Signs of Spring

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asparagusFinally, the asparagus has arrived! A springtime favorite, asparagus graces us with its presence for a quick two months so we’ve got to get it while the gettin’s good. Everyone is familiar with it, but some of us may be cooking it not quite right. Did you know asparagus can be eaten raw? It’s great!

Some tips for cooking up your spears: 
1. Snap off the ends, don’t cut them so they’re all the same length. Bending the spear and snapping off the end will ensure that the woody part of the stem isn’t making it to your plate.
2. It should be cooked al dente, regardless of how thick the spears are. Thin spears should be sautéed, medium spears can do whatever, and thick spears are best grilled.
3. It can be shaved or chopped up and served raw! Toss into your salad and give it a whirl.
4. It can be stored in the crisper drawer OR in an uncovered jar with about an inch of water to cover the ends.
5. Cook literally any way you can think of! Slice raw, blanch, roast, stir-fry, steam, tempura, grill…go nuts!

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Asparagus

asparagusWonder what it means to “snap the woody ends” of asparagus? While the tip and upper portion are tender, the stalks become increasingly fibrous toward the bottom. To snap the “woody ends”, bend the stalk near the bottom and snap in two. If it is difficult to snap, move up the stalk until you find the natural break between the tender and tough portions. Save the woody ends for stock.

Asparagus Tapenade
Basic Roasted Asparagus
Slow Butter-Braised Asparagus
Asparagus Pesto

The Egg Subscription

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The Field Goods Egg Subscription:
For just $5.25/week you will receive one dozen large white or brown CERTIFIED ORGANIC and HUMANE, FREE RANGE eggs. These can be ordered for weekly or bi-weekly delivery.


So, what is the deal with free range eggs and why are they more expensive than commercial eggs?
First, there is plenty of research that says they are better for you. We culled through several studies and, while the research revealed different results, they all noted that free range eggs are better for you. The consensus is that free range eggs have:
  • more vitamin A & E;
  • more long-chained omega-3 fats (whatever those are); and
  • a better ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 (here is why that matters).

In addition, a couple studies showed that pasture-raised eggs have lower cholesterol. But maybe that doesn’t matter all that much, since now scientists are saying that cholesterol from eggs isn’t a problem (New York Times article: Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee). If all this bad, good, better, best health information has got your eyes crossing then move on to the next two points.

Second, the chickens are humanely raised and must be allowed to roam in fields. They are free to eat whatever insects and plants they desire and not just a diet of corn and soy. Allowing chickens to frolic in the field contributes to their cost because pastured chickens lay fewer eggs per year, require more space and more expensive feed, and are generally raised by much smaller farms.

Third, people swear the eggs taste better!


Free Range Certification Specifics

HFAC’s Certified Humane® “Free Range” requirement is 2 sq. ft. per bird. The hens must be outdoors, weather permitting (in some areas of the country, seasonal), and when they are outdoors they must be outdoors for at least 6 hours per day.free range chickens

Our eggs are sourced from Latremore Pine Ridge Farm in Chazy, NY. They will be delivered in insulated foil envelopes with cold packs. SUPPORT RE-USE! Please return the envelopes, cold packs, and egg cartons.

Thanks,
Your Field Goods Team

P.S. For those of you that buy farm raised free range organic eggs, we hope you agree that $5.25 is a great price.

SO Over Winter

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rapiniThis week’s bag features overwintered rapini AKA broccoli rabe. What is overwintering, you ask? Overwintering means the seeds were planted in the fall so that crops can be harvested very early in the spring. With vegetables that have a high sugar content (think parsnips and carrots), this process can make the sugar content skyrocket and produce extra sweet veggies. Broccoli rabe is known for being a little bitter (don’t worry, it’s nothing you did) but that bad rap is undeserved. Here’s an easy preparation method to ensure your rapini is delectable.

The trick is to blanch broccoli rabe in very salty water to bring out the sweeter side. Then braise with lots of garlic and olive oil until the greens are tender. If there are any thicker stems, peel them and blanch first.

Rapini tastes fantastic with sweet stuff so try drizzling with our Condimento vinegar.

Rapini with Potatoesbroccoli rabe with potatoes and sausage

2 potatoes, unpeeled
1 bunch broccoli rapini
1 tbsp sea salt
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 large cloves garlic, smashed

Cook potatoes until tender, cool and cut into medium-thin slices. Cut off rapini stems, peel them and cut into 2-inch pieces. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil and add peeled stems and cook over medium-high heat for a minute. Add the greens and cook until tender (3-4 minutes). Drain the greens, reserving a little of the cooking liquid. In a large skillet, sauté olive oil and garlic for a couple minutes. Remove garlic. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the cooked potatoes. Sauté until golden and crispy, about 12 minutes, then transfer to another dish. Add more olive oil, the rapini, and the garlic to the pan over medium-low heat. Sauté until the greens are nicely coated with oil, about 3 minutes. If they appear a little dry, add a little of the reserved cooking water. Return the potatoes to the skillet and toss all together.

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Overwintered Rapini

rapiniRapini is the spring version of broccoli rabe and considered to be much sweeter! Rapini is only available for a short time in the spring and is very weather sensitive. It’s a get-it-while-you-can veggie! Best way to cook rapini is to chop it up, separate the buds from the rest, drop the stems and leaves into boiling salted water for a few minutes, then add the buds for a quick cook. Drain and toss with garlic and oil.

Rapini and Tomato Wine Sauce Fusilli
Garlic Rapini
4 Healthy Rapini Recipes
How to Make the Perfect Rapini