If you pick up at Bessery's Market, starting this week your shares will be back inside! We've made changes to our delivery route so they will arrive later in the morning when the store is open. Pickup hours are 11 am - 9 pm. If you pick up at Red Hen Bakery, you can now pick up from 8 am - 6:00 pm.
Do you have extra CSA bags lying around? We'll take them! Please bring CLEAN bags to your CSA pickup site and we'll direct them to the Montpelier Food Shelf! Same with egg cartons! Tangletown and Axel both use CLEAN cardboard egg cartons. Drop 'em off at your CSA site and we'll get them back to our producers.
While we work hard to ensure only the best produce makes it into your bags, occasionally there are some not-so-hot veggies that you might find. If that happens, please send me an email and if possible, a picture! Photos help us know what to look for in the future and can help us trace the root of the problem.
Around the Farm with Pete
Yowsers what a stretch of weather! Our propane company tells me they haven't had a run like that since December 1989. Keeps us honest and I'm always impressed how after a few days of real cold we all get used to it and life goes on. But the getting used to it part can be challenging. Enjoy those local greens, it's not easy to produce them this winter.
Thanks to all of you who contributed to the Vermont Farm Fund during the annual appeal. We raised a big chunk of money this year and we received strong donations from Pete's Greens CSA members. Challenging weather during the fall and early winter has led to several emergency loans being made to farms to rebuild greenhouses and replace washed out roads and fences so the influx of new money to lend was timely.
Farm tasks happening these days include finishing seed orders and crop planning, starting tomatoes (yep already), replanting greenhouses for early spring greens, studying finances from last year to see how we did and where we can improve, fixing equipment (this never ends), selling some equipment we no longer use (and finding a couple new toys to purchase), hauling manure and wood ash to stockpile in fields (great time to drive big trucks on fields when the ground is frozen), and of course washing and packing food for you each week. Thanks for your support, here's to a little warmer weather and some sun!
A new addition!
The Pete's Greens family welcomes its newest member: Russell Scott Perkins, born 9 lbs 7 oz on December 25, 2017. HIs parents are both long-time PG crew- Steve Perkins (tractor operator, equipment repairs, farm mechanic) and Alison McKnight (forklift operator and washhouse crew).
The family is doing well, keeping warm, and staying nourished with lots of good food. Welcome to the world, Russell!
Sign up for your SPRING CSA!
The weather says winter but we feel spring! The Fall / Winter Share ends February 7/8. We're currently signing up for our Spring CSA, starting February 14.
Spring is a great time to be a CSA member (well, every time is a great time!) as you get to enjoy the diversity of fall and the first fresh greenhouse goodies! In April and May we'll be bursting with fresh bunches - leafy greens, Asian greens, cooking greens, salad greens - plus radishes, Napa cabbage, early cucumbers, and baby salad turnips, beets, carrots, and so much more!
Need to skip a delivery? We can donate your share to the food shelf, send it the next week, or credit your account for a future share. Please notify us by Monday, 8 am, at the latest for any changes to that week's delivery.
All Souls Tortilleria Hearty Heirloom Tortillas, Butterfly Bakery Hot Sauce, Vermont Soy Tofu, and Champlain Orchards Red Delicious Apples
There are some different veggies in this week's shares, so please enjoy this assortment of recipes! You can always find more recipes on our blog and website.
Salad Mix: This blend is the last of our greenhouse lettuce for a few weeks plus spinach, claytonia, and shoots. It's pre-washed and ready to eat!
Braise Mix: Napa cabbage, spinach, baby chard, and baby pac choi make this a delightful, colorful braising mix! Saute with olive oil and garlic for a simple side. More recipe ideas below.
