A Box Deconstructed- 5/11/2017
Cooking with This Week’s Box…
This is our second week of deliveries, but if this is your first delivery of the season…Welcome! I’m glad you’ll be cooking with us this year and want to remind you we’re here to help you. Remember to read your newsletter and “What’s In the Box” email that accompany each delivery. This is where you’ll find important information about your box contents, recipes, etc. This year we’re trying some new things in the newsletter, including this section which is intended to provide you with some ideas about what you might make with your box contents and, when possible, we’ll also provide you with a link to that recipe.
This week’s box has a lot of GREEN! Lets roll up our sleeves and get cooking! Last week our featured vegetable of the week was nettles. A CSA member in our Facebook group shared a recipe for Pizza with Garlic Cream and Nettles that is a spring favorite for her family. This recipe will probably use about half of your nettle bunch (although you can put as many on your pizza as you’d like!), so you could use the remainder to make a quart of nettle tea or turn it into a small batch of nettle pesto. If you are short on time this week and the pizza idea is a bit too much, consider just making the Nettle Pesto recipe we featured on our blog last week. Nettle pesto is easy to make and versatile, so you might find it handy to have in your refrigerator. Spread it on toast with cream cheese, stir it into scrambled eggs, add a dollop to a piece of seared salmon, or toss it into pasta for a super quick dinner.
The spinach in this week’s box is possibly the last of our overwintered spinach, and I hope you’ll take a moment to notice how sweet it is this week! Use one bunch to make the Green Pancakes recipe featured in this week’s newsletter and below. Serve these pancakes as a side dish alongside a seared pork chop with sautéed asparagus and mushrooms to create a tasty dinner. If you have any pancakes left, heat them up in the morning for a quick breakfast item! The second bunch of spinach will make a delicious salad dressed with the Creamy Green Garlic & Feta Dressing recipe featured in this week’s blog. Add some cooked chicken, tuna or beef to the salad along with olives, croutons and grilled asparagus for an entrée salad. Use the extra dressing as a dip for crackers, chips, bread or put a dollop on top of your Green Pancakes!
You’ll be using the green garlic in several recipes this week. If you run short on green garlic, substitute some Egyptian Walking Onions. Reserve a few onions to use in an Asparagus Stir-Fry, such as this one featured on Heidi Swanson’s blog. While you’re at Heidi’s blog, check out her recipe for Baked Quinoa Patties. Her recipe calls for chives and dill, but I substituted extra chives for the dill this week and they were delicious. If you have a little bit of extra spinach remaining, substitute that for the kale. These little patties are good for any meal of the day and are easy to take with you if you need something quick and easy to grab on the go. Lastly, enjoy a few refreshing beverages with this week’s bunch of sorrel. Use part of the bunch to make Frosty Banana and Sorrel Smoothies (I can’t get enough of these!) and use the remainder to make a batch of Sorrel-Lime Cooler! Sit back, relax and sip on one of these refreshing drinks as you soak up the green in these early spring boxes!
“There are five elements: earth, air, fire, water and garlic.”
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp plus ¼ tsp salt
4 large eggs, 2 whole and 2 separated
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup minced green garlic, lower white portion
¼ cup thinly sliced green garlic tops
2 Tbsp dry white wine
½ cup milk
5 cups (5 oz) spinach, finely chopped
Olive oil, for cooking
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt and form a well in the center. Add 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks and stir to mix with part of the flour from the mound. (Put the egg whites in the refrigerator until you are ready for that step.) Sprinkle with pepper. Add the garlic bulb and tops, wine, and then pour the milk in a slow stream, whisking as you go. Whisk until all the flour is incorporated and the mixture is creamy and mostly lump-free. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- When ready to cook the pancakes, remove the bowl from the fridge and fold in the spinach.
- In a clean bowl, beat the 2 egg whites with ¼ tsp salt with an electric mixer or a whisk until they form stiff peaks. Fold them into the batter with a spatula, working in a circular, up-and-down motion to avoid deflating the egg whites.
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Ladle about ¼ cup of the batter into the hot skillet, without flattening. Repeat to form as many pancakes as will comfortably fit in the skillet, probably no more than 4.
- Cook until the edges are set and the pancakes are golden underneath, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is set and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer them to a sheet tray (with a rack if available) and hold them in the oven set at the lowest heat setting while you finish cooking the pancakes. Grease the skillet again, and repeat with the remaining batter. You should have enough to make 10-12 pancakes.
- Serve hot. You may choose to add a dollop of sour cream or pesto on top, however they are also good just on their own! If you have any leftover pancakes, they reheat well in a toaster or toaster oven. Spread a layer of cream cheese on the reheated pancakes and enjoy them as a snack or for breakfast!
This recipe was adapted from Clotilde Dusoulier’s book, The French Market Cookbook. Her original recipe called for garlic cloves and Swiss chard, thus you can see this recipe may be adapted to the season! Clotilde also has a blog, chocolateandzucchini.com, where she writes about seasonal foods and shares simple, approachable recipes.
Creamy Green Garlic & Feta Dressing
Yield 1½ cups
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
⅔ cup green garlic (tops and bottoms), finely chopped
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste⅓ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine yogurt, mustard, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, green garlic, 1 tsp salt and black pepper. Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Fold in the feta cheese. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to come together. Taste before using and season to your liking with additional salt, pepper and lemon juice.
Serving Suggestions: This dressing is most appropriate for dressing more sturdy “salad greens” such as spinach and romaine lettuce. Toss the greens of your choosing with just enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves, then garnish with any other ingredients you might choose. A few additional ingredient suggestions that pair well with this dressing include olives, croutons, toasted almonds or sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and grilled asparagus. If you have extra dressing, use it as a dip for chips or vegetables or as a topping for a baked potato.
Recipe by Chef Andrea Yoder, Harmony Valley Farm