CSA 2016 – Week 7

CSA Pickups: July 19 & 21

purple&green peppers

In your share this week:

  • Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Celery
  • Purslane
  • Herbs or Flowers

 

Our family reunion was a great success this past weekend, filled with lots of laughter and wonderful food. Over the past couple of years, we’ve incorporated grilled vegetables into the menu (which previously was definitely carnivore-centric). This year I was thrilled to include a variety of items from the farm, which we found in our CSA share last Thursday. Along with the mushrooms, broccoli, and red peppers I bought at the store, you may spot in this colorful pic the fairytale eggplant, striped summer squash, and wonderful purple peppers from your share:

grilled veg

The marinade was a simple combination of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and chopped fresh garlic, sage, rosemary from the farm, plus some basil from my own plant. I wish I could share measurements, but we were just eyeballing it this time. Give it a try with whatever herbs you may have on hand. The grilled veggies were divine, and you will not be disappointed!

This week I’m sharing a couple of great ideas for the grill, including a recipe from Good Housekeeping that gives more precise instructions for grilled vegetables:
 
Grilled Vegetables Vinaigrette
Adapted from Good Housekeeping

2 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon, sage, rosemary, basil, or other fresh herbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
2 medium yellow peppers
2 medium red peppers
4 small zucchini (6 ounces each), sliced lengthwise in half
4 baby eggplants (4 ounces each), sliced lengthwise in half, OR 8-10 fairytale eggplant, whole
2 medium-size portobello mushrooms (4 ounces each) or 8 jumbo mushrooms, tough stem ends trimmed
Tarragon and/or rosemary sprigs, for garnish

In large bowl, mix olive oil and all remaining ingredients except vegetables and garnish. Once well-mixed, add the vegetables and toss thoroughly to coat. Grill the vegetables over medium heat (use a grill basket, if you have one), turning occasionally, brushing with some vinaigrette remaining in bowl, until vegetables are browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Garnish with fresh tarragon sprigs.

 
Grilled Eggplant with Feta and Fresh Mint
Adapted from Good Housekeeping

1 large eggplant
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
Fresh lemon juice
Lemon wedges

Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch-thick slices; brush each slice with olive oil. Place on hot, ridged grill pan over medium-high heat; cook eggplant slices 4 to 6 minutes per side or until tender. Transfer to platter. Sprinkle with feta cheese, mint, and a drizzle of fresh lemon juice. Garnish with lemon wedges.

 
Grilled Portabellos with Potato and Swiss Chard
Adapted from Family Vegetarian Cooking by Good Housekeeping.

4 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
4 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
2 large all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 shallot
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems diced small and leaves coarsely chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In 3-quart saucepan, place potatoes with enough water to cover; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Remove 1/2 cup potato cooking water; reserve. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan; add pepper, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and reserved potato cooking water. With potato masher, mash potatoes until almost smooth. While potatoes are cooking, in nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat until hot. Add shallot and cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add half of the crushed garlic, and cook 30 seconds, stirring. Increase heat to medium high; add Swiss chard stems and cook about 5 minutes until stems are crisp-tender, then add the leaves and cook until they wilt, stirring occasionally. Stir in mashed potatoes.

To prepare the mushrooms, in a cup, mix remaining 2 tablespoons oil with the remaining garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place portobello caps on a plate, stemmed side up. Brush inside of mushrooms with oil mixture, and grill over high heat for about 10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Spoon one-fourth of potato mixture into each portobello cap; sprinkle with Parmesan.

 
And in case you missed it in your email, check out this note and recipe from Michelle Graham, Retail Manager at the Farm:

purslane_2
“You may have seen the above pictured plant growing alongside your house or in your garden, you may have always viewed it as a pesty weed, but it is actually a super food: purslane. It is rich in dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals. The fresh leaves contain more omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable plant and has one of the highest amounts of Vitamin A among leafy green vegetables. Please enjoy this healthful, tasty vegetable in your CSA bounty this week!”

Purslane Salad with Grilled Corn, Red Onion, and a Creamy Avocado Dressing
Adapted from Brooklyn Supper

Ingredients for Salad Dressing:
1 avocado
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
1 tablespoon Italian parsley or cilantro
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sriracha (optional)

Preparation:
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Check salt and acid levels and adjust as needed. Refrigerated, dressing will keep for several days.

Ingredients for Salad
1 bunch purslane
2 ear corn, grilled
1/2 red onion, sliced paper thin
pinch of sea salt
fresh ground pepper to taste

Preparation:
1. Wash the purslane, and trim of any large stems. Tear the stems into bite-sized lengths.
2. Meanwhile, husk the grilled corn, if needed, and cut the kernels off the cob.
3. Toss the purslane, corn, and red onion together with a pinch of sea salt in a large salad bowl.
4. Drizzle with dressing, and turn to coat. Drizzle a bit more on top, and finish with lots and lots of fresh ground pepper.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 6

CSA Pickups: July 19 & 21

herbs

In your share this week:

  • Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Spring Onion
  • Leeks
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Herbs
  • Chard
  • Red Potatoes
  • Corn

 
Meredith_Somers_week5-2016
 
I got this great pic and a nice note from CSA member Meredith in Somers. She writes, “I made this with all stuff from CSA this week: leeks, garlic, pattypan yellow squash, thyme, chard stems and leaves. My 5 year old and 2 year old loved it and asked for more! Very simple.” Thanks for inspiring us with your creativity, Meredith! It looks wonderful.

This weekend we will be celebrating our annual family reunion, so I thought I’d share another pickle recipe from my husband’s stash, plus a couple of easy dishes to share at your next potluck BBQ. Enjoy!
 
Bread & Butter Pickles
Recipe from Scott Palmer

We double/triple/quadruple this recipe (or more) but these pics will give you an idea of what the stages look like.

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Plan ahead: The vegetables need to stand in the brine for about 3 hours.

6 cups thinly sliced pickling cucumbers, unpeeled (about 6 kirbys)
1 lb onion, thinly sliced
1/2 each green, red, and yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced (for color – you can just use 1 bell pepper of any color if that’s what you have)
1/4 cup salt
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp celery seed (or more if desired)
2 cups cider vinegar

Mix cucumbers, onion and bell peppers in a large bowl, and cover with cold water. Add the salt, and let stand for 3 hours.
In a pot large enough to hold all the vegetables, mix the sugar, cloves, mustard seed, celery seed and vinegar. Bring slowly to boiling and boil 5 minutes. Drain the vegetables thoroughly in a colander, and rinse well with cold water. Add them to the pot with the hot syrup and heat slowly to just below boiling (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Pour into sterilized jars. Makes 2 quarts.

