Monday, June 28, 2010

CSA Newsletter Week 6

June 29 and 30, July 3

Pickins may look a bit slimmer this week, but they're still just as fresh and nutritious. Enjoy them while we have them!

Don't forget the garlic party, coming up next weekend (July 9th-11th)! We encourage you to drive out and pitch in at least a couple of hours-- we could really use some extra hands on deck. RSVP echocsa@gmail.com if you're planning to come out.

In your box this week:
  • Parsley.
  • Mint. Pairs nicely with tart summer fruits-- currants, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries. Fluff some couscous and mix in currants (fresh or dried), fresh chopped mint, and pine nuts.
  • Basil.
  • Garlic scapes.
  • Kale. How about kale and potato hashbrowns topped with jerk sauce?
  • Chard. Make a delicious quiche with chard, scapes, mushrooms, and chevre. Younger leaves have a more pliable texture and can be used for stuffing with rice or pasta and veg. If sauteeing chard, watch it closely because it tends to turn gritty when cooked too long.
  • Beet. Cooled, roasted beets mixed with hazelnuts and pieces of avocado and grapefruit, tossed with yogurt, mint and honey, or tossed with leaf lettuce and a balsamic vinaigrette--mm.
  • Turnip. Turnip fries! (May have to save a couple weeks worth of roots to do this...)
  • Shallot.
  • Peas, broccoli, and bok choy will be added to boxes as they become available.
***

Turnip Fries

6 or so Echo turnips
2 T olive oil
1 T shoyu
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch of sea salt
pinch of cayenne

Preheat oven to 425F. Cut turnips into round or half-round pieces, 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Whisk together other ingredients, and toss turnips until well coated. Spread turnips on an oiled baking sheet or dish. Cook 40-45 minutes, or until golden.

***
Please contact us if you can't identify something in your box, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!
echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CSA Newsletter Week 5

June 22, 23 and 26

Rain, rain go away! This week we are quite ready for the summer sun to shine. Stagnating muddy conditions on the farm are just no good for any of our vegetables. Nor are flash floods-- yikes!

Reminder on the annual garlic harvest and party (just about 2 weeks away): we'll be pulling and hanging garlic on July 10th and 11th. We can also use help getting things started on Friday, July 9th. Camping is available. We'll potluck, cook, and have fun Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday for brunch. RSVP echocsa@gmail.com if you plan to come out.

In your box this week:
  • Basil. Here's a wacky idea: make a stack of savory waffles, adding chopped basil to your mix. Serve aside eggs and other breakfast-type dishes. Need a new waffle recipe? I've featured my favorite below.
  • Parsley. Throw a handful of fresh, chopped parsley into whatever vegetable dish you make near the end of cooking it. It adds a refreshing zing.
  • Kale. Add just a leaf or two of kale to a fruit smoothie, and give a nice boost to the nutritional content. (The flavor of kale mixes especially nicely with sharp, tangy kiwi and apple juice, or with blueberry and apple juice.)
  • Lettuce.
  • Garlic scapes. In Korean cuisine, these are traditionally pickled in tamari.
  • Turnip. Boil and mash with potatoes to give an earthy flavor to a familiar dish. Chop and cook them in hearty soups or stews. I plan on saving up some turnips from my boxes and making a shoestring turnip kraut-- mm, fermented veg.
  • Peas. Make a delicious salad tossing your sweet snap peas with steamed and cooled quinoa, toasted pumpkin seeds, fresh diced scapes, chopped parsley and a simple balsamic-olive oil vinaigrette.
  • Beets. Don't forget to use the greens on your beets! Try putting some, chopped fine, atop a homemade pizza.
  • Napa cabbage. Speaking of ferments-- napa and turnips are both good candidates for a spicy kimchi. They could also go together in a coleslaw.

Derek washes broccolini.

***
Mandy's Oat-Quinoa Waffles with Basil

1 C rolled oats
1/2 C quinoa flour (grind your own in a high-powered food processor or blender, or buy the already milled product)
1 T olive oil
1 C milk or soy milk
1/4 C freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp agave nectar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2-3 T fresh chopped basil

Grind the oats in a food processor until they become a coarse flour. Mix oat flour, quinoa flour, salt, and baking powder together. Add oil, milk, lemon juice, agave nectar, and mix until just blended (still a bit lumpy). With a light touch, mix in the chopped basil. Pour onto waffle iron. On my waffle iron, this recipe usually makes 2 very large, fluffy waffles. For other irons, it may make more. These are super yummy topped with chevre and served with eggs.
I use quinoa flour first because it has such a fine nutritional profile, and second because it lends a moister consistency and a tastier, nuttier flavor compared to whole wheat pastry flour.

***

Monday, June 14, 2010

CSA Newsletter Week 4

June 15, 16 and 19

Love those fresh herbs! As days get longer and we near the summer solstice, plants are concentrating more and more of their energy in vegetative growth-- producing strong leaves, stems, and shoots. After the solstice, plants put relatively more energy into blossom, fruit, and seed production. Culinary and medicinal herbs harvested for their leaves are usually at peak potency leading up to the solstice. In ancient lore, mid-summer's day was the day slated for harvest of (leaf) herbs to be dried/preserved or made into medicines.

The annual garlic harvest approaches! The dates for the celebratory work-party and potluckin' shin-dig are July 10th and 11th this year. Mark your calendar. We pick and hang garlic while the sun shines and enjoy food and fellowship in the evenings. Camping is allowed. Musicality and merry-making are encouraged. It's always a wholesome friends-and-family affair, and we hope you'll feel comfortable joining in. Please RSVP echocsa@gmail.com.

