collards

beet greens, collards, garlic, mesclun, red Russian kale, tat soi

versatile greens


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since greens are in season – and will be for a while – i’m going to post some more really yummy greens recipes so y’all can be sure you keep your taste buds jumping for joy – or whatever it is they do when they’re happy.

Red-Cooked Collards
1 cup dark soy sauce or tamari
1 cup water
1/2 cup dry sherry
several nickel-sized pieces of fresh ginger
4 or 5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
several pieces of star anise
2 pounds collard greens

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil while you prepare the collards. After washing the greens, trim them of their large stems and chop coarsely. Place in the cooking liquid and adjust heat to maintain a gentle boil. Cook until greens are tender and most of the liquid is gone, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve over rice as a main course or as a side dish.

Source: Bittman, Mark. 1995. Leafy Greens.

Grilled Mesclun-stuffed Tuna Steaks
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon strong mustard
2 teaspoons ginger, finely minced, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
1/4 cup dry white wine or water
1 tuna steak, no less than 1 1/4 inches thick, about 11/2 pounds
about 1 1/2 cups assorted greens, washed and dried

Start a charcoal or wood fire or preheat a gas grill or broiler. Mix together all the ingredients except the tuna and the greens.

Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife (a boning knife, for example), make a small incision halfway down any edge of the tuna steak. Insert the knife almost to the opposite edge of the steak, then move it back and forth, flipping it over and creating a large pocket. Be careful not to cut through the top, bottom, or opposite edge of the tuna. Put the tuna in the mixture; you can leave it there for a few minutes or continue with the recipe right away.

Remove the tuna from the liquid and dry it with paper towels. Toss the mesclun with the marinade. Stuff the pocket with the mesclun, still drenched in the liquid. Seal the pocket opening with a couple of toothpicks. Grill the tuna, turning once, about 5 minutes per inch of thickness (if your steak is 1 1/2 inches thick, for example, turn it after about 4 minutes and cook 3 or 4 minutes more). It will be quite rare; if you want to cook it more, go right ahead. Serve, cut into quarters or 1/2 inch thick slices.

Steamed Beet Greens with Oregano

About 1 1/2 pounds beet greens, washed and trimmed
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or marjoram, minced, or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steam the beet greens just until tender. Rinse them under cool water, then press out the moisture as much as you can. Chop finely.

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano or marjoram. Dress the beet greens with this mixture, season to taste; serve at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings; 15 minutes.

Pasta with Greens and Ricotta
1 bunch tat soi
1 bunch red Russian kale, tough stalks removed (about 4 cups chopped)
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
dash of salt and ground black pepper
1/4 ground nutmeg
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 pound pasta (fettuccine, penne, macaroni, fusilli, butterflies or shells)
grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled ricotta salata
chopped tomatoes
toasted walnuts or pine nuts

Bring a large covered pot of water to a rapid boil.

While the water heats, rinse the tat soi and kale well, shake off any excess water, and chop coarsely. Saute the garlic in the oil for a minute, until soft and golden, taking care not to scorch it. Add the damp greens and saute, stirring often, until they are wilted but still bright green. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and remove from the heat. In a blended, puree the cooked greens with the ricotta until smooth and evenly colored. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

When the water boils, stir in the pasta, cover, and return to a boil. Then uncover the pot and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta and immediately toss it with the sauce in a warmed serving bowl. Top with Parmesan or crumbled ricotta salata, tomatoes and/or toasted walnuts or pine nuts.

Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home

And here’s a link to a radish greens recipe as well.

Hope y’all are keeping cozy. We hope to see you tomorrow at market!

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bok choy, broccoli, chickens, collards, eggs, lettuce, low tunnels, red Russian kale, roosters, tat soi, Thanksgiving

playing catch up


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Hi y’all!

