Tuesday, September 28, 2010

CSA Harvest #18

Mauri everyone and hooray for the 18th delivery! Also a hooray is definitely in order for this beautiful weather we've been blessed with. As we've been working this week we try to absorb every ray of sun we can to store it up for the long, cold, gray winter ahead. The welcomed warm days have also made the strawberries pump out even more berries than normal and they're sweeter too! Please savor these last weeks of berries since when the fall rains really hit the berries will be done until next spring.

At this time of year on the farm we are still busy planting last minute crops that can grow and mature quickly. Baby salad greens, more turnips, lettuce, arugula and spinach that we hope will find their way into your basket during the last few weeks. Also we are clearing out the spent corn to get it ready for the garlic planting that will happen in about two weeks. If anyone would like to try their hand at planting garlic extra hands are surely welcome in this activity! We will be planting out 27 lines of garlic on beds 100 feet long. We fit three lines of garlic per bed. This leaves us with enough to sell and give in the CSA each season with enough left over for planting when fall comes. We try to save the largest cloves for planting since large cloves make large bulbs.

Many farmers try to save costs and be more self reliant by saving their own seeds each season. Due to time and lack of a labor force here at Big Lick we pretty much only save garlic seed for replanting and for the past two seasons potatoes (along with annual flowers). Garlic actually gets better and better as it is grown in the same site year after year. The plant begins to adapt to the soil and the climate. This will be our fourth season planting this garlic at Big Lick Farm. The potatoes we have tried saving enough each season but they do not do as well when saved each year. Potatoes are more susceptible to viruses and disease which can weaken the plants over time and lead to reduced yields. We will need to save up enough to buy more seed potatoes for next season. The main expense we pay for seed potatoes are shipping costs since most all the seed potatoes come from Colorado and need to be shipped out via UPS. Of course the benefit to ordering new potato seeds are there are always delicious new varieties to try! This year sadly our potato variety has dwindled down to a few French fingerling and lots of yukon golds. We will be planting some different varieties next season.

Already we have been making lists of new varieties other Oregon CSA farms have had success with and ones which we would love to grow next season. Also we will be sending out surveys in the next few weeks to each of you (via email). We would love to hear some feedback about how we're doing. And input as to how to make 2011 our best season ever is greatly appreciated!

Happy eating!

Suzie, Asinete, M.A., Violet and Sally

Harvest This Week Includes:

Basil tops (may be the last of it depending when the first frost comes!) freezes well!

Yukon Gold Potatoes

Softneck garlic

Yellow Sunshine Watermelon

Charantais cantaloupe (really there this week! sorry they did not fit last week!)

Hakurei Turnips

Lacinato kale aka Dinosaur Kale (the most nutritious of all the kales)

Heirloom Tomatoes


Lipstick and Gypsy Peppers (too many? they freeze well!)

Luscious sweet corn (from our last planting) we are really hoping we can get some in baskets tomorrow.. if not this week then definitely next week!)

Raspberries (on rotation)

How to Store it and Cook it!

Did you make the kale chips from the recipe last week? My mom who thought kale was blah before made the kale chips this last weekend and could not stop raving about them... try for yourself! guaranteed you will love! more kale recipes from last week's blog..

Hakurei Turnip Gratin

Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a non-stick 12 inch skillet (make sure you have a top to fit the pan.)

Wash one bunch of white hakurei turnips well, top and tail them, and slice them in 1/4 inch slices. Save the turnip greens for another recipe. You don’t need to peel the turnips. Layer the slices in the pan. Sprinkle the sliced turnips with 1 teaspoon dry thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper, and 1/8- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

Cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, then pour 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup chicken stock over the top. Cover and cook the turnips over medium heat for 20 minutes. The turnips will be completely cooked through, but there will be considerable liquid left in the pan. Remove the cover and cook to reduce the liquid. When most of the liquid has reduced (about 5-10 minutes), and the sauce is thickened, grate finely 1/2 cup of fresh parmesan cheese evenly over the top. Watch closely as the cheese melts and make sure that the liquid does not entirely cook away.

Serve the turnips hot. The recipe is supposed to serve 6, but maybe realistically it would only serve 4, once they discover that they love turnips!

Turnip Greens

* 1 bunch Hakurei turnip greens, cut into large strips
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
* 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
* 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 clementine, tangerine, or small orange, peeled and sectioned
* A pinch of sugar, brown sugar or honey
* salt


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the turnip greens and the remaining ingredients. Saute until the greens have wilted. Serve with slivered raw Hakurei turnips.

Chicken Salad with Hakurei Turnips and Raisins


* 2 cups diced chicken
* 6 small Hakurei turnips diced
* 1/4 cup raisins
* 2 tbsp mayonaise
* 1 tbsp dijon mustard
* 1 tbsp brown sugar or honey
* 1/4 tsp ground coriander, ground cumin, or curry powder
* 1/2 tsp tabasco sauce
* salt and lots of black pepper


Mix all the ingredients together. Let the salad rest for at least 1/2 hour to allow the flavors to bind.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

CSA Harvest #17

Good day everyone. In honor of only 1 more day left of summer (yes Thursday is the Autumnal Equinox)I wanted to post a picture of the country that Asinete calls home.. the Pacific Island of Kiribati. Where is Kiribati you will probably ask.. well if you look at a map midway between Australia and Hawaii right along that doted line that is the equator you will see tiny, scattered islands and that is Kiribati. Since Kiribati straddles the equator it is always summer there. If you would really like to surprise Asinete you could greet him with the Kiribati greeting.. Mauri!! (pronounced Mowree)just don't tell him I told you ;)

It might be the end of summer but after this week we still have 9 more deliveries to make! Our last delivery will be Thanksgiving week.. most likely on a Mon or Tues as many of you may be gone for the holiday. Don't worry we will keep you all updated! If you still have unpaid balances we would really appreciate all of those to be paid completely by Nov 1st.

The rain has given all the crops at the farm a good soaking. Some crops love the rain (broccoli, carrots, fennel, lettuce and more) whereas others suffer in some ways (mainly split tomatoes & rotting strawberries that don't like getting wet). You may notice you don't get as many strawberries this week and that is because too many were beautiful on one side and complete mush on the other.
Amazingly our new raspberries that we planted this spring are going gangbusters heavily loaded down with the fall crop of berries. Still not enough for all of you at once but this week we are going to start rotating them through the CSA baskets so hopefully you will all get some in the next few weeks. Next year they will be much bigger and even more loaded with some for everyone!

Happy Fall and perhaps you can celebrate the Equinox with a large cold slice of .. watermelon? yep! Sorry that we could not get these yellow sunshine melons to you sooner in the blazing hot days of summer.. we hope you will still enjoy them! The other melon in your basket is a French cantaloupe called a Charentais. We would love to hear what you all have enjoyed more.. the cantaloupe you have already been getting the last few weeks (Ambrosia) or this new Charentais melon..

Enjoy the last week of summer's bounty!

Suzie, Asinete, M.A., Violet and Sally

Harvest This Week Includes:

Hakurei Turnips (they're back!!) use those greens as well!


Yellow Sweet Onions

Sweet Peppers and Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers (the longer skinnier ones either yellow or red) *hot ones will be in paper sack with your cherry tomatoes!


Winterbor Kale (recipe ideas below.. please try kale chips recipe below.. yummmm!!!)

Summer Squash


Cherry Tomatoes

Heirloom and San Marzano Tomatoes

Sunshine Watermelon

Charantais cantaloupe

On rotation: raspberries

How to store it and cook it!!

In case we did not tell you your carrots keep better with their tops lopped off and keep the topless carrots in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer until used.

Kale time!!

Your kale this week is a variety called Winterbor. Kale may be new to your palate but it should be a mainstay of your recipes from fall through early spring. Kale survives our winters like a champion and the cold weather even makes it more tasty by converting the starches into sugars when the weather freezes.

The following is an excerpt from a holistic health website regarding kale:
"Nutritionally rated, kale is near the top amongst vegetables. It's a real nutrition booster, with its high level of beta carotene and plentiful
amounts of vitamins C and E. These antioxidants make it a good food to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke and cataracts. Kale is also loaded with such minerals as calcium, potassium, manganese and iron.

