Winter Week 23 – May 7 & 8

May 6, 2014

Riverdog Farm Veggie Box News                                                 

Box Contents:

½ lb Snow Peas

1 lb Shelling Peas

1 bu Dino Kale

1 bu Asparagus

1 bu Red Mustard

1 bu Green Garlic

½ lb Savoy Spinach

 Field Notes:

This week on the farm we are transplanting the second round of tomatoes. How do we decide which varieties to plant each year with so many to choose from? We base our variety selection on flavor, yield, disease resistance, and customer feedback. We plant our biggest sellers from previous years and add a few new varieties each year as trials to see how they taste and perform. This year we are increasing the numbers of: Black Pineapple, Indigo Rose, and Kellogg’s Orange. They each sold well last year and added to the mixed heirloom box we pack for stores, restaurants, and wholesale accounts. The tomatoes are off to a strong start. Hope they continue to grow vigorously and yield loads of juicy tomatoes starting around the first week of July!!

Box Notes

We first grew red mustard in Napa County for some restaurant accounts and for the farmers’ markets in St. Helena and Napa. One of the restaurants, Mustard’s Grill, is still there after all these years. We installed a kitchen garden for them where they grew red mustard, herbs, and lettuce to have on hand for their restaurant menu. The restaurant’s garden is still there today, after two decades! Uncooked, red mustard has a spicy taste and is delicious in fresh salads; a little bit goes a long way. A few leaves, torn into small pieces, can be added to lettuce salads. Steamed, the red mustard cooks down like spinach and becomes much milder, less spicy.

Asparagus Soup With Green Garlic and Eggs

From: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/health/nutrition/20recipehealth.html

Ingredients

1 pound asparagus

5 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water

1 bulb spring garlic, separated into cloves if cloves have formed, peeled and thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 large eggs

1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup pasta or rice, cooked, or 4 to 6 slices toasted Italian bread (optional)

Method

Break off the woody ends of the asparagus stalks and combine them with the stock or water and the garlic in a soup pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes. Using a skimmer, tongs, or a slotted spoon, remove the asparagus stems and discard. Season the broth to taste with salt and pepper. Slice the asparagus into 1-inch pieces and add to the broth. Simmer 8 to 12 to minutes. It should be very tender and fragrant, but still bright green and not mushy.

Just before serving, beat the eggs, cheese, and parsley together in a bowl. Have the soup at a bare simmer. Making sure that the soup isn’t boiling, whisk a ladleful into the egg mixture. Stir well and whisk back into the soup. Whisk constantly over very low heat for 3 minutes, then ladle into bowls and serve, with a spoonful of pasta or rice, or a slice of toast in each bowl if desired.

Quinoa Pilaf With Sweet Peas and Green Garlic

From: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/projects/healthy-recipes/recipes/quinoa-pilaf-with-sweet-peas-and-

green-garlic

Ingredients

⅔
cup quinoa

¾
cup shelled fresh peas (1 pound unshelled)

Salt to taste

2
tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1
leek, white and light green part only, halved, cleaned of sand and sliced thin

1
bulb green garlic, tough stalk cut away and papery shells removed, sliced thin

1
tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1
tablespoon chopped chives

2
tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, or a combination of parsley and tarragon

Freshly ground pepper

Method

Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add the peas. Turn the heat down to medium and simmer until tender, 4 to 10 minutes, depending on the size and freshness. Place a strainer over a bowl and drain the peas. Measure out 2 cups of the cooking water (add fresh water if necessary), return to the pot, add salt to taste, bring to a boil and add the quinoa. When the water comes back to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and, in the case of white quinoa, displays a thread. Remove from the heat, drain through a strainer and return to the pot. Cover the pot with a clean dish towel and return the lid. Let sit 15 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-low heat in a wide, heavy skillet and add the leek and sliced green garlic. Add a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until tender, fragrant and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the quinoa and peas to the pan and toss together with the remaining olive oil for about 2 minutes, taking care not to mash the peas. Add the fresh herbs, grind in some pepper, taste and adjust seasoning, and serve.

Spinach and Kale Pesto

From: http://eat-your-heart-out.net/2013/01/07/spinach-and-kale-pesto/

Ingredients

2 cups chopped kale, stems removed

2 cups spinach

1-2 cloves garlic

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ cup toasted, slivered almonds

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the kale and cook for 1 minute. Immediately drain and dunk into ice-cold water to halt the cooking. Drain and wring out any excess water.

In a food processor, combine the kale, spinach, garlic, cheese and almonds. Pulse to combine. While the machine is running, stream in the olive oil, adding a little more until you reach your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste, and pulse to combine again.

 

 

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Winter Week 22 – April 30 & May 1

April 29, 2014

Riverdog Farm Veggie Box News                                                 

Box Contents:

1 bu Carrots

1 lb Shelling Peas

1 bu Curly Kale

¾ lb Snap Peas

1 bu Red Spring Onions

1 bu Green Garlic

½ lb Arugula

1 bu Red Radish

 Field Notes

Riverdog recently purchased a 50-acre parcel that is catty-corner to our HQ parcel.  Last fall, we were fortunate to be contacted by the landowners who offered it directly to us for purchase. If the property had gone on the market, we would not have been able to afford it as we later learned that several of the adjacent landowners wanted to buy it. Had it been on the market, there would have been a bidding war and we wouldn’t have been able to compete. So about 6 months after being contacted by the sellers, the sale closed and we are now the proud owners of a combined 110 acres!! This purchase means we have secure land for planting that does not hinge on rental contracts.

We’ll post photos of the new land soon on our CSA blog so you can see our progress of installing a mainline for irrigation (luckily there is an existing agricultural well), spreading fertilizer, and planting winter squash for fall harvest. After 24 years of farming, we feel a great sense of accomplishment being able to buy more land and to have it adjacent to our existing parcel is very fortuitous. Thank you for your dedication to Riverdog Farm to help make this purchase possible!!

 

Box Notes

It’s the peak of pea season!! 1 lb of Shelling peas yields about 1 cup of peas. Here’s some interesting pea history, according to http://www.cooksinfo.com/peas :

 

“Peas may have been domesticated as early as the Stone Age, in Turkey. The pea was very popular because it could be reliably dried, stored and re-hydrated.

