Recipes, produce information and forum for Zoe's Garden Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members. Zoe's Garden offers CSA subscriptions in the Park City, Heber, Salt Lake, Ogden & Lindon areas. Our purpose is to provide the freshest naturally grown produce possible by delivering it to our local members within a day of picking.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Not Pie

I was pretty disappointed at the Member Farm Day when David said the rhubarb went to seed to early thinking we wouldn't get any, so the two stalks in this week's share were a happy surprise.  Just enough to make this unique pound cake, which uses cornmeal.  The recipe is written for strawberries, but works perfectly with rhubarb.  I assume everyone else has no strawberries left by the time the box gets home.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Week 7 Lists

Apart from the snap peas and rhubarb, nothing new this week that we haven't seen already.  There's more of stuff, though, so those small shares are looking happier.  Also, I'm excited for our new additions.  Our snap peas barely made it through the pictures before my kids spotted them and they were inhaled, so don't hesitate to pull off the string and crunch away.  Grab them by the flower end, snap near the tip, and pull away the string.  Sweet, crunchy, and ready for dipping in some hummus.

I, for one, have lettuce coming out of my ears.  Luckily it is holding up well, but I need to eat more salads.  Maybe sliced snap peas and microgreens will entice me to make a different salad than usual, but I've had difficulty persuading myself to buy tomatoes or cukes in the store.... I know they'll be so much tastier if I can wait for them to get ripe here in Utah.  I'll do us all a favor and find a few non-standard salad recipes so we can branch out.

Top, LtoR: spinach, blue kale
Middle: onion, shallot scape, red sail lettuce, rhubarb, garlic scape
Bottom: yellow snap pea, microgreens / strawberries, snap peas

Yellow snap peas
Snap peas
Microgreen mix
Rhubarb (the first and last of it, sorry)
Spring onion
Garlic scapes
Shallot scapes
Red sail lettuce
Blue kale

LtoR: shungiku, Chinese broccoli, Swiss chard, snow broccoli

Chinese snow broccoli
Chinese broccoli
Swiss chard

Top, LtoR: great lake lettuce, microgreens, snap peas, salad mix
Middle: small bok choy, garlic chives, amaranth, asparagus, yu choi
Bottom: short baby bok choy, romaine lettuce

Salad mix
Short baby bok choy
Small bok choy
Yu choi
Garlic chives
Great lake lettuce
extra Snap peas
extra Microgreen mix

Rhubarb looks like red celery and is most commonly thought of in combination with strawberries.  Very tart when raw, it is generally cooked to reduce the tartness.  You can make a tasty jam with other dried fruits, an applesauce type concoction for eating right away, stewed rhubarb as a topping for ice cream, or strawberry-rhubarb pie.  To make a strawberry - rhubarb pie filling, you'll need more strawberries than we received this week, a couple of cups at least.  This site has lots of great pictures.  I'll try to get a couple more recipes by week's end if you're not into pies.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

10-minute soup

I spontaneously found a way to use up several of our odder ingredients at once last night, in a way that pleasantly accentuates their flavors.  The shungiku and amaranth greens really shine through in something this simple.  This was partly dependent on ingredients I keep in my cupboard, namely Udon noodles (a thick Japanese noodle, but you could sub egg noodles) and Tsuyu soup base (a starter broth for Japanese noodle soups, called hontsuyu or mentsuyu - basically soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar -- you could sub any chicken, fish, or vegetable stock with comparable results).  And I realize this is a warm dish in our warm weather, but it was perfect yesterday when I came in from cutting grass and was sitting near the swamp cooler.

10-minute soup
about 5 cups water or stock
3-4 tablespoons soup base
two shallot scapes, chopped
one handful shungiku greens, chopped
one handful amaranth greens, chopped
two bundles udon noodles
white (or black) pepper to garnish

Start the water to boil and add your stock flavoring.  As it heats, throw in the scapes and greens.  About the time it comes to a boil, add the noodles.  Udon cook quickly (<5 minutes) so you won't have to wait long.  Turn off heat, serve, and sprinkle with white pepper.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Small shares and Meat

Hello everyone,

Two quick updates.

