January 25, 2022
What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Turnips, Collards, Cilantro, Lettuce, Broccoli, Oranges, and Cabbage
Bread this week: Whole Wheat OR Rosemary Foccacia your choice of one
Late Lane Oranges ~ 5# for $9.00 or 10# for $18.00
Seville Marmalade Orange ~ 5# for $7.00 or 10# for $14.00
Please place your order by 5pm Friday evening so we can have your order ready for Tuesday Feb 1st
This week on the farm
January isn’t the quiet, peaceful month that it used to be. As Good Humus gets better and better at producing food year round, January has begun to fill up with daily tasks necessary to keeping up with ourselves. Care of fruit trees, of course, has always been on the agenda, but we have begun to recognize that there is a window that occurs most years sometime in January or early February, a period of dry weather that allows the crucial midwinter planting that brings on a box full of vegetables in March, April and May. So in the fall we begin to set aside an acre or so to be ready for planting in midwinter. This year, January has been very dry and so this looks like that window. Hopefully, once we get planted the window will close and California winter will arrive once again. Missing this midwinter gift from our climate is something we don’t particularly like to contemplate. Last week I wrote about sending out miner’s lettuce, oat seeds and dried basil and they are better as fun additions than as staples for the week’s diet, right? And, as always in a small business, the end of year accountings, forms, surveys, reports and bills are in piles on the desk waiting for those late night sessions. But let’s talk about what is in the box…..
First, I try to think of what is in the box as a whole. My mind immediately goes to the unwritten guarantee of fresh, local, organic. But it is also full of years of lessons about and experiences in farming on this farm, on this piece of earth, so unlike any other. As we continue to try to improve our care of the health of this place and its products, it also becomes more apparent that the natural processes of accumulating the energy of the sun’s rays and the earth’s decomposition and transmitting that energy throughout the fabric of life also are represented, naturally, in the contents of each box. What the contents would be without all that teeming energy working to keep us fed, I hope to be able to avoid. On to specifics….
We are close to finished with our first planting of broccoli. Thanks to a friendly combination of sun and rain, cold and warm, the heads are unusually free of aphids and the full grown plants bring on beautiful heads. The lettuce in your box is a great example of the vagaries of farming. Through the years, we have moved from leafy heads to heirloom varieties, to baby lettuce and mixes,
and now back again to leafy heads, although now the varieties we first grew are considered heirlooms. Luckily, the seed saving community has preserved them relatively intact and they are still hardy, sweet, and mild in midwinter. The red leaf and Green leaf are among the first vegetables that we grew. We couldn’t resist putting in the white dessert turnips. They are a problem for us because we are reticent to send out anything that wouldn’t be visually acceptable to the general public, and the delicate skins of these turnips mark up easily in the life processes of the soil. (Full transparency, read “life processes” as insects) But the full value of this root vegetable is still there. Cooked or raw in slices or cubes the roots are still sweet and nutritious, and we also felt really good about the beauty of the cooking greens atop each plant.
The cabbage head marks the recognition of the end of a beautiful dream. I have held onto the memory of our first harvest of the flat Dutch “Tendersweet” variety which is truly as its name suggests. But after several tries I have had to take the advice of Rogelio and say that it is not a fall variety. What you have today is the best we can get from an early fall seeding, and while still tender and delicious, we can see by cutting it in half, that it will never form the firm heads we all expect of fall-planted cabbage, instead preparing to send out the flower stalk. I will plant this for spring (May) harvest, and see about a different variety for the fall. Any favorites for the fall season from home gardeners?
There is a long story about how citrus came to Good Humus, but not for today. It has been a special winter addition to our farm. Today is the last of the navel (like belly button) oranges, and we will move into our “Late Lane” orange harvest, possibly today. I am being called to go out and help with today’s pick and so I can’t tell you about the upcoming playoff between collards and kale or the tale of cilantro and arugula. Oh well, there is always next week. Have a great week~ Jeff
Spicy Stir-Fried Cabbage
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 star anise, broken in half
2 teaspoons soy sauce (more to taste)
2 tablespoons Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
1 small cabbage, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, quartered, cored and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch shreds
1 medium carrot, cut into julienne
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
Combine the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and star anise in a small bowl. Combine the soy sauce and wine or sherry in another small bowl. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or a 12-inch skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Swirl in the oil by adding it to the sides of the pan and tilting it back and forth. Add the garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and star anise. Stir-fry for a few seconds, just until fragrant, then add the cabbage and carrots. Stir-fry for one to two minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt, then add the salt and wine/soy sauce mixture. Cover and cook over high heat for one minute until just wilted. Uncover and stir-fry for another 30 seconds, then stir in the chives or cilantro and remove from the heat. The cabbage should be crisp-tender. Serve with rice or noodles.
