CSA Newsletter: Week 7

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Broccoli // Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The colder the better for broccoli. Try to use within a few days. 

Cauliflower (full shares only) // Cauliflower does not store well. Keep in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to eat within 5 days. It takes on strange flavors after that. Also, soak the head upside down in cool, salty water before use. Garden bests love to hide out in organic cauliflower.

Curly Kale (full shares) // Lasts at least a week if kept moist. Kale doesn’t taste as good once it’s dried out. Keep it in the crisper drawer of your fridge or loosely in a plastic bag to seal in the moisture.

Collards (half shares) // Refrigerate in a plastic bag until ready to use. Do not wash before storing.

Lettuce // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on head. Use within a week, but may store for up to two weeks.

Beets // Beet roots will easily last a couple of weeks. They’ll get soft after that but can still be used. Store the roots loose in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

Zucchini & Summer Squash // Zucchini and summer squash spoil most quickly in very warm or very cool temperatures. They can be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to use within a week as they will get soggy quickly in there.

Cucumbers // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.

Green Bell or Italian Frying Pepper // Refrigerate peppers, unwashed, in the vegetable drawer. Moisture makes them spoil faster so don’t store in a plastic bag..

Walla Walla Onion // Fresh onions, which are freshly harvested and have not been cured, should be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge until ready to use. They will last about a week.

Basil (full shares only) // Keep bag, with some air in it, in your fridge-- preferably in the crisper drawer. If you are gentle with it, it should last a week. 

Parsley (half shares only) // Store in the fridge in a small glass with about an inch of water, stem side down (like flowers in a vase) for best storage.

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Hello members!

Can you all believe it’s already mid-July? Can you believe we’ve already spent 7 weeks together and we’re nearing the time of year when tomatoes, melons and sweet corn will be coming out of the fields by the crateful?

I can’t. Every year, time flies. Every year, the first few months of the season are a total blur. I remember late April like it was yesterday: biding my time, waiting for that freak blizzard to thaw so I could get planting. We were so eager to get into the ground and get started on our 2018 plans. I don’t think we’ve stopped planting since.

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We spent April getting all the long season and early crops in: the onions, broccolis, cabbages, scallions, and spinach. Though they take over three months to grow, the onions are now nearing their harvest time. Their tops are beginning to brown and bend, a sign that they are almost finished. Onions let you know when they are ready. It’s one of my favorite things about them. The Walla Wallas, the fresh sweet onions in your box this week and last, are always the first to come out of the field; their growing window several weeks shorter than their neighbors.

Everything else we planted those first weeks of our planting season is finished. It has been harvested, mowed down, tilled back into the Earth, and seeded to a cover crop for the summer days that remain. Where the first, second and third broccoli plantings once stood, there are now newly seeded fields of buckwheat and crimson clover; a blend of crops that both fix nitrogen back into well-used soil while also suppressing weeds and helping with our weed pressure in the longer term. Many of the beds of cabbage, bok choy, kohlrabi, scallions and early fennel have met the same fate. Now out of production for 2018 and seeded to something that allows it to rest.  

Other beds are getting doubled cropped. This means that once the crop is finished, the bed is again tilled back in, but this time we don’t seed it to cover crop and let it rest; double cropping means we plant something else in that bed. We do this with beds that are especially “clean” meaning we did a good job of keeping the weeds down while the first crop grew. We also do this with crops that are short season (aka take less than 60 days to grow to full maturity) if they don’t have high nutrient needs. Crops like broccoli, cabbage and other brassicas all take a lot of nutrients from the soil (these crops are called “heavy feeders”) so we seed them to cover crop to start replenishing the soil. Crops like lettuce, spinach, beets, and radishes all take minimal nutrients from the soil while they grow so we can plant something else there. Late last week Kyle seeded the beginning of the fall carrots and beets into beds that had already contained other crops.

In other words, it may be mid-July, but we’ve got our minds on the fall diligently seeding crops that will fill your boxes in September and October. A good farmer is always looking to both the past and the future; feeling gratitude for the things already grown and the hurdles accomplished while also preparing for the issues that lie ahead and planning the successions of future harvests.

The work certainly isn’t slowing but we’re making sure to find moments for rest. The heavy harvests will begin soon and we’ll need all our energy.

-L&K

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VEGGIE ID: Walla walla onion

A Walla Walla onion isn't all that different from a regular yellow or white onion but there are a couple important ways it differs. First, it's a sweet onion so it's going to lend more sweetness to a dish than regular yellow or white. Secondly, they have a very high water content which means they do not caramelize well. They will reduce to practically nothing before they begin to take on color. Use them raw or cooked down slightly for best flavor.

Also, don't forget we are giving these onions FRESH which means they have not been cured. You should store them in your fridge and use within a couple weeks. 

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VEGGIE ID: BEETS ↓

Beets are one of my favorite vegetables. They add a lot of color and beauty to a time of year that is usually filled with more greens than anything else.  They are a root vegetable grown under ground like a radish or carrot with a sweet, earthy flavor. They have a thick skin that you will want to peel and greens that are similar to chard and are great to cook with. 

So how do I use it?

You can peel them raw with a vegetable peeler. If you are going to eat the beets raw, this is the best way to peel them, but if you are going to be using cooked beets then you can cook them first. This makes  removing the peel much easier. Trim both ends from the beets and either submerge them in boiling water  for 45 minutes or wrap them in foil and roast them for 45 minutes. When they are finished, you should be able to easily remove the peel just by sliding it off and then dice, slice or chop them according to your recipe preparation.

What is the best way to prepare beets?

I've done a lot with beets over the years. After peeling them there is a huge range of ways beets can be used! I've mashed them into burgers and falafel, put them on pizza, pureed them into a hummus (similar to the recipe below), grilled them, pickled them, shaved them raw on salads, thrown them in tarts, roasted them. What I've learned  is that beets are incredibly versatile. I really love to pair them with fennel, arugula, snap peas, lentils or citrus. Need more help? Check out any of the recipes included in this week or last week's newsletter!

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 8-9 of these items in your box next week

Beans

Bok Choy

Daikon Radish

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Collards or Lacinato Kale

Cucumbers

Pickling Cucumbers

Zucchini

Summer Squash

Eggplant

Bell Pepper

Jalapeno

Shishito Peppers

Fennel

Walla Walla Onion

Garlic

Mixed Herbs (basil, parsley, mint, chives)

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Hot Sandwich "Spread"

This is a sautee'd combo of veggies you layer onto grilled cheese, paninis or any hot sandwich. Make a batch when you get your box and use it all week!

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

5 or 6 kale leaves, chard or other greens; ribs removed, diced

1 zucchini or summer squash, shredded - unpeeled

Salt and pepper

could also add: shredded cabbage, herbs, jalapeno or poblano peppers

To make: In a skillet, using a tablespoon of butter or olive oil, saute' onion and pepper 2 -3 minutes. Add kale and shredded zucchini. Season with salt and pepper as well as garlic, parsley, or whatever other seasonings you want. Saute' until greens are cooked down and moisture is gone. Store in a container in fridge until ready to use. 

To use: Layer buttered bread, cheese, thick layer of veggie mixture, (slices of ham, or turkey - optional), another layer of cheese and final slice of buttered bread. Grill over medium heat until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown. Can also use in a panini instead of grilling.  I don't have a panini press so I use my George Foreman grill. Also good on baked sliders.

box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

 photo by: Naturally Ella

photo by: Naturally Ella

Summer Squash Soup // Summer Squash, Onion, sub Cauliflower for Potato if you received it this week, sub Basil or Parsley for cilantro, skip the Carrot // Velvety smooth and perfect for the abundance of summer squash we're experiencing right now, this soup is as simple as it is tasty. Plus it's vegan! I often use a whole can of coconut milk to make it a bit heavier. 

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Cucumber & Charred Onion Salad // Cucumber, sub Walla Walla Onion for Red Onion, Green Pepper and/or Jalapeno // This salad is one of my go to snacks when the cucumbers come on strong. I love the pairing of fresh, crunchy cucumbers with smoky grilled onions. I always skip the Fresno chile opting for a jalapeno instead or a mixture of diced green pepper and jalapeno. 

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Freeze your greens! // Kale, collards, chard // These are the optimal steps for freezing abundant CSA greens if you are tight on space. It will tell you to blanch, submerge in an ice bath and squeeze the liquid out of your greens. These are definitely the best steps for storing greens compactly. But know that chopping and freezing raw will also work just fine (though it will take up more space!).

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Vegan

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

 

Raw Beet & Cucumber Salad // Beets, Cucumbers, sub Onion for scallions, sub half Green Pepper for Banana Pepper, sub Jalapeno for the fresno chile if you've still got one or sub red pepper flakes if you don't, Basil or Parsley //  I love this recipe. I love the rawness of the beets paired with crisp, sweet cucumbers and the abundance of fresh herbs. The recipe calls for English and Persian cucumbers but regular old cucumbers work just as well. I like to peel strips of skin away (as the recipe suggests), halve the cucumbers, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and then thinly slice. I do, however, find this recipe to have way too many poppy seeds though so feel free to reduce the quantity or leave them off altogether.

Vegetarian, Vegan (without the cheese), Gluten-Free

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Summer Squash Tuna Cassarole Melt // Summer Squash, Onion, Pepper // I'm not an especially big fan of tuna or tuna melts (or casseroles for that matter) so imagine my surprise when I found a recipe like this in my new favorite fancy cookbook (Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden). I made it one night in a pinch when we had a ton of summer squash in our fridge and not much else and I was so pleasantly surprised that I've made it three times now. Hope you enjoy as much as we did! 

 photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Obsessively Good Avocado Cucumber Salad // Cucumbers, sub Onion for scallions (unless you happen to still have scallions in your fridge), Parsley or Basil // The name says it all. This salad is obsessively good. I love to grill or roast some salmon and eat this salad on the side for the most simple dinner. 

Vegetarian, Vegan (with the right mayo substitute)

 photo by: Yay! For Food

photo by: Yay! For Food

Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls with Garlicky Kale // Kale or Collards // Brown rice + beautiful wilted greens + a protein makes for a delicious, healthy dinner packed full of flavor when paired with this teriyaki sauce (and plenty of garlic!!). If you want to try something really crazy, full shares can try their hand at cauliflower rice instead of brown rice. Instructions found here. 

Gluten-Free (with soy sauce substitute)

 photo by: Bev Cooks

photo by: Bev Cooks

Seared Salmon with Gnocchi and Roasted Cauliflower // Cauliflower, Basil or Parsley // This time of year as the abundance really begins, simplicity is key. A simple piece of seared salmon. A bag of pasta dropped into boiling water. A pan of roasted cauliflower. All showered with a quick sauce of fresh herbs. There's nothing better. 

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Kale & Cucumber Salad with Roasted Ginger Dressing // Kale, Cucumbers (use our regular cucumbers for both the hothouse and Persian versions called for), sub Walla Walla for red onion, sub Jalapeno for Thai chile in dressings, skip the Cilantro if you don't have any on hand (or sub Chives or any other herb you have on hand) // Kale salads are my jam. I love kale as a salad green more than anything else. I know lettuce and lettuce mix are endlessly popular, but kale still has my heart. I love the heartiness and way it can stand up to massive amounts of toppings and flavors (as it does here). 

 photo by: Minimalist Baker

photo by: Minimalist Baker

Vegan Collard Green Burritos // Collards, sub Walla Walla for red onion, sub Parsley or Basil for cilantro & sprouts, add sauted Green Pepper (and whatever else you feel like tossing in-- again Cauliflower Rice could be fun if you want to give it a whirl) // This recipe as its written is totally vegan with walnut meal and vegan cheese spread so if you are vegan, absolutely give it a try. But if you aren't ground beef with taco seasoning and your favorite shredded cheese would work just as well. The real lesson to learn here is that collard greens make amazing vegetable wraps. Our friends at the Good Food cart did it a couple weeks ago and we just love the way it looks and tastes! Blanche the collards first for the best flavor and texture.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Love & Lemons

photo by: Love & Lemons

Beet Hummus // Beets, Basil or Parsley // Who doesn't love eating food so colorful and vibrant?! This hummus is clearly a work of art but it is delicious too. I love to beet hummus simply with crackers or some pita, but it's also great on a burger, in a wrap or even as a sauce for a Mediterranean style pizza. Yum!

Vegetarian, Vegan

 photo by: Taste of Home

photo by: Taste of Home

Yellow Summer Squash Relish // Summer Squash, Onion, Pepper // Oh how I love a good relish. This tasty summer squash treat is perfect for serving over pork chops or on a brat, though I'm sure there are dozens of ways to use it. 

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

CSA Newsletter: Week 5

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Broccoli (some half shares did not receive broccoli but more snap peas instead) // Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The colder the better for broccoli. Try to use within a few days. 

Rainbow Chard // Do not wash chard before storage. Wrap in a plastic bag and try to remove most of the air from the bag. Store in the fridge and try to use within a few days.

Lettuce Mix // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Lettuce mix is much more perishable than lettuce so try to use immediately or within a couple days.

Snap Peas // Peas are very perishable. Keep them in the fridge and eat within 2-3 days for best flavor. Snap peas are best eaten fresh, but snow peas can be used in cooking (and taste delicious) after a few days.

Zucchini & Summer Squash // Zucchini and summer squash spoil most quickly in very warm or very cool temperatures. They can be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to use within a week as they will get soggy quickly in there.

Jalapeno // Hot peppers keep well in the fridge, especially in the crisper drawer. I often keep hot peppers in a plastic bag so that they don’t spread their heat or flavor to other fridge items.

Fennel // Remove delicate leaves (also known as fronds) before storage if you plan to use. Store the bulbs in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Store the leaves in a moist paper towel in the fridge and use within a week.

Scallions // Store in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator and try to use within a week. If you use after a week, you can peel off the dry and/or “slimy” outer layer of the scallion.

Parsley (full shares) // Store in the fridge in a small glass with about an inch of water, stem side down (like flowers in a vase) for best storage.

Basil (half shares) // Store in a plastic bag that is twisted closed but still has plenty of air., preferably in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Some leaves may start to blacken in places but the majority of the basil should last up to a week.

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Hello! How is everyone? Did you all have a fantastic 4th of July and 4th of July weekend despite the heat? With the rescheduled delivery, we actually allowed ourselves to take the majority of the day off on July 4th (which is pretty much unheard of this time of year). After a quick zucchini harvest and transplanting the second planting of sweet corn, we retired to our house by early afternoon for some backyard hanging, games and fireworks with Kyle’s parents.

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And boy did we need that mid-week break. This June has definitely been our most exhausting one yet. Not exhausting because of our lack of skill or our lack of essential tools and infrastructure (which have certainly made past Junes tenuous), this June was exhausting because of the weather. The days have been warm (every day in June was above average temperature) and the rain has been falling in just the wrong way rendering our crew much less effective (because no one, including us, can work at full capacity or full speed in the rain and mud) and styming our best laid plans for an “easier” start to the season.

If you’ve noticed, most of the storms have been passing through on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays over the past month. And they have been strong storms accompanied by high winds and inches of rain. It’s been so much rain at one time that the fields get soaked and remain that way for three or four days (the days our crew is at the farm) making it impossible to plant or weed with hand tools and infinitely more time consuming to harvest. Then when the soil is finally ready to be worked, it’s Friday and our crew is off for three days so we are left to finish up the remaining tasks pulling long days in incredibly warm weather.

It hasn’t been an ideal cycle of weather, but it’s by far the best we’ve ever handled such ups, downs, and struggles on our farm. Even though we haven’t always been able to utilize them at full capacity, we did invest in the right tools this winter to work efficiently when we could work. And even though we haven’t been able to work our employees to their full potential, we did hire a kick butt crew this year and their positivity and joy through what could be miserable days is uplifting in ways I can’t even explain.

We’re beginning to realize how essential these big winter decisions really are in making it through the wacky weather and less than ideal conditions inherent in farming. It’s easy to plan for the best, but perhaps the people who succeed in farming are the ones who know how to plan for the worst. So, although we’ve had to pull longer hours on the weekends than I’d ever imagined and in hotter, tougher conditions, I guess you could say we’ve found a lot of silver linings.

First of all, we did it. We had the knowledge and know how to keep our heads up, stay positive and keep moving forward knowing that we’d make it through. And though we’ve been tired, we weren’t stressed. Every challenge felt surmountable. Plus, all the hard work is paying off. The fields are beautiful. It’s a true Eden out here. We can’t wait to show the fields off on Saturday at our rescheduled CSA open house! Hope to see you all out at the farm on the what is looking to be the most beautiful weekend we’ve had yet this summer!

Deep summer love and gratitude,

Lauren & Kyle

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VEGGIE ID: RAINBOW CHARD ↓

There's a green in your box this week that you may or may not be familiar with. It has giant leaves and colorful stems. It's rainbow chard and it's the best rainbow chard we've ever grown at our farm so expect a good amount of it!

Chard is a beautiful tender green that can be added to pretty much any dish from scrambled eggs to pizza (see amazing pizza below I made last night with chard instead of kale) to soups to pasta or eaten raw in a salad. The colorful stems should be removed before working with the leaves but can also be eaten. The colorful stems do great sauteed but take a bit longer to cook then the leaves, which is why I always remove them.

