Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What to Do With Your Share---Week 3

The Spring lettuces just keep coming this week. You hear some folks say that you can’t grow respectable food using organic methods, but as the leafy greens in your shares have shown they are one crop that grows great, given the weather isn’t too extreme (like the last 7 days).

Being farmers living close to the fields, we get our choice of the extra and less than perfect lettuces. That means we can cut ourselves a couple Regina di Maggio butterheads for a lettuce heart salad this time of year. The center of these lettuces live up to their designation of butteriness (if that’s a word). They are so tender and delicious that they deserve to be a salad all to themselves. They are a five-star treat.

To compliment this salad we recommend the creamy garlic dressing below. You can use green garlic, garlic scapes or bulb garlic for the recipe. This time of year, of course, the fresh garlic choices are the best. Not much else is needed but lettuce hearts and a garnish.

This dressing is bold enough for romaine hearts too. We have lots of large romaines growing right now and you can expect to see a lot of them. Use the outer leaves to top a sandwich, burger or BLT and use the hearts for a nice Caesar salad.

Butterhead Lettuce Heart Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing
(dressing modified from The Silver Palate Cookbook)

1 egg yolk
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar or honey
1/4 cup chopped green garlic or garlic scapes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup best-quality olive oil

1. Take outer leaves off lettuce head (save them for another salad or sandwiches) until you are left with the tender heart. You may want 2 lettuce heads per salad. Wash, dry in a salad spinner, and place in salad bowl or individual bowls.
2. Combine egg yolk, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process briefly.
3. With the motor running, slowly dribble in the olive oil.
4. Taste, correct seasoning if necessary, and transfer to storage/serving container.
5. Top salad with the dressing and garnish of choice (we used roasted pumpkin seeds).

We have to report that year's strawberry season is getting off to a tough start. It appears we suffered significant frost damage from the early-May cold spell, and may have other, yet to be determined problems. Of the two patches, the patch planted last year is doing the best. We will be talking to Extension to see what their opinion is. We hope that we will grow out of this slump.

The berries you receive might not have the shine and firmness that you are used to, but based on many samples, we feel that they are flavorful and should be handed out. We encourage you to use them soon, as they are a delicate fruit.

Hakurei Turnips
Everyone likes to be original, so most of our recipes are born of what is at hand and our creative hunger. But the more we search the web for recipes, the more we see that the aptitude of folks to cook fresh vegetables in imaginative ways is growing in leaps and bounds. I realized this as I searched for Hakurei turnip recipes the other day.

We have had an excellent harvest of Hakurei’s this Spring, and hope to have them in your share for a couple weeks. We don’t want to load you with a particular veggie without some cooking suggestions, so I searched for Hakurei turnip recipes, and found a slew of options. The curried Hakurei’s on The Veggie Project blog caught my eye.

The blog is posted as “a group of Boston-area families committed to cooking with local vegetables. During the summer of 2008, we each plan to try new vegetarian recipes with produce from local farms. We will use this blog to share information about the recipes we have cooked, and hope to inspire others to cook more locally.”

Curried Hakurei Turnips
1 chopped onion (you can substitute green onions or green garlic)
2 tablespoons oil
5 or 6 harkurei, sliced thin
2 teaspoons curry powder (makes a hot dish)
1 teaspoon salt
one lemon, cut into wedges

Sauté the onion in the oil for a few minutes until translucent. Add the turnips, the curry powder and salt and cook until everything is tender. Squeeze some lemon juice over the dish before serving and serve with extra lemon wedges.---We used lime. This is an excellent combination of turnips and onions.

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Tiff here. I've been using the turnips everywhere I might usually use a potato. They have been fabulous. I've got pictures and soon to be recipes on my facebook.

Thanks awesome farmers!