May 10 Cabin Fever Week #6

THIS WEEK’S HARVEST

Hydroponic Lettuce –  Harmony Grove Farm
Kale – Clarion River Organics
Apple Butter – PCFA
Polenta/Cornmeal – Weatherbury Farms
Gold Potatoes – Clarion River Organics 
Green Garlic – Clubhouse Gardens
Salanova Lettuce – Grow Pittsburgh

Cheese shares will receive Old Gold from Hidden Hills Dairy

Gluten Free shares will receive a replacement product instead of Polenta

**This week’s shares are VEGAN

2013 Spring CSA Share Week #8, May 29th

This is the final week of our spring Cabin Fever share.  Farmer’s Friend members – we’ll see you next week.  We thank our Cabin Fever members for sticking with us through this unusual and trying spring and hope to pack up shares for you again next year!

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Celebrate Pittsburgh’s Best Restaurants!

BR-2013-Logo

Pittsburgh Magazine will host their 24th Annual Best Restaurant Party on Monday June 3rd to celebrate this years award recipients! The event will take place at Heinz Hall and will highlight many restaurants that work with Penn’s Corner!

“Featuring signature dishes from more than 50 area restaurants, live music, silent auction benefitting The Children’s Home and Lemieux Family Center and more. All attendees also receive admission to the official after party at Rivers Casino, featuring drinks, food, DJ and dancing. Guests 21+ only”

Vip Reception: 5-6 PMScreen Shot 2013-05-16 at 10_07_39 AM
General Admission: 6-8:30 PM
After Party at Rivers Casino: 8:30 PM

VIP: $250 / General Admission: $130

 Links: Check out the 2013 Best Restaurant List OR Purchase tickets to the Best Restaurant Party.

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Asparagus Route Pick Up Locations

Penn’s Corner Hamilton Ave Warehouse, Monroeville, Churchill, Green Tree, Dormont, Mt. Lebanon- Briarwood, Whitehall, Mt. Lebanon- Woodhaven, Mt. Lebanon- Eden’s Market, Bridgeville, Greenfield, Sq Hill- Forward Ave, Sq Hill- Bartlett, Point Breeze, Chatham University, Sq Hill- Fair Oaks, Shadyside, Friendship

Zucchini Pick Up Locations

Highland Park- Jackson, Highland Park- Union Project, Morningside, Fox Chapel, Lawrenceville, North Side- Children’s Museum, North Side, B Gourmet, Bellevue, Ross Twsp, North Park- RAW Training, Bradford Woods, Restaurant ECHO, Google, Oakland- Apple, Oakland- The Porch, Schenley Farms, Downtown- Gulf Tower, Highmark, PNC One, South Side, Steelers Training Center, Eat n Park Hospitality, Edgewood, Regent Square, East End Brewing, Oakdale, Indiana

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THIS WEEK’S HARVEST

OG- certified organic          CNG- certified naturally grown

Asparagus Share

~3# blue potatoes, Clarion River Organics, OG

~2 heads Romaine lettuce, Clarion River Organics, OG

~1/3# lettuce mix, Nu Way Farm

~1/3# spinach, Nu Way Farm

~1/3# green onions, Nu Way Farm

~hydroponic tomatoes, PCFA

~tarragon, Pucker Brush Farm, CNG

~1/2 pint maple syrup, Weeping Willow Farm

~canned tomatoes, Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance

Zucchini Share

~3# blue potatoes, Clarion River Organics, OG

~2 heads Romaine lettuce, Clarion River Organics, OG

~1/3# lettuce mix, Nu Way Farm

~1/3# spinach, Nu Way Farm

~1/3# green onions, Nu Way Farm

~1/3# asparagus or hydroponic tomatoes, Sunny Meadow Farm

~fresh herb, Goose Creek Gardens CNG

~1/2 pint maple syrup, Weeping Willow Farm

~canned tomatoes, Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance

Note: Due to the cold weather, one of our asparagus growers experienced some frost and was not able to provide any this week. We are providing hydroponic tomatoes to our members instead!

