Monday, October 1, 2012

Week 16: The Final Share of 2012

Seda and Scott during the pre-frost Squash Harvest.
I'm not going to go overboard on the sentiment here (mostly because, at this point in the season, I'm a little too tired to go overboard on anything) but it has been a really great season.

We've expanded a lot. We had a wonderful time at our workdays in the spring getting to know new and returning members. And we grew a lot of vegetables. We still have some kinks to work out (as the L'Anse members can attest), but overall I would say that things are working. Members will be receiving an opinion survey regarding the CSA in the next couple weeks so that you can let us know if you think it's working too.

But first you'll get your last share of vegetables, which will include: 2 Winter Squash, Onion, Lettuce, Scallions, 2 Celeriac, 3 pounds Carrots, up to 2 pounds of Beets, Kale, 2 Stalks Brussels Sprouts, Swiss Chard, Parsley or Sorrel, and Kohlrabi or Cabbage. 

Once again the double share is a big one, but it is full of things that are easy to store. Many of the items in this week's share were also in last week's share. Check out last week's post for additional tips and recipes. 

Winter Squash: This week members will have a choice of two squash from a selection of Acorn, Spaghetti, Red Kuri, Nutty Delica, Buttercup, or Baby Blue Hubbard squash. They're all good keepers which will hold for several weeks on the kitchen counter or even longer in a cold dark closet.
Behind the pumpkin is a Nutty Delica squash. If you
get one of these save it for several weeks to
enjoy it at its sweetest.
Celeriac: Also called celery root, celeriac is a dense and knobbly root vegetable with a nutty celery flavor. This is the first year we grew them and it went pretty well, they taste fantastic, but they didn't achieve the size we were hoping for. Next year we will start them earlier and hopefully they will be bigger. With leaves removed, celeriac will keep for about two weeks in the crisper. When you are ready to use it, peel and chop, then add it to a stew, roast it with other root vegetables, or try it in the recipe below.

Celeriac pictured with its celery like leaves.

Brussels Sprouts: These are on the stalk so they will keep for at least a week in the fridge, but their flavor is best right away. If you think you don't like Brussels Sprouts, roast them as described in this post below the photo of Brussels Sprouts. Yum.

Brussels Sprouts on the stalks from last week's share.

Kohlrabi or Cabbage: Whichever you choose, this will keep well for about three weeks in the refrigerator. You can also easily ferment either to make sauerkraut or kimchi. This recipe from gives you a run down of the basic method for fermenting at home, though you'll obviously need to adjust the quantities.

Pilaf with Celeriac and Split Peas

This recipe makes a healthy quantity of pilaf. In our house this is a main dish, and even then we have plenty of leftovers. If you want to serve it as a side dish you may want to split the recipe in half. It works well with lentils in place of the split peas too. Don't replace the brown rice with white because it will overcook before the peas are done.
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Cups Brown Rice
  • 1 Cup Split Peas
  • 1 Large Onion, diced
  • 2 Small Celeriac, diced small (about 1 cup)
  • 5 Cups Water or Stock
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
Melt the butter in a two quart sauce pan over medium/low heat. 

Add butter, peas, and onion to the melted butter. Stir to coat with butter. Continue stirring until the rice takes on a nutty aroma, about three minutes.

Add the celeriac, water or stock, and salt. Turn the heat to high and heat until it comes to a boil.

Once boiling, turn the heat to simmer, cover the pot, and simmer until the rice and peas are tender, 30 - 45 minutes.

Pilaf for dinner. Dinner time is after dark these days, so
the lighting is a little harsh but the flavor is still good.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Week 15: The First Double Share

It's a big week this week, and not just because of the vegetables. Seda turned three over the weekend and Scott turns thirty today!

Party Time!

Also, we do have a LOT of vegetables for you. This week's share (which is technically the week 15 and the week 17 share combined - but that is a little confusing) will include: Brussels Sprouts, Kale, Sorrel or Parsley, a Selection of Fresh Herbs, 2 pounds of topped Beets, At least 3 pounds of topped Carrots, Rutabaga, Head Lettuce, 3 pounds Green Tomatoes, Spaghetti Squash, Onions, a Pumpkin or Gourds, and optional Jalapeno peppers.

Bring a strong back to pick-up this week! And maybe an extra bag.

If you're wondering how you can possibly use all these vegetables before they go bad, remember several of them are easy to store.

Brussels Sprouts: We're leaving them on the stalk because they store best this way. They are best fresh but will keep for up to a week wrapped in plastic in the fridge. We have kept them, on the stalk, for a few weeks in our unheated porch with little damage, though they taste best right after harvest. The simplest way to cook them (which also happens to be delicious) is to roast them. You can find my recipe for roasted sprouts in this post, just below the photo of Brussels sprouts.

Fresh Herbs: These can be hung to dry. Thyme, oregano, and rosemary all dry particularly well. Just make sure they are out of the sun. You can also dry them in a frost free refrigerator. Simply leave them in there, whole and uncovered, until they become crisp. I find refrigerator dried herbs have the best flavor.

Beets and Carrots: We have removed the leaves on these items so they will store longer (leaves take moisture from the roots, even in storage). Keep them in their plastic bags and store them in your crisper drawer, they will keep for at least two weeks this way. You can also pickle them. (a great online resource for canning information) has recipes for pickled beets and pickled carrots here. Scroll down to the pickling section to find them.

Rutabaga: These will also keep in your crisper drawer for at least two weeks. If space is tight they can  go on the counter for a week or so. If you aren't sure what to do with your 'bagas, try steaming or boiling them and then mashing them just like potatoes. Add butter, herbs like sage or thyme, or even a dollop of maple syrup. A few carrots will go nicely in the mash too.

Green Tomatoes: Three pounds of green tomatoes may sound like a lot, but it is just the right amount for a small batch of green tomato relish (recipe here at the bottom of the post) and some fried green tomatoes. The fried green tomato recipe can be found at the end of this post. Green tomatoes will keep on your counter for at least two weeks, ripening slightly as they sit. These tomatoes will never get fully ripe. If you want to make the relish, be sure to take a few of the optional jalapenos in the share. Green tomatoes also pickle beautifully.

