Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Good Eats Weekly Newsletter - May 11th, 2016

Weekly updates on CSA contents, storage and use tips, recipes, and news from around the farm
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Summer CSA! 

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In Your Share This Week:

Full Veggie Share
Mesclun, European Cucumber, Basil, Garlic Scallions,
Mixed Carrots, Viking Potatoes, Onions
(Out of the bag: Frozen Corn or Peppers, Frozen Squash Puree)

Half Veggie Share
Bunched Greens, Cilantro, Lettuce,
Mixed Carrots, Viking Potatoes, Onions
(Out of the bag: Frozen Corn or Peppers)

Localvore/Pete's Pantry
McFarline Apiaries Honey, Gleason's Sifted Pastry Flour,
Tangletown/Axel's Eggs

Around the Farm

We are planting potatoes this week! Steve and Poli are planting acres of seed potatoes, including all the many different varieties we send out in the CSA. These will be harvested throughout the summer and fall, and many will be stored next winter. I caught up with the tractor while they were planting Modoc potatoes, overlooking the mountains of Craftsbury and the surrounding towns. It' a beautiful day to be out in the fields!

Storage and Use Tips
Mesclun - Full share members will have a bag of mesclun this week. This week's salad greens are a mix of arugula, mizuna, claytonia, lettuce, and tatsoi. These will make delicious fresh salads of all sorts.

Bunched Greens - Half share members will receive bunched greens this week, including giant mustard, pac choi, and red Russian kale. These bunches are great for salads as well as braising in a pan with oil or butter and a small amount of liquid. Here's a great simple recipe for braising your greens. Store loosely wrapped in your crisper drawer until use.

Basil - Full share members will receive basil this week. This versatile herb is a member of the mint family. It is a staple in Mediterranean cooking as well as Thai, Vietnamese, and Laotian. The herb is highly aromatic, or put another way, the oils in basil are highly volatile. Thus, it is best to add the herb near the end of the cooking process, so it will retain its maximum essence and flavor. Basil should be kept in a plastic bag or kept stems down in a glass of water with plastic over the leaves for about a week with regular water changing.  Keep your basil out of the extreme cold as it could damage the fragile leaves.

Cilantro - Half share members will receive cilantro this week. A member of the carrot family and related to parsley, cilantro is the leaves and stems of the coriander plant (the seeds of the same plant are the spice known as coriander). Cilantro has a very pungent odor and is widely used in Mexican, Caribbean and Asian cooking. The leaves and stems can be chopped and added to salads, soups and sauces, and can garnish many meals. Wash and gently dry your cilantro with paper towels. Then put sprigs loosely in a plastic bag and use as needed.

Garlic Scallions - Garlic scallions, or green garlic, are young garlic plants that have not bulbed up yet. While these little gems look a lot like bunching onions, take a closer look and you'll see that their leaves are flat, not tubular, and they have a distinct garlic aroma. It can be stored in your fridge wrapped in a wet paper towel and wrapped in plastic for about a week. To prep, treat it like a small leek: trim off the very bottom of the bulb, and use all of the tender white and light green parts. Dark green leaves can be saved for stock.

European Cucumbers - These long, skinny cukes taste like a burst of summer. Ideally they like to be kept at about 50 degrees or they may go soft in a couple days. But you can keep them bagged and toss them in the crisper drawer; they'll keep a few days longer than that. But this time of year, they get eaten too fast for storage to be an issue...

Head Lettuce - Half members will get either head lettuce or arugula this week. These tender heads should be wrapped in plastic and stored in your crisper drawer. Perfect for salads, sandwiches, tacos, and more. Enjoy!

Rainbow Carrots - Multiple varieties of sweet winter carrots provide the rainbow of colors found in these roots. If you don't use your carrots right away, store them in your crisper drawer to make sure they retain needed moisture.

Viking Potatoes - Wilcox potatoes are beautiful purple potatoes.  They are nicely textured, firm but not waxy, and wonderful whether roasted, boiled, or sliced into wedges or fried.  They have a full earthy flavor that hints of hazelnuts.  For best visual and nutritional effects, leave the skin on while cooking.

