Things are looking great out on the farm. This is Zach Johnson, our second year farm manager. Zach is a graduate of the University of Idaho where he earned two Master’s degrees~one in Philosophy and one in Natural Resources. Zach has been part of the farm crew for three years. He began as a student in Dr. Jodi Johnson-Maynard’s Soil 417 Market Garden Practicum class where he learned the basics of working on an organic farm. Last year Zach jumped in as farm manager after our previous farm manager Freya Bass graduated. We sure miss Freya but are tremendously happy to have Zach for a third year. Building continuity in our crew makes every season better. Each season comes with its own success and challenges and each season we learn more and more. Zach, Jodi and I are having a blast with the rest of the farm crew and cannot wait to implement new and exciting ideas at the farm as the years progress. Today Zach was busy harvesting peppers and transferring the harvest to our storage cooler. This is where we keep everything cool and fresh for CSA pick-up!!
IN THIS WEEK’S SHARE
- Green onions
- Highlander hot peppers- medium heat
- Spring Garlic (keep in the refrigerator, not the counter, use soon!!)
- Broccoli and Cauliflower for the Bushels
RADISHES! OH MY!
The radishes are abundant at this time in the season for sure. A few shareholders have requested new ideas for all those radishes. I have scoured the internet and harvest book I have for new radish dishes and I’ve come up with these new ideas!! And don’t get rid of those greens!! They are packed full of amazing nutrients and are very versatile. Scroll down for a delicious soup recipe using the greens and garlic in todays share.
- Crunchy radishes make a great snack when paired with fresh, mild ricotta for dipping
- Braised radishes: Simmer the vegetables in water, butter, sugar, salt, and pepper until tender.
- Radish slaw: shred radishes along with cabbage, add lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Refrigerator pickles: Spiced with white wine, green garlic and fresh herbs from the spring garden, these pickles are majorly addictive. (Recipe below)
- Radish butter (Recipe below)
Pickled Radishes (http://growitcookitcanit.com)
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 1 quart
- about 2 bunches of radishes
- 1 c. pinot grigio
- 1 c. white vinegar
- 1 c. water
- 3″ section of stem from green garlic (or fresh garlic tops, or scapes would work too)
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 small sprig of fennel
- 1 sprig marjoram
- 1 sprig oregano
- 1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
- 1 1/2 tbs. kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tbs. sugar
In a nonreactive pot, combine all of the ingredients except the radishes. Bring everything to a boil and then let it simmer for a five minutes to infuse the brine with the fresh herbs. Turn off the heat and let it cool down a bit after this- warm is fine, but boiling hot could cook that radishes a little bit, and we don’t want that. Meanwhile, cut the radishes into smaller pieces. Depending on the size and shape, you can cut them into halves, quarters, wedges or rounds (whatever makes you happy). Pack the radishes into a clean quart jar.* Remove the cooked herbs from the brine and discard. (If you want, you can throw a sprig of something in the jar, but I like to grab a fresh sprig). Pour the brine over them. Screw on the lid and store in the fridge for up to 1 month. (The radishes take about three days to taste properly pickled.)
Radish Compound Butter (http://growitcookitcanit.com)
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 3 half pint jars
- about 16 radishes
- 1 1/2 c. salted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tbs. chopped fresh marjoram
- 1 tbs. thinly sliced garlic greens (from the growing tops of the garlic in the garden)
- 2 tbs. chopped fennel fronds
- fresh cracked black pepper
Puree the radishes in a food processor (or whatever you use.) Add in the butter and the fresh herbs and mix until everything is thoroughly combined. Season with fresh cracked black pepper to taste. Serve on toasted sourdough or your favorite cracker!
Radish Greens Soup with Spring Garlic (http://fairfieldgreenfoodguide.com)
Serves: 4-6 as an appetizer
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
- Greens and stems from one large bunch of farm-fresh radishes
- 3-4 spring garlic
- 1 onion
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock, preferably homemade
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Remove the radishes where they meet the stems using a knife or pair of kitchen scissors. Discard any brown or damaged leaves. Wash the greens in several changes or water, then rough chop to 2 inch lengths. Reserve. Wash, trim and quarter radishes for cooking or slice for a salad or soup topping. Set aside or refrigerate for another day. On a cutting board, trim root end and tough green leaves from spring garlic, then wash well. Return to clean cutting board and rough slice white, light green and any tender dark green parts. Reserve. On a cutting board, peel and halve the onion lengthwise and cut half the onion into ¼ inch slices. Heat olive oil over medium setting in a medium saucepan, add onion slices and spring garlic (if using), then cover to sweat with a sprinkling of salt. When vegetables have turned translucent, after 3-4 minutes, add two cups of vegetable or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add coarsely chopped radish greens, lower heat, and simmer until tender, about ten minutes. Puree soup until smooth with an immersion blender. Taste the soup, and if it’s not quite bursting with flavor, add a little salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with a dollop of sour cream and a few radish slices if you’re not cooking them.
OK, enough of the radishes and on to our new addition in the shares~ Highlander chili peppers! We chose this variety of pepper for it’s predicted early harvest potential and boy did it deliver. These are the first peppers of all the peppers we planted. I can’t wait to taste them in a scramble or roasted and added to enchiladas. It will be fun to see if we can wait to harvest these when they are red! Next week when we have more than two in the share I will find a great stuffed pepper recipe. Until then, just chop those two up and sauté them up with onions and garlic and add to your choice of rice for a quick side dish. Salut!
PRESERVING THE HARVEST
Kale~ To store, keep kale refrigerated in an airtight bag. It can typically be stored for up to 5 days, but you may notice the flavor increase in bitterness with longer storage. Only wash the kale when you are ready to use it as washing before storage will promote spoilage.
Parsley and other fresh herbs~Snip off the bottom of the stems. Make sure the leaves are completely dry. Better to hold off rinsing them until you’re about to use them. Fill a jar or a water glass partially with water and place the stem ends of the herbs into the water in the jar. If you are storing the herbs in the refrigerator, cover loosely with a plastic bag. Cilantro loves cool temperatures and should be stored in the refrigerator. Parsley can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Basil is ideally stored at room temperature and not in the refrigerator, because it is susceptible to damage from cold. Change the water after several days if the water starts to discolor.