Farm News 5/17/16

Important Announcements & Reminders
  • This week we will be delivering spring vegetables, dairy, eggs and lamb.
  • Next week we will deliver spring vegetables.
  • The summer season starts the week of June 13th. You can registerhere.
  • Please join us for a special member-only potluck and farm ridge hike starting at 5 pm on Saturday, June 11th at our Grayslake farm. No need to RSVP. You can find directions here.

The Vegetable Share:
  • Red & Green Bibb Lettuce
  • Garlic Chives
  • White Salad Turnips
  • Asparagus
  • Rhubarb from Mick Klug Farm
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard
  • Baby Spinach or Radishes

A lot of hard work and a little bit of luck went into making this week's share so lovely.  With frost looming in the forecast the other night, we were a bit concerned about some of our early crops, but everything made it through the night just fine with the exception of some of the asparagus. We're also fortunate that most of our frost-sensitive seedlings--tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc-- were still in the greenhouse where they stayed plenty warm. We don't plant these crops as early as some farmers because we've learned from experience that waiting for the stable warmth of late May before planting them is a much safer way to do things. When it comes to those precious tomatoes, it's better to be safe than sorry!

The Dairy Share:
  • Cultured Butter with Sea Salt from Nordic Creamery
  • Vanilla Yogurt from Sugar River Dairy
  • White Cheddar from Red Barn Family Farms
  • Sheep Milk Feta from Nordic Creamery

We partner with the Bekkum family of Westby, WI to provide many of your dairy share items, including this week's butter and feta cheese. Check out this shortinterview with Sarah Bekkum and see some of the cows that produce the milk for your dairy products. 

Vegetable Notes: Making the Most of Your Farm Share

The white salad turnips are a Japanese variety called hakurei. They're mild, juicy and sweet, and could easily be mistaken for white radishes. Japanese turnips are delicious eaten raw or sautéed in a little butter and sprinkled with salt. They are a good source of Vitamin C, and rich in the minerals potassium and calcium. And don't forget the greens! Turnip greens top the charts as an excellent source of Vitamins A, C and B complex.
Farmer Glamour Shot #1: Jeff and Hakurei Turnips

Although Swiss chard is native to the Mediterranean, this leafy relative of the beet got its name because it was first described in the scientific literature by a Swiss botanist in the 16th century. Chard is flavorful yet mild, and can be substituted for spinach in many dishes including quiches, omelets, lasagna, pasta sauce, etc. Chard is high in vitamins A, E and C and the minerals calcium and iron. You can use the entire leaf as well as the tender stem. Here are some simple ways to pair it with other items from your farm share:
  • In a cold pasta salad with asparagus and radishes
  • As an omelet filling with chopped chives and Red Barn cheddar
  • As a pizza topping with mozzarella and Nordic Creamery feta
Farmer Glamour Shot #2: Jen and Swiss Chard

Garlic chives are similar to traditional chives, but they definitely pack a more garlicky punch. Snip them up and use them as a garnish, or cut them into 2-inch lengths and stir-fry them or add them to a quiche.
Farmer Glamour Shot #3: Peg and Garlic Chives

This Week's Featured Recipes

Roasted Hakurei Turnips with Israeli Couscous Salad
1 bunch hakurei turnips 
1 cup Israeli couscous
pinch of optional red chili flakes
1/4 cup chopped garlic chives
juice from half a lemon
4-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Trim radishes from greens leaving a small stub of the stems attached. Wash both well to remove dirt. Halve each turnip, keeping the long tails intact. Finely chop the greens.

Toss the turnips with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, pinches of salt and pepper, and the optional chili flakes. Place flat side-down on a roasting pan. Roast for 5-10 minutes, or just until the bottoms are lightly browned. Toss around in the pan with tongs, and continue roasting another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of 3 cups water to a bowl and add the couscous. Continue to boil for 8-10 minutes until couscous is tender. Drain.

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame. Toss in the leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sautee until just wilted, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

Combine the chopped garlic chives with the cooled couscous and greens. Add fresh lemon juice, an extra tablespoon or so of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the roasted turnips on top. from

Simple Swiss Chard Pasta with Feta
12 oz pasta 
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small bunch chard, stems diced, leaves coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 cups canned fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped garlic chives
1 cup cooked white beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup crumbled feta
¼ cup pine nuts, optional
salt & pepper

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chard stems and a pinch of salt. Give them a stir, then add the chard leaves and gently toss until they begin to wilt. Add the balsamic, tomatoes, garlic chives, and white beans and toss. Once the chard is cooked down, remove from heat. Serve with pasta, crumbled feta, and pine nuts on top.

Garlic Chive Scrambled Eggs
This traditional Japanese recipe, called Niratama, makes a simple and satisfying breakfast or dinner when served on hot buttered toast or with a bowl of steamed brown rice.
4 eggs
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped garlic chives (1-inch lengths)

Beat the eggs, sugar, soy sauce and salt together in a small bowl until uniform in color. Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, until hot. Add the oil and then the garlic chives, sautéing until they're bright green and wilted. Pour the eggs into the pan and turn down the heat. Let this cook until you see the bottom of the egg go from translucent to opaque. Give it a gentle stir, scraping the cooked egg up off the bottom of the pan, with a spatula and allowing the raw egg to run underneath. Let this cook until the bottom layer turns opaque and stir again. Repeat until the egg has reached your desired doneness. Keep in mind that the egg will continue to cook a little after you take it off the heat.

Roasted Rhubarb Salad
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces fresh rhubarb
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 cups salad greens
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss rhubarb with sugar in a medium bowl until well coated; let stand, stirring once or twice, for about 10 minutes. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, oil, shallot, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add greens; toss to coat with the dressing. Divide the greens among 4 plates. Top with the rhubarb, feta, walnuts and raisins. from

Pork Chops with Rhubarb Cherry Sauce
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 pork chops

In a small bowl, combine cherries with vinegar and 1/4 cup hot water; let stand 10 minutes to soften.

In a small saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. To the saucepan, add cherry mixture, rhubarb, and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until rhubarb has softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in nutmeg; season with saltand pepper. Remove from heat; keep warm.

Generously season both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Cook pork (in two batches, if necessary, to avoid crowding the pan) until browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve topped with warm sauce.

Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... radishes, fennel, green garlic, lettuce, asparagus, spinach, green onions and more!

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  • Margaret Sheaffer