The farm is bursting with life and energy! The beautiful sunny weekend stimulated all sorts of growth for our greens, which are enjoying a head start on spring under the cover of our high tunnels. We are busy planting, transplanting, trellising, harvesting, prepping fields, and planting some more! We're excited to see our crew growing again for the summer ahead. Indoors, our winter storage and wash house crew are rocking it. Their commitment to perfecting our vegetable storage this winter has helped us hold over so many delicious root crops that will feed us until their spring counterparts come in. It's all about timing right now- monitoring the weather and our crops to bring you the greatest diversity possible in the transition from winter to summer.
Storage and Use Tips
Mesclun - This week's salad greens are a mix of arugula, mizuna, claytonia, lettuce, shoots, and tatsoi. These will make delicious fresh salads- eat up! A small number of folks will receive spinach instead, which is great ripped up in salads, or cooked down in a number of dishes.
Pac Choi - Full share members will get pac choi this week. This Asian green, also known as bok choy, is part of the cabbage family, and it packs in nutrition with high scores for vitamins A and C and calcium. Pac Choi is mild enough to be chopped up for a salad, particularly if you give it a quick wilt in a hot pan. Store in your crisper drawer loosely wrapped in plastic.
Rainbow Chard - Rainbow Chard is a delicious nutritious green, high in Vitamins A, K, and C. The beautifully colored stems are why it's called rainbow chard! Chard works great as a spinach substitute but needs to be cooked down a bit longer. It also works well in soups and stews, or sauteed as a side. In the half veggie shares this week.
Basil - We have basil this week for full share members! This marvelous 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
Red Savoy Cabbage - With red savoy cabbage, most of the red outer leaves are removed after storage, leaving a mostly green head with savoyed, crumpled leaves. Savoy cabbage holds up well when fermented in kraut or cooked in soups and sautees. Saute with a little butter and a splash of milk or cream to quickly soften the leaves and bring out its sweet flavors on the stove top. Store cabbage in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer for a few weeks.
Nicola Potatoes - Nicola Potatoes are golden skinned, golden fleshed potatoes that are truly all purpose. They are great for boiling, mashing or roasting and are plenty waxy enough to make excellent potato salad. Nicolas have a very special attribute among potatoes - they are low on the glycemic index compared to all other varieties. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge if you are not going to use right away.
Red Onions - These onions are coming to you from Riverside Farm in East Hardwick. Riverside is an organic vegetable farm in East Hardwick owned by Bruce Kaufman and Judy Jarvis. Together they cultivate 20 acres of vegetables. They've had a beautiful onion crop that has outlasted ours in storage, and we're grateful that they have partnered with us! Onions are best stored in a cool dark place.
Carrots - These multi-colored carrots can add a burst of color to your salads or roasted veggies. They can even be the centerpiece of your salad if you shave them into long skinny ribbons using a vegetable peeler, then toss them in dressing.
Frozen Chard - is great for casseroles, lasagnas, quiches etc. Thaw it, squeeze out the excess liquid and add it in. Or let it thaw on counter til it softens up enough to cut with a knife, and saw off section to use a lesser amount in a dish. You can put the remainder back in freezer.
Frozen Sweet Peppers - Our frozen veggies are grown on our farm, come in from the field and go straight into the freezer. Our peppers are washed, chopped, bagged and frozen within hours of harvest. Frozen peppers won't be crisp like fresh peppers but retain all the flavor and yummy summer goodness. To use them, simply remove package from the freezer, slice open bag, and then either thaw and add to your dish, or chop just what you need frozen and toss directly into your skillet. If you use the latter method, you can toss unused frozen veggies back into the freezer for later use.
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.
This week's share includes Elmore Mountain Bread, Ploughgate Creamery Cultured Butter, and Vermont Fresh Local Fettuccine!
Elmore Mountain Bread is owned by Andrew Heyn and Blair Marvin, who make every loaf by hand with local grains, milled in-house using their custom-built grain mill. Natural sourdough and small amounts of yeast make their breads rich in flavor after the long, 16-hour process from start to finish. This week's bread is Redeemer, made from 100% Vermont wheat.
Marisa Mauro of Ploughgate Creamery is based in Fayston at Bragg Farm, a beautiful historic farm she acquired through the Vermont Land Trust. Marisa makes Cultured Butter fresh from Vermont cream. The cream is cultured for 48 hours before being churned, giving the butter a distinct tangy, nutty, and slightly cheesy flavor. Hope you enjoy this delicious fresh butter this week!
A small local Vermont company, Vermont Fresh Foods has been producing fresh pasta, ravioli, sauces and pesto since 1992. We are happy to introduce this fresh, local, organic, classic Fettuccine that owners Ken and Tricia Jarecki have made especially for our CSA! Fresh pasta is a simple pleasure and cooks in just a couple minutes. It makes a wonderful, quick and easy meal topped with our fresh veggies!
Roasted Nicola Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic
1-2 lbs Nicola potatoes, cut into thick wedges 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon rock salt 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 clove peeled garlic, finely chopped 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 tablespoon pepitas, optional 1 sprig of Rosemary, broken into small pieces 6 cloves garlic (unpeeled)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the extra virgin olive oil, pepitas, rosemary, coriander seeds, salt, pepper, and garlic; add the potatoes and toss until well coated. You may also place ingredients in a plastic container with lid for tossing if preferred. Transfer content to a shallow baking pan, spreading out into one layer. Roast in the oven for 30 to 50 minutes or until browned and crisp. Flip over potatoes while roasting to ensure even browning. Test the tenderness of the potato with the tip of a knife. Remove pan from the oven, add extra seasoning to your liking, and serve hot.
