kale

arugula, bok choy, daikon radish, French breakfast radish, kale, marconi peppers, radish greens, tat soi

Fall 2011 CSA Week 1


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We know that a lot of folks have a hard time sometimes distinguishing between, say tat soi and bok choy, so we like to take pictures of our CSA share items and label them, so our members have a reference once they bring their shares home. I took these pictures at market on Saturday, since I won’t be home on Tuesday when Ben will harvest and then deliver your shares. We usually like to put all the CSA items together for one picture, but since we did this at market, it wasn’t really conducive to our situation. Anyway, the single picture items should be somewhat helpful for identifying your CSA share items. So, as I stated in the email, you will receive the following items in your shares:

SCALLIONS                           ARUGULA

BOK CHOY                           PEPPERS
DAIKON RADISH                RADISHES/
NAPA CABBAGE                  HAKUREI
LETTUCE                              TURNIPS

KALE

Note: scallions, lettuce, and hakurei turnips not pictured

bok choy great for stir-fry

tat soi also great for stir fry, but also salad


daikon radish
you can cook the greens and stir fry the root or eat it sliced, raw with salt
it’s also good in kimchi


red Russian kale (aka ragged Jack)
this is good every which way
you can also save and eat the stems (they require a longer cooking time than the leaves)


arugula
great raw and cooked


French breakfast radishes
you can eat the greens cooked
the roots are great as a snack, in salad, or in a stir fry


sweet gypsy peppers
raw and cooked – either way, they’re tasty!


marconis
these are my favorite sweet peppers, by far



Well, that’s all folks! We’ll try to post more share pictures as the season progresses. Definitely feel free to email us if you have any questions about your share items or what to do with them. We’ve got TONS of ideas :). Thanks for stopping by!

– Patricia

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arugula, beet greens, bok choy, greens, kale, mustard greens, radish greens, spinach, tat soi, turnip greens

Happy Autumn!


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Hi folks! It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted on this ol’ blog – again – but what can I say? We’re busy farmin it up out here and that leaves little time for blog posts. As the weather turns colder, you can expect more posts. Until then, I’m posting one of our write ups from the first Fall CSA newsletter. It’s all about greens – and I figured lots of folks might be interested in how to deal with the plethora of greens to come this season. I’ve been taking pictures on the farm – some of them are outdated already, but expect a picture blog in the near future. 
As usual, thanks for stopping by! 
 – Patricia 
Greens Galore
By Patricia Parker
Even for greens lovers like us, it can be a challenge to keep up with all the greens (but we like challenge) and root veggies of the fall. I’d like to share a bit of our greens wisdom with the hopes that you find some of our strategies helpful.
First and foremost, it is important to get acquainted with your greens. You’ll be receiving numerous types and varieties, each with their own unique flavors and textures. Additionally, their flavors will change as the weather grows colder (they’ll get sweeter – this goes for the root veggies too!). I recommend trying your greens every which way – starting by trying them raw. I find some greens less palatable raw than others – for instance, turnip, radish, and mustard greens are a bit too pungent raw for my taste. But, when they’re cooked, they’re delectable. And some greens are great raw – like arugula and spinach – and others that might surprise you, like kale and swiss chard (all of them are great cooked). As a general rule of thumb, the more tender the green, the better it tastes raw (and the less time you will need to cook them).
Now, there are countless ways to prepare your greens – you can steam them, sauté them, stir fry them, put them in soups, chilis and stews, eat them with eggs (e.g., as a side, in an omelet or frittata), etc. We’ll provide you with recipes for your greens throughout the season to help spur along your greens creativity. We’ll also give you basic cooking instructions and storage information. If your greens ever start to feel like they’re piling up on you, remember how few greens there are in the summer. You can blanch and then freeze your greens to use them any other time you like. You can also use up lots of greens if you make them the primary course on your plate (e.g., dinner salad or beans and greens with meat on the side). Of course, you can also share with your friends, family and neighbors – and if you don’t have any takers, you can leave them with us and we’ll donate them to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle for you.
Keeping up with your greens can be a daunting task in the beginning, but before you know it, you’ll turn pro!
Note: If anyone would like to share their own methods for keeping up with your CSA share, please send a write-up our way. We would LOVE for CSA members to contribute to weekly newsletters. You can send your write up in an email, as a word file, or as a pdf file. We’ll be sure to place it in the next newsletter.
beet greens, beets, cabbage, csa share, kale, lettuce, scallions, strawberries, turnips and greens

Week 4, CSA share contents


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I’m behind on the posting this week, so I’m gonna give you a quit run down of the CSA contents for the week, without all the jibber jabber.

