Yu Choy or Broccoli
Butterhead or Red Leaf Lettuce
Hakurei Turnip or Sugar Snap Peas
A little farm update. Our market tables are seeing new crops every week and the farm seems very abundant, although we are noticing a little plant stress due to intense earlier than usual bug and weed pressure. The first two successions of summer crops are in the ground. Our earliest tomatoes are finally getting some size; but due to cooler temperatures it will be awhile until fruit set starts putting on size. This coming week we will direct seed our grain corn and okra crops. The last of our spring lettuces plus winter squash and watermelon will be transplanted in the next two weeks and with that we will have a very empty greenhouse for about 1 month. This coming week we are also processing our annual batch of freedom ranger broilers, which means for a very busy week. Overall, we are seeing a lot of healthy crops and are thankful that the weather has been quite mild for the month of May as it makes it easier on crops that are transplanted and improves direct seeding germination. The work is increasing exponentially though and the first to go is proper weed management, so we have arrived at the point where we cannot get it all taken care of and have to make quick decisions about what to leave behind. So is farming for us, every year; but we never get used to the stress this induces.
All the farm abundance means a very large share for you all this week. Many of these crops are Asian varietals, so they can pair together well. Yu choy is very mild and has a great texture with a slightly crunchy stalk and delicate flowers. It can be paired with the more sturdy and spicy mustard greens in either a simple soup (miso based or chicken stock) or a stir-fry. Mustard greens do really well finely chopped before being cooked as they are a flavor bomb and can really elevate any dish. They are also delicious pickled. Daikon radish is another robust crop, wonderful in a myriad of pickled forms (salted, vinegar brined, base for kimchi, sweet vinegar pickle snack) but also can be great in an Indian style curry or any stir-fry. Check out the recipes below and enjoy the share……Autumn & Brian
Tahini Noodles With Sugar Snap Peas & Daikon Radish
Fried Rice with Broccoli and Mustard Greens (make with daikon & peas instead of celery and carrot)
Asian Chicken Soup with Greens
For the broth:
1 whole chicken
1 head garlic, peeled and smashed
2-3 scallions, cut into large pieces
½ bunch cilantro, leaves, stems and roots, washed
2 inches ginger root, cut into thick slices
1 Tbsp salt & pepper to taste
For the soup:
4 oz. cellophane rice noodles or egg noodles
½ lb greens (bok choy, mustard greens, pea shoots, spinach)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sweet rice cooking wine or mirin
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, for garnish
Rinse the chicken thoroughly, remove giblet bag and place in a large pot with cold water to cover by 2 inches (around 2 ½ quarts of water). Add garlic, cilantro, scallions, ginger, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer very gently for 1 ½ hours, or until the meat falls off the bone. Remove chicken carefully to a colander and allow it to cool. Strain the stock and skim the fat that rises to the surface. (If you make the stock in advance, refrigerate it overnight and remove the congealed fat the next day. You can also use a special device for separating fat that looks like a big measuring cup with a spout that pours from the bottom). When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull off all the meat and shred it with your fingers. Use a nice handful of the meat for the soup and save the rest for another use (Vietnamese chicken salad, perhaps?).
Meanwhile soak the rice noodles in warm tap water for 15-20 minutes, drain and set aside. If using egg noodles, cook them in boiling water until al dente, drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside. Wash greens and cut into fairly large pieces. Bring the stock to a boil and season with the soy sauce and wine. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Add greens and chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Place a handful of noodles in each soup bowl. Pour soup over noodles and serve garnished with chopped cilantro.
Variations: This soup can easily be made into wonton soup. Get some wonton wrappers from the store (usually sold next to the tofu). For the filling mix together ½ lb ground pork, 2 finely chopped scallions, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp rice wine, salt & pepper. Follow directions on the package to fill them. Boil with the greens in the hot stock until they float.
Clams simmered in Sake with Scallions Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
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.
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.