If chard is stumping you, check out this resource from Bon Appetit that lists 31 recipes that utilize rainbow chard.

If you are overwhelmed by greens, always remember that dark leafy greens (chard, kale, collards, spinach) stand up well to freezing for winter soup making. Find freezing tips in the recipe/box inspiration portion of the newsletter.

 photo cred: Rachel Joy Barehl

photo cred: Rachel Joy Barehl

VEGGIE ID: FENNEL ↓

Fennel is one of those vegetables that everyone thinks they don't like just because they don't know how to use it yet. I know because I was one of those people for a very long time. Fennel is a beautiful vegetable used in a lot of Italian cooking.  It's got a white bulb, green stalk and beautiful scented fronds at the top.  You can eat all of these things but most commonly folks eat the bulb or the fronds.

The bulb is pretty comparable to an onion (and can be used as such) but has a slightly anise (black licorice) flavor. I think this is why it gets such a bad wrap. Because people hate black licorice (I do too!). But anise is actually a flavor used in lots of common favorites like Italian sausage and pepperoni. When it's subtle it adds a lot to a dish. I know this is a less of a description of a vegetable and more of me begging you to try a vegetable, but I'm begging you people, try the fennel in one of the recipes below! You might be surprised! Also, here's an awesome article from a chef in Columbus, Ohio asking you to do the same :)

So how do I use it?

Because lots of people are stumped by fennel, there are lots of great tutorials online for how to cut it up. You will cut the bulb away from the stalks in an angle matching the shape of the fennel and then slice off the bottom where the fennel sat on the ground. Place the fennel flat on it's base and slice it in half lengthwise. From there you'll see a little core near the bottom of each half. It will look solid and triangular. Remove that and then get to chopping! This link will teach you how to slice, dice and shave it. I most often shave it because I love how delicate it is when added to any dish, but this is much easier with a mandolin than trying to do by hand. This link will teach you how to store and use every part of the vegetable.

What is the best way to prepare fennel?

Honestly, you can keep it so simple with fennel. You can shave it and throw it on pizza or in pasta. You can roughly chop it and throw it in a stew or braise. You can slice it and grill it (I'm so excited to try this over the weekend!). You can use a similar technique and roast it in the oven. You can shave it and toss it with some apple and lemon juice  for a quick salad. You can throw it in a quiche or a tart. You can really do a ton.

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 8-9 of these items in your box next week

Red Cabbage

Chard

Collards

Broccoli

Snow Peas

Snap Peas

Beets

Cucumbers

Zucchini

Summer Squash

Bell Pepper

Jalapeno

Onion

Basil

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Zucchini Pie

1 8-ounce package refrigerated crescent rolls                          

½ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter                                                                             

½ teaspoon black pepper

4 cups thinly sliced zucchini                                                           

2 eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup chopped scallions                                                                   

2 cups shredded cheese – fontina, jack or swiss works best

3 tablespoons fresh parsley (or basil), chopped                                                       

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat oven to 375⁰. Unroll crescent roll dough. If using dough sheet, you can place it in the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 11 X 7” dish. If using traditional crescent roll dough, place points of each triangle in center of 9” or 10” pie plate. Press to seal seams and press dough up sides. Melt butter in lg. skillet,  gently saute’ onion and zucchini until just tender, ~ 12 minutes.

Gently stir all herbs and seasonings into zucchini mixture, set aside. Stir up eggs in a small bowl, pour over zucchini mixture, sprinkle cheese over. Fold together, spoon over crescent crust. Bake until set, 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving . Can serve warm or at room temperature.

box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

 photo by: Half Baked Harvest

photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Garden Greens Goddess Pizza // Zucchini, Sub Chard for Kale (remove the stems and save for another use), Basil, add Shaved Fennel, skip the Arugula/Watercress (unless you still happen to have some lying around) // I love a good veggie pizza and this one is going to be on rotation this summer for two veggies that can overwhelm me quickly (abundant zucchini and abundant greens). You likely won't have enough basil in your box this week to make pesto so feel free to use prepared pesto from the grocery store instead of making your own, and save the fresh leaves for topping the pizza at the end. I also recommend you add a 1/4 cup of very thinly sliced fennel before baking or some fronds after it's finished. 

P.S. Let shaved zucchini be your new favorite method for using the summer treat!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free (with the right crust)

 photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Simple Zucchini & Leek Soup // Zucchini, Sub 1 Fennel & 2-3 Scallions for Leeks & Garlic, Sub Fennel Fronds for Dill, thick about adding the Jalapeno // I know with this hot weather we've been having it doesn't exactly feel like soup season but I promise it's worth it. Though my favorite recipe developer found a beautiful combination in zucchini and leeks, we almost never have these veggies at the same time so I tried zucchini and fennel instead and it was LOVELY. A match made in heaven. Hope

Vegetarian (with the right broth), Gluten-Free

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Freeze your greens! // Kale, collards, chard, spinach // These are the optimal steps for freezing abundant CSA greens if you are tight on space. It will tell you to blanch, submerge in an ice bath and squeeze the liquid out of your greens. These are definitely the best steps for storing greens compactly. But know that chopping and freezing raw will also work just fine (though it will take up more space!).

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Vegan

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Snow Pea, Fennel & Pickled Strawberry Salad // Sub Snap Peas for Snow Peas (or use a combination if you still have snow peas left from last week), Fennel, Scallions, add fresh Basil or Parsley // I was always hesitant to use a lot of raw fennel in a dish before this recipe. I didn't realize that the technique of soaking it in ice water (with scallions) would make the flavors so much more mild and lovely. This salad is super simple even though it asks you to pickle strawberries, it's essentially just cutting up veggies and tossing together in a bowl with some nuts and olive oil. The pickled strawberries come together in 5 minutes and will teach you a technique you may use throughout the summer. I love adding quick pickles to almost any salad to add a bit of brightness.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Sunset Magazine

photo by: Sunset Magazine

Pasta alla Gricia with Slivered Snap Peas // Snap Peas, add Jalapeno, Basil or Parsley // It’s not often I eat pasta and it’s not often I want to use my snap peas in any way other than by the handful as I quickly shovel them into my mouth, but this recipe changed all that. It’s a bit of effort making the cacio e pepe butter (aka black pepper and parmesan butter), but I promise you it’s so worth it. Toss some basil, parsley and/or minced jalapeno into the butter before you allow it to firm up for a real treat. 

 photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Creamed Chard & Spring Onions // Chard, Scallions, add Fennel // This dish is rich, no doubt about it, but it's also pure heaven with a silky white sauce. We added fennel and served this with grilled steak and a simple salad (see below). Simple, hearty, decadent. 

Vegetarian

 photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Grilled Sugar Snap Peas with Spicy Peanut Sauce // Snap Peas // I know most folks will just eat their snap peas straight out of the bag, but in case you didn't get enough grilling in this past week, I want to open your mind to the wonderful world of grilled snap peas. They are one of the most amazing summer treats I've ever experienced. The spicy peanut sauce is also out of this world.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Broccoli Basil Quiche // Broccoli, Basil, Scallions, add Fennel and Jalapeno // This recipe, featured in the Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook we sell, is a new favorite. I never thought of putting broccoli in quiche for some reason until I was asked to make this recipe for my friends at FairShare (my photos ended up being featured alongside the recipe in a great article about CSA for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). The recipe does call for prepared basil, but I say skip making the pesto and just add 2-3 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil instead! I also added about 1/4 cup very thinly sliced fennel to this dish when I made it recently and it was lovely!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free (with the right crust)

Simple Salad // Lettuce Mix, Fennel, Scallions, Basil or Parsley if you like // I love fresh crunchy summer salads that have little more for ingredients than the produce in your box. Cooking with vegetables can be so much simpler than we think it is. This salad is a bed of greens topped with thinly sliced fennel, sliced scallion and cubed avocado alongside my favorite sweet dressing (Papaya Poppyseed from Annie's Organics). The citrus pairs perfectly with the fennel! You could also add some fresh herbs if you don't have another purpose for them.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Broccoli Melts // Broccoli, consider adding some Fennel & Scallions instead of the garlic, maybe some Basil or Parsley too // Broccoli is always an easy vegetable to cook with but I still like to find fun preparations that go a bit beyond the ordinary. These broccoli melts are simple and silly and as great for a party as they are for a quick dinner. 

