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
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
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.
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.
Black Radish, Carrot, and Fennel Salad With Pecorino Cheese
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 to 8 long thin curls pecorino or Parmesan cheese
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
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
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
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
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)
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.