Live Earth Farm Newsletter - Week 3, Season 15

Ski Resorts in Southern California

Ski Resorts in Southern California

Notes from Debbie's Kitchen ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~ Click here to go to the recipe database.

I am very excited to see that we are getting our first young and tender fava beans this week! Sadly because of the rain, they will only be in the Family Shares, but not because the rain has harmed them in any way - only because the fields are so muddy that access for picking is limited. We will all have plenty of beans in the coming weeks !! See below for cooking tips for these darlings. But first, I would like to take a moment to introduce former CSA member and now personal chef, Charity Dasenbrock, who has generously offered to contribute recipes and tips for using what's in the box from time to time. Although she is not currently a member (she is only one person; "anybody out there want to split a share?" She asks), she very much wanted to connect to the farm and gave back to the community in some way, and so offered to write for the recipe section of the newsletter. Since this is her first week, I asked her to introduce herself, so - take it away, Charity! - Debbie

A few words from Charity
For several Seasons I was a CSA member and received a small share from Live Earth Farm. I loved going and picking it up weekly. But being just one person, even though I split with a friend, more often than not it was too much food. A delicious problem to have, for sure! I also traveled a lot in those years, and ended up donating many weeks of my share (and love that farm makes it easy to do that, too). Sadly, I made the decision to discontinue when I lost my share-splitter. I am supportive of the concept of the CSA though, and am loving seeing the movement grow. It is heartening to see that we are moving away from Big Ag and back to the small farms where we know who grows our food and where exactly it comes from. We know how it is grown and get to witness the love and the work and the dedication of those who bring it to us.

This week's share contains a wonderful amount of greens. Dark green leafy vegetables are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. I was amazed to learn how important Vitamin K is. It helps regulate blood clotting, helps protect bones from osteoporosis, might help reduce atherosclerosis, and might help regulate inflammation. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, so make sure you use it when eating your greens.

You may be less familiar with the Asian greens, the Tatsoi, the Mei qing choi, and the Mizuna. I have a couple of recipes that will make it easy for you to try them. - Charity

Steamed Asian Greens with Sweet and Spicy Sesame Dressing
1 - 2 lbs. combination of Asian greens (can include bok choy, and while broccolini is not an asian green, it would be delicious included here too, as would the cabbage)
3 tbsp. tamari or Bragg's Amino Acid
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. honey or raw agave nectar
1-2 tsp. dark sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or mashed
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, finely chopped (if you can find Thai chilis or any other hot red peppers, they add a nice bit of color as well as heat)
1 tsp. sesame seeds

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Steam the greens for about 5 minutes or until they are tender. In a small bowl, combine the other ingredients. Combine the greens with the dressing, and toss well. Garnish with additional sesame seeds.

Some people find the taste of mizuna similar to arugula, so here is a recipe where you could easily use one or the other.

Pasta with Mizuna and Walnuts - adapted from the recipe found on ecometro.com - Serves 4.

Cook the bacon in a skillet and drain. Says the bacon and set on paper towels to drain. Wipe out the bread (or not! I love bacon drippings) and add olive oil, onion, garlic, and vinegar. Cook for 5 or 6 minutes until the onions start to caramelize. Add the mustard, walnuts, and lemon juice and stir to combine. Add the mizuna and cook until it starts to wilt. Add the zest, salt and pepper to taste. Combine with the pasta and serve.

Charity Dasenbrock, on how to cook Artichokes
Most of the time I boil my artichokes. First cleaning them and trimming. I cut off the top inch or so, and trim off the leaves that do not look so good. If they are quite small, you do not need to worry about the choke. Otherwise remove that inner part. Fill a large pot with water, add salt and bring to a boil. Add artichokes and cook, depending on size, 20 minutes for small ones, up to 45 minutes for large ones. You can add aromatics to the water, such as lemon peel, garlic (green garlic from the share), half cup of white wine. I also love them roasted. Again, you need to clean and trim them. If they are small, cut them in half. Larger ones, can be quartered. I boil them, as above for 15 minutes. Remove from the water and drain. Place them side up on a roasting pan and brush or generously drizzle them with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, or an Italian herb blend. Roast in a 450º oven for 10-15 minutes. (Again, this will depend on their size, keep an eye on them.) You can also do this last part on your grill, putting the oiled cut side down. This will take 5 to 10 minutes.

Wondering what to do with your apples? How about all those different greens salad ... the lettuce, arugula, mizuna? Give this a try!