In this week’s BEET:
- Sign up to volunteer
- This week's share
- Windflower Farm News -- Letter from Farmer Ted
- Caring for potted basil (in this week’s share)
CSA Pickup Today 5-7:30pm
PS 56 at Gates and Downing (enter on Downing)
FULL SHARE PICK UP
YELLOW WEEK HALF SHARE PICK UPS
FRUIT SHARE BEGINS
Please Sign Up to Volunteer!
Each week we rely on some of you to make sure that everything is set up and ready for everyone else. Check your schedules and pick a time that works for you to fill your hours. We are in need of people these next few weeks.
This Weeks Share:
- dinosaur kale
- swiss chard
- radishes or turnips
- bunched garlic shoots
- potted basil
- strawberries (fruit share)
Letter From Ted: News from Windflower Farm
It’s a rainy Monday morning here at Windflower Farm. From my kitchen window, looking to the hill beyond our greenhouses, I see three deer. At first they were walking in the cucumber beds, now they are in the strawberries. Jan wonders how they have breached the fence before running up the hill to scoot them out. Organic growers used to suffer their greatest losses from insects, diseases and weeds, but now it’s deer - they are everywhere, and they love vegetables. When Jan returns she is soaked to the skin. She believes she found out how they got in. Later today we will walk the entire fence line and make repairs to the places they have tunneled under or chewed through.
Cucumbers, squashes and broccoli are just around the corner. An excellent way to enjoy kohlrabi is grated over a garden salad. It also makes a good coleslaw, and, sliced, it’s good with dips.
My John Deere is sitting in a heap in our new field. I’ll call the dealer this morning. This spring, we managed to rent a lovely 24-acre hay field from our neighbor, Maryjane. It slopes gently to the south and is protected from the wind by trees on its northern and western flanks. It is a field that I’ve eyed for fifteen years, and now the lease is ours. After taking a first cutting of hay two weeks ago, Jan, Nate and I began laying it out and plowing. The field will increase by half the amount of land we have under cultivation, and give us the chance to improve our cover cropping and rotations. It was in plowing under the old sod in our new field that I damaged my tractor. It was the strangest thing - I hit a vein of shale and somehow managed to drive the tractor off its left rear wheel. It’s possible the two are not connected – the shale and my mishap – but it’s improbable. There was a thunk (shale), then a snap (wheel). Four of the bolts holding the wheel to the hub on the tractor sheared off, and the other four pulled straight out of the hub. The tractor is now sitting on the wheel which is pinned under its rear fender at an odd angle. The boys down at the dealership will no doubt have a good laugh over that one. The thing is – it’s a new tractor, with just 116 hours, and they are the ones who assembled it. My chief concern is that they piece it back together so that I can finish plowing. I have cover crops to sow.
Miso Kale Salad with Miso Roasted Tofu
- 1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons, miso
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or brush on some olive oil. Make sure that you coat it well, because if you don’t, then the tofu will stick to the baking sheet. I used my olive oil cooking spray.
Pat the tofu dry and then cut the block into square cubes. I cut the block of tofu into 7 slices and then cut those in half to get these squares. It really doesn't matter how you cut up your tofu, just make sure they are cut into even pieces.
Combine the lemon juice, miso and minced garlic in a large bowl and use a spatula to mix it together. It will resemble a thick paste.
Add the tofu to the mixture and gently toss to coat. Spread the tofu in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the tofu on the middle rack, turning one to two times during baking, until browned, about 18-20 minutes, or until the tofu is browned on all sides.
Miso Kale Salad
- 1 bunch (whole head) lacinato/dinosaur kale, curly kale or red kale, large stems removed, thinly sliced - to see a step-by-step demonstration on how to de-stem and slice kale - click here.
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons miso
- 1 clove garlic, minced - I used 2 medium cloves and it tasted great
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, miso and garlic in a glass measuring cup or small bowl. Make sure to whisk the ingredients together well. The dressing will be a bit thick and pasty. Put your sliced and de-stemmed kale into a salad bowl.
