March 23, 2021
What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Kale, Cilantro, Tangelos, Radishes, Green Onions, Lettuce and Asparagus
Bread this week: Asiago or Whole Wheat -your choice of one
Plant Starts for all your home garden needs
Projected plant list coming next week
We do plan to once again sell plant starts, we are getting them ready for you now, we will send out a list of what we hope to have (hopefully) next week, and they will be available to purchase in beginning-mid April.
This Week on the Farm
Black Elk, an Iguawa elder medicine man, once said “everything the power of the world does is done in circles. The sky is round and I have heard the earth is round and so are the stars. The wind in its greatest power moves in circles. The birds make their nest in circles. The sun comes up and down and returns in a circle and the moon does the same and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing and always come back again to where they were before. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to adult and back again as a child and so it is with everything where power lives...”
These past weeks in March the newsletter subject has been the coming of spring time, according to the calendar spring has arrived and so has daylight savings times. We are now working on our days getting longer, warmer, and I guess we would have to admit that we are now heading for summer. I think the reason we keep talking about spring is that we, well I should say I am a bit concerned that I’m not ready to jump into full throttle action yet. If we keep talking about it just maybe it will help ready us for what is to come. I think what is fortunate is that it doesn’t happen all at once, it just minute by minute changes as the sun shines just a bit longer each day.
This last week I have been weeding more beds in the perennial flower garden along with weeding the old bulb patches at the Santa Rosa Ranch. As beds of flowers or bulbs gets uncovered from the lush growth I marvel at what is there, what has been uncovered. There are areas in my garden that I have let go for the last several years, and I am noticing that where there was once a path there is encroaching plants. The strong aggressive ones are heading out, searching for more territory; they are on a mission for garden take over and rule. This morning’s driving home from Santa Rosa I told Jeff that I was going to put into this week’s newsletter a dream I had of walking in a jungle and the plants were all around me over my head, undergrowth snarled and tangled everywhere, green is all I could see, all the plants growing so fast you could see them moving, twining going after me, they seemed so alive with eyes, minds and…..he said I wouldn’t tell that story! Really in my dreams and night time non-sleep I think of what plants I am going to plant and there is this waffling of this one or that one back and forth, both coveting for the same empty spot I want to fill, keeping me awake…not very interesting as alive fast moving jungle plants.
It seems to me spring is a time for the garden to not so slowly going wild, trying it hardest to return to its original state, be it introduced species or native. Spring is hope for escape from the tended controlled space it was left with last fall. The weeds that have been suppressed by the hoe, mulch or otherwise have gotten all the water, light and nutrient needed to germinate, to grow. To grow as fast as possible before anyone notices that seeds are almost ready to set and replenish for the next year’s survival. The garden if one just turns your head for a moment, not paying attention right at the right time and left for just one season, it will head to that jungle in my dreams. It is a marvel to think that could also be the circle that Black Elk was talking about to, that our garden will circle back from the tended to the wild. Especially in my case when the garden tending, tends to be on the side wild. There is definite overwhelmed-ness there trying to keep a form of order and health to my garden especially right now and there is again marvel when the wild has been removed and how quickly it returns to a “garden” and not a wild meadow. I think that wonder and seeing beauty in the garden flowers is what brings enthusiasm and desire to bring back the garden state and I will go to the next and the next beds weeding as fast as I can, hacking back those more forward thinking plants to a more under controlled state. Ah, it was a close call as to who was going to win this spring…well the debate is still out actually, and if you don’t hear from me next week, well you might just conclude that those jungle like garden plants are just not what you expected and I became one of them.
Have a great week!!!! Weeding frantically ~Annie Main
Thai Asparagus, Kale and Garlicky Mushrooms
3 tablespoons coconut oil
10 ounces medium fresh mushrooms, quartered (about 4 cups)
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups chopped fresh kale
2 teaspoons fish sauce or soy sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Toasted sesame seeds, optional
in a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4-6 minutes. Add asparagus, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper; cook and stir until crisp-tender, 2-4 minutes. Stir in kale; cook and stir until wilted, 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in fish sauce and vinegar. If desired, top with sesame seeds.
