Mid way through- Week 11

Well, I decided to take a break yesterday from the gardens.   Our boys are at camp for 6 days, I will miss them so.   I spent yesterday getting them ready for their week’s adventure and saying goodbye.   This is the first year our youngest is old enough to go.   My how they grow so fast.   This morning is really quiet in the house.  It’s even a little creepy without them around.   I will be honest in saying that I haven’t taken a good look at things since Saturday, so I’m basing my week’s menu from what I witnessed on Saturday.    Here goes it-

 

Here’s what’s coming for the week:

1.   Tomatoes- Mostly Sun Sugar Cherry tomatoes, possibly some Black Prince slicing tomatoes

2.   Cucumbers

3.   Eggplant

4.   Squash- summer-and I had seen promising signs of spaghetti squash being ready!

5.   Beans

6.   Potatoes

7.   Thyme and oregano for the recipe below

8.   Purslane

9.   Swiss Chard

10.   Flowers

 

Zucchini, Eggplant and Green Beans

The beauty of having fresh veggies is how easy dinner can really be.   Simply by slicing, sauteing,  adding garlic salt and pepper, you have healthy meals in minutes that are also as colorful and pleasing to the palette.

Tomatoes- you can half 6-8 cherry tomatoes for this recipe.

1 onion sliced

1 eggplant sliced

1 zucchini sliced

1 handful of green beans

some oregano chopped

some fresh thyme chopped

4 cloves of garlic

salt and pepper to taste

With a little oil in a skillet saute veggies for 10-15 minutes or until zucchini is cooked through.   It’s that easy.

 

Chilled Zucchini Soup with Purslane

2 T olive oil

1 small onion sliced

2 cloves of Garlic sliced

2 medium zucchini sliced

1 bay leaf

2 t thyme leaves

2 t oregano or basil leaves

pepper to taste

1 c purslane leaves

2c water

Saute onions, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and oregano and basil in a skillet until onions and garlic are clear.   Ad zucchini and cook an additional 10 minutes, then add water and discard the bay leaf.   Working in small batches, puree the mix in a blender or food processor and chill for 3 hours.   Serve chilled, with fresh purslane leaves sprinkled over the top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 9 Beans, Nectarines and Swiss Chard Sushi

If you haven’t checked out our face book page in a while I posted a pic of a recipe that we experimented with here at the farm.

Swiss Chard Sushi

First you wash the swiss chard and cut the stems from the leaves, saving the stems for the filling.   Cook 2 cups of rice  with 3 cups of water 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1 T oil, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 T of salt.   Place damp swiss chard leaves in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until slightly wilted.   Slice the stems of the chard into thin strips.   You may add carrots, zucchini, cucumbers or any other crisp veggie or fruit, also sliced into thin strips.   Lay the chard leaves flat and spoon the rice mixture into the center of the leaf.   Lay the strips of the stems parallel with other veggies of your choice.   Roll the leaf around the rice and stems and slice.

 

What we are getting this week is

1.   Burgundy Beans

2.   Potatoes

3.   Swiss Chard

4.   Nectarines

5.   Onions

6.   Leeks

7.   Wild Spinach

8.   Hydrangeas

9.   Buddlia

10.   Parsley

If you Can’t Beat ‘Em, Eat ‘Em

Oh the weeds!    They pop up when and where it is least convenient, changing my entire day’s plan… and dinner.   I have decided to take advantage of my bounties of weeds over the years and have come across some delightful ways to prepare them.   For this time of year, I am dealing with dandelions, lamb’s quarters and upland cress in my garden, and soon to be in my kitchen and on my plate.

Weeds can be not only delicious, but packed with good nutrients.   Upland cress contains vitamin C, Riboflavin, Iron and Calcium.   Lamb’s quarter’s contain vitamin A, folate, magnesium, potassium, vitamins E, B6, and thiamine.   Dandelions are a real super food, bearing vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6, E, K.   Dandelions contain respectable amounts of Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Phosphorous and Potassium. And dandelions are 14% protein and contain all essential amino acids so it’s a complete protein. One cup of chopped dandelions contains 1.5 grams of protein.

