Flowering Yu Choy or Bok Choy
Lettuce (Bibb & Butterhead)
We hope everyone enjoys the Memorial Day holiday. This time last year we had a large group of friends out to the farm for a big harvest morning where we harvested most of our garlic scapes in one fail swoop, obviously this year our season is 7-10 days ahead of last year. We were lucky to have photographer Alexis Courtney out on the farm to document the group harvest and even more lucky to have access to the photos to share with you all. In our busy schedule it is difficult to find the time or ability to document what we do day in and out. A year later, we are entering into our fourth CSA week of 2017 and we recognize how wonderful this May has been for our Spring crops. There has been a lot of precipitation and temperate weather conditions, except for the occasional extreme storm. We are drastically understaffed and wrestling with what to prioritize in terms of management (weeding, de bugging, planting, etc.); but many crops continue to thrive regardless. This year we have increased our fertilization and added mineral amendments in the effort to balance our soil, which is definitely aiding in crop health; but the natural abundance of water and sun truly makes the biggest difference. This is our best yield to date with Spring broccoli, cabbage, daikon, lettuces, and bunching greens. The cool temperatures have held back our early Summer crops a bit; but if we can stay in the high 70’s and low 80’s they will quickly jump up. Our major struggle right now and with every May is getting all our Summer crops in early. The combination of inadequate labor and wet land; puts our planting on hold. Our earliest cucumbers, beans, and peppers will hence come on a little later than planned; but hopefully the abundance of Spring will hold out through June. This week’s share is wonderful for making pickles also known as kimchi as well as for lettuce or cabbage wraps. The fried egg salad from the Pok Pok cookbook is a wonderful simple to make salad using lettuce, cilantro, carrot, and onion as its base. If you have taken our advice and frozen hot chiles from past years shares, this is the time to use them, create a basic dressing from fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar water, garlic (mash a scape), and hot chile then make a salad or wrap from your favorite protein, lettuce, and thinly sliced root vegetables. If the share seems overwhelming, both the cabbage and roots will store well in your fridge for up to a month. Remove greens from all the roots and store everything in plastic bags or containers in your crisper. We have included many more recipe suggestions below. Enjoy the Share……Autumn and Brian
Yam Khai Dao (Fried egg salad) – Pok Pok by Andy Ricker
You must find some thai chiles and celery leaf; but can substitute scallions for onions and garlic scapes for garlic clove. This recipe is soooo delicious, a must try!
Bitter Greens with Dashi – Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu 2 small bunches (1 1/3lb) Bitter Greens: mustard, turnip, or komatsuna
1/3 cup Dashi
2 Tbls Soy Sauce
2 Tbls freshly shaved katsuobushi or 3 Tbls hanakatsuo
Bring a large pot of hot water to a boil and place a large bowl of cold water on the kitchen sink. Hold the bunches of greens by their tops and lower the stems into the boiling water. Count to ten or twenty, then drop the greens into the pot and cook an additional 1-3 minutes. Scoop out the greens with a strainer and dump them immediately into the cold water. Turn on the tap and plunge your hands into the water, lifting the greens up directly into the stream of cold running tap water to cool them. Pull out a few connected strands and squeeze down the length of the greens to express the excess water. Ley the greens on the cutting board, cut off the end tips, and slice into 2” lengths.
Squeeze the greens one more time and arrange the clumps attractively on a medium-sized saucer with the cut sides face up. Season the dashi with soy sauce, pour over the greens, and sprinkle with shaved katsuobushi right before serving.
Variation: Also nice with some slivered citrus peel, such as yuzu or meyer lemon. Although in this case I would cut back, or omit the katsuobushi.
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
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.