January 29, 2014

What’s in the box this week?

Standard Shares include

  • ArugulaWith an array of minerals and high levels of iron and copper, it a good substitute for spinach if you’re paying attention to getting more vegetable-based iron in your diet.
  • Baby KaleIts scientific name is Brassica Oleracea var. acephala – The Latin name Brassica derives from the Celtic bresic; oleracea refers to a vegetable garden herb that is used in cooking.  The distinctive part of kale’s name is acephala, meaning headless, which separates it (and collards, a non-curly sibling) from the rest of the other cabbages.
  • Baby Romaine LettuceLettuce was first cultivated in ancient Egypt for the production of oil from its seeds. This plant was probably selectively bred by the Egyptians into a plant grown for its edible leaves, with evidence of its cultivation appearing as early as 2680 BC.
  • Napa CabbageTime to make kimchi in this week’s recipe!
  • Spring OnionUse the whole thing!
  • RosemaryFreshly used leaves should be crushed or minced to bring out their full flavor before sprinkling over or rubbing into foods.
  • Navel OrangesBetter drink it fast!! Juice pressed from navels turns bitter with exposure to air.

 

Egg Shares include eggs from our certified organic, pasture-raised, happy hens.

 

Don’t forget – you can always add extra items to your order at our Online Market.

 

Vegetable Forecast Baby Bloomsdale Spinach, Mizuna Mix, Baby Savoy Cabbage, Baby Carrots, Purple Top Turnips, Navel Oranges, Sun-Dried Cayenne Peppers

 

Pic of the week What little water we have is stored in this beaver pond.  It shouldn’t be brown around the edges this time of year.  If you look closely, you can see the beaver head poking up as he swims from the upper left of the picture.  That’s the first time we’ve made face-to-face contact.

  

News

The 2014 Eco-Farm Conference took place last week at the Asilomar Grounds in Monterey.  Farmers from around the country (although largely from the agricultural state of California) gathered to share concepts, skills, and camaraderie.  It was a fantastic time filled with many friendly faces and dreamy plans.  Chris, May, Dena, and Rachel were able to attend while Dusty and Jess held down the fort raising our baby chicks, caring for the hens, irrigating, and harvesting.  We get back to work this week and prepare for a hectic spring planting while we navigate the challenges posed by the historic drought.

 

Recipe

 

Mak Kimchi or Simple Kimchi (Makes 1 quart)

 

There are over one hundred different types of kimchi, but this is a great place to start!  This pungent, fermented cabbage is made by lacto-fermentation, the same process that creates sauerkraut and traditional dill pickles. In the first stage, the cabbage is soaked in a salty brine that kills off harmful bacteria. In the second stage, the remaining Lactobacillus bacteria convert sugars into lactic acid, which preserves the vegetables and gives them that wonderful, tangy flavor.  Thank you to Emily from The Kitchn for the great kimchi info and family recipe!

  • 1 (2-lb) head Napa cabbage

  • 1/4 c sea salt or kosher salt (see Recipe Notes)

  • Water (see Recipe Notes)

  • 1 tbs grated garlic (about 5-6 cloves)

  • 1 tsp grated ginger

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 2-3 tbs seafood flavor or water (optional, see Recipe Notes)

  • 1-5 tbs Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)

  • 8 oz Korean radish or daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks

  • 4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-in pieces

You’ll need:
Cutting board and knife

Large bowl, small bowl, and a colander
Plate and something to weigh the kimchi down (like a jar or can of beans)
Clean 1-qt jar with canning lid or plastic lid
Bowl or plate to place under jar during fermentation

Cut the cabbage. Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips.

Salt the cabbage. Place the cabbage and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands (gloves optional), massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit, then add water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy, like a jar or can of beans. Let stand for 1-2 hours.

Rinse and drain the cabbage. Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3 times and drain in a colander for 15-20 minutes. Rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting, and set it aside to use in step 5.

Make the paste. Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, and seafood flavor (or 3 tbs water) in a small bowl and mix to form a smooth paste. Mix in the gochugaru, using 1 tbs for mild and up to 5 tbs for spicy.

Combine the vegetables and paste. Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and return it to the bowl along with the radish, scallions, and seasoning paste.

Mix thoroughly. Using your hands, gently work the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated. The gloves are optional here but highly recommended to protect your hands from stings, stains, and smells!

Pack the kimchi into the jar. Pack the kimchi into the jar, pressing down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1-inch of headspace. Seal the jar with te lid.

Let it ferment. Let the jar stand at room temperature for 1-5 days. You may see bubbles inside the jar and brine may seep out of the lid; place a bowl or plate under the jar to help catch any overflow.

Check it daily and refrigerate when ready. Check the kimchi once a day, pressing down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. (This also releases gases produced during fermentation.) Taste a little at this point, too! When the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator. You may eat it right away, but it's best after another week or two.

Recipe Notes

Salt: Use salt that is free of iodine and/or anti-caking agents, which can inhibit fermentation.

Water: Chlorinated water can inhibit fermentation, so use spring, distilled, or filtered water if you can.

Seafood flavor and vegetarian alternatives: Seafood gives kimchi an umami flavor. Different regions and families may use fish sauce, salted shrimp paste, oysters, and other seafood. Use about 2 tbs of fish sauce, salted shrimp paste, or a combination of the two. For vegetarian kimchi, I like using 3/4 tsp kelp powder mixed with 3 tbs water, or simply 3 tbs of water.