CSA Week 6: July 12-16

Another busy week here and another late blog post … Hopefully you were able to join us on Monday for the farm tours, oven construction, and pizza from the NOFA pizza oven. There was a great turnout (we had to order a bunch of dough at the last minute from Cockadoodle Pizza in Bethel) and a fun time was had by all (I guess I really can’t speak for everyone but I definitely had fun). If you joined us on Monday then you probably met one our WWOOFERs (Willing Workers on Organic Farms). This year we have a fairly steady stream of WWOOFers here at the farm. WWOOFers come for anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months and in exchange for room and board they work with the rest of the farm crew (generally at a slightly more relaxed pace). It’s really neat having a steady flow of people from all over the country and world joining the community here at the farm. July seems to be international month as Olmo and Tonalli, 2 cousins from Mexico, and Remi, a young man from France, have been with us for almost 3 weeks, and Catherine, a young woman from England, arrived last nights. It’s been really neat seeing the different cultures and languages mesh together here. The big project this past week has been the construction of our own wood-fired earthen oven, directed by our apprentice Maggie’s friend, Tyler. It’s been awesome watching the oven materialize over the past week and we can’t wait until it’s ready to fire up sometime next week. We hope the oven can help be a catalyst for CSA parties and other gatherings in the future.

This week’s share:

*The Friday shares will be receiving the first onions of the season instead of scallions (medium and larges also will receive scallions)

Preparation Tips/Recipes:

Kale: Thanks to Dominique Lightbody for this recipe for Kale Chips!
Baked Kale Chips
Adapted from a bunch of inspiring places
1 bunch (about 6 ounces) kale (most kinds seem to work)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet—I cover mine with parchment. Bake for 5 minutes, toss again or flip to other side and bake 3-5 minutes more or until crisp. Place baking sheet on a rack to cool. I’ve also seen recipes for cooking the kale at a lower temperature, 300 for 20 minutes. Depends on how much you want to heat up your kitchen.

Beets: The New York Times had an article highlighting summer beets (and beet greens) this past week. I won’t post each of the recipes here (just click the link) but they include a beet and beet green gratin and several beet salads (which also use onions/scallions and parsley).

Lastly, Dominique Lightbody also passed along this recipe for Vietnamese Lettuce Cups that calls for lettuce, scallions, cilantro, basil, and carrots – all which are in this week’s share). Thanks again Dominique!

Lettuce Cups with Chicken

Adapted from the Seattle Times

Picked vegetables:

¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1 cup matchstick-cut daikon (if you have it, we rarely do)
1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion

Combine vinegar with vegetables in a nonreactive bowl and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour (or overnight).

Sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ tsp. chili paste or sambal oelek, or any other hot sauce
2 tsp. sugar

Mix together ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.

Lettuce and herbs

1 head of green leaf lettuce, leaves separated and left whole
8 sprigs fresh mint
8-12 sprigs of fresh cilantro
8-12 sprigs basil

Wash lettuce and herbs, wrap in clean towels and refrigerate if not serving right away.

Chicken

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoons soy sauce
6 green onions thinly sliced

Mince the chicken breast (food processor works well for this). Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, ginger and garlic and stir fry until chicken is cooked through. Then add soy sauce and green onion and cook for another minute or two.

To serve

Guests take a lettuce leaf, spoon on some of the chicken, scatter with some of the pickled vegetables, tuck in a few fresh herb sprigs, and drizzle on some of the sauce, then roll up and eat. For a slightly less messy version, you could place lettuce leaves on a platter, followed by chicken, then scattering with pickled and fresh veggies and herbs, and drizzled with sauce (like a large salad).

Serves 4 as a light entree

And if you have any recipes that you really like, please pass them along and I’ll post them or you can post them yourself in the comments section of the blog.

Have a good one!

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