Mini-Autumn at Echollective

6:27 PM Adrian 0 Comments

This past week, with its eerily cool temperatures, has felt a lot like it should be September.  What is the deal?  We've all been feeling a little less like throwing ourselves in the nearest cold body of water....but regardless, it has been wonderful!  Fall is one of my favorite parts of the farming season, when the temperatures dip to that pleasant, perfect sweet spot and the air is clear and crisp.  There is so much room to grow a lot of crops in the fall with those ideal temperatures.  It really feels like we're having a mini-Autumn here at the Echollective....but with the added benefit of a delicious line-up of classic summer vegetables this week!
 
What to expect:
  • Collard greens
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Red Onions
  • Candy Onions (white)
  • Kale
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Summer Squash (Yellow Zephyrs)
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes (either Roma, heirloom, or Washington cherries)

A couple returning products to the share this week that we haven't seen in a while are leeks, collards and potatoes!  Our leeks are getting pretty big and we're ready to pull some up and dole them out....we'll have a special leek recipe for you!

We also wish to announce our special offer this week of surplus Viletta Rose potatoes!  While you are selecting your share veggies at the farmer's market table, you are welcome to take extra, as many as you'll need to stock up for a bit.  We will also be giving extra to those of you who receive pre-packed boxes in Cedar Rapids or at Kirkwood School for Children....so expect a little bit more potatoes!   Why?  Well, we wanted to give you a little forewarning about something that happens to strictly organic (fungicide free!) potatoes from time to time....they get something known as early blight.  This basically means that their capability for long-term storage is greatly, greatly reduced and one or two could start going real bad (and getting real mushy) real soon....and when that happens, it effects the others, and they begin to go bad also.

SO....we recommend that you keep a good eye on your potatoes!  Do not worry....potatoes with the potential for blight are not dangerous for eating!  In fact, we've been eating a lot of them here at the farm.  What it basically means is that you should eat those potatoes right up as soon as you can to avoid the possibility of imminent spoilage!  Their shelf life is a lot shorter than most potatoes should be.  To aid you with this, we'll try and find you some recipes that require LOTS of potatoes so you gobble them up quickly....like French Fries and Potato Curry!  Yummers!  We want you all to get the most out of our organic potatoes this year, and it's hard for us to announce that these pest problems and disease (which wouldn't be a problem for a conventional farmers) are a problem we must deal with!

Another potential problem to this blight issue is that we are trying to get as many potatoes to as many mouths as we can, before they potentially go bad.  So far, we haven't seen too many go off in our refrigerator, so that's good....however, this may mean that this is the time to get your stock of organic potatoes in, because we may not be able to store as many for the future through the fall and on into the winter for our CSA members.  So get them while you can eat 'em!

The Great Garlic Pull continues!  We have had an excellent and consistent crew out here so far, made up of our farmers, interns, CSA Work-Traders and folks that have also come out of the woodwork just to help.  We really appreciate it, and we are happy to see a truckload full of crates of garlic headed towards the barn at sunset almost every night.  We're really getting it done!  Like to help?  Contact Us to join the party!  We could use any extra hands!  We're out there every day pulling, clipping and curing, and you can learn a LOT about the garlic process, from start to finish.  The rewards are present and they are many!

We hope you are enjoying this lovely, calming pre-autumn weather.  Hopefully it's not too soon until the fall colors begin to emerge, and the leaves start dropping....I'm not quite ready for autumn this soon! 

We'll see you at market!


Recipes

Creamy Zucchini and Ricotta Spread (www.marthastewart.com)

Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

  1. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add zucchini, garlic, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender and golden brown in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool to room temperature (or refrigerate, up to overnight; bring to room temperature before continuing). Add ricotta, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.


Spicy Vegan Potato Curry (allrecipes.com)

Ingredients  

  •  4 Potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

  • 4 teaspoons curry powder

  • 4 teaspoons garam masala

  • 1 (1inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained

  • 1 (15 ounce) can peas, drained

  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk 

Directions

  1. Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, curry powder, garam masala, ginger, and salt; cook for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, peas, and potatoes. Pour in the coconut milk, and bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


Perfect French Fries Recipe (www.foodnetwork.com from Emeril Lagasse!)   (BAM!)

