Greetings fellow co-producers!
Happy May Day! Today is the mid-point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer solstice and symbolizes youth, growth, and fertility. Everyone remembers dancing around the maypole when they were kids right? Well… we may not do that anymore but we’ve certainly got reason to celebrate here on the farm. Last Sunday was our first Grant Park farmers market and it went off without a hitch. The Sun was shining and it seemed like every kid I saw had the requisite popsicle in their hand. Pretty soon it will be too hot to work in the middle of the day and we’ll begin our hunt for new watering holes to jump in. We’ve been fortunate to have two groups of friends come in this week to help out on the farm and at night we’ve begun to eat outside in order to savor those rare but glorious gentle breezes.
The farm’s Spring vegetables have begun to flower which means that not far from now you can look forward to finding summer crops like tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, and squash in your bags. These fruiting vegetables are the epitome of summer while leafy greens like kale, collards, lettuce, pac choi, and cabbage require cool nights and mild days so unfortunately… you’ll be seeing them less and less as the summer season gets underway. Have no fear though… we want to give you as much of these leafy greens as possible while they are still in season so you can expect a couple more weeks of these vitamin packed veggies. We encourage all of you to be creative and try new ways of eating the same vegetables and we will help in any way we can. Here are some wonderful websites that I frequently look at when trying to decide on what to cook and need some inspiration.
Here are also some awesome blogs from foodies all around the world
And if you’re curious about some local blogger friends of ours…
(if you read the “Teach” entry you’ll find a little mention of Le Tre Lune!)
In your boxes this week you will find…..
Full Shares Half Shares
-Dozen eggs -half dozen eggs
-1 pint strawberries -Cima di Rapa
-1 bunch Kale mix -1 bunch Kale mix
-1 bunch carrots -1 bunch carrots
-1 head chicory -green garlic
-1 bunch radishes
-1 bunch beets
-1 bunch celery
Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and herbs
Cooking beets is sooo easy and yet most people feel that they are one of the most intimidating vegetables to buy because they imagine a ton of prep work is involved in getting them ready to cook. The secret is to roast them, skin on and topped of their greens, in the oven wrapped in aluminum foil for 45 minutes and when you take them out, you can just squeeze them and their skin will slide right off. Simple as that!
-Beets roasted and skinned, cut into slices
-Fresh goat cheese such as chevre (however much you like)
-Minced herbs such as marjoram, basil, parsley, or mint (however much of whichever you like)
-good quality olive oil
-Salt and pepper to taste
Simply drizzle olive oil over the beets in a bowl and mix in the goat cheese and herbs until the beets are coated. Add salt and pepper to taste!
Chicory Salad with Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette
These bitter greens are a wonderful counterpoint to a hearty main course and are enjoyed throughout Europe as a hearty salad in the winter months.
- 1/2 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon coarse-grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large head of chicory
Mince garlic with a large heavy knife, then mash to a paste with salt using flat side of knife.
Whisk together garlic paste, mustard, vinegar, and pepper, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.
Just before serving, toss greens with vinaigrette.
Carrots with honey and rosemary
You can add more of a savory flavor to this dish by cooking some guanciale (cured pork cheek) or good quality bacon then chopping it into small pieces and sprinkling it on top although it still packs a lot of flavor into a vegetarian dish.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound carrots (about 4 large), peeled, cut into 3×1/4×1/4-inch sticks
- Coarse kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey (such as heather, chestnut, or wildflower
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots. Sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Sauté until vegetables are beginning to brown at edges, about 12 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Add butter, rosemary, and honey to vegetables. Toss over medium heat until heated through and vegetables are glazed, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.
Greetings happy co-producers!
As many of you may well know, this past Sunday was Earth Day so …Happy Belated Earth Day everyone! Today while out in the fields, my mind wandered to things that had influenced my own personal awareness of the environment and I couldn’t help but think about Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring which my beloved but odd high school teacher, Mrs. Snodgrass, made me read for my high school Environmental Science class. Coincidentally, this afternoon I ran across an article that explained the origins of Earth day. I discovered that Ms. Carson’s expose’ on the detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment and her call for more consciousness in our public health system had set the stage for Gaylord Nelson, the then senator of Wisconsin, to create a day in which people came together to force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Not only did the first Earth Day celebration in 1970 lead to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air and Water Act, but perhaps more significantly, it brought people from all walks of life, Republicans and Democrats, young and old, those from every socio-economic background, together in support of a unified cause. The small scale, sustainable farming movement that is happening in this country today is a direct by-product and modern manifestation of the spirit and message of that ground-breaking celebration…whether you’re buying from and supporting local producers or growing food yourself, you are contributing to a future that we want to see happen.
