January 13, 2015

What’s in the box this week?

Standard Shares include

  • Cauliflower – Did you know that you can also eat the leaves?!?!? Roasting: To prepare the leaves, trim off the woody ends of the stem, give the leaves a quick wash, and then throw them in a bowl or plastic bag with some oil and spices, like dill and garlic powder. Place the oiled leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in a 400°F oven until they darken and get crispy, about 15 minutes. Or, if you already heated up the BBQ, go ahead and place larger leaves directly on a grill over high heat or on a grill pan.  Mix the leaves with florets or other roasted veggies as a side to your main meal. Serve under a juicy piece of meat, or fish, OR cauliflower steak. Toss immediately with herbs, nuts, and dressing for a warm salad. Or keep the leaves in the oven a little longer and enjoy them like chips. Just make sure you eat them while they’re hot (or warm).

  • Little Gem Lettuce – For a basic vinaigrette: Combine the olive oil and balsamic in a 3:1 ratio in  a jam jar or other container with a good-sealing lid. Add a big pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Optional extras: spoonful of mustard, minced shallots, minced garlic, minced fresh herbs, teaspoon dried herbs, spoonful of honey or brown sugar! Screw on the lid and shake vigorously. Dip a piece of lettuce into the vinaigrette and taste. Adjust the salt, pepper, or the proportion of oil and vinegar to taste.. This dressing will keep on the counter for several weeks (refrigerate if you added any fresh ingredients). The oil and vinegar will separate a few minutes after shaking — shake to recombine before dressing your salad.     

  • Kale - Make mustardy kale and butternut squash: Heat the 2 tbsp olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 small butternut squash (cut into 3/4-inch pieces) and cook, tossing occasionally, until beginning to soften, 10-12 minutes. Add about 10 cups kale (thick stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces), 1 cup veggie or chicken broth, 1 tbsp whole-grain mustard, ¾ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper to the pan and cook, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 8-10 minutes. Enjoy!

  • Chard - The star of this week’s recipe!

  • Leeks - Refrigerate leeks up to one week, loosely wrapped in plastic. Wait to trim the tops and roots until just before using.

  • Oranges - In 1873, three orange trees were brought from Brazil and planted in Riverside, CA. One of the trees is still alive and bearing fruits!

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

 

 

Vegetable Forecast

Brussels Sprouts, Kale, Chard, Leeks, Kohlrabi, Oranges

 

 

 

News

In California, here near the Capay Valley, we have every season except an off-season.  We still keep up our harvests 6 days/week and have plenty of ‘shovel-ready’ projects - catching up and fixing things from last year and adding new tools to the shed for this year.  

 

This time of year is also full of dreaming and making plans.  We are ordering seeds and setting into motion what we’ll be eating and doing in 2016.  One small misstep could mean a crop failure or lack of harvest nine months down the road.  Farming is not rocket science, but it is a managerial science.  Keeping your plates full of a diversity of healthy crops every week keeps us on our toes (which are tucked away in our mud boots at the moment).

 

 

Recipe

 

Swiss Chard Pancakes or “Farçous”  

According to Deb from the always incredible blog Smitten Kitchen, “farçous hail from Aveyron, France in the southwest and they have the texture of a thick crepe. There’s no melted butter or leavening in them, just a simple batter of eggs, flour, and milk with as much green stuff as you desire to blend into them (a mix of herbs, onion, garlic and greens is the norm).”  I think we can all agree that these sound delicious, easy to put together, and a perfect dish to keep the cold out!

 

  • 2 c (475 ml) whole milk

  • 2 1/2 c (325 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 tsp coarse salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped

  • 10 fresh chives, snipped

  • 1 shallot, coarsely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped

  • Leaves from 10 parsley sprigs

  • 5 large or 10 small Swiss chard leaves, center ribs removed, roughly chopped

  • About 1/2 cup (120 ml) grapeseed, peanut, vegetable, or olive oil

 

To serve: Plain, thick yogurt mixed with a little lemon zest, lemon juice and salt, to taste

If you’d like to keep your finished pancakes warm while you cook them: Heat oven to 250°F and line a baking sheet with foil.

Make the batter: Put everything except the Swiss chard and oil in a blender or food processor and whirl until the batter is smooth. Scrape down sides. Add chard leaves and pulse machine until they’re chopped to your desired consistency.

Cook the pancakes: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and pour in a good puddle (1/4-inch deep) of oil. Once oil is hot enough that a droplet of batter hisses and sputters, spoon about 3 tablespoons batter in per pancake. It will spread quickly. Cook until browned underneath and (the edges will scallop, adorably), then flip, cooking on the other side until browned again. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, and then, if you’d like to keep them warm, to the foil-lined tray in the oven.

Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with lemony yogurt or another sauce of your choice.

Do ahead: Unused batter keeps in fridge for 3 days. Finished pancakes keep in fridge for a couple days, and will freeze much longer. Separate pancakes with pieces of waxed or parchment paper so they don’t glue together.

 

 

Pics of the Week

 

One of our CSA-exclusive test varieties: Cheddar Cauliflower.  Expect purple cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in the weeks to come.

Our hens playing in the barley.