Daikon Radishes are making their first appearance this week. This large root looks like an overgrown white carrot, but it is actually a radish. In Korea, cubed daikon radish is used to make a type of kimchi. Its mild taste makes it an excellent palate cleanser. In Japan, strings of daikon marinated in vinegar typically accompany sashimi. Try serving the radish in light salads where its own flavor won't be overwhelmed by the other ingredients. Don't let it intimidate you! Here are some other ideas for using this radish: coleslaw; cubed and roasted with other root veg; in a smoothie with mango and carrot juice; like a carrot - baked, boiled, or steamed; eat it raw with peanut butter or grated over salad; or substitute it for any other kind of radish. Store in your crisper drawer. Peel before eating (may look kinda dark and funky in places... but just peel it off).
Tatsoi: An Asian green packed full of nutritious vitamins and minerals. Enjoy fresh/ raw or cooked/ sauteed! The more common variety of pac choi is bok choy, so you may have an easier time finding recipes for bok choy.
Purple Top Turnip: This heirloom turnip dates back to 1880 and is still widely eaten today. These are round white globes with a bit of purple color near the top where the sun hits them in the field. The white fine-grained flesh is mild and sweet tasting. They are great in soups and stews, roasted or mashed with potatoes, or sliced in match sticks and added to a stir-fry. For a simple side dish, saute turnip (shreded, julienned, or diced) about 5 minutes then cook with onions, garlic, carrots, peppers, squash - almost anything - for color and variety; then toss with herbs. Many people confuse the turnip with the rutabaga because they looks so much alike but in fact the rutabaga is a much newer crop created in the mere 19th century by crossing a turnip with a cabbage. Turnips have a crisper, white flesh and tend to be smaller in size and are often interchanged in recipes with the rutabaga without much notice. Note: these turnips may not look beautiful on the outside, but peel off the rough exterior and they are beautiful inside! The spots on the exterior are just blemishes. Store loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Arrowhead Cabbage: The pointed cabbage in Fancy and Standard bags this week is Arrowhead, an early summer cabbage, mellower in flavor than storage cabbages, and can be used in all ways. Arrowhead cabbage is most similar to green cabbage, but you can use in many other cabbage recipes too. It's pretty versatile. Make slaw, your favorite cabbage dish, or quarter it and drizzle olive oil on it, sprinkle with salt, and grill it. Add a little teriyaki sauce if you like. Yum. We're experimenting this week - many of these cabbages were very large and unwieldy for your bags (plus, they were just too large for most households to use in a week!) so we halved them like you might find in a grocery store. Rinse off before eating. Feedback on receiving your cabbage like this? Please let me know.
Vegetable Casserole with Tofu Topping
Although this recipe calls for cabbage, you could substitute shredded kohlrabi in a heart beat. It will be a bit denser perhaps but just as tasty. It also calls for 1 lb of kale but you can substitute another green. Gourmet May 2004. Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 lb cabbage, cored and cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices (4 cups)
1 lb kale, stems and center ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped (12 cups)
1/2 lb carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons tamari
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fine fresh or dried bread crumbs, preferably whole wheat
7 oz firm tofu
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon paprika
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Heat oil in a deep 12- to 14-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate and add cabbage, kale, carrots, water, soy sauce, and salt. (Skillet will be full, but volume will reduce as vegetables steam.) Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish.
Pulse all topping ingredients together in a food processor until combined well. Alternatively, mash ingredients together in a large bowl with a potato masher. Sprinkle tofu mixture over vegetables in baking dish and bake, uncovered, until topping is golden brown and vegetables are heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.
Turnip-and-Kohlrabi Slaw with Ginger-Vinaigrette Dressing
Kohlrabi and turnip slaw is not an uncommon dish. The question becomes what flavor slaw? What to dress it with? The dressing below is from Food & Wine June 2009. You could throw shredded carrots in this slaw for added color, and then serve it on a bed of greens.
For the slaw:
3 medium purple turnips
1 head kohlrabi
Using a knife or vegetable peeler, remove the tough outer skin of the kohlrabi and turnips. Quarter the vegetables, so that they can fit in the feed tube of a food processor. Using the shredding blade of a food processor, shred the turnips and kohlrabi.
If using a food processor is not an option, shred the vegetables using either a knife or vegetable peeler.
In a large bowl, toss the shredded kohlrabi, turnips and Ginger Vinaigrette (recipe below). Chill for 10 minutes. Serve.
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup sunflower or other vegetable oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
In a small bowl, mix the rice vinegar with the sugar and grated ginger until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the vegetable oil and season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
Stir-Fried Tofu with Vegetables
This recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is a keeper. With onions, garlic, tofu. carrots, kohlrabi in the share this week, it's pretty much an ideal week for a great stir fry. Makes 4 servings.
1 1/2 to 2 pounds firm to extra-firm tofu, prepared by either method below or simply blotted dry
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1-2 large onions, halved and sliced
2-3 cups of sliced vegetables
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup Shaoxing wine, sherry, sake, white wine, or water
1/3 cup vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons tamari
1/2 cup roughly chopped scallion
1. Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch or slightly larger cubes. Put two tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet or wok, preferably nonstick, over high heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, a couple of minutes. Add the vegetables in order of their cook time and cook until they are crisp tender and a little charred at the edges. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside for a moment.
2. Add the remaining oil, then the garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring, for about 10 seconds. Add the tofu and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, a couple of minutes. Add the wine and stock and cook, stirring, until about half of it evaporates; return the pepper-onion mix to the pan and cook, stirring, for a minute or so to reheat.
3. Add the soy sauce and scallion and cook, stirring, until the scallion becomes glossy, about 30 seconds, Serve immediately.
Freezing: Not only 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.)
This recipe is a basic recipe that can be used with turnips, rutabagas or potatoes. The stock adds flavor while cooking and softening the starch. Feel free to add any kind of breakfast meat, Anaheim peppers, greens or other veggies for a turnip hash "surprise". Serve along side eggs for a hearty breakfast or a "silly supper".
6 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced small
2 c turnips, diced small
2 c hot chicken or veggie stock
2 Tbs butter
1/2 c Parmesan or another hard Italian cheese
1/2 c parsley, rough chop
Salt and pepper, to taste
Warm the chicken stock in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and turn the heat to medium. Toss in the onion and cook until translucent. Add the turnips and cook for 2 minutes. Ladle in some of the hot chicken stock and cook until absorbed. Continue until all of the stock has been added, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the butter and grated cheese off the heat. Garnish with parsley.
Creamy Braising Greens
A predecessor of mine made this one up, so please excuse the not-so-precise measurements. Try serving this along side roasted chicken legs and whipped root vegetables.
2 T butter
1/4 cup of finely chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T flour
3/4 cup (or more) of cream or half n half, room temp or even warmed up (helps prevent lumpiness)
a generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
a generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper
a generous pinch of salt
Bag of Pete's Braising Mix (of course!), blanched and roughly chopped
Over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the onions and garlic until just soft and fragrant.
Lower the heat! With a whisk, add the flour and cook/stir for 2 minutes. All the while whisking, add the cream, getting out all the lumps before they can cook hard, and continue to whisk and cook over low heat until the cream gets thick, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the seasonings to taste and then stir in the greens. Serves 2 or 3 grown ups.
Sauteed Braising Greens with Mossend Blue Cheese and Pan Roasted Garlic
Another one that was made up and expanded upon by several crew members, including Pete.
2 T sunflower oil
handful of minced onions
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced in halves
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Bag of Braising Greens, rinsed
Mossend blue cheese to taste (or other blue)
Heat oil in a large skillet over a medium high flame. Add garlic halves, tossing and cooking for several minutes. Add minced onions and continue to toss until the onions are fragrant and the cloves are soft. With the water still clinging to the leaves, toss in the greens in 2 or 3 parts, cooking until just wilted. Add blue cheese and serve. Serves about 2 or 3 folks.
Variation: Add oven or pan roasted potatoes and/or eggs for a hearty breakfast or supper.
