Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

CSA Pickups -- Week 4 -- Chard

Roots Farm CSA Week 4: October 25 & 28

This Week:
-Lettuce!: Green Butterheads
-Rainbow Swiss Chard
-Sweet Potatoes: Beauragard, Georgia Jet, Vardaman
-Tomatoes: Arkansas Traveller, Pink Beauty, Sunny Goliath, Whopper, Big Beef, Trust, Sungold cherry
-Eggplant: Nadia, Nubia, Pingtung Long
-Peppers: Red, Yellow, Purple, & Green Bells, Carmen, Lipstick, Mellow Star, Habanero, Ahi Dulche
-Radishes: Easter Egg, French Breakfast
-Garlic: Persian Star, Siberian

On the Farm . . .
It’s Becky’s last full week on the job and we’re sure gonna miss her around here. She’ll still be around from time to time, but for now, she’s heading off to the beach for a long-deserved vacation. Yay for Becky! I’m sure she’s gonna be sad she missed thinning all the carrots with us, but I think she’ll survive. In the meantime, Fall marches on, and so does October. In the last month, we’ve transplanted over 400 feet of strawberry plants, planted and mulched over 500 feet of garlic, transplanted a couple hundred more feet of lettuce, and seeded goodness only knows how many feet of arugula and radishes. October is a busy month, full of all our Fall planting projects. November finds us coming into a little less to plant, a little less to do. Once our first big fall freeze happens, we’ll have summer plantings to remove. Until then, it’s mostly maintenance--weeding, mulching, picking and selling produce. We’ll be planting onions next month, but the days of large transplanting jobs are over. Yay! Cruising into Fall.

In Your Basket!
Lettuce! Gorgeous big green heads of butterhead lettuce are here! They look just beautiful and taste the same. It’s salad time. I recommend giving them a second wash since it’s dirty and sandy out there in the fields. Also, Chard! Our fall chard plantings are finally big enough to pick, so our first pickings are coming your way. The recipes this week are all about chard. Enjoy! And, Sweet Potatoes! Seems like the curing process has gone pretty well and the taters are finally coming out this week. I know many of you were excited about having them appear in your shares this season, and the time has finally come. Sweet potatoes are here. Please pardon their superficial imperfections--cracks, dark colors, and odd shapes do not impair their flavor. Hope you enjoy them! And we’re saying goodbye to pole beans, cucumbers, summer squash, and okra. The cooler Fall weather is not to their liking. Seems as if the peppers and eggplant will still be with us until it freezes hard (sometime in the next few weeks), so enjoy them while they last!

Facts: Chard (Beta vulgaris) is a close relative of the beet that has been cultivated for its leaves instead of its roots. The leaves are big and tender and often substituted for spinach in recipes (which it’s also related to). Indigenous to the Mediterranean, chard is often referred to as Swiss chard due to its initial description by a Swiss botanist in the 16th century. Chard is high in vitamins A, E, and C, and minerals like iron and calcium.
Storage: Keep your chard in a closed plastic bag--air is your enemy and will cause this delicate green to wilt quite quickly (though you can revive it by soaking it in cold water for a while). Chard will keep for a week or more in good conditions. Cooking: Most often, folks like to de-stem chard and cook the stems for longer than the leaves. It’s a texture issue that I’ll leave to your personal preferences. You can use chard as you would any leafy green. Chard is good in salads, on sandwiches, in casseroles, stews, and more! Try it massaged! Bake it into lasagne! Enjoy!

Quick and Easy Chard
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
2-3 small to medium cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. lemon juice
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Olives, ½ cup feta cheese, 1 tsp. soy sauce

1. Chop the garlic, and let sit.
2. Chop chard, stems can be included unless they are too tough
3. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add chard and cook for 3 minutes without a lid.
4. Pour chard in a colander to drain, and press the chard to remove excess water.
5. Put chard in a bowl and toss with oil, garlic, lemon, salt, pepper, and optional ingredients.

Spicy Vegetable Tart
¾ c. sunflower seeds
¾ c. walnuts
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. Flax seeds (soaked in ¼ c. water for 10 min.)
1/8 tsp. salt
4 cups Swiss chard, chopped (any kind of greens or a mix will work)
1 Tbsp. Vegetable broth
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 Small onion, chopped
3-5 small or medium cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1pinch red chili flakes
1 small tomato, chopped and seeded
5 oz. silken tofu
5 egg whites
1/8 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. While flax seeds are soaking, put crust ingredients in food processor and grind finely. Add soaked flax seeds with water to ingredients in processor and process for another 30 seconds.
3. Press crust mix evenly in a 9 inch tart or pie dish. It should come up to the top edge, and be an even thickness all the way around. Bake the crust for 15 min.
4. While crust is baking, chop onion and garlic, and let sit.
5. Bring lightly salted water to a boil, and add chopped chard. Cook for about 3 minutes.
6. Heat 1 Tbsp. broth in a medium skillet. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
7. Add herbs, tomatoes, salt, pepper to skillet and sauté for another 2 minutes.
8. Press excess water from chard and add chard to the mix.
9. Spread veggie mix evenly in tart shell.
10. Blend egg whites, tofu, turmeric, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over vegetable mix.
11. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until tart has set.

Swiss Chard Quesadillas
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 minced hot pepper
¼ tsp. cumin seed
1/8 tsp. oregano
¼ c. tequila
12 oz. swiss chard, chopped
8 6 in. corn tortillas
1 c. Monterey jack cheese, grated

1. Heat oil over medium heat, add onion and sauté until golden.
2. Stir in garlic, hot pepper, cumin, oregano, and sauté about 2 minutes.
3. Add tequila and simmer 1 minute, or until liquid has evaporated.
4. Stir in chard, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Let steam for 5 minutes, or until chard is tender.
5. Uncover and cook until liquid has evaporated.
6. Heat tortillas one at a time. After heating, sprinkle cheese on tortilla, then add chard mixture, and top with a second tortilla.
7. Cook about 2 minutes on each side, or until browned.

No comments: