It’s the time of year when allium crops need to be harvested and cured. For the next month we will be harvesting garlic, onions, and shallots as each variety is ready. Once harvested they are laid out in warm, shady, and highly ventilated environments so they will cure very quickly, with the hopes of being storable for a good duration. There are many steps in this process and with everything farming, the weather, specifically the humidity, plays a big role in the final outcome. Our garlic, onions, and shallots make up a big crop for our farm. We have to be diligent and thorough with each step of the process so that when stored they stay disease free, delicious, and hopefully last through the fall. This week’s share includes both fresh garlic and shallots, meaning they have not been cured. The outer layers will be soft and not dried or papery. The garlic and shallots may be a bit mellower in taste and sweeter. Although they will last wonderfully for a few weeks, they will not store indefinitely, so use them and enjoy that garlic and shallot time is finally here. We get really excited this time of year, because so many storage crops begin coming on and having finished our last head of garlic 4 weeks ago, we are happy for the return. Included below are some recipes that incorporate items from this week’s share, enjoy… Brian and Autumn
Sweet-Vinegared Daikon and Carrots – Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
1/3 cup organic rice vinegar
1 Tbls organic granulated sugar
1 cup julienned daikon (1 ¾” thin matchsticks)
1/3 cup julienned carrots (1 ¾” thin matchsticks)
½ tsp sea salt
Zest from 1 yuzu or ½ Meyer lemon cut into fine slivers
Heat the vinegar and sugar together in a small saucepan over low heat to melt the sugar. Cool to room temperature before using.
Keep the daikon and carrots in two separate bowls. Sprinkle the daikon with 2/3 of the salt and the carrots with the remaining salt. Massage the salt in gently and let sit for 10 minutes before squeezing out the excess water and dropping into a clean medium-sized mixing bowl. Toss the daikon and carrots with the slivered yuzu or meyer lemon zest and cooled sweet vinegat. Chill for 1 day before serving.
Napa Cabbage Salad with Sesame Seeds – Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
half a napa cabbage
½ Tbls fine sea salt
2 Tbls mild citrus juice (yuzu, Seville orange, Meyer lemon)
2 Tbls rapeseed oil
1 Tbls unhulled sesame seeds
Slice the cabbage crosswise into fine strands and toss lightly in a large bowl with the salt. Measure the citrus juice into a small bowl and slowly whisk in the oil to emulsify. Pour over the cabbage, mix gently to distribute the dressing. Toast the sesame seeds over medium-high heat in a dry frying pan until they are fragrant and start to pop. Toss into the salad and serve immediately.
Simmered Chicken-and-Miso Meatballs – Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
1 piece Konbu
6 Tbls brown rice miso
¼ small head napa cabbage Quartered lengthwise
6 fat scallions Meatballs
1 lb coarse-ground or hand chopped chicken thigh
2 Tbls chopped scallions (whites and green tops)
2 Tbls brown rice miso
1 Tbls finely grated ginger
1 Tbls potato starch
Cooked rice, for serving
Fill a medium-sized, heavy pot with 2 quarts (2 liters) of cold water. Drop the konbu and scallions into the water and bring to a simmer. Measure the miso into a large soup ladle and dip the ladle slightly into the simmering water to wet the miso. Whisk enough hot water into the miso so that the miso will not leave lumps when fully submerged into the simmering konbu stock.
(prepare the meatballs while you are waiting for the konbu and scallion stock to simmer.) Duno the chicken meat into a large mixing bowl and add the scallions, miso, grated ginger, and potato starch. Mix well with your hands to distribute all the aromatics. Form 10 2-inch diameter meatballs by tossing the meat between your two palms. The shape does not need to be perfectly round but it is important for the outer surface to seal. The surface should be slick and glossy. Lay the lengthwise-cut napa quarter wedge on a cutting board, remove the core with a V cut, and slice crosswise into thick strips (about ¾”). Add to the simmering stock and bring back to a simmer.
As soon as the stock begins to simmer, drop as many meatballs as can comfortably cook in your pot (they should not be crowded when they rise to the surface) and cook at a lively simmer until the meatballs pop up, about six minutes or so. Check for doneness by gently pressing on a meatball, it should not have a lot of give, but should not be rock hard either. Spoon up two or three meatballs into a small bowl along with some of the napa cabbage and a little broth. Serve with a bowl of rice.