February 21, 2023
What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Carrots, Tangelos, Lemons, Romanesco, Greens (Chard, Kale), Fennel or Leeks and Potatoes
Bread this week: Puligese OR Walnut your choice of one
Spring Quarter Starts today: NEW QUARTER CHECK LIST
Is your name on the list for your order?
If your name is not on the list PLEASE DO NOT PICK UP A BOX- we did not pack one for you.
If you think your name should be on the list and is not, please send an email
Check your name off of each separate list when you pick up your produce, so the drop host knows who forgot their box and can give you a call.
If you see CONT next to your name on the roster, it means we have not received payment from you
If next to your name it says E-MAILED or CALLED, it means we gave you a call or email and have not heard from you, we would like to know your intentions for this quarter - we did make you a box for this week only
Do we have your order correct? If not give us a call
Is your phone number correct? If not give us a call
Are you getting the newsletter via e-mail if not send us your address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This week on the farm
Good Morning. And a new quarter! Welcome to any new members, and gratitude to all of those that stick with us season after season. As Claire and I continue to work to transition the farm from the shoulders of my parents to our own, we are motivated by the people in our lives. The CSA members have been such an important part of the development of this farm, and a constant piece of our puzzle since we were in grade school, so naturally is one of the pillars in which the farm stands upon. Therefore the meat of our transition plan is our learning to carry on the year round produce box that you all enjoy, along with the Davis Farmers Market, and our relationship to the Sac and Davis Coop.
After 6 seasons back with the farm, I am just now beginning to get an inkling of a sense of the flow of the ecosystem here. Just starting to feel the needs of each season, day, or moment, just beginning to be able to visualize the gears that make up the water cycles, the weed cycles, the production cycles, and the cycles cycles (ha, just kidding there). As those gears turn, so does the farm, all interconnected and locked in motion together. I am still only scratching the surface of understanding the many layers and many gears that make up this place, and anytime I think too hard about what the future will bring, my eyes glaze over as I am immediately overwhelmed. It is much safer to focus on each day or season as it comes, plant the seeds, pack the boxes, and share the food. Yesterday it was 70 degrees, the flowers are popping, the birds chirping, and the air is filled with the sweet scent of spring that just sort of drifts to your nose. I repeatedly stopped, trying to identify the scent, nothing was close by, but somehow the air smelled like flowers. Spring, I think the smell is just spring, and after a decently weather-y winter, it feels refreshing. With spring comes a whole mountain of tasks to tackle, more than we can usually actually handle, which leads to long days and small failures to live with. But luckily it also comes with Tulips J Currently we are rushing to graft our new peach orchard, which must be done in the next week or two otherwise we miss our window. We are pushing to lay down drip tape to get ahead of the inevitable warm weather on the way. The lovely 35 beds of spring vegetables I planted a couple weeks ago is up and needs to have bird netting put over it to stave off the increasing bird pressure. The incoming moisture means we have to protect this year’s apricots from brown rot by applying copper to the blooms, and on top of all of that we have the usual responsibilities of the farm harvesting and marketing. So wish us luck as we begin to climb this particularly sweet smelling mountain of work. Have a great week. ~Ali
FENNEL AND LEEK SOUP WITH POTATOES
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 leeks - sliced, (~4 cups); white & light green parts
4 cloves garlic - minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 fennel bulbs - sliced; about 3 cups
2 potatoes - cubed; about 4 cups
4 cups vegetable broth
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup sliced chives
Warm the olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for about 5 minutes until tender. Stir in the garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook for an additional minute. Add the fennel, potatoes, and vegetable broth to the pot. Increase the heat to bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender. Remove the soup from heat. Use an immersion (handheld) blender to puree the soup right in the pot. See notes for instructions on using an upright blender. Stir most of the heavy cream into the soup, reserving a few tablespoons to drizzle on each bowl of soup. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with a drizzle of cream, and sprinkle with chopped chives. If your fennel bulbs came with their fronds, feel free to use those as a topping too. Enjoy!
