Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2011 CSA Season- Week 3

Letter from the Farm. Finally, we had a week of normal growing weather. We welcome hot, sunny days balanced out by occasional rain showers. When we recently had an overnight rain that was followed by a bright, warm day, Ken aptly commented, “You can practically hear the plants growing today.”
We are still trying to catch up from four weeks lost to bad weather in April and May. We continue to plant seeds and transplant from the greenhouse in between harvesting for the CSA and a couple of farmers markets.
Our plants are popping up and looking very healthy in most cases, yet so are the weeds. So now we begin the summer long project of weed pulling and tractor cultivation to eliminate as many weeds as possible. Part of being organic is that we never kill weeds with petrochemical “herbicides.” We remove them by hand or with mechanically.
On that note, we can ALWAYS use help with weed control. So for all those coming to volunteer on Sunday, we surely have work for you that can help the farm immensely! If you have not RSVP’d and would like to come, please do so asap. If you’ve never pulled weeds before, it requires no special skills and can be pleasantly meditative and extremely rewarding. Sometimes, at the end of the day, we’ll go out and pull weeds just because it can feel therapeutic.
We know it’s a hike for many to get here, but we really look forward to seeing those of you who can make it on Sunday.

-Ken & Maryellen

¾ pound garlic scapes
1 bunch red Russian or Toscano kale
.35 pounds (6 1/3 ounces) Salad Mix
1 bunch baby turnips with (edible) greens
1 bunch beets (with edible greens)
Escarole or bok choy (whichever you did not get last week)
1 bunch Swiss Chard

GARLIC SCAPES. Those curly-cue shoots in this week’s share are garlic scapes (see pic above). They’re a flowering shoot that gets snapped off the garlic plant shortly after they appear so that the plant’s energy stays focused on developing a large, healthy bulb underground. Snap a scape in half, and you’ll recognize the bright aroma of early-season garlic. Scapes store really well (refrigerate in a sealed bag, and they’ll hold for at least a couple of weeks). Use them chopped or minced in whatever you’d normally use garlic. You can sauté or stir fry. Grill whole. Chop and add to pasta, salad, eggs… It’s incredibly versatile. Have fun experimenting with it on your own or in this pesto recipe—which would be great with pasta, especially a filled pasta, or as a spread on a sandwich.

RECIPE: Garlic Scape PestoAdapted from A Mighty Appetite blog by Kim O’Donnell, published online by The Washington Post

For ½ pound short pasta such as penne, add about 2 tablespoons of pesto to cooked pasta and stir until pasta is well coated.

1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes), top flowery part removed, cut into ¼-inch slices
1/3 cup walnuts
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional: To bring out the flavor of the walnuts, gently toast them over medium-low heat in a skillet until fragrant. Remove from the skillet immediately. Let cool before processing.

Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until blended. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add parmigiano to taste; add salt and pepper to taste.

Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for one week. Or freeze in a thin layer in a sealed freezer bag. Break off a portion of the frozen pesto to use as needed—to flavor pastas or soups or spread on a sandwich.

1 comment:

The Barons said...

Just wanted to thank you for all the great vegetables...this week we've had 2 of the best meals we've had in a long time! On Tuesday we had Swiss Chard Pie (using the swiss chard and garlic scapes). And then tonight we had Bok Choy Fried Rice (using the bok choy and scallions). We are thoroughly enjoying eating all the delicious fruit that your farm produces!

Kim Baron