• Salad mix
• Braising mix
• Dill or cilantro
• Green onions
• Chinese broccoli or sugar snap peas
I am trying not to sound like a broken record, but we continue to struggle to come back from a rough winter/start to the growing season. Although we have done this farming thing for 17 years, this season has been different. The confluence of events, the alignment of the stars, or whatever has left us feeling frustrated that the quantity of produce we are accustomed to providing is just not there yet. I lay awake at night counting beds, thinking about each vegetable and it’s particular set back, kind of like counting sheep. The reasons abound, but it still baffles me that there can be so many different failings.
The weather is only one factor, but it is huge. The cold wet spring has affected the growing rate of the plants. Competition among plants has left some mainstays like kale stunted. Oh, and the bark chips in the two new greenhouses have bound nutrients that seedlings need to grow. We keep looking for the break, when will the crops “take off” it seems far off. We start with sugar snap peas this week. We have ¼ the production we are expecting. We have 300 feet planted, but 230 feet is in a woodchip laden greenhouse where the plants are 4 feet high instead of 8! We planted 400 feet of Chinese broccoli and 50 feet is producing normally. This story unfortunately repeats itself with many crops, so we plug on.
Juvencio has been busy hauling manure from a local horse owner. He has been hand spreading compost onto all beds that have been previously planted. He has hand tilled between every row in the field. I have been juggling my time from work at the clinic to work on the farm. I planted pole beans, peppers, tomatoes and more this week. I managed to get the seeding of the Brussels sprouts and fall cabbages done. A new threat to the germination of the fall crops was detected yesterday so we will see what we can do to pepper spray the fungus gnats that are growing strong in our seeding greenhouses. It is a never ending battle to seed, weed, compost and battle the pest of the week.
If you are tired of driving out to the farm each week, please join the veggie pool. Ana Helena has organized and is willing to hook you up with other members in your general neighborhood to pick up less often and gather veggies for others. Email me and I will forward it on to Ana!
Creamy Dill Sauce
Farmer John’s Cookbook
Great on egg salad, or tossed with cucumbers, or as a sauce for fish or crab cakes.
Serves about ¾ cup
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or sherry wine vinegar
½ teaspoon minced shallots
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt plus more to taste
Freshly ground pepper
1 egg yolk
¼ cup sour cream
3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1. Combine the oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, pinch of salt, and pepper to taste in a large jar. Cover tightly and shake the jar vigorously until the oil and vinegar have thickened.
2. Beat the egg yolk with the sour cream in a separate bowl until well combined.
3. If you’re using a food processor: Process the yolk and sour cream for 30 seconds and then add the vinaigrette in a very thin stream in about three additions, letting the sauce thicken before each addition. If you’re making the dressing by hand: Using a good whisk, beat the yolk and sour cream, then add the vinaigrette and scant tablespoon at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition, until the vinaigrette is fully combined with the egg yolk and sour cream.
4. Once you’ve incorporated the last of the vinaigrette and the sauce is very thick thin it with either the lemon juice (1 or 2 teaspoons) or by vigorously stirring in 1 tablespoon of water.
5. Stir in the dill and add salt and pepper to taste.
Chinese Scallion Pancakes
recipe by Elsa Chen
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for flouring the rolling surface
1 cup water
2 teaspoons oil
A bunch of green onions, green and white parts, chopped medium-fine
A few tablespoons of oil to brush on pancakes (a mix of canola or corn oil and sesame oil is good) some salt A few tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
Mix together the first three ingredients by hand or in a food processor. Flour a surface and knead the dough. Let it rest for 20-30 minutes before continuing.
With a rolling pin, roll the dough out on a well-floured surface into a big, flat square or rectangle 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.
Brush the pancake with a bit of oil, and sprinkle with spring onion pieces and a little salt. Starting at one short end, roll up the dough tightly, jelly-roll style, so you have a “snake.”
Cut the “snake” crosswise into 8 – 10 pieces. Then flatten each piece again gently with your palm and rolling pin to make a little rectangle. Don’t flatten it too firmly, because you want a little air to remain trapped between the layers of the pancakes so they’ll puff up a bit between the layers and be lighter.
Press one or both sides in sesame seeds (optional).
Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large skillet. Shallow fry the pancakes until both sides are golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
Serve plain or with dipping sauce. An easy sauce can be made by mixing soy sauce with a little minced garlic, scallion, and rice vinegar.
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
I decided to include Sue Kass’ greens primer as greens are what we have and this seems to be a good way to make them enjoyable for your family:
“I was thinking today how all the marvelous greens are somewhat a bit daunting for new CSA members, so I will offer a few recipe and a few tips
Tip #1: Lots of the veggies–beets, radishes, broccoli, kohlarabi–come with “greens” that many might neglects. Cook ’em up like you would any other green
Tip #2: Most of those glorious greens can be used interchangeably and/or as you would spinach in things like soups, lasagne, spanokopita, etc
Tip # 3: when you are drowning in greens and the next batch is about to arrive, steam them until wilted in a large skilllet with a few tablespoons of water. Stuff the cooked greens and their
liquid into a ziploc and toss in the freezer. You’ve got quick cooked greens ready to go for a recipe or in the dark of winter when kale is $2.50 a sickly bunch
Tip #4: the more assertive greens, like mustards, bok choy, etc benefit from chopping rather finely if you plan to eat them raw in a salad. I usually dress those in a stronger flavored dressing
and let them marinate a bit more before serving (see dressings below)
Fresh Ginger-Sesame Dressing (for an “asian-style coleslaw but also tames mustard nicely)
1/2 c rice vinegar
1Tb dark sesame oil
1/8 c sugar
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
2 tsp soy sauce
salt, pepper to taste
Thai-Style Lemon Dressing
4 Tbs lemon juice
4 tsp peanut oil
4 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
Toss with a mix of greens, mint, cilantro
Kass family Beans n Greens (we eat this about once a week, year round)
1-2 bunches fresh greens (or equivalent in frozen)
Small onion or large shallot, fnely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, ” ”
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 c. white wine or sherry
1-2 c. cooked beans (I typically use canned drained caneloni or white kidney beans)
Wash greens, leave damp and cook in a large skillet with a few tbs water until just tender. Set aside, reserving liquid.
Wipe out pan and saute onions and garlic and pepper flakes in oil until soft, then add wine and boil until reduced and a bit syrupy.
Meanwhile chop greens.
Add greens back into pan with their juices and with beans; you may need to add a bit of water to make mixture “loose”
Cook for 5-10 minutes more to allow flavors to marry, add salt/black pepper to taste. Serve over rice, quinoa, bulgar or
grain of your choice, sprinkle with parmesan
Empanadas with Greens & Olives–great lunch/picnic way to eat your greens!
Yeasted olive oil dough (see below)
10 c. mixed greens, cleaned/stemmed
2 Tbs olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 c. chopped parsley
red pepper flakes
1/2 c. pitted kalamata oiives, coarsely chopped
1/2 c grated cheese (I’ve done provolone, fontina, jack, parmesan, mozzarella, or mixed)
1 beaten egg.
Make dough and while it is risng, prepare the greens.
Wash greens, don’t dry. Heat oil in a large wide skillet, saute the garlic, onions, pepper, parsley until onions are tender, then add the greens and cook until tender. Gently squeeze the mixture to drain off excess moisture and chop finely. Mix the seasoned greens with olives, cheese, egg. Season to taste w/salt and pepper.
Divide dough into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a 4″ circle. Place 1 1/2 Tb of filling in center of the circle and fold over or fold up edges, pinch well to seal. Place on ungreased sheet and bake 20-30 miutes at 375 until golden brown. Serve hot or at room temperature. Freeze well for later consumption.
Yeasted dough:2 tsp dry yeast, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 c warm water–> Blend and allow to sit 10 minutes or until foamy. Mix in 3 Tbs olive oil, 1 beaten egg and pinch slt. Work in 1 3/4 c. flour (or a little more) until you have a smooth, elastic kneadable dough. Knead briefly, then place in lightly oiled bowl and let rise 45 minutes or more until doubles in bulk. This is a very sturdy and forgiving dough.”