 
Tomato, Cucumber & Corn Salad
Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman for the New York Times

1 to 1 ¼ pounds ripe tomatoes, cut in small dice
½ European cucumber, 2 Persian cucumbers or 1 regular cucumber, peeled if waxy, seeded if the seeds are large, and cut in small dice
2 ears corn, steamed for 4 minutes and kernels removed from the cob
1 to 2 serranos or jalapeño pepper, minced (seeded for a milder salad), or 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
Salt to taste
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Optional: 1 ounce feta, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)

Mix together all of the ingredients. Let sit in or out of the refrigerator for 15 minutes before serving, then toss again.

 

(Photo credit: Emma Christensen)

(Photo credit: Emma Christensen)


 
Potatoes, Green Beans, and Corn in Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce
Adapted from thekitchn.com.

1 lb small red potatoes
1 lb green beans
3 ears sweet corn (3 to 3 1/2 cups kernels)
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 Tbsp lemon juice, from 1 lemon
Salt
Black pepper, to taste

Scrub the potatoes clean and then cut them into bite-sized pieces. Place them in a medium-sized pot with 1 tablespoon of salt, and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork, 3 to 5 minutes. Scoop the potatoes out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a mixing bowl.

While the potatoes are cooking, trim the green beans and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Once the potatoes have finished, bring the cooking water back to a boil (adding more water if necessary), and blanch the beans until they are bright green and tender, but still have some bite to them, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the bowl with the potatoes.

Microwave the corn for 3 minutes. Once the corn is cool enough to handle, cut off all the kernels and transfer them to the bowl with the potatoes and green beans.

Meanwhile, cook the onions and make the brown butter dressing. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the onions until they are soft and beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the cooked onions into the bowl with the potatoes and beans.

Place the empty skillet back over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Continue cooking, occasionally swirling the butter in the pan, until the butter darkens and begins to smell nutty. Remove from heat and let the butter cool slightly, then whisk in the lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Note: If the butter is still very hot, be aware that the lemon juice will make it sizzle up and sputter. Be careful!

Drizzle the lemon-brown butter sauce over the vegetables and toss to combine. Sprinkle with cheese, if using, and add salt and pepper to taste. This side dish can be served warm or room temperature. It will keep for 1 week refrigerated — the butter sauce will solidify in the fridge, so the author recommends letting the salad come to room temperature or briefly heating in the microwave to warm it up again.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 5

CSA Pickups: July 12 & 14

I loved the beautiful flowers in last week’s share, and we anticipate having more this week.

flowers_1

In your share this week:

  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Cucumbers
  • Squash
  • Lettuce
  • Chard/Kale
  • Carrot/Turnip
  • Herbs
  • Flowers

 
Maybe I jinxed us last week when I waxed poetic about the lovely, non-humid weather we were having! Still, it’s summer in New York, so it’s all part of it.

This week, let’s talk about my favorite leafy green: Swiss chard.
rainbow chard_3

I grew up eating chard directly from my mother’s garden, and have always loved them. There was something about the distinct earthy flavor that just felt like it was bursting with stuff that’s good for you. Of course it turns out that’s exactly right – chard is often described as a nutritional powerhouse. A member of the goosefoot family along with beets and spinach, chard is an excellent source of vitamin K (300% of RDA!), A, and C, as well as magnesium, potassium, iron, fiber, and several cancer-fighting antioxidants. In addition, chard does wonders for the blood, helping to regulate blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and decrease the risks of heart disease, while strengthening the immune system, bone health and even brain function. It improves digestion and is a natural and gentle detoxifier. What’s not to like?

Chard is best eaten within a couple of days (although just last week I found an extra share of chard I had forgotten which had been there much longer than a couple of days, and it had kept beautifully). Store chard in your crisper drawer in a plastic bag, and make sure the leaves are covered to prevent wilting. I read an interesting cooking tip today that I had not heard before: cook the leaves like you would spinach and the stalks like asparagus.

Personally, my favorite way to eat chard is sautéed in garlic and olive oil, so I don’t make that distinction. I chop the stems and sauté them first, and once they are softened a bit, I add the chopped leaves.
chard stems
I don’t dry the leaves after washing, so they go into the oil still with a little water on them, which helps in the cooking process. Once done to my liking, I add salt and some fresh olive oil, and voila. Note: this method is great for any of the leafy greens you will get in your share.

That said, there are so many wonderful ways to enjoy this versatile and delicious green. I’ve included some here, and I encourage you to look back at past issues of this blog for additional inspiration. What’s your favorite way to enjoy chard?
 
Swiss Chard with Lentils & Feta
Adapted from chowhound.com

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup small-dice yellow onion (from about 1/2 medium onion)
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup brown or green lentils
2 cups water
12 oz Swiss chard (about 1 bunch)
1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
4 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils, stir to combine, and add the water. Increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just tender and the water has evaporated, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Meanwhile, trim the ends from the chard stems and discard. Cut off the stems at the base of the leaves and slice the stems crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Place in a small bowl and set aside. Stack the leaves, cut them in half lengthwise, then coarsely chop into bite-sized pieces; set aside. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frying or straight-sided pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the reserved chard stems, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped chard leaves, measured salt, and measured pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the red wine vinegar and reserved lentil mixture until evenly combined. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the feta and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 
Slow Cooked Salmon with Turnips & Swiss Chard
Adapted from Bon Appétit

4 6 oz pieces skinless salmon fillet
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt
4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1-1/2 lbs small turnips, scrubbed and halved (quartered if large)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 bunches Swiss chard
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Toasted sesame seeds for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place salmon in a large baking dish; drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with lemon zest, and gently rub into flesh. Season with salt and scatter garlic around. Bake until salmon is medium-rare (mostly opaque, but still slightly translucent in the center), 30-35 minutes. Meanwhile, combine turnips, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 cup water in a large skillet; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until turnips are fork-tender, 15-20 minutes. Uncover and cook, tossing occasionally, until liquid is evaporated and turnips are golden, about 5 minutes. While the turnips are cooking, remove the ribs and stems from the chard leaves. Thinly slice ribs, stems, and leaves crosswise. Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in another large skillet over medium high heat. Cook shallot and chard ribs and stems, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the chard leaves and cook, tossing often, until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Toss in parsley and lime juice; season with salt. Drizzle the salmon with sesame oil. Serve salmon with chard and turnips, topped with sesame seeds, if using.

