Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fava Beans

Fava Beans might be new to many of you. For more information click here to read all about favas according to the Fine Cooking magazine (source of photo). One note, fava beans are associated with favism--a very rare but severe enemia--to read the wikipedia entry click here.

I was reminded by a customer that beet greens/tops attached to the baby beets in the this week's share are a delicious cooking green. I will post his recipe tomorrow. Beet greens are actually my favorite of all greens.

This week's share--A Little Color Finally

I can imagine that you all are getting a little sick of greens. Good news, the sunshine has ushered in the next wave of vegetables--beets, carrots, summer squash, and green beans will now grace your shares.

This week's share includes:
Lots of legumes--peas (snow and snap), green beans, fava beans (more on favas in a later post)
Lettuce Mix
Summer Squash
Beets--dark red and chioggia (a.k.a candy striped)
Butterhead Lettuce
Bok Choy

The recipe below was of interest both because of the recipe itself and its inspiration--the pairing of beets and sheep/goat cheese is a wonderful combination. I suggest Highland Farm Feta or Brebis. The Chioggia beets cook to a pale yellow-orange color and will not bleed color onto the cheese if that suits you better.

Salad of Pea Shoots, Satsumas, and Beets with Ginger-Mint Dressing
from Sara Deseran's Asian Vegetables
serves 4

At Dine, one of my favorite San Francisco restaurants, chef Julia McClaskey serves a fantastic salad of pea sprouts with jewels of beets and bites of creamy goat cheese that inspired the idea for this recipe. I've added Satsumas (although sectioned navel oranges would work fine), a typed of mandrian orange introduced to the States from Japan over a century ago. Sweet and almost seedless, this special citrus is the one I look forward to every fall. To grate the ginger for the dressing, use a ginger grater or even a small-holed cheese grater, reserving the juice. Double the dressing and keep some on hang for the week.

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, plus juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup canola oil
7 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

4 beets
1/2 cup water
6 ounces pea shoots
2 Satsuma mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned

To make the dressing, in a jar with a lid, combine all the ingredients. Shake well and set aside until needed.

To roast the beet, preheat the oven to 400F. Trim the stems, leaving about 1/2 inch intact, but do not peel. Place the beets in a small roasting pan, add the water, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven, let cool, and then slip off the skins and cut the beets into small wedges.

In a large bowl, gently toss together the beets, pea shoots, and Satsuma sections. Shake the dressing again to reincorporate. Toss the salad with dressing and serve.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This week's share-Greens Galore!

Pictured is a salad course created by Bryan Sikora of Talula's Table featuring Inverbrook lettuce (hidden underneath a delicious buttermilk dressing) and pea shoots/flowers--hopefully it will provide a little inspiration for dealing with the greens included in your share this week.

This week's share includes:
Peas--snow, snap and a small amount of shelling
Lettuce Mix
Cooking Greens
Summer Squash
Butterhead Lettuce
Bok Choy
Pea Shoots/flowers
Dandelion Greens

Fresh chickens available this week.

Recipe Ideas:

Hot and Sour Salmon with Greens
from A Spoonful of Ginger by Nina Simonds

Six Servings

2 1/2 pounds of Bok Choy stem ends and leaf tips trimmed
8 to 9 whole scallions, ends trimmed, cut into thin julienne slices on the diagonal
3 helping tablespoons fresh ginger cut into very thin julienne shreds

6 tablespoons soy sauce
3 1/2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons minced garlic

6 salmon steaks, about 6 ounces each

1. Trim the touch outer leaves from the bok choy and discard. Rinse the stalks and leaves and drain. Cut the stalks in half lengthwise. Cut the halves diagonally into 2-inch sections. In a bowl, toss the scallions and ginger with the bok choy sections. Arrange on a heatproof platter.
2. Mix the ingredients of the Dressing, and pour into a serving bowl.
3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the salmon steaks on top of te greens. Pour into a roasting pan several inches of water and heat until boiling. Carefully place the platter of salmon and vegetables on top of the rack or steamer tray in the roasting pan. Cover the top of the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 7 to 9 minutes, or until the fish is cooked.
4. Serve the salmon from the heatproof platter or arrange the steamed vegetables and salmon on serving plates. Spoon some of the dressing on top and serve with steamed rice.

