- Lettuce – beautiful spring lettuce, nothing tastes as crisp and fresh!
- Kale – there are so many ways to enjoy this healthy green
- Chard or spinach – packed with vitamins
- Cilantro or Dill or parsley
- Chinese broccoli or raab – this is our signature spring vegetable. This broccoli is more about the leaves and stem than the broccoli head. See recipes below and enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner
- Bok Choi – nice green for stir fries.
- Onions or shallots
- Caulifower? – this overwintered variety is really small and is not coming through uniformly so you may get some this week or next or sadly not at all.
It is definitely spring with crazy weather fluctuations. It was up to 75 and this morning there is frost on everything. Something about last night made me worry that the predicted 35 degrees might turn into a deadly frost so I covered all the seedlings in their “blankets” and I will wait to see if that was enough to protect the peppers, eggplant and tomatoes from frost bite or death. It has been so tempting all week to put those crops outside and I am glad we did not. We did manage to get all the brassicas in the ground (those are the broccoli and cabbage family). They do not mind the cold but they do not respond well to huge shifts in temperature.
We have over half of the outside gardens planted and Juvencio has been working on getting the water system up and running in the various different zones on the farm. The hoop houses are packed full with lettuce, sugar snap peas, beets and the like. We have four beds of tomatoes transplanted and four beds of potatoes. The sugar snap peas are waist high and are passing their trellises. Now we wait, we wait for those crops under cover to bare fruit, for the soil to warm outside and for the flowers to bloom. This is the time of year for greens.
I will seed all of the winter squash this week, the main cucumbers and the corn. We have so much to do it is dizzying. The onions and their family of aliums (leeks, shallots and the like) are ready to be transplanted. This is a huge and seemingly never-ending task of planting blades of grass. It is a hopeful time of year and the late light is helpful in stretching the work day. Soon we will need help harvesting and will put out a sign-up sheet so that families can come lend a hand and gain a deeper understanding of what it means to grow food for over 100 families.
Juvencio will pig up our piglets this week! We will raise four this season. We sell the hogs either as a whole hog or ½ and I believe they are all spoken for. It is best to inquire with Juvencio. Valentina, the last offspring of our very first cow “Morena” gave birth to a beautiful heifer calf yesterday. She is slate colored and very lively as she follows her mother around the field. She is the first offspring of our Wagyu bull. The herd of cattle here has grown to 7 and is over 40 in McMinnville! Inquire with Juvencio anytime for beef as he is always looking to reduce the number of mouths he has to feed in a day.
Below are some recipes that will help you enjoy your greens:
from a CSA member:
Bok Choy: (the bok choy in the box was amazingly good!)
1 T oil
1.5 lbs bok choy
1 T light soy sauce
2 T chicken stock or water
Heat wok over moderate heat. Add oil and then bok choy. Stir fry 3-4
minutes, until leaves have wilted a little. Add soy sauce and chicken stock/water.
Continue to stir fry for a few more minutes, until the bok choy is done until still slightly
Very easy, very good.
Source: Ken Hom’s Chinese Cookery
(very good recipes, clear instructions, and excellent taste)
SAUTEED BOK CHOY W/ CASHEW SAUCE
Serving Size : 4
1/2 c Cashews — roasted
1/4 c White vinegar
1/4 c Water
1/4 c Sugar
1/4 c Soy sauce
1 tb Ginger — minced
7 dashes Tabasco sauce
2 tb Basil — finely chopped
2 tb Mint — finely chopped
1 1/2 lb Bok choy — washed & dried 1/3 c Peanut oil 1. In a food processor or blender, combine the cashews, vinegar, water, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, Tabasco, basil and mint, and puree. 2. Separate bok choy leaves from stalks, and cut stalks into 1-inch-long- pieces. In a large sauté pan, heat oil over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add bok choy and cook, stirring briskly, for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until it is bright green and well seared. Remove from heat, drape with cashew sauce and serve at once. Yield: 4 servings. Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 340 calories, 25 grams fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 1,065: milligrams sodium, 7 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrate. ** New York Times — Living Arts section — 29 November 1995 **
Bok Choy Stir Fry
This is an easy recipe.
1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry Sherry
1 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
3 1/2 cups thinly sliced trimmed bok choy
1 5-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
3 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
10 1/2 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
Combine first 4 ingredients in small bowl; mix well. Heat vegetable oil until very hot in heavy large wok or skillet over high heat. Add garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper. Stir-fry until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add bok choy and stir-fry until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Mix in water chestnuts and green onions and stir-fry until onions are tender, about 1 minute. Add tofu and lightly stir-fry until tofu is just heated through, about 2 minutes. Pour over soy mixture. Stir-fry until liquid boils and thickens, about 1 minute.
(Lyn’s Quick Stir Fry)
1 bunch Chinese Broccoli (flower, stem and leaves) – remove any hard end of the stem
2-4 cloves of garlic minced
1 – 2 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ cup water
Heat a wok or frying pan and add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Add minced garlic until aromatic (about 1 minute) then add the broccoli and toss to coat with oil and garlic for about 1 minute. Add soy sauce and coat then add the water and cover for 3-5 minutes until tender and still bright green. Serve by itself or over rice. . . YUM!
Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce
Chinese Cuisine, Huang Su-Huei
12 stalks Chinese broccoli (5-inch lengths)
2 T oyster sauce
1 T corn oil
Bring ½ pot of water to a boil; add a dash of salt. Place the Chinese broccoli in the water and cook for 2 minutes. Remove and drain. Place on a serving platter and sprinkle with oyster sauce and oil. Serve.
Chez Panisse Vegetables, Alice Waters
(When I make this I never have all the ingredients and I’ve never used the crème fraiche and it is till delicious!)
1 clove of garlic
1 small carrot
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
½ cup parsley leaves
2 bunches young spinach
2 sprigs fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons crème fraiche
Peel the onion and garlic, and slice thin. Peel the carrot and dice fine.
In a large pot, stew the onion, garlic, and carrot in the olive oil, covered until soft an translucent. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.
Prepare a large bowl half filled with ice and smaller bowl, preferably stainless steel, that will fit inside and rest on the ice.
Wash the parsley and spinach and add them to the pot with the chicken stock and other vegetables. Shut off the heat and allow the soup to stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes, no longer. Immediately puree the soup in a blender and pour it through a medium mesh strainer into the bowl in the ice bath. Stir the soup slowly with a spoon or spatula until it has cooled to room temperature and then remove it from the ice. Quick cooling preserves the color of the soup. Chop enough tarragon to make about 1 Tablespoon and stir it into the crème fraiche. To serve the soup reheat it to just below the boil point and garnish each bowl with a teaspoon of the crème fraiche.
GREEK-STYLE RICE WITH SPINACH, FETA, AND BLACK OLIVES
This dish of spinachy rice with feta and black olives is extremely simple and therein lies its elegance. Some people simply don’t get it. “It’s just so humble,” they say. To which I respond, “That’s what I like about it!”
2 pounds fresh spinach, washed and tough stems removed
Coarse sea salt
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
3/4 cup finely chopped onions or leeks
1/2 cup fresh tomato puree reduced by boiling to 3
1/2 cup long-grain rice
1/4 cup chopped dill
Freshly ground black pepper
Oily black olives for garnish
Chunks of feta cheese or spoonfuls of thick yogurt for
Wash the spinach and tender stems until the water runs clean; drain. If leaves are large and crinkly, sprinkle
lightly with salt and mix well. Let stand in a colander 15 minutes; rinse and squeeze out excess moisture. Shred the spinach to make about 3 cups.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 10-inchstraight-sided skillet. Add the scallions, onions, a pinch
of salt, and 1/4 cup water and cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. When the water evaporates ,slowly let the onions turn golden, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup water, the reduced tomato puree, and rice. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Spread the spinach and dill over the rice, cover, and cook 10 minutes longer. Remove from heat, mix, then place a double thickness of paper towel ing over the rice, cover again, and let stand until cool. Adjust the seasoning with black pepper and salt and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon olive oil. Serve at room temperature garnished with black olives and feta cheese or yogurt.
Serves 4 as a side dish or supper with crusty bread.
Mediterranean Grains & Greens