Our big plan on the farm this week is to put up our third hoophouse. With all of the unpredictability of weather - big temperature swings, too much rain, etc - we have come to understand just how valuable our protected growing space is. We can grow in these unheated tunnels year-round, producing kale and spinach during the winter months, early spring crops for the first few shares, and heat-loving crops like tomatoes and peppers over the summer and into fall. It’s a little crazy to be putting up a third hoophouse once our CSA season is already underway, but luckily we’ve got the people power to make this happen even during the busyness of harvest and planting that is typical for mid-May. Our summer intern, Will, starts working this Wednesday and with a couple more worker shares starting in a few weeks, we’ll have our full team assembled. It’s go time!
The new item in the share this week is baby pac choi. This is another fun mini vegetable that is really versatile in the kitchen. Pac choi is traditionally used in stir fry, but is also great in soup, or an asian-type salad like the recipe Maria has provided below. We’ve had issues with a couple of these pac choi plantings starting to flower before the heads filled out very much. Despite that issue, these bunches are beautiful, tender, and as a bonus the flower stalks are edible and quite tasty. I hope you enjoy this unusual offering!
I love the mustard greens frittata recipe that Maria included this week. Mustard greens pair really well with eggs and it’s probably my favorite way to use them. I know that mustards aren’t a favorite for everyone, so if you haven’t enjoyed them in the past, you should definitely try them in a frittata before you write them off completely. You can definitely use your sweet onions or green garlic as a substitute for the scallions or leeks in either of the recipes this week.
The salad mix is just incredibly beautiful and a joy to harvest and eat. We wash all of your veggies, including the cut greens, but I usually recommend that you wash them once more before eating. You can mix in some of the mustard greens with your salad mix and the mini romaine lettuce to stretch them a bit further if you are really enjoying your salads. We love to make meal-sized salads loaded up with all sorts of toppings - toasted nuts, feta cheese, dried fruit, other veggies, and sunflower seeds are some of our favorite toppings.
I have to say I’m a little disappointed in our early radish plantings. I think that the near constant rain we’ve been having is really impacting their quality. Hopefully the radish lovers out there are still getting enough of these to satisfy the sweet, hot, crunchy cravings. Some of you will be getting baby turnips (marble to quarter sized) bunched with their greens. The greens of radish and turnip can be used just like other mustard greens, so those could also be used in the frittata if you like. Hope you all have a lovely week!
To make the dressing, in a small bowl or in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine brown sugar, olive oil, vinegar, sesame seeds, and soy sauce. Allow flavors to blend at room temperature while preparing the rest of the salad.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Reduce heat to low. Add ramen noodles and almonds; sauté until toasted, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.
In a large bowl, combine baby bok choy, scallions, carrots, bell pepper and crunchy mix. Drizzle salad dressing over the top and toss until uniformly combined. Serve at room temperature.
Mustard Greens, Prosciutto, And Leek Frittata
12 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large leek, white and light green thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bunch mizuna (mustard) greens, cut into 1-inch slices
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, plus some leaves for garnish
2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips
1 oz parmesan, shaved
With the oven rack in the middle position, heat the broiler.
Whisk together the eggs and ricotta. Then add some salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a 12-inch cast iron pan, heat the olive oil over low. Add the leeks and garlic along with a sprinkle of salt. Saute for 5 minutes, or until the leeks are tender. Add the greens and saute until fully wilted, 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the basil. Then pour in the reserved egg mixture. Stir for 1 minute to fully combine the eggs and vegetables. Then let set and thicken for 2 minutes.
Top the frittata with the sliced prosciutto. Put it in the oven for 5-6 minutes, until the egg has puffed up a little.
Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes. Then top with parmesan shavings and any reserved basil leaves. Cut the frittata into wedges and serve.
Cooking the Frittata: While I like the broiler since it is fast, if you're worried the broiler is going to overcook the frittata, switch to the oven at 350F for about 20 minutes. (30 minutes if you are using a 10 inch pan.)
Leeks: Leeks tend to trap silt and dirt in their leaves. Rinse the leeks well after slicing them and before adding them to the pan.