While excavating Troy, archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann found 440 pounds (200 kg) of dried Peas in storage jars. He cooked some up and found them edible. The Greeks and Romans grew Peas.
Peas were generally eaten as a dried food up until someone in Europe in the 1600′s decided to try eating them fresh, at which point fresh Peas became a great sensation. It became fashionable for Parisian ladies to eat a few fresh Peas after dinner or before going to bed to aid digestion.
The old nursery rhyme shows how frequently people used to eat peas, and for how long. Pease pudding (porridge) appeared on the tables of both rich and poor since Roman times. The Pease pudding was so thick it could be eaten with the fingers or spread on bread. Peas were brought to North America with the colonists.

Green garlic can be added to any dish where you’d use garlic cloves or where you’d like an onion-y taste. Use a little more green garlic than you would garlic cloves because of the green garlic’s milder taste.

Spring Garlic Pancakes

From: http://www.athoughtforfood.net/spring-garlic-pancakes/?printthis=1&printsect=1

 

Ingredients

 

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water
Vegetable oil or peanut oil
1 cup chopped spring garlic
Salt

 

Ingredients for the Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 garlic clove, minced


 

Method

Make the dipping sauce by whisking together all the ingredients in a bowl.  Set aside

To make the pancakes, add the flour to a large mixing bowl and slowly stir in the warm water to form the dough.  Transfer to a floured board and knead three or four times.

Using a knife, cut the dough ball into four even pieces.

Take one ball of dough and, using a rolling pin, begin to roll into a circle.  Sprinkle the spring garlic over the dough and fold it into itself three or four times, until there is spring garlic evenly placed throughout the dough ball.  Roll out again into a circle about 8 inches in diameter.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat.  While it’s heating, brush the pancakes on each side with oil.

Sprinkle each side with a pinch of salt.

Fry in the pan for 2-3 minutes, or until it turns golden brown.  Flip the pancake and cook for another 2-3 minutes, being careful not to burn it.

Repeat with remaining pancakes.  Transfer to cutting board and cut into wedges.

Serve with dipping sauce.

 


Fava, Sweet Pea, and Sugar Snap Salad

From: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/fava-sweet-pea-sugar-snap-salad-10000001173804/print/

 

Ingredients

4 pounds unshelled fava beans (about 2 cups shelled)

2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed

1 cup shelled green peas (about 1 pound unshelled)

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mint

2 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Method

Remove beans from pods; discard pods. Cook beans and snap peas in boiling water 1 minute or until snap peas are crisp-tender. Remove beans and snap peas with a slotted spoon. Plunge beans and snap peas into ice water; drain. Remove tough outer skins from beans; discard skins.

Combine beans, snap peas, green peas, mint, and prosciutto in a large bowl. Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Pour over bean mixture, and toss well.

 

Nectarine and Radish Salsa

From: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/nectarine-radish-salsa-10000001898553/print/

 

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups (1/4-inch) diced nectarines

1 1/2 cups radishes, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1/2 cup chopped cucumber

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Method

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; toss well. Let the salsa mixture stand 30 minutes.

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Winter Week 21 – April 23 & 24

April 29, 2014

Riverdog Farm Veggie Box News                                                

Box Contents:

1 bu Carrots

1 bu Scarlett Queen Turnips

1 bu Dino Kale

¾ lb Snow Peas

¾ lb Shelling Peas

½ lb Spinach

1 lb Leeks

1 bu Red Beets

½ lb Mei Qing Choi

 

Field Notes

Spring is the lushest season in the Capay Valley. Even though we’re experiencing a drought this year, the hillsides are still covered with green grass, the oak trees’ canopies are thick with dark leaves, and the shooting star, Indian warrior, and lupine wildflowers continue to bloom creating sweeping swaths of purple, yellow, and orange in the undisturbed wilderness. While we plod along on the valley floor, the hillsides are teaming with life. Even the rattlesnakes are beginning to emerge from their underground hibernation. As things become drier in late May and early June, the hill grasses will turn brown and the lushness of spring will fade Luckily, the oak trees stay green all summer. The arid summer and fall seasons in this region make us appreciate the rainfall and all the life it nurtures that we’ve come to expect during the winter and spring months.

 

Box Notes

Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley featured an all Riverdog Farm menu last Friday. They invited us to share a meal with them at their Chef’s Table in the kitchen. It was a quite a treat! Sitting between the pastry chef’s workstation and the wood-fired grill, we were in the heart of the Chez Panisse kitchen viewing the action where the deliciousness of prepared food comes from. The menu included an appetizer of shaved asparagus and purple carrots with pork terrine in a mustard sauce, risotto with fresh shelling peas, braised chicken with a side of cabbage, spinach, and new potatoes, and for dessert: ile flottante with strawberries. We’ve been selling to the world-renowned restaurant since 1990, almost 25 years! It was a pleasure being in the midst of the wonderful meal creation that emanates from the Chez Panisse kitchen. SF Gate journalist Michael Bauer put it this way: “The restaurant was built on heart, soul and determination, and it conducts business in ways other places don’t even consider.” As a farm that’s been selling to the restaurant for so long, we can testify to that: they are dedicated to buying from the area farmers! A small printed message posted above the invoice box in the kitchen conveyed the Chez Panisse way of preparing food and sharing meals with others: “Cook from the heart.” And it could be felt in the Chez Panisse kitchen during our meal on Friday. No fuss, no frantic, no haste. Just thoughtful, artful food preparation to please the senses.

 

Fresh Snow Pea Salad with Pancetta & Pecorino

From: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fresh-snow-pea-salad

 

Ingredients

 

1 pound snow peas—strings removed, peas sliced on the diagonal 1/4 inch thick

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1/2 small white onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon oil (see Note)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup mint leaves, torn

2 ounces shaved Pecorino Sardo cheese

Method

Soak the snow peas in ice water for 10 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned and the fat has rendered, about 5 minutes. Spoon off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

 

Drain the snow peas and pat dry. In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil with the lemon juice and lemon oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the snow peas, pancetta, onion and half of the mint and season with salt and pepper; toss well. Garnish with the remaining mint, shave the pecorino on top and serve.

