Thursday, June 14, 2012

People & Planet, June 14, 2012 CSA

Freshly harvested wheat

What's in the box

Early Garlic from Poland,  Huazontle (Red Aztec Spinach),  First Potatoes of the season and boy are they yummy,  Nutribud Broccoli & Calabrese Broccoli,  Violetto Cauliflower,  Paris Carrots, Beets, Turnips,  Purslane, Baby Bell Peppers,  Corn Meal, Portuguese Stuffing Cabbage, Epazote, eggs, and flowers.

This week's special gifts:   Dijon Mustard from Paicines, and grape jelly or pickles.

Purslane has more beta-carotene than spinach*, as well as high levels of magnesium and potassium. Historically it has been used as a remedy for arthritis and inflammation by European cultures. Chinese herbalists found similar benefits, using it in respiratory and circulatory function. 

Recently, it's been found that purslane has alpha linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Researchers see evidence that these substances lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as make the blood less likely to form clots. And, purslane has only 15 calories per 100 g portion. 

Corn coming right along
Several ancient cultures have included purslane as a part of their cuisine, including those of Greece and Central America. Russians dry and can it for the winter. In Mexico it is called verdolaga and is a favorite comfort food. There, it is eaten in omelets, as a side dish, rolled in tortillas, or dropped by handfuls into soups and stews.   Hey, we're lazy, so we just put them in salad.

Huazontle and or Turnip Greens...  Both of these are a little more bitter than we are used to, so to fix bitter, use vinegar.

Hey try this:

Typically Huazontle is stuffed with cheese, very much like making rellenos.
Try them like this.  boil the leaves in a little vinegar and drain.  Top with sauteed garlic and onions.
Of course, if any of you make rellenos with them, I want to come to dinner.

Melons waiting to be planted
Portuguese Stuffing Cabbage
Back in the blog, I gave you guys a recipe for this (June 16, 2011), since then I found this:

I love Smitten Kitchen.  Coming soon...Smitten Kitchen strawberry biscuits.   Maybe in 2 weeks.

This is the last week for these early spring veges.  Hopefully, the summer veges will come along shortly.  I can see green tomatoes, and little leetle leeetle green beans coming along.

In the meantime, Emily found a plum tree for me, so I'm going to pick plums and make jam.

Epazote is an herb well-known to Mexican and Caribbean cooking. The name comes from the Aztec (Nahuatl) epazotl.  It is most commonly used in black bean recipes to ward off some of the "negative" side affects of eating beans. Much like cilantro, it is referred to as an "acquired taste". The herb is quite pungent so take it easy when you first try it.

Epazote (chenopodium ambrosioides) was brought to Europe in the 17th century from Mexico and used in various traditional medicines. The herb was used by the Aztecs as a medicine as well as a culinary herb.
One teaspoon of dried epazote leaves is equivalent to about one branch, or 7 fresh leaves. Fresh epazote leaves can be placed in a plastic bag and stored for up to 1 week. You can air-dry the fresh leaves and store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. 

On the farm
Marathon planting going on here.  We are harvesting wheat and favas to be able to get  the melons in.  Okra, lentils, Tresimenos, Flax,  NZ Spinach, more carrots, and melons are all being planted.  Look for melons in late August.  Back to work!  Have a great week.

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