Week #2 2019
- Cilantro or dill
- Sprouting broccoli raab
- Spinach or chard
- Mizuna or Arugala
The farm has gone wild with greens! The lettuce is bursting and the small leaves are the size of my entire hand. So the bottom line of that is there will be heads of lettuce instead of salad mix. There are several different varieties so hopefully you can make your own mix.
The lovely weather on Thursday dried out the field enough for juve to race out and make more beds. We got a whole bed of lettuce in the ground as well as other seeded crops like beets and carrots before the deluge .
I am extremely tempted to try and get tomatoes in the ground and then I did some reading about blossom end rot. As some of you may remember we had terrible luck with the heirloom Tomatoes last year . We did everything the same but ended up with a whole lot of rotten tomatoes. From my reading it is not only a calcium deficiency but rather a calcium metabolism problem. Weather that is too cool, too wet, too hot, too varied can lead to a disruption of calcium as the fruit is developing can lead to the blossom end rotting and fungus setting in. Oh, also too much nitrogen and calcium in the incorrect form can lead to the rot as well. So the bottom line for me is : don’t plant too early, watch the watering( maybe not so much when first planted) decrease the nitrogen in my organic fertilizer and consider soil testing.
You get the flavor for farming, every crop has its challenges and we grow over 55 different crops. We have 10 major plagues, including mostly insects, but two major birds and 2 underground rodents as well. We have to try and outsmart each one to get you produce weekly, and this is just the beginning! Stay tuned to the vegetable saga of La Finquita.
This week has so many lovely greens, so I pulled out all the favorite recipes and have included them here:
Radish Top Soup
Don’t through out your radish greens. Believe it or not, those fuzzy leaves can be transformed into a smooth green soup, with a hint of watercress flavor.
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onions or white part of leek
8 cups loosely packed radish leaves
2 cups diced potatoes
6 cups liquid (water, chicken stock or combo)
½ cup heavy cream (optional)
freshly ground pepper
Melt 4 T butter in a large saucepan, add onions or leeks and cook until golden, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in radish tops cover pan and cook over low heat until wilted, 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile cook potatoes until soft in liquid along with 1 teaspoon of salt. Combine with the radish tops and cook covered, for 5 minutes to mingle flavors. Puree finely in a food processor of food mill. Ad the cream if desired and enrich with 2 T of butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot. (serves 4-6)
Beef, Baby Broccoli and Wild Mushrooms
Makes: 4 servings
1 pound beef boneless sirloin steak
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 pound baby broccoli or broccoli, cut into flowerets and stems cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup beef or chicken broth
1/3 -1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, cut into fourths (2-3 cups)
6 ounces fresh crimini mushrooms, sliced (2 cups)
2 tablespoons dry sherry or apple juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 package (10 ounces) curly Chinese or Japanese noodles
- Cut beef with grain into 2-inch strips; cut strips across grain into 1/8-inch slices. Spray 12-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add beef and garlic; stir-fry 4 to 5 minutes or until beef is brown. Remove from skillet.
- Add broccoli and 1/2 cup of the broth to skillet. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook about 2 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Add mushrooms, sherry and soy sauce. Cover and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender.
- Stir in beef. Mix cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup broth; stir into beef mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.
- Meanwhile, cook and drain noodles as directed on package. Divide noodles among bowls. Top with beef mixture.
Spicy Pickled Broccoli adapted from The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich
1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/5 pounds), florets and peeled, sliced stems
3 stems chopped green garlic (include plenty of the green since it’s just for flavor!) or 2 Tablespoons ‘regular’ chopped garlic
1 T dill seeds
1 T coarsely grated (or chopped) ginger
1 T yellow mustard seeds
1 T vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
1 t pickling or other uniodized salt (often called sea or kosher too, I think)
In a large bowl, toss the broccoli with the garlic, ginger, dill, mustard, and oil. Pack the mixture into a 2 quart jar. Combine the vinegar and water, and dissolve the salt in the liquid. Pour the liquid over the broccoli. Cap the jar. Store the jar in the fridge at least one week before eating. It should keep in the fridge for at least several weeks. Makes 2 quarts
BRAISED MUSTARD GREENS WITH GARLIC (Mizuna is a mustard green)
1/2 lb mustard greens, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped (4 cups packed)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup water
Blanch mustard greens in a 4-quart heavy pot of boiling salted water 1 minute. Drain greens in a colander and wipe pot dry.
