This week has been all about the garlic. Last year’s crop was a near failure and although we could blame things on the weather, there are still many many other factors that are well within our control. The mild wet winter and spring of 2012/2013 did nothing to help the garlic crop underground and at this point we have no idea what the winter/spring of 2013/2014 will hold. We do know that careful, thorough bed preparation is something we can do to ensure our seed has the best chance of thriving in whatever conditions mother nature throws down. With optimal planting time occurring right now, Paul and the team spent the early part of the week amending the garlic beds, readying them to receive some 6000 cloves. We take responsibility for the fact that we did not manage to do as good of a job as we wanted to last year at this time. Perhaps lack of high quality compost, maybe the fact that at that point we had been operating without apprentices for months, possibly wet weather preventing us from planting when we wanted: I suspect it was any and all of those. This year, not so. We have wonderful compost ready, we have Charlotte and Deanna who are still working alongside us each day, the weather has remained dry and things look good out at the garlic patch. The goal for today is to complete the harvest as quickly as we can, dine together as we do each Friday and then head directly out to Field one’s garlic patch to pick up where we left off at dusk yesterday. I have no time to linger here at the screen, I am off to pop garlic. You see, each clove planted this fall will deliver a bulb next June, so I a splitting off the cloves right now, hoping that I can have enough cloves ready for planting by the time the crew wraps harvest up. This week’s basket is the glory of the fall season: the final taste of summer’s dwindling fruits coupled with fall’s delightful leaves and roots. Enjoy my friends, enjoy.
Radish & Basil Salad with Pistachios, Citrus & Piave
recipe adapted from SFC Farmers’ Market websit
2 bunches radishes, cut into various shapes (quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into circles, halved)
1 large bunch of basil, chopped
1/4 c. shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped
4 oz. Piave cheese (substitute another hard, nutty cheese such as Manchego, Parmesan, or Pecorino if desired)
juice of 2 Meyer lemons (substitute 1 regular lemon and 1/2 tangerine if you can’t find Meyer lemons)
1 tsp. to 1 Tbs. red pepper flakes, depending on level of heat desired
1/3 c. best-quality olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
sea salt to taste (may not be needed if cheese is salty)
In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. When oil begins to simmer, add pepper flakes and 3 garlic cloves to skillet. Remove from heat and set aside to infuse. Meanwhile, place radishes, basil, pistachios, and cheese in a large bowl. Set aside and make dressing. Strain infused oil and discard pepper flakes and garlic cloves. Place citrus juice and remaining garlic clove in blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in oil until dressing is completely emulsified. Add dressing to radish salad and stir gently to combine throughly. Taste for salt, season if needed, and serve.
Fall week 3 in your basket: