Ever end up with more lettuce than you can get through in a week? Here’s soup that a group of CSA members found to deal with extra lettuce!

Choisy Soup(From Ricardo & Friends, Ricardo Larrivée )
Yield: 4
Choisy Soup
1 x onion, chopped
2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
2 cups (500 ml) milk
3 cups (750 ml) chicken broth
3 cups (750 ml) potatoes, diced
Salt and pepper
6 cups (1.5 litres) left-over lettuce, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) sour cream
Cherry tomatoes cut in quarters
Choisy Soup
Soften the onions with butter in a saucepan until tender.
Add milk, chicken broth and potatoes.
Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Add the lettuce and continue heating for 3 to 4 minutes.
Pour the soup in a blender to obtain a smooth purée. Put the purée through a strainer. Adjust the seasoning.
Pour the soup into four bowls. Garnish with sour cream and the cherry tomatoes.

Working shares are a great help as we harvest and wash the produce. Pictured are CSA members John Bardwell, Kathy Ellis and one of our youngest helpers Katarina Wirtzfelf.

Ken and Yehuda digging potatoes with the horses. Ken also cultivates the brassicas with the horses.

The following is an email from CSA member, Helene Wyles, with a link for making ointment from calendual flowers as shown in the picture from our cutting garden.

Here is a link to make(edible) marigold ointment. I made it several years ago and gave it to a friend of mine who had sores on his legs. All the different meds the doctor prescribed did not help, but the ointment worked like a charm. I did use pure lard and the odour was not to my liking and I think vegetable shortening will work as well, the fat only is used to make the medicinal ingredients spreadable. Helene http://www.swedishbitters.com/calendula.htm

Are you wondering what to do with all the onions you received last week? Here is an idea for an unusual main course pie. There are more onions to come so if you have other good onion recipes please share them.

ONION PIE (Zwiebel Kuchen) from Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook c. 1959
A main-dish of German origin

Pastry for baked 10″ shell:
1 1/2 c. sifted flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
1/2 c. shortening
2 to 3 tbsp. water

3 c. peeled onions, thinly sliced
3 tbsp. melted butter, margarine or fat
1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. dairy sour cream
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, well beaten
3 tbsp. flour
Bacon slices

-Combine flour, salt and caraway. Add shortening; cut into flour until mixture resembles small peas and coarse cornmeal.
-Stir water in lightly with fork; stir until mixture adheres and follows fork around bowl.
-Turn onto floured board; roll to 1/8″ thickness. Fit into 10″ pie pan.
– Bake in hot oven (425 degrees F.) 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

To make filling:
Saute onions in fat until lightly browned. Spoon into pastry shell.
-Add milk, 1 1/4 c. cream and salt to eggs.
-Blend flour with remaining 1/4 c. cream. Combine with egg mixture; pour over onion mixture.
-Bake in slow oven (325 degrees F.) 30 minutes, or until firm in center.
-Garnish with crisp bacon. (optional) Makes 8 servings.

Here’s a picture of this year’s garden with corn in the background and next year’s garden covered with buckwheat in front of the corn. The onions have now been harvested and we had a bumper crop! Get out your onion recipes to share.
I am posting here recipes for corn cobs and one for Beet Brownies from Kathy Ellis as well as a creamed chard recipe from Paula Donahue.
Two recipes for corn cobs:

Corn Stock
6-10 corn cobs – uncooked, without kernels
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, white part only
2 cloves garlic
1 whole clove (the sweet type, not the garlic type)
2 thyme sprigs
4 quarts cold water

Combine all ingredients in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, skimming as needed, for 45 minutes. Taste, and if flavorful, remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. If a stronger flavor is preferred, continue cooking for an additional 15 to 20 minutes before straining. Makes about 4 quarts.

The note in the cookbook about this recipe: “this is the quickest and most flavorful vegetable stock around. So don’t serve corn on the cob, instead, cut the kernels off and cook them separately, then use the corn cobs as the “bones” for a stock.”

Note2: I tried this with cobs from cooked corn on the cob, and the flavor was subtle. The note with the recipe suggests that cobs from uncooked corn would have a more intense corn flavor.