Vegetarian, Gluten Free (with the right bread)

CSA Newsletter: Week 6

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Red or Green Cabbage (full shares + most half shares) // Cabbage is one of the best storage vegetables. It can easily last three weeks to two months. You don’t need to do much to it. Keep it in the fridge in the crisper drawer. A plastic bag can help retain moisture, but it doesn’t matter much. The two outside leaves are used as storage leaves. Remove them before eating.

Broccoli (full shares + the half share who did not receive cabbage) // Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The colder the better for broccoli. Try to use within a few days. 

Rainbow Chard // Do not wash chard before storage. Wrap in a plastic bag and try to remove most of the air from the bag. Store in the fridge and try to use within a few days.

Lacinato (full shares) or Curly Kale (half shares) // Lasts at least a week if kept moist. Kale doesn’t taste as good once it’s dried out. Keep it in the crisper drawer of your fridge or loosely in a plastic bag to seal in the moisture.

Beets // Beet roots will easily last a couple of weeks. They’ll get soft after that but can still be used. Store the roots loose in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

Snap Peas // Peas are very perishable. Keep them in the fridge and eat within 2-3 days for best flavor. Snap peas are best eaten fresh, but snow peas can be used in cooking (and taste delicious) after a few days.

Zucchini & Summer Squash // Zucchini and summer squash spoil most quickly in very warm or very cool temperatures. They can be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to use within a week as they will get soggy quickly in there.

Cucumbers // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.

Green Bell Pepper // Refrigerate peppers, unwashed, in the vegetable drawer. Moisture makes them spoil faster so don’t store in a plastic bag.

Jalapeno // Hot peppers keep well in the fridge, especially in the crisper drawer. I often keep hot peppers in a plastic bag so that they don’t spread their heat or flavor to other fridge items.

Walla Walla Onion // Fresh onions, which are freshly harvested and have not been cured, should be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge until ready to use. They will last about a week.

Chives (full shares only) // Store in the fridge in a small glass with about an inch of water, stem side down (like flowers in a vase) for best storage.

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Oh, dearest CSA members, what can I say? Our hearts are so full. This weekend meant everything to us; absolutely everything. We really can’t express the gratitude we feel for the life we’re able to live and the people we’ve met since starting this journey.

We just want to extend the most heartfelt thank you to everyone who showed up to our first event of summer on Saturday night. We were nervous about the reschedule; nervous that we made the right decision in changing the date of a party that was already published all over our website and CSA materials. Nervous that people would be upset or worse, that no one would be able to show up on such late notice to our rain date.

We couldn’t have been more wrong. This farm party was the farm party we’d always dreamed of. Car after car just kept driving up our little hillside driveway trying to find spaces to park. Folks unloaded their lawn chairs, excitedly shared their potluck dishes and settled right in: making friends, asking questions, petting farm kitties, and just generally embracing everything that Raleigh’s Hillside Farm is all about.

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Slowly but surely, we watched the farm we’d dreamed of six years ago take shape right before our eyes. We watched it turn into things we both wanted desperately and also never imagined. Long ago, we dreamed of building a community space and a place where children would learn about what it looks like to produce real food; what broccoli looks like on the plant; what tomatoes look like before they ripen; which snap peas are ready to be harvested and which need a little more time. We dreamed of a world where people deeply connected with the farmers who grew their food and had parties of strangers becoming friends that stretched late into the night. We’ve never really had one of those moments where it all came together. We’ve certainly had many of these moments in small ways and in bits and pieces, but everything we dreamed of really came together on Saturday night. I saw that space I always knew was possible materialize right in front of me.

But that wasn’t all. I also saw things I never imagined. On Saturday night we were joined by CSA members, farming friends, crew members, worker shares, neighbors, and distant family we’d never met.  I watched my fields turn into a place of love, healing and understanding. In a confusing, complicated, sometimes deeply overwhelming world, I don’t think there are a lot of community spaces where we can all just be ourselves in our truest, most vulnerable beautiful forms and be accepted. I saw that on Saturday night. And I can honestly say that of all the things I thought we were building out here, a sanctuary was not one of them.

Thank you to all who came out to spend a summer Saturday evening with us and putting up with the mosquitos for as long as you could and finding comfort and beauty alongside our greenhouse. And to those of you who couldn't make it, don't you worry about a thing. We've got a whole slew of fabulous events coming up! Check out the full calendar here: https://www.raleighshillsidefarm.com/events/

Now, after that love fest let’s take a moment to embrace the hard things about this past week because I really think it’s important to share the good and the bad of this crazy life. The parts of farming that are beautiful, and also the parts that are completely out of our control and totally unglamorous.

  1. We discovered that the excessive rain of late June did cause a few problems. The third planting of broccoli rotted out (thank goodness we have FIVE spring/summer plantings) so you aren’t receiving as much broccoli or as large of heads as we planned. The red cabbage also had a lot of rot issues so we had to peel back several leaves to find the good stuff underneath. That means we didn’t have enough heads for everyone (don’t worry, that just means you received broccoli instead!) and many of the heads are smaller than we want (which means we doubled them up for some of you).
  2. The pack shed (aka our first ever shed which will serve as a pack and wash area for our veggies as well as providing some storage and being the home of our second—and much needed-- cooler) was further delayed due to contractor hoopla. We really believed our contractor would break ground this weekend (okay, we thought he’d break ground about a month ago). Yes, we’re naïve about many things; building project timelines definitely being one of them but we’re feeling a bit weighed down by the massive loan we took out for a building this year; a building that has not yet provided any added efficiency to our growing operation.
  3. Excess moisture in the fields plus these super hot temperatures means we are DEFINITELY still battling the weeds. They have been voracious. We’re still winning in most places but we really can’t let up at all or we risk losing crops which means we’re continuing to work longer days and as of yet, haven’t had a full day off since early May.

That’s all for now. So much love and gratitude and joy to you all for being part of this adventure and making the effort to cook healthy meals and bring summer abundance into your homes.

All our love,

L&K  

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VEGGIE ID: RAINBOW CHARD ↓

There's a green in your box this week that you may or may not be familiar with. It has giant leaves and colorful stems. It's rainbow chard and it's the best rainbow chard we've ever grown at our farm so expect a good amount of it!

Chard is a beautiful tender green that can be added to pretty much any dish from scrambled eggs to pizza (see amazing pizza below I made last night with chard instead of kale) to soups to pasta or eaten raw in a salad. The colorful stems should be removed before working with the leaves but can also be eaten. The colorful stems do great sauteed but take a bit longer to cook then the leaves, which is why I always remove them.

If chard is stumping you, check out this resource from Bon Appetit that lists 31 recipes that utilize rainbow chard.

If you are overwhelmed by greens, always remember that dark leafy greens (chard, kale, collards, spinach) stand up well to freezing for winter soup making. Find freezing tips in the recipe/box inspiration portion of the newsletter.

 photo cred: Rachel Joy Barehl

photo cred: Rachel Joy Barehl

VEGGIE ID: BEETS ↓

Beets are one of my favorite vegetables. They add a lot of color and beauty to a time of year that is usually filled with more greens than anything else.  They are a root vegetable grown under ground like a radish or carrot with a sweet, earthy flavor. They have a thick skin that you will want to peel and greens that are similar to chard and are great to cook with. 

So how do I use it?

You can peel them raw with a vegetable peeler. If you are going to eat the beets raw, this is the best way to peel them, but if you are going to be using cooked beets then you can cook them first. This makes  removing the peel much easier. Trim both ends from the beets and either submerge them in boiling water  for 45 minutes or wrap them in foil and roast them for 45 minutes. When they are finished, you should be able to easily remove the peel just by sliding it off and then dice, slice or chop them according to your recipe preparation.

What is the best way to prepare beets?

I've done a lot with beets over the years. After peeling them there is a huge range of ways beets can be used! I've mashed them into burgers and falafel, put them on pizza, pureed them into a hummus (similar to the recipe below), grilled them, pickled them, shaved them raw on salads, thrown them in tarts, roasted them. What I've learned  is that beets are incredibly versatile. I really love to pair them with fennel, arugula, snap peas, lentils or citrus. Need more help? Check out any of the recipes included in this week or last week's newsletter!

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 8-9 of these items in your box next week

Bok Choy

Lettuce

Collards

Lacinato or Curly Kale

Broccoli

Beets

Cucumbers

Zucchini

Summer Squash

Bell Pepper

Jalapeno

Walla Walla Onion

Mixed Herbs (basil, parsley, mint, chives)

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Red Cabbage & Apples

1 to 1 ½ # red cabbage, shredded

¾ cup boiling water

3 large apples, firm

¼ cup vinegar

1-1/2 teaspoon flour

¼ cup packed brown sugar

1-1/2 - 2 teaspoons salt

Place cabbage in a lg. saucepan. Add boiling water. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add apples, cook 10 minutes more.  Stir flour and brown sugar together, add them and all remaining ingredients and heat through. Serve warm or room temperature.

box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

 photo by: Half Baked Harvest

photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Garden Greens Goddess Pizza // Zucchini, Kale or Chard, skip the Arugula/Watercress (unless you still happen to have some lying around), consider adding some thinly sliced Walla Walla onion and/or diced Jalapeno // I love a good veggie pizza and this one is going to be on rotation this summer for two veggies that can overwhelm me quickly (abundant zucchini and abundant greens). You likely won't have enough basil in your box this week to make pesto so feel free to use prepared pesto from the grocery store instead of making your own, and save the fresh leaves for topping the pizza at the end. I also recommend you add a 1/4 cup of very thinly sliced fennel before baking or some fronds after it's finished. 

P.S. Let shaved zucchini be your new favorite method for using the summer treat!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free (with the right crust)

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Cucumber & Charred Onion Salad // Cucumber, sub Walla Walla Onion for Red Onion, Green Pepper and/or Jalapeno // This salad is one of my go to snacks when the cucumbers come on strong. I love the pairing of fresh, crunchy cucumbers with smoky grilled onions. I always skip the Fresno chile opting for a jalapeno instead or a mixture of diced green pepper and jalapeno. 

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Freeze your greens! // Kale, collards, chard // These are the optimal steps for freezing abundant CSA greens if you are tight on space. It will tell you to blanch, submerge in an ice bath and squeeze the liquid out of your greens. These are definitely the best steps for storing greens compactly. But know that chopping and freezing raw will also work just fine (though it will take up more space!).

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Vegan

 photo by: The Kitchn

photo by: The Kitchn

Golden Beet & Barley Salad with Rainbow Chard // Beets, Chard, sub Walla Walla for Red Onion // Simple grain salads are such a lovely way to turn a pile of vegetables into a hearty, robust, flavorful meal. This recipe calls for golden beets and red onion but it will be just as good with red beets and a sweet Walla Walla onion. A fried egg on top of this dish and you've got yourself one heck of a simple meal.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free (with a grain substitution; barley is not gluten-free)

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Beet, Pea & Avocado Salad // Beets, Snap Peas, sub Walla Walla Onion for Red Onion, add some Chives, skip the herbs if you don't have any on hand // Crunchy, sweet, creamy, tangy: this recipe inspired by the chef Ottolenghi is an absolute explosion of flavors and textures. It's simple and well worth using up your limited number of snap peas. 

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Creamed Chard & Spring Onions // Chard or Kale, sub 1 Walla Walla onion for 3 Spring Onions // This dish is rich, no doubt about it, but it's also pure heaven with a silky white sauce. We added fennel and served this with grilled steak and a simple salad (see below). Simple, hearty, decadent. 

Vegetarian

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Charred Cabbage with Goat Cheese Raita and Cucumbers // Red Cabbage, Cucumbers, skip the herbs if you don't feel like buying some or don't have any on hand // Grilled cabbage is such a treat! I discovered this fun way to eat cabbage last summer and really enjoyed the smokiness that comes from grilling. You will get a deep char on the outside and a nice wilt and softness on the inside that is just a perfect contrast especially when paired with something bright and crunchy like cucumbers and yogurt. 

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

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Zucchini, Chard & Chickpea Tacos // Zucchini, Chard, Scallions if you sill have some lying around or Walla Walla if you don't // I developed this recipe just for you all because I know that we're giving you a lot of greens this spring and I know it isn't always intuitive how to use them. But here's one of many solutions I have to offer, wilt them quickly in a heavy skillet and throw them on tacos with a bunch of grilled veggies and avocados. It's a quick meal with minimal ingredients and it's incredibly tasty. Get the grill going and give it a try!

Vegetarian, Vegan (with no feta or sour cream), Gluten-Free

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Kale & Cucumber Salad with Roasted Ginger Dressing // Kale, Cucumbers (use our regular cucumbers for both the hothouse and Persian versions called for), sub Walla Walla for red onion, sub Jalapeno for Thai chile in dressings, skip the Cilantro if you don't have any on hand (or sub Chives or any other herb you have on hand) // Kale salads are my jam. I love kale as a salad green more than anything else. I know lettuce and lettuce mix are endlessly popular, but kale still has my heart. I love the heartiness and way it can stand up to massive amounts of toppings and flavors (as it does here). 

 photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Jalapeno Cheddar Scones // Jalapeno, possibly add Chives if you've got them // I'm a big fan of biscuits for breakfast (which call for butter and no eggs which is different from this recipe) but these scones rival any of my favorite biscuits. They have a crunchy almost caramelized exterior and soft center with just enough heat to be interesting. 

Vegetarian

 photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Grilled Zucchini Ribbons with Pesto & White Beans // Zucchini, Summer Squash // Smitten Kitchen is always so timely. She was right here with this super simple recipe that used loads of zucchini and summer squash at a time when I was overwhelmed by these veggies and in need of new inspiration. I made this with prepared pesto because I didn't have any basil on hand and add a half pound of pasta to make it a bit heavier but it would be just as good as written with some roast chicken or steak. Yum!

Vegetarian, Vegan (without the cheese), Gluten-Free

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Ginger Pork Burgers // Red Cabbage, sub Walla Walla for shallots and ramps in burger patty // A burger made from ground pork packed full of onion, herbs, and ginger on a toasted bun with a quick red cabbage slaw and spicy sauce; there's not much I find more decadent for dinner than a burger like this. It may have some ingredients that aren't normally in your fridge (like hoisin sauce and sesame oil) but boy is it worth it anyway. 

CSA Newsletter: Week 4

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Broccoli // Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The colder the better for broccoli. Try to use within a few days. 

Kohlrabi // The kohlrabi bulb will last up to a month in the fridge. Use within a couple weeks if you plan to eat it raw.

Cabbage // Cabbage is one of the best storage vegetables. It can easily last three weeks to two months. You don’t need to do much to it. Keep it in the fridge in the crisper drawer. A plastic bag can help retain moisture, but it doesn’t matter much. The two outside leaves are used as storage leaves. Remove them before eating.

Collards // Refrigerate in a plastic bag until ready to use. Do not wash before storing.

Lovelock Lettuce // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on the head. Use within a week, but likely will store up to two weeks.

Lettuce Mix (full Shares + half shares who did receive Green Leaf Lettuce) // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Lettuce mix is much more perishable than lettuce so try to use immediately or within a couple days.

Snap & Snow Peas // Peas are very perishable. Keep them in the fridge and eat within 2-3 days for best flavor. Snap peas are best eaten fresh, but snow peas can be used in cooking (and taste delicious) after a few days.

Zucchini // Zucchini and summer squash spoil most quickly in very warm or very cool temperatures. They can be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to use within a week as they will get soggy quickly in there.

Fennel // Remove delicate leaves (also known as fronds) before storage if you plan to use. Store the bulbs in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Store the leaves in a moist paper towel in the fridge and use within a week.

Radishes // Store for us to 2 weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Store greens separately, ideally gently wrapped in a damp paper towel. Use the greens as quickly as possible.

Red Scallions // Store in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator and try to use within a week. If you use after a week, you can peel off the dry and/or “slimy” outer layer of the scallion.

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Hello CSA members and welcome to such an exciting box of produce!

We can see the seasons changing right before our eyes. The summer solstice seems to always align with a new phase of abundance and work on the farm. The greens slow (though only slightly until the real heat of summer begins), the onions swell in the field, the broccoli doubles in size overnight, the melons begin to vine, the summer squash and zucchini start to produce at their full capacity (the first couple weeks of production are always slower than I remember with strange, uneven pollination due to both the plants’ young age and the fact that they were under row cover for many weeks of life), and the peas start to grow heavy and full on their trellising vines. The fennel, kohlrabi and cabbage bursts from a balance of rain, heat and cool nights. The tomatoes begin to flower. The first tiny sweet peppers appear.  

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The pace hasn’t slowed just yet but we can feel it nearing. If abundant rains hadn’t kept us off track all last week (the farm received nearly 6 inches in four days on our heavy, saturated soils; a vegetable field desires only one inch of rain each week on average), we likely would be ahead of schedule this week, but by my sixth year of farming I’m realizing weather rarely allows for that. The heavy rains made certain tasks slow or impossible so we have one more big week of work ahead of us.

We have a second planting of sweet corn to get in the ground. That’s the only major crop left to transplant that is more than 3 or 4 rows. There are also four beds of late tomatoes, some dill, summer kohlrabi, and the next round of scallions to get in this week, but those are quick tasks and after they’re finished the busy chaotic transplant season of May and June will be completely wrapped up.