 
Frittata with Chard & Chorizo
Adapted from Bon Appétit

8 large eggs
1-1/2 oz Manchego cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp chopped chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 oz dried chorizo, thinly sliced (or bacon, chopped)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 small onion, cut into 1/2″ pieces
6 fingerling potatoes, thinly sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped

Heat broiler. Whisk eggs in a large bowl, then whisk in cheese and herbs; season with salt and pepper. Cook chorizo in a 10” broiler-proof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat, stirring often, until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plate. Heat oil in same skillet; add onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Add potatoes and cook, tossing occasionally, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add chard and cook, stirring often, until chard is wilted; season with salt and pepper. Mix in chorizo. Pour in egg mixture, tilting skillet to evenly distribute. Cook, undisturbed, 2 minutes, then transfer to oven and broil until egg is cooked through and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Run a heatproof spatula around edges of frittata to loosen, then slide onto a plate. Serve in wedges.

 
Fingerling Potato-Leek Hash with Swiss Chard & Eggs
Adapted from Cooking Light
My Mom used to make something similar to this recipe, but with spinach and without the potatoes. It’s quite delicious. Enjoy!

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups sliced leek (about 2 large)
12 oz fingerling potatoes, cut in half lengthwise (about 4 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/4 tsp Spanish smoked paprika, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper, divided
4 cups Swiss chard (about 1 bunch), trimmed and thinly sliced
4 large eggs
1/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan. Add leek; cook 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add potatoes and garlic; cook 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chard; cook 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Using a spoon, push potato mixture aside to make 4 egg-size spaces. Crack 1 egg into each space; sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon paprika over eggs. Cover and cook 3 minutes; sprinkle cheese over potato mixture. Cover and cook 2-4 minutes or until egg yolks are set to your liking. Can be enjoyed immediately or even at room temperature, depending on your preference.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 4

CSA Pickups: July 5 & 7

20150625_180919

In your share this week:

  • Summer squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Leeks
  • Spring Onion
  • Garlic
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Lettuce
  • Chard/Kale
  • Beets/turnips/radishes
  • Possibly celery

 
I guess there’s no denying it – summer is in full swing. After all of the chaos around the end of school, this was the first week it really felt like summer for our family. The weather has been amazing, just the way I like it: cool at night, warm but not too hot in the day, no humidity… divine! That said, there are reports that our area is in a moderate drought, so please be mindful when watering your own vegetable or flower gardens. Despite this news, the farm continues to bring forth amazing produce, under the watchful eyes of our dedicated farmers. How have these first few weeks of the CSA gone for you and your family? Please do drop me a line at quijotelangserv@gmail.com to share your experiences, pictures, challenges, recipes, whatever you like. I will share what I can in the blog.

This week, let’s talk about leeks. Leeks are part of the allium (“garlic” in Latin) family, which also includes onions, scallions, garlic, shallots, chives and many other flowering plants. Unlike their most popular cousins, leeks do not form an underground bulb. However, they are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, many cancer-fighting antioxidant polyphenols, vitamins A, C, E, and K, carotenes, folate and much more. Alliums have been shown to reduce overall heart and blood-related diseases, diabetes, several cancers, and even allergic airway inflammation. In general, you can substitute one member of the allium family for another in your recipe, depending on what you have on hand. They have different levels of intensity and textures, but in a pinch you can use them interchangeably.

When you get the leeks home, wrap them in a paper towel and store them in your fridge. They will stay fresh for about a week or so. When you’re ready to prepare your leeks, make sure to clean them thoroughly. Each layer accumulates sand and grit, so rinse very well by swishing in a large bowl of water. Generally, the darker green parts at the top are considered too tough to eat, but they can be used to add wonderful flavor to homemade vegetable stocks.

20151015_144855

Braised Leeks with Corn and Chipotle Vinaigrette
Adapted from America–Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating Local Farmers by Mario Batali

This first recipe makes great use of several members of the allium family. Give it a try and see how each one adds to the overall flavor of the dish. Can you distinguish between them in the finished product?

6 leeks
3 Tbsp plus 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 cups white wine
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
4 sprigs thyme
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced shallots
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the vinaigrette:
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (4 ears)
1 Tbsp kosher salt, plus more according to your taste
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp chipotle flakes (crushed red pepper may be substituted)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 scallions, minced

Trim the roots of the leeks, leaving the root end intact. Trim the tops on an angle, leaving 2 inches of green. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise (the root holds the leeks together while cooking). Clean very well by swishing in a large amount of water, to remove any sand or grit. In a 15-inch sauté pan, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Lay the leeks in the pan, cut side down, without crowding them. Add the wine, butter, thyme, garlic, shallots and 1-1/2 cups water. Season with a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cover the pan and gently cook for about 30 minutes, until fork-tender.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: Place the corn in a small saucepan with 2 cups of water and 1 Tbsp salt, and set over medium heat. Bring to a steamy simmer and cook for 4 minutes, then drain and allow to cool. (Alternatively, you could put the corn in a glass bowl just covered with water and microwave for 90 seconds.) Combine the corn, mustard, pepper flakes, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and then pour in the olive oil. The vinaigrette should not be creamy and emulsified, it should look broken with rivulets. Transfer the leeks to a side towel to drain a bit, then place them on a platter. Stir the scallions into the vinaigrette and spoon the vinaigrette over the leeks. Serve warm or at room temperature.

leeks1

Chicken with Creamy Braised Leeks
Adapted from eatingwell.com

Here’s another method for braised leeks, cooked in the oven then partnered with chicken.

8 medium or 4 large leeks
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
6 cloves garlic, halved
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1-1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, divided
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425°F. Trim roots and dark green tops from leeks, leaving 5 to 6 inches of white and light green parts. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise (or in quarters, if large); rinse well. Place the leeks in a single layer in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, on their sides if necessary, nestling them together. Pour in broth; submerge the garlic and thyme in the broth between the leeks. Bake the leeks for 40 minutes. After about 30 minutes, sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from the heat. After 40 minutes, remove the leeks from the oven and nestle the chicken into them. Add cream and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to the hot skillet (but do not turn the burner back on). Stir up any browned bits and let the cream heat up from the warmth of the pan. Pour the cream mixture over the leeks and chicken. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve the chicken with the braised leeks, spooning the sauce over both.

