Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CSA week 3

2 Heads Lettuce
2 Bunches Greens
1 Bunch Salad Turnips
1 Bunch Herbs
Summer Squash
Garlic Scapes

Summer certainly kicked the barn door in here at Black Kettle Farm!  Last week will no doubt go down in the “season in review” session as a real and true rocker.  Every one on the farm, from staff, to plants, to pigs, had to do some major soul searching to power through the extreme sun and insane temps that ushered in the official kick off of the summer season.  After major standing water in the field and water logged plants all too recently, the theme of last week was irrigation.  The field well was fired up and then trouble shot, the drip tape was untangled, patched, repurchased, cut, cursed at, trouble shot some more and laid on the plants that were the absolute and most, most thirsty.  Everything survived, most notably  the crew, due to lunch time swim breaks, early wake up calls for harvest to beat the heat, extra skimpy tank tops and hardcore dedication to the cause. 
Now that is all behind us, we are deeply giving thanks for the gorgeous soaking rains, gray, subdued harvest mornings and much, much mellower vibration on the farm.  The greens are loving it, fall crops are starting to get in the ground, tomatoes are fruiting, pigs are fat and freaky, potatoes are flowering and the bugs are straight up FIERCE.
The rhythm of the farm is shifting from total newness and creation to familiarity.  At this stage of the game, Apprentice Samantha Rocray has probably made close to 500 bunches of salad turnips, Assistant Manager Shannon Gilpatrick has most likely seeded at least that many lettuce trays, I have lost, re-found, driven over and spoken both harshly and lovingly to my favorite adjustable wrench way, way more times then that and Steve, cosmic feline, can’t find enough hours in the day to clean his trusty space thumb. 
Last week seriously broke us in, but we are stronger for it, having gotten our farming feet under us, we are in full force summer mood.  With that in mind as we cruise into July and settle into the swing of things it is a full on battle against bugs and weeds, weeds and/or bugs!  Be that as it may, newsflash dear friends,  lots of sun plus lots of rain equals lots of Kettle veggies!!!!  Dive into this big ol’ bounty!  Eat well and enjoy!  
All greens are interchangeable, chard, collards, kale, mustard, try them all and find your favorite!  Garlic scapes are the absolute best, keep them in your fridge and use them just like garlic.  Best seasonal salad dressing ever is olive oil, red wine vinegar, a squeeze of lemon juice, a squirt of mustard, a dash of salt and a ridiculous amount of finely diced garlic scapes.  
****Reminder Portland Pick-Up Crew, next week your veggies are available on TUESDAY July 3rd from 4:00-6:30 in the Park.  Please make a note of it.******

Lemony Chickpea Stir-fry with Greens and Tofu
www.101cookbooks.com, September 4, 2008
2 tablespoon ghee or extra-virgin olive oil
fine grain sea salt
1 small onion or a couple shallots, sliced (or a few garlic scapes)
1 cup cooked chickpeas
8 ounces extra-firm tofu
1 cup of chopped kale (or collards or chard)
2 small zucchini, (or summer squash) chopped
zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
Heat 1 tablespoon of the ghee/olive oil In a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in a big pinch of salt, the onion, and chickpeas. Saute until the chickpeas are deeply golden and crusty. Stir in the tofu and cook just until the tofu is heated through, just a minute or so. Stir in the kale and cook for one minute more. Remove everything from the skillet onto a large plate and set aside. In the same skillet heat the remaining tablespoon of ghee/olive oil, add the zucchini and saute until it starts to take on a bit of color, two or three minutes. Add the chickpea mixture back to the skillet, and remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice and zest, taste, and season with a bit more salt if needed. Turn out onto a platter and serve family style.
Garlic Scape Hummus
1-2 cups of garlic scapes, cut into 1” pieces
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 can chickpeas, drained
2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2-3 Tbsp. sesame tahini
1-2 tsp. salt
Blend scapes with olive oil in food processor for 2-3 minutes,  until finely chopped. Add drained chickpeas. Add lemon juice and tahini and 2-3 Tbsp. parsley (optional) and blend. Add salt to taste. Blend until chickpeas are finely ground and mixture is smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add olive oil or water. 
Pasta With Kale and Walnut Pesto
small clove garlic - or scapes
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2  cup  olive oil
Heat oven to 350° F. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool. Chop 2 tablespoons of the walnuts and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and cook until bright green, 30 seconds. Transfer the kale to a colander (reserve the cooking water); squeeze dry when cool enough to handle.
In a food processor, combine the kale, pecorino, garlic, the remaining ⅓ cup of unchopped walnuts, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Process until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream.
Bring the reserved cooking water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the pesto and ¼ cup of the reserved cooking water and toss to coat (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry). Serve the pasta sprinkled with the pecorino and chopped walnuts.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

CSA Week 2 June 19th and 20th
1 bunch mustard greens
1 head lettuce
1 bag baby greens mix
1 bunch scallions
1 bunch easter egg radish
1 bunch salad turnips
Seven months ago, way, way back in October of last year, Black Kettle Farm wrapped up it’s harvest season and bid it’s faithful and fabulous CSA members a fond farewell for the winter.  Thoughts of 2012, share lists, and new members were not even considered then, it was just time to take a breath, put on a charming sweater, move slowly and chew on it all.  
That all sounds well and good, but welcome to the here and now people!  Fast forward to this wonderful week in June with the new moon on the horizon, the summer solstice on a CSA pick up day and crazy high temps sizzling our souls, those winter months are way, way forgotten.  Just two weeks into it, and it seems impossible to me that there even is life without calculating a CSA share.  There is no time for quiet reflection these days, it is go, go, go!  
After the visit with monsoon season a week or so back, the moisture loving Kettle fields have finally dried out, and all that needs to be in the ground at the moment, is.  Temperatures in the 90’s are perfect for our heat loving tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and watermelons.  They aren’t really from these parts, so weather on the freaky hot side certainly aids in the their adventure into your shares later in the season.  With huge orange flowers on the squash and major curly-ques on the garlic we are truly getting somewhere.  Basil, beans, and cukes are high kicking it into gear and we’ve got plenty of rounds of lettuce to keep you all knee deep in freshy green salad for the foreseeable.    We live in major green abundance, so Eat!  Cook!  Share!    Charge up those batteries on the vital veggie goodness of the season.  Lucky for us, we’ve got a long, long time and many, many meals until October!  
Big huge Kettle style happy birthday to local member and general source of inspiration Fred Greenhalgh of Alfred!  And while we’re at it, congrats and blessings to the whole Greenhalgh/Titcomb crew.  Parents Fred and Amy welcomed Nyanna Elizabeth Greenhalgh, born in early May, but nurtured on Kettle chow last season, she is true a beauty. Hurray!  We love you!
News Flash!  Radishes and turnips are the new (and much better) chip!  
Slice ‘em thin and scoop up some hummus for cocktail hour or just slice and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  YUM!
Also, this just in....Salad turnips aren’t just for salad any more!  Don’t be afraid to give them a quick sauté with any thing you’ve got.  On par with general Kettle style, Assistant Manager Shannon Gilpatrick scrambles them right into her eggs! 
Anything to share?  Babies, birthdays, recipes??  Let me know and I will shout it loud and proud!
Until then, Kettle on  dear Kettlers!  Enjoy and Happy Summer Solstice!

This share screams SALAD, but here are some thoughts on how to best use those spicy and delicious mustard greens!

Sauteed Greens with Cannellini Beans and Garlic
Bon Appétit  | April 2008
Molly Stevens
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 large bunch mustard greens
1 cup (or more) vegetable broth or low-salt chicken broth
1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
1 teaspoon (or more) Sherry wine vinegar
Heat 4 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and dried crushed pepper; stir until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. Add greens by large handfuls; stir just until beginning to wilt before adding more, tossing with tongs to coat with oil.  Add 1 cup broth, cover, and simmer until greens are just tender, adding more broth by tablespoonfuls if dry. Add beans; simmer uncovered until beans are heated through and liquid is almost absorbed, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired; drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and serve.
Penne with Green Olives and Feta
Bon Appétit  | April 2008
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large bunch mustard greens
12 ounces penne
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
Mix parsley, lemon peel and garlic in small bowl; set aside.
Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add greens and cook just until tender,about 3 minutes.  Transfer greens to colander to drain. Return water to boil. Add pasta and cook just until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot; add greens and 3 tablespoons oil and toss. Stir in olives, feta, and enough reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with parsley mixture and serve.
Curried Greens with Golden Onions and Cashews
Gourmet  | January 2001
1 large onion, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup coarsely chopped salted roasted cashews (4 oz)
1 bunch mustard greens,
1/2 cup water
Cook onion with salt to taste in 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, stir together spices.  Add cashews to onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until nuts are 1 shade darker, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove skillet from heat.  Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook remaining spice mix, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Immediately stir in the greens and water and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is evaporated and greens are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt.
Serve greens sprinkled with onion mixture.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

CSA 2012 Harvest Season Kick Off!