Not so Plump Produce
For those who are thinking that the shares are a little thin this week and last, you're right.  Funny weather left the crops not too productive in this gap of time.  Everything is growing, though, and you'll find your boxes plumping back up.  And the season started so early this year that David will be providing an extra week at the end of the season for no charge.  He'll have produce coming out of his ears with the end of the market season, and you'll reap the benefit and receive your "fair share" to make up for these lean weeks.

The animals David sent out for slaughter last week are being portioned out now.  We're looking at lamb (ground, leg, loin roast, and stew meat) and beef (ground chuck, ground sirloin, and ground round).  David is wanting to deliver it to members next week, but cannot leave it at the drop site as he just doesn't trust it to stay frozen.  You'll need to meet him there when he is delivering (between 12:00 and 3:00, depending on your location), and he's trying to arrange it so he stays at each drop site for half an hour to an hour to facilitate pickup by members.  I will put up a detailed price list and pickup window times for you for each drop site later this week, and you'll just need to email me by around noon the day before your pickup with your selections.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Week 6 Lists

Hey all,

I've been swamped the early part of the day, but I want to get the lists up first so you know what you have in your share.  Pictures to follow as soon as I can unpack my box.

young garlic
shallot scape
garlic scape
great lake lettuce
baby leeks
basil microgreens
strawberries (just a couple, they just started to ripen)
green bean sprouts

small +
red sail lettuce
red amaranth
Chinese snow broccoli

medium +
green romaine
swiss chard
green amaranth
baby spinach
wheat grass
purple basil microgreens
purple radish microgreens
baby bok choy
baby yu choi

Top left moving clockwise: spinach, great lake lettuce, oregano,
asparagus, box of strawberries, bean sprouts, and basil micros

LtoR: young garlic, shallot scape, garlic scape (has leaves),
and leeks

top: red sail lettuce
bottom: shungiku, red amaranth, Chinese snow broccoli

top: romaine, wheat grass / microgreens, bok choy, baby spinach
bottom: yu choi, watercress, swiss chard, green amaranth

These are mild relatives of onions, and I'm guessing most of you are familiar with them.  Great with potatoes, or in sunchoke soup (sorry, I couldn't resist).

These are the new green with tiny flowers on them (at least in my batch -- it was how I could tell them from the Yu choi and the green amaranth).  They are peppery relatives of the mustards, and really pep up a salad in small doses.  Also good as a bed for grilled meats and seared scallops, where the heat of the juices can slightly wilt the greens.

Yu choi
Apparently this is the young leaves and stalks of rapeseed, better known in this hemisphere as Canola.  Treat as you have the Chinese broccoli and mustard greens, as the flavor and preparation are pretty close.  David told me that the stalks are tastier than the leaves and that he likes them lightly blanched with a sprinkle of salt.

Other suggestions:
You've got a passle of young garlic, and that is a great start to some pesto.  I'll get a recipe up in a day or so for several variations that will store well.  If you're already a pesto pro, try a little variation -- watercress pesto, or a milder spinach pesto.  If you're a fan of oniony flavors, a scape and garlic pesto is a simple topping for any pasta.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Week 5 Lists

Edible flowers!

Here we go.  Another fantastic week of produce, and we're seeing a warmer weather evolution.  Also, no more chokes, so quite a few of you can breathe a sigh of relief.

Top moving clockwise: spinach, young garlic, shallot scape,
asparagus, baby bok choy, great lake lettuce
Center:  mung bean sprouts and edible flowers

baby bok choy
great lake lettuce
young garlic
shallot scapes
bloomsdale spinach
edible flowers (viola)
mung bean sprouts

Top: romaine lettuce, red sail lettuce
Bottom: red mustard, chinese snow broccoli, green mustard

small +
green mustard
red mustard
chinese snow broccoli
extra asparagus
red sail lettuce
(+ romaine lettuce for the Tuesday drops that missed it last week)

Clockwise from top right: blue kale, chinese broccoli,
purple asparagus, bi-color amaranth, chinese butter crunch lettuce

medium +
romaine lettuce
chinese butter crunch lettuce
amaranth greens - bicolor
pea shoots
purple asparagus
chinese broccoli
chinese mustard greens (not pictured, smaller)
mustard microgreens
bok choy microgreens
celery microgreens
blue kale
extra spinach

Microgreens, clockwise from top:  pea shoots, red mustard,
celery, green mustard

Edible Flowers
This particular type of flower is a viola.  Flowers add a sometimes spicy and delicate topping to a salad or dessert.

