The Sunny Side – Week of 6/8/14
In this week’s box, you will find:
- Baby Lacinato Kale
- Hakurei Turnips
- Bok choi
- Three heads of lettuce
- Black Turtle Beans (Sunday shares – from Breslin Farms – organic)
- Strawberries and Rhubarb (Thursday shares – from Mick Klug Farm – he uses sustainable farming practices and integrated pest management in his fields and orchards)
In the Field
Starting in January, one of the things we spend a lot of time doing is planning. We plan the farm budget for the year. We plan the seeding schedule for the field, and the greenhouse schedule. Our planning is based both on our growing experiences from years past, and on many unknowns (How many CSA shares will we sell? How will farmers market traffic be this year? Will it be hot in July and cold in October, or the other way around?).
Sometimes, things just don’t work out like we planned. For example, during the huge rain that we got in mid-May, our kale field flooded, killing many of the tender seedlings. So, we seeded some more kale in the greenhouse. It will mature a little later in the season than we would like, but at least we have the option to plant another round. In the meantime, we have plenty of baby kale to fulfill our most pressing kale needs.
One of Nick’s favorite plans this year includes having a giant pumpkin and winter squash patch. This week, the pumpkin seedlings are looking handsome and strong, almost ready to get planted in the ground. The variety pictured here is a giant pumpkin called Big Moose. We’ve never planted it before, so we don’t quite know what to expect. But there is only one way to find out…
In the Kitchen
Storage tips for this week:
- Remove the turnips from their tops, and store tops and bottoms separately. This prevents the turnips from getting soft.
- Strawberries tend to go south quickly, so eat them up soon! They can be stored in your fridge.
- Rhubarb leaves (which are all removed) are toxic, so remove the very tips of the stalks where the last remnants of the leaves are.
- The beans will store for a long time in your cupboard – up to a year!
- If you like, you can prep your lettuce and other greens all at once to make it easier to construct salads throughout the week. Cut or tear into bite-sized pieces, wash, and dry thoroughly, then store in paper towel-lined bags or a paper towel-lined Ziplock bag in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Cooking tips for this week:
- Are you hesitant to try cooking dry beans? Don’t be – it is fairly easy and the amazing taste and texture are worth the effort. Follow Molly’s basic directions on the back of the bag of black turtle bean bag to get started.
- I love eating Hakurei turnips raw – they seldom hang around in the kitchen long enough to get cooked! They are deliciously sweet, and this batch has just a little radish-y bite to them. Try them raw first, them slice and sautee in butter or add to soups or stir fries.
- Turnip greens are very nutritious – high in vitamins A, C, and K, and folate. This week’s greens are a little ragged, but still yummy. Remove any brown leaves, then chop and sautee in olive oil with a little garlic. They can also be cooked with the turnips!
- Baby Lacinato kale can be treated just like the Red Russian kale from last week. It is similarly tender and suitable for salads.
- The spinach comes to you in little rosettes this week – just chop the bottom off of the rosette, freeing the individual leaves and leaving the desired amount of leaf stem.
SPINACH AND BEAN ENCHILADAS
Preheat oven to 375F.
Filling: Prepare and cook 1/2 lb. of black beans as desired. Using a knife, cut one half pound of spinach into 1/2-inch wide strips. Chop about 1/2 c. onion and 2-3 cloves garlic, and combine in a heavy pan with a few tablespoons olive oil. Cook over medium heat until soft, then add spinach and cook until wilted. Add beans, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes or hot sauce to taste.
Assembly: Bring one package of small corn tortillas to room temperature (this makes them easier to fold). Pour about one-half of a can of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9 by 13 baking dish. Into each tortilla, place a spoonful of filling and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Roll the tortilla up, tucking in the sides, and place, seam side down, into the pan. Repeat until filling is used up or pan is full. Top with remaining enchilada sauce, a little more cheese, and pop in the oven for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and everything is nice and hot.
Please welcome our friend Lori to the recipes page! She will be helping to compile recipes for a new portion of the website, and helping us find new ways to prepare all these veggies.
FOR THE FRUIT
- 8 ounces strawberries, hulled and halved (quartered if large)
- 8 ounces rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup raw sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
FOR THE TOPPING
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
FOR THE GARNISH
- Fresh basil leaves, torn if large
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine strawberries, rhubarb, raw sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Transfer to an 8-inch baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, butter, brown sugar, and salt. Stir until combined and slightly clumpy. Sprinkle over fruit.
- Bake until juices are bubbling in the center and topping is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Garnish with basil.
Michael Symon’s Rose Wine Macerated Strawberries
- 1 pound strawberries (sliced)
- 1/4 cup Rose wine (fruity)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Add all ingredients in a bowl. Mix to combine well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a half an hour to draw out berry juices. Serve individually or as a topping to dessert of choice.
LEMON RHUBARB CHICKEN
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup chopped shallots
- 4 1/2 cups diced rhubarb, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel, divided
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1/2 cup sliced unpeeled fresh ginger
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons brandy
- 4 cups low-salt chicken broth
- 1 whole star anise
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 boneless chicken breast halves with skin
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons chopped shallots and 2 cups rhubarb; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon peel. Season with salt and pepper. Cool rhubarb stuffing.
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over low heat. Add 2 1/2 cups rhubarb, 1/4 cup shallots, and ginger; sautéuntil soft, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add sugar and brandy; boil 1 minute. Add broth, star anise, and bay leaf. Simmer over low heat until mixture is reduced to 2 cups, about 1 hour. Strain sauce, discarding solids in strainer. Stir 1/3 cup rhubarb stuffing into sauce.
DO AHEAD: Stuffing and sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Cover each separately and chill. Rewarm sauce before using.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Using fingertips, separate skin from flesh of chicken breasts, forming pocket. Place about 2 tablespoons rhubarb stuffing in pocket. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, add chicken breasts, skin side down, to skillet; cook until brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer chicken, skin side down, to roasting pan.
Roast chicken 10 minutes; baste with pan juices. Roast until cooked through, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to platter, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon lemon peel, and serve, passing sauce alongside.