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Friday, July 15, 2011

Welcome to the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program at Wishful Acres Farm!  We'd like to thank you very much for your support - it's customers like you who make what we do possible - thanks!!  :-)

This week, your box will include the following Certified Naturally Grown vegetables (plus eggs if you opted for them):

-Lettuce Mix
- enjoy with your favorite dressing or make a 7-layer salad with all your veggies (recipe below).  Refrigerate.

-Baby Squash - these mixed variety, tiny squash are incredibly tender.  Enjoy these little gourmet treats best raw.  They are great with a dip or chopped on a salad.  (Also, they are easy to grill whole, recipe below).  In later weeks, you'll get the full-sized squash.  Refrigerate.

-Sweet Onions- these Walla Walla onions are best raw - they are much sweeter than regular cooking onions.  Onions fresh from the garden are more crisp and juicy than those you'll find in the store.  Enjoy these on a salad or sandwich.  The green tops are also delicious, they can be chopped for a salad topper as well.  If you want to cook the onions, I've included a grilling recipe below.  Refrigerate sweet onions, they shouldn't be left out like cooking onions.

-Cilantro - each week, your box will include a fresh herb.  This week is my personal favorite - cilantro!  Cilantro is typically seen in Mexican cooking, but doesn't need to be limited to this.  It can be used on tacos, salads of all kinds, sandwiches, or to top anything from potatoes to salsa to eggs.  It is best used fresh - do not cook it and it does not freeze nor dry well.  Refrigerate.

-Cucumber- this is the first harvest of cucumbers, there are only a few so you'll each receive only 1 per box this week (more varieties of cukes and full shares will receive 2 per box in future weeks).  Cucumbers are another great raw vegetable, and fresh from the garden they are a treat.  Great on salads & sandwiches.  Refrigerate.

-Snow Peas or Sugar Snap Peas - this is the last week for our peas.  Snow & sugar snap peas are both edible-pod peas - simply snap off the stem & pop in your mouth.  If they last long enough to use in a recipe, they are great with a hummus dip or your favorite dip.  Also can be tossed on a salad.  If you want to cook them, they are great roasted (recipe below).  Refrigerate.

-Green Beans - you'll receive flat Italian green beans this week. Believe it or not, green beans can also be eaten raw if you're daring - freshly picked they are crisp & sweet.  I always pop some in my mouth while picking.  Great with a dip or even chopped on a salad.  To cook, they can be boiled or even grilled (recipes below).  Refrigerate.

-Swiss Chard- this is your leafy green for the week, so healthy!  The shiny dark green leaves resemble small rhubarb leaves, and they have a white stem.  I personally enjoy swiss chard raw best - mixed with lettuce in a salad -  but most people cook it (recipe below).  The bugs have been enjoying the swiss chard on the farm this week, so unfortunately some of the leaves have one or two marks.  As I tell my husband, if the bugs and animals like it we know it's good for us as well!  Refrigerate.

-Garlic - we've just harvested the garlic!  We planted 10 varieties last fall - many of them unique, gourmet varieties that we're very excited about.  This week, you'll receive a standard cooking garlic.  This is fresh garlic which hasn't been dried out yet for storage, so it's fresh and crunchy!  It should be fine sitting out in your kitchen for a few months.


And here are some recipe ideas for all those delicious organic veggies!

Recipes:


-7 layer salad (includes everything)
-1 bag lettuce, chopped
-1/2 bag swiss chard, chopped
-1/2 bag sugar snap or snow peas, chopped
-1 onion, chopped, including green tops
-1/2 bag baby squash, chopped
-1/2 cucumber, chopped
-hard boiled eggs, chopped, or cooked bacon, chopped.

Chop all veggies and layer in a bowl.  Layer eggs or bacon on top.  Top with dressing of choice or the typical 7 layer salad dressing:

  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar


-Green Beans (boiled)

  • 1 bag green beans
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • dash salt
Remove stem end of green bean & any strings.  Snap in half to make equal pieces.  Place in pot of boiling water, cook for 10 minutes, or until tender-crisp.  Top with butter and salt to taste.


-Roasted sugar snap or snow peas
  • 1 bag sugar snap or snow peas
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • dash garlic salt
Coat peas with oil, place in roasting pan or baking sheet.  Sprinkle with garlic salt and roast at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.


-Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt to taste (optional)

Directions

  1. Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Finally, stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt if needed.

-Roasted Garlic

Ingredients

  • garlic bulbs
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. Using a sharp knife, chop off the tops of the garlic bulbs so the inside of the cloves are exposed. Place bulbs on a piece of aluminum foil that is big enough to make a "tent" enclosing the bulbs.
  2. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the cut bulbs, allowing it to reach the cloves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Form the aluminum foil tent by matching opposite sides of the foil and either rolling or folding them together. Leave a pocket of air inside the tent so the garlic has room to steam itself.
  4. Cook garlic in a 425-degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until garlic is beginning to caramelize. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before trying to extract the garlic (shells are extremely hot!). When garlic is cool enough to handle, turn bulbs upside down and squeeze out the soft garlic into your dish of choice.
  5. Roasted garlic can be spread on bread (including pizza dough), mashed into potatoes, added to tomato sauce,or mixed into a salad vinaigrette.

Grilling Ideas:
 
   (Each week, I'll try to include some grilling ideas for the vegetables.) 
-Grilled Baby Squash
Brush each baby squash with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper (and garlic powder if desired).  Place baby squash on grill for 5-10 minutes, flipping to avoid burning.
-Green Beans in foil pack
Snap ends off 1 bag of green beans (and remove strings if using flat Italian beans).  Snap beans in half so all pieces are same size.  Place on a large rectangle of aluminum foil.  Add 1 tablespoon butter, chopped into pieces so it covers all beans.  Sprinkle with salt.  Fold up foil pack so it's sealed.  Then place another sheet of foil around it & fold that up too (so it's double layered to avoid leaks).  Place on grill for 15-20 minutes or until tender, take care not to place over hottest part of grill to avoid burning.
-Grilled Walla Walla Onion slices (could also be done on kebabs)
Cut onion into thick circle slices (like slicing to use on a hamburger).  Brush with olive oil & place on grill for 10-15 minutes, flipping & avoiding burning.


Wow, you'll all be eating so healthy over the next week! 
Please feel free to email anytime if you have any questions or comments.
Thanks, everyone!

Penny Peterson
Wishful Acres Farm

http://wishfulacres.blogspot.com

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