Summer CSA Share – #3

Welcome to the 3rd share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Mixed Spinach
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – These mild turnips are excellent raw in salads!
  • New Potatoes – Freshly dug potatoes, so new they don’t have skins yet!  Eat them up soon as new potatoes don’t store as well as mature fully-skinned potatoes.
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower
  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Mayan Jaguar Romaine Lettuce
  • Fava Beans – Ahh, the amazingness that is the fava bean.  We enjoy them  most shelled and then popped out of 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.
  • Red Scallions
  • Mixed Kabocha Winter Squash – The very last of last fall’s winter squash this week.

baby bartlett pear (left) and the winter squash field (right)

The arrival of the solstice on Thursday marks the official beginning of summer.  The days have been lengthening since the spring equinox and now we’ve made it to the longest day of the year.  Days will slowly get shorter from here on out, making life wrangling crops a little easier.    Much of the work of the season has been done and now tasks begin to shift more to maintenance mode.  Although planting will continue, mostly for overwintering crops, the majority of the season-long crops have found their home in the fields.

new potatoes (left) and this past week’s planting efforts (right)

This past week was a busy one.  After the vegetable distributions early in the week, it was on to sowing the next round of seeds including sweet corn, fall brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), and herbs like basil and parsley.  Then I planted out the third succession of brassicas and lettuce into the field.  Luckily while I was still focused on the CSA harvest Jeff had offered to till the beds early last week after the big rains before they dried out too much, so they were ready for planting Thursday.  It was back to weeding on Friday.  I was happy to find time to clean up the newest corn plantings.  I also uncovered the winter squash and finally cleaned up the paths before the squash plants close in too much, making weeding much more difficult.  More of the same on tap this week.

forest service cabin at Hawk Mountain (left) and Mt. Jefferson from the trail (right)

We’ve been trying to get off the farm more this early season.  In the past it was rare to take a full day off and although it hasn’t happened every week, Jeff’s work schedule has made taking advantage of weekends much easier.  This past Saturday we went on a hike to a former fire lookout site on Hawk Mountain up past Breitenbush outside of Detroit.  It was a lovely day in the woods, despite the threatening thunderstorms.  We’re looking forward to more fun on and off the farm as the summer sets in.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Fava Beans with Red Onion and Mint

  • 3 cups peeled shelled fresh fava beans (2 1/2 pounds in pod)
  • 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium red onions, chopped
  • Fine sea salt
  • Generous handful of mint, roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)

Cook fava beans with 1 teaspoon oil in boiling unsalted water until tender, 6 to 8 minutes, then drain.

Cook onions in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring, until just crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add beans and cook until just heated through, then season with sea salt and pepper. Toss in mint. Serve immediately.

Cooks’ note:
Fava beans can be shelled and peeled (but not cooked) 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
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Potato and Romaine Salad with Creamy Dijon Dressing

For dressing

  • 3 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chilled whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

For salad

  • 2 pounds red-skinned potatoes
  • 5 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers

Make dressing:

Blend first 5 ingredients in processor. With machine running add oil in slow steady stream. Add cream; blend mixture until thick and creamy. Mix in herbs. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using, thinning with water if dressing becomes too thick.)

Make salad:

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling water until tender, abut 30 minutes. Drain and cool. Peel potatoes. Cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Transfer potatoes to large bowl. Sprinkle with cider vinegar. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Whisk oil and vinegar in another large bowl. Add lettuce and toss to coat. Add capers to potatoes. Mix enough dressing into potatoes to coat. Spoon potatoes atop greens and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/potato-and-romaine-salad-with-creamy-dijon-dressing-4442

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Kabocha Squash and Pork Stir-Fry

  • 2 cups (1-inch pieces) peeled kabocha squash
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 8 ounces pork sausage, casing removed
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 serrano chile, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Crushed salted, roasted peanuts and chopped cilantro (for serving)

Steam squash in a steamer basket set in a pot of simmering water until tender, 6–8 minutes. Let cool slightly. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet and cook squash, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in same skillet, add sausage, and cook, breaking into large pieces and stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add scallions, garlic, chile, and ginger and cook, stirring often, just until softened, about 2 minutes. Add squash, lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar; toss to combine.

Serve stir-fry topped with peanuts and cilantro.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Chris Morocco, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kabocha-squash-and-pork-stir-fry

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