Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Newsletter w/c 13th September 2010

I had a fine day at the Balerno farmers market last Saturday. The weather was good and although there didn’t seem to be a s many people about, I was never long without a customer, and lots of friends, family and customers came out for a chat as well so it was a grand day. In the afternoon, we’d arranged a Junior Highland Games for the children around Cobbinshaw and some friends. We had 15 children split up into 3 age groups and it worked really well with events ranging from throwing the wellie to the potato and spoon race and a stamina-sapping cross-country, with a mixed adult and children tug-of-war as the grand finale.

Here’s a list of what’s in the standard bag this week. As usual, substitutions may occur.
Potato Solanum tuberosum. Tatties this week are either Robinta (red skins) or Remarka(large, white skins), both are good general purpose potatoes. It’s so good to have our own tatties again. We’re bagging them straight from the field at the moment so the sizes will vary. They are very easy to prepare when they’re as fresh as this and really only need a wash and a scrub. Potatoes are the only commonly available source of B3 and Iodine. Excellent source of Vitamin C and also Vitamin B6, Potassium and fibre.

Onion Allium cepa. You may receive some of our own onions this week. They are the best onions I’ve ever grown. I have red and white varieites so could be either or a mixture. They haven’t been dried yet so they’re full of flavour. Used in stews, pasta dishes, soups. Source of Vitamins A and C, Iron, Calcium and Potassium .

Carrot Daucus carota Carrots are eaten fresh in salads or cooked in just about any way you like..They are an excellent source of Vitamin A and also contain significant amounts of Vitamins B, C, D, E and K. and Potassium.

Mixed Salad various. The salads are growing well this year. There’s a mixture of lettuce, endive, eraclea and herbs. When you receive your bag, rinse the salad leaves thoroughly to remove any traces of soil that may have attached, then drain in a salad spinner or colandar. Pop back into a sealed bag or box and store in the fridge until ready for use. Will keep for over a week easily.

Leek Alllium porrum (2 head) Leeks are used to give a creamy texture to soups. They can also be served as an accompanying vegetable, and may be boiled, braised, steamed or fried. To prepare, cut off the root base and any damaged upper leaves. Rinse in running cold water to wash away the grit that gets caught between the leaves. Boil in minimum of salted water. Whole or halved leeks need 15-20 minutes while rings and slices need about 10 minutes. Drain then return to the pan to steam off any remaining water. Serve with a knob of butter, or coated in a white sauce or cheese sauce.

Cauliflower Brassica oleracea Botrytis Group (1 head) – Excellent source of Vitamin C and also a decent source of Vitamin B6, folic acid, pantothenic acid, fibre and potassium. To prepare, cut off the outer leaves. There is no need to remove the inner, tender leaves and the pale green base leaves. Trim the end of the stalk flush with the base of the cauliflower and cut a cross in it with a sharp knife. Boil the cauli in lightly salted boiling water for 12-15 minutes if whole or 8-10 minutes if the florets are split up. If you received the romanesco then this applies to you:
Romanesco Brassica oleracea Italica Group (1 head). This alien looking vegetable is a member of the brassica family and sits somewhere between broccoli and cauliflower. Treat as cauli to cook, probably tastes more towards the broccoli. Excellent source of Vitamin C and phytochemicals and also contains Vitamins A, B2 and B6, Phosphorus, fibre Iron and calcium. Here’s a recipe for Roast Cauli/Romanesco with Chilli and Soy that I was recently given and will do for either
Toss 350g of Cauli or Romanesco, broken into florets, in a tablespoon of olive oil. Cut the stalks into thick batons. Spread them all out on a baking tray and roast in a preheated oven for 10 mins at 200oC/Gas Mark 6 for 10 mins.Add 2 thinly sliced cloves of the garlic, ½ a red chilli, finely chopped and ½ a tablespoon of sesame seeds and mix through. Return to the oven for 5 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven, sprinkle with soy sauce and serve

Kohl Rabi Brassica oleracea Gongylodes Group (1 head) – Our friend, Graham, sent me an e-mail saying he had some nice kohl-rabi this week. As our kohl-rabi failed this year, I decided to try some. When Andy brought them back I couldn’t believe the size of them. You may need to find a couple more recipes for this amount. I’ve given you one recipe below to get you started. I won’t have kohl-rabi in the standard bag for a little while to clear any backlog. Excellent source of vitamin C and potassium. These swollen stem bases are great eaten raw, but can be cooked. Just peel off the outer skin and slice or dice the inner flesh. To cook, blanch for 5 minutes in boiling water with a little added lemon juice, then refresh in cold water. Cook the kohl-rabi for 10-15 minutes in a minimal amount of boiling, lightly salted, water, adding butter at a rate of 3oz per lb of vegetable. Serve with a little of the cooking liquid