Overall, nothing new for storage or suggestions.  Treat the greens as you have been and enjoy the more delicate ones now while they are still in season.  We've been eating a lot of salads.  If you find yourself inundated with lettuce, you can always sautee it quickly in butter for a change or turn it into a light soup. And while sometimes you feel flooded with a certain veg, at other times the portions feel too tiny to make up a dish.  I've also been collecting the small bunches of hardier greens (mustards, kales), saving them up to make something worth throwing together with a ham hock and some black eyed peas for my largish family.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

More Than Flowers

The great thing about subscribing to Zoe's is the immense variety, influenced from all over the world, we see when we open our share boxes. I also love learning what other parts of the plants are edible.  Last year's bountiful onion scapes proved to be my favorite.  Shungiku (Chrisanthemum leaves) were included in this last week's large share.  Sometimes finding uses for unfamiliar ingredients may seem daunting, but the internet is a great resource.

While Chrysanthemum flowers are used mostly in Asia for tea, the leaves are often added to a soup at the last minute (as they will turn bitter with too much cooking) and smaller, more tender leaves tossed in salads.  Treat them as you would spinach.  A simple weeknight meal of chicken soup can be made with a store bought chicken or leftovers from a weekend roast chicken.  Adding ginger, soy sauce, and Shungiku changes up the common favorite.

I have several Korean cook books, one truly authentic one that use Shungiku on almost every page, again, in soups.  If you're adventurous, give the following recipe a try, not forgetting to add the Shungiku and bean sprouts from your share at the end.

Another use is to add at the end to a stir fry or chop suey, served over rice or noodles. 

As a unique appetizer, leaves can be tempura battered and fried as is done in Japan. 

Hope you enjoy cooking with them and let us know how things turn out.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

SLC Farmer's Market starts this weekend

The Salt Lake Farmer's Market kicks off Saturday, June 11th.  Stop by the Zoe's Garden booth, meet David and his wife Jen (and their kids), give him some feedback on the veggies you've received so far and what you'd like to see more of, and maybe even pick up some more of whatever you ate the day you got your boxes.

A little side note:  when you're stopping by the booth, David has historically given members a discount and will often throw something into your basket that didn't make it into the shares that week, so don't forget to mention that.

If your sunchokes sprout...

...plant flowers!

I've been told by the folks in the know that our sunchokes, if planted in the ground, will grow into flowers very much like Black Eyed Susans by the fall.  So if you're just not a fan, or don't get to them before they start to sprout in the fridge, you can turn gourmet vegetables into very attractive flowers for your dining table.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sunchoke overload

One of the vagaries of CSA membership is the overload of some vegetables coupled with the complete lack of others due to crop loss or uncooperative weather.  We agree to support the farmer through those ups and downs in return for some really great produce.  But occasionally, enough is enough.  I believe a few of you are feeling this way about the sunchokes.  I can assure you, the two CSA managers have fridge-fulls ourselves.  Even sharing them with friends, I have a couple of bags waiting to be used.  I don't want them every night or even twice a week for dinner... so they languish.  Luckily, they aren't going bad, and options remain for using them up.

Here is a simple (and not terribly heavy) sunchoke and leek soup I found.  I made one very similar, but instead of leeks I added Chinese broccoli.  This would be great with kale (coming in a week or two).

A vegetarian friend of mine, gifted with sunchokes by me and doubly gifted with abilities to improvise recipes, made a fantastic and simple hash-brown sort of recipe from scratch last week.

Skillet Sunchokes
a pound or so of sunchokes
2-4 Tbsp oil (olive, or if you have it, sunflower)
herbs and spices to taste (I think she used salt, pepper, and thyme)
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds

Clean the chokes well.  Slice them into thumb-sized chunks.  Throw them into the heated oil in the skillet, stirring to prevent sticking and spicing to taste.  When they're soft and getting crispy on the edges, add the sunflower seeds and cook another 3-4 minutes.  Serve with salad.

