Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

CSA Pickups -- Week 7 -- Kale

Roots Farm CSA Week 7: November 15 & 18

This Week:
-Lettuce!: Sylvesta Green Butterheads & Red Cross Red Butterheads
-Kale: Red Russian, Winterbor (Curly Green)
-Peppers: Green Bells
-Sweet Potatoes: Beauregard, Georgia Jets

Last Week of CSA Pickups!!
Can you believe it? 7 weeks have come and gone. Welcome to your last week of CSA pickups. We’re excited to have a loaded basket of lettuces, broccoli, kale, and sweet potatoes to send your way. Wondering what you’ll do for veggies for the rest of the year? Come get them from us! We’ll be at the Saturday Morning Athens Farmers Market at Bishop Park until Saturday, December 17! The market runs from 9am-noon. You can also find us online at Athens Locally Grown where we’ll be offering all our veggies individually, as well as CSA-style baskets. We also sometimes sell to the Daily Grocery Co-Op on Prince Avenue--last week they had our kale and lettuce mix. So never fear--Roots still has plentiful produce for you. Come and get it!

You’re Invited! Roots Farm Thanksgiving Feast!
Sunday, November 20th at 1pm here at Roots! It’s a vegetarian potluck dinner, so bring yourself, your friends, a dish to share and preferably your own plates/cups/spoon/etc. We’ll be feasting it up, so come join us for our annual celebration of community and vegetables.

On the Farm . . .
It’s cleanup time, so we’re pulling trellises, weeding, mowing, and making it all look nice. That’s one thing I like about winter--everything slows down and looks so well kept and orderly. We keep clearing out the rows, tilling them up and planting them into winter rye and crimson clover. I love the rye and clover mix--so green through the winter! Then the rye gets tall and blows in the breeze and the clover blooms a red carpet underneath it in the spring . . . wow! Winter seems so peaceful compared to the rush and bustle of spring and summer. Hope you enjoy your winter time this year. Get some rest.

This brassica is back in the spotlight. Winter is absolutely the best time for kale. The frosty nights prompt the plants to make more sugars to keep from freezing (sugar has a lower freezing point). So even though there’s ice on the leaves, the cell walls don’t burst, the leaves thaw, and they taste sweet from their anti-freeze sugary protection. Delicious! Storage: Keep your kale wrapped in a plastic bag. The leaves respire and if you leave them exposed to the air, they do get wilty. If wilting occurs, just soak them in cold water for a while and they will revive some. Usage: kale is good raw, steamed, boiled, baked, in soups, salads, stews, and more! Kale chips anyone? Here are some recipe suggestions for you . . .

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!

Sesame Kale Salad
1 lb. fresh kale (or other greens)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp honey (or other sweetner)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
dash of black or ground red pepper

Separate kale leaves from stems. Chop stems and greens. Steam stems a couple of minutes, then add the greens and steam until just tender. Drain; let kale cool enough to handle it. Squeeze out as much water as possible. Place in serving bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients in another bowl; add to greens. Mix, chill, and serve. Makes 4-6 servings. I also like to make this recipe RAW--omit the soy sauce, add a little more vinegar or lemon juice, shake the salad or massage it, chill for 1 hour or more, and serve. Enjoy!

Kale & Potato Tarragon Salad
2 lbs small potatoes, scrubbed
7 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 bunch kale, large stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4— 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
salt & pepper to taste

Steam or boil potatoes until fork-tender. Drain, cut into large bite-size pieces, place in large bowl, and cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add onions; saute until translucent. Add kale and garlic; cook until kale is tender, about 5 minutes more (you can cover pan to help wilt kale). Combine vinegar, lemon juice, 1/4 tsp tarragon, remaining 6 Tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper. Add kale mixture to potatoes and pour dressing over everything. (It’s important to toss the dressing while the mixture is hot, to soak in the flavors.) Add more salt, pepper, or tarragon if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 6 servings.

1 1/2 lbs medium potatoes (~ 3 taters)
2 tsp salt, divided, plus more to taste
1 1/2-2 lbs kale (15-20 large leaves)
1 cup chopped leeks or scallions
1 cup half-and-half or milk
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter, melted

Put the whole potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to boil. Add 1 tsp of the salt and boil until the potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and mash. Put in a heatproof dish and keep warm in a 200 degree oven. Meanwhile, put the kale in a pot, cover with water, and bring to boil. Add the remaining 1 tsp salt and cook until the kale is tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain and finely chop the kale. Place the leeks or scallions in a small pot, cover with the half-and-half, and cook over low heat until very soft, 15-20 minutes. Add the kale to the warm potatoes and mix well. Ad the half-and-half with leeks or scallions. Add the pepper; season with salt to taste. Spoon a little of the melted butter over each serving and serve hot. Makes 6 servings. (from Farmer John’s Cookbook)

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.

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