Monday, June 27, 2011

2011 CSA Week 5

The farm is nearly full. After months of starting seeds and transplanting seedlings the season has turned to summer and the only corner of our fields unoccupied by vegetable crops is that in which a puddle precluded us from planting cucumbers at the beginning of this week. At times of great activity on the farm, when there is no planting bed that doesn't require attention and to weed or harvest or trellis one crop is to do so at the temporary expense of another crop of equal need, I am reminded that all such work is precipitated by the relatively calm act of planting a seed. But to plant a seed is to commit to the lifespan of the plant it produces, and in the way that work begets work we now find ourselves caring for a crowd unruly compared to the kernels we introduced to the soil during the first days of March. Each seed contains not only the potential of a plant and its vegetable crop, but the map our work that will follow its sowing. The hustle and care and attention that structures our days in this part of the season was present in each seed we sowed during a quieter time, and if we are surprised to find that they have grown to fill the ground around us it is because we remember that time, and it was not long ago.

The share this week:

Green Curly Kale
Rainbow Chard
Dandelion Greens
Chioggia Beets
Napa Cabbage
Purple Top Turnips
Baby Bok Choi
Sugar Snap Peas

Notes about the food:

* The Napa cabbage is adding some heft to the share this week. It is excellent either cooked or raw, and each head is large enough that you have the opportunity to try it both ways. I'll include a recipe for basic sauteed Napa cabbage, and two recipes for raw cabbage salads, but the variations are endless. From The New York Times, Food and Wine Magazine, and The Seattle Times, in that order:

Sauteed Napa Cabbage

1 large or 2 small Napa cabbages (about 2 pounds), cut horizontally into 1 1/2-inch chunks
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a sink filled with cold water, wash the cabbage, lifting it in and out of the water, and drain in a colander. Heat the oil in a saucepan until hot, add the butter, and as soon as it melts add the wet cabbage. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, until the cabbage is wilted and tender but still slightly firm. The cabbage will sizzle initially and then will stew as the water emerges from it. Mix in the pepper and salt and serve immediately.

Napa Cabbage Salad

1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 pound Napa cabbage, chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350. In a pie plate, bake the almonds for 5 minutes. Let cool.

2. In a bowl, mix the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. Add the cabbage, scallions, and cilantro and toss. Add the almonds and season with pepper. Toss again and serve.

Napa Cabbage Slaw

8 cups shredded Napa cabbage
3 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 fresh mint leaves

In a large bowl, toss together cabbage and carrots. In a small bowl, combine sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Stir until sugar dissolves, then pour over cabbage mixture. Toss until slaw is coated and top with mint leaves.

* It is not a summer crop, but we planted a late bed of bok choi just to see what would happen. What is happening is the plants are beginning to flower while small, so we are harvesting them this week, bunching several together, and calling them baby bok choi. You'll notice their appearance is slightly buckshot. Unlike their springtime counterparts, we didn't cover the plants in this succession with floating row cover (they wouldn't have made it even to this size with the additional heat), and as a result they were preyed upon by brassica-loving insects. Be assured that the taste isn't compromised. Try this recipe from a magazine called Real Simple (and note that it includes cilantro, which is not in the share this week but will soon enter the rotation of herbs we offer):

Bok Choi and Pineapple Slaw

1 pound baby bok choi, thinly sliced
2 cups thinly sliced pineapple
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper

In a medium bowl, toss the bok choi, pineapple, and cilantro with the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Let sit 15 minutes before serving.

* I like white vegetables. Two weeks ago I visited the Harvard Museum of Natural History for the first time, and in a special exhibit called The Language of Color I enjoyed looking at an arctic fox and some other white mammals, but nowhere was it mentioned how refreshing it is to cut into a vegetable such as a turnip and be greeted by a pristine round of the color. To do so has a cooling effect on a warm day, and I think some of that refreshement translates to their taste when eaten raw. Grate them over a salad or chop them into matchsticks to enjoy with hummus or another vegetable-friendly dip. Or, if you can bear to sully their arctic complexion (and turn on the oven during summer), try them roasted. A friend of the farm recently improvised a pan of roasted turnips sweetened with maple syrup, and a quick internet search led me to something similar, with embellishments. From Fine Cooking:

Roasted Turnips with Maple and Cardamom

3 1/2 pounds purple top turnips, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
kosher salt
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 475, and line baking pan with foil. In a mixing bowl, combine turnips, oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Toss to coat well. Place turnips in pan, and roast for 20 minutes. With a large spatual, flip the turnips, and continue to roast until tender and nicely browned on a few sides, about 15-20 more minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in maple syrup, vanilla, and red pepper flakes, and then the coriander and cardamom, until sauce is heated, about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.