Ingredients
  • 4 large russet or kinnebec potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 by 1/4-inch thick batons  (*The Echollective equivalent: 8-10 Viletta Rose organic potatoes!)
  • 2 quarts peanut oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Rinse cut potatoes in a large bowl with lots of cold running water until water becomes clear. Cover with water by 1-inch and cover with ice. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.

In a 5-quart pot or Dutch oven fitted with a candy or deep-frying thermometer, (or in an electric deep fryer), heat oil over medium-low heat until the thermometer registers 325 degrees F. Make sure that you have at least 3 inches of space between the top of the oil and the top of the pan, as fries will bubble up when they are added.

Drain ice water from cut fries and wrap potato pieces in a clean dishcloth or tea towel and thoroughly pat dry. Increase the heat to medium-high and add fries, a handful at a time, to the hot oil. Fry, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft and limp and begin to turn a blond color, about 6 to 8 minutes. Using a skimmer or a slotted spoon, carefully remove fries from the oil and set aside to drain on paper towels. Let rest for at least 10 minutes or up to 2 hours.

When ready to serve the French fries, reheat the oil to 350 degrees F. Transfer the blanched potatoes to the hot oil and fry again, stirring frequently, until golden brown and puffed, about 1 minute. Transfer to paper lined platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.



Keftes De Prasa/Sephardic-Style Leek Fritters (www.seriouseats.com)
 
"Not much more than leeks, eggs, and breadcrumbs, they are deceptively delicious and addictive. Almost like latkes but with leeks instead of potatoes.  Like latkes, they are great fun at a celebration, but after sitting out for too long, they lose that perfect crispness that makes fried food really special. If you make them for a small group and serve them fresh from the pan, I guarantee your guests will be begging for a return invitation." -Micheal Natkin

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only (about 12 ounces), halved lengthwise, sliced thinly and washed in 3 changes of water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (for Passover, use matzo meal)
  • 3/4 teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (or Aleppo pepper if you have it) (optional)
  • vegetable oil for shallow frying

Procedures

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over a medium-high flame. (You can use the same skillet to finish the fritters.) Add the leeks and salt and saute for about 5 minutes, until quite wilted.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sauteed leeks, salt, eggs, breadcrumbs and the Syrian spices if you are using them. Mix thoroughly. You should have a rather wet batter, not something that you could form into a ball, but with some body. If it is too thin, add a bit more breadcrumbs; or if it is too dry, add another beaten egg. If you are in doubt, fry a test fritter in step 3, then adjust.
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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!  
 

0 comments:

So Many Squashes!

5:58 PM Adrian 0 Comments

....and not enough mouths to eat them!

This is truly the peak of the summer squash season, which encompasses the realms of both zucchinis and yellow summer squashes (the yellow zephyr variety is the particular one we grow).  Get ready to see them in numbers in your CSA shares and on the market tables (not just ours!), perhaps even on your fork at a local restaurant and hitting the produce shelves of grocers like the New Pi Co-ops as they come into season....some in unusual sorts of varieties and colors.  Just the other day, I was at the Tipton grocer close to the farm and saw zucchini for sale, except the colors were different: the stems were dark green and the fruits were yellow.  It was a "backwards zucchini!"

So don't be shy, 'tis the season to grab as many of these succulent squashes as you can.  Many of you may ponder what to do with a vegetable in such high numbers...how do you keep on your toes?  For one thing, squash plants last and produce a while, they produce a LOT with little attention or care, and harvesting them is too easy....but it's easy to end up with an overwhelming bumper crop off of just part of an acre!  We have faced this dilemma many a time.  What do you do with all this squash???

We will be featuring as many recipes as you can use to handle your squashes and make them a worthwhile, delicious addition to your meals!  Summer squash are an excellent way to get in some extra Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and even potassium into your diet.  We already shared a zucchini round recipe with you last week....use it this week because new this week you will also be receiving our first round of tomatoes!  Yum!

And without further hesitation, a complete list of what to look forward to this week!

 
On the table:

  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Summer Squash
  • Potatoes
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Garlic (bulb)
  • Mint

Did you read that right?  Yes you did...bulb garlic, freshly pulled, cured, and stored from this year's garlic pull thus far!   Our CSA members will be among the first to experience our year's first harvest!