Additionally, kale is high in sulforaphane, which stimulates the body to
produce cancer-fighting enzymes. Sulfur compounds called glucosinolates, which are found in generous amounts in cruciferous vegetables like kale, are broken down into compounds called isothiocyanates and indoles when the vegetable is chewed or cut. The presence of vitamin C makes this process even more effective, as the compounds are more readily available for the body's use.

Researchers believe kale's cancer-lessening ability stems from these
and many population compounds. Some surveys, experimental testing, several animal trials studies have found that eating kale on a regular basis lowers the risk of different cancers.

Kale is also among the highest vegetable sources of chlorophyll, an immune system stimulant.

In the "Medical Value of Natural Foods," published in 1936, Dr W.H. Graves wrote that kale is also effective in treating constipation, obesity, acidosis, emaciation, poor teeth, pyorrhea, arthritis, gout, rheumatism, skin diseases and bladder disorders."

The longer kale is stored, the stronger its flavor becomes. The best way to store it is to wrap it in a damp towel and place it in a plastic bag in a cold place like the refrigerator. In this way it lasts for 10 to 14 days.

Kale Recipe Ideas!!
The kale tastes much better if you tear or cut the leaves away from the hard rib part of each leaf. We find tearing leaves much faster than cutting!

Garlicky Braised Kale

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
Generous pinch red chile flakes
10 ounces kale
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pot. Add the garlic and chile flakes and sauté for about a minute, or until fragrant. Add the kale and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until just wilted. Add the water. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the kale is tender. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.

Serves 2 to 4. A fantastic side dish that will go with just about anything. Toss with pasta and grated Parmegiano-Reggiano to turn it into a simple and delicious complete meal.

Hilary's Delicious and Nutritious Kale Chips!
You need:

* 1 bunch of kale
* 1/4 teaspoon paprika
* salt to taste
* 1/4 teaspoon sugar
* dash of cayenne pepper
* 1 Tablespoon olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. Wash and dry kale. Remove leaves from stems and rip into chip-sized pieces. Place kale in large bowl.
3. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on kale and evenly massage onto leaves. Slowly add salt and paprika and pepper (or your choice of seasonings) to kale while tossing in bowl. Do not add the sugar yet.
4. Spread kale evenly on very lightly coated baking sheet or on parchment paper on baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes. Flip after 5 minutes. Keep your eye on them to make sure they don’t over cook or burn (they can easily).
5. Remove when done and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle with sugar while still hot.

Orzo with Kale


* 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
* 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 4 cloves garlic, sliced
* 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
* 1 large lemon, juiced
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
* salt and black pepper to taste


1. Bring a large pot of lightly-salted water to a boil; sprinkle the turmeric over the boiling water and stir in the orzo; return to a boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes; drain. Scrape into a mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the garlic in the hot oil for a few seconds until it begins to bubble. Stir the kale into the garlic, cover the skillet with a lid, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and continue cooking and stirring until the kale is tender, about 10 minutes more. Stir the kale mixture into the orzo along with the lemon juice, nutmeg, and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 103 | Total Fat: 2.1g | Cholesterol: < 1mg


1 sm. onion, diced
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 c. regular rice
1 1/2 c. water
1 tbsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 med. size peppers
1/4 c. butter
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 c. tomatoes, peeled & quartered or 2 cans Italian stewed tomatoes

Saute onions in tablespoon of butter until soft in a large skillet. Add rice; cook over low heat for 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup water. Cook until rice is tender (about 10 minutes). Remove skillet from heat; add meat, salt and pepper. The night before wash peppers, cut off tops, scoop out seeds and membrane. The next day, stuff loosely with rice mixture. On top of the stove, melt 1/4 cup butter. Stir in flour, sugar, remaining 1 cup water and tomatoes. Simmer over low heat; stir constantly until sauce is smooth. (Use only 1/2 cup water if using canned tomatoes.) In a crock pot, stand filled peppers upright. Cover with tomato sauce; cover. Simmer over low heat until peppers are tender (about 1 hour or so). Serve with crusty French bread. Serves 6.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

CSA Harvest #16

They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words so let me use up some cyberspace with these images from the CSA harvest last week. If it is not evident from the photos above Wednesday's on the farm tend to be the best days of the week. On Wednesday we are joined by our take charge, fast paced volunteer trio. M.A., Violet and Sally carefully wash, cut, tie, weigh, bag,and place each item with the utmost TLC into every basket. We are lucky indeed to have this volunteer force willing to lend a helping hand.

