Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Birch Point CSA Week 5

In Your Share This Week: Starting to turn this Spring Ship Toward Summer!

Broccoli OR New Potatoes (whichever you don't get this week you'll get next week)- the very first potatoes of the season, or early broccoli. We leave the greens on broccoli because they're delicious (cook any way you'd do kale, and/or toss in with the broccoli head), but they do transpire moisture away from the head, leading to rubbery broccoli. If you won't use it in the next few days, remove the leaves before storing.
Kohlrabi--click though here for a huffpost series called "WTF, CSA?" starting with Kohlrabi :) And yes you CAN use the greens- cook them just like kale.
Beet greens OR mustard greens- or mix the two and make a spectacular sag paneer--you'll notice in this recipe from Saveur, the author specifically mentions that "sag" just means greens, and you CAN use any greens you have on hand for sag paneer. Go on, be adventurous :) Beet greens: super nutritious!
Lettuce- more beautiful reds, greens, butterhead/bibb, or romaines
Cilantro- perhaps tossed at the last minute into a spicy stirfry of kohlrabi, scallions, peas, and broccoli? Or perhaps you have a garlic scape and a few pine nuts or sunflower seeds hanging around the back of your fridge? try cilantro-garlic scape pesto: Yum!
Scallions- so delicious, so versatile, and please DO use the entire thing, greens and whites. All is tender.
Peas- snow or snap-- may be coming to an end :(  It's been a good pea run, but BEANS are almost ready to take over next week!


1. Heart of Summer shares start THIS WEEK.  All Heart of Summer members should have gotten a reminder email- here's another one ;)  See you Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday!
2. Wednesday and Saturday shares- PLEASE remember your boxes--  bring back your empty box each week when you pick up your full one. If everyone remembers their boxes, it helps us keep costs and hassle down, AND helps keep your veggies happier than in a plastic bag (the fate of box-hoarders, if we run out of boxes).
3. Reminder: Dilly Bean canning workshop from ISLAND, here at Birch Point: Tuesday Aug. 4, 6-8:30 pm. Details and registration here. CSA members and general public welcome.


Save these! and/or bookmark the blog entries, because you'll see a lot of these items again, and next time you'll be even more prepared.

Cilantro Pesto
Take a basil pesto recipe (for example, the one below). Swap out basil for cilantro. Voila.  Hint: you can make pesto out of ANY herb, and many green leafy veggies, too. Anything you enjoy the flavor of will make a delightful pesto. Try basil, cilantro, dill (one of my faves), parsley, sorrel, kale, chives, etc.
2 c. herbs/greens of your choice
1/2 c. toasted nuts/seeds (I like a combo of pine nuts and walnuts and/or sunflower seeds)
2 fat garlic cloves or 1-2 garlic scapes
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1/2 c. olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice or verjus.
 dash salt and pepper.
Whiz everything in the cuisinart or blender. Adjust salt, add optional heat (ground cayenne, fresh or dried hot pepper), whiz again, taste. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for a week or so, or freeze for up to several months.

An amazing-sounding kohlrabi soup I found on the abovementioned huffpost kohlrabi article:
Sholeh Maash - Persian Green Mung Bean and Kohlrabi Hearty Soup
Serves 6

1 1/2  cups green mung beans, rinse 2-3 times
1/2 cup rice, rinse well
3-4 medium-size kohlrabi, peel and cut into small cubes, leave one cubed kohlrabi for the topping
1 large bunch of fresh tareh or scallions (green parts only), washed and chopped
1 small bunch of fresh tarragon, stems removed and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, diced
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1/3 teaspoon red pepper *optional
1/3 teaspoon cumin *optional

