Welcome to your first UK CSA Newsletter of 2018! I’ll be your host for your midday reading, so let me introduce myself, and put a face to a name you’ve seen popping up in your emails lately. I’m Kristi Durbin, the UK CSA Manager, and I couldn’t be more excited to have you along for the food adventure that awaits us all. This time of year is when I feel like I’ve been inching up an incline on a huge roller coaster at an amusement park. We are cresting the hill today and now we’ll be flying on down to the other side, with a seeming never ending stream of delightful veggies to grow and harvest each week. 22 weeks of twists, turns, ups, downs, and lots of fun await.
It’s a lot of work to grow food, as my years of farming experience have taught me. Eating and cooking with healthy food and vegetables – LOTS of vegetables – can likewise present a challenge for the omnivores among us. But none of us are alone in these challenges; that’s what makes a CSA subscription unique. Being in a CSA program is so much more than just a transaction. It’s a commitment that we as farmers will do our best to bring you the best despite the challenges. It also means we are a community that cheers and applauds when we all try new things, get our kids to eat more greens, and hear the testimonies of how CSA membership changes lives. We’ll be there to help, too – whether you need to find a recipe or have questions about certain vegetables, just reach out. Over 22 weeks, we’re going for a wild ride and I’m glad to have you join us. I genuinely thank you for your support of farmers, our farming community, and educational programs.
Want to know more about farming behind the scenes? Over the years we’ve had numerous CSA members join us for a day to get their hands in the dirt, bring their kids for a morning of harvesting, and share a meal with us in our outdoor kitchen. If this interests you, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s In Your Share
For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Mirlo Butterhead Lettuce, 1 head
+ Spinach, .5 lb bag
+ Arugula, 1 bag
+ Kale, 1 bunch
+ D’Avignon Radishes, 1 bunch
+ Sweet Potatoes, 5 lbs
+ Frozen Ginger, 1 bag
The CSA Farm Stand (which is for purchasing “extras”) will be set up at both the campus (from 4-6pm) and farm (from 3:30-6:30pm) locations. Items available will be on a first come, first served basis. For the campus location, we will be set up a little differently this year. The Farm Stand will be located all the way to the right of the pick-up line with it’s own tent and table. So please do not go through the regular pick-up line to buy a la carte. At the farm, the Farm Stand table will also be set up separately from the regular pick-up line. We accept cash, check and *NEW* this year, credit cards.
Items Available for Purchase this Week:
+ Transplants: Herbs (Basil!, Spearmint, Parsley, Thyme, Oregano – $3 each), Cherry Tomatoes, Banana Peppers, Hot Peppers, Bullhorn Sweet Peppers ($3 each), Flowers
Veggie Tips (or Facts)
+ Most of the greens last 3-7 days in the refrigerator. It is usually best to use Kale & Spinach first, followed by Lettuce, Arugula, & Radishes. Cut greens off radishes to hold them longer. Sweet Potatoes are a storage item that can last for several weeks in a cool area (pantry storage works fine). The Ginger will be good up until December as long as it remains frozen.
+ One of the Kale varieties in today’s share is known by several names: Lacinato, Tuscan, Dinosaur (RAWR!), Black, Palm Tree, Italian… the variety is the go-to in Italian cuisine, like minestrone.
+ The Arugula was decidedly NOT a fan of the 90 degree F weather we’ve had for the past two weeks or so. As a result, it got elongated stems. The best part of arugula is the leaves, which still have their characteristic peppery bite. Need to mellow the spice? Try sauteéing. Other great uses are raw in salad, a base for pesto in lieu of basil, wilted on top of pizza (to try: pair with a fried egg and prosciutto), or wilted in a bowl of steaming pasta with some olive oil. An Arugula Gremolata recipe is below.
+ A real treat in today’s share is the frozen Ginger. This ginger was harvested last December and frozen. It will last for a full year in the freezer, so you can hold on to it until this next fall. This ginger is not mature, which means the skin is more tender and can be used in cooking. It is not necessary to peel it. We advise to KEEP the ginger FROZEN. Don’t let it thaw or its texture will not be as appealing and it will lose its shelf life.
To use the frozen ginger, all you need to do is pull it out of the freezer and use a grater or zester to include this specialty item in dishes. Return unused portion of the ginger to your freezer. Try grating it into stir fries, smoothies, hot tea, or even baked goods for a yummy kick. Ginger is an amazing food with health benefits which include reducing inflammation, tempering nausea, increasing circulation, and aiding the body’s absorption of nutrients.
