We did not expect strawberries to come out of the ground right now, but alas they have arrived – and we’ve included them in this week’s share! Typically the average strawberry is not harvested until June, but there are different varieties that can be harvested earlier or later, and at Yoder Farms in Ozark, MO,  they came out now big, red and delicious. Though not certified organic, these berries are pesticide-free and all natural.

We’ve also gotten in an early crop of green tomatoes. For those of you who have not had them, they pack a bright lemony flavor and are a great alternative in salsa and salads.

Head’s Up – the folks at MOFU tofu are going on a brief hiatus and suspending production due to schedule complications, but they will be back in June and able to fill orders for the market again.

Farm Focus of the Week: Harmony Hill Farm, Hallsville, MO
From their website:

Milk as a bathing medium has a history stretching back at least as far as Cleopatra. The lather of goat milk soap is generally low and dense, it cleanses the skin while laying down a restorative layer of emollients to soothe and moisturize. Goat’s milk contains a high level of protein. It also contains high levels of nutritional elements that nourish and rejuvenate dehydrated skin. Goat milk skincare products were once a specialty item that were difficult to find, and used mainly by people with sensitive skin and skin-related allergic problems like eczema.

In the Store & On Sale:

  • Certified organic, grass-fed T-Bone steaks ($17/lb), KC strip steaks ($12/lb), Ribeye steaks ($18.50/lb) fro Elixir Farm
  • Duck eggs, $4.25 / half doz, $7.15 / doz; Americana eggs, $5/doz; White chicken eggs, $3.25/doz; Brown chicken eggs, $4.25/doz
  • Mixed greens, on sale for $3.60/bag
  • Kakao large chocolate eggs, on sale for $3/egg
  • Companion Pretzel Bread, on sale for $3.75/bag
  • Fresh basil, on sale for $.98/ounce

This Week’s CSA:
Produce

  • Green tomatoes, Double Star, 4 each (8 each for 2P Veggie & 4P Regular)
  • Endive, Double Star, 1 head
  • Leeks, Elixir Farm, 2 each (3 each for 4P Regular)
  • Strawberries, Yoder Produce/Farm, 1 quart
  • Also for veggie shares – Choice of radish, pea or sunflower shoots, or 1 head of red butterhead lettuce

Meat

  • Free range chicken, 1 half fryer (1 whole fryer for 4P Regular)

Staple

  • Berhanu Organic lentil dip, 1 each (2 each for 4P Regular), Choice of Mild, Medium, Garlic or Curry

Treat

  • Harmony Hill Goat’s Milk Soap or Moisturizer, 1 each – choice of any fragrances in the store.

Recipe Ideas -
From Head Chef Michelle Blodget

Green Tomato Salsa
Save these bad boys for next week’s Cinco de Mayo for some salsa fun

Ingredients

  • 4 green tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ yellow or red onion, chopped
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • water
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 1 T honey
  • salt
  • pepper

Barely cover the tomatoes, onion and garlic and spices in a pot with water. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Add the honey and lemon juice and cook 5 more minutes. Blend the salsa in a blender (add oil as needed) to desired consistency, then season to taste and serve.

Balsamic-Macerated Strawberries with Basil
Adapted from www.finecooking.com

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh strawberries, rinsed, destemmed and sliced
  • ½ T granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 – 5 medium fresh basil leaves

In a large bowl, gently toss the strawberries with the sugar and vinegar. Let sit at room temperature until the strawberries have released their juices but are not yet mushy, about 30 minutes. (Don’t let the berries sit for more than 90 minutes, or they’ll start to collapse.)

Just before serving, stack the basil leaves on a cutting board and roll them vertically into a loose cigar shape. Using a sharp chef’s knife, very thinly slice across the roll to make a fine chiffonade of basil.

Portion the strawberries and their juices among four small bowls and scatter with the basil to garnish, or choose one of the serving suggestions below.

Chicken Stuffed with Basil and Mozzarella Cheese
If you’re looking for some local ingredient substitutes in this recipe, pick up a pound of organic cornmeal from Maude’s Market to replace the bread crumbs. You can also use the leeks from  the share instead of green onion, and dried ozark forest mushrooms instead of fresh, also available at the market.

Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes
A fabulous vegetarian entree, and easy to prepare.

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