From the Land 4.17

food for thought

full share: choice of carrots or kale, salad mix, purple top turnips, grapefruit, artichokes, baby swiss chard, fennel, and choice of wheatberries or pinto beans!

partial share: choice of carrots or kale, salad mix, purple top turnips, and grapefruit!

………………………………………..……………………………………………………………………………………..

veg of the week

swiss chard: Beta vulgaris

Chard has been around for centuries. It is of the same species as a beetroot or a common garden beet. Both plants are descendant from the sea beat. The word “swiss” was originally used to differentiate the plant from French spinach varieties. 

Uses: The slightly bitter tasting chard is used in cultures around the world. The fresh young leaves are used raw in salads while the older and tougher leaves are often cooked, steamed, stir-fried on high heat, or sauteed on low heat. The bitterness lessens when cooked, revealing subtle buttery flavors.

Nutrition: Chard is high in vitamin A, C and K. Vitamin K stands for ketamine and helps in blood clotting preventing excess bleeding. Chard is also high in dietary fiber and protein. The stalks are high in iron, hence the red color.

To store: Chard will stay fresh and crispy for 3 days stored in the crisper bin in a plastic bag. Do not wash until ready to eat. To freeze, cut off stems and blanch leaves (dunk in boiling water for two minutes). Drain excess water and store in airtight bags in freezer. They

will stay good for up to a year.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Fair Trade

By Alex Deck

A Fairtrade product has been produced according to set standards that benefit the producers in a “fair” way. These standards include proper and safe working conditions, wages equal to a set world market value and a Fairtrade Premium. The Fairtrade Premium is extra money that goes to support the community that produced the product being sold. Fairtrade certified products do not have to be organic.

There are many fair trade certifiers. The biggest is Fairtrade International. Here are the labels for products that are fair trade for different certifiers. Look out for these labels in grocery stores.

  Fairtrade International

  Fair Trade USA

  World Fair Trade Organization

Here are the principals of the Fairtrade International company:

  • to deliberately work with marginalized producers and workers in order to help them move from a position of vulnerability to security and economic self-sufficiency.

  • to empower producers and workers as stakeholders in their own organizations.

  • to actively to play a wider role in the global arena to achieve greater equity in international trade.

To learn more go to the Fairtrade International website.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…..

Raw Swiss Chard Salad with Maple Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette 
Maple-Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 t pure maple syrup
  • 2 t organic Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
Whisk well and serve.
Swiss Chard Salad
  • 1 bunch of rainbow Swiss chard, thinly sliced
  • 1 organic apple, diced and drizzled with lemon juice
  • 1 handful of organic raisins
  • 1/3 C raw walnuts, soaked overnight
  • sweet onion, finely diced
  • fresh sprouts (to garnish)
  • raw sesame seeds (to garnish)
Enjoy this amazing salad tossed with the Maple-Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette!

Turnip Soup with Bacon
Wayward Seed Farm

  • 1 lb bacon, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 2 C onion, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 2 C potatoes, peeled, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 2 C turnips, peeled, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 4-6 sprigs thyme or 1 bay leaf
  • 1 C greens, torn
  • 1 C cream
  • salt and pepper

In a large sauce pan over medium heat, add bacon. Cover and cook slowly until fat renders, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat.

Return pan to medium heat, add onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Do not brown.

Add potatoes and turnips to cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add thyme, enough water to cover, bring to a boil, and reduce. Cook at brisk simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender.

Meanwhile, cook torn greens in butter or some of the bacon fat over high heat until wilted. Reduce and cook over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes. Add greens to soup and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add cream, salt, and pepper. Remove bay leaf or thyme and serve.

If soup becomes too thick, thin with broth, water or cream.

 

Grapefruit Brulee
From: Huffpost Taste

  • 3 large grapefruits
  • 6 T packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 T butter, cut into tiny pieces
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
Position oven rack about 5 inches from broiler; preheat broiler.
Slice the stem end and opposite end off each grapefruit. Stand the grapefruit, one cut-end down, on a work surface. Cut off the rind and pith with a sharp knife, making sure to remove all the white pith. Cut each fruit into 4 rounds, about 1/2 inch thick, by making slices parallel to the ones you made on the top and bottom.
Place the slices in a large baking pan in a single layer. Top each with 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar, dot with butter and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Broil the grapefruit until bubbling and starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Drizzle pan juices over each serving.
Advertisements

From the Land 3.13

announcements

The CSA is still operating during normal hours during spring break. Students: only some of you have signed up for this week. If you are unsure please email or call us.

Also, please remember your reusable and/or plastic bags this week. We’re completely out of plastic bags, and would love some donations from your collection!

job posting: The Prescott Farmers Market is currently seeking a Managing Director. If you’re interested, you can see the job posting here: http://prescottfarmersmarket.org/20130223141/hiring.html. Resumes are due this Friday.

food for thought

full share: DeCiccio broccoli, hakurei turnips, red potatoes, salad mix, Quelites, radishes, Toscano kale, and dill – all from Crooked Sky Farm.

partial share: DeCiccio broccoli, hakurei turnips, red potatoes, and salad mix!

veg of the week

Quelites: Chenopodium album

Quelites is a general term that refers to any wild native Mexican green, but despite their popularity are not commonly found in grocery stores. The Quelites we are receiving today are also known as lambs-quarters. They resemble spinach and can be cooked in the same way. They differ from spinach in that they aren’t quite as fuzzy, are very nutritious, and don’t break down as fast or completely as spinach. They are very popular in Mexican and South American cuisine, and rural New Mexican children are commonly sent out to gather them from the sides of roads and ditches.

Uses: You can use Quelites in any dish you would use spinach. Put them fresh in a salad or add them to eggs – in a quiche, omelette or scrambled eggs.

To store: Store in a plastic bag in your refrigerator’s crisper bin. The greens will lose crispness after the first week, but are still edible for a few weeks after that.

………………………………………………………………………….……………………………..

Crooked Sky Farm
By Alexander Deck

crookdsky2

Frank Martin has always enjoyed farming. In 1999 when he started the farm business, he was driving around and turned onto a road called Crooked Sky Road. When he asked how the road got its name, he was told that the natives in that land called that area “crooked sky” because of how the mountains made the sky look against the horizon.

Today, Crooked Sky Farms is broken up between property in Duncan, Virden, and four different urban locations in Phoenix ranging between 10 to 40 acres. One of the reasons Frank farms in the city is that there is not a lot of farmland available around Phoenix, but the biggest reason is to preserve existing farmland.

Crooked Sky sells at the many different farmers markets in Phoenix, has several of their own CSAs around the valley and in Flagstaff and Tucson, as well as contributing to our PCCSA. You can find out more about the CSA and farm here.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…..

sauteed quelites
adapted from The Food Network
serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bag quelites, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil begins to smoke, add the onions and jalapeno. Cook for 3 minutes until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the greens. Cook for 5 minutes until greens are wilted and tender. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

lamb’s quarters with beans: quelites con frijoles
adapted from mexconnect
serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon corn oil (or your favorite cooking oil)
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chile seeds (from ancho, guajillo or any mild dried red chile)
  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 1 ½ pounds quelites
  • salt to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion, garlic and chile seeds and cook until the onion is just beginning to wilt.

Add the pinto beans and quelites and continue cooking until the greens have wilted. Add salt to taste.

For a vegetarian meal, serve with white rice. Leftover diced pork is a good addition for meat eaters.

peanut mole enchiladas with braised quelites and potatoes
adapted from food and wine

SMOKY PEANUT MOLE

  • 2 medium (about 1 ounce) dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/2 small white onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 pound ripe tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts, plus a few tablespoons chopped for garnish
  • 2 slices firm bread (or 1/2 dry Mexican bolillo roll), torn into pieces
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, seeded
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice, preferably freshly ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, preferably freshly ground Mexican canela
  • About 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fruity red wine
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt, about 1 1/2 teaspoons, depending on the saltiness of the broth
  • Sugar, about 1 tablespoon

Tear the ancho chiles into flat pieces, then toast a few at a time in a dry skillet over medium heat: flatten with a metal spatula for a few seconds, until they crackle and change color slightly, then flip and press again. (If they give off more than the slightest wisp of smoke, they are burning and will add a bitter element to the sauce.) In a small bowl, soak the chiles in hot water for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and discard the water.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy, medium (4-quart) pot (preferably a Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic cloves, and cook, stirring regularly, until well browned, about 10 minutes. Scrape into a blender jar. Set the pan aside.

Preheat the broiler. Broil the tomatoes on a baking sheet 4-inches from the heat source until blackened, about 5 minutes, then flip and repeat on the other side. Let cool, then peel, collecting all the juices from the tomato. Add the tomato to the blender, along with 1 cup of the peanuts, the bread, chipotles, drained anchos, allspice and cinnamon. Add 1 1/2 cups of the broth and blend until smooth, stirring and scraping down the sides of the blender jar; add more liquid if needed. Press the mixture through a medium-mesh strainer set over a bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in the pot over medium high, until shimmering. Add the puree all at once. Stir as the nutty-smelling mixture thickens and darkens for about 5 minutes, then stir in the remaining 2 cups broth, the wine, vinegar and bay leaves. Partially cover and let gently simmer over medium-low heat for roughly 45 minutes, stirring regularly for the flavors to harmonize. If necessary, thin the sauce with a little more broth to keep it the consistency of a cream soup. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 1/2 teaspoons, and the sugar. Cover and keep warm if using immediately. Mole can be kept in the refrigerator for two weeks.

FILLING

  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 4 cups loosely packed, sliced quelites
  • 3 medium red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice and blanch in salted water until tender
  • Salt

ENCHILADAS

  • 8 corn tortillas (plus a few extra in case some break)
  • 2 1/2 cups Smoky Peanut Mole
  • A few tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish
  • A few sprigs of parsley, for garnish

In a large skillet, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until richly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the sliced greens and potatoes, cover and cook about 3 minutes (just to wilt the quelites). Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until the greens are tender and the mixture dry, about 5 minutes longer. Taste and season with salt. Remove from the heat. (If not completing the enchiladas immediately, spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and cool completely; return to pan before continuing.)

Set up a steamer (a vegetable steamer in a large saucepan filled with 1-inch of water works well); heat to a boil. Wrap the tortillas in a heavy kitchen towel and lay them in the steamer; cover tightly. Boil 1 minute, turn off the heat and let stand without opening the steamer for about 15 minutes.

While the tortillas are standing, bring the mole to a simmer in a medium-size saucepan (if not already warm). Taste and season with additional salt if necessary; thin with additional water or broth to the consistency of a medium cream soup. Warm the filling over medium-low heat.

When ready to serve, make enchiladas a portion at a time: Lay 2 tortillas on a warm dinner plate, roll a portion of the filling into each one, lay the enchiladas seam-side down on the plate and ladle a portion of the mole over the top—cover the tortilla completely; be generous with the sauce. Sprinkle with peanuts and parsley leaves. Serve immediately.

From the Land 2.6

food for thought

full share: bean sprouts, baby spinach, romanesco, Valentine radishes, mizuna, spaghetti squash, hakurei turnips, and navel oranges!

partial share: bean sprouts, baby spinach, romanesco, and Valentine radishes!

veg of the week

romanesco: Brassica oleracea

Is it cauliflower, cabbage or broccoli? People in Germany, France, and England, respectively, all have different names for this beautiful “broccoli Romanesco” (or “Roman cauliflower”) that is a variant form of cauliflower and a gorgeous representation of natural fractals. It was first documented in Italy in the 16th century, but only reached the international market in the early 1990s. Don’t be put off by this alien creature! It is surprisingly sweet, tender like cauliflower, but with a denser texture that holds up well to different cooking methods. The nutty taste lends itself well to both cooking or eating raw.

Uses: Romanesco is very versatile: try it steamed or boiled, and served with a splash of lemon and olive oil; or blanched and sauteed and mixed with pasta, olive oil, garlic, and a little tomato sauce for a simple treat; or roast with olive oil and garlic and serve as a side dish. Don’t forget to top with Parmesan cheese!

Nutrition: Similar to cauliflower but firmer in texture, romanesco is very digestible (more so than cauliflower) and is rich in zinc, which promotes full range of taste in the mouth, and vitamin C, which deteriorates quickly after harvest, so eat as soon as possible. It is also rich in dietary fiber and potassium.

To store: Put whole head into tightly sealed plastic bag and store in the fridge.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…..

whey

I wrote last week that we would soon begin and document our fermentation experiment. I intended to compare fermenting three batches of the same vegetable with saltwater brine, whey, and vegetable fermenting culture. The saltwater brine is easy to make, Homesteaders Supply sent over some fermenting culture, and so we were just lacking the whey. What to do? – make some!

I began with some leftover raw cow milk from our milk share last week. According to Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, whey is easy to make by simply leaving raw milk at room temperature for between 1 and 4 days. The milk will separate into white curds and yellowish whey. So far (after 1 day) ours just looks like a nice layer of cream on top of skim milk, but we will begin to see the cream curdle over the next couple of days. It must remain at least 72 degrees, so this project is happening in my warm office!

Inline image 1

Once curdled, we’ll run the curds and whey through cheesecloth, catching the whey in a bowl below. Cover and let sit for several hours. Then tie up the ends of the cheesecloth and hang it until it stops draining. Voila: curds and whey!

As you can see, we will end up with way more whey than we need for our fermenting experiment, which is only a couple of tablespoons! Fortunately, whey is useful for many things besides vegetable fermentations (like pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi), such as soaked pancakes or lacto-fermented sauces like ketchup, mayonnaise, and salad dressing, and to soak flour, grains, rice or beans in! We already know that lactofermented vegetables aid digestion and release valuable nutrients. Using whey to soak grains or beans in does something similar: it gets rid of the antinutrients and releases the full nutritional potential of the grain! Fallon recommends always soaking flour grains in water or water-whey combo before using, unless you’re sprouted grains.

You can make whey in larger batches like we’re doing, and it will keep in your refrigerator for up to 6 months. And the byproduct, the curds, are also useful and delicious! Fallon calls it “cream cheese” and recommends mashing until creamy and using as cream cheese or sour cream (depending on the consistency).

For more info on whey, check out Nourishing Traditions, or The Nourishing Cook website, dedicated to all 773 recipes from Nourishing Tradition.

Next week we’ll chop up the veggies (any recommendations?) and start our fermentation experiment!

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…..

miso almond romanesco
adapted from habeas, brulee
serves 4-6 as side dish

  • 1 large head romanesco
  • 1/8 C white miso
  • 1 tsp Korean anchovy sauce
  • 1 tsp Korean red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp Vietnamese caramel sauce
  • 1/4 C sliced almonds
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter

Cut the romanesco into individual florets, cutting the larger florets in half. Discard the stem and leaves.

Stir together the miso, anchovy sauce, red pepper flakes, Vietnamese caramel, and 1/8 C water until smooth.

In a wok, heat 2 tbsp butter on high until it melts and sizzles. Add the romanesco and saute until browned all over. Let it sear a bit; that will only make it taste better. Stir in the water and garlic and simmer until the water is nearly gone. Stir in the almonds and cook a minute more. Stir in the sauce and serve.

