THE PICK LIST:
STRAWBERRIES - LETTUCE - ZUCCHINI - COUSA SQUASH OR PATTY PAN -
FRESH PULLED GARLC! - KOHLRABI - FENNEL - BEETS - PEPPERS - CUCUMBERS
Honestly, it’s been a hard strawberry season. With the late arrival of fruit and what-feels-like constant rain, we are working everyday at keeping up with the ripening. Right now we are into our third week of picking berries and at times if feels like we are on week 5. Working the strawberry fields row by row, we not only pick the good berries into quarts but also pick off bad berries to avoid rotting out the rest of the fruit and plant. Our PYO is a huge help here, but it is the field crew- the same 11 of us that show up every morning at 5 am to start with the morning pick. With heads down, and butts held high, we work the rows 1 strawberry at a time.
I have a lot of love for field crew this time of year. Though the berry crop is looking a little tired these days, our field crew is up and at ‘em with spirits high. Presser greets us every morning DJing up a set from his boombox- alot of lazer beam- air horn- reggae tunes mixed with the occasional gospel and we all pick together as the sun rises over the fields into the noon day sun.
But the berry season is not over- and it’s not all doom and gloom- still plenty of fruit in the PYO patch! And the berries that we are selling in quarts at the Farmstand and around the Upper Valley remain beautiful and sweet and plentiful Also, though strawberries are our one of our biggest crops at the farm we are lucky to be highly diversified. We grow a ton of different crops which is insanely helpful when one of our biggest crops does not grow according to plan. Who knows, maybe it will be a big Bok Choy year…. (this is a joke, it will never be a big bok choy year in Plainfield, NH).
TIPS - TRICKS - RECIPES:
Kohl Rabi- nope, it’s not an alien- it’s a vegetable! Excellent cooked or raw! Treat like a cabbage and shred into a salad or ferment into a kraut or kimchi or roast. Also makes a great vehicle for dips, pestos, salsa, etc…
Fennel- food, medicine, and herb! In ancient Greece, fennel was used to celebrate the gods- planting it in temple gardens and making crowns from the feathery leaves. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans believed fennel an aid for digestion, bronchial troubles, and poor eyesight.
Like Kohlrabi, fennel is an excellent vehicle for dipping. People love fennel shaved into a salad, the folks at our farmstand are brilliant and chop it up into water sometimes with mint, like a sun tea, so refreshing! Also, if you dare turn on your oven you can make delicious gratin paring the zucchini and fennel, just ask google.
Fresh Garlic- just pulled- do not put in fridge! ENJOY WITH EVERYTHING!!!! But maybe not ice cream…
Grated Beet & Kohlrabi Salad
1 ½ pounds kohlrabi & beets peeled and grated on the large holes of a grater or cut in thin julienne (any combination; 4 cups total)
Kosher salt to taste about 1/2 teaspoon 1 ½ cups water 1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup rice vinegar 2 tablespoons slivered mint leaves or chopped cilantro
Combine the grated or julienne vegetables in a large bowl, and toss with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place in a strainer or colander set over a bowl or in the sink. Let stand for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the water, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan, bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Pour into the bowl in which you combined the vegetables, and allow to cool to room temperature.
Briefly rinse the vegetables, and squeeze dry. Add to the bowl with the vinegar mixture, and stir together. Refrigerate for one hour or longer. To serve, lift from the vinegar bath with a slotted spoon and arrange on a platter. Garnish with the mint or cilantro, and serve.
KOHLRABI, FENNEL, AND Beet SLAW
Kohlrabi is a relative of cabbage and turnips. It tastes similar to broccoli when eaten raw but it can also be cooked. Fennel has a bulb-like stem which grows above ground, sending up shoots and delicate fronds. All parts of the plant can be eaten but the bulb is most commonly used. With a mild anise flavor, fennel can be served crisp in salads and cooked alone or with other vegetables.
1 medium kohlrabi 1 medium BEET 1 small (or 1/2 large) bulb of fennel
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon dijon or grainy mustard
2 teaspoons honey salt and pepper
Remove the kohlrabi stems (which grow out of the bulb) and peel off the tough outer skin. Peel the beet. Slice the kohlrabi and the beet into matchstick sized pieces. Remove the stems, fronds, and any damaged outer layers from the fennel bulb. Slice the fennel into thin pieces, about the same length as the sliced kohlrabi. Combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, and honey, and whisk until smooth. Toss the sliced vegetables and apple in a bowl with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
LAST MINUTE notes from chef peter of wild roots on your kohlrabi
Kohlrabi "Potato Salad" : A Universal vegetable of sorts....
Being playful and whimsical with food is how any cook stays inspired. We take for granted the abundance of our produce at the height of the season and sometimes forget to continually express new textures and flavors. I greatly enjoy using lesser known or uncommonly found ingredients during this point of the season to highlight their many utilization's.
So now to shine the light on the mysterious kolhrabi... Sometimes affectionately refereed to as Vermont Jamaica, by Mrs.Suzanne Long of Luna Bleu Farm.... Kolhrabi is a Germanic Turnip. It's round bulbous root mass can create a somewhat thick exterior trapping its sweet dense radish like flesh. While at the same time sprouting beautiful broad brassica-like leaves ideal for low and slow braising.
2lbs Kohlrabi (Large Dice 1''x1'') (Stems+Leaves Removed and Reserved)
1/4 cup Garlic Scapes Minced 1/4 cup Dill Minced
1/4 cup Bread & Butter Pickle Minced (Liquid Drained) 2tbl Parsley Minced
2 tbl Scallions Minced 1 Fennel Bulb Thinly Shaved
1 tbl Chili Flake 1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar 1 1/4 cup Mayo Salt and Pepper To Taste
- Cut Kohlrabi into large uniform cubes. Place in pot of water and fill with cold water. Season water with salt aggressively. Turn to high and allow to come to a boil. Once boiling carefully remove one piece to test doneness. Personal preference but I like a bit of crunch to by "potato salad." Drain water and remove from pan onto baking tray and allow to cool in fridge.
2) Once Kohlrabi is cool to the touch mix all remaining ingredients in large bowl together. And taste for seasoning.
Use reserved stems and leaves to make "collard greens" a traditional low country slow braise of hearty thick brassica leaves with pork shanks and apple cider. Or a healthier route is to saute them with molasses, whole grain mustard, and a touch of brown sugar in olive oil.
and one more note from Allie OF your fave FARMSTAND
SHE SAYS ROAST!!! IT REALLY BRINGS OUT THE SWEETNESS.