Guest Post: June 26th Share

When I got to the farm last Wednesday, the clouds had just parted after a major rainfall. A huge puddle, the size of a miniature pond, had formed in the driveway. Given the weather we've had since then I'll bet that pond's grown, and then some!

Not such great weather for strawberries, which were on their way out when I spoke to Marisa that day. Ah, the fleeting fruits of summer. I've read some pretty fun-sounding recipes for fancy jams and preserves this week (Pickled Strawberry Jam whaa?), but ultimately I prefer my berries one at a time, shared with someone I love.

Graceful Scallions

June 26th Share: 

Baby Bok Choy

Broccoli

Garlic scapes

Kohlrabi (with greens)

Mustard greens

Sugar Snap and Snow Peas (green and yellow!)

Scallions

Strawberries

So what did we do with our share?

The food coming out of our kitchen has been super simple as of late. Whether it's the weather, or just the freshness of the ingredients, I've been craving super-simple combinations. Easy on the budget, and the dishes too!

Have I mentioned how much I love greens? I do. I eat them daily, and my favorite might be greens and eggs for breakfast. I've done this with the mustard greens, kohlrabi tops and bok choy (mixed greens are extra yummy!). Simply wash and chop, then steam in a pan until any water clinging to the leaves has evaporated. Add some oil, salt, pepper, soy sauce, maybe a dash of vinegar, and once they're cooked just toss them on a plate, rinse the pan and cook your egg (scrambled or over-easy, depending on the day). I call it "superhero food." 

The photogenic Kohlrabi

The garlic scapes I diced and fried in a cast iron pan with Two-Potato Hash (russet and sweet potato). The remaining scapes I plan to cook two ways: half I'll use to gussy-up some leftover roast chicken and olives. And I've got a real hankering for Sweet Pea Risotto, one of my favorite dishes ever, which will only be enhanced by adding garlic scapes.

I don't have any formal "recipes" to share with you today, but never fear brave reader! There is an extensive library of recipes, tailored just for you CSA shareholders, right here on this website. So after you're done here, I hope you'll head on over to the CSA Recipe Library and find some inspiration. 

 Until next week! Ever faithfully,  The Mystery Blogger


 

Guest Post: Chive Blossom Vinegar

Cooking with fresh herbs is certainly one of my favorite things about summer, and chives I love especially, since they are the first perennial to pop up in my garden each spring. For months I add them to omelets, soups, sauces; their versatility is unmatched. Chive blossoms are delicious too, but who could possibly keep up with their prolific nature?

Luckily herb vinegars are a great way to preserve large quantities of flavor, without having to break out the solar or electric dehydrator. They also take up relatively little space in the cupboard (as opposed to bags and bags of dried herbs), and vinegar is something that most of us use at least once a day.

Here is my simple recipe for Chive Blossom Vinegar. (You can use this method for other fresh herbs as well, even creating your own blends!)

Step 1: Wash Chive Blossoms

Step 2: Spin them dry (or allow to air dry on towels) 

Which vinegar you choose to use might just depend on what you've got on hand...

Which vinegar you choose to use might just depend on what you've got on hand...

The trusty salad spinner is your friend. 

The trusty salad spinner is your friend. 

Step 3: Pack blossoms into a mason jar (the June 12th CSA share provided enough for one pint) 

Step 4: Fill with vinegar-- any old kind will do. Heck, even go for a mixture of vinegars, if you're feeling frisky. (For this batch, I used a mixture of white wine and cider vinegar.)

Step 5: Cover with a tight lid and label with the date. 

It's really that easy. 

If you use metal lids and rings, put a piece of parchment paper on the jar before tightening the lid (the acid will corrode the metal). If you're using plastic lids, no parchment necessary.

Two weeks really isn't that long to wait.... 

Two weeks really isn't that long to wait.... 

Once you've finished this very complicated procedure, store your work in a cool, dark cupboard. After only a few hours, you'll notice the vinegar turns a lovely violet color. After a few days, it deeps into an almost magenta. After two or three weeks, this garnet-colored liquid is ready for you to strain and enjoy. Store it in a clean bottle at room temperature, basically until....

If you're not experienced with using herb vinegar, I would suggest that you start with a simple vinaigrette; tossed with some of Marisa's Outstanding Salad Mix, you'll be able to appreciate the not-too-subtle nuance of this peppery concoction. 

I hope you're enjoying these blog posts so far. And I hope to see all of you faithful Lost Barn CSA subscribers this Saturday, at the first Farm Potluck of the season! And if you'll bring a dish using ingredients from this week's veggie share, I'd love to swap recipes and share yours on the blog!