We finally found our camera and the battery charger, so I took some snap shots yesterday afternoon/evening to update the blog. As you’ll see, the chicks are well on their way to being full blown adolescents. The roosters finally have their crowing figured out. For some time all we got out of them was a “cock-a-…” and no “doodle doo” of any kind. It was amusing for a while – and just as our amusement was about to wear off, they figured it out. At the moment we have three roosters: Ted, Bocephus, and Uncle Jesse (of the Dukes of Hazard variety, not Full House). We’re still reluctant to have to get rid of any of them, as they’re growing on us, but we’re also practical. We’ve decided that Uncle Jesse is the best suited rooster for the coop. He’s the least “chicken-y” guy of the three, he’s extremely protective, but he also lets us hold him, although I don’t think he cares for it very much. The hens show no sign of laying eggs any time soon, but they’re really not ready to lay yet anyway. They’re almost 4 months old and they really shouldn’t be ready until the beginning of 2011 (but we’re hoping we have a couple early layers by the solstice). The guy above the right is Ted.

The fella in the frying pan above, humorously the one we will keep, is Uncle Jesse.
The white rooster above is Bocephus. He’s kind of the biggest “chicken” of the three, so I had a hard time getting a picture of his face. Maybe I’ll have better luck next time. 

(Above) My dad and Ben built the low tunnel in the middle and the hoop house to the right (Ben built the one on the left all by himself while I was in D.C.).
Below is tat soi. It’s an Asian green that tastes kind of like spinach and bok choy crossed (although I think it leans more toward spinach).
Below is a head of oak leaf lettuce. It’s one of my favorites. I love that that color of green actually occurs in nature! 🙂

red Russian kale (below)


Then, in order, we have broccoli, a field of broccoli, red cabbage and collards, and finally, savoy cabbage.

That’s it for now. Now that we’ve finally organized our lives a bit more, maybe we’ll be posting more regularly and updating the farm pics. So much changes daily – but it’s hard to tell when those changes are picture worthy.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving! Thank YOU for caring to keep up with us and take care!

Patricia & Ben

bok choy, collards, greens, kale, recipe ideas, recipes, tatsoi, turnips

Glorious Greens! – They sure are pretty, but what do I do with them?


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So, the fall and winter seasons bring us lots of greens and lots of root vegetables. If you don’t know what to do with them – and they’re really quite versatile and easy to put in just about everything – they can pile up on you and make you feel like your bounty is a chore. This is the last thing we want folks to feel about their weekly produce shares, so I’m getting on the ball and getting to some of the recipes I find useful and inspirational. But I do need to let you know, that once you begin on the greens journey, you’ll realize how extremely easy cooking and eating greens can be – and it’s tasty and nutritious too!

Ben told me that a number of folks were asking about tatsoi and what to do with it, so I’ll begin with it. Those green beauties to the left are tatsoi. Mark Bittman, author of Leafy Greens: An A-to-Z Guide of 30 Types of Greens Plus More Than 120 Delicious Recipes, breaks down the Asian greens (he refers to them as “Chinese cabbages”) (21-22):

Nutritional information: High in beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, some B vitamins, and fiber.  To cook: Heading cabbages can be treated much like green or red cabbage; bok choi can be used like chard. All Chinese cabbages are good in stir-fries and soups; braised, with or without meat; pickled (as in kimchee). Young Chinese cabbages, or the tatsoi variety, are excellent in salads. Substitutes: For bok choi, chard, which is close enough for most purposes; for the heading cabbages, common head cabbage; for tatsoi, young mustard, arugula, or cress.

