5th Harvest

Hi there everyone,

So sorry I missed the 4th harvest completely, but since you all got broccoli last week I really need to tell you about the awesome lunch that Mat and I just cooked.


5 cups of finely chopped broccoli

2 cloves of finely diced garlic

1.5 cups of finely chopped mushrooms

2 tablespoons of flour

1.5 cups of 1% milk

1.5 cups of grated (old) white cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons of butter

Melt the butter in a saucepan then sautee the garlic, broccoli and mushrooms over medium heat. Get a pot of salted water boiling for your linguine (or whatever pasta you choose). Add enough linguine to serve 4 people. Around this time your broccoli should be at just the right softness and you sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of flour all over your veggies and stir it around for a minute or two to basically cook the flour taste out of it. Turn your heat down to low, and then add the milk, stirring constantly. After a minute or so you can turn the heat back to medium and your sauce will start to thicken (don’t stop stirring, though!). Your pasta should be just about ready at this point, so it’s time to stir in your grated cheddar cheese. It’s important to stir this to avoid clumping at this point. Drain your pasta, put the pasta back into the pot, and then pour the sauce over the pasta, tossing it to coat. Serve with freshly cracked black pepper, and enjoy!

Since we just did this off the top of our heads, I have no nutritional information for you, but it takes about half an hour when you figure in chopping time, and makes four servings.

Now onto this week’s harvest. You will all find three different kinds of peas in your bins (two are snap peas for shelling, the third is snow peas), radishes, lettuce, beets, beet greens, swiss chard, kale, and either broccoli or cabbage. There was a wide variety of sizes in the radish harvest this week, and if you got one of the larger varieties I would suggest that you could add it to an asian-style stir fry along with some of your snow peas and some swiss chard, as a quick sautee will soften up the radish as well as mellow the taste if you find radishes too strong.

Kale is one of those greens that really needs to be cooked to be palatable. One way to cook it would be in a soup, as kale stands up really well to long cooking times just like swiss chard. My favourite, however, is to make a snack of kale chips. Wash the leaves and pat them dry with towel, then cut out the tough central rib and chop the remaining leaf into bite-sized pieces. Toss the leaves with olive oil, sea salt, finely minced garlic or garlic powder, and parmesan cheese. A splash of balsamic vinegar would add a bit of depth to the flavour, too. Put your seasoned kale chips onto a cookie sheet in a 275 degree (F) oven, and bake until the edges of the chips are crisping and turning a bit brown (about 20 minutes). Turn once at about 10 minutes.

Normally I’d stop here because this post is turning into a bit of a novel, but I got asked about some good ways to use up swiss chard. Swiss chard is such a versatile green that it can be used in anything but our favourite and quickest options tend to be the “S” dishes – salads, soups and sautees. I’m a big fan of the bite-sized chop, so all of these options work well. However, you can also add swiss chard (also called butter chard by one of my gardening idols, Eliot Coleman) to scrambled eggs or omelettes (do this with lightly sauteed beet greens, too, it’s FANTASTIC!), or you can bake it into a swiss chard and red onion quiche (in that case, I’d probably sautee the chard and onion with a bit of minced garlic before scraping it into your pie shell, pouring the beaten eggs over top, and then mix it all up a bit before putting the quiche in the oven to set). Just in case those weren’t the ideas you’re looking for, though (I’ve been there, when you ask someone, “What should I eat for dinner?” but none of the answers satisfy your imagination), I hopped on over to the Food Network and did a search for swiss chard.

How would you feel about using swiss chard instead of spinach in a manicotti? Or whole wheat spaghetti with swiss chard and pecorino cheese? No? What about swiss chard lasagna or baked beans with swiss chard? I have a feeling we’ll be coming back to some of these over the rest of this season, since swiss chard is truly the vegetable gift that keeps on giving in the garden. It grows really well in the hot heat of the summer and will still grow and thrive through late fall frost (and even snow if we put row cover on it!).

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  • Katie says:

    Oh yeah, before I forget, I’ve got a tip for those of you trying to get fussy eaters to eat more veggies! Did you know that the particular variety of kale we’re growing here at Our Farm this year is called Lacinato (black Tuscan) or …. Dinosaur (!) kale? It’s true!

    Now what child (or older person who’s young at heart) couldn’t be persuaded that it’s cool to eat dinosaur kale?! Instead of calling them kale chips, just call them dinosaur chips! lol

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