Monday, June 29, 2009

Fourth Week of Harvest

It is Tuesday again, and we are ready to harvest. The following items are what will be offered this week:

Beets - Large, round and red. Perfect for salads, pickling, and making cake (see below).
Turnips - Purple top variety given with the greens. The root can be eaten raw or cooked, and the greens are good for stir-fries or soups.
Garlic (Spanish Red Roja and Polish White) - This garlic was just harvested yesterday and is fresh. It should be used soon or dried for 2 weeks for longer storage.
Swiss Chard - Beautiful red, yellow and white ribbed leaves. Great for soups or braising.
Collards - Don't you love these greens?!?! They are chock full of vitamins.
Parsley - A clean tasting herb, good for freshening your breath.
Lavender Bouquet - Our lavender is in full bloom and makes a nice addition to your table. Hang upside-down for drying.

And the recipes are....

Coconut Milk and Greens
4 cups greens (kale, spinach, Swiss chard, turnip, collards) 
1 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 cup coconut milk
A bit of fresh basil
Sauté the chopped onion in the oil, then add the basil, coconut milk and greens. Let steam until mixture comes to a soft boil. Serve over rice or pasta.

Grated Beet Salad (Moosewood variation!) 
2 to 3 Raw Beets, peeled or not - but grated like cheese
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Tb. Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tb. Olive Oil
Chopped Parsley
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
Stir all this up in a bowl and serve cold. This excellent recipe uses three of the items from your basket. 

Beet Cake by Pearl Whitley
This is a wonderful recipe for using the superfood beet. It is also a sugar-free recipe for those of us who would like a healthy cake we know is great for us. Carrots can be substituted in the same volume for a fantastic carrot cake. Serves 4
1/2 pound raw beets
one 2-in. piece ginger, finely chopped
1 egg
3 fluid oz. honey
1/4 cup olive oil
seeds from a vanilla bean or 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup polenta
zest and juice of one orange
pinch each of salt, allspice, ground cinnamon
3/4 cup all purpose flour
Boil the beets until soft, allow to cool a little then remove the skin. Mash them until smooth. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10 in. cake pan. Place mashed beets, ginger, honey, olive oil, egg yolk and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk together. Then add baking powder, polenta, orange zest and juice, salt, allspice, cinnamon and flour. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the mixture. Pour mixture into the cake pan and bake until spongy, about 35 min. Sitck a toothpick in and when it comes out clean the cake is done. Allow to cool.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Herb Garden

We would like to remind everyone that our herb garden is now established and ready for you to pick some fresh herbs for your recipes. This week's recipes included the herbs tarragon and thyme. So if you are visiting the farm, stop by the herb garden in the front for a few fresh herbs.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Week 3 Harvests

This past week at Lavender Lane has been very busy and very wet. Thanks to the rain, and now the sunshine, the plants are growing very well. Aside from tending to the plants, we have begun building our outdoor cobb oven. We are really looking forward to all of the bread and pizzas we can soon bake.

This week's offerings are:

Canadian Shallots - with a flavor somewhere between onion and garlic, these are sought out by many chefs. Excellent cooked with wine or roasted like garlic with the skin on.

Broccoli - tasty enough to be eaten raw or chop it up into a stir fry.

Candy Sweet Onions - these have a mild, almost sweet flavor. Try them raw.

Collards - good for braising or sautéeing with caramelized onions.

Snap and Snow Peas - no shelling required. Eat both of these types in the pod, raw or cooked.
Salad Mix - a blend of several types of lettuces and greens, including merlot lettuce and mizuna.

And the recipes....

Augie’s Portobello Mushroom and Caramelized Shallot Omelet

Keep the shallots in chunks when you cook them for soft pockets of caramelized shallots in your filling. 

