Welcome to Week Two! While it sure felt like summer last weekend we are still in spring mode with means the basket is full of green stuff. The timely rains have been keeping the lettuce pretty good amid the excessive heat, wind, and dry conditions. Some of you may get a new lettuce, De Morges Braun Lettuce. It is a rare romaine style lettuce with an apple green color and a slight reddish bronze tint to its smooth, rounded leaves. It has been growing exceptionally well. There is also a bag of spinach. Enjoy it as there might be a gap untill the next is ready due to a little flooding a few weeks back. I personally love the spinach quiche recipe below. Again you will be enjoying a great asian green, only this time it is the smaller pak choi. Stir fry is great, so is having it steamed and braised. You will find a bunch of radishes. If yours are little, round purple ones they are called Purple Plumb. If you have the large, long, red ones, those are Chinese Dragon. All radishes have a little heat this time of the year, but they still make a mean radish sandwich with butter, salt and pepper. There is another ‘fancier’ version below. The final contents of the basket include onions, a little bulb of garlic, and a little bundle of lovage.
Lovage is a relatively unknown herb that resembles flat leaf parsley but has more of a strong celery taste. It is a perennial that is closely related to carrots and parsley. It originates from Asia and the Middle east and has a long history. It is thought to be good for stomach aches, It is extremely versatile as it can be used to replace parsley and celery in many recipes, but be cautious as it is more flavorful than both. What to do with it? Mix the small leaves in a salad, stuff them in fish or chicken before baking, steam the small stems or make a creamy potato soup using the leaves. It will be coming again later you have some time to do some research.
Spinach and Bacon Quiche
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
6 slices bacon, chopped
8 beaten eggs
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
1/2 cup half-and-half, light cream, or milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
Dash ground nutmeg (optional)
3 cups lightly packed chopped fresh spinach
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (2 ounces)
1. Prepare and roll out Pastry for Single-Crust Pie. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pastry. Trim; crimp edges as desired. Line the unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of foil. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes more or until pastry is set and dry. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook onion and bacon until onion is tender and bacon is crisp. Drain on paper towels.
3. In a bowl stir together eggs, sour cream, half-and-half, salt, pepper, and, if desired, nutmeg. Stir in onion mixture, spinach, and cheeses.
4. Pour egg mixture into the hot, baked pastry shell. Bake in the 325 degree F oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. If necessary, cover edge of crust with foil to prevent overbrowning. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
5. Makes 6 to 8 servings
Fancy Radish sandwiches
- // 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup diced radishes
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
- Salt, to taste
Mix all ingredients together. Spoon onto slices of hearty bread. Or, refrigerate and serve later.
Braised Pak Choy
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 lb baby pak choy, trimmed
- 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Bring broth and butter to a simmer in a deep large heavy skillet. Arrange pak choy evenly in skillet and simmer, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer pak choy with tongs to a serving dish and keep warm, covered.
Boil broth mixture until reduced to about 1/4 cup, then stir in sesame oil and pepper to taste. Pour mixture over pak choy.