Good Eats Newsletter - July 22, 2015

Good Eats Newsletter - July 22, 2015

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag will contain:

Mesclun, Napa Cabbage, Cucumber, Snap Peas, Parsley,
Broccoli, Sweet Pepper, Fennel, Lacinato Kale

And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes

Localvore Offerings Include:
Balsamic Vinegar
Raspberries from North Derby Berry Farm


Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:

Mesclun, Napa Cabbage, Parsley, Sweet Pepper
Fennel, Lacinato Kale

And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes
CSA Manager Changes

Hello everyone,

I'll be writing the newsletter and answering your emails for the next few weeks as we transition to a new CSA manager.

Sara Whitehair has done a terrific job managing Good Eats these last couple years.  Sara has taken a new job with the VT Food Bank as the VT Fresh Coordinator where she has opportunity to be an educator, working directly with people.  She's pretty excited for her new job and we wish her all the best with that new position.

  We are very grateful for the time she spent with us.  

Thanks Sara for all your hard work!

As always, if you have any questions about anything, please send along an email.
~ Amy

Storage and Use Tips

Mesclun - Mesclun greens are back this week.  These greens alone in a salad dressed with the balsamic vinegar in the share this week, good quality olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper will make a perfect & quick summer salad.

Good Eats Newsletter - July 22, 2015
Fennel - crunchy and slightly sweet with the flavor of anise, fennel is delicious served raw but is just as often served cooked on its own or in other dishes. Though most often associated with Italian cooking, it has an uncanny ability to blend with other flavors adding a light and fresh note. It is delightful in soups and stews and sauces and is particularly at home with tomato sauce dishes. Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. To prepare, cut off the hard bottom and slice vertically or into quarters. Or cut the bulb in half lengthwise, cut out the core, and cut into strips. Add it raw to salads or try some thinly sliced fennel on your sandwich. Top thinly sliced fennel with plain yogurt and mint leaves. Or braise, roast or saute it. It is done when tender enough to pierce easily with a skewer.




Napa Cabbage - Crisp and sweeter than regular green cabbage, napa is delicious raw or cooked, and can be substituted for regular cabbage in most recipes. Nearly all of the head can be used, just not the tough center core. If your Napa sits a while in the fridge and some leaves are limp, you can refresh it with a good soak in cold water. Napa cabbage should be stored unwashed in your crisper drawer, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag.

Both shares will receive sweet peppers again this week!

Parsley will also be in both bags this week.  Chopped parsley can be sprinkled on a host of different recipes, including salads, vegetable sautés and grilled fish. Combine chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest, and use it as a rub for chicken, lamb and beef. Add it to soups and tomato sauces. It is a key flavor ingredient in the mediterranean dish tabouli and in the Argentinian chimichurri sauce (both recipes below). Parsley is one of those vegetables with huge nutritional benefits, even when using just a couple tablespoons of the minced green. The vitamin content is very high (particularly vitas A, C, K, and folic acid). And what's more, the activity of parsley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemoprotective" food, a food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens.

Fennel - crunchy and slightly sweet with the flavor of anise, fennel is delicious served raw but is just as often served cooked on its own or in other dishes. Though most often associated with Italian cooking, it has an uncanny ability to blend with other flavors adding a light and fresh note. It is delightful in soups and stews and sauces and is particularly at home with tomato sauce dishes. Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. To prepare, cut off the hard bottom and slice vertically or into quarters. Or cut the bulb in half lengthwise, cut out the core, and cut into strips. Add it raw to salads or try some thinly sliced fennel on your sandwich. Top thinly sliced fennel with plain yogurt and mint leaves. Or braise, roast or saute it. It is done when tender enough to pierce easily with a skewer.

Lacinato Kale - aka dinosaur kale has very dark and bumpy and somewhat leathery looking leaves (hence the dinosaur nickname) that stand up really well to cooking. This kale will retain its shape even in soups and stews. Kale is in the super veggie club and is just about the healthiest vegetable you can eat, packed with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories.  And it's tasty and an easy addition to so many dishes.  Keep kale loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer. Strip the leaves from the stems and wash them well before chopping and cooking.

Large share members will receive snap peas this week. Snap peas are smaller than shelling peas, about 2 inches long, and flatter, the shells glossy, and the outline of the peas inside usually clear to see.  This variety is meant to be eaten pod and all, raw, or cooked lightly.


Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section.  I am sure you will find it useful.


Around the Farm

Good Eats Newsletter - July 22, 2015 Last week our processing kitchen officially entered its busy season.  Richard Mandigo is at the helm in the kitchen and he put up loads of basil pesto and a good amount of salsa.  This week we are working on another big basil harvest, so it's a lot of pesto again this week.  Also this week we are freezing cauliflower, snap peas and shredded zucchini, all for winter Good Eats shares

For the last several years I have been overseeing the kitchen part of our farm and I really enjoy it.  There is the forecasting part of the job where I make my best estimate of how many units of everything we need to build the perfect winter shares.  These needs are taken into account by Melissa and Pete as they plan crop successions for the year and we plant extra to ensure we have enough for the kitchen.  There's the weekly and daily communication with Pete and Molly (harvest manager) about how crops are coming along, how many lbs of what the kitchen will need to process in the coming days or week.  And then there's the daily stuff - communication with kitchen team about recipes and process, helping to solve the inevitable equipment problems that crop up, ordering ingredients and containers to keep up with the flow, documenting our work, and changing gears when something happens that requires us to come up with a whole different plan.  From now through October it will be a blur of constant activity and communication.  We are rewarded at the end with a winter's worth of some pretty precious and delicious food. ~ Amy

Photo - Richard portioning pesto today in our kitchen

Localvore Lore

The balsamic vinegar in the share today is a little treasure. This is fantastic balsamic made right here in Vermont by Bob Lesnikowski, owner of Vt Cranberry Company. Along with being the sole cranberry grower in Vermont, Bob is a winemaker. He brings to vinegar making the same high standards he adheres to for making wine.  Use this vinegar where you need the best quality balsamic.  I use it as a drizzle for my tomato & basil salads or wherever the flavor of this balsamic has opportunity to take a front seat. 