With a typical home wok, it is best to do this in two batches so your romanesco actually sears instead of merely steaming when you cook it.

wheatberries with romanesco, butternut squash, and preserved lemon
adapted from cayuga st. kitchen
serves 8

    • 1 3/4 cup wheat berries
    • 5 cups water
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 2 romanesco, chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
    • 1 butternut squash, chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
    • 6 scallions, chopped
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
    • 1/4 ground cinnamon
    • 1 preserved lemon
    • 1 teaspoon preserved lemon juice
    • 1 cup parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 475.

In a colander, rinse the wheat berries (after soaking, of course!). Add them to a medium pot with the water and cinnamon sticks. bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook the wheat berries for about 60-75 minutes, or until the water is completely absorbed.

On a baking sheet, toss the romanesco, butternut squash and scallions with the olive oil and sea salt. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving dish.
Meanwhile, put the almonds in a small dry pan and toast them over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the almonds and ground cinnamon to the serving dish and toss.

Rinse the preserved lemon under water to remove some of the salt. Remove the flesh from the lemon and set aside. Mince the rind and add to the serving dish. Over the serving dish, squeeze the liquid out of the flesh with a lemon squeezer or through a colander. Add the extra preserved lemon juice and toss again.

When the wheat berries are done, remove the cinnamon sticks and drain the wheat berries in a colander. Toss in with the romanesco and butternut squash.
Add the parsley leaves last for one final toss to this bright dish!
warm romanesco salad
adapted from in a village called segur le chateau
serves 2 as main dish or 4 as side

  • one head romanesco
  • 10 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 T soft goats cheese
  • 3 T olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 t wholegrain mustard
  • ground black pepper

Chop the romanesco and steam until al dente.

Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and black pepper in a jar and shake until blended.

In a large bowl, mix the romanesco, sundried tomatoes, goat cheese and dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

From the Land 2.6

food for thought

full share: grapefruit, salad mix, grilling onions, swiss chard, beets, fennel, kohlrabi, and sweet potatoes!

partial share: grapefruit, salad mix, grilling onions, and swiss chard!

veg of the week

grapefruit: Citrus paradisi

Grapefruit is a subtripical fruit, meaning that it grows in regions just above and below the tropics. Fortunately for us, Phoenix has a subtropical climate! Grapefruits are the hybrid of the pomelo and sweet orange, first bred in Barbados in the 18th century and referred to as “the forbidden fruit”. They have a characteristic sour and  bitter flavor that can be decreased by cooking the fruit or by adding sugar.

Uses: Depending on your tolerance for the bitter flavor, grapefruits can be eaten plain, just like an orange, or topped with sugar and eaten with a spoon, or cut onto a salad to combine with other flavors. In Costa Rica, grapefruit is commonly heated (reducing the bitterness), stuffed with dulce de leche and eaten as a dessert called toronja rellena (stuffed grapefruit).

Nutrition: Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C (immune system booster) and lycopene (promotes prostate health). Studies have shown it can help lower cholesterol, and the fruit’s low glycemic index helps the body’s metabolism burn fat. The seeds are shown to have antioxidant properties, and grapefruit seed extract to have antimicrobial properties against fungi.

To store: Like other citrus, grapefruit can be stored at room temperature (up to a week), but shelf life will be extended up to 2-3 weeks with refrigeration (bring to room temp before eating to increase juiciness and sweetness). In you have excess, it can also be frozen: peel, divide into sections and discard membranes and seeds, mix together and heat 2 3/4 C sugar and 4 C water, cool the syrup and pour over grapefruit, store in freezer bags or airtight containers where the fruit will stay good for 10-12 months.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…..

fermentation

Needless to say, I am a huge fan of fermented and cultured foods! And while I love experimenting with different strains of cultured dairy (yogurt, kefir, curds and whey…yum!), it’s the lacto-fermentation process on vegetables that really excites me. Humans have been preserving foods with this method for thousands of years. Lactobacilli are present on the surfaces of all plants, especially vegetables that grow close to the ground, and produce Lactic acid, a natural preservative. When promoted properly, the lactic acid not only preserves the food but also promotes healthy flora in the intestine, making lacto-fermented foods even more healthy than in their natural raw state! Lacto-fermented vegetables are full of enzymes that aid digestion, increase nutritional content, and have antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Cabbage (sauerkraut), beets, turnips, cucumbers, green tomatoes, lettuces and herbs, corn, watermelon rind, and even fruit (chutney) can all be lacto-fermented – or mix them all together with garlic and chile paste to make kimchi! A simple recipe is here.

Why bother making your own? Lacto-fermentation is best done in relatively small quantities, and the advent of industrial food processing introduced a different process for pickling and fermenting: vinegar. This preservation technique does not produce the same health benefits, and only accomplishes long-term preservation.

There are many different approaches to even the most simple vegetable fermentation: different people prefer a saltwater brine, or whey, or even vegetable fermentation culture. Some people like to make a large crock of sauerkraut to last all winter; others prefer a quart at a time in an ongoing process. All emphasize the importance of keeping the fermenting vegetables away from oxygen, but accomplish this in various ways: through tightly sealed lids, or using fingers to push the vegetable under the liquid, or keeping it under liquid with a weighted plate or a bag of saltwater brine, or just removing the top layer of the sauerkraut (when mold grows) before eating it. A new fermenters tool called a Pickle Pro (made by hand in Chino Valley) is put onto the lid, and allows the oxygen to be pushed out with the gas produced by the fermenting vegetables.

