Hi, CSA folks! We hope your week is off to a good start. We’re busy starting seeds for some of our early fall crops and working on stringing up some of our dried beans. We’re excited to kick off the 2016 CSA season with a packed box of fresh-from-the-farm produce. We had some extra bounty on the farm this week, so we’re even throwing in a few bonus items! This week’s box includes:
Bok choy: This Asian green works wonderfully in stir-fries. You can use the greens and the whole, tender white stem sections. We have a couple of bok choy recipes on our website that may give you ideas, including Spicy Bok-Choy Stir-Fry and Chinese Greens Soup. All of our recipes are searchable by ingredient, so you can always click the Browse by Ingredient section of our site to look around. We’ve also tried bok choy in various curry recipes, and it was awesome!
English cucumber: Cooks love English cukes because they have nice thin skins and a sweet, mild flavor.
Sweet slicing cucumber: Classic garden cucumber.
Bag of salad mix: Our salad mixes will often feature different fresh greens, depending on what’s in season on the farm. This week’s includes spinach, lettuce, orach (also called “mountain spinach”), arugula and more.
Spigarello broccoli leaf: This is our first year growing this green, and we really like it. Here’s some info on it from the Food Republic website: “Broccoli spigarello is an heirloom variety, considered the ‘parent’ of broccoli rabe. Broccoli spigarello is native to southern Italy … The vegetable is long-stemmed with curled green leaves. The flavor is mild, grassy and sweet, without the characteristic bitterness of many of its cruciferous cousins. Restaurant chefs are going crazy for Spigarello; it has been featured on the menu of San Diego restaurant Table 926 and Tom Collichio’s NYC restaurant Craft. The greens can be used in a similar way to kale, so if you get your hands on this hot new variety, toss it in salads, soups and sautés.”
Green zucchini: We harvest our zucchini quite small so it has peak tenderness and flavor. You probably have lots of favorite ways to use this veggie. It’s great coated with olive oil, sprinkled with salt, and cooked lightly on the grill. The other day, we sautéed some zucchini, garlic scapes, and spigarello broccoli leaf in butter, and topped it with over-easy eggs for a breakfast dish.
Fennel: This vegetable may be new to some of you. Fennel bulb has a licorice-like flavor, and can be eaten raw or cooked. You can finely dice the bulb and use it raw in slaws and salads. Here’s a really interesting recipe for Braised Fennel that includes raisins that we’ve tried and liked; it might give you some ideas!
Snow peas: These peas are sooooo good this time of year. You can eat the whole pods of this type of pea, and they’re really delicious lightly sautéed with a bit of garlic and salt or in a stir-fry. Be sure to only cook them for a few minutes at most, because the flavor is best when they’re still tender-crisp (otherwise they can get mushy).
Garlic whistles: These tender garlic shoots—often called “garlic scapes”—offer fresh garlic flavor before the main garlic crop comes in. Just cut off the flower end, and then you can dice and use these in any recipe where you’d normally include garlic. They work great with any sautéed veggies, and you can even try cooking them on the grill. Or, here’s our recipe for Roasted Garlic Whistles.
Shallots: Oniony-garlicky shallots can be used like onions in any recipe.
Bonus item! Broccoli rabe: Our broccoli plants are currently putting out nice, tender side shoots, or “rabe,” so you each get a bagful. Steam ’em up or eat raw as a snack.
Bonus item! Artichokes: We also had some extra artichokes this week, so we tossed in a few of those as well. Here’s a good guide for how to cook artichokes.
Thanks for supporting our farm! Have a great week, everyone.