Onions - This week's onions once again come from our neighbors at Riverside Farm. They had a beautiful onion crop that is holding up well for us. Onions are best stored in a cool, dark place.

Frozen Veggies - This week, everyone will take one bag of either corn OR peppers. If you get a green bag, you also get a squash puree. This squash makes a great substitute for tomato sauce in a veggie lasagna!

Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section.  I am sure you will find it useful.

Localvore Lore

This week's share includes:
Honey from McFarline Apiaries, Lemon Fair Sifted Pastry Flour from Gleason's Grains, and Eggs from Tangletown Farm and Axel's Eggs.

A special treat for you this week is raw Vermont Honey from McFarline Apiary. Tim McFarline is a beekeeper from Benson, VT. Tim's honey is raw, and has never been heated so it retains all vitality and enzymes. We are grateful for the bees without whom our crops could not be pollinated.

Gleason Grains' Lemon Fair Pastry Flour is coming to you as a practical yet special treat before Thanksgiving. Ben Gleason in Bridport has been growing exceptional winter and spring wheat for over 20 years, which he harvests and mills into whole wheat flours. This pastry flour is sifted to remove a small percentage of the bran, making it a wonderful flour for pastry and cakes.

This week, you will receive fresh Pasture-Raised Eggs from either Tangletown Farm or from Axel's Eggs. Lila and Dave of Tangletown Farm in West Glover are committed to quality and sustainability on their diversified farm, where they raise pastured meats and sell us delicious eggs! Axel McKenzie has been in the egg business since the age of 8 (approximately four years) and is growing his business on his family's farm in Craftsbury. In the winter these hens have had a yummy varied diet including leftover shoots and greens from our farm!


Cucumber Dill Salad

1 seedless European cucumber
1 medium white onion

1 tsp dill
½ cup white vinegar
2 cups water
1 tbs kosher salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ cup sugar

Using a mandoline (preferred) or a knife, cut cucumber into very thin slices.
Slice onion slightly thicker-maybe 1/16-inch. Cut round onion slices in half and separate.
Mix brine ingredients stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved.
Place cucumbers and onions in a non-reactive (ceramic, glass or stainless steel) large bowl.
Pour brine over cucumber mixture and stir to make sure it is immersed in the brine.
Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours.

Easy Vegetarian Pho

Toasty spices and veggies are simmered in vegetable broth and ladled over silky rice noodles and crispy pan-fried tofu before being topped with hoisin sauce and fresh herbs to make this restaurant-worthy vegan pho. The best part? It comes together in less than an hour!

2 quarts vegetable broth
1 large onion, quartered
4 inch piece fresh ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
4-6 whole star anise*
4 whole cloves
2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
8 oz. rice noodles
1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
1 cup julienned carrots

For Topping:
lime wedges
hoisin sauce
sriracha sauce
soy sauce
jalapeƱo slices
fresh cilantro
fresh basil

Pour vegetable broth into a large pot and place over high heat. Bring to a simmer.
While broth heats up, place onion and ginger onto baking sheet and place under broiler. Cook until lightly charred on top, about 4 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. Rotate and cook until charred on opposite sides. Add onion and ginger to broth, along with cinnamon, star anise, cloves and soy sauce or tamari. Allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes, adding a bit of water if the mixture reduces too much.

While broth simmers, cook noodles according to package directions. Drain into a colander and rinse with cold water.

Coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet with oil and place over medium heat. Add tofu cubes and cook about 10 minutes, flipping once or twice, until browned on multiple sides. Remove from heat and transfer to a paper towel.

When broth has simmered for at least 30 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove onion, ginger and spices. Add shiitakes and simmer until tender, about 4 minutes. Add carrots and simmer just until slightly tenderized and bright orange, about 1 minute.
Divide noodles and tofu among bowls and ladle broth and veggies over top. Serve with toppings of choice.

