- Lettuce!! – enjoy “Panisse” and “Concept” two of our favorite head lettuce types
- New potatoes!! Enjoy these delicious new red potatoes
- Fennel – you can eat the bulb and the frons see recipes below
- Radish or kohlrabi
- Sugar snap peas – they are in!!
- Green onions (scallions)
- Kale or chard
- Broccoli or Chinese Broccoli
This has been a busy week on the farm. The tomatoes are growing strong and with that comes tying them up and pruning them to that harvest is easier. Many of the greenhouse tomatoes already have fruit! The outdoor tomatoes have also received their first pruning and have flowers. The peppers too are growing strong.
We managed to get the eggplant in the ground (over 150 individual plants). The outdoor potatoes and tomatillos also were planted. We got the bulk of the pumpkins, winter squash and gourds in the ground and covered with remay. The cucumber beetles, especially the striped variety are thriving in the warm weather and mild winter. The battle is definitely on.
We have also been struggling to catch the gopher that is eating 2 cabbages a day. They are just about to head and he or she eats the roots. This is the time of year that one is keenly aware that farming is really hard. We not only have to plant, water, weed we have to outsmart over 10 pests that go after our produce from above ground, air and underneath the soil. The constant vigilance and battle can be exhausting and frustrating.
This is graduation week! Diego will graduate from Liberty High School this Friday night. He came to the farm when he was 2 years old. The first day we toured the property he got lost in the tall grass. It is hard to believe we will send him off to OSU in September. He has been an honors student and an amazing athlete, playing a sport every season for 12 seasons. He has been a great harvest help, my right hand man at the Beaverton Farmers Market and all around fun to have at home. We know the next phase of his life will bring much joy and challenge and look forward to what that future holds for him.
Now, I will head out to harvest before the day gets too hot to tolerate the hoop houses.
Salad of New Red Potatoes
Chinese Cuisine, Susanna Foo
1 pound new red potatoes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons corn oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and julienned, or ½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh peppermint or other mint leaves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
Scrub the potatoes and cut into julienne. As you cut, immediately place potatoes in a bowl filled with cold water and wash under cold running water to remove any excess starch.
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil over high heat and blanch the potatoes for 2 minutes, just until they become transparent and lose their raw taste.
Drain the potatoes and place them in a colander. Rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking.
Place the potatoes in a medium bowl and toss with the lemon juice; they should be crisp and white, set aside.
Heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the garlic and cook over high heat, stirring for 1 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the salt and the jalapeno pepper or hot pepper flakes. Stir to mix.
Spoon the garlic mixture over the potatoes and toss gently to combine. Add the chopped mint, toss again and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until ready to serve. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, if using, over the potato salad just before serving.
ROASTED NEW POTATOES WITH SPRING HERB PESTO
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 pounds red-skinned new potatoes, halved lengthwise
Blend parsley, chives, rosemary, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, lemon peel, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in processor to coarse puree. (Pesto can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss potatoes and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until potatoes are golden brown and tender, about 40 minutes. Using spatula, transfer potatoes to large bowl. Add pesto and toss to coat. Serve.
Make 4 servings
Preparation time: about 20 minutes.
NOTE: The amounts are all approximate and flexible. This is a very improvisational recipe.
1 small head organic butter (Boston) lettuce, cleaned and spun dry
1 medium-sized bulb organic fennel, sliced paper thin (a mandolin works best.)
2 organic navel oranges, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
15 oil-cured or Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
5 or 6 organic dried figs, cut into small pieces
1 – 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon organic lemon juice, plus more to taste if you like
1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds, lightly toasted (optional)
- Wash and dry the lettuce, then tear it into bite sized pieces into a large salad bowl. Add the fennel, oranges, olives, and figs, and toss.
2. Drizzle the salad with the olive oil, and toss until everything is lightly but thoroughly coated. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, if you like, and toss again. Refrigerate until serving (but not longer than about 1 hour).
3. Just before serving drizzle in about 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and sprinkle in — or top with —the almonds and cheese shavings, if you like. Toss quickly but thoroughly, and serve right away.