We also need to finish trellising our tomatoes, a meandering and at times overwhelming task that involves pounding stakes, weaving the tomato plants upward with string, weeding between the tomatoes, laying fabric between the rows (in some cases) and mulching the heck out of the plants to keep weeds down. With over twenty 100-foot rows of tomatoes this year, it’s no small feat.

But after the last round of transplanting and this trellising work we move to the more balanced schedule of July which focuses only on harvesting, keeping the weeds down, adding a string to the tomato trellis when the plants need, and slowly but diligently getting the fall crops into the ground.

In other words, it’s really the perfect time to have a party: to celebrate all we’ve already achieved (85% of our fields are planted after all!) and relish in the start of our sixth season with you all. We’re excited to spend Saturday with so many of you! Whether you can come for an hour or stay for the evening, we can’t wait to share our fields and growth with you all!

Love,

L&K

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VEGGIE ID: kohlrabi ↓

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage or brassica family. It is directly translated as cabbage turnip in German and that really alludes to the flavor. This vegetables has a strong brassica flavor. Once you remove the green or purple skin (more on that below), it essentially looks like a turnip, but tastes like cabbage. Kohlrabi retains a lot of water so it's crisp but softens when you cook with it. It is especially happy growing in cooler temperatures which is why you see them a lot in late spring or fall, but they are easy to grow year-round. The leaves are edible and can be compared to collards, but because you're already receiving so many greens this week (and because we weren't sure they'd fit in the box), we removed the greens.

So how do I use it?

You just want to eat the white interior part of the kohlrabi, not the green or purple skin. You will need to peel it before cooking with it (but leave the skin on while it's in the fridge for best storage). I do this with a knife not a vegetable peeler.  You want to remove both the peel and the fibrous tough skin beneath the peel. To do this, I cut off the top and bottom first so the kohlrabi can sit flat on my cutting board and then move down the sides with my knife, following the curve of the kohlrabi and letting the skin fall away. Once you are left with the semi-round peeled vegetable, you can cut into into chunks, matchsticks or slice it thinly depending on the recipe.

What is the best way to prepare kohlrabi?

You can eat kohlrabi a lot of different ways. You can just cut it into sticks and eat it raw with some veggie dip for a quick snack. You can use it raw in practically any salad (I added it to my favorite broccoli salad and it was amazing!) or make a salad that is all about highlighting the unique veggie. Cookie & Kate's Crispy Apple & Kohlrabi Slaw is delicious. I also love Wisconsin from Scratch's Spicy Thai Kohlrabi Salad. If you are nervous about eating it raw, you can also cook with it. I love it just simmered in some milk and then mashed like potatoes (especially if you throw in some of that green garlic!). You can roast it with other veggies just like you would a turnip. Things I Made Today turned them into gnocchi with kale. I've even seen it grated and turned into fritters! Try a few different methods and figure out which way you like kohlrabi best!

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VEGGIE ID: FENNEL ↓

Fennel is one of those vegetables that everyone thinks they don't like just because they don't know how to use it yet. I know because I was one of those people for a very long time. Fennel is a beautiful vegetable used in a lot of Italian cooking.  It's got a white bulb, green stalk and beautiful scented fronds at the top.  You can eat all of these things but most commonly folks eat the bulb or the fronds.

The bulb is pretty comparable to an onion (and can be used as such) but has a slightly anise (black licorice) flavor. I think this is why it gets such a bad wrap. Because people hate black licorice (I do too!). But anise is actually a flavor used in lots of common favorites like Italian sausage and pepperoni. When it's subtle it adds a lot to a dish. I know this is a less of a description of a vegetable and more of me begging you to try a vegetable, but I'm begging you people, try the fennel in one of the recipes below! You might be surprised! Also, here's an awesome article from a chef in Columbus, Ohio asking you to do the same :)

So how do I use it?

Because lots of people are stumped by fennel, there are lots of great tutorials online for how to cut it up. You will cut the bulb away from the stalks in an angle matching the shape of the fennel and then slice off the bottom where the fennel sat on the ground. Place the fennel flat on it's base and slice it in half lengthwise. From there you'll see a little core near the bottom of each half. It will look solid and triangular. Remove that and then get to chopping! This link will teach you how to slice, dice and shave it. I most often shave it because I love how delicate it is when added to any dish, but this is much easier with a mandolin than trying to do by hand. This link will teach you how to store and use every part of the vegetable.

What is the best way to prepare fennel?

Honestly, you can keep it so simple with fennel. You can shave it and throw it on pizza or in pasta. You can roughly chop it and throw it in a stew or braise. You can slice it and grill it (I'm so excited to try this over the weekend!). You can use a similar technique and roast it in the oven. You can shave it and toss it with some apple and lemon juice  for a quick salad. You can throw it in a quiche or a tart. You can really do a ton.

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 8-9 of these items in your box next week

Lettuce Mix

Red Cabbage

Chard

Broccoli

Snow Peas

Snap Peas

Beets

Cucumber

Zucchini

Summer Squash

Fennel

Scallions

Parsley

Basil

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Pasta Salad Primavera

You could add diced kohlrabi, roughly chopped collard leaves, sliced radishes or pretty much any other veggies in your box but these are the tried and true veggies I use over and over again year after year.

1-1/2 pounds pasta of choice, I use tri-color rotini

3-4 cups. fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces, blanch for 1-2 minutes, then shock into ice water

1 bunch scallions, sliced, use some of the green

6-8 ounce shredded cheddar

1 small can sliced black olives

1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise, sliced

3-4 ounces pepperoni, sliced thin or ½# hard salami, diced

Dressing:

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3  – 1/2 cup vinegar

1 can evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed!)

3 – 4 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning

2 tablespoons garlic salt

½ cup fine shred parmesan cheese (powdery type works best i.e. “Kraft”)

Cook pasta al dente, drain. Rinse under cold water. Blanch broccoli if desired, shock in ice water to stop cooking. Place all salad ingredients in very large bowl. Prepare dressing by whisking or shaking all dressing ingred. together. Pour over veggies and pasta, gently combine. Chill for a couple of hours before serving.

box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

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Broccoli & Kohlrabi Salad // Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Scallions // I've always been a huge fan of broccoli salad (especially when the broccoli is cut into very small, tender pieces as it is here). I love the combination of sweet dried fruits, crunchy roasted nuts, sharp raw scallions, and a creamy, tangy dressing all over a pile of fresh broccoli. This recipe is even better because of the small cubes of delicate kohlrabi. I eat bowl after bowl of this stuff for as long as the broccoli is in season and you really should too!

Vegetarian, Vegan

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Freeze your greens! // Kale, collards, chard, spinach // These are the optimal steps for freezing abundant CSA greens if you are tight on space. It will tell you to blanch, submerge in an ice bath and squeeze the liquid out of your greens. These are definitely the best steps for storing greens compactly. But know that chopping and freezing raw will also work just fine (though it will take up more space!).

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Vegan

 photo by: Food & Wine

photo by: Food & Wine

Chicken Stir Fry with Collard Greens // Collards, sub Red Scallions for both onion & garlic // Collard greens are incredibly versatile. I love them raw in salads or made into something resembling coleslaw or kraut. But it has the added benefit of being amazing cooked down. It gets almost velvety. I love this simple stir fry that celebrates all the goodness that collards bring to the table.

Gluten-Free (if you sub tamari) 

 photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

BLK Sandwich // Lettuce, Kohlrabi, Parsley, sub Garlic Scapes for Garlic, skip the Basil // Substituting kohlrabi for tomatoes seems a bit strange, I know, but trust me that this sandwich made entirely of vegetables, bread and bacon is simple spring perfection. Andrea Bemis of Dishing up the Dirt, the woman who created this recipe, also happens to be a master of great vegan substitutions like cashew mayo. But for this recipe, which has bacon (and is therefore absolutely not vegan) I sub mayo for the cashews for a quicker sandwich spread.

 photo by: Naturally Ella

photo by: Naturally Ella

Avocado Romaine Wedge Salad with Pickled Radish // Lovelock Lettuce, Scallions, Radishes //  The tiny heads of romaine in your box this week are a variety well-known for their crisp tender leaves and almost butter-head quality. They should be celebrated with very simple ingredients that allow the lettuce to take center stage. That's one of the reasons I love this salad. Avocado, scallions, sunflower seeds, pickled radish and a super simple dressing all enhance the lettuce without taking anything away from it. 

Vegetarian, Vegan (with cashew cream), Gluten-Free

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Cabbage & Snow Pea Rice Bowl with Warm Coconut Peanut Sauce // Cabbage, Snow Peas, Radish, Scallion // A bowl of warm rice topped with abundant veggies and a creamy, rich peanut sauce? Is there a better way to get through your CSA box? I think not.

