ATHENS HILLS WINTER CSA:
Spring is in full swing here at the farm. One can mark this occasion fairly easily when all of a sudden there are more greens and spinach ready for the picking than there are hours in the day. That is where we find ourselves this week, and I have to tell you, I don’t mind a bit! The greens become such a precious commodity in the winter and each leaf is treated like royalty with nothing wasted. The warmer weather and longer hours of sunlight don’t mean waste here, they mean more and more greens to offer. The best part of this being that we can take home those vitamin-packed, nutritious and delicious veggies by the armload.
I know that some of you may be getting to the point where you’d rather not see another leaf for a while. If this is you, follow my suggestion very carefully and you will be happy once again. The best way to deal with this predicament is to store your greens for later. I usually blanch the greens whole, draining them and allowing them to cool enough to place flat in a plastic freezer bag without compromising the bag. Put those gorgeous greens in the freezer, forget about them until summertime, and enjoy them later in the year when they aren’t so plentiful (especially the spinach which hates the summer heat), and you’ve had a chance to miss them. Otherwise, the recipes I’ve included this week will help you enjoy them fresh from the garden. Have a great week!
Salad Mix (a mix of several lettuce varieties picked for their delicious taste and color combinations.)
Micro Mix (a mix of sunflower, buckwheat, radish, cabbage and kogani (pac choi)).
Mushrooms (pickers' choice of our farm-grown shiitake, oyster or trumpet mushrooms. Store these beauties in your refrigerator in a paper bag or in an unsealed plastic bag for a least a week.)
Spinach (A truly wonderful green vegetable, very nutritious and delicious. It adds wonderful color and texture to a salad when you chop it into strips and toss with the lettuces. The best storage for fresh spinach is to wash it, place it in a plastic Ziploc with a paper towel lain in between the side of the bag and the leaves. You can also wash, blanch and freeze to save for later. Enjoy this familiar staple this week—it might just help you avoid those yucky winter illnesses that have been hanging around.)
Greens (Spring is the season of greens and we have plenty to share right now. You will receive a bunch of Kale, Swiss Chard or Collard Greens this week. The recipe I’ve included is delicious prepared with any one of these, so enjoy!)
Daikon Radish (This delicious root has a wonderful mild radish flavor and can be used in salads, but it really shines cooked as you would any of your favorite roots. Try it in stir fry, soup, roasted with other roots, or on its own.)
Recipe: Eggs in a Nest (Serves 4)
2 C. uncooked brown rice
2-3 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
½ C. dried tomatoes
1 bunch of greens, coarsely chopped
Cook the rice with 4 cups of water in a covered pot while other ingredients are being prepared.
Sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil in a wide skillet until lightly golden.
Add the carrots and dried tomatoes and sauté for a few more minutes, adding just enough water to rehydrate the tomatoes.
Mix the chopped greens with the other vegetables and cover the pan for a few minutes. Uncover, stir well, and then use the back of a spoon to make depressions in the cooked leaves, circling the pan like numbers on a clock.
Break an egg into each depression, being careful to keep yolks whole. Cover pan and allow the eggs to poach for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over rice.
(Recipe courtesy of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, 2007.)
Recipe: Spinach Lasagna (Serves 6 to 8)
1lb. whole-grain lasagna noodles
4 C. chopped spinach
16 oz. tomato sauce
2 C. fresh ricotta
2 C. fresh mozzarella
Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare the lasagna noodles according to the package directions.
Steam the spinach for 2-3 minutes, then let the excess water drain.
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a large casserole. Cover the surface with a layer of noodles, ½ of the ricotta, ½ of the spinach, 1/3 of the remaining sauce, and 1/3 of the mozzarella.
Lay down another layer of noodles, the rest of the ricotta, the rest of the spinach, 1/3 of the sauce, and 1/3 of the mozzarella.
Spread a final layer of noodles, the remainder of the sauce and mozzarella; bake uncovered at 350F for 40 minutes.
(Recipe courtesy of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, 2007.)
Recipe: Daikon in Plum Sauce (Serves 3 to 4)
3 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 tsp. cornstarch
2 Tbs. plum sauce
1 Tbs. minced green onion
3 Tbs. peanut oil
1 daikon radish, peeled, cut into matchstick-sized strips
2 Tbs. water
Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch in a small bowl; stir until cornstarch dissolves. Stir in the plum sauce and scallions.
Heat the oil in a wok or a large skillet over high heat. Swirl the oil around the wok so that it covers the cooking area, then add the daikon; cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
Add the water and cover. Cook until the daikon is tender, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the soy sauce mixture and continue cooking, stirring vigorously, until the sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
(Recipe courtesy of Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables, 2006.)
Have a wonderful week and don’t forget you can contact us at:
(740) 448-4021 OR
We look forward to hearing from you!