Days like these make me want to pack a picnic, grab a book, and hit the beach. Here’s a book, by Mark Bittman, that will get you thinking – about how you eat, how you cook, and whether or not you could be a part-time vegan. Food thoughts from my nightstand…about Bittman’s VB6.
The contents for tomorrow’s boxes are listed below. Bear in mind that there may be some variation in the boxes…and we’re not quite sure which items will be included in the grandes versus the chicas. But, rest assured, whatever is in your box will be fresh, organically-grown, and delicious!
Veggies: kale, chard, lettuce, strawberries, carrots, spring onions, beets, rapini, parsley, green garlic, radishes
Goods: Beeswax candles from Bell Tree Farm in Carmel Valley
News Items: We are looking to recruit someone who will take salinas boxes from Monterey or PG to Salinas every Tuesday, for a substantial discount. Let us know if you are interested!
Here are a couple of recipes to inspire you to get cooking…[click on the title for recipe post]
Enjoy the rest of your week. And let us know if you make anything with your Fogline Farm goodies that you absolutely love!
~Camilla and the WE Cooperative Team
Gazpacho is a chilled tomato-based raw vegetable soup, originating in the Andalusia, the southern region of Spain. It is also consumed in neighboring Portugal where it is called gaspacho. It’s the perfect canvas to showcase the green garlic in our boxes this week. Sorry I don’t have any measurements for this recipe; I just used what I had and adjusted for taste as I went. Experiment!
ancho chili powder
splash of red wine
In a large sauce pan, sauté sliced green garlic, leeks, and minced garlic in a splash of olive oil. When they begin to soften and brown, add a splash of red wine and season with ground spices. Simmer till completely softened.
Then, in batches, blend the garlic mixture with chopped tomatoes and cucumbers. Let cool completely.
Serve with a few sliced sun-dried tomatoes, crème fraîche, and fresh peas.
Rapini is common in southern Italian and Chinese cooking. It looks a little like a mix between dandelions and (regular) broccoli. Some people don’t like rapini because – like all cruciferous vegetables – it has a pungent smell. But if you don’t overcook it, the smell is less sulphury and more earthy and green. It’s great steamed and delicious sautéed; I think it tastes best roasted in the oven.
Roasting tenderizes the stalks and crisps the leaves. The oven also brings out an innate sweetness and removes some of the plant’s bitter element.
Here’s one recipe for roasted rapini…
1 bunch rapini (or broccoli), cleaned and trimmed
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
freshly ground sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 C panko bread crumbs
1/2 C shredded Parmesan
Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the rapini into bite size pieces. Place the rapini into a large bowl and toss with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Spread the panko into a 13 by 9-inch metal sheet pan and place into the oven for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove the panko from the oven and add to the bowl with the rapini mixture. Toss to combine. Return the mixture to the cake pan, place in the oven and roast just until the rapini is tender, 15-20 more minutes. Remove from the oven, toss in the cheese and serve immediately.
I packed this salad for our sunset Mothers’ Day dinner picnic at Pfeiffer Beach. Purple sand. Pink salad. My kinda day. And so, so easy!
2-3 beets, scrubbed, dried, and julienned
1 celery root, peeled and julienned
1 C organic wild arugula
1 t toasted sesame oil
2 t olive oil
1 t rice wine vinegar
dash of chili powder
splash of soy sauce
freshly ground sea salt
freshly ground pepper
zest from 1 lemon
sesame seeds for garnish
Place the beets, celery root, and arugula in a large mixing bowl. In a cruet – of just a mason jar with a lid – place the sesame oil, olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, chili powder, sea salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Shake to emulsify. Toss into the beet mixture until completely coated. Plate and garnish with sesame seeds.
I read voraciously. My nightstand looks like the leaning tower of Pisa. No joke. Reading settles my mind and gets me ready for sleep. But it also invigorates me, stretching my mind and presenting me with new ideas. I guess I should specify that I read a lot of non-fiction.
Most of the time, the volumes are food-centric. I love anything by Mark Kurlansky, who has written tomes about salt, cod, oysters, and a fascinating portrait of food in America before we had interstate highways. And I just finished two books about bees and honey while I wrapped up an article about local beekeepers. But it’s my latest arrival that I wanted to share with you.
I recently cracked the cover on Mark Bittman’s Eat Vegan Before 6:00. Having been a fan of Bittman’s for awhile now, I probably would have bought it anyway. But I was intrigued by his flexible, sort-of vegan stance. I was a vegetarian for a greater part of a decade. But vegans…those people are hard-core. “Sort-of” or “part-time” wouldn’t be how I would describe any vegans that I know.
