Weekly Share May 13th – 19th

Garlic Scapes
Mesclun Salad Mix or Arugula
Radish or Hakurei Turnips
Russian or Flat-leaf Kale

Welcome to our 2024 season CSA. We appreciate that you all have decided to join us over the next 6 months and hope to bring you a diversity of delicious vegetables. This is our 13th year growing vegetables as Tomten Farm, seems both a long and very short time depending on how we look at it. Many of you are returning and have been with us for at least a decade and we are thankful for your continued commitment. Although our CSA offerings have evolved over the years, we are pretty dialed in with what we grow and how much we offer; it feels strange that our first CSA share will include garlic scapes. When I look back over the years, this quick seasonal crop usually shows up on our 3rd CSA share, around the end of May. Over the past few seasons we have struggled to get you really tender green garlic, a staple in week one of our first 10 years of the CSA. Over the past few years we have included “young” garlic, as the plant had begun bulbing but was still tender and without a developed scape. This year though, with such a warm spring and three short heat waves since the beginning of April, the garlic is more fully developed than ever, so we begin this season with garlic scapes as we are suddenely in the height of their 3 weeks season. This wacky and very warm winter and early spring has meant for some other craziness throughout our fields. Many tender crops seeded in late March have been affected by the weather shifts and have gone to flower, most noticeably our entire daikon bed. We are hoping another seeding will do better; but you may not see them till June. The cucumber beetles which wreak havoc on our squash and cucumber plantings are out earlier than we have ever seen, making for some early damage on what is usually the easiest succession to grow of the year. We planted our seed potatoes right before a very heavy rain and so have seen about 60% germination in them. This is such a large crop for us, that it will be the most noticeable one over the season; but we will still have some potatoes and will love them more for their scarcity. Overall though we have a ton of food in the fields and with the lengthening of days everything is growing with lightening speed.
In this first share there will be lots of greens, the one time spring spinach, that is holding on despite the heat last week, gorgeous kale, and salad mix or arugula. Over the next few weeks there will be lots of greens, enjoy them while we have them. May is really for the love of greens; because before you know it, Summer will be upon us and you will wonder where they have gone. The cilantro is lovely and when paired with sweet hakurei or spicy radish makes for a delicious salad or spread. And then we have garlic scapes. What is a garlic scape you might ask? Well when hardneck garlic begins the bulbing process, growing cloves, it pushes up a “scape” in the middle of the plant, which would eventually become the flower bud or seed head. By pulling out the scape, the plant focuses more energy on the bulbing, making for a potentially bigger garlic head. At this immature stage the scape is tender with a little crunch and has a superb garlic flavor without a ton of heat. They will store in a plastic bag for at least 3 weeks, so don’t feel rushed to use them all. A longish scape will be equivalent to 1-2 cloves of garlic. You can mash them, mince them, or use in bigger pieces for some garlic punch. They can be pickled using the brine for a basic dilly bean recipe, and after a six week wait make an amazing addition to any pickle plate. Other options for the scapes are making garlic butter (blend the scapes, mix with softened butter and a little salt, then using wax paper make the butter into a log roll, wrap in plastic wrap, freeze, and use as needed.) or garlic scape pesto (recipe below). Check out the recipes and enjoy the share….Autumn & Brian

Afghan Kale & Cilantro Pancakes

Garlic Scape + Mint Pesto Farro Salad with Kale + Chickpeas

Hakurei Turnips & Garlic Scapes with Sesame

Garlic Scape & Cilantro Pesto

Radish and Garlic Scape Toast

Mooli Palak – Radish cooked with Spinach & Indian spices

Racha’s Spinach Salad with Walnuts & Cilantro

Borani-e Esfenaj (Spinach and Yogurt Salad) from the New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
This refreshing Iranian salad has a pure and delicate flavor.
½ pound spinach
½ cup thick-strained Greek-style yogurt
1 cloves garlic, crushed (Use a garlic scape)
½ tsp sugar
salt and pepper
1 Tbls extra-virgin olive oil
juice of ¼ lemon
Wash the spinach and remove the stems only if they are thick and hard. Drain the leaves and put them in a large pan. Cover and set over low heat until the leaves crumple into a soft mass. They steam in the water that clings to them in a very few minutes. Drain, and when cool enough, squeeze out the excess water with your hands. Chop with a sharp knife and mix with the rest of the ingredients.

Sauteed Greens with Olives (Misticanza) from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden
The key to this dish is to cook it quickly at high heat so that you can taste each green in your mix.
extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (Use 2-3 garlic scapes)
¼ tsp dried chiles flakes
10 cups lightly packed torn mixed greens (such as kale, escarole, turnip greens, beet greens, chard)
kosher salt & black pepper
¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted & halved
2 Tbls lemon juice
Heat a glug of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes – don’t let it burn! Add the chile flakes and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the greens a handful at a time, tossing until wilted between additions (if you can, start with the tougher greens such as kale or escarole). Season generously with salt and black pepper and cook until all greens are wilted and softened, about 3 minutes more after your last addition.
add the olives and 2 tablespoons lemon juice and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more chile flakes, salt or lemon juice. Finish with a nice drizzle of olive oil.

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