Pour the dressing to taste (see my note below) over the kale, and mix well so that all the kale absorbs the dressing. I actually massaged my kale a bit so the kale really absorbed the dressing. You don't have to go crazy massaging this kale salad. When I say, "massage" your kale, I literally mean, get your hands in there and massage it. You will notice that the kale reduces in size quite a bit, and what seemed like a mess of kale is now 1/2 of what it was.
Note: Add the dressing to taste. Some heads of kale are smaller than others, so just use the amount of dressing for the amount of kale you have. The first batch I made had less kale so I only used 3/4 the amount of dressing I made. The second batch I used had a bit more kale, and I ended up using the whole amount of dressing. Add the 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, and toss to coat.
Top the salad with some roasted tofu, or not. The kale salad is great on its own as well.
Be sure to store the tofu and kale separately.
Got leftovers? Just re-heat the tofu in a 250 degree oven until warmed. This salad tastes great day two and even day three.
You can also make a kale caesar salad wrap. Just top a whole-grain tortilla with the leftover kale salad, the warmed tofu and then smash an avocado on top and wrap it up. It's just a fun and different way to enjoy this salad.
It is a cousin of the turnip and cabbage, and both the bulb and the greens can be eaten raw or cooked. Kholrabi is actually a german word meaning: turnip-cabbage. It’s a member of the brassica family, those nutrient-dense cabbages (as well as kales, brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower) whose phytochemicals are highly regarded for their antioxidant properties.
While the kohlrabi bulbs are what you'll usually see, don't pass up an opportunity to pick them up if you see the greens still attached — they're delicious and can be eaten raw in salad if they're young and tender, or sautéed or steamed like mustard greens.
Kohlrabi needs little prep, but you should always peel off the tough outermost layer of the bulb with a vegetable peeler first.
1. Eaten Raw
When raw, kohlrabi is slightly crunchy and mildly spicy, like radishes mixed with turnip. You can toss them in a salad, make a slaw out of grated kohlrabi, or eat them on their own with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt.
2. In Soup
While kohlrabi can be thrown into a basic chunky vegetable soup, we particularly like it in a creamy, pureed soup with mild spices so that sweet kohlrabi flavor can really shine through. Kohlrabi can also be added to recipes for Cream of Potato, Cream of Broccoli, and even Cream of Mushroom soup!
3. Made Into Fritters
This is a great way to get kids to eat their kohlrabi! Shred it and mix with an egg and a few tablespoons of flour or breadcrumbs. Heat oil or butter in a flat skillet, drop on small mounds, and flatten slightly with the back of your spatula. Turn after a few minutes, and serve when both sides are crispy.
Like most other vegetables, when roasted in the oven, the outside of the kohlrabi caramelizes, and the flavor sweetens and mellows. We like to toss it with other roasted veggies like eggplant and potatoes for a hearty side dish.
This is kind of a cheat-suggestion because kohlrabi can be used in literally anything once steamed. We throw steamed kohlrabi into frittatas, stir-fries, and pasta dishes. We also like to puree it with a little cream and simple spices. There are even recipes for stuffing steamed kohlrabi into empanadas and calzones!
Potted Basil Plant: Tips
Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow, whether in a pot or in the ground.
- Keep your basil plant in a sunny spot in your garden. Move it inside to a sunny windowsill when the temperature gets below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Water regularly, but do not allow the soil to remain saturated. Repot or transplant if the soil is not well-draining.
- Fertilize 1 to 2 times a month with a liquid plant fertilizer. Any well-balanced fertilizer will do, but avoid those designed to increase blooming.
- Trim often by pinching center leaves. This will not only give you a tasty addition to your recipes, but it will also help your plant to stay productive longer.
- Remove any flower stalks. Once basil starts to bloom it will put all of its energy into flowering instead of growing leaves.