Pick Your Own Flowers

The flower field is full now and ready to be picked. Please be ready to venture out there to cut your own flowers. Regina or I will be working in the field to direct you if need be. Also, the clarkia in the wildflower circle around the herb garden make a great cut flower. There is an abundance of beauty out there!

 Clarkia in bloom.

Clarkia in bloom.

This week's pick list:

  • Zuchinni and Summer Squash
  • Carrot
  • Beet
  • Potato
  • Dill, Cilantro, Basil, and Parsley
  • Escarole and Treviso
  • Lettuce
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Tatsoi
  • Kale
  • Collard
  • Chard
  • Turnip
  • Radish
  • Pac Choy
  • Scallions
  • Fennel
  • Kohlrabi
  • Strawberries

It is the first harvest of zucchini and summer squash and while we are excited right now, soon we may be overwhelmed. Luckily, there are so many delicious ways to cook it.

Summer Squash Gratin Recipe (Adapted from 101cookbooks.com)

  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 1/2 pounds summer squash or zucchini, cut into 1/6th-inch slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs*
  • 1/2 pound waxy potatoes, sliced transparently thin
  • 3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese, grated on a box grater (or feta might be good!)

Preheat oven to 400F degrees and place a rack in the middle. Rub a 9x9 gratin pan (or equivalent baking dish) with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with lemon zest, and set aside.

Place the zucchini slices into a colander placed over a sink, toss with the sea salt and set aside for 10-15 minutes (to drain a bit) and go on to prepare the oregano sauce and bread crumbs.

Make the sauce by pureeing the oregano, parsley, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes, and olive oil in a food processor or using a hand blender. Set aside.

Make the breadcrumbs by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until the butter is wonderfully fragrant, and has turned brown. Wait two minutes, then stir the breadcrumbs into the browned butter.

Transfer the squash to a large mixing bowl. Add the potatoes and two-thirds of the oregano sauce. Toss until everything is well coated. Add the cheese and half of the bread crumbs and toss again. Taste one of the zucchini pieces and add more seasoning (salt or red pepper) if needed.

Transfer the squash to the lemon-zested pan, top with the remaining crumbs, and bake for somewhere between 40 and 50 minutes - it will really depend on how thinly you sliced the squash and potatoes - and how much moisture was still in them. You don't want the zucchini to go to mush, but you need to be sure the potatoes are fully baked. If the breadcrumbs start to get a little dark, take a fork and rake them just a bit, that will uncover some of the blonder bits. Remove from oven, and drizzle with the remaining oregano sauce.

Serves about 8 as a side.

*To make breadcrumbs cut the crust off 2-3 day old artisan bread. Tear into pieces the size of your thumb, and give a quick whirl in the food processor. I don't like my breadcrumbs too fine - and tend to leave the pieces on the large size - more like little pebbles than grains of sand.

Shaved Fennel Salad (Adapted from 101cookbooks.com)

If you're using a knife to prep here, do your best to slice things very, very thinly - not quite see through thin, but close

  • 1 medium-large zucchini, sliced into paper thin coins
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and shaved paper-thin
  • 2/3 cup loosely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • fine grain sea salt
  • Honey, if needed
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Combine the zucchini, fennel and dill in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice, olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside and marinate for 20 minutes, or up to an hour.

Taste and adjust with more of the dressing, olive oil, lemon juice, or salt if needed. If the lemons were particularly tart, you may need to counter the pucker-factor by adding a tiny drizzle of honey into the salad at this point. Let your taste buds guide you. Serve topped with almonds and feta.

Serves 4 to 6.

 Green Heron Summer Camp observing a red tailed hawk during their morning circle.

Green Heron Summer Camp observing a red tailed hawk during their morning circle.

Last Thursday, the Green Heron Summer Camp came to the farm for the day. Their energy and enthusiasm was infectious. It was wonderful to share the farm with them. They ran through the herb garden, played with Rosie, harvested wildflower seeds, swam in the pond, and much more.