May 14, 2013
Dear CSA member,
This week on the farm we are crossing our fingers and hoping to plant our field tomatoes and maybe our peppers and eggplant. We are approaching the frost free date for our region but it looks like the cold weather is trying to give us one last good kick in the pants.
For our cherry tomatoes this year we are trying a few new varieties—Esterina, Sweetie and Torinjina. They are organic varieties we are testing out to replace Sun Gold and Supersweet 100s- great varieties but not available in organic seed. We will compare them for taste, texture, ability to hold up in the field, and overall yield.
In your share this week you will find:
- Radishes (2 different varieties)
- Salad Mix
- Anise Hyssop
The contents of this share will make incredible salads. Each of the herbs are distinct and can be used to accent dressing to make each salad a little different. Chives are excellent chopped up and added to omelets, baked potato, soup, tacos and of course, salad. Anise hyssop has a sweeter flavor-it can used in much the same way as mint. Toss in whole leaves. It also makes a very nice tea. Lovage has a very distinct flavor. Use a few leaves to add a subtle new taste to a salad or try a lovage leaf salad with sliced radishes. Lovage can be quite delicate so we don’t wash it before packing, so make sure to give it a good soak before using it. Radish is great sliced into salads or sandwiches. It can also be quick pickled, sautéed lightly, or eaten whole and raw with salt and butter. Our salad mix is ready for salad and sandwiches. Arugula (recipe included) makes a great salad on its own. I like to cut it into the salad mix for added flavor. It is also great wilted into pasta with olive oil and parmesan or on pizza. For pasta and pizza, simply add arugula as soon as you cut the heat or take it out of the oven. It will wilt perfectly.
Each week throughout the shares we will try to include heads of lettuce and/or salad mix to ensure that you have plenty of salads throughout the week. Also, arugula, kale, and mustard greens.
Most of the salad we make is quick and not very well thought out. I wash greens and dress them with two parts olive oil to one part vinegar. Add salt and ground pepper. Toss and allow them to sit for about 15 minutes. We use balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, and red wine vinegar, whatever we have on hand. To spice it up, we sometimes add soy sauce, sesame oil, and lemon or lime juice. Rice vinegar too. You can dress the salad directly or add dressing ingredients to a jar and shake. If you really want to get fancy you can use a blender or Cuisinart to help you emulsify the oil. Other great additions are fresh or dried herbs on hand, onion, shallots, scallions, garlic, chives, and red pepper flakes.
A paring knife is all you really need to make a salad. A cheese grater is helpful. A mandolin will take you to new levels but is incredibly terrifying to me. A vegetable peeler may be useful too, although to be honest, I rarely peel anything.
Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan and Balsamic Vinaigrette (Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2004)
Ingredients: 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 tsp maple syrup(optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed on a cutting board with the side of a knife, or more to taste
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces fresh arugula, washed and dried(sub lettuce if not enough, or if adventurous, try the radish leaves!)
2 ounces shaved Parmesan
Directions: In a small stainless steel or glass bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic until the salt is dissolved. While continuing to whisk, add the olive oil in a thin, steady stream until emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and toss with some of the vinaigrette. Divide the salad among serving plates and garnish with shaved Parmesan. Serve immediately.
Arugula and Radish Salad (from WholeLiving-Martha)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 ¼ # arugula (sub lettuce if not enough), washed well and dried
1 bunch radishes (8 ounces), sliced
Directions: In a large bowl, whisk together mustard and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Whisk in oil. (To store, refrigerate, up to 1 day.) Add arugula and radishes to bowl, and toss to coat. Serve salad immediately.
Creamy Lovage and Mustard Salad Dressing (By French Tart)
Ingredients: 3 tablespoons mayonnaise 3 tablespoons yogurt 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons chopped lovage, leaves salt pepper
Directions: Whisk all the ingredients together until well blended and slightly thickened. Check seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve with mixed salad leaves .Also excellent if used with lightly cooked and cooled spring vegetable salads such as peas, baby carrots, new potatoes and young broad beans. Store any unused dressing in a bottle or jar in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Tender Greens With Champagne Vinaigrette (Marcus Nilsson)
2 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce (salad mix)
1/3 cup fresh dill sprigs
3/4 cup fresh whole flat-leaf parsley leaves (sub lovage for parsley here)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped (optional)
1/4 cup fresh chives, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)
1/4 cup fresh whole chervil leaves (optional) (or sub hyssop)
In a bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, honey, and 1½ tablespoons water. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil. Add the shallot and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, dill, parsley, and (if using) tarragon, chives, and chervil. (You can cover and refrigerate the vinaigrette and greens separately for up to 24 hours.)
Whisk the vinaigrette to recombine. Serve the salad with the vinaigrette on the side.
Radish Top Soup
“This is an easy recipe that uses an unlikely part of a vegetable we love to eat. It’s thick and rich, and so hearty. I recommend eating it with a loaf of crusty bread!” — LAURA NASON
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
2 medium potatoes, sliced
4 cups raw radish greens
4 cups chicken broth or vegetable stock
1/3 cup heavy cream
5 radishes, sliced
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and saute until tender. Mix in the potatoes and radish greens, coating them with the butter. Pour in chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
Allow the soup mixture to cool slightly, and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth.
Return the mixture to the saucepan. Mix in the heavy cream. Cook and stir until well blended. Serve with radish slices.
Quick Pickled Radishes (from Whole Living)
Ingredients 2/3 cup red-wine vinegar 1/2 cup sugar Coarse salt 15 radishes, thinly sliced
Directions: In a medium bowl, stir together vinegar, sugar, and 2 teaspoons coarse salt. Add radishes, and stir to combine. Let stand 30 minutes before serving. Pickled radishes are best used within a few hours but can be kept refrigerated for up to 1 day.
Looking to next week, we expect to have salad mix, kale, chard, pea shoots, radish, oregano, chives, arugula…