From the Land 1/18

food for thoughtsalad mix and swiss chard from Crooked Sky, butternut squash and garlic from Sun Sufficiency, onions from Whipstone, sprouts (choice of alfalfa, broccoli or radish) from SproutKidz, grapefruit from the Hawkins’, and pickled root veggies (choice of daikon radish and carrot, just daikons, or beets) from Crooked Sky Farms and prepared by me!

garlic
chioggia beets: Allium sativum

Garlic has been used for thousands of years as both food and medicine. Especially relevant in cold and flu season, garlic is not only delicious but can help prevent heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, to boost the immune system, and may even help prevent cancer, as it’s high content of antioxidants destroy free radicals!

Eat it raw to get the most out of this health-giving food. Second best, though, is to let it sit after chopping or mincing before putting it in the pan or otherwise changing its temperature or pH, which lets the alliinase enzymes get to work. Microwaving or boiling the whole clove has been found to decrease the cancer-protective properties. Research suggests including garlic in at least one meal each day – at least 1/2 clove per serving.

The bulbs of garlic you pick up from CSA today can supplement your garlic habit for years to come! In our growing climate, garlic can be planted either late fall or early spring. For spring planting, make sure that the cloves are chilled and then plant in late February or March. One clove will yield one bulb. Plant the clove pointy side up in well-draining soil in a sunny location. Space the cloves 4-6 inches apart, and plant them 2 inches deep. Water to keep moist, but make sure you don’t overwater or the cloves will rot. Harvest when the tops dry out. Check out herbs2000.com for more info!

fermented foods
People have been fermenting almost as long as we’ve been farming. It is the original food preservation, and the beneficial cultures that break down the food during this process actually generate nutrients, such as vitamin B and iron. That’s right – the nutrient content of fermented foods is actually higher than of the raw ingredient itself! Fermented foods increase metabolism, produce healthy enzymes, and boost antibiotic and anticarcinogenic  substances. They promote healthy bacteria in the intestine with regular consumption of a variety of fermented foods.
Common fermented foods are all around us: dairy (yogurt, kefir), soy (tempeh, miso) and cabbage (sauerkraut and kimchi). Unfortunately, many of these are industrially produced and use vinegar to speed the process rather than the traditional way of lacto-fermentation, in which the starches and sugars in vegetables are converted into lactic acid, which then starts to “pre-digest” the food.
That said, using high-quality vinegar can be a good way to make “refrigerator pickles” of different varieties. This process of quick fermentation is not a substitute for lacto-fermentation, as it does not give the same health benefits, but the vinegar itself is a healthy fermented food.
Today you get the choice of (vinegar-fermented) daikon radishes, radishes and carrots, or beets. You can actually keep the liquid and continue adding sliced or julienned root veggies, greens, or other vegetables! Let the newly added veggies sit for a couple days. These pickled treats are traditionally served on a banh mi sandwich, though are also delicious straight out of the jar as a snack!  I hope you enjoy them.
recipes
vietnamese daikon and carrot pickles (“do chua”)
adapted from foodnetwork.com
  • 2 pounds carrots (about 5 medium sized carrots), peeled
  • 2 pounds of daikon radishes (about 2 large daikon), peeled
  • 1 cup plus 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups warm water (warm enough to easily dissolve sugar)
Julienne the carrots and the daikon radishes. Cut them first crosswise into 2 1/2 inch long segments. Then cut 1/4-inch thick slices lengthwise. Stack the slices and cut them again into 1/4-inch thick batons.

Place the carrots and daikon radishes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 4 teaspoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt. Use your clean hands to toss the carrots and daikon with the salt and sugar until well coated. Continue to mix the carrots and daikon with your hands until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. They are ready once you can bend a piece of daikon all the way over without it breaking.

Transfer the carrots and daikon to a colander, rinse with cool water and drain well.

In a bowl (a 8 cup pyrex measuring cup works great for this) mix together one cup of sugar, the white vinegar and the warm water, until the sugar dissolves.

Prepare clean jars. Pack the daikon and carrots tightly into the jars. Pour over the pickling liquid to cover. Seal. Refrigerate.

The pickles should sit at least overnight before eating; their flavor will improve with time. They should last 4 to 6 weeks in the refrigerator.

Traditionally served in Vietnamese street sandwiches called Banh Mi. These pickles would be great with anything that would typically be served with coleslaw or sauerkraut, like hot dogs, or barbecued pork, or even with salad or wrapped into a spring roll. Or just eat them straight.

panela-coated scallops with jicama, grapefruit, and roasted garlic mojo
adapted from foodnetwork.com
  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, roasted
  • 1 cup olive oil, plus extra, for searing
  • 1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
  • 1 small red onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 medium jicama, cut into small dice (or substitute salad turnip, water chestnuts, radishes, or even apples!)
  • 2 grapefruits, segmented and cut into small dice
  • 1 pound scallops, cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons grated panela (or other Mexican cheese)
  • Salt and pepper

Combine grapefruit juice, roasted garlic, olive oil and zest in a blender. Season with salt and pepper. Puree; this is the mojo.

Combine red onions, jicama, and grapefruit segments and dress with the mojo. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Set aside.

In a saute pan, heat a little oil over high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. When the oil is smoking, sear the scallops on both sides, remove from the pan, and set aside.

Deglaze the saute pan with balsamic vinegar, then add Worcestershire and panela. Cook until thick and syrupy. Add scallops back to the pan and pour over jicama and grapefruit salsa.

Divide the scallops and salsa onto 4 plates.

roasted garlic and butternut squash soup
adapted from rachelraymag.com
  • 1 butternut squash (about 2-3/4 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for brushing
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large yellow-fleshed potato, such as Yukon gold (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup caramelized onions
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley or chives
Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the cut sides of the squash and the garlic cloves with the olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut sides down on the baking sheet, tucking the garlic cloves and thyme into the squash cavities. Roast until tender, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the potato in a medium saucepan and fill with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a low boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
When the squash is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the peel and the thyme. cut the squash into large pieces. In a blender, working in batches, puree the squash, garlic cloves, potato and chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper.
In a medium saucepan, heat the soup over medium-low heat until warmed through. Divide among 4 serving bowls and top with the yogurt, onions and parsley.
swiss chard salad with garlicky yogurt
adapted from foodandwine.com
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 2 pounds Swiss chard, leaves only, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1/4 cup tahini, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Roast the red bell pepper directly over a gas flame or under a preheated broiler, turning as needed, until charred all over. Transfer the pepper to a bowl, cover and let steam for 10 minutes. Peel and seed the pepper, then cut it into 1/4-inch dice.
Put the Swiss chard in a large colander and set in the sink. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt over the chard and rub it into the leaves with your fingers. Let stand for 1 minute, then rinse the chard and squeeze dry.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add 2 of the minced garlic cloves and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the Swiss chard and cook, stirring, until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the roasted red pepper and cook for 1 minute. Transfer the vegetables to a platter and spread them in an even layer. Let cool.
In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the tahini, lemon juice and the remaining 3 minced garlic cloves. Season with salt. Spoon the yogurt sauce over the cooled Swiss chard.
In a small skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the crushed red pepper and cook over moderately high heat until the pepper begins to sizzle, about 10 seconds. Pour the pepper oil over the yogurt sauce. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve.
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