Promises, promises

    

Promises can be elusive. Anything could happen. Flooding, hail, disease seem just as possible as hot sunny days with just the right amount of moisture. But so far this year, the season’s promises are being fulfilled — and the threats amounting to less than it appeared they might. Judy has push cultivated nearly the entire garden(s) to restore soil texture after last weekend’s flooding and our plants could not be happier. Even some of the summer turnips, that we thought had succumbed to excess moisture, pulled through, allowing us to send a final batch this week.

With the rain and the sun, we can daily see the signs of summer advancing. Above are some photos I took on Sunday featuring some of the veggies you can expect in the coming weeks — a zucchini in bloom, baby beans (which we will send with the next orders), and ripening cherry tomatoes.

Meanwhile, the promises of spring are being met with ever-increasing quantities of peas. This week we sent about 2/3 pail (our gallon measuring pail) each of shelling peas and sugar snap peas, and we expect to have even more next week. The green onions are at their prime as well, and we sent your first bunch on Sunday, along with some more of the multipliers. And we can’t forget the first baby carrots of the season!

The greens continue to thrive, and we sent lots of lettuce, perpetual spinach, mustard greens, and kale, as well as a tiny bit of spinach. In the herb bag you will find several more sprigs of New Zealand spinach and this week’s new green: sorrel. The variety is called bloody dock sorrel and it features prominent red veins through the green leaves. Sorrel has a lemony taste, and we find it a nice accent in salads — small quantities finely chopped. If anyone could use more lettuce or cooking greens, please let us know. We don’t want to overwhelm, but there’s lots for anyone who can use them.

Rounding out your orders are this week’s herbs: summer savory, parsley (both flat-leaved and curled), and basil, and another beautiful bunch of beets.

I made a wonderful beet and green salad yesterday that I thought you might also enjoy:

Roasted Beet Salad (from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health)

4 medium beets (4-5 oz each)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

dash of ground pepper

Peel and cube the beets (1/2″ to 1″). Toss them with the oil, salt and pepper and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in a 400 oven for 15 minutes, stir, and return to the oven until tender, about 10 minutes. (I forgot mine in the oven all morning — something you can get away with with a wood stove! — and they were fabulous, so I recommend not skimping on the roasting time!)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp orange juice

1/2 tsp salt

1 garlic clove, minced

 

Mix together and toss 2 Tbsp of dressing with the beets when tender.

 

8 cups salad greens (I used a mixture of lettuce, spinach, New Zealand spinach, and sorrel)

1/2 cup crumbled chevre, feta, ricotta salata or blue cheese

1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (I omitted due to allergies but I’m sure they’d be lovely for those who can eat them!)

Arrange the salad greens on each of six plates and mound the beets on top. Top each salad with about a Tablespon each of cheese and pecans. Pass the remaining dressing at the table. (Since I was making the dish for a potluck, I just mixed it all together in a salad bowl with most of the beets and cheese on top, and, though less elegant, this worked too.)

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