Share Notes May 4th, 2023
CSA Share Notes:
This week’s box is a little bit lighter than last week’s but there is a lot more food coming in the weeks to come. Remember the seasons ebb and flow, and every box is different! Also, get excited: we may be able to partner with our strawberry farmer to get her gorgeous berries available to you in BULK in our online store for next week. If you are interested in a bulk order of strawberries (we think it’ll be about 1 gallon or so per bulk order) please shoot me an email (email@example.com) so I can gauge interest.
Here’s this week’s vegetable line up.
- Kale — Red Russian kale for the Regular shares and Winterbor Kale for the Large shares. These crops can be used interchangeably in any recipe that calls for kale. Red Russian is often a little more tender, so I prefer it for use in a raw salad. We used loads of kale in a batch of sausage, potato, kale soup this weekend, using 1514 Farm’s delicious smoked link sausage (no nitrates, and organically raised!) And it was fantastic. Justin was still raving about it today. We took a yellow onion, a bulb of garlic, fresh herbs like rosemary, oregano, and sage and sauteed them. Added plenty of good chicken stock and red new potatoes, and cooked till nearly tender. Then we added in the sliced sausage, which we had browned in a cast iron while the rest was cooking, and lastly the kale was tossed in at the end for just a few minutes to wilt. (how’s that for a “recipe?” This is my style of cooking, wing it with great ingredients and a bit of trusty experience, and it’ll turn out pretty good) The whole batch took less than 40 min.
- Collard — A bunch of super tender fresh collards for the Mini shares. If you’re not familiar with cooking collards, here’s our best tip: slice up an onion and chop a few cloves of garlic. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes if you’re daring and sauté (in bacon fat, even!) until translucent. Next toss in the torn or sliced collard leaves and wilt. Cook until as tender as you like them (I prefer mine with a little chew left). You can also sub collards into any Kale recipe with near identical result.
- Chard — Regular shares. This colorful crop is eye catching and tastes a whole lot like spinach. I enjoy it in a massaged-greens-salad, or cook it like any of my greens, with an animal fat (butter, ghee, lard, bacon grease) and garlic and onion. The stems are tasty too. The vitamins and minerals in the greens become more bio-available to your body when paired with a good amount of fat. (Isn’t nature genius? And it tastes good too!)
- Turnip — Regular and Mini shares received a nice bunch of our lovely hakurei turnips, a Japanese salad turnip. These are intended to be eaten fresh and raw, sort of like a radish, but the texture is different. They’re a bit nutty and sweet and are the perfect turnip for people who say they don’t like turnips! We’ve got a little write up about them here if you want to read more. We’ve also got several turnip recipes in our kitchen blog if you want to browse. Large shares received Scarlet Queen turnip, which has more of a traditional turnip flavor with a gorgeous color. These are excellent roasted or used in a mixed veggie mash with carrots and potatoes or other hearty root crops. With plenty of grass fed butter, of course. Garlic scapes would be heavenly addition.
- Radishes — Easter Egg radishes for the Regular shares, and either Easter Egg or French Breakfast radishes for the large shares. These are REALLY good right now. The large rainfall we had last week mellowed out their spiciness and also made them giant without splitting or cracking. You’re gonna love these. Slice up on avocado toast, salads, or dip into hummus or softened salted butter, or our favorite is to just snack on them with sea salt and lemon juice. FYI, radish tops are edible! You can cook them like kale or turnip greens. They tiny hairs come right off when cooked. We had a lot of extra French Breakfast radishes after the farmers market this past weekend, so we made a half-gallon jar of pickled radishes and they are fantastic served atop a slice of buttered sourdough. By the way, we think next week we’re going to give you a break on the radishes and turnips! We grow a lot of them because they do so splendidly well here in our climate but we know they’re not everyone’s favorite. Remember one of our tips in our e-book is to make sure you find a friend to share your less-than-favorite items with!
- Head Lettuce – All shares received a pretty green Adriana lettuce, a tender boston type. Additionally the Regular and Large shares also received a Rouxai lettuce- a super tender oakleaf type. And then also Large shares received Skyphos, a gorgeous butterhead with dark red leaves with electric green centers. My favorite lettuce of all. The colors are so striking!
- Garlic Scapes — These are the flower bud stalks of the garlic plant. They grow out of the center of the plant stem and if we allowed them to, they would become a beautiful purple allium flower in another few weeks. But we don’t allow them to, because doing so would draw energy away from the root of the plant. And with garlic, we want to grow as big a root as possible! So we remove the scape and you get to enjoy any chef’s highly sought after treat. You can make them into a wonderful pesto, use them like green onions atop any dish for a mild garlic flavor, or try our quiche we served at a farm-to-table luncheon last summer. It’s got chard (you can sub any green) and lots of delicious goat cheese. Major crowd pleaser.
- Snow Peas — For the large shares this week, with more coming on as the plats mature! These never even make it to the fridge in our house as we can’t help but scarf them up right away. But if yours last longer, they’re perfect for a stir fry, a soup, a curry, a past primavera, anything, really!
Veggie Storage tips:
You can always consult the e-book we sent you recently for a comprehensive veggie storage guide! Most everything will keep longest stored in the fridge sealed up in produce bags. All root crops should be removed from their tops to keep the roots from getting rubbery, and the greens stored separately, sealed up to stay fresh. Everything will need a gentle washing before cooking, but leave the dirt on until you’re ready to use them to prevent spoilage. Garlic scapes will want to be sealed up in an air-tight container in teh fridge.
We’d love to hear stories and recipes of your culinary adventures this week. Send us a note or post a comment of how you’ve used your CSA share.
Your farmers, Jess & Justin