The Sunny Side – Week of 9/14/14
In Thursday’s box you will find:
- Yellow Onions
- Mushrooms (from River Valley Ranch and Kitchen – grown organically)
In Sunday’s box you will find:
- Yellow onions
- Green Onions
- Swiss Chard
- Garlic (from our friend Jeff Chapman)
In the Field
Well, fall is certainly upon us up here. On Saturday, I checked the forecast and was shocked to see that FROST was predicted overnight. Just for comparison, the average first frost date for our area is sometime in mid to late October, and the record first frost date is September 20th, 1991. It would have been a weather shocker if it had actually frosted, but luckily, the temperatures stayed in the balmy low 40s. This means that we will probably have at least a few more weeks of tomatoes, and that the celery avoided frost burn. And by the end of this week, we are promised a return to sun and warmth. I’ll believe it when I see it.
This week and last, we were excited to include some garlic grown by our friend Jeff Chapman. He lives and farms just down the road from us, on land that his grandparents transformed into a perennial food crop haven.The planted fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, and asparagus, and managed little savannahs and a healthy prairie pond. Jeff now lives in the house that they built and continues to propagate and plant native plants and open-pollinated vegetables. He’s a cool, and very knowledgeable, guy.
You can probably tell by the looks of the garlic that it is a little different than your grocery-store variety. This garlic is the descendant of garlic plants that Jeff’s grandparents planted next to the strawberry patch. (Why plant garlic next to strawberries? This is a neat trick. The strawberries begin to ripen in the spring, which is also the perfect time during for the garlic to get weeded. If you are drawn to the area by the lure of fresh strawberries, you can do a little garlic weeding while you’re there. Brilliant.) It had been abandoned for almost a generation when Jeff re-discovered the wild plants and began the process of collecting bulbils (produced when the garlic flowers) and replanting them to get them to form bulbs. He’s not exactly sure what variety the garlic is, but he’s excited to be bringing it back into production, and we’re happy to share in this tasty portion of his inheritance.
In the Kitchen
Storage tips for this week:
- Tomatoes can be stored on the counter until deep red and slightly soft to the touch.
- Remove radishes from their tops and store separately.
- Garlic and yellow onions can be stored on the counter. Both should keep at least a month.
Cooking tips for this week:
- Broccoli crowns are the “flower” of the broccoli plant, and the part most commonly eaten, but you can eat the leaves too – they are like kale or collards, and are really tasty. The stalks are also delicious – just peel them and use in stir fries, soups or salads.
- Check out this recipe for Beef and Broccoli Stalks with Oyster Sauce from The Wall Street Journal.
Roasted Radishes with Radish Greens
- 1 bunch small radishes with greens attached
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 500°. Trim the radishes and wash the greens; pat dry.
- In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the radishes, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the radishes for 15 minutes, until crisp-tender.
- Return the skillet to the burner and stir in the butter to coat the radishes. Add the radish greens and cook over moderate heat until they are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season with salt. Serve the radishes right away.
You can throw shredded carrots or broccoli stem in this slaw recipe, too!
- 1 1/2 pound cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (6 cups)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 5 radishes, thinly sliced
- Toss cabbage with salt in a large bowl and let stand, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together oil, vinegar, honey mustard, and pepper in a small bowl until combined.
- Rinse cabbage with cold water in a colander, then firmly squeeze handfuls to remove excess water and transfer cabbage to cleaned bowl. Add radishes and dressing to cabbage, tossing to combine.
Now that it is soup weather, you can try a few of these recipes that incorporate kale!
Kale, Carrot and Chickpea Soup