Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Dawning of the Age of Asparagus

Spring is seriously here....our asparagus is up, and it's enormous!  Last year's patches we planted are producing wonderfully...and a LOT.  Today was our first day picking it by the crate-ful.  Also, it appears that the moon is rising in the 7th house and Jupiter aligned with Mars.  Just kidding....we are not a biodynamic farm.  (Sure hope somebody gets that joke.)

An important update to everyone involved in Spring CSA and the soon-to-come Summer CSA!!!  CSA distribution days have been changed!  At least a little bit.  Wednesday and Saturday pick-ups at the Iowa City Farmer's Market remain unchanged.  Friday at Tim's/Kirkwood School for Children pickup has been moved to Thursday from 5 PM onward.  We have a new pickup available for Cedar Rapids New Bo Market on Saturday for you CR folks, if you need it....time to be announced.

Please contact us A.S.A.P. if you must hence change your pickup, or have a question or problem!  Thanks!!!

 
 
What to look forward to this week!:

  • Sprouts
  • Kale
  • Bunched Spinach
  • Salad Mix
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Turnips

Yup....Spring greens and asparagus are on the menu!


In Echollective news, we have been hard at work and finally sweating now that the weather has decided to warm up!  The trees are at last greening and our first spring flowers and plants have popped up....dandelions, violets and stinging nettles to name your typical garden early-risers, not to mention our beautiful Iowa natives such as Purple Prairie Trillium, Troutlily, Hepatica, Dutchman's Breetches, Bloodroot, and Mayapples, just to boast a few.  Our first rounds of broccoli, kale, and lettuce have been transplanted out into the field!  Seeds we sowed weeks ago are starting to pop up, especially our sugar snap peas!  We are going to have a lot this year.

This week will be our first week of summer markets and we are excited and thrilled to be back at the stand again.  We plan on having a whole variety of spring greens ready for the eating!  Hope to see you there!


Recipes

Bacon-wrapped Asparagus Bundles (Rachael Ray, www.foodnetwork.com)

These bundles can be easily prepared on an outdoor grill or in a hot oven.
 
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds asparagus spears, trimmed 4 to 5 inches long tips
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • A few grinds black pepper
  • 4 slices center cut bacon or pancetta
  • Chopped chives or scallions, optional garnish

Directions

Preheat oven, if using, to 400 degrees F.

Lightly coat asparagus spears in extra-virgin olive oil. Season the asparagus with black pepper. Take a quick count of the spear tips. Divide the total number by four. Gather that number of spears and use a slice of bacon to wrap the bundle and secure the spears together. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

To grill, place bundles on hot grill and cover. Cook 10 to 12 minutes until bacon is crisp and asparagus bundles are tender.

For oven preparation, place bundles on slotted broiler pan. Bake 12 minutes.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/bacon-wrapped-asparagus-bundles-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback
 
 
Strawberry-Arugula Salad with Lemon Ricotta (Faith Durand, www.thekitchn.com)
(Serves 8-10)

  • 4 pints strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced into quarters 
  • 1 pint raspberries, washed and blotted dry
  • 1-2 cups sliced almonds
  • 1 small bunch baby arugula, sliced into thin ribbons
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh, drained ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Toss the strawberries, raspberries, almonds, and sliced arugula with a pinch of kosher salt and the zest of 1 lemon.

For the dressing:
In a separate bowl, mix the lemon juice and remaining lemon zest with the ricotta, sugar, and nutmeg. Taste and sweeten to taste, if necessary.
Serve the salad with the dressing on the side.


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 Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, 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!

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