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Here’s a super simple cucumber recipe thanks to CSA member Debbie!  Wash the cukes first and soak a while in ice water.

NEVER FAIL COLD WATER DILL PICKLES

2 quarts fresh cukes
2 heads dill (When I don’t have it, I use dry dill seed & dill weed)
3 Tablespoons canning salt
1 cup white vinegar
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 Tablespoons whole mixed pickling spice

Pack cukes lightly in 2 quart jar. Add rest  of ingredients. Fill jar with cold tap water. Keep in the refrigerator. Shake occasionally to dissolve the salt.  Leave sit 2 weeks.

We just broke into the 1st jar of the season-yum!

PS-Another cuke beverage-Cucumber water is refreshing and delicious. Just add a few slices of cuke to your glass or pitcher of ice water. It’s a lot like adding lemon slices but the cuke slices are crisp and crunchy when the water is gone!

From CSA member (and newlywed!) Amy:
Here’s that fennel recipe I was talking about, it’s in Asparagus to Zucchini – very yummy and easy.    

Baked Fennel
 
3 large fennel bulbs
vegetable oil
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon vegetable seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut tops off fennel bulbs and cut each bulb in half.  Lay fennel, cut side down, on an oiled 8-inch baking pan.  Sprinkle with garlic, oregano, basil, vegetable seasoning, and pepper.  Pour 1 cup of broth in pan and cover tightly with foil; bake 15 minutes.  Turn fennel over and bake, covered, 15 minutes longer.  Add more broth if necessary to keep fennel from burining to bottom of pan.  Uncover pan and sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Turn oven up to 450 and bake until crumbs brown. Six servings. 

Thanks to CSA member Syneva:

Ingredients:
2 zucchini, 1 finely chopped and 1 grated
1 small onion, chopped or 1/2 cup green onion
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
3 cloves garlic finely minced
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 cup fresh basil chopped (you could also try cilantro)
vegetable oil for frying

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix together the zucchini, onion, eggs, chesse, all spices, adding in flour and cornmeal last.

Heat about 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Drop 1/4 cupfuls of the batter into the skillet, and flatten slightly with the back of a spatula.  Turn fritters over when the center appears dry.  Cook on the other side until golden brown.  Set aside and keep warm.  Add more oil to skillet as needed, and continue with remaining batter.  It is essential that all fritters are cooked immediately after stirring in flour or the batter will get glutinous.

CSA member Amy found this recipe and loved it!  It’s super tasty, and thanks to the Bok Choy it is packed with loads of calcium, iron, and vitamins A & C.

Due to copyright issues for this one we can provide the link but not reprint it.  The recipe also includes chives/green onions, ramen noodles, and wasabi peas.

  6-8-09 week 1 016

In your box this week:
1. Rhubarb
2. Green Onions
3. Chamomile
4. Oregano
5. Lemon Thyme
6. Garlic Chives

Which herb is which?  

chamomile chamomile
garlic chives garlic chives
lemon thyme lemon thyme
oregano oregano

Fresh vs. Dry Herbs:
Use more of an herb when fresh and less when dry. For Thyme, for example, 1 Tablespoon fresh = ¾ teaspoon dry. Herbs can be stored in the fridge to use fresh, or can be hung in a cool dry place to dry.  Once dry, hold inside a bag and crumble leaves off of stems. Then pour into a jar.

To Find Recipes:
Use the search box or click on the ingredient you are interested in using to get a list of all uploaded recipes which contain that ingredient.  CSA member Amy highly recommends the Rhubarb Chutney recipes!

Farm News:
After a very dry spring we are feeling thankful for the rain this past weekend – our farm received a little over two inches! I 6-8-09 week 1 019went to North Carolina for a week (for a nature play training for my day job) and when I returned the plants were noticeably larger. It is an exciting time of year with the plants establishing themselves and starting to show it. The weeds are also staking a claim, and while I was in NC my dad and mom, Darwin and Carol, put in many a hour hand weeding. Once the plants get a little bigger we will mulch, mulch, mulch. The straw helps retain moisture and keep the weeds down.

Thanks to CSA members Aisling & Siobhan for sharing a recipe and photo of how they enjoyed the veggies from CSA week #16!

 (For 4 people)
 
You need:
 
    * 1.5 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice
    * 4 cups vegetable stock
    * 8 3/4 oz red cooked beets, peeled and diced
    * 1 large shallot (150 g) + 1 extra shallot
    * 1.5 oz parmesan grated and shaved
    * 9 Tbsp dry white wine
    * 1 Tbsp tarragon, chopped
    * 1 Tbsp basil, chopped
    * 2 Tbsp olive oil
    * 3 Tbsp butter
    * About 3 Tbsp pine nuts, dry-roasted
    * Salt and pepper
 
Steps:
 
    * Cook the beets, peel and dice them.
    * Chop the first shallot.
    * Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil with 1 Tbsp butter in a sauté pan. Add the shallot and cook for a few min before adding the diced beets.
      Cook for 5 mins or so on medium to low heat. Remove from heat.
    * Heat the vegetable stock and keep warm.
    * Chop the tarragon and basil.
    * Grate 2/3 of the parmesan. Shave the rest and keep on the side.
    * Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil with 1 Tbsp butter in a pot and add the second chopped shallot. Cook for 2 to 3 min before adding the rice to coat for 1 min.
    * Then add the white wine and cook until it is absorbed.
    * Add 1 ladleful of warm broth and wait until it is absorbed to add another one. Repeat until you have 1 ladleful left.
    * Add the beets and mix gently. Check your rice and add more broth accordingly.
    * Stop the heat, add the grated parmesan, the herbs and the rest of the butter. Cover and let rest for 2 min.
    * Serve with shaved parmesan, fresh basil leaves and dry-roasted pine nuts.

 
Here Siobhan and friends show off some beautiful carrot soup!
 

Serves 6, from the Lunds and Byerly’s fall 2008 edition of “Real Food” (their free magazine)

“How considerate of the beet to provide two vegetables in one: edible leaves and a bulbous root. Balsamic vinegar gets reduced by half to become a ruby syrup to glaze the beets. Vibrant bits of mint tie all the flavors together. This dish can be made in advance and gently reheated or served at room temperature.”

4 large beets, about 2 pounds, with beet tops attached
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 medium clove garlic
1 small bunch mint

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove the stems and leafy greens from the beets and set them aside. Peel beets* and wrap in a very large piece of foil. Crimp edges tightly together to form a package. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 1.5 hours. When tender, a knife will penetrate beets easily. Open the package carefully and cut beets in half lengthwise and then across into 1/4-inch wide slices. Put in a large bowl and keep warm.

Meanwhile, put vinegar in a small saucepan. Add 1 clove garlic, pushed through a press. Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes until reduced to 3 tablespoons.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut stems and leaves into 1-inch pieces and add to boiling water. Cook 5 minutes until tender. Drain well, squeezing extra water from beets. Add hot greens to warm beets and toss with olive oil. Add reduced vinegar and 1/3 cup coarsely chopped mint. Add salt and pepper to taste.

*from Chris: I haven’t made this recipe, but I wonder why one couldn’t boil the beets instead and skip the peeling & the 1.5 hours of baking in the homemade foil container? To boil the beets, cut stems off about an inch above the root, wash off the dirt, and throw it whole (with skin) into the boiling water. Boil until tender (fork goes in easy). Then, drain water and once the beets are cool enough to touch, you can easily rub the skins off. I cut them in a bowl to contain the staining juice: first cut in half, then spear with a fork and use the tines of the fork as a cutting guide to cut into slices. Then continue recipe as above…

This is the recipe for the pickled beans we invited CSA members to make with us a couple weeks ago.  A number of people have asked for the recipe we use, so we decided to just post it here.  It is from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving, the Bible of canning and freezing.  (I bought my copy at the hardware store next to the canning jars.)

Yield: about 4 pints or 2 quarts.  (We generally pack a bunch of jars with beans first, and then double or triple the brine recipe.)

2 pounds green and/or yellow beans
1/4 cup canning salt
2 1/2 cups vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cloves garlic
4 heads dill

Trim ends off beans. Combine salt, vinegar, and water in large saucepan. Bring mixture to boil. Pack beans lengthwise into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Add 1/4-tsp cayenne pepper, 1 clove garlic and 1 head dill to each pint jar.  (For quart jars add 1/2-tsp cayenne, 2 cloves garlic, and 2 heads of dill).  Ladle hot liquid over beans, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles.  Adjust two-piece lids (according to regular canning procedures).  Process pints and quarts 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.*

*Last year we put the jars in for 10 minutes total, and our beans were not wrinkly.  This year, we read the fine print again and it said to put in the jars and let the water come back to a boil, and THEN start the timer for 10 minutes.  This year we DO have wrinkly dilly beans.  How will they taste?  We don’t know, because we usually treat them like cucumber pickles and wait about 6 weeks before opening them to taste.  Obviously nobody got sick on our “undercooked” beans last year, but generally in canning one should try to follow the instructions for fear of botulism.

UPDATE!   The wrinkly beans unwrinkled after a while and tasted great — nice and crunchy.   So if your beans wrinkle up at first, don’t worry!

Wow!   …what else can we say? A great way to be present with the summer before it’s gone. We suggest adding some basil leaves in addition to the lettuce leaves.  And if you want a local bacon connection, our neighbors have a family hog business (they raise their pigs in Nicollet and Princeton, MN, and they grow corn and soybeans next to us.)  You can find Compart’s Duroc bacon at the Linden Hills Co.op, and I believe also at Lund’s, Byerly’s, and maybe also at Kowalski’s.  It is not organic or pasture-raised, but if you are not buying based on that criteria it is a really great choice.

This is from p. 208 of the Featherstone Farm CSA cookbook, “Tastes from Valley to Bluff”
Serves 6.

[note from Chris: I think it’d be fine to substitute green onions and garlic chives from our farm for this.]

2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
3 or 4 radishes, sliced
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1/3 cup green peppers, coarsely diced
1 cup sliced cauliflower
1 medium tomato, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 to 4 sprigs parsley, diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced and crushed
Several leaves fresh basil, chopped
6 Tablespoons salad oil
1 to 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Onion or Garlic powder
Seasoned Salt
Parmesan Cheese, grated

1. Toss the zucchini, radishes, onion, green peppers, cauliflower, tomato, parsley, garlic, and basil together in a bowl. Sprinkle with the salad oil and lemon juice.

2. Dissolve the sugar and vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat.  Pour over the salad.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, onion or garlic powders, seasoned salt, and grated Parmesan cheese.

3. Chill several hours before serving.

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