Spaghetti squash just after harvest.

Spaghetti Squash: This will keep for at least a month on your counter, or much longer in a cool dark space like the closet of an unheated spare room or in a reasonably dry basement. When you are ready to cook it, the options are many. I like spaghetti squash baked, forked out, and seasoned with salt, pepper, and dried tarragon. If you want to get fancy, try the recipe at the bottom of this post. The recipe I linked to is what I'll be making Scott for his birthday dinner.

Onions: These are cured storage onions. Store them and use as you would any storage onion from the store, but expect them to taste better :)

Pumpkins just before harvest.

Pumpkins: We don't have enough pumpkins for every member to get one, so you'll have the option of either one pumpkin or three gourds. You should be able to keep your pumpkin out for decoration through Halloween with no problem, but if you want to carve it you should probably wait a few weeks because, of course, once you cut it it will not last as long. You can also paint it is Seda is demonstrating below. I haven't tried it yet, but the variety we grew is supposed to be a pretty good pie pumpkin too.

Gourds: I imagine you all know that gourds are not edible. They are pretty much the only thing that we grow that isn't. Usually I have little patience for cultivating plants that I won't be eating, but for some reason I LOVE gourds passionately. If you do too, hang on to them until they are dry and they will last more or less forever, as long as you keep them dry. Their color will fade, but their character won't.

Gourds adding flare to the acorn squash box. (Acorn squash
will go out next week.)

Fried Green Tomatoes

The ingredients to this recipe are the same as those in the green tomato post linked to above, with the fried green cherry tomato recipe, but the technique is a little better. If you've never had fried green tomatoes I STRONGLY suggest you try them. They're surprisingly easy to make, once you figure out how to get the breading to stick to the tomatoes (it took me some trial and error...), and kind of addictive.
  • Canola or Peanut oil, as needed
  • 2 pounds green tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch or thinner slices
  • Flour, as needed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

In a large skillet, heat about an eighth of an inch of your chosen oil over medium heat.

Spread some flour onto a small plate.

Lightly combine the egg and milk in a small bowl.

In another small bowl combine the corn meal and seasonings.

Dip the green tomato slices in the flour, then the egg/milk mixture, then the corn meal mixture, coating thoroughly but thinly at each station.

When the oil is sizzling hot, fry the slices in batches until the breading is golden and the tomatoes are slightly soft.

Or until they look about like this. Complete with oil
splatter on the stove top.
If necessary, drain on paper towel before serving to remove excess oil. These are best when they are still nearly hot enough to burn your mouth.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Week 14: Threats of Frost and more Kohlrabi

Do you find Kohlrabi threatening? I hope not, because they are back for the fall!!!
We are growing on borrowed time right now. Nearly every year we have farmed here we've see a first frost on September 15th. This year there was a threat of frost the morning of September 15th, we actually saw a hint of it near our picnic table, but it didn't hit the vegetables. But it's coming any day now, maybe tonight...

And with the cold weather comes a shift in the shares. The summer squash, cucumbers, and eggplants are done and the cabbage family crops, starting with kohlrabi, are coming back into the spotlight. This week members can expect: Beets, Carrots, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Chard, Parsley or Sorrel, and a mix of Fresh Herbs.

This is very likely the last week of ripe tomatoes (due to that pending frost I mentioned above). We will be picking everything likely to ripen today and tomorrow to hold onto for the weekend shares. 

Tomatoes ripening on the awesome blue crushed velvet couch
that resides in our porch/vegetable ripening area.
Next week you'll probably get some green ones along with a recipe for fried green tomatoes and links to last year's green tomato relish post. 

You may get some more kohlrabi too. I know it isn't everyone's favorite. I also know that CSA farmers across the land scratch their heads over that fact. It's easy to prep, just peel and chop, and oh so very versatile. It's mild broccoli like flavor works in everything from curries to pasties. According to one member, it even works great in place of zucchini in zucchini muffins. If you still feel you need to get to know kohlrabi a little better, check out this post  from a CSA called Fair Share Farm in Missouri.

Then, if you are so inspired, you can try out the following kohlrabi recipe.

Kohlrabi Saute

This is a very simple way to turn a giant kohlrabi into a delightful side dish. 
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 Large Kohlrabi, diced into bite sized cubes
  • 1/2 Bunch (3-4) Carrots, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Vinegar, apple cider or white wine
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the onion and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has begun to soften.

Add the kohlrabi and carrots, stir to combine.

When the kohlrabi has begun to release some liquid, stir in the sugar, vinegar, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kohlrabi is as tender as you like. I like it to remain somewhat crisp so I usually cook for about 10 - 15 minutes. If you want it very soft you may find that lowering the heat and placing a lid over the pan improves the cooking process for you.

Everything in the pan, now it just needs to cook for a while.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Week 13: Watermelons and Green Soup

Brown watermelon tendril, a good indicator of ripeness.

It's watermelon time! We have been testing them (read: Seda has been DEVOURING not quite ripe watermelon) for about a week and a half now, and all signs finally indicate readiness.

Returning members may remember last year, when we had enough melons for every member to get half a melon. This year's harvest is slightly better, and we have enough for each member to get a whole melon this week. Unfortunately we only have enough for one week though, so group two half share members won't get any. Two weeks of watermelons is what we will strive for in 2013!

In addition to melons, members should expect: Carrots, Beets, Tomatoes, Eggplant or Peppers, Fennel or Dill, Summer Squash or Cucumbers, Lettuce or Radicchio, and Baby Kale plus Brussels Sprout Tops.

There's a few things to explain in this week's share, but first lets talk watermelons.

We grew four different varieties this year. The most prolific was the variety we grew last year, Goldflower. They are the traditional oblong watermelon shape and quite small. They are yellow fleshed. The second most prolific variety was Cream of Saskatchewan, which is also relatively small. It is round and white fleshed. Most members will receive one of these two types. If you get to pick-up early, go for the Goldflower, they are tastier!

