Welcome to the 3rd week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:
- Salad Mix
- Garlic Scapes – the flowering stalk of garlic plants, dice it up and throw it in any recipe where you want to add a garlicky flavor. Garlic scape pesto is pretty fantastic too!
- Fava Beans
- Chioggia Beets – Two words: beet pizza! And don’t forget those greens. Prepare them like chard and eat them up!
- Lacinato Kale – We’ve got a case of the flea beetles something fierce. They’ve been munching on your kale a little, but after you cook it up a little you’ll hardly notice.
- Snap Peas!
With the heat of the last few days, it’s hard to remember that just a week ago we were harvesting in the rain. What a difference a week makes! High temps lead to long work days on the farm, and the past few days have been very long indeed. We hope you’re all being safe during this early June heatwave. Stay cool and enjoy the veggies.
Each summer I’m amazed by the bounty available. The strawberries! The tomatoes! The cucumbers! Inevitably I try to squeeze in time to dry, can, and freeze as many of the seasonal treats that pass through the farm as I possibly can. Of course summer is the busiest time on the farm so I’ve learned to focus my efforts on our favorites. As the season progresses I attempt to stock our shelves with tomato sauce, dried basil, dried peppers, roasted pepper sauce, pickled beets, pickled cucumbers, dried tomatoes, ketchup, and bbq sauce. In the freezer we’ve got frozen corn, strawberries, strawberry jam, blueberries, cherries, winter squash puree, and of course basil hazelnut pesto. For anyone interested in preserving I can’t recommend the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving enough. The basic recipes and clear instructions are a go-to for me and although I have an older edition I imagine the updated versions are just as great.
At this point in the season I realize things are ramping up toward fresh harvests of all our summer favorites. It’s time to work through jars we haven’t yet eaten up and clear out the freezer to make room for this year’s preserving efforts. That photo up above shows roasted red pepper sauce, dried cherry tomatoes, pickled golden beets, and dried basil headed to the top of a pizza. Mmmm, pizza.
You’ll notice an increase in the amount of snap peas in the share this week. We’ve transitioned from our first planting of Sugar Ann peas in a field house to the next succession of Cascadia and Super Sugar Snap peas which has done well outside. Can you tell the difference between the varieties? As is often the case with the CSA, you are reaping the reward of a bountiful harvest! It might be a good chance to try to preserve the snap pea goodness by pickling them, or freezing for future use.
This past weekend we hunkered down here on the farm, and pressed through the big heatwave, to attempt to get caught up on our transplanting. We managed to plant successions of Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, chard, flour corn, sweet corn, lettuce, and basil. With that big planting out of the way we can now get back to focusing on the weeds, which incidentally have been loving this heat! Watch out weeds, we’re coming for ya!
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Spring Egg-Drop Soup
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
- 6 small spring onions, bulbs only, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3 medium spring garlic bulbs, 1-2 garlic scapes, or 2 regular garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 pound asparagus, sliced on a diagonal 1/2″ thick
- 1/4 pound sugar snap peas, sliced on a diagonal 1/4″ thick
- 2/3 cup shelled fresh peas (from about 2/3 pound pods)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add carrots, spring onions, and garlic and season with salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 15-20 minutes.
Add broth and bring to a boil. Add asparagus, sugar snap peas, and peas and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat eggs in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon Parmesan, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon water.
Reduce heat to low and stir basil and mint into soup. Drizzle in egg mixture in 4 or 5 spots around pot. Let stand for 1 minute so egg can set, then gently stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice. Season soup with salt and more lemon juice, if desired. Serve soup topped with more Parmesan.
From Epicurious via Bon Appetit by April Bloomfield, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spring-egg-drop-soup-51161050
Spring Vegetable Risotto
- 1 cup medium-grain rice, such as Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 1 garlic clove, minced (use garlic scapes)
- 1 leek, tender white part only, finely chopped
- 1 cup packed baby spinach, finely chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, wispy ends removed and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, or dry vermouth
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (see Cooks’ Note)
- 1 cup shelled English peas
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the rice in a sieve and rinse under a steady stream of cool water, stirring the grains. When the water runs clear, stop rinsing and shake the sieve to drain off excess water.
Coat the inside of a medium rice cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Set the rice cooker to the regular cycle or to quick cook if it’s a fuzzy-logic machine. Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter; add the garlic, leek, spinach, and fennel; and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the leek is softened. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the rice and chicken broth and stir to distribute the ingredients.
Cover the rice cooker and reset to the regular cycle. Set a timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, stir in the fava beans and peas. Cover and allow to steam for an additional 5 minutes on the keep-warm setting or with the machine turned off. (Many rice cookers, including all fuzzy-logic machines, do this automatically.) Stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp butter and the Parmigiano. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Cooks’ Note To remove the tougher skin from fava beans, blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute, drain in a colander, and when cooled, slip off the skins.
Many times in restaurants, you will get a risotto that isn’t creamy; it happens when the cook is distracted and doesn’t watch the rice. Well-made risotto has some thickened liquid along with the rice; that’s what makes it creamy, rather than a gelatinous mass. As the rice sits on your plate, it is still cooking and will absorb the remaining liquid.
From Epicurious via The Everyday Rice Cooker by Diane Phillips, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spring-vegetable-risotto-56389576
Roasted Beet and Sugar Snap Pea Salad
- 3 medium beets, trimmed
- 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dillweed.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 2/3-ounce packages fresh arugula, trimmed.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Wrap beets in aluminum foil. Bake until tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool. Peel beets and cut into wedges.
Cook sugar snap peas in large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Pat dry.
Mix mustard and vinegar in small bowl. Gradually mix in oil, then dill and sugar. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover sugar snap peas and chill. Cover dressing and beets separately and let stand at room temperature.)
Line platter with arugula. Mix beets, sugar snap peas and dressing in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon atop arugula.
From Epicurious via Bon Appetit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-beet-and-sugar-snap-pea-salad-606