Monday, June 20, 2011

Recipe: Kale Chips (and Kale-Dusted Popcorn)

In this week's box:

Salad mix
Herbs - Dill and Basil, Cilantro or Rosemary

Baked Kale Chips (lifted, with some edits, from smitten kitchen)

1 bunch (about 6 ounces) kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Place baking sheet on a rack to cool.

Kale-Dusted Popcorn
If you’re making the chips with the intention to grind them up for popcorn, use less oil — perhaps half — so they grind without the “powder” clumping. Grind a handful of chips (about half) in a mortar and pestle (or try putting them in a plastic sandwich baggie, sealing it up [be sure to squeeze out the excess air] and crushing them with your hands or a rolling pin), sprinkle them over popcorn (1/4 cup popcorn kernels). You can season the popcorn with salt or add parmesan cheese for Parmesan and Kale-Dusted Popcorn!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Change for 4th of July Pick-up

I just wanted to take a minute to let people whose normal pick-up day would be the 4th of July, that we would like to move the pickup a day later to Tuesday the 5th of July. The 4-6 pm time or the drop off earlier in the morning at Dr. Wings office would be at the same time, just a day later.
Please let me know as soon as possible if this isn't going to work or is you have other vacation plans.
Thanks and have a great night.

Call for submissions: Show us your dinner!

So, I've seen a couple of photos floating around on facebook; some of my fellow CSA members are cooking delicious (and pretty!) dinners.  We would love to put your work up on the blog.  If you'd like to share your cooking successes with the rest of the Tusen Tack CSA community, please send a picture of your plate and a description of what's on it to  Descriptions can be as short or as long as you like: just the name of the dish, or a whole recipe!

Can't wait to see what everyone else is doing!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Recipe: Fresh Summer Spaghettini

I literally just got done cooking and eating this for dinner tonight with my family.  I loved it, and it was well-received by my husband, 9-year-old son, and 19-month-old daughter.  This is not an easy feat.  Prep and cooking time totaled less than half an hour and I used the lovely basil from yesterday's CSA box.  "This is going directly into the summer dinner lineup," I announced at the table.  No one looked up, as they were all busy emptying their plates.  What kind of friend would I be if I didn't share this revelation with you all?  A bad friend, that's what kind..

Fresh Summer Spaghettini, from Family Feasts for $75 a Week

12 oz uncooked spaghetti or angel hair pasta (I used linguine.)
3 tablespoons olive oil (we had a scant 2 tablespoons left, so I used a combo of olive & vegetable oils)
4 green onions, coarsely chopped
2 cups cherry (or grape) tomatoes, halved (1 pint)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
8 to 10 fresh basil leaves (I cut mine into a chiffonade.)
salt & black pepper to taste
4 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I used part-skim block cheese from the supermarket.  Fresh mozzarella would be even better.)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta in boiling salted water.  Drain, reserving cooking water; keep warm.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until hot.  Add green onions, tomatoes and garlic and cook until heated through (2-4 minutes).  Add basil and season with salt & pepper.  Add 1/2 cup reserved cooking water to veggies.  Add both cheeses, stir to combine, and serve over warm pasta.

Then pat yourself on the back because you just got dinner on the table in 20 minutes.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Recipe: Boc Choi Provencale

The pairing of eggs and cooking greens is a favorite at our house, especially in the summer when I'd rather enjoy the day rather than spend my time in the kitchen. This is a quick recipe with lots of room for adding what you have on hand, so feel free to experiment.

1 head boc choi (or other cooking green)
1 clove garlic
1 large onion (or scallions)
Olive oil
2 eggs (or more if desired)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tbsp fresh mint, minced
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Saute the boc choi, garlic and onion in olive oil until the garlic and onions are tender and the boc choi is lightly wilted, don't overcook.
3. Beat together the eggs and cheese in a baking dish and then blend in the boc choi mixture. Add the mint, salt and pepper.
4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the eggs are firm.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Recipe: Cilantro Salad Dressing

This dressing is another one lifted from my Moosewood Kitchen New Classics cookbook.  My not-quite-10-year-old son has recently declared himself to be a vegetarian, so I have been knee-deep in my old veggie cookbooks and have unearthed some real gems!  This dressing is meant for a shredded carrot salad, but really, if you like cilantro, this would be tasty over salad greens, too.