Cannellini Beans with Tarragon and Roasted Fennel || from Chef Jonathan Miller
I make some variation on this very often, as it can be made year round here. Some of you may recognize the flavor combination here from very similar recipes I’ve posted before in the Ladybug Postcard. I also made a version of this salad with raw fennel and grilled radicchio quarters and it worked very well. Kids love this bean salad because of its licorice overtones and the cheese.
1 c cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water
2 fennel bulbs, halved, cored, and thinly sliced crosswise
1 bunch tarragon, chopped
1/2 t fennel seeds, ground
4 T sherry vinegar
4 t Dijon
6 T crème fraiche
12 T olive oil
4 T parsley, chopped
8 oz Italian fontina, diced
Drain the beans and put into a pot with cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil, skim any foam off the top, then lower the heat, add a generous amount of salt the pot, cover, and simmer slowly until the beans are soft, but not mushy, about 45-60 minutes. Drain.
While the beans cook, heat the oven to 400 and toss the sliced fennel with some olive oil and salt. Roast until colored and softened, and sweet, about 25-30 minutes.
Combine 2 T of the chopped tarragon, the fennel seeds, sherry vinegar, Dijon, and crème fraiche in a bowl. Whisk well. Add the olive oil and continue whisking until emulsified.
When the beans are cooked and drained, fold in the dressing, mixing thoroughly, but gently. Stir in the roasted fennel, the parsley, the cheese, and the remaining chopped tarragon. Taste to make sure you like it, and serve room temperature.
Fennel, Orange & Caper Salad
Note from Julia: I made this and it’s REALLY good. It’s pictured above. In the photo, I used kalamata olives instead of the capers.
2 bulbs fennel
1 Tablespoon cabers, drained
1 Tablespoon dill or chervil, fresh, chopped
1/2 orange, seeded
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sugar (I often omit this)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons olive oil
Trim the stalks from the fennel, cut the bulb in half lengthwise; then cut crosswise into very thin slices. Place in a large bowl with the capers and the dill.. Make the dressing. Cut the quarter orange in small pieces and place in the work bowl of a food processor with the vinegar, mustard, and sugar and salt. .Process until smooth. With the motor running slowly, pour in the olive oil. Pour over the fennel, toss well and serve
Green Onion Pancake by Stella Fong
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup cold water
vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup minced green onions
Mix together flour and boiling water. Add 1/3 cup cold water and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more water if necessary. Cover and let dough rest for about 15 minutes. In a small bowl, combine sesame oil, salt and green onions. Set aside. Divide dough into 10 pieces. Flatten each piece in the palm of your hand. Then roll out into a 6-inch circle. Spread each piece with the green onion mixture.
Roll up dough into a jellyroll. Then wind up into a snail shape. Flatten slightly; roll on lightly floured surface to 5-inch circle. Spray pan with vegetable oil spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Fry pancake until golden brown, about 2 minutes, turn and cook other side. Serve hot. Makes 10 pancakes
Fresh peas with mint and green onions
Peas with mint is a classic combination that’s more than the sum of its parts.
Prep and cook time: 30 minutes.
Makes: 4 servings
Notes for the final sprinkling of salt, use kosher or sea salt for a clean, bright taste.
2 pounds English peas
1 green onion
6 mint leaves
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1/8 cup chopped chives
salt (see note)
Beets with Fennel (My version as I couldn’t find the book I got the delicious recipe from)
1 bunch beets (steamed, leave 1” of tops and the whole root on, steam and then peel)
1 fennel bulb cut in quarters and then slice thinly
1 sweet onion, chopped finely
Toasted walnuts, about 1 cup
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
4 T extra virgin olive oil (is there any other kind?!)
1 teaspoon walnut oil (I used sesame)
1 T, plus a dash more Champagne vinegar
Salt and pepper
Mix cooked beets, onion, fennel and walnuts together, add parsley and toss with vinaigrette. Chill or serve warm, we loved it.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, shell peas (you should have about 4 cups). Cook peas in boiling water until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a medium bowl.
- While peas are cooking, trim and discard the root ends and dark green leaves of green onions. Halve white and light green parts lengthwise and thinly slice cross wise. Set aside. Chop mint and set aside.
- Add butter to hot peas and toss until butter melted and peas are coated. Add green onions, chives and mint and toss to combine. Sprinkle with salt to taste and serve immediately.