March 23, 2016

What’s in the box this week?

 

Standard Shares include

  • Asparagus! – From our friends at Riverdog Farm. If you have wondered about the origins of white asparagus before, wonder no more!  It is not genetically induced in any way. Rather, the albino spears and their lack of pigment is the direct result of an absence of sunlight, created by humans.  Farmers pile soil over the emerging spears and cut them off from below to produce the ghostly novelty. Purple asparagus, on the other hand, is a genetic variety. But don’t get too excited—it reverts to green when cooked.

  • Dandelion - Ooh, dandelion pumpkin seed pesto (makes about 1 cup)!  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour the ¾ c unsalted hulled green pumpkin seeds onto a shallow-rimmed baking sheet and roast until just fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Pulse 3 garlic cloves, minced and pumpkin seeds together in the bowl of a food processor until very finely chopped.  Add ¼ c freshly grated parmesan cheese, 1 bunch loosely packed dandelion greens, and 1 tbsp lemon juice and process continuously until combined. Stop the processor every now and again to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The pesto will be very thick and difficult to process after awhile — that's ok.  With the blade running, slowly pour in ½ c extra-virgin olive oil and process until the pesto is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.  To avoid that dark green/black layer that can form on the top of fresh pesto: lay plastic wrap coated with a little olive oil directly over the pesto and seal it in a container with an air-tight lid. The pesto will keep for 4-6 days this way, refrigerated, or several months frozen.

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

  • Kale - Try a parsley, kale and berry smoothie - Purée ½ c packed flat-leaf parsley (leaves & stems), 3 kale leaves (center ribs removed), 1 c frozen organic berries (strawberries or raspberries), 1 banana (cut into pieces), and 1 tsp ground flaxseed with 1 c water in a blender until smooth (add water if too thick).

  • Chard - Make a chard tzaziki… Prepare an ice bath; set aside. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add 1 c chard (stemmed and finely chopped); cook until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain. Immediately plunge into ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain.  Using a mortar and pestle, grind 1 garlic clove and ¼ tsp coarse salt into a paste. Stir chard, 1 c Greek yogurt, garlic paste, 1 tbsp extra-virgin oil, l1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, and ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Dip carrots, crackers, pita bread, etc!

  • Navel Oranges - Fun fact: You can’t tell the ripeness of an orange by its color, no matter where it’s from. If an orange is unpicked, it can stay on the tree until the next season, during which time fluctuations in temperature can make it turn from green to orange and back to green again without the quality or flavor being affected. Another fun fact: commercial growers (And us) pick all of the oranges on the trees prior to blossom so the tree can put all of its energy back into producing more fruit.  A proven way to improve yields.  

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

 

Vegetable Forecast

Bunched Spinach, Red Beets, Chard, Kale, Baby Savoy Cabbage, Navel Oranges,  Oregano

 

News

We’re using the slow harvest time and break in the rain to get busy! We resumed plugging away in the fields Monday morning - including transplanting over 60,000 onions and 15,000 shallots to keep your summer boxes full of these sweet cooking staples.  Storage onions are harvested once a year.  Having the seed sown 3 months ago, we’ve transplanted them now at the spring solstice, which means we’ll be harvesting sometime in late July  around the summer solstice.  Then we’ll cure them to be sure the skins set and give us a good shot at a long storage life.  In about 6-8 weeks we can begin thinning any multiple plugs and offering fresh bunching onions for your kitchen.


We’re excited to be able to send you seasonal hallmarks that we don’t grow like this week’s asparagus from our local friendly farmers at Riverdog Farms.  Fun fact: Asparagus plants take three years to get established, and during their peak harvest season, need to be tended early mornings every day.  We hope you enjoy!

 

 

Recipe

 

Grilled Asparagus and Goat Cheese with Pine Nuts and Marjoram on Pane Pugliese (Serves 2)

What a spring treat - combine two of this week’s box ingredients for a yummy toast idea!  Thank you to Food & Travel Magazine for the recipe, which we’ve slightly adapted!

 

  • 4 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

  • 12 small black olives, preferably Riviera or Niçoise

  • 8 sprigs fresh marjoram, leaves picked off

  • 6 oz semi-soft goat cheese round

  • 1 bunch asparagus trimmed and part peeled

  • 2 large slices pane Pugliese or other rustic bread

  • 1 fat clove garlic, peeled

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving

For the dressing

  • 1⁄2 tsp Dijon mustard

  • 11⁄2 tsp white balsamic vinegar

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • pinch sugar or drop of honey, to taste

 

Heat the grill to high and fit a rack about 13cm from the element.

To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a screw-topped jar, then shake to emulsify and pour into a bowl. Roughly chop the pine nuts and add to the dressing. Place the olives on a board, cover with saran wrap and crack them open with the end of a rolling pin; take off the saran wrap and remove the pits. Add the flesh to the dressing along with the picked marjoram leaves.

Line a tray that will be large enough for the cheese and asparagus with foil. First toast the bread on the lined tray for about 1 minute each side until golden. Rub one side of each piece of toast generously with the garlic clove. Set aside on 2 serving plates.

Cut the cheese in half and place on the lined tray cut-side up. Line up the asparagus each side and spoon the oil over everything; season the asparagus with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and the cheese with just pepper. Toss the asparagus to coat evenly. Grill for 2 minutes, remove and turn the asparagus over and continue to grill for another minute or so until the cheese is golden and the asparagus tender.

Spoon a little oil over the toast, add 1⁄4 of the asparagus to each piece followed by the cheese halves. Top with the rest of the asparagus and spoon over the dressing mixture and a little extra oil. Eat while hot.

 

 

Pics of the Week:

Plug, plug, plugging away.