And just incase you have tons of lettuce/salad greens left over from past shares...or have noticed the lettuce getting a little too bitter for your liking--try this recipe for Julienne of Five Lettuce Soup from Barbara Kafka's Vegetable Love.

Julienne of Five Lettuce Soup
Just befoe my lettuce bolts in the hot sun, I have more lettuces of different kinds than I can use. The Haitians recommend lettuce soup to calm the stomach and the nerves. This soup does that and uses up the extra lettuce as well....Different lettuces can be substituted, but try to preserve the ratio of bitter to sweet and soft to firm.

1 cup packed romain lettuce leaves (ribs removed)
1 cup packed Boston/Buttercruch lettuce leaves
1 cup packed leaf lettuce
1 cup packed escarole leaves
1/2 cup packed chicory/dandelion leaves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 cups of basic chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Wash leaves and dry well. Cut into 1/8-inch strips: This is easiest to do if you stack serveral leaves at a time, roll into a tight wad and slice them across. You can also use the medium slicing disk on a food processor.

Melt the butter in a medium suacepan. Add the lettuces and toss with the butter. When the lettuces are wilted, add the chicken stock and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the toughest leaves are tender.

In a small bowl. mix the cream with the egg yolks. Gradually stir a small amount of the hot soup into the cream mixture to slowly raise the temperature of the egg yolks. Keep adding soup until the mixture is warm. Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the soup and cook, stiggin constantly, without letting the soup boil, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper.
Serves 6 to 8 as a first course.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Farm Update--Chickens Available Next Week!

Fresh chickens will be available next week starting Tuesday (the day of the "harvest") through Friday from 2-7PM in the distribution shed. Contact us if you need directions to the distribution shed. The purchasing process is self serve--the chickens are priced as marked ($3.80 a pound)--instructions about payment will be posted on the refrigerator door, the chickens will be in the refrigerator. Click here for a link to the perfect roast chicken or here for an instructional video about grill roasted chicken. For more information about the virtues of pasture raised organic chicken check out Sustainable Table's issue postings.

Chester County Dwell-One Local Summer Challenge

The creative and talented women at CCDwell online magazine have taken Farm to Philly's one local summer buy local challenge. Click here to read their latest posting, you might see some familiar ingredients.

This Week's Share-Peas

I apologize for this delayed posting, my computer was down at the beginning of the week. I hope you were able to find creative uses for this week's share:
Leaf Lettuce
Butterhead Lettuce
Cooking Greens
Asian Greens
Baby Squash
Garlic Scapes
Pea Shoots

Personally I think the peas, butterhead lettuce, baby squash with a garnish of pea shoots would lend themselves well to tuna salad or grilled salmon--the subtle sweet and buttery taste of spring. You could lightly saute the peas and baby squash with olive oil, herbs, lemon, and/salt and serve with the fish housed on a couple of leaves of butterhead lettuce with a pea shoot and flower as a garnish--how beautiful and delicious!

Speaking of peas, it amazes me how many folks have never experienced fresh shelling peas--the trick is to eat them asap. Like corn, over time their sugar content turns to starch--the sooner you eat them the sweeter they will be. In the next couple of weeks I will have more snow and snap peas--the shelling peas usually come all at once for just a week or two--so take advantage while you can. Click on the link to read Fine Cooking's primer on English Peas .

Friday, June 12, 2009

Expanded Market Today!

Because of last week's rainy first friday, many of the special vendors will be in attendance at today's market along with the music of David Janes. Some of the special vendors include the adorable children's clothing of Creekside and the amazing fiber art of Butterfly Hill Alpacas.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

More Recipes--Kale and Scapes

I thought you might appreciate a few more cooking suggestions for your share.

Kale--First off kale is actually best in the fall when it can go through a few light frosts, which brings out its sweetness and tempers its bitterness. That being said, the kale and its slight bitterness pairs nicely with onions, white beans, and balsamic vinegar--and like most members of the brassica family (broccoli, turnips, most asian greens,...) it is packed with vitamins. Click here for braised kale and pancetta recipe.