The two remaining varieties, Blacktail Mountain and Sweet Favorite, did not produce quite as well for us. Blacktail Mountain is a round, black skinned watermelon with red flesh. Sweet Favorite is a traditional large, oblong, red fleshed watermelon. As larger melons, the Sweet Favorites have a slightly longer season than the others and they actually aren't quite ripe yet. If the frost holds off as long as it seems like it will though, we should get to taste some ripe ones.

We also have another fennel dill choice this week (Remember, we had one way back in the first share?) This time they're coming from the field rather than the hoophouse and they look a bit different. The fennel is small bulbs we planted as a fall planting. The idea was that they would get a little larger than the summer planting did before they started to bolt, thanks to cooler fall weather, but it's 82 degrees today and they are getting ready to bolt, so the fennel is dainty. Use it with fish or eggs, or in the pork and fennel recipe I posted a few weeks back.

The dill is flowering. You can use it in pickles, if you've got something you want to pickle, or as an herb in pasta salad, with baked fish, or with brie cheese in an omelet. 

Finally, the Brussels sprout tops need a bit of explaining. Brussels sprouts are basically baby cabbages that form along a long stalk. There is also a main loose cabbage head that forms at the top of the stalk. If you cut off that head, the sprouts grow a little bigger than they would if you left it on (or so "they" say), so we like to cut the head off. 

Brussels tops, ready to cut.
The result is a big pile of kale-like greens that are tasty enough for sharing. Combine them with the bunch of baby kale in your share (Yay! The kale is back!) in any recipe you like. Including the one below.

Caldo Verde

This hearty soup is velvety from potatoes, flavorful from sausage, and a delicious way to eat up kale and other other greens! As a traditional Portuguese soup it actually calls for a traditional Portuguese sausage, called linguica, which is seasoned with paprika and oregano. But this is the Yoop, I could't find any linguica and you guys probably won't be able to either (tell me if you do 'cause I'll get some). I used polish sausage and it worked nicely. 
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound potatoes, chopped
  • 6 cups stock or water
  • 1/2 pound sausage
  • 8 - 12 ounces kale and other greens (in other words, the kale and sprout tops in your share), sliced into bite sized pieces. I use stem and all, but feel free to remove the stems if you don't like extra crunch.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil over medium/low heat in a 2 quart pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are just soft and translucent.

Stir in the chopped potatoes and pour in the stock or water. Bring the stock to a simmer and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are simmering, cook the sausage. Brown it and cook it through, then slice in into bite sized pieces.

When the potato is tender, puree the soup until it is smooth. Add the cooked, sliced sausage and return the soup to a simmer. Simmer for about five minutes.

Stir in the chopped greens and simmer until they are tender to your liking. I like them after about five minutes. 

Taste for salt and pepper. If your taste buds are like mine the sausage will have added enough flavor and you won't need any more of either.

Why yes, that is a WWII era US Navy soup spoon, and there is an
interesting story behind it. Thanks Grandma!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week 12: Summer continues...

I'd like to start with an update on the potential schedule change. If there is a member reading this who has no idea what schedule change I am talking about, please shoot us an email so I can explain. 

As of this moment, we have heard from 52 out of 79 of you. 49 of you have voted yes for the change (which actually hits our 60% threshold) and 3 have voted no. No one has said "No absolutely not, I am offended by the suggestion." (or anything along those lines), but one member brought up a concern about having the time to deal with a double share before things go bad, which makes me think I didn't explain things clearly enough. 

The storage items that we will be giving out in the last few shares are things like spaghetti squash, which will keep for several weeks on the counter and months if you have a dry 50 to 60 degree place to store it,  rutabaga, which will keep for several weeks in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, and cured onions. They are items which will store without any work on your part.

All that being said, we are going to wait until after this week's distribution before we come to a final decision about the change so that members have a chance to talk to us about it in person first.

Now, I'd like to talk about this week's share, which doesn't realize it's back to school time and is once again full of summer's bounty. 

Members can expect: Carrots, Beets, Basil, Summer Squash/Zucchini, Cucumbers, Tomatoes plus Eggplant/Peppers/Tomatillos OR Ground Cherries, Potatoes or Rutabaga, and Chard.

The chard is still a little rough looking from the aphid attack, but it is also delicious so we've decided it's time to add it to the shares again. 

And, of course, there is still summer squash and zucchini coming, though it is definitely starting to slow down. Hopefully everyone has come up with wonderful ways to use it up. Here is another idea for you.

Zucchini Pizza

This is a fun and family friendly way to eat up summer squash or zucchini. For those of you with kids returning to school this week, it would make a great after school snack.
  • 2 medium or 1 large zucchini or summer squash
  • About 1/3 cup of tomato sauce or tomato slices as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, preferably water packed, thickly sliced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Slice the zucchini into half inch slices. Slice small zucchini lengthwise. Larger fruits should be sliced into rounds. Arrange the slices in a single layer in a non-metal baking dish.

Spoon tomato sauce or lay tomato slices evenly over the zucchini slices. Sprinkle a pinch of oregano over each slice, reserving some for garnish if desired.

Slice basil leaves into ribbons and divide them among the zucchini slices.

Cover the zucchini with overlapping slices of mozzarella cheese.

Bake uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the zucchini is just barely tender. If desired, sprinkle with remaining oregano.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Made with tomato sauce instead of slices.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Week 11: The Perfect Summer Salad

Looks like there is a bit of heat yet this season!

We were dripping with sweat as we harvested potatoes last Friday, right up until sunset! And our predicted high for this Thursday is 89. I knew there was still hope for the field tomatoes.

This weather, and this week's share, combine to make the perfect opportunity for a lovely summer salad. Below you will find a recipe for my favorite summer salad, Middle Eastern Fattoush.

