Several days of blue skies and sun have begun to shrink some of the puddles and to dry out the fields a little. Last week we were able to pull out old plants by hand and to then directly transplant some new starts. It was quite a muddy process but we are hopeful that they will grow well. We made another batch of potting mix using our own compost. The starts we have begun in the greenhouse with our mix seem to be doing well. When we work with our own mix, the difference in how it feels in our hands and how is smells is remarkable; it is soft and fluffy. Our big project this week is to plant asparagus. It will take several years for it to produce an abundant amount but it is worth the wait.
This week's pick list
- Brussel sprouts
Tourte Aux Bettes, adapted from nytimes.com
2 cups unbleached flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup water
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound swiss chard leaves, or substitute spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
3 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the chard in a large, shallow frying pan and season with salt and pepper. Over low heat, wilt the chard and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Combine the eggs and the cheese in a medium-size bowl and mix until thoroughly blended. Stir in the chard, mix well, then pour the vegetable mixture into the prepared tart tin.
Bake until the crust is golden and the chard mixture is firm and browned, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool. Serve at room temperature.
PREPARE THE PASTRY:
Combine the flour and salt in a medium-size bowl. Stir in the water, then the oil, mixing until thoroughly blended. Knead briefly. The dough will be very moist, much like a cookie dough. Press the dough into a 10 1/2-inch metal tart tin with a removable bottom.
PREPARE THE FILLING:
Wash and dry the green leafy portion of the chard, discarding the center white stem. Break up the leaves and chop them, in several batches, in a food processer.