 
Hot & Sour Greens
Adapted from Dr. Weil

This is a nice way to use all manner of greens from your CSA share. Make it as hot or mild as you like to suit your family’s tastes.

1 lb greens (bok choy, kale, Swiss chard, collards, etc.)
2 tsp canola oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp hot red-pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp light brown sugar

Wash and drain greens, remove any tough stems, and slice leaves into 1/2-inch shreds. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir fry for one minute. Add the greens along with the mustard and stir to coat with the spices. Combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce and sugar and add to the greens in the skillet. Cook covered over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

BEETS

Beets & Greens with Yogurt Dressing
Adapted from Mediterranean Fresh: A Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings by Joyce Goldstein

This recipe calls for some pungent salad greens but it can be made with any tender greens you like. It offers a great way to incorporate new flavors and textures into your family’s diet. If your crew is new to strong-flavored greens, mix it up by using more of a mild lettuce or salad green that is more familiar, while introducing smaller amounts of bolder-flavored greens. Over time, you can gradually shift their experience. Give it a try!

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup yogurt dressing (see below)
6 large or 12 small beets, cooked and diced
1 large bunch watercress, arugula, or other pungent salad green, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
3 Tbsp walnuts, toasted, for garnish (optional)
Crumbled feta cheese, for garnish (optional)

Add the cinnamon to the yogurt dressing. In a large bowl, toss the beats and greens with the dressing. Top the salad with chopped dill and with walnuts and/or crumbled feta if you like. Serve at room temperature.

Yogurt Dressing
2 cups thick yogurt (Fage brand is recommended, as it does not need to be drained)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Sea salt
2-3 tsp garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh mint or dill, chopped

In a bowl, whisk the yogurt with the olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt, then fold in the garlic and herbs. Makes about 2-1/2 cups.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 3

CSA Pickups: June 28 & 30

herbs

In your share this week:

  • Garlic scapes
  • Herbs
  • Summer Squash
  • Chard or Kale
  • Bok Choy
  • Fennel
  • Lettuce
  • Beets or Turnips
  • Mizuna

I recently discovered a lovely book titled Mediterranean Fresh: A Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings by Joyce Goldstein. It is full of wonderful ideas for all manner of produce, and I’m happy to share several of them with you this week. It’s a great opportunity to think beyond just lettuce and tomatoes and expand our experience of salad. I also like the various dressings that are introduced, that particularly challenge me beyond my usual oil and vinegar. Posts from past years include a variety of dressings as well, so go ahead and stretch your salad imagination this month!

Reminder: This blog’s archives go back several years and provide a wealth of information and recipes about most of the CSA ingredients you will be receiving. They are sorted by month, and are a great resource. Check them out!

beets

Beets, Oranges & Greens with Tapenade Vinaigrette
Adapted from Mediterranean Fresh: A Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings by Joyce Goldstein.

Cooked beet greens from 2 small bunches of beets
About 1/2 cup Tapenade Vinaigrette (see below) or Mint Vinaigrette (see above)
4 large or 8 small beets, cooked and sliced
2 oranges, peeled and cut into segments, or cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
Toasted slivered almonds (optional)

Toss the greens with 1/4 cup dressing and arrange on 4 salad plates. Top each serving with alternating beets and oranges, and drizzle the remaining dressing on top. Garnish with almonds if using, and serve immediately.

Tapenade Vinaigrette
1 cup pitted black olives (Kalamata)
2 Tbsp salt-packed capers, rinsed and chopped
2 tsp chopped anchovies
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp freshly grated lemon or orange zest
4-6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp mild white wine or Champagne vinegar

Combine the olives, capers, anchovies, garlic and zest in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Gradually add the olive oil; you can make this a very smooth puree or keep some texture, depending on your preference. Add pepper to taste. Put about 1/2 cup of the tapenade into a bowl, and thin it out by adding the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and vinegar. Again, the texture and thickness are dictated by your family’s preferences.

BEETS

Spinach Salad a la Greque
Adapted from Mediterranean Fresh: A Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings by Joyce Goldstein.

This salad should be made immediately before serving, but it is still worth sharing at your next gathering. The combination of flavors and textures is just wonderful.

1 small red onion, thinly sliced
About 1 1/2 cups Mint Vinaigrette (see below)
2 cups cooked white beans (or 1 15-oz can cannellini beans)
6 large or 12 small beets, cooked
1 lb cooked shrimp (optional)
6-8 large handfuls of baby spinach or assorted lettuces, well washed and dried (about 1/2 lb)
1/2 lb feta cheese, coarsely crumbled, for garnish
1 cup Kalamata olives, for garnish

Marinate the onions in 2-3 Tbsp of the mint vinaigrette for about 15 minutes to soften them and lessen their bite. Toss the beans in 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette to marinate for about 30 minutes. Cut large beets in half and then into 1/4-inch slices. (If beets are small, cut them into quarters or eighths.) Toss with a few Tbsp of the vinaigrette. If using shrimp, toss them with a bit of dressing as well. In a large salad bowl, combine the marinated onions, beets, and beans (and shrimp, if using) with the spinach and toss with enough vinaigrette to coat. Distribute the salad among individual salad plates and sprinkle with feta and olives. Serve immediately.

Mint Vinaigrette
The dressing is delicious as written, and the infusion adds an extra punch. That said, if you don’t want to bother with the infusion, you can just whisk together the other ingredients for a delicious vinaigrette. The author notes that the dressing goes very will spooned over cooked fish, and also makes an excellent spread for chicken or lamb sandwiches, when mixed with mayonnaise. Give it a try!

Infusion
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup tightly packed chopped fresh mint
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 cups mild and fruity olive oil

To make the infusion, combine the lemon juice and chopped mint in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Let steep for about 10 minutes. Strain into a mixing bowl, pressing the leaves against the strainer to extract all of their liquid. There will be about 1/4 cup. Note that it will not be green because of the lemon juice. To make the dressing, whisk together with the remaining ingredients. Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

 
Green Beans, Beets & Fennel with Walnut Cream Dressing
Adapted from Mediterranean Fresh: A Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings by Joyce Goldstein.

