Saturday, May 26, 2012

This Weeks Box 5/25/2012

haas avocados
large bag of baby bok choy
two heads of lettuce
pink lemons
bunch of fennel

These strawberries are not summer sweet yet but they should get there when the weather warms up.

There is a good amount of fennel this week. Enough to try roasting it with some onions. Even the kohlrabi too. Here is a recipe for roasted fennel and onions. Use all the fennel in this recipe though and only cut off the frons, the stalks are super young so cook them even though the recipe says to use the bulb only.

Butter-Lettuce Salad with Strawberries, Avocado, Walnuts & Chèvre

Note: One of the heads of lettuce in the CSA box is Butter lettuce.  
This Recipe is from Yankee Magazine May 2012

Yield: 6 servings
Sweet-tart berries are the perfect foil for rich avocado and creamy, fresh goat cheese. Add soft curls of butter lettuce, walnuts, and red onion, and you have a gorgeous salad.

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup white or red balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt, and pepper. Drizzle olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly, until an emulsion forms. Set aside.

For the salad:

  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 1 large head butter lettuce (also called Boston or Bibb lettuce), leaves separated
  • 2 cups (about 10 ounces) small to medium-size strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces chevre (fresh goat cheese), crumbled
In a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat, toast walnuts, stirring often, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Toss lettuce with enough vinaigrette to coat leaves lightly. Arrange on 6 plates. Gently toss berries, avocado slices, and onion in more vinaigrette and divide among plates. Top with walnuts and chèvre.

Braised Bok Choy With Bacon
"Southern Style for All You Carnivores!"

Thank You

Have a Great Weekend.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

This Weeks Box

                  Hi everyone. As most of you know, I spend most of the day harvesting vegetables on Friday. Today was no different. The thing I like the most about harvesting is that you can lose yourself.  Sometimes I am more like a bee than a farmer. I just kind of float from row to row. Picking the bigger plants so the smaller ones can fill in. Pulling off outer leaves to make space for the inner ones. By the time I am done, the garden has been thinned out, weeded, plants pruned, You guys have your food picked and I am in a state of inspired gratitude. Lately it is really comforting to see the bigger picture of this community farming thing that we are involved in. The days are getting less linear. It is less important to see where the cycle begins or ends. I can say from my own experience, the plants possess an extraordinary intelligence.  All plants do. But the family of plants here at the ranch in particular. They have a way of making themselves so appealing and irresistible. I love how they know exactly what would be pleasing and appealing to us. The way they can inspire me to take care of them, propagate and spread their genetic energy. The way they can influence me to tell you with all my heart that they are here for our benefit, our health our own personal enjoyment and ability to thrive . Am I really the only one deciding my individual actions in the gardens or is it more of a collective of subtle influences. And this play of subtle, yet powerful influences,  does it stop with me and the plants? Aren't I just as much a bee for you guys? Satisfied to do my part, rarely looking up to see the whole interplay. Aren't the plants just as much of service to you as you are just as much serving the growth and propagation of these plants through your participation as well as your comments to friends and family about "these extraordinary vegetables you get from the your farm". These comments we make have a ripple effect that might be impossible to measure.
                    I want to make it clear. This is not a top down, trickle down process that is happening in this little CSA we are a part of. It is happening to us. We are happening to it. It is happening.

When you get your box tomorrow. Take a little extra time and ponder the beauty and intelligence of this food. It sounds strange, but I am truly humbled by a bunch of rainbow chard every single time. Magenta, yellow, that deep deep red, orange, white and countless in between. Chard is chocked full of blood building iron, with veins like rivers reminding us of our own arteries and the very blood that flows through them. Take an extra minute and take out something that you never eat raw. Put a piece in your mouth and taste it. Really taste every part of it. Accept it. It's OK, It is safe. I know it is a strange concept but there is zero chemicals in this food. The wells are crystal clear and the guy who takes care of your plants before they get to you, actually knows and appreciates every person who eats them.

                    This is a really good box of food this week. Nothing fancy and nothing new. Just good. Real good.

Ok. Here is what is in the box

mandarine oranges
fresh oregano
speckled butterhead lettuce
another random lettuce head
bunch of baby beets
green onions
young fennel
gold nugget tangerines 
greenhouse cucumbers
sweet baby carrots
1 sweet lime
pink lemons
white potatoes from storage. "these are not the new crop that is coming up"

The sweet lime is in the box so that it does not get mis identified. All I can say is that it is a weird fruit.

Did anyone try that Chard Stuffed Mushroom recipe last week?
Seriously good!!

These baby beets can be sauteed in a little oil or butter with garlic and a little dried or fresh herb . The little bunch will make two servings. They will go well on a bed of grain for sure.

Everyone should have gotten some of the speckled butter head lettuce. This stuff rocks. Especially the tender middle of the head. Now I know why they call it butter head lettuce. This truly lettuce at it's best.
  Fennel Mandarine Avocado Salad
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 navel orange
  • 1 fennel bulb (sometimes called anise),  top half of stalks cut off and discarded
  • 1 firm-ripe California avocado
Whisk together vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until salt is dissolved, then add oil, whisking until combined well.
Cut peel, including all white pith, from orange. Halve orange lengthwise, then cut crosswise into thin slices. Halve fennel bulb lengthwise, then cut crosswise into very thin slices. Halve, pit, and peel avocado, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Toss orange, fennel, and avocado with dressing to combine. 

Here is a Green Onion Potatoes recipe
Try substituting the fresh parsley for oregano

Next week, I can say it looks like we are having strawberries and baby bok choy too.

Here is a berry preserving tip that a little bird sent me 

When you get your berries home, prepare a mixture of one part
vinegar (white or apple cider probably work best) and ten parts

Dump the berries into the mixture and swirl around. Drain, rinse
if you want (though the mixture is so diluted you can't taste the
vinegar,) and pop in the fridge. The vinegar kills any mold spores
and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit, and
voila! Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries go
almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft. So go forth
and stock up on those pricey little gems, knowing they'll stay
fresh as long as it takes you to eat them.

Friday, May 11, 2012

This Weeks Box 5/12/2012

Here is the list.....

head of lettuce
green zucchini 
pink lemon
green bell peppers
fresh oregano
greenhouse cucumbers
baby carrots
green onions
gold nugget tangerines

We have a new crop of purple, white and yellow fingerling potatoes on the way in about a month

We have some Romanesco broccoli that is threatening to head. As soon as it does, it is in the box

Tomatoes, sweet peppers, and our unique breeds of squashes and cucumbers are still over a month away.

Melons, are yet to be planted but will be.

There will be corn. I am making two large patches in case one does not work out. It is corn or bust this year! I will keep everyone posted. 

Cheese-&-Spinach-Stuffed Portobellos Recipe
Chard stuffed Portobello mushrooms

Marinated mushrooms
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Marsala (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 6 large portobello mushrooms
  • 1 10-ounce bunch of chard
  • 1 pound button mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch chopped green onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 5-ounce package soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
For marinated mushrooms:
Whisk first 6 ingredients and Marsala, if desired, in medium bowl for marinade. Stir in fresh oregano Cut stems from mushrooms and place stems in processor. Arrange mushrooms, gill side up, in 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Pour marinade over mushrooms and marinate 4 hours, turning to coat occasionally.
For filling:
  Saute chard. Drain; cool. Using hands, squeeze excess water from chard. Place in small bowl.
Add half of button mushrooms to processor with portobello mushroom stems. Using on/off turns, process until coarsely chopped. Transfer to medium bowl and repeat with remaining mushrooms. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add onion; sauté until beginning to brown, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add chopped mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and increase heat to high. Cook until almost all liquid evaporates, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Season mushroom mixture with salt and pepper. Transfer to large bowl; cool to room temperature.
Add spinach, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and breadcrumbs to mushroom mixture; toss to distribute evenly. Add goat cheese and toss gently to distribute evenly. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover filling and let stand at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Transfer marinated mushrooms, with some marinade still clinging, to rimmed baking sheet, gill side down. Roast until beginning to soften, about 15 minutes. Turn mushrooms over. Divide filling among mushrooms. Sprinkle remaining 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese over and bake until heated through and cheese begins to brown, about 15 minutes. 

egg bake 3 v2

      Kale And Egg Bake from Running to the

Avocado Salsa

2 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  2medium-sized bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
1 large cucumber, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
1 small zucchini, diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup finely chopped jalapeños (no seeds or ribs)
3 tablespoons of chopped green onions (scallions)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh oregano

Friday, May 4, 2012

Hi eveyone, May payments are $132 for full shares this month. Thanks!

Here is what is in the box this week

Fava beans
Mexican squash
handful of strawberries
handful of loquats
bag of salad mix with 3 types of lettuce, spinach, arugula and chard.
gold nugget tangerines
green beans
large bunch of chard
young sweet carrots
bok choy
fuerte avocados
bunch of lavender and mint "spearmint I think" 

What is a loquat you say!!? Here is a description

The strawberries are the first of the season. They are still a little tart but definitely worth eating. As the weather warms up, the strawberries will get sweeter and sweeter.

Chinese Green Beans
Chinese style Green Bean Recipe

Here is a cool thing to do with your bok choy and tangerines And your avocado for that matter

Lavender Mint Tea
1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers or 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves or 2 teaspoons dried mint
1 cup boiling water
In a teapot, combine the lavender flowers and mint. Pour boiling water over the mixture; steep 5 minutes.
Yield: 1 cup