What to Use First - More or Less:
Strawberries or Plums (Plums will last longer than the berries)
Chives (if we run out you may have some of the first summer squash) & Lemon Balm
Menu Suggestions and Recipes:
Tuscan Kale Soup Serve with Crusty Bread & Butter plus a Green Salad with grated Turnip on top
Uses: Dino Kale, Potatoes, Some other Greens; Chard or Spinach, Lettuce and or Arugula, Turnips
Couscous, Herb and Walnut Salad Serve with Poached Salmon or Chicken Breasts - use Fennel Fronds on fish
Uses: Fennel, Lemon Balm, Favas, Chives
Chard and New Potato Curry, Serve with Rice or Naan or Chapatis and a Salad with some Grilled Apricots
Uses: Chard and whatever Greens you have left, Potatoes, Lettuce and Apricots
No suggestions need be made for Strawberries, or Plums or Apricots, simply enjoy them!
Tuscan Kale Soup
Basic Recipe from Emily, our new CSA Admin Serves 4
Emily brought this for lunch the other day, and it was delicious. So here you go!
1/2 lb Italian Sausage
1 Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 - 2 cups diced Potatoes, you decide how much potato you like
1 Qt Eatwell Farm Chicken Stock
1 bunch Dino Kale, plus more greens - spinach or chard, if you want more veg
1/8 to 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes, add more if you like heat or none if you don’t!
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 tsp salt
In an appropriately sized soup pot, cook the sausage, then add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is somewhat soft, add the stock, salt, the pepper flakes and the potatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the greens. Simmer until the greens and potatoes are all tender, then add the cream. Enjoy!
Nigel and I took the rare opportunity to get away this Holiday weekend; 3 nights up at Harbin Hot Springs. It was kind of a last minute plan, consequently I didn’t have time to get all the recipes together before we left. I did however, grab 3 of my favorite cookbooks. This morning, while enjoying the sunshine on the deck, I found all that I needed, and used only one book; Veg by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. If you don’t have this simple and well thought out book I highly recommend it. He covers so many vegetables and offers really simple and delicious and often innovative recipes plus suggestions for substitutions that seem to always match what I have going through my head!
Couscous Salad with Herbs and Walnuts
Veg by HFW Serves 4
We do not have parsley at the moment, but I thought the texture and extra flavor from the Lemon Balm would be a nice switch out.
2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
4 to 5 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped 2 Celery Stalks, chopped
1 Fennel Bulb, chopped
Fava Beans, as many as you would like to use, shucked and boiled until tender, remove the outer skins if they are too tough
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 Lemon
7 oz Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous, you can use whatever couscous you like, simply follow the directions on the package
1/2 bunch of Lemon Balm, chopped
A handful of chives, chopped
3/4 cup Walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
Put the cumin and fennel seeds in a dry frying pan and toast over medium heat, shaking the pan often, for a few minutes until fragrant. Tip into a mortar and, when cool, grind with the pestle to a powder. Heat 2 TB of the olive oil in the frying pan and sauté the onion, celery, fennel ad garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes or so. Until softened but still with a bit of bite. Remove from the heat and add the ground spices and lemon zest. Cook the couscous according to the directions. Drain well and mix with the onion, favas and spice mixture. Allow to cool. Stir in the lemon juice, herbs, walnuts and plenty of salt and pepper. Before serving add more oil to lubricate the couscous to your taste, you may also like more lemon juice.
Chard and New Potato Curry
Veg by HFW Serves 4
1 bunch of Chard, plus some (about 1/2) whatever greens you have left, spinach, arugula and or kale
2 TB good Vegetable Oil
1 Onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled
1 Green Chile, seeded and finely chopped
1(1-inch) piece of fresh Ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Turmeric
3 Cardamom Pods, bashed
12 oz new Potatoes, quartered
1 cup plain full-fat Yogurt
11/2 TB Tomato Paste
A small bunch of Cilantro, coarsely chopped
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
A small handful of Almonds, Cashews, or pistachios, toasted and chopped
Separate the chard leaves from the stalk.s Cut the stalks into 1-inch pieces and coarsely chop the leaves. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion, and fry until just golden. Meanwhile, pound together garlic, chile and ginger with a pinch of salt to a paste. Add the paste to the onion and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Tip in the rest of the spices and stir for a minute or two. Add the potatoes and chopped chard stalks and fry, stirring frequently for 5 minutes, so that they are well coated with the spice mixture. Pour in about 12/3 cups of water - enough to just cover the vegetables. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender. Add the chard leaves, stir, and cook until just wilted. In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, tomato paste, and some of the hot liquid from the curry. Remove the curry from the heat, stir in the yogurt mixture, return to the heat, and warm through very gently (if it gets to hot the yogurt will curdle). Stir in most of the cilantro. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Scatter over the toasted nuts and remaining cilantro, then serve with rice and naan or chapatis.
A Few Salad Suggestions
Mix the lettuce and arugula for your salads. It will add a variety of flavor. Last night at the restaurant at Harbin we had a Basil Caesar Salad. It was delicious and I realized I seldom think to chop basil and toss it into a salad, but I will now. To add texture to a simple salad grate some raw turnips on the top and add some toasted nuts. For a little sweetness, and if you have a grill pan, heat it to very hot, brush with good oil and quickly cook halved apricots until you have lovely grill marks. Make your own salad dressing and use any and all of the herbs you have or have not yet used. Keep it simple and fresh, you will enjoy it so much more than store bought!