Now, let me just tell you that you will figure out that you can substiute tatsoi for a lot of other things than Mark suggests above. I think it’s a great substitute for spinach as well. I think the best way to figure out what you’d like to do with your greens is to try them raw and to try them braised with a little salt and pepper. Once you taste them in these two purist forms, you can decide on what types of flavors your palate is comfortable combining them with. Just to give you an idea of how easy it is to eat greens, I’ll tell you what I did for breakfast this morning. First, I chopped up the turnip roots into diced pieces (two bunches worth). I let them simmer on low in a dollop of butter and a sprinkle of salt. As those simmered, I chopped the turnip greens and then added them to the pan. Then I placed a lid over the pan so the veggie juices would help cook the turnip roots and the greens (and it’s always good to salt your greens as you place them in the pan – it helps wilt them and it disperses the salt more evenly when they’re uncooked vs. cooked and bunched). In the meantime, I then chopped up one head of tatsoi and added it to the pan. Like spinach, it takes up a lot of pan space at first but then it wilts down quite a bit. I then put the lid back on the pan (this is a medium-sized typical frying pan – all metal). I then chopped up one head of bok choi. Okay – hold on. So, what’s the count so far? Right now, we have two bunches of turnips, one head of tatsoi, one head of bok choi and a small dollop of butter. That sounds like A LOT of greens, and I suppose it is, but it really all does wilt down to a manageable bunch of greens. Okay, so back to the pan. Basically, I added all of the chopped greens in increments, so they all had time to wilt. Once all the greens were sufficiently wilted, I added 4 whisked eggs into the pan. I then let those eggs cook for about 4 minutes on low. In the meantime, I got out the block of sharp, white cheddar cheese and grated it over the top of the eggs. Finally, I turned the oven on to 350 degrees and placed the entire pan in the oven. I am a terrible omelet maker, so I do my egg omelets, fritata style (it sounds fancy, but it’s really just a lazy person’s omelet as far as I’m concerned). To be honest, I’m not sure how long those eggs were in the oven – somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes. The goal, of course, is to make sure you cooked it long enough to cook the eggs through (unless you like your eggs a bit wet, in which case, I suppose that’s not your goal…). Anyway, you should be able to see whether the eggs are cooked to your liking. If the visuals are uncertain, you can always just poke at them to feel their texture – but don’t burn yourself! Once the dish is cooked to your satisfaction, take it out of the oven and scoop some out, add a little salt and pepper (or any condiments you usually eat with your eggs – I’m a fan of hot sauce, but I know some folks really like ketchup on their eggs) and enjoy! 🙂 Whew! That sure does sounds like a lot of work (and food – but there are not usually any left overs in our house, but when there are we just reheat them for lunch or the following morning’s breakfast) when I look at what I typed, but the whole process takes me less than 20 minutes and I listen to the news on NPR and drink my morning coffee as I cook. I also make the chickens’ breakfasts as I prep our food. They like pretty much every vegetable we chop up and give them (all but eggplant, peppers, and onions), so it’s nice to feed them the things I would normally toss in the compost bin.

Okay, so that’s one idea :). I’ll leave you with some other recipes, written by the experts who aren’t nearly as long winded as myself. These recipes call for particular greens, but you can substitute them for others. I use tatsoi and spinach interchangeably. I even cooked chopped turnips and greens and bok choi and put them in a white sauce lasagna for our CSA potluck/Oktoberfeast. It was a hit and I don’t think anyone realized they were eating something so “exotic” as Asian greens in their lasagna :).

Spinach and Egg Soup (Bittman 1995: 67)
1 pound spinach (I would also use kale, tat soi, beet greens or turnip greens for this recipe – or even a combination of greens)
2 tablespoons butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
5 to 6 cups of good chicken stock (my note: you can certainly substitute vegetable stock)
2 eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1. Steam or parboil the spinach until it wilts. Cool it under cold water, squeeze it dry, and chop.
2. Melt the butter in a 4- to 6-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the spinach, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the stock and bring it to a gentle simmer. Beat the eggs with half the Parmesan and add them to the soup. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are cooked and soup is thick. Serve with break, passing the remaining Parmesan at the table.

Turnip Greens with Potatoes (Bittman 1995: 110)

2 tablespons peanut or vegetable oil (I use sesame oil)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 pound turnip greens
2 small red potatoes, about 1/2 pound, washed well and peeled if desired, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock or water
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teasppon rise or wine vinegar

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it begins to color; add the remaining spice and cook, stirring, until the mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the turnip greens, the potatoes, and the stock or water, stir, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, checking and stirring every 3 or 4 minutes, until the potato is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Raise the heat to high and boil off excess liquid, if any. Season to taste, drizzle with vinegar, and serve immediately.

You can also use collards, cress, dandelions, kale, mizuna, mustard, tatsoi or bok choi. I usually decide on what to use depending on, first, what we have and need to use and second, depending on what I flavors I want in my meal. A lot of times, I just throw all the greens together, since we almost always wind up taking at least a few greens back home from the CSA drop or from market  – even after donating to the Interfaith Food Shuttle.