In other farm news many of you decided to join us for our third annual potluck this past Sunday. The amount of food brought by each of you was astounding and our pack house was bulging at the seams with bowls piled high with your festive, delicious creations. We hope you enjoyed your time at the farm and we thank fellow CSA member Steve Erickson for providing music with his accordion and also the musical posse from Om Garden's for bringing the Stevie Wonder vibe to the farm!
I will post some photos of Sunday's potluck on the blog so please be on the lookout!
We noticed we inherited several new plates and utensils. If you think you may have left something here please let us know what it is so we can get it back to you!

We also want to give a shout out to our new patrons at Lighthouse Center Bakery in Umpqua and Steamboat Inn (on the North Umpqua Highway). Both of these business's see the importance of supporting local, sustainable farms in their own communities and we want to thank them as it helps to keep our business viable. If you find yourself at either Steamboat Inn (they have a great breakfast menu!) or the Lighthouse Bakery/Cafe please let them know you appreciate them supporting our farm.

You may be going through a greens withdrawal but we will begin to dispense the greenery again starting next week with our new crop of kale and rainbow chard.

Until then enjoy the lingering tastes of summer!

Suzie, Asinete, M.A., Violet and Sally

Harvest This Week Includes:

Green and Royal Burgundy Beans (they're back!!)

Basil (recipes below)

Summer Squash (tromboncini and yellow crookneck) recipe ideas below!

Cucumber Mix (green slicing/boothby blonde, lemon)

Ambrosia Melon (store in your fridge til you enjoy!)

Hardneck garlic

French Fingerling Potatoes (our all time favorite!)


Sweet Lipstick/Gypsy Bell Peppers

Cherry Tomato Mix

Heirloom Tomatoes

Red Torpedo Onions

Recipe Ideas!!

Basil Info: Researchers report that basil contains antibacterial compounds, which make the essential oil great for treating skin conditions. In India it is used in a kind of aroma therapy and is said to give people sattva, enlightenment and harmony. In Arabian countries it has long been used to alleviate menstrual cramps, so, many Arabian men refuse to eat it.

~ great topping for green beans!
1 tsp. chopped garlic
20 basil leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. dijon mustard
4 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

Whirl together the above ingredients, and toss with lightly steamed green beans and/or cooked potatoes, or? Then toss with: chopped walnuts and 3 sliced scallions.

Summer Squash with Basil and Pecorino Romano Cheese

1 1/2 pounds firm summer squash
4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons freshly grated imported Pecorino Romano cheese
10 basil leaves

Wash the squash well. Trim squash and slice into thin coins. Place olive oil in a large saute pan and turn the heat to high. Add the squash and toss in the oil until it is lightly golden in spots but still crisp, about 4 minutes. Turn the heat to medium low, add the garlic and S & P to taste. Cook until the squash is tender but still has a trace of crispness.

Transfer the squash to a serving platter. Sprinkle the grated Pecorino Romano cheese over squash. Tear the basil leaves into fragments and scatter them over the top.

Squash Casserole

3 1/2 c chopped yellow summer squash
1/2 c chopped sweet onion
2 Tbsp flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp salt
lots of black pepper
1 cup dry bread crumbs or crushed crackers

Preheat oven to 350. Cook the squash and onion together (should make a combination of about 4 cups) in boiling water until tender and drain well. Combine in a large bowl with the eggs, flour, milk, 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, and about 1/2 cup of crumbs. Spoon into a large buttered casserole dish and top with the rest of the crumbs, cheese, and dot with butter to taste. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

French Fingerling Potato Info:

Nutritional Value
French Fingerlings contain calcium, niacin, protein, iron, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6 and dietary fiber. One medium-sized potato contains about 100 calories. For optimum nutritional benefits, cook with skins or lightly peel as most of its nutrients are just under its skin. Look closely when you cut into the French fingerling.. don't you just love that red blush color? Keep your fingerlings at room temperature in a paper sack.

French Potato Salad
Makes 6 servings

* 2 1/2 pounds fingerling or small new potatoes, halved (quartered if large)
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
* 1 small shallot, minced (2 tablespoons)
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
* 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
* 1/4 small red onion, sliced


1. Place potatoes in a large pot; cover with cold water by 1 inch and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Run under cold water to cool slightly, then drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together oil, mustard, vinegar, shallot, parsley, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Add potatoes and onion and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature. (To store, refrigerate, up to overnight.)

From Everyday Food, July/August 2009

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

CSA Harvest #15.. goodbye summer :(

Ahhhhh don't you just love these lingering days of summer? Ha! Can't you hear my voice dripping with sarcasm? Dripping as heavily as the rain is off the eaves of the house at the moment. So much for thinking that a weather forecast with 30% chance of rain wouldn't amount to much. Today was spent scurrying around covering everything with tarps (or the Oregon state flag as one friend calls the ubiquitous blue tarp). Our ton of storage onions should still be snug and dry.. the problem is our potatoes which we have been storing in the ground. Now with the ground thoroughly soaked the taters we have grown for eating are going to start either sending up sprouts and growing or rotting. So guess what we will be spending our next few days doing? yep! digging spuds and trying to save those beauties for the CSA.

The downpour has also wreaked havoc on our tomato harvest this week. Our tomatoes are on a strict watering regime (normally!) They are only given an hour of water a week through a drip tape at their roots. Too much water and the fruits will not be near as sweet and also they will start to crack as the water is absorbed into the fruit. With the great, soaking drench we've had today there is a guarantee that you will be getting some split tomatoes in your shares. Just remember your tomatoes have had a very long rain water bath and are even cleaner than normal so a few cracks should not prevent you from enjoying them.. they will just need to be enjoyed asap!

But fear not because this Sunday will be a beautiful day! We hope you will spend your Sunday afternoon with us from 2-6pm for the potluck! Don't worry..we won't force anyone to dig potatoes either! We will have a garlic planting party in October though and then we would love the help. But this Sunday will be devoted to eating, talking, walking the fields & listening to great music from the friends of Big Lick Farm! We hope to see you here! Directions will be sent out to each of you. If you have not received directions please email us!

Buen aprovecho!

This Week's Harvest Includes:



Arugula! (check out the recipe for arugula pesto below!)

Easter Egg Radishes

Yellow Crookneck Squash and a new variety we were requested to grow from fellow CSA members called Tromboncini.. a beautiful summer squash. You will now it when you see it! Treat as you would any summer squash.

Sungold/White Cherry and Black Cherry Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Ambrosia Melon!!! Yummmy.. a sweet, fragrant cantaloupe.

Sweet Corn (new variety we've never grown) open pollinated which we wanted to grow because it means we could save the seed if we want to. Let us know what you think of it.

Yellow Sweet Onion and Red Torpedo Onion

Sweet Peppers (finally!)

How to Store it and Cook it!

Hooray for sweet peppers! The lipstick peppers in your basket this week are smaller than bell peppers but sweeter.


Store peppers for short-term use by refrigerating them in the crisper drawer of your fridge. To ensure good air flow, remove peppers from any plastic bag. With proper refrigeration, a healthy pepper should last from three to five days in the refrigerator.

Store peppers for up to a month by freezing them. Frozen properly peppers should retain good flavor and color for a month. Wash, core and seed fresh peppers to get them ready for freezing. They can be frozen either whole or sliced.

For longer storage:
Store peppers for long periods by blanching and then freezing them. Blanching will ensure good color and flavor retention. Place washed, cored and seeded peppers in boiling water for two to three minutes, and then freeze them. They may be frozen whole, halved, sliced or chopped.

