the farm news
the e-newsletter of The Food Project's CSA
Week 2, June 9

Busy Times on the Farm
Spring is crazy-making for farmers in New England.  Everything must be planted and weeded and now harvesting has also begun. With the long hours of daylight, at 8:00pm the vegetables are still growing.  So are the weeds.  That first harvest lets us brake up our hectic schedule and savor the vegetables of our labor.  While most of our crops are in the ground demanding our attention, very few are ready for harvesting.  Some of you new to this or remembering the CSA in August may have been surprised by the modesty of the the first week's offerings.  Remember that June is just an appetizer for the bounty to come.  There are small green tomatoes growing larger by the day and zucchini beginning to fill out.  For now we're enjoying the first tastes of green-ness fresh from the land instead of the grocery store.

Coming soon: Chinese Cabbage (Napa Cabbage)

A scallion, also commonly known as spring onion, green onion, or salad onion, is associated with various members of the genus Allium that lack a fully-developed bulb. Harvested for their taste, they tend to be milder than other onions and may be steamed or set in salads in western cookery and cooked in many Asian recipes. When considering scallions at the market, look for tops that are dark green and stiff.  Scallions are more popular than storage onions in China and Japan.  Scallions are excellent in stir-fries because they cook quickly and stay green. To store scallions, put them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, where they'll hold 2-3 days without becoming limp. 

Sesame-Scallion Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons canola oil, plus more as needed
3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
3 tablespoons toasted black or white sesame seeds

Dipping Sauce
3 small, skinny chile peppers, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons black vinegar or balsamic vinegar

1.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and 1 tablespoon of the oil.  With a wooden spoon, stir in 1/2 cup boiling water to form a soft dough.  (Add additional flour or boiling water if necessary.)  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 3 minutes.  Cover the dough with its bowl and let stand for 30 minutes.
2.  Dust the dough with a bit of flour and roll it into an 8 x 16 inch rectangle.  Brush 1 tablespoon of the oil over the surface of the dough and sprinkle it with the scallions and sesame seeds.  Starting on one long side,  roll up the dough like a jelly roll.  Cut the roll into 8 even slices.  One at a time, lay a slice of dough on the work surface.  Flatten it with a floured hand, then roll it into a 4-inch disk. 
3.  To make the dipping sauce:  In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Set aside.
4.  In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium-high heat.  Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the skillet and adding oil as necessary, pan-fry the pancakes until crispy and brown, turning once, about 1 minute per side.  As the pancakes are done, transfer them to a baking sheet and keep them warm in a 250-degree oven while you fry the  rest.  Serve the pancakes warm with the dipping sauce.

Entertaining for a Veggie Planet by Didi Emmons, Houghton Mifflin, 2003