VICTOR’S FARM SHARES – WEEK ONE (June 1/15)

In your basket this week:

  • Rhubarb
  • Arugula
  • Spinach/lettuce mix
  • Onions
  • Radishes
  • Oregano

A word on storing/using your produce…

Of most importance for all of your produce is to store it as quickly as possible in your fridge.  This cannot be stressed enough.  The quicker you get it into a cool environment, the longer it will keep. Our hope is, though, that it will all be consumed before this time next week!

Rhubarb–

Can be kept in the fridge for a least a week. Rinse it under cold running water and place in a plastic bag. We like it fresh used in muffins, cake, platz, or as plain rhubarb sauce.  To freeze, cut about 1/4” off both ends, chop into 1/2” chunks, put in a freezer bag and freeze.

Spinach/Lettuces/Arugula–

As soon as possible (especially if the lettuce has been picked wet due to rain), wash your lettuces by dumping it into the sink or a large bowl filled with cold water.  Gently swish the lettuces in the water.  If there is a lot of soil on the lettuce, rinse it again under cold running water as you take it out of the sink or bowl and then place it in a spinner and spin thoroughly.  Pack it lightly in a clean plastic bag (just re-use the one we give you but make sure it is clean and dried) and store in fridge.  If you do this as soon as you get your lettuce home, it will stay fresh for a least a week or two, depending on the type of lettuce.  Oakleaf lettuce is the most tender kind we grow and it should be eaten within a few days.

Oregano (and most other leaf herbs)–

Wash and store as for lettuces. Cut the stems off and chop finely or crush before using in salads, sauces, marinades, on pizza, etc.

Onions and Radishes–

You don’t have to wash these before storing.  Simply place in a plastic bag in the fridge.  The onions this week are young and tender and both the greens and bulb are delicious.  Onions keep longer if you leave the root ends on while storing.  Similarly, radishes keep longer with their green leaves on.

Generally, having your produce washed and ready to use in the fridge makes it much easier to grab for a snack or meal and we find that doesn’t end up hanging around in the fridge until limp and useless.

Recipe (Find more here): 

Picking for first day of 2015 farm shares and a neighbour from Welland dropped by to admire the gardens.  He told me of an Italian recipe his wife makes with fresh arugula so I thought I’d try it.  There are no exact measurements but this will give you the idea:
  • Chopped green onions
  • Chopped fresh oregano (he didn’t have this in his recipe but I thought it couldn’t hurt!)
  • Saute in butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Add fresh chopped tomatoes (we will have to wait a bit for those so I used some canned ones from last fall).
  • Stir into hot cooked pasta along with fresh arugula.
  • Pasta Primivera!
I am not a pasta lover so this doesn’t get a 5 star rating from me.  But it certainly is fresh tasting and I’m sure our neighbour made a much better version than I as I sent him home happy with his own bag of arugula.

Find more recipes here

Oregano/Scape Pesto

Oregano/Scape Pesto:

Mix together in food processor:
1 -2 c. oregano leaves
1 c. garlic scapes, seed pod ends removed
2 tbsp. olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp salt or to taste

Pulse until well blended and fine. You may need to add more juice or oil or water to get a consistency that is easy to spread.

Use on anything you can dream up….pizza, crackers, fresh bread, pasta, etc.
I made some wraps:
– spread tortillas with goat cheese
– spread oregano/scape pesto on top
– top with artichokes, roasted red peppers and chopped olives
– roll up and slice into bite size pieces
(I was out of the red peppers and olives–but they still tasted great!)

OREGANO/HAZELNUT PESTO

One idea for lots of fresh oregano…
Ingredients —
  • 15 hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh oregano, washed, and chopped
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped – use your wild garlic!
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces fettuccine (uncooked weight) or pasta of choice
  • Optional garnish: fresh oregano leaves, chopped tomato

Method —

1. While pasta is cooking in salted water….

2. Toast hazelnuts in a dry saute pan on medium heat, stirring constantly until they are browned. Remove immediately. Using a hand-chopper, pulse until very fine.

3. Add the oregano, salt and garlic and continue chopping.  You can use a food processor for this if desired.  Add the oil and use a grinding motion to further reduce the pesto to a paste. (If you wish this step may be done in a food processor.)

4. Heat oil in saute pan and add the above.

5. Lift the pasta directly from the cooking water to the pan with tongs, allowing some of the water to ride along. Over high heat, stir and toss the pasta and pesto for a minute or two to allow the sauce to thoroughly coat the strands, adding a little more pasta water if necessary to produce a slightly creamy consistency to the sauce. Add the parmesan cheese.

6. If desired, garnish with a few oregano leaves and a spoonful or two of chopped tomato.

Delicious!  Serve with a simple arugula side salad with 3-2-1 dressing and some goat cheese.