 

Spring Pasta Recipe

From: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/spring-pasta-recipe.html

Ingredients

8 ounces / 225 g cooked, leftover pasta

2 eggs

fine grain sea salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3 big handfuls of sliced asparagus, and/or pea shoots, or tiny broccoli trees, or shredded greens – anything quick cooking and fresh

chopped avocado

chopped herbs

 

Method

Use your fingers to fluff up the leftover pasta a bit, so its not clumpy or stuck together. Set aside.

In a small bowl crack the eggs and beat them really well with a pinch of salt.

In a big skillet melt the oil and butter over medium high heat. If you’re using a vegetable that might take longer to cook than others, add those to the pan – for example, asparagus or broccoli.

Add a couple pinches of salt, stir, cover, and cook for a couple minutes. Until the vegetables are bright, and just cooked. Now stir in anything that just needs a quick flash of cooking – in this case pea greens, but chopped greens would go in at this point if you’re using those. Stir, and cook just until tender – a minute or so. Pull about 1/3 of the vegetables out of the pan and set them aside.

Now, add the pasta to the skillet, and toss well. Once the pasta is hot, turn down the heat, wait a moment, then quickly stir in the eggs. Stir well, then cover the pan, remove from heat, and let everything sit for a minute. Uncover, give everything another toss, the egg should be cooked through. Taste, and adjust the seasoning before dividing between two plates. Top with the reserved vegetables, and some chopped avocado.

 

Pita Bread and Pea Salad

From: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/pita-bread-pea-salad-10000001875767/

Ingredients

3 pitas

1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1 cup frozen peas, defrosted, drained and patted dry

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 cup baby spinach

5 ounces crumbled feta

1 tablespoon chopped mint

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush both sides of each pita with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut pitas into strips about 1 inch wide and 3 inches long. Place pita strips on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Whisk lemon juice and 1/3 cup olive oil in a small bowl and season with salt.

Place toasted pita strips in a large salad bowl. Add celery, peas, onion and cucumber. Toss with lemon vinaigrette.

Just before serving salad, gently fold in spinach, feta, mint and parsley. Season with pepper.

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Winter Week 20 – April 16 & 17

April 29, 2014

Riverdog Farm Veggie Box News                                                

Box Contents:

1 bu Carrots

1 bu Asparagus

1 bu Red Russian Kale

1 bu Scarlet Queen Turnips

¾ lb Shelling Peas

1 bu Spinach

1 bu Red Beet

1 bu Green Garlic

 

Field Notes

Last night’s lunar eclipse was quite a spectacle out here in farm country where there are very few nightlights so planetary phenomena really stands out! Also known as a “blood moon” because of its red glow caused by the earth blocking the sun’s light on the moon, this eclipse had the added astronomical feature of Mars, in its closest position to Earth in years, shining brightly near the moon. The star Spica could also be seen in the planetary line-up. Just before the eclipse in Guinda, a giant aura surrounded the moon, the air was very still and the wildlife seemed to be holding its breath in suspense.  This eclipse was the first in a series of four full eclipses, a tetrad, expected in 2014-15.

 

Box Notes

Asparagus continues to produce so we’ve included it in your veggie box this week. It will be done soon, until next March, so indulge while its here. The Red Russian Kale is a mild kale that cooks quickly, like the spinach, when steamed or braised. Shelling peas are another short-window crop that is only here in April. The ¾ lb of shelling peas in your veggie box, once shelled, becomes a ½ cup to ¾ cup of tiny green delight. It’s hard to resist eating these before they’re cooked. Scarlet Queen Turnips are incredibly juicy and mouth-watering when braise-glazed or stewed in slow-cooked meat dishes. Happy Spring!!

 

Spinach-and-Green-Pea Empanadas

From: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/spinach-and-green-pea-empanadas

 

Ingredients

 

Dough

1 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter or lard

2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika (pimentón de la Vera)

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Filling

10 ounces spinach, stemmed

1/2 cup shelled fava beans or thawed frozen lima beans

1/4 pound green beans

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

2 tablespoons chopped mint

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

 

Method

In a small saucepan, combine the water, salt, butter and paprika and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the 3 3/4 cups of flour until the dough comes together. On a lightly floured work surface, gently knead the dough until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the spinach for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the spinach to a colander. Add the fava beans to the boiling water and cook until bright green, 1 minute.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fava beans to a plate. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until tender, 4 minutes. Drain and finely chop the green beans. Peel the tough outer skins from the fava beans. Squeeze the excess water from the spinach, then coarsely chop it.

In a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach, fava beans, green beans and peas and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the mint and thyme and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly oil 2 large baking sheets. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out 32 rounds from the dough. Moisten the edge of 1 dough round with water. Mound 1 tablespoon of the vegetable filling on half of the round and fold the other side over. Press to seal the dough and pinch at intervals to make pleats. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds and filling.

Arrange the empanadas on the prepared baking sheets and bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for about 30 minutes, until browned. Serve the empanadas warm or at room temperature.

 

Stir-Fried Winter Greens With Garlic Shrimp & Rice

From: http://www.thegardenofeating.org/2009/03/eatwell-recipe-10-stir-fried-winter.html

 

Ingredients

 

1 lb shrimp, heads, tails and veins removed and washed and dried

1 large bag of winter greens, washed and dried (if you don’t have this luxurious mix of baby greens on hand, you can also use a large bunch of spinach, chard, bok choy, etc., instead)

3 large carrots, thinly sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 bunch green garlic, sliced in small rounds (white part only)

4 large cloves of garlic, minced or pressed

1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger

Pinch of chili flakes or a tsp of chopped jalapeno pepper

2 tsps black soy sauce

2 tsps rice mirin

1 Tbsp oyster sauce

1 heaping tsp corn starch

Few grinds of white pepper

Pinch of sea salt

3 Tbsps chopped fresh cilantro

2 cups basmati or short grain brown rice

4 Tbsps peanut oil

 

Method

Start the rice. Since it will take a little while to cook, you should start it well before you get into any stir-frying to ensure that everything will be ready to eat at the same time.

Prep all your ingredients. Once everything is washed and chopped, make the sauce by mixing together the soy sauce, rice mirin, oyster sauce and cornstarch and stirring well to combine. By the time you’ve finished doing all that chopping and mixing, it’s likely the rice will be done. Fluff the rice and remove from the heat.