1 lb slender green beans, ends trimmed
1 small bunch beets, cooked and sliced
2 small bulbs fennel
1 head lettuce
About 1 cup Walnut Cream Dressing (see below)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped, for garnish

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat and add salt. Drop in the green beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. Drain the beans and shock them by dropping them into the ice water. When the beans are cold, drain them again and pat dry, then place in a large bowl. Cut the bulbs of fennel in half and cut away the cores. Discard any tough or discolored outer leaves. Slice the fennel very thin and add to the bowl with the beans. Add the beets to the beans and fennel, and gently toss to combine. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter. Drizzle the beans, beets and fennel with dressing, and toss to coat evenly. Place the vegetables on top of the lettuce leaves. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve immediately.

Walnut Cream Dressing
1/2 cup toasted walnut oil
1/4 cup mild olive oil
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the oils, cream, and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 1-1/3 cups.

 
Spanish Orange & Fennel Salad with Mixed Citrus Dressing
Adapted from Mediterranean Fresh: A Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings by Joyce Goldstein.

4 Valencia or blood oranges
3 small bulbs fennel, trimmed, cored, and very thinly sliced
1/2-3/4 cup Mixed Citrus Dressing (see below)
6 large handfuls of assorted greens, like baby spinach, mizuna, whole mint leaves, watercress, etc.
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
4-6 slices prosciutto or Serrano ham, cut into 1/4-inch wide strips

Working with 1 orange at a time, cut a thin slice off the top and bottom to reveal the flesh. Stand the orange upright and remove the peel in wide strips, cutting downward and following the contour of the fruit. Make sure to remove all of the white pith. Holding the orange over a bowl, cut along both sides of each segment, releasing the segments from the membrane and allowing them to drop into the bowl. Using the knife tip or a toothpick, pry out any seeds. Once done, squeeze the membrane over the bowl to release extra juice, which can be added to the dressing at serving time. Place the fennel in a bowl, add a few tablespoons of the dressing, and toss to coat evenly. In another bowl, toss the greens with most of the remaining dressing. Divide the greens and fennel evenly among individual salad plates. Using a slotted spoon, remove the orange segments from their bowl and distribute evenly over the fennel. Top each serving with almonds (if using) and strips of prosciutto, and serve immediately.

Mixed Citrus Dressing
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Freshly grated zest of 2 oranges
2 Tbsp sherry or aged sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt

In a bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 2

CSA Pickups: June 21 & 23

A real treat this week: Garlic Scapes! Get 'em while they last!

A real treat this week: Garlic Scapes! Get ’em while they last!

In your share this week:

  • Fennel
  • Escarole
  • Beets/Turnips
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Lettuce
  • Bok Choy/Mizuna
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Herbs (maybe)

Sorry for the delay in this week’s posting… we’re still working out the kinks, but I think we’re all set now! How did it go in week 1? I got a wonderful and inspiring email from Cassandra & Frank of Bedford Hills, including this pic of their creativity with last week’s share:

CSA 2016 - week 1

Cassandra writes: “We used the basil to make pesto sauce. Our salad had arugula, beets, escarole, winter kale, blueberries, almonds, and goat cheese.” Way to go! This is a great example of how you can get creative with your CSA produce and transform your typical fare into something extraordinary. Weeknight pasta and salad becomes a celebration of the farm’s beautiful bounty.

Please keep those notes coming! Email quijotelangserv@gmail.com

Let’s talk about Fennel

fennel_2

Part of the apiaceae family (along with parsley, carrots, celery, hemlock and much more), fennel comes to us from the Mediterranean region and is hugely popular in Italy. Fennel is loaded with vitamin C (1 cup = about 17% of your RDA of vitamin C), dietary fiber, and many other nutrients, some of which are thought to help prevent cancer growth. In Ancient China, many medicinal uses were also discovered for the essential oils and tea made from fennel seeds.

I confess that despite my Italian heritage, fennel is one of those CSA items that used to give me great pause. All that frilly green stuff on top… eek! But did you know that every part of the fennel is edible, bulb, stalks and fronds? Fennel has a mild licorice flavor that complements a variety of dishes, particularly fish. I read a tip to lay a few stalks and fronds alongside the fish (no matter which method you are using to cook it), and it will be gently infused with the fennel flavor. When cooked, the flavor will mellow considerably, and the bulb will soften, which makes roasted fennel a great side dish for your protein of choice (see below for a recipe idea).

When you get the fennel home, chop off the stalks and fronds from about 1 inch above the bulb, and store the fennel in a plastic bag in your vegetable crisper for 3-4 days. One way to prepare the bulb for use raw in salads and other dishes is to remove about half an inch from the root end, then stand it on that cut end and thinly slice, vertically. You can also use a mandolin, if you have one. The stalks can be used instead of celery in soups and stews or, if you are using the stalks raw, chop them finely because they can be tough and fibrous.

Use fronds as you would dill or parsley, as a garnish or to add a gentle anise flavor to salads and your other favorite dishes. Or, see below for a great and creative way to use all those tender, frilly greens!

Fennel Frond Pesto
Adapted from Diner’s Journal in The New York Times

1 cup roughly chopped fennel fronds
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp pine nuts or slivered almonds
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine the fennel fronds, garlic, nuts and salt in a food processor or blender and pulse until the mixture is chopped up. Add oil and process/blend until the mixture becomes paste-like. (You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl.) Serve pesto at once, refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze for up to a month. Makes about 2/3 cup.

Roasted Fennel with Parmesan
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

4 Tbsp olive oil
4 fennel bulbs, cut horizontally into 1/3-inch thick slices, fronds reserved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange the fennel in the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then with the Parmesan. Drizzle with the oil. Bake until the fennel is fork-tender and the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Chop enough fennel fronds to equal 2 teaspoons, then sprinkle over the roasted fennel and serve.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 1

First CSA Pickups: June 14 & 16

rainbow chard_3

In your share this week:

  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Mizuna
  • Bok Choy
  • Fennel
  • Cress
  • Arugula

 

Welcome to the 2016 CSA at Hilltop Hanover Farm!

I’m very excited to be on this journey with you for a second year. Life at home continues to be busy for us; my four boys are bigger and hungrier than last year, which is pretty hard to believe. I’m still committed to improving our overall health through good nutrition, but like many families with good intentions, we sort of fell off the wagon in the winter months. That’s why I’m practically giddy about the start of this year’s CSA. Our family responds so positively to the awesome fresh produce from the farm. It seems to inspire all of us to be just a little more open to try new things, whether it’s experimenting with new recipes or preparations, or simply being willing to try a new taste. Who knows what we’ll discover this year?

