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FarmShare CSA Newsletter week of June 30th, 2015

What’s happening on the farm this week?

Independence Day! It’s time to celebrate our great country and gather with family and friends to count our blessings. Our family loves tradition, in fact, we’re pretty darn stuck in our ways when it comes to holidays. So, like thousands of other New Englanders, our family at Applecrest will be eating the traditional July 4th meal of poached salmon and peas, with a healthy serving of strawberry shortcake for dessert. Our family inherited this tradition from Farmer Todd’s grandmother, Imogene Wagner. When we celebrate this holiday we always remember her.

Many credit Abigail and John Adams with popularizing this meal when they first served it on July 4, 1776.  Back then, the meal began with turtle soup – a treat our family politely skips. It’s tough to source fresh turtle these days, although there have been a few stray turtles near Cake Pond in years past. I believe the menu arose because people were eating with the seasons – harvesting that which was available in the oceans and the fields, not the supermarket aisles. So, here’s to eating in tune with your farm! Happy Fourth of July to all!


What’s in this week’s box?


Spring Mix

Red Russian Kale and Bright Lights Swiss Chard


Crunchy Royal Radishes

English Shell Peas





Storage, handling and general cooking tips…


Storage and Handling– Use your strawberries as soon as possible (this usually isn’t a problem for me) as they stop ripening as soon as they’re picked.  Don’t wash your strawberries until you’re ready to use them, as moisture causes them to spoil more quickly.  Leave the caps on and store your strawberries in an uncovered container in the fridge. Take them out of the fridge about an hour before you’re ready to use them, as they tend to have the best flavor and texture at room temperature. Rinse your strawberries gently in cold water and then pat them dry with a towel.  Finally, remove the tops with a paring knife or with a slight twist of the wrist, and they’re ready to eat or use in your favorite strawberry recipe.

Lettuce, Salad Greens and Mesclun:

Storage- Store unwashed lettuce, greens or mesclun in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. To store lettuce or greens that you have already washed and dried, roll the leaves loosely in a kitchen towel, put the towel in a plastic bag, and place the package in the vegetable crisper bin. Wet greens will wilt quickly, so make sure they are good and dry before refrigerating them. If you have a salad spinner, wash and spin the greens before refrigerating them. Eat mesclun mix within three or four days, and use lettuce within a week.

Handling- Salad greens are fragile, so make sure to be gentle with them.  For lettuce, slice the head at the base to allow the leaves to separate from each other.  Tear your leaves into smaller more manageable pieces for use.  Lettuce, greens and mesclun mix can be washed by swishing them around in a basin of cold water.  If you see a lot of dirt settling in the water, wash them again, until they’re nice and clean.  The best way to dry your greens is in a salad spinner if you’ve got one, or if not, you can always pat them dry with a towel.

Cook Tips- Salad greens taste great lightly braised or stir-fried, but keep an eye on them, as they cook very quickly.

Try adding salad greens into sandwiches, tacos, burritos, omelets, or whatever else you can think of!

Salad greens are a great addition to quiches, lasagna, and other baked dishes, wanna green up your pizza? It’s great on top, right after you pull it out of the oven.

Our mesclun mix isn’t that spicy: a combination of peppery arugula, mustards, mizuna and some tat soy. These greens are great as a pizza topping, on top of an egg and toast, or simply added to your daily salad.



Store-Place stalks in a plastic bag to retain moisture and place in the fridge’s crisper drawer. It should keep for about a week. Rhubarb can also be frozen; to do this cut stalks in to 1 inch chunk and place in an airtight plastic bag. Frozen rhubarb should be able to keep for up to a year.

Handling- To prepare , remove all the leaves (they are toxic), rinse and pat dry. Trim the ends and cut into 1 inch chunks. Remove tough strings as you would with celery. String will usually break down during the cooking process.

Cook tips- Stew or bake with a little water and plenty of sugar to combat the tartness. Rhubarb can quickly cook into a syrupy liquid, so keep an eye on it, you need it to retain some texture for specific recipes.  Generally, the redder the stalk, the sweeter the end product will be.



 This nitrogen fixing, soil-loving veggie provides benefits to all aspects of its’ life.  Chock full of antioxidants and phytonutrients, this colorful, versatile, interactive vegetable is a sure family favorite. Mashed for the baby, shelled fresh for snack at the beach, or steamed to go alongside a tasty grilled steak, we know, these sweet little gems probably won’t last a day at your house.


Peas don’t have much of a shelf life, so we don’t recommend storing them —in their pods or shelled—for very long. Store pods in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use them within a couple of days. Once they’re shelled, the best way to store peas is to freeze them. First blanch them for a minute or two in boiling salted water and then shock them in an ice-water bath until cool, to help maintain their bright color. Drain and freeze them in zip-top bags. They will keep for five to six months.



One pound radishes = about 4 cups sliced.
Storage- Remove radish leaves if they are still attached. Store the unwashed greens in a loosely wrapped plastic bag in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator. Because of their high water content radishes deteriorate quickly. Store them dry and unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Most radishes should keep for a week. Black radishes will keep slightly longer.

Handling– Scrub radishes well to remove any lingering dirt. Trim off the stems and rootlets. Slice, chop, or mince the roots or leave them whole.


Cooking Greens (Kale, Swiss Chard, Beet Greens, Bok Choi)

 Storage- Keep dry, unwashed greens in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. Thicker greens will keep up to two weeks, but tender ones like beet greens should be eaten within a week.

 Handling- Just prior to use, swish leaves in a large basin of lukewarm water. After any grit has settled to the bottom, life the leaves out carefully. Additional rounds of washing may be necessary. If the sink has dirt in it or if you sample a leaf and it tastes gritty, the greens probably need to be rinsed again.

 How you prepare greens for cooking can make or break a dish. It’s fine to leave the stems on small baby greens, but many greens (choi, chard, kale) have thick stems that cook more slowly than the leaves. If stems are not removed, you wind up with either soggy greens or raw stems. Fold each leaf in half and slice out the stem De-stem several leaves, then stack them up and slice them diagonally into 1 inch-wide ribbons. If you want to use the stems in your dish, slice them a quarter inch thick and begin cooking them before you add the greens.



Store- Our producer, Pete & Gerry’s, recommends storing the eggs in a refrigerator, reason being that they wash their eggs before sending them to market. This makes them slightly more porous and in turn the eggs age a little faster.

FYI-You may be wondering why there is a discrepancy between eggs and refrigeration around the world. Well, we did too and did some research. In the US, industry standards are to wash the eggs before sending them out, in order to lower the risk of transmitting diseases. That’s not to say that local small scale egg producers’ eggs aren’t clean, but they probably haven’t been subjected to a pressure wash.


Recipes of the Week!

Take a fancy foodie picture with your Applecrest fruit and veggies? Let us know and post it on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter with #applecrest !

  • Poached Salmon with English Peas
  • Sweet Potato, Kale and Sausage bake
  • Risotto with Kale, Radishes and Lemon
  • Radish Rhubarb and Strawberry Salad
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Fried Rhubarb Pie

Poached Salmon with English Peas

From Panna

  • 2 Center-Cut Wild King Salmon Fillets
  • 1 C. dry White Wine
  • Salt
  • 4 ounces Fresh Morels, Wild Mushroom of Choice or Dried Morels Soaked in Hot Water
  • 4 T. Unsalted Butter
  • 2 C. Shelled Fresh English Peas or Best-Quality Frozen Peas
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Chives, finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 C. Heavy Cream
  • Handful Chive Blossoms, optional
  • Large Heavy-Bottomed Pot or Dutch Oven
  • Medium Saute Pan
  • Fish Spatula
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Small Paring Knife