  1. Place the beans and the rice in a large pot, add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil on medium-high heat.
  2. Add the small pieces of kohlrabi, salt, pepper, cover and cook for 45 minutes on low heat.
  3. Periodically check to see if you need to add more water to the soup.
  4. Add the chopped vegetables, taste and adjust the seasoning, add more hot water if needed and let it simmer for another 15 minutes for the flavors to blend in.
  5. In the meantime, fry the sliced onions in 3-4 tablespoons of hot vegetable oil in a skillet until golden brown. Add the turmeric powder and the minced garlic to the oil, stir and saute further for another five minutes.
  6. Add a large tablespoon of the fried onion to the soup and gently mix well.
  7. Lightly fry the cubed kohlrabi in 2-3 tablespoons of hot vegetable oil until soft and golden on medium heat. Add a pinch of salt, turmeric, cumin and red pepper and stir well.
To serve ladle the soup into a soup bowl, top with the fried onions and kohlrabi. Serve hot with bread and yogurt.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Birch Point CSA Week 4

In Your Share This Week: 

it's still a green, green harvest. If we EVER get a true warm spell, the peas and lettuces will slow down, but on the up side, the tomatoes and beans will LOVE it.  For now, enjoy the leafy goodness this extended cool weather has brought.

The sweetest little Napa Cabbage
Kale OR Swiss Chard
Italian Parsley
Lettuces, all kinds
Baby Salad Mix
Peas! Snow or Snap


1. Heart-of-Summer shares start Tuesday July 21, or Wednesday July 22, or Saturday July 25, and run six weeks.  Heart of Summer shares ARE still available. Know someone on the fence about joining a CSA, or just up here for the summer?  Send them our way.
2. Dilly Bean pickling/preserving workshop here at Birch Point, in partnership with ISLAND. Tuesday Aug 4, 6-8:30 pm (during/after CSA pickup). $40 per person, learn the art of dilly bean preserving and pickling/canning safety, and take home jars of the end product! Oryana member discount. Pre-registration required. All details and how to register HERE
3. "Kaia's Cookies," made by our neighbor Kaia herself, are available to purchase at Tuesday CSA pickup. Kaia and her mom bake delicious gluten-free and dairy-free desserts. Support a young entrepreneur, and get a delectable treat next time you're here on Tuesday.
4. Upcoming: Children's Garden workday and events (e.g. cooking demo, fermenting, etc) on the way-  stay tuned!


Farm-ikopita (or Spanikopita made with whatever farmy green-ness you have on hand)
modified from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/spanakopita-greek-spinach-pie/

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Birch Point CSA Week 3: The Aliens Have Landed

Q: "What IS that?"  (the most common response to encountering kohlrabi for the first time) 
A: It's the spaceship-shaped vegetable in your share this week-- either green or purple, a round or slightly flattened globe, a member of the broccoli/cabbage family, and soon to be one of your (and your kids') favorite veggies. 

In Your Share This Week

Kohlrabi- My fave way to enjoy: raw!  Peel off skin, slice into sticks or chunks, enjoy as is or with salt or dip of your choice.  OR grate onto salad/slaw. OR cook any way you do broccoli: steam, saute, roast, etc.  Leaves can be used just like kale; that's why we leave them on!

Beets-the first of the season!  You can expect a good variety of beets throughout the season-classic dark red, golden, Chioggia (red-white bullseye pattern inside), all kinds. Roots AND greens are delicious.  Roots: roast, boil, or saute (or GRILL whole beetroots wrapped in foil for a special treat).  Or grate raw into salad- yum.  Greens: saute or steam, or sub for spinach or swiss chard in any recipe.

Lettuce- more beautiful heads to make a salad, eat on sandwiches, etc. You know what to do with lettuce.

Either Arugula OR Baby Salad Mix- Some shares got baby salad mix, some got arugula.  We'll make sure everyone gets everything-- we'll keep the baby greens coming so you get a good mix throughout the season.  Note: all leafy greens have been washed to COOL and RINSE after harvest, but are NOT washed ready-to-eat (unless you don't mind a little grit) ;) If you're a fresh arugula person, excellent. If not, try it slightly wilted, tossed with hot pasta, or arugula pesto.  Note: this is VERY mild arugula-- not the high summer spicy stuff that only the hard core arugula lovers can handle. :)

Garlic Scapes- More!  hope you love garlic.  remember, you can use these ANY way you'd use fresh garlic- just chop/mince the whole thing. And they keep for weeks in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge. Try garlic scape pesto (Recipe below) for a pungent pasta sauce.

