Week #2, May 31/June 1, 2018

June 1 check reminder

Many of you paid us with checks dated to June 1.  We will deposit the checks on Monday June 4.

Fast-moving week

The heat this week was ridiculous.  Perhaps you noticed.  Madison set a record with four days in the 90’s.  We are proud of our work crew – they soldiered through, drinking lots of water and gatorade and taking breaks in the shade.  Even seasoned farmhands (like most of our crew) have to re-acclimate to hot weather.  

The heat wave advanced most of our crops.  We’ve quickly switched from running behind schedule to running ahead of schedule.  It is head spinning.  This week’s box contains next week’s spinach, escarole and mint.  In turn, some of the following week’s crops will be ready next week (lettuce field #2, zucchini).  We lost a few spring plantings that couldn’t handle the heat: radishes, some spinach, and the new Abyssinian mustard we planted.  We have more radish and spinach plantings and will see how those younger plants fare.  The asparagus did not respond well to the hot weather.  We’ll harvest again next week but then have to decide whether to end the asparagus season early to let the plants recover and store root reserves for next year.  We’ll let you know.
Bright spots of the week:  It was a big relief when the temperatures dropped.  It rained gently on Wednesday.  The heat-loving crops grew a lot (tomatoes, peppers, squash).  Our mama farm cat moved her kittens back into the garage where we can tame them.  Life is good again.



Top; the strawberry field is blooming beautifully.  You can see young berries forming in the bottom photo.  Steve thinks the first berries might be ready in two weeks but that’s a guess.



The zucchini and summer squash fields loved the heat!  These should be ready to pick next week.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
May 31/June 1, 2018 (Thurs/Fri sites)
Week #2, purple EOW and sun Sampler

Remember, we list storage, prep and cooking information on each vegetable the first time we pack it in the CSA boxes.  See last week’s newsletter for info on asparagus, spinach, lettuce, green garlic and rhubarb.  If we have special instructions or insights to offer, we’ll list them here.  For example, I’ve included freezing instructions for rhubarb.

Asparagus, 0.6 lb
Escarole, 1
Spinach, 1 big bunch
Button mushroom, 12 oz
Red leaf lettuce
White salad turnips & greens, 1 bunch
Green garlic, 1 bunch
Mint, 1 sprig
Rhubarb, ~1.75 lb

Next week’s box will probably contain kale, lettuce, white salad turnips, scallions, shiitake mushrooms and more.

Escarole (large head of wavy green leaves) – This member of the chicory family can be eaten raw or cooked.  Its slightly bitter flavor is a good addition to mixed salads.  It is excellent cooked alone or mixed with other greens.  It cooks quickly, but not as quickly as spinach.  Cover and refrigerate.

Button mushrooms – These organic mushrooms are from Hidden Valley Mushrooms from Wisconsin Dells.  We buy mushrooms from Mary every year; they are a great addition to spring salads and quiches.  Here are Mary’s suggestions for storing the mushrooms.  Store separate from leafy greens, which hasten mushroom aging.  If storing for more than a few days, remove from the box and store in a paper bag with holes punched in the side.  Keep dry.  Don’t wash to clean, just wipe with a damp cloth.

White salad turnips (bunched white roots with green tops) – I know that returning members look forward to these sweet and delicious turnips, which taste nothing like the turnips that are harvested in fall.
– Storage: Cover and refrigerate.
– Uses: Both the turnip roots and tops are edible.  The roots are excellent raw; Slice and add to salads.  They can be cooked and are especially good when lightly sauteed in butter.  Stir as little as possible so they brown on at least one side.  The turnips greens are excellent cooked.  Treat them like mustard greens.
– Our favorite use:  Slice the roots very thinly and combine with a mixture of rice vinegar, mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil.  Eat immediately or marinate.

Mint – Everyone gets one sprig with about 6 to 8 leaves.  Refrigerate in a small container.

Rhubarb – Remember, rhubarb is easy to freeze.  Simply chop and freeze in a freezer bag.  It does not need to be blanched.  When it’s time to bake, just add the frozen rhubarb to your batter.  You’ll need to cook baked goods a few minutes longer, e.g. about 5 minutes longer for a cake in a 9 x 13 pan.

RECIPES

Visit our 2018 Recipe Log, a week-by-week list of 2018 recipes.
Visit our 2017 Recipe Log, a week-by-week list of last year’s recipes.
Beth’s box logic: The mint sprig is small but we included it specifically so you can make spring rolls with mint, spinach or lettuce, plus a few spears of cooked asparagus.  We usually add strips of marinated cooked tofu but shrimp are good if you have them.  
– Here’s a useful recipe for how to handle the rice paper wrappers: Rainbow Vegetable Spring Rolls.  
– Use any vegetables you like. 
– We make a dipping sauce of soy sauce + rice vinegar + thinly sliced scallions or green garlic.  It’s easier to dip or spoon the sauce into your spring rolls as you eat them, rather than adding the sauce to the rolls as described in the recipe.

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Asparagus and Spinach Pasta Salad with Feta
Wilted Escarole with Pine Nuts and Raisins
Farro Salad with Salad Turnips, Turnip Greens, Mint and Walnuts
Shaved Asparagus and Maple Mint Salad

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Green Curry Shrimp Soup with Spinach and Salad Turnips
Escarole, Salad Turnip and Apple Salad
Pan Seared Chicken with Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Sauce
Rhubarb Mint Vinaigrette

LOCAL THYME/ Quick and Easy Recipe
Spinach Frittata with Turnip Greens

Recipes from Lauren

SPRING SALAD WITH TURNIPS & LEMON CREAM
Every winter I get a new cookbook focused on vegetables to expand my repertoire of recipes and every year I am surprised by the variety of textures and flavors I discover within familiar foods. Re-discovering vegetables in new ways is my favorite thing about cooking. Inspired by Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons cookbook, this recipe made me fall back in love with spring lettuces and salads. The lemon cream dressing is delicate and feminine really letting the fresh lettuce and floral turnip flavors take center stage. Enjoy! Lauren

Serves 4-6
Takes 20 minutes

1 bunch turnips
1/2 head red leaf lettuce, rinsed and dried well
5-10 fresh mint leaves, torn
1/2 cup lemon cream dressing (below)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup salted roasted sunflower seeds

  1. Remove the greens from the turnips. Wash, remove any yellowed pieces and pat dry. Roughly chop and add to a large bowl. Roughly chop lettuce and add to bowl. Trim the ends off the turnips and very thinly slice them (use a mandolin if you have one). Add the sliced turnips to the bowl of greens along with the mint leaves.
  2. Prepare the lemon cream dressing (below) and add to greens. Use your hands to evenly distribute the dressing (though tongs may also work). Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  3. Top with sunflower seeds.

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Lemon Cream Dressing
Makes 1 cup

2-3 green garlic, quartered and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

  1. In a small bowl combine garlic, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add cream, followed by salt and pepper. Whisk to combine until it starts to thicken then add olive oil. Continue whisking until dressing gets a bit lighter and airy. Use within a day of making.

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SHAVED ASPARAGUS, SPINACH & MUSHROOM QUICHE

One 9-inch quiche
Serves 4-6
Takes 50 minutes

1 batch favorite pie dough (this makes two servings) or a store-bought pie crust
2 tablespoons butter
12 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 bunch spinach, leaves torn or roughly chopped
1-1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1/2 pound asparagus, shaved
4 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. If you made your pie dough from scratch, pre-bake the crust with pie weights for 15 minutes. If you are using a store-bought crust, follow package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute for 5-10 minutes until just beginning to release their juices then add the spinach. Stir to combine and cover. Turn off the heat but leave pan on burner for five minutes just to steam the spinach. Add shaved asparagus along with remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine and then pour into pre-baked crust.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, cream and milk. Whisk until smooth then add Parmesan. Pour over asparagus mixture. Shake pan to even out the filling. Bake for 30-35 minutes until cooked through.

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