We are pleased that a lot of our garlic is looking excellent this year as usual, and we're happy to announce that our garlic has been officially tested for the yellow asters and has turned up free of the fungus! 
The disease has been a huge concern for garlic growers out here in Iowa but we are stoked that ours has survived the season scot-free.  If you would like to buy our seed garlic, visit our seed garlic selling site in the column on the left....guaranteed to be yellow asters fungus-free!
Speaking of garlic and the great garlic pull, we extend an open invitation to anyone who would wish to help us harvesting garlic this summer...we could use the help!   Pulling and clipping these plants is some of the funnest, most communal work we have out here.  You can meet a lot of awesome people, share in some awesome conversation, learn a lot about the whole life cycle of garlic from planting to picking and storing....and simply bask in the great presence of garlic.  One of the most superb vegetables and culinary herbs in the world!

Hope you are all enjoying the summer so far....and we'll see you at market!


Recipes

 Zucchini Bread Recipe (www.chow.com)

"Like banana bread, zucchini bread is an easy quick bread to put together, without the need for any fancy appliances. Just mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl, the wet in another, combine the two, and pour the batter into a bread pan. After about an hour in the oven, and a little time to cool, you’ll have a tender, sweet, flavorful bread to enjoy for breakfast, teatime, or a snack." -chow.com

Special equipment: You’ll need a metal 9-by-5-inch loaf pan for this recipe. Loaf pans can be purchased at most cooking supply stores and at many large grocery stores.

You also might want to try our savory quick bread recipes.
 
INGREDIENTS
  • Unsalted butter, for coating the pan
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for coating the pan
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces zucchini (about 2 to 3 medium zucchini), ends trimmed, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 2 1/2 cups)
 
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-by-5-inch metal loaf pan with butter and flour, tapping out any excess flour; set aside.
  2. Place the measured flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps. Set aside.
  3. Place the eggs, sugars, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until the eggs are broken up and the mixture is thoroughly combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the zucchini until evenly mixed.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of the pan and turn the bread out onto the rack to cool completely.


Soft Tacos with Roasted or Grilled Tomatoes and Summer Squash (www.nytimes.com)

If you’ve got the grill fired up you can cook the vegetables in a grill pan. Otherwise roast the tomatoes under the broiler and cook the filling on top of the stove.

Ingredients
  • 1 pound tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 serrano chiles or 1 large jalapeño, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds summer squash, cut in 1/4-inch dice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed if using canned
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 2 to 3 ounces goat cheese 

1. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the tomatoes on the foil. Place under the broiler, about 2 inches from the heat, and broil until charred black. Turn over and broil on the other side until charred black. This takes about 3 minutes on each side in my oven but all broilers/ovens are different. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until you can handle them, then remove the skins, core and cut in half along the equator. Set a strainer over a bowl and squeeze out the seeds (make sure they have cooled before you do this!), then rub the gelatinous pulp that surrounds the seeds through the strainer. Chop the tomatoes and combine with the juice in the bowl.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes, and add the garlic, chiles, summer squash, and a generous pinch of salt. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until the squash is tender. Add the chopped tomatoes and their juices and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and the mixture is fragrant, 5 to 10 more minutes. Add more salt to taste, and freshly ground pepper. Stir in the black beans, add the cilantro, taste, adjust seasonings, and remove from the heat.
3. Pile onto warm corn tortillas, sprinkle on a little goat cheese, fold the tortillas over and serve.
 
Variations:
You can also grill the tomatoes on an outdoor grill. If using this method, slice the onions, toss along with the squash with a little olive oil, and grill them in a grill pan on the grill as well for a nice charred flavor.
 
Yield: Enough for 10 tacos
 
Advance preparation: The cooked squash and tomatoes will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator. The squash may throw off some juice in the refrigerator; just stir the dish well and use it, juice and all.
 
Nutritional information per taco: 145 calories; 5 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 4 milligrams cholesterol; 20 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 39 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 5 grams protein


Garlic, Rosemary, and Chilli Almonds (www.buzzfeed.com)

Ingredients
  • 10 g butter*
  • 200 g almonds
  • 2 big cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1 handful of rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • Chilli to taste (depending on where they are on the Scoville scale, I use 0.5 to 1 heaped tsp)

Melt the butter in a cast-iron or stainless steel skillet, add the almonds and stir until they're heated through and starting to brown. Take off the heat and add the condiments, stirring through. The residual heat of the pan should cook the garlic just enough to take off the edge without burning it (which results in a bitter taste).
I like to serve this warm straight out of the pan, but they do keep well in cookie tin or an open kilner jar.
* I used to prefer the taste of olive oil for this purpose, but I do not like to heat vegetable oils in order to avoid transfats, so I have got used to using butter or ghee for this recipe.
 


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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!

0 comments:

The Great Garlic Pull

8:41 PM Adrian 0 Comments

It has begun!  Will this mean that there is a coming garlic party?  Maybe!

Our garlic's above-ground greens are dying back which means it's time to pull them all up, and dry and cure their bulbs.  We have been pulling them in by the truckload, stacking up crates of our many varieties in our little greenhouse.  Interested in what varieties we grow?  Check them out on the linked garlic picture in the column on the left! 

Soon we will be shipping them out for folks all around the country (and the world!) to grow their own garlic whether it's for their own large operation farm, or their backyard garden.  Some garlic, of course, will make it to the CSA table!  Not yet, though....but soon!

What to expect:

  • Leeks
  • Green Onions
  • Red Onions
  • White Onions
  • Kale
  • Collards
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Zephyr Summer Squash
  • Potatoes

This past week out here at the Echollective has brought us an explosion of BUGS....Japanese beetles to be specific.  Our holy kales and collards are now SUPER holy (again....not blessed by a Rabbi holy) and we apologize in advance if the appearance of your greens are less than satisfactory, we are working on it!  Japanese beetles are the bane to any farmer, and there are only a few tricks to keep them at bay, a few of which may try our hand out here.

With that said, there is so much to do as we have reached the peak of CSA season....we are practically halfway through the 20 weeks!  We hope it has been fantastic so far.

Hope to see you at market!


Recipes

Orange Glazed Carrots (www.allrecipes.com)

Ingredients
  • 1 lb baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 pinch of salt 
  Directions
  1. Place carrots in a shallow saucepan, and cover with water. Boil until tender. Drain, and return carrots to pan.
  2. Pour orange juice over carrots, and mix well. Simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in brown sugar, butter, and salt. Heat until butter and sugar melt.

Crunchy Zucchini Rounds With Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese (www.health.com)

(*This may also be done with the Yellow Zephyr Summer Squashes, mind you!)

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil (about 24)
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation

1. Slice zucchini into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. (You should have about 24 slices.) Lay out on large platter; season with salt and pepper.
2. Place a sun-dried tomato on each slice, then top each tomato with a pinch of goat cheese. Sprinkle tops with chopped chives, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil; serve.



Southern Style Collard Greens Recipe (www.simplyrecipes.com)

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours
While you can make this recipe with chard, kale, turnip or mustard greens, they cook much more quickly than collards, so cut the cooking time to 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp bacon fat, lard or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced from root to tip
  • 1 ham hock
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 8-10 cups chopped collard greens, about 2 pounds
  • Vinegar and hot sauce to taste

Method

southern-collard-greens-1 southern-collard-greens-2
1 Heat the bacon fat in a large pot set over medium-high heat. Saute the onion in the bacon fat, stirring often, until the edges begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the ham hock, smashed garlic, chicken stock and water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
southern-collard-greens-3 southern-collard-greens-4
2 Add the collard greens to the pot and cook until tender, another 45 minutes to an hour.
southern-collard-greens-6 southern-collard-greens-5
3 To serve, fish out the ham hock, pull the meat off the bones and chop. Mix the meat back with the greens and serve with vinegar and hot sauce at the table.
Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side dish.


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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! 

0 comments:

Flowers & Fruits of July

6:27 PM Adrian 0 Comments

The heat is on!  And with the heat of July comes many delightful things.

The first cicadas have been heard buzzing at the crowns of the treetops, a sound so synonymous in my mind with the heat and humidity of a Midwestern summer that I simply can't separate the two.  The days have finally become arduous and sweaty, where a good shower at the end of the day is in order.  Squashes are simply popping off the vines, zucchinis and yellow zephyrs are in big supply and are on their way to the CSA table.  You may also buy them from us at market!

The sun's rays have ripened this year's first sun gold tomatoes (not quite ready for CSA yet, though!) which we picked on Sunday; just a small helping so far but tasty and golden-orange, so hard to resist.  Peppers and eggplants are forming their first pre-ripe green fruits.  The borders of our woods are lush with black raspberries. 

The roadsides and our herb garden are alive with color as a whole new wave of flowers have bloomed....echinacea, yellow coneflower, cup-plant, marshmallows, yarrow, valerian, bee balms and sweet leaf, tiger lilies, bright yellow mullein, and more...and what with all the flowers opening and pollen flying through the air, almost everyone is struggling with sudden summer head colds and allergies!  So stay healthy, stock up on Vitamin-C, eat plenty of local honey to boost your immune system, and see if you can't find any nettle seeds out there in the wilds of your backyard, or a neighborhood park, etc...  A strong tea can make you forget your allergies ever plagued you....

.....and eat some delightful organic veggies!


What to look forward to this week:

  • Garlic Scapes
  • Leeks
  • Green Onions
  • Candy (white) Onions
  • Collard Greens
  • Bunch Mixed Kales (Winterbor, Redbor, Red Russian)
  • Carrots
  • Squash (zucchini or yellow zephyr summer squash)
  • Potatoes
...and more!  It'll be a surprise.

This week is a big showcasing to all you CSA members for our alliums!  Alliums are what we call a group of veggies that consist of garlic, onions, leeks, shallots, etc.; you know, the stinky and pungent bulbs that you chop up so small and throw into a delicious dish knowing that it just wouldn't taste the same without them.  Alliums are actually in the same family as lilies, grouped together in the big family Liliaceae.  They are super good for you, boasting great amounts of magnesium which is integral to your health, and also contain antioxidants and other chemical aspects that provide a great boost to your immune system!  (There you go...a help with your summer allergies right there!)

We know....how do you make a dish for dinner that somehow involves leeks, garlic scapes, and onions together?  Too stinky.  Don't do it.  Well, we suggest you just stock up!  Alliums store for longer periods of time (if stored correctly; keep your green onions, garlic scapes, and leeks in the fridge!) so you can hold onto these vegetables for use in a week or so.  That's the great thing about them!  We have plenty of scapes, onions, and leeks that you will probably receive some next week!  But no worries.  We will also provide a couple recipes that use alliums specifically as the main focus, turning your alliums into an awesome part of your dining experience.  Alliums don't just have to be something to throw into your stir-fry or your burrito anymore!

We are proud to have pulled up our first harvest of carrots today!  Yes, they made it this year!  Last summer was much too dry for them to flourish, but this summer has been the immense amount of wet that they love; their orange roots swell and grow deliciously sweet.  Did you know?: carrots were not originally orange!  The native wild carrot has a long white taproot, and other species had purple or scarlet roots.  It wasn't until a few hundred years ago, the Dutch got together and thought orange carrots should be the norm, and started breeding and growing them.  Now we're all eating orange carrots and think that that's normal, thanks to the Dutch.

Well, it looks like you'll be kept quite busy for the next week with so many veggies...and so much to learn about them.  We'll see you at market!



Recipes

 A big thank you to CSA Member Naomi Hertsberg for sending us the following two recipes!  They are a smart rhapsody of recipes with Echollective ingredients.  The original recipes you can find online, but these new versions have been a huge hit with her friends....so try them!

Kale Market Salad (inspired by www.101cookbooks.com recipe of same name)  

Garlic Scape Dressing:

  • Garlic scapes, rinsed and chopped (~1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ripe avocado
  • 1 teaspoon honey, or to taste 

Salad:

  • fresh pepper to taste
  •  1/2 bunch kale, destemmed, torn into pieces
  • 1 cup / 5.5 oz cooked farro or wheat berries (semi-pearled or whole)
  • 4-5 farmers' market carrots, very thinly sliced
  • 1 small bulb of fennel, transparently sliced
  • 1 avocado, cut into small cubes
  • a big handful of almond slices, toasted
Make the dressing by using a hand blender or food processor to puree the scapes, salt, lemon juice, olive oil, avocado, honey, and pepper until smooth. Taste, and adjust with more salt, or honey, or lemon juice.
Before you're ready to serve, combine the kale with about half of the dressing in a large bowl use your hands to work the dressing into the kale, softening up the kale a bit in the process. Add the farro, carrots, and fennel, more dressing, and a couple pinches of salt, and toss again. Taste, and add the last of the dressing if needed. This is a salad I like quite heavily dressed. Add the avocados and almonds and give one last gentle toss.
Serves 2-4.

