Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Good Eats Weekly Newsletter - March 8, 2017

Localvore Members 
& Full Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag contains:
Mesclun Mix, Parsley, Chioggia and Gold Beets, Celeriac, Gold Potatoes, Yellow Onions, and 

And OUT of the Bag:
Frozen Spinach
Frozen Cauliflower
Please, only take 1 of each

Half Veggie Members
take a YELLOW BAG containing:
Mesclun Mix, Chard, Celeriac, Gold Potatoes, Yellow Onions, and

And OUT of the Bag:
Frozen Beans

Localvore / Pantry Offerings

Patchwork Bakery Bread
Cellars at Jasper HIll Oma
Ploughgate Creamery Honey and Sage butter

Around the Farm

Greens are here!!! Our greenhouses have been working overtime to produce chard and parsley. We've never had fresh crops like this so early in the season before, so this is really exciting! It also comes with a few challenges, so see Melissa's note below about this week's greens. We should have fresh bunches of green items for you pretty regularly from here on out. So tell your friends - we still have room in the Spring share!

We're welcoming Mike to our washhouse as our new Washhouse Manager, and to the wonderful Vermont winter! Mike comes to us from CA with many years of experience on farms and CSAs. We look forward to his fresh ideas!

~ Taylar

I took a sneak peek into the greenhouse yesterday. Spinach is looking good!

Around the Greenhouses

Braise mix, chard, and parsley all in the first two weeks of March!  This is a first for us and I am so excited that our overwintering trials have paid off in diversifying CSA shares as we close in on the end of winter. Most years we have not heated our greenhouses, but have relied solely on the hardiness of a couple greens varieties, mainly spinach and claytonia.  In 2015 and 2016, we invested in updating our greenhouses. This winter we decided to very lightly heat our houses to 20 degrees and keep the plants well covered.  Part of the success of this winter is that we have not hit some of the low temperatures that we usually see in January. However, our new greenhouse and improvements have made a considerable impact on our season extension.
With a vegetable success also comes a challenge and you might meet that challenge this week in your CSA share.  We do our best to clean the greens as they come into our washhouse, but in some cases you may find a stowaway. Aphids are a pest that can really plague greenhouses - including ours.  Typically, we see aphids in the spring but this year we had them going into the fall too.  The aphids are a very small, sap sucking insect found on the underside of the leaves and on the growing tips of the plants.  They can carry diseases between plants and can produce a sticky honeydew. 
Pete’s Greens is certified organic which means we are very limited in our means for controlling these pesky pests. There are organically approved sprays including insecticidal soaps, bacteria that attack the aphids, and plant based chemicals. However, those sprays can do their own damage to delicate greenhouse grown leaves and they often kill off the good bugs. So we choose to fight insects with insects or “beneficals”.  Depending on the time of year we may be releasing 4 different types of insects into our greenhouses to combat aphids and other pests. Thus far we have released Aphidius Colmenii, a very tiny parasitic wasp that lays its eggs inside the aphid and can leave behind a “mummy” or left over shell on the leaf; Lady bugs that are voracious consumers of aphids and other pests; and lacewings which also eat aphids. We hope you don’t get to meet any of these guys in person but if you do, thank them for keeping the plants chemical free.
~ Melissa

Storage and Use Tips 
Mesclun MixThis week's mix includes radish & sunflower shoots, spinach, and claytonia. 

Parsley: It's super exciting to have parsley right now! Not only is it a greenhouse delicacy, but it has lots of benefits: many claim that flat-leaf parsley has more flavor than curly but all parsley has huge nutritional benefits - high in vitamins A, C, and K, and in folic acid (great for pregnant women!). The activity of parsley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemoprotective" food, meaning it can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens. Try adding parsley stems to your simmering stock, both to impart flavor and help clarify the broth. It can be sprinkled an a host of different recipes, including salads, vegetables sautes, and grilled fish. It can be a rub for chicken lamb, and beef when combined with garlic, lemon zest, and salt. It's a key flavor ingredient in the Mediterranean dish tabouli (see recipe below). A nice way to store is to place the parsley bunch stems in a glass of water, like flowers in a vase, and then cover loosely with a plastic bag and keep in the fridge.  If this is too finicky, just store loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in crisper drawer.
Chard: Similar to spinach, chard is a leafy green that is delicious and nutritious - rich in vitamins A, C, and K. Try sauteeing it, stems and greens, in olive oil, use in place of spinach, or toss into pasta, sauces, soups, and more. Store loosely wrapped in plastic.

Celeriac: Despite its funky looking exterior, inside celeriac (also called celery root) is a creamy interior with a clean taste and wide appeal. Peel away the exterior before using and give the ends a nice clean cut before cooking or using. Store unwashed celeriac in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, where it will keep for several weeks.  Here's how to cut this veggie: I like to take a thin slice off the top so that I can lay it flat. Then I cut the whole thing into 1" wide strips and trim the edges off.  It's tough to peel because it's so uneven so this method works well for me.  Like apples, celeriac will darken if exposed to the air for too long. If you don’t plan to cook it immediately, submerge the celeriac in a bowl of water with lemon juice squeezed in.

Beets (large shares only): We have some really gorgeous chioggia and gold beets this week. Inside, these beets are red and white striped. Beets may be eaten cooked or raw. Try grating some beets early in the week and place in a storage container to use throughout the week in salads. The upside to cooking these beets is that they don't bleed when cooked! Try roasting them - this caramelizes the sugar in the beets. Cube them and roast with a drizzle of oil at 400F until tender and browning at the edges. If you don't eat right away, cool and toss into a container for later in the week. 

Frozen Spinach &  Frozen Cauliflower (large shares only) and Frozen Beans (small shares): Frozen veggies picked at their peak and frozen fresh for you! Let the spinach thaw before using and wring out well - in your hands if you can stand the cold or in a cheese cloth or paper towel. Or let stand in a colander. Use beans & cauli frozen or let thaw. They may contain a heavy moisture content so take note of that in your dishes.  Use all at once if thawed or keep in sealed container in fridge for a couple days.

Need to Skip a Week?

If you're ever not able to pick up your share, please let us know at least one week in advance. We can either skip your share and give you credit, send it the next week, or donate it to the food pantry. It's up to you!

Sorry, we cannot skip a share or change pick-up sites after Monday.

Localvore Lore

Bread, cheese, and butter - YUM! This week we have Anna Rosie's Country French bread from Charlie over at Patchwork Bakery in East Hardwick. The bread is named after Charlie's neighbor's daughter, who lives at Riverside Farm. The bread is made with regionally sourced wheat and baked in a wood fired oven.

The Cellars at Jasper Hill and Von Trapp Farmstead give us this delightful Oma cheese. I tried some on Friday - it was so delicious, so I hope you enjoy it, too! Sebastian von Trapp and family (right) make this cheese on the family's dairy farm in Waitsfield from Jersey breed milk. This unpasteurized cheese is aged at the Cellars in Greensboro. Oma has a nice balance of pungent and sweet flavors. It's a soft paste, almost pudding-like but not runny. You can eat the rind and the inside goodness. Try enjoying this cheese as is, paired with a Belgian-style dubbel ale or white wine. Serve with buttery crackers and fig jam or dried fruit - or smothered on a slab of Patchwork bread. 

We have a special Ploughgate Creamery butter made just for our CSA share! Marisa Mauro makes this cultured cow's milk butter also in Waitsfield on the historic Bragg Farm that she now runs as an artisan butter creamery. The flavor is honey and sage but some may also receive the salted flavor.


Tabouli is such a great dish to have sitting in fridge to ladle on as a side to grilled meat and green salad.  Or just as a quick snack.  Make sure you give it time to marinate in the fridge as it's best after having a chance to sit to bring flavors together.  Serves 6.

1 cup bulgur
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice -- and/or lime juice
1 teaspoon garlic -- crushed
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon dried mint flakes
1/4 cup olive oil -- (good quality)
fresh black pepper
2 medium tomatoes -- diced
1 cup fresh parsley -- chopped and packed

Optional: 1 cup chopped cucumber and/ or 1/2 cup coarsely grated carrot

Celeriac Pasta with Puttanesca Sauce

1 lb. celeriac (small shares have 1 – 1.25 pounds, large shares have 1.5 – 2 pounds)
¼ cup /60ml high-quality olive oil
2 small red onions, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp. crushed chili flakes (more or less according to taste)
2 cans (14oz/400g) organic crushed tomatoes
3 Tbsp. capers, plus more for garnish
5 oz. /150g high-quality black olives / 1 cup (purchase them with pits. I like Kalamata olives best), plus more for garnish
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
a couple pinches of salt, to taste
caper berries for garnish (optional)
flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Slice off the knobby exterior of the celeriac – this may leave you with only ¾ of the original vegetable. Slice the root into half-inch (1.25cm) sections. Using a mandoline slicer, run the celeriac slices lengthwise to create ribbons. I recommend a 1mm thickness.
Place celeriac ribbons in a large bowl and toss with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to prevent browning. Set aside until ready to use.

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on low heat. Add the crushed chili flakes and let steep as the oil warms up. When the oil is hot add the garlic and let fry gently for 1-2 minutes, then add the onion and cook until translucent, 5 minutes or so. Watch that the oil doesn’t get too hot – use a thermometer if needed and remove it from the burner if necessary (olive burns around 320°F / 160°C).
While the onions are cooking, pit the olives by lining several up on a cutting board and smashing them with the flat side of a knife blade. The pits are now easily removed. Roughly chop once or twice.
Add the remaining ingredients to the oil, stir well, and cover to simmer for as long as you have (minimum 10 minutes). If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little water until the desired consistency is reached.
Place desired servings of celeriac pasta in each bowl. Serve with the hot sauce on top, and garnish with a few extra olives, capers and caper berries. Drizzle with olive oil and chopped parsley. Enjoy.