Penne & Arrabbiata Sauce with Roasted Carrot & Tangelo Salad
½ lb Penne Rigate Pasta
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel the carrots; cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces, then lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Place the tomatoes in a bowl; gently break apart with your hands. Tear the mozzarella cheese into bite-sized pieces. Peel the tangelo. Separate the segments and cut in half crosswise. Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives; remove and discard the pits, then roughly chop. Roast the carrots: Place the carrots on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single, even layer. Roast, stirring halfway through, 14 to 16 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and set aside in a warm place. Make the sauce: While the carrots roast, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 9 to 10 minutes, or until thickened and saucy. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the pasta: While the sauce cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly. Make the salad: In a medium bowl, combine the roasted carrots, tangelo and olives. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 2 dishes. Finish the pasta & plate your dish: To the pan of sauce, add the cooked pasta and half the reserved cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is thoroughly coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Add the mozzarella cheese. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and the cheese has melted. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished pasta between 2 separate dishes. Garnish with the parmesan cheese. Serve with the salad on the side. Enjoy!
LEMON ROMANESCO COOKIES
¾ cup raw Romanesco
½ cup butter softened
½ cup sugar
1 lemon zest and juice
1 ½ cups oats
1 ⅛ cup self-rising flour Or plain flour & 2 tsn baking powder
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds ground in a pestle and mortar
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with parchment. Finely grate the Romanesco or whiz it in a food processor until it resembles fine crumbs. Heat it in the microwave, or in a dry pan on the stove, for 2 minutes to dry it out slightly. Allow to cool. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and juice and mix well. Stir in the romanesco, oats, flour and ground cardamom and combine. Roll the batter into balls, place on the prepared baking tray and press down lightly with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly on the tray and then cool completely on a wire rack.
EGG YOLK RAVIOLI IN CREAMY MAITAKE AND FENNEL BULB SAUCE WITH ROMANESCO AND FENNEL
1 head of Romanesco
2 medium fennel bulbs
4 ounces maitake mushrooms
8 tablespoons butter (divided)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 ounces fromage blanc (substitute ricotta if you can’t find it)
4 ounces raclette (substitute gruyere if you can’t find it)
pasta dough (already rested and ready to use)
12 very fresh eggs (consider having a couple more on hand in case some yolks break)
4 oz heavy whipping cream
Prepare: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the Romanesco head carefully into individual florets. Toss gently with enough olive oil to generously coat along with salt and pepper to taste, then arrange in a single layer on your prepared baking sheet. Bake the Romanesco turning once halfway through, until tender and beginning to develop some color, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Begin your sauce by sautéing the fennel and mushrooms: As the Romanesco roasts, halve and thinly slice the 2 fennel bulbs. Carefully separate the 4 ounces of maitake mushrooms. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a pan, then sauté the fennel slices with 1 teaspoon salt until they begin to soften. Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté for another minute or so, then turn off the heat. Put a large pot of water on the stove over high heat so it can come to a boil as you prepare the ravioli. Make sure the raclette is very cold, straight out of the refrigerator. Grate 4 ounces into a bowl, then add in the 4 ounces of fromage blanc and mix until thoroughly combined. Return to the refrigerator. Split your pasta dough in half, then roll out one half until it’s thin, but not paper-thin. (Go for the second-thinnest setting on your pasta machine.) Stamp out 4” circles of dough. You should end up with at least 12. Repeat with the second half of the dough. If you don’t have at least 24 circles, ball up the scraps and roll out again, then stamp out the remainder of the circles you need. Lay out 12 of the circles flat. Scoop a bit over a tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto each of the circles, then form it into a nest-like shape just large enough to hold an egg yolk. Make sure there’s room around the outside of the nest. Crack and separate one of the eggs, reserving the whites. Very gently place the yolk into one of your prepared nests. Repeat for the other 11 eggs and nests. Brush the edges of one of the nest-topped dough circles with egg white, then gently place another dough circle on top. Seal the edges securely, very gently squeezing out any air from inside the raviolo as you do so. Repeat for the other 11 ravioli. By now, your water should be boiling. Place 4 ravioli inside (this should cool it enough that it stops boiling), then reduce the heat to maintain the water at just a simmer.
Cook the ravioli until just done. For me, this is just under two minutes (1:45 to 1:50 seems to be the sweet spot), so use that as a starting point. Transfer onto a dish and cover to keep warm while you repeat the process until all the ravioli are cooked. Finish the sauce (if you can multitask, do this while the ravioli cook!): Turn the heat back on under the sauce, keeping it low. (The sauce should still be warm.) Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and stir into the sauce until just melted. Stir in the heavy whipping cream, then turn off the heat. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.