The format for the CSA will be the same in 2016 as last year: pickups between 2:00pm & 7:00pm on Tuesday or Thursday, depending on which day you chose when you registered. Please remember to bring your own bags each week to carry all the beautiful bounty.

To begin the season, I again want to start off by sharing 2 important CSA basics to help us all deal with the wonderful and sometimes intimidating abundance of produce: Planning & Prepping.

Planning ahead is key. Each week, the farmers will provide a list of what they expect to be in your share that week. I will usually post the blog the weekend before your CSA pickup, so you will have an idea of what to expect. Then, plan ahead, beginning with the night of your pickup. For example, in the early weeks, we can expect plenty of leafy greens and root vegetables. Think ahead to your next pickup, when you know you will have the freshest greens you can get without growing them yourself. Then, look for ways to make the veg the star of the show.

Prep and store your vegetables right away. This may seem impossible or impractical for a busy weeknight, but trust me – this is one of the major ways you can make the most of your CSA share. As soon as you get home from the farm, wash and dry all leafy greens, and store them in the crisper in your fridge. I sit a large bowl of water in my sink and swish the greens in the water to loosen any remaining dirt or grit (kids love this part). Let the water settle a little then lift the greens out of the water, and dry them before storing.

Many of the glorious root vegetables like beets and radishes will come with the greens still attached – don’t waste them! Remove the greens from the roots before you store them, to prevent them from continuing to draw moisture from the vegetables. Prep those greens just like you would any other, and store them separately from the roots. For maximum nutritional benefit, plan to eat these yummy greens within a few days.

Recipes will follow soon. In the meantime, get yourself ready for this adventure by thinking about your storage space at home. When you come home from the farm that first day with all that veg, where will you put it? I for one will be using this time to clean out the drawers in my fridge, as well as the bottom shelf, so that those beautiful greens will have a space waiting. Looking ahead, ideally you’ll want to create a space for non-refrigerated items as well – preferably cool and dry – such as potatoes, onions, shallots, tomatoes, and much more. Personally, I’m excited that the CSA will again force me to finally clean off that one section of my counter that somehow always has stuff on it!

Lastly, I want to encourage you to be active participants in this learning community. Please forward anything you’d like to share to quijotelangserv@gmail.com with “CSA blog” in the subject line. I welcome your tips, ideas, challenges, and of course, recipes! Please include your name and town in your message, and if you’re sending a recipe, cite the source and send a photo if possible. I will share what I can in the blog.

Once again, welcome!

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2015 – Week 19

Next CSA Pickups: October 20 & 22

broccoli3
 
In your share this week:

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Turnips
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Celery
  • Daikon radish
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Kale/Collards
  • Mustard Greens
  • Bok Choy/Mizuna

 
It certainly has been an exciting week weather-wise, especially on the farm. As you can imagine, with the prediction of frost, that later became a freeze, our dear farmers were forced to scramble to protect the produce and crops as best they could before the temperatures plummeted. Weather shifts like this are always a powerful reminder to me that the farm is a real, living environment, subject to all that Mother Nature can dish out. As CSA members, we play a vital role in supporting the farm, through whatever weather may come. And we are fortunate to have such dedicated and knowledgeable people living, working, and nurturing the farm!

Here at home, we have been stewing, braising, and generally seeking warmth in our food. I love bean soups that cook low and slow all day and fill the house with the most amazing aromas. Yesterday we had a really yummy lentil soup, flavors augmented with onions, shallots, celery and greens from the farm.

lentil soup

I love lentils, mostly because you don’t have to soak them first and they cook so quickly. My soup is so simple: just pick over and rinse the lentils, set to boil in about 8-10 cups of water. Let them boil for about 2-3 minutes, then turn down to a simmer. Meanwhile, start washing and chopping whatever vegetables you want to add. The basics of course are onions, carrots and celery, in the amounts you like. I generally add mushrooms, bay leaf, oregano, and plenty of olive oil, plus whatever else I may have on hand that strikes my fancy, and just let it simmer for hours. All the beautiful celery greens went into this last batch at our house, but you could add any greens and just let them cook into the soup. I check it every 45 minutes or so, to make sure it’s not sticking and that the water level is ok, and just let it go. I add the salt to taste just before serving. (My boys always tell me I don’t add enough salt, but that is easily remedied by placing the salt shaker on the table!)

——————-

I found this next recipe when I was looking for something to do with ground turkey and greens, and I absolutely loved it! Most of my boys liked it too, except for one who said, “I don’t want a Kenyan dish! I want a good dish!” (as if he’s some sort of expert on African cuisine…) This isn’t our usual flavor profile and most of us really enjoyed it. The recipe called for collard greens, but I used Yukina savoy and Tuscan kale from last week’s share. I also had to triple it to feed my army (except for the cinnamon), because I was using a 3 lb package of ground turkey. Below are the original measurements for 1 lb of meat.

kenyan braised greens with turkey

Kenyan Braised Greens & Ground Turkey
Recipe adapted from skinnytaste.com

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 lb ground turkey (or ground beef)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 bunch greens, stems removed and sliced into 1-inch strips (collards, kale, Yukina savoy, cabbage, or whatever you like or have on hand)
15 grape tomatoes, quartered (or chopped larger tomatoes, depending on what you have)
1 tsp lemon juice

Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the ground meat and seasonings, and cook until browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the greens and tomatoes, and sauté until wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir everything gently as it cooks, taking care not to mush the tomatoes. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

 
Turkey Meatballs Over Greens
Recipe adapted from thekichn.com

I found this recipe the same day I got the Kenyan Braised Greens. Simple and delicious!

1 lb ground turkey, either 85% lean or 93% lean
1/4 cup grated onion, from 1/2 small to medium onion
1 large egg
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 whole cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought
2 lbs greens, such as broccoli rabe, kale, mustard greens, washed, de-veined, and roughly chopped
Shaved Parmesan, to serve, optional

Combine the turkey, onion, egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley in a large bowl. Mix with your hands until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. Begin heating a large pot of salted water for the cooking the greens while you shape and cook the meatballs. Roll the meat mixture into 1 1/4-inch meatballs and place on a tray or in a pan. You should have between 26 and 30 meatballs. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or sauté pan. Place the meatballs in the hot skillet and brown for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Use tongs to gently rotate the meatballs so they brown evenly. (If your pan isn’t large enough to brown all of the meatballs without them touching, cook them in batches and place them back on the cookie sheet once they’ve been browned. Then combine them back in the pan before simmering with the tomato sauce.) Reduce the heat to medium, add the tomato sauce, and cover the pan. Simmer the meatballs and sauce for another 10 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through. While the meatballs are simmering, boil the greens in the salted water for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Drain. (You can also sauté or stir-fry the greens in a hot skillet with oil if preferred.) To serve, put greens on the plate and top with meatballs and sauce.