Prepare the shrimp. Heat 1-2 Tbsps of the peanut oil in a wok over high heat and swirl to coat the wok’s sides. Add roughly one quarter of the minced garlic and ginger you’ve prepared (the rest will be used for the greens) and a pinch of the chili flakes to the oil and stir-fry for 30-45 seconds. Toss in the shrimps and stir until they are cooked through (they should turn pink) –about 3-4 minutes depending on the strength of the flame you’re using. Turn the wok off, scoop the shrimp into a bowl, sprinkle with a few grinds of white pepper and a pinch of sea salt and set aside.

Prepare the greens. Wipe the wok out with a paper towel to prevent everything you’re about to cook from tasting like seafood. Turn the heat back on high and pour another few Tbsps of peanut oil into the wok. Swirl to coat the wok’s sides evenly with the oil.

Toss the remaining three quarters of the garlic and ginger into the oil, along with another pinch of chili flakes and stir-fry for 30-45 seconds to flavor the oil, stirring to prevent the garlic from sticking or burning. Add the sliced onion, green garlic and carrots and stir for 3-5 minutes or until beginning to soften.

Pour in the greens and stir to ensure that they get coated with oil and come into contact with the wok’s searing hot sides. Stir-fry until they are wilted and softened to a point you like–some people prefer them more raw than cooked and others prefer them really cooked. Regardless, it is truly amazing how much the greens cook down in just a few minutes.

Pour in the sauce and stir well to ensure that it coats all the veggies. Turn off the heat and remove the stir-fried veggies to a bowl or plate (sitting in a wok after cooking can turn food black as the metal oxidizes.) Serve the stir-fried greens/veggies and shrimp over rice, sprinkled liberally with the chopped cilantro.

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Winter Week 19 – April 9 & 10

April 8, 2014

Riverdog Farm Veggie Box News                                                

Box Contents:

1 bu Purple Carrots

1 bu Asparagus

1 bu Red Chard

1 bu Red Radish

¾ lb Shelling Peas

½ lb Braising Mix

1 bu Red Beet

¾ lb Leeks

 Field Notes

This week is going to be warm, 80 degrees on Monday with warm weather continuing throughout the week. The second seeding of tomatoes has emerged from the germination box in the greenhouse. This box is an insulated, heated, dark-inside 8’ wide x 5’ high x 5’ deep box with wooden sliding shelves. We set the sprouting temperature around 90 degrees. The flats of tomatoes are housed in this box for about a week. When about 5-10 tomato seeds have sprouted (in the trays of 200 cells each), this is the signal that the rest are about to sprout so we pull the trays out of the germination box and the rest of the seeds quickly emerge outside of the box, in the greenhouse. This method ensures a more uniform rate of germination.

After the rainstorm cleared, Saturday night’s temperature got down to 36 degrees! This is the time of year when we have to closely monitor the nighttime temperatures in case they go below the freezing temperature of 32 degrees. If it looks like it’s going to get that cold, we have irrigation sprinkler lines set up to run. The water falling on the tomato plants actually keeps the plants warmer and prevents frost from settling on them. Amazingly, frozen water on the plants does less damage than frost to the plant cells. Until late May, we’ll be tracking the nighttime temperature forecast to protect our big planting of early tomatoes. Keep your fingers crossed for optimal conditions for the tomato plants!

Box Notes

Asparagus is winding down. It will likely only be included in the veggie box for 1-2 more weeks. Leeks are winding down too. They are a hardy, winter allium staple. We include them in the veggie boxes often because they are a great onion substitute when our cured onions are done. Pea season is upon us! You’ll see snow, shelling, and snaps or some combination of the three varieties in the boxes in the coming weeks. Enjoy them while they’re here; their season only lasts about one month!

Spring Minestrone Soup

From: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/spring_minestrone_soup/

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil

6 green onions

2 green garlic stalks, or 2 large garlic cloves

1 pound baby potatoes, or Yukon gold potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks

1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 quart vegetable or chicken stock

Salt

1/2 pound artichoke hearts (fresh or frozen), chopped roughly

1 15-ounce can of chickpeas

1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)

1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch chunks

2 cups greens (dandelion, chard, spinach, kale, arugula, etc), sliced into thin ribbons

Up to 1/4 cup pesto

Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese for garnish

Method

Chop the green onions and green garlic and separate the white and light green parts from the green tops. If you are using regular garlic cloves, put them with the white parts of the green onions. Slice the potatoes and artichoke hearts into chunks you would want to eat with a spoon.

In a large pot set over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil for 1 minute. Add the white parts of the green onions as well as the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, stir to combine and cook 1 minute.

Add the diced tomatoes with their liquid and the quart of vegetable or chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, add salt to taste, then cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

Add the artichoke hearts and cook another 5 minutes, then add the chickpeas and green peas and cook another 5 minutes. Remove the cover from the soup and add the asparagus. Cook 2 minutes. Add the greens and the green parts from the green onions and green garlic, if using. Stir well to combine and cook 1 minute.

Turn off the heat and stir in the pesto. Serve topped with grated cheese.

 

Buttered Leeks and Radishes

From: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/buttered-leeks-radishes-10000000671366/

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

scallions or spring onions, cut into 2-inch pieces

1/4 pound radishes, quartered

leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and thinly sliced crosswise

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

 

Method

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the radishes and cook another minute. Remove the scallions and radishes from the pan and set aside.

Add the leeks, chicken broth, salt, and lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the parsley, scallions, and radishes and toss well.

 

Simple Braised Greens

From: http://www.elanaspantry.com/simple-braised-greens/

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 ounces mixed greens (kale, collard, mustard, or greens of your choice) about 3-4 cups chopped and well packed

1 clove garlic, minced

⅛ teaspoon celtic sea salt

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Method

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add greens stirring to coat with oil. Stir until greens are barely wilted. Add garlic, salt and pepper flakes. Continue stirring until greens are tender. Serve.