Garlic Scapes-Known as "stems", "scapes", "spears", or "tops", these tender green "flowers" are the seedpod that forms on hard neck garlic plants in June. This delicious stalk has a taste that is milder than the garlic cloves, and has a broad spectrum of uses from soups to salads to garnishes. Garlic scapes are an allium delicacy that is highly prized and traditionally used in Southern, Eastern European, and Korean cuisine because of it's subtle garlic flavor, tender-crisp texture, and nutraceutical potency.
When the scapes are newly-budded and still in full curl, they are tender and provide a delightfully subtle garlic flavor. Cut them when they curl between 1/2 and 3/4 turn. After the scapes have straightened and the flower top is maturing, they will be tough.
Garlic scapes store well. You can keep batches in the refrigerator for upwards of three weeks, though fresh cut is always the best. Remove all of the stalk tip above the pod [umbel] before cooking.
Here are general cooking tips: Don’t overcook, they tend to get tough. Try starting simple, to learn how much cooking is enough and how much is too much, by sautéing the scapes in a little olive oil at medium heat, adding salt and pepper to taste. The end result should be a side dish that is elegant and delightfully tasty. Garlic spears can almost be used like asparagus. They are very well suited for stir-fries.

Raw Scape Pesto
Garlic scapes make a pesto that is a pretty green color and a knock-your-socks-off rich garlic flavor. If this pesto is too strong for your taste, add mayonnaise or sour cream to dilute by 1/1 or even 2/1.
½ lb. scapes (chopped into 1" sections)
1½ c. olive oil
2 c. grated parmesan cheese
In a blender, combine the scapes and olive oil. Pour mixture into bowl and blend the cheese in by hand. Can be used as a cracker or pizza spread. Can be frozen in plastic ice cube trays and used later - this applies to the other pestos, dips, and dressings as well. Wrap cubes individually with plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag and return to freezer. Use all year for making bruschetta, with pasta or pizza.
ALSO, garlic bread: 2 or 3 cubes thawed works great as a substitution for the oil component of bread.

Scape Sauté
1 dozen garlic scapes
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar.
Trim and discard the scape tips. Cut into two-inch lengths. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the scapes and the onions and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until the scapes are crisp-tender. Uncover and season with salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.

Roasted Scapes
Take the scapes and put them in a lightly oiled roasting pan, top with salt (kosher or sea salt works best but any will do). Put the loaded and covered pan in a hot (400°F) oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until they are just beginning to turn brown on the bottom. Serve as a side or main dish. Tastes like roasted garlic but creamier.

Fried Scapes
Cut scapes to green bean size and sauté them in butter and salt for 6 to 8 minutes. During the last minute of cooking add about 1 tsp. of balsamic vinegar. They are good and amazingly simple.

Pickled scapes
1 pound or more of scapes, whole
3 cups vinegar
5 cups water
¼ cup kosher salt
1 tbsp curry powder in each quart jar (if desired)
other herbs to taste: basil & oregano are very good plus chopped cayenne or jalapeno pepper to taste
Boil the water, vinegar & salt solution. Pack hot jars with whole scapes, then curry powder, and then the brine. Put on lids, place in a hot water canner and boil for 45 minutes. Leave at least 2 weeks before serving to get best flavor. Makes 3 quarts

Other ideas
Steam and serve in dishes instead of asparagus. Add to quiche or omelets. Stir fry with vegetables. Add raw to salads. Combine with mayonnaise to add zip to sandwiches.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Two Events a Kimberton Hills Camphill Village

The wonderful Camphill Village at Kimberton Hills is the venue for two great events. Tonight at 7PM Mike McGrath from NPR's "You Bet Your Garden" will be speaking about the attracting beneficial creatures to your garden. This is part of the SAITA program (sustainable ag intern training alliance), click here to read more about the informative SAITA programs -- all of which you are welcome to attend.

