Welcome to the 12th and final week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:
- Leeks Scapes – These are the immature flower stalks of overwintered leeks. Grilled or sauteed, they’ll add flavor to any dish. Check out this blog post for more info and grilling inspiration!
- Salad Mix
- Fingerling Potatoes
- Pink Beauty Radishes
- Cauliflower – The last of the overwintering cauliflower came on just in time to finish up the winter CSA. Two heads for everyone! We’re thinking that might be enough for a little quick pickling experimentation.
- Bok Choy – We hear bok choy makes for a great green smoothie base.
- Hakurei Salad Turnips – We love these raw, but we’ve heard surprisingly good reviews of roasting them too! And please oh please don’t forget the turnip greens!
- Spinach – Big bunches of Beaujolais spinach this week.
- Cabbage – Mixed varieties this week, the last of our storage cabbage from the cooler.
- Spring Onion Scapes – Similar to the leek scapes, these are the flower stalks of overwintering onions. Prepare them like scallions or green onions and enjoy!
- Crimson Clover Flower Bouquet
Somehow we’ve already made it to the final week of the winter CSA! Thinking back over the past five months I’m thankful for the mild weather and the amazing diversity that came out of the fields all winter. We hope you enjoyed eating seasonally this winter and we really appreciate you joining us on this adventure! Now we’re looking forward to the summer ahead and the next season’s bounty!
We’re including a bouquet of crimson clover flowers in your share this week. We grow crimson clover in our cover crop mix for its nitrogen fixing abilities. To reap the greatest benefits from the cover crop we try to re-incorporate it just as it begins to flower but we also like to let some fully bloom for the bees. The splash of color at this time of year is wonderful in the field, and we thought you might like to enjoy it at home too.
There appears to be a mixed consensus about the medicinal qualities of consuming crimson clover. Some folks say it makes a great herbal tea while others proclaim it’s toxic! I imagine the truth is somewhere in between. Medicine can be dangerous.
When we make our planting schedule in the winter we can only guess at what the season ahead has in store for us. We make the plan, and get ready to change the plan. As we’ve started getting crops in the ground in earnest it’s been interesting to see what’s going in on schedule and what’s getting in early.
Some of the changes are due to needing more space in the greenhouse. A few weeks back we planted our first tomatoes into the high tunnels because we were running out of space in the propagation house. This week we transplanted our first succession of corn because it was ready to go and because we needed more space on the tables we use for hardening off plants when they come out of the propagation house before getting transplanted in the field.
Somehow we haven’t been late with any crops according to the plan. Let’s hope that trend continues!
We’ve hunkered down and gotten this farming show on the road. As I mentioned two weeks ago, we’re figuring out the new transplanter and the rows are straighter and in-row spacing is better than ever! Although some of the closer-spaced crops do seem to take longer to plant than when we were doing it by hand in the past, our backs are not feeling the hurt of bending over for hours and hours. I’d call that a win.
And now we’re deep into preparations for the Summer CSA. In a few short weeks we’ll be back to weekly shares of the bounty! The peas are coming on soon and that’s only the beginning. In the two week gap between the winter and the summer CSA programs we’ll be planting out more tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, summer squash, melons, cucumbers, winter squash, leeks, celery, celeriac, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, basil and the list goes on!
Note that many of these crops will be harvested in the fall and into next winter. For instance the leeks and leek scapes we’ll be enjoying in April and May 2016 will be transplanted into the field very soon. Hurrah for year-round farming! Thanks for your support throughout the year. We can’t say it enough, we couldn’t do it without you! Thanks for supporting our local, organic farm and eating seasonally in this world full of choices.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see some of you in three weeks with the beginning of the Summer CSA!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Majorcan-Style Vegetable and Bread Stew
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Maui), finely chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage (about 1/2 large head)
- 1 1/2 cups small cauliflower florets (about 1/4 small head)
- 2 large tomatoes, seeded, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika, preferably Spanish smoked paprika*
- 3 14-ounce cans vegetable broth or low-salt chicken broth
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves
- 8 4x3x1/2-inch slices country-style wheat bread
- Oil-cured black olives
- Sliced radishes
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté until golden and beginning to soften, about 7 minutes. Stir in cabbage and cauliflower; sauté 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, parsley, thyme, and rosemary; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes. Add paprika and stir 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in spinach; simmer uncovered 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Immerse 4 bread slices in broth in pot. Place remaining 4 bread slices atop broth; press to submerge. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Bake uncovered 10 minutes.
Serve stew from pot. Pass olives and sliced radishes alongside.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/majorcan-style-vegetable-and-bread-stew-106488
Smoky Mountain Wilted Lettuce Salad
- 1 3/4 lb Bibb or Boston lettuce (4 heads), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 1/3 cup finely chopped scallions – or use scapes!
- 3 hard-boiled large eggs, chopped
- 6 bacon slices
- 4 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Put lettuce, scallions, and eggs in a salad bowl.
Cook bacon in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the skillet. Add vinegar and sugar to bacon fat and cook over moderate heat, whisking, until sugar dissolves. Whisk in cream, salt, and pepper, then boil until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
Pour hot dressing over salad and toss well. Season salad with salt and pepper, if necessary, and crumble bacon over top.
From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/smoky-mountain-wilted-lettuce-106737
Grilled Asian Chicken with Bok Choy, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Radishes
- 8 1/3-inch-thick rounds red onion
- 8 large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
- 8 red radishes, trimmed, halved
- 4 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
- 1 large orange bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 8 strips
- 1 1/4 cups Mango-Sesame Dressing, divided
- 6 boneless chicken breast halves with skin
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
Arrange all vegetables on large rimmed baking sheet. Brush vegetables lightly on both sides with 1/3 cup Mango-Sesame Dressing; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Arrange chicken on sheet of foil. Brush both sides of chicken with 1/3 cup dressing, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Vegetables and chicken can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Coat grill rack generously with nonstick spray and prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill vegetables until just tender, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes for onion rounds and 4 minutes for mushrooms, radishes, bok choy, and pepper strips. Return all vegetables to same baking sheet.
Grill chicken until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to cutting board. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Cool 2 chicken breasts; wrap and chill for Asian Chicken-Noodle Salad.
Arrange remaining 4 chicken breasts and vegetables on platter. Serve with remaining dressing.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Selma Brown Morrow, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-asian-chicken-with-bok-choy-shiitake-mushrooms-and-radishes-359329