Transfer the turnips to a large mixing bowl. Gently reheat the sauce, if necessary, and stir in the lemon juice. Toss the suace with the turnips. Add half the cilantro and salt to taste and toss again. Garnish with remaining cilantro and serve.

* We can't discuss pigmentation without mentioning the chioggia beets that are in this week's share. The red and white bullseye pattern of their flesh will blend to a uniform pink when they are cooked, but take a minute to enjoy their unique pattern before subjecting them to heat. Their light-red skin is pleasing too, and is matched by a set of leaves that are a lighter green than those of standard red beets. Be sure to eat those greens as well as the root (beets are closely related to chard, so beet greens combine well with that crop), and note that the beet itself will have a milder, less "beety" flavor than their solid red counterparts.

CSA Notes:

* The landscape of the farm is not the only thing that is nearly full. Our CSA is five shares away from being fully enrolled, and we expect those shares to sell soon. If you are one of the several members who has asked about the availability of additional shares, and if you or a friend are still interested in purchasing one, please act quickly.

Monday, June 20, 2011

2011 CSA Week 4

I have had other reasons to think about the cyclical nature of our work. (And this is why you read the blog, right? Recipes, tips about the food, and notes from my ongoing attempt to navigate the flow of time?) Last fall, when the CSA season ended and November slowed our work on the farm, I left the area and stayed away for the coldest parts of the year. (Joshua remained for a longer time, putting the farm to bed and ensuring that all would be orderly upon our return at the end of winter.) I packed my things and moved out of the house where I had been renting a room, knowing that I'd return to Dover and to the farm but unsure whether I would return to the same living situation. And so, when I did return after four months to the same room I had recently vacated, the psychological distance created by my departure was disproportionate to the time that had passed, and as I moved back in I had the disorienting sense of nostalgia for a living space I also felt I had never left. (I was happy to be back. The house was built in the second half of the eighteenth century, and the room I occupy is in the oldest part of the house. The ceiling is inches above my head and the wooden furnishings rattle at my step, so I often feel like a giant. It is likely that easy access to nutritional resources more complete than those widely available in 1760 has helped skew the height:ceiling proportions in my favor, but I like to walk between the dresser and the bed and think that with my stature and dignified beard I would have needed only to develop a calm yet assertive oratorical style to have been president of this colony back in the day.)

To leave the farm and then return to its routines resulted in a similar sense of disconnection from the time that had actually elapsed. When we began to harvest for the CSA this spring it felt as if no more than the usual week had passed since we last performed such work. The intervening months were compressed by the recurring nature of our tasks, and I had the sensation of occupying an elongated present across which my experience was spread thin, as if I had started harvesting turnips sometime last year and have yet to stop. The future, too, stretches to meet us. Last week we sowed 90 trays of seeds--a few of which are pictured above--that will grow to be the last crops we harvest this fall. As the season begins we are preparing for its completion. Of such shards and inklings of past and future are each of our days constructed, and we undertake our work always in the midst of their confluence.

The share this week:

Red Russian Kale
Rainbow Chard
Collard Greens
Sugar Snap Peas

Notes about the food:

* A CSA member reported to us that she recently enjoyed chard cooked with caramelized onions and olives, and she was kind to provide a recipe:

Chard with Caramelized Onions

1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 bunch Swiss chard, rinsed and chopped
1/4 cup kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lemon, juiced

1. In a cast iron skillet, cook the onions in olive oil over medium-high heat until they begin to brown. Stir in brown sugar, and continue cooking for a few minutes.

2. When onions are brown and tender, stir in chard and olives. Cook until chard is slightly wilted. Stir in capers and salt, and continue cooking until chard is completely wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with black pepper and squeeze lemon over the top.

* Collard Greens are the latest addition to our springtime arsenal of leafy greens. I tend to cook them lightly and eat them while they are still moderately tough, but almost any recipe will recommend that you cook them for a longer time than the other greens we offer. They are especially fibrous in a way that is similar to the kohlrabi greens; I recommend pairing the two in either of the following recipes, both of which are easily varied to suit personal taste.

From Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables:

Braised Collards with Ginger and Chili Pepper

"Collards treated this way become chewy-soft, with an earthy freshness and pleasingly nippy bite."

