Sunday, July 27, 2014

Week 10 CSA basket

Officially at the half-way point of the season...

And this week is Longhaul Farm's Summer Camp! We've got a group of kids joining us on the farm to learn about animals, plants, soil, nature and health.

Expect the following in this week's basket:
Cucumbers, squash, lettuce, parsley, eggplant, green beans, new potatoes, carrots, collard greens.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 9 CSA basket

We are nearing the middle of the season, so we'd like to invite everyone out to the farm on Friday from 5-7 for our annual mid - season weeding party... We'll provide some snacks and beverages while we all do a group weeding session. This is completely voluntary.

Expect the following in this week's basket:
Carrots, green beans, fennel, lettuce, chard, basil, parsley, summer squash, scallions

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Recipe w/ bitter greens

Bitter green salad w/ warm basil vinagrette

Ingredients: frisee, radicchio, dandelion, sorrel - or any other bitter green, basil, vinegar, shallot, olive oil, honey, salt, blue cheese (optional), bacon (optional)

Preparing: Chop the bitter greens into rather small pieces. Slice a shallot thinly and chiffonade some basil leaves. Warm some vinegar (white balsamic, balsamic, cider) on the stovetop in a small saucepan and add the shallot. Cook until softened. Whisk in some honey and salt and throw in the basil leaves. Once the vinegar is barely simmering, whisk in olive oil (use more olive oil than vinegar, by volume) and heat until just warm. Pour the warm vinaigrette over your prepared greens and mix gently.

Eating: Top these greens with blue cheese, or maybe feta or goat cheese, some crispy bacon pieces and some more torn basil leaves.

Dish history: Bitter greens are really bitter! But they are the healthiest for you. So softening them up with a warm dressing helps cut the bite and you still get the benefits of eating raw greens.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Week 8 CSA basket

Last week we processed our first cohort of meat chickens. Started with 30 in mid-May and ended up with 29 Freedom Rangers (lost one to a hawk). They clocked in at 4.3-6.9 lbs after they were dressed and ready for eating. I have to give a special thanks to HL, a fellow CSA member and neighbor, who volunteered with us to process the birds at a local farm (that has exceptional facilities). He was supurb, taking part in both the killing and the eviscerating. And I'm quite sure he'll never look at a chicken on his plate the same way again.

Which is precisely what happened to me when I started eating meat that I had a hand in raising and harvesting. I still eat it - enjoy it! love it! - but I have a different relationship with the chicken or turkey or pork on my plate. And while this is not for everyone, I truly enjoy this new relationship and would never go back.

Speaking of what might be on your plate... expect the following in this week's basket:
Green beans, summer squash, beets, radicchio, endive, dandelion greens, lettuce, kale or collards, basil, parsley, cilantro/dill.

~~~ We grow a version of radicchio that has green and red leaves (rather than the standard white and red) - Palla di Fuoco Rossa from Italy - and it is bitter and delicious and holds up to braising or sauteeing (if I cook it I always finish it with balsamic dressing in the pan). Our endive is also known as "frisee" - Tres Fine Maraishere Olesh from France) - and holds up well with either a regular salad dressing or warm vinaigrette. And our dandelion greens, well, they are just the healthiest greens you could eat (and next comes collards...).

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Recipe w/ summer squash II

Squash ribbon salad

Ingredients: summer squash, parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper

Preparing: Use a vegetable peeler to make long ribbons with your squash: toss the peel if it's too tough for your liking and when you get to the seedy part in the middle compost that or save for another use. Toss your ribbons with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Eating: If you use the freshest squash you've ever had, i.e., just picked that afternoon, you really can't beat the texture or flavor.

Dish history: We actually had a version of this dish at D.O.C. Wine Bar in Williamsburg, BK many, many, many years ago and have made it ever since.

Recipe w/ summer squash

Simple sauteed squash

Ingredients: summer squash, butter, basil, salt

Preparing: Cut any type of summer squash (e.g., zephyr yellow, costata romanesca, patty pan, standard zucchini) to about 1/8-1/4" slices (thicker=more sauteeing time). Melt butter in pan, saute for a few minutes to desired tenderness (the longer you saute, the more butter the squash absorbs, the more tender the squash; so also: don't skimp on the butter). Toss in ripped or chopped basil when heat is off and season with salt and pepper.

Eating: Hot off the pan. We had it with bbq chicken, but it is really so versatile.

Dish history: We have a lot of summer squash right now, and since we had squash fritters last night and squash ribbon salad the night before, we had to have this version tonight. So simple and summery.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Week 7 CSA basket

Baskets will begin to get hotter and heavier now. Roots are here. Fennel's beautiful. And those beans, they are prolific. But this is the point in the season where I am torn over whether to continue to give greens in the baskets or not... some people are sick of kale and others can't live without it.

Expect the following this week:
Green beans, beets, fennel, carrots, arugula, lettuce, basil, parsley, summer squash, kale or chard.

--> Use your fennel fronds and roast that fennel bulb if you're not already chopping it up for a crunchy slaw! And make those beets go a long way: shred them into a fresh salad (no need for peeling even).