Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sweet Baby Mache @ High Star Farm

Bees are diggin' the cucumber flowers.

This week's volunteer day at the organic farm involved counting to 9 about 900 times. I transplanted baby bok choy seedlings ~ spaced exactly 9 inches apart, in 3 perfect rows, in raised beds that go on for at least a mile.

Oh, okay, I could be exaggerating just a teeny bit. Bending over garden beds, for long periods of time, is not hard work. It's just one of those punishing torture sessions isometric exercises that remind me of how my flexible Gumby doll days are long gone.

Freshly harvested Mâche Lettuce

In the mornings, we do chores. In the afternoons, we harvest goodies.

This week, I discovered a brand new type of lettuce that's been around for 300 years. {In France.} It's called Mâche ~ a sweet, nutty, lettuce variety that might be perfect for mountain gardens because they appreciate cold temperatures. Mâche lettuce can even handle a mild freeze.

Why haven't we seen this in our grocery stores? Probably because Mâche needs to be hand-harvested so mechanized corporate farms could never offer such a delicacy.

Magnificent Mâche and Asparagus Salad
  • Mâche lettuce leaves
  • Shredded radicchio (the red/white head lettuce) - use about half as much of this as the Mâche.
  • Snipped tops of green onions. (Just the greens, not the white.)
  • Bite-size asparagus tips (gently steamed)
  • Toasted pine nuts (heat them in a small Teflon pan for a couple minutes to bring out the flavor.)
  • Mandarin oranges
* Toss these ingredients in a large bowl, with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
* Sprinkle with goat cheese and be dazzled.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Every Wednesday, I volunteer at High Star Organic Farm, located in Kamas, Utah. 
I get paid in carrots.
And, the girls are glad I do. :)

34 comments:

Johnny Nutcase said...

i wanna play! so much good stuff!

Lauren Mueller said...

Mache is delicious! I make a great salad with a mix of mache, arugula, a little fresh mint and fresh cilantro as the greens. Top with dried cherries and some fancy cheese and you're good to go. Super flavorful.

karenandjeff said...

Those gardens look amazing. Thanks for the recipe. I definitely need to try mache this fall/winter.

Kate said...

Hi, Jill!
Your photography is so stunning. I want to frame them all. :)

Kate said...

Hi, Lauren!
I should have known a hip happening gal like you would be familiar with Mache. [I'd never heard of it!] I'll grab you some at the farm next Wednesday. :D

Kate said...

Hi, Karen;
I'll bet mache would do very well for you in Montana. I'm thinking I'll plant some in September for harvest late Oct. Finally! A lettuce variety that might like my cold, mountain nights. :)

Town Mouse said...

That salad sounds delicous!

(BTW, I don't think you can grow fairy lanterns in the garden. They are just too fussy)

jan said...

The salad sounds yummy, but the carrots are gorgeous! I bet your girls are thrilled when they realize that it is High Star day!

NEEDLEWINGS said...

Wonderful photography! My mouth is watering!

Rose said...

Ha, ha, I'm in agreement with your horses--those carrots look yummy! I've never heard of mache before, but it makes me wonder how many other vegetables we might not be familiar with because they can't be shipped. But let's face it, everything tastes so much better fresh from the garden than in the supermarkets! I read an article once about shipping produce--it takes about a week for it to get from the field to the grocery store shelves. And another article mentioned that many veggies lose most of their nutrients if not used in a week. No wonder we're all swallowing vitamin pills!

Carol said...

How great to support your local organic farm this way Kate. I love the recipe! Sounds yummy! I love the horses at the end!!

Gloria said...

Hi Kate - wow on those pics!

Gloria said...

Hi Kate - not sure if my comment went through. Just wanted to say hi!

Max-e said...

Now that is what I call quality organic vegetables Kate. A lot of our stuff is shrivelled and chewed up.
I liked those pictures of the mountains as well. Have a great weekend

Melanie said...

