CSA Newsletter Week 5
Oh Boy, Beets!
Anthem Sweet Corn
Muir Head Lettuce
Some Kind Of Zucchini And/Or Summer Squash
Notes from the Farm
I'm not a hundred percent sure what it is about corn that makes so many people so happy... but it does...
Corn makes people happy. It's a thrilling vegetable.
And really, it's rare in the vegetable world... veggies are a lot of things, thrilling is not typically an adjective folks use unless they're being hyperbolic... I mean, lets be honest, it's just corn...
I mean, Corn doesn't win the Superbowl. Corn hasn't sold out Madison Square Garden. Corn won't win a Nobel Prize or become a Poet Laureate. Corn is just corn... and it's temporary... but it is thrilling.
When we put the corn sign out on route 11, the dynamic of the farmstand changes immediately. Folks come to get it, they want to know what kind it is, how it's growing this year... they tell stories about picking corn as a kid, before dawn in Concord Mass, to get it to the Boston Markets... stories about their granddad's corn, that he saved and planted, until one year when he didn't make it through the winter, but they kept the jar of his seed just in case someone in the family got the itch... stories about the best way to cook it, in milk, with butter, on the grill in the husk, on the grill husked, baked, broiled, steamed, soaked & microwaved...
We get stories about the best ear they've ever eaten... I've met very few people that don't have a top five corn eating moments list, about the farm or farmer that grew it, about the company of friends and family, the camping trip, during a point deep in covid isolation, that first or last ear with a loved one.
Corn hits like a primordial gong... BONG... it kind of resonates equally and instantly through the entirety of the universe... and any vegetable could do that... but corn does that, and that's what makes it so special.
We take growing corn very seriously because we know the potential gravity of the corn eating experience. Growing organic corn is a bit tricky, and we don't always get it right, but we try, and we put more energy into corn than any other crop on our farm... for you, for us, for everyone.
Corn is important.
Corn is the staff of life... and it's thrilling.
A Walk Through The Food
Just like cauliflower, but green and pointy. We love this variety for it's rich nutty flavor. Don't be scared, it's really just the same as the white stuff, use it the same. Brined roasted cauliflower is a treat if you've never tried it... ask the internet, it'll know how.
Fennel gets a bad rap. It's not just licorice flavored celery... although, it can taste like licorice flavored celery. It's been described as “the most versatile vegetable” by, now disgraced chef, Mario Batali... when caramelized in a pan, it has the flavor of sweet onion. It adds subtle a roundness to the flavor of most any ground meat. It was a staple crop of Italy and Italian food, until relatively reticently, when modern celery was introduced as a bland alternative. Try making fennel salt with the stocks and fronds, the way you'd make fresh celery salt... you won't be disappointed.
Salad turnips are the sweeter, smaller, more palatable cousin of the more well known turnip varieties. They are kind of like sweet radishes. You can eat the tops, just ask any nostalgia driven country song, and the roots are great fresh or cooked. The turnip was THE staple crop of Europe, until about 1500, when potatoes made their way from the Americas and unseated the turnip... I mean, potatoes are good, and arguably better tasting than turnips, but the replacement of one for the other lead to widespread malnutrition and general malaise. I'm not really going to get into it, but the turnip is 10 thousand times more nutritious than potatoes, and yes, they are not potatoes, but they are delicious... and we hope you enjoy them.
EASY FRESH CORN POLENTA
8 medium ears sweet corn
1 teaspoon fine sea salt (divided)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegan or dairy butter
1 teaspoon fresh parsley (more to garnish)
Shuck the corn and slice the kernels off the cob into a large sauce pot.
Milk each cob by sliding the back of your knife up and down to remove any remaining juice and corn (do not skip - this step is crucial). Then discard the cobs.
Add just enough water to the pot to cover the kernels. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir and cover. Place over high heat until a gentle boil starts. Reduce the heat to low, keep covered and simmer for 8 minutes.
Strain the corn, discard the water and set the pot to the side.
Add the corn and pepper to a food processor and process until almost smooth (or your desired texture).
Return the corn to the pot and add in the remaining salt, butter and parsley. Cook over low heat, while constantly stirring for 3 minutes. Taste and season with more salt if desired.
Serve warm with more parsley and pepper to garnish.
Fennel and Potato Bake
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, plus more for pan
2 medium fennel bulbs, (8 ounces each)
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking dish.
Trim fennel bulbs; halve, and core. Slice bulbs and potatoes very thin (1/8 inch thick).
Add potatoes to prepared dish in three layers, alternating with two layers of fennel; season each layer with salt and pepper, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Asiago, and dot with 1/2 tablespoon butter. (Omit cheese from final layer.)
Pour cream over top. Bake until potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup grated Asiago; bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
3/16/2021 03:18:02 pm
Thannk you for sharing this
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