It has been a busy week….where have I heard that before? It is hard to believe that it is already the end of May. It feels as though we have jumped right into Summer, but with those strong Spring winds still following us. We are constantly amazed by the power of the wind and while we cringe as we watch new transplants take a beating, we are also surprised at how many of them manage to make it through (yes, we do lose a few). This week all of the “outside” tomatoes and peppers were planted with help from our college crew. In addition, all of the potatoes and onions and most of the other gardens were weeded as well and we put in squash cucumber and bean seed. This amounts to almost half of our land in production and was a lot of work – Great job girls!

Daughter Jessica has left us for a few weeks of study in France. She visited a market in Caen on the weekend and assured her dad that his veggies are still the best. Thanks Jessica! 🙂 — and thanks to all of you for your words of appreciation and encouragement as you share your enjoyment of our vegetables.

This week in your share…. Carrots!! – These slender, tender gems are a sweet treat that you won’t feel guilty about. I’m going to try the carrot top soup (below) this week – the greens are wonderfully tender – or make a nice salad if they last that long! Spinach Red Russian Kale – picked at the baby leaf stage – great for salads or add it to soups or stir-fry. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse. Check out this link for more info http://vegpeace.org/kale.html

Lettuce – Red or green butterhead – I like to chop/rinse/spin and keep it in a bowl in the fridge ready for a quick salad. Hakurai Turnips – Yes, those things that look like white radishes – perfect for snacking, chopped in a salad or light steaming. Chop and throw those tops in with your kale in the stir-fry.

As always, there is an abundance of recipes available through a google search, but here are a few to get you started.

Have a Great Week!

Carrot Almond Salad

extra virgin olive oil
1 cup / 3 oz / 85g sliced almonds
a small handful cilantro, about 1/2 cup
1 medium clove garlic, peeled
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and de-veined
1/4+ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch / 8 oz / 225 g baby carrots, scrubbed and sliced in half lengthwise
1 bunch / 16 oz / 450 g pencil-thin asparagus, stalks trimmed, cut into 2-inch segments
squeeze of lemon, optional

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, toast the almonds in a large skillet over medium heat in a splash of olive oil along with a big pinch of salt. Let them get deeply golden, remove from heat, and set aside.

Make the dressing by combining the cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, and salt in a food processor – or alternately, in a blender or with a hand blender. Drizzle the olive oil in while pulsing, continuing until the dressing is a creamy, vibrant green. Taste, and adjust to your liking with more salt, garlic, jalapeno, etc.

Salt the boiling water generously, then add the carrots, wait 15 seconds and add the asparagus. Depending on the actual thickness of your carrots/asparagus, cook for about 30 – 60 more seconds, you want the vegetables to retain some structure and bite. Drain and immediately run under cold water to stop the cooking. Spin dry in a salad spinner.

In a large bowl toss the vegetables with a generous splash of the dressing. Toss well, add 2/3 of the toasted almonds and gently toss again. Taste and adjust for seasoning. You might want to add a quick squeeze of lemon juice at this point, but it’s optional. Serve family-style topped with the remaining almonds.

Serves 4-6 as a side.

Tuscan Carrot Top and Rice Soup

  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup short grain rice or 2 lbs. cubed potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrot tops
  • 4 tbsp. fresh grated parmesan cheese
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot. Sauté onion, carrots, celery and garlic for 5 minutes over low heat until translucent. Add salt and pepper, and pour in broth. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add rice and cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is almost tender. Add the carrot tops and cook for 5 more minutes, mixing well.
  3. When rice is tender, pour soup into four bowls. Sprinkle with cheese.

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