Turnips-Might be a new-ish thing for some people! If your only experience with turnips is the pungent purple-and-white kind, give these baby turnips a try-- you'll be delighted. The white ones are a Japanese variety called Hakurei, and the pink ones are called Scarlet Queen.  Both are more tender and mild than the old purple-tops, though the pinks are a little firmer and spicier than the whites.  Both can be used raw in salad (grated OR sliced, salted, and let "sweat" before tossing in) or on a crudite platter with salt or dip.  OR make a turnip-beet root roast (toss in the last of last week's radishes while you're at it), with a creamy bechamel sauce with blended garlic scapes.  Be sure to use the GREENS in any saute, soup, or pesto you might be making, too.

Peas -either sugarsnap (fat, sugary) OR snow peas (flat pods, more savory), both are for eating whole, NOT shelling.  We mostly just eat these raw as a snack, but they're delicious in stir-fries too. Hopefully last night's RAIN will crank up the next week's harvest..


1. Market and CSA pickup (Wed and Sat) is still in the Old Town parking deck til Cherry festival is over. 

2. BREAD and COFFEE shares still available- please email or call for info if you're interested!


Garlic Scape Pesto

1 bunch garlic scapes
1 c. olive oil
1/2 c. toasted walnuts, pine nuts, and/or toasted sunflower seeds- any combo works
1/4 c. grated parmesan (optional)
juice of 1/2 lemon
generous dashes salt and pepper
Optional: 1 c. any greens of your choice (kale, spinach, parsley, turnip greens, basil, etc)

In cuisinart or blender, process olive oil, lemon juice, garlic scapes, salt and pepper.  Add nuts, process til as smooth or chunky as you like (if you want it creamy not at all chunky, toss the nuts in with everything else and whiz away; if more texture is your thing, whiz til nuts are in tiny chunks, but not creamy- try different textures and see what you like best). Add cheese last and blend just to mix. Use immediately, refrigerate for at least a week,  OR freeze for up to several months.  This is a PUNGENT pasta topper, or dip for fries, or serious salad dressing, or sauce for roasted roots or meats.  To mellow it out a little (if you like), add other greens of your choice. Parsley is one of my faves, but any leafy green thing will do. Yes pesto IS adaptable to what's on hand! Check this blog post I found online for more garlic scape/etc. pesto suggestions.

Turnip-Beet-Any-Root Roast with Creamy Garlic Bechamel Sauce

Kohlrabi (not technically a root, but goes GREAT in this dish)
Any other roots you have on hand

Scrub and chop roots into large bite sized chunks.  Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and roast at 375ish for 30-45 min (longer for larger chunks) or til edges are nicely browned and caramelized and centers are tender. 
Meanwhile, prepare this bechamel sauce (thanks Martha Stewart!), substituting 2-4 garlic SCAPES for the cloves in the recipe.

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • coarse salt
  • 4 1/2 cups whole milk 
  • In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is soft, 4 minutes. Add flour, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until mixture is pale golden with a nutty aroma, 4 minutes. Whisking constantly, add half the milk. Add the remaining milk and whisk until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, until sauce comes to a boil and thickens, 10 minutes. Use immediately.
  • Children's Corner

    By Ava Newell

    Hello! What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef!

     In the children`s garden, we previously have been planting in 5 different sections. Rainbow food garden, herb garden, three sisters garden (beans, squash and corn), Poncho`s pot pie garden and the flower garden. We`ve grown lots of vegetables, but not rhubarb. And I bring that up because my mom gave me a recipe for rhubarb custard cake. We made it for Fourth of July.
    Rhubarb Custard Cake
    *1 package yellow cake mix
    *4 cups fresh or frozen Rhubarb
    *1cup sugar
    *1cup heavy whipping cream
    *whipped cream and Mint, optional
  • Prepare cake batter according to package directions. Pour into greased 13x9" pan. Sprinkle on rhubarb and sugar; slowly pour cream over top. Bake at 350 for 40-45 min or until golden brown.Cool for 15 min before serving; garnish with whipped cream and mint if desired. Refrigerate leftovers. Serves 12-15.
  • MF note: sounds like we should plant some rhubarb in the children's garden!