In your share week 2:
Herbs (Half shares)
Full Shares Only:
This week’s share is pretty similar to last week’s; it will still be another week or two before we have much more variety to offer you.
Today we have the first kohlrabi, which I know is new to many. (Returning members, we are growing a lot less this year, but it’s one of the earliest veggies to be ready). I love kohlrabi, and I usually slice it raw and eat it sprinkled with salt, dipped in hummus, or wrapped in a sushi roll. It needs to be peeled and the tough bottom part cut off, the fleshy part of the bulb is the part you want. These are a little smaller than we usually harvest them, so they are very tender. Kohlrabi has a sweet flavor like a broccoli stem, and it’s crunchy and juicy. If you don’t want to snack on it, you can include it in a stir fry, grill or roast it with olive oil and salt, or pickle it.
You can also use kohlrabi greens, they will be closer in texture to cabbage and benefit from slower cooking methods like braising. Remember you can eat your radish greens, they could be stewed in with kohlrabi greens, or I more often throw them in a stir fry or cook them with rice. I don’t like them raw so much because of their prickly texture.
There’s still not enough basil for everyone, but half shares get a bunch of herbs in their share today. You might have chocolate mint, sage, chives, or thyme. Sage, chives, and thyme are all good to add early in cooking, while mint should be added to a dish after cooking. You can pick the leaves off the stems from all, though I often don’t bother with thyme because it’s too much work. Just chop it up finely, and it’s okay to eat the flowers! You can also use the herbs to make herbed butter or olive oil, or add the mint to lemonade or a cocktail. Store your herbs in a bag in the fridge (except basil: keep basil at room temperature).
Full shares have a head of flowering napa cabbage today. We stopped growing napa (or Chinese) cabbage in the spring because it bolts (flowers) so easily, but I thought I’d give it a try. Then it hit 100 degrees a couple of weeks ago, and most of the heads sent up shoots immediately. However, they are still good to eat. The flowering stalks may be tough, you can try a bite of one or test it by seeing if it snaps easily. The leaves, though, are tender and tasty and can be eaten whole (the white rib is my favorite part). Napa cabbage is mild and crunchy, and makes a great salad or stir fry.
We had kale last week, but another note about cooking kale. You can indeed eat the stems, but they usually take a little longer to cook than the leaves. Ideally when cooking them, I throw the stems in a few minutes early, but often I don’t bother. Occasionally I remove the ribs if I’m in a hurry on cooking time or want just the leafy texture.
Radish, Kohlrabi, and Carrot Salad
Another contribution from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian. This is an easy salad she says is ubiquitous in Korea. She recommends serving with refried beans or just plain rice. Serves 4.
In a bowl, mix together:
1 large kohlrabi, the bottom discarded and julienned
3 carrots, julienned
Roots from 1 bunch radish, julienned
1 tsp salt
Set aside for 30 minutes. Drain and put the vegetables in a clean bowl. Add:
2 tsp soy sauce
1 ½ to 2 tsp white vinegar
½ tsp crushed red pepper or cayenne (or to taste)
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tsp sesame oil
Toss and taste, adjusting salt and other seasonings as needed.
Sesame Carrots on a Bed of Napa Cabbage
From Vegetable Heaven by Mollie Katzen. This is a great recipe with our new spring carrots and a fresh head of napa cabbage. The dish is in 2 layers, and Katzen recommends cooking the two layers side by side so they are ready together.
Heat a wok or large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add:
2 tsp sesame oil
3 c baby carrots, cut into matchsticks
½ tsp salt
Saute for about 5 minutes. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat to medium and add:
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
Cover again, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in:
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tsp tahini
1 large clove garlic, minced
Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until the carrots are tender and starting to brown (about 5 to 8 more minutes).
At the same time, heat a second wok or skillet over medium heat. Add:
1 tsp vegetable oil
3 c chopped onion
½ tsp salt
Stir fry for 10 minutes, then add 6 c napa cabbage, chopped. Keep the heat high and stir fry about 8 more minutes, until the cabbage wilts but is still a little crunchy. Transfer to a serving platter and cover with the carrots. Serve hot, warm, or at room temp.