Winter 2016 CSA - week 4

Winter 2016 – Week 4

What’s in the box?

*Fingerling potatoes, *Orange Carrots, *Purple Carrots, *Swiss Chard, *Red Russian Kale, *Leeks, *Savoy Cabbage, *Baking Potatoes, Yellow Onions, Sunchokes, Parsnips, Cameo Apples, D’Anjou Pears, Baby Boc Choy, Black Sheep Creamery Cheese
*grown on our farm

 

PLEASE TAKE ONE PACKAGE OF CHEESE.
Cheese is packed separately from your veggies to keep it cold.

We are delighted to have a variety of vegetables from our farm once again this week, plus a smattering of other Northwest goodies.  One of the more unusual selections today is the bag of Jerusalem Artichokes, also known as sunchokes.  Sunchokes, or Helianthus tuberosus, are related to sunflowers, and sport a mildly artichoke-like flavor that helps give them their name.  They are known both to be delicious raw AND to cause stomach rumbling/gas when consumed raw, so I leave it to you to determine how you will eat them.  I have included a recipe for cooked sunchokes below.

I’ve marked all items from our farm with an asterisk (*).  The other produce is certified organic and grown as indicated in the list on the left.  We do have one California item this delivery, to my dismay.  I try to keep the boxes as local as possible, but we just don’t have the temperatures to launch the  next season of veggies the way we’d like to, and it’s a fine dance between giving you a variety of greens and roots, and keeping it close to home.  Thanks for your understanding, and if you’re okay with more beets, rutabaga & potatoes, don’t hesitate to let us know!

As always, if you have any questions about time or location of your delivery, please log into your account at our website or contact us at the farm.

Yours,
Heidi

 

 

Sunchoke and Potato Gratin
Adapted from First Look, Then Cook: http://firstlookthencook.com/2010/02/07/sunchoke-and-potato-gratin/

2 shallots, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp olive oil, plus more to grease pan
1 Tbsp butter
10 sunchokes (about golf-ball sized), peeled, sliced thin
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1/4 cup milk
1 cup Black Sheep Creamery cheese
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Add 1 tsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter to skillet.  Add shallot and sauté over medium heat, careful not to brown heavily.  When shallot is translucent, add garlic cloves; cook until just fragrant.  Remove from heat.

Grease a 9×9 ceramic dish lightly with olive oil. Layer the potatoes evenly in the dish covering the entire bottom.  Sprinkle with nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Layer the sunchokes evenly covering the potatoes.  Sprinkle the shallot/garlic mixture on top of the sunchokes – and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.  Pour milk all over the vegetables.  Sprinkle with the cheese.

Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for about 45 minutes.  Take the cover off and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Make sure the sunchokes are soft – if not cook a little longer.

Ginger/Garlic Savoy Cabbage
from: http://www.food.com/recipe/ginger-garlic-savoy-cabbage-15832

1 head savoy cabbage (about 1 1/2 lbs), cored, shredded across in approx 3/4-inch slices
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
Salt & pepper
1 1/4 Tablespoons ginger, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Heat wok or large skillet medium high heat, wait until oil is hot.  Add cabbage and stir fry until cabbage just starts to wilt (do nor overcook).  Add garlic, salt and pepper cook 1 minute.  Add ginger cook 1 minute.  Drizzle with lime juice and serve.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/220583/glazed-carrots-and-parsnips-with-chives/print/?recipeType=Recipe&servings=8

Simple Parsnip Pancakes
Adapted from recipe by Catherine Boynton: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/239758/simple-parsnip-pancakes/?internalSource=recipe%20hub&referringId=2449&referringContentType=recipe%20hub

1 cup grated scrubbed parsnips
2 eggs
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Ground black pepper to taste (optional)
2 teaspoons sunflower oil, or more as needed
Combine parsnips, eggs, onion, olive oil, salt, rosemary, and black pepper together in a bowl until batter is combined and lumpy.
Heat sunflower oil in a heavy frying pan over medium heat. Spoon batter into oil and fry until pancakes are brown and crispy on the edges, 6 to 7 minutes per side.

Winter 2016 CSA - Week 2

Winter 2016 – Week 2

What’s in the Box:

*Swiss Chard, *Kale-Purple, *Carrots , *Rutabaga, *Baking potatoes,
*Leeks, *Garlic, *Thyme, Yellow Onions (WA O), Parsnips (OR O),
Shallots (WA O), Fuji Apples (WA O), D’Anjou Pears (WA O),
Black Sheep Creamery Cheese (Adna, WA)
*grown on our farm

PLEASE TAKE ONE PACKAGE OF CHEESE.
Cheese is packed separately from your veggies to keep it cold.

Greetings from the Boistfort Valley!  The sunny weather has made me grateful and itchy to get outside and work, but the temperature fluctuations remind me of our reality.  Still, it’s nice to go out and trim back the perennials that escaped our attention during the busy seasons, soaking up a little sunshine as a side bonus.