Some of you might have met her but in case you haven’t, our dear friend Brittany has been living and working on the farm with us for the past two and a half months. We’re sad that she’s leaving us this Wednesday but are happy that she’ll be moving on to another farm near Philadelphia to pursue her passion for baking and homeopathic medicine. Her presence here was essential in the many successes we’ve already had this season and her humor and calm nature from day to day is undoubtedly what has kept us from going just the slightest bit crazy. We thought you’d like to hear from her, so enjoy!
I came to Le Tre Lune at Glover Family Farm on a whim. A year and half before I arrived in Atlanta, I met Lauren and Luca in Parma, Italy. I was doing the same Master’s program at the University of Gastronomic Sciences that Lauren had done two years prior. Fortuitously, my roommate at the time and dear friend of both of ours, had been put in contact with her by one of our professors. And so, as fate would have it, we all became friends. After my studies in Parma ended, I bounced around Europe for a few months, visiting friends, and postponing the inevitable, my return home, to Los Angeles, CA. Of course, the inevitable eventually came, and I returned home anyway without a clue as to what to do with my year of gastronomic training in Italy. Eight months and one cheesemonger apprenticeship later, I decided it was time to move on, and try something and somewhere new yet again. As usual, I did not know exactly what that something was, or how or when I would find it, but I did know that Lauren and Luca had just started running their own farm in Georgia somewhere, and via facebook messaging , had been informally invited to “come and stay for however long I wanted”; after some prompting on my part, of course. Now, as my friend Roxanne said, I am the only person who would actually follow through on an offer like that, and follow through I did.
Here I am, two and half months later, my time at Le Tre Lune coming to a close, and I couldn’t be happier with my impulsive decision to come to Atlanta, or Douglasville if you want to be technical, and see first-hand what sustainable farming is all about. And what is it about exactly? It’s early mornings (for me “early mornings” means 9, by the way…I am not a traditional farmer by any means), hard, muscle-straining, skin-roughening, literally back-breaking work, glorious lunches and even-more-glorious lunch breaks, lots of water, coffee, and juice, not retiring till sun-down, not getting dinner on the table until 10pm, and not hitting the pillow until midnight, to only wake up again the next day and do it all over again. But it’s also working the land, playing in the dirt, collaborating with Mother Nature to make things grow that will then feed many a mouth and satisfy and nourish many a hungry stomach and hopefully a few hungry souls. It’s about both caring for the land and for our fellow human beings. It’s about passion and taking yourself far beyond your limits to do something that actually affects change, on the personal, local and global level. It is both something so basic and fundamental, and something that has the capacity to transform our world. This I learned in my two-plus months at Le Tre Lune; despite having studied food and sustainability in my Master’s, I had no idea what the reality of farming was until I came here. And what’s more, I learned a lot about myself; about my own strength, about my limits, about my innate skills, and about what comes less naturally to me. As I said, I learned a lot and I gained a little more insight into what direction I may want to take in the future. For all this and far more – most notably the relationships that were created and deepened here – I am truly grateful for these past two months at Le Tre Lune.
I hope to see you all again, when I come back!! In the meantime, have a great 2012 CSA season!
In your bags this week you’ll find….
Full Shares Half Shares
1 pint strawberries 1 pint strawberries
2 heads Chinese cabbage 1 head Chinese cabbage
1 bunch Cima di Rapa (Brocolli Raab) 1 bag of lettuce
1 bag of lettuce 1 bunch of kale
1 bag of pea tendrils
1 head tatsoi
1 bunch kale
Spring season is all about the greens and this week you guys are getting some fun ones to experiment with. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t know what to do with something… that’s what a CSA is for!!!!
The Chinese cabbage in your bags this week is called Green Rocket and is wonderful to add to any stir fry dish or incorporate into a brothy soup. It has a similar flavor profile to bac choy and cooks down quite easily. All cabbages are rich in vitamin C and fiber and just like broccoli have large amounts of antioxidants that fight against cancer causing free radicals.
