Last week we gave everyone some of the first raspberries of the season, promising much more to come. This week we make good on that promise and inside your boxes you’ll find PINTS of our delicious berries! The uses for these little gems are practically endless, but we thought we’d give you all a few suggestions in case you’re in the mood to try something a bit different. In the mood for something on the sweeter side? Try our raspberry bar recipe! Similar to raspberry cobbler, but in bar form, you’ll be amazed at how fast they disappear!
For the crust and crumb:
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
• 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
• 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut in1-inch pieces
For the raspberry filling:
• 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 4 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Make the crust and crumb: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment. Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form. Reserve 2 cups of the mixture and set aside. Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands or the back of a large wooden spoon to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. The crust should touch the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the raspberry filling.
Make the raspberry filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and flour together. Add the raspberries, lemon juice and butter and use your hands to toss gently until the raspberries are evenly coated Assemble and bake the bars: Spread the raspberry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around the edges.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days.
In a sure sign that summer is well and truly here, this week we’re including a bouquet of flowers, freshly cut from our farm garden. Each bouquet is different and contains a varying mix of cosmos, Crocosmias and zinnias. We hope you’ll enjoy gazing at these beautiful blooms while dining on this week’s assortment of fruit and veggies!
If you were able to join us for Friday’s Kale Party, you will recognize the raspberry vinaigrette recipe as the dressing to our kale salad. With a recipe this quick and easy, you’ll never need to buy dressing in the store again! We’ve also included the recipe for our kale pesto, offering yet another delicious way to utilize this nutrient-rich veggie. While traditionally served with bread, you’ll find it’s a great accompaniment to eggs, grilled fish or baked potatoes. Try it tossed with some pasta and shrimp or even as a layer in your veggie lasagna!
Kale Pesto (makes just under 2 cups)
• ½ cup blanched almonds, walnuts, pine nuts or a combination
• 1 large garlic clove, smashed
• 3 cups kale, stemmed and torn into large pieces (so it’s easier to measure)
• 2 cups basil leaves (or use all kale)
• ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
• Freshly ground pepper to taste
• 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
• ¾ cup unrefined, cold pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/3 cup grated Pecorino or Parmigiano cheese
Toast nuts, stirring frequently, in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly golden. If you are pressed for time, just skip this step and put them in the food processor raw. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place nuts and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until very finely chopped. Add kale, basil, salt, pepper and lemon juice and pulse until chopped. With the food processor running, add olive oil in a steady stream until you achieve a smooth texture. Add cheese and process until well combined. Taste for seasoning and add additional olive oil to make a looser pesto. Have leftovers? Pesto freezes really well!
The weather has finally begun to cooperate and after weeks of anxiously watching our raspberry canes for the first glimpse of those tangy red berries, these last two weeks of sunshine has convinced them to ripen. The months of rain are paying big dividends as they contributed significantly to the juiciness of these succulent berries. Guaranteed to stain your fingers red, you’ll find these berries make a great addition to your salad (spinach, goat cheese & pecans!), smoothies, or just eaten by themselves. They’re a delicious guilt-free snack.
As the weather warms up, one of the best ways to enjoy berries is in an ice cold beverage. On the back, you’ll find one of our favorite recipes for Raspberry Lemonade. If you want a fizzy version, try adding your favorite lemon lime soda instead of water. Add a splash of vodka or tequila for an even better adult version!
Also new in your box this week is cauliflower. This albino cousin of broccoli can be used in a variety of entrees as its mild flavor pairs nicely with everything from garlic to curry. Rushed for dinner? Try our quick and easy recipe on the back for Curried Cauliflower, Spinach and Chickpeas.
Find yourself craving comfort food but don’t want the calories that come with it? Or maybe you just want to trick your kids into eating more veggies? You’ll find garlic mashed cauliflower is a great substitute for traditional mashed potatoes.
Mock Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1 medium head cauliflower
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon straight chicken base or bullion (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon salt)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.
Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.
In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base, and pepper until almost smooth. Garnish with chives, and serve hot with pats of butter.
Hint: Try roasting the garlic and adding a little fresh rosemary for a whole new taste!
1 cup sugar
1 cup of water
¾ cup raspberries; pureed and pushed through a fine mesh sieve; plus more whole berries for garnish if desired
1 cup lemon juice (about 8 lemons if using fresh lemons)
4-6 cups cold water (this will vary depending on your taste)
1. Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar with 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and heat until the sugar in completely dissolved; swirl the pan occasionally. Let cool.
2. Measure 3/4 of fresh raspberries and puree them in your blender or food processor.
3. Push the raspberry puree through a fine mesh sieve to separate the seeds from the pulp.
4. Once the simple syrup has cooled, combine the raspberry puree, simple syrup and lemon juice in a large pitcher.
5. Add 4-6 cups of cold water. The amount of water you use will depend on your taste, so add as little or as much as you want to achieve your perfect sweet/tart balance.
Curried Cauliflower, Spinach & Chickpeas
2 tbsp. oil (vegetable/olive/etc)
2-4 tbsp. red curry paste (depending on your tolerance for heat!)
Meet the latest addition to your CSA Box: beets! Those of you who are fans of beets will love the beautiful color and intense flavor these will add to your salad or entrée. But there are probably several of you who have never been properly introduced to beets and aren’t sure what to do with them, so here is a basic overview of everything you need to know about these wonderful vegetables.
The entire beet is edible, from the leaves to the roots. The leaves are mild and tender, like chard, and can be used in all the same ways as spinach and chard. The roots are earthy and sweet and can be eaten raw, roasted, baked, boiled, steamed or even grilled. We’ve included a great recipe on the back that uses both the leaves and the beets!
Regardless of how you cook them, be sure to leave the tail, skin and at least an inch of the stems attached to keep their delicious juices locked inside. You’ll find they’re easiest to peel after they’ve been cooked, so just scrub them thoroughly and cook them with their skins on.
Beets will store well for several weeks in the refrigerator in a paper or perforated plastic bag. The greens can also be stored in a plastic bag, but only for a few days. Cooked beets will keep for a week in the fridge.
You’ll also find some of our fresh basil has been added to your boxes again this week. This best friend of tomatoes is one of our favorite summer herbs as it pairs nicely with so many seasonal vegetables and even a few types of fruit. Be sure to keep it well wrapped in paper towels and stored in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer in your fridge, otherwise it will blacken and wilt.
Planning to grill some veggies, chicken or fish? Try this simple recipe for basil butter to add a burst of flavor:
Directions: In a food processor, chop basil. Add butter, lemon juice, pepper and garlic salt; blend until smooth. Drop by half-tablespoons onto a baking sheet; freeze. Remove from baking sheet and store in freezer bags. Use to flavor chicken, fish or vegetables.
This recipe was submitted by one of our CSA members. We cooked it for the farmhands this week and they loved it! This is a great variation on a traditional salad.
2 roasted or grilled yams, cut into 1 inch squares.
2 bunches of Kale, deveined
½ c. nutritional yeast
1/8 c. olive oil
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. tamari
2 ripe avocadoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ c. pinenuts, toasted
2 tbsp. black sesame seeds, toasted
Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and enjoy!
Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens
Warning: for those who have not prepared beets, they will stain most surfaces and fabrics. Do not use a wooden cutting board or it may become permanently stained.
1 bunch beets with greens
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped onion (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the beets thoroughly, leaving the skins on, and remove the greens. Rinse greens, removing any large stems, and set aside. Place the beets in a small baking dish or roasting pan, and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
This week, in addition to the greens, beans, zucchinis, cucumbers and lettuce, we’ve added fingerling potatoes to your box. There are numerous ways to enjoy these flavorful little guys, whether diced and sautéed for breakfast burritos, tossed in some olive oil and herbs and roasted whole or sliced in the soon-to-be-famous Whiskey Creek “Potachos” recipe on the back.
However you choose to use them, try to do so in the next two weeks as they could spoil! Be sure to keep them stored in a cool, dry, dark area.
Have leftover potatoes? Don’t try to plant them as seed or add them to your compost! As you’ll read below, we’ve been dealing with fungus on our potato plants so you don’t want to add these to your garden or it’s likely you’ll end up with the same problem, which can spread to any tomato, eggplant and pepper plants you have.
Unfortunately, because of the unseasonably cool, rainy weather, our crops have not had the opportunity to really dry out and soak up the sunshine they need at this stage in their development. As a result, we’ve been dealing with a slowdown in the growth of several crops as well as a problem with our potato and tomato plants. This may create a delay so that we are unable to offer some of our produce with the frequency we hoped. However, next week’s forecast looks sunny and dry so we’re hopeful the weather has turned the corner and these last few weeks will cause only a minor setback in our schedule.
On a positive note, the raspberries and blackberries LOVE the extra rain and are loaded with fruit that is just waiting for the sunshine to ripen!
In the meantime, if you find yourself looking at that batch of kale and struggling to think of some new way to eat more of it, try making kale chips! These are a delicious and healthy alternative to potato chips or other salty foods. You won’t be able to just eat one! Best of all, they’re fast and easy to make.
1 bunch kale, washed and dried
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt (seasoned salt is even better!)
Preheat oven to 350. Line a non-insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper. With a knife or kitchen shears, remove the leaves from the stems and tear them into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake 10-15 minutes, until the edges are brown but not burnt.
The Soon-to-be-Famous Whiskey Creek “Potachos”
This is our take on Irish Nachos and a favorite with our farmhands! Feel free to be creative with the toppings and add different meats, beans and cheese. We like ours with sour cream, guacamole and salsa. Or try a healthier version with some steamed broccoli and parmesan cheese.
Let’s start these nachos by slicing some potatoes (not too thin!) drizzling them with olive oil, and season them with a bit of salt and pepper. If you like things a little spicy go ahead and throw a dash of cayenne pepper on them too.
Pop them into a 420 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until they are nice and brown. When your potatoes are nice and crispy arrange them in an oven proof skillet.
Throw some pickled jalapenos on top of this with a few handfuls of shredded sharp cheddar then put this back into your oven for a few minutes.
It’s great to have potatoes under all of that cheddar goodness instead of chips. For meat lovers- crumbled bacon can be added to the top. You can also cook up some spicy hamburger with some onion, cumin and salt. Either meat option is great!
Kale for Breakfast?
This farm favorite is another way to have your kale. Make a smoothie for breakfast in the morning. It’s a great way to start your day and also eat that really-good-for-you kale.
Fill your blender with kale leaves a little more than 1/3 of the way up the blender. (Remember to remove the leaves from the stem.) For a thinner smoothie you can use 1 ½ cups of water for a thicker one a little less. If you like greens you can fill the blender half of the way up with kale. Just remember to add a little more water and blend between the following ingredients: Add 1 carrot, 1-2 apples, 1 orange and 1 pear (if desired) Then add 1-2 cups berries. Frozen berries are good but fresh are still hard to beat. Blend all ingredients and enjoy!