Here are some beautiful root vegetables (beets, carrots and Hakurei turnips and greens) with strawberries.


broccoli
red oak leaf and green butter crunch lettuces
herbs (dill and parsley – WWFM folks, we’re sorry, we completely forgot to pick the herbs – we’ll make up for it 🙂
red Russian kale (aka ragged Jack)
vates kale

more kale
you can eat the kale stems too. you’ve just got to cook em longer. you can substitute them in recipes that call for celery (unless, of course, you’re going for the distinct celery flavor – but they’re cook and crispy).
spinach
beets

Hakurei turnips
carrots
can you tell I think the veggies are pretty? 😉
so happy to have color variety!

cabbage (above)
the whole shebang!

2011 CSA, bok choy, cilantro, dandelion greens, dill, kale, leeks, lettuce, scallions, snow peas, strawberries, swiss chard, tat soi

Week 3, May 9-15 CSA Share Contents


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Howdy do, folks? It seems I’m communicating with all of y’all via the blog and newsletters these days. I’m sad to say that I still haven’t met everyone in the CSA yet, since I’ve been staying home studying for my prelim exam – but that’s only going to be the case for another week and a half and then I’ll be right there with Ben at the drop sites!

So, I did a little something different this week with the pictures of the share contents. I know a lot of CSAs use boxes and that’s something we haven’t really been doing. We don’t use the boxes for a few reasons. The most important reason is because we prefer to keep the produce nice and cool so when you come to pick it up it’s in great condition. Heat works wonders on these veggies and once they wilt, it’s all over. Another reason, which will become pretty apparent once you check out these pictures, is that the produce just won’t fit in one box – at least not a box with a lid on it. I took pictures of each of the items in the box and I also tried to include everything in the box, so y’all could get a nice view of what it would look like if you did get a box of your share.

So, without further adieu…

Here’s the box with the contents of this week’s share all together (minus the dill and cilantro – it seems I forget to take a picture of something every time!)
Broccoli
Dandelion greens
Rainbow chard
Strawberries (one quart for small and regular shares; 2 for large shares)

Berry close up
Snow peas
Close up
Baby leeks

Bok choy
Kale
Kale close up
Red bibb lettuce

Green romaine lettuce
Tatsoi

Scallions
The baby leeks are on top, scallions on the bottom here.
My, that sure is pretty!

Alrighty. That’s all folks! See you in a week or two. Take care and thanks for stopping by!

beet and feta salad, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kale, nutty salad vinegairette, planting party, soil blocks

Happy Spring!


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We’re hosting two more planting parties this Sunday (4/10) and next Sunday (4/17). Please come out and join us for some fun times planting and picnicking!  If you think you might be coming for either (or both!) parties, please email us at BensProduceNC@gmail.com (so we can be sure we have more than enough food for folks). 

The planting party on the first day of Spring was a success!!! Fourteen folks came out Sunday. We planted onions, kale, and cabbage. We also cut potatoes for seed. We spent two hours as a group to plant 14 beds of produce. It would have taken Ben and I days to do the same amount of work. True to the phrase, many hands make light work.

And this was truly a planting party.Throughout the day, we not only worked together to plant seedlings, folks were learning about each other, talking to each other. Some of the people here already knew each other, but for the most part folks didn’t really know much about each other, or hadn’t  previously met. In just a couple hours, I learned SO much about what people do with their time, their connections to food, agriculture, health, and we also talked about dogs and life and our jobs.

After we finished planting, we sat together outside for a yummy spread. Candy and Steve brought homemade focaccia, Kim and Andy brought hors devours(collard sushi rolls and spring rolls), and Bradford brought homemade kombucha with raspberries. We made a vegetarian minestrone soup. The tradition of minestrone soup is to use seasonal and available vegetables and other items on hand. That means there’s no set recipe, which you know, makes me happy. We used our vegetables including carrots, kale, turnips (roots and greens) and collards. We also threw in portabella mushrooms, Roman beans, pink beans, tomatoes and onions.

We also had a nice big salad full of various lettuces, arugula, mizuna, and spinach. We used our nutty vinaigrette recipe for the dressing.


  Here’s our friend Liese holding Luella Mae. Liese has been one of our amazing chicken caretakers. She and her partner, Eric, watched Charlie (our farm dog) and the chickens when went out of town for the SSAWG in Chattanooga. Liese and Luella Mae are good friends, as you can see here :0).

We’ve been steadily working to get more seeds in the soil and more plants in the ground since Sunday. Ben and I won’t be going to market this Saturday so we can get more things ready out on the farm. We’ll be tilling the soil for my new flower garden by the barn. I can’t wait to expand and experiment with flowers this Summer season!!!

Here’s a picture of Ben with hen’s bit (the chickens love it – it’s the purple flower bouquet in his arm) and tasting what we think is wild lettuce. I tried some too. It was bitter. The chickens liked it though.

Here’s Ben making soil blocks. This week Ben made tons of soil blocks and I planted tons of seeds. The rest of the pictures are the seedlings from our first round of brassicas. We also have tomato, cucumber, and pepper seedlings (not pictured). 

Well, that’s all folks! Have a fantastic weekend! We’ll see you at market next week. 

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.

kale, recipe ideas

Kale


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If kale is new to you, here are a few yummy recipes. I LOVE kale. I could eat it everyday. I throw it in soups and I often just saute it. Hopefully these recipes will help get the creative juices going.



From Food Network:
Sauteed Kale Bobby Flay

 
Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds young kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced (you can also substitute green garlic instead)
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and
cook until soft, but not colored. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and
cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season
with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar.

Asian-Style Kale

The Washington Post, October 4, 2006

  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Course: Side Dish
  • Features: Fast, Healthy, Meatless

Summary:

This recipe is from Robyn Webb, a cooking instructor, who says she is particularly fond of using dino kale, but any kind can be substituted here. Serve this dish with marinated, grilled chicken and either steamed brown rice or cooked udon or soba noodles.
3 to 4 servings

Ingredients:
  • • 3/4 pound (1 large bunch) kale*
  • • 2 to 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • • 1 small shallot, minced
  • • 1 to 2 clove garlic, minced
  • • 1/4 cup (2 thin) minced scallions, both white and light green parts
  • • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger root
  • • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds*, for garnish
Directions:

Wash the kale thoroughly to remove all grit. Discard the tough ribs, and coarsely chop the kale leaves.
In a large skillet or heavy wok, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic, scallions and ginger root and cook for about 1 minute to release the aromas. Add the kale a bunch at a time and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until the leaves have softened a bit but the kale retains its shape. Remove from heat and add the soy sauce. Divide among individual plates, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, if using, and serve hot.
ABOUT COOKED KALE: Some people like their greens on the softer side. For this recipe, author Robyn Webb suggests two techniques to achieve that result:
After the 3 to 4 minutes’ cooking time (but before the soy sauce is mixed in), add water, cover and let steam to desired texture. Continue the recipe with the soy sauce step as stated in the recipe directions.
The kale can first be plunged into boiling water and cooked for 3 to 4 minutes, then drained. Proceed with cooking the shallots and then add the kale as stated in the recipe directions.
NOTE: To toast sesame seeds: Heat them in a dry skillet over medium heat or in a 325-degree oven, shaking the pan frequently, until lightly browned and fragrant, 4 to 8 minutes. Watch carefully; they burn easily.

Recipe Source:

Adapted from Northern Virginia cooking instructor Robyn Webb.
67 calories, 4g fat, 1g saturated fat, n/a cholesterol, 174mg sodium, 7g carbohydrates, 2g dietary fiber, n/a sugar, 3g protein.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick for The Washington Post.
E-mail the Food Section at food@washpost.com with recipe questions.
 
 

 Ingredients

  • 12  cups  water
  • 1  bunch kale, trimmed (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 2/3  cups  (1-inch) cubed Yukon gold or red potato (about 1 pound)
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1  tablespoon  butter or stick margarine
  • 3  cups  diced onion
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh sage
  • 1/4  cup  sliced green onions
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • Sage sprigs (optional)

Preparation

Bring water to a boil in a Dutch oven; add kale. Cover and cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until tender. Remove kale with a slotted spoon, reserving cooking liquid. Chop kale and set aside.
Add potato to reserved cooking liquid in pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain; partially mash potatoes. Stir in kale and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, diced onion, and chopped sage. Cook 13 minutes or until browned. Combine potato mixture, onion mixture, green onions, and pepper. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Divide potato mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Place patties on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes.
Preheat broiler.
Broil patties for 5 minutes or until browned. Garnish with sage sprigs, if desired.