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Winter Week 18 – April 2 & 3

April 4, 2014

VEGGIE BOX CONTENTS:

1 bunch Nantes Carrots (orange)

1 bunch Purple Carrots

1 bunch Red Chard

1 bunch Dragon Tongue Radish

¾ lb. Snow Peas

1 head Batavia Crisp Lettuce

½ lb Arugula

½ lb Mei Qing Chio (Baby Bok Choy)

1 bunch Red Spring Onions

 

Riverdog Farm Veggie Box News 

Field Notes

The rainfall has continued intermittently from Friday night until today, Monday. Last week a series of intensely colored rainbows arched over the dramatic valley sky. A double rainbow even appeared. Sometimes cold weather follows a storm in March and April. It already feels a lot colder than it did last week. Seeding continues at a steady pace in the greenhouse. The potatoes are planted; our estimated harvest time for the spuds is late May/early June. Thank you for your continued support of the farm through the slimmer winter months. Summer promises to be a bountiful harvest of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, stonefruit with a bridge of spring spinach and beets to make the tasty transition from spring to summer.

Box Notes

My grandmother who lived in Colorado often made a veggie platter of radishes, onions, and carrot sticks to dip in salt. Whenever we have an abundance of these crops around the farm, the scent, colors, and crunch remind me of visiting her in the summer and enjoying these veggies before dinner on a hot summer day. Add the snow peas to this veggie platter lined with leaves of Batavia Crisp lettuce and you have a mini-feast of springtime deliciousness using nearly all of your veggie box contents, an all-parts edible platter of crudités! Use Mei Qing Choi as you would spinach. It is delicate and cooks quickly. Since it finally feels a little bit like the rainy season we’ve been hoping and waiting for, there are several soup recipes for you to enjoy while there is still a chill in the air.

RECIPES

Massaged Tatsoi (and/or Mei qing choi) with Tahini and Lemon

From: http://www.writerguy.com/deb/compost/2009/Nws9-2009.html

The technique is similar to when you’re preparing sauerkraut or other fermented veggies, only you’re not fermenting them, just eating them fresh: wash and coarsely chop a bunch of tatsoi, or a combination of tatsoi and mei qing choi (any of the Asian chois). You’ll want lots, as it massages down to nothing! Place chopped greens in a bowl that fits them, sprinkle moderately with salt (I toss and sprinkle, toss and sprinkle, so as to get a little salt on more or less all the leaves). Wash your hands, roll up your sleeves, then start squeezing and massaging the greens with your hands until they break down and start to give off their own juice. They will have now reduced exponentially in volume. Add a spoonful or two of tahini and stir well to distribute. Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice to taste… and you’re done!

Miso Soup 

(good with spinach or Mei Qing Choi)

From: http://allrecipes.com/recipetools/print/recipe.aspx?recipeid=13922&origin=detail&servings=3&metric=false

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups water

2 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/4 inch cubes

1 tablespoon light miso paste

2 teaspoons barley miso paste

1/2 cup fresh spinach, washed and chopped

1 green onion, thinly sliced

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Ladle out about 1/2 cup of the boiling water, and reserve. Add tofu. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add spinach or bok choy; simmer about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the greens are tender. Remove soup from heat.

2. Blend white miso and barley miso into reserved hot water. Stir into soup. Ladle into bowls, and garnish with scallion. Serve immediately.

Carrot Soup with Ginger and Lemon

From: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Carrot-Soup-with-Ginger-and-Lemon-4083

Ingredients

• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

• 1 1/2 cups chopped onion

• 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger

• 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

• 1 1/4 pounds medium carrots, peeled, chopped (about 3 cups)

• 2 tomatoes, seeded, chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)

• 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

• 3 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt broth

• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

• 4 tablespoons sour cream

• 1 small carrot, peeled, grated

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add chopped carrots, tomatoes and lemon peel; sauté 1 minute. Add 3 cups stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Puree soup in batches in blender. Return soup to pot. Mix in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.) Bring soup to simmer, thinning with more stock, if desired. Ladle into bowls. Top each with sour cream and grated carrot.

Avocado Apple & Arugula Salad

From: http://www.shutterbean.com/2012/avocado-apple-arugula-salad/print/

makes 2 generous servings

Ingredients

• 1 apple, chopped (RDF note: The Pink Lady apple variety is the best!!)

• 1 avocado, chopped

• 6 cups arugula

• 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

• 1/4 red onion, minced

• 1 tablespoon honey mustard

• juice of 1 lemon

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 teaspoon honey (more or less depending on your taste)

• salt & pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together honey mustard, lemon juice, olive oil. Chop apples and squeeze a small amount of lemon juice on top and toss to prevent discoloration. In a large bowl, add the arugula, avocado, apples, sunflower seeds, red onions and pour dressing on top. Season with salt & pepper and serve with a side of crusty bread.


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Winter Week 17 – March 26 & 27

March 25, 2014

LAST WEEK OF FRUIT! Fruit is Tangelos, Navels, Kiwi

Riverdog Farm Veggie Box News                                                

Box Contents:

1 bu Asparagus

1 lb Purple Carrots

1 bu Fennel

1 bu Tokyo Turnips

½ lb Snow Peas

2 hds Claremont Romaine Hearts

1 bu Red Radishes

¾ lb Mei Qing Choi

1 bu Red Spring Onions

Field Notes

Today it is 75 degrees! Tomorrow there is a 90% chance of rain. We spent most of last week transplanting the first seeding of tomatoes. The warm weather, moisture, and tomorrow’s cloud cover, that keeps nighttime temperatures higher, will help the tomatoes transition from the greenhouse to the field. The second planting of tomatoes in the greenhouse is about 2 inches high with fully developed primary and secondary leaves. It’s hard to believe that we’ll be inundated with tomatoes by mid-July. It takes about 6 months for tomatoes to start bearing fruit in this climate. Then they will produce fruit until it frosts sometime in November. All the tomato varieties we grow are the indeterminate type: those that simultaneously flower, set new fruit, and ripen all in one season. We tried growing the determinate types, those that flower once and have one big fruit set, but they were not as productive as the indeterminate types that continuously flower.

 

Box Notes

Restaurant chefs have been swarming our farmers’ markets stand for the romaine hearts – they are at their peak of crunchy sweetness. Make a colorful spring Romaine heart salad with grated carrots, shaved fennel, thinly sliced radishes, and onion rounds. The asparagus is a special springtime treat. As farmers, we have to consider the field space required for the asparagus: it only produces 2 months out of the year, as a perennial, it lasts for 15 years. Yet, its successful production depends on our weeding, fertilizing, and watering it during the months when it’s no longer producing harvestable spears. Unlike some other, shorter-time-to-yield crops, asparagus yields one harvest per year. In other fields, we plan for a two-crop cycle per year, like lettuce and turnips one planted after the other or carrots and beets: either one harvestable crop with a cover crop or two harvestable crops off of the same field block. It is worth it to us to have a spring crop like asparagus, even though we can’t grow anything else in the same field for 15 years, that helps the farm get through the slower spring season.

