Basil/Collard Green Pesto

This fresh, bright green pesto adds a wow factor to any dish!
This pesto recipe adds a wow factor to any dish

Here’s one idea for some of the contents in this week’s box: How about some pesto? It’s a slightly different take on traditional pesto. By adding blanched collards, your pesto will pack an iron-loaded punch of energy  without sacrificing any flavor! For this recipe a food processor is almost a must. A high-powered blender could do the job with a bit of finesse.

As you know, pesto is great simply mixed into cooked pasta or potatoes, spread over home made pizza, as a dip for bread, crackers, and chips, or anything else you’d like to try it on.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bunch collard greens or kale , washed and ribs/spines removed (about 3 packed cups)
  • 3 cups (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves and tips, stems removed
  • 4 cloves raw garlic (or more, if you’re a garlic nut!)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (omit for vegan dishes, add up to 1 cup if you’re a cheese fanatic)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional, but makes for a nice tangy kick)
  • 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds or pine nuts
  • Black pepper, a few grinds
  • Salt to taste
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a rolling  boil. Turn off  stove burner.
  2. Blanch collard leaves (ribs removed) by dropping them in the boiling water and letting them sit there for 5 seconds. Strain out hot water by pouring contents of pan into a colander in the sink. Immediately run cold water over collards in colander until they are cool.
  3.  Place all ingredients in a food processor. Puree until pasty (pesto means paste) and well combined–about 60 seconds.
  4. Serve immediately or scrape into a lidded container and store in the refrigerator until use. Prolonged contact with air will turn the pesto brown.

Week 7 Box Contents

The first tomatoes are here!  Enjoy this preview of the summer bounty to come.  These tomatoes are sweet and juicy straight off the vine.  Enjoy them popped in your mouth on their own (bite size!) or with salad or pesto.  Here’s everything you’ve got:

tomsTomatoes from Farnsworth and Buffalo St

lettuce mixSalad Mix from Vinewood Knoll

collards

Collards from Fields of Plenty and Vinewood Knoll

IMG_0986Sage from Fields of Plenty,  Singing Tree, and Buffalo Street

basilBasil from Farnsworth and Singing Tree

photoLeeks from Singing Tree

carrotsCarrots from Singing Tree

Kale and Swiss Chard Soup with Navy Beans

From normanyoung.com via CSA member Wendy Williams.  Thanks Wendy, seems perfect for a rainy day

INGREDIENTS:

1 can Navy beans
¼ cup Olive oil
1 Litre carton of Vegetable Broth
1 onion, chopped
2 small carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
4 cup shredded kale (1 small bunch)
1 boiling potato, diced
2 cup chopped Swiss chard bunch (1 small bunch
1 large tomato, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

COOKING INSTURCTIONS:

Open the can of beans.  Reserving the liquid and ½ of the beans whole…set aside.  Puree  ½ can of Navy Beans in food processor or with a blender.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and saute 5 minutes. Stir in kale, potato, pureed beans, reserved bean liquid and broth. Heat over medium heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Add chard, tomato, garlic, rosemary, parsley, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until chard is tender and flavors are well blended, at least 1 hour, (add additional water if soup is too thick – soup should be quite thick.)

Stir in reserved whole beans and simmer until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes.

Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

A Recipe To Remember

peanut sauce on sauteed swiss chard
peanut sauce on sauteed swiss chard

Unless you have a peanut allergy, here’s a simple, versatile  recipe to memorize!

It’s a basic thai-inspired peanut sauce that makes a fantastic dip, or sauce to pour over wilted greens.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup natural peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)

1/4 cup boiling water

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

2  tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Directions:

1. Put 1/4 cup water on stove to boil

2. Finely mince garlic

3.  Scoop peanut butter into medium-sized bowl

4. Add soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic to the bowl with the peanut butter

5.  Pour boiling water into bowl

6. Stir ingredients together until smooth

Serve as a dip for raw veggies  (cucumbers, carrots, peas, etc.) or spring rolls

OR pour sauce over sauteed greens and eat with rice or quinoa

Storing the Harvest July 2013

Feeling overwhelmed by the quantity of produce you’re getting in your box?  Want to avoid cooking until it cools down a bit?  Here are some ways to store the things you’re getting in your box this week:

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Green Beans- Green beans freeze really well.  Just steam or blanch for about 2 minutes and then put them in a ziploc bag in your freezer.

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Garlic- Garlic will store well for months in a cool, dry place.  Simply cut off the top about an inch or two above the cloves.  Then store in an onion bag or other container that allows for air flow.

thymeHerbs- Thyme and other herbs will store best if placed with their stems in water and then put in a fridge or kept at room temperature.  They will also dry well, simply put them in a warm dry place and then store in an air tight container until you can use them.

Chard bunches

Greens- Kale, Chard and other greens are best eaten fresh.  In a pinch you can freeze them though.  Simply strip off the stem and prepare as you would for cooking in any other recipe.  Steam or blanch for only a minute and then cool and store in an air tight container and freeze.

For more tips on storing your harvest click on “Storing the Harvest” in the right tool bar under “Information”.

Green Beans with Garlic and Thyme

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 2cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add green beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften and brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients, stirring well.

Week 6 Box Contents

I know the weather has been hot and humid and all of us are ready for it to stop, but I gotta be honest with you, the plants have been LOVING it.  Crops are taking off and bearing tons of fruit, and you’ll see the evidence of that in your box this week.  The first of the summer glory, cucumbers and beans, are on full display as we start to lay off giving you quite so many greens.  We’ve also got the first of the garlic harvest, expect to see more in latr boxes and in Storage and Thanksgiving shares.  Buffalo Street has been harvesting a few tomatoes, but not enough for everyone yet, we’ll get those sweet beauties to you ASAP.