Roasted Turnips with Citrus-Miso Butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup white miso (see Tip)
2 teaspoons orange zest
½ cup orange juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 pounds turnips, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat to 400 degrees F. Combine butter, miso, orange zest and juice, lemon zest and juice in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring, until the butter is melted, about 5 minutes. Whisk well to combine. Place turnips in a large bowl. Add the butter mixture and toss until evenly coated. Spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast the turnips, stirring halfway through, until slightly caramelized and just tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature, sprinkled with parsley.
Moroccan Salad with Cilantro Orange Dressing
1/2 cup bulgur, uncooked
1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pistachios
1 orange, peeled and cut into sections
2 cups baby spinach leaves
For the dressing
1 orange, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed
2 tablespoons water to adjust consistency
Cook the bulgur according to package directions, adding the dates and salt just at the end of the cooking time. This helps soften the dates a bit and gives the bulgur good flavor. Cool the bulgur for 20-30 minutes for a cold salad. In a food processor, combine all the dressing ingredients except the cilantro. Puree until smooth, removing any pieces of orange that can’t be broken down any further. Add the cilantro to the smooth mixture, pulse a few times, and set aside. Toss the cooled bulgur and dates mixture with the other salad ingredients. Drizzle or toss with the dressing. Serve immediately.
Sopa de Fubà (Collard, Cornmeal, and Sausage Soup)
1⁄2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tbsp. canola oil
6 oz. kielbasa sausage, cut diagonally into 1/4″-thick slices
7 cups chicken stock
4 oz. collard greens, stemmed and thinly sliced crosswise
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Heat cornmeal in a 10″ skillet over medium-high heat and cook, swirling pan constantly, until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 3–4 minutes. Transfer cornmeal to a bowl; set aside. Heat oil in skillet and add sausages; cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a 6-qt. pot over high heat. Whisk in reserved cornmeal, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, whisking often, until cornmeal is tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in reserved sausages and collards and cook, stirring occasionally, until collards wilt, 15 minutes. Place eggs in a medium bowl and add 1 cup cornmeal mixture; whisk until smooth. Return mixture to pot and stir until incorporated; cook for 1 minute more and season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into 6 serving bowls and garnish with scallions; serve hot.
Asian Beef, Broccoli, and Cabbage Stir-Fry
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ pound ground beef
½ head cabbage, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup broccoli, cooked, finely chopped
¼ cup tamari sauce (use less if using regular soy sauce)
½ teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¾ cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add ground beef and cook until cooked through. Drain any fat or liquid. To the same skillet, add chopped cabbage and garlic. Cook until cabbage is tender and reduces in volume. Stir in cooked (or blanched) broccoli. Add tamari sauce, ginger, and sesame oil and stir to combine - on medium heat. In a small bowl, combine ¾ cup water with 1 tablespoon cornstarch - and mix it in the bowl until smooth. Add the corn starch water to the skillet, mix with cabbage and cook on medium heat until heated through and sauce somewhat thickens, constantly stirring. Season with salt if necessary.
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 bunch of cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
4 oz white tequila
2 oz orange liqueur (Triple Sec or Grand Marnier)
Additional limes & Cilantro, for garnish
Salt and sugar, for rimming the glasses
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add in the cilantro. Allow the cilantro to steep in the simple syrup until it is cooled to room temperature. Strain out the cilantro and discard. Transfer the cilantro-infused syrup to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to two weeks. FOR TWO MARGARITAS: In a shaker filled with ice, add 2 oz of the cilantro syrup, the lime juice, tequila, and orange liqueur. Shake vigorously for several seconds to thoroughly mix and chill the ingredients. Run a lime wedge around the edges of two glasses and then dip the edges of the glasses into a shallow dish filled with an equal mix of coarse salt and fine sugar. Fill the glasses with ice and pour in the margarita mixture. Garnish each glass with a lime wedge and additional cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.