Dear CSA members,
I hope that you all came through last week’s storm without too much damage and disruption! We were worried about our tender transplants being beaten up by the predicted high winds, but it turned out to be the heavy rain that did the most damage to our lake field, cutting deep channels across the beds as the water raced down the slope toward the lake. The biggest losses look to be to our potato and leek crops, as a good section of potatoes were unearthed by the racing water and not quite half of our leeks got entirely buried under eroded sand.
The extra work created by storm cleanup and the extra water dumped on our already wet ground mean that we’re still running a full two to three weeks behind on getting plants in the ground. We’ll be working extra-hard this week trying to finish up getting our spring transplants in, as well as weeding, mulching, and trellising those crops that are now growing like crazy with all this rain. Send us good thoughts for some nice sunny days!
I’m excited about what we have in shares for you this week. The snap peas are delicious raw and rarely make it onto the stove around here. But this morning as I’m typing this newsletter, John is making a pea sauté for lunch:
Snap Pea Sauté
Ingredients: snap peas, stem ends & strings removed; scallions, sliced; garlic, minced; olive oil or butter; tamari (to taste)
Heat olive oil or butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic, then turn up heat slightly and add peas to pan. Sauté peas over medium-high heat until peas are cooked to your taste (I like them still a little crispy). Stir in scallions and cook for fifteen seconds, then add tamari and stir to coat. You should keep the heat high throughout the last part of the cooking so that the tamari coats the vegetables rather than pooling in your pan. Serve hot.
I also like sugar snap peas cooked with ginger. Here’s a pea and ginger stir-fry from Anne Burrell that calls for spinach, but I think that you could easily use kale instead:
Sugar Snap Peas and Spinach with Ginger
Ingredients: 1 pound sugar snap peas, stem end and strings removed; 1 scallion, thinly sliced; extra-virgin olive oil; 2 cloves garlic, smashed; 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, finely chopped; Kosher salt; 1/2 pound baby spinach, washed but not dried, stems removed (or kale)
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Set up a bowl of well-salted ice water. Blanch the snap peas in the boiling water until they are cooked but still crunchy and then immediately plunge them into the salted ice water. Remove them from the ice water and reserve.
Coat a large saute pan with olive oil. Add the ginger, garlic, and scallion and cook over medium-high heat until scallions are soft and translucent. Add the sugar snap peas and toss to coat in the oil. Add the spinach or kale and toss with the peas until it starts to wilt. Remove from heat, season with salt. Toss or stir to finish wilting and transfer to a serving bowl.
Here’s another of my favorite cooked kale recipes, from Trent & Ruthie Thompson of Green Gardens Community Farm:
Kale, Mushroom and Dill Triangles
Ingredients: 1 tbsp butter; 1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh dill; 2-3 oz fresh mushrooms (finely chopped); 1/6 cup green onion (minced); 3/4 lb kale; 1/6 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese; 3 eggs (beaten); 1/2 tsp salt; 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half; 1/8 tsp pepper
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a square 8×8 (or approximately sized) baking dish.
Heat butter in skillet over medium-high flame. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until tender and liquid has evaporated. Cool 10-15 minutes. While they are cooling, chop kale and steam until just wilted. Combine with remaining ingredients, including cooled mushrooms. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake until set, 20-30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Cut into squares, then cut each square into 2 triangles. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The weird curvy stalks in your boxes are garlic scapes. They are the flower stalk of the garlic plant and can be used in pretty much any recipe in which you’d use fresh garlic. They are particularly good in stir-fries or you can chop them up raw into salads or incorporate them into dips or salad dressings. The herbs in your boxes this week are dill and cilantro. Cilantro is great in salsas or sprinkled over spicy foods like black bean chili or enchiladas. You can also use it to make salad dressings for all of your lovely lettuces:
Lime Cilantro Dressing
Ingredients:1 bunch cilantro, rinsed, with tougher stems removed (tender stems can be eaten); ½ cup lime juice (I used lemon, because that’s what I had and it was still pretty good); ½ cup good quality olive oil; 2-3 tablespoons honey, to taste; salt & pepper to taste. Optional: one or two scallions
Place cilantro leaves in a food processor and chop fine. Add scallions here too, if you’re using them. Add lime juice and process a few seconds. Slowly pour in olive oil and process until well mixed. Add honey, salt, and pepper to your preferences.
Speaking of lovely lettuces, those of you with full shares are receiving an assortment of head lettuce this week. Next week, we hope to have head lettuces in all share boxes. Some of the outer leaves of these heads were torn by hail last week, but they are still mighty tasty. We are experimenting with a variety of head lettuces this year to determine which ones we want to grow more of in the future, so we’d love to hear your feedback about which ones you like best. The lettuces this week are from Frank Morton’s “Freedom Mix” and have an astounding variety of colors and textures. I’ll attach some photos so that you can see how pretty they all are.
Have a great week! Amy