Green Soup with Lemon and Cayenne
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons plus 3 cups water, divided
¼ cup arborio rice, rinsed
1 large bunch kale or green chard, preferably organic
14 cups gently packed spinach or baby cooking greens, like chard, preferably organic
4 cups vegetable broth
Big pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste
Serve with (optional): cooked brown basmati rice and cooked chickpeas
First prepare the greens: Remove the ribs from the chard/kale and discard or save them for another recipe. Coarsely chop or tear the kale leaves. Trim any tough stems from the spinach/baby greens and roughly chop the leaves. Caramelize the onions: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water and cover the skillet (I used a baking sheet to cover mine). Cook until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir frequently while the pan is still hot and occasionally once the pan has cooled down (always recover the pan after stirring). Cook the arborio rice: While the onions are cooking, combine the remaining 3 cups water and ¾ teaspoon salt in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add rice and bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in the chard greens or kale. Return to a simmer; cover and cook for 10 minutes. When the onions are caramelized, stir a little of the simmering liquid into them. Then add the onion mixture to the rice along with the spinach, vegetable broth and cayenne. Return to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once, until the spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes more. Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth, or in a regular blender in batches (never fill your blender past the maximum fill line, and be careful with hot soup). Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice, sea salt or cayenne pepper, if desired. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil. Divide the soup into bowls if you’re serving it as a bisque, or serve in bowls over cooked rice and chickpeas for a more complete meal. Garnish soup with a swirl of olive oil if you’d like. Serve with lemon wedges and freshly ground black pepper on the side.
CREAMY SPRING ONION AND RADISH DIP
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups radishes, very thinly sliced. You can use a mandoline slicer for this because it slices the radishes paper thin, but a sharp knife will work fine.
1/2 cup green onion trimmed and thinly chopped. Use the white and green parts.
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Reserve a little of the sliced green onion for a garnish. Chill until ready to serve, sprinkle with extra green onion and black pepper. Serve with crackers, chips, bread, or vegetable crudités.
Tangelo-Dressed Roasted Asparagus
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
1 tsp olive oil
1/3 cup fresh tangelo juice
2 tsp rice vinegar
1-1/2 tsp oriental sesame oil
1-1/2 tsp grated tangelo peel
1 garlic clove, pressed
3/4 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1-1/2 Tbsp finely chopped green onion tops
2 Tbsp finely chopped roasted pecans
Preheat oven to 450 F. Put asparagus in medium bowl, covering asparagus with cold water. Let stand 15 minutes, then drain. Spread asparagus in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan; drizzle with olive oil. Roast asparagus until crisp-tender, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer asparagus to
platter. Using sharp knife, cut peel from tangelos (removing the bitter white pith). Cut between membranes to remove segments. Arrange tangelo segments atop asparagus. Whisk tangelo juice, vinegar, sesame oil, peel, garlic and ginger
in small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle over asparagus. Sprinkle with green onion tops and pecans and serve.
Kale, Radish, And Leek Gratin With Gruyere Cheese
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 leeks, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
2 bunches radishes, halved or quartered
1 bunch young kale, sliced
2 tbsp fresh chopped thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups grated gruyere cheese
Heat oven to 375F. In a 12 inch cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté, stirring frequently, until they are tender, about 6-8 minutes. Add the radishes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the kale and cook and until wilted, about 5 minutes. When the kale is wilted, stir in the thyme, cayenne, and cream. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Mix in the bread crumbs then top the gratin with the gruyere cheese. Transfer the skillet to the oven bake for 25-30 minutes. The gratin will be bubbling and the cheese will be melted and browned. Take the gratin out of the oven and let it sit and rest for 5 minutes before serving.