  1. In a wide, deep pot or Dutch oven, add water to the depth of a couple of inches and bring to a gentle simmer. If you’re cutting portions from a whole salmon fillet, cut two large pieces from the center of the fillet. To the poaching water, add the wine and a generous pinch of salt. Gently lower the fish, skin side down, into the poaching liquid, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently poach the fish until it is just cooked through or barely opaque in the center, 8 to 12 minutes.
  2. While the salmon is poaching, prepare the rest of the ingredients for the sauce. Cut the morels in half or quarters, depending on the size of the mushrooms. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the morels. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the peas and toss to coat in the butter mixture. Add 1/2 cup of the salmon poaching liquid, and simmer until the peas begin to soften and the liquid evaporates, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. While the sauce is cooking, finely chop the chives and pick the chive blossoms for the garnishing of the dish. Add the cream and gently simmer the sauce until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Check the doneness of the salmon by gently inserting a paring knife into the thickest part of the fillet. If the knife blade is slightly warm to the touch, remove the fillets from the poaching liquid with a fish spatula. Carefully peel off and discard the skin.
  5. Serve the salmon with the peas and cream spooned on top. Garnish with the chives, and chive blossoms, if you like.


Sweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage Bake with White Cheese Sauce

From: Pinch of Yum

Serves: 4-6


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (3-4 cups)
  • 16 ounces Italian pork or chicken sausage, cut into small rounds
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¾ cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 2 cups finely chopped kale and/or swiss chard


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and Italian sausage. Shake to coat in oil, let sit for a few minutes to brown, and shake the pan gently again to move everything around. Repeat until the sweet potatoes and sausage both have golden brown exteriors. Toss with the kale and transfer to a greased 9-inch square baking dish.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring the broth and ½ cup milk to a low boil, then turn the heat to keep it at a low simmer. Whisk the flour and remaining ¼ cup milk to form a thick paste. Add this to the broth, whisking to keep the sauce smooth. Add ¼ cup Gruyere and stir until melted.
  3. Pour the sauce over the sweet potatoes, kale, and sausage in the baking dish. Top with remaining ½ cup cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted.

Notes: This makes quite a bit of sauce – you might not need all of it depending on how sau-say you like things.


Risotto with Radishes, Kale, and Lemon

From Five and Spice

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil or butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup risotto rice (Arborio or Carnaroli)
  • ½ cup white wine (optional – if omitting wine, replace it with an extra ½ cup of stock)
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • about 8-10 radishes, sliced into quarter-inch thick rounds
  • 1 bunch of kale, washed, stems trimmed, and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • ⅓ cup chopped preserved lemon (if you don’t have preserved lemon, you can make a quick version with this recipe, or you can use 2 Tbs. lemon juice and 2 tsp. zest, but it will have a slightly less robust flavor)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp, hard cheese such as Pecorino or Parmesan
  • 2 Tbs. crème fraiche or heavy cream (optional, but really nice)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put your vegetable/chicken stock in a pot and bring it to a simmer while you chop the vegetables. Then take it off the heat, cover, and set it aside.
  2. In a medium-large heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil or butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic along with a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until it is softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, and cook for a couple minutes to allow the rice to soak up some of the butter/oil. The grains should become slightly more opaque looking. Then, pour in the white wine, if using, and cook until the wine is all absorbed, stirring all the while.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium or medium-low and add a cup of the warm stock. Cook the rice, stirring almost constantly. When the stock is almost all absorbed, add another half cup, plus the sliced radishes.
  5. Continue to add stock in half-cup increments as each previous addition of stock has become mostly absorbed. Stir frequently as the rice cooks. It should take around 30 minutes for all of the stock to be added and absorbed. At this point, taste the rice to be sure it is cooked to your liking – it should generally be tender with just the tiniest bit of resistance still in the center. If you find it’s not cooked enough for your taste, continue cooking adding more stock one ladleful at a time as you go until you get it to a point where you like it.
  6. After the last of the stock has been cooked into the rice, add the kale, and stir it in. You may have to add it in a couple additions letting each addition wilt to make space for the next addition. Cook for five minutes, until tender, stirring all the while, and adding a few spoonfuls of water at a time, as needed, if the pot is seeming dry and the rice overly sticky.
  7. When the kale is tender, add the chopped lemon, the shredded cheese, and the crème fraiche/cream. Stir well until everything is evenly mixed and the cheese is melted. Taste and add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm (and drink up the rest of the white wine with dinner, if you please!).


