Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Monday, May 31, 2010

CSA Pickups -- Week 6

Roots Farm CSA
Week 6: June 1 & 4

-Purple Kohlrabi
-Winterbor Kale
-Bright Lights Swiss Chard
-Head Lettuce: Nevada (red) & Cherokee (green)
-Carrots: Napoli, & Bolero
-Beets: Chioggia & Detroit Dark Red
-Summer Squash: Zephyr, Magda, Flying Saucer, Jackpot Zucchini, Cocozelle Zucchini
-Cucumbers: Suhyo Long & Mideast Prolific
-Herbs: Parsley & Basil

Saturday Workday, June 12, 8am-noon

Hey folks, just another reminder that if you want to come out to the farm and get your hands dirty growing the veggies that grace your plates, we've got another weekend opportunity available for you. The second weekend in June we'll be out here, weeding and trellising, mulching and weeding, planting, thinning, and processing. Come join us for a lovely morning on the farm. Get up close and personal with the plants that produce the veggies that fill your baskets from week to week. We'd love to have you out!

Last of the Lettuce

Enjoy your lettuce now, folks, because even though we're moving into the summer season where salads are just what you want to eat, growing lettuce in the summer time is a real challenge. Lettuce is a cool season crop that wants to bolt to flower and get bitter in the summer time. We've provided several successions of lettuce to try to extent the number of weeks we can offer it, and this last succession is supposed to be particularly bolt-resistant. Still, we're at the end of the line for lettuce. Savor the salad while it lasts.

Welcome Cucumbers!

Finally, cukes are coming on. I was in the hoop house harvesting squash last week when what do I see but cukes nestled in their vines, ready to pick. I've eaten half a dozen already and I can tell you, they are yummy. Juicy, crunchy, cool, and delicious. Suyho Long is an Asian variety that I find particularly sweet and that slices beautifully for salads. Mideast Prolific is smooth, crunchy, and much like your standard cucumber. We've got more varieties coming your way soon, but we're very excited to offer these two treats this week.

Squash Abundance

Well the summer squash really blew up (in a good way) last week! They're finally growing to some really respectable sizes and are coming in in good quantities. Which makes me excited in particular. We had a terrible squash year last year and summer squash were in slim supply for us for most of the season. As we move into summer, I'm not sure how it's going to go for us this time around, so I am super psyched that we currently have a lovely squash abundance. I encourage you to enjoy them now as I can't guarantee that the abundance will continue. We're doing our best and we've got more successions planted than ever before, so hopes are high. I want an avalanche of squash, so much so that I'm pickling them, grating and frying them, making zucchini cake, and eating them two meals a day. We'll see what the season brings us.


Kohlrabi. "Kohlrabi shares its botanical name, brassica oleracea, with its close realtive, broccoli. But kohl, meaning 'cabbage,' and rabi, meaning 'turnip,' better describes this delicate but unusual vegetable. Many botanists believe kohlrabi is actually a hybridization of these two vegetables. Kohlrabi resembles a root vegetable, but actually the edible globe is the modified swollen stem. The edible leaves jut from the globe portion of the kohlrabi like sparse hairs on a head, giving this vegetable its distinctive look. . . . Kohlrabi also mimics its brassica relatives nutritionally. It offers generous amounts of vitamins A and C, and emphasizes the minerals potassium and calcium." From Asparagus to Zucchini. Kohlrabi's sweet crunch is excellent cooked or raw (peel it first if you want to eat it raw). I find it to be somewhat like a water chestnut in texture, with a mild, brassica-like flavor. Ideas: grate it raw into salads or coleslaw, peel it and eat it raw like an apple or with dip on a mixed vegetable plate, saute it in butter with herbs, add cubes into soups or a mixed veggie stir-fry, mash cooked kohlrabi together with cooked potatoes, chill and marinate cooked kohlrabi, scoop out the center and stuff (then simmer, covered for 20 minutes), steam it and thinly slice and eat with dressing or batter and fry it. The options are really endless. The greens are edible, too, and can be used like any other cooked green (like kale or collards or mustards). Storage: cut off the leaves and store separately from the globes. The globe will last for 1 month refrigerated in a plastic bag. Use the greens as soon as possible.


