Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Full Sun Farm 8th Week!

What's in the Box:

Red Leaf Lettuce
Green Leaf Lettuce
Green Kale
Swiss Chard
Red Pontiac Potatoes

Notes from the Farm:
The potatoes in this week's box are the first we have dug this year. At this point in the season they are technically "new" potatoes, a designation that refers to potatoes of any variety that are harvested young.

At this stage of their life cycle they haven't fully converted their sugar into starch, and one result of this is a thin, underdeveloped skin. Because the skin sloughs easily, we haven't washed the potatoes before putting them in the box; be gentle when you scrub them and they'll hold up fine.

Because they hold their shape after being cooked and cut, new potatoes are said to be particularly suited for potato salad, and are also excellent boiled or pan-roasted.

During the hotter months of the season Swiss chard will be the staple green. Kale and collards don't tolerate the heat; we're harvesting the last of their spring planting now, and we've sown the fall plantings of each, but chard will continue to be planted and harvested throughout the summer months.

The tender greens and crisp, celery-like stalks can be prepared separately or together. Farmer John's Cookbook describes this as the classic Mediterranean preparation of Swiss chard:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch Swiss chard, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
2. Add the chard in batches, adding more as each batch wilts (the only water you will need is the water clinging to the leaves from rinsing), and keep the pan covered between batches. When all the chard is added and the leaves are wilted, stir in the raisins, pine nuts, lemon juice, and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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