Asian Cabbage Slaw
This recipe was modified from The Real Dirt on Vegetables, and would make a great side using your cabbage and carrots. Or try it on a sandwich, or as a stand-alone lunch entree. Add quinoa or rice noodles to make it a main dish.
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/3 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup minced red onion
2 Tbsp fresh or dry mint
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 Tbsp rice wine (mirin or sake)
2 Tsp honey
1 Tsp toasted sesame oil plus more to taste
Salt and Pepper
Combine veggies and herbs in a large bowl, toss well.
Mix the vinegar, peanut oil, rice, wine, honey, and sesame oil in a small bowl until well combined. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture; toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to let flavors mingle and combine.
Garlic Bok Choy
This simple side is an easy and flavorful way to use your pac choi (bok choy). You can easily swap in chard if you have it.
1 tablespoon oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 8 oz bok choy, chopped, rinsed and drained Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
Heat up a wok or pan on high heat. Add the oil and when it's heated, add the garlic and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the bok choy and quickly stir-fry for a few times before adding the salt. Quickly stir-fry a few times, turn off the heat, dish out and serve immediately. Serve with baked chicken or pork chops, rice dishes, or tofu.
Basil Alfredo Sauce
This recipe highlights some of your Localvore ingredients as well as your fresh basil!
12 oz of fettucini pasta 12 teaspoons of unsalted butter 1 cup of freshly grated parmigiano cheese ½ cup fresh basil leaves. Then pounded out in a mortar or run in food processor till blended. 6 large basil leaves chopped 2 cups of cream Salt to taste
Bring a pot of water (with a pinch of salt) to a boil, and cook pasta according to the package. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter, but don't let it boil or it will separate. Slowly add the cream and let is simmer for about 1 minute while you whisk the mixture. Add a pinch of salt. Dollop the pounded or blended basil into the butter and cream, mixture. Slowly whisk together. Add the chopped basil leaves. Drain your pasta, and add the noodles to the saucepan. Remove the alfredo sauce recipe from the heat and add the freshly grated parmigiano cheese and mix together.
Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
Use your frozen peppers in this dish, but no need to stop there! Load it up with shredded carrot, frozen or chopped chard, or pac choi.
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (shrimp can be substituted) 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided 6 tsp cajun seasoning, divided (recipe in notes below)
12 oz linguine or fettuccine pasta 2 Tbsp butter 1 clove garlic, minced 3 Tbsp flour 1 1/2 cups milk 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips then strips halved (about 1 1/2 cups) 1 medium yellow bell pepper, sliced into thin strips then strips halved (about 1 1/2 cups) 1/2 large red onion, sliced into thin strips 2 cups sliced button mushrooms (about 8) Fresh parsley, for garnish
Heat a grill over medium-high heat. Brush chicken with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and sprinkle with 2 tsp of the cajun seasoning (I used 2 chicken breasts and this is 1/2 tsp per side). Grill chicken until cooked through, about 8 - 10 minutes, rotating once halfway through grilling until chicken registers 165 degrees on in instant read thermometer in center of chicken. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes then cut into strips. Boil pasta in salted water according to directions listed on package. Reserve 1/3 cup pasta water before draining.
In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in garlic and flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. While whisking slowly pour in milk and whisk vigorously to smooth lumps. Stir in 1 - 3 tsp cajun seasoning, to taste (season with additional salt as needed). Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to low, stir in parmesan and cream and cook until cheese has melted. Remove from heat and set aside. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add red and yellow peppers and red onion and saute 2 minutes. Add 1 tsp cajun seasoning and mushrooms and saute 2 minutes longer.
Toss drained pasta with sauce mixture, adding reserved pasta water 1 tbsp at at time to thin sauce as desired. Toss in pepper mixture and chicken. Serve warm sprinkled with parsley and additional cajun seasoning to taste.
Mushroom & Wilted Greens Toast with a Poached Egg
Try this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, using your Elmore Mountain bread and your favorite greens.
2 slices whole wheat or multi-grain bread 2 tbsp. olive oil 1 large clove garlic, minced 2 cups sliced mushrooms - you can use any variety you prefer 4 cups chopped greens, tough stems removed - you can use mustard greens, kale or chard here 1/2 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard 2 large eggs 1 tsp. white vinegar salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium sized skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until faintly shimmering. Add in the minced garlic and saute until soft but not brown - 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the mushrooms, stir to combine and cook until they begin to release water. Throw in the chopped greens and stir again to get everyone mixed up. Stir in the bit of mustard and allow the greens to cook until tender but not mushy - 2 to 3 more minutes.
Start toasting your bread. Meanwhile, fill a medium sized soup/stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add in the vinegar. With the end of a spatula or spoon, stir the water vigorously in a clockwise motion to create a swirl. Drop the cracked egg into the water and form slightly with your utensil. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the white is solid around the yolk but not to soft-boiled egg stage. Using a slotted spoon or small screened scoop, remove the eggs from the water.
To serve, divide the greens mixture into two and top the toasted bread with it. Place a poached egg on top of the mixture. Season with a bit of fresh ground pepper and serve immediately - the joy of this is the runny egg so be speedy in serving & eating it.