Thursday, April 19, 2012

April 19, 2012 People and Planet CSA

What's in the box
Celeriac and Parsnips
Parsnips, Celeriac, Carrots, Tangerines, Braising Greens, Dried  White Heirloom Beans-Swiss, French or Italian, Herbs-Lemon Balm or Mint, Eggs and Flowers.

This week's special gift:  Grape Jelly  (and something from my neighbor).

Roasted Lemon Balm Chicken

Ingredients: Handful of fresh lemon balm leaves, stems removed
1/4 cup or so of fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large roasting chicken
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°. Trim herb leaves from stems; wash and pat dry. Set sprigs aside. Chop two-thirds of the leaves, and combine with the butter, salt, and pepper. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Loosen the skin in several places and insert the herb butter underneath. Rub chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Insert the remaining herb sprigs into the cavity of the chicken. Place breast-side-down in a roasting pan. Bake 30 minutes, then turn chicken over. Bake about 20 minutes longer. Makes 4 to 6 servings
Potatoes are up

Lemon Balm Tea

Bring 2 quarts water to a boil, and add the leaves. Reduce heat and allow to steep for about 15 minutes. Strain leaves out, and then add honey or other sweetener to taste. If the tea is too strong, add a bit of water to thin it out. Pour into an ice-filled pitcher and serve. You may want to add a sprig of mint for garnish.

Lemon Mint Sun Tea

1/2 cup mint
1/2 cup lemon balm
3 black tea bags. Place in a gallon container and add cold water to fill the jar. Set in the sun for several hours. Strain out tea and herbs. Pour over ice and refrigerate the leftovers. Sweeten with honey or sugar if desired. (Before icing!)

Lemon Balm Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons light olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
6-8 leaves lemon balm
Fresh black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
Stack the lemon balm leaves together and roll, then with a very sharp knife cut thin strips, and then chop finely. Combine with the other ingredients and serve with steamed vegetables or mixed salad greens.  I sometimes add a dollop of mustard and a bit of sugar to this, if it tastes too blah.  The herb strength really changes year to year.
Braising Greens

Lemon Herb Butter

2 tablespoons lemon balm, chopped
2 tablespoons thyme, chopped fine
1 cup butter, softened 

Cream butter and stir in herbs. Chill for at least 3 hours to allow flavors to blend. Use with seafood or vegetables.
Braising Greens
These are a combinations of Spring Greens that are meant to be eaten together.  Similar to a mixed green salad.  The colors and flavors are meant to compliment each other.   Store them unwashed in a damp towel, in a plastic bag in the fridge drawer.  They're good for about a week this way.  The quicker you eat them, the more nutrients they will have.    Before eating, give them a good wash and remove tough stems.  Try them lightly steamed or sauteed.  They are great mixed with pasta or rice.

Asian Cabbage coming soon
Leo's Everyday Greens (yes, he asks for these everyday)
1/4 c. olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
one sack o' greens, washed and trimmed
Soy Sauce & Vinegar, or Salt and Wine

In a skillet (or wok) saute the garlic cloves until just lightly golden and remove with a slotted spoon, set aside.  Add the greens about half at a time and saute until tender.  Add a splash of soy sauce and rice vinegar, add the garlic back in and serve.   I have used salt and malt vinegar, sake or sherry and soy sauce.  Basically something salty and something sour really brings out the flavor in these.  On Sundays I saute these in bacon grease and add them to eggs. 

I know, they're a little small, but they were going to bolt if I didn't pick them.  This overly warm sudden spring is not good for our Spring Veges!  I predict a long summer.  This weekend we are planting out the tomatoes.    The vegetable's most classic employment is in the cold French salad celerie remoulade, in which the root is peeled, grated, "cooked" in lemon juice (or blanched briefly in acidulated water) to lose a bit of its rawness, then dressed with a mustardy mayonnaise.  It can also be peeled and mashed and mixed with potatoes.  Drop the peeled bits into a bowl of acidulated water (water into which some lemon juice has been squeezed) immediately after cutting to prevent discoloration. Even if you are planning to fry or bake the celeriac later, parboiling it first for 5 or 10 minutes in acidulated water will soften its raw edge.  The tops can be used like celery in soups and stews, or chopped fine and added to salads.  It's stronger than regular celery, so use it with a light hand.  Wrapped in a wet paper towel and stored in a plastic bag it will last almost a month in your fridge.

On the Farm
We are busier then a day care center full of two year olds.  Casey came back this week to help me weed.  Leo's been tilling every night after work.  With one hand I'm starting seeds and with the other spreading compost and planting out vegetable starts.  Friday and Saturday are supposed to be sizzling in the 80's.  This does not bode well for spring veges.  I'm watering the peas extra just to insure that they don't bolt!  With early temperatures like that, I will be going straight to summer veges.   I'm hoping for favas soon!

1 comment:

  1. OOooooo, the recipe for Lemon Balm chicken is a Must Try here! What could be better than Sage, Lemon Balm and Garlic together?