November 1 begins the rainy season in California and it is time for Kori’s newsletter about The Market Garden at the Student Farm.
Kori tells us that all over the farm the rains have called forth the hoards of sleeping winter weed seedlings, and the dry, dusty brown is transforming rapidly. It is as though the earth is growing a brilliant green winter coat! Everywhere you look, tiny cotyledons are springing open above the soil surface.
Onn Friday they planted four rows of onions, and were hoping that the promised rains would water them in for us. Instead we had such beautiful weather that Raoul had to come in on his day off to set up and run the sprinkler system to make sure the transplants settled happily into their new soil.
Today’s baskets include: spinach, chard, fuyu persimmons, butternut squash, sage, cilantro, Thai chilis, peppers, green tomatoes, radishes, eggplant, turnips, a pomegranate, lettuce, mei qing choi, Komatsuna, and dino kale. The baskets were picked and packed with love by: Larisa, Maggie, Sheryl, Renata, Tin, Colin, Kori, and Raoul.
This week Kori provided two recipes.
The first provides one way to utilize the bushels of unripe tomatoes hanging on the vine at this time of year that have no hope of ripening: Green Tomato Muffins! These are delicious, they taste like apple cake.
You will need:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened, 2 1/2 cups sugar, 3 large eggs, 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 2 1/2 cups diced green tomatoes, 1 cup chopped walnuts.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two muffin pans. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. (Batter will be soft.) Stir in tomatoes and walnuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top for a crispy glaze. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean (may take a bit longer or shorter depending on the size of your muffin tins). Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely. Enjoy!
The Second recipe stars Komatsuna, which they are growing on the farm for the first time this year. Kori says “Komatsuna is an Asian vegetable similar to bok choi. What I didn’t realize as I was harvesting it this morning is that, unlike bok choi, pac choi, and mei qing choi, komatsuna will continue to produce new leaves throughout the season–just like kale! Unfortunately in my ignorance I harvested an entire plant for each basket today, so what you will find in your bags of greens really does look like a giant, green, elegant choi. In the future these greens will show up bunched alongside the kale and chard in your baskets. Anyway, here’s a tasty recipe”:
Komatsuna Greens in Ginger Almond Miso Sauce
1 bunch Komatsuna Greens, stems and leaves separated
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 lb firm tofu
2 tablespoons soy sauce/Bragg’s Amino Acids
1 tablespoon miso (red or white, I prefer to use the white in this sauce)
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
4 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup cooked red quinoa (or rice or other grain)
Stir fry the tofu. I divide to tofu into 2 batches to do this. After it is cooked to your liking, set it aside on a plate to add to the stir-fry later.
Chop the komatsuna stems into 1/2 inch pieces. Julienne the leaves. Heat up a wok (without oil) and add the almonds. Stir-fry quickly until fragrant and toasted, about 45 seconds. Remove. Then in the wok or large sauce pan, heat up 1-2 tbsp of sesame oil on medium heat. Add the onion, cook for 6-7 minutes or until the onion turns clear and soft. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the komatsuna stems and cook for 5 minutes. Add the leaves and cook for another 5 minutes.
While the komatsuna iscooking, combine the soy sauce, miso, and vinegar until smooth and set it aside. When the greens are tender, add the tofu and then drizzle with miso sauce and sprinkle with almonds.