Happy Week 3 of CSA! This week, the bags featured items like green onions, Swiss chard, garlic scapes, beets, and even green amaranth. As a reminder, we will be at farmers markets in South Portland, Lewiston, Kennebunk, York, Cumberland, and more this weekend— check out our “Farmer’s Market” webpage for dates and times.
This week was warm with brief thunderstorms scattered throughout the week. The storms and rain this week, as well as the forecast showing more rain, led the farmers to harvest all of the garlic that was growing on the farm. This is my first time working on a farm and growing vegetables, so I was confused that we were harvesting before most of the rainfall. However, this is a good decision for garlic in particular, as wet and rainy conditions can make the bulbs more difficult to clean, and can even cause the crop to decay.
Many of you may be wondering how to incorporate green amaranth into your meals this week, and the leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves are extremely nutritious, and many recipes online recommend adding them to a stir fry, like this recipe by Hank Shaw.
If you enjoy Indian food, take advantage of the green amaranth and try something like Saag Paneer, a traditional Indian dish that features many spices and a great combination of flavors. Follow this link to try a recipe.
*Amaranth is a favorite of the farmers- it is a crop that can be grown for its seeds, which are cooked and eaten like a grain, or for its greens, which is what you’ll see coming off our farm. It’s packed full of fiber, iron, and other nutrients, and is delicious to boot! Farmers often cook amaranth chopped into small pieces, and sauteed with olive oil, onions, and tomatoes. You can then add chicken or vegetable stock, okra, or meat- whatever sounds good to you!
1-2 whole serrano chilis with seeds (1 for a mild dish, 2 for hot)
1/8 teaspoon wild caraway or conventional caraway or cumin seeds toasted
8 oz paneer cheese cut into small rectangles or cubes (optional, and halloumi can be substituted)
1/4 cup ghee coconut oil, or lard
If your amaranth greens are raw, blanch it in salted water for a few seconds until wilted, then shock in an ice bath to chill. Remove the amaranth greens, squeeze out the water, and coarsely chop. You want the greens to hold some texture, but they should be able to fit on a spoon-just look out for long stems.
In a food processor, or in a mortar and pestle, coarsely pulse or pound 1 teaspoon of salt with the serrano, garlic, ginger, onion and turmeric until coarse-fine.
Add the ground aromatics with the oil to a large cast iron skillet and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the caraway and garam masala and cook 5 minutes more.
Add the coconut milk, and amaranth and simmer until the mixture is thickened slightly, about 10 minutes, it should be spoonable, but not soupy. Meanwhile, quickly pan fry the cheese on one side only, as overcooking can make them tough. You can also just warm them up in the greens when you add the coconut milk, but it isn’t as pretty.
Double check the seasoning for salt, adjust as needed, then serve immediately with rice or flatbread.
Recipe from https://foragerchef.com/saag-paneer-with-amaranth-greens-and-wild-caraway/
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chard stems and a pinch of salt. Give them a stir, then add the chard leaves and gently toss until they begin to wilt. Add the balsamic, tomatoes, garlic, white beans, freshly ground pepper, and toss. Once the chard is cooked down, add pasta and remove from heat. Serve with shaved pecorino cheese and pine nuts on top.
Recipe from https://www.loveandlemons.com/simple-swiss-chard-pasta/