Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Box Deconstructed- 6/15/2017

Cooking with This Week’s Box!

“Great cooking is about being inspired by the simple things around you — fresh markets, 

various spices. It doesn’t necessarily have to look fancy.”
 – G. Garvin

Before we get cooking with this week’s box, I’d like to welcome any new members who are just joining us for the start of our Peak Season Vegetable shares.  Please take a moment 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. 

Ok, lets dive into this week’s box.  It’s been a whirlwind of strawberry picking over the past two weeks so I’ve got strawberries on my mind and am thinking a batch of Buttermilk Pancakes with fresh strawberries and whipped cream sounds pretty good for weekend brunch!  Farmer Richard always likes bacon with his pancakes so we’ll add that to weekend brunch as well.  I’ll set aside a few pieces of cooked bacon though so I can use it to make a Tossed Bacon, Egg and Spinach Salad with a honey-mustard bacon dressing. If you prefer a vegetarian spinach salad option, check out this recipe for a Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Feta Dressing.  

The featured vegetable in this week’s box is garlic scapes.  When you see garlic scapes, you know garlic harvest will be coming soon!  Use this week’s garlic scapes to make a Creamy Garlic Scape Dressing. This is a recipe flashback to one of our June 2003 newsletters.  This recipe can be made thick and used as a dip or thinned out and used as a dressing.  The original recipe called for dried dill, but why use dried dill when you have a bunch of fresh dill in this week’s box!  Take the outer leaves of the green Boston and tear them into bite sized pieces along with the red oak lettuce.  Dress these beautiful lettuces with this creamy garlic scape dressing and top it off with chunks of avocado, a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese and some cooked chicken or salmon to make an entrée salad for lunch or dinner. Use the inner leaves of the Green Boston to make the Butter Lettuce Cups with Peaches and Blue Cheese, featured in our Fruit Share newsletter this week. This is a recipe from the Masumoto Family Farm in California. Either enjoy the salad on its own for a light lunch or dinner or serve it with a grilled pork chop or a slice of ham.

This will be our last week for baby white turnips until our fall plantings come in.  I’ve been eating them in salads, but this week I think I’d like to make Braised Turnips and Greens to serve with a piece of broiled fish.  If you have some of the fresh dill remaining, chop it up and add it to a little melted butter.  Pour it over the fish and finish it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  It will be a simple yet delicious dinner! 

It’s been awhile since I have made Braised Pork Shoulder with Rhubarb-Red Wine Sauce, so I think that will be on the menu this week.  This recipe was featured in one of our June 2013 newsletters.  Serve this with some simple Sauteed Broccoli Raab or Red Russian Kale for dinner along with a piece of warm, crusty bread to sop up the sauce!

That brings us to the end of this week’s box.   I hope to see you at our Strawberry Day party this weekend. If you come, you might get a sneak peak at our zucchini field.  Farmer Richard said it’s almost time to start picking!  Have a great week!—Chef Andrea 

Featured Vegetable:  Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes are the long, skinny, green vegetable with a lot of curl that you’ll find in this week’s box.  Up until the early 90’s we used to remove scapes from the garlic plant and throw them on the ground!  We were the first farm in the Midwest to start harvesting the scapes for use as a vegetable.  In the early 90’s there was a woman from Korea who asked us to save the garlic scapes for her so she could make pickles. We thought this was odd (remember we used to throw them on the ground), but saved some for her anyway. She shared a jar of pickled scapes with us and we realized how good they are for eating! We stopped throwing them away and started eating them!

  Garlic scapes are a curly shoot that forms on a hardneck garlic plant, which is the only variety we grow, and grows up from the center of the plant in June. This is part of nature’s plan for the plant to propagate itself. The scape extends from the middle of the plant and forms a small bulb on its end. If left to choose its own destiny, that bulb would eventually fall over and plant itself in the soil. Right now we want the garlic plant to focus its energy into producing a nice bulb of garlic, so we remove the scape from the plant. 

  Nearly the entire scape is edible and are best when harvested young and tender. You may need to trim off the skinny end near the little bulb as it is tough sometimes.  Garlic scapes are very tender and do not need to be peeled….Easy! Scapes have a bright, mild garlic flavor. They can be used in any recipe that calls for garlic cloves, just chop them up and add them as you would clove garlic. They are a great addition to eggs, are tasty when mixed with butter to use as a spread, or toss them into a stir-fry. They’ll keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. 
Tempura Garlic Scapes
Yield:  3-4 as an appetizer
1 bunch garlic scapes
3 cups vegetable oil for deep frying
1 egg yolk
1 cup ice water
2-3 ice cubes
1 cup flour, cake or all-purpose
1.   Prepare the scapes:  Cut off the stringy tip from the flower end.  Cut each scape in half or thirds, so that each piece measures about 4 to 6 inches in length. 
2.  Fill a heavy pot with tall sides (something with a wide opening is ideal) with the oil to a depth of at least one inch.  Use a deep fry thermometer to gauge the temperature—it should be steady at 360°F.  Maintaining a consistent temperature is important. 
3.  While the oil is heating, line a sheet pan with paper towels and set aside.  Place the egg yolk in a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Mix the egg yolk with 1 cup of cold water.  Add 1/8 cup of ice cubes.

4.  Add 1 cup of flour.  Hold four chopsticks with their tips pointed down and stab at the flour to combine it with the liquid until a loose, lumpy batter forms, about thirty seconds.  Do not whisk, and do not use a fork—the batter should be barely mixed with pockets of dry flour visible.  The liquid will be the consistency of heavy cream.

5.  Dip a scape into the batter, then gently lower into the oil.  Repeat until there are 5 or 6 scapes in the oil.  It is important not to overcrowd the pan.  Note:  Do not rush through the frying process by crowding the pan—the scapes won’t cook properly.
6.  Cook until the batter turns golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes total.  Remove the scapes from the oil using a slotted spoon, and place them on the paper towel-lined tray to drain.  Season with a pinch of salt immediately, then repeat the dipping and frying with the remaining scapes.

7.   Serve immediately with aioli.  If you have garlic scapes remaining from last week, you can use them to make Garlic Scape Aioli.  The recipe may be found at as an accompaniment to this recipe.

Photos credit:
Recipe adapted from Alexandra Stafford’s recipe featured at
Garlic Scape Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
4-5 garlic scapes, finely chopped

1 ½ Tbsp dried dill or 3 Tbsp fresh dill

3 Tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

Milk, as needed to thin it to desired consistency

1.      Mix all ingredients except for the milk in a blender.  Blend until all ingredients are well-combined. 
2.     Add milk as needed to thin it to the desired consistency. If you are using it as a dip or spread, you will want it to be thicker.  If you want to use it as a salad dressing, thin it with a little more milk. 
3.     Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in the refrigerator.

Photo Credit: Diana Rattray
This recipe may be found on our website in our recipe database.  It was originally featured in our June 2003 newsletter and was created by Lee Davenport who was the farm chef!

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