1 pound collards, cleaned and cut in thin strips
2 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 jalapeno, stem and seed removed, minced
black pepper to taste

1. Combine greens with broth in non-aluminum pot. Simmer, covered, until tender but not mushy. Timing will vary, but 35 minutes is average.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet; stir in onion and garlic. Soften slightly over moderate heat. Add ginger and jalapeno and stir for a moment.

3. Add collards and stir over moderate heat until liquid has almost evaporated. Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining tablespoon butter and black pepper.

Note: You can substitute turnip greens in this dish, or combine a variety of greens for a particularly interesting effect: kale, kohlrabi, Swiss chard, mustard greens--any and all.

Spicy Collards

"Based on a dish that is part of a complex Ethiopian assembly, this relatively uncomplicated treatment demonstrates another useful approach to a favored Southern green. Serve the soft, aromatic leaves--which become more like spinach than cabbage when cooked this way--with a complimentary grain, vegetable, or egg dish for an unusual vegetarian meal."

1 1/4 pounds small-stemmed collard greens
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1. Drop collards into a large pot of boiling, salted water. Boil until tender; timing varies, but about 15 minutes is average. Test often. Drain leaves well, then chop fine.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in pan; stir in shallots and cook on moderately low heat about 3 minutes, until soft. Add ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Toss for a minute.

3. Add collards and stir 3 minutes, to season and warm thoroughly. Remove from heat and stir in remaining butter, cut in small pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature.

* As for the kohlrabi, it has had two weeks to grow since it was last in the share, and you'll see it has not wasted that time. Now you can do everything you did with kohlrabi previously, but you can do it bigger.

* I mentioned last week that of the varieties of kale that we offer I think Red Russian makes the best raw kale salad. The following recipe actually calls for lacinato kale, which was in the share last week, but is good with either. If you have both on hand, make the salad with some of each. (In the case of the Red Russian variety, always tear rather than chop it. The massaging action this provides will sweeten the leaves.) From In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite:

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad

1 bunch kale
2 thin slices country bread, or two handfuls good, homemade coarse breadcrumbs
1/2 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese, plus additional for garnish
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus a pinch
freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Slice (or tear) kale into 3/4-inch ribbons. you should have 4 to 5 cups. Place kale in a large bowl.

2. If using the bread, toast it until golden brown on both sides and dry throughout. Tear into small pieces and pulse in a food processor until the mixture forms coarse crumbs, or crumbs to your liking.

3. Using mortar and pestle or a knife, pound or mince the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a paste. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well. (The dressing will be thick and needs lots of tossing to cover the leaves.) Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with bread crumbs, additional cheese, and a drizzle of oil.

Monday, June 13, 2011

2011 CSA Week 3

This is our second season at Dover Farm. Last year we worked in a vacuum of experience: Joshua and I were new to eastern Massachusetts and new to this piece of land, and although we had both gained farming experience in different places over the course of several years, we were applying our knowledge in an unfamiliar setting. For me, this was liberating. Without the pressure of past success or failure, and without intimate knowledge of my surroundings, I felt that each step in the progress of the season was a discovery, and my investment in the result was akin to that of an explorer who doesn't know what he might find until he is upon it. We might plant lettuce and help it grow and then harvest it, and that was interesting. Or we might plant cabbage and help it grow and watch it fail, and that was interesting. I sometimes felt like a happy, hardworking bystander to processes I couldn't fathom.

Not so this year, when suddenly we have a precedent for everything we do. We are no longer strangers to this piece of land, and to the joy of discovery we have added the subtle stress of expectation. It is the nature of work that is inherently cyclical: Everything we do this year corresponds to something we did last year. The lesson for me is that this is a good thing. My awareness of the preceding season is at all times simultaneous to the ongoing anticipation of the current year, and although the result of this is disorienting and anxiety-inducing, the truth is that by using last year as a template we are working with improved organization and efficiency, and the results belie my anxiousness. Each share this year has been more abundant than its corresponding share last year, and we are proud of the quality of the produce. There will be weeks when we don't compare as favorably to ourselves of one year ago, and that's okay. I am willing to almost concede that the joys of being new are rivaled by the joys of working well in a known world.

The share this week:

Lacinato Kale
Rainbow Chard
Dandelion Greens
Sugar Snap Peas
Garlic Scapes

Notes about the food:

* Garlic scapes are the flowering part of the garlic plant, and one of the best flavors of spring. Their presence in the share means our garlic plants are approaching maturity; we remove the unopened flower and its stem to encourage the plant to redirect its energy toward forming a healthy bulb beneath the soil. The scape is crunchy and milder in flavor than a clove of garlic: Eat them raw or chop and cook as you would a garlic clove.

