Our newsletter from June 29:
Dear CSA members,
Okay, I admit it—I planted too many turnips! I must have been hungry and craving turnips on the day that I seeded them. The old advice about not grocery shopping when you’re hungry goes for planting things too, I guess. We’ve been eating a lot of them raw with dip and in salads, as well as in stir-fries. I hope that you are finding some different ways to enjoy them too. If you come up with a new recipe that you like, please share it with me!
Since we have lots of turnips, we’re offering them to you again this week because we know that some of you like them as much as we do. Some of you are probably getting your fill of them! If you are picking up on the farm and there is ever any produce that we’re offering that you know you don’t like and won’t use, please feel free not to take it. It won’t hurt our feelings—we know that people have different tastes. We try to offer a bounty of different produce so that your plates will be full even if you choose not to use all of the different vegetables we have to offer. When the community-supported agriculture movement started in this country, it was envisioned as a way for a community of people to support farmers using growing practices that they valued, not as just another way to exchange cash for a certain quantity of produce. So I hope that you won’t feel like you are “wasting” your membership dollars if you don’t eat everything offered in your shares. The way I see it, your membership supports so much more than the food that ends up on your plate! It supports our attempts to reduce the agricultural chemicals in our soil, air, and water; our building of biodiversity in our soil and ecosystem; and our working toward a more just, local food system. We’re one very small farm and so our impact is pretty small, but there are over 12,000 CSA farms across the United States right now! Collectively, we are making a difference.
Kale is another vegetable that we’re giving you a lot of. Kale is an easy-grower and does well under a variety of growing conditions, so it’s available most of the year. When we first started the CSA, we didn’t load up shares with quite so much kale. We’ve heard from many of you, though, that kale has become a staple of your diets and that you put it in all kinds of things, from soups to fruit smoothies. So we’re keeping the kale coming, but again, if you are picking up on the farm, don’t feel obligated to take it if you don’t want it.
We have beets this week! I find that some people are just crazy about beets and an equal number of people can’t stand them. If you love beets, you probably just want to roast or steam them, slather on some butter or coconut oil and dig in. I usually trim the root and stem ends and cook them with the skins on—the skins will slip off easily after they’ve cooked.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut tops and tails off beets. Place them in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then wrap in a foil packet and place on a baking sheet. Bake until a fork slides in easily. Once they’re cool, rub their skins off with your fingers or a paper towel.
Once your beets are cooked, you can add them to salads, pastas, or other dishes. If you are not a beet lover, try making them into hummus. This recipe has converted more than one beet-hater I know!
Beet Hummus (adapted from simplyrecipes.com)
Ingredients: 3-4 medium beets, roasted or steamed; 1 Tbsp ground cumin (to taste); 2 Tbsp tahini sesame seed paste; Salt (to taste); 2-4 Tbsp lemon juice (to taste); Freshly ground pepper (optional, to taste); 1 small clove garlic, chopped (or garlic scapes). Optional: Cooked chickpeas
Peel & coarsely chop cooked beets. Place all ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust quantities of seasonings to your preferences. If you want to add more protein to your meal, blend in some chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans). I’ve tried it both ways and I prefer it with just the beets, but I know other people that like this better with the addition of the chickpeas. Garnish with scallions or cilantro. Eat as a dip with pita chips, flatbread, sliced hakurei turnips, etc.
One of my students worked on a CSA farm in Pennsylvania last summer and told me that for lunch they would often make beet pizza. I’d never heard of such a thing, so I poked around online and found a bunch of different recipes, some of which called for beet pesto, which I’d also never heard of. Here’s a link to a Roasted Beet, Kale, and Goat Cheese Pizza recipe that sounded good: http://thebohobirdy.com/veggie/roasted-beet-kale-and-goat-cheese-pizza.html.
And which inspired me to make this for lunch:
Amy’s Lunch Beet Pizza
Ingredients: Corn tortillas, kale, basil, cooked beets, goat cheese, olive oil, garlic scapes, balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a baking sheet. Place corn tortillas on the baking sheet and oil their top sides. Bake in oven until crisp. Cool slightly. Shred raw kale and basil. Place on top of tortilla. Slice beets, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, and place them on top of the kale and basil. Chop garlic scapes and sprinkle on top of beets. Crumble goat cheese, grate parmesan, and put these on top of the whole deal. Bake at 425 degrees until cheese is melted.
Enjoy! Amy & John