Greetings Faithful Eaters!
Welcome to the CSA! A long day of harvest is over as I sit outside to write you. The cicadas are roaring in the background signaling the start of the season. Everything seems in place.
The farm is roaring with Spring produce as well, and we are very excited about this week’s harvest. We are particularly proud of the asparagus and strawberries. Both of them define spring at the farm. Both of them lay dormant throughout the winter and then erupt with an enthusiasm that can only be found in the spring. The first thing we do every morning is pick berries and cut spears. The last thing we do every day is pick more berries and cut more spears. I’ve eaten so many strawberries, I’m worried that I’ll develop an allergy… It can be a little daunting at times, but the reward is worth the effort. Warning: when you taste these strawberries, it may be difficult to bring yourself to purchase those cardboard facsimiles that they sell in the store. And the asparagus- I don’t even like asparagus, and I find myself eating this stuff raw. Enjoy them while they last! Here is what you can expect this week:
In the box
-1 pint strawberries
– 1 bunch mixed baby turnips or beets
-1 bunch radishes
-1 head lettuce (red buttercrunch)
-1 bag arugula
-1/2# baby greens (mix of russian and lacinato kale, chard, spinach and beet greens)
– 1 bunch green garlic
-1 herb bouquet (mix of mint, rosemary, oregano, and bronze fennel)
News and Notes
For the first couple of weeks, we are going to stay for the whole pickup so we can meet you, and help you become familiar with the pickup process. Either myself or our farm apprentices Luca and Lauren will be at your pickup point to greet you. Don’t forget to bring a couple of grocery bags to bring your produce home with. If you forget you can take the box home, but please remember to return it when you pick up again. The pickup times for all locations are 4-7pm. If you have any questions concerning your pickup, please feel free to ask us or give me a call at 912.257.9865 . We look forward to meeting you!
Recipes and Ideas
This week, I will concentrate on the three items that many of you may be unfamiliar with: Salad Turnips, Baby Greens, and Green Garlic. Rather than type detailed recipes, I’ll give some pointers on how I like to prepare these items, and you can substitute and experiment as you see fit. Also, this newsletter will be posted to the blog (www.burgeorganicfarm.wordpress.com), and I encourage all of you to leave your thoughts and ideas on how you prepared your produce this week.
Green garlic is a seasonal specialty, somewhere between a spring onion and cured garlic. I find you can use them as substitutes for both in recipes. It is a little less pungent than garlic, and a little less sweet than spring onion. To prepare, cut the green tops off and reserve for stock. Slice the stalk into small pieces, and rinse in a colander do remove any dirt. The garlic can then be sauteed or roasted and added to variety of dishes. Our chef here at Burge Plantation, Andrew Featherstone, created an incredible dip/mixture of goodness this week with green garlic. First, he caramelized the garlic in olive oil with just salt and pepper. Next, he ran it through the food processor and then strained it through a chinois (a fine mesh colander would work fine too), and then added 1-2 cups of sour cream (you could substitute yogurt). Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, and add a small amount of the garlic greens or chives, finely diced. It works great as a French onion dip, and would also be great dolloped on to some slow-cooked beans. Yum!
Some folks are a little wary of eating their greens. To me, greens are incredibly versatile, and can add a serious dose of nutritional balance to our meals. Let me just say this- These are the only cooked greens my girls (4, 2, and 8 months) will eat readily, and I think that’s a pretty strong testament. To start, don’t overcook. You want to just wilt them, so they keep their texture. If they stick to the pan, you’ve gone too far. To me, well cooked greens contain 3 elements: fat, seasoning and acid. I use bacon grease or olive oil, and then I add the seasonings to fry briefly in the oil to infuse. I match my seasonings to the acid that I will add at the end. Garlic powder and oregano go well with balsamic, but I’m partial to Old Bay seasoning finished with apple cider vinegar. Once your greens have wilted in the pan, simply toss with a little vinegar and maybe some chicken broth. Delicious!
Salad turnips are exactly what they sound like. They have a sweet front end, followed by a radishy bite. You can chop and wash the greens for use in another dish and slice the roots for salad or cooking. The white turnips (known as Hakurei), are better than the red ones (Scarlet Queen) for eating fresh, but both can be tamed by letting them soak in a vinaigrette an hour so before serving. My favorite way to cook the roots is the French preparation: simply cut the turnips to roughly the same size, put in a pan and add enough water to cover the turnips about halfway up. Next, add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of sugar and cook on high until the liquid all but evaporates. Splash on some white wine to deglaze, and voila. Bon’ Appetit!
Take Care and Eat Well!