CSA Share Week 1 June 6, 2012

Welcome to our first blog of the 2012 CSA Season!  What a great way for mother nature to welcome me to my summer break from teaching.  The beautiful weather makes it very inviting to head out to hoe, plant or just observe.  Observe the day-to-day changes, growth, soil conditions, and also the problems like new transplants needing water or the unwelcome great crop of cucumber beetles on the squash that need addressing. Good or bad, its good to just be there. 

Your fist week basket has what grows best early in the season.  ImageIn the open bag, Mixed heirloom lettuce.  This is a collection of Forellenschluss, Red Velvet, Australian Yellowleaf, and Pablo. This lettuce is great many ways: salad, sandwiches or my favorite use, wilted. There is a simple wilted lettuce recipe below.  I could eat wilted lettuce every day this time of year.  The lettuce was tossed in some water when picked as the ground was a bit dry and hot, but is best to store without washing.  If it is washed, be sure it is dried well before refrigerating.  A papertowl in the bag is good at absorbing the excess moisture. 

In the closed bag there is an italian spicy green mix.  This mix from Italian Seed and Tool is mix of endive, chicory, mache, arugula, and lettuce.  Some people love the spicy and bitter taste in a fresh salad such as the French Salad shown below. If the heat is too much for you, wilt it.  It takes the edge off.

Bok Choi.  Bok choi is a mild tasting green that makes an excellent base in a stir fry.  It is also fantastic braised with chicken broth, sesame oil and a little butter.

Little bundle of garlic scapes.  These are the undeveloped flowers from the hardneck garlic plants.  They can be used just as you would garlic as they have the same wonderful flavor. 

Your basket also contains some new green onions, rhubarb, a little sprig of fresh dill weed, and either sugar snap peas or asparagus. 

Finally, since it is the first week, and you may get be looking for something more substantial than greens, there is a bit of our awesome fresh chevre goat cheese.  Try it on a salad, on a pice of crusty bread with braised onions or mixed with a little honey on a cracker.  The goat cheese should last a couple of weeks in the fridge.

If you find any great ways to use any of the produce or goat cheese, feel free to share your ideas here.  Just leave a comment or link a recipe (since many are floating around the internet). 

Hope You have a great week!

French Lettuce Salad

6 to 8 servings

1/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
2 – tablespoons wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon pepper
10 – cups mixed greens

Shake all ingredient except greens in tightly covered jar; refrigerate. Shake before serving. Toss with greens.

Goat Cheese with Caramelized onions. 

Caramelized onions with Brandy

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions sliced thin
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon brandy

Over medium heat melt butter with olive oil. Add onions, season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring constantly until onions are soft. Add brandy and continue to cook until onions are golden brown. About 20 min.
 
Slice a baguette, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 unto golden brown.  Spread with got cheese and top with Caramelized onions. 

Wilted Lettuce,

This was my ma’s recipe passed on to me–don’t know any other way to make it.  This is really an old-fashioned dish.

Ingredients
1 pound leaf lettuce
4 -5 green onions
salt
pepper

Dressing

1/2 cup bacon grease

1/2 cup vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon sugar

Directions

  1. Wash the lettuce several times; drain.
  2. Clean and cut the onions into the lettuce.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Dressing: Heat dressing ingredients to boiling; pour over lettuce while boiling hot.
  5. Stir and mix well.
  6. Serve immediately.

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