I can never follow a diet. So, to restrict myself to a regimen without meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients while avoiding leather and wool, suffice it to say, I’m not that disciplined.
While I can’t adhere to a diet like that, I can embrace the message of his book: eat more fruit , vegetables, and whole grains; eat less meat and processed foods; and enjoy your favorite foods occasionally.
That sounds utterly reasonable and do-able. And getting a CSA box definitely helps with that; my veggies for the week are all right there, ready to eat. Now I just need to get my caseophile-driven cravings in check.
What are you reading?
Meet our new State Vegetable: artichoke, the delicious thistle. Click to read about that news: here.
In your CSA box this week, you’ll find a combination of the following fruits and vegetables. California goodness in a box! Remember, not all the boxes are the same and not all of the boxes will include everything listed. But you will get a fun variety of goodies.
Grande: strawberries, rainbow chard, romaine hearts, cilantro, beets, baby carrots, tuscan or rainbow kale, green garlic, fennel, spring onions and radishes
Chica: strawberries, rainbow chard, romaine hearts, cilantro, beets, and baby carrots
Goods: basil, green garlic, and artichokes
News Items: We are looking to recruit someone who will take Salinas boxes from Monterey or PG to Salinas every Tuesday, for a substantial discount. Let me know if you are interested!
Here are a few recipes [click on the recipe title to go to the post] that include some of the goodies from Fogline Farm.
inspired by a visit to Crema, Pacific Grove
~Camilla and the WE Cooperative Team
This wilted chard sprinkled with white sesame seeds is both a visual and a flavor foil to any Asian-inspired dinner.
Rinse and chop the chard into 1″ lengths. Then drop it into a hot pan with a splash of olive oil. Stir in minced garlic and a splash of soy sauce. Cook till just wilted and serve with a sprinkling of white sesame seeds.
When Jake and I ducked over the Crema, in Pacific Grove, for yet another 40th birthday celebration for me, this past weekend, we started off with ‘Avocado and Ham.’ Such a basic name for a dish that is beyond basic. It’s multi-dimensional, elegant and so, so tasty! Chef Jon Moser’s creation inspired me to give it a try on my own…
- avocado, peeled and pitted
- diced prosciutto
- prosciutto, crisped in a pan till it can stand up
- cilantro, chopped
- Meyer lemon juice
- olive oil
- freshly ground sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- lettuce for garnish
Arrange the lettuce on your serving plate. Place the avocado on top of the lettuce. If you need to slice a bit off the bottom to make it sit flat, do that. Fill the hollow with diced prosciutto. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and cilantro. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Place the crisped prosciutto in the hollow, upright, if you can.
Adapted from Tassajara Zen Monks’ Simple and Delicious Tart Dough
1/2 C warm water
2 t active dry yeast
2 pinches of organic granulated sugar
3-1/2 C white whole wheat flour
1 t pink Himalaya salt
2 large eggs
6 T soft butter
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water. Let bloom for 10 minutes.
Add 3 C flour, 2 room temperature eggs, salt, and buter. Beat with a wooden spoon until you form a smooth dough that pulls away from the bowl. It should come together very quickly. Turn out the dough onto a counter and knead in the remaining 1/2 cup flour until smooth and shiny, about five minutes. Put the dough into an oiled bowl and let rise for about one hour. Punch down the dough and let it rise again if you have (or need) the time; I let mine rise for another 30 minutes.
Pull and cajole the dough into a large circle and lay it in a tart pan or pie tin – with at least a 1-2″ overhang. Roll your fruit in sugar then spoon it into the crust. Dot it with butter. Fold the dough inward to create a free-form galette. Brush the surface with a beaten egg and sprinkle with a little bit more sugar.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn over down to 350 and bake for another 15 to 30 minutes, until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbling. The bottom of the crust should be golden, crisp and dry.
Less than a month ago, listeners to KGO Radio in San Francisco voted, through social media, to designate the artichoke as California’s State Food. Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom made the official announcement not long after the people rallied for the artichoke. Other nominated foods included almonds, avocados, garlic, crab, Sourdough bread and grapes or wine. But the yummy thistle prevailed!
Kori Tuggle, Director of Marketing and Business Development for Ocean Mist Farms in Castroville, declared the timing serendipitous. ”It’s the perfect time as we are just hitting the peak of artichoke season in Castroville, the artichoke capital.”
Stay tuned for an artichoke tutorial and some great recipes. And, if you are interested in learning more, you can always head over to the Artichoke Festival on May 18th and 19th.
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