ATHENS HILLS WINTER CSA:
Ahh, spring. The season that often tricks us into thinking that winter is over and warm, wonderful weather has come to stay. Yet somehow, it ends up reminding us that it is not always sunshine and rainbows by turning cold, damp and rainy again. Alas, I hope you all survived spring’s temporary relapse into dreary late winter this weekend. This week’s recipes are a reflection of the variety of weather, veggies, etc. that spring has to offer. At least we have wonderful new things to taste, and the green of the grass and the yellow of the daffodils remain constant to reassure us of the warmth that will come to stay soon.
On Friday, while we were all busy harvesting and packing the veggies up for market and for our local restaurants, one of our farm cats, Princess, was busy having her litter of kittens. By the time the day was over and we were all ready to head to our homes she had four healthy babies nestled around her. Personally, this was a new experience for me, and I rather enjoyed checking in on her every once & awhile to see how she was doing. There is an abundance of new life on the farm these days and even our animals are participating in the season. Welcome to the world little ones! I hope you all have a great week and get a chance to witness the magic of new life yourselves.
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.
Swiss Chard, Mustard, or Raab Raab is similar to broccoli in that it is the floret of the plant (kale & collards this time). Saute this beauty with some butter & enjoy. Don’t forget that you can blanch, freeze & store all the greens for later.
Arugula A spicy, peppery green that works wonderfully in salads, pasta sauces, as a substitute for basil in pesto, and on its own as a cooked side dish.
Baby Beets or Radishes Welcome to spring! These delicious roots are just the harbingers we’ve been waiting for.
Recipe: Clear Beet Borscht with Mushrooms (Serves 6)
1½ quarts plus ¾ C water
1 medium-sized potato, scrubbed & sliced
1 medium stalk celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium turnip, peeled & sliced
2 medium-sized carrots, sliced
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. salt
¾ lb. beets
1½ Tbs. lemon juice
2 tsp. sugar
sour cream for garnish
In a large kettle combine the 1½ quarts of water, the potato, celery, garlic, turnip, carrots, bay leaf, salt and peppercorns. Simmer gently for about 1-2 hours. The broth should be subtle but flavorful.
Strain the broth and discard the cooked vegetables. Wash the mushrooms and slice them in julienne strips.
Peel the beets and cut them into julienne strips. Add beets, lemon juice and sugar to the broth. Simmer the soup for another 20-25 minutes or until the beets are quite tender. Taste, correct seasoning and serve with sour cream garnish.
(Recipe courtesy of The Vegetarian Epicure Book 2, 1978.)
Recipe: Chilaquiles with Mushrooms (Serves 6)
8 corn tortillas
vegetable oil for frying
salt to taste
1 lb. mushrooms
2 Tbs. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
pinch of thyme
pinch of oregano
pepper to taste
1 C. sliced green onions
1 lb. tomatoes, peeled and pureed
6 Tbs. chopped green chilis
3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
½ lb. Cheddar cheese, grated
1 C. milk
Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the tortillas into strips about 1 inch wide and 2 inches long, and fry them in vegetable oil until they are crisp and golden. Drain the chips on paper towels and salt them lightly.
Wash the mushrooms and slice them. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the garlic in it until it begins to color. Add the sliced mushrooms and toss them over medium-high heat until they have released their water and most of it has evaporated. Add the thyme and oregano and some salt and pepper and toss again until the seasonings are evenly distributed. Put the mushrooms aside.
Heat about 1½ tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet and sauté the green onions in it for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, chilis, cilantro and some salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the tomato sauce.
Lightly oil a large casserole and cover the bottom with 1/3 of the dried tortilla strips. Sprinkle 1/3 of the grated cheese over them and spoon 1/3 of the tomato-mushroom mixture over the cheese. Make 2 more similar layers.
Beat together the eggs and the milk and pour this custard over the casserole, slipping a knife through the top layer in a few places to allow the liquid to drain through evenly.
Cover the casserole and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes. Serve quickly with a salad and fresh, hot tortillas.
(Recipe courtesy of The Vegetarian Epicure 2, 1978.)
Recipe: Culinary Tips for Beets
Shred raw beets to garnish salads.
Cook unpeeled, scrubbed beets whole. When the roots are slightly cool, it’s easy to slip off the skin and cut into the desired shape. This avoids messy peeling and bleeding of raw beets.
For a perfectly pink Scandinavian salad, mix cooked beets with new potatoes and then toss with sour cream, mayonnaise, snipped dill and chives. Serve on a bed of lettuce.
(Recipe suggestions courtesy of The Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden, 2005.)
Have a wonderful week and don’t forget you can contact us at:
(740) 448-4021 OR
We look forward to hearing from you!