Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hello Frost!

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.” 

~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring




 

We are facing frost again this week and have our tomato plants tucked into the soil of our new hoop houses, hoping they stay strong.  Otherwise, most of our other plantings should be hardened off well by now and after last night's frost look like they may be better off for it.  Our asparagus is very well established by now, has weathered many a frost and the crown's are producing lots of really beautiful spears.  

We often hear from folks that they prefer the skinnier stalks and worry about the large ones being too woody.  We can attest that this is not the case with our asparagus, as we have both sizes and all in between.  No matter the size, they get woodier at the bottom of the grass stem.  It is not dependent on size.  Preference is preference but we would like to clear up this popular myth.  Size doesn't matter.

Now for our CSA members, here is what you will be receiving this week:

Spinach
Green Garlic
Asparagus
Arugula
Bok Choi
Radishes
Mint
Red Lettuce Head
Braise Mix (Cooking Greens)
Perhaps a surprise or two 

For your weekly recipe from the farm, you can try a salad using much from your market picks.

Roasted Asparagus, Avocado and Arugula Salad

  • 1 bunch (about 1 lb) asparagus (choose thicker, larger stalks if possible)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp honey or agave nectar
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 4 cups arugula (about 5 oz.)
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. After you clean your asparagus, make sure to pat it totally dry before proceeding. Slice the tough stalk ends from your asparagus (1-2 inches at the bottom of each stalk).
  • Place the asparagus on a baking sheet; I foil line my sheet for easier cleanup. Drizzle the stalks with 1 tbsp olive oil, then rub each stalk with your hands to evenly coat with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper—freshly ground black pepper is best. Place prepared asparagus into the oven and let it roast for 12-15 minutes till the toughest parts of the stalks are tender and the leafy tips are starting to get crispy.
  • While the asparagus is cooking, place the pine nuts into a small skillet over medium heat and toast them for a few minutes till they turn golden brown and aromatic. Be careful, stir constantly, and keep a close eye once they start to brown—they can go from brown to burned very quickly. Once they’ve turned golden, pour them into a small bowl and reserve.
  • When the asparagus has finished cooking, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Cut each stalk into 4-5 pieces each. Discard any overly tough ends that did not get tender during roasting.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, 1 tbsp lemon juice, basil, honey and a pinch of salt. Vegans can sub agave for the honey in the dressing, or leave it out. As you whisk the mixture rapidly, very slowly drizzle in the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil till emulsified with the juice mixture. Reserve dressing.
  • Cut the avocado into small cubes. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ tbsp lemon juice to keep it from turning brown.
  • In a large salad bowl, combine the arugula, roasted asparagus, toasted pine nuts, avocado and dressing. Toss gently till the ingredients are well mixed and the arugula is evenly moistened by the dressing. Season the salad with additional salt to taste, if desired. Serve.
  • This salad is easily doubled for a crowd, and can be partially made ahead for easier serving. Roast the asparagus and toast the pine nuts in advance, and juice the citrus for the dressing, then store in airtight containers till ready to serve (refrigerate the asparagus and juices for up to 24 hours before serving). Just before serving, slice the avocado, whisk the dressing and toss the salad. It tastes best at room temperature, so if you’re making some elements ahead, be sure to take them out of the refrigerator and let them return to room temp before tossing the salad.
This recipe is compliments of:

http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2013/03/roasted-asparagus-avocado-arugula-salad/

You can also mix in some of the red head lettuce with the arugula for something a bit more hearty on the leafs and could play with mint and radishes too.

We want to thank all of our CSA members and market shoppers for being such an important part of keeping local, consciously grown food sustainable.  You rock!

Much love,
Your Echo Team

1 comment:

Not That Kind Of Farmer said...

Thanks for sharing useful info on virtually identical, here i got lots of knowledge about it.