Here’s the full extent of this week:

green-beansGreen Beans from Singing Tree Gardens

thymeThyme from Singing Tree Gardens

Kale bunchesKale from Singing Tree Gardens and Farnsworth

Chard bunchesChard from Farnsworth

carrotsCarrots from Singing Tree Garden and Buffalo Street

Cucumbers from Farnsworth

0719131752Pea Shoots from Vinewood Knoll

0719131751Garlic from Farnsworth

Week 5: 7/13 and 7/16 Boxes

Our spring crops are starting to wind down, while our summer crops are just starting to pick up. We’ve harvested a few ripe tomatoes this week, so expect to start seeing those show up in your boxes in the next few weeks! We’ve also been busy starting our fall seeds, and prepping beds to make sure we have room for all those fall crops. This might be the last week for salad until fall so enjoy it now! Also flower shares started this week, so if you signed up for flowers be sure to pick up your bouquet with your share.

lettuce mix

Salad Mix – Vinewood Knoll

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Plums – Farnsworth

carrots

Carrots – Buffalo Street

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Beets – Singing Tree

turnips

Turnips – Buffalo Street

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Upland Cress – Singing Tree

cilantro

Parsley – Singing Tree

Oregano – Singing Tree

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Flowers – Fields of Plenty, Buffalo Street, Singing Tree, and Farnsworth

Upland Cress

In season  through late spring, upland cress is similar in appearance to its better-known cousin, watercress, but boasts a deeper pungency that would be a shame to miss. A member of the mustard family, upland cress packs a sharp, peppery heat more akin in flavor to horseradish than the tea sandwich staple.

Below the Mason Dixon line, upland cress is known as “creasy greens” or “creasies,” and when stewed with ham hocks, is as loved a dish as black-eyed peas or cornbread. Traditionally gathered by foragers in the Appalachian Mountains who started looking out for the hearty winter leaves while there was still snow on the ground, the leaves were believed to have medicinal benefits and used in many folk recipes to help heal wounds. Those claims may not be entirely far-fetched as the cress is indeed rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and calcium.

For the simplest preparation, use upland cress the same way you would watercress. Left raw, the leaves can be chopped and mixed into a sald, tucked into a sandwich, or strewn over broiled fish as a garnish. Use a food processor to blend a handful of upland cress with a cup of Greek yogurt and a garlic clove or two for a lively accompaniment to grilled meats. Below are two recipes that showcase upland cress at its finest!

Upland Cress Pesto

  • 1 bunch Upland Cress
  • 2 tablespoons pinenuts
  • grated pecorino
  • sea salt and ground white pepper
  • sunflower oil, or any other neutral flavoured oil

Place the watercress into a processor with a drizzle of oil and pulse until roughly chopped. Add in the pinenuts and pulse again until they have are roughly chopped.
Add a heaped tablespoon of grated pecorino and another good drizzle of oil and pulse again until a paste forms – you don’t want a smooth mixture so be careful as your process.
Spoon the pesto into a bowl and taste, adjust with salt and pepper and add more grated pecorino and olive oil to form a thick slurry.

Beet and Upland Cress Salad

  • 1 cup upland cress
  • 2 cups salad mix
  • 2 meiumd steamed beets, sliced
  • ⅛ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅛ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • Balsamic vinaigrette

Lay down a bed of washed and dried cress and salad mix. Top with listed ingredients.

Dress with balsamic vinaigrette. To make some: Whisk together equal parts Balsamic Vinegar & Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Optional to add some fresh minced garlic. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in your fridge for around 1 week.
Notes
Here is a simple recipe for steamed beets. Make a big batch for dinner and then use leftovers in this salad the next day. 1. Fill the bottom of a steamer with 2 inches of water. 2. While the water is coming to a boil, wash beets, leaving 2 inches of tap root and 1 inch of the stem on the beets. Cut beets into quarters. Do not peel. 3. Steam covered for 15 minutes. Beets are cooked when you can easily insert a fork on the tip of a knife into the beet. Although some of their colorful phytonutrients are lost to the steaming water, there is plenty of color and nutrients left in the beets. 4. Peel beets using a paper towel.

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Week 4 2013

ImageThis week’s box has some nice splashes of color! Here’s what’s in it:

Carrots from Singing Tree Garden: Perfect crunchy summer snack on a hot day.

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Easter Egg radishes from Buffalo Street Farm: Great raw in a salad or roasted to bring out their natural sugars!

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Swiss Chard from Farnsworth Street: Can be used as a substitute for spinach in many recipes, including spinach pie!

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Plums From Farnsworth Street: There’s a Joni Mitchell line that goes something like, “Leave the spots on the apples, but leave me the birds and the bees… .” Well, we’re happy to announce that the birds and the bees have never been better! However, you may find some spots on your plums. They are, however, no less delicious, juicy and sweet.

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Dill From Singing Tree Garden: A must for spinach ( or swiss chard) pies and also great minced up in greek salad dressing with feta!

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Cooking Greens From Buffalo Street (perfect for omelets or wilted over rice)

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Sugar Snap Peas from Singing Tree Garden: These sweet, crispy treats are great dipped in hummus and eaten like chips n’ dip!

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Purple basil from Singing Tree Garden (great aromatic spice for dressings, soup, etc.)

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