Next week we’ll begin an experiment on different fermentation techniques using the Pickle Pro. Keep an eye out for the jars at CSA, and we’ll keep you posted on the progress of jars using just saltwater brine, whey, or culture. And when they’re done you’ll be able to sample them! Stay tuned…

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…..

rainbow swiss chard with grapefruit vinaigrette
adapted from chef-k
serves 8

for vinaigrette:

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 ½ t grapefruit zest (from same grapefruit)
  • 2 T white wine vinegar
  • 2 small sections shallots, finely diced
  • 2 T olive oil

Zest the grapefruit, using micro plane or fine grater. Cut grapefruit in half and squeeze juice into a bowl. Add grapefruit zest to juice, then add vinegar to juice mixture. Heat olive oil in a small pan on medium heat. Add diced shallots and sauté 3 minutes. Add sautéed shallots to grapefruit juice.

Set aside until ready to use.

for chard:

  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 1 batch Grapefruit vinaigrette

Wash and drain Swiss chard. Cut leaves into ribbons, and place in a pot with a lid and ¼ cup of water. Bring water to boil and steam for 3-4 minutes.

Drain and place chard in a serving bowl. Pour vinaigrette over and serve immediately.
beet, citrus, fennel and pickled ginger onion salad
adapted from eat relate love blog
serves
  • 1/2 C honey balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 beet
  • 1 grapefruit, segmented
  • 1 orange, segmented
  • drizzle of olive oil

Combine honey balsamic vinegar and sugar in an airtight jar and add onions. Refrigerate overnight.

Toss fennel, olive oil, brown sugar and salt and spread in even layer on cookie sheet. Roast at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Boil beet until tender, peel and slice thinly.
Plate. Layer in order: beets, oranges/grapefruits, fennel and pickled onion.
sweet potatoes and winter greens
adapted from garden of eating
serves 4
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 bunches of chard or collard greens
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • juice of one half lemon
  • 1 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch or red pepper flakes
  • 2 T olive, peanut or grapeseed oil

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized chunks (make them as uniform in size as you can.)

Heat one T of oil in the pan over medium heat and add the sweet potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just brown on all sides and soft (about 12-15 minutes). If the potatoes are still hard at the end of this time, you can add a few T of water or broth, put a cover on the pan and steam for 2-3 minutes and they should soften right up.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, wash the greens (but do not dry them.) Remove the ribs and cut the leaves into ribbons. Mince or press the garlic and set aside. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, add the cinnamon, gloves, salt and pepper and then set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the pan and saute the garlic and the chili flakes for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant. Add the greens to the pan (in batches if needed) and stir often until they’ve cooked down significantly and are tender. Season the greens with salt and pepper to taste. Combine the potatoes, honey or maple syrup, and lemon juice with the greens, stir and serve.

From the Land 1.30

food for thought

full share: Red Russian kale, dried black beans, red potatoes, onions, braising mix, arugula, navel oranges, and collard greens!

partial share: Red Russian kale, dried black beans, red potatoes, and onions

veg of the week

braising mix

There is no scientific name for braising mix because it is a mix of many different greens, usually brassicas. Our braising mix contains kale, lettuce, beet and turnip greens, collards, chard, bok choy, and probably a couple other varieties! Greens such as these can be grown and harvested young (for salad mixes) or mature (for cooking greens), but braising mixes are right in between. The greens are harvested at mid-maturity, so they are much milder in taste than the same varieties when full grown, but have more flavor than when harvested as baby greens and eaten raw. They are an unusual taste explosion of peppery, sweet, earthy, bitter and nutty. And as you know, when they are purchased through a CSA or farmers market, the greens are incredibly fresh, crisp, and have superior nutritional quality!

Uses: Braising mixes are usually cooked. Named after the cooking technique of searing in hot oil and then simmering in liquid, braising greens can in fact be steamed, sauteed, stir-fried, or mixed into soups or stews. Braising greens are the perfect addition to salads, stir-fries, pizza, pasta, eggs, or casseroles. From Tufts University:

  • Toss a couple handfuls of braising mix (baby chard, kale, spinach, mustard, arugula, or other greens) into a stir fry.
  • Be sure to balance the slight bitterness of baby chard, dandelion or mustard leaves with contrasting or sweet flavors such as persimmon, apple, pear, baby beets, citrus, vinaigrette spiked with honey or a syrupy balsamic vinegar.
  • You can also toss some chopped greens into soup or a frittata, or serve them sauteed with pancetta, pine nuts, and golden raisins and heaped atop crusty toasted or grilled bread rubbed with garlic.

Nutrition: Because braising mix contains many different varieties of greens, each harvest may be nutritionally different. But because it contains many types of brassicas, braising greens are always rich in vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, folacin and beta carotene, while low in calories.

To store: You guessed it – keep the bag closed and in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Enjoy for at least a week!

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…..

quinoa and braising mix pie
adapted from well commons
serves 4 as main dish, 8 as side dish
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 lb greens
  • 1 C cooked quinoa
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 2 t coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 C milk (or dairy-free alternative)
  • 1 pie crust, uncooked

Heat oil in skillet and sauté onion until translucent. Stir in rinsed braising mix and cook until mix is reduced to at least half its original size, but leaves still maintain their shape. Stir in cooked quinoa and heat through. Stir in nutmeg and pepper. Spread mix into prepared pie crust. In separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk together. Pour egg mixture over greens and quinoa. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes, until eggs are set and crust is golden brown. Serve warm as a main dish or a side dish.

sweet potatoes, apples and braising greens
adapted from epicurious
serves 10
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, cut lengthwise into quarters, then cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices
  • 5 T unsalted butter, plus 3 T melted
  • 1 T fine sea salt
  • 2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium baking apples, such as Sierra Beauty or Granny Smith, cored and cut into quarters
  • 6 C loosely packed braising greens, stems removed and torn into 2-inch strips
  • 1/4 C loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F.

On a baking sheet, toss potato slices with 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake until cooked through and slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Keep warm.

In heavy medium skillet over moderate heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add apples and sauté until tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Keep warm.

In heavy large pot over moderate heat, combine remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons water. Add greens and sauté, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Lower heat to moderately low and add sweet potatoes and apples. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in parsley, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Serve hot.

hot wilted greens
serves 4
  • slice thick smoky bacon
  • 1/2 T olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sweet red onion
  • 3 T chicken stock
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bag braising mix
  • 1/4 C toasted pecans

In a large, deep skillet or wok over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Crumble and reserve. Add olive oil to bacon drippings in skillet, heat and add garlic and onions.

Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until onions and garlic are softened. Add greens and mix. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until leaves are coated.

Stir in stock and vinegar. Cover and cook several minutes more, until leaves are wilted and cooked tender-crisp.

Top with bacon and chopped pecans. Serve hot.

From the Land 1.23

food for thought

full share: kabocha squash, carrots, onions, romaine, pinto beans, fingerling potatoes, swiss chard, and dill!

partial share: kabocha squash, carrots, garlic, and romaine

veg of the week

romaine lettuce: Lactuca sativa

Romaine lettuce – the slightly bitter and hearty salad green with the thick milky stalk down the middle of each leaf – originated in Greece and reached the West through Rome, where it is called lattuga romana. Unlike most other salad greens, romaine is heat tolerant, making it the perfect salad to be grown at our Phoenix farm, Crooked Sky.

Uses: Romaine is the lettuce most commonly used in Caesar salads. It is also common in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Nutrition: According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, like other darker greens, the antioxidants in romaine lettuce are believed to help prevent cancer. The chlorophyll pigment in dark greens may reduce levels of colon and liver cancer carcinogens. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, folate, manganese, and chromium. It’s also a great source of dietary fiber, maintaining digestive system health.

To store: Wash and dry thoroughly before wrapping in plastic and storing in the crisper drawer. You can also wrap the leaves in damp paper towels in the crisper, keeping the lettuce humid but not wet.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…..

romaine salad with butternut squash “croutons” and pumpkin seeds
adapted from high ground organics
serves 4

romaine salad:

  • 1-2 heads romaine lettuce, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 2 C Butternut Squash Croutons (see recipe below)
  • ½ C “pepitas” (hulled roasted pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 C Cilantro Cinnamon Vinaigrette (see recipe below), or as needed
  • 1-2 T roasted pumpkin seed oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place the lettuce in a large bowl and drizzle with just enough oil to moisten evenly. Toss well.

Distribute lettuces on 4 chilled plates.

Sprinkle “croutons” evenly over the lettuces.

Scatter pepitas over salads, and hit salads with a few small droplets of pumpkin seed oil.

Sprinkle a few grains of salt on the salads and lightly pepper.

butternut squash croutons:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice
  • grapeseed or light flavored olive oil, as needed
  • ½ t fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/8 t garlic powder, or as needed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T cake flour (optional)

Bring a pot of water to a boil that is twice the volume of the squash, and salt it liberally. Once boiling, add the squash cubes and blanch just long enough to take away the raw quality of the squash, 1-2 minutes. Immediately drain the squash, dunk in cold water to slow the cooking, and immediately drain well. Place on a kitchen towel and blot dry.

Place the squash into a non-reactive bowl (stainless steel, plastic, glass or ceramic) and drizzle with enough oil to coat the squash well. Toss to evenly coat. Season with enough garlic powder to get some on all the cubes and season with salt and pepper. Add the thyme and toss to evenly distribute the seasonings.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 2-3 T oil. When the oil is hot, add the sage leaves and fry them to flavor the oil. Turn them when they color on the bottom side and then when they are done, put them on a paper towel to dry.

While the sage fries, dust the squash lightly with the cake flour and toss to evenly coat. Toss into a strainer to remove the excess.

When the sage leaves are removed from pan, add the “croutons”. Spread them out. They should have plenty of room, and not be piled up at all or crowding each other. If they do, they will steam and become mushy. If needed, sauté the squash in batches.

Toss and gently stir the cubes over medium heat until they lightly brown and get a little crispy on all sides. If they seem to be getting soft faster than they are browning, turn up the heat to medium-high. Cook until the cubes are tender and golden with crispy edges and sides.

Remove from the pan when done and dry on paper towels.

cilantro cinnamon vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 C rice vinegar
  • 1/8 t cinnamon
  • 1/3 C cilantro stems, chopped
  • 1/4 t coriander seeds, powdered
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 t honey, or as needed
  • 1 C mild tasting olive oil or grapeseed oil

Place the vinegar and cinnamon into a blender. Start on low, and work up to high. Blend on high for 1 minute.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except the oil, and blend on high until cilantro in liquefied, 1-2 minutes.

Through the center of the cap, slowly drizzle in the oil in a steady stream with the motor running. Proceed until the oil is used up or the “whirlpool” in the center fills in.

Taste for balance and adjust as needed. If there are a lot of chunks of stem or coriander seed, run the dressing through a strainer so it is smooth.

Yield: 1 cup

grilled pinto bean burgers
adapted from taste of home
serves 8
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1 to 2 t chili powder
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 4 C pinto and/or black beans, cooked
  • 1 1/2 C quick-cooking oats
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 T soy sauce, tamari or Braggs
  • 1 T ketchup
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 8 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
  • 8 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 8 T salsa

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, saute onion in oil for 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Stir in the carrot, chili powder and cumin; cook 2 minutes longer or until carrot is tender. Remove from the heat; set aside.

In a large bowl, mash the pinto beans and/or black beans. Stir in oats. Add the mustard, soy sauce, ketchup, pepper and carrot mixture; mix well. Shape into eight 3-1/2-in. patties.
Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Grill patties, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until heated through. Serve on buns with romaine and salsa.
swiss chard and romaine soup
adapted from ny times
serves 6-8
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 C water
  • 1/2 C rice
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed, both leaves and stems washed and coarsely chopped (keep separately)
  • 4 leaves romaine lettuce (use the large, tougher outer leaves)
  • a handful of arugula or spinach leaves
  • 1 T chopped fresh tarragon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • fresh tarragon or croutons for garnish (optional)

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes, and add the water, rice, carrot, celery, the chopped chard stems and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes until the carrots and celery are tender. Add the Swiss chard, romaine lettuce and spinach or arugula, and continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the Swiss chard stems are tender and rice is cooked.

Puree with the tarragon in 1 1/2-cup batches. Don’t cover the blender tightly with the lid, which will cause the hot liquid to spill out. Instead, remove the center stopper from the lid, and cover the top of the blender with a towel to prevent hot splashes. Return the soup to the pot and heat through. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If you wish, garnish with croutons or with fresh tarragon.

From the Land 3/7

food for thought
full share: butternut squash, choice of plant start (strawberries, summer squash, basil, tomatoes, or pepper), swiss chard, oranges, carrots, purple kohlrabi, I’itoi onions, and sweet potatoes
partial: butternut squash, choice of plant start (strawberries, summer squash, basil, tomatoes, or pepper), swiss chard, and oranges

announcements

It’s not too late to sign up for a Beef Share! Just shoot me an email and we can add it to your contract. As in the past, it’s $100 for about 16 pounds of beef, mixed cuts. It will come all at once frozen on March 28. Sign up now – there are limited shares available!

Please help me welcome Missy, our new CSA Assistant! You’ll see her in the afternoons at distribution, so please introduce yourself and make her feel welcome.

upcoming

Thrive
movie showing
Thursday, March 8
Prescott Public Library, Founders’ Room

Slow Food meeting
Tuesday, March 20 5pm
Prescott College Crossroads Center
Ariel Ruben will present a slideshow of her 2010 trip to Terra Madre, the annual Slow Food conference in Italy. Hosted dinner (donations requested) with dessert potluck.

Artichoke Festival at Crooked Sky
last weekend in March – more details to come
chef demo, lunch, harvesting, and more
CSA members only $20! Order special-priced tickets through PCCSA
see http://crookedskyfarms.com/csf/?page_id=1173 for more info

Prescott Farmers Market
opens May 12!
Yavapai College

veg of the week

I’itoi onions: Allium cepa

Also knows as the I’itoi Multiplier Onion, O’odham I’itoi Onion, or Papago Onion, this endangered vegetable is on the Slow Food Ark of Taste, and is believed to have been brought from Spain to the New World in the 17th century, where it was then grown by the O’odham people for centuries. Alternately, the O’odham people believe that the first I’itoi was harvested at I’itoi Mountain (or Baboquivari Mountain) – what they believe to be the “navel of the world”, the place where the earth opened and people emerged. Regardless of its history, the I’itoi onion is well-adapted to the dry desert climate, and is sacred to the culture and cuisine of the Sonoran Desert native peoples.

Frank Martin at Crooked Sky Farms loves the I’itoi and other desert-adapted or native plants, because they require less care and water, and are naturally more resistant to pests.

Uses: It multiplies rapidly, and can therefore be used as a multiplier, a small shallot, scallion, or as a substitute for chives. It has a sharp, peppery flavor that lends to well to southwestern cuisine. Don’t be intimidated: just slice them up and use the bulb as onion (while cooking), and the green as chive (as topping)!

Nutrition: All onions are delicious and nutritious!
Contains: potassium, vitamin C, folic acid and vitamin B6. Onions contain substantially the same amount of vitamins and minerals when cooked.
Properties: diuretic, antibiotic, antiscorbutic, stimulant and expectorant. It is used to treat flu, intestinal parasites, gallstones, diarrhea and rheumatism.

To store: Store in a cool, dark place (you know, your refrigerator). I use a plastic bag and use them within a week.

Crooked Sky Farm

On 300 acres spread over a couple locations in Phoenix, Waddell and Glendale, Crooked Sky Farms specializes in citrus, seasonal vegetables, and some grain and chicken eggs. With 20 full-time employees, they attend 11 farmers markets per week (depending on the season), and supply 13 CSAs from Tucson to Flagstaff, including the Prescott Farmers Market and the Prescott College CSA.

Frank Martin’s experience as the child of migrant farm workers influenced his farm ethic, his farming philosophy and the treatment of his employees. He experienced and saw first-hand the effects of farm chemicals, and was soon drawn to organic gardening. After years of driving truck and working on farms, he wanted to own his own land. “How do you get into farming?” he asked his boss, who replied, “You either marry into it, or you inherit the farm”. Frank decided to prove him wrong.

He began with 2 acres of basil that he sold to a specialty market in Phoenix, until he was approached by the Prescott College CSA. While initially hesitant, the CSA model allowed him to slowly increase his land without taking out loans, because he had a guaranteed market and payment at the beginning of the season. 12 years later, Crooked Sky Farms in one of the largest CSA farms in the United States and supplies 1300 families with vegetables throughout the year through the CSA model. Crooked Sky owes its success to its many CSAs, and Frank is glad to be able to give back to the community through CSA member “farm days”, at which members harvest their own vegetables and learn new food preparation techniques.

Please join us for the Artichoke Festival later this month at Crooked Sky! Tickets are only $20 for CSA members (order through me), and we’ll carpool down. Reserve your spot today!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

onion and bacon gratin

  • 2 T + 1/2 T butter
  • 3 large yellow onions
  • 2 oz bacon, cut into 1/4: x 1″ pieces
  • 1 bunch I’itoi onions, cut into 4-6 pieces each
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 T freshly-grated Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 T freshly-grated Comte (or substitute Gruyere or Asiago mixed with a little Parmegiano-Reggiano)
  • 1/2 C medium-course bread crumbs
  • 1/2 C heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425.

In a large saute pan, melt 1 T of butter of medium-high heat. Add onions and bacon and cook until onions are soft, 10-15 min. Transfer to collander or paper towels to drain.

Place i’itois in the pan, add a pinch of salt and pepper, the remaining 1 T of butter, and 2 T water. Bring to a simmer over high heat and cook until glazed, 5-7 minutes.

Rub the bottom and sides of a 10″ gratin dish with the garlic. Scatter the onion/bacon mixture on the bottom and season with salt and pepper. Top with a layer of the I’itoi wedges. Scatter the grated cheeses evenly over the onions, then sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top. Pour the cream in along the edges of the gratin and dot the top with a little extra butter (if desired).

Bake until the gratin is golden and the cream is absorbed, about 25 minutes.

savory bread pudding with butternut squash, chard and cheddar
adapted from kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com

chard:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 large bunches Swiss chard, washed well, stems discarded, leaves chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

custard:

  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1-1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons good mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • A generous sprinkle of freshly ground pepper

to assemble:

  • 1 butternut squash, washed well, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound whole-grain bread, crusts on, cut into half-inch cubes (see Kitchen Notes)
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, cut in 1/3-inch cubes
  • The set-aside cooked onions

CHARD In a large skillet, melt the butter til shimmery. Add the onions and cook until just soft. Set aside half the onions. Add the chard a big handful at a time and stir to coat with fat. Let it cook a minute or two, then add another handful. When all the chard is added, let cook until soft. Add salt and set aside.

CUSTARD Mix all custard ingredients together.

ASSEMBLE Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, combine the squash, bread, cheese and cooked onions. Transfer HALF the mixture to a lightly buttered baking dish about 8×11 or 9×13. Arrange the cooked chard evenly on top, then the remaining squash-bread-cheese mixture. Gently pour custard mix over top, being careful to wet all the bread pieces, especially.

BAKE Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven. If any pieces of butternut squash are still firm, gently push them into the custard. Cover and bake for another 15 or so minutes. Let rest for about 10 minutes or so before serving. Reheats well.

curried lentils with sweet potatoes and swiss chard
adapted from nytimes.com

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch I’itoi onions, chopped, bulbs and greens separated
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala (available at natural, ethnic and gourmet foods stores)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded if desired, then minced
  • 4 to 5 cups vegetable broth as needed
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound Swiss chard, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped tamari almonds, for garnish (optional), available in health food stores

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add I’itoi bulbs and sauté until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder and jalapeño. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Stir in 4 cups broth, sweet potatoes, lentils and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. (If lentils seem dry, add up to 1 cup stock, as needed.) Stir in chard and salt and pepper, and continue cooking until lentils are tender and chard is cooked, about 30 to 45 minutes total.

Just before serving, stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice. Spoon into a large, shallow serving dish. Garnish with almonds if desired and I’itoi greens.

Yield: 8 to 10 side-dish servings; 6 main-course servings.