This week we have two of the most popular fall (and spring) vegetables, carrots and spinach! What’s to say about carrots? They’re sweet, they’re crunchy and we love them! The tops were ridiculously large so they got a haircut before going in your box. If you plan to keep them for more than a few days, clip off the remaining tops just above the roots and store the roots in a plastic bag in the fridge. We recommend washing the spinach in one or two changes of water prior to cooking (it’s notorious for holding onto grit). See below for a quick spinach recipe (you can also substitute other greens such as kale). The kale is lacinato (sometimes called “dinosaur” or “nero di toscano”) and is a beautiful dark-green, crinkly leaf. For lettuce, we have green or red crisphead varieties; they are somewhat similar to iceberg but far more flavorful. Be aware that we did not wash the lettuce heads; they will definitely need a good drenching before you eat them. The spinach, kale, and lettuce will keep best in plastic bags in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Full shares once again have beets; it seems our beet planting may be outgrowing the pesky cutworms and caterpillars and thus we are hopeful the regular shares will get beets next week. Meantime, regular shares have kohlrabi (see below for a very Midwestern recipe). Kohlrabi is probably the weirdest looking veggie we grow at the farm. It is related to turnips, cabbage, etc and can be eaten raw or cooked or pickled. You may wonder what to do with the giant leaves and they can indeed be eaten, much as you would collards or kale (they are fairly thick and will need a longer cooking time than, say, the lacinato kale). Finally, we round out this week’s share with more yummy sweet Italian peppers. If you find yourself with too many peppers on hand, they are super easy to freeze: just cut into strips or dice, pack into a freezer bag, squeeze out excess air and freeze.
What’s going on at the Farm?
We certainly welcomed this week’s rain, especially after 2 solid weeks of dry weather (and HOT last Friday!). It’s nice to take a break from irrigating the crops everyday, which involves walking up and down beds and straightening drip lines, walking from field to field to turn on or off irrigation valves, walking to the pump to check the pressure. Sometimes I think being a farmer is just walking the same ground over and over again!
Next week look forward to more spinach and carrots as well as Swiss chard!
Beth, Elise, & Trish
Any Kind of Greens, Recipe #2
Flash-saute greens and use them to top bruschetta, pasta or baked potatoes.
Spinach with Raisins & Pine Nuts (“Contorni” by Susan Simon)
1 Tbl unsalted butter
1 Tbl olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 rounded Tbl pine nuts
4 tsp raisins
3 lb spinach, thoroughly rinsed and tough stems removed (or other greens such as kale, chard, broccoli raab, turnip greens)
½ tsp salt
1/ tsp ground cayenne
In a large heavy-bottomed skillet or sauté pan over medium heat melt the butter in the oil. Saute the onion until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the pine nuts and raisins and stir to coat with the onion mixture. Add the spinach, in batches, stirring to combine with the other ingredients. Add the next batch as soon as the preceding batch has wilted, usually in less than 30 seconds. Cook until the spinach is tender, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the salt and cayenne. Serve immediately.
Kohlrabi & Apple Salad with Creamy Mustard Dressing
½ cup heavy cream
2 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1 Tbl coarse-grained mustard
3 Tbl finely chopped parsley leaves
½ tsp sugar
About 2 lb kohlrabi, peeled and diced (or cut into strips)
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
In a bowl whisk the cream until it holds soft peaks and whisk in the lemon juice, mustard, parsley, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the kohlrabi and apple and mix well. Serve at room temperature or cooled.
List of Pick Up Sites
Elysian Fields Farm, 5925 Oakley Rd., Cedar Grove; times 1:30-7:00
Durham, 1715 W. Cornwallis; times 2:00-7:00
Durham, 915 Hale St.; times 2:30-7:00
Chapel Hill, 1616 Old Oxford Rd.; times 3:00-7:00
Carrboro, 100 Melba Circle (entrance is off Lorraine St.); times 3:30-7:00
Lacinato Kale (1 bunch)
Lacinato Kale (1 larger bunch)