Well, hopefully I’ve given y’all some ideas for how to start using your greens. If you have favorite things to do with your greens, please feel free to post your recipes or send them my way via e-mail at parker.patricia@gmail.com.

Also, please do check out the links at the right side of the page under the heading “labels”. There are a number of recipes and I tried to always label what was used in those recipes, so they’d be easy to search.

carrots, collards, kale, recipe community, recipe ideas, recipes, spinach, vitamin green

Recipe Sharing Community Forum


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Hi ya’ll! I hope everyone is having a fun and safe Monday afternoon. I am getting quite a bit of work done for classes, but became distracted by the thought of posting this request – which is basically to ask those of you who have made tasty treats with Ben’s Produce to please share your recipes or ideas with us. If you are interested in sharing, please post your recipe/ideas as a comment here or send an e-mail my way (parker.patricia@gmail.com). I will compile the recipes and share them in a blog post. If your recipes come from a source other than youself, please include that as well (if you know it). As usual, thanks for stopping by! We’ll see you all later this week. 
Here’s one from Rachel Ray. Ingredients from Ben’s Produce include: kale and carrots (you can add collards instead of or in addition to the parsnips): 
Mustard-Molasses Chicken One Pot

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 8 pieces bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, quartered lengthwise, then sliced
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-3 1-inch-long sticks, 1/2-inch wide
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
  • 1 small bundle black kale or dinosaur kale, chopped or thinly sliced
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Crusty bread with nuts and raisins or cranberries
Preparation

Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then brown until golden, 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken and add another tablespoon of EVOO to the pan, one turn of the pan.
Add the onion, parsnips and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Cook to soften a bit, 5-6 minutes. Add the kale to the pot and wilt in, then add the nutmeg.

Whisk the mustard, molasses and stock together in a bowl, then pour over top of the vegetables and settle the chicken back into the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the lid, then remove the chicken and reserve on a plate covered with aluminum foil. Continue simmering the veggies until the liquids are thickened, about 10 minutes.

Serve the chicken and veggies with crusty warm bread.

Source: http://www.rachaelray.com/recipe.php?recipe_id=3129

And here’s one from Southern Cooking that uses collard greens. To make this dish vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth (or vegetable bouillon) for chicken stock and leave out the bacon. Toasted pine nuts might be a good substitute for bacon…

 Collard Green Risotto and Pot Liquor

Ingredients

  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 3  bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1  large onion, chopped
  • 2  garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1  pound  fresh collard greens, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  pepper
  • 3  cups  chicken broth
  • 1/4  cup  molasses
  • 2  tablespoons  butter or margarine
  • Risotto

Preparation

Heat oil in a Dutch oven; add bacon, and cook until crisp. Add onion, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute.
Stir in collard greens, salt, and pepper; sauté over medium heat 5 minutes or until greens wilt. Stir in chicken broth. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook mixture 45 minutes or until greens are tender.
Pour greens mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a container, reserving greens and pot liquor. Whisk molasses and butter into pot liquor.
Stir greens into Risotto.
Place 1 cup Collard Green Risotto in each of 6 bowls. Ladle pot liquor mixture evenly on top. Serve immediately.

Chef Jan Birnbaum, Chef Jan Birnbaum, Southern Living, JUNE 2001

Source: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=258429

This recipe was originally taken from one of the Moosewood cookbooks. If you’re not familiar with these books and you would like to add more veggies into your diet, I strongly suggest checking them out at one of our local bookstores. This recipe calls for spinach, but you could just as likely use tender kale or vitamin green instead.

Sesame Tofu with Spinach (or Vitamin Green)
 

Ingredients

Directions

  1. 1

    Slice the Tofu lengthwise into 4 rectangular slabs, than half each piece to get squares.

  2. 2

    Spread the sesame seeds on a plate. Press all surfaces of each tofu square into the seeds to coat.

  3. 3

    Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet on medium heat.

  4. 4

    Arrange the tofu in a single layer and cook about 5 minutes Carefully turn and cook 5 minutes on other side.

  5. 5

    Add soy sauce and Tabasco, turn the squares over, and cook another minute. Transfer squares to a plate (leaving stray seeds in the pan).