Vegetarian, Vegan (with a substitute for fish sauce used), Gluten Free

 photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Charred Corn Tacos with Zucchini & Radish Slaw // Zucchini, Radish, sub Scallion for onions // I know there isn't a lot of sweet corn lying around right now (in fact, it's still months away) but I happen to always have some in my freezer and know that decent sweet corn is available in the freezer section of your grocery store year-round so pair sweet corn with a lovely zucchini & radish slaw before topping with a ton of scallions, cojita (or feta) cheese,  avocado and lime. Skip the herbs if you don't have any on hand.

Vegetarian, Vegan

 photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

Buttered Radish & Ricotta Toast // Radish // By now there is a good chance you're tiring of radishes a bit. You've had them raw, had them roasted, had them pickled so what now? I think it's high time you made up some buttered radishes and ate them over ricotta-slathered toast. Leave off the sumac and parsley if you don't have any. Breakfast of champions.

Vegetarian

 photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Apple, Fennel & Kohlrabi Salad // Fennel, Kohlrabi // Fennel and kohlrabi are, in my humble opinion, two of the most misunderstood vegetables we grow. My solution? Throw them together with some fresh apple, funky blue cheese and toasted walnuts for a quick salad that is delectable as it is simple. Raw fennel is hard for folks to get behind but shave it real thin and put it with some strong flavors and I guarantee you'll be happy you did!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Pan-Roasted Salmon with Collards & Radish Raita // Collards, Radish (use for the Daikon, Cucumber and Red Radish called for; aka grate some and slice some), skip the Mint if you don't have any // I don't know what it is about salmon but I swear it tastes amazing with every single vegetable we grow in June and July. Roasted broccoli, crunchy snap peas, spicy radish, scallion, collards; they all pair so well with salmon in classically simple ways. For this recipe, I grated some radish and tossed it together with yogurt before pan-roasting the salmon and simmering the collards until tender. Dinner on the table in 30 minutes flat.

Gluten-Free

 photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Broccoli Melts // Broccoli, consider adding some Fennel & Scallions instead of the garlic // Broccoli is always an easy vegetable to cook with but I still like to find fun preparations that go a bit beyond the ordinary. These broccoli melts are simple and silly and as great for a party as they are for a quick dinner. 

Vegetarian, Gluten Free (with the right bread)

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

BA's Best Fried Chicken Sandwich // Cabbage // I listed this recipe last because I know most of you probably won't make it. There are plenty of other great things to do with cabbage. However, should you want to take on a fun project this weekend here is what I do with storage cabbage all winter long: I make up some of the world's best fried chicken and then a giant batch of classic coleslaw (I usually just do green cabbage if it's all I have on hand; for this recipe I also usually do a mixture of mayonnaise and Greek yogurt instead of the full cup of mayo). 

CSA Newsletter: Week 3

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Broccoli // Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The colder the better for broccoli. Try to use within a few days. 

Kohlrabi // The kohlrabi bulb will last up to a month in the fridge. Use within a couple weeks if you plan to eat it raw.

Curly Kale // Lasts at least a week if kept moist. Kale doesn’t taste as good once it’s dried out. Keep it in the crisper drawer of your fridge or loosely in a plastic bag to seal in the moisture.

Green Leaf Lettuce // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on the head. Use within a week, but likely will store up to two weeks.

Baby Romaine Lettuce (full Shares + half shares who did receive Green Leaf Lettuce) // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on the head. Use within a week, but likely will store up to two weeks.

Arugula (full shares only) // Store in plastic bag in fridge. Plastic bag will help arugula retain moisture which keeps it fresh for longer. Try to use it within a week. If it gets limp or wilted, you can still use in recipes that call for cooked or wilted greens.

Zucchini (half shares only) // Zucchini and summer squash spoil most quickly in very warm or very cool temperatures. They can be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to use within a week as they will get soggy quickly in there.

Radishes // Store for us to 2 weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Store greens separately, ideally gently wrapped in a damp paper towel. Use the greens as quickly as possible.

Red Scallions // Store in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator and try to use within a week. If you use after a week, you can peel off the dry and/or “slimy” outer layer of the scallion.

Parsley (half shares only) // Store in the fridge in a small glass with about an inch of water, stem side down (like flowers in a vase) for best storage.

Garlic Scapes // Garlic scapes will last up to three weeks loosely wrapped in plastic in your fridge. They also freeze extremely well; just chop and freeze!

 photo by: Brandi Bonde

photo by: Brandi Bonde

I’m sure you’ve heard (or could assume) that vegetable farming takes a lot of labor. Regardless of the size of the vegetable farm, most vegetables have to be harvested by hand because of their delicate nature and the way they ripen. Then, especially for CSA, things need to be bunched, bagged or sorted which can take a lot of time. On a small-scale operation like ours, most weeding is also done by hand with hoes and other cool tools as well as all the transplanting and seeding. Aside from the root crops, which are direct seeded by Kyle, every single thing you eat this year was planted into the ground by us, one of our employees, or our worker shares.

 photo by: Brandi Bonde

photo by: Brandi Bonde

We lay mulch on the tomatoes to keep the weeds down and lay landscape fabric between the summer squash, winter squash, cucumbers, melons and sweet potatoes for the same reason; all of this work is done by hand. We sucker tomatoes (removing the flowers before the plants are old enough to put on fruit), pound posts for the trellis, and string the plants up by hand.

I’m sure this list is nowhere near comprehensive of all the work we do throughout the year, but it’s everything I’m thinking about at this moment in time, and I think you get the point: there is a lot of work to be done on a small-scale vegetable farm and since a lot of the work is done by hand, we need more than just our own hands.

We learned this fact four years ago and hired our first employee Eryn the following season and began a modest worker share program. A worker share is a CSA member who works in the fields throughout the CSA season in exchange for their box of produce. Still not being enough hands, we hired two employees the next year and expanded the worker share program to four members. Last year was lovely and the folks on our farm were positive, wildly creative and a joy to spend our days with but almost no one had prior experience in farming and it wasn’t quite enough help overall.

This year is different. We are so excited for the two employees who each work three days a week and team of five experienced worker shares (all but one is a returned worker share from last year!). It’s a beautiful group of people who are growing, harvesting and packing your boxes this season. We feel tremendously grateful for the energy, passion and experience every person brings to our farm.

Our two employees, Rebecca and Kristen, have long backgrounds in growing food and working with plants. Rebecca has spent seasons at Tipi Produce and Kopke’s Greenhouse (both place Kyle worked!) before coming to our farm. Kristen has been traveling the world farming (mostly in Hawaii and Canada) and has nearly as much experience as us. Both women are dynamic forces, working at a speed only experience brings. They have ideas for how to make our operation run smoother and are even taking some of our deliveries to (literally) lighten our load. Their support of us goes well beyond just being employees with offers to help on their days off and messages of encouragement when they see we’re spending our weekend at the farm again. The energy when either of them is out at the farm is transcendental.

 photo by: Brandi Bonde

photo by: Brandi Bonde

The worker share crew too is unbelievably capable and filled with either the wisdom of previous seasons or the drive of plans to start their own farm one day. Jessica has been with us for three seasons now. She works fast and works hard, taking leadership when she needs to, and connecting me to our members when we’re able to work side by side. She’s always chatting about what’s she cooking and the produce she finds difficult to use and I find her advice invaluable. Kara, a library director, neighbor of the farm and experienced CSA member of several other farms in the area, comes late in the day and is almost always our CSA bagger clean up crew. When she arrives, there is a long list of things left to be bunched or bagged into individual CSA quantities and she diligently gets to work. Her calm demeanor is everything I need at the end of a chaotic day. Dana is the life of the party. She’s also a returning worker share who is full of joy, good conversation and comic relief. She supports the farm all day every day with her enthusiasm and texts always wanting to make sure Kyle and I are taking time for ourselves in between all the hard work. Amy is new to the farm this year and has dreams of starting her own farm soon. She’s got the land, the drive and the education so she’s just looking for some hands-on experience. She picks things up quickly and loves being a part of our team even when that means back-to-back days of transplanting.

It’s funny to me how different the energy of a farm can feel from year to year based on the people you have supporting you. Even though we’ve been busy and continue to take on more growth in 2018, the energy feels good and our souls feel nurtured largely because of the amazing team of people we have beside us. They are dependable, caring, supportive, and kind, and we feel incredibly lucky they all found their way to Raleigh’s Hillside Farm. We hope you can taste that love in your food this week and throughout the season.