The share this week will include the following: Head Lettuce, Cucumbers, Tomatoes plus Eggplant/Peppers/Ground Cherries/OR Tomatillos, Beets, Carrots, Summer Squash, Potatoes, and Sorrel or Parsley.

The sorrel/parsley choice is back, for this week at least. The occasionally cool temperatures have allowed them to make a resurgence, though they may need a rest next week after struggling through this Thursday.

The fattoush recipe relies on the classic Middle Eastern ingredient of flat leaf parsley, so if you would like to make it be sure to select parsley at pick-up.


We usually use summer lettuce, which tends to be somewhat tougher and more flavorful than spring lettuce, in sandwiches, but it's also great in salads with a lot of flavor, like fattoush. Sumac is traditionally added to fattoush dressing, to heighten the sour flavor. Though it is easy to find sumac growing wild in this area (and now is a great time to collect it!) I don't think it is available in stores around here, so I left it out of this recipe.
  • Two loaves pita bread
  • Juice of one lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • One head of lettuce, chopped or torn into bite sized pieces
  • Approximately 1 cup of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped roughly
Toast the pita bread and break it into bite sized pieces.

Combine the lemon juice, garlic and salt in a small bowl.

Wisk in the olive oil until it is combined with the lemon juice.

Toss together the pita bread, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and parsley. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Week 10: Late Summer Life on the Farm

The hoophouse and brassicas in the late afternoon sun.
Ah...the last few weeks of August on a vegetable farm. The much anticipated crops - cucumbers, squash, tomatoes - are rolling in and the fall crops are sizing up and ripening without much effort on the farmers' part.

Onions currently curing in the hoophouse. Our work is nearly done here.
Um, right? Because that is what I planned for when I signed up for this farming gig....


We do have a lot of wonderful vegetables to harvest right now, so the week 10 share will include many lovely late summer items: Summer Squash/Zucchini, Potatoes, Cucumbers, Carrots, Tomatoes plus Eggplant/Pepper/Tomatillo OR Ground Cherries, Head Lettuce, Basil, and Kohlrabi.

But we still have a few challenges to contend with.

The cucumbers and squash are definitely rolling in, but the cool nights are slowing down the field tomatoes a lot. We still have hoophouse tomatoes for the shares, and I remain optimistic that we will see a lot of ripe tomatoes from the field this year, but only time will tell. The eggplants are certainly happy! 

And the fall crops are looking great too. We have, among other things, onions curing (see photo above), rutabaga getting bigger and more delicious every day, and lots of lovely winter squash and gourds sizing up on the vines.

Our biggest challenge this year remains pests. The amazing caterpillar pressure we started the season with fueled rodent pressure the likes of which we have never seen. I think mice have gotten as many ripe tomatoes out of the field as we have. 

Then there are the insects. Teeny, tiny, aphids and flea beetles, again at population levels we have never seen before. As I mentioned last week they are going after the greens in the field and, we just discovered yesterday, in our fall starts too.

Redbor kale fall starts look good, only a couple aphids to be seen.
But the Beedy's Camden kale starts are under massive attack.
We're going with the tried and true methods of squishing and dish soap as our first lines of defense (you can see a few bubbles if you look closely in this photo, I'd just sprayed), probably with some diatomaceous earth as a follow up if need be. Kale lovers cross your fingers.

In the meantime of course, you have all the vegetables in your share to enjoy. You are getting kohlrabi again this week, and I know that many of you take them home without much of an idea of what to do with them, so, though last week's recipe was a kohlrabi dish, I am featuring kohlrabi again in this week's recipe.

Kohlrabi are really simple to prepare in many different ways. They taste like mild broccoli stem and are wonderful cooked (as in the stew below) or raw (as in last week's slaw recipe).

Summer's end Kohlrabi Stew

This recipe uses several of the items in your share, but it makes a lot of food. This is easily two large meals worth of stew for us, and we are big eaters. Be sure to serve it with crusty bread or biscuits for sopping up the liquid.
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 - 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno (or none or more to taste), chopped. If you have any chipotle around you could use one or two of those instead.
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 pound stew beef, cubed (I actually used venison)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large kohlrabi, peeled and chopped into one inch cubes
  • 1 pound tomatoes (about what is in the share), roughly chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 or 3 medium summer squash or zucchini, chopped into one inch cubes
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and onion. Stir until they are coated in oil.

Add the beef. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Continue to stir frequently until the meat is brown on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the kohlrabi. Add water to nearly cover the meat and vegetables. The squash and tomatoes will add a lot of liquid when you add them later, so be stingy with the water now.

Increase the heat to bring the water to a boil, then decrease the heat to simmer. Simmer uncovered for approximately 30 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and squash and simmer, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes.

Colorful stew is the best kind of stew.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Week 9: Nights in the 40's

It is lettuce weather again.

Pablo lettuce, one of this week's lettuces. In my imagination it's
named after Picasso because it is a work of art. But I suppose
several people are named Pablo.
This has been my year for experimenting with lettuce, I ordered something like 18 different varieties of head lettuce this year, so we have had it in the shares in some form or another nearly every week. But lettuce that grows through days that hit 90 degrees will never be quite as delicious as lettuce that has matured during a cool stretch (even if that lettuce is a carefully selected heat tolerant variety).

So, while a few cool nights will somewhat slow the harvest on the summer squash, cucumbers, and field tomatoes (and may halt the field peppers altogether), they will bring us some delectable lettuce this week as well. They will also help the late season cole crops along. I know I'm not the only one looking forward to Brussels sprouts.

Pirat, this week's other lovely lettuce. I've no theories as to the meaning
of its name.
The rest of the share is bulging with standard mid-season garden goodness. In addition to the head lettuce members can expect: Beets, Carrots, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Tomatoes plus Eggplant/Peppers/Tomatillos OR Ground Cherries, Thai Basil, Scallions, and Kohlrabi or Broccoli.

