ATHENS HILLS WINTER CSA:
Okay, so most of us knew there was the threat of one last blast of winter, but snow! Really...snow? While we don't have any falling upon us right now, we are expecting some this evening and tomorrow. I don't know about you, but I was definitely done with snow until this coming winter. Ahh spring, you just never know what's in store with this season. It's a good thing we haven't taken the plastic and remay out of the greenhouses just yet. Along with us, the veggies will have to don their winter blankets once again tonight. Now we'll just have to get the veggies we planted in the fields last week covered up and everything will be all set.
I hope that you are able to muddle through this cold weather knowing that the latter part of the week not only brings us all Passover and Easter, but warmer temperatures as well. Perhaps the recipes I've included in this newsletter will help us all enjoy the cozy weather and smile with anticipation of the sunshine and warmth in our near future. May you all have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends, and I hope that our vegetables help to make your celebrations that much more enjoyable.
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! 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.)
Sunflower Microgreens (They are back again this week just in time for the holidays. In case you didn't already know, they are a wonderful source of Vitamins A, B, D & E, so eat up and get healthy!)
Salad Mix (This wonderful spring weather has helped our lettuces & Asian greens bounce back into your shares. Try the recipes I've included for a special, fresh holiday salad that will be sure to please.)
Mushrooms (Whichever one you get, our oysters or shiitakes will lend their virtues to many side dishes you might make this week.)
Kale (Have you tried this green raw in your salads yet? Chopped up, it adds a wonderful sweetness that will surprise and satisfy all at the same time.)
Swiss Chard (Check out the recipe I've included this week. It could make the perfect side dish for any meal this week.)
Spinach (Our spinach is large and in charge this time of year and the culinary possibilities are endless with this fabulous green. Don't forget how nutritious it can be raw and lightly steamed.)
Salad Radishes (What lovely little beacons of spring! Eaten raw or cooked, they will surely help you get into the springtime mood despite what the weather is doing outside.)
Recipe: Strawberry-Tarragon Salad with Aged Balsamic Vinegar (Serves 4 as a side salad)
2 pints small ripe straw-
berries, rinsed &
¼ C. good-quality bal-
2 Tbs. aged balsamic
preferably at least
6 years old
¼ C. Herb-flavored oil,
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
pinch of salt
4 oz. salad mix, carefully
rinsed and dried
½ C. fresh whole tarra-
¼ C. toasted pecans
½ C. crumbled blue
Prepare the flavored vinegar by mashing three strawberries again the side of a small bowl with a fork. Add the ¼ cup of good-quality balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Let the vinegar stand at room temperature to absorb the strawberry flavor, 1 to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, cut the remaining strawberries in half lengthwise so they are bite size (if you have large berries, cut them into quarters). If using aged balsamic vinegar, place the cut berries in a small, shallow bowl, add the aged vinegar, and stir to coat. Let the berries marinate at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours,
stirring occasionally. If not using aged balsamic vinegar, you do not need to marinate the strawberries.
Strain the strawberry-flavored vinegar through a sieve, pressing down on the berries to extract all of the liquid from the fruit. Discard the solids. Place the flavored vinegar, Herb-Flavored Oil, mustard, and salt in a glass jar and seal the lid tightly. Shake the jar vigorously to combine.
Just before serving, place the mixed greens and tarragon in a large salad bowl and toss to combine. Add 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Toss to lightly coat the leaves, then taste to see if more vinaigrette is needed. Any leftover vinaigrette can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
Divide the greens evenly among 4 salad plates. Arrange the strawberries on top and sprinkle with the pecans and blue cheese. Serve immediately.
(Recipe courtesy of Food To Live By, 2006.)
Recipe: Yukon Gold "Risotto" with Winter Greens (Serves 6 to 8)
2 C. heavy whipping cream
4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1 ½ tsp. minced garlic
3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled (about
2/3 C. (about 2 oz.) freshly grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch of Swiss chard
1 bunch of kale
2 Tbs. olive oil
5 oz. spinach (about 6 cups)
extra-virgin olive oil for garnish
Pour the cream into a large, nonstick skillet and set it aside.
Cut the potatoes in very small dice, about 1/8-inch. Add the potatoes to the cream as you dice them to prevent discoloration.
Add the garlic, goat cheese, and 1/3 cup of water to the potatoes and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer gently, stirring frequently, until the potatoes have absorbed the liquid and become tender, about 25 minutes. If all of the liquid is absorbed before the potatoes are tender, add am additional ¼ cup of water and continue cooking.
Add 1/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese to the potatoes and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Keep the potatoes warm over very low heat, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, rinse the greens and cut out and discard the stems. Cut the leaves crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips.
Heat the olive oil in another large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes (if the pan does not hold all the greens, cook them in batches). Add a splash of water if the greens become too dry. Add the spinach and continue cooking until it wilts, 3 to 5 minutes.
To serve, spoon the warm potatoes onto plates and top with some of the greens. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese on top and drizzle with the olive oil.
(Recipe courtesy of Food To Live By, 2006.)
I hope you enjoy your share. Have a wonderful week and don’t for get you can contact us at: