CSA NEWSLETTER FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 12/16

Hello everyone,

This weeks share is a little smaller than last week but we still quite a few greens. Snap peas are new in the share this week, which is such a treat. They never last very long so enjoy them while you can. We will have more at the Highland Park farmers market so if you want some more you can find us there on Saturday 8am to 12pm. We hope they will be in the shares for at least a couple more weeks as well. This is the first Saturday of market so come out and support the vendors; there are lots of bakers and crafters with great stuff as well as other vegetable farmers.

Last night we were getting some planting done, and as we started on the first row of winter squash we heard thunder from the northwest. We were hoping it would pass and leave us alone but then the rain came. We hurried and planted as fast as we could until our hands were caked with dirt. In just a few minutes we had to find cover from the rain because it was coming down strong. Dime size hail came down too. The hail didn’t hurt any thing but some of the butter heads outer leaves might be damaged. Nothing serious though.

After just a thirty minute stretch the field was soaked and we could barely even walk on a path without slipping. We were done for the day. It is difficult to complain about the rain especially after the last two years being dry years, however it has made planting very difficult. It seems just as we are prepared to plant we get a rain storm. We were fortunate to get basil, cucumbers and a third of the winter squash planted. The forecast is saying rain for Saturday so it looks like more hand weeding for us this weekend.

On another note, our bees are doing really well. So far this year we have bought a package of bees, caught a swarm, and just yesterday we made a split from our oldest hive which is a technique to prevent a strong hive from swarming. Making a split will cut in to honey production but next year we will have four strong hives if we can overwinter them all, and who knows maybe we will have eight by the end of 2015!

Well that is what’s happening on the farm. Here is what’s in the share this week:

2 Butter Head Lettuce
2 Kale bunches
1 Cherry Belle Radish Bunch
1 Chard bunch
1 Baby beet bunch
1 Green onion Bunch
3 Baby fennel bulbs
1 Snap Pea pint
Half pound of Rhubarb

We will have eggs for
Sale tonight for 5.00/dozen

Some recipes to inspire you this week:

Grilled Veggie Quesadillas

From chef Devra Gartenstein, Seattle, Wash. (Patty Pan Grill)

Ingredients
1 tablespoon canola oil

½ onion, thinly sliced

1 unpeeled beet, very thinly sliced (you can use the baby beets and beet greens for this recipe)

1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped (or any other greens such as Kale, Beet Greens, or Collards–cook the stems first with the onions as they take longer to cook)

1 teaspoon chili powder, mild or hot

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons water

Cooking spray

6 tomato- or spinach-flavored 8-inch flour tortillas

1 heaping cup grated Monterey jack or cheddar cheese

Other veggie options depending on season and cook’s preference: Carrot rounds, lacinato kale, sliced mushrooms, parsnips, red bell or serrano peppers

Method
Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet. (I had great results using a wok.) Add onion and beet, and cook on medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often. .

Add chard, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and water, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and all the water has evaporated.

Transfer the cooked vegetables from the skillet to a bowl, then wash and dry the skillet. (Because I used a wok, I used an additional pan on a second burner.) Heat clean skillet on a medium-low flame and spray it with cooking spray.

Lay a tortilla in the pan, then spread about 2 tablespoons of cheese over half over the tortilla. Cover the cheese with 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of the cooked vegetables. Spread another tablespoon of cheese over the vegetables, then fold the tortilla in half and flip it with a spatula. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until the tortilla is nicely browned and the cheese is melted through.

Repeat with the remaining tortillas, cheese and vegetables. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges with a knife or pizza cutter.

Makes six servings.

Couscous With Chickpeas, Fennel, and Citrus

Serves 2-4

1 large fennel bulb with fronds )tops) or three small bul
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 cups (or 1 15-ounce can) cooked and drained chickpeas
10 Kalamata olives, halved and pitted
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup instant couscous

Trim fennel and cut into 1/4-inch thick wedges. Reserve fronds for garnish.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Add coriander, chickpeas, olives, and lemon juice to pan and stir to combine. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, juice the orange into a liquid measuring cup and top off with water to make 1 1/2 cups of liquid. Add liquid to a small saucepan along with 1 tablespoon olive oil, orange zest, lemon zest, and salt. Bring to a boil and stir in couscous. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand for at least 5 minutes.

To serve, fluff couscous grains with a fork and spread on a dish. Spoon chickpeas and fennel over couscous and garnish with fennel fronds.