Nutritional Value
A good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and potassium, red peppers are higher in vitamin A and vitamin C than green peppers.

For cooking:
Add the sweet crunch of Lipstick peppers to all types of salads. Chopped, grated or sliced in rings, add flavor to casseroles, pasta dishes, egg dishes and pizza. Stuff with rice, cheese, meat.

Creamy Corn Soup with Roasted Red-Pepper Sauce

* Active time:35 min
* Start to finish:35 min

May 2008
Don’t be turned off because this soup is actually good for you. The secret to the silky texture of this soup is oatmeal. Rolled oats have their own starch and give body and creaminess when blended, adding extra fiber to your diet as well.
For red-pepper sauce

* 2 red bell peppers (1 lb total)
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
* 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

For soup

* 4 ears of corn
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 5 cups water
* 1/4 cup rolled oats
* 2 teaspoons fine sea salt

chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro

Roast peppers for sauce:

Roast peppers on racks of gas burners on high, turning with tongs, until skins are blackened all over, 10 to 12 minutes. (Or broil peppers on rack of a broiler pan 5 inches from heat, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes.) Transfer to a bowl and let stand, covered, 10 minutes.

Make soup while peppers roast and stand:

Cut kernels off cobs, then scrape cobs with knife to extract “milk.”
Cook onion in oil in a heavy medium pot over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add corn with its “milk,” water, oats, and sea salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

Finish red-pepper sauce while soup simmers:

Peel peppers (do not rinse), then halve lengthwise, discarding stems and seeds.
Purée peppers in a blender with oil, lemon juice, hot sauce, sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with hot sauce and salt, then transfer to a bowl.

Finish soup:

Purée soup in 2 to 3 batches in cleaned blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl if desired. Reheat soup if necessary, then season with salt.
Serve soup drizzled with some red-pepper sauce and serve remaining sauce on the side or reserve for another use.

Cooks’ note: Soup and sauce keep separately, covered and chilled, 3 days.

Arugula Ideas: Store your arugula in a plastic bag in fridge. Try to use within 5 days.

Arugula Corn Salad with Bacon


4 large ears of corn
2 cups of chopped arugula (about one bunch)
4 strips of bacon, cooked, chopped
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Cook the corn ears, in their husks, either on the grill for a smokey flavor, or by steaming in a large covered stock pot with an inch of boiling water at the bottom of the pot, for 12-15 minutes. Let the corn cool (can run under cold water to speed up the cooling), remove the husks and silk. I recommend cooking the corn in the husks for the added flavor that the husks impart. If you boil or steam the corn ears after you've already husked them, or if you cook them in the microwave, reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.

2 To remove the kernels from the cobs, stand a corn cob vertically over a large, shallow bowl. Use a sharp knife to make long, downward strokes, removing the kernels from the cob, as you work your way around the cob.

3 In a medium sized bowl, mix together the corn, chopped arugula, bacon, and onions. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and cumin. Mix dressing into salad just before serving. Taste and add more vinegar if necessary to balance the sweetness of the corn.

Serves 4.

Arugula Pesto


* 2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
* 1/2 cup of walnuts
* 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
* 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
* 1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced


1 Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.

2 Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown, or heat in a microwave on high heat for a minute or two until you get that roasted flavor. In our microwave it takes 2 minutes.

3a Food processor method (the fast way): Combine the arugula, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

3b Mortar and pestle method (photo pictures pesto produced this way): Combine the nuts and garlic in a mortar. With the pestle, grind until smooth. Add the cheese and olive oil, grind again until smooth. Finely chop the arugula and add it to the mortar. Grind up with the other ingredients until smooth.

Because the pesto is so dependent on the individual ingredients, and the strength of the ingredients depends on the season or variety, test it and add more of the ingredients to taste.

4 Mix with freshly prepared pasta of your choice*. You may need to add a little bit of water or more olive oil to mix the pesto more evenly with the pasta.

Makes enough pesto sauce for an ample serving of pasta for four people.