Prep time: 10 min 


 
 Collard Green Olive Pesto (inspired by www.epicurious.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 lb collard greens
  • 7 large brine-cured green olives (2 1/4 ounces), pitted
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped (or 2-3 garlic scapes, chopped!)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)

Preparation

Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut stems and center ribs from collard greens and discard. Stir collards into water in batches, then simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer collards with tongs to a colander to drain, gently pressing on greens to extract excess water. (If making pasta, reserve water in pot for cooking pasta.) Coarsely chop collards.
Blend olives and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add collards, water, vinegar, salt, cayenne, and pepper and pulse until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil in a slow stream. Turn off motor, then add cheese and pulse to combine.
This recipe makes a large quantity of pesto. Use half the pesto for 1 pound of cooked pasta and chill the rest in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


 

Stuffed Leeks (foodcocktail.com)

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Ready In: 1 hr 10 mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Separate the green part of the leek , where the leaves are, and keep it for the sauce.
  2. Cut the white part of the leek in 2.5-3 inches pieces.
  3. With your fingers push the inside of the tubes out, keeping only two layers, so that the tubes won't be so fragile and break.
  4. Chop the inside of the tubes very finely.
  5. Mix the chopped leek with the meat, the egg and the spices.
  6. Feel the tubes with the meat mixture and arrange them in a baking dish.
  7. Chop the green part of the leek that you've kept and cook it for about 2 minutes in one tablespoon of vegetable oil, preheated.
  8. Add the tomato juice, some salt and maybe some sugar if you think it's too acid. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes and then, pour the sauce over stuffed leek tubes.
  9. Let it cook for 40 minutes covered, and then let it cook for another 10-15 minutes uncovered. Serve!
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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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Fair Weather and Friends

6:50 PM Adrian 1 Comments

Hello everyone!

It's been a good start to the summer, with (fingers crossed) generally hot but pleasant weather; averages in the 70s and just enough rain to keep us farmers and our vegetables comfortable.  We couldn't ask for weather more ideal than what we've experienced, so far not like the typical Iowa July that is so famously brutal.  We know the drill, though....we're bracing ourselves for a heat wave, any week now!  Once you start to appreciate the weather, it changes.  Looks like some hotter temps are just around the corner, soon to visit us this weekend.  We just hope this doesn't mean that the rain is gone for good!

Like we've stated recently, the beginning of summer ushers in a new lineup of produce for our CSA members (and on our market table too, for that matter).  We are still holding on to some old favorites of spring for you all to enjoy, such as head lettuce (we're aiming to put you together another salad mix!); but with the intensity of the summer solstice still lingering, much of our lettuce crop and cool, leafy greens are beginning to lose their quality.  No worries though...we've got some new treats for you!

The spread this week:

  • Head Lettuce
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Mint
  • Onions (White Candy or Red Candy Apple)
  • Kale
  • Collards
  • Lavender
  • Basil
  • Broccoli
  • Potatoes

....and possibly more!

I know, you're probably saying to yourself "that is a nice addition of new stuff!"  We've pulled up our first candy onions from our meticulously pampered plots (if you don't know, our candy onions are the "classic" storage kind, big bulbs for slicing into onion rings) and my are they stunning....big and round, looking like big polished-smooth pearls, and they smell sweet, pungent, and delightful (I picked them in armfuls today to send to the New Pioneer Co-ops....they smell is so good your stomach growls and your mouth waters). Much thanks to anyone and everyone who has been out here and weeded our onions for hours on end, which would include our interns, farmers, and even CSA member work-traders.  Thanks to you, the onions turned out good this year!

We also have lavender for you this week, an herb you might not think of as culinary, but you'll be pleasantly surprised by how its subtle addition to a sauce or meat dish can really fancy things up a bit.  We will include some fantastic recipes for this aromatic flower.  Broccoli is on the table again, a nice little surprise you all received last week.  It is also a lovely flower like lavender, albeit much less aromatic, more crunchy, and full of vitamins and antioxidants...yes, don't forget that broccoli is a flower!  Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables....we'll also include recipes with broccoli!

Last but certainly not least....our potatoes are ready for the digging!  Farmer Derek and his adorable daughter Liliona unearthed the first red tubers this past week, and we made them into Echollective french fries.  Expect a helping of the very first Echollective potatoes of the year...Yum!

