Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bring on the Broccoli

CSA Harvest Week 2: Bring on the Broccoli!

Waxed veggie BOXES: Please return the waxed veggie boxes that your veggies come in.  Simply trade us an empty box for a full box each week. 

The plants have been growing beautifully with these warm days and cool nights. 
“Okay, okay- hold up there fat groundhogs! Stop eating our broccoli, varmints!”
We’ve been muttering to the groundhogs that are hiding in tunnels along the brushy edge of our large summer field.  The sneak out of almost invisible tunnel openings when we are not around.  We have not seen 1 groundhog, but we do see their highway from the tunnel to the broccoli sections.  Several live traps and fresh sliced apples haven’t yielded any furtive critters either.  Half of 8 100 foot rows of broccoli have been munched down to a 6 inch stub.  They haven’t touched the other crops, not even their usual favorite- Laccinato kale or tender lettuce.  This broccoli sure tastes good. But even with the groundhogs, we still have a beautiful broccoli harvest to share with you this week! 
Kohlrabi- This alien veggie is a broccoli family member.  The fat round ball of stem tastes just like sweet and juicy broccoli stems! Chop the green leaves and add them with your kale. Eat the stem raw or check out a recipe below. This year we are growing it as an experiment, so we don’t have very much of it for you. Enjoy the sample.

·        Store your greens and head lettuce in plastic bags in your crisper drawer to keep them hydrated and fresh.  

·         Washing veggies: We’ve got wonderfully fresh vegetables for you.  Just remember to rinse or soak your veggies before preparing or cooking.  I have a large bowl that I fill with cold water to soak and swish veggies around it before cutting them up or spinning the salad greens dry. I also have an awesome little salad spinner that stays full in the fridge with my washed baby lettuce and arugula mix. (My salad spinner has a solid top and body like a Tupperware container.)

Farm Fresh Harvest
Broccoli- Large heads of garden fresh broccoli.    Will keep in a plastic bag for 1 week, but use by Friday night for an amazing flavor that is garden fresh!
Kohlrabi- This alien veggie is a broccoli family member.  It tastes just like sweet and juicy broccoli stems! Peel the skin off to reveal a white juicy interior.  Chop it and eat it raw or check out a recipe below for roasted broccoli and add the kohlrabi to it.

“Salanova” Lettuce mix- This gourmet mix of 6 different types of leaves has great flavor and texture.  The plants are actually a special type of miniature head lettuce that grows to a small lettuce “ball” that is about 6x6 inches in size.
Arugula- Pair it with sweet dried cranberries, honey mustard dressing, and toasted walnuts.   For those of you who think it a little too spicy raw, try this.  Make an arugula pesto with walnuts. Check out this blog post! http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/arugula_pesto/

Bell peppers- Crunchy and Sweet!  The cooler nights are slowing the peppers down.  We’ll miss them when they go.
Tomatoes- The tomatoes have full ripe flavors since we grow them under the hoophouse, which keeps the rain from watering the flavor down.
Curly Kale- Kale chips anyone? This variety of kale is the best for kale chips. Recipe below
Very good with canned diced tomatoes or add to spaghetti sauces.  I strip the leaves of their stems, dice about ½ of the stems, and chop the leaves into 1 inch pieces.  Saute the diced stems with onions in olive oil for about 4 minutes before adding the chopped leaves. You can add a few tablespoons of water or chicken broth and steam in the pan with a lid for 6-10 minutes.

Roasted kohlrabi- Note: You only have 1 kohlrabi, so peel and chop it and then incorporate it into the roasted broccoli recipe.  But do check out this page about how tasty kohlrabi is and different veggie ideas…. Simply Recipes http://www.simplyrecipes.com/kohlrabi/
Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Broccoli Recipe

·         Prep time: 5 minutes
·         Cook time: 30 minutes
·         Yield: Serves 3-4 as a side dish.
The measurements are just a guideline. Add more or less olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, or cheese to taste.


·         1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into florets
·         3-4 Tbsp olive oil
·         Juice from half a lemon, about 1 Tbsp
·         Kosher salt
·         2-3 garlic cloves, minced
·         Freshly ground black pepper
·         1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste


1 Preheat the oven to 400. In a large bowl toss the broccoli florets, chopped stems, and minced garlic with olive oil and lemon juice until lightly coated. Sprinkle salt over the broccoli and toss to coat.

2 Arrange the broccoli florets in a single layer on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Roast for 20 minutes.  Then uncover and cook until done to your liking.
3 Put the roasted broccoli back in the bowl and toss with lots of freshly ground black pepper and the grated parmesan cheese.
Serve immediately.

Late Summer Bruschetta
 (from From Asparagus to Zucchini: A guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce)
2-3 large tomatoes
1 crunchy sweet pepper
1 medium sweet onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
Small handful fresh basil, chopped (optional)
Crusty bread (like baguette)
Shredded mozzarella or grated parmesan (optional)
Chop the vegetables into a midsize dice.  Combine with garlic 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, and optional basil.  Slice baguette down the middle and lay the two sides cut side up.  Brush with additional 1-2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle on cheese, if using.  Broil bread for several minutes until bread or cheese browns a bit.  Top the sections (you may cut them smaller, if desired) with some of the vegetable mixture.  Makes 4 servings

Kale chips
1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
A drizzle of balsamic vinegar (about ½ tablespoon)

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (175 degrees C)
With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. (I like to use my hands to strip the leaves from the stem.)Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Place kale in a plastic bag. Drizzle kale with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with sea salt. Thoroughly massage the bag to mix the oil and vinegar into the leaves.
 Using several baking sheets spread the kale pieces out so that they are not touching; I use 3 or 4 sheets.  Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, about 7 to 12 minutes. Make sure to check the chips almost every minute after 7 minutes have passed.  Every oven is a little different…Adjust this recipe’s time to your oven!

~Marie, 2012

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