First CSA Box of 2010 Season

Our first CSA box of the 2010 season: French breakfast and easter egg radishes, spinach, joi choi, salad mix (minutina, radish thinnings, sunflower sprouts, lemon balm, baby heirloom lettuces), herb bundle (parsley, chive flowers, crinkle cress, chervil, sage, oregano, rosemary), green onions, heirloom and buttercrisp head lettuces, Siberian kale, and broccolini

Shipki Power Soup

For 6 portions

Start with some seaweed if you have it – if not, some strong vegetable stock ( we have quarts of freshly-frozen hearty vegetable stock available in our freezer) – about 2 quarts

Add chopped:

Leeks (2 – 3 stocks)
ugly carrots (4 – 6 roots)
burdock ( 2 – 3 roots)
potatoes ( 1 – 2 )
beets (optional)

When vegetables are tender ( not mushy) add another quart of water and 2 – 3 tablespoons of Miso paste.

Also

Chopped Joy Choi, or Asian Cabbage ( 2 – 3)

Just before serving

Season with additional Tamari or Soy sauce
Hot pepper oil to taste
Sesame oil to taste
Chopped scallions (1 – 2 white & green parts)
And Cilantro to taste

ENJOY!

Baby bunnies!

Our two female bunnies gave birth on Easter to ten babies. Brown Ears has two giant black/gray bunnies and Black Ears has eight, some black-and-white spotted, and others gray. These little things don’t have their eyes open yet, but they are squirming around in their nesting boxes keeping their moms busy nursing. The proud Papa Romeo has created some giants!

Curly French Endive

Storing Endive is fragile and will keep for only a few days in a cool place or in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator. To increase its keeping time, wash it, spin or shake it dry and wrap in a damp cloth.

Preparing

Refresh under cold water and blot dry. Never soak.

Cooking

For a salad, combine green and white endive. ( keep in mind that the darker green, the more bitter) Ideal with small cooked cubes of bacon and a poached egg.

Curly French Endive

Enjoying

Curly endive with goat cheese and grapes

Make a nest of curly endive on each plate. Place a thick slice of goat cheese (chèvre) on top; drizzle with a mixture of olive oil, walnut oil and lemon juice; garnish with walnut halves and halved seedless grapes.

Steamed curly endive

Steam the endive for about 8 minutes with some apple wedges. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice; season with fine sea salt and cinnamon.

Salad de Landes

This salad is garnished with raw cured ham, gizzards, duck breast and foie gras, quickly pan-seared and cut into strips. Dress with a neutral oil and white wine vinegar.

Chervil

Nutritional values

Used for its digestive, depurative, diuretic and stimulant qualities. Chervil is a early-growing herb known for its blood-purifying ability. It is also found in many traditional Lenten dishes.

Storage

It is delicate, but can be kept for a few days in a tightly-closed container in the lower part of the refrigerator. Otherwise, place the stems in a glass of water.

Frozen: Place chopped herbs into an ice-cube tray and cover with water.

Cooking tips

Mild and with a faint anise flavor, it prefers to stand on its own instead of being paired with other herbs. It does, however, go well with tarragon. Chervil imparts a distinctive flavor to cold sauces such as béarnaise ravigote and remoulade. It pairs well with white fish and shellfish, eggs, poultry and certain soups such as gazpacho and cream-based soups, white cheeses and carrots.

Snip and use the leaves at the last minute. They do not stand up to high temperatures nor to chopping, since their essential oils are volatile.

Suggestions

As a main ingredient in béarnaise sauce, it is a good accompaniment for fish and asparagus; the sauce is also good with these dishes if whipped until light and frothy.

Chervil butter is perfect with young spring vegetables; swirl a little butter into a rich chicken stock thickened with egg yolk and flavored with chervil. Use to flavor creamed tiny vegetables served in a puff pastry shell.

Chervil leaves are also a perfect flavoring for white wine vinegars.