From the Garden this Week, April 29, 2021...
From the Garden this Week…
Fava Beans, Salanova or Red Leaf Lettuce, Romaine or Green Leaf Lettuce, Spinach, Bok Choi, White Salad Turnips, Radishes, Beets, Shelling Peas, Lemons, Oregano and Rosemary
Coming Soon… New Carrots and maybe some late-season Romanesco!
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
Spring is here with lettuce, fava beans and peas. These items at the store have been mechanized and prepared for us in the form of frozen peas and bagged lettuce. Unfortunately, to grow these vegetables that are easy for machines to harvest we sacrifice flavor and texture. When you bring home head lettuce I recommend waiting until you are ready to use it before cutting and washing. For the peas and fava beans, I suggest shelling and peeling the favas ahead of time. This way they are ready to go when you are ready to cook. For this week’s main dish, I combined the favas and spinach in a rich creamy sauce that you make in the pan. Unlike the head lettuce that will last longer as a full head. The individual leaves of our leafy greens like spinach will deteriorate faster if they are stored wet in the fridge. Cut and wash the spinach, spin it dry in your salad spinner and then store it in a plastic bag with a dry paper towel to absorb and residual moisture.
Spring Pasta with Fava Beans and Spinach
8 ounces dry pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup shelled and peeled fava beans
4-6 cups spinach, washed and chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup cream
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
¼ cup torn fresh herbs
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 7 to 9 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and set it aside. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a very large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and fava beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by about half, 2-4 minutes. Add the reserved pasta water and cream. Bring to a boil. Stir in the spinach, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute more. Add the pasta, then toss to coat with the sauce for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and fresh herbs. Serve right away.
Will you help us grow?
Wellspring is on a mission to grow more veggies and reach more people with our garden-funded counseling network; we are 3 acres and a whole lot of heart!
In the next two months, we would like to recruit 5 new subscribers and we would love your help! Tell you neighbors, friends, and family about us and if one of them subscribes – we will gift you one of Cindi’s famous sourdough loaves or a pint of elderflower syrup!
I will completely admit to learning to love beets. They were never my favorite vegetable but there are methods to preparing and serving them that will complement their earthy flavor. My first trick is walnuts and goat cheese. The rich and bold flavors of the walnuts and creamy acidic goat cheese pair perfectly with beets. Don’t forget to save the greens, cook them with our spinach or eat them raw in a salad.
Roasted Beets with Walnuts and Goat Cheese
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¼ cup toasted walnuts
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the greens from the beets and reserve for another use. (You can combine the greens with your kale or spinach or eat raw in a salad combined with our lettuce.) Peel if desired or just scrub well, peeling is not required. Slice the beets in half and then place the flat side on a cutting board and slice into half-moon shapes. Toss them in a large bowl with the salt, pepper and oil. Put them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until tender. Remove the beets from the oven and let cool slightly. Place the beets in a serving bowl and toss gently with the balsamic vinegar. Top with the toasted walnuts and the goat cheese.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul… By Ronda May Melendez
The fields this week around this southern land are filled in many places with Moonshine Yarrow. The fields roll, painted with bright yellow flowers. And not just a few, but entire fields. The winds blow upon them and the flowers sway peacefully under vacillating skies, in both clouds and sun.
Yarrow is a sweet little plant whose beauty is comprised not of a single blossom, but of many who group together. The blossoms not only grace the fields of the land, but also provides many medicinal benefits to those who partake of it. The benefits range from being a wound healing agent, digestive aid to immune system support, among others.
It occurred to me as I drove past these fields in quiet reflection this week that often the Lord has allowed me to witness the healing balm of the blossoms of humanity, grouped together, offering the individual giftings that each have been given. These gifts, I have seen, offer healing for wounds of the heart; they help us be able to digest transitions in life that may be difficult, while also helping to protect from those happenings of life that may be harmful to our well-being.
Maybe, the Lord has bundled us altogether, as He has the beautiful yarrow. They are wildflowers, lacking the polish of other flowers, but the beauty and benefits make up in spades for the polish that a ‘hothouse’ flower might have. I think we are the same. Thank you all for being willing to just be you and for offering the balm that each of you offer the world, according to the gifts each of you have. The world needs it.
“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly...”
Romans 12: 4-6a