* Embrace the bitter greens. I know I'm not the only one who loves dandelion greens, but sometimes my enjoyment of them feels like a lonely pastime. I think of their bitterness as a fresh and invigorating quality, a kick in the mouth from spring. And their nutrition value is admirable. Click on the label below for more tips and recipes--I spent a lot of time trying to promote the things last season--or consider the following recipes, both of which are so basic I was surprised to find them in a cookbook. Because of their simplicity they may be a good way to introduce bitter greens to your palette. For each, consider using the dandelion greens alongside this week's turnip greens, chard, kale or spinach. From Still Life with Menu:

Black-Eyed Peas and Greens
"Even the bitterest, sternest-seeming greens soften their disposition in the company of naturally sweet black-eyed peas and soothing leeks. This dish might seem pedestrian at first glance, but you will be amazed by how delicious such sturdy and inexpensive fare can be."

3 cups dried black-eyed peas
6 cups water
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 to 8 cups (packed) chopped mixed greens
2 medium-sized leeks, cleaned and chopped
freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the black-eyed peas and water in a very large saucepan or a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and mostly cover (i.e. cover but leave an air vent). Cook gently until tender, checking the water level every now and then. If it appears to be getting dry, add water, 1/2 cup at a time. About 15 minutes into the cooking, add the garlic. The peas will take 30-35 minutes to cook.

2. When the black-eyed peas are just about tender, stir in the salt, greens, and leeks. Cover and continue to simmer just a few more minutes. (The greens and leeks will cook very quickly.)

3. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper, and serve hot.

Pasta with Greens and Feta
"Here is a painless way to slip some of those ultra-nutritious bitter greens into your diet. You can use any combination of kale, mustard, collard, dandelion, chard, or spinach."

6 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chopped onion
7 to 8 cups (packed) mixed bitter greens, coarsely chopped
salt to taste
3/4 to 1 lb. penne, fusili, or some comparable short, substantial pasta
1/2 to 3/4 lb. feta cheese, crumbled
freshly grated parmesan cheese, to taste (optional)
freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, put the pasta water up to boil.

2. Add chopped greens to the skillet, salt lightly, and stir until the greens begin to wilt. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes over medium-low heat.

3. Cook the pasta until al dente. Just as it becomes ready, add the crumbled feta cheese to the greens. (Keep the heat on low as you add the cheese.)

4. When the pasta is done, scoop it out with a strainer (in however many batches it takes), hold it over its cooking water momentarily to drain, then add it directly to the potful of greens. Mix thoroughly.

5. Cook the completed dish just slightly over low heat for a few minutes. Add a small amount of parmesan, if desired, and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

*The broccoli this week is small and semi-ragged. Our broccoli plants did not tolerate the heat last week, and have subsequently formed heads that are not as big as we'd like. We're harvesting them as they are because this may be all we get. The fall broccoli is already sown, and we hope for conditions that promote productivity in those plants. Don't neglect the stems and leaves in your broccoli bunch: It's all good to eat.

* The lacinato kale is the third of the three varieties of kale we grow. (Of the three it may be my favorite, but why choose?) It is distinguished by its deep green color and its long, narrow leaves. We will continue to offer one variety of kale each week until the plants succumb to the summer heat; take the time to notice the subtle differences in taste and texture of each variety, and you may find that you prefer to use them in different ways. The red russian kale, which was in the first share and will return next week, is the most tender of the three, and makes an excellent raw kale salad. The lacinato kale is hearty, making it especially good for soups. The following recipe was sent by a friend of the farm:

Portuguese Potato Kale Soup with Chorizo Sausage

Peel and cut into chunks 5 or 6 large potatoes.

Boil until soft, pour off most of the cooking water but leave enough in the pan to cover the potatoes.

Coarsely mash the potatoes into the water and pour into a large soup pot.

Add enough chicken or vegetable broth to fill the soup pot 3/4 full.

While heating to a slow boil wash and chop a large bunch of kale--leaves and stems.

Push the kale into the potato and soup broth; cover and cook until softened.

While the kale is cooking with the broth, slice a package of chorizo sausage into rounds and saute in a frying pan. Drain on paper towels.

When the soup is finished cooking, add the sausage and stir.

Season to taste. Allow to sit for a short while with the cover on the pot. Serve with crusty bread.

