Asian Mix (mizuna, scarlett frills, red mustard)
Lettuce (romaine, deer tongue, or butterhead)
Hakurei Salad Turnips or Red Radishes
Red or White Russian Kale
So the heat is definitely on and although it helps certain crops grow fast, some of the spring crops get a little confused by the big jumps in temperature. Watering is key in keeping them from getting shocked or stunted from the heat. We have been doing a better job of this, especially with our lettuce and chicory heads and cut and bunched greens. This year marks the first good spring broccoli crop we have ever had, yes it is delicious. Year by year we learn more about the Virginia spring climate and how to work with it. This broccoli is a good example and hopefully in future years we will grow it even more successfully and have more to offer. Some crops love the short spring with loads of heat, such as the nightshade family (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and potatoes) and the curcubit family (zucchini, cucumbers, watermelons, etc.). Our first successions of tomatoes and squash in the field look healthy and strong and our seedlings of peppers, eggplant, melons, and cucumbers are patiently waiting in the greenhouse for their turn. So this month continues with lots of planting, so much planting.
We are also looking forward to our first chicken processing of the season next week. Why you may ask, well we have been out of chicken for six months and its really tasty. Since we raise chickens, we really only eat what we raise and process. Anyhow its been awhile and we are excited. Our first batch of 100 Red Ranger broiler chickens have been moving on pasture since they were 3 weeks old, eating a healthy diet of local Sunrise Farms GMO-free feed, foraging for pasture bugs, and building up some muscle. We think the activity really improves their flavor and texture. If you are interested in a chicken, they will be available as of May 17th and we gladly take reservations.
This week’s share offers a lot of versatility with types of cuisine and different combinations of produce; but I lean towards some Asian influenced preparations. The Asian mix can be cooked or eaten raw. It makes a great simple salad with a quick dressing of rice wine vinegar, dash of sesame oil, dash of olive oil, a little grated ginger, minced scallions, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Using a mandolin or knife, thinly slice radishes or hakurei turnips, or carrots and toss with the greens. That’s it, takes just a few minutes and is absolutely refreshing. Check out the recipes below and enjoy the share…. Brian and Autumn
Broccoli and Cashew Nuts – adapted from recipe in Healthy Thai Cooking by Sri Owen
1 Tbls Green Curry Paste (Mae Ploy is a great option)
2 Tbls Coconut Milk
1 tsp Soy Sauce
1 lb Broccoli cut into pieces
2 oz dry roasted Cashew Nuts
Heat the curry paste in a saucepan and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, soy sauce, and broccoli. Cover the pan, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure it is not burning. If necessary, add some hot water. Remove the lid, raise the heat, and continue cooking, stirring, for another 5 minutes. Add the cashew nuts to the top of the broccoli just before serving, while still hot. Goes great with a side of rice.
Three recipes from Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
Young Scallions with Miso
Very thin young scallions
Organic brown rice miso
Clean the scallions. Cut off the root bottoms and any brown tapering of the tops. Peel off the tough or discolored outer layers. Spoon out a dollop of miso onto a medium sized plate. To eat, dip the scallion into the miso, scooping up about the same volume of miso to scallion. This simple dish makes a fresh before dinner appetizer and is especially good with mixed drinks or a beer.
Turnips and Turnip Leaves Pickled in Salt
8 tender turnips with leaves
2 Tbls sea salt
1 meyer lemon or 2 yuzu
2 small fresh or dried red chile peppers
1 tsp slivered ginger
Slice the tops of turnips and reserve. Cut turnips in half vertically, then crosswise into thin half rounds. Slice a couple of small handfuls of leaves into 2 by 1 ¼” pieces. Toss the turnips and leaves together in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Gently but firmly massage the salt in to distribute well, encouraging the turnips to exude a bit of their water. With a very sharp knife or vegetable peeler, shave off the outer yellow zest of the lemon, taking care to avoid the bitter white pith. Stack small slices of zest and slice into very thin strips. Slice the chiles into thin rounds. Slide the zest, chiles, and ginger into the bowl of turnips. Massage one more time and serve immediately. Variation: slice carrots into thin rounds in place of the turnips. Make sure to slice very thin as they have less water content. Add some of the carrot leaves as well.
Clams simmered in Sake with Scallions
8 cups small clams
3 cups sake
4 scallions (both white and green parts cut into a medium dice)
1 tsp salt
2 dried japones or arbol chile pepper, crumbled
1 handful roughly chopped cilantro
cooked Japanese Rice for serving
Scrub the clams in several changes of cold water. Drop the clams into a large heavy pot with a lid. Glug in enough sake to fill the pot about three-quarters the height of the clams, then sprinkle with the scallions, salt, and chile peppers. Replace the lid and cook on high heat until the clams have opened. Stir in the cilantro and cook for about 30 seconds more. Serve in bowls as an appetizer or accompanied with Japanese rice. Discard any unopened clams.