 Baked Kale Chips 
(we haven’t had these yet – but a TON of people we’ve talked to have and they LOVE them)

Ingredients:
1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
Directions:
1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
3. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.          
 

This fast stew retains the great charred flavor of the greens, and is much more substantial than a side dish. It also amplifies the taste of the classic combination of collards cooked with salt pork or smoky bacon.

 
 
 

Kale, Sausage and Mushroom Stew

Yield 4 servings
Time 30 to 40 minutes
Mark Bittman

Summary
I like to start with pork sausage, but you can use bits of pork if you like, or a turkey or chicken sausage. Mushrooms cooked in the pan after the sausage make a great garnish for the stew, and so would grated or shaved Parmesan. But the key ingredients are garlic, lots of it, and hot red pepper. Paprika or crushed red chili flakes are fine, but even better is the smoked Spanish paprika called pimentón de la vera, or dried crushed Urfa or Maras peppers from Turkey.
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 to 1 pound Italian sausage, sweet or hot, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 poundrn kale, leaves stripped from stems, stems reserved
  • 3/4 pound trimmed and sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon hot paprika or dried red chili flakes, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
Method
  • 1. Put olive oil in large deep skillet or casserole, and turn heat to medium-high; a minute later, add sausage and cook without stirring until well browned on one side, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, chop kale stems into 1/2-inch lengths and shred leaves.
  • 2. Stir sausage and let it brown a bit more. Remove it with a slotted spoon (don’t worry if it isn’t cooked through). Cook mushrooms in remaining fat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
  • 3. Add kale stems and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown, in 3 or 4 minutes. Turn heat to medium and add garlic, paprika or chili flakes, kale leaves, salt and pepper; stir and cook about 1 minute. Return sausage to pan and add stock or water. Raise heat to high and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste, ladle stew into bowls and top with reserved mushrooms.
Source: The New York Times

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

bacon, brussels sprouts, carrots, greens, kale, recipe community

Your carrots need your support!


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Another week has gone by and we are starting the summer 2010 growing season! We seeded up our first round of lettuce, scallions, cabbage, beets and parsley. We are very excited! It amazes me how far ahead we plan and work to get to harvest. This first round of seeding is meant for harvest in April and May. The short days and cold weather increases the amount of time it takes for plants to get to transplant stage. It is a combination of heat and day length that regulates the life cycle of vegetables. Especially when day length is longer than 10 hours, plants start to come out of dormancy and grow. We officially start receiving more than 10 hours of sunlight a day on Monday, Jan 25. Carrots, which we love, take 13 weeks from seeding to harvest. We’ll be seeding them in the next week or two for May harvest. Ahh, we can’t wait for those delicious roots…

Your carrots need your support! We need your CSA deposits so we can order seeds and other supplies to get the season under way. We also need your support in getting the word out about the CSA. Tell your friends, co-workers, neighbors, family, people on the street! In these depths of winter it can seem a long way to harvest but it is not! We will be planting not only carrots but also peas and broccoli soon. We plan on growing orange, purple and rainbow carrots, sugar snap peas and Italian heirloom broccoli that is good and tasty. We need your support to get your carrots, peas and broccoli in the ground and growing.

Our online store is still operating and will continue to operate through the spring. This coming Tuesday, January 26th, we plan to have produce pickup at our house, 604 Sasser St., between 4pm to 7:30pm. The next NCSU delivery will be Wednesday, January 27th. Remember to have your orders placed by Monday evening.

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!

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

Current vegetable availability includes:
baby beets
bok choy
brussels sprouts
cabbage
carrots
Chinese cabbage
collards
scallions
2 types of kale
red & green loose-leaf lettuce
red & green oakleaf lettuce
red butterhead lettuce
sweet potatoes
tatsoi
Vitamin Green (a mild Asian leafy green)

No longer offered:
broccoli
mixed greens
mustard greens
radishes
spinach
swiss chard
turnips

Future winter vegetables may include:
arugula
broccoli raab
mixed baby lettuce & greens
turnips
swiss chard

Here is a variation on a great recipe we had with some friends we visited last weekend. They served it with grits and sausage on the side. Yummy in our tummy!

