Monthly Archives: October 2011

Mustard Green and Sweet Onion Frittata


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 1/2 pounds mustard greens, stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
16 large eggs, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat until golden brown, 10 minutes. Add the greens and cook until wilted.

Season the eggs with salt and pepper and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Pour the eggs into the skillet and cook over moderate heat until the bottom and sides begin to set. Lift the sides of the frittata to allow the uncooked eggs to seep under. Continue cooking until the bottom is set and the top is still runny, 3 minutes. Sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for about 8 minutes, until the center of the frittata is set. Slide the frittata onto a cutting board. Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Mustard Green Gratin


1 pound stemmed mustard greens
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus extra for baking dish
3 whole eggs, beaten
10 ounces ricotta cheese
2 ounces grated Parmesan (approximately 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for garlic and mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 cup crushed round butter crackers

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove any large stems from the greens and wash them thoroughly; do so in a sink with at least 5 inches of water. Moving the leaves around in the water and allowing them to sit for a few minutes to allow the sand or dirt to fall to the bottom of the sink. Once clean, roughly chop the greens. You should have 1 pound finished greens once they are stemmed. (Weigh the greens after stemming, but before washing.) After washing the greens, place them in a salad spinner to thoroughly dry them.

Butter a 9 by 11-inch or 2 1/2-quart baking dish and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

In a large, 13 by 11-inch roasting pan set over 2 burners on medium heat, melt the butter in 1 corner of the pan. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and a pinch of salt and cook until the mushrooms give up their liquid, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add the greens and cook until they are wilted, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. The greens will reduce to less than 1/4 of their original volume and begin to look like thawed, frozen spinach. Remove the pan from the heat.

Add the greens to the egg and cheese mixture and stir to thoroughly combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish, top with the crackers, place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Penne with Bacon and Mustard Greens Recipe

1 lb. penne or penne rigate pasta
1/2 lb. bacon, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
10 oz. (1 package) frozen mustard greens, thawed and drained.
2 tbsp. tomato paste.
1 onion, chopped fine.
3 cloves garlic, minced.
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 good pinch Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste
Salt and pepper to taste.


Cook Penne according to package directions.  Drain well but do not rinse.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium low heat until it is cooked through, but not crispy.  Remove from grease and place on paper towels to drain.  Reserve 1 tbsp. bacon fat. Discard or store the rest.

Add olive oil to skillet and stir to combine with bacon fat.  Add onion and garlic, stirring until onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add tomato paste and stir through.  Return bacon to pan and toss well.  Add greens and stir until heated through.  Add Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, chicken stock, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning (will be a bit oily, that’s O.K.!)

Add pasta and toss to coat well.  Grate approximately 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese over pasta, toss well.

Serve hot with additional Parmesan on top if desired.


Mustard Greens Recipe

1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound mustard greens, washed and torn into large pieces
2 to 3 Tbsp chicken broth or vegetable broth (vegetarian option)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil

In a large sauté pan, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant.

Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted. Toss with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.

Mixed-Greens and Sausage Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings
Bon Appetit January 2011 by Melissa Clark


yield: Makes 6 servings
active time: 1 hour
total time: 2 hours (includes cooling time)

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped green onions

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 large garlic cloves, pressed
4 Turkish bay leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 pound andouille sausages, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
6 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 12-ounce bag mixed turnip, mustard, and collard greens, any thick stems cut away (about 12 cups packed)

For dumplings:
Line rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Stir in milk and butter, then green onions. Let stand at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours. Using wet hands, shape mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, into 18 dumplings, arranging on sheet. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.

For soup:
Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add sausage; sauté until fat renders, 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes with juice, hot sauce, and allspice; bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Return to simmer before continuing.

Add greens to simmering soup. Cook greens uncovered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drop in dumplings. Cover; reduce heat to low. Simmer until dumplings are tender and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper. Ladle soup and dumplings into bowl.

by Zoë Abram

Early Monday morning temperatures dipped to 31 degrees, so the farm experienced the first frost of the season. Small ice crystals clung to the grass outside the window, and everything looked glazed. And then it warmed up into this beautiful day, and we’ve been out in the fields to assess. When the first frost comes, many of the summer crops die. The cells in their leaves freeze and burst. After the frost, they appear waterlogged, and then they’ll turn brown as they dry. The peppers and eggplant that held on through October are done now. Also dead today is the last of the basil, the okra, and other summer crops. Most of these things we had already stopped harvesting; the biggest effect you might see is less lettuce mix in the share.

This 31 degree night wasn’t that cold, we are hoping that a few things will hang on until temperatures dip into the mid 20s. Some of the greens will keep growing; we’ll put hoops and protective row cover over the baby arugula and mesclun in hopes that they’ll grow a little more despite these colder nights.  And we’ve started beds of lettuce mix and spinach in our high tunnels. The greens planted inside are still small but will keep growing slowly because they are protected and kept warmer.

Frost signals an end to some types of vegetable crops, but it brings out better flavor in others. The amount of sugars in the brassicas increase in response to frost. The higher sugar content lowers the freezing point of the plant’s cells, which helps it survive through winter. So the kale, collards, broccoli, bok choi and even turnips will taste sweeter in the coming weeks. Now that the frost has come, we’ll begin to dig the parsnips, which also sweeten because of the cold.

Often in late summer we notice the season changing in slow ways. We harvest fewer pounds of tomatoes than we picked the week before. The weeds start to grow slower and go to seed when they are smaller. But then there are moments in the season like the first frost that suddenly alter many things at once. We woke up Monday morning and the farm was changed. We can all look forward to the sweet harvest of late fall.

