csa share – week 2 {may 29}

Welcome to the 2nd week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Salad Turnips – eat these guys raw like radishes, and don’t forget about the tasty turnips greens!
  • Green Garlic
  • Artichokes – just a taste this week.  We should have more for you as the season progresses.
  • Carrots
  • Spinach – a mix including red-stemmed Beaujolais variety!
  • Salad Mix
  • French Breakfast Radishes
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Cherry Tomato Starts – we’ve got extras and want to share them with you!

Hopefully you enjoyed the first week of the CSA! Many thanks for making last week’s pick-up go so smoothly.  We had fun seeing so many familiar faces after the long winter and meeting so many new folks too.  We’re ready for week two and hope you are too.

We’ve been busy on the farm since we met last week.  This past weekend we planted out our peppers, eggplants, tomatillos, gooseberries, and 1/2 our tomatoes.  We’re glad to have made it through another big planting push.  Of course the more we have planted in the field, the more there is to maintain too. Jeff has been busy keeping up with moving irrigation pipe and cultivating crops previously planted out in the field.  It’s important for young plants to have plenty of water and little competition while they’re getting established, so he’s been working hard to minimize their stress.

We’re nearing the busiest time of the year for us as our days are now filled with the routines of planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting.  We’re happy with the progress we’re seeing in the field though.  Our first rounds of broccoli, cabbage, kale, and chard are all sizing up nicely and we look forward to sharing them with you in the coming months.

As we begin this journey we hope to keep you well-informed about what’s happening at the farm.  For us, having CSA members isn’t just about distributing food or knowing when to expect payments (though we do appreciate those factors).  We want members to know more about where their vegetables are coming from and what we do to grow them.  We’ll try to include those details in these weekly newsletters and we’ post many photos throughout the week on our Flickr and Facebook pages.  We also want folks to know who else is in their community of eaters.  We love to hear from members through the comments on this site and on our Facebook page too.  We’ve already been hearing about great recipe ideas in both places this past week.  Hopefully you’ll share your cooking inspiration and photos too!

Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

We’re still new to cooking artichokes but we found these two websites really helpful:

http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_cook_and_eat_an_artichoke/

http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t–944/all-about-artichokes.asp

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Spinach and Green Garlic Soufflé

ingredients

The Garlic Infusion
3/4 to 1 cup minced green garlic, about 5 small heads
1 cup cream or half-and-half
1 thyme sprig
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The Soufflé
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for the dish
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 bunch spinach, stems removed, or 12 to 16 ounces loose, young spinach leaves
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups milk
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 scant cup (about 4 ounces) mild goat cheese
4 egg yolks
6 egg whites

preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 6-cup soufflé dish or gratin dish and dust it with a few tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese.

2. Put the garlic, cream, and thyme in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring slowly to a boil, then turn off the heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes.

3. Wash the spinach well, then wilt it in a skillet with the water clinging to the leaves. Tip it into a colander, press out the moisture, then finely chop.

4. Melt the 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour, and cook for 1 minute while stirring. Whisk in the milk and stir until it thickens. Add 1 teaspoon salt, then stir in the goat cheese and remaining Parmesan. Turn off the heat and stir in the egg yolks, spinach, and the garlic-cream mixture. Season with pepper.

5. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form firm peaks that are just a bit on the soft side. Fold the whites and base together. Scrape the batter into the prepared dish and bake until golden brown and set, about 25 minutes for a gratin dish, 30 minutes if using a soufflé dish.

From Epicurious.com, via Local Flavors by Deborah Madison, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spinach-and-Green-Garlic-Souffle-355946

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Cream of Artichoke and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

1 lemon, halved
1 1/2 lb artichokes (2 or 3)
1/2 lb Jerusalem artichokes (leftovers from last week?)
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (try using green garlic instead)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream

Garnish: sliced almonds, toasted

Trim regular artichokes:
Squeeze juice from 1 lemon half into a large bowl of water, then drop same half into water.Cut off stem of 1 artichoke, then trim 1/4 inch from end of stem to expose inner core. Trim sides of stem down to pale inner core, then rub with other lemon half. Drop stem into acidulated water.Cut off top inch of same artichoke with a serrated knife. Bend back outer leaves until they snap off close to base, then discard several more layers of leaves in same manner until you reach pale yellow leaves with pale green tips. Cut off green tips.

Trim dark green fibrous parts from base and sides of artichoke with a sharp paring knife, then rub cut surfaces with lemon half.

Cut artichoke into 8 wedges, then cut out fuzzy choke and purple leaves with paring knife. Rub all cut surfaces with lemon half, then drop artichoke into acidulated water. 3Prepare remaining artichokes in same manner.
Trim Jerusalem artichokes:
Peel Jerusalem artichokes with a sharp paring knife and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Prepare soup:
Cook Jerusalem artichokes, onion, and garlic in butter in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Drain regular artichokes and add to pot along with salt. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until Jerusalem artichokes are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add wine and boil, uncovered, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add broth and simmer, covered, until vegetables are very tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Purée soup in batches in a blender until very smooth, about 2 minutes (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return soup to pot and stir in cream and pepper to taste. Reheat soup, stirring.

Cooks’ note:
• Soup keeps 3 days. Cool completely, uncovered, and then chill, covered.

From Epicuirous.com via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cream-of-Artichoke-and-Jerusalem-Artichoke-Soup-106241

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