Weeks 7 & 8 and a Cabbage Recipe

“Cabbage: a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.” -Ambrose Bierce

News from the farm: We have finally reached fruiting season.  The cucumbers and summer squashes are rolling in already and we currently have two weeks worth in our fridge because we haven’t done anything with any of them yet. Also, I have been anticipating u-pick peas but no word on them yet.  I keep meaning to ask our farmer about it, but I always forget.  I’ll be disappointed if there aren’t peas this year.

Have you read Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle?  She creates a chart in the book to help you remember when different veggies are in season.  She calls it the “Vegetannual”.

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See, there are peas in July, where are my peas?

Week 7 pick-up
Scallions
Kohlrabi
Summer Squash
Zucchini
Salad Cucumbers
Pickle Cucumbers
Lettuce
Bell Pepper
Broccoli
Basil
Swiss Chard
Kale
Fennel

Week 8 pick-up
Scallions
Swiss Chard
Kohlrabi
Basil
Summer Squash
Zucchini
Arugula
Mixed Salad Greens
Kale
Salad Cucumbers
Pickle Cucumbers
Beets

Do you want to know why we haven’t eaten any squash?  It’s because I’ve been trying to make us eat ALL of the cabbage.  Stir-fried and in slaws, sauteed in butter, and in bubble-and-squeak, but so far my favorite thing to do with it has been to roast it and put it in a lemony-garlicky salad.

Roasted Cabbage Salad
In a hot oven, roast
1 small cabbage, cut into bite sized chunks
1 1/2 C sliced carrots
1 C garlic scape pieces (optional)
make a simple vinaigrette out of
lemon juice
olive oil
pressed garlic
salt and pepper
Toss roasted veggies in vinaigrette and serve.  This is good hot or cold.

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CSA pick up Week 6 – Dan and Rachel

Early in the season the veggies trickle in.  They come in manageable amounts, even for our family of 3, (2 of whom actually eat solid food).  Then it happens.  The amount you are used to getting doubles or triples with little to no warning.  You get to the next week and you’ve barely made a dent… not only that but you didn’t think ahead and process things to freeze right away because you aren’t used to doing it.  It is was a week ago week 6, and our CSA exploded.

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Week 6

1 Bunch of Scallions
2 Kohlrabies
1 Bunch of Basil
1 Chinese Cabbage
2 Heads of Broccoli
1 Green Cabbage
1 Head of Lettuce
1 Bunch of Swiss Chard
1/4 lb Mixed Greens
1 Summer Squash
1 Pattypan Squash
1 Zucchini
1 Bulb of Fennel
1 Bunch of Turnips

Time for another edition of strained vegetable relationships with Dan!  This time we’ll be covering cabbage.  Ever since I first got a whiff of sauerkraut and found that the main ingredient of it was cabbage, I’ve tried to avoid it when at all possible, (much to the chagrin of my wife).  Over our CSA years we’ve experimented with some salads with raw cabbage and they’ve been ok, but nothing that’s ever made me say, “Woooo! Cabbage!”.  (Not entirely true, as cabbage has replaced lettuce as our go to taco topper and we’ve never looked back.  But play along with me here, I like hyperbole.)  We started with raw cabbage dishes as the look of cooked cabbage always has given me the “it could taste like sauerkraut willies”.  Eventually we tried some cooked cabbage dishes, and again they were fine but nothing that made me super excited… until last night week. 

Spaetzle with Cabbage, Apple Wood-Smoked Bacon, and Cider Vinaigrette (From Asparagus to Zucchini, 3rd Edition)

(Photo not available as we devoured it too quickly)

4 slices apple wood-smoked bacon, chopped
3/4 C whole milk
3 eggs
salt
2 C flour
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3 C apple cider
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 tart green apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 T cider vinegar
pepper
2 or more T butter, divided
6 C thinly sliced napa or savoy cabbage, divided
1/4 – 1/2 C finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Cook the bacon until fat is rendered and pieces are crispy.  Drain on paper towels, reserving the fat.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil.  Meanwhile, whisk milk, eggs, and 1 t salt in a bowl until smooth.  Add flour and nutmeg, stirring just enough to make a slightly lumpy batter.  Suspend a colander that has large holes over the boiling water.  Pour the spaetzle batter into the colander and quickly press the batter through the holes, with your hand, into the water.  Return the water to a boil and boil the spaetzle 1 minute.  Drain well through a clean colander.  Toss with a small amount of reserved bacon fat.  Set aside to air-dry.

(NOTE:  We ignored the part above about making spaetzle and used dried spaetzle from the store)

Place apple cider in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and reduce it to 1/2 C.  Place the remaining bacon fat in another saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring steadily, until translucent.  Add the cider reduction, diced apple, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil and let boil 1 minute.  Set aside.

To finish the dish: Heat some of the butter in a very large nonstick sauté pan over highest heat.  Add half the cabbage and season with a little salt and pepper.  Allow the cabbage to wilt and brown a little, stirring occasionally.  Remove to a bowl.  Working in batches, cook and brown the rest of the cabbage and spaetzle.  Combine all the cabbage and spaetzle in the pan and toss with the vinaigrette, reserved bacon, and parsley.  Makes 4 servings.

 

Woooo! Cabbage!

CSA Weeks 4 & 5 -Rachel and Dan

What has been happening in the world of Dan and Rachel’s CSA?

Well, Dan ran a 5K trail race at the nature center that hosts our CSA and afterward we enjoyed a delicious new beer made with maple syrup from the center.  Beer made from the place we get our food from?  Mmm, terroir.ImageDan and our farmer, Aaron, at the start of the race

While Aaron wasn’t running, he was busy farming.

Our week 4 haul
-Scallions
-Radishes
-Garlic Scapes
-Kohlrabi
-Kale
-Frisee
-Mesculan Mix Greens
-Basil
-Turnips

Our week 5 haul
-Scallions
-Radishes
-Garlic Scapes
-Kohlrabi
-Kale
-Chinese Cabbage
-Arugula
-Cilantro

What did we do with all this food?  Well, unfortunately, I threw away the the frisee today, as it had become a strange limp looking plant in the bottom of our crisper drawer.  That’s what happens when not only do you not blog about your CSA share, but you also fail to make a meal plan for your CSA share.  Happily, the rest of the food is being eaten in good time.  We’ve made pizza with greens and basil, mushroom tortellini with arugula, a Scandinavian radish and cucumber salad to eat with salmon, stir-fried scallions and tofu with sesame seeds, and a stir-fry that included kohlrabi and a bunch of old bok choy that we hadn’t used up yet.

Our big food project this past week has been making strawberry jams.  Remember those strawberries we ordered a couple of weeks ago?  They came in a week and a half ago, they sat in our fridge, thank goodness we used them before they went bad.  We made three jams: good old fashioned strawberry jam, herby strawberry-lavender jam, and luscious strawberry-vanilla jam.

We ate some of the jam with ice cream tonight.  Very satisfying.