Hopefully everyone was able to get out and vote today, or early in-person over the last three weeks, or by mail. I have to say that the increased access to polls this year has been such a heartening side effect of the pandemic. Our Independence Farmers' Market is next to the senior center in Independence, which has had Saturday voting hours these last three weeks. It was great to see so many folks lined up to have their voices heard. I hope that we continue to have this greater voting access in the future. Our communities are stronger when more people participate!
On a completely different note, Steve and I were chatting about house building this weekend. We have been dreaming for years of building a straw bale home up on the hilltop, but it has been hard to devote enough time and mental energy to planning for it to actually get started. Also, we've had to take one step at a time. First - get a driveway built (last year); Next - get a pack shed built (this year) and finished (hopefully by spring); Finally - start on house project! There are so many unknowns with this project and it is really important for us to keep a tight budget so that we can afford the house and support our family with solely farm income. As the calendar turns to November, we'll have more time to get this project moving. Our hope is that we'll be able to start building in fall next year, or spring 2022. I'm telling all of you this, so that I can keep myself accountable :) It is very easy to let the mundane urgencies of everyday life take precedence over longer term projects.
We have some really nice shares for you these last two weeks of the season. New items this week include watermelon radishes, radicchio, and a red variety of napa cabbage. Watermelon radishes earned their name because they have a greenish rind with a bright pink interior. This makes for an especially beautiful presentation if you slice them into rounds. Here is a link with lots of good ideas on how to use these hearty radishes: watermelon radish ideas. Radicchio is an italian vegetable that you will sometimes see in salad mixes, but has become more popular in cooked dishes like the grilled radicchio recipe Maria had below. If you want to learn more about radicchio and how to use it check out this link: radicchio info. This is the first year we've tried this red napa cabbage variety and it's so pretty! I've always loved using napa cabbage in a fresh, sweet and vinegary asian salad and this variety would be perfect for it. Maria has a great recipe below that includes a bunch of the share veggies this week and a dressing made with the fresh ginger as well!
Hope you all have a great week :)
Recipes from Maria:
Grilled Radicchio with Blue Cheese
2 heads radicchio, trimmed and quartered, leaving stem ends intact
⅓ cup white balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup crumbled blue cheese or feta (2 oz.)
Place radicchio in a large resealable bag set in a shallow dish. For marinade: In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, oil, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Pour over radicchio. Seal bag, turning to coat. Chill 1 to 2 hours. Drain, reserving marinade.
Grill radicchio on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally until each side is lightly charred. Turn wedges cut sides up; sprinkle with cheese. Grill 2 to 3 minutes more or until cheese is softened. Drizzle with reserved marinade. Serves 8.
Ginger Garlic Dressing
1/3 c rice vinegar
1/3 c olive oil
1/4 c honey
1 tsp sesame oil
2 T ginger, fresh, grated*
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
salt and pepper (to taste)
Combine all ingredients in a air-tight container with lid. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Shake well before serving. Store in refrigerator for up to a week.
*Freezing ginger root makes it a snap to grate for recipes.
Napa Cabbage Salad
1 large head napa cabbage
1 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 cup chow mein noodles
Cut about 2 inches from base of cabbage, separate leaves, rinse and spin in salad spinner to remove water from leaves. Stack leaves and cut in half lengthwise. Then stack halves and rotate to thinly slice leaves.
Add carrots, green onions, cilantro, almonds and chow mein noodles and toss with Ginger Garlic Dressing or if you prefer, have salad dressing on the side.