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Green Onion and Asparagus Salad

* We realize that you are getting a smaller amount of asparagus in your share that this recipe calls for.  Just use what you have and fill in with other fresh items.

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
  • 3/4 pound green onions
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more if needed
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled

Cooking the Vegetables
With a vegetable peeler, shave off the skin from the bottom 3 inches or so of each stalk, so they cook evenly (you should NOT have to do this step as your asparagus is young and fresh!). Snap off the hard stubs at the bottom of the asparagus stalks—they’ll break naturally at the right point.

Trim the root end of each green onion and the wilted ends of the green leaves. Peel off the loose layers at the white end too, so the onions are all tight, trim, and about 6 inches long.

In a wide deep skillet, bring 1 quart of water (or enough to cover the vegetables) to a boil, and add the asparagus and onions.

Adjust the heat to maintain a bubbling boil, and poach the asparagus and onions, uncovered, for about 6 minutes or more, until they are tender but not falling apart, and cooked through but not mushy. To check doneness, pick up an asparagus spear in the middle with tongs; it should be a little droopy but not collapsing.

As soon as they are done, lift out the vegetables with tongs and lay them in a colander (any fat asparagus spears may take a little longer, so leave them in a few minutes more). Hold the colander under cold running water to stop the cooking. Drain briefly, then spread on kitchen towels, pat dry, and sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon salt over them.

Making the Salad
Slice the asparagus and the green onions into 1-inch lengths, and pile them loosely in a mixing bowl. Drizzle the oil and vinegar over them, then sprinkle on 1/2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Toss well, but don’t break up the vegetables.

Quarter the eggs into wedges, and slice each wedge into two or three pieces; salt lightly and scatter the egg in the bowl, and fold in with the vegetables. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Chill the salad briefly. Enjoy!

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Purple Potato Au Gratin

  • 2 1/2 pounds blue potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish or similar sized casserole dish.

Arrange the sliced potatoes in the prepared dish. In a medium saucepan, saute the minced garlic in butter over medium heat until softened and fragrant. Stir in flour and cook for 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in the cream until smooth and thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour cheese sauce over the potatoes in the dish. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes until browned. Thank you Paula Dean!

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Spring Salad w/ Maple Syrup Dressing

This is the last box of our spring CSA share, and definitely a great time to make a beautiful salad out of all of those greens you have! For this salad, toss together handfuls of Romaine, lettuce mix, spinach, green onions, and herbs. Toss in this simple and delicious maple dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (Apple cider OR Rice)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Measure the olive oil, vinegar and maple syrup into a jar. Seal the jar and shake. Toss on salad.

Check out the Penn’s Corner  page for great recipe ideas!

Click here for some more recipe ideas from our pinterest page!  If you have favorite recipes online, please let us know so we can add them to our Pinterest page.   Contact csa@pennscorner.com with the links!

2013 Spring CSA Share Week #7, May 22nd

 Calling All Hungry Cyclists!3fe2ca27-f1c3-4dff-ad37-44b8dd5af248

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is hosting their 6th annual Bike Fresh, Bike Local fundraiser on Sunday, June 2nd! This event features 25, 50, or 75-mile rides along rural farm-studded Pennsylvanian roads. The day includes a delicious local foods lunch, detailed cue sheets, and well-stocked rest stops. For more information or to register visit their website here.

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Asparagus Route Pick Up Locations

Penn’s Corner Hamilton Ave Warehouse, Monroeville, Churchill, Green Tree, Dormont, Mt. Lebanon- Briarwood, Whitehall, Mt. Lebanon- Woodhaven, Mt. Lebanon- Eden’s Market, Bridgeville, Greenfield, Sq Hill- Forward Ave, Sq Hill- Bartlett, Point Breeze, Chatham University, Sq Hill- Fair Oaks, Shadyside, Friendship

Zucchini Pick Up Locations

Highland Park- Jackson, Highland Park- Union Project, Morningside, Fox Chapel, Lawrenceville, North Side- Children’s Museum, North Side, B Gourmet, Bellevue, Ross Twsp, North Park- RAW Training, Bradford Woods, Restaurant ECHO, Google, Oakland- Apple, Oakland- The Porch, Schenley Farms, Downtown- Gulf Tower, Highmark, PNC One, South Side, Steelers Training Center, Eat n Park Hospitality, Edgewood, Regent Square, East End Brewing, Oakdale, Indiana

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THIS WEEK’S HARVEST

OG- certified organic          CNG- certified naturally grown

Asparagus Share

~ 1# rhubarb, Sunny Meadow Farm

~ 1/2# green onions, Sunny Meadow Farm OR Nu Way Farm

~ green garlic, Blackberry Meadows Farm or Clubhouse Gardens

~ 1/4# spinach, Nu Way Farm

~ 1 head green oakleaf lettuce, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ 2 heads bib lettuce, Nu Way Farm

~ 1 bunch green kale, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ parsley seedling, Pucker Brush Farm CNG (PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS WILL NOT BE IN YOUR BOX.  YOU MUST TAKE ONE FROM THE BOX NEAR THE CLIPBOARD)

Zucchini Share

~ 1# rhubarb, Nu Way Farm

~ 1/2# green onions, Nu Way Farm

~ green garlic, Clubhouse Gardens

~ radish bunch, Nu Way Farm

~ 1 head green oakleaf lettuce, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ 1/4# spinach, Nu Way Farm

~ 1/4# lettuce mix, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ 1 bunch collard greens, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ parsley seedling, Pucker Brush Farm CNG (PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS WILL NOT BE IN YOUR BOX.  YOU MUST TAKE ONE FROM THE BOX NEAR THE CLIPBOARD)

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Ramp or Green Onion Buttermilk BiscuitsBiscuits-on-a-pan

  • 3/4 cup chilled buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced trimmed ramps (bulbs, stems, and green tops)- use green onions if you are out of ramps!
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, cracked

-Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix buttermilk and ramps in small bowl. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in processor. Add chilled butter to processor; using on/off turns, cut in butter until fine meal forms. Transfer flour mixture to medium bowl. Add buttermilk mixture; stir until dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and press out to 7-inch round, about 1/2 inch thick. Using 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter dipped in flour, cut out rounds. Gather dough scraps; press out to 1/2-inch thickness and cut out additional rounds. Transfer dough rounds to baking sheet. Brush biscuit tops with some of egg glaze. Sprinkle with cracked coriander seeds. Bake biscuits until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

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Rhubarb Chutney dsc09414

  • 8 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 6 cups sliced onion
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 7 cups light brown sugar
  • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy kettle (a enamel-lined dutch oven works really well here. Don’t use a straight cast iron one here, all that vinegar will strip away your seasoning). Bring to a boil and simmer gently until slightly thickened (the recipe calls for 45 minutes of cooking time, I’d cut it a bit shorter if you want your rhubarb to maintain some of its texture/identity). Stir frequently, otherwise it will stick (and sticking leads to scorching, so stir, stir, stir).
  2. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week OR pour into clean pint jars and process in a hot water bath for ten minutes. Canned chutney will keep up to 1 year, so you can enjoy it in the winter!

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  • 2-4 Kale OR Collard leaves
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • pinch salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the leaves by washing, patting dry, and removing leaves from stem (cut stem from the middle of the leaf all the way to the top). Tear leaves with hands into 3-4 inch pieces.
  3. Lay in a single layer on parchment paper. If needed, use two baking sheets to prevent overlapping.
  4. Bake for 7 minutes, then flip leaves. Bake for 5 minutes more, then check leaves. Remove any that are crispy, return any that are limp to the oven. Be careful not to overcook or they will turn brown and bitter.
  5. Sprinkle chips with sea salt

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Check out the Penn’s Corner  page for great recipe ideas!

Click here for some more recipe ideas from our pinterest page!  If you have favorite recipes online, please let us know so we can add them to our Pinterest page.   Contact csa@pennscorner.com with the links!

2013 Spring CSA Share Week #5, May 8th

If you didn’t catch the five o’clock KDKA news last night you missed us!  You can view the piece about Penn’s Corner, our CSA and Farm Stands here.  Good press for local food is a great thing.

Also, PASA’s Bike Fresh Fundraiser Spins Off Across the State If you are a cyclist and love local farms then maybe you should register!

2013_Bike Fresh Bike Local Label.jpg2

**Please note that this week’s potatoes are storage potatoes that were grown last year.  If kept at warm temperatures  they will sprout quickly.  There’s nothing wrong with them- just a part of the natural cycle.  If your’s sprout just knock the eyes off before cooking them.  Try to keep them cool and eat em quick!

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Asparagus Route Pick Up Locations

Penn’s Corner Hamilton Ave Warehouse, Monroeville, Churchill, Green Tree, Dormont, Mt. Lebanon- Briarwood, Whitehall, Mt. Lebanon- Woodhaven, Mt. Lebanon- Eden’s Market, Bridgeville, Greenfield, Sq Hill- Forward Ave, Sq Hill- Bartlett, Point Breeze, Chatham University, Sq Hill- Fair Oaks, Shadyside, Friendship

Zucchini Pick Up Locations

Highland Park- Jackson, Highland Park- Union Project, Morningside, Fox Chapel, Lawrenceville, North Side- Children’s Museum, North Side, B Gourmet, Bellevue, Ross Twsp, North Park- RAW Training, Bradford Woods, Restaurant ECHO, Google, Oakland- Apple, Oakland- The Porch, Schenley Farms, Downtown- Gulf Tower, Highmark, PNC One, South Side, Steelers Training Center, Eat n Park Hospitality, Edgewood, Regent Square, East End Brewing, Oakdale, Indiana

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THIS WEEK’S HARVEST

Asparagus Share

~ 8 ounces feta cheese, River View Dairy

~ green garlic, Clubhouse Gardens

~ 1/3# ramps, Nu Way Farm

~ green butterhead or oakleaf lettuce, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ 3# white potatoes, Blue Goose Farm

~ chives, Blue Goose Farm

~ dried black beans, Clarion River Organics, OG  These didn’t make it on the truck this week :(.  We will include them next week. 

~ greens (lettuce, microgreens or watercress), Nu Way Farm, Clarion River Organics, Goose Creek Gardens or Crighton’s Farm

Zucchini Share

~ 8 ounces feta cheese, River View Dairy

~ green garlic, Clubhouse Gardens

~ 1/3# ramps, Nu Way Farm

~ green butterhead or oakleaf lettuce, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ 3# white potatoes, Blue Goose Farm

~ chives, Blue Goose Farm

~ dried black beans, Clarion River Organics, OG  These didn’t make it on the truck this week :(.  We will include them next week. 

~ greens (lettuce, microgreens or watercress), Nu Way Farm, Clarion River Organics, Goose Creek Gardens or Crighton’s Farm

OG- certified organic          CNG- certified naturally grown

This week’s vegan shares will have rhubarb and rutabagas in place of the feta cheese.

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Roasted Feta With Honey  

1 8-ounce slab feta, blotted dry

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Greek thyme honey, or other honey

Freshly ground black pepper

Greek-style pita bread, toasted and cut into wedges

Heirloom tomatoes, roasted beets, nuts or pickled vegetables (optional).

1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Select a small oven-to-table earthenware dish or a small ovenproof sauté pan lined with aluminum foil to help transfer the cheese to a plate after roasting. Place the feta in the dish and cover with the olive oil. Bake until the cheese is soft and springy to the touch but not melted, about 8 minutes.

2. Preheat the broiler. Heat the honey in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water until it is fluid enough to be spread with a pastry brush and then paint the surface of the feta with it. Broil until the top of the cheese browns and just starts to bubble. Season to taste with black pepper. Serve immediately with pita wedges and, if desired, sliced heirloom tomatoes, roasted beets, nuts or pickled vegetables. Serves 4 to 6.

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Flower Shares (and Harvest)

The window of opportunity to give a Flower share as a Mother’s Day gift is closing soon.  Order one this week before it’s too late!

Delivery of Flower shares begin June 19th. For $120 your mother or wife can get a beautiful bouquet every other week for a total of 8 bouquets.  Flowers shares are a perfect way to show love and appreciation for weeks and weeks.  Contact us at csa@pennscorner.com to purchase a flower share for your special lady today!

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5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ramps
1 small shallot, finely chopped
Pinch of red-pepper flakes
1 cup Vialone nano rice (Conant recommends Campanini brand) (any arborio rice will do!)
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth, simmering in separate pot on stove (or vegetable broth)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
Kosher salt to taste

Instructions

In a wide, heavy-bottom saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. (1) Finely chop ramp greens and stalks, reserving greens for later. Add shallot, ramp stalks, and pepper flakes, and stir until the shallot is translucent, about two minutes. Add rice to pot and cook over medium heat for two minutes, stirring to coat rice with oil. (2) Pour in 1/4 cup of the wine and boil until almost absorbed; a little liquid should remain on top of the rice. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of hot broth at a time, stirring the rice constantly until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. Add another 1/4 cup of stock, the remaining wine, and a tablespoon of olive oil, continuing to stir. (3) Add the ramp greens and more stock as needed and continue cooking and stirring until the risotto looks creamy but is still al dente, about 18 to 22 minutes. Remove from heat and let the risotto stand for about 30 seconds. Add a drizzle of olive oil, butter, and cheese; stir until well combined. Season with salt. (Published 2005)

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Green garlic

Green garlic

Referred to as “new garlic” or “spring garlic,” green garlic is the versatile young shoot of the garlic plant that, if left to mature, will become the garlic bulbs we’re all familiar with. Normally, when garlic is grown, it is harvested in the middle of the summer, when the lower part of the stalk becomes visible above the ground and turns brown. Green garlic, on the other hand, is harvested in the spring, before the plant has matured and the light-purple bulb resembles that of a green onion.Green garlic has a much milder taste compared to matured cloves and it provides a fresh twist in any recipe that calls for garlic. When buying green garlic, select sturdy stalks that do not appear wilted. Store green garlic in the refrigerator for up to three to five days and use stem and bulb to add gentle flavor to sautés, soups, and stir-fries. Green garlic can also be eaten raw and used in salads or sandwiches.

Be sure to watch this great video about green garlic and how to use it!  And for those of us that need a little more direction you can find some recipes here.

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Check out the Penn’s Corner  page for great recipe ideas!

Click here for some more recipe ideas from our pinterest page!  If you have favorite recipes online, please let us know so we can add them to our Pinterest page.   Contact csa@pennscorner.com with the links!

Week 12- June 28th/29th

Summer is officially here…

Blueberries at Dawson's Orchards

and the berries, peas, zucchini and cucumbers that our farms are beginning to harvest are proof positive! This spring seemed to be more trying than most for many Penn’s Corner farms but now that we are approaching the full swing of summer, it’s easy to begin to forget about all that.

We were hoping to do a Farmer’s Corner spotlight on Scott Farabaugh and Blue Goose Farm. It turns out that Scott is so busy today picking and packing for CSA that we have postponed that until next week.  In the meantime, if you have any feedback on his lettuce, onions, or peas let us know and we  will pass it along to him.

