winter csa share – #10

Welcome to the 10th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Mixed Spinach
  • Carola Potatoes – Similar to Yukon Gold, Carola spuds are great for baking, mashing, and roasting.
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Cooking Carrots – These are some of the last of the overwintered carrots, best used for cooking rather than raw snacking at this point.
  • Radishes – 2 bunches: French Breakfast and either Pink Beauty or Hakurei Salad Turnips
  • Arugula – Looking for a new way to use up some greens?  Check out the arugula-spinach pesto in the recipes down below.
  • Mixed Small Onions
  • Popcorn – You can knock the kernels off the cob and into a paper bag and pop this in the microwave.  We’ve had fun watching them pop on the cob too!  Most often we’ll use these directions and pop it on the stovetop.
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Red Ursa Kale – tender spring kale from the greenhouse
  • Collard Rapini – It’s officially rapini season!  The overwintered brassicas, like kale and cabbage, are starting to bolt and will eventually flower but right now they are the sweetest broccoli-like stems and leaves around.  Prepare them like broccoli and enjoy the fleeting taste of the end of winter.
  • Cabbage or Kale Rapini – more rapini!
  • Mixed Winter Squash – The last of the winter squash until next fall, we promise!
  • Dried Apples – we grew them, we picked them, we dried them.

Winter CSA Members:  We’ve made it through the majority of the season already!  We’ll see you in two weeks for the last pick-up of the winter season.  We’ll then see Summer members at the end of May for the start of the Summer CSA!

Have you noticed that the rain has barely let up since November?  We have!  It’s been a rare day this winter/spring that we haven’t gotten at least some rain.  Last week we had a short window of dry weather, unfortunately it wasn’t as warm or long as we need to dry out the soil enough to really get this season’s field work underway.  Ideally we need at least four dry days before groundwork, plus another couple of days to do the field prep. and planting.  This last window did afford us the chance to cultivate the garlic and overwintered onions, mow some cover crops, disc open fields, and even plant a bed of lettuce outside.  Every spring is different, but there’s always some element of a waiting game and there’s always a nervous anticipation as each day that passes brings us closer to the start of the Summer CSA season.

Instead of fertilizing, liming, tilling, and planting we’ve been focused on coaxing along the starts in the propagation house and trying to keep up on the weeds in the greenhouses.  Jeff had quite a week fixing things including a new and big irrigation leak and a broken PTO linkage (a small metal rod that makes the mower and tiller go) on the tractor.  He also spent some time doing winter maintenance on equipment.  Oil changes and new filters all around!

Perhaps you recall the big windstorm we had late last week?  What a breeze, huh?  The nearby weather stations clocked 68mph wind gusts and I believe them.  We woke up Thursday morning to less damage than I’d imagined overnight, but we did lose the end walls on our big greenhouses.  Luckily the plastic was old and we can repair them easily enough.  We also lost power all day Thursday, which was a good reminder of how dependent we are on the electrical grid.  When the electricity stops flowing our well stops pumping water, our walk-ins stop cooling, and the bathroom lights don’t turn on.  Even so, we seem to have made it through the big power outage unscathed.  It was a good day to break out the hand crank corn sheller and shell some popcorn.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks for the last share of the Winter CSA!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Vinegar-Marinate Chicken with Buttered Greens and Radishes

  • 2 pounds skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 radishes, quartered, halved if small
  • 1 bunch mustard greens, leaves torn (or kale or rapini or spinach or radish/turnip greens)
  • 4 tablespoons tarragon leaves, divided

Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a large baking dish. Pour 1/4 cup vinegar over chicken and let sit 15–20 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and pat skin dry. Reserve baking dish (no need to wipe it out).

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Working in batches, cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is golden brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes; turn and cook until other side is just browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to reserved baking dish; reserve skillet. Bake chicken until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 165°F, 10–12 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat butter in same skillet over medium-high. Add radishes, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until radishes are browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Add mustard greens and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mustard greens are just wilted, about 2 minutes (they should still have some spring in their step). Add 2 tablespoons tarragon and remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar; toss to combine.

Serve greens and radishes with chicken topped with remaining 2 tablespoons tarragon.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Alison Roman, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/vinegar-marinated-chicken-with-buttered-greens-and-radishes-56389531

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Warm Broccoli di Rapa and Yukon Gold Potato Salad

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds broccoli di rapa (aka rapini!)
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, any size
  • 1/4 teaspoon or more salt
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • dried peperoncino (hot red pepper flakes)

Rinse and trim the broccoli di rape; cut the peeled stems into 4- or 5-inch lengths. Peel the potatoes, and cut into 1-inch cubes. Put the cubes in a pot with cold water to cover by several inches, and heat to a boil. Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes, then lay the greens and peeled stems on top of the potatoes, cover the pot, and cook for 5 minutes more.

Lift out the broccoli di rape and potatoes with a spider or other strainer, and lay them in a colander. Sprinkle about half the salt over the hot vegetables, let them drain and cool for a minute or two, then turn them into a mixing bowl. Drizzle the olive oil all over the pieces, and toss gently. Sprinkle on more salt and peperoncino to taste (I use 1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes, or even more, when I’m making this at home). Toss, taste, and adjust the seasoning.

Serve on a big warm platter, or put portions on warm salad plates.

From Epicurious via Lidia’s Family Table by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/warm-broccoli-di-rape-and-yukon-gold-potato-salad-231416

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Burgers with Mozzarella and Spinach-Arugula Pesto

  • 8 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 10 cups packed)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
  • Large pinch of dried crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups (packed) fresh arugula leaves, divided (about 5 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 3/4 pounds ground beef (20% fat)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 hamburger buns, split horizontally
  • 6 1/3-inch-thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

Rinse spinach; drain briefly, then place in large glass bowl. Microwave spinach, uncovered, on high just until wilted, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drain, then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Combine garlic, lemon peel, and crushed red pepper in processor; blend until garlic is finely chopped. Add spinach, 2 cups (packed) arugula, pine nuts, and lemon juice; process until coarse puree forms. With machine running, gradually add oil in thin stream and blend until almost smooth. Mix in cheese. Transfer pesto to small bowl; season with salt.

Do ahead: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover; chill.

Combine ground beef, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 6 tablespoons spinach-arugula pesto in large bowl; mix lightly with fingertips or fork just until incorporated. Form meat mixture into six 3/4-inch-thick patties. Place patties on platter.

Do ahead: Beef patties can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill burgers to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Grill buns, cut side down, just until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Build burgers with pesto, patties, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and arugula. Cover with bun tops.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/burgers-with-mozzarella-and-spinach-arugula-pesto-235619

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