Week 1
June 12th and 13th
1 bunch kale
2 heads lettuce
1 bag arugula
1 bunch scallions
1 bunch bok choi
green garlic
1 bunch herbs
1 plant of your own!
It’s a wonderful, witchy day at Black Kettle Farm and we are hustling right, left and center.  It is the first big harvest day of the year, with hungry CSA members to feed and stylish restaurants to deliver to, kale bunching skills to be refined and lettuce fluffing methods to be perfected.  If that were not enough to get us a bit wound, there is some major, major electricity in the air.  The sun blazing and the wind swirling, plants are standing up on tippy toes, having cranked up their colors to psychedelic levels.  No doubt the universe is completely validating that IT IS ON.  It is an exciting time at the farm as the field starts to fill, the veggies start to flourish and the crew develops the rhythm of planting, weeding and now harvesting.   The pigs are settling into their routine of sleeping, scampering through the clover, putting their entire bodies in their grain bowls and every now and again collectively snorting, freaking out and running in a herd some where with great importance.  All is well at the Kettle.
In other news.....Way to go!  You are a CSA member, who loves local food, so it is time to eat like one.  Here are some tips on navigating through your share in the early season when it’s greens, greens, glorious greens.
Get to know fresh ginger, spruce up your spice rack and have a variety of vinegars on hand.  With ginger, grate it, sauté it with green garlic and add any green that you have, take it to easy Asian style levels by adding tamari, apple cider vinegar and red pepper flakes. As for vinegars, I love balsamic and white wine for salad dressings and apple cider to throw in with absolutely every thing that I sauté.  Although not local, fresh lemons to squeeze come in super handy.
Cook if you want to, but bok choi it is also great raw!  Just cut off the end and chop it all, including the stalks, it will beef up your lettuce based salad, and add new flavors and colors.  Cooked beans and any kind of seed always take a salad higher, go with black or pinto beans, sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
All greens, be it kale, collards, arugula, bok choi, you name it, they are all  so good with eggs!  For real, greens and eggs makes you big and strong.  Warm up some oil in a pan, throw in some garlic, chop said green, let it wilt and add your eggs.  Scramble to perfection.  So good and will keep your motor running.
Pesto is not just for basil any more!  Use kale or collards and it’s just as good and has way more nutritional value.  Double win!
Kettle goodness all around!  Here we go friends!  Can’t wait for recipe sharing, baby bouncing, tales of weather woes, whacky pick up antics and all the rest that links us every week from now until October.  BKF CSA hoot, hoot!


2 cups cooked bulgur  (any grain will do, try   quinoa, couscous or millet)

1 bunch Flat-leafed parsley, chopped finely
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped 
Lemon juice -- 1/2 cup
Salt and pepper -- to taste
Olive oil -- 1/4 - 1/2 cup
Cook bulgur and let cool.  Add the parsley, scallions, lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir together. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes to allow flavors to mingle.
Adjust seasoning and stir in the olive oil. Serve chilled or at room temperature on a bed of lettuce.
Sautéed Bok Choi with Garlic and Ginger
1 bunch bok choi
1 1/2 tablespoons canola, vegetable or peanut oil
1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons broth or water (or 2 tablespoons broth/water + 1 tablespoon wine)
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
red pepper flakes (optional)
Chop bok choi, leaves, white stems and all. Finely mince garlic and grate fresh ginger.Heat cooking oil. Add the garlic and ginger. Turn the heat to medium-high. Let the ginger and garlic gently sizzle in the oil. Add red pepper flakes.  When the aromatics become fragrant and light golden brown, add the bok choi leaves. Toss very well to coat each leaf with the garlicky, gingery oil for 15 seconds. Pour in broth, water or wine. Immediately cover and let cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and drizzle a bit of sesame oil on top.  Serve with rice or soba noodles.
Green Goddess Salad Dressing
1 garlic clove
1 cup packed avocado flesh (2 small)
7-8 tbsp water
5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
1/2 cup scallions
1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
Pinch of cayenne (optional)
Sweetener, to taste (honey, agave, maple syrup)
1. Add garlic clove to food processor and process until finely chopped.
2. Add in the water, oil, avocado, parsley & scallions. Process until smooth.  Add in the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar slowly stopping to taste. If need be, slowly add small amounts of water for a smooth consistency and/or to balance the flavors.  Finally add in the sweetener to taste and sprinkle with salt.  Blend until smooth.  Dressing will keep in a jar in the fridge for a week.
Author’s Note: This dressing has a tangy kick to it from the vinegar and lemon juice. If you aren’t a fan of a strong tangy flavor, decrease the amounts used.