Source: Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook, by Cindy Pawlcyn, with Brigid Callinan. 2001. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California. p. 220.

Corn Cob Syrup
6 medium corn cobs, kernels scraped off for another use, cobs broken into chunks
1 ¼ cups (packed) dark brown sugar

Place the cobs and 4 cups of water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook briskly over medium-high heat for 30 to 45 minutes, until liquid is reduced to about 2 cups.

Lift the cobs out of the liquid with a slotted spoon or wire strainer and discard. Add the sugar to the saucepan and bring to boil again, stirring to make sure the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to maintain a brisk simmer without boiling over and cook until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup and has the consistency of maple syrup, 10 to 20 minutes (depends on the size of pan).

Use right away, or cool and store in the refrigerator. Keeps indefinitely. Makes 1 cup.

The note in the cookbook about this recipe: “Perfect for pancakes, waffles, or oatmeal, it transforms corn fritters from a vegetable side dish into a quick dessert.”

Note2: I have not tried this yet, but it sounds intriguing!

Source Smith & Hawken Gardeners’ Community Cookbook. Compiled and written by Victoria Wise. 1999. Workman Publishing Company, New York, New York. p.256.

Black Raspberry and Beet Brownies with Chocolate Sour Cream Topping

4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
8 Tablespoons (1/4 pound) butter, room temp
4 small trimmed beets, cooked, peeled and puréed (~ ½ pound)
¾ cup black raspberry jam
2 large eggs
¼ salt
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 recipe chocolate sour cream topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch pan.

Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan or microwave bowl and heat until melted. Add the beets and ¼ cup of the jam and whisk to smooth. Set aside.

Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add the salt and beat until foamy. Add the sugar and vanilla, whisking until blended. Whisk in chocolate-beet mixture, add the flour and continue mixing until blended into a batter. Pour the batter into the baking pan.

Gently melt the remaining ½ cup jam without boiling (can use the microwave), and drizzle over the top of the batter. Use a knife to make a swirled pattern, lightly cutting through the batter. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool brownies before spreading topping onto the brownies (if using).

Will keep for up to 5 days if refrigerated.

Chocolate-Sour Cream Topping (optional)

5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1/3 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Spread on cooled brownies immediately.

Note: These are very rich with the topping, which can be omitted.

Source Smith & Hawken Gardeners’ Community Cookbook. Compiled and written by Victoria Wise. 1999. Workman Publishing Company, New York, New York. p. 256.

This is a very everyday dish in the southern Rhone country. Just how good it is depends mainly upon how much care one takes over the cream sauce. For 1 1/2 lb.s of blettes or poiree, the chard which one sees displayed for sale in huge bundles in every market in the southern Rhone country make a cream sauce with 1 1/2 oz. of butter, 2 tablespoons of flour, 3/4 pint of milk, seasonings of salt, pepper and nutmeg and about 3 oz. of double cream.
Melt the butter; then, off the stove, stir in the flour. When it is smooth start adding the warmed milk, little by little. When the mixture looks creamy, return the saucepan to a very low heat, add the rest of the milk. Season lightly with salt, freshly milled pepper and a scrap of nutmeg. Let the sauce almost imperceptibly bubble for fifteen to twenty minutes, stirring frequently.
Now add the cream. The sauce should be very smooth, ivory coloured and no thicker than cream. You can now if you like add a tablespoon or two of finely grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese, just as a seasoning. And if your sauce has turned lumpy, press it through a sieve.
Clean the chard, discard the hard leaf stalks and central veins, cook it in just a very little water, salt it lightly half way through the cooking. Drain it in a colander, press out excess moisture by putting a plate and weight on top. Chop it roughly.
In a gratin dish pour a little of your cream sauce. On top put the chard and cover with the rest of the sauce. The gratin dish should be quite full. Spread a few tiny knobs of butter over the surface, heat in a moderate oven, 350 degrees F., for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is just faintly golden and bubbling.
Of course, all this is a trouble to do, but it makes an excellent and not very expensive first dish for a luncheon for four people. It is one I often serve before a simple meat dish, beef, lamb or veal, which is probably already cooking in the oven before the vegetable dish goes in.

We appreciate the help of our Working Shares each week as we harvest and wash produce! To the right we have a picture of Intern Anna McFaul and CSA member Brian Minns washing spinach. Yesterday as I was speaking with another CSA Member I was reminded of a recipe she shared with me last season to use cabbage! I went digging in my recipe box and was happy to actually find it there. We had it for supper last night and it was enjoyed by all.
Cabbage and Red Lentils

(Serves 4 people)

1 ¼ cup red lentils
1 ½ tsp. turmeric
4 cups water
2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Mix together above ingredients and simmer until soft.

Heat 5 tbsp. vegetable oil in frying pan.
2 tsp. cumin
Fry for 1 minute
2-4 cloves garlic
Fry until brown
1 chopped onion
2 cups packed, finely grated cabbage
Fry until crisp

Mix cabbage mixture with lentils

Salt and green chili peppers to taste.
Cook together for 10 minutes.

Serve over rice.

It seems the Blog is beginning to stimulate some recipe exchange! I have been promised some recipes from other CSA members that I will post as they come in. Just email them to me and I’m happy to pop them onto the Blog. Coming soon…a yummy beet-brownie recipe and a corn cob stock recipe.

Here are two recipes from CSA member Carey Wood:

Baked Radicchio and Mozzarella Pasta

Total: 1 hr
Active: 25 mins
Makes: 6 to 8 servings
If you want to increase the bitter flavor of the dish, use more of the white ribs and core of the radicchio. If you want a sweeter flavor, use mostly the purple parts.
If you can’t find tasty tomatoes to make this dish, simply substitute a 28-ounce can of high-quality diced tomatoes.
The sauce and the pasta can be prepared and stored covered in the refrigerator in separate containers up to 1 day ahead. To assemble, heat the oven, pick up the recipe at step 4, and bake the mixture until it is heated through and golden brown (which may take a little longer than 20 minutes).
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 medium white onion, small dice (about 1 cup)
7 medium Roma tomatoes (about 2 pounds), cored and coarsely chopped
3 heads Treviso radicchio (about 4 cups), ends trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound penne rigate or ziti pasta
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, small dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup finely grated ParmigianoReggiano
Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange the rack in the upper third. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it foams, add garlic and onion, season well with salt, and cook until translucent. Add tomatoes and let simmer until slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Add radicchio and cream, and cook until radicchio is wilted, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in the salted water for about half the time recommended on the packaging and drain. (Do not rinse.) Set aside.
Once sauce has finished simmering, combine it with half-cooked pasta and mix until pasta is evenly coated. Place pasta mixture in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and sprinkle mozzarella and Parmigiano over top. Place in the oven and bake until mixture is bubbling, pasta is al dente, and top is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Chocolate Beet cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, Canola or corn oil
1 1/2 cups grated cooked beets
2 teaspoons vanilla
powdered sugar, optional
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine flour, soda, salt, sugar and cocoa in a bowl; set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs and oil. Beat in vanilla and continue beating until well blended. Slowly beat in dry ingredients until well mixed; stir in beets. Pour into a greased and floured 9×13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25 to 35 minutes, or until cake bounces back when touched lightly with finger.
Cool in pan on a rack. Frost cooled cake or dust with powdered sugar.

Cut your own flowers are available to all CSA members on your pick-up day in the side garden west of the house. Scissors are in the pick-up room under the blackboard. Keep your eye out for butterflies as you pick your bouquet.
If you get too many beets in the fridge and don’t know what to do with them try this pickle recipe. The cider vinegar makes it not quite so sharp.
Ken’s Mom’s Pickled Beets
Cook beets with the skins on and then peel and cut into chunks. Fill jars with beets. Boil the following ingredients together to make a syrup and pour it over the prepared beets. Let them stand in the fridge for a week before eating. If you need more syrup to cover your prepared beets just make another batch. If you have too much syrup, just save it in the fridge until you have more beets.
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1/2 cups water
4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seed