From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - May 12, 2022
From the Garden this Week… Russian & Curly Kale, Trout and Red Leaf Lettuce mix, Red Butter Lettuce, Red Romaine Lettuce, Purple Bok Choy, Gold and Red Beets, French Breakfast & Watermelon Radishes, Orange & Red Carrots, Leeks, Garlic Scapes, Arugula, Cilantro, Rosemary, Oregano, Dill, Mint, & Cherries
Coming Soon… Summer Squash
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
More garlic scapes are coming. Chop up the portion below the developing flower and use it just like you would regular garlic. The portion above the flower to the tip can be too fibrous. We also have lots of lettuce. The trout lettuce gets its name from the red speckles on the green leaves. It was thought to resemble a trout’s back. The lettuce mix and the butter lettuce are tender and just need a light touch of dressing. The romaine is heartier and can stand up to creamier and cheesier salads, which is why you see romaine as the standard in Caesar salad. This week I combined our beets and dill for a classic combination of earthy flavors in a salad with lots of our leafy greens.
Roasted Beet Salad with Creamy Dill dressing
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon oil
fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
¼ cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
4-5 cups lettuce greens, washed and chopped
2-3 carrots, sliced thin
2-3 radishes, sliced thin
*Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the greens from the beets and reserve for another use. 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 the slices in a large bowl with ½ teaspoon 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. While the beets are cooking prepare the remaining salad items. In a small bowl mix the dressing: dill, lemon juice and buttermilk with ½ teaspoon salt and fresh ground black pepper. Wash and chop the lettuce, carrots and radishes. When the beets are done, remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. In a large mixing bowl add all the vegetables and lightly toss with the dressing. Taste and add additional salt or pepper if desired and serve.
Tips for Reducing Food Waste by Properly Storing Your Vegetables
By Julie Moreno
In this edition of the Wellspring Charitable Gardens’ Newsletter, our culinary expert Julie Moreno will begin a series of columns offering tips and techniques for preserving your fresh picked garden produce. We present this feature today under the Kitchen Tips… section.
Related to onions, leeks are sweet and mild, and they make a great side dish on their own once they are cooked. Gently sauté them over medium heat, stirring frequently to keep them from browning. Cook them slowly for about 10 minutes.
Leek-Onion-Goat Cheese Tart
All-purpose flour, for rolling
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2-3 leeks and green onions, sliced (about 4 cups raw)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary,
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out puff pastry; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Fold over 1/2-inch border on all sides and press edges to seal. Refrigerate while preparing filling. Halve leeks and onions lengthwise, rinse thoroughly, and slice thinly. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high. Add leeks, onion, and rosemary, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until leeks are very soft, about 10 minutes. Arrange leeks and onions evenly on top of the pastry sheet. Top with goat cheese. Bake until pastry is golden brown and crisp, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Kitchen Tips… Preserving Your Produce, Part 1 by Julie Moreno
There is probably nothing worse than purchasing fresh farm to table produce with and finding them wilted in a matter of hours or spoiled after a day. In the coming weeks, I will be sharing tried and true techniques for how to process and store your vegetables for maximum freshness. At the end, we will have the entire series available to you as a PDF document.
Vegetable storage is not taught in schools and there are no directions on most produce bags or packages. Our CSA farm tries to use as few plastic bags as possible, which can make this even more difficult because fresh harvested vegetables will not stay fresh without your help. We will look at storing vegetables in your refrigerator, on your counter, and in a cool, dark place.
In the Refrigerator:
Remember, a drawer in your refrigerator might be labeled “vegetables” or “crisper,” but putting your vegetables there won’t guarantee that they will stay fresh. Different vegetables need different storage conditions. Let’s begin by talking about the use of water before storing your produce for use later.
First, do not wash your vegetable; they will last longer if they are dry. Even a drop of water allows the cells of the plant to start to break down more easily at that spot, and then spoilage quickly spreads to the neighboring surfaces. In general, you want to wash your vegetables when you are ready to eat them.