Summer continues to be a stupendous season for us here at the farm. This week we are planting our fall crops out in part of the field that has been covered cropped in buckwheat and sod: more carrots, beets, turnips, broccoli, radishes, kale and more for your eating pleasure. There's always another crop around the corner in need of attention, and that is where we find ourselves this week.
The rain continues to swamp us out here but the vegetables seem to still be enjoying all the attention they've been receiving from the Rain Gods, so all is well for now. We did have a bit of a scare when the storm blew through this past week, hoping that our high tunnels would survive 70 mph winds. Luckily we got home in time to roll down the sides and they passed the test!
We have pulled the first carrots of the year, which is always a fun time. Carrots are great! Kara has more on cooking them below.
In the coming weeks we expect to start harvesting cucumbers! Our patches are looking particularly prodigious this year, bursting at the seams and threatening to overwhelm everything in their path. A real tsunami of crunchy goodness is coming your way. Eggplants and peppers and tomatoes will be close on their heels, and then we can all relax because it will really be Summer.
IMPORTANT FOR ANY AND ALL MEMBERS PICKING UP AT THE FARM: The CoolBot has been moved closer to our farm! When you come down our driveway, take a left at the fork and you should see the cooler about 200 feet down the road. Feel free to park in the lot next to the cooler when you stop for your veggies. Everything else is the same! Thanks for your understanding. Also, please feel free to pick fresh herbs or greens when you stop by the farm. Come up and say hi and we'll show you where to go!
Green Curly Kale
Red Russian Kale
Tendersweet white cabbage
Romaine, iceberg and red leaf lettuce
Carrots are one of those vegetables that can be so easy to take for granted; for most people they are dull, sterile filler vegetables sold in plastic bags for pennies per pound. I am always enamored by young summer carrots, juicy from the week's rain, still peppered with a bit of dirt in their crevasses, their long green ferns still attached.
They're a vegetable that needs no introduction; like onions (or a black dress) they go with anything. A quick and simple way to enjoy these new carrots is to cut into sticks, steam or boil till just softer than crispy and toss with grated ginger and rice vinegar. You can also substitute the ginger and rice vinegar for dill and apple cider vinegar. This side dish is great served hot or chilled.
Cabbage: so many things to do with this lovely vegetable!
First of all, please try stir frying this cabbage, very lightly, in soy sauce or another Asian condiment. It is a critical vegetable in Asian cooking for a reason! Crunchy, sweet, and tender, you really can't beat it in a dish like that.
It also features prominently in other cuisines: for a central American take, toss thinly sliced cabbage with lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper (and maybe some fresh herbs? Parsley? Oregano?) for a lovely, simple summer salad or side dish.
Finally, many eastern European cuisines use cabbage as a sort of wrap, to keep a bundle of spiced meat and rice tightly wrapped up during baking. Simply cook your filling (meat, rice, other stir fried veggies, wrap in lightly blanched full cabbage leaves, and then bake until tender in a tomato sauce base.
This last one is a real favorite of ours: sauerkraut! Try using napa cabbage for a mild, tender kraut.
One head of napa will make two quarts of sauerkraut. Slice or grate cabbage heads thinly and layer in a mason jar, smooshing them as much as possible and layering with salt until the jar is full. Use one tablespoon of salt per filled quart jar. Pro tip: I've had sauerkrauts with caraway seed mixed throughout that were mind blowing. If you're feeling adventurous or think that you don't like kraut, it's worth a try.
Here are some more recipes from our members: Thanks Sarah and Lin for the inspiration!
Kale Pasta Salad
Start by bawling (also known as boiling) a pound of bowtie pasta. You can
use whatever shape of pasta you want, of course, but I love bowties in
pasta salad. Deliciousness gets trapped in the little crinkles and
crevices, and it makes life even more worth living than it already is.
Cook the pasta according to package directions, rinse it well with cold
water to cool it down, then set it aside.
Meanwhile, add some pine nuts to a small skillet over low heat.
And cook them, tossing them around occasionally, for about 8 to 10 minutes,
or until theyre nice and toasted. Set these aside, too!
Now, mince up a bunch of garlic
Pour a good amount of olive oil into a skillet
Then add the garlic and turn the heat on low.
Even though the heats on low, eventually the oil will heat enough to start
sizzling the garlic. So when this happens, keep an eye on it so it doesnt
get too brown! Just stir it around and let the garlic infuse the oil slowly.
Now sprinkle in some salt and pepper
Then remove it from the heat and let the mixture sit and cool for a few
Meanwhile, rinse a nice bunch of kale and pull the leaves off the stems.
Grab a handful at a time and roll it into a tight bunch and slice it really thin.
Now, transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl and pour the oil all over
Let all the garlic, salt, and pepper get in there, too. Utterly delicious!
Then just toss it around and let it sit for a few minutes.
(Pssst. You can also add in a little balsamic vinegar at this point if you
want a little zip.)
Now, without washing the skillet, return it to the stovetop over high heat
And cook the kale, tossing it constantly, until its partly wilted, about 3
to 4 minutes.
And this is why I love kale more than spinach right now (sorry, spinach.)
It holds its crispness, even after its cooked for awhile.
When the kale is ready, pour it over the pasta
Then add the pine nuts
And toss it until its all combined.
Make sure its not too warm (it shouldnt be, if the pasta was cool when you
started), then shave in a bunch of Parmesan. Then, when you think youve
shaved in enough Parmesango ahead and add a little more!
Then just cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for
at least a couple of hours before serving.
Serves 4-6 as main dish
can also be a side dish and is good served cold the next day
6 medium kohlrabi, peeled
2-3 T. olive oil
4-5 oz. goat’s cheese
½ c. pesto or garlic scape pesto
1 c. breadcrumbs, toasted with olive oil or butter
Julienne kohlrabi. (Slice the kohlrabi ¼” thick, then stack the pieces and slice them again to make pieces about ¾” by ¼” by ¼”. To slice, place a peeled bulb on its flat bottom and start slicing – creating rectangles. Slice the stacked rectangles to create short sticks rather than long sticks.)
Toss the kohlrabi pieces with the oil and put into a sauté pan. Turn heat to high and stir fry. You can also put the lid on once the pan is very hot and semi-steam and roast the kohlrabi. Cook only 7-10 minutes, watching to avoid over-cooking. They will lose their crispness and be easy to pierce with a fork, but don’t cook so much that they begin to fall apart.
Add the pesto.
Crumble the goat’s cheese on top and toss to distribute.
Place in a 2 quart, oiled baking dish. Top with toasted crumbs. Bake at 375°F 30 minutes. Serve with a salad.
Note: can use mix of beets, radishes, turnips, etc. – with kohlrabi, and any kind of pesto works. Recipe with beets works particularly well with sundried tomato pesto
Thanks, and see you soon!
Your farmers, Aaron and Kara