Welcome to the 2nd week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:
- Leek Scapes – These are the immature flower stalks of leeks. Grilled or sauteed, they’ll add flavor to any dish.
- Salad Mix – a mix of lettuces plus a little baby kale, mizuna, and arugula
- Hakurei Salad Turnips – Great sliced raw into salads with just a mild turnipy taste
- Spring Onions – These are overwintered onions that made it through the winter in the field and are now bolting, on their way to going to seed. You can eat it all – bolt and leaves to root.
- Kohlrabi – Some folks like to eat kohlrabi like an apple, but most often it’s peeled and grated or cut into matchsticks and enjoyed in salads. The leaves can be eaten too, just treat them like you would kale.
- Snap Peas
- Fava Beans – Ahh, the amazingness that is fava bean season. We enjoy them most shelled and then popped out o their inner skin. Although they take a little extra prep time, the buttery beans are worth the effort! No time for shelling? Try grilling the whole pod.
What a week on the farm! In addition to the first summer CSA harvest/wash/pack/delivery we had several other exciting events. First up, on Wednesday afternoon during the on-farm CSA pick-up, Jeff noticed a honeybee swarm in one of the apple orchards. This is the second year that a local family of beekeepers is keeping hives here on the farm and several hives have swarmed this spring. It’s always an interesting sight to witness and we were excited to be able to share it with several of the folks that pick-up their shares on the farm. The beekeepers came out that evening to catch the swarm and transfer it to an empty hive, so all is back to normal with the bees.
Wednesday and Thursday we also hosted several graduate students from Washington State University who are traveling around conducting insect and bird surveys on farms. The last couple of years we’ve had similar insect research done by other WSU students but this was the first year for birds. It’s always interesting to see the results of these surveys and evidently they detected 27 different species of birds, including several types of sparrows and swallows in addition to other birds ranging in size from turkey vultures to hummingbirds. Jeff did note that he’d seen a wild turkey sneaking about when the researchers where here but it didn’t make the list.
Also on Thursday we had a visit from graduate students working on the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) project through OSU. NOVIC is a fun variety trials program that looks at several types crops in organic systems. The trials are replicated at many locations through OSU, Cornell University, Washington State University, and the University of Wisconsin – Madison with the goal to improve vegetable varieties for organic farms in Northern climates.
We’re participating in a pepper variety trial and on the same day we were planting peppers the NOVIC peppers were also ready to go in the ground. In addition to evaluating the 14 different varieties they planted, it will be interesting to see how their plants grow compared to ours. We start peppers in February and then pot them up to 3″ pots to give them a head start on sizing up before transitioning to the field. The NOVIC peppers weren’t started until April and were not potted up so they were smaller going into the field but much faster to plant. We’ll watch to see if they catch up to our plants and make tweaks to our planting plan in the future.
For two farmers who generally have the farm to themselves, this week was certainly a social one. Somewhere between all the visits, and a little time off for the holiday weekend, we managed to transplant 2000 peppers, 1200 celery and celeriac, and 800 melon plants. There was also lots of irrigating, weeding, tilling, organic fertilizer spreading, and propagation in the mix too. Mid-May brings our typical last chance for frost and the last half of May and first half of June are a convergence of all things farming. The week ahead will be less social, but otherwise much the same as we endeavor to get things done. Except this week the summer weather has arrived!
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Scrambled Eggs with Leeks, Fava Beans, Crispy Breadcrumbs, and Parmesan
- Crispy breadcrumbs:
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely torn French bread
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Fine sea salt
- 1 cup peeled fresh fava beans or frozen (double-peeled)
- 12 large eggs (preferably organic)
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only; from 2 large) (try leek scapes!)
- Wedge of Parmesan cheese
For crispy breadcrumbs:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place bread in medium bowl. Drizzle oil over, tossing to coat. Scatter bread pieces on small rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Bake until bread is golden brown, stirring often, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on sheet. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm 3 minutes in 350°F oven before using.
Cook fava beans in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 14 minutes. Drain. Whisk eggs, crème fraîche, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in large bowl to blend.
Melt butter in heavy large skillet over low heat. Add leeks. Sauté until tender but not brown, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Mix in fava beans. Increase heat to medium-high. Add egg mixture. Stir with heatproof spatula until eggs are almost set but still creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with pepper.
Transfer egg mixture to platter. Sprinkle with crispy breadcrumbs. Grate Parmesan cheese over and serve.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit
- 1 head kohlrabi
- 1/2 apple, such as Gala
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/2 bird’s eye chili
- 1 pinch cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- With a sharp knife, cut off the “branches” of the kohlrabi. Peel it with a vegetable peeler.
- Cut the kohlrabi into matchsticks either using a sharp knife of a mandolin (I used the latter). Do the same with the apple.
- Toss the kohlrabi and the apple with the remaining ingredients and chill before eating.
From Food52 by “Sassyradish”, http://food52.com/recipes/8689-kohlrabi-salad
Quinoa, Fava Bean, and Chard Veggie Burgers
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 cups fresh or frozen fava beans (see note)
- 4 ounces chard, center ribs removed
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 6 ounces Halloumi cheese, cut into 6 slices
- 6 tablespoons olive tapenade (purchased is fine)
- 6 whole grain rolls
- 6 handfuls mixed greens, such as frisee and pea shoots
- Place the quinoa in a large bowl and set aside for a few minutes.
- Fill a medium pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Cook the fava beans for two to four minutes, until just tender, and drain thoroughly. If your beans are larger and have tough skins, remove the skins. If they’re young and tender, feel free to leave them on. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the beans until they form a chunky puree. It shouldn’t be totally smooth, but it should hold together fairly well. Scrape the bean puree into the bowl with the quinoa.
- Drain and dry the pot you used for the fava beans. Over medium heat, warm one tablespoon of the olive oil. Cook the onion without browning until soft, about five minutes.
- Meanwhile, julienne the chard leaves: stack the leaves on top of one another and roll the stack from tip end to stem end into a cigar shape. Then use a large knife to cut thin crosswise slices of the cigar. When you’re done you should have nice long, thin ribbons of chard. Add the chard ribbons to the onions along with the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the chard is wilted. Add the contents of the pot to the bowl.
- Add the dill, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper to the bowl, and mix everything together thoroughly. Cover the bowl and chill the mixture for 30 minutes.
- When you’re ready to make the burgers, heat two tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron or other heavy pan. Scoop up the mixture by palm-sized amounts and form patties with your hands. (You may have more than enough for six burgers.) Cook burgers, in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, until nice and brown on the underside, about four minutes. Gently flip and cook until the other side browns and the burgers are cooked through, about four minutes more. If cooking in batches, you may need to add more oil. Place each burger into a roll.
- Cook the Halloumi slices in the pan until browned on both sides and place a slice atop each burger. Top with some olive tapenade and a handful of greens and serve immediately. Extra cooked burgers or uncooked mixture will keep in the fridge for two days.
From Food52 by Carolyn Cope, http://food52.com/recipes/21779-quinoa-fava-bean-and-chard-veggie-burgers