In your share week 3:
Baby Turnips or Radishes
Half Shares Only:
Napa Cabbage or Kale or Komatsuna
Full Shares Only:
Broccoli or Snow Peas
The weather is warming up and the plants are growing, but it will still be another week or two before we have lots of new crops. Half shares get their first basil this week: remember that it keeps best in a plastic bag on the counter! The basil is looking beautiful and soon we’ll have lots more, but for now there’s just enough for some. To use basil, pinch off the leaves from the stems and add them to salads, pastas, curries, and more. Add basil leaves at the end of cooking, just before eating, to preserve their complex flavor.
Many of you are getting the first baby turnips (we’ll try to get them to everyone, but they’re just now sizing up). Returning members will remember these, but if you haven’t yet tried baby turnips, you’re in for a treat. These are a whole different animal than your grandma’s turnips: they are sweet and creamy and the greens are some of my favorites. I like the roots best raw, either sliced into a salad, eaten plain, or dipped in hummus. You can also roast, grill, or saute the roots, but I’d at least try them raw before cooking them! I typically do a light steam or saute with the greens, and they are especially good finished with a splash of white wine. They are also good in a salad, or used as a bed for a hot steak or piece of fish. Pretty much anything you would do with spinach will work with these lovelies.
We are just getting into our first main season broccoli and the first of our peas. Peas are a good indicator of how much cooler we are at the coast than the Willamette Valley: our peas typically come on in mid-July, while folks with gardens in Portland are finishing their peas by now! We grow snap peas (the kind you eat pod and all), but this year the seed was mixed up by the breeder and we’re ending up with mostly snow peas. These are the flat podded type commonly used in stir fries and salads, so you’ll be mostly getting those this summer. We have a few pints for full shares this week and it looks like lots more to come.
And since we’ve been giving you lots of radishes (it’s the only thing we’re really swimming in right now), here’s a couple more suggestions of how to use them. You can grill them, by themselves or with baby turnips. You could add them to the turnip recipe below, or use them and the greens to make a soup, along with chicken or veggie broth, onion, and fresh herbs. You could make a quick pickle and eat them with tacos, slice them up and add them to fresh sushi rolls, or make a big stir fry with everything else in your share. Remember, if you don’t like radish heat, it mellows when cooked!
We’ve had a couple of CSA mix-ups in the first 2 weeks. I’d like to remind you that if you have somebody else pick up your share, make sure they know what color bag to take and that they check off your name. Remember: you are responsible for making sure your share is picked up. If your substitute picks up the wrong size share, it leads to confusion for the next member who comes to get theirs. Thanks!
Honey-kissed Baby Turnips & Greens
From Live Earth Farm’s CSA. Serves 2.
1 bunch turnips with greens
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
½ tsp honey
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Cut turnips into half-inch slices.
In a heavy-bottomed skillet, melt butter and add olive oil. When butter starts bubbling, add turnips and stir/shake pan to coat and distribute oil/butter. Let cook over medium heat, stirring and turning periodically, until turnips begin to soften and lightly brown, about 7 minutes.
Sprinkle moderately with sea salt, then add honey, stirring constantly to distribute–it will melt quickly.
Toss in the greens along with their clinging water. Continue to stir and cook until greens have wilted, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt and several grindings of black pepper, stir and serve!
This dish keeps its green color even if it isn’t served right away or is reheated. Dishes with greens that use acid ingredients (like lemon or vinegar) turn an olive color after a short while.
Salad Dressings: Simple Vinaigrette and Lemon Maple
I give these recipes every year, but considering how much salad you’ll be getting, I think they’re worth throwing out there again. The vinaigrette takes about 2 minutes and comes to us from Alice Waters, the other is one of my favorites. These are basic staples in our kitchen.
In a small bowl whisk together:
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar (I often use apple cider vinegar)
Fresh ground black pepper
Stir to dissolve the salt, taste, and adjust if needed. Gradually beat in with a fork or small whisk:
3 to 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Taste as you go and stop when it tastes right.
Optional: add garlic and/or diced shallot to the vinegar, or fresh herbs to the finished dressing. Or beat in a little mustard before adding the oil.
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ tsp salt
¼ c olive oil
1 ½ tsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs
Whisk together lemon juice and salt. Add olive oil and whisk until well combined. Whisk in maple syrup. Stir in herbs.