STRAWBERRIES - PESTO - EGGS - ARUGULA -BASIL - BOK CHOY - RADISHES - RHUBARB - PARSLEY STARTS - SCALLIONS
Happy CSA growing season to ALL!! This morning started off beautifully- I had the truck fully loaded with bushel baskets, lugs, johnny’s knives, rubber-bands, snacks, water, etc… And then after 5 bushels of arugula later and 20 bunches of radishes i got a call to pick up my kid due to fever- ugggh. I left in a pinch, quickly explaining along the way a pick-list involving all of what you are getting in today’s share to Mike and Ray. Here I write, while the kid-o sleeps, thinking about this whole farm life. All i can say is, it feels damn good and supportive to be apart of this 2nd generation family farm. Now, there are many things farming does not lend itself to… For example, i will never own a second home in Baja and Ray will never get his Corvette (which i just found out yesterday is a thing, hello midlife crisis?). BUT when our kid is sick, we are covered and supported by the ENTIRE Edgewater Family. During the early years at Edgewater i may have occasionally questioned my role here- but i never for a second questioned raising a family here… But enough about family, lets talk about the crops.
The unending-700-year-winter finally came to a close at the end of April giving way to mostly Sunshine and very little rain. Scouting out the crops last week, I was shocked to see how little the direct seeded fields were growing. Our spinach crop, a beginning of season staple, was mostly non-existent. Same with the Asian greens and other odds and ends. As a result, I’ve been scratching my brain quite a bit figuring out what is going into this first share. Thankfully, the chickens don’t seem to mind the sun and are producing eggs like rockstars. Also, as always, we are so grateful to the kitchen crew for stocking the freezers and extending our season via pesto, and other frozen ecutriments. And as for strawberries, it was just decided today that we would have enough of a harvest to make sure that all of you are able to take home 1 quart of berries. So instead of rain this season, we have Mike and Ray, and all of field crew moving and setting up irrigation pipes, making sure the crops get the drink they desperately need. Bottomline, Big shout out today to the farm Ponds and the Connecticut River for making our rainy day field dreams come true.
TIPS - TRICKS - RECIPES:
sometimes referred to as chinese cabbage. It’s great both raw and cooked. The stems are succulent and crispy and the leaves are generally a dark green. You can eat both the stems and the leaves. Very high in vitamin A.
1) boil in water to make a soup broth; 2) chop finely into a salad as the stems add a crunchy texture; 3) cook lightly with some soy sauce for a easy side dish; 4) quick braise and add to your regular meals to boost nutrition content, for example, last night we had it in out Mac n’ cheese (this is absolutely solidifying how American I am).
In theory, this is a side dish. That is how it would be eaten in a Chinese restaurant. I am happy to eat it as a supper dish, piled on top of a bowl of rice. Enough for 2 as a side dish.
4 cups of bok choy
FOR THE SAUCE
1 knob of ginger about the size of a golf ball 2 large, juicy cloves of garlic
2 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil 2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Rinse the greens, taking care to get every bit of grit out from the folds of the leaves. A brief soak in cold water is probably the best way. Peel the ginger and cut it into wafer-thin slices, then cut into matchstick-sized shreds. Peel the garlic and chop finely.
Fill a large pan with water, bring to a furious boil and salt lightly. Dunk the green on to the water and leave to boil till tender. I think they should have a bit of bite, too.
When the greens are within a minute or two of doneness, get a wok or frying pan really hot, then add the oil. As the oil starts to shimmer and lightly smoke, throw in the ginger and garlic. Quickly move the pan around so that the oil and aromatics swoosh around and up the sides. The garlic will colour in seconds - don't let it burn. Stir in the oyster sauce and the sesame oil and let it bubble briefly. Turn off the heat. Drain the greens, then add them to the sauce. Any drips of water left will simply help to correct the consistency of the sauce. Eat while the greens are still piping hot.
(YES, THIS IS A REPEAT RECIPE FROM LAST YEAR BECAUSE IT IS JUST THAT GOOD!)
1 bunch of scallion minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari or coconut aminos
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin, apple juice, or your favorite liquid sweetener
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon grape seed or other mild tasting oil
½ cup toasted sesame seeds, black or white if that’s all you can find
8 ounce ramen, soba, or udon noodles
Bok Choy chopped
1 bag of Spinach cut into ribbons
1/3 cup minced fresh basil
1/3 cup minced fresh mint
1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1 bunch of radishes, cut into matchsticks
1 avocado, cut into slices
First make the dressing by adding all the ingredients, except the sesame seeds, into a blender or food processor. Run till everything is mixed and the ginger is basically destroyed. Add the sesame seeds and let run until it looks kinda sandy. You do NOT want this smooth; it’s got texture that takes it to another level of dope. Set this aside.
When you’re ready to eat, start cooking the noodles according to the package directs. Drop the bok choy at the very end to blanch. Drain and run the noodles under some cold water to cool ‘em off. Throw the cooled noodles and veggies in a large bowl with about ¾ of the dressing, mint, and basil. Mix all that together until everything is coated in dressing and the herbs are evenly distributed.
You can either serve this right away the cucumber, carrots, and avocado piled alongside the noodles in a bowl or you can let them cool for a couple hours more, even overnight. When you assemble the bowls, pour the remaining dressing over the added veggies and enjoy yourself a refreshing lunch.
You’re welcome for not including a recipe involving strawberries & rhubarb, because if you are like me, those berries will not make it into your fridge and if you are sharing your box with friends or family, feel free to make-up a story of how your dog ate your berries… i’m just saying…
notes: When you’re extracting the top “cream” layer from the can of coconut milk, be extra careful to not grab any of the coconut water with your spoon. Some chopped strawberries would be a lovely addition to the compote if they’re available in your area. Crumbled ginger snaps would be a fantastic topping/garnish option instead of pistachios.
1 lb rhubarb, pink and light pink parts chopped
juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup agave nectar or raw honey, maple syrup etc. (or more if you like, I went kind of tart here)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
vanilla coconut cream:
2 cans full fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
3 tbsp maple syrup or powdered sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds removed–or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
handful of roasted pistachios, shelled and chopped (optional)
Combine the chopped rhubarb, orange juice, agave nectar, cardamom and ginger in a large saute pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Simmer the mixture until the rhubarb starts breaking down and the consistency is slightly jammy and compote-like, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
Make the cream: Remove the top layer of solid cream from the cans of coconut milk, carefully avoiding the water at the bottom of the can (reserve this for smoothies). Place the cream into a small bowl. Add the maple syrup/powdered sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Mix with a hand mixer on medium-high speed, stopping and scraping down here and there. Mix until a lightly stiff, whipped cream-like consistency is achieved. Wrap and set aside in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
To serve: Place about half a cup of the cooled rhubarb compote in each serving dish. Top each rhubarb fool with a dollop of the vanilla coconut cream and a sprinkle of pistachios.