented the share. I think my body is vibrating from all those fresh vitamins.