Radish, Rhubarb and Strawberry Salad


2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, finely minced
4 cups loosely packed torn salad
1 large handful fresh spearmint
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 rhubarb stalk, thinly shaved
5 radishes, thinly shaved
1 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered
Toasted pistachios, for garnish


1.    In a large bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the oil with the garlic. Add the greens and mint and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, and portion onto plates.

2.    In the same bowl, combine the rhubarb, radishes, and strawberries. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon oil, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and spoon over the greens.

3.    Top with the pistachios, and serve immediately.

Strawberry Shortcake


Strawberries and whipping cream:

  • 1-2 quarts fresh strawberries
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup sugar
  • Whipping cream
  • Vanilla


Remove the stems from the strawberries. Slice into thin (1/4″ to 1/8″) slices. Put into a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet the strawberries are to begin with) and mix into the strawberries. Set aside at room temperature to macerate (which means that the sugar will soften the strawberries and help release their juices).

After the strawberries have been sitting for 20 minutes or so, take a potato masher and mash them a little. Not too much, just enough to get more juice out of them.

Whip the cream, adding a drop or two of vanilla and a teaspoon of sugar.

To serve, break up one biscuit per person into big pieces into a bowl. Ladle strawberries over the biscuit. Add a dolop of whipped cream.

Homemade biscuits


2 cups All Purpose Flour

1 Tbs baking powder

1 Tsp salt

1 Tbs granulated sugar

1/3 cup of shortening

1 cup of milk



Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a large-ish bowl mix together all the dry ingredients. Cut in the margarine. That means to cut up the margarine into cute little square pats and put them into the bowl. Then, mix in the margarine (Hands work best for this) until what’s in the bowl resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in the milk until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If your dough seems too sticky, add a tablespoon or two more flour. If it’s too dry, add more milk.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface (like your counter top, or a large cutting board placed on top of your counter top). Knead the dough. You don’t want to over work it. Just until there are no sticky parts. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Use a round cookie cutter (or the rim of a glass) to punch out the biscuits. Or, you could just pull off a little less than a handful and call them drop biscuits, if presentation means nothing to you.

Place the cut outs onto a greased cookie pan. Place in the oven for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the tops and edges start to brown.


Fried Rhubarb Pie


Serves 15


3½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
1½ cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup cold butter cubes
⅓ cup cold shortening
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 cups small-diced rhubarb (about 3 stalks)
1 tablespoon apple pectin
Oil for deep-frying


1.    Combine the flour, cornstarch, ½ cup sugar, and salt. Using a biscuit cutter, cut in the butter and shortening until the lumps are pea-sized. Add 1 cup water and the vinegar and knead the dough until just combined. Do not over work! Put in the chiller to rest for 3 hours or overnight

2.    Mix ¾ cup of the sugar, 2 ounces water, and the rhubarb in a pot, bring to a boil, and turn off. Once the rhubarb is semi-soft, strain it out, leaving the liquid in the pot.

3.    Mix ¼ cup sugar and the pectin together. Bring the rhubarb liquid to a boil again. Whisk in the pectin mixture. Boil on medium heat for 3 minutes. Put the strained rhubarb back in and stir to combine. Chill to set.

8.    Roll the pie dough to about inch. Cut it into rounds and lay them into tart molds or a muffin tin. Fill with the rhubarb jam.

9.    Moisten the outside of the dough and top it with another round. Crimp the sides to seal. Push in the edges and place in the freezer.

10.    Deep fry in 325˚F oil until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Rest for 3 minutes. Be careful, as the inside will be molten hot! Serve with your favorite ice cream or crème fraîche.

As a reminder, part of the fun of being a member of a CSA is collaborating with your community, so always feel free to post cooking suggestions or feedback on recipes that we post, or favorite recipes of your own that you’d like to share.


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Applecrest Farm | 133 Exeter Road (Rt.88) | Hampton Falls, NH 03844 | Phone 603.926.3721 |