Root Vegetable Mulligatawny
If you do not have all of the spices on hand, just use a couple tablespoons of your favorite curry powder.

1 cup dried red lentils
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
½ tsp. mustard seeds
1 Tbsp. curry leaves (about 15)
½ Tbsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. cayenne
½ Tbsp. coriander
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. minced ginger
2 small onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
6 cups diced mixed root vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, celeriac, parsnips, turnips, daikon, kohlrabi, sunchokes etc.)
1 cup cooked chickpeas (optional)
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes
1 14oz. can coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. tamarind paste dissolved in ½ cup water (or juice of ½ lemon)
Fresh cilantro, for garnish
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Cover lentils with water to soak while you prepare the rest of the dish. In a large stockpot, heat the oil and add all spices and minced ginger (not the garlic). Stir often so spices do not burn. When the mix smells fragrant, add onions and cook until softened (if the mix becomes too dry, add a little of the tomato liquid and stir well). Add garlic and cook a couple minutes more.

Add the chopped vegetables and stir well to coat with spices. Cook for 5 minutes. Add chickpeas, if using, and cook until heated through. Add canned tomatoes and coconut milk.

Drain and rinse lentils very well and add them to the pot, along with the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are soft and the root vegetables tender.

Add tamarind (or lemon juice) to the soup. Season to taste.

Garnish soup with fresh cilantro and some quality olive oil. Serve hot. Tastes amazing the day after!

Celeriac Remoulade (Celery Root Salad)
This salad is a refreshing cool coleslaw-like salad. A food processor makes the job of grating the celeriac much faster.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 lb celery root - quartered, peeled, and coarsely grated just before mixing
1/2 tart apple, peeled, cored, julienned
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and parsley in a medium-sized bowl. Fold in the celery root and apple and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.

Sauteed Swiss Chard
I like this recipe because it uses the entire chard- stems and all! 

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated, stems chopped and leaves sliced into 1-inch thick strips
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Fill a large bowl with ice water. 

Add the chard stems to the boiling water and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the stems to the ice bath and let cool completely.  Drain the stems and set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium skillet.  Add the chard leaves, stirring to coat.  Cover and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally.  Add the chard stems, brown sugar, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Parsley Pesto with Walnuts Pasta
This protein- and omega-3-rich pesto uses milder-flavored parsley instead of the usual basil for a garlicky, rich, and delicious pasta topping that will tide you over beautifully until the basil pops up in your garden or farmer’s market. Using a food processor makes it one of the quickest and easiest pasta delights ever.

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Hint)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1/4 cup vegetable broth
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon plain unseasoned bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
16 ounces spaghettini or other thin pasta

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process walnuts, oil, parsley, broth, garlic, bread crumbs, and salt until smooth.

Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid, then drain pasta in colander.

Place pasta in a large serving bowl and add the parsley-walnut pesto and reserved cooking liquid. Toss well to combine and serve at once. 

Seared Beets with Walnuts over Wilted Chard with Greens

5 small beets, a mix of colors
3 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch swiss chard leaves, stems removed and leaves finely chopped (or other cooking green)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Sea salt
Aged red wine vinegar
small handful of walnut halves or pieces
Feta or goat cheese
Crushed aniseeds or dried oregano
A handful of greens

Steam the beets in simmering water, covered, until tender but still a bit firm when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes for small beets, longer for larger ones. When cool, either slip off the skins with your hands or peel them neatly with a knife.  Cut them into wedges.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wide skillet over medium heat.  Add the beets and cook them, turning as needed, until seared, 10 to 15 minutes.

While the beets are cooking, rinse the chard and drain in a colander but don't dry.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in a second wide skillet over high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the chard, garlic, and a few pinches of salt.  Turn the greens as they cook, taking care that the garlic doesn't burn.  The water clinging to the chard will steam the greens then evaporate.  When shiny and tender, add 1 tbsp vinegar and toss it with the chard.  Taste for salt.

Loosely arrange the chard on a small platter and cover with the beets, walnuts, and cheese.  Crush a pinch or so of aniseeds and sprinkle them over the salad, then drizzle the remaining oil over all and sprinkle with more vinegar and salt.  Finish with the greens and serve.

Parsley Potatoes
Here's a delicious one to serve alongside meats or other sides this week.

1 1/2 pounds potatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place the potatoes into a large pot full of salted water. Bring the water to a boil; then reduce heat. Simmer covered, for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until tender. Pour in broth and 3/4 cup of the parsley; mix well. Bring to a boil.

Strain potatoes from the cooking water and place in a serving bowl. Sprinkle the black pepper into the skillet and stir. Pour the peppered sauce over potatoes and sprinkle with remaining parsley.

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