I’ve marked all items from our farm with an asterisk (*).  The other produce is certified organic, Washington or Oregon grown.

Our cheese selection is from Black Sheep Creamery, located about 10 miles from us in Adna, Washington. Brad and Meg Gregory have owned the farm since 1992, and began making cheese over 10 years ago.  They just opened a retail store in downtown Chehalis, so if you’re in the area, stop in to say hello and to try a variety of their products.

“Bastille” cheese is aged two months and tastes young and creamy.  It is a washed curd, Sheep Cow Blend which is quite delicious.  Read more about Black Sheep Creamery, and see the sheep (and lambs!) at their website: http://blacksheepcreamery.com/

As always, if you have any questions about time or location of your delivery, please log into your account at our website or contact us at the farm.

Yours,
Heidi

 

 

 

Roasted Parsnips Recipe

Adapted from: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/roasted_parsnips/

1 1/2 pounds of parsnips, scrubbed, quartered lengthwise, cut into sticks (think French fry size)

1 generous Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup of low sodium vegetable broth
3 Tablespoons butter, softened

4 teaspoons drained, bottled horseradish (how to make homemade horseradish)

2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley or thyme (stems removed)

1 garlic clove, minced.

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. In a large roasting pan, toss the parsnips with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Add the broth, cover and roast, stirring once or twice, until the parsnips are just tender and the stock has evaporated or been absorbed, 20-30 minutes. Remove cover and allow liquid to evaporate and parsnips to brown slightly in places.  Depending on your oven, you may have to broil them briefly to avoid overcooking.

Combine the softened butter with the horseradish, parsley, chives and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Toss the warm roasted parsnips with the horseradish-herb butter and serve.

Leek and Root Vegetable Gratin
Adapted from http://www.recipe.com/leek-and-root-vegetable-gratin/

8 ounces Gruyere or Muenster cheese, shredded (2 cups)

1 Tablespoon finely chopped thyme and/or parsley

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 large rutabaga (about 1 lb.), peeled and thinly sliced

1 pound baking potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced

2-3 leeks (2 cups), cleaned and thinly sliced

1 pound large parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced (you received 1 1/2 lbs)

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

Assorted fresh herbs for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In small bowl toss together cheese and chopped herbs; set aside. Coat a 3 qt. rectangular baking dish with olive oil. Layer half the turnip slices on the bottom of the dish, sprinkling salt, pepper, and 3 to 4 tablespoons the cheese mixture.  Follow with half the potato slices, half the leek slices, half the parsnip slices, and half the sweet potato slices, seasoning and adding cheese to each layer. Repeat, ending with sweet potato slices. Reserve remaining cheese mixture.

Cover with foil. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle remaining cheese mixture over top. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Continue baking, uncovered, 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Remove from oven. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


Pears with Bastille, Leeks and Fresh Thyme

Don’t layer your pears too much-you want them to get a little crispy around the edges.  If you don’t have the time to put this into the oven, just slice up the cheese and the pears and eat them together.

1 small leek, cleaned, stem sliced into thin coins

1 Tablespoon butter

1 medium D’Anjou pear

6-8 thin slices Black Sheep Creamery Bastille Cheese

A handful of sprigs of thyme

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sauté the leek gently in butter, until soft and slightly browned in places, about 5 minutes. Slice the pear into thin slices (about 8 slices, keeping the odd bits to eat as you go).  Grease a glass baking dish with a bit of butter, and lay the pear slices in a single layer.  Top each pear with 1 slice of cheese and lay thyme across crosswise.  Bake, uncovered at 350 for 25 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and pears are soft and a little crispy at the edges.  You may finish these with a quick broil to brown a bit.  (Note: thyme stems aren’t to be eaten)

2015 Summer CSA Share

Summer 2015 – September, Week 10

What’s in the Box:

Green, Yellow, and Roma Italian beans
Austrian Crescent potatoes
Swiss Chard
Beets
Cucumbers
Crookneck Squash
Sweet onions
Cherry tomatoes
Thyme

 

Greetings Friends,
Mike here! In the office by dim light hustling to finish the notes I promised to write this morning then promptly forgot about. Ooops.

Fall is officially here and we will soon be saying good bye to the summer squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes. We have bumper crops of all the fall favorites, and frankly this is my favorite time of year to eat out of the field. You can still have a ripe tomato, or scrounge a little basil, and the cabbage and other cole crops are huge and lush. The greens are not stressed by hot days, and the potatoes have been in storage just long enough to sweeten up a bit.

On the subject of Fall, please remember that because of our late start this season, if you purchased the summer share, you will be receiving the two holiday deliveries; one in late November, the other in late December. These are usually offered separately. We will be marketing these ‘holiday’ shares to others outside our Summer membership. So, if you receive an offer to purchase them, kindly disregard it. You are in like Flynn. These two deliveries are among my favorites. They are a bit larger than our usual weekly deliveries, and the fall and winter vegetables are soooooo sweet after a frost.