* I was sorry you couldn't come over for dinner last week, but it's okay, I don't mind eating alone. Here's a picture of what I made: I'll give it a name that is basically a list of ingredients plus the word "wilted" and tell you how it was prepared, in case it looks like a dish you'd like to eat alone sometime too:

Wilted Kale with Quinoa, Turnip, and Lemon

Prepare the quinoa by simmering, in a covered pot, 1 cup of the dry grain in 2 cups of water, for approximately 20 minutes, or until water has been absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Allow to sit in the pot, off the heat. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Add 1 chopped onion and saute until translucent, then add 1 bunch chopped kale. Squeeze the juice of 1/4 fresh lemon over the kale as it cooks, and season with sea salt. When the kale is nearly finished, add 1 chopped clove of garlic (or, this week, garlic scapes). Remove from heat when kale has wilted and turned a deep green. Squeeze the juice of another 1/4 fresh lemon over the finished kale before serving. Serve alongside quinoa (seasoned to taste with sea salt, black pepper, and lemon) and chopped uncooked turnip.

Monday, June 6, 2011

2011 CSA Week 2

While assembling this post I inadvertently defiled the formatting of most of the previous posts on this website, and it has taken me a long time to correct the mistake. So, this week, instead of a paragraph about the weather and other immediate concerns of the farm, I am typing this short apology and then removing myself from the presence of the computer. Which is too bad: There were certain to be sentences about tornado warnings, lightning that filled the evening sky like a strobe light, and rainfall that cleared the heat from the air and refreshed the plants in our fields. I woke the morning after the storm feeling rested, but with the sense that my dreams had been tumultuous in accordance with the tumult outdoors. Of this and more I'll squander the chance to write because of computer-induced fatigue. Massachusetts is rarely subject to anything tornado-related: Our thoughts are with those communities in our state more severely affected by the storm.

The share this week:

Green Curly Kale
Rainbow Chard
Bok Choi
Red Komatsuna
Spring Onions or Scallions
Sugar Snap Peas

Notes about the food:

* Please note that at the bottom of every post there is a list of "labels." These are what I was editing and streamlining when I damaged the website. Each label is a link to every post that shares the label. This means, for example, that you can click kohlrabi below and you will be redirected to every post from this year or last year that includes a recipe for kohlrabi. If you are feeling baffled by a vegetable and want more information or cooking tips, follow those links!

* Kohlrabi is one of my favorite things we grow. It's a relative of broccoli, and you can think of the bulb as a swollen broccoli stem that is sweeter and more refreshing than you might expect. The greens, including the stems, can be cooked as a substitute for or alongside any of the greens we are distributing this spring, but I do think the bulbs are best eaten raw. As the plant matures in the ground, the bulb will continue to grow and the skin will become tough; when that happens it is best to peel the bulb, but at their current stage of growth I don't think peeling is necessary. Try this recipe for slaw that was published in The Washington Post in 2010:

Asian Kohlrabi Slaw

3 medium kohlrabi bulbs, grated
2 carrots, grated
2 scallions, white and light-green parts, chopped
Leaves from 10-15 stems of parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sweet red chili sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha hot chili sauce

Combine kohlrabi, carrots, scallions and parsley in a large bowl. Whisk together the sesame oil, vinegar, sweet and hot chili sauces in a small bowl to form an emulsified vinaigrette. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss to combine. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

For a variation, mix the kohlrabi slaw with soba noodles, blanched snap peas, and broccoli florets.

*Last week I mentioned that the bok choi and red komatsuna make an appealing stir-fry when sauteed together. Here is how I've been doing it:

Chop 1 spring onion or the white and light-green parts of 2-3 scallions, and saute in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Chop the bok choi and komatsuna, separating the stalks and the leaves. Add the stalks when the onion or scallions have been in the oil for a few minutes, and stir constantly. If you want additional greens (I usually do), add some chopped kale or kohlrabi leaves shortly after the stalks; when those greens have begun to wilt, add the leaves of the choi and komatsuna. These will cook down fast; I add a handful or two of peanuts as they do, and a few dashes of sesame oil just before taking the pan off the heat. I serve these stir-fried greens alongside brown rice --to which I add a dash of soy sauce and a dash of rice wine vinegar once it is cooked--and some spears of uncooked asparagus.

* We are extremely happy with the rainbow chard. It's a lovely plant in the field, and our beds of it are healthy beyond expectation. Try this recipe from Farmer John's Cookbook:

Mediterranean Swiss Chard

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch swiss chard, coarsely chopped (leaves and stems)
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Heat 3 Tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add the chard in batches, adding more as each batch wilts. (The only water you'll need is the water clinging to the leaves from rinsing.) Keep the pan covered between batches. When all the chard is added and the leaves are wilted, stir in the raisins, pine nuts, lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.