Cook garlic in oil in pot over moderate heat, stirring, until pale golden, about 30 seconds. Add greens and water and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
BUTTER LETTUCE AND RADISH SALAD WITH FRESH SPRING HERBS
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 small heads of butter lettuce, outer leaves removed
4 thinly sliced radishes
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/2 cup assorted whole fresh herb leaves (such as tarragon, chervil, parsley, and cilantro)
Whisk oil, vinegar, shallot, and mustard in medium bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut cores from heads of lettuce, keeping heads intact; rinse and dry. Arrange 1 head of lettuce on each of 2 plates, forming rose shape. Tuck radish and avocado slices between lettuce leaves. Scatter fresh herb leaves over lettuce on each plate. Drizzle salad with dressing and serve.
2 lbs. fresh greens
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
Chop greens roughly. Cut small stems into bite-sized pieces; discard large ones. Heat oil in large skillet, add garlic, and sauté until it turns golden. Add greens, sauté briefly, then add lemon juice, soy sauce, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add pepper, and serve immediately. From theWinter Harvest Cookbook by Lane Morgan
NONNA’S SNEAKY GREENS SOUP
Copyright 2004 Lynne Rossetto Kasper.
This was how my Tuscan grandmother got me to eat the greens I detested. They said I was a bright child, but I didn’t catch up to what she was doing until I was well into my teens.
8 cups chicken broth (homemade if possible)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup whole canned tomatoes, crushed with your hands (do not use canned crushed tomatoes)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium to large onion, minced
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 large handfuls escarole or curly endive leaves, finely chopped
1/3 tight-packed cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 cup tiny pasta (anice, orzo, stars or alphabets)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 cup or more freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Working Ahead: Soup can be done a day ahead up to point of adding the pasta.
- In a 6 quart pot combine the broth, wine and tomatoes. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, chickpeas, greens and basil. Simmer partially covered 20 minutes.
- Stir in the pasta and simmer, partially covered, 8 minutes or until pasta is tender. Taste soup for seasoning. Serve hot, passing the cheese to be sprinkled on the soup as its final seasoning. Serves 6 to 8 as a first course; 4 to 6 as a light main dish.
MIXED GREENS ENCHILADAS
2 Tbs. veg. oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cups coarsely chopped greens
1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. flour
½ cup milk
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
6 corn tortillas
½ cup salsa
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil, sauté onion & garlic until golden. Add greens in small amounts until cooked down. In another pan, melt butter, stir in flour, add milk slowly and then cheese. Stir until thick then mix into cooked greens. Fill the tortillas, roll and place in a lightly oiled baking dish. Spread salsa over and bake for 25 minutes, until edges of tortillas are crisp. Adapted from The Cook’s Garden catalog.
This one is totally from you; it’s one of our subscribers’ favorites!
BAKED POLENTA WITH SWISS CHARD AND CHEESE
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 pound Swiss chard, thick
stems and ribs removed, leaves cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
3 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal) or yellow cornmeal
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
2 cups coarsely grated low-fat mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil 2-quart glass baking dish. Heat oil in heavy large deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in garlic and crushed red pepper, then chard; cover and cook until chard is tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Uncover; stir until any excess liquid in skillet evaporates. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, bring 3 1/2 cups water and salt to boil in heavy large saucepan. Gradually stir polenta into boiling water. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until polenta is very thick, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk ricotta and eggs in bowl; whisk in 1 cup hot polenta. Stir ricotta mixture into polenta in saucepan. Spread half of polenta mixture in baking dish. Spread half of chard mixture over. Sprinkle with half of mozzarella. Repeat layering with remaining polenta, chard, and cheese. Bake until puffed and brown on top, about 45 minutes. Cool 30 minutes.