Simple Sauteed Kohlrabi

2 medium kohlrabi bulbs, grated
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter or light oil
1 medium onion, diced (~1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed (~1/2 tsp)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme, chives, or sage

Mix the kohlrabi and salt in a colander and let stand for 30 minutes to drain. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute more. Stir in the kohlrabi. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, uncover the skillet, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh herbs. Let stand for a couple of minute. Enjoy!

Kohlrabi Hashbrown Cakes with Yogurt Mint Sauce

1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt or more to taste
4 kohlrabi bulbs
1/4 cup chopped green garlic (or green onions and 1 clove minced garlic)
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp dried bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
black pepper to taste
oil cooking spray

Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl and chill at least 30 minutes before serving. (I think the sauce would also be good with grated cucumber in it, like a tzatziki sauce, but do what you will.) Meanwhile, peel and shred the kohlrabi. Transfer to a mixing bowl by fistfuls, squeezing out excess moisture as you go--this is ESSENTIAL. Combine kohlrabi with green garlic, eggs, bread crumbs, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper; stir until blended. Heat a large skillet and spray it generously with cooking spray. Drop mixture by large spoonfuls into the hot pan and fry the cakes in batches until golden brown, 3-4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with yogurt mint sauce. Makes 4-6 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

Kohlrabi with Couscous & Chermoula Dressing

1-2 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp minced cilantro
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oi
l2-3 cups cooked couscous
2 cups peeled, diced kohlrabi
1/2 cup diced radishes
16 kalamata or oil-cured black olives, chopped (opt)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (opt)

Mix garlic, cilantro, parsley, paprika, cumin, and salt to taste. Stir in lemon juice and olive oil. Toss the mixture with couscous. Bring to room temperature. Gently toss with kohlrabi, radishes, and olives (if desired). Serve as is, or sprinkle with feta cheese. Makes 6 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

Kohlrabi & Carrot Slaw

1 lb kohlrabi (~4 medium bulbs), peeled & grated
2 medium-large carrots, grated
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, chopped (~1/2 cup)
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 large clove garlic, minced (~3/4 tsp)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Toss the kohlrabi, carrots, bell pepper, onion, thyme, and garlic in a large bowl. Whisk the sour cream, oil, vinegar, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Makes 4-6 servings. From Farmer John's Cookbook.

Chilled Curried Kohlrabi & Chickpea Soup

1 quart buttermilk
1 large or 2 medium kohlrabi, peeled and diced
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic, mashed to a paste
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander, and ginger
dash of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
thin slices of lemon

Mix all ingredients except lemon slices in a glass bowl; cover and chill well. Ladle into bowls. Serve each bowl garnished with a lemon slice. This unusual, cooling concoction was inspired by a recipe from Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Makes 4-6 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

Happy Cooking!

Monday, May 24, 2010

CSA Pickups -- Week 5

Roots Farm CSA
Week 5: May 25 & 28

This Week:

-Red Russian Kale
-Head Lettuce: Vulcan (red) & Black-Seeded Simpson (green)
-Green Meat Radishes
-Carrots: Nelson, Napoli, & Bolero
-Beets: Chioggia & Detroit Dark Red
-Summer Squash: Zephyr, Magda, Flying Saucer, Jackpot Zucchini
-Garlic Scapes
-Herbs: Dill, Basil, Cilantro, Mint

Deer Attack! Alas, The Strawberries . . .

Well folks, the deer apparently find our veggies as good to eat as we do! They've been foraging in the garden all this past week despite our repeated and varied efforts to exclude them. 8-foot fences, row covers, tied-up holes, blocked gates--all have failed to keep them out. We're plotting our next move, but in the meantime I've got some unfortunate news: they've eaten our strawberries. And the first round of okra. But okra that's a couple of weeks late isn't as much of a bummer as not having pints of strawberries on hand right now. Our apologies for the current lack of berry goodness. On the bright side, the blueberries are swelling nicely and should be ready in a few weeks, so there's that to look forward to! We're going to keep working on the deer issue, but for now we go berry-less. Guess you'll have to get your sweet fix from the carrots & beets this week.

Herbs Galore!