I've never seen Marche either. I haven't even seed the seeds it would be easy to grow it myself. I grow several varieties of lettuce and mache would be a nice addition.
Thanks for the recipe Kate.
It's great you volunteer at the Organic farm. I volunteer at the extensive University gardens startred by the local Botanical society . They showcase lots of exotic alpines. everything has to be very hardy since the university is on a hill and the climate up there is a whole zone cooler, zone 2

Rosey said...

I would like to try this green. The recipes looks tasty. Thanks for sharing it. :)

Wendy said...

I love your high star farm photos!

I have now grown mache for 2 seasons and have always forgotten about them!

You know, I do my blog reading late at night and every time your page loads, I hear the birds and am totally stunned. I think, "oh my god!! THere's a bird outside chirping at this hour!" and am about to jump out of my seat to see. ha ha ha!

JOHNSON, Cotswold Hills, England. said...

Hi Kate! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your kind comment, which was a great help and much appreciated.

How envious I am of this glasshouse. It really looks good.
And I shall try out the recipe too.

The previous wildflower post was fabulous too. And what scenery. I shall have to pay a visit one day.

Johnson

Grace Peterson said...

How nice, Kate. Good for you. Literally! That photo alone sold me on the stuff. Great recipe. I'm going to keep it in mind... I've got spinach and arugula in the fridge.

Iron Needles said...

Now, see! That's why I stop by here. I learn something new all the time!

That, and for the photos of the girls....

Kate said...

Dearest Town Mouse you are breaking my heart! I need to grow fairy lanterns! Can't I just grow 'em and kill 'em every year -- kind of like what I do with the wisteria?? It gives me a fab reason to complain... :D

Kate said...

Hi, Jan!
My girls are, indeed, happiest to see me on Wednesday when I'm sporting organic carrots. :) I thought about you in Vegas this weekend. Wish we could have connected. It was so fabulously warm down there... a nice escape from all my rain. :)

Kate said...

Hi, Needlewings;
Thx for stopping by! I dearly love your explanation about how life gets in the way of our grandest plans.. very poetic. :)

Kate said...

Hi, Rose;
You've hit that proverbial nail on the head once again. I'm convinced one aspect of this obesity epidemic has to do with the lack of nutrients in our food these days vs a decade ago. But, I'll spare you my soap box rant...

Kate said...

Hi, Carol;
You've inspired me. Loved that scene of you connecting with fellow bloggers in your fab gardens. I wonder if I could get local utah bloggers to come for a visit at my place?

Kate said...

Hi, Gloria!
I was on the phone this a.m. with a Wasta gardener and she said you're getting these plentiful rains, too. I'll bet your lovely flowers are celebrating. I'm kind of ready for an end to it now. I'm so behind on all things garden-related. :)

Kate said...

Hi, Max-e;
I hope it's the elephants that are munching the veggies. I'm just blown away by your 'wildlife.'

Kate said...

Hi, Melanie;
I'll bet you could find mache at Johnny's Seeds. They seem to carry just about everything. Zone 2 gardens. Wow. I hope you share lots of tips from there. Amazing what will grow in such frigid temps.

Kate said...

Hey, Wendy;
Geez I hope those birdies aren't annoying. I picked them because it sounds A LOT like the birdies I hear out my window. Only during the day time. :))

Kate said...

Hi, Johnson;
We all have our days. Glad to hear you're feeling a bit better. I think that's one of the grand blessings of big animals. No matter how down in the dumps I am, just touching the horses snaps me right out of my deep blue funk.

Kate said...

Hi, Grace;
I imagine you can grow some stellar veggies in your fabulous climate. With or without a greenhouse. :))

Kate said...

Hi, Iron;
I'm glad you like the girls. I hope you and Jan can pay them a visit some day. Just be sure to bring lots of carrots. :))

Friko said...

you still have bees? take care of them!
happy munching, those carrots look delicious, have some yourself.

Ross4Teflon said...

Hi Kate - Thanks for recommending using a Teflon pan for heating the pine nuts for your salad. I represent DuPont and it's always a pleasure to see people recommending our products in their recipes.

If you are interested in some recipes or great cookbooks to look at for your blog, drop me an email and I would be glad to help you out! Thanks. Cheers, Ross