First thing: I’ll speak to Miss Jean about the recipe to this absolutely stunning carrot & beet soup in the featured image above. You might be able to get by using half carrots and half beets and following our Carrot Bisque recipe, but I’ll get the real deal for next week’s post.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the pictures and recipes that you sent in last week. That helps a lot and it’s very gratifying to me to see everyone enjoying the crops in the box. I’ve had several people tell me that they feel a lot better eating naturally grown, clean, more nutritious vegetables. It seems that the kids are getting involved as well, and definitely enjoying the carrots.
Well, I took my tech genius/step-son(almost) back to Richmond last weekend. I have a couple more videos “in the can” but, after that, the videos will take a downturn in quality for a while as I learn to do them myself. Thankfully, he has made a youtube production video that will be up on our youtube page soon if anyone is interested in that sort of thing. By the way, I do those videos strictly for the Membership and for marketing purposes. I’m not trying to be a youtube know-it-all. I’m just very fortunate to have Ed produce the videos because he’s so good at it, and hopefully I can learn to do them half that well. Ed is learning to use drones, too, so we are going to be doing farm production videos in the fields and greenhouses in just a few months. That’s going to be really exciting. For right now, we are all stuck with the fat farmer in the kitchen. HA!!
Here’s the latest video on making Carrot Hummus.
We had several recipes and pictures sent in last week. I fully intend to create a digital cookbook by the end of the year. How does this sound as a working title?…………………………….Eating Seasonally with Turner Family Farms:Recipes of Seasonal Crops – By, With, and For Our CSA Members
Below are some Members’ Culinary Creations from last week’s box.
A Couple of Changes in This Week’s Box
Beets are in the Amaranthaceae family (sub-family Chenopodiaceae,) which is really just a complicated way to say they are related to spinach and swiss chard. In fact, beet greens are an excellent nutty-tasting addition or substitute to (and for) spinach. In today’s box, though, is the beet roots only.
I know that people either love or hate beet roots, but I really think the haters 🙂 should give them a second chance. First of all, they have some unique health benefits due to their amino acid profile and folate content. Secondly, they have an interesting culinary niche in that they can be roasted, juiced, or simply eaten raw when julienned (thin sliced strips.)
I did an unusual preparation on our TFF youtube channel by baking them whole in rock salt. Next week we will have a new beet video as well – Raw Beet Salad. That should be fun watching me get preparing beets in my white button-up TFF shirt. Jessica Gavin has a nice page about basic preparations HERE.
In the field, this Brassica looks like it’s cousin the Turnip, but it’s much longer in the field and really requires a few hard frosts before harvesting.
Rutabagas are high in Vitamin C, Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium. They are also full of antioxidants and the glucosinolates that Dr. Rhonda Patrick promotes so often. Check that out HERE, but be wary, she’s mesmerizingly fascinating.
If you’re new to cooking rutabagas, the easiest thing to do is just cube them and then roast them in olive oil, salt and pepper. Add a little Thyme if you have it. At this point, you can go either sweet or savory depending on whether you add a little syrup/honey or leave it out. Rutabagas have a more complex flavor than a lot of other root vegetables, but don’t let that scare you. There are a ton of ways to prepare as evidenced by this really excellent post from Good Housekeeping. Man, check out the Raw Rutabaga Salad in this post. That looks fresh and simple and all the ingredients you need are in the box.
This variety is actually named “Red Meat,” an improved cultivar of the standard watermelon radish. In the field they grow very well in cooler weather and if left in the ground too long they get huge roots. Oddly enough, they are still good like that, but we don’t harvest them that way because the greens get rough looking.
About those greens – who remembers my (in)famous Yes! Eat Our Radish Greens! blogpost from 2018? There’s some really good information there if you are curious about the nutritional and culinary benefits of the not-so-lowly radish.
In this box, I think I’d add the watermelon radish tops in with the mustard and kale and make a sautee wilt. As for the roots, they are great lightly roasted (baked,) alone or mixed with the beets and rutabagas. I really like the simple approach in this Peel With Zeal preparation.
Rainbow Chard is an Amaranth just like spinach. It grows much more vigorously in the field and high tunnel than spinach, but it doesn’t have anywhere near the cold-hardiness. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent crop both full-sized and as baby greens.