Braised Cabbage with Vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped spring onion
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
- 1 head of cabbage, quartered, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add cabbage and caraway seeds; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until cabbage is wilted, about 4 minutes. Add broth. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes. Add vinegar. Cover and cook until cabbage is tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Risotto with Kale and pumpkin seeds
- 3 1/2 cups low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 pound Tuscan kale (also called cavolo nero or lacinato kale)
- 1 1/4 cups finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3/4 ounce)
Bring broth and water to a boil with 3/4 teaspoon sea salt in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Meanwhile, cut stems and center ribs from kale and discard. Stir kale into broth in batches and simmer (all of kale), stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer kale with tongs to a large sieve set over a bowl and gently press on greens to extract more liquid. Add liquid in bowl to simmering broth and keep at a bare simmer, covered. Chop the cooked kale.
In another pot…..Cook the onion in oil and 1 tablespoon butter with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt in a wide 4-quart heavy pot, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to moderate, then add garlic and cook, uncovered, stirring, 1 minute. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Add wine and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until absorbed by the rice. Stir in 1/2 cup simmering broth from the other pot and again simmer briskly and stir constantly until the broth is absorbed by the rice. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until the rice is creamy-looking but still al dente (it should be the consistency of thick soup), 17 to 18 minutes. (There will be leftover broth.)
- Stir in the chopped kale you had set aside, the cheese, and the remaining tablespoon butter and cook, stirring, until heated through and butter is incorporated, about 1 minute. Season risotto with sea salt and pepper. If desired… you can thin out the risotto with some of remaining broth. Serve this dish immediately and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds.
Cima di Rapa, also known as Broccoli Raab, is eaten all over Italy and is one of my favorite Fall to Spring vegetables. You can eat it by itself, sautéed in garlic and olive oil as a side dish, or served in a simple pasta with anchovies and Parmigiano Reggiano. It will cook down just like spinach in a pan and you should eat every bit of it including the flowers!!!!
Pasta alla Cima di Rapa
- 1 bunch Cima di Rapa
- 500g, a full box of pasta or if you’re only two people use half the box instead
- 3-4 cloves of garlic or 1 green garlic, minced
- Crushed red pepper
- Olive oil
- 5 anchovy filets, minced finely, or you can substitute anchovies for 1 ½ links of a mild sausage cut into tiny pieces
- Coarse sea salt for the boiling water
*you can easily make this dish vegetarian by not using meat and putting in 2 ‘palm fulls’ of salt into the boiling water with the pasta. The Cima di Rapa will be highlighted and still taste wonderful!
Bring a good amount of water to a boil. In the meantime, clean, dry thoroughly, and coarsely chop the Cima di Rapa. You can eat everything including the stalks and the flowers! You can also set the flowers aside and put them on top of the pasta in the end for a nice presentation. In a pan heat up some olive oil and add in the minced garlic. Throw in a tiny bit of crushed red pepper in the pan to add complexity to the flavor of the dish. (This will not make the dish spicy) Now add the anchovies or sausage. Finally, add the Cima to the pan and sauté until it has wilted down then turn the heat down to low. If the Cima looks dry in the pan don’t worry….
When the water is boiling take the coarse sea salt and pour enough in the palm of your hand to create a tiny mound. Add this to the water and taste. Salting the water is the most important part of making any pasta dish. When I was in Italy I was surprised to discover that no one puts salt in their pasta sauce but rather salts the water for the pasta just enough to flavor the entire dish. I was told that this way you do not get a mouthful of salt in any one bite and the pasta absorbs the seasoning evenly. When the water tastes like the sea, nothing more, nothing less, then you know you have the perfect amount of salt in it. For this dish though, because we are using anchovies/sausage, you will want the water to be a little less salty than the sea. J
Continue adding salt until the water is almost as salty as the sea, stir the water to incorporate the salt and then throw in the pasta and cook until al dente. Before you strain the pasta take out some of the water and set it aside (the cooking water for the pasta holds starch that will help bond the sauce with the pasta). Put the pasta back into the pot and pour in the contents of the pan. Mix the pasta with the Cima di Rapa sauce and grate good quality Parmigiano Reggiano on top. If the pasta is too dry you can add in a little of the boiling liquid or a good quality olive oil drizzled on top.
The tatsoi in your bags this week may be used in the same way as cabbage. It is a mild mustard green from Asia that many people use as a side dish or in soups. You can use the recipe above or sauté it as you would spinach. I like to put my tatsoi in omelettes!
Pea tendrils are the beginnings of the pea plant. We use peas in the fields as a cover crop to bring nitrogen back into the soil but we can also eat them in their tender stage raw as either an addition to a salad or sandwich. You can also use them in a fresh soup if you puree them and add hot broth slowly into the mixer along with a little salt and pepper to taste.