Oven-Roasted Asparagus

From: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Oven-Roasted-Asparagus/Detail.aspx

Ingredients

1 bunch thin asparagus spears, trimmed

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)

Method

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Place the asparagus into a mixing bowl, and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss to coat the spears, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper. Arrange the asparagus onto a baking sheet in a single layer.

 

Bake in the preheated oven until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes depending on thickness. Sprinkle with lemon juice just before serving.

 

Snow Pea, Scallion, and Radish Salad

From: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/snow-pea-scallion-radish-salad.aspx

Ingredients

2 cups (8 oz.) snow peas, trimmed

2 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced

4 radishes, trimmed and cut into thin strips (about 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tsp. granulated sugar

1 Tbs. walnut or canola oil

Method

Put the snow peas in a microwave-safe bowl with 1 Tbs. water. Cover tightly and microwave for 1 minute. Drain and let cool. Cut the snow peas on the diagonal into 1/2-inch diamond shapes, discarding the end pieces.

In a medium serving bowl, combine the snow peas, scallions, and radishes. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, and oil until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the salad and serve.

Roasted Turnips with Wilted Turnip Greens

From: http://www.bojongourmet.com/2011/06/roasted-turnips-with-wilted-turnip.html

Ingredients

2 bunches small tokyo or salad turnips, with their greens (around 15 small turnips in all)

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for cooking the greens

3 ounces (2 or 3 strips) bacon, diced

salt

squeeze lemon juice

1/2 – 1 bunch chives, snipped

black pepper

Method

Position a rack in the lower center of the oven and preheat to 450º.

Cut the greens off of the turnips and reserve. Wash the turnips and trim away the tail and stem ends. If your turnips are bigger than a ping pong ball, halve them; if they’re much larger, cut them into quarters.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over a medium flame. Add the diced bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, a few minutes. Lift the bacon out of the pan leaving behind the fat.

Add the turnips to the pan, sprinkle with a few pinches of salt, and toss to coat them in the oil. Put the pan into the oven, and roast until caramelized and tender, about 30 minutes, turning the turnips a few times throughout the baking.

While the roots roast, wash the turnip greens well, and either cut each leaf off the stem, or use the lazy approach: stack a bunch of leaves on top of one another, and begin slicing the leaves into 1/2″ ribbons until you get to the stemmy part, then discard. (If you cut off all the stems, have a beer, then stack and slice as directed.)

When the roots are done, remove them from the pan. Place the pan over a medium flame (don’t forget – that pan handle is hot!) and swirl in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the sliced greens, and toss with tongs until wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Season with a bit of salt and a squeeze of lemon. Add the turnips and bacon to the pan, then add the chives and a few good turns of black pepper. Adjust the seasoning as you wish, then serve.

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Winter Week 16 – March 19 & 20

March 18, 2014

Fruit this week – Navels, Tangelos, and Kiwi

Riverdog Farm Veggie Box News                                                 

Box Contents:

1 bu Cilantro

1 bu Orange Carrots

1 bu Curly Kale

¾ lb Leeks

½ lb Arugula

2 hds Romaine Hearts

1 bu Asparagus

1 bu Red Beets

1 bu Green Garlic

 Field Notes

The first tomato transplants went into the ground last Saturday and more are getting planted today. With this week’s warm weather, average daily temperatures are holding in the mid-70s, the soil texture is just right for plants to go into the ground. This is the first of five, sequential tomato plantings – our effort to have a steady supply of tomatoes from mid-July until November. The north winds that typically come in April have started early so hopefully the transplants will make the transition from greenhouse to field without too many challenges. They are very hardy plants that establish roots at whatever depth they are planted. If the stem is 6 inches long and is planted with 3 inches above ground and 3 inches below ground, the roots emerge from the stem in the darkness of the subsurface environment. We plant them deep to ensure a strong rootedness and to prevent the stems from leaning over in the wind.

 

Box Notes

Lots o’ good greenness (kale, arugula, asparagus, cilantro and hearts of romaine) in your veggie box this week to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and the Spring Equinox, one of two days in the year with equal dark and light hours, coming Thursday March 20, 2014. Asparagus will be here this week and next, and hopefully one or two more weeks after that. Check out this recent article about arugula that describes how abundant it is in Italian dishes: http://napavalleyregister.com/lifestyles/food-and-cooking/the-italian-love-affair-with-arugula/article_5cbeab3c-a8ce-11e3-841d-0019bb2963f4.html

 

Moist Chocolate-Beet Cake

From: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2011/11/moist-chocolate-beet-cake-recipe-nigel-slater/

 

Ingredients

 

8 ounces (240 g) beets, unpeeled, rinsed and scrubbed free of dirt

7 ounces (200 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (70% cacao solids), chopped

1/4 cup (60 ml) hot espresso (or water)

7 ounces (200 g) butter, at room temperature, cubed

1 cup (135 g) flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (the darkest you can find, natural or Dutch-process)

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

pinch of salt

1 cup (200 g) superfine sugar

 

Method

Butter an 8- or 8 1/2 inch (20 cm) springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

 

Boil the beets in salted water with the lid askew until they’re very tender when you stick a knife in them about 45 minutes. Drain then rinse the beets with cold water. When cool enough to handle, slip off the peels, cut the beets into chunks, and grind them in a food processor until you get a coarse, yet cohesive, puree. (If you don’t have a food processor, use a cheese grater.)

 

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

 

In a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring as little as possible.

Once it’s nearly all melted, turn off the heat (but leave the bowl over the warm water), pour in the hot espresso and stir it once. Then add the butter. Press the butter pieces into the chocolate and allow them to soften without stirring.

 

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a separate bowl.

 

Remove the bowl of chocolate from the heat and stir until the butter is melted. Let sit for a few minutes to cool, then stir the egg yolks together and briskly stir them into the melted chocolate mixture. Fold in the beets.