We're handing out lots of herbs this week, in part to help offset the loss of the strawberries, but also because fresh herbs are so nice to have. I like dill in creamy things--like potato soup, or sour cream for baked potatoes or hashbrowns, or on top of cream cheese on an English muffin with a slice of tomato on top. It's also good with fish and in salads. Basil goes great in pesto, salads, tomato sauce, pizza, and summery things. Cilantro makes a great chutney for Indian food, is awesome in salsa, good in chili, and much more. And mint not only makes a good tea, but is excellent in salads, yogurt sauces, and baked goods. We've also made mint ice cream with it as well as mint chocolate chip cookies (I use a mortar and pestle and mash the mint in with the sugar). So enjoy your fresh herbs! Yay!

Garlic Scapes

Are the flowering heads of hardneck garlic. Garlic comes in 2 different types: hardneck & softneck. The softneck garlic is what you see braided and is often the kind you find in the grocery store since they tend to keep well. Hardneck garlics are a little less common, though no less delicious. They tend to be easier to peel, have larger cloves, and come with a hard stalk in the center. That stalk is the root end of the flowering head. The flowering end is a neat, curlicue-looking that that is actually quite delicious. Just chop them up and saute in butter before adding to your favorite dishes. The flavor is mild and wonderful.

Saturday Workday June 12

We've got a weekend workday coming up for you in a few weeks, so mark your calendars now. June 12, from 8am-noon, we're going to be out here on the farm, enjoying the nice early summer morning. We'll probably be weeding, trellising, mulching, and doing many similar mid-season-type tasks. Farm tending and maintenance. Such necessary and good work. And we could use your help doing it! So mark your calendars now! We'll even make you a homemade brunch . . .

Beaverdam SlowDown June 19 & 20

So the following weekend, we'll be cooking up a yummy, four-course, vegetarian feast here on the farm, and you're invited! It's a fund-raiser for us and a unique opportunity to have your dinner directly from the farm right to your plate. One of our guest chefs is coming in to prepare the delicious dishes and I highly encourage you to come out and join us. See what a professional can do with the veggies you get each week! Enjoy an excellent meal prepared for you, served to you, and grown for you by your favorite local farmers. It's a unique experience not to be missed. For more information, email us at or see our website or click here.


This delightful green is available almost year-round in our neck of the woods. And not only that, but it's highly nutritious. Kale is the highest in protein content of all the cultivated vegetables, and is rich in vitamins A and C and in the mineral calcium. Not only that, but it also supplies B vitamins. Wow! It's a power-packed green and there are lots of ways to prepare it. I've got several recipes for you, from soups and salads, to side dishes and main courses. Try it some way new. If you don't already love it, maybe we can help you develop your taste for this great green! Storage: kale is one of those leafy greens that will wilt in a heartbeat if you leave it exposed to air. I recommend keeping it in a sealed plastic bag with a damp towel. It should keep in good condition all week in that state. But like many veggies, I believe the flavor is sweetest when it's fresh, so just go ahead and eat it soon! If your kale gets wilty, though, you can help revive it by soaking it in cold water for a while. Kale can be eaten raw or cooked, so you've got lots of options. . .


Tuscan Kale Salad

1 large bunch kale
1 slice country-style bread or 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp coarse or kosher salt
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper to taste

De-stem the kale and pile the leaves together and slice them thinly into ribbons about 1/2-3/4 inches wide. You should have about 5-6 cups kale. Place the kale in a large serving bowl and set aside. Toast the bread lightly, then pulse in a food processor or rub on the large holes of a cheese grater to make coarse crumbs. If using fresh bread crumbs, spread out on a pan and toast lightly. Set aside. Pound the garlic clove into a paste in a mortar and pestle or with the back of a large knife. Place the garlic in a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 Tbsp oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper flakes, and pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss well to thoroughly combine. Let stand at least 5 minutes or up to 20 minutes. Add bread crumbs, remaining 2 Tbsp cheese, and a small drizzle of oil and toss again before serving. Makes 4 servings. Adapted from a New York Times recipe.

Raw Kale Salad

1 bunch kale, de-stemmed
olive oil
lemon juice
hot sauce
sesame seeds (optional)

Chop the kale and place into a container that has a lid (I like using something with a lid that latches and that will fit in the refrigerator). Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of oil and lemon juice on the kale. Add a little honey and some salt and some hot sauce if you like it spicy and sesame seeds if you have them. Place the lid on the container and shake it vigorously for a couple of minutes to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Place the container in the refrigerator and let marinate for 1-2 hours. Serve cool or at room temperature. Makes 2-3 servings. Katie Crosta (Roots Farmer 2009 Season) taught me this one and it is delicious! Yummy emerald kale, still full of all the vitamins, minerals, and goody. Enjoy!

Kale Chips

1 bunch kale (de-stemmed)
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet or pan with a light layer of olive oil. Place kale leaves in a single layer on the pan and drizzle with a little more oil. Bake for 12 minutes. Salt to taste and enjoy! Makes 2-3 servings. Jane tells us these are as good as potato chips. I've had them and I'd have to agree that they're pretty yummy. As well as an easy way to use up a bunch of greens in a pinch. Yum!

Simple Greens Soup
2 Tbsp butter or oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 lb peeled root vegetables, diced
4 cups water or vegetable stock
1 bunch kale, chopped
salt & pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

Heat butter or oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions; cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until they are translucent (don't let them brown). Add the root vegetables and water or stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft when pierced with a fork, approximately 15 minutes. Add the greens and cook them until they wilt, about 5 minutes. Puree the soup with an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender or food processor) until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. For a creamy version, add heavy cream at the end and heat through. Makes 4 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook. Patrick has made this soup twice now and it's actually really good. We recommend it. Farmer approved.

Kale & White Bean Soup

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (~1tsp)
1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (~3 small onions)
1 medium potato, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small carrot, chopped
1 small parsnip, chopped
1 1/2 cups peeled, chopped fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes
6 cups vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
6-7 large kale leaves, chopped (3-4 cups)
3/4 cup cooked or canned (drained, rinsed) white beans
1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 pinch saffron
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and fennel seeds; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the potato, carrot, and parsnip and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes more. Add the fresh or canned tomatoes. Pour in the stock. Stir in the bay leaves and oregano. Bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat so that it continues at a simmer. Add the kale, beans, and sun-dried tomatoes. Simmer until the vegetables are just tender, 15-20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat; add the saffron. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Makes 4-6 servings. From Farmer John's Cookbook.

That's five new recipes to add to your repertoire. And if that isn't enough for you, click here for more kale recipes. Happy kale cooking!

Monday, May 17, 2010

CSA Pickups -- Week 4

Roots Farm CSA
Week 4: May 18 & 21

This Week:
-Kale (Winterbor) or Bright Lights Swiss Chard
-Butterhead Lettuce: Red Cross (red) or Sylvesta (green)
-Turnips: Scarlet Queen & Hakurei
-Carrots: Nelson, Napoli, & Bolero
-Beets: Chioggia & Detroit Dark Red
-Broccoli: Belstar
-Summer Squash: Zephyr, Magda, Flying Saucer, Jackpot Zucchini
-Sweet Onions-Strawberries-Arugula-Lettuce Mix
-Herbs: Parsley, Basil, or Cilantro

On the Farm . . .

Things are growing overnight! Just last week, I looked in the greenhouse and thought, hey, those starts will be ready to transplant about a week from now. Today I take a look and they say PLANT ME NOW! It's AMAZING. Everything is just growing so fast--including the weeds! Last week, we weeded corn; this week, some of the weeds are back. I guess it's just that time of year when EVERYTHING is excited to grow. And that's a good thing. That's the reason why there's summer squash appearing in all the baskets this week, why the turnips have gotten to such respectable sizes, why the tomatoes are the size of green ping pong balls now. Summer is coming on. Soon there will be blueberries. Soon there will be fireflies. Soon we'll have to open the top windows of the house to let the daytime heat out. But for now, it's late spring. Late spring greens and herbs and veggies. And we're gonna love it while it lasts.

Announcing the Next Beaverdam SlowDown Dinner!

Hey folks! Just wanted to let you know that we've scheduled another SlowDown dinner. What's a SlowDown? It's a 4-course, chef-prepared, farm-to-table dinner hosted by your favorite Roots Farmers and sourced from our delicious field of delights. June 19 & 20, from 7-9 pm, here at Roots. It's an amazing meal, an awesome evening full of fantastic treats. It's a fundraiser for our farm. And it's a way to taste what professional kitchen masters can do with what appears in your CSA baskets each week. Come be inspired. Share a meal with your community. Treat yourself to some lavishly prepared dishes. Slow down for an evening here at Roots. Details can be found here on our webpage. Reserve your seat now--space is limited! Hope to have you with us!

Broccoli & Such

Broccoli is appearing this week, and I tell ya folks, it is not easy to grow a decent head of broccoli. We've got kinda smallish, pale green heads coming out this week. This will be the only time they appear for you, so enjoy them now. We had some for lunch on Monday and it was absolutely delicious. So overlook the underdog nature of these little lovely heads and go straight to the flavor, because that's where they shine! You'll also be seeing some young beets and carrots appearing this week. I'm very excited that we're moving into carrot season. We've got two lovely, long rows full of carrots out there in the field that we hope will please your palates for weeks to come. And the beets, may they swell to full beet size. I've got a beet chocolate cake recipe to share . . .


Are one of the most ancient and globally used veggies of all time. They've played an important role as a reliable storage and staple crop in times and places where diets were seasonal by definition. These days, the turnip has fallen out of favor among many, but we're working to bring back the love. Folks who grew up in the South may be well acquainted with turnips and turnip greens and may therefore either love or hate them. I don't have any particular love for turnips in their traditional, pork-flavored, Southern style, but that does not dissuade my delight in the turnips we grow. The white Hakurei salad turnips are just delicious raw or lightly steamed, and I think the Scarlet Queens are just as lovely, if slightly spicier. For those of you not yet convinced, I've got several somewhat unconventional recipes for ya that I'm pretty excited to experiment with. Turnips in soups, salads, side dishes. I hear they also make a great baked or roasted veggie. You can mash them, stir-fry, soup, salad, steam, appetize. The ideas are unlimited. Storage: turnips are best fresh and get spicier with age. That said, if you remove the greens, the roots will keep for 1-2 weeks in your refrigerator in a plastic bag. The greens, however, you should use as soon as possible. Keep them in a plastic bag with a damp towel. Cook like any other spicy green and enjoy. Turnip greens top the nutritional charts as excellent sources of vitamins A, C, and B complex and the minerals potassium, magnesium, and calcium. They're a power-packed veggie. So even if you wouldn't normally toss the bunch of turnips in your grocery cart at the store, give these a chance and try some of our tasty turnip-y treats. You might just like them. . .


Turnip & Pear Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp vegetable oil or butter
3 medium-large turnips, peeled & chopped (3 cups)
3 large ripe pears, peeled, cored, and chopped (3 cups)
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock or water
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 - 2 cups pear or apple juice
freshly ground black pepper to taste
shredded daikon radish (optional)
a few raspberries (optional)

In a large saucepan, saute the onion in oil or butter for about 5 minutes, until translucent but not browned. Add the chopped turnips and pears along with the salt and herbs. Saute for another 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Add the vegetable stock or water and cook, covered, on low heat for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and tender. Add the spices. In a blender or food processor, puree the soup with juice until smooth and thick. Season with black pepper to taste. Serve with optional garnishes, if desired. Makes 4 servings. This is creamy white, thick, and both sharp and sweet. From the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. Moosewood also says, "humble, unassuming, root vegetables are quite important in Finnish cuisine because they are the only ones available for much of the year. Their undeserved dreary reputations are forgotten, however, with a taste of this sprightly, attractive soup with interesting, unexpected flavors." No longer shall turnips be dreary. Happy cooking!

Turnip & Apricot Salad with Toasted Walnuts with Creamy Greens Dressing

1/2 cup walnut pieces
4-5 young turnips, cut into matchstick-size sticks
1/2 cup finely sliced dried apricots
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
1 bunch young turnip greens or radish greens (or both) coarsely chopped
1/2 cup mild-flavored vegetable oil
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 shallots, quartered
1-2 jalapenos or other chile peppers, stems and seeds removed, quartered
1 clove garlic, quartered
2 tsp dry mustard
1 Tbsp grated horseradish
1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
salt & freshly ground pepper
salad greens of your choice

Toast the walnuts in a dry, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned and fragrant. (Be careful not to overtoast them, as they will burn very quickly once toasted.) Transfer the walnuts to a dish to cool. Combine the turnips, apricots, and walnuts in a large bowl and stir to combine. Put the parsley, chopped greens, vegetable oil, olive oil, vinegar, and yogurt into a blender; process briefly, until the ingredients are just combined. Add the shallots, chile pepper, garlic, dry mustard, horseradish, and soy sauce or tamari; process until thick and creamy. If necessary, thin the dressing with a little extra yogurt or a tablespoon of cold water. Pour the dressing over the turnip-apricot-walnut mixture; toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Line individual plates with a generous amount of salad greens; spoon the turnip mixture on top. Serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings. From Farmer John's Cookbook, which says about this recipe, "crisp young turnips mixed with dried apricots and toasted walnuts, then tossed with a refreshing, flavorful yogurt-based dressing, make for a unique and special salad that will delight your dinner guests. This recipe is a great way to use up any leftover turnip or radish greens." Enjoy!

Spring Turnips with Greens and Raisins

2 Tbsp butter, divided
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 bunch spring turnips and greens (10 small or 5 large turnips)
1/2 cup raisins
12 oz orzo or bow tie pasta, cooked and cooled (optional)

Heat 1 Tbsp of the butter and all the oil in a large skillet over medium flame. Add the onions and cook, stirring, often, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, wash turnips and trim the leaves from the root. Chop the roots into 1-inch dice. Discard any yellowed turnip leaves and roughly chop the nice ones. Once the onions are softened, add the turnip roots. Sprinkle with a bit of salt, stir, and cover. Cook until the turnips can be easily pierced with a knife, about 8 minutes. Uncover, turn up the heat to a medium high, and cook, stirring now and then, until turnips turn light brown at the edges. Add the chopped greens and raisins and cook until the greens are wilted and tender, another 3-4 minutes. Add remaining 1 Tbsp butter and salt to taste. Eat this as a side dish or toss it with cooked pasta for a main dish. Makes 3-4 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

And if that's not enough for you, check out additional turnip recipes here. You can also substitute turnips for radishes or rutabagas in most recipes. So keep trying. I'm planning to try the turnip and pear soup. I'll let you know how it goes . . .

Monday, May 10, 2010

CSA Pickups -- Week 3

Roots Farm CSA
Week 3: May 11 & 14

-Kale (Winterbor) or Bright Lights Swiss Chard
-Butterhead Lettuce: Red Cross (red) and Sylvesta (green)
-Radishes: Easter Egg, Green Meat
-Turnips: Scarlet Queen
-Beets: Chioggia
-Broccoli Raab: Happy Rich
-Summer Squash!: Zephyr
-Sweet Onions
-Inchelium Red Garlic
-Herbs: Dill, Basil, or Mint

On the Farm . . .

It's currently just beautiful. Today, we were out hoeing the corn and we just had to pause for a minute and appreciate life. The sun was shining, a cool breeze was bringing sweet honeysuckle aromas our way, and there was a full strawberry patch with red berries beckoning only a step away. Wow. Despite all the hard work, sometimes it's not so rough living a farmer's life.

New Veggies On the Scene . . .

Yay! I just had my first meal of sauteed squash & onions of the season, and man, it was delicious! The little bi-color zephyr squash are my absolute favorites, and I'm really excited to have them back in season. Hope you are too! And not only those, but it's time for broccoli raab. Broccoli raab is a lot like broccoli--little heads or shoots with greens included. I cook it just the same as I do broccoli & greens. Enjoy it this week--this is the only time we'll have it! And not only those two, but beets are back! The chioggia beets are coming to size and we're excited to offer them this week. These beets have colorful white and red bulls-eye striping on the inside (which unfortunately turns a uniform pinkish color when you cook 'em) that shines in a grated beet salad. Beet greens are also edible and closely related to chard, so enjoy those as well. And we've got a new turnip coming your way--the scarlet queen. She's a beauty, if a bit holey. Don't let the bug damage fool you--it's only skin deep. A red version of the mild white salad turnips, these queens are sweet and yummy. Go raw or steam them and eat with butter -- yum! The greens are edible as well, you know, turnip greens. And . . .

Green Meat Radishes

We keep trying to expand our radish offerings beyond the usual excellent Easter Egg Radishes, so this year we're trying out the Green Meats. And what we're finding is that they're quite a bit spicier than the easters. They do indeed have green meat on the inside, at least at the top, so they're interesting visually and may made a good grated addition to a salad or kim chee. I'm going to suggest that you cook them to help tone down the heat. Cooked radishes have much less spice and go well in stir-fries, as part-substitutes for potatoes (especially in casseroles), and who knows what all else. I'm gonna provide more radish recipes for ya, so don't worry. And if you like daikon radishes, I think these would substitute well for those in many dishes. So pickle 'em, make kim chee, grate them into some spring rolls, and have fun experimenting with all a radish can be.

Radish Pointers

If you're going to store your radishes for any amount of time, I recommend removing the greens from the roots and storing them separately. You can eat radish greens like most other spicy greens. And they're a great source of vitamins. The greens you want to store in a closed plastic bag for up to a week. The roots will keep longer. Again, use a closed plastic container, and keep for up to a month. The spicy flavor gets more pronounced the older they get, so I recommend eating them soon if you like the mild, raw experience. The Joy of Cooking tells me that "radishes were once so esteemed as a stimulant for the appetite that people used to start their day with a handful." Breakfast, here I come? Maybe not for me. Just so you know, though, radishes aren't just for side salads--they've got lots of uses. Joy also tells me that you can add them to soups, mixed vegetable salads, pickles, and substituted for turnips in any turnip recipe. Look here for more turnip recipes. Good luck and happy cooking!


Radishes with Scallions
2 bunches radishes, well scrubbed
1 Tbsp butter
2 bunches scallions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup veggie stock or broth
salt to taste

Trim the leaves from the radishes and cut into quarters. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add scallions and cook, stirring, until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add radishes and stock or broth and cover the pan. Let simmer until the radishes are tender, 3-4 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high, and boil rapidly to reduce the pan juices while shaking the pan back and forth a few times. Season with salt. Makes 4 servings. Adapted from The Joy of Cooking.

Spicy Chinese Radish Slaw
3 cups radish
4 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp minced red chile pepper or 2 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
salt to taste

Slice radishes into 2-inch matchsticks. Place into a large glass bowl and toss with salt. Let stand to drain, 30-45 minutes. Rinse the vegetables under cool running water to wash off the salt. Drain well. Place in a bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. Let marinate for a minimum of 1 hour. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Makes 6-8 servings. Will stay fresh for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Enjoy! Adapted from The Joy of Cooking.

Radish & Cucumber Salad with Tofu
1/2 lb firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1/2 tsp sugar
fresh ground black pepper
8 radishes, thinly sliced
2 cucumbers, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch slices
toasted sesame oil (optional)
toasted sesame seeds (optional)
grated fresh ginger (optional)

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the tofu cubes; boil for 1 minute. Transfer the cubes to a clean dish towel to drain and cool. Stir the rice vinegar, oil, and tamari or soy sauce in a small bowl. Stir in the sugar and pepper to taste. Whisk until well combined. Transfer the cooled tofu cubes to a serving bowl. Add the radish slices and cucumber; briefly toss. Add the dressing; toss again until the salad is thoroughly combined. Makes 4 servings.

Tender cubes of cold, barely cooked tofu are a wonderful treat in this salad. They provide a satisfying, soft complement to the crispy vegetables--similar to cubes of mild cheese. As for taste, with nippy radish slices and a delicious salty-sweet dressing, this salad has flavor to spare. Try adding a few drops of toasted (dark) sesame oil or tossing in some toasted sesame seeds for a deeper, more "authentically Asian" note. Ginger fans will enjoy a grating of fresh ginger in the dressing. From Farmer John's Cookbook.

And there are lots more radish recipes online. Click here for more of 'em! So who says a radish is only for looking good on the side of a salad. Dive into radish cookery and expand your culinary horizons. Have a great week ya'll!

Monday, May 3, 2010

CSA Pickups -- Week 2

Roots Farm CSA
Week 2: May 4 & 7
-Tat soi

-Kale: Winterbor or Red Russian
-Lettuce Mix
-Turnips: Hakurei
-Sweet Onions
-Red Janice Garlic
-Herbs: Cilantro, Oregano, or Basil

Wilted Greens? Never!

Since it's going to be a greens-arific time of year for the next few weeks, I thought maybe I'd impart a few words of wisdom on how to keep your greens fresh and perky all week long. The best method is to wrap them in a damp kitchen towel and then seal them in a plastic bag. Air is the enemy. Keep them damp and sealed, even if that means just tying the grocery sack tight and wrapping it shut well. If your greens do get a bit wilted, you can give them a lift by soaking them in cold water for a while. Good luck, and good greens!

And Speaking of Greens . . . Tat soi!