Kale, Bacon and Onion Quiche – (http://mincedblog.com/2011/09/15/bacon-kale-and-onion-quiche/)
8 servings

2 cups of milk can be used in place of the 1 cup milk and 1 cup heavy cream that are called for in the recipe. However if you have the heavy cream, I would encourage use to it as it does make the quiche that much more luxurious. Don’t feel guilty. Everyone deserves a little indulgence now and then.

For the pastry dough:
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons cold lard (shortening can also be used or substitute butter)
5 tablespoons ice cold water, more if needed
Special equipment: pie weights or dried beans for blind baking, aluminum foil

For the quiche:
2-3 strips thick-cut bacon, chopped into strips
2 cups chopped kale
1 medium sweet (i.e. Vidalia) or regular yellow onion, sliced
5 large eggs, beaten
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
Special equipment: 9-inch springform pan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Use two forks or a pastry blender to cut the butter and lard into the flour mixture until the fat is in small lumps. Sprinkle the ice-cold water over the flour mixture and use a fork to pull the mixture together. Add up to 1 more tablespoon of water, in teaspoonfuls, if the dough is not coming together.

Turn the dough out on the counter and, working quickly, mold it into a large ball. Press the ball into a 5-inch disc. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes and up to one day.

On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to a large, 1/4-inch thick circle. Use the rolling pin to transfer the dough from the countertop to the 9-inch spring form pan. Trim the edges of the dough as needed, but make sure the dough reaches almost to the top of the springform pan. Excess dough can be folded over to create a thicker crust along the edges. If the dough is thin in any place, patch that area with an excess piece of dough. Place the pan with the dough in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before baking.

When ready to bake, place a piece of aluminum foil over the dough and cover with pie weights or dried beans to weigh it down. Pre-baking the crust in this manner is called blind baking.

Place the springform pan atop a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully take out the aluminum foil and pie weights/dried beans. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Render (melt the fat over low heat) the bacon in a large skillet until the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and set aside. Discard all but a thin film of bacon grease and add the onions. Cook on medium heat until the onions soften and begin to brown. The longer you cook the onions the better they will taste. Remove the onions using a slotted spoon and, if needed, add a teaspoon or less of the reserved bacon grease or olive oil to the pan. Add the kale and sauté until just soft. Remove the kale using a slotted spoon and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the heavy cream and milk and season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Scatter half of the onions, bacon, and kale on the bottom of the pre-baked tart shell. Top with half of the grated Gruyere. Pour ½ of the milk and egg mixture over the ingredients. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Be careful not to overfill the tart. The filling can come almost to the top of the crust, but you don’t want it to slosh out.

Return the springform pan (on top of the baking sheet) to the oven. Cook for about 50 minutes or until the quiche sets. It can be a little jiggly in the center, but otherwise should be pretty firm. Do not overcook. Overcooking the quiche can result in it taking on a greenish tint or can result in it “leaking” water (a result of the eggs being overcooked).

Remove the quiche from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for ten minutes. Remove the quiche from the springform pan and let cool for 10 minutes longer. The quiche can be served warm or at room temperature. It can also be refrigerated and served at a later date. For a nice lunch or light dinner, serve a sliced of the quiche with a mixed green salad with apples, walnuts, and dried cranberries (recipe follows). Bon appétit!

Strawberry Rhubarb Bars (http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/05/strawberry-rhubarb-crisp-bars/)

1 cup (80 grams) rolled oats
3/4 cup (95 grams) plus up to 2 tablespoons (15 grams) extra all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (95 grams) light brown sugar
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional, but helps firm up the filling)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated sugar, divided
1 cup (125 grams) small-diced rhubarb (from about 1 1/2 medium stalks)
1 cup (155 grams) small-diced organic strawberries
Powdered sugar, for decoration, if desired

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. For easy removal, line bottom and two sides of 8-by-8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. No need to bother (and no greasing needed) if you plan to serve them right in the pan, as I did.

Place oats, 3/4 cup flour, brown sugar and salt in bottom of baking pan and mix. Pour melted butter over, and stir until clumps form. If the clumps feel soft or look overly damp, add the remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumble mixture. Press the rest of the crumb mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan.

Spread half the fruit over the crust. Sprinkle it evenly with cornstarch, then lemon juice, and 1/2 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Spread remaining fruit over this, and top with second 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Scatter reserved crumbs over fruit and bake bars for 30 to 40 minutes (firmer fruits will take longer), until fruit is bubbly and crisp portion is golden and smells toasty and amazing.

Let cool in pan; I do this in the fridge, where they become crisp once chilled (less so at room temperature). Cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Store leftovers in fridge.

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