Strawberry, Blueberry & Greens Salad with Honey Vinaigrette
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

5-6 cups mixed greens
1 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl; whisk until well combined. {Or, place in a jar and shake until well mixed.}
Combine strawberries, blueberries, and greens. Add dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Serve immediately.

Greens and Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic scapes, or in this case, scallions, make an AMAZING pesto. You can use this pesto on sandwiches, pizza, or on pasta.

4 cups of washed greens, cilantro, or basil
4 young garlic shoots and scapes
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup of pine nuts
½ cup parmesan cheese (optional)
½ cup of olive oil
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon of salt

Process in a food processor, starting with nuts and garlic, then adding greens, oil, and lastly, cheese and seasonings.

Buttermilk Pancakes

If you have some blueberries in the freezer, this would be even better! Makes enough for a hungry family of 4. You can easily cut the recipe by half or refrigerate the extra batter.

3 cups WW pastry flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp salt
cinnamon to taste
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 eggs
2 C buttermilk (or substitute 1 cup yogurt & 1 cup milk)
3 Tbsp melted butter

Whisk together the flour, leavening, cinnamon and salt. Measure the buttermilk into another bowl, beat in the maple syrup, eggs and butter. Combine wet into the dry ingredients with a few swift strokes; some lumps are a good thing here. This is a thick batter.

Cook on a medium hot, lightly greased griddle until a few bubbles form; flip and continue cooking on the other side until cooked through. Adjust heat to avoid burning or cooking too slowly, which will make them tough. Now you can banish pancake mix from your pantry!

Bacon and Potato Quiche

1 prepared pie crust (see below for recipe using your pastry flour)
1 375g package of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 onion, chopped
1 cup potatoes, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups half and half
4 eggs
salt & pepper
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped

Preheat oven to 450F. Line a 9 inch pie plate with refrigerated pie crust, pressing to fit. Prick the bottom with a fork. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly golden.
Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Scoop bacon onto a paper towel lined plate. Drain grease, leaving about 1 tbsp in the skillet.
Add onions, potatoes and thyme to skillet and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk half and half, eggs and salt and pepper. Set aside.
Spread cheddar cheese on the bottom of the pie crust. Top with bacon and veggie mixture. Pour in egg mixture and top with chives.
Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake in a 375F preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until filling is set. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Classic Single Pie Crust

This recipe from King Arthur is easy, and can be made in advance for your pies next week! This recipe yeilds one single pie crust; double to have enough for a top crust.

1 1/2 cups Pastry Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons shortening
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 to 5 tablespoons ice water

Whisk together the flour and salt.
Add the shortening, working it in until the mixture is evenly crumbly.
Add the butter to the flour mixture, and work it in roughly with your fingers, a pastry cutter, or a mixer. Don't be too thorough; the mixture should be very uneven, with big chunks of butter in among the smaller ones.
Add 2 tablespoons of water, and toss to combine.

Toss with enough additional water to make a chunky mixture. It should barely hold together when you squeeze a handful, though the remainder may look quite dry.
Scoop the mixture out onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper, and flatten it out a bit. Take a spray bottle of water, and spritz the dry parts with the water.

Using the parchment or waxed paper, fold the dough over on itself - first from one side, then from the other. You'll find that the dry crumbs are becoming incorporated with the cohesive dough. If there are still dry areas, spritz them with additional water, and fold the dough in on itself again. Keep folding and gathering until just a few dry crumbs remain unincorporated; this should only take a few folds.

Shape the dough into a disk about 1" thick, and refrigerate it for 30 minutes or longer; this resting period allows the flour to absorb the water, making the dough easier to roll out.

When you're "ready to roll," remove the dough from the fridge. If the dough has been refrigerated longer than 30 minutes, let it rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling, to allow the butter to soften up a bit.
Roll the dough to the size needed (about 12" for a 9" pie). Place it in a pie pan, and refrigerate it while you prepare your filling. Fill and bake as directed in your recipe.

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