Archive for July, 2011

CSA Share for 2011 Week Seven

The kohlrabi in this week’s share is phenomenal!  It is so mild and crisp, I could hardly stop eating it.  If your kids are less-than-enthusiastic, have them try dipping it in some ranch dressing.  In our share this week:

  • broccoli
  • swiss chard
  • summer squash
  • cucumbers
  • pickling cucumbers
  • kohlrabi
  • tomatoes
  • cabbage
  • green beans

What to do with all those cucumbers?  Instead of putting up more pickles, make a tasty, refreshing Cucumber Yogurt Dressing for your salads.  Just combine the following in a blender:  1 small cucumber, 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 tsp lemon juice, lots of chopped garlic scapes, a little salt, and a little olive oil.  Whir it all up and store it in a glass jar in the fridge.  The batch I made was a little runny, so I suggest trying Greek yogurt in yours.

Speaking of pickles, to make preparing the next batch easy, just re-use the pickling liquid.  We finished a jar today, and instead of tossing the liquid, I just cut up my pickling cukes from this week’s share and dropped them right into the same jar.  I did the same thing last year and they turned out just fine.

That Asian Cabbage Slaw in this week’s newsletter is a must-try for me (I need a diversion from my usual creamy-type coleslaw).  While you’re there reading the newsletter, check out the piggy poem submitted by one of our members.  Love it!

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Chinese Broccoli and Chicken

This recipe is a combination of a few recipes I’ve used over the years.  It’s great if you have a lot of broccoli to use up.  Use both the broccoli florets and stalks; just peel and chop the stalks.  It’s ideal over brown rice, but I think also works well tossed with penne pasta in the summer.

Chinese Broccoli and Chicken

  • 3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp vinegar (I use brown rice vinegar)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced or chopped
  • 2 or 3 garlic scapes, chopped
  • one head broccoli (florets and stalks)
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts or chicken sausages, chopped (or substitute with baked tofu; see below)
  • cooked brown rice or penne pasta
  • cashews (optional)
  • sesame seeds(optional)
  • toasted sesame oil (optional)

Prepare the sauce:  combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, ginger and lemon juice in a cup or bowl.  Heat the oil in a skillet or wok.  Add the onion and garlic scapes and saute till the onion is tender.  Add the broccoli and saute till it is bright green and just tender.  Add the chicken or tofu just till heated through.  Add the prepared sauce and toss thoroughly.  Spoon over rice or toss with pasta, and then top with the cashews, sesame seeds, and sesame oil, if using.

Baked Tofu (from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health):  Toss 1/2 pound cubed extra-firm tofu with 1 Tbsp each of sesame oil, soy sauce, and ketchup.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.

CSA Share for 2011 Week Six

How about those cherry tomatoes?!  Wow, are they sweet.  Like Farmer Anne says in our newsletter, look towards the bottom of the plants to find the ripe ones for now.  In our share this week:

  • golden beets
  • broccoli
  • green beans
  • summer squash
  • cucumbers
  • pickling cucumbers

Not to be beet-boring 😉 but, just like last week, I plan on steaming the golden beets and topping with my leftover dressing that I talked about in last week’s post.  But check back tomorrow, when I will post a recipe using our head of broccoli.

If you’re at a loss about what to do with your summer squash, just head up to the search bar and type in “zucchini” or “summer squash.”  Or you can go over to the “Tags” section on the right and click on “summer squash” for a list of posts that mention this veggie.  To answer some of your burning questions about zucchini and summer squash, head over to wikipedia (summer squash or zucchini).   (Did you know that summer squash is technically a fruit?)

Let’s all think RAIN this week; our farm really needs it!

Nice and Quick Chinese Cabbage Recipe

If you’re in danger of letting your Chinese cabbage languish in the fridge, don’t!  Try the Chinese Cabbage Stir-Fry recipe from this week’s newsletter.  I just made this dish, and it went well in a wrap with some cashews and toasted sesame oil.  There’s also plenty of leftovers.  It would have been fantastic over brown rice, but I did not want to cook up a pot of rice in today’s hot and humid weather.

Remember the Pickles

Because there were several cukes in our share this week, I wanted to remind you of my Refrigerator Dill Pickles post from last  year.  Since the cukes will take ten days to pickle, start your first couple of jars now, and then keep them going so you’ll have tasty pickles throughout the summer.

You can enjoy some fun pickle facts and trivia over at foodmuseum.com (just try to ignore all the typos).  Also, try out the online quiz about all things pickley at funtrivia.com.

CSA Share for 2011 Week Five

We were out of town over the weekend, uncharacteristically eating out for every meal.  You can imagine how marvelous it was to have a giant homemade salad right when we got home on Monday (our farm lettuce fared surprisingly well in my veggie drawer during the week).  So, before you go on vacation, wash up and prepare your veggies before you go, so you can enjoy them as soon as you return.  You’ll be happy you did.

In our share this week:

  • lettuce
  • swiss chard
  • Chinese cabbage
  • basil
  • beets
  • cucumbers
  • summer squash

Usually I like to prepare the first beets of the season as simply as possible, but I couldn’t wait to make My Sister’s Beet Salad again.  I got this recipe very late in the season last year, and it’s just so good, I didn’t get to make it enough last year.  Today I took Farmer Anne’s advice and didn’t bother de-skinning them after I boiled them, with good results; I couldn’t tell the difference.  Also, save your beet greens and try a few in your next summer smoothie.

By the way, if you don’t need your veggie trimmings for your own compost, save them and give them to the farm pigs, goats, and sheep during your next pickup.  They’ll love you for it.  I store my bagged trimmings in the freezer for the week till the next pickup day.

CSA Share for 2011 Week Four

It’s been a fantastic season for greens so far.  Farmer Mike says that they thrive in the relatively cooler weather that we’ve had this year so far.  No wonder the lettuce heads and kale bunches have been ginormous!   The temps are heating up this week, though.

Lots of new stuff  in our share this week:

  • Winterbor kale (curly type)
  • bok choy
  • basil
  • cucumbers
  • lettuce
  • extra garlic scapes

I’m loving the first basil sprigs of the season.  Not enough to make pesto yet, but my youngest son likes bits of basil on top of bread that’s been drizzled with olive oil and grated parmesan cheese.   After reading about how healthy basil is for us (here and here), it tastes even better to me!

Since it’s too early in the season to make basil pesto, how about trying garlic scape pesto?  I know that this has been covered in one of our previous farm newsletters, but I can’t remember which one.  I found this Garlic Scape Pesto recipe online, though, and I’m sure there’s many more out there to choose from.

This week’s newsletter has a recipe, Choi with Gingery Butter, that calls for bok choy, garlic scapes, and basil, making it a great recipe to try with our share this week.