CSA News June 3, 2012
This week is our 2nd pre-season greens delivery! Same protocol as two weeks ago:
Monday to PR and both DL sites.
Thursday to Moorhead and both Fargo sites.
We’ll use bags again, and in them you will receive baby lettuce (mesclun) Nancy butterhead lettuce, Deer tongue heirloom lettuce, and spinach.
Egg share members will get their eggs.
Questions? Call Anne at 218-252-5858.
‘Mesclun’ means mix of greens. It can be a variety of baby red and green lettuces, or a mixture of lettuce with other greens, such as mizuna, baby spinach, baby beet greens, etc. We’re harvesting a gourmet red and green lettuce mix that we sowed in the high tunnel in April.
Butterhead lettuce is my favorite. The outer leaves are great, but the prize, in my opinion, is the heart of the ball-shaped head. Cut or twist off the head from the stem, turn over to reveal the inner, pale green leaves, and taste…soft, buttery, delicacy. No need for a dressing with these leaves. Cutting carbs? Fill butterhead lettuce leaves with tuna or egg salad and fold or roll.
To prep lettuce:
~~Wash by filling sink with cool water. Plunge leaves or whole head into water. Let sit for several minutes, then cut off core so leaves float freely. Wash each leaf to remove soil and fine grit. Trim any blemished sections. Spin or pat dry.
~~Store unwashed lettuce in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 2 two 3 days
~~For washed leaves, wrap in a damp towel or layer washed leaves between paper towels to keep lettuce crisp. Keeps 4 to 5 days.
~~Revive wilted lettuce revives by soaking in ice-cold water for 10 minutes.
~~Tear leaves into bite sized pieces, rather than cut.
~~Toss with dressing just before serving.
~~Steam romaine lettuce leaves and add to a summer quiche, lasagna or other baked dishes.
~~Use leaves as a wrapper for meat, chicken, fish or veggies.
Tossed Green Salad
Wash, dry and tear salad greens. Add any of the following garnishes:
Finely sliced mushrooms
Julienned zucchini or yellow summer squash
Chopped fresh herbs – dill, basil, chervil, chives,
Edible flower petals – nasturtium, radish, borage, chives
Chopped hard-boiled eggs
Crumbled Roquefort cheese
Sliced radishes or shallots
Halved cherry tomatoes
Thin slices of red onion, separated into rings
Toss salad and just before serving, dress with Vinaigrette Sauce*.
*Vinaigrette Sauce makes 2/3 cup, enough for salad 10 to 12 servings
1 clove garlic, mashed with ¼ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sherry, wine vinegar or lemon juice
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
9 Tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Stir together garlic, salt, vinegar and Dijon. Gradually beat in oil. Sprinkle on pepper.
Yogurt Herb Dressing makes about 1 ¼ cups
1 clove garlic mashed with 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons oil
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon chopped chervil or celery leaf
1 teaspoon chopped dill weed
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Mix garlic, salt, mustard and vinegar. Beat in oil and yogurt. Stir in the herbs. Season with pepper.
Four-Green Salad with Toasted Walnut Dressing serves 4
¼ cup olive oil or vegetable oil
¼ cup toasted coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans**
2 Tablespoons raspberry or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups torn romaine lettuce leaves (washed and dried)
2 cups torn red or green leaf lettuce leaves (washed and dried)
2 cups torn spinach leaves (washed and dried)
Mix greens in a salad bowl. Shake dressing just before using. Drizzle over salad and toss gently to coat. Pass any remaining dressing with salad.
**To toast nuts, spread chopped nuts in a metal pie tin. Bake in a preheated 350º F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Stir once or twice so the nuts brown evenly.
Sweet-and-Tart Vinaigrette (makes about ½ cup)
2 Tablespoons minced red onion
2 Tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon mustard powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil, such as sunflower or canola
Combine all ingredients in a pint jar and shake to mix. Use right away or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
We had successive nights of 36º last week. We covered two thousand tender plants with hotkaps, plastic, buckets, tarps, spun row cover… everything we could lay our hands on. We saved all 400 peppers, the melons, the cucumbers, eggplants, winter squash, okra, tomatillos, basil, and most of the tomatoes. Frost zapped the outer leaves of some determinate tomatoes, but they should regenerate new leaves.
Every gardener I’ve spoken to is ready to declare an end to frosts. Putting action to our intent, we started setting in eggplants, peppers, zucchini and basil. We'll continue with the other tender plants this week.
Benton is a great transplanter. His care with the plants is remarkable.