Last week we had a small respite from planting before a flurry of summer crops like tomatoes, squash, peppers and cukes go into the ground. We used that brief breathing room to do a lot of cultivation and hand weeding of cabbage, kale, carrots, beets, scallions, peas, asparagus and fennel. We also spent a good portion of last week prepping beds for planting said summer crops, as well as trying to finish up plowing the fields for our fall crops (hard to believe that some of them go into the ground in June!). We also did quite a bit of seeding, refilling the greenhouses (that we had almost emptied out a few weeks ago) with winter squash, lettuce and Brussels sprouts.
This week we are diving right back into planting, and it won't let up until after the CSA opens the week of June 5th. It's just that time of year when every glance at our to-do list gives us heart palpitations! But it's also exciting as we are enjoying some delicious asparagus and salad greens, as well as some beautiful weather to picnic and grill all the food we are growing!
In the farm store this week:
- Red Russian Kale
- Pea shoots
- Micro greens
- Bok choi
- Basil and Parsley plants
- Eggs from Pete and Jen - we have regular half dozens, but also a few boxes of pullet eggs. These are eggs from young hens, so they are a little smaller.
- Radishes (at the end of the week)
- Mushrooms from Fat Moon (Friday and Saturday)
Pasta with Pea shoots
by Florence Fabricant, NY Times Cooking
2 ounces fresh pea shoots (3 cups)
- 1 large clove garlic
- Salt to taste
- 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil, or a mixture
- ½ pound bow-tie pasta
- 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1 ounce prosciutto, chopped
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional cheese for the table
- Freshly ground black pepper
If the pea shoots have long stems, cut them into pieces. Set aside. Mash the garlic with a pinch of salt to form a paste. Mix with the butter or oil. Heat a large pot of salted water for the pasta. Heat 2 tablespoons of the garlic butter or oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the mushrooms, and saute over medium heat for a few minutes, until the mushrooms have wilted. Stir in the prosciutto, cook another few seconds, then remove from the heat. When the water has come to a boil, add the pasta and cook about 7 minutes, until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Return the skillet to the heat. Add the pea shoots to the skillet along with the remaining garlic butter or oil, and cook over medium heat, stirring, for a minute or two, until the pea shoots have just wilted and the ingredients are well mixed. Add the cheese, season with salt and pepper, and serve at once, offering more cheese at the table.
Saag Paneer (tofu with spinach sauce)
From The Minimalist, NY Times Cooking, by Mark Bittman
- 1 1/2 pounds spinach
- 12 ounces firm or extra-firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 dried chilies
- 2 tablespoons garam masala or curry powder
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups light cream or half-and-half.
1. Trim and wash spinach; do not dry. Chop leaves in one-inch pieces. Cut tofu in two horizontally and wrap in paper towels. Put it under a couple of plates.
2. Put butter or oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. A minute later, add ginger, garlic and chilies and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic begins to color.
3. Stir in garam masala or curry powder and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until it wilts, then add yogurt and a cup of cream. Pick out chilies and discard.
4. Cook mixture over medium-high heat; liquid in spinach will boil off. When mixture is nearly dry, cut tofu into half-inch pieces and incorporate. When tofu is hot, add remaining cream and cook for another minute or two, stirring. Adjust seasoning and serve.
Just spinach sauce: In Step 4, omit tofu. Purée mixture with 1/2 cup remaining cream. Add squeeze of lime juice. Serve with grilled meat, poultry, fish or vegetables.