Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Good Eats Newsletter - June 27th, 2012

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun, Zucchini, Fennel, Celery, Overwintered Onions, Italian Kale, Napa Cabbage, Chioggia Beets, Garlic Scapes and Cilantro
Localvore Offerings Include:
Red Hen Cyrus Pringle Batard    
Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs
Les Aliments Massawippi Miso
Vermont Soy Artisan Tofu
Small Veggie Only Members
Mesclun Mix; Fennel, Leeks, Italian Kale, Chioggia Beets
plus out of the bag...

Tomatoes (packed in small paper bags)
July 4th Week
We will be delivering to MOST sites as normal on Wed July 4th.
The following sites are closed on July 4th:
True Colors/ Montpelier
Concept 2/ Morrisville
Sweet Clover /Essex
Marvins Store/Johnson
(Marvins's is not closed!  but we will not deliver July 4th)
We will deliver shares
to these sites on
Thurs July 5th
If you are going to be away next week, email me by Friday to donate your share or skip the delivery and retain a credit on your account.
First Meat Share Delivery is July 4th
unless your share site is closed, see above
Good Eats CSA Update

How did the first week of the Spring Share go for you? 
We had a pretty good pick up across all sites with just a few snafus. 
Thank you to all of you for being careful with pick up. 
I am hoping that instructions were clear and easy to follow.  Please let me know if you had any difficulties or have any questions.  Because so many are new this share and we have had new folks join us this week, I am posting the pick up instructions again below.
Hope you enjoyed the first week of your share!
We have room for more members this summer so if you have friends or family who you think may be interested in joining us, have them get in touch or send them to the website to explore.
For those of you joining us this week
There are more tidbits of pick up information in last week's newsletter.  You can view that newsletter and the archive of past newsletters here and on the blog page of our website.  ~ Amy

Share Pick-Up Instructions! Please review.
Whether you are a seasoned CSA share member or new to Good Eats, it's important to review the pick-up instructions before you head out to pick up your share!

Clipboard #1,
Find your name on the Names List - Find your name on the pick-up list and check it off.  The first clipboard contains a list of all share members at your site. Note that only one name is listed for each share. If you can't find your name on the list, look for your share partner's name (only one of you is listed). Checking off your name lets us know who has picked up and is extremely helpful in solving any mysteries at the end of the day. If you can't find your name or your share partner's name, please don't take a share! Call or email us and we'll figure it out.

Check your share type on the Names  List. Share types are Localvore, Localvore Vegetarian, Veggie Only, Small Veggie Only, Pete's Pantry or Meat Share. If you are listed incorrectly or have questions, let us know.

Clipboard #2,
Pick-Up Instructions - Select your items by following the Pick-Up Instructions. These are posted on the second clipboard. Follow the specific item list/instructions to assemble your share. The top section of the pick up list describes what to select for the vegetable portion of the  share. The bottom section of the Pick-Up Instructions lists the localvore (non-vegetable) items that Localvore and Pete's Pantry members should select.

If you are sharing a share with someone - coordinate with your share-mate to make sure that you DON'T take double the amount of any items. All shares are packed and delivered to the sites are whole shares.

IF you have a problem at pick up, if your food is not there for you, email me to let me know as soon as possible!