6 tsp. unsalted butter

4 shallots (quartered) (in basket)

few drops of maple syrup

4 portobello mushrooms
some tarragon (mmm? where might I get a snipet of tarragon???)
3 Tb. goat cheese (mmm? where might I get some fresh goat cheese???)
4 large eggs (mmm? where might I get some fresh eggs???)
2 Tb. water
Olive oil

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and maple syrup. Cook over medium low for 10 minutes. Scrape shallots into bowl.
In same skillet, add mushroom and cook for 10 minutes. Then stir in shallots, and gently stir in goat cheese. Set aside.
In bowl beat eggs with water and salt to taste
Heat oil over medium-high heat. Pour half of egg mixture in skillet. With inverted spatula push the set egg toward the center and tip the pan to let the liquid run back to the edge. When most of the egg is cooked, spoon in filling on one half and immediately flip omelet in half. Serve immediately.

Broccoli with Garlic Butter and Cashews

1 small head broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
1/3 cup butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped salted cashews

Place the broccoli into a large pot with about 1 inch of water in the bottom. Bring to a boil, and cook for 7 minutes, or until tender but still crisp. Drain, and arrange broccoli on a serving platter.
While the broccoli is cooking, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Mix in the soy sauce, pepper and garlic. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Mix in the cashews, and pour the sauce over the broccoli. Serve immediately.

Sugar Snap Peas

1/2 pound sugar snap peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
kosher salt to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Spread sugar snap peas in a single layer on a medium baking sheet, and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with shallots, thyme, and kosher salt.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven, until tender but firm.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Second Week of Harvest

We are now entering our second week of harvest, and hopefully everyone will enjoy their food as much as we enjoyed growing it. Pickup day for everyone - as earlier announced - will be on Tuesdays.

Here are this weeks offerings:

Red Leaf Lettuce - a mild taste, a nice crunch, and excellent in a variety of dishes.

Garlic Scapes - the unopened flower head of the garlic plant; has a milder flavor than the bulb.

Radishes - French Breakfast/Easter Egg - colorful, spicy radishes, great in salads or with cheese.

Green Onions - long, thin onions, also called spring onions or scallions with a mild flavor; can be eaten raw or cooked.

Beet/Turnip Greens - the tops of our beets and turnips; perfect for sautéing.

Dakota Shelling Peas - peas in a pod; very sweet and tender (they don't even need honey!)

Mixed Salad Herbs -  A wonderful mix of cilantro, parsley, chervil, and a beautiful dill flower. 

...And some recipes to go with them - and again, if anyone has recipes that simply are to die for, please let us know!

Sautéed Garlic Scapes

Trim off the bottoms of the scape stems and the tips of the flower heads. The recipe that follows is best when made the day before serving and then refrigerated. Let it stand at room temperature before serving.

2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
8 ounces young garlic scapes, trimmed
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper or to taste
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/4 cup grilled haloumi cheese,cut into very small dice (see note below)

Heat the oil in a broad sauté pan and add sugar. Stir to caramelize the sugar for about 2 to 3 minutes and add the scapes. Cover and sauté over a medium-high heat for no more than 3 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan to prevent the scapes from scorching. After 3 minutes, add the chopped tomatoes and wine. Stir the pan, then cover and reduce the heat to low; continue cooking 5 to 6 minutes, or until the scapes are tender but not soft. Season, then add the parsley and haloumi, and serve at room temperature.
Note: Haloumi cheese is a goat and/or sheep cheese made in Cyprus and now widely available in the United States. It can be sliced and grilled, or fried in a skillet, and it doesn’t melt. Haloumi’s salty flavor is a great addition to this recipe, but other salty cheeses such as cheddar or aged chevre can be substituted.

Balsamic Pea Salad

16 ounces green peas
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise or yogurt
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
black pepper to taste

Place peas in a large bowl.
Toast almonds in a skillet over medium heat. Then combine with peas.
Stir in onions, feta cheese, and mayonnaise. Mix in balsamic vinegar, and season with pepper. Cover, and refrigerate.

