Our newsletter from June 16:
Dear CSA members,
Well, we didn’t get blown away last night! I think the worst of the storm went to the north and south of us, so we had a good lightning show and a good rain with some wind, but not the hail and extreme winds we were afraid of. We are grateful for the rain, actually, as it’s hard to keep up with the watering when it’s as dry as it’s been the past couple of weeks.
Obviously, I didn’t make it to the paper store this past week—but we did get the melons and cucumbers in the ground (thank you Tracy!). This coming weekend we’re hoping to finish up planting squash and sweet corn. Then maybe I’ll have time to go shopping!
‘Tis the season for leafy greens. We’ve got a bunch of them for you this week so you can enjoy them both raw in salads and also cooked. The arugula, which shot up overnight during the rain (I’d hoped to cut it at a slightly smaller leaf size, but I swear it grew an inch last night), will add a spicy kick to your salad mix. Or, one of my favorite ways to eat arugula is in pesto:
Ingredients: 2 cups fresh arugula leaves, chopped; 1/8 cup toasted walnuts or pine nuts, pulverized; 2 garlic cloves, minced (or use the garlic scapes in your shares today instead); 1/4 cup olive oil; 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, asiago, or romano cheese; Salt, to taste
The easiest way to make pesto is in a blender or food processor. Blend your arugula leaves with the cheese, nuts, garlic, and salt, adding enough oil so that everything forms a smooth paste. Taste and add more of anything that you desire more of. If you’re planning to use your pesto as a sandwich or pizza spread, you may want to leave it fairly thick. If you’re planning to use it as a pasta sauce, you might want to add more olive oil so that it becomes more sauce-like than spread-like. If you don’t use your pesto immediately, the surface will turn brown in the refrigerator. You can prevent this by pouring a thin layer of olive oil across the surface of the pesto to seal out air.
The spinach is another green that’s delicious both raw and in cooked recipes. John made this spinach lasagna recipe from Laurel’s Kitchen last night and it turned out great:
Lasagna al Forno
Ingredients: 3/4 lb. whole wheat or whole wheat-soy lasagna noodles; 6 cups Tomato Sauce Italian Stlye; 2 cups cottage cheese; 3 cups grated mozzarella or Swiss cheese (10 oz); 1-3 bunches spinach; 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese; 3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts or almonds
Cook noodles in a very large pan of boiling, salted water until almost tender: they will cook more in the oven, absorbing liquid from the sauce as they do, and if they are slightly under cooked at this point, they’ll hold together better while you are assembling the dish. After draining the noodles, it can be helpful to spread them out on a towel or waxed paper, or submerge them in cold water.
Grease a 9″” X 13″” X 2 1/2″” baking dish. Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom, and then a layer of noodles, lengthwise. Keep the best noodles for the top and use broken ones in the middle. Each layer of noodles should lie crosswise to the one below it.
On the layer of noodles, spread the first layer of filling: one half the cottage cheese, one third the nuts, one fourth of the Parmesan; then a coating of sauce. Layer the noodles again, then the spinach and most of the mozzarella, and sauce. More noodles, another cheese and nuts layer, and your prettiest noodles across the top. Add sauce and the rest of the nuts and cheese across the top.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 45 minutes (if your ingredients were hot, the shorter time will be enough); then let stand 10 minutes before cutting-otherwise it will be too runny to hold together, and too hot to eat.
The curly things in your shares today are garlic scapes. These are the flower stalks and buds of the garlic plant. We snap them off (this is called “popping the garlic tops”) before they flower because we want the garlic to put its energy into making nice juicy bulbs , not into flowering and making seeds. But the scapes themselves are deliciously garlicky! Chop them finely and use them in anything you’d normally use garlic in: soups, stir-fries, or the arugula pesto recipe above.
Enjoy and have a great week!
Amy & John