Please note that the first Meat Share pick up is not this week, it is the first Wednesday of every month starting July 4th.
Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.
Storage and Use Tips
Each week I'll give you storage tips if there are veggies in the share some of you may not be familiar with.  Most of these tips are our website too, so please get acquainted with and bookmark the recipe and storage tip section of our website. I am sure you will find it useful.
Fennel  - (All Members) - NOTE!  Today's fennel was so crazy tall that we had to fold it over to fit in your bag!  Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with the flavor of anise. It is delicious and slightly sweet served raw but is just as often served cooked on its own or in other dishes. Most often associated with Italian cooking, it has an uncanny ability to blend with other flavors adding a light and fresh note. It is delightful in many dishes, and in soups and stews and sauces. Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. The stalks are topped with feathery green leaves near which flowers grow and produce fennel seeds. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. To prepare, trim off the fronds and stalks and reserve them for garnish or seasoning. Cut off the hard bottom and slice vertically or into quarters. Or cut the bulb in half lengthwise, cut out the core, and cut into strips. Add it raw to salads or try some thinly sliced fennel on your sandwich. Top thinly sliced fennel with plain yogurt and mint leaves. Or braise, roast or saute' it. It is done when tender enough to pierce easily with a skewer.
Beets and Beet Greens - (All members) This week you will all find one of the prettiest beets around in your share.  These are chioggias, bright red/hot pint on the outside, and striped on the inside.  These beauties are gorgeous sliced thin or grated into salads, and they retain their stripes when you roast them - cool!  Right now while we are in full on gorgeous salad season I have been using up all my beets raw.  I have been grating them and placing them in a tupperware early in the week and then sprinkling them into salads all week.   Don't forget your beet greens, they are another veggie bunch ready to nourish you!  I have been tossing them into any dishes I am cooking  and I love them in a yogurt, banana, carrot, beet greens/chard smoothie. Do separate beet greens from the beets and store each separately, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag. 
Overwintered Onions - (Regular Veggie/Localvore Bag) - These are yellow onions we planted and let grow in ground through winter.  It's always interesting to see how well they do.  The tops are browned from weathering but the bulbs will make great additions to the sauce pan this week.
Garlic Scapes - (Regular Veggie/Localvore Bag) The curly soon-to-be-flowering-if-we-didn't-pick-them stalks that a garlic plant sends up at this time of year are a short season delicacy. With a mellow green but garlicky flavor, they can be eaten raw or cooked and are delicious added to many dishes. Add to stir fry recipes, pasta dishes, guacamole, salsas, vegetable dishes. They are also good in salads and on bruschetta & pizza and so many more ways.  You can also make a mild pesto with scapes.
Please share your comments about the veggie info you DON'T find, but wish was there!
Localvore Lore
At Ren Hen, Randy is working on this week's bread.
We're making Cyrus Pringle this week-- the original loaf made entirely with VT-grown wheat.  85% of the wheat in this bread is milled at Champlain Valley Mills from wheat grown on Aurora Farms in Charlotte.  The other 15% is a stone ground and lightly sifted flour from Gleason Grains in Bridport.  Ben has been growing and milling wheat in Bridport for 30 years and this year, for the first time ever, he has had to buy some wheat from Quebec to fulfill his orders.  We just started using the first batch of that flour, and it's working quite well.  Wheat-growing in Vermont takes a lot of skill and some good luck as well.  The latter was not on most Vermont farmers' side last year.  The wet weather reduced Ben's yield significantly.  The few farmers that grow wheat here are watching the weather carefully over the next 3 to 4 weeks as the wheat needs dry weather in this final period to insure a good crop.  We're making the loaves for this week's share in a long, narrow shape (the French refer to this as a "batard") that you can't find in stores.  This shape makes it nicer for sandwiches and toast.
Every other week we'll deliver eggs laid by "the girls" at Pa Pa Doodles Farm in Albany, VT. Deb Rosewolf is one of our year round employees at Pete's Greens and several years ago Pete talked Deb into taking the farm's small flock over to her house. Deb now keeps 400 hens and exclusively supplies us with eggs. Every day, Deb loads her truck up with leftover veggie scraps that she feeds to her chickens and they free range at her place too.  As a result, Pa Pa Doodles eggs have rich orange yolks and firm whites. Seven Days Eva Sollberger visited Deb and the hens for a Stuck in Vermont episode. Check out the video!
Owners of Les Aliments Massawippi Gilbert and Suzanne made the superb Soy Barley Miso in the share today. The two are big supporters of local growers. Their oats come from Michel Gaudreau, you all will receive grains from Michel's farm in coming weeks. Their soy beans come from a grower within 60 kilometers of their facility, and their Quebec barley is processed on the south shore of Montreal.  To make this miso, Suzanne and Gilbert begin by introducing their own lactobacilli culture to washed oats. After culturing for 45 hours, they have what is called, "koji," the basis for making their miso. At this point, they will mix in soy that has been soaked and then slowly cooked for 20 hours. This part of the process takes around 4 days. The next phase of miso production is fermentation. Gilbert and Suzanne ferment their miso very carefully controlling the temperature, humidity and oxygen levels. Their fermentation chamber is on premises, and is held at a continuous 60F. The soya barley variety in the share this week ferments for 1-2 years.  As a fermented product, miso will keep in your fridge many years. There are so many delicious and interesting ways to eat miso. To make a cup, mix a heaping teaspoon of miso with cold water to make a paste. Then, stir in hot (but not boiling water) to make a hot breakfast beverage, midday pick-me-up or soup base for a meal. As miso is a living food, try not to cook it, rather, stir it in at the end of cooking once the pan is off the heat.
To pair with the miso this week we have Vermont Soy Artisan Tofu. Vermont Soy makes their tofu from non GMO and organic soybeans grown in Vermont. For a number of years they have been working in conjunction with High Mowing Seeds on seed trials to better equip their farmers with varieties that can be grown more and more successfully here in our climate. The work that they, the farmers, and the UVM extension service is doing is a real service to VT agriculture.  Soybeans are important to organic crop rotations because they actually put nitrogen back into the soil that so many other crops pull out.  If you don't cook a lot with tofu, scroll on down to the recipe section.  There some good tips there.

Ginger Miso Soba Noodle Soup
A very versatile and very QUICK soup to make on a drizzly day.  Like today.  And tomorrow.
1 carrot sliced thin (or zucchini, fennel or beets)
1 small onion diced (or leeks)
4 cups water
2 handfuls of fresh beet greens, kale, or Napa, sliced cross wise
2 inch piece of fresh ginger minced
100g soba noodles (rice noodles great too)
2 tablespoons miso (whisked in warm water, then added to soup)
2 scallions sliced thin (white and green parts) for garnish (or garlic scapes, or fennel fronds)
Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions, veggies and ginger (not greens yet). Saute for about five minutes. Add the water not quite to a boil. Add your two handfuls of greens. Stir until the greens begin to wilt. Next, add the noodles and continue with heat until they have softened. Finally, in a small bowl, whisk together the miso with about 1/4 cup of water, then add this to the soup. Miso should never be boiled. Just mix the soup well, Remove from heat. Serve. Reheat gently when you have it as a leftover.
Chioggia Beet and Fennel Salad
A delightful salad for this week pairing these two pretty veggies.  I like the citrus vinaigrette combo but another light sweet dressing works great.  In my house, maple balsamic vinaigrette is ths staple dressing on hand, and I don't often have oranges and lemons hanging around.  But it you do, great, it will be lovely.

