In your share week 2:
Beets or Broccoli
Sugar Snap Peas
Full shares only:
Zucchini or Cucumber
Hopefully you enjoyed your first share and are ready for more! There’s some repeats and a few new items this week (still no carrots, sorry!). You’ve got more salad mix and green onions, and for most of you there are more sugar snap peas (if you didn’t get any last week, you got 2 this week). Our peas are taking off fast, we went from 0 pints, to 20, to 50 in just a few days. The plants are 8 feet tall and still growing, covered in peas and flowers, and ready to keep us all healthy and happy for weeks to come. Unless downy mildew or enation take them over: in farming you have to enjoy the crops when you have them because you never know what’s coming next.
A new veggie today is fennel (coming to our markets next week), which I’m guessing is unfamiliar to many new members. Fennel has a refreshing, sweet anise flavor and can be used just about anywhere you’d use celery. I think of it as an aromatic vegetable, and it’s a great addition to soups, stuffings, and braises or roasted with potatoes and other veggies. It’s also lovely raw, especially shaved on a salad, added to coleslaw, or made into a salad with orange and cinnamon. The best part is the white bulb at the bottom, the stalks have good flavor but can be tough. The leaves add color and contrast to a salad, but don’t have a lot of flavor in themselves. Keep it in the fridge in a bag.
Everyone has either beets or broccoli today. Beets have been a perpetually challenging crop for us, and we get lots of beautiful ones but also not so much. This year, our first bed is looking like our best one, so I’m trying to get them in your shares right out of the gate. Our beets don’t need peeling as the skins are very tender. You can eat them raw, roasted, boiled, or grilled. Beet greens are a real winner, too; they are extra nutritious with a fruity, earthy flavor. I’m honestly not a huge beet fan, but I love the greens. Cook them like kale or spinach, sauteed, steamed, or in soup. Store beets in a bag in the fridge, if you won’t use them right away remove the tops and store them separately.
Our broccoli looks a little different than the hybrid types you see in the store, but in my opinion it is far better! Broccoli’s flavor declines quickly after harvesting, so farm fresh is a world of difference from store bought (kind of like corn). Most of the broccoli we grow is a variety called Piracicaba, which has much larger beads and a more open head than standard hybrids. The stems are tender and delicious so they require very little prep time, and I absolutely love it. Many of my customers compare it to broccolini. I usually grill or roast it: if you have smaller pieces you can leave them whole, larger heads can be split lengthwise into spears. Toss it with olive oil and salt and cook it at 400 degrees for 6 or 8 minutes. It’s also great raw or steamed.
Everyone has Italian parsley today, so I’ll repeat my tutorial from last week. I prefer Italian parsley to the curly type: I think it is more tender and flavorful. It’s excellent in pasta dishes, salads, pesto, or tabouleh. You can use the leaves and the stems. Parsley is also particularly nutritious (as are turnip greens and bok choy), so eat it up.
Full shares have heads of lettuce in addition to salad mix this week. Most of you got some of our baby bibb heads, they are like tiny, dark red heads of romaine. Some folks got red butter lettuce, with extra tender leaves and a butter center. Both can be used in salads, sandwiches, wraps, or rolls; I’ve been making wraps with tempeh, kale, cilantro pesto, and fresh lettuce that are rocking my world. I’ll include a recipe below for the tempeh!
Tempeh and Kale with Tahini Sauce
I started making this over the winter and it’s like a delicious umami bomb. I can’t get enough! I eat it with rice or quinoa or use it as a filling for wraps with lettuce and a fresh herb sauce, like the chimichurri below. If you’ve never used tempeh, you can get it at Trillium and probably most other grocery stores in town.
Cut into 1/2 inch cubes:
1 12 oz package tempeh (I like Surata’s mulitgrain tempeh)
1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
Heat 3 Tbsp canola or coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add seasoned tempeh and:
1 bunch green onions, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Cook, stirring frequently, until onions and tempeh are starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add:
1 bunch kale, cut into thin ribbons
2 tsp soy sauce
Continue to cook until kale is tender and tempeh is browned, another 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, whisk together:
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp tahini
As mixture thickens, whisk in 1 – 2 Tbsp cold water to thin it out.
Add tahini mixture to tempeh and kale. Stir and cook for another minute or two and serve hot.
This is a popular Argentine sauce that’s great with everything. If you still have parsley or cilantro left from last week, this is a great way to use them! This goes well with my tempeh and kale above.
1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Puree all ingredients in processor. Transfer to bowl. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)
Braised Fennel with Pomegranate
This recipe is from Martha Stewart. She has an incredible slideshow of fennel preparations with accompanying recipes, I suggest you check it out here! In fact, Martha Stewart has great suggestions for all kinds of vegetables, which is a great resource for using your CSA share. A chef friend told me that her recipes are extremely well vetted and written, and they always look great to me.