-L&K

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VEGGIE ID: kohlrabi ↓

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage or brassica family. It is directly translated as cabbage turnip in German and that really alludes to the flavor. This vegetables has a strong brassica flavor. Once you remove the green or purple skin (more on that below), it essentially looks like a turnip, but tastes like cabbage. Kohlrabi retains a lot of water so it's crisp but softens when you cook with it. It is especially happy growing in cooler temperatures which is why you see them a lot in late spring or fall, but they are easy to grow year-round. The leaves are edible and can be compared to collards, but because you're already receiving so many greens this week (and because we weren't sure they'd fit in the box), we removed the greens.

So how do I use it?

You just want to eat the white interior part of the kohlrabi, not the green or purple skin. You will need to peel it before cooking with it (but leave the skin on while it's in the fridge for best storage). I do this with a knife not a vegetable peeler.  You want to remove both the peel and the fibrous tough skin beneath the peel. To do this, I cut off the top and bottom first so the kohlrabi can sit flat on my cutting board and then move down the sides with my knife, following the curve of the kohlrabi and letting the skin fall away. Once you are left with the semi-round peeled vegetable, you can cut into into chunks, matchsticks or slice it thinly depending on the recipe.

What is the best way to prepare kohlrabi?

You can eat kohlrabi a lot of different ways. You can just cut it into sticks and eat it raw with some veggie dip for a quick snack. You can use it raw in practically any salad (I added it to my favorite broccoli salad and it was amazing!) or make a salad that is all about highlighting the unique veggie. Cookie & Kate's Crispy Apple & Kohlrabi Slaw is delicious. I also love Wisconsin from Scratch's Spicy Thai Kohlrabi Salad. If you are nervous about eating it raw, you can also cook with it. I love it just simmered in some milk and then mashed like potatoes (especially if you throw in some of that green garlic!). You can roast it with other veggies just like you would a turnip. Things I Made Today turned them into gnocchi with kale. I've even seen it grated and turned into fritters! Try a few different methods and figure out which way you like kohlrabi best!

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VEGGIE ID: garlic scapes ↓

An edible shoot that hard-neck garlic puts out in the spring. It is the plant trying to flower and reproduce and we have to cut this shoot off before it flowers so that the garlic puts energy into its bulb. Luckily, this shoot is edible and delicate and everything good about garlic in one little crunchy green ribbon. Munch on them raw, mince and put on your asparagus pizza (below), or use in salad dressing. The sky is the limit. If you love garlic, you will love these beauties. 

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 8-9 of these items in your box next week

Lettuce

Lettuce Mix

Cabbage

Collards

Chard

Kohlrabi

Broccoli

Snow Peas

Snap Peas

Radishes

Zucchini

Summer Squash

Fennel

Scallions

Parsley

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

White Vegetable Lasagna
This is a little extra work but so worth it! All veggie quantities are approximate and can be increased.

4 tablespoons butter, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 or 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced thin

1 head broccoli, chopped approximately (2-3 cups)

8 ounces carton of fresh mushrooms, sliced

3 or 4 sliced scallions , white and light green portions only, sliced

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Black pepper

2 – 3 cups julienned kale leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

16 ounce container of cottage cheese (lowfat is fine)

2 eggs

~ 12 lasagna noodles

1/4 cup flour

2-1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

8 ounces sliced or shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese of choice

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Saute first 4 veggies until tender, season with garlic salt and couple grinds of pepper. Stir in oregano and kale. Stir until wilted, remove from heat, set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together cottage cheese and eggs, set aside.
  4. Once water is boiling, cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain, set aside.
  5. In a medium sauce pan, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter, stir in flour and cook slightly. Whisk in milk until mixture is smooth and cook over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in salt and parmesan cheese.
  6. Assemble lasagna: In greased 9 X 13 baking dish, layer 1/3 of noodles, 1/3 cottage cheese mixture, 1/3 veg. mixture and 1/3 shredded or sliced cheese. Top with 1/3 of sauce. Repeat 2 more times. For final layer, put cheese last after sauce. 
  7. Bake 40 – 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

img_5055.jpg

Broccoli & Kohlrabi Salad // Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Garlic Scapes, Scallions // I've always been a huge fan of broccoli salad (especially when the broccoli is cut into very small, tender pieces as it is here). I love the combination of sweet dried fruits, crunchy roasted nuts, sharp raw scallions, and a creamy, tangy dressing all over a pile of fresh broccoli. This recipe is even better because of the small cubes of delicate kohlrabi. I eat bowl after bowl of this stuff for as long as the broccoli is in season and you really should too!

Vegetarian, Vegan

 photo by:  Martha Stewart

photo by:  Martha Stewart

Kale Slaw with Peanut Dressing // Kale, sub Radishes for carrots, sub Scallions for peppers // I had this salad at a women in agriculture potluck nearly a decade ago and have never looked back. It is without a doubt my go to kale recipe. Although it technically calls for peppers and carrots, I'm always making substitutions. With this box, I put radishes and scallions along with the kale instead. Oh, and I often double the peanut dressing because it's so good I want a stash in my fridge.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free

 photo by: Olla Podrida

photo by: Olla Podrida

Roasted Radish with Green Goddess Dressing // Radish, Scallion, sub Garlic Scape for garlic, Parsley // My love of green goddess dressing (that is super bright, herbaceous and simple) and my love of roasted radishes (that are mellowed, sweet and tender) comes together in one lovely recipe. And although it is a simple snack it uses up lots of the veggies in your box! 

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

BLK Sandwich // Lettuce, Kohlrabi, Parsley, sub Garlic Scapes for Garlic, skip the Basil // Substituting kohlrabi for tomatoes seems a bit strange, I know, but trust me that this sandwich made entirely of vegetables, bread and bacon is simple spring perfection. Andrea Bemis of Dishing up the Dirt, the woman who created this recipe, also happens to be a master of great vegan substitutions like cashew mayo. But for this recipe, which has bacon (and is therefore absolutely not vegan) I sub mayo for the cashews for a quicker sandwich spread.

 photo by: Naturally Ella

photo by: Naturally Ella

Avocado Romaine Wedge Salad with Pickled Radish // Romaine, Scallions, Radishes from last week if you've got them (substitute sliced scallions in the same pickling liquid if you don't), add your Basil to the dressing if you don't have another use //  The tiny heads of romaine in your box this week are a variety well-known for their crisp tender leaves and almost butter-head quality. They should be celebrated with very simple ingredients that allow the lettuce to take center stage. That's one of the reasons I love this salad. Avocado, scallions, sunflower seeds, pickled radish and a super simple dressing all enhance the lettuce without taking anything away from it. 

Vegetarian, Vegan (with cashew cream), Gluten-Free

 photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Simple Radish & Herb Salad // Radish, Parsley // Sliced radishes, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and sunflower seeds: it couldn't get much simpler. Serve this on the side of quick grilled steak or other show stopping meat and you'll have one heck of a quick meal!

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free

 photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Charred Corn Tacos with Zucchini & Radish Slaw // Zucchini, Radish, sub Scallion for onions, sub Garlic Scape for the garlic, sub Parsley for Epazote // I know there isn't a lot of sweet corn lying around right now (in fact, it's still months away) but I happen to always have some in my freezer and know that decent sweet corn is available in the freezer section of your grocery store year-round so pair sweet corn with a ton of scallions and zucchini & radish slaw before topping with cojita (or feta) cheese, parsley, avocado and lime. 

Vegetarian, Vegan

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Roasted & Charred Broccoli with Peanuts // Broccoli, Scallions, could add Garlic Scapes // I don't know what it is about broccoli salads but I just can't get enough. They are hearty enough to be a meal on their own but light and bright enough to feel refreshing and light. This giant bowl of roasted broccoli with scallions and peanuts winds up in my lunch more often than not this time of year. I never have nutritional yeast in the house and always skip it (sometimes substituting Parmesan) so don't let that ingredient slow you down!

Vegetarian, Vegan

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

A Kale Salad for Anyone who Thinks Kale Salads are Meh // Kale // I swear Bon Appetit named this recipe and not me, but still, are you all getting the hint that I want you to eat some salad this week? I too was not always a salad person. I understand how they can feel blah or uninspiring but I swear if you cut up an apple, add some cheese, some nuts and some lemon you will be impressed by the flavor of local greens. You too will fall in love with salad. I have enhanced this one with some quinoa in the past to make a full meal out of it or served it with pulled pork sandwiches. Both meals were perfect and light and just what I love about June flavors and the joy that comes from having fresh greens again. I also happen to love this salad in fall with roasted squash so expect to see it again.

Vegetarian, Vegan (if you skip the cheeses), Gluten-Free