4 chioggia beets
1 head fennel
Juice of one orange
Juice of two lemons
Zest of one orange
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1/4 cup walnuts
4-6 cups mixed greens – lettuces, arugula
2-4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
2 tablespoons minced chopped fennel fronds (or chives, parsley, or mint)

Cut the greens off the top of the beets and reserve for later use. Peel the beets with a vegetable peeler. Using a slicer or mandolin, thinly slice the beets. Stacking a few slices, use a chef’s knife to cut the beets into narrow strips. Or grate in a food processor. Place in a medium bowl.
Remove the fennel fronds. Remove the tough outer layers and cut in half lengthwise (from the top, where the fronds were, through the core end.) Remove the triangular shaped core at the base. Using the slicer or mandolin, thinly slice the fennel. Rinse the slices, dry with a paper towel, and slice into narrow strips, just as with the beets. Add to the bowl with the beet strips.

For the vinaigrette, place the orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest and olive oil in a small, sealable container. Shake vigorously. Season with salt.
Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat and add walnuts to skillet. Toast until fragrant and starting to color, then remove from heat.  Allow to cool, and coarsely chop.
Place the mixed greens in a large bowl with fennel and beets. Dress with vinaigrette. Taste, season with salt if needed or more vinaigrette. Top with the crumbled goat cheese, chopped walnuts, and minced fennel fronds (or other herb choices).
Fennel and Kale Pasta
A good solid recipe from Cooks Illustrated.  This one is also yummy with a bit os sundried tomato or even dried cranberries added in.
1 Fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch kale, parboiled, stems removed
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp tarragon (skippable)
1 tsp garlic powder (I'd use 2-3 cloves garlic, but I can't help myself, it's probably too much)
1 cup white wine
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 Parmesan
1/4 cup walnuts
1lbs. fettuccine, boiled al dente
Cook fennel and onion in olive oil slowly over medium heat until tender and beginning to brown.
Add white wine, walnuts and seasonings, cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir in kale and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Do not allow kale to becoming overly wilted.
During final minute of cooking stir in balsamic vinegar and Parmesan. Remove from heat.
Stir in cooked, drained pasta and toss.
Serve with chopped fennel fronds, fresh ground black pepper, Parmesan and drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Miso Baked Tofu
Mark Bittman's method for baked tofu is below. Baked tofu is great for a quick snack, it can be tossed in salads, stir frys, sandwiches, miso soup etc.  Served alongside beet greens and rice, this is simple healthy, yummy meal.

warm cooked rice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Dry the tofu with paper towels - just blot off the water. Mix 1 TB of miso with white wine, veg stock, or water just to brushable consistency. Brush the tofu liberally with this mixture. Place in a baking pan. Bake for about 1 hour undisturbed. It's done when the crust is lightly browned and firm. Remove and use immediately or cool, wrap, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Notes on Preparing Tofu
Freezing is the only way to store tofu for long periods.  But even in the short term it creates a darker, firmer, chewier, and meatier brick. Freezing makes the water in tofu expand; when thawed, this water is released, resulting in tofu with a dry and spongy texture that's perfect for grilling, stir-fries, or braised dishes.
To freeze, drain the tofu and pay it dry; wrap it in plastic (or put in a container) and freeze for several hours, or until you need it, up to three months. For extra chew, cut the tofu into cubes, dry them well, and freeze them in a freezer bag. Allow enough time to defrost tofu before slicing and cooking.

Squeezing: Here you just press some of the liquid from a brick to give it a drier and firmer texture that makes it denser and easier to handle and cook. Cut the tofu in half through its equator and put the halves on four sheets of paper towels, then cover with another four sheets. Cover with a can of food, a heavy cutting board, or a similar weight so the tofu bulges at the sides slightly but doesn't crack. Wait 20 to 30 minutes, or as time allows (even the few minutes it takes you to prepare other ingredients will help); change the towels if they become saturated. Of course, the longer you squeeze the tofu, the more liquid it will release and the drier it will become. (Drier tofu absorbs more flavors, which is especially important for marinating.)
Sesame Ginger Beet Greens
Serve this with Miso Baked Tofu on a bed of brown rice or pearled barley.

1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
4 cups loosely packed beet greens
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated gingerroot
1 pinch salt
1/2 tsp sesame oil
In small skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds until golden, about 3 minutes; set aside.

Trim stems from small young beet greens or remove centre rib from larger mature beet greens.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beet greens, garlic, ginger and salt.  Cover and steam until greens are wilted, about 3 minutes. Drizzle with sesame oil; sprinkle with reserved sesame seeds.

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