Author’s Notes
– To prevent the meatballs sticking to the pan, make sure it is hot before adding the meatballs, and brown thoroughly before trying to turn them. They should release easily once browned. Also, using 85% lean turkey (as opposed to completely lean) should help the meatballs release more cleanly.
– Storage: Store the meatballs in their sauce for up to 3 days in the fridge. Freeze cooked meatballs and sauce for up to 3 months.

napa cabbage 2

Chinese Noodle Soup with Cabbage
Recipe adapted from The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook by Andrea Chesman

8 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce or to taste (use less if you have a salted broth)
1 Tbsp Chinese rice wine or sherry
6-12 dried mushrooms, chopped if large
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 scallions, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 lb Chinese egg noodles
1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
2 cups chopped cooked chicken (ideally, from making the broth)
4-6 cups chopped cabbage, bok choy, or other Chinese green, or a mix of cabbage and greens
1 carrot, julienned
Chinese chili paste with garlic (optional)

Combine the broth, soy sauce, rice wine, mushrooms, ginger, garlic, and scallions in a large saucepan. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and sesame oil and cook until the noodles are just barely tender. Drain well and return the noodles to the pot to keep warm. Add the chicken, cabbage and carrots to the broth and simmer for another 10 minutes, until the carrots are tender. To serve, place a nest of noodles in each bowl. Ladle the broth, vegetables and chicken over the noodles and serve hot, passing the chili paste at the table for those who prefer some heat.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2015 – Week 17

Next CSA Pickups: October 6 & 8

hot peppers
 
In your share this week:

  • Napa Cabbage
  • Daikon Radish
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Mustard Greens
  • Lettuce
  • Scallions/Leeks
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Bok Choy/Yukina Savoy

broccoli rabe broccoli4
 
Fall is certainly in full swing, with the cooler weather, dark mornings, and changing foliage. I continue to try to live into the season, exploring produce and fiddling around with recipes for heartier soups and other warming dishes. I’ve been reading up on cruciferous vegetables, or crucifers, which include arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radishes, and turnips. What I didn’t know (and which now seems obvious) is that they get their name because all of these plants produce flowers with four petals, in the shape of a cross. Brilliant! These vegetables contain plenty of antioxidants and are rich in vitamins A & C, calcium, and folate. In a long-ranging investigation at Johns Hopkins, broccoli in particular was discovered to be a powerhouse of sulforaphane, a natural compound in crucifers that helps guard the body against a wide variety of chronic diseases. Check out this fascinating article for more info: More Reasons to Eat Those Veggies.

While you’re pondering that and dreaming up wonderful ways to get more sulforaphane in your diet, check out these recipes, using this week’s produce!
 
Daikon Radish with Chicken Korean Style
Recipe adapted from Food.com

1 medium Daikon radish
2 boneless chicken legs with thigh (may substitute chicken breast but taste might be less rich)
1⁄2 tsp chili flakes
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 crushed garlic clove
1 tsp sesame oil

Cooking sauce

2 cups chicken stock
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp sugar
1⁄4 tsp mirin
pepper

Peel Daikon and cut into 1/2 inch half moons. Cut chicken into 1/2- 1 inch pieces. Heat oil. Add Daikon and chicken and sauté over high heat. Stir in crushed garlic and chili flakes/pepper. Add all ingredients for the cooking sauce. Cook over medium heat, constantly skimming. When the sauce has nearly evaporated, sprinkle sesame oil. Remove from heat and serve.

The author notes: Great with rice. Even better the day after!

 
peppers
 
Pasta Ribbons with Peppers
Recipe adapted from The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook by Andrea Chesman.

1 onion, quartered
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced prosciutto
6 red, green, yellow, or purple bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 lb fresh fettuccine, cut into 4-inch pieces
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano

Combine the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion mixture and sauté until fragrant and softened, about 3 minutes. Add the prosciutto and sauté until crisp, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bell peppers, cover and cook for 10 minutes, until the peppers are soft. Stir in the basil and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the bell pepper sauce. Toss and add the reserved cooking liquid as needed to make the pasta moist. Sprinkle with grated cheese, and serve.

 
Roasted Leek Tart
Recipe adapted from The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook by Andrea Chesman

6 leeks, white parts only, trimmed and cut into ½-inch wide slices
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (about 8 ounces)
1 egg, slightly beaten with 1 Tbsp water
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup grated Gruyere

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a large sheet pan or shallow roasting pan with oil. In a large bowl, combine the sliced leeks and oil, and toss to coat. Spread the leeks in a single layer on the prepared pan. Roast for 15-20 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time for even cooking, until the leeks are tender and lightly browned; remove from the oven and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to an 8½-inch square, about ¼ inch thick (for most brands, this just means unroll the frozen pastry). Cut and remove a ½-inch square from each corner of the pastry. Fold a ½-inch edge of pastry over toward the center of the pastry, to form a lovely raised border. Transfer the pastry to an ungreased cookie sheet. Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork (at about ½-inch intervals). Brush the egg over the bottom of the crust, then brush the mustard over the egg. Sprinkle the cheese in the pastry shell, and spoon the roasted leeks over the cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is lightly browned. Can be served hot or at room temperature.

 
yukima

Yukina Savoy Greens and Mushrooms
Recipe adapted from A Savoury Life

3 bunches of Greens (feel free to mix and match your favorites)
1 lb of mixed baby bellas and oyster mushrooms (or use your favorites here as well)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbsp butter, split, plus a little piece extra to finish
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp tamari
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
smidge of sea salt

Sauté the mushrooms in half the butter with a little sea salt. Use the salt sparingly, as the soy and tamari are very salty. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned. Remove from pan and cook the greens in the remaining butter in batches so it wilts evenly. Put the veggies in a bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the pan with a bit more butter and sizzle for a moment then add to the greens.