Balsamic Vinegar, a traditional Italian delicacy is a delectable condiment made from wine grapes. We grow the Frontenac variety of wine grape. My balsamic vinegar is made from the Frontenac grape that is used for Boyden Valley Winery' s Ice wine. Once the ice wine is pressed, the remaining juice is used to make vinegar. I ferment and then acetify some of the juice and then the rest is reduced to 40 % of the volume. The reduction is blended with the vinegar and then barrel aged for 2 years. This balsamic is dense, supple and slightly sweet. Perfect for summer grilling or salads. ~Bob

We have beautiful raspberries this week from North Derby Berry Farm and they are absolutely delicious!  Greg and Sharon Smith run this eleven acre berry farm with about five acres under cultivation. Two thirds of their production is in Prelude raspberries, which produce twice a year, and one third is in blueberries. They farm organically, using no pesticides and weeding by hand, but are not certified, finding the process of certification too cumbersome for their small scale farm.  Eat right away!  The additional rain we have had lately make berries softer and more perishable than when they ripen in drier conditions. 



Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.



Recipes


Tabouli
I will be making tabouli this week with our parsley.  It's such a great dish to have sitting in fridge to ladel on as a side to grilled meat and green salad.  Or just as a quick snack.  Make sure you give it time to marinate in the fridge as it's best after having a chance to sit to bring flavors together.  Serves 6.
1 cup bulgur
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice -- and/or lime juice
1 teaspoon garlic -- crushed
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon dried mint flakes
1/4 cup olive oil -- (good quality)
fresh black pepper
2 medium tomatoes -- diced
1 cup fresh parsley -- chopped and packed
Optional: 1 cup chopped cucumber and/ or 1/2 cup coarsely grated carrot

 


Tomato Fennel Salad
Here's another great recipe using your fennel.
1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes
1 small fennel bulb
2 tbsp good olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Core the tomatoes and cut into wedges. Remove the top of the fennel (save some fronds for garnish) and slice the bulb very thinly crosswise with a knife or on a mandoline.
Toss the tomatoes and fennel in a bowl with the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Garnish with 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds, season to taste, and serve.



Fennel And Kale Pasta
Sweet fennel and greens work beautifully together.
1?2 c olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 medium fennel bulb fronds removed, halved and thinly sliced
salt and pepper
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 lb spaghetti
up to 3 lb kale or other cooking green washed and chopped
1 c grated parmesan
Heat oil in a large braising pan or skillet with a cover. Add onion; sauté over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in fennel; sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until fennel is tender, about 8 minutes longer. Stir in vinegar; simmer to blend flavors, 1 minute longer. Adjust seasonings.
Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta; return to boil. Add kale; continue to cook until pasta is al dente, about 7 minutes.
Drain pasta and greens; toss with fennel mixture and cheese. Transfer portions to warm pasta bowls. Garnish with reserved minced fennel fronds. Serve immediately with more cheese passed separately.



Napa Cabbage Salad
This is a french version of a napa salad, simple and delicious.  And a great make ahead salas as it benefits from being dressed an hour or so before serving.


2 teaspoons best-quality red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 clove garlic, peeled, green germ removed, and minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon hot water
1/2 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 1/4 pounds napa cabbage, trimmed, cut into quarters lengthwise, and very finely sliced crosswise
In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, both mustards, the garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly until the dressing is emulsified. Whisk in the hot water.

Mince the parsley leaves.

Add the cabbage and the parsley to the dressing, and toss until all is thoroughly combined. Either serve the salad immediately, or let it sit for up to 2 hours before serving. If the salad sits, be sure to toss it again before serving.



Spicy Garlic Kale With Sauteed Red Peppers
A simple and deliciously healthy side dish.

1 bunch kale
1 large onion (or a leek and a small onion) diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced (or extruded through garlic press)
1 large red bell peppers, cut into short strips
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt
pepper
Wash kale. Pull greens away from the stalks, discarding stalks. Shred by hand into small pieces.
Place kale in steamer basket (or pot with 1/2 inch of boiling water) and steam until tender (approximately 10 minutes). Remove immediately from heat.
Heat olive oil in heavy pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add onions and/or leeks. Saute until onions are translucent and leeks begin to brown. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, saute for 1-2 more minutes. Add bell pepper slices, and saute until tender (approximately 4-5 minutes). Remove from heat.
Add kale to pan, and toss ingredients together thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or room temperature.

 


Parsley Chimichurri
This parsley packed condiment is a staple in Argentina where it is always served alongside meats.  It is also terrific spread on sandwiches, really great alongside grilled potatoes, and it can seriously liven up a plate of eggs and toast. 
1 cup (packed) fresh parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar  or cider vinegar
1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt