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Greentree Naturals CSA Newsletter - August 3, 2011

Fresh from the Garden News

With this late arrival of summer, we are hopeful that the growing season will extend into early October. Who knows what will happen? This is North Idaho after all and it will be what it will be. I suspect that I say this same thing every year.

These warm days have made many crops accelerate growth tremendously, which is so wonderful! We ate our first cucumber today and by this time next week, there may be enough for everyone to have fresh cucumbers. We have tasted a couple of sun gold cherry tomatoes, but these are slow to come along. The peas will soon be over with, as they really don't like the heat, but the beans are flowering and there are little baby beans growing fast.

You have a taste of the first harvest of garlic. This week, you are getting the Great Northern variety. Next week, we will try to give you a sample of a different kind. We spent a couple of hours cleaning garlic today and will spend a little bit of every day cleaning it one bulb at a time until it is all cleaned, which means we’ll be doing it in our sleep!

You have a curious looking bag of “pods” in your share this week. These are known as the “Rat-tailed Radish” & are an heirloom variety grown specifically for the pods. The plants grow about 3 to 4 foot tall and are loaded with these edible flavorful pods. Edible podded radishes were introduced into England in 1815 from Java; by the 1860s they were popular as a kitchen garden vegetable in Europe and North America. The pods are juicy and succulent, excellent with salads, in a stir-fry or just eaten as a snack.

In Munich, Germany, they have been referred to as “Munchen Bier”, where pods are eaten raw as a snack with beer. In England they were first introduced as “Spottiswoode’s Radish from Java” and called a “tree Radish”. “Rat-tailed is the unfortunate name that has stuck in the US. Other names for it: “aerial” radish, “Madras”, “monkey-tailed”, Mougri, “serpent”, “serpentine bean”, “Singri”, &“snake” radish. Whatever you call it, these are unusual and quite delicious!

We have been saving our own seed for the past three years.

What’s in the Bag…

  • Salad Mix—always double washed, colorful & full of fresh flavor.
  • Garlic—Great Northern is the variety this week.
  • Radish pods—Read the story about these on this page!
  • Green onions—These are a Japanese variety that make the ones in the grocery store look and taste pretty meager.
  • Snow peas—good in a stir-fry or just raw as a snack!
  • Beets—Be sure to eat the leaf as well as it is nutritious & good for you.
  • Summer squash—3 different kinds. We try not to overwhelm you with too much squash.
  • Sweet pepper— Romanian is a sweet meated variety. This was the first pick; ,many more to come.
  • New Potatoes— Amandine is a fingerling, yellow meat and so tasty. Unfortunately, this crop did not do so well for us, but you at least get to try them out.
  • Herbs—Greek Oregano; if you don’t use it right away, simply lay it out to dry for using later.

Recipes

Snow Pea Salad with Sesame Dressing

 Ingredients

  • 1 pound snow peas, trimmed and blanched
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot Chinese mustard
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Preparation

1. Stack several snow peas and slice on the diagonal into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Repeat to slice remaining peas.

2. In a large bowl, whisk vegetable oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, sugar, and mustard until well combined. Add sliced snow peas and 1 tablespoon green onions; mix to coat. Cover and chill until cold, at least 1 hour, or up to 1 day.

3. Just before serving, mound salad on a platter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon green onions and the sesame seeds.

Warm Garlic-Oregano Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 1 loaf of country bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation

Peel and halve 1 garlic clove. Roughly chop 2 tablespoons fresh oregano. Slice a loaf of country bread into 12 1/2-inch slices. Using about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, brush some onto 1 side of each slice, then rub with the cut side of the garlic. Toast in the oven at 375º F until lightly golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with some of the oregano, and serve.

Summer Squash Croquettes

Ingredients

  • 4 2/3 cups coarsely chopped yellow & green squash (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup crushed saltine crackers (about 30 crackers)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil, divided
  • Sliced green onions (optional)

Preparation

1. Steam squash and 1/2 cup onions, covered, 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Mash mixture with a fork. Stir in crackers and next 3 ingredients (through eggs). Cover and chill for 3 hours; drain well in a fine mesh strainer.

2. Place cornmeal in a shallow dish. Divide squash mixture into 12 equal portions, shaping each portion into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Lightly coat each patty with cooking spray.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.

Place 4 patties in pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove patties from pan. Repeat procedure 2 times with remaining 2 teaspoons oil and 8 patties. Garnish with onions, if desired. Serve immediately.

I usually will use a 1/3 measuring cup and a rubber spatula to measure out portions. This way, they are all about the same size.

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”
~Thomas A. Edison

 



 

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