I eat my peas with honey,
I've done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny,
But it keeps them on my knife.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Big Projects Ahead

We have a few projects ahead of us and would like to know if you have any supplies you could donate. Among the projects are trellising our tomatoes, building a cobb oven, and building a greenhouse. For the tomatoes, ladies, we need all of your snagged pantyhose (they stretch and are gentle on the plants). For the cobb oven, we need, for now: empty glass bottles for the insulation, drain rock and mason sand (or a cheap source for them...). The greenhouse is a project for the future, and there will be more to come on this later.

Monday, June 8, 2009

First Week's Offerings...

It's almost time to begin harvesting! We'd like to give you an idea of the items you may find in your baskets as well as a recipe or two to go along with these items. You can check here the day before your pick up to find out what treasures await you! We hope you enjoy.

First weeks offerings....

*Buttercrunch Lettuce: leaf lettuce with a crisp, fresh taste and soft, bibb leaves given as a head.
*Easter Egg Radishes: small, spicy, round radishes which come in a bounty of colors. The tops are also great braised.
*Rhubarb: red stalks which are tart in flavor. Excellent stewed with a little sweetener.
*Mixed Greens: a variety of small leaves for salads or garnishing.
*Kale: a robust green with lots of vitamins and minerals.
*Collards: traditional southern green with a slight cabbage flavor.
*Strawberries: from a non-spraying Amish farm.

....and some recipes:

Everyone’s Favorite Superfood by Pearl Whitley

Of course , we’re talking about greens – kale, collards, swiss chard, spinach, and mustard greens. People may tend to shy away because they think they’re bitter. That’s only because they haven’t tasted them when they’ve been cooked right. It’s worth giving them another shot. They’re full of nutrients: They have calcium and vitamin K (for bones), lutein (for eyesight), beta-carotene and B vitamins (heart health), and iron (for energy).

· Braise, don’t steam & nbsp;them. Steaming makes them bitter. Braising mellows the flavor and tenderizes the leaves. Slice the greens into ribbons. Place them in a large pot with a splash of vegetable or chicken broth and a pinch of salt. Cover the pot and cook until wilted. This should only take 4-5 minutes.
· Add braised greens to whole grain pasta. Drizzle with olive oil and toss with feta or goat cheese and toasted walnuts. Can also be layered in a lasagna.
· Braise with crushed garlic and a little liquid amino acids. Lovely with sauteed mushrooms and a little mozzarella on toast.

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

· 1 cup bread flour
· 1/3 cup amaranth flour
· 2/3 cup brown rice flour
· 2 teaspoons baking powder
· 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
· 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
· 1/2 cup chopped rhubarb
· 1/2 cup water
· 1/4 cup honey
· 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
· 1 egg
· 1/2 cup chopped strawberries

Place rhubarb and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Strain the rhubarb, and reserve the juice. Measure the juices, and if necessary, add a bit of water to make 3/4 cup liquid.
Whisk together rhubarb juice, honey, oil, and egg.
In a large bowl, mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, and allspice. Pour juice mixture into flour mixture, and stir briefly to combine. Do not overmix. Fold in rhubarb and strawberries. Spoon batter into 12 oiled or paper lined muffin cups.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 22 to 25 minutes.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Chicks!

As most of you already know, our hens are not laying as many eggs as they used to. However, we have just recently welcomed some new members to the Lavender Lane family. These new chicks should begin laying this coming fall. When we received the baby chickens, they were only 1 day old. For about 2 weeks, they lived in a cardbord box with only a warming lamp, food, water, and each other. This past Friday, we have finished building a moveable chicken coop, which will serve as the babies new home! The five biggest chicks are now living in fresh air with lots of good bugs to eat and grass to scratch. We hope the rest grow quickly and soon follow their sisters.

Also, this coming week will be our first week of harvests. We expect a lot of healthy greens :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

May Festival 2009

To view many more pictures, please click here.