The very first of the Fresh Basil
Sugar Snap Peas
Our CSA member, Erika, made a crustless version of our Garlic Scape Quiche and was obliging enough to send me a lovely photo.
You rock Erika! It’s wonderful to see beautiful produce turning into delectable dinners. I think my next post will be a kale recipe, so get ready for a high nutrient feast this week!
Baby Salad Greens
Fresh Mint or Thyme
Bunched Swiss Chard and Kale
Last week I fulfilled a year-long dream…kit out an old splintery table to use for rinsing vegetables! Not a very impressive aspiration you say? Well, I keep my expectations of myself very mediocre, and trust me, I enjoy my life much more than those silly overachievers out there.
In reality, this has been needed to be done for the last year, as we really had no surface on which to clean and prep the vegetables out at the market garden. This means that last season, we were sort of holding them up in the air and squirting them with the hose. This method resulted in giant mud puddles in the spray area, and not terribly clean vegetables. There had to be a better way! Now there is. Last week the lovely people who find things for me dropped off an old, beaten up table, mostly made of plywood and very weathered – it was beautiful. I then proceeded to alter it to make it suitable for our purpose, as I will illustrate below in a series of photos.
First, we see the unadulterated table:
Next, I cut a hole in it using my handy-dandy skill saw:
I then flipped the table over, and used a staple gun to attach chicken wire to the underside, creating a spray-through area to rinse the veggies. This took a bit of stretching, so Monique helped, but I also made her take the photos so you can’t see her contribution to the effort:
And here’s me doing my best shmaltzy Price-Is-Right model impression with our brand new, wonderful table!
After taking the last photo, Monique suggested an extra bit of 2×2 under the screen to prevent it from sagging. This was a brilliant bit of advice, and further illustration of why it’s important to have a sciencey-smart type person working with you if you are not so mechanically minded yourself.
So now when you notice our veggies looking particularly bright and shiny this season, you will know how it all happened.
Most of the items in this week’s basket will look familiar to you, good old spring greens and such. But what are those lovely yet mysterious green stalks curling their way out of your basket and into your heart? Garlic scapes! The scape is is immature flower bud of the garlic plant. When raw, they have a nice bite to them, when cooked they are mellow and tender. Last year, during scape season, I made a quiche to end all quiches. It was so amazing, the world can now rest having produced the perfect quiche. Really though, the world shouldn’t stop producing quiche, and neither should yo.u So get some eggs from a local farmer and get cracking!
Garlic Scape Quiche
Pie Crust (makes 2, save the other for another use)
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup solid fat (butter, coconut oil, shortening, lard)
1 tsp vinegar
1 ½ cups grated Jarlsberg (or try gruyere or gouda)
1 cup heavy cream
¾ tsp salt
8 garlic scapes, cut into 2 cm pieces
1/3 cup chopped onion
Dash of cayenne or black pepper
Butter or olive oil
To make the pie crust:
Combine the flours and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add the solid fat, cutting it in with 2 knives or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle on the vinegar. Sprinkle on 4 tbsp cold water, and gently combine with a fork until the mixture forms a ball. If you need more water, add it 1 tbsp at a time. Do not overwork the dough, the key to a flaky piecrust is touching the dough as little as possible. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Cut the dough in half, roll one half out and place in a pie plate, crimping the edges. Prick all over with a fork, place a sheet of foil on top of the crust, and then fill the bottom of the crust with either pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven, remove the foil and weights, and then bake for 3 minutes more. Set aside.
For the filling:
Sautee the onion and garlic scapes in the oil or butter until tender. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the cream, salt and pepper, and the sautéed scapes and onions.
Place 2/3 of the shredded cheese in the bottom of the pie crust. Pour the egg mixture on top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on the surface. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes, or until the filling is firm. Let sit for 10 minutes after removing from the oven. Can be enjoyed either hot or cold.
All the rain means lots of spring greens in the garden right now. The salad days of summer are finally here!
Bunched Arugula and Kale
Potted ‘Anna Aasa’ Cherry Tomato Plant
Try this lovely herb vinegar in salad dressings or over steamed vegetables, and infuse your meals with the essence of spring.
1 cup Fresh Tarragon Leaves
2 cups white wine vinegar OR apple cider vinegar
Place the tarragon leaves in a 1-pint mason jar. Lightly bruise with a wooden spoon. Pour over the vinegar to fill the jar. Cap tightly, and allow the vinegar to sit for two to four weeks in a cool, dark place. Strain when ready to use and enjoy.
Our parsnips are over-wintered, giving them a mellow, sweet flavour. Try this soup on a cool spring night during a thunderstorm.
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cubed
3 medium potatoes
3 cups water or stock
1/4 tsp ground fennel seeds
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 cups milk
In a large saucepan, saute the onion with the salt over medium-low heat, until the onions are translucent. Add the caraway and parsnips, cook gently for about 5 minutes, taking care not to burn the spices. Add the potatoes and stock or water, bring to a boil. Simmer, partly covered, for 15 minutes, until potatoes and parsnips are very tender. Remove from heat.
Stir in the fennel and cheese. When the cheese is melted, add the milk. Puree in batches in a blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender. Taste and add more salt if needed. Gently reheat, being careful not to boil. Serve hot, garnished with parsley or croutons if you like.
This year, our first basket is a ‘Welcome Basket’. We’re including the very first of our spring offerings, plus some extra items from local food producers. This is a smaller basket than our regular baskets, which will begin June 22nd, the opening day of the Farmers’ Market.
Fresh Herbs: Tarragon and Chives
Preserves from local vendors Touch of Dutch Baking
Tomorrow is our last market of 2012! Thanks to all of our wonderful and dedicated vendors, shoppers and community members for making Simcoe Organics Farmers’ Market a success! Please drop by for some Harvest fun!
Saturday October 6 | 9am to Noon
87 Laguna Parkway, Lagoon City, ON