Daikon with Tahini Dressing
4 inches daikon, cut into matchstick-sized strips
3/4 cup thinly sliced red radishes
1 medium carrot, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup tahini
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 tablespoon dry sherry or vermouth
1/4 cup chopped almonds (optional)
Combine daikon, red radish, and carrots in a medium bowl.
Whisk the tahini, scallions, lemon juice, sherry, salt, and sugar to taste in a small bowl until well combined. Thin the dressing with a few tablespoons of water until the mixture is a smooth paste.
Toss the dressing with radishes until well combined. Garnish with almonds if desired.
Apples gives the slaw a nice, sweet crunch - try adding slices of your Red Delicious apples in the slaw!
1 medium Arrowhead cabbage
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, or 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
Using a large, sharp knife, remove the hard core from the cabbage and then cut the cabbage very finely. While it may be tempting to use a food processor, the best results are achieved by hand. You should have about 8 firmly packed cups. Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, scrape the carrot and then cut it into long, fine strands or paper-thin slices about the length of the cabbage shreds. Place the cabbage, carrot, and onion in a large bowl. In a small bowl stir together the mayonnaise, water, vinegar, caraway seeds, salt, and mustard. Using your hands, combine the mayonnaise dressing with the cabbage mixture. Cover and refrigerate the salad for up to 3 hours.
Simple Baked Arrowhead Cabbage
Here's a nice, easy side dish that showcases these lovely cabbages.
1 Arrowhead Cabbage, cut in two lengthwise
Place the cabbage halved on a baking sheet or in a glass baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and chopped scallions. Roast for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven, sprinkle with grated parm and return to oven to bake a few more minutes until cheese is lightly browned.
The result was very light and lovely without any of the heaviness sometimes associated with cabbage. The best description of the taste I can come up with is buttery crunch — not at all tough, but a velvety texture. Mild, sweet, delicious.
Over the weekend, the eggs that were supposed to be in this week's share froze, so we have to wait another week on those, unfortunately. So this week's share looks a little different than what was in Friday's "Sneak Peek". Starting off, Champlain Orchards Red Delicious Apples. It's hard to go wrong with the Red Delicious, which is one of the most popular apples in America. But these red delicious probably taste a little different from your standard, conventional, grocery store red delicious!
All Souls Tortilleria, Warren, VT, makes traditional corn tortillas and fresh masa from certified organic, heirloom corn grown by four family farms in Vermont and New York. The Hearty Heirloom Corn Tortillas are made from Wapsie Valley, an heirloom variety dating back to the 1850's renowned for its beauty, flavor, and tenacity in northern fields. All Souls' products are made using an ancient Mesoamerican process called "nixtamilization" in which whole corn kernels are steeped in a water and alkaline lime solution. Nixtamalization gives corn a robust and enticing flavor, while improving its nutritional content (notably increasing the available niacin). The hydrated corn is stone ground wet to make masa, which is formed and cooked over fire to make fresh tortillas. Corn, water and lime are the only three ingredients meaning this simple, satisfying, and versatile staple is also gluten-free, vegan and free from additives. All Souls Tortilleria believes that delicious, distinct, and healthy food is central to flourishing communities and thriving local economies. Because these are a fresh tortilla with no preservatives, please use them within 14 days. If you're unable to use them in that time, pop them in the freezer! Then use as necessary.
The hot sauce comes from Butterfly Bakery, owned and operated by Claire Fitts Georges, is a commercial bakery and hot sauce company. Claire uses local ingredients in her hot sauces (including our onions!), which are made in downtown Montpelier. Last year, Claire received a loan from the Vermont Farm Fund to expand her operation, crafting a new line of hot sauces from craft beers. There are a couple different flavors from which to choose - please, only one bottle per pantry share member.
Rounding out the share is tofu from Vermont Soy down the road from us in Hardwick. Tofu is a fermented soy product, high in protein and rich in calcium. Although it can be eaten raw, it is best used with seasonings and marinades as it soaks up whatever flavor it is in. Before using, wrap in a very clean cotten or linen kitchen towel and squeeze the excess moisture out.