Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Week 7: Golden Potatoes and Heirloom Garlic

Check out some other farm pictures on the main Bluebird Farm blog. http://bluebirdfarmnc.blogspot.com/

Hens love clover in their pastures!
  Thank you for bringing back your empty boxes so we can reuse them!~

Yukon Gold- It is new potato time!  A new potato is any potato that has been harvested before it has mature skin. Never peel the skin of a new potato! It is very tender! (Even if it is a big or giant potato- as long as the potato is young and its skin is delicate, it is a new potato.)You don’t need to refrigerate these new potatoes if you are going to eat them within a week or so.  Make sure to keep the bag open on top, so the potatoes can breathe and moisture won’t build up.
This week’s potato variety is Yukon Gold.  This variety is famous for its golden, moist flesh and mild, sweet flavor.  Cook it anyway you like- it is great boiled, roasted, fried, or baked.
Try adding chopped scallions to a potato salad for perfect onion flavor without the bite of a big storage onion.

Farm Fresh Harvest
Potatoes- Yukon Gold variety.  These are tender skinned new potatoes. (A new potato is a young, immature potato with delicate skin)
Parsley- Parsley and roasted potatoes, anyone?
Heirloom garlic-   Keep it on the counter…not in the fridge.  It’s one of the crops that makes our farm unique.  Heirloom garlic has been grown for flavor!  This week’s garlic is fresh heirloom garlic- different complex flavors will develop over several weeks as it cures and dries. 
Garlic in the grocery store has been bred for 2 things: storage and peeling. Much of the garlic in the grocery store was grown in China.

Beautiful potatoes!

Summer squash and Zucchini-  There is still not quite a whole load of squash and zucchini, but there is just enough for your boxes.  We’ve selected the most tender and delicate fruit for your box.
Cucumbers- Here come the cucumbers.  They are really cranking out some tasty fruit. Cucumbers come in all shapes and sizes.  We grow little mini cucumbers, large crisp American slicers, and delicate slender European cucumbers.
Scallions- Scallions are a spring or green onion.  Eat the white stalk and the green leaves! They add a sweet, mild onion flavor to any dish! Great raw or substitute a few scallions for a big onion in cooking.
Curly Kale-  Best for kale chips! Also great raw in a salad… chop finely, marinate with balsamic vinegar for 10 minutes, and add to a salad.
Swiss chard- Rainbow swiss chard.  I enjoy it just barely wilted down. I usually use about 2 tablespoons of butter to sauté a large onion and the stems and then add an entire bunch of chard. (sautéed until bright green) Adds color and dark healthy green to any dish.  We use in place of spinach in many dishes-in a tomato sauce, in omelets and quiches, or just sautéed with onions and served as a side.

William planting baby cucumbers.  Mature cucumber plants are on the left side.
Remember, you can scroll down to look at previous blog articles for recipes from previous weeks. 

Cucumber yogurt salad
            Wash cucumbers well.  Finely slice, dice, or grate cucumber.  Mix with plain yogurt (greek style yogurts are particularly good for this recipe).  Add as much yogurt as you prefer.  This salad can range from being almost purely cucumbers with a yogurt dressing to a bowl of yogurt with some cucumbers in it.  Salt to taste. 

Add fresh flavor. Try adding dill, crushed garlic, diced spring onion, parsley, or another of your favorite herbs. 

Auntie Bonnie’s Potato Cucumber Salad
From the cookbook, How it all Vegan, 1999.
This tangy, tart salad will tickle your tastebuds.

2-3 cups new potatoes, cubed
1 tbsp fresh dill, chives or parsley, chopped (you can used green onions)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp prepared horseradish
¼ cup flax oil (or your choice of salad type oil)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2-3 cups cucumber, cubed
In a medium pot, boil the cubed potatoes in water until they can be pierced easily with a fork.  In a small bowl, whisk together the chosen herb, mustard, vinegar, horseradish, oil, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.  Once the potatoes are done, drain and rinse under cold water until cool.  In a medium bowl, mix together the potatoes, cucumbers and dressing just before serving. 
Marie’s adjustment:
I like to give the potatoes a quick rinse, then pour the dressing over the partially-cooled potatoes and refrigerate for a few hours.  Then mix the cucumbers in before serving.  This lets the flavor soak into the potatoes more.
·         Variation: Add some healthy protein- Chop boiled eggs into large chunks and sprinkle over the salad after combining the cucumbers into the potatoes.

Teeny Zucchini with Onions

From Better Homes and Gardens Annual Recipes 2001

Note: squash can be substituted for zucchini
Health Note:  We like to get include some other form of protein in our meals, when not eating meat with a meal.  We tend to eat meat just 3 times a week.  The walnuts in this meal are a great protein source.