Cilantro Dressing

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

With a whisk or in a blender, combine all ingredients. (A blender will give a smoother result, but either way tastes good.)  Pour over 2 1/2 cups peeled & grated carrots or the salad greens of your choice.  Serve immediately.

A larger batch of this dressing will keep in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for about a week.

How to cook bok choy

In this instance, I am going to link directly to another site, because this is a great how-to for cooking up your bok choy, with photos and a recipe and lots more cool stuff.  It's from Steamy Kitchen, another in the loooooong list of food blogs to which I am addicted.  Now you can be addicted too!

How to cook bok choy.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 13 Veggie Box

Greetings from the farm and we hope you are all looking forward to the veggie delivery this week.
In your box this time?
~ Salad Mix
~ Herbs: Mint & Cilantro & Basil & Dill
~ Bac Choi or Mustard Greens or Russian Kale
~ Snap Peas

Summer is shaping up to be warm and sunny and while I have been very busy installing irrigation and planting the final transplants I so carefully seeded almost 3 months ago, it's been wonderful to see spring veggies producing and summer veggies growing with promise. I hope you all especially enjoyed the salad mix we came up with. A great mix of colors, flavors and textures, it consists of no less than 4 varieties of lettuce, baby boc choi, baby kale and swiss chard, and spicy baby mustard leaves.

Also in your 'box' most weeks will be some kind of cooking green: swiss chard, kale, mustard, spinach or boc choi. These are the matured leaves or the whole plant of some of the same baby leaves used in the salad mix. Sturdier and meant to be lightly cooked, they go well in stir fries, but also minestrone type soups, in a pasta sauce, paired with eggs and other veggies in quiche, or just steamed with a little soy sauce. The other important thing to remember with cooking greens is that in most recipes both on our blog and in cook books, they are fairly interchangeable, so if the recipe you want to try is for kale and you have mustard greens, have no fear, it will be delicious.

We are excited to report that we should have fresh strawberries ripe in another week or two and we plan on pairing them with rhubarb for a really classic combination or early summer flavors.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Produce tip: Storing fresh basil

The key to keeping basil fresh and fragrant for days (and even weeks) after purchase or harvest is to not store it in the refrigerator. Basil leaves quickly turn black and slimy and lose their signature spicy sweet flavor when refrigerated. A better way to store them is in a jar of water on your kitchen counter top.

Fill a short, stout vase or jar with 3 or 4 inches of tepid tap water. Stick the stems into the jar of water, making sure to add more water to the jar if the end of each stem is not submerged. Place the jar in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Don't worry if the basil droops at first; it should perk right up after about 12 hours. Change the water in the jar daily. When stored this way, basil will stay fresh for weeks. In fact, if you leave the stems in water, they will eventually root and you can replant them in a pot or out in the garden.

Recipe: Spring Onion Pancakes

If you omit the soy, herbs like dill, thyme, garlic, sorrel or basil are all perfect additions to these pancakes.  You can fry them in any vegetable oil or even a good olive oil.

salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 bunches scallions or spring onions (about 1/2 pound)
1 egg
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 cup flour
oil for frying

  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil.  In the meantime, trim the onions, roughly chop one bunch and mince the second.
  2. Add the roughly chopped onions to the boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender.  Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.  Puree the cooked onions in a blender, adding just enough of the cooking liquid to allow the machine to do its work.
  3. Mix the puree with the egg and soy, then gently stir in the flour until well blended.  Add pepper to taste, then the minced onions.
  4. Film a well seasoned or non-stick skillet with oil and heat over medium-high heat.  Drop batter into pan by the tablespoon or quarter cup and cook about 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.  Finished pancakes can be kept warm in a 200 degree oven for up to 30 minutes as the rest of the batch finishes cooking.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Recipe: Sauteed Radishes and Sugar Snaps with Dill

From smitten kitchen (which you should all go check out right. now.):

To remove strings from fresh peas, just snap off the stem end and pull string lengthwise down each pod.

Makes 6 servings.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
12 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed, strings removed
2 cups thinly sliced radishes (about 1 large bunch)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon dill seeds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Melt butter with oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add sugar snap peas, cook for one to two minutes, and radishes sauteing until crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Add orange juice and dill seeds; stir 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chopped dill. Transfer to bowl; serve.

Produce tip: Keeping radishes fresh

If you're like my husband, keeping radishes fresh for any length of time is not an issue.  If you are like him, you will eat them straight out of the CSA box (maybe you will wash them), you will dip them in a little salt and polish off the whole bunch while you stand over the kitchen sink.  However, if you're not like my husband, here's a little how-to on keeping radishes fresh in your refrigerator.

Now, for the first few days you can just store them, unwashed, in your crisper drawer.  Once the tops start to look a little wilted, that's your cue to take those suckers, cut off the root and stem ends of each, and throw them in a jar.  Fill the jar with enough water to cover the radishes and stick the jar back in the fridge.  This will keep them fresh for at least a week, if not longer.  An old salsa jar or mason jar both work great for this, but really, even a large drinking glass will work, depending on how many radishes you have.

(Of course, I never need to use this method, because radishes disappear from my fridge in about three seconds flat--if they ever make it in there at all.)

Recipe: Linguine with Creamy Scallion Pesto

From Poor Girl Eats Well:

1 8 oz. package linguine
2 bunches scallions, rinsed & coarsely chopped (about 15-20 stalks)
1/2 c almonds, coarsely chopped
2 large garlic cloves
1/4 c olive oil
3 T parmesan cheese
2 T lemon juice
1/2 T sea salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
Extra olive oil for drizzling

Cook the linguine according to package instructions.  Drain & drizzle with a bit of olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking.  Set aside.

In a food processor (or hand blender cup), combine the chopped scallions, almonds, garlic, olive oil, cheese, lemon juice and seasonings, and purée until almost smooth.  Check for seasoning and adjust according to taste.

Gently fold about 1 cup of pesto into the linguine and stir until well-coated.  Serve as a side or entrée with a couple sprinkles of extra parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

Recipe: Mixed Greens

This is my number one go-to recipe for any and all leafy greens.  It's quick and easy and if you don't have one of the ingredients, you can adjust amounts on the others and it will still taste good.  If you're not a fan of spicy food, leave out the Tabasco, or, if you love it like I do, double the amount!

This recipe also calls for a large amount of greens, as they cook down pretty dramatically.  I often make a much smaller amount, since certain children I live with will only eat greens if they are raw.  A couple of large fistfuls of greens cooks down to a perfect amount for one adult.

Mixed Greens (from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (olive oil also works well here)
2-3 gloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 lbs fresh greens (kale, chard, spinach, mustard, collard . . . you name it!), rinsed, stemmed and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup water (plus more if needed)
salt to taste

In a large pot, heat the oil and saute the garlic on medium heat for just a minute to soften it.  Add the damp greens, cover, and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, until the greens on the bottom begin to soften.  Stir the greens until evenly coated with oil.

Add the soy sauce, vinegar, Tabasco and water.  Stir the greens well and add more water if needed.  Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and tasting to sample the texture.  They're done when they are as soft as you like them.  Add salt and more Tabasco to taste.

The pot liqour (cooking water) from this recipe is yummy soaked up with a little cornbread!

Welcome to the 2011 Tusen Tack Farm CSA Season!

Summer has finally begun in Minnesota, and along with amazingly beautiful weather (if you are not outside on this gorgeous Sunday, GET OUT RIGHT NOW!) and sunburnt shoulders, here comes the first CSA delivery of the 2011 Tusen Tack Farm Season.

In this week's box:

salad mix
mustard greens and/or spinach

A delicious and fresh start for what promises to be a lovely season.  Stay tuned to this space for recipes, farm updates, news about your CSA community, and more!