One thing you want to look for in Rainbow Chard is a decent amount of the white Fordhook variety mixed in. While it’s less colorful than the pink, yellow, purple and red varieties, it is the tastiest. Farmer’s “in the know” always have the white in the mix.
When I’m in a hurry, I usually just make a wilt (saute) like with spinach, but there are a ton of great ways to use this tasty and nutritious crop. I’ll be doing a video on it in the future, but for now, check out these 13 Creative Swiss Chard Recipes from Bon Appetit.
Lacinato (Dino) Kale
All the Kales are in the Brassica family with the turnips, mustards, and cabbages. Frankly, this is one of our favorite crops in every aspect. It’s a magnificent field crop – easy to grow, easy to harvest, holds well in heat and cold. We even include it in our baby greens mix and use it as a microgreen.
It’s also the best tasting and most versatile kale, culinarily speaking (in my opinion.) Baby leaf lacinato kale is terrific just raw. The bunch sized leaves can be added to a spinach sautee to make a heartier wilt. I’ve even used the leaves to make wraps, both cold and hot. Something else to keep in mind about collard and kale during these trying times is that they have the most Vitamin D of any other vegetable except mushrooms (vegetable?) This Lacinato Kale gets my MVP award.
You can also use kale in lieu of or in combination with Green Mustard in the Massaged Green Mustard from the video above.
Mustards are also Brassicas, but of a slightly different makeup. I’ve mentioned before that combining certain greens together amplifies their individual nutritional value. Mustard is the catalyst that brings out that effect in kales, broccoli, collards, and turnip greens. There’s another terrific Dr. Rhonda Patrick video explanation HERE on her site.
Our latest video was inspired by this fascinating recipe at Eating Well (online) called Massaged Mustard Greens Salad. I can tell you for a fact that the mustard greens were significantly less hot/spicy after that preparation. And man was it good – even very reminiscent of a Caesar salad. Don’t skip the anchovy paste if you have it. You can’t really taste it but it provides mucho umami.
Carrots with Tops
Carrots are in the Apiaceae family along with celery, parsnip, dill, fennel, coriander, chervil, cumin and parsley. We will always do our best to have carrots for as many weeks of the year as possible. The carrots are larger now, full-sized, but they are still just so fresh right out of the ground. I am doubling up on bunches as I’ve heard that the Membership children really love them. We will also have Rainbow Carrots in the next few weeks.
There are a couple of really good recipes from earlier years that I just remembered for carrot soups and bisques. Check out this Coconut Red Curry Vegetable Soup from one of our 2019 blogposts. It includes the green onions as well.
And here’s another all-time favorite Carrot Bisque from Chef Erin Wiley. You can certainly substitute green onion for shallot in this one, and, I bet you could make this into a carrot&beet soup as well.
Green Onions (aka Spring Onions)
I have fallen in love with this member of the Alluim family. From a grower’s standpoint, they can be grown several ways. In the past I have cut them small to let them regrow almost like Scallions (which technically are different.) However, what I’m really excited about is seeding them out in paperpot chains and using the paperpot planter to grow a larger version of this same plant that’s known as a “Welsh Onion.” They are similar to leaks in that you grow them larger but bury more of the plant to get more white stalk. Check out this youtube video showing how the Japanese do it.
Culinarily speaking, this crop is so, so versatile. While there are myriad ways to use green onions as a garnish – think salad topper, soup topper, etc. – I love to grill them whole, or, slice lengthwise and pan sear them with olive oil and S&P. I finally found a web article HERE that puts the green onion front and center in the preparation, instead of relegating this MVP to the culinary background.
I hope this information is helpful to everyone. I know some of it is the same as last week (and maybe even the week before) but I do like keep it fresh with new culinary ideas and farm news. I greatly appreciate all the wonderful text pictures of our TFF Members’ Culinary Creations. I really am going to make a cookbook out of all that great content later this year.
As always, I look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow on delivery day. Next week we will be back to the regular Wednesday delivery schedule.
If you are reading this and are not a Turner Family Farms CSA Member but would like to become part of the Turner Farm Family, check out our shop page HERE for options and pricing, and, you can always give me a text or call at 910-552-3467. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d love to be your farmer. 🙂