1 lbs baby zucchini or 3 medium zucchini
1 tblsp. Olive oil
1 Small Onion, cut into thin wedges
¼ cup chopped walnuts
½ tsp dried oregano, crushed
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Rinse and trim zucchini.  If using medium sized zucchini, cut each in half lengthwise, then turn into ½-inch slices
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add zucchini and onion.  Cook for 6-8 minutes until vegetables are just tender, stirring occasionally.  Add walnuts, oregano, salt, and pepper to mixture in skillet.  Cook and stir for 1 minute more.  Makes 4-6 servings. 

Liina’s Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
My friend Liina made this recipe at least once a week during college, filling the Warren Wilson College Eco-Dorm kitchen and common room with the cozy aroma of rosemary.

2 1/2 pounds of potatoes, quartered or chunked into 1 inch by 1 inch pieces
4 Tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (Liina left out the garlic)
5 Tbsp. snipped fresh rosemary or 2 Tbsp. dried rosemary, crushed
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Place potatoes in gallon bag or very large Tupperware tub.  Add oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper to potato container and shake well to mix. 

2.  Add seasoned potatoes to several shallow roasting pans or cookie sheets, keeping the potatoes from touching.  (I use at least large 3 pans.)  

3.   Roast, uncovered, for 40 to 60 minutes or until tender and brown on the edges, stirring every 10 minutes.  Add additional salt and pepper if desired.

Tender and tasty pole beans- just spouted.  They will be ready at the end of August.

This picture is from June 18th- about a week ago.  The tomatoes in the hoophouse have grown a foot since then, and the basil is starting to take off too.  The basil doesn't like the cooler weather.  They like Italian summers- and so do tomatoes!  The don't like this Smokey Mountain summer.

This is the wettest, muckiest, weediest spot it the garden.  There is supposed to be squash in there, but it has gotten waterlogged. It makes me feel sad to see it, but  many other squash plants at least have a chance to live in the higher ground near the white hoophouse.

Turkish Beef, Kale, and Rice Casserole
This filling dish is inspired by the delicious kale rolls (like cabbage rolls) that I enjoyed while staying with a Turkish family at their organic honey and egg farm.   That meal was vegetarian, since meat was above their means.  In most restaurants in Turkey the meat would be ground lamb.
This dish is also a spinoff of the traditional beef and rice casserole that easily feeds a hungry family.  This is also a quick casserole because you just mix the greens with the rice and beef instead of carefully wrapping the rice and beef into little rolls.

3 cups cooked rice (about 1 ½ cups of uncooked rice) The variety of rice is your choice- I used the end of 3 types of rice and it turned out great!
1 lb. ground beef (you may also use ground lamb)
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon coriander
½ tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
1 bunch curly kale, washed, stems removed, and finely chopped

1 (16 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
Brown ground beef, onions, and spices in a large skillet until meat is halfway done (still very pink inside.)  Meanwhile, blanch the chopped kale in boiling water for 3 minutes and drain.  Add blanched, drained kale to the beef mixture and cook until beef is done.
Combine cooked rice and beef and kale mixture in an 11x7 inch baking dish.
In a large bowl mix diced tomatoes and tomato paste, and stir until tomato paste is smooth, adding water if needed.  Cover and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until warmed through and bubbly.

Kale Pesto
This recipe is a winner.  Almost everyone loves kale chips ,right? Well, this recipe is the 2nd best sneaky food trick you can do with kale right next to making kale chips.  I add more garlic and salt to my version of this kale pesto.  I also double the recipe and use 2 bunches of kale. If you are going to dirty your food processor, may as well make some extra, right? 
Recipe is as follows…from Farmer John’s Cookbook, The Real Dirt on Vegetables
While your Italian grandmother might cringe at this being called a pesto, reassure her that this is just a contemporary spin on that classic dish and you will continue to also make it with basil and pine nuts.  But still, make this dish for her- she will certainly be won over.  This version of pesto is particularly good over roasted potatoes, but it works great over pasta, too.  You can freeze it, but if you do, don’t add the cheese; simply mix it in after the pesto has thawed, when you are ready to serve. Shareholder (adapted from the Seed Savers Calendar, 1998).

Kale Pesto
Makes about 1 cup

¼ cup                                    chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon plus
½ teaspoon                        salt, divided
½ pound                              kale coarsely chopped (1 bunch)
2 cloves                                                garlic
½ cup                                    extra virgin olive oil
½ cup                                    freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ½ ounces)
                                                Freshly ground  black pepper

1.        Toast the chopped walnuts in a dry, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat, stirring constantly, until they start to brown in spots and become fragrant.  (Be careful not to over toast them, as the will burn very quickly once they are toasted.) Immediately transfer the walnuts to a dish to cool.
2.       Bring two quarts of water to a boil.  Add 1 tablespoon salt, then add the kale.  Cook kale until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. (I only cooked the kale 5 minutes.)
3.       Put the garlic in a blender or food processor and pulse until minced.
4.       Add the walnuts and kale; pulse until well combined.  With the blender or food processor running, pour in the olive oil in a stead smooth pencil-thin stream.
5.       When the ingredients are thoroughly combined, transfer to a bowl.  Stir in the Parmesan, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper.  Serve hot or chilled.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.