Click for fennel recipes

I can remember back to a time that I just didn’t get the appeal of fennel. This course, stringy, strongly scented vegetable didn’t seem worth the trouble to cook. But now I can honestly say that it is among my very favorite vegetables. I fully realize that there are many of our CSA members who still don’t “get” fennel, and if you are among these, you simply must try Jeanne’s recipe for roast fennel and onions.

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kale-lacinato

Click for kale recipes

Kale is a type of cabbage that does not form a head from the central leaves.We grow three varieties of kale, green curly leaf or Scotch kale, Lacinato or Dinosaur kale, and Red Russian kale.  Kale is high in beta carotene, vitamin K and vitamin C and calcium.

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kohlrabiKohlrabi is an odd vegetable that I think is often bought more for appearance than for the desire to eat it. Looking like something from a science-fiction movie, they come in lovely deep purple or jade green, and the leaves come up from all over what seems to be the root.

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Lettuce Rows

Lettuce Rows

Click for salad recipes

Lettuces grow exceptionally well here at our home farm near the coast. They love the cool foggy summer weather. We grow Red Leaf, Green Leaf, Butter Lettuces, Little Gem, and Romaine varieties and offer a mix of baby salad greens in our early spring boxes.

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Think of how often a dish starts with a sauté of onions, carrots, and celery. In Italy this combination is called soffritto. In France it is cooked with butter and called mirepoix, but for general purposes I like it cooked with a light flavored olive oil or even grapeseed oil, which is neutrally flavored, so I call it by the Italian name. I like to make this in larger batches, removing some when it is still pale, or blond, then cooking the remaining amount until it is a darker shade of amber, giving it a caramelized flavor. I sometimes even let some go until it is quite dark, like tobacco, for a very deep flavor. I then freeze it in batches. I use large zip bags and flatten out the soffritto in the bags, making it easier to stack and easier to simply break off the amount I wish to use. Some people freeze it in ice trays as you might pesto. However you store it, having this in the freezer is like having a time machine. It can make having good tasting food on the table much quicker, or if you have several pans going at once it is quite helpful as well as it is easy to burn smaller amounts of onions.

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Vinaigrettes are usually thought of as oil and vinegar dressing. In actuality, vinaigrettes can be used as a sauce, especially for fish and poultry, on sandwiches, as a marinade, or even as a pasta sauce. Vinaigrettes are great poured over roasted vegetables such as potatoes, parsnips, and beets, while still warm so the flavors are absorbed. This makes an excellent salad, and is, in fact, how German potato salad is made.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch of beets
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of water
1-2 tablespoons vinegar such as white balsamic or sherry

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Use this as an appetizer or party food.

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Use this creamy dressing with the Cabbage, Baby Leeks, Cilantro, and Tomato Salad for a slaw-like salad, or toss shrimp with it for a twist on a shrimp cocktail. Use it with grilled lamb or falafel as well.

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INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
1/3rd cup cilantro stems, chopped
½ teaspoon coriander seed, powdered
¼ teaspoon dried thyme, powdered

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Slaw like in texture, this salad is crunchy and lightly sweet from the cabbage and tomatoes, and has a refreshing aroma from the cilantro. The baby leeks, which could be replaced with scallions, add a bit of pungency and the allium funk. This salad would be great under grilled salmon or snapper, or as a side to grilled pork or barbecued ribs.

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Slowly braising Romano beans renders them meltingly tender, but they retain their shape and pick up a sweet and nutty quality. The other vegetables in the dish become silky and the chard adds depth and earthiness. Bacon always goes well with beans and greens, but if you prefer not to use it, substitute some sweet smoked paprika.

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weedsLast week I discussed some of the farm practices we use, relating to soil fertility, seed purchases, and pest control. But one of the biggest differences between growing vegetables organically vs. conventionally is how we deal with weeds. Conventional growers often use chemical weed killers before planting their crops (or even after the crops are planted if the crop is resistant to that weed killer—like the genetically modified “Round-Up Ready” crops.) Organic growers control weeds through only non-chemical methods.

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Although offered here for Salad of Spinach and Quickled Fennel and Purplette Onions, the dressing would suit pork chops, shrimp (hot or cold), or grilled fish just fine.

