Archive for October, 2009

Green Beans…Purple too.

A wonderful, simple recipe from our dear friend Mary.  These are great hot or cold.  They are great with toasted almonds slivers or sesame seeds too.

Szechwan Green Beans – Molly Katzen
Yield: 4 – 6 servings

Once the beans are trimmed, all you need is a large hot pan, and the rest is one big, quick sizzling action!

These will keep for up to a week in a tightly covered container (or a zip-style plastic bag) in the refrigerator.

 2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 pound whole green beans, trimmed
5-10 crushed garlic cloves
Red pepper flakes

  1. Place a large, deep skillet or wok over medium heat. After about two minutes, add the oil, and swirl to coat the pan.
  2. Turn the heat to high, and wait another 30 seconds or so, then add the green beans and a big pinch of salt.
  3. Cook over high heat , shaking the pan and/or using tongs to turn and move the beans so they cook quickly and evenly.
  4. After about 3 minutes, take a taste test and see if the beans are done to your liking. They should be relatively crunchy, but you get to decide. If you like them cooked a little more, keep going another 2 minutes or so.
  5. Sprinkle in the garlic and some red pepper flakes, and cook for just a minute longer. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

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Well, magical probably not, but they are darned good for your body and your taste buds.   At the recommendation of a jolly man at the market today, I cooked my Swiss Chard this evening and added nutritional yeast at the end to make Creamed Greens. Oh man, I just entered  a whole new world.  I imagine this recipe would work with all cooking greens.  Here is the recipe I made up, but absolutely tweak it to your taste.

1lb Swiss Chard, Beet Tops, Turnip Greens, Kale, Collards, etc.  washed and torn into bite sized pieces.

1 tbsp olive oil

1 leek/ or bunch of scallions chopped

1/2 tsp lemon pepper (optional)

1/2 tsp porcini mushroom powder (optional)

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp soy sauce

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2tbsp water

Heat large pan to low/medium, add olive oil, heat, then add spices and leek/scallions.  Cook for a few minutes, until scallions begin to wilt.  Add swiss chard, soy sauce, water and cover for 5 minutes to steam.  Remove lid and continue to cook until wilted.  Add nutritional yeast, mix, add cornstarch, mix and let sauce thicken.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Yum.

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Rita’s Roots and Thackeray Farms are back in the swing of things- we made it through the heat waves of the Summer and mustard ourselves up for a planting repeat of the Spring.  The growing season in our area is truly one of a kind (correct me if I’m wrong and hopefully I can learn from that area!) in which we are capable of having two complete seasons with a hot break in the middle.  We can actually grow right through the Winter, which is why we run the CSA until the end of January.  How amazing to have local, fresh food throughout a time when most are hunkered down in their frosty homes with only store bought produce from California to get them through (or whatever they put up from their CSAs :).

The boxes each week will contain a decent amount of greens.  Get creative and don’t be afraid to eat them all raw, use them as wraps, in wraps, as salad greens, braised, quiched, omletted, chopped finely in a sautee, stir-fried, steamed, on pizza, or even fed to the pet rabbit!  If you can’t get them down fresh, I strongly encourage you to take the 30 minutes out of the week to pop them into freezer bags.   It is the best way to make the most out of your farm share.  We strive for diversity in the boxes, but sometimes the weather and Mother Nature- with her entourage of insects- happen, and what we planned does not work out.

Making a living from small-scale organic agriculture is no easy feat.  The farmers I know are some of the most brilliant, hard-headed, determined folks I have ever come in contact with.  They persevere through rain storms, crop failures, hail, floods, blights, worker shortages, broken machinery and so on, somehow making it to the next season, seeing it as a challenge to do better next time.  If you question the challenges of spending “days in the sun picking veggies at the farm,” join us on a rainy one like today!  We don’t get volunteers when there are clouds.

Most importantly, thank you all for placing your faith in us to provide you and your families with sustenance.  We are working to do our best, and would like any and all feedback from you about our program.  Happy and healthy eating to all, and fill us in on your cooking suggestions for the vegetables too.

Best and Bless!

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