Kale and Collard greens are for the taking this week yet again (can't ever be without delicious cooked greens, am I right?)  We wanted to let everyone know that over time, the effects of last weekend's hailstorm have really manifested in our kale and collards....some of it will be a bit holy.  (Not ordained by a priest holy....covered with holes holy.)  We hope this is not a big issue; if it is, please contact us.  We cannot help the weather, though we do try.  Your greens will taste just as good and are still very pretty (we eat them all the time!), but you may very well be able to read the morning paper through them.  Hah, okay, that is an exaggeration, you wouldn't notice at first glance.  But just to warn you they are there!  We don't want any surprises.

A big thank you to CSA member (for more than one year!) Elizabeth Hinds for mentioning us in her blog!  She has given us the best CSA Member-engineered scape recipes to date.  A big shout out to her.  Go and check out her blog:  http://bethsbites.wordpress.com/.  We wish her luck on her journey through the wide world of culinary arts!

Well, that's all we've got for you folks....hope to see you at market, and take care!


Recipes


Ellen Sullivan's Lavender Tenderloin (www.epicurious.com)

Yield: Serves 8 to 10
 
Valley Center, California: In 1998, Ellen Sullivan purchased land in Northern San Diego County, California, named it The Lavender Fields, and planted, grew, and harvested fields of lavender. She also searched for culinary uses for the plant, which is still considered more of an aromatic flower than a herb. "The first modern culinary use I saw was a chef's recipe for lavender crème brûlée, and that got me thinking. Lavender's flavor is both tangy and floral, so it works as well in savory dishes as it does in sweet ones—I love what it does to beef tenderloin." This recipe remains one of Ms. Sullivan's favorite company meals.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons dried food-quality lavender buds
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon whole white peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • One 4 1/2-pound whole beef tenderloin, trimmed and silverskin removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation

1. The day before serving, grind the lavender, fennel, peppercorns, thyme, and salt to a powder with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. Rub the tenderloin with the spice mixture, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.
2. Remove the tenderloin from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 425°F. Place a rack inside a roasting pan.
3. Remove the plastic wrap, brush off the spices from the tenderloin, and rub with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Place the tenderloin on the rack and roast for 15 minutes, turning once halfway through.
4. Reduce the heat to 325°F and roast for 5 to 15 minutes longer, to the desired doneness (an instant-read thermometer will read 125°F for medium rare).
5. Transfer the roast to a carving board and let rest, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add the remaining olive oil to the roasting pan, scrape well, and stir to combine the drippings.
6. Cut the tenderloin against the grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle the pan drippings over the meat and serve.

From One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking by Molly O'Neill. Copyright © 2010 by Molly O'Neill. Published by Simon & Schuster. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York.



Broccoli & Goat Cheese Souffle (www.eatingwell.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried *(or fresh) rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese *(substitute other kind of cheese if desired)
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
 *Echollective suggestions!


Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat four 10-ounce ramekins (or a 2- to 2 1/2-quart soufflé dish) with cooking spray and place them on a baking sheet.
  2. Place broccoli in a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave until the broccoli is tender-crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Melt butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Adjust heat as needed to prevent the mixture from getting too dark; it should be the color of caramel. Add milk, mustard, rosemary and salt and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in goat cheese and 3 egg yolks until well combined. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Beat the 5 egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Add cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold half of the whipped whites into the milk mixture. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites and the reserved broccoli just until no white streaks remain. Transfer to the prepared ramekins or soufflé dish.
  5. Bake until puffed, firm to the touch and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160°F, about 20 minutes in ramekins or 30 minutes in a soufflé dish. Serve immediately.


Potato Basil Puree (www.foodnetwork.com)


Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 2 pounds large Yukon Gold or white boiling potatoes *any kind of potato works fine!
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
*Echollective suggestion!
 Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and fill a bowl with ice water. Add the basil leaves to the boiling water and cook for exactly 15 seconds. Remove the basil with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge the leaves into the ice water to set the bright green color. Drain and set aside.

Peel the potatoes and cut them in quarters. Add the potatoes to the same pot of boiling water and return to a boil. Cook the potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, until very tender. Drain well, return to the saucepan, and steam over low heat until any remaining water evaporates.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the half-and-half and Parmesan cheese until the cream simmers. Place the basil in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree. Add the hot cream mixture and process until smooth.

With a handheld mixer with the beater attachment, beat the hot potatoes in the pot until they are broken up. Slowly add the hot basil cream, the salt, and pepper and beat until smooth. If the potatoes need to be reheated, cover and cook gently over low heat for a few minutes. Pour into a serving bowl, sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese, season to taste, and serve hot.



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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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