Hello June! May was a bit of a roller coaster month, so hopefully you will be a little more consistent for us. Our fields are nearly completely planted at this point, and we are already turning over beds from the earliest crops. On the docket to plant this week: sweet potatoes, ginger, more lettuce (we plant every week for a consistent supply), and small cucumbers. We are also focused on staying ahead of the weeds this week and on getting all of our sprinkler systems up and running. The cucumber and tomato plants are growing like crazy these days - I think the cucumber vines grew at least 12 inches from Monday to Friday last week. There are so many baby cukes on the vines and I can't wait to start harvesting them. A couple of you were curious as to how our cucumbers would be pollinated with the insect netting we installed on the cucumber house. The answer is that most of the nice varieties of cucumbers do not require pollination to set fruit, and in fact they are more likely to be seedless if they aren't pollinated. Keeping the cucumber beetles out of the house means that we should be able to harvest a lot of really nice quality fruits for you.
As far as the share veggies this week, we are in a bit of a transition phase here for the next week or two. We are coming to the end of some of our cooler weather crops (the spinach did not appreciate all of those hot days last week), and are waiting for the warm weather crops to fully come on. This has been such a weird spring and many of the crops we had expected to already be harvesting (broccoli, sugar snap peas, kohlrabi, fennel), are just starting to size up. This means that you are getting salad turnips for a third week in a row and lots of beautiful lettuce. I typically don't like to give the same crop three weeks in a row, but sometimes that is how the crop cards fall. Luckily, those turnips store really well in your fridge if you remove the greens first. The roots we are giving this week are smaller, baby turnips are they are so tender and delicious. I do really love them in soups like the recipe that Maria has for us below. With some of the smaller turnips I like to leave them pretty much whole in a soup. You can leave just a bit of the greens on and don't even cut the root off. The garlic scapes would be an awesome addition to a the soup as well - substitute the scapes for some of the leeks. If you've never tried or heard of garlic scapes before, they are the early flower stalk of the garlic plant. Scapes are curly and crazy looking, but tender, with a delicate garlic flavor. They generally need a bit of cook time to soften up. To prepare them, I usually just dice into small pieces and saute a bit before adding other ingredients to whatever I'm cooking. Scapes are great in an egg-based dishes too - maybe a garlic scape and kale fritatta?
Our zucchinis are just starting to come on and should be in shares starting next week. We'll also have more kohlrabi next week, so maybe you'll want to save some of your beets for the fritters recipe below that combines these three veggies! Hope you all have a wonderful week :)
Recipes from Maria:
White Bean, Turnip, Sausage and Greens Stew
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1-lb. fresh chopped turnip greens
2 cups diced smoked sausage
2 T olive oil
3 medium turnips (about 1 lb.), chopped
2 leeks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 (15-oz.) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 (32-oz.) container reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tsp ground black pepper
Bring 2 qt. water and 1/4 cup kosher salt to a boil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add turnip greens, and boil 5 minutes or until tender. Drain.
Cook sausage in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring often, 5 minutes or until browned. Stir in turnips, and cook 5 minutes. Add leeks and next 3 ingredients, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes or until leeks are tender.
Increase heat to high. Add turnip greens and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, black pepper, and remaining 1 1/2 tsp. salt.
Zucchini Kohlrabi Carrot Beet Fritters with Herb Yogurt Sauce
For the Fritters:
1 medium-large zucchini, grated
1 spring onion, minced
3 small carrots, peeled and grated
3 small beets, peeled and grated
2 small kohlrabi, leaves removed, peeled and grated
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
For the Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp avocado oil
1/8 tsp salt
For the Fritters:
Combine zucchini, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, and spring onion in a cheese cloth* and wring out any excess water. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
Add egg, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mix to coat evenly.
Add olive oil to cast iron skillet (or a regular frying pan is OK) over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot enough, drop 1/4 cup of fritter batter into the pan and flatten out with a spatula. Depending on the size of your skillet, cook a few fritters at a time, leaving space in-between. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown and crispy.
Transfer cooked fritters to a paper towel to absorb some oil. Serve with yogurt sauce.
For the Yogurt Sauce:
Mix yogurt, lemon zest, parsley, avocado oil, and salt until combined. Serve alongside fritters.
*If you don’t have a cheese cloth, add veggies to a strainer and sprinkle with salt and let sit for 10 minutes and then wring out excess liquid with hands.
**To save time, shred vegetables in a food processor instead of hand grating them.