In your box this week:
  • Parsley.
  • Kale.
  • Salad Mix.
  • Basil.
  • Mint.
  • Scapes.
  • Bok choy.
  • Turnip.
  • Fennel.
  • Beet.
  • Peas.
  • Napa cabbage.
  • Head lettuce.
Let us know if you are ever short an item in your box. We will usually have extra of that or something similar at the market, and it's easy enough to just make it right on the spot.

Louis talks about weeding the taters.

***

Fennel and Mushroom Salad with Mint

1 large fennel bulb (or 2 smallish)
3/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, halved if large, then thinly sliced
scant 2 tsp dijon mustard
2 T white wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar will work, too)
3 or 4 garlic scapes, minced
1/4 C olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 T fresh mint, chopped
fennel tops, chopped

Remove fennel stalks, if attached. Quarter the bulb lengthwise and cut away the core. Remove the outer layer if it is thick and fibrous. Slice the bulb crosswise as thinly as possible. Transfer to a bowl and add the sliced mushrooms. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, and scapes. Slowly whisk in olive oil to make a vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Add vinaigrette to salad along with mint. Toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Chop a couple of wispy fennel tops, and add as a garnish.
-adapted from Fresh from the Farmers Market by Janet Fletcher

Happy Herby Solstice Pesto

1 bunch basil
1/2 bunch parsley
4-5 garlic scapes (or 2 garlic cloves)
salt to taste
1/3 C olive oil
1 1/2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 handful toasted nuts (pine nuts or walnuts) or seeds (pumpkin or sunflower)
1 whole bok choy (butt end cut away)

Rough chop basil, parsley, scapes, and bok choy. Process all ingredients together in a food processor (fitted with s-blade) until a paste forms. (Leaf herbs should be mostly indistinguishable from one another).

Thistle in flower. So pretty, but watch out!

***
Please contact us if you can't identify something in your box, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!
echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

Monday, June 7, 2010

CSA Newsletter Week 3

June 8, 9 and 12

This week's bounty includes several new items to try, and new flavors to savor. We'd love for you to share your own recipes with us, perhaps in the comments area here on the blog, or on the new facebook page. :)

Let the curly garlic scapes in your boxes gently alert you that our Annual Garlic Harvest Party approaches: this year, July 10th and 11th. Please join us out at the farm. We always combine garlic picking and hanging with the enjoyment of great food, music, and fellowship. And we usually get a good head start on the garlic harvest! (Directions will follow in a separate blog post.)

In your box this week:
  • Fennel. Leaves and stalks can be used for flavoring. The bulb is crisp and has a licorice-y flavor that fades a bit when cooked. Store plant whole if you plan to use within a couple of days; otherwise, remove stalks to keep bulb from rotting.
  • Beets. Toss thin slices with some olive oil and fresh mint and then throw into a salad with some toasted nuts. Beets are yummy juiced with ginger, apple, and lemon. And they're nice paired with one of a variety of herbs-- mint, parsley, basil, fennel, to name a few.
  • Head lettuce.
  • Salad mix. Look at those pretty greens and purples!
  • Bok choy. Create your own braising mix by tossing bok choy with kale and some of the greens from your beets and turnips.
  • Peas.
  • Garlic scape. The seed pod of the garlic plant, which curls as it grows tall and then slowly uncurls. They are most succulent when still curled, with an asparagus-like texture and a mild garlic flavor. Harvesting the scape helps the plant to concentrate growth energy in the bulb. Scapes can be diced and added to salad dressings, soups, sauces, stir-fries, scrambled eggs... Scapes store well for weeks in the fridge, but used fresh is always best!
  • Napa cabbage.
  • Kale. I love kale cut (across the leaf) into long, skinny strips, water sauteed, squeezed, and then drizzled with tahini and topped with raisins. Find a raw kale salad recipe below.
  • Basil. Does not store well in the refrigerator. If you plan to use it within a day or two, keep in a dark place at room temperature, in an unsealed plastic bag. For longer-term storage, basil can be frozen. Chopping and freezing (with a little water) in ice cube trays as "basil ice cubes" works well. Or, you can make a pesto and freeze that.
  • Turnips. Delicious braised in butter. They pair great with peas-- blackeyes stewed with turnip roots and greens are hard to beat.
Jess picks arugula.

***

Roasted Beets in Fennel Oil

3/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar
2 T olive oil 1 1/2 lbs. small beets
1 T sea salt
1 T thinly sliced garlic scape

Heat the fennel seeds and oil in a skillet over low heat until oil is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Cool, then strain seeds out of oil. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Put beets into a baking dish with 1/4 C water, cover tightly with a lid or aluminum foil, and bake until a knife slips in easily. Cool slightly, then peel. Cut into quarters, or if very small, in half. Toss pieces with reserved fennel oil, season with the salt, and top with the scapes.

-adapted from Fresh from the Farmers' Market by Janet Fletcher

Raw Kale Salad

4 C sliced kale
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 T fresh orange juice
2 T olive oil
1 T flaxseed oil
1 T shoyu
1 T apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp cayenne
2/3 C shredded carrots
1 C peeled cucumber, julienned strips
1/2 C sesame or sunflower seeds
1/3 cup shredded nori pieces

Rub the kale leaves with the sea salt for a minute or so. Add the 1 tsp olive oil, and rub the leaves again. Add the lemon juice, and rub the leaves a third time. (This method of preparing raw kale makes it more digestible.) Whisk together the orange juice, 1/4 C olive oil, flax oil, shoyu, cider vinegar, and cayenne, to make a dressing. Toss kale with carrots, cukes, seeds, nori, and dressing.
-adapted from a Cafe Gratitude recipe

Rows and greenhouse, with bio-d truck.

***
Please contact us if you can't identify something in your box, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!
echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910