The author notes: Serve as a side dish, an appetizer or as a base for your favorite protein whether it’s tofu, tempeh, chicken or whatever! You could also top it with some creamy goat cheese for a nice twist.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2015 – Week 16

Next CSA Pickups: September 29 & October 1

20150924_152027
 
In your share this week:

  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Turnips
  • Beans/Peas
  • Scallions
  • Mustard
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Daikon Radish
  • Herbs
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Shallots
  • +

 
Stacy Hendrie FitStop
 
At last week’s Thursday CSA pickup, I had the great pleasure of seeing Stacy Hendrie, owner of FitStop Delivers, who was serving up some scrumptious samples from her menu at the farm. Even though I’ve had them all before, I delighted in savoring each flavor anew. I’m happy to take this opportunity to tell you more about my friend, and all of the great work she is doing. Stacy is committed to providing delicious, healthful meals to busy people, delivered right to your door! Her food combinations are always satisfying, often surprising, and have inspired me to be more adventurous in my own cooking. See below for a great recipe for spaghetti squash from Stacy, and check out her website at fitstopdelivers.com.

In addition, Stacy is hosting the next Healthy U event on Tuesday, September 29 from 6-9pm. This FREE event will be held at the Somers Community Center in Shenorock. The event will feature an awesome group of local businesses who focus on natural methods to improve your health and wellness. It’s a great opportunity to learn what is available locally to help you be the Healthiest U. There will be many hands-on opportunities and demonstrations, many great raffle prizes, and plenty of food to sample. Check it out on Facebook and then plan to attend on Tuesday!

Stacy and her colleagues, Daryl Moss and Lucy Diana, are the Synergy3, three amazing women who have dedicated their lives to “help people live the healthiest life possible in the most natural way.” I personally have done their 2-week cleanse 3 times, and each time has been an amazing and rewarding experience. It’s all real food, and I was never hungry – just the opposite, in fact. I mention this today, because the Synergy3 are getting ready for their Fall Cleanse, which begins Monday, October 5th. I can tell you that I was completely skeptical before I did my first cleanse in April 2014. I think I just didn’t like the sound of the word “cleanse”. I assumed it was just some other fad where you have to buy a bunch of expensive products and get by on half a grapefruit a day, while trying to convince yourself you’re not hungry. I could not have been more mistaken! Through the Synergy3 cleanse, I learned so much about how the body works and responds to different foods, and how I could greatly improve my life and health by simply being more aware and mindful about what I was putting in my body. I lost weight, identified a couple of food sensitivities I didn’t realize I had, and just felt fabulous and energized. It is all real food you can buy at any supermarket, and *bonus* you don’t have to cook a separate meal for your family. It is a commitment, but well worth it. And if I can do it, anyone can.

To learn more and to register, check out their website at www.thesynergy3.com/registration.

 
Spaghetti Squash with Arugula and Pistachios
Recipe adapted from Stacy Hendrie of FitStop Delivers.

1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, shelled
1 small shallot
3 tablespoons lemon or EVOO
spaghetti squash
2 cups arugula
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scrape out all the seeds and seed membrane. Bake the squash cut side down until it pierces easily with a fork, 30-45 minutes (depending on size). Meanwhile, roast the pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet for 8 minutes, then cool completely. Chop the pistachios and the shallot in a food processor, then place in your serving bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil or lemon, and the juice from the spaghetti squash to the pistachio mixture. Toss squash, arugula and nuts. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

spaghetti squash
 
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats
Recipe adapted from Tastes Lovely

You know by now that I’m all about morphing favorite and familiar recipes and tastes to expose my family to more veg, and this is an awesome way to do it! The author also uses a great technique to minimize moisture in the spaghetti squash – she roasts it cut side UP. Give it a try and see how it changes the results.

1 2.5-3 pound spaghetti squash
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-1/2 cups marinara sauce
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chopped spinach or other greens (if using frozen, thaw completely and squeeze out all moisture)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scrape out all the seeds and seed membrane. Put the spaghetti squash cut side up in a 9×13 baking dish. Roast uncovered for about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
While the spaghetti squash is cooling, make the sausage marinara sauce. Heat a medium size skillet over medium high heat, and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add the sausage to the pan and break it up with a spoon; cook for about 5 minutes. Add the onion to the sausage, and cook another 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the marinara sauce, and reduce the heat to low. Next, in a small bowl, make the spinach ricotta mixture by combining the ricotta cheese and spinach. Stir to combine, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Once the spaghetti squash are cool enough to touch, scrape the noodles out with a fork, and transfer the noodles to a medium size mixing bowl.
Turn the oven up to 425 degrees.
To make the lasagna in the squash, layer the empty squash shell as follows: tomato sauce, 1/4 of the spaghetti squash noodles, tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, 1/4 of the spaghetti squash noodles, tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese. Repeat with the second squash half. Bake them uncovered in the same baking dish for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before eating.
 
broccoli rabe
 
Broccoli Rabe with Spaghettini
Recipe adapted from The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash.

1 lb broccoli rabe, hard stems removed
1 large sweet pepper (optional)
1/2 lb spaghettini
1 Tbsp garlic, chopped
6 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups water or chicken stock
2 Tbsp butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Parmesan cheese

Chop broccoli rabe into 2-3 inch pieces; set aside. If using, thinly slice the pepper. Break the spaghettini into 2-3 inch pieces. In a large sauté pan, cook the garlic in oil for 1 minute. Add pepper, cook slightly, and stir in broccoli rabe, spaghettini, and water or stock. Cover and cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, for approximately 10 minutes, adding additional water if necessary. When broccoli rabe is tender, and spaghettini cooked, remove the cover, reduce and pan liquids, and stir in the butter. Season to taste and serve with Parmesan cheese.

To really make the most of your CSA produce, why not swap spaghetti squash for the spaghettini? Just roast the squash as noted in the other recipes, then add it to the pan once the broccoli rabe is just about tender.
 

 
Roasted Daikon Radish, Carrots & Peppers
Recipe adapted from Sarah’s Cucina Bella.

We have our first daikon radish this week, and while they’re great pickled or in salads, roasting takes the flavor to a whole new level. Give it a try, with other wonderful seasonal veggies.

1 bunch daikon radishes (3 daikons), scrubbed and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
4 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch rounds
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the daikon, carrots, red peppers, shallot and olive oil on a nonstick baking sheet. Season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring once or twice until tender. Drizzle the veggies with balsamic vinegar and return to the oven. Roast for an additional 5 minutes. Toss well and then transfer to a serving bowl.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer