Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

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 . . .

1 comment:

JillianInGA said...

Hello, I have a question...The red basil we got this week....what is the difference between that and the regular green basil? Can you use it to make the same things?


BTW...I am loving everything we have been getting!! Thank you!!