When I looked over the contents of this week’s box I got hungry for pasta. I have included a recipe for Pasta Primavera, I cannot stress strongly enough what a great catch-all dish this is. You can use nearly any vegetables that are in the fridge. I love a plate of Pasta Primavera especially with a good sharp cheese; and it’s easy, and it’s fast, and if you do it right you only have two pots to wash! I enjoy cooking, especially for friends and family, and few recipes garner so much praise for so little effort.

Enjoy!
Mike

 

Pasta Primavera
A few things you should know:

Water and Salt: Always add a big pinch of salt to the pasta water and do not skimp on the amount of water used to cook pasta. I use about a gallon/pound and probably a big tablespoon of salt. Heat the water to a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook UNCOVERED. Use tongs to stir it occasionally and after about 7 minutes start checking it by pulling a strand out and cutting it. In cross section you will see a white core indicating that it is not quite done, as this core vanishes your pasta is ready. Al dente pasta will have just a hint of white in the center. For this dish, because you are going to cook the pasta a bit more, you will want a noticeable but barely so white core.

Sautee: Vegetables while the pasta cooks. Have them all prepped and ready to go before you drop the pasta in the water. If you are sharp and focused you can do this while the water heats. I have used just about every vegetable imaginable, but this week’s box has some of my favorites.

Slice one of the onions paper thin. Snap the stems from the beans and cut into bite size pieces. I especially like the Roma beans for this dish. Cut summer squash into bite size chunks. Thinly slice a good handful of chard leaves. Strip about 3 tablespoons of thyme from its stems. You can use anything that sounds good… anything. I have used beets, rutabaga, turnip, you name it. The traditional Italian vegetables are always a hit.

Sautee: the vegetables in olive oil in a large cast pan while the pasta is cooking; when they are tender turn off the heat.

Scoop: And here is the secret… scoop a mug full of the starchy pasta water off before draining the pasta. Pour this into the pan of vegetables and simmer to create a light sauce. At this point add the thyme and thinly sliced chard and sauté until the chard is just wilted.

Toss: Add the pasta to the pan of vegetables and toss as you would a salad using the tongs over medium heat for a few minutes. Add more pasta water if necessary. You can also toss this all in a large bowl if your pan isn’t large enough.

Stir: In some butter or olive oil and a generous handful of grated sharp cheese; quality counts on the cheese.

Toss again and you are ready for the plate. When you serve this dish serve it hot. Grab a healthy tong-full, hold it over the plate and lower it slowly as you turn the plate and the tongs in opposite directions. This will leave a pyramid of pasta Primavera.

Throw: A few grape or cherry tomatoes, washed and halved, on top of each plate.

Serve with grated cheese and coarse salt.

2015_april_week2

Winter 2015 – April, Week 2

What’s in the box?

Leeks*, Potatoes*, Bunch Beets*, Cameo Apples
D’Anjou Pears, Cauliflower, Curly Parsley*
Swiss Chard, Radishes, Mesclun Salad
Johnson Berry Farms Jam
*from our farm

 

Dear Members,

The weather is glorious here today, the greenhouses are full, and we are busily preparing for your delivery. Despite the favorable weather we find ourselves a bit behind this spring. I have found that tasks expand to fill the time available to complete them, and this season is no different.

The potatoes included in this week’s delivery are stored from our harvest last Autumn. Since we don’t treat them with anything, they tend to sprout eyes; an excellent reminder that we’re eating living food! The sprouts are easily removed when scrubbing your potatoes.

Johnson Berry Farm, what can I say? JJ and Lisa are top notch folks that have continued the tradition of agriculture while the neighborhood around them has exploded with growth. The Johnson’s home farm is located just outside the transition from East Olympia to Lacey, and I was flabbergasted by the amount of traffic as I dodged and weaved my way through the narrow roads to their house, getting lost only once and not too badly. The original farm house has been converted into a commercial kitchen, and the Johnson’s live next door. Another tradition in agriculture is standing around leaning against the side rails of a pick-up truck and talking. This can go on for quite some time, and if seen from the road will draw others. Such was the case when I picked up the jam included in this week’s delivery. I had a wonderful visit with Lisa and JJ and their friend John, missing my dinner date, but getting to catch up on all the goings on.

Johnson Jams are not a certified organic product. They are made with organic ingredients including the Johnsons’ berries and rhubarb. I called this morning when I noticed this, and talked to JJ about why he has chosen to keep this info off the labeling. In short, he intends to certify the product soon and recommended that I go inside and have some toast and jam. He made a good point. What a pleasure to offer an excellent local jam and spend dollars with producers who put out a quality product with integrity: Johnson Berry Farms. http://johnsonberryfarms.com/

Full disclosure: We tried our best to source a local mesclun but when it came down to the wire we had to include a CA product, for this I apologize. I have no real qualm with CA produce, but it just doesn’t belong in our program. We make every effort to shop within 300 miles but, try as we might, we just couldn’t close the gap entirely this year.

 

Enjoy!

 

Mike