Variations -- add some diced onion, peppers, and garlic to the mix before the sunchokes make it to the pan.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Week 4 Lists

The extended cool weather has David cursing what he can supply to the members this week... it is just a little bit smaller than last week because a lot of the "cut and come again" greens are only just now starting to resprout as the weather warms.  This is part of the vagaries of a CSA, but I promise there will be weeks when the boxes are too full for you to remember the early weeks.

Top: Red Sail lettuce, spinach
Middle: bean sprouts, wheat grass, microgreen mix, snow broccoli
asparagus, onion scapes, young garlic, Champion radish
Bottom: sunchokes, spearmint, Hail Stone radish

young garlic
champion radish
hail stone radish
red & white sunchokes
red sail lettuce
mung bean sprouts
wheat grass
microgreen mix
onion scapes
Chinese snow broccoli

great lake lettuce
***romaine lettuce
L to R: shungiku, amaranth, red mustard, green mustard

L to R: purple basil microgreens, sunflower microgreens,
goji berry leaves, romaine lettuce, Great Lake lettuce

amaranth greens
red mustard
green mustard
romaine lettuce
goji berry greens
purple microbasil
microsunflower greens
extra wheat grass
extra spinach

*** (This was not picked in time for Tuesday's boxes, but will be in Wednesday and Friday's.  Tuesday people will see an extra romaine lettuce next week.  David apologizes!  And I'm going to apologize to the medium shares for the rather small "extra" offerings in the last two weeks, but I promise, the fruit later in the season will make up for it.)

Goji Berry Greens
The leaves of the goji (more commonly known for the berries of the same name that purported amazing health-promoting properties in teas, chinese medicince, and energy bars a few years back) are edible raw or cooked.  They also go by the name Matrimony Vine, Wolfberry, and Duke of Argyll's Tea Tree.  They carry a lot of the same vitamins and minerals as the berries, and are used to make medicinal teas in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Add them to egg drop soup, simple broths, or salads.

Garnish refreshing drinks, dry and save, make mojitos, steep to make tea, chop and top pork chops.

Please return boxes!

I'm hoping this will catch a few of your pre-pickup.  Please please please remember to return your boxes!  More than half of the Friday drops forgot to return boxes last week.  The boxes are great because they're so sturdy, but that also makes them expensive.

And as long as you're returning boxes, please return the clamshells from the microgreens.  Those are very much reusable and also quite expensive.

More Meat

A very fast update on the meat before today's pickup postings begin:

David is concerned with frozen meat at the drop sites and extended amounts of time in the summer heat.  In the spring, it was less worrisome, but right now and going forward, that is just asking for problems.  At the moment, we're considering the best option to be member pricing on the meat at the farmer's market, where David can keep it in a cooler and control the storage.  For larger volumes or pickups, we can arrange it ahead of time.  We're working on options for the Park City and Ogden neighborhood folks.  Thanks for all of your interest and responses!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fastest soup in the West --- from the East

From the kitchen of Alissa, our illustrious CSA manager, comes a fast and easy way to use up your greens.

Miso Soup with Greens and shaved Meat

You can use any kind of miso, any kind of greens, and any kind of meat (or no meat)

I chose to use:
- Dandelion Leek Miso from South River Miso (you can order online)  OR pick up any miso paste you like at the store
- baby bok choy, chinese broccoli, shungiku, mizuna
- I added ginger, but you don't need to.  I added chopped garlic and onion scapes the other day I made it.  They're good too.  I was just lazy today.
- Shaved ground chunk (from Zoe's Garden of course ; )

1) Take meat out of freezer
1) Boil Water in a tea kettle (I like to stop it just before boiling)
2) As water is heating, chop greens & put them in your soup bowl(s)
3) Add miso to the soup bowl(s) (follow recommendations on package as to how much)
4) Use a really sharp knife to shave really thin slices of the frozen meat. Set aside.
5) Pour hot (just before boiling) water in your bowl & mix until miso is dissolved
6) Add meat (the hot water will cook it)
7) Eat