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SRJC Shone Farm CSA Newsletter             

                                             November 25, 2014

Broccoli
Dried Fava Beans
Meyer Lemons

IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK:

Lettuce
Arugula
Carrots
Broccoli
Spring Onion
Thyme
Sonora Wheat Berries
Dried Fava Beans
Carnival Squash
Meyer Lemons

NEWS AND VIEWS 

 

 

Playing in the Mud

 

 

What a beautiful sight this rain is for farmers all over the area, and also for people who like to eat!


 

Alan, Steve, and Ryan braved the weather and worked in the mud this Monday, digging the carrots out of the ground.  While it is easier digging carrots out of wet,soft ground rather than when it's dry and bone hard, it certainly leaves a mess on the produce and staff!  


Lucky for you, the crew lovingly bathed all of your carrots (or at least gave them a cold shower with the garden hose.)
 


 

Besides making mud and getting our water shed back up, the water is making our greens like lettuce and kale very, very happy.  It is also fantastic for our cover crops, such as oats, rye, vetch, favas, peas, and buckwheat.

 

 

The rain has also made it a very mild fall so far, with higher than normal temperatures.  The lack of frost has allowed our Myer Lemon trees to be covered with lemons and flowers, which the bees love.  Last year's dry, cold fall had a lot of killing frosts, which destroyed our lemons, as well as a large quantity of California citrus.

 

Garden coordinator, Joey, mentioned what surprised him the most about the weekend's rain was how there weren't puddles in the fields on Monday.  "The Earth's thirsty," he said, commenting on how this year's rainfall is below average, but that we're already ahead of last year.

 

Backing up what Joey already knows, wunderground.com's record shows that Santa Rosa has received 2.67 inches of rain from the storm that began last week.  We received 1.7 inches of rain for all of November, and 1.93 inches so far in December.  We have a year to date precipitation record of 16.3 inches, while the average is 25.92.  Let's all hope for a wet, wet, winter so we can catch back up!

 

TIPS & TIDBITS...    


We put "weird" - ok "abnormal" things in your box this week, so here are some tips for cooking items you may be unfamiliar with, or are not sure what to do with the large quantity given.

 

Arugula

 

Arugula is known for its peppery spice that really perks up taste buds and salads. 

 

Here are a few quick arugula salad ideas:

  • Eat by itself or add in with regular lettuce to a salad
  • Arugula salad with carmelized onions, beets, goat cheese, pecans or walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • Arugula salad with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and shaved Parmesan

Thyme

 

Finally - you have too much thyme on your hands - too bad it's "thyme" rather than "time," huh?  Sorry but this thyme was more accessible for us to harvest and pack in your CSA box.  Thyme is great in stocks, soups, marinades, and fish.  The combination of thyme, rosemary, and oregano is the base of many recipes.

 

Chances are that you won't use the whole bunch of thyme while it's fresh, but luckily it is super easy to dry.

 

Preserving Thyme: (pun intended)

 

Remove the leaves by pinching the end of the stem with your thumb and forefinger and pulling up the stalk. The leaves will fall off.

 

Then simply lay them on a cookie sheet and sit in a warm, dry spot in your house. Stir them up after half a day. The leaves will be completely dry in just a couple of days.  Store in an airtight container (a small glass jar would be best) and you don't have to buy any thyme for a while!

 

Meyer Lemons

 

Not a big lemon person?  Luckily they will last for a while in your fridge. 

 

Here are a few tips on how to use up your lemons: 

  • Lemon zest - great in pastas, baked goods, and sauces - plus it freezes really well
  • Use fresh lemon juice in salad dressings, marinades, or with fresh Dungeness crab!
  • Slice lemons over fish before baking
  • Adds an extra zing to rice dishes, soups, sides, and salads
  • Make preserved lemons - check out this website -  http://moroccanfood.about.com/od/tipsandtechniques/ht/make_lemons.htm

Dried Fava Beans

 

While fresh fava beans are harvested in spring, dried fava beans make a nice, hearty fall or winter meal.   Cooked fava beans are good in soups, salads and stews, and are used in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean recipes. 

 

Here is the best way to cook your dried fava beans:

 

Soak fava beans in water overnight.  Change the water in the morning and continue to soak them in the fresh water.  When you are ready to cook them later that day, shell each bean by squeezing it until the inner bean pops out.

 

Place the inner beans in a pot, cover with water, and boil for about 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them because they turn to mush fairly quickly.  Perhaps for this reason, the Internet is full of fava bean puree recipes, such as Ful Mudammas (Egyptian-Style Breakfast Beans), falafel, or a hummus type dip. 

 

Sonora Wheat Berries

 

Wheat berries are a versatile whole grain, full of vitamins and fiber, with a sweet, nutty taste and a delightful chewy texture.  

 

Cooking Wheat Berries:

 

Cook wheat berries EXACTLY like brown rice.  


 

To add a little flavor, cook them in vegetable or chicken broth.

 

Bring 2 cups broth and lb (1 c) wheat berries to a boil.  Then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 50 minutes.  The water will absorb, just like with rice.  Cooked wheat berries will be tender, yet chewy.

 

You can use cooked wheatberries in place of any grain, like rice or barley. They make a tasty and hearty addition to salads and soups.

THE RECIPE CORNER

 

Roasted Carrots with Lemon and Thyme

Adapted from www.honeyandjam.com

1 bunch carrots, chopped or left whole
1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 teaspoon olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
5 sprigs of thyme, stems removed 


Preheat oven to 425.


Combine the butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme.

 

If using whole carrots, place them on a baking sheet and drizzle with mixture.  If using chopped carrots, toss them in the mixture, then place on a baking sheet.

 

Bake until tender - about 15 minutes if chopped, 30 if whole.

 

Lemon Linguine with Wilted Arugula 

Modified from marthastewart.com

 

Coarse salt and ground pepper

3/4 pound linguine

About 3 cups baby arugula

1 bunch of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets

Dried fava beans, soaked overnight

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter

3/4 cup grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (optional)

 

Soak fava beans in water overnight.  Change the water in the morning and continue to soak them in fresh water.  When you are ready to cook them later that day, shell each bean by squeezing it until the inner bean pops out.

 

Place the inner beans in a pot, cover with water, and boil for about 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them because they turn to mush fairly quickly.   Once the fava beans are cooked, drain them and set aside.

 

Then, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add linguine.  Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then add the broccoli for the last 5 minutes, until pasta is al dente, and the broccoli is tender.  Drain, reserving some of the water.  Rinse the pasta and broccoli with water and return it to the pot and cover with a lid.

 

Heat a little olive oil or butter in a deep skillet.  Then add the garlic and sautee for about a minute.  Add in the lemon zest, juice, about - cup of reserved pasta water, and the arugula.  Cook about 1 minute longer, and then turn off the heat.

 

Pour the arugula mixture over the pasta and add in the cheese and reserved fava beans.  Toss and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with more cheese or olive oil if desired.

 

*Note:  If your fava beans get mushy, they won't be the best in this recipe, but you can use them in Ful Mudammas (Egyptian-Style Breakfast Beans), falafel, or a hummus type dip.  You could either add a rinsed can of cannellini beans to this recipe, or just forego the beans completely.

 

Winter Wheat Berry Salad

Modified from http://www.laurenslatest.com/winter-wheat-berry-power-salad

 

About 3 cups of carnival squash

olive oil

salt & pepper

1 cup of wheat berries

2 cups vegetable broth

3 cups of greens, such as arugula or spinach

1/4 onion, finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup chopped pistachios

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese


Pierce the carnival squash in a few spots and place on a lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until you can easily cut into the squash.  Allow to cool, and then cut in half.  Remove the seeds and stringy part and cut the flesh away from the peel.  Chop into bite sized chunks and measure out about 3 cups.  Place those 3 cups back onto the cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake about 5 - 10 minutes, until very tender and starting to brown.  Remove from oven.

 

Meanwhile, rinse wheatberries well with water. Drain and place wheatberries and broth in a saucepan. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook covered for 45-50 minutes or until cooked. Their cooked consistency will be chewy, but not crunchy.

 

Once the wheat berries and carnival squash are cooked, mix them together in a large bowl.  Add in the greens, onion, lemon juice, and pistachios.  Toss together and top with feta cheese. 

 

 
 

Eat Good. Do Good.