  6. 6

    Add the oil and garlic to the pan and sauté for about 30 seconds, until golden. Add the still damp rinsed spinach and cook for 1-2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Cook until wilted but still bright green.

  7. 7

    Season to taste with salt & pepper.

  8. 8

    Serve the tofu on top of the spinach.

Source: http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/gallery.php?rid=225814

bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, chinese cabbage, collards, CSA, green onions, greens, kale, lettuce, mustard, radishes, recipe ideas, spinach, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, tatsoi, turnips

Holidays! Holidays! Holidays!


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Hello and Welcome!

A big thanks to our new customers from the neighborhood who stopped by Tuesday night to pick up some produce! The holidays are upon us! We’re headed to Tennessee to see Patricia’s family and some friends there. It will be a needed break for us, though I will be working some. I’ll be fine-tuning our farm and CSA plan for the coming year. It’s very exciting, thought provoking and a lot of work! Anyhow, we’ll be announcing the CSA soon!

During these cold winter months, please be aware the weather may postpone our harvest of your produce. In response to this, we may postpone pickups by a day or two. We will provide primary notice of pickup changes via email (especially for those of you who place orders) as well as via blog and online store. Thank you for being flexible with us!

Next Tuesday, December 22nd, we will have produce pickup at our house, 604 Sasser St., between 4pm to 7:30pm. We will not have produce pickup Tuesday, December 29th. We will return with pickup Tuesday, January 5th.

Purchase of vegetables is made through our online store www.vendio.com/stores/bensproduce.

Community Supported Agriculture:
Information coming soon!

Current vegetable availability includes:
bok choy
cabbage
carrots
chinese cabbage
collards
green onions
kale
lettuce
mustard greens
radishes
spinach
sweet potatoes
swiss chard
tatsoi
turnips

No longer offered:
broccoli
mixed greens

Future winter vegetables will also include:
arugula
baby beets
broccoli raab
brussels sprout
mixed baby lettuce & greens

Recipes:

Quick White Bean Stew with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes

– serves 2 to 3 –

Ingredients

2 pounds Swiss chard, larger stems removed, and leaves chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup canned tomatoes, chopped
1 16-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan

Procedure

1. Fill a large pot halfway up with water. Bring to a boil and then toss in the swiss chard leaves. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes. Drain the chard in a colander.

2. Wipe out any excess water in the pot. Then pour in the olive oil and turn the heat to medium. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the tomatoes, turn the heat to medium-high, and when the mixture comes to a boil add the beans. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.

4. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the chard. Cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add some grated Parmesan to finish. Enjoy!

Golumpki’s or Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

We made these the other day with our cabbage, carrots and turnips and they turned out phenomenal! Give these a whirl, you might like them.

– serves 4 –

Ingredients

1Tbsp Olive oil
1 leek or onion
2 med. turnip, cubed small
2 med. carrots, cubed small
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 cup cooked rice
16 oz cooked ground meat
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp lemon juice
pinch ground coriander
salt & pepper
1 cabbage head

Sauce:
1 onion finely chopped
1 cup broth or stock
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups crushed tomatoes

1. Brown ground meat.

2. To make the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium low heat. Add leek or onion, turnip, carrots and celery and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until softened.

3. Remove from heat and stir in meat, rice, bread crumbs, egg, parsley, lemon juice and ground coriander. Season with salt & pepper.

4. Preheat oven to 325 F. Oil a 9×13 baking dish. Cook the whole cabbage in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, until pliable. Drain and rinse under cold water. Peel off whole leaves to stuff. Pat dry.

5. Lay leaves flat and make a pile in the middle of each, about 1/3 to 2/3 cup depending on the size of the leaf. Roll up each leaf, folding the sides to enclose the filling in a neat parcel. Place the rolls, seam side down, in the baking dish. Pour in stock. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, heat the oil for the sauce in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir in the crushed tomatoes. Reduce the heat to med-low and simmer about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened.

7. Using slotted spoon, serve stuffed cabbage rolls topped with the tomato sauce. Enjoy!

Happy holidays and many thanks!

Ben & Patricia