 

In a stand mixer, or by hand, whip the egg whites until stiff. Gradually fold the sugar into the whipped egg whites with a spatula, then fold them into the melted chocolate mixture, being careful not to over mix.

Fold in the flour and cocoa powder.

 

Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and reduce the heat of the oven to 325ºF (160ºC), and bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until the sides are just set but the center is still is just a bit wobbly. Do not over bake.

 

Let cake cool completely, then remove it from the pan.

 

Asparagus-Leek Risotto

From: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/rice/asparagus-leek-risotto/

 

Ingredients

 

¾ pound asparagus spears, trimmed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ cups sliced leeks

1 cup Arborio rice

3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

½ teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon freshly ground coarse black pepper

Lemon Slices

Lemon peel

 

Method

Place asparagus in single layer on baking sheet. Brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil; lightly sprinkle salt and black pepper. Bake, uncovered, in 450 degrees F oven about 10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Cool slightly. Cut two-thirds in 2-inch pieces; set aside all asparagus.

Meanwhile, in large saucepan cook leeks in remaining olive oil until tender. Stir in uncooked rice. Cook and stir over medium heat about 5 minutes or until rice begins to turn golden brown.

In another saucepan bring broth to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer. Carefully stir 1 cup of hot broth into rice mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Then add 1/2 cup broth at a time, stirring frequently until broth is absorbed before adding more broth (about 22 minutes).

Stir in any remaining broth. Cook and stir just until rice is tender and creamy.

Stir in asparagus pieces, cheese, parsley, lemon peel, lemon juice, and pepper. Top with asparagus spears, lemon slices, and peel. Makes 4 servings.

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Winter Week 15 – Mar 12 & 13

March 12, 2014

Sign up for the summer!
Signup during March and get a discount on the veggie share. Click here to sign up.

Fruit this week – Pixie Mandarins, Navel Oranges, Melogold Grapefruit

Riverdog Farm Veggie Box News                                                 

Box Contents:

1 bu Spinach

1 bu Carrots

1 bu Dino Kale (or collards)

1 hd Green Cabbage

½ lb Arugula

1 hd Red Batavia Lettuce

1 lb Gold Turnips

1 bu Chioggia (or Red) Beets

1 bu Red Spring Onions

1 bu Breakfast Radish

 Field Notes

Fields remain damp from the recent rain. We still have puddles in all the low spots and all the field trucks are splattered with mud. Asparagus should be returning soon. We had to tractor renovate the field last week to reduce the weed pressure. After being knocked back, the asparagus spears will re-emerge more vigorously than before without the weed competition and with the warmer March weather. The first seeding of tomatoes in the greenhouse is big enough to be transplanted. We are waiting for the fields to dry up to harden them off outside of the greenhouse and plant them. They are healthy and dark green. Rosie and Consuelo, sisters who manage the greenhouse operations, have done great work preparing and tending to the thousands of tomato plants (about 7 acres!) that are a part of the first of five tomato plantings.

Box Notes

Carrots remain a weekly item in the veggie boxes as we have received customer feedback that weekly carrots are a good thing. We direct seed the carrots about 7 times per year so that the carrot harvest is as perpetual as possible. The Chioggia Beets appear pink on the outside but inside they have pink and white concentric stripes. When cooked, the pink color bleeds and the beets become more faded looking, almost like a white beet. They are very high in sugar and roast deliciously with a whole chicken or pork roast and a combination of roasted roots including the gold turnips!

Creamy Polenta with Kale and Ricotta

From: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/november-2008-creamy-polenta-with-kale-and-ricotta
Ingredients

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 pound Tuscan kale (cavolo nero), ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup milk

3 cups water

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup polenta (not instant)

2 cups creamy ricotta

Method

In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over high heat, stirring, just until browned in spots, about 1 minute. Add the kale by the handful and cook, stirring, until wilted and any liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season the kale with salt and pepper, transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop.

In a large saucepan, combine the milk, water, butter and 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Whisk in the polenta in a thin stream and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, just until it begins to thicken, about 3 minutes. Add the wilted kale and cook over low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the polenta is very thick and no longer gritty, about 20 minutes. Stir in the Creamy Ricotta, season with salt and pepper and cook just until the ricotta is heated through, about 3 minutes. Transfer the polenta to a bowl and serve right away.

 

Bright Cabbage Slaw

From: http://www.ciaosamin.com/2012/02/festive-slaw.html

Ingredients

1 small head of cabbage–red, green, napa, or any combination of the three is fine

1 small red onion

2 jalapeños

1 small bunch cilantro

red wine vinegar

1 lime

1 lemon

salt

good olive oil

Method

Halve the head of cabbage, remove the core from each half with a V-shaped incision, and slice thinly. Place in a big salad bowl and sprinkle generously with salt. Let the cabbage sit for at least 20 minutes to release some of its water.

In the meantime, peel and halve the onion. Remove the stem end and slice thinly. Macerate with red wine vinegar.

Halve, seed, and slice the peppers. Roughly chop the cilantro. Both leaves and stems are delicious, but trim any woody ends the stems might have before chopping.

When the cabbage has released a good amount of water, drain it, then add the onion (but not the vinegar), cilantro, and appropriate amount of peppers for your liking. Dress with olive oil.

Now comes my favorite part: layering the acids. You’ve already introduced some acid with the macerated red onion, and vinegar is a sort of heavier form of acid, so try to balance it out with lime and lemon juice. Probably the entire lime and half the lemon is a good amount to start with. Taste, adjust salt and oil if needed. Then, start to tinker with the acids. Does it need more vinegar? More lemon? Taste and adjust, taste and adjust, taste and adjust.

 

Roasted Radishes with Radish Greens

From: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/roasted-radishes-with-radish-greens

Ingredients

3 bunches small radishes with greens attached

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Method

Preheat the oven to 500°. Trim the radishes and wash the greens; pat dry.

In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the radishes, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the radishes for 15 minutes, until crisp-tender. Return the skillet to the burner and stir in the butter to coat the radishes. Add the radish greens and cook over moderate heat until they are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season with salt. Serve the radishes right away.

