Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

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!


Mike K said...

Made a dinner the other night that was so delicious, thought we might share...

Cod "en Papillote" (based on recipe)
Preheat oven to 450. Move rack to lower-middle position.

Combine butter with dill, minced garlic, and salt and pepper. (You may have to let butter soften a bit, but you don't want it any softer than it has to be to mix in the other ingredients.)

Chop beets and carrots (or other root veggies) into matchsticks. Place on square of aluminum foil. Splash with white wine and season with salt and pepper.

Lay small fillet of cod (or other firm, non-oily fish) on top of veggies. Season with salt and pepper. Place large dab of compound butter on top.

Cover assembly with another piece of foil. Crimp edges together in ½-inch fold, then fold over three more times to create a square packet.

In case of spillage, it's best to bake on/over a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 mins. Open carefully. Save as much of juices inside as you can to pour on top of servings. Sprinkle a bit more fresh dill on top.

We served with some panfried potato cakes (just leftover mashed potatoes seared in EVOO) and roasted farm broccoli with garlic.

Lauren said...

I made the kale & white bean soup tonight for dinner. It was fantastic! Quick and easy, but didn't taste like it only took twenty minutes to make. Thanks for including the recipes every week, it's so helpful!