SAUTEED KALE AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON
serves four as a side dish or two as a main dish

1/4 pound thick bacon
1/2 pound kale, about one bunch
1 pound Brussels sprouts, about 1 quart
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup pine nuts, or substitute other nuts such as pecans or walnuts.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, turning once, until done. Drain and chop the bacon. Pour off some of the bacon fat if you’d like. We like to cook the greens in fat.

While your bacon cooks, tear the kale leaves from the stems into bite sized pieces. Chop the Brussels sprouts into pieces about 1/8 inch wide.

Heat the bacon fat over medium-high heat. Add the greens and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the greens are slightly wilted, about five minutes. Add the bacon and garlic and sauté for another two minutes.

While the greens are cooking, brown the nuts over medium-high heat in a small, dry skillet, tossing frequently.

Salt and pepper the greens to taste, and sprinkle them with toasted pine nuts.

Voila! Yummy kale and brussels sprouts!

See you next week…
Ben & Patricia

P.S. We will be posting vegan and vegetarian recipes soon…

cabbage, carrots, cold weather, CSA, kale, recipe ideas, winter

Cold Snaps & Sweet, Sweet Kale…


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Hey Folks,

Hope you’re staying warm through this cold snap. It sure is a cold one. This ain’t nothing for me though. I come from the hills of the north where it’s like this for 7 months a year! On a serious note, it is much warmer down here and the winters are shorter, both aspect of the warmer South that I love. I’m torn because I love yet am averse to the cold, snow, ice, slush, darkness, etc. northern winters. I must admit, southern winters are better suited to winter vegetables. We saw a little bit of snow on our way to Tennessee for the holidays when we drove through the mountains. I am sentimental about snow at this moment. Ahh, the crunch underfoot is satisfying. Perhaps we’ll see the white stuff yet!

We postponed the online store pick up today until Wednesday this week because the high temperature today was about 34 with a fair breeze on the farm. Such conditions have adverse effects on produce post-harvest by accelerated transpiration of moisture. The produce goes limp and shows signs of drying out, especially the skin on carrots. The temperatures look better tomorrow with a high around 40 F mid-afternoon. We hope you all understand we want to provide the best local produce by working with the weather, not against it.

We announced the CSA this past Sunday. See our post from January 3rd for information on our Summer 2010 CSA. We received our first deposit today and we are very excited! Woo-hoo! We’re in business! Plenty of spaces are open, so please consider our CSA for your spring and summer veggies & fruit.

Patricia made us an amazing meal tonight by using fresh red cabbage, carrots and Toscano kale from the farm. It was fried catfish on a bed of red cabbage and carrot coleslaw with mixed southern greens and butter beans on the side. Writing about it is making me salivate. Here’s the run down.

– Battered and pan-fried catfish
– Thinly cut red cabbage and shredded carrots dressed with Italian herb vinegrette & salt.
– Mixed Southern Greens & Bean – (First, Patricia cooked a few bacon strips for the dish. Then she sauteed chopped onion & garlic in the bacon fat, then added 1 bunch of torn Toscano kale, 1 can of drained butter beans, cut cooked bacon, a splash of Texas Pete’s Pepper Vinegar and a splash of water, then simmered until kale was tender.)

I cannot express how sweet the kale was and what a delight it was to eat. The Toscano kale is proof the cold weather helps converts starches to sugars in cold hardy greens. It was unlike any other green I have ever had. It might match our winter carrots in terms of sweetness. Wow! That’s about all I can say. Try them yourself. It might help you see kale in a different light!

Our online store is still operating and will continue to operate until the end of March at the soonest. Next Tuesday, January 12th, we plan to have produce pickup at our house, 604 Sasser St., between 4pm to 7:30pm.

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!

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

Current vegetable availability includes:
baby beets
bok choy
brussels sprout
cabbage
carrots
collards
green onions
kale
lettuce
sweet potatoes
tatsoi

No longer offered:
broccoli
chinese cabbage
mixed greens
mustard greens
radishes
spinach
swiss chard
turnips

Future winter vegetables may include:
arugula
broccoli raab
mixed baby lettuce & greens

We hope y’all had a good holiday season and a happy New Year! We’re thankful for a new year and this opportunity to follow our dream of starting a CSA.

See you soon,
Ben & Patricia