For your convenience this week’s recipes in a printable format.
Meal Plan Menu
Make a salad with your butterhead lettuce and add some sliced radishes for a peppery bite!
From Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
1 cup olive oil
4-5 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2-1 tsp. salt
1-2 medium cloves garlic, minced
~ add 3-4 tbsp. orange or apple juice, or 2 tbsp. lemon juice plus a little grated lemon rind, plus
~ very finely minced parsley and/or
~ very finely minced other herbs (fresh or dried basil, dill, marjoram, chives, thyme)
~ substitute some of the olive oil with a nut oil
~ substitute different flavors of vinegar (fruit-infused, balsamic, champagne, etc.)
~ add 1-2 tsp. good quality mustard
~ for creamy vinaigrette: add 2-3 tbsp. mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt
Combine everything in a jar, cover tightly and shake well.
Since the arugula is a bit stemmy, it will be great in things like pesto or a gremolata where it is being processed.
Farfalle with Arugula Gremolata
From The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without by Mollie Katzen
3/4 pound farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
2-3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 recipe Arugula Gremolata (below)
1/2 cup (heaping measure) crumbled gorgonzola
2-3 Tbsp golden raisins
1 cup very small, very sweet cherry tomatoes (optional)
1/2 cup minced walnuts, lightly toasted
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling water until al dente. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl. Immediately toss with olive oil. Add remaining ingredients, except walnuts and pepper. Toss until thoroughly combined. Serve immediately topped with the walnuts and a generous application of black pepper.
2 cups (loosely packed) young arugula, or older arugula (without stems), about 2 ounces
4 tsp finely minced garlic
4 tsp finely minced lemon or orange zest
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine the arugula, garlic and lemon zest in a food processor. Pulse to finely chop-don’t purée! Season to taste with the salt and pepper.
This massaged kale salad will be great after a farmer’s market trip to pick up some local strawberries!
Massaged Kale Salad with Strawberries and Pine Nuts
1 bunch kale, hard stems removed and torn into pieces
3 oz strawberries, sliced
2 tbsp pine nuts, raw or toasted (optional)
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp honey
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Place kale pieces in a large bowl, add olive oil and salt.
2. Massage kale until it turns a darker shade of green and becomes soft.
3. Combine lemon juice and honey in a smaller bowl and add to the massaged kale.
4. Add salt and pepper.
5. Drizzle with more EVOO and add more honey if a little bit more sweetness is desired.
6. Add the slices strawberries and pine nuts.
7. Chill in the fridge for a few minutes and serve cold.
Breakfast for dinner? Add eggs and bacon to the pancakes. Rather have it as a dinner entree? Pair with a protein of your choice and sautéed greens. These sweet potato pancakes will be good either way.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
From Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
4 cups, packed, coarsely grated sweet potatoes (approx. 1 large or 2 medium)
1/2 cup grated onion
3-4 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
black pepper, to taste
4 beaten eggs (yolks optional)
1/3 cup flour
optional: 1/4 cup minced parsley, oil for frying
toppings: sour cream or yogurt or applesauce
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet until it is very hot. (It should sizzle a fleck of batter upon contact.) Use a non-slotted spoon to form thin pancakes, patting the batter down. Fry on both sides until brown, adding small amounts of additional oil, if/as needed. Serve hot, with toppings.
Note: The batter stores well for several days if kept in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.
Pair this braised spinach dish with an entree of your choice.
Spinach Braised with Soy and Ginger
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ginger, grated (Use your frozen ginger!)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 bunch spinach
Skip the butter. Put 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a large saucepan, along with 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Add spinach and braise until completely wilted and soft, about 10 minutes.
Nice warm soup for a rainy day. A few of the ingredients we don’t have ready yet at the farm…like tomatoes and carrots. But you can use your store-bought ones or if you’ve canned some tomatoes from last year, I’m sure those will work just fine as well.
African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup
“This was my favorite winter-time recipe last year…truly delicious.” -Tiffany
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root (or grate your frozen ginger)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
4 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped, unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Mix in the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir in the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrot, and continue to cook and stir about 5 minutes.
2. Pour water into the saucepan, and season the mixture with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
3. Remove the soup mixture from heat. In a food processor or blender, blend the soup and peanuts until almost smooth. Season with cayenne pepper. Return to the saucepan. Whisk in the peanut butter, and cook until heated through. Serve warm topped with fresh cilantro.
Leftovers day! Clean out that fridge for new vegetables coming Thursday.