Tat soi, also called "spoon mustard" for its cup-shaped leaves, can be considered much like bok choy and used interchangeably. The stems are somewhat smaller, as are the leaves, but the flavor is quite similar. The leaves are still soft, crunchy, bitter, and sweet all at the same time. Tat soi can be used in salads, stir-fries, soups, noodle dishes, egg rolls, sandwiches, and more! I've got several recipes for you, and I also hear that you can use this veggie in any dish calling for cabbage. Let me know how that works for you if you try it . . . I tend to use many of my greens interchangeably in dishes, so I wouldn't be surprised if it works quite well.

Fresh Onions & Garlic

So we gave you fresh onions last week and we're adding fresh garlic this one. Garlic already? Well, some of our earliest varieties seem ready, so they're coming your way. Welcome Red Janice. She's a hardneck Turban variety of garlic, beautifully red-striped and delightfully fragrant. She'll peel easily and slice quite nice. Since this garlic is fresh from the ground and not cured, it won't keep well. I recommend using it soon or cutting off the greens and storing it in the fridge. I recommend the same for the onions. You can use the onion greens like chives, but if you don't use them soon, you should cut them off and store them separately from the roots. I find that the onion greens keep really well on the counter in a glass of water, kinda like mint. Or you could bag them and keep them in the fridge.

Athens Farmers Market Opens THIS SATURDAY!

The Farmers Market at Bishop Park is re-opening for the season and opening day is THIS SATURDAY! I recommend getting there early when they open at 8am to see the widest selection of farm-fresh goodies Athens has to offer. I'm sure there will be some veggies there that we don't offer or don't have ready yet, so go on and check it out! Plus, there's live music and amazing prepared food goodies! Not to mention crafts, friends, farmers, and more . . .

May Saturday Workday -- May 8 -- Canceled

Since the grand opening of the Farmers Market is this Saturday, we've decided to send all our forces there to celebrate and help out, and we want to encourage you to do the same. With that in mind, we've canceled our May Saturday Workday. Join us in June to get your farm-working fix, or come out mid-week for harvesting and planting. There's always an opportunity to pitch in at Roots!


Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Cashew Sauce
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lbs bok choy
1/4 cup peanut oil

Toast cashews in a dry skillet, tossing frequently, until light brown and fragrant. Combine cashews, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, red pepper flakes, and 2-4 Tbsp water in a blender or food processor; puree until smooth. Set aside. Wash bok choy stems and leaves well, making sure to rinse away dirt in the ribs. Separate the bok choy leaves from the stalks. Cut stalks into 1-inch pieces and roughly chop the leaves. Heat peanut oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add bok choy stems and cook, stirring often, until crisp-tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the leaves and cook until they wilt and turn bright green, another minute or so. Remove to a platter and cover with cashew sauce, or serve sauce on the side. Makes 4 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

Spicy Bok Choy with Sesame Noodles
1 package (8-9oz) fresh sesame- or garlic-flavored linguine
1 Tbsp peanut oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
4 heads baby bok choy, bottoms trimmed
8-12 brown mushrooms, thick-sliced
1 cup sake (rice wine)
2 Tbsp soy sauce

Boil noodles in lots of salted water until barely tender. Drain and keep warm. Meanwhile, heat a wok or very large, heavy skillet over highest flame. Add oils, swirl the pan to coat its bottom, and add the ginger, garlic, and hot pepper flakes. Stir-fry for 30 seconds or less, then add the bok choy and mushrooms and continue to stir-fry another 2-3 minutes. Add the sake and soy sauce, cover the wok, and let steam until everything is tender, 5-8 more minutes. Divide the noodles among 4 bowls. Portion the bok choy mixture over the noodles. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

Crunchy Bok Choy Ginger Salad
1 medium bunch bok choy
1 cup shredded daikon radish
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup slivered sweet peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1-inch knob of ginger root, grated
2 Tbsp chopped mint
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp honey
pepper to taste

Thin-slice the bok choy leaves. Thinly slice the stems on the diagonal. Toss bok choy leaves and stems, and the shredded radish, with salt in colander. Let stand to wilt vegetables, about 1/2 hour. Rinse, drain, and squeeze out excess liquid from the mixture. Place in paper or cotton towels and squeeze again. Toss with remaining ingredients in bowl and chill before serving. Makes 6 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

For more recipes for tat soi and bok choy, click here. Happy cooking!

Please let us know what you think of these tasty treats, or share your own recipes with us! I always love hearing of a new way to make amazing veggie dishes. Yay!