ATHENS HILLS WINTER CSA:
HAPPY SPRING! Finally, I can say that! I hope that you were able to celebrate the change of the season by going hiking, preparing your flowerbeds, or taking a walk around your neighborhood. I managed to plant my first round of potatoes and green onions at home in celebration of the first day of spring and it was exciting!
Here at the farm, our Start House is becoming a bustling place full of little sprouts and newly seeded flats of vegetables. We've started the first of our summer plantings of tomatoes, eggplant, parsley, greens, salad lettuces and more, and the place is becoming quite crowded with new life. Did I mention that this is my favorite time of year here? Well, it is and all of those little plants growing by leaps and bounds daily are what make it such a pleasant time. The warmer weather and sunshine help too! I will try to get some new photos up on the blog so that you can see just what I am talking about--look for those soon.
Just a reminder to everyone that we would love to have your CSA boxes back. Next time you pick up your share, just drop them off with your host and we'll take them back to the farm to use again. Thanks! Also, we have begun our sign-up for the Summer 2009 CSA season. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have about the upcoming season--there are some exciting changes to the options and we're looking forward to a wonderful season this summer! Enjoy your shares and have a great week!
(If you have questions about any of these veggies, email me and I will do my best to get back to you right away with storage ideas, serving suggestions, etc.)
Micromix Microgreens (As you know we grow a tasty combination of sunflower, buckwheat, radish, cabbage, and kogane to give you a fresh, vitamin-packed alternative for a salad or sandwich topping, as well as in your burrito or atop an omelet for breakfast.)
Salad Mix (Yes, it's back and tasting fantastic! Top with leftover rice, pecans, raisins & your favorite cheese for a healthy, delicious & filling lunch.)
Mushrooms (The shiitakes are looking grand this week. They hold up well in lasagna, add wonderful flavor to your favorite stir fry & can make a soup spectacular.)
Kale (So you have quite a bit of this fantastic green this week. Check out the recipes I've included here for some ideas on how to use it up. Otherwise, don't forget that you can blanche it, let it cool and freeze it for later.)
Swiss Chard (In case you've never thought about it, why not use these leaves as burrito wraps instead of tortillas next time you have a Mexican meal? Just steam lightly and set aside until your other ingredients are ready.)
Spinach (Combined with the mushrooms, our spinach makes a wonderful quiche for breakfast, lunch or dinner.)
Carrots (These roots are just the color and sweetness you needed to celebrate the first week of spring. Enjoy!)
Recipe: Smoked Sausage, Kale & Potato Soup (Serves 2--can be doubled)
For added flavor, think about adding carrots, garlic, onions, a chipotle pepper, or parmesan cheese, etc. to this recipe.
- 4 ounces smoked fully cooked sausage (such as kielbasa or hot links), sliced into rounds
- 2 3/4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
- 3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 5 cups thinly sliced trimmed kale leaves (about 3/4 of medium bunch), or 3/4 of 10-ounce package frozen chopped kale, thawed, drained
- 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, lightly crushed
Sauté sausage slices in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, sliced potatoes and white wine and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.
Add kale and caraway seeds to soup. Simmer soup uncovered until potatoes and kale are very tender, about 10 minutes longer. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately.
(Recipe courtesy of www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/, 2009.)
Recipe: Spicy African Kale & Yams
(Serves 2 to 4)
1 large bunch kale, 4 cups chopped,
4 C. garnet yams, rinsed well,
1 ½ Tbs. olive oil
2 C. purple cabbage, sliced
1 ½ C onion, chopped
3 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. salt, or to taste
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 Tbs. ginger, peeled and
1 tsp. Serrano chile, seeded and
hot sauce, to taste
Rinse and drain kale well. Steam kale and yams. Kale should still be colorful and yams should still have some firmness.
While kale and yams are steaming, place oil in a large sauté pan and heat on medium high. Add onion, garlic, ginger and chili pepper, cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add cabbage and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add small amounts of water if necessary to prevent sticking. Place in a large mixing bowl with remaining ingredients, add kale and mix well.
Add yams and gently mix well. Serve warm.
(Recipe courtesy of www.seasonalchef.com, 2009.)
Recipe: Rustic Tomato Pie with Kale Pesto Sauce (Makes 6 to 8 slices)
2 C. (packed) fresh kale
3 cloves garlic
1/3 C. walnuts, toasted
1/2 C. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
2/3 C. part-skim ricotta cheese
1 9-inch store-bought refrigerated piecrust,
such as Pillsbury
2 C. sliced Roma tomatoes (seeded, if you
2 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place kale, garlic and walnuts in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse several times until kale is broken up to a manageable size. Add Pecorino cheese and puree until blended, but still chunky. Drizzle in the olive oil, while the food processor is still on, until the mixture becomes the consistency of a thick pesto sauce. Transfer to a medium bowl and mix with the ricotta cheese.
Unfold the refrigerated piecrust onto a sheet pan or cookie sheet. Spread kale pesto on the piecrust, leaving a two-inch border all the way around. Top with sliced tomatoes, then fresh mozzarella. Gently fold the sides of the piecrust in, crimping slightly, to form a rustic pie. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown. Allow the tomato pie to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.
(Recipe courtesy of www.heart-healthy-cooking.suite101.com, 2007.)