Week 3 – June 28, 2017
This week we begin to branch out a little from the fast-growing greens of the early season. I have been trying to keep the kids out of the glass house all week in order to protect the cucumbers, with limited success! The spring mix has finally graduated into the salad mix of summer, with the addition of the cutting lettuce that took weeks longer to be harvestable than it did last year. Our salad mix has lots of different greens in it, and can change week to week depending on how fast things are growing. I sow a new batch every week, and we harvest multiple times for the CSA, our market and farm stand, and Turkey Red restaurant in Palmer. In theory the mix includes baby lettuce, rainbow chard, Bull’s Blood beet greens, arugula, mizuna, ruby streaks mustard, baby kale, tatsoi, pea shoots, and a thick spiky green called minutina (though that one has not been germinating well this year so far). More spinach this week, and spinach being the fast bolter it is we might not see it in such quantities again until the fall end of the season. The napa cabbage (also called Chinese cabbage) is a fast growing loose cabbage good for tender slaws, wraps, or even kim chee if you are inspired. You will probably see more of it in the next few weeks as it is a good fast early option. Yes, more bok choi! Enjoy it in its season of plenty, it is such a versatile vegetable it can just make an appearance as a side dish. I grilled some the other night and though I overspiced and then overgrilled it (clearly I was distracted….) it was delicious! The broccoli raab the full share are getting is another early offering you might not see again – it also cannot handle the Alaskan summer sun without bolting, so it is hard to get much worth harvesting past the first early sowing. By late season it comes back, but by then we are usually drowning in much other bounty! It is traditional to Italian cuisine and has a distinctive flavor which can be polarizing. The Italians like it sautéed with garlic and parmesan on pasta. The girls and I prefer it roasted in the oven with a little tamari or salt on it.
Next week we ARE going to have a harvest, but I am going to be going to down to Oregon for a command family visit over the fourth. Alex will be in charge in my absence. Most of you have met her and her little ones over the years, she is running the Wednesday farm stand and was with us most days at the South Anchorage Market last summer. She and I will be communicating all week, but there might be some glitches regarding newsletters! I will be posting the newsletter on the website next Wednesday though we will try to have hard copies available as well. Be patient with us, and if you have any changes or requests please text me as usual and I will handle it – 707-3123. Also, if you get home and find that there is something missing from your share please just let me know and I will take care of it!! Mistakes definitely happen, and especially at the beginning of the season when everyone is still trying to figure out how to work a big harvest together.
Full Shares Small Shares
Salad Mix Salad Mix
Napa Cabbage Napa Cabbage
Bok Choi Bok Choi
Green Onions Green Onions
Chinese Napa Cabbage Salad
1 (3 ounce) package chicken flavored ramen noodles
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
1 large head napa cabbage, shredded
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/8 cup white sugar
Crush noodles, place them in a medium skillet and brown in butter over medium heat. Add almonds and sesame seeds. Stir often to prevent burning. Add seasoning mix from noodles and cool. Toss in a large bowl with cabbage and onions.
Prepare the dressing by whisking together the vegetable oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Pour over salad, toss and serve.
Sweet and Spicy Pork and Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry
12 ounces dry Chinese noodles
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (1 pound) pork loin, cut into 2-inch strips
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 onions, cut into bite-size pieces
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
3 cups chopped napa cabbage
3/4 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced carrots
3 red bell peppers, chopped
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the Chinese noodles, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 5 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.
Whisk together the 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 3/4 cup sweet chili sauce, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, the ground ginger, and the sesame oil in a large bowl; add the drained Chinese noodles and toss to coat; set aside.
Whisk together the 1/2 cup soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in a large bowl; add the pork and stir to coat. Allow to marinate 5 minutes.
Heat the cooking oil in a wok or a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork, onions, and red pepper flakes to the oil; cook until the pork is browned completely. Stir in 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce, the napa cabbage, celery, carrots, and bell peppers; cook and stir until vegetables are completely heated, about 5 minutes. Whisk together the cornstarch and water and add to the stir fry, stirring until the mixture thickens. Serve the stir-fry over the noodles.