We are continuing our quest to make sure that everyone gets to try the Thai basil, this week is the group one half share members' turn. I'm curious to know what everyone that takes tomatillos is doing with them. A few years back we had a glut of them in the fall and I came up with this recipe for tomatillo chili. It calls for two pounds, which is much more than is going in the shares right now, but it could be adjusted to make a smaller recipe or used as a springboard for a different chili recipe.

There is a break on Kale and Chard this week thanks to the flea beetles and aphids respectively. 

Impressive, no? Flea beetles like cool nights too.
We will wage what non-toxic battles we can and hopefully see them again in the not too distant future. In the meantime, if you are jonesing for some cooking greens keep in mind that kohlrabi leaves can be used just like kale.

Kohlrabi also makes wonderful coleslaw. As in the following recipe.

Kohlrabi Slaw

This is a pretty standard coleslaw recipe made, I think, exceptional through the use of kohlrabi rather than cabbage. I included a little celery seed, because I don't believe that coleslaw can exist without it, but it is entirely optional. It can also be doubled if you love celery seed as much as I do. The Thai basil is also optional, but adds a subtle twist to the flavor. Another fresh herb such as parsley or cilantro would work well in its place.
  • One large kohlrabi, peeled and grated (it helps to quarter the kohlrabi before attempting this), plus four or five kohlrabi leaves, chopped into ribbons.
  • Four carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 bunch of scallions, green and white portions, thinly sliced
  • A small hand full of Thai basil leaves (about 12), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar (white wine or apple cider both work well)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. I used about a 1/4 teaspoon of each as the mayonnaise was already pretty salty.
Toss together the grated kohlrabi, chopped kohlrabi leaves, sliced carrots, sliced scallions, and chopped Thai basil in a large bowl.

In a separate small bowl stir together the mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, sugar or honey, celery seed, salt, and pepper. If you are using sugar, be sure to stir until the granules have dissolved into the dressing.

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss until they are evenly combined. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes before serving. This holds well in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours (which was as long as our leftovers lasted before we ate them all up!)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Week Eight: Summertime

I know it has been summer for a while already, I mean, every share has come with a pound of tomatoes for two weeks, but the summer squash and zucchini are coming on strong here so the season is now official at our place.

Sunburst pattypan, the most photogenic of our
summer squash.
As happened with the snow peas, they took us by surprise. They were trickling in. The harvest for last Wednesday's pick-up had a few nice zukes. The harvest for Saturday was a flood.

We'll be taking a lot to the Keweenaw Co-op this week, so as not to bury the members in summer squash, but members will definitely get some too and the squash should keep coming until frost. Start posting you favorite summer squash and zucchini recipes on the facebook page now!

This week's share will also include: Head Lettuce, Chard, Thai Basil, Beets, Fennel, Sorrel, Cucumber(s?), Tomatoes etc. from the hoophouse, and another selection of herbs or edible flowers.

Several people have asked about the Thai basil at pick-up. And because it is new to so many of you, we decided that everyone should have a chance to try it. That's just the way we CSA farmers roll. I LOVE to use Thai Basil in rice noodle dishes, especially with eggplant. Try sauteing some tomato, summer squash, and eggplant, if you have it, lightly in peanut oil and your favorite soy sauce (add a bit of five spice powder, ginger, garlic, fish sauce or other favorite Asian flavors as well). When the vegetables are just finished cooking, pull the pan off the heat and stir in a generous handful of coarsely chopped Thai Basil. Serve this over rice noodles that have soaked in hot water for ten minutes (or prepared according to the package) and dressed with peanut oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar or honey, and garlic. If you aren't a rice noodle fan, serve it over rice with the same sauce on the side for diners to season with.

Thai Basil, with its dusky purple hue.
Sorrel was heavily featured in the early weeks of the CSA. As summer progresses it gets a bit tough and unruly. Now that the nights are growing cooler (and we know they will continue to do so quickly) we want to clear out the sorrel plantings so that they will put on tender growth again in the fall. The tender spring and fall growth is good for cooking or salads. The summer growth is perfect for soup. So, we are including a generous quantity of sorrel in every share this week and passing along this traditional Polish sorrel soup recipe, which was shared with us by Eva, a member of ours who spent her childhood in Poland and says this recipe is particularly delicious.

U.P. Fennel is never quite as large and luxurious as
California grown, but it makes up for that with FLAVOR.
Finally, we have fennel from the field this week. When members had a choice of baby fennel from the hoophouse way back in the first share of the season I know many folks were unsure how to prepare it. If you need an idea, I suggest the following recipe. I've made it with local pork from the Kolpack's Family Farm and grocery store pork from who knows where. It is, of course, better with the Kolpack's meat, but it's delicious either way.

Glazed Pork Chops with Braised Fennel 

Use a jam that is fruity and acidic. Apricot, peach, and raspberry all work very well. Blueberry would not.  I've made this with homemade cherry tomato jam with particularly good results.

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 4 pork loin chops
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup jam
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, bulb and stalks chopped into bite sized pieces, fronds reserved

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a pan that is large enough to hold all four pork chops in a single layer.

Lay the pork chops in the pan, sprinkle both sides of each chop with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Briefly brown both sides of each chop, about 30 seconds per side.

Stir together the jam and balsamic vinegar. Turn the heat down to low. Spoon the jam and vinegar mixture evenly over the chops. Allow the pork to cook for approximately five minutes on each side, spooning glaze over the chops whenever they are turned, and frequently as they cook.

When the chops have reached your desired degree of doneness, remove them from the pan and keep them warm on a serving dish.

Turn the heat back up to medium and add the chopped fennel bulb and stalks to the glaze and pan drippings that remain in the cooking pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes or until the fennel is just tender. Overcooking the fennel will cause it to lose much of its unique flavor.

Meanwhile, finely chop about half a cup of the reserved fennel fronds.

Arrange the cooked fennel bulb and stalks over the pork chops and sprinkle the minced fennel fronds over the entire dish.

I have got to hook up with a food photographer...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Week 7: Broccoli and other Flowers

I'm getting the Week 7 post out without an original recipe because we had a bit of fun this weekend. My Mom is in town, camping with a friend who she has been close with since the mid 50's! We've been picking blueberries at Gierke Blueberry Farm in Chassell and toasting marshmallows (and also beets and rutabaga - we ARE vegetable farmers) over the camp fire.

We also made it to the Ontonagon County Fair yesterday, which was a blast as always. This year they had a train of sorts made of barrels, pulled by a small tractor. Seda had the opportunity to ride it, more or less making her year.

This is the actual definition of adorable, right?
Don't worry though, we've had time to put together a great share for you this week as well. Among other things, the earlier broccoli variety is starting to come on, and the radicchio has headed up nicely. This week members can expect: Broccoli, Radicchio, Beet Greens, Head Lettuce, Basil, Onions, Kale, A Cucumber or Summer Squash (they're just starting to come in quantities big enough for the shares), Edible Flowers/Herbs, and Tomatoes/Peppers/Eggplant/Etc. from the hoophouse and field.

The beet greens are thinnings from our field beet planting, which will be sizing up in the next few weeks. You'll see a few baby beets attached to your greens. Separate them or cook them all together as you wish. The greens can be used as you used the braising mix from the earlier shares, their flavor is like extra intense chard. If you need some ideas for cooking them, check out this list of 5 recipes that include beet greens.

Radicchio is another bitter green, it always seems to be more popular than the chicory and escarole. I'm not sure if that is because radicchio is slightly more tender than escarole, or simply due to the fact that radicchio is one of the most beautiful greens in existence.

A green in name only: Lovely cream and wine colored radicchio heads.
Radicchio is used as a salad green. Toss it with the head lettuce, some basil leaves and edible flowers. Add some parmesan cheese shavings and dress with a balsamic vinaigrette.

It can also be cooked, as in this eggplant recipe I posted at radicchio time last year or substituted in for escarole in the bitter greens recipe I posted for week five this year.  

This year's edible flowers include: Calendula, Bachelor's Buttons, Dianthus, Queen Anne's Lace, and a few Onion flowers. This week members can choose the flowers or herbs such as thyme, oregano, lemon balm, or mint. Hopefully the flowers will go strong for a few weeks so everyone can get a taste of them. 

The lovely blue bachelor's button is my favorite to look at, but
the weedy, carrot flavored, Queen Anne's Lace is my
favorite to eat.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Week 6: Pesto!

Hot and dry, again. No big surprise there.

But it has got me thinking. The weather has been "strange" ever since we started farming here, with no two years really looking the same. One of the first years we were here we experienced a July that barely broke out of the 50's. When we compare that to this July all we can do is scratch our heads.

A steamy scene, some volunteer cosmos, from last years planting,
amid the Brussels sprouts.
Can we ever expect to see standard Upper Peninsula weather (whatever that is)? We try to plan for every extreme. Which means something fails every year. This year it's the fava beans. They would much prefer it was in the 50's (though they could handle mid seventies) and in this heat they have turned to crispy brown sticks rather than bean plants. That year of the cold July, however, we didn't get more than ten ripe tomatoes out of the field. I just ate the first ripe field tomato today. So I guess it balances out.

What is really on my mind though is climate change. I know I'm not the only one wondering if this is it. Maybe all bets are off. Maybe the weather is going to continue to behave in this unpredictable manner for the rest of my farming career. This makes me wonder (as I sit at my laptop and listen to the walk-in cooler whirring away in the basement) how much I have contributed to (or mitigated) this possible change. I am a CSA farmer. Eating locally is tops on the carbon footprint reducing to-do list and I like to think I make that possible for many people in my community. But does it really make a difference? I wish that I could know for sure.

Heavy ponderings for a share description ;)

Which is to say, this week members can expect the following mix of cool weather and heat loving vegetables: Chard, Cauliflower or Kohlrabi, Salad Turnips, Leaf Lettuce, Basil, Cilantro, Garlic, Bunching Onions, Snow Peas, and Tomatoes/Peppers/Eggplant OR Ground Cherries.

We are beginning the harvest of a different kind of Kohlrabi this week.

It is called gigante and it is pretty much gigantic. Like, the size of a baby's head. It is meant to be a 130 day crop, which would put them ready to harvest in the fall. But, as we've seen in the cauliflower, some plants are maturing well ahead of schedule. Rather than let them go to waste, we are going to take the ready specimens now. We're not really sure if the others will continue maturing throughout the season or grow the long haul.

They are a bit different than the purple kohlibri kohlrabi of the earlier shares. Expect tough skin with a bit of woodiness that needs to be peeled away. The inner flesh should not be woody, please let us know if it is. The gigante we have eaten have been fine grained and nutty, with more rutabaga leanings than the kohlibri have. In short, exactly as we'd hoped they would be. We tried a different big kohlrabi last year (called kossack) that was supposed to stay tender when large but found it to be a bit woody. We'd like your feedback on this one so we know if we should stick with it.

If you're not sure what to do with a giant kohlrabi you can try this very basic recipe or use it in any dish that calls for root vegetables. I used some in a chicken pot pie the other day with excellent results.

The basil is coming on strong now.

Basil, basil, basil!!!
The plan is to give everyone about sixteen stems of basil, enough for a generous batch of pesto (see the recipe below) or several batches of this recipe for basil syrup. If you make basil syrup, please use it to make lemonade. It's luscious.

The cilantro is just starting to come on. We are crossing our fingers that if we keep it cut back and watered it will hold until the field tomatoes come on. We'll do out best. But those of you who want guaranteed cilantro come salsa time may want to freeze some to be one the safe side. I've actually never done this, but the first method in the link looks promising for salsa cilantro.


This is a very traditional pesto recipe. Note that basil oxidizes (turns an unattractive brown color) rapidly. If you want a lovely green pesto add a few sprigs of fresh parsley, which doesn't oxidize. Some people like to add salt to pesto, but I find the cheese brings enough salt to the recipe. You should taste this for salt at the end and add it if you think it's necessary. This recipe yielded a scant two cups for me.
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • Six cloves of garlic
  • 2.5 ounces Parmesan cheese, cut into small chunks.
  • Basil from the share, stripped from the large central stems (smaller stems are fine). For me this was about three cups of basil.
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
Combine the pine nuts, garlic, and cheese in the small bowl of a food processor. Process until the nuts, garlic, and cheese are very finely chopped.

Add the basil, in batches in necessary, and process until a thick chunky puree is formed.

Drizzle in the olive oil, or add it a quarter cup at a time, processing until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Taste for salt.

To store the pesto place it in a jar with a thin layer of olive oil on the surface to reduce oxidation. It can be refrigerated or frozen for longer term storage.

Or just eat it up right away, lovely shades of brown and all.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Week 5: Hot, Dry Weather and recipes for Bitter Greens

I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful lake weather, because it is causing us to chase our tails a little as we try to keep the plants happy.

This is not the farm. This is a lovely view
of Fuller Lake from our canoe.
Things are still holding, but we could use a day or two of gentle rain every now and then. Please. As we barrel through July that becomes less and less likely.

But really I can't complain. Some drought stricken CSAs in Wisconsin have been forced to cancel distribution during this dry spell. I hope they have understanding members who are willing to help them survive through the challenging weather. That must be very difficult for everyone involved. It also puts my anxieties over last week's stressed cauliflower into perspective.

This week is another mix of vegetables that love the heat, and those that wish it was cooler. The shares will include: Kale or Chard; Snow Peas; Radishes; Baby Pac Choi; Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Tomatillos, OR Ground Cherries; Arugula; Mustard; Sorrel or Parsley; Scallions; Della Catalogna Lettuce or Escarole; and Salad Turnips.

We are finishing up the harvest of Della Catalogna this week and starting on the escarole. Both are bitter, sturdy greens that can be used in a salad, if you're into that sort of thing (and I know many people are not - if you are, scroll down to the bottom of this post from last year for a salad recipe that features bitter greens, swap in escarole or lettuce for the radicchio), but also do well as cooked greens. Escarole soup with sausage and white beans is a traditional Italian dish. This soup recipe looks simple and delicious. The Della Catalogna lettuce, which is an Italian heirloom lettuce, would work fine in place of the escarole. For those that aren't up for soup on an 80 degree day, below you can find a quick one dish recipe with similar flavors that won't heat up your kitchen as much as the soup.

Della Catalogna Lettuce to the left and Escarole on the right.

Salad Turnips are new to the shares this week. They are definitely not bitter, nor are they much like the rutabaga type turnips members received in last week's share. Scott describes them as "radishes injected with cream" and I think that is pretty much spot on. As you might guess from the name, they are meant to be chopped up and added to a salad.

Because you are receiving both salad turnips and radishes plus a generous amount of arugula and mustard this week, I suggest a spicy salad featuring chopped radishes and turnips briefly marinated in lemon juice, honey, and oil, salted to taste, with a little grated ginger or fancy mustard for flavor, served with several handfuls of mustard and arugula and a finely sliced scallion or two.

Sausage with Italian Bitter Greens
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves (more or less to taste) garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch scallions, green and white portions sliced thinly
  • 2 potatoes, 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1/2 bunch (approximately 6 stems) flat leaf parsley, stems and leaves chopped finely
  • 1 Head escarole or Della Catalogna lettuce, cleaned thoroughly and roughly chopped into bite sized pieces.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the garlic, scallions, and potatoes. Stir until the potatoes are covered with oil and the onion greens are wilted. 

Add the sausages to the pan, making sure they are flat against the bottom of the pan rather than on top of  the potatoes. Brown on all sides.

Remove the sausages from the pan and slice them into bite sized pieces. Add the parsley to the pan, stir to combine with the potato and onions. Return the sausage to the pan.

Cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are tender and the sausage is fully cooked.

Stir in the chopped escarole or lettuce. Stir until the greens are heated through and lightly wilted. The center ribs should remain crisp.

Taste for salt. Generally when I cook with sausage I don't find that I need any additional salt.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Week 4: The Vegetables are Here

A lovely foggy morning in the field.
Last week one of our members asked "So, is it pretty much just greens again this week? No vegetables yet?" He is a lovely man, and we're sure the question was posed with the purest of intentions. But, I still feel the need to mention that kale, lettuce, and arugula *are* vegetables. Yummy and nutritious vegetables at that.

But I'm guessing most CSA members know that :)

I am curious to know though whether any of you might have an idea as to what this is about:

Our chard, which is generally a no fuss crop, is suffering from something
unpleasant this year.
We wanted to include chard in the shares this week, but it all looks like the plant pictured above. We've never seen anything like this. Have you? Our theories include virus and heat damage, though I don't really think the heat would do this. Research led me to a virus that only strikes beets and chard growing in arid regions of the country (our weather hasn't been that strange this season, right?) and aphids. The damage seems to fit the description of aphid damage, but I haven't seen a single aphid out there...hmm. Always something to learn in this line of work.

Happily, there are several items that look great for the share this week. Greens and vegetables. This week  members can expect to receive: Lettuce, Bunching Onions, Spicy Salad Mix (Arugula and Mustard), Parsley or Sorrel, Baby Pac Choi, Radishes, Snow Peas, Root Vegetable Combo (turnips, carrots, and beets or kohlrabi), Cauliflower, and A Hoophouse Treat. 

Though the weather has tempered for now, the cauliflower, which prefers cooler weather, began heading when it was still very hot out and the heads do show signs of stress. They are smaller than we would like and have a bit of a purplish tinge to them. I recommend using them cooked rather than raw (they would work very well in the curry recipe below if that strikes your fancy) because some of them have an extra strong cabbage flavor due to stress. Cooking will help to reduce that.

Things are starting to trickle out of the hoophouse in small quantities, so there is a wide selection of potential hoophouse treats. Members will be able to choose between tomatoes, eggplant, purple sweet peppers, jalapenos, tomatillos, and ground cherries.

A smattering of potential hoophouse treats.

The items in the photo that look like tiny tomatillos are the ground cherries, also called cape gooseberries. Other than a few plants in a tiny vegetable garden my parents let me grow many years ago, this is the first time Scott or I has grown ground cherries, so we are still learning the ropes with them. My guess is they are new to most of you too. Ground cherries are members of the tomato family that are used as fruits, rather than vegetables. They taste like a cross between tomatillos (which they are very closely related to) and pineapples (which, I hope you already realized, they are not even slightly related to). They can be made into pies, jams, and dried to use like raisins. However, the most anyone will get this week is one pint of them, so my guess is all the ground cherries going out will be munched upon plain, or possibly sprinkled on top of a salad.

I have to admit it is a little difficult to tell if they are ripe. The idea is that the ripe ones fall off the plant, so I pick up the fruits on the ground - most of those are golden and delicious. Many fruits fall off the plants at the slightest touch - most of those are golden and delicious too. Some of the fruits in both of those categories are still a bit green though. I find these green fruits are still pretty good, they just taste a lot like tomatillos and nothing at all like pineapple.

Root Vegetable Curry

The medley of root vegetables you are receiving this week may seem more fit for the fall. We planted them early in the hoophouse where they enjoyed the "cold" spring weather (there were a few stretches of proper weather) and then appreciated the heat - as long as we made sure they had plenty of water. Though they are traditional soup and stew ingredients, soups and stews are not really fitting this time of year. I think this mild curry is just the thing. Serve it over rice.

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced, or the bunching onions from your share 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 jalapeno (or more or less to taste) cut into thin rounds
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 to 1.5 pounds root vegetables (carrots, kohlrabi, turnips, and beets in whatever combination you choose), peeled as needed and diced into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • Water
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste

Melt the butter over medium/low heat in a medium saucepan.

Add the diced onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeno (if using), and curry powder. Stir well to coat with butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and just beginning to turn translucent.

Add the root vegetables to the saucepan, stir well to coat with butter and seasonings.

Pour the coconut milk into the saucepan. Fill the coconut milk can about half full with water (which should be about 6 or 7 ounces of water). Stir the tablespoon of tomato paste into the water until it is evenly combined. Add the water and tomato paste to the saucepan and stir well.

Turn the heat up and bring the curry just to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, approximately 20 minutes.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Week 3: The First Tastes of Summer

It looks like we may get a break from this dry heat towards the end of the week. Phew!

The vegetables are responding well to the weather for the most part, thanks to the miracle of rotating sprinklers.

Irrigating in the peas among cover crop stubble earlier this spring. The process
is pretty much the same this time of year, except the plants are much bigger.
One crop that is doing particularly well for us this week, despite conventional wisdom's assertion that it shouldn't stand up to the heat, is head lettuce.

Members (and market customers) will have their choice between two excellent varieties of lettuce, prizehead and della catalogna radichetta.

Prizehead, a loose headed, relatively mild, and richly colored lettuce.

Della catalogna radichetta, an Italian heirloom lettuce with
sturdy leaves and lots of flavor.

In addition to lovely lettuce, this week's share will contain: Kale, Braising Mix, Spicy Salad Mix (arugula and mustard), Radishes, Kohlrabi, Sorrel or Parsley, Baby Pac Choi, Jalapenos, Bunching Onions, and Basil.

There won't be a lot of basil in the shares this week, just a taste (the first taste of summer!). We'll be pinching the tops off of our basil plants this week, both sweet and Thai, to encourage the plants to fill out and produce better so that later season shares will see more basil. 

Lots of little top sprigs like this one add up to just enough basil for everyone
to have a little.

You'll probably notice a bit of grit on your basil (more than you find on most of our other produce). That's because we won't be cleaning the basil at all. If basil gets wet before it goes into the cooler it will quickly turn limp and black. For that reason we recommend that you don't wash it off until just before you plan to use it.

The jalapenos, unlike the basil, could be doled out in massive quantities, far exceeding the needs of all but our spiciest members.  

One of about 50 similarly laden jalapeno plants in the hoophouse.
Because we know that not everyone likes jalapenos, we will not be forcing a flood of them upon you. The plan is to harvest them on the light side and offer them as an option with everyone allowed to take none to three peppers. If anyone knows now that they will want more than that let us know and we will take that into account during harvest.

The bunching onions are simply baby storage onions, something we actually never thought to harvest until Eva at Northwinds Co-op requested them. I'm glad she clued us in, because they're a very versatile vegetable. The small bulbs can be used like any cooking onion and the green tops can be used like scallions. They're handy to have around, as you'll see if you try out the recipe below.

Sesame Noodles with Basil and Onion

This dish is light enough to enjoy in the most oppressive heat and features the lovely summer flavors found in this week's share. It works equally well with sweet and Thai basil. It makes about four servings.
  • Approximately 8 ounces of dry rice noodles (I used half a 16 ounce package of extra wide noodles)
  • 3 Tablespoons plus 1/2 Tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar, or other sweetener of your choosing
  • Jalapeno peppers, minced, to taste (optional)
  • 1 large handful of greens of your choosing (braising mix, mustard/arugula, or kale would all work well) chopped into bite sized pieces
  •  6 large eggs
  • 1-2 spring onions, greens and bulbs chopped finely
  • 1 handful (about three sprigs) basil, cut into ribbons
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, remove from heat, add rice noodles and soak until the noodles are tender. My noodles take about 10 minutes of soaking but this will vary by noodle size and brand.

Combine the 3 tablespoons of peanut oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and optional jalapeno in a small bowl. Stir very well so that the ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Poor this sauce over the rice noodles immediately after draining to prevent them from sticking. Toss the noodles to coat them with sauce and set them aside.

Heat the remaining half tablespoon peanut oil in a frying pan over medium/high heat. Scramble together the chopped greens and eggs. Cook them in the peanut oil, forming large dry curds of scrambled egg.

Combine the sauce covered noodles, eggs, onion, and basil.