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Winter Week 14 – Mar 5 & 6

March 4, 2014

Summer CSA Signups now open online: www.mountainbountyfarm.com

If you bought a fruit share, you’ll get: Navel Oranges, Kiwi and Melogold Grapefruit

Riverdog Farm Veggie Box News                                               

Box Contents:

1 bu Purple Carrots

1 bu Orange Carrots

1 bu Red Dandelion Greens

1 bu Red Spring Onions

½ lb Braising Mix

3 hds Claremont Lettuce

1 lb Black Spanish Radish

1 bu Red Beets

1 lb Broccoli OR 2 hds Fennel

Field Notes

The annual almond festival was a huge success. In the hamlet of Rumsey alone, we sold 350 pizzas from the wood-fired oven, 250 Riverdog Farm sausages on buns from the Metropolis Bakery in Berkeley, homemade baked goods, and grossed about $12,000 for the preservation of the historic Rumsey Hall, a community-gathering place built in 1903.  The beautiful weather, sunny skies between two big rain storms, brought out the people in droves: Harley-riders, back-to-the-landers, and vintage car cruisers congregated to enjoy the almond blossoms of the bucolic Capay Valley.

Box Notes

Red Dandelions are a part of the Chicory family. They have a slightly bitter taste. One of our market helpers in Berkeley has spent time in Greece and he said there are many dandelions varieties there. Called Horta in Greek, these are a different kind of cooking green from chard, spinach or kale. Visit: http://www.moderndaygoddess.com/romancing/horta-greek-greens-recipe/ to learn about dandelion greens and check out another recipe here:http://allrecipes.com/recipe/dandelion-greens-with-a-kick/.

 

Black Radish, Carrot, and Fennel Salad With Pecorino Cheese

From: http://www.mariquita.com/recipes/black%20spanish%20radish.htm

Ingredients

1 small handful arugula (about 3/4 cup loosely packed)

1/4 cup Citrus Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

3 large paper-thin slices black radish

6 thin diagonal slices carrot (about 2 inches long), blanched 
6 thin slices fennel

6 to 8 long thin curls pecorino or Parmesan cheese

Citrus Vinaigrette

1 1/4 cups mild olive oil

6 to 8 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

Toss the arugula with enough of the vinaigrette to coat and place on a salad plate. Arrange the radish slices on top, then the carrot and fennel.

Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and top with the curls of cheese.

To make Citrus Vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together. Makes about 1 1/2 cups, enough for 4 to 6 salads.

 

Dandelion Greens with Beet Dressing and Goat Gouda

From: http://flapperfood.blogspot.com/2009/07/dandelion-green-salad-with-beets-and.html

Ingredients

For the Salad:

1/3 cup sliced, toasted almonds (I used pecans)

2 bunches dandelion greens

1/4 pound goat Gouda, shaved (I used french honey goat cheese, crumbled)

For the Dressing:

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Juice of 1 lime

Juice of 1 lemon

1 pound boiled beets

Salt


 

Method

Wash and trim the greens.

Combine dressing ingredients in a blender container and blend until perfectly smooth. Spoon a generous amount onto serving plate. Top with a small bunch of greens, then top with a small handful of toasted nuts and cheese.

If you are doing the no-blender version, then whisk all dressing ingredients (except beets) in a glass measuring cup. Drizzle the dressing over the sliced cooked beets and let marinate in the fridge for an hour or so.

When ready to serve, spoon the beets and dressing over the greens, nuts and cheese.


 

Dr. Zhivago Borscht

From: http://food52.com/recipes/3327-dr-zhivago-borscht

Ingredients

10
cups water

2
tablespoons grapeseed oil

1
large onion, finely chopped

1
bay leaves

3
medium sized beets

2
medium sized carrots

1
large potato (1 yukon or 2 small red)

1
celery stalk, cut into thin moons

1/4
bunch fresh dill, minced

1/2-1
whole lemon, juice of

2-3
teaspoons salt

dash
freshly ground pepper

12
whole juniper berries (optional)

1-2
cloves of garlic

1
tablespoon sour cream (per bowl)

Method

Set your pot of water on low heat. Add in 1 tbsp of oil, chopped onion, bay leaf and juniper berries. Peel the beets and cut them into halves if they’re small enough or into thirds or quarters if they’re very large. You want them to be of relatively equal size. Drop them gently into the water as you continue working on the rest of the vegetables.

Peel and cut the carrots into rounds, and for the potatoes, cut them into 1/2″ size cubes or small chunks. (I prefer my vegetables small as I find they distribute a lot better into individual bowls.) Add them to the pot as they’re ready. Then add the chopped celery and the juice of 1/2 of a fresh lemon. Bring your heat up and cook the soup until a fork easily pierces through one of the larger beet pieces; this should take about 15 minutes on medium low heat.

While the beets are getting tender, you should skim the soup from some of the foam that will form. By doing this, you will inevitably be taking out some of the oil along with it. Once you’ve skimmed it, put in an additional 1/2 tablespoon of oil.

Once your beets are done, scoop them out of the soup (bringing back into the pot any vegetables that might have clung to the beet) and let the beets cool for 2 minutes so you can handle them more easily. At this point, you can turn the pot to low heat. I’d advise wearing gloves for the next part so you don’t have to take beet stains off your hands. Using the large holes on your grater, shred your beets. Once you’ve grated all the chunks, carefully put all the shredded beets back into the soup pot and let this cook for an additional 10 minutes.

The soup should have a sweet tart taste. After the 10 minutes, add in the dill and taste the soup to adjust flavors accordingly. Add salt, a tad of pepper, and if the soup is still too sweet for you, another tablespoon or 2 of fresh lemon juice. Remember that if your soup is very hot, you will not taste the actual level of salt, so err on the side of less, as each time you reheat the soup, it will get slightly saltier. This soup is the perfect example of melded flavors getting better in the following days.

Notes: Serve hot or cold, with sour cream or not, but eat this with black bread. If you want to make the soup a bit spicier, add thin slices of garlic to the soup before serving. If you want just a hint of garlic, then rub a cut clove over the crust of your bread. In the Winter, if you want to experience an even more authentic Russian meal, serve this soup with a side of mashed potatoes topped with sardines. Let the juices of the sardines drip into the butter- or milk-mashed potatoes. If you cook this in the Summertime, omit cooking with juniper berries and use a topping of cubed persian cucumbers or a hard boiled egg split in half.

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