Lamb’s Quarter aka Wild Spinach

Lambs Quarter Pesto:

remove leaves from stem and wash (there is a slight “dusty” feel to the leaves which is normal and will wash off for the most part)

Blend in blender
1 1/2 cups of leaves
3-4rushed garlic cloves
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil

blend using a wooden spoon carefully to push the mixture into the blades without hitting the spoon
add olive oil as needed to get a paste like mixture while blending

Uses for the pesto:
On Pizza instead of tomato sauce
stuff mushrooms with it and bake
Couscous salad: add pesto to cooked couscous, lemon juice to taste and diced onions, salt and pepper, stir till all is coated and green

You can also eat Lambs Quarters raw in salads, or sauté it like you would spinach.

Upland Cress


 

Beet & Upland Cress Salad

 

 

Ingredients

 

3 cups of Upland Cress
2-3 medium beets cooked and sliced
2 oz. Goat cheese cut in 4 slices
1 oz. pistachio nut kernels (approx 47)
3 Tbsp. Balsamic Viniagrette

 

 

Directions

 

Put pistachio nuts in a ziplock bag and roll with rolling pin to crush. Separate larger chunks from ‘dust”. Place larger chunks into a skillet on over medium-low heat to toast. Shake pan occasionally while toasting, and remove when aroma starts to release (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from pan & set aside.

Trim the Upland Cress at the stem, then trim down to remove all stems.

Place beet slices in a salad bowl. Cut slices into quarters. Add Upland Cress and balsamic dressing and toss. Separate onto two plates or bowls. Sprinkle toasted pistachio pieces over salad. Take each slice of goat cheese and roll it in the pistachio ‘dust’. Place two dusted goat cheese slices atop each individual salad.

 

 

Dandelions


 

Dandelion Greens Recipe

 

 

The Beans: Soak 2 cups of beans overnight. The next day drain and rinse. Transfer to a pot and cover with water + an additional 1/2 “. Add a generous amount of sage, 1 crushed garlic clove and a splash of olive oil. Bring to a boil and cook on low heat for about an hour and a half until the beans are crumbling.

 

 

 

The Greens: Take the 2 bunches of dandelions, chop the stems off and cook in boiling water for about 15 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water and strain well.

 

Heat a pan with olive oil and 2 lightly crushed garlic cloves. When the garlic begins to smell add 4-5 seedless and chopped tomatoes. Cook for 10 minutes until the tomatoes turn slightly soft and add the greens, some more olive oil, salt and fresh pepper and the reserved liquid. Cook while stirring until all the liquid evaporates. That’s it.

 

 

Back to the Beans: When the beans are very soft, transfer to a food processor and puree. Don’t add all the liquid at once. The consistency should be that of a thin polenta or a very thick soup. Add more salt and olive oil. I used sage from my garden which turned out to have very little sage flavoring this year…I added more by sautéing a few sage leaves in some olive oil with garlic cloves. This gave the bean puree a wonderful sage-y flavor, but you may not need it.

 

 

 

Place the bean puree in a bowl, top with the dandelion leaves and drizzle olive oil. I have a feeling a little parmesan would work well too.

 


 

Dirt Therapy

I am always so excited this time of year.   I pour through the endless stacks of seed catalogs, looking for those things I love to grow, looking for the things everyone else wants me to grow too.   I plan and prepare veggie beds making sure every square inch is accounted for.   I lay out spreadsheets of veggies, timing each one diligently so we all can eat a variety of goodies throughout the year.   And I start my seeds, giving delicate attention to their every need to grow up big and strong.   The pressure can be intense, there is so much to do.

The distinct oder of cooking compost for seed beds captures my attention, the steam rising warms my mood.   Spring is near.  I love to just run my fingers through the soil, I do this often, just to “mix it up.”   Really, I do it because it feels so nice.   I immediately surrender all tension in my neck and shoulders.   My mind clears the clutter, the nagging to do’s, those little nibblers that taunt me.   I am wearing the earth and I feel serene.   My mental spa is the earth.   I love this time of year!