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THIS WEEK’S HARVEST

Tuesday

~ edible blossoms, Pucker Brush, Next Life and Golden Harvest Farms

~ half pint blueberries, Kistaco Farm

~ pint sugar snap peas, Blue Goose Farm, CNG

~2 zucchini, Kistaco Farm

~ pint snow peas, Blue Goose Farm, CNG

~ Firehead lettuce, Blue Goose Farm, CF

~ 2 cucumbers, Kistaco Farm

~ green onion bunch, Blue Goose Farm, CNG

~ pint strawberries, Hostetler’s Farm, CF

~ green Romaine lettuce head, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ cilantro, Nu Way Farm, CF

Wednesday

~red radish bunch, Ny Way Farm, CF

~ half pint blueberries OR cherries OR pint strawberries

~ green onion bunch, Nu Way Farm, CF

~ pint sugar snap peas, Blue Goose Farm, CNG

~ 1 zucchini, Weeping Willow Farm, CF

~ 1 patty pan squash, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ Jericho Romaine lettuce head, Goose Creek Gardens, CNG

~ 5 squash blossoms, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ flat parsley, Goose Creek Gardens, CNG

~ Red Dazzler lettuce head, Clarion River Organics, OG

 OG- Certified Organic                                      CNG- Certified Natural Grown                                 CF- Chemical Free
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The Essentials of Salad Making

I’m sure that most people thoroughly enjoy a great salad but few rave about making them.  There are the typical obstacles: washing greens is a drag, bottled dressings lack a serious something and often we don’t know what to put in a salad because we get bored of the same old combinations.  At my house we have turned salad making into a science and something of a religion. We have a salad with dinner nearly every evening, year-round.  There are a few elements to our salad making that have streamlined the process for us and made our evening salad a much loved addition to our family meals.  See if any of them might make your salad making more enjoyable.

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As I’ve mentioned before, a good salad spinner is an indispensable tool.  Be sure to keep it somewhere handy- if you have to root through cabinets and climb on stools to grab it,you probably won’t go to the trouble of pulling it out.  Field lettuce, in particular can have dirt or small insects in it.  Fill your spinner with water with the strainer in the bowl then chop or tear your lettuce and then let it soak for a few minutes in the cold water.  Swish it around a bit- that way the unwanted additions will sink to the bottom of the bowl. Lift the basket of lettuce out of the bowl, drain the bowl and then spin your lettuce as dry as you can get it.   If the water was very dirty you may want to rinse the greens again.  Lettuce that is washed and dried well will keep in a plastic bag or tupperware for at least a day or two.  Clean extra while you are at it to enjoy with the next day’s lunch or dinner.

Dressing is the next step.  We all have our favorite and maybe you’ve found a bottled one that you love.  For those of you that haven’t, making your own dressing is a breeze and just takes a little practice to get yourself calibrated.  Keep a mason jar or similar container handy for your dressing.  Make a jar of dressing at a time so you only have to make it every week or so.  There are endless possibilities for salad dressings.  You can change it up each week or stick with a standard that you use most weeks.  Here is my recipe for our typical dressing:

Mince a couple cloves of garlic or a shallot or green garlic and place in jar.  Fill jar about half way up with olive oil and then another 1/3 with balsamic vinegar.  Add a generous pinch of salt and several twists of freshly ground pepper.  Place the lid on the jar firmly and shake it for 15 to 30 seconds.  The dressing should emulsify (see Wikipedia for a cool explanation of emulsion).  If there is too much vinegar in your jar the mixture will quickly run down the sides of the jar in fast sheets.  In contrast, if there is too much oil it will quickly run down in globs.  You can also tell if there is too much oil if when you open the jar (which can be messy) you see oil on top with the vinegar sinking below.  If your vinaigrette isn’t just right then add whichever is necessary in small amount and re-shake until the balance has been reached.     

As for additions to your salad, try any of the following: edible blossoms, shavings of a sharp cheese such as Parmesan or an aged Gouda, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, wasabi peas, chopped fresh herbs (any type!) in handfuls, hard boiled eggs, olives, berries- dried or fresh, a handful of cooked grains such as wheat berries, bugler or quinoa, anchovies, croutons, and of course, any veggies you like.

If you have a favorite salad addition that isn’t mentioned please leave a comment letting us know what it is!

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Edible Blossoms

Check this site out to read about a variety of ways to use your edible blossoms.  And see our Week #10 post to get ideas for squash blossoms.

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A Note About Vegan Shares

We have had much confusion with our vegan shares this year.  For those of us that don’t know what vegan means: we have members that choose to get a vegan CSA share which includes no cheese or other items that include animal products because they don’t eat these things.  Occasionally,  members sign up for this share type inadvertently.  In those cases, the pick up reminder and other emails from us will indicate that you have chosen a vegan share.  If you see that indicated in your emails but do NOT want a vegan share, please let us know as soon as possible and we will change your share asap.  Any vegan shares should be clearly indicated by a sheet of paper on the top of the box that states that it is a vegan box.  If you didn’t request a vegan share please don’t take one unless it is the very last box at your location.  Your cooperation is much appreciated!

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Zucchini and Ricotta Galette

~ smittenkitchen.com

Don’t let the crust scare you away from making this.  If necessary a store bought one will do and is a better option that never tasting this galette.  Trader Joe’s sells one that has no hydrogenated fats in it.

Serves 6

For the pastry:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chill again
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

Filling: 

1 large or 2 small zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon slivered basil leaves

Glaze: 

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Make dough:

Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture. With your fingertips or a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Make filling:

Spread the zucchini out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let drain for 30 minutes; gently blot the tops of the zucchini dry with paper towels before using. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and the garlic together; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon of the garlicky olive oil together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare galette:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet (though if you line it with parchment paper, it will be easier to transfer it to a plate later). Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the galette dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Shingle the zucchini attractively on top of the ricotta in concentric circles, starting at the outside edge. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of the garlic and olive oil mixture evenly over the zucchini. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze. Bake the galette until the cheese is puffed, the zucchini is slightly wilted and the galette is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with basil, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

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Using Herbs

Check out this Fact Sheet that the Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Department put together about storing and using fresh herbs.


Week 4- May 3rd/4th

Happy May to you all!  This week, like many weeks of a CSA season, includes twists and turns and surprises.  We are getting a little warmer temperatures and touches of sunshine here and there.  All this bodes well for our farmers and their crops.  I hear there is more rain to come and can only hope that it’s not so much that it floods fields for days and days.  In other news, Penn’s Corner got a home this week!  Many of you many not realize but our entire staff works out of home offices.  Just today we began moving into an office space in Larimer.  More details about that next week.

Our farmers and staff have spent a lot of time recently talking about CSA and weather.  We at Penn’s Corner have the good fortune of being diverse and having a lot of farms to pull from.  Where the weather is gray in one part of southwestern PA, it may be a little sunnier in another.  As a result, our CSA members rarely, if ever feel the effects of bad weather or crop losses.  But we don’t want this good fortune to go overlooked.  We thought that we would use this week’s blog to give our new members a little history of the concept of CSAs, and hopefully refresh some returning members along the way.

This excerpt from the US Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Library identifies the basic premise of CSA beautifully:

Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or “share-holders” of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. By direct sales to community members, who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing.

In Farms of Tomorrow Groh and McFadden report that “Since our existence is primarily dependent on farming, we cannot entrust this essential activity solely to the farming population–just 2% of Americans. As farming becomes more and more remote from the life of the average person, it becomes less and less able to provide us with clean, healthy, lifegiving food or a clean, healthy, lifegiving environment. A small minority of farmers, laden with debt and overburdened with responsibility, cannot possibly meet the needs of all the people. More and more people are coming to recognize this, and they are becoming ready to share agricultural responsibilities with the active farmers.”

The Penn’s Corner farmers all work tirelessly to grow nutritious, high quality produce and other products for our members.  There is safety in numbers so when we do experience crop losses or in the most recent case, unfavorable weather we do our best to pull together and fill our CSA boxes.  There will be times when crops aren’t ready when we expect them to be, or when something just isn’t available.  We will always try to notify you of such changes and assure you that in the end, when it’s all said and done, that over the course of our season you will have received the full value of your share.

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If you are a Cabin Fever member and want to add the Harvest Share to your membership now is the time!  The additional 24 week share can be added to your membership and paid in full or in installments.  Be sure to contact Karlin before we are sold out.

*This week our Tuesday boxes will not have green garlic in them but rest assured that it will be in your boxes next week!  Some weeks Tuesday will have more products in the box and other week’s Wednesday will.  This is the combined result of small scale agriculture and distribution logistics.  We assure you that it will all even out in the end.

                                   THIS WEEK’S HARVEST

Tuesday

~ 1/2 gallon apple cider, Kistaco Farm

~ 1/4# red Russian kale, Nu Way Farm, CF

~ 1/4# wild foraged watercress, Nu Way Farm, CF

~ 1.5# banana fingerling potatoes, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ 3# Rome apples, Dawson’s Orchards

~ radish bunch, Nu Way Farm, CF

~ pickled Clarion River Organics turnips, Sitos’ Foods

Wednesday

~ 1/2 gallon apple cider, Kistaco Farm

~ 1/4# wild foraged watercress, Nu Way Farm, CF

~ 1 dozen free range eggs, Ny Way Farm, CF/Clarion River Organics

~ 3# Granny Smith apples, Dawson’s Orchards

~ red butter lettuce head, Goose Creek Gardens, CNG

~ green garlic, Clubhouse Gardens, CF

~ 2# red potatoes, Blue Goose Farm

~ radish bunch, Nu Way Farm, CF

~ pickled Clarion River Organics turnips, Sitos’ Foods

* OG- Certified Organic                                      CNG- Certified Natural Grown                                          CF- Chemical Free

Watercress

watercress

Watercress (Nasturtium officinale)- are fast-growing, aquatic or semi-aquatic, perennial plants native from Europe to central Asia, and one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by human beings. These plants are members of the cabbage family, botanically related to garden cress and mustard — all noteworthy for a peppery, tangy flavor. Watercresses are not closely related to the flowers in the genus popularly known as “nasturtiums”.  Watercress contains significant amounts of iron, calcium and folic acid, in addition to vitamins A and C.

Clean your watercress and add it to salads, sandwiches, or garnish a soup with it.  Below we’ve included a lovely recipe from La Tartine Gourmande.  Have some of last week’s feta still?  Use it in this. Try your Granny Smith or Rome apples in place of the Gala’s, use a knife if you don’t have a mandoline and skip the seeds if you don’t have any on hand.

Watercress salad

(serves 2 people)

Dressing:

  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

Salad:

  • 2 handfuls washed watercress
  • 1/2 small red apple (Gala for me), cored, quartered and finely sliced with a mandoline
  • 3 radishes, finely sliced with a mandoline
  • 3 tablespoons feta cheese crumbled
  • Black sesame seeds, to sprinkle and to taste

In a bowl, add the ingredients in this order: sea salt, pepper, lemon juice and honey. Whisk in the oil and emulsify; set aside.
In a large bowl, toss gently the salad ingredients. Add the dressing and toss. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

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Lifits

The lifits, or pickled turnips in your box this week are an exciting addition to our CSA.  Sito’s Foods, a Pittsburgh enterprise, is a certified Woman Minority Owned Business member.  In this case Sito’s has used Clarion River Organics’ purple top turnips to make lifits.  Lifits are very common in Middle Eastern cultures.  Enjoy them in salads or simply as a snack.  I should probably mention that a little raw beet is used to dye the turnips red.     

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Green Garlic

Check out this New York Times article to read about green garlic and find some amazing recipes.

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