Expected Harvest:
bok choy
braising greens – a mix of mustard and Asian greens (see below for recipes)
cabbage, green
kale, winterbor and red Russian varieties
lettuce mix
peppers – mostly green bell and some red
radish, daikon
radish, watermelon
sweet potatoes
turnips, hakurei
turnips, purple top white globe

lemon grass
hot peppers

Expected Harvest:  
bok choy
kale, lacinato and winterbor varieties
peppers – mostly green bell
radish, daikon
radish, watermelon
sweet potatoes
turnips, hakurei
turnips, purple top white globe

lemon grass
hot peppers

by Zoë Abram

At the Garlic Planting Party this past Sunday, we enjoyed a beautiful fall day in the field, chatted about the season and the CSA, ate delicious roasted garlic, chili, vegetables and bacon dip, drank cider, and somehow got a whole lot of work done also!  We are so happy to have shared the day with some of our CSA members, and we hope more of you will be able to come out next year.

Many hands made light work and we planted three of our ten varieties of garlic. We began with three rows of Russian Giant, a purple-striped hard neck variety with huge cloves (which you may have recently seen in the share and at market) and then we moved on to Siberian, an equally large, marbled purple stripe variety, and Chesnok Red, a fiery and hot standard purple stripe. We separated the heads for all the hard neck varieties, sorting them by size: large cloves that will produce sizeable heads and smaller cloves or double cloves to roast and eat. Members and friends helped to push the cloves approximately 2 inches into the ground, six inches apart, and to rake soil over top of them. Later, we will mulch with straw to insulate them from the cold, maintain moisture, and to suppress weeds.

When you plant a clove of garlic, the root comes from the bottom of the clove, where it attached to the head, and the tip of the clove becomes the shoot. That one clove will develop into the fibrous stalk in the middle of the head, and new cloves will grow around it. Garlic planted in fall will begin to sprout a root, hopefully just enough to keep it from “heaving” out of the soil when the ground freezes. It will sprout more in the spring, eventually growing the long curly garlic scape you remember from earlier this season. We pick off the scape to encourage the plant to put more energy into developing a large head. Then, when the plants begin to die back in early summer, we watch and wait until 2/3 of the leaves have yellowed. That is when we know it is time to harvest. We pull the plants and hang them to cure, providing good air circulation, which dries the wrappers of the garlic to ensure proper storage and flavor development. Then, we count out and set aside some of the harvest to save for seed for the next season. Last, we eat it – in everything!!

Members and farmers market shoppers have been asking – can I plant garlic I buy from Colchester? The answer is yes! Organic seed garlic from seed companies can run up to $20/lb. Our garlic is not certified organic, or certified disease free, but we use no chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and the heads seem healthy enough that we choose to plant them ourselves at the farm.  Over the years, we have grown, saved, and replanted these varieties of garlic to increase our stock from only a few heads purchased years ago.  We’re happy to answer questions about the garlic growing process. Spice up your garden – plant some of our garlic in it!

Roasted Garlic

Here is the easiest ways to enjoy garlic. We like it because it really features the garlic’s flavor, and because of the simplicity of the recipe.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Place cloves of garlic (still in their wrappers) in tin foil packets. Add olive oil to coat lightly, and some salt. Roast the garlic for 30 – 40 minutes, checking towards the end to see if they have softened. Allow to cool, and then enjoy! We like to bite the cloves out of their wrappers like you would an artichoke. Some people like to squeeze the cloves from their wrappers onto bread. You can also puree garlic roasted this way and add to soup, or hummus, or pasta, or … almost anything else.  You can also try this with different varieties and see if they taste different to you.

by Zoë Abram

This season, we’ve been constructing a second high tunnel which we’ll use to do more extended season growing. We bought the skeleton of this high tunnel used from a grower who was selling equipment in the process of moving their farm. We began this project in the spring, put it on hold during the busy months of this growing season, and resumed construction a few weeks ago.  This project has been keeping us busy for some time!

A quick run-down on the process… We began in early spring. I remember my first weeks working here, I practiced paying attention to detail as we pounded posts into the ground and tried to level and straighten and align them. We then inserted the hoops into these ground posts and drilled holes and bolted together.  We then secured purlins to  connect the upper part of the curved hoops that form a series of archways. We added baseboards and hip boards next, using untreated wood for the baseboards because it comes in contact with the soil where we will grow food. Finally, on wetter days this fall we’ve spent time building the wooden end walls of the tunnel, constructing and hanging doors and painting on a waterproofing finish. We’ve even put on the track for the “wiggle” wire that will secure the plastic tight to the end walls.  Now we are just waiting for a calm morning to “skin” the tunnel.

This project has not been without challenges, though many of them make us laugh. Learning to hang doors (how tightly but-not-too-tightly a door should fit in the frame) has been a challenging experience with lots of fine-tuning and trials and adjustments. The rechargeable drill batteries go dead, a lot. We’ve broken several (4) drill bits while drilling through the metal posts. Sometimes the customer service representatives at Lowes don’t quite know what to make of us when we are trying to find things.

One of the best parts of this construction project was that we’ve had willing and knowledgeable help! We’ve had a work share come out multiple days on some weeks, bringing his tools to supplement ours. He taught us how to use saws I’d never seen before and he shared with us how plywood is made. Now I can’t help but see the patterns in the outer plys, where the knots repeat themselves as the ply was shaved from the circumference of the tree.   We also “roped” a board member in to helping; she had lots of greenhouse experience to share, and laughter and lunch too. Now the project is nearing completion; soon we’ll be able to grow food during the colder months. Today Theresa rototilled inside the frame, and so we’re one step closer to being ready to plant!

Please come welcome the high tunnel (it appreciates “oohs” and “aahs”) at the garlic planting party on Sunday October 23, from 12-4.