Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Monday, April 26, 2010

CSA Pickups -- Week 1


Roots Farm CSA

Week 1 -- April 27 & 30


This Week:
-Arugula
-Bright Lights Swiss Chard
-Kale: Winterbor or Red Russian
-Oakleaf Lettuce: Jamai (red) & Panisse (green)
-Radishes: Easter Egg
-Sweet Onions
-Strawberries
-Herbs: Dill, Rosemary, or Mint

It's That Time . . . Yay!
Wow! It's the first week of pickups already! How did we get to this time of the season so fast? Ah well, we must have known this time would come when we planned, because the fields are full of veggies waiting to be picked and the land just looks beautiful. Spring is upon us and the irises are blooming, the blackberries are in flower, lettuce heads fill the rows and radishes swell in the dirt. It's a good time to be on-farm -- not too hot yet and the weeds haven't overrun us. Everything is green and growing -- including us! What that means is that our CSA isn't quite full yet, so if you know anyone interested in joining in on our vegetable adventure, send them on our way! We need a full CSA to meet our budget as well as to make sure all our amazing veggies find a good home. Orphan veggies? Not for us. Help spread the word.

CSA Opening Potluck!
An announcement for ya -- this weekend we're hosting a POTLUCK for our members -- that's you! SUNDAY, MAY 2 @ 5PM we're gathering here on the farm and laying a feast for each other so we can meet and share a meal and celebrate the beginning of another wonderful season of the freshest, tastiest, veggies mama earth (with the help of your friendly Roots farmers) can provide. Bring a dish to share, bring yourself, your friends, a picnic blanket, and a smile. It'll still be nice and light out on the farm, so it's an excellent opportunity to walk around and check out what's in the dirt and what's coming soon to your baskets! See ya here!

Wash Yer Veggies!
We process your veggies here on the farm minimally to maintain freshness and quality, therefore it's important for you to wash them yourselves at home before eating them. Don't be surprised if you find some dirt clinging to the food we provide you -- that just lets you know it's fresh from the ground. Consider our produce unwashed, if you will, and proceed accordingly. Thanks!

Greens & Onions
It's spring, and that means lots of greens--kale, chard, arugula, lettuce, & such. We'll provide some recipes to help you along as you get all your good greens in. And speaking of greens, the onions we've got for you still have their green tops attached and we highly recommend using them. Just chop them up and use any place you would chives--yum!

Arugula

This week, arugula is in the spotlight. We've got lots of it and it's a tasty treat. Kinda new on the scene among Spring greens here in the Southeast, arugula is fast developing a following. So whether or not arugula is a new acquaintance or an old friend of yours, I've got some recipes for you to check out. The Joy of Cooking lends us this tidbit, "Also called Italian cress, arugula has tender dark-green leaves and a pungent, peppery bite. The spiciness of arugula intensifies as it ages. Arugula is delicious alone or as an accent in mixed green salads." I recommend it in fresh salads, but that's not the extent of what this wonderous green is capable of . . .

Arugula & Warm Mushroom Salad
4 cups arugula leaves
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt & fresh ground black pepper
1/2 lb mixed mushrooms, quartered or cut into wedges
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

Put the arugula in a large salad bowl and drizzle the lemon juice and 1 Tbsp of the olive oil over it. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a skillet, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and let cook undisturbed until golden on the bottoms, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme, stir, and continue to cook until the mushrooms are tender throughout, about 4 minutes longer. Stir in the vinegar and let cook until the vinegar is mostly absorbed. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Spoon the mushroom mixture over the arugula. Top with a few curls of shaved Parmesan. Serve at once. Makes 2 servings.

Arugula makes a tasty, pungent bed for the warm mushrooms in this salad and creates a delightful contrast of textures and flavors. Enjoy! From Serving Up the Harvest.

Chard & Arugula Salad with Strawberries
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
2 cups chard, large stems removed
2 cups arugula
1 cup sliced strawberries
freshly ground black pepper

Make the vinaigrette first. Add the red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and salt to a salad bowl, then gradually add the oil while whisking until emulsified. Add the chard and arugula to the vinaigrette and toss gently. (If your greens are larger than baby sized, I recommend chopping them into bite-size pieces or ribbons.) When greens are lightly coated, transfer to salad plates, top with the strawberries, and finish with a generous grinding of pepper. Makes 8 servings.

Note: to easily create ribbons with your greens, try the chiffonade technique. Stack your greens in a pile, roll them up, then slice the roll thinly and voila! Beautiful delicate ribbons.

Arugula with Fresh Tomatoes & Pasta
6 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
1 cup cured pitted black olives
1/3 cup basil leaves, cut into thin strips
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
salt & freshly ground black pepper
6 oz arugula, roughly chopped (~8 cups)
1 lb rotini, shells, penne, or other pasta
freshly grated Parmesan (optional)

In a large serving bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, basil, oil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to mix. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave for 4 hours or up to all day if more convenient. Do not refrigerate. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place a large colander in the sink and put the arugula in it. Cook the pasta in the boiling water following the package directions. Drain the pasta over the arugula in the colander so the hot water wilts the arugula. Add the hot pasta and arugula to the tomato mixture and toss gently. Serve at once, passing the Parmesan at the table. Makes 4-6 servings.

Fresh, juicy tomatoes, barley cooked greens, deeply aromatic basil -- this is one of the many great dishes of summer. I know it's not summer now, so keep this gem in mind when we hit the hotter days. Enjoy! From Serving Up the Harvest.

For more arugula recipes, click here. We've got our back records online for your convenience now. Enjoy!

Final Details & Comments
As always, if you've got any questions or need advice on your veggies, please email us here at RootsFarm@hotmail.com and we'll try and help you out. Also, if you've got any great arugula recipes you'd like to share or feelings of excitement about your CSA basket this week, please share your comments with us--we'd love to hear them. See you soon and have a great week!

1 comment:

Farmer Sara said...

So I cooked up the arugula & warm mushroom salad last night and it was AMAZING. Arugula has never tasted so good! I highly recommend it. Taste test approved.