From the garden this week, March 4, 2021...
From the Garden this Week…
Broccoli, Leeks, Kale, Bok Choi*, Rutabaga, Celery, Frisée, Watermelon Radish, Parsley, Rosemary, Oranges, Lemons and Grapefruit
Coming Soon… Lettuce Heads and Peas
*Our Bok Choi has some minor pest damage this week, wash and cook normally and it should be just as delicious as usual!
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
This week we have a few new vegetables that we haven’t had in a while. Starting with the bok choi. This Asian green is part of the brassica family that includes kale and broccoli. It has a strong mustard flavor that holds up to lots of seasoning. You can quickly stir-fry the green and white parts with lots of garlic and ginger. Finish the dish with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil and soy sauce. The frisée is also in the same family. This green is hardy and will stand up to a warm bacon dressing. I like to use it in a sandwich just like lettuce. Cut the leaves from the stem and then add them in. The curly layers add texture that will hold up for a few hours or more. For the first recipe I adapted this pickled vegetable recipe from The Splendid Table. This recipe works for most of root vegetables from beets to rutabagas. Just be careful about the colors from the beets and red radishes bleeding into the other vegetables. You can keep the vegetables separate and add the vinegar mixture to each one in its own jar. Enjoy the crispy treat for an afternoon snack.
Japanese Pickled Vegetables (adapted from thesplendidtable.com)
3 cups Japanese rice vinegar (not "seasoned")
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
6 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Thinly sliced vegetables like rutabagas and radishes.
In a quart jar combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, red pepper flakes and lemon zest. Slice the vegetables, place in a small jar and then pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetable just to cover. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to a few days. Serve as an accompaniment to any meal. Or add pickled vegetables to a salad. Use the vinegar in salad dressing, combining with oil. It’s already seasoned so don’t add extra salt or sugar until tasting.
Elouise at the window!
It appears that after several weeks of surveilling the farm (and us!), Elouise has grown very comfortable with her life at Wellspring. Some mornings, she will even wander up to the bathroom window and honk a friendly good morning!
Here’s a picture of her in her full glory, what a joy to spot from the window!
Pesto Beyond Basil…
Pesto is a great technique to use for any herb, not just a recipe for basil. The term pesto describes the mortar and pestle that is, or can be used to make a seasoned herb paste. I usually always opt for my blender. This past week, when I made this, I managed to break the blender. Not any fault of the blender or the recipe, but just for my love of this mixture that can quickly transform a plain dish of rice or chicken breast.
Parsley or Cilantro Pesto
1-2 cups packed fresh parsley or cilantro
1-2 cloves garlic
juice of one lemon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup toasted walnuts or pepitas
¼ cup grated cheese (try aged white cheddar, queso seco, pecorino or parmesan)
¼ cup olive oil
Blend all together in a blender. Enjoy with beans, rice, over seafood or chicken.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul
By Ronda May Melendez
A message I continue to receive lately through a myriad of venues is the importance of allowing the ground of my heart to be cultivated and prepared so that fruit can grow. This last weekend, I spent the weekend in San Diego. I had only ever flown in and flew out. I never had the opportunity to actually spend time there outside of a plane, until this weekend.
I was quite amazed. It was land like I have never encountered, and I have had the blessing of seeing a lot of land! It was fascinating in that on the one hand, the land was hard and drought like. On the other, it was green and fruitful! It was perplexing until I was reminded by a pickaxe wielding friend, that the seed he has spread onto various grounds…hard, rocky, even thorny…did not, in the end bear fruit. It was the land that had been broken up that bore fruit. In a surprise, he began to give me a real live demonstration of just how hard the land was. Blow after blow, the ground yielded, although it was tough and rugged. In a fairly short time, he had broken up quite a patch. He brought forward a point that I have never considered before…the ground always yields to pickaxe, plow or till. It may take a lot of force, but it ultimately yields.
I continue to hear those words echoing and I can identify areas in my own heart where I give a good go at resisting the work the Master Gardener would like to do in some areas of my life. And yet, in His infinite love and patience, understanding the pain I am going and the reasons for my resistance, He continues to work away…graciously, kindly and lovingly.