Weekly Share May 19th – 25th

Mescalin salad mix
Spinach or Carrots
Spigariello or Broccoli Raab
Flat Leaf Parsley

scallionmuddyfield2014scallionsmuddyFour and a half inches of rain in less than 48 hours, a bit extreme, but all too likely during the Spring in Virginia.  These conditions obviously affect how we farm, what we can harvest and when, what we can plant and when. We have gotten pretty used to the idea that the weather dictates most of the farm and crop cycles, all we can do is be attentive and maneuver as best we can with the given conditions. So this week it was a heat wave followed by some intense rain. What does this mean for the CSA share and all our crops? Well lots of the greens (escarole, frisee, cutting greens, spinach) are ready to be harvested and they will not wait, growing over the past week in leaps and bounds, just like the pasture and all the weeds. This coming week of cooler temperatures will be really helpful with the following successions of greens, scallions, lettuce heads, and such showing slower and more normal growth, with milder taste and texture. The root veggies love moisture, but not huge amounts, so this coming week we hope to see some big jumps in growth, as long as the large amount of rain did not make them split or blowup in size.
findingOWcarrots2014Back to this week’s share and loads of leafy greens. The mescalin mix and frisee will do great as the base to any salad. We especially appreciate the frisee lightly dressed with salt, lemon, and a touch of olive oil mixed with croutons, blue cheese, chevre, or feta, scallions, parsley, and a poached egg. Delicious. Escarole can be used for salad, but it is fabulous sautéed with garlic (many like to blanch quickly prior to sautéing), or added to white bean or pasta dishes.  This share has some excellent pairings for a Italian meal. Check out the recipes and produce descriptions below and enjoy the share… Brian and Autumn
Torta di Erbe – Country Egg & Greens Tart
Mediterranean Rice-Stuffed Escarole
Straciatella with Escarole (egg drop soup)
Chicken with White Beans, Escarole & Meyer Lemon
Frisee is a member of the endive/chicory family with finely curled leaves and a slightly bitter flavor. It is extremely popular in France, and is best served raw with a sharply acidic dressing to offset the bitterness. It stores well in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.
Frisée Salad with Poached Eggs and Bacon
Frisee with Garlic Croutons and Lemon-Anchovy Dressing from The Kitchen Garden
Croutons:4-5 slices stale bread, 1 clove garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper
Salad: 1 head Frisee, juice of 1 lemon, 2 flat anchovy fillets, 1 clove garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil
Wash the frisee in cold water, discarding the tough outer leaves. Soak the washed leaves in ice water for 10 minutes. (This causes the leaves to become extra crisp.)  Drain and dry the leaves, and place in a salad bowl.  Meanwhile, to make the croutons, toast the bread in the toaster oven. (You can also dehydrate fresh bread for 20 minutes at 250 degrees if you don’t have stale.) When the bread is crisp, rub each side with the clove of garlic, and then chop or break the slices into cubes. Transfer them to a small mixing bowl and coat lightly with the oil, salt & pepper. Return them to the oven and continue to bake until the oil makes them crispy. Make the dressing by combining the lemon juice, anchovy, garlic, and oil in the food processor and blending until smooth and emulsified.
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