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July 2006
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September 2006

Summer Planting

In addition to the continual bountiful harvest of tomatoes and other summer crops, this week we have also been busy in the field below the wash station.  After cutting the cover crops last week,  we went to work on spading and seeding a few of the beds.

Here is Dave on the tractor, spading the beds and further incorporating the cover crops into the soil.

And Kenji seeding a freshly spaded bed with Spicy Mix.  On Thursday we also planted carrots, cilantro, and spinach.  If all goes well, everyone will get to enjoy these veggies and herbs in the fall.

Cassie, as always, doing her part to help out on the farm.
Later in the day we installed irrigation lines in the four newly seeded beds. 

Kenji, taking a well-deserved break at the wash station.

Here is Joe, watering the brassica seed trays near the wash station.  Soon we will be transplanting these seedlings in fields throughout the farm.

Close to the Height of the Harvest

This go-round we're giving you a litle selection for the Clagett Harvest Recipes. Below is a much treasured recipe for a corn pudding or Strata. Also you'll find a fabulous recipe and some background info on those overlooked dillseeds just dropping to the ground out in the fields. Put them to delicious useas they are excellant for health and flavor.

Lastly are some Global Marinades for inspiration on those times when "you just gotta grill".

Family Corn Souffle w/ Smoky Tomato Sauce
Serves 6-8

This light and fluffy “pudding” is perfect for gatherings because you make it up to 24 hours in advance and have more time to do other things.

10 slices of white bread
4 cups fresh corn kernels
4 eggs
12 ounces (approx) spicy salsa verde (green salsa-Tradr J or Safeway)
3 cups milk
salt - pepper
1/2 to 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Smoky Tomato Sauce, for topping

Mix eggs and milk together (mix well), cube bread (crust removed) and add the egg mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients (may add any type of pre-cooked meat), mix and pour into an oven safe casserole dish, cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. Bring to room temp. and bake at 350¬F for 1 hour and 15 minutes (covered for 45 of the minutes)

Smoky Tomato Sauce
Add some chipotle and a few smoked tomatoes to a QUALITY jarred pasta sauce

Dill is a unique plant in that both its leaves and seeds are used as a seasoning. Dill's green leaves are wispy and fernlike and have a soft, sweet taste. Dried dill seeds are light brown in color and oval in shape, featuring one flat side and one convex ridged side. The seeds are similar in taste to caraway, featuring a flavor that is aromatic, sweet and citrusy, but also slightly bitter.

Dill's name comes from the old Norse word "dilla" which means "to lull". This name reflects dill's traditional uses as both a carminative stomach soother and an insomnia reliever.

Dill is part of the Umbelliferae family, whose other members include parsley, cumin and bay.

Dill is native to southern Russia, western Africa and the Mediterranean region. It has been used for its culinary and medicinal properties for millennia. Dill was mentioned both in the Bible and in ancient Egyptian writings. It was popular in the ancient Greek and Roman cultures, where it was considered a sign of wealth and was revered for its many healing properties. Dill was used by Hippocrates, the father of medicine, in a recipe for cleaning the mouth. Ancient soldiers would apply burnt dill seeds to their wounds to promote healing.

The curative properties of dill have been honored throughout history. The Conqueror Charlemagne even made it available on his banquet tables, so his guests who indulged too much could benefit from its carminative properties. Today, dill is a noted herb in the cuisines of Scandinavia, Central Europe, North Africa and the Russian Federation.

Providing a tangy addition to pickles, salad dressing and fish dishes, fresh dill is available at markets during the summer and early fall while dried dill is available throughout the year.

Dill is native to southern Russia, western Africa and the Mediterranean region. The seeds are stronger and more flavorful than the leaves and are most commonly associated with the cuisines of Scandinavia and Germany. Its green leaves are wispy and fernlike and have a soft, sweet taste.

Dried dill seeds should be stored in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dry and dark place where they will keep fresh for about six months.

Salmon, Cucumber, Dill Salad
Serves 4

This very summery dish is light and refreshing. The dill seed complements the rich taste of salmon beautifully. And it can be made in just 15 minutes from start to finish, giving you an easy, and delicious way to enjoy the healthy benefits of salmon with minimal effort. Topped with the low fat mustard sauce you have the perfect healthy salad without compromising flavor.

1 1⁄2 lbs salmon filet, cut into 4 pieces, skin and bones removed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1⁄2 tablespoon honey
1 large cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeds scooped out, diced in 1⁄2 inch cubes, 3 cups
1 large ripe fresh tomato, seeds, excess pulp removed, diced
1 medium ripe, but firm avocado, diced in 1⁄2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons chopped garlic chives
3 medium cloves garlic, pressed
1 1⁄2 teaspoons dill seed
2 + 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Mix together cucumber, tomato, avocado, chives, garlic, and dill, in a bowl and set aside. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Toss with cucumber mix when ready to serve.

Preheat a stainless steel skillet over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Rub salmon with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Place in hot pan bottom side up. Cook for 2 minutes.

While cooking, mix together honey and mustard. Turn salmon and spread honey mustard on top of fish. Continue to cook for another 2 minutes, depending on how thick salmon is. You want it pink on the inside. Season with pepper.

Divide cucumber mixture between 4 plates and serve with salmon.

Tips for Cooking with Dill

Combine dill weed with plain yogurt and chopped cucumber for a delicious cooling dip.

Use dill when cooking fish, especially salmon and trout, as the flavors meld nicely
Add to your favorite egg salad recipe.

Use dill seed as a garnish for sandwiches.

Since dill seeds were traditionally used to soothe the stomach after meals, place some seeds in a small dish and place it on the dinner table for all to enjoy.

Mix together chopped potatoes, green beans, and plain yogurt, then season with both dill seeds and chopped dill weed.

Cool Global Marinades for Grilling:

Use the herbs from Clagett Farm to be the base for these interesting marinades. Then just grill up some protein to go with your Clagett produce.

This combination of flavors could have come from just about anywhere in the Mediterranean or Clagett Farm. It is delicious on beef, pork,
and poultry, and is especially good on grilled or broiled fish.

Mediterranean Marinade

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
2 -3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and marinate meat for 30 minutes to 2
hours before grilling. Makes about 1/2 cup

Good Ol’ US Buttermilk Marinade
Makes about 1 1/4 cups

This marinade is particularly good with chicken as the buttermilk lends a tangy note reminiscent of good fried chicken. I think you'll agree that it's also very good with pork chops, salmon, and shrimp.

1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and marinate meat for 30 minutes to 2 hours before grilling.

Moroccan-Style Marinade
Makes about 3/4 cup

This one will work equally well with beef, pork, poultry, and seafood. Use skewered cubes of lamb or a butterflied boneless leg of lamb for an authentic taste of Morocco.

1/2 cupflat leaf fresh parsley
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoons paprika
2 - 4 cloves garlic
1 Clagett Farm dragon chile or cayenne pepper to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Process all ingredients in an electric blender or food processor until smooth.  Marinate meat for 30 minutes to 2 hours before grilling.