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Serve this in bowls with slices of cheese toast. Add leftover chicken or grains such as farro or barley, or Israeli couscous.

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This can be a very quick salad if you already have the quickles on hand, but if you don’t, they do not take long to make, and are excellent on so many other things.

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There is almost always a jar of tapenade in the refrigerator, just as there should be one in yours. It is like a magic wand in the kitchen, able to take disparate ingredients and turn them into a trip to far off lands. To get the right kind of sear on this dish, you want to use your biggest pan, like a 14-incher. If the vegetables are too close they will just steam and get mushy, so if you do not have a big pan, do this in a couple pans or batches.

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fennel etcAs a CSA farm, we get a lot of questions about how we grow our vegetables. In this article I’ll address some of those questions at least in a general way.

We are certified organic by CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers). While in some cases the rules to qualify as certified organic don’t go far enough, they do go a long way towards addressing many of the concerns that consumers have.

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This slaw can be made with green cabbage, but if you have Savoy cabbage it is even better. This recipe includes strips of collard greens, but you can use lacinato, or other, kale if you wish, or skip it altogether.

INGREDIENTS:

4-6 cups Savoy cabbage, shreds, no wider than ¼ inch
1-3 cups collards (or lacinato kale), stem removed, cut into shreds no wider than ¼ inch
4-5 Mokum carrots peeled and cut into 2 inch shreds on a Ben-Riner or mandolin, or shredded on the big hole of a grater
1 cup Creamy Scallion Dressing (see recipe) or as needed
Salt and pepper to taste
 

METHOD:

Toss the vegetables together to mix well. Drizzle with half the dressing and toss to combine and coat well. Taste a little of the slaw and see if you want to add more dressing. Add as needed, tossing to coat after each addition. Season with salt and pepper if you wish.

Serve as soon as it is dressed, or put in the refrigerator until needed. The salad will settle and reduce in volume with time, and the flavors will meld. Eat the day the salad is made or the next day.

Chef’s Notes: This salad would be good with the addition of sliced or chunked radishes. Pepitas or sunflower seeds would be a good addition also, along with bits of candied ginger.

Serves: 4

Source: Chef Andrew E Cohen

 

 

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This is pretty quick to make, and the flavors combine to make a dish with flavors ranging from deep umami to bright top notes from the OJ, with just about everything in between. Fire up some rice in the rice cooker and you have an easy dinner.

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Although this dressing was concocted for a cabbage slaw, it would be great with a salad of sturdy leaves like romaine or Little Gems, or kale. It would make a quick sauce for pork chops or grilled steak as well.

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lanicheetahMost of my work for the farm involves communicating with people from behind a computer or phone, so when an opportunity comes up to step out a bit and mingle with people face to face, it’s a real thrill! I had three such events recently.

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bluebasilInfusing basil into this low-sugar jam diversifies its use. Great for a summery spread on toast or perhaps as a glaze on ham or pork chops. For a different variation, substitute 3 tablespoons of Rosewater for the basil.

 

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups crushed blueberries
1 cup unsweetened white grape juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
Up to 1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp Ball® RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin
handful of basil leaves wrapped in cheesecloth or tea ball or 3 TBS Rosewater
6 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
 

METHOD:

PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

COMBINE blueberries, lemon juice, white grape juice and sugar in a 6- to 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly. For the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, add basil in cheesecloth or tea ball to infuse flavor. Remove from heat. Skim foam and blueberry skins if necessary. Remove basil.

LADLE hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.

PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

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strawberryrhubarbSweet, tart and lemony, this jam is summer in a jar.

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/4 cups crushed strawberries
1 3/4 cups finely chopped rhubarb
zest and juice of one Meyer lemon
2/3 cup unsweetened apple juice
3 TBS Ball Low-sugar pectin

 

METHOD:

PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

COMBINE strawberries, rhubarb, zest and juice of lemon and unsweetened apple juice in a 6- to 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.

LADLE hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.

PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

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mixedberryMakes about6 Half Pints (8 oz)

Mix and match your favorite berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and/or raspberries to create a delightful jam using Ball® RealFruit® Classic Pectin.
INGREDIENTS:
4 cups crushed berries, mix and match your favorites such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and/or raspberries
4 ½ Tbsp Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin
3 cups sugar
6 Ball® or Kerr® Half Pint (8 oz) Quilted Crystal Jelly Jars with lids and bands

METHOD:

PREPARE boiling water canner. Wash jars, lids and bands in hot soapy water. Heat jars and in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set lids and bands aside.

COMBINE berries in an 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.

ADD entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam, if necessary.

LADLE hot jam into hot jars, one at a time, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.

PLACE filled jars in canner ensuring jars are covered by 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner. Bring water to gentle, steady boil.

PROCESS jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid and let jars stand for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

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For this recipe you will need ramekins or small soufflé dishes. The recipe calls for four 10 to 12 ounce ramekins, but you can use 8 ounce/1 cup ramekins as well. These are great “make ahead” dishes and can be stored in the freezer. Using left-over farro or other grain makes this dish easier. If you have more than enough stuffing, make extra packets and freeze them or use the stuffing in a frittata or as a sauté. Although this recipe looks long, it is not complex and really does not take too long to do.

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This dressing is for a salad of chunks of radish with tender lettuce. Pretty simple, but excellent in its simplicity. Try this dressing with assertive or bitter salad leaves such as escarole, endive, chicory, and radicchios.

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This salad is really simple. What makes it is the quality of the ingredients, and the interplay between them. Crisp and refreshing, this salad is nice as a contrast to foods off the grill. Although best done with a mandolin, a really sharp nice will work for the slicing as well.

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This is a nice little appetizer/hors d’oeuvre thing that is simple yet is full of flavor. They can be prepared well in advance, and then just popped into the oven when needed. The compound butter would be great packed under shrimp shells or around shrimp in a small roasting pan, and would combine well with the radishes. With a cold crisp white wine and a salad this would be a nice supper on a warm evening.

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zucchinirelishFrom Ball Home Canning Site.

Makes about5 (16 oz) pints

Horseradish and hot peppers give this relish its zest. It’s a great way to use up extra zucchini from the garden, and it makes a great accompaniment to bratwursts hot off the grill.

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breadandbutterFrom the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

16 cups fresh zucchini, sliced
4 cups onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup canning or pickling salt
4 cups white vinegar (5%)
2 cups sugar
4 tbsp mustard seed
2 tbsp celery seed
2 tsp ground turmeric
 

METHOD:

Yield: About 8 to 9 pints

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Cover zucchini and onion slices with 1 inch of water and salt. Let stand 2 hours and drain thoroughly. Combine vinegar, sugar, and spices. Bring to a boil and add zucchini and onions. Simmer 5 minutes and fill jars with mixture and pickling solution, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1 or use low-temperature pasteurization treatment. For more information see “Low-Temperature Pasteurization Treatment,”.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Pickled Bread and Butter Zucchini in a boiling-water canner.
Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 – 1,000 ft 1,001 – 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints or Quarts 10 min 15 20
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pickledbeetsFrom the National Center of Home Preservation

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

7 lbs of 2- to 2-1/2-inch diameter beets
4 cups vinegar (5 percent)
1-1/2 teaspoons canning or pickling salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves
4 to 6 onions (2- to 2-1/2-inch diameter) if desired

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From Chef Colin Moody

Makes 4 Cups

32 ounces plain whole milk yogurt*
1 vanilla bean, scraped

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From Chef Colin Moody

INGREDIENTS:

¼ Cup minced shallots
1 Tbl Canola oil
½ Pound large diced carrots

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From Chef Colin Moody

Yield: approx 1.5 cups

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From Chef Colin Moody

Serves 4

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From Chef Colin Moody

Serves 10 as a first course, 6-8 as a main course.

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SIGN UP FOR CSA PROGRAM

When you join our CSA, you sign up with the farm to receive a share of the harvest during our 36 week season from mid-March to mid-November. In return, you get a weekly box of organic vegetables and fruit (and optional flowers) delivered straight from our farm to a pick-up site in your neighborhood.

Signup for the CSA program >

View our CSA Members Page

This is where you can go to find out what's coming in your box each week, find recipes, identify your vegetables with pictures, and view or print the current and past newsletters. Check here for the information you need to use your box to the fullest.

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