Thursday, June 2, 2011

Week 4: A tour of Crown S Ranch

Here we are with our 4th CSA box, already! This week's boxes have:

photo by Painted Sky Warrior
Salad from 8th Street Greens, bok choy leaves (washed 3 times) from Yonder Farm and 8th Street, radishes from Yonder, and marjoram from Michael Pilarski. The chive flowers in the salad are also from Michael. Yes, they are edible!

There is an avocado soup recipe I've posted on the blog site. It's ingredients are nicely seasonal (except the nuts)... scallions, marjoram, radishes and chive blossoms, all of which are in this week's CSA box. Lots of other seasonal herbs too, if you have them.


Avocado Soup
yield: 3 1/2 Cups

Avocado pureed with buttermilk (low-fat) and yogurt (with the cream on top) yields a pale green soup laced with masses of minced herbs and textures.
Ingredients: 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 cup yogurt, preferably whole-milk
1 large avocado, peeled and pitted
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 large garlic clove
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 slender scallions, white parts plus a bit of the green, finely minced
2 tablespoons chopped dill
1 tablespoon snipped chives
1 tablespoon minced marjoram or oregano
1 tablespoon minced tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/2 jalapeño chile, seeded and chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon sweetener, such as agave syrup, to taste

To Finish:
Finely sliced chives and chive blossoms
Thinly slivered radishes
Dill, mint, and cilantro sprigs
1/3 cup shelled pistachios or walnuts


1. Puree the buttermilk, yogurt, avocado, and a quarter of the peeled cucumber in a blender until smooth, then pour it into a bowl.

2. Mash the garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir it into the puree along with the scallions, herbs, chile, and lime zest. Season to taste with salt, pepper, lime juice, and sweetener, if needed. Seed and finely dice the remaining cucumber and add to the soup. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Just before serving, taste and correct the seasonings.

3. Ladle the soup into bowls, then cover the surface with the chives, radishes, herb sprigs, and pistachios


Following is a radish recipe, but you've received just one bunch.

Yield: Makes 4 side-dish servings
Active time: 15 minutes //total time: 35 minutes
Brief high-heat roasting mellows a radish's peppery flavor and turns it into a whole new root vegetable.

Ingredients: 2 bunches medium radishes (such as red, pink, and purple; about 20)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse kosher salt
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Preparation: Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush large heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Cut off all but 1/2 inch of green radish tops; reserve trimmed tops and rinse them well, checking for grit. Coarsely chop radish tops and set aside. Cut radishes lengthwise in half and place in medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and toss thoroughly to coat. Place radishes, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet; sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Roast until radishes are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes. Season to taste with more coarse kosher salt, if desired.
Medium-high heat: Add pinch of coarse kosher salt to skillet and cook until butter browns, swirling skillet frequently to keep butter solids from burning, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in fresh lemon juice.

Transfer roasted radishes to warmed shallow serving bowl and drizzle brown butter over. Sprinkle with chopped radish tops and serve.

photo by Shannon Gilbert
Iris watches a variety of sheep graze in the rain at Crown S Ranch.

Our family visited Crown S Ranch this Sunday. We did an informative and fun tour in a torrential downpour. Super fun! They tour folks on Saturdays at 2:00 throughout the season. They've done awesome things with solar powered rolling chicken coops, crop-rotating meat animals, and food processing. They've got a good example of a closed-loop, full-circle, healthy animal/land, actually sustainable family farm. Best to them and their projects! 

photo by Shannon Gilbert
Eisa and Iris check out one of the solar powered rolling chicken coops at Crown S Ranch.

photo by Shannon Gilbert
Jennifer Sukovaty-Argraves runs Crown S Ranch with her husband, Louis. Her energy isn't dampened by the rain as she gives a tour of their sustainable family farm.

Ed Welch from Sunny Pine farm was there, too. Our kids love sampling the “cream cheese” (goat chevre). That is probably what the cheese shares are getting in the box this week. Their cheese is so yummy, a couple weeks ago was the first time we tried the honey lavender, “mmm,” Iris likes it a lot. We were at Twisp Farmers Market Saturday and happened to meet an 8th Street 2nd year CSA shareholder. It's so funny that several of us are involved without knowing faces, another reason for the blog. That way you can see our fun and beautiful pictures!

Best to you and yours! ~~Shannon

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