The second event is a magical celebration of local music and food--the Hootenanny--this Saturday, June 13th at 3PM. Music includes the Spinning Leaves (the Spinning Leaves will be playing at the Kennett Farmers Market on July 17th for our Buy Fresh, Buy Local Festival), Mason Porter (one of the band members of Mason Porter works at Organic Mechanics Soil Company), and rumor has it one of our favorites, Chris Kasper will also be gracing the Hootenanny stage for the 4th year in a row. Chris Kasper was one of the musicians that played the KSQ Farmers Market opening--click here to read an interview that market manager Abby Morgan did for our farmers market blog.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This Week's Share-Garlic Scapes

This week's share includes: Lettuce Mix
Coooking Greens
More Basil Plants
Spicy Greens--Arugula and Persian Cress
Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scapes might be a new vegetable for you (see picture above), they are the emerging flower head of the garlic plant. Crisp and full of a relatively mild garlic flavor they are a great addition to stir frys and actually quite good on the grill. Click here to read an article but our own Chester County edible plant guru/historian William Woys Weaver that appeared in Mother Earth News a few years back.

I also wanted to provide the musician/locavore Sean Hoots' elaborate (and inebriating) greens recipe--a perfect solution for the kale you have been receiving. In his recipe Sean gives a shout out to our chickens, which do make an excellent stock--its almost worth purchasing a chicken just for the stock you can make from the remaining leftovers of your original chicken dish. Speaking of chickens, frozen chickens are available in the freezer section of the refrigerator in the distribution shed.

Enjoy the scapes!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bon Voyage Holly

This weekend we said our final goodbyes to the amazing Holly Tyson as she departs for her journey around the world--spreading her good cheer, good work, and unique spirit of peace and openess where ever she goes. Holly was one of my first interns and a former KSQ farmers market manager(click here to read a story about my very first intern Tina Dangel, who is now a manager at Sovana Bistro). I know many of you know and love Holly, she really is almost a Kennett Square institution. Check out Holly's blog to read about her amazing itinerary that includes lots of international farm work.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fresh Chickens Available Now--Grass fed goodness at Inverbrook

Fresh whole chickens are available for purchase at Inverbrook today (thursday) through Friday evening. After Friday they will be frozen and availble upon request. They will be located in the refrigerator in the distribution shed (click here for directions and/or contact us for more info). You can simply serve yourself and put payment in envelope also in refrigerator. Chickens are priced as marked--$3.80 a pound.

The chickens are raised on pasture and fed an organic grain based ration (the organic feed is why they are so expensive). If any of you have read Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemna, you are familiar with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm and his pasture based animal husbandry. Our methods are very similar. For more information on the virtues of grass fed meats and animal productions check out the Eat Wild website.

Along with chicken, you can also find Highland Farm Sheep products and our pastured eggs. Then in early July (just in time for the 4th) I will make delicious Buck Run frozen angusburger available. Lots of grass fed goodness!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

This Week's Share--June 1st and 3rd

To all CSA members sorry this is so late. I had a really MONDAY monday. I woke up early in the morning only to discover that my website/e-mail service had totally "revamped" with all kinds of new protocols and services I then had to orient myself to--delaying the morning office work. Then roofers showed up to fix my uncles roof--right next to the distribution shed. I apologize to all who had to endure the not so peaceful yelling or air gun noises. Oh well--your reward was strawberries (next week wednesday's pick up will get strawberries). Anyway--this week's share includes:

Basil Plants--choose from bush (good for pots), thai (nice cut flower even if you don't like the taste), and red (nice addition to salads, mild taste and beautiful color).

Cherry Tomato Plants--choose from the very sweet red Super Sweet 100s or the super flavor packed orange gem Sungold.

Lettuce Mix


A hot/sweet/spicy mix of Asian Greens good for adding to a stir fry

Pink and Purple Radishes

You might be wondering why I am offering up plants. I realize that some times you might not have time to pick herbs and cherry tomatoes here at the farm--it might make more sense to have the plants in your own back yard. Besides, back yard gardening is the new hot trend. So if you don't have a backyard and cannot use the plants maybe you have a friend or neighbor who would appreciate them.

Next week will feature garlic scapes and I think peas. I will keep you posted--this time in a more timely manner.