CSA Week 4

In your share this week:

Cauliflower
Broccoli
Sugar snap peas
Basil

Half shares:
Zucchini
Kohlrabi
Kale
Baby Bibb lettuce

Full shares:
Cucumber
Cabbage
Cherry Tomato
Salad mix
Carrots

The farm has finally turned the corner on this late season, and crops are coming in strong! We’ve had huge picks on broccoli and peas in the last few days, so I hope you enjoy them. Have you tried roasting the broccoli yet? You can roast the shoots whole, I just toss them in olive oil and salt and roast them at 425 until they are tender and the edges start to crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Over the weekend I was having that as a side dish with burgers and it was amazing!

Today’s share is a “brassica bonanza”: all of the cole crops (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc) came on at once. Everyone has some of the first cauliflower, a favorite of mine. This first rotation is a bit small but super tasty. Most of the heads have some purple coloring, which is just a reaction to the growing conditions and doesn’t affect the flavor. You can roast your cauliflower (similar technique to broccoli but it takes more like 30-40 minute), steam it, eat it raw, or turn it into pizza crust.

The basil is really prolific right now, so we’ve included it again in your share. Getting more basil then you know what to do with? Try blending it with olive oil and freezing it in ice cube trays for winter. Or you can use it to make a salad dressing, add it to salad or eggs, make basil lemonade or cocktails, or toss it onto those roasted vegetables right when they come out of the oven.

Half shares have kohlrabi, which is another brassica and is the one that “looks like a space alien”. I love kohlrabi raw, and the leaves can be used like cabbage. To prepare it, remove the leaves and cut off the tough stem at the bottom, then peel off the outer layer with a knife. The inside of the bulb is the most desirable part, and I like to slice it and eat it with a sprinkle of salt or dipped in hummous. You can also roast or grill it, pickle it, shred it for coleslaw, or put it in soup or stir fry. It has a flavor similar to a broccoli stem.

Half shares also got baby bibb lettuce, another favorite of mine. These are kind of like mini heads of romaine, with crunchy ribs and a tender heart. They make a great salad, are a good size for burgers and sandwiches, or can be used as a wrap or plate for tuna salad or something similar.

Full shares got a treat today with some of our first cherry tomatoes. The plant are looking amazing and covered in fruit, but they are just now starting to ripen. There will be lots more where these came from! I like to store cherry tomatoes on the counter, but if your kitchen is extra hot (and you don’t eat them right away) you might have better luck keeping them in the fridge. Just let them come back to room temperature before eating them for the best flavor.

Full shares also have lovely little heads of green cabbage, great for slaws, tacos, salads, or stir fries. The carrots are coming out of the field now and are looking better and better, we’ve got some lovely rotations coming up in a couple of weeks so we’ll have plenty for everyone then.

By the way, you can return those little blue boxes the peas come in with your bag and we will reuse them!


Salad Dressings: Simple Vinaigrette and Lemon Maple

I gave these recipes last 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.

Vinaigrette:

In a small bowl whisk together:

            1 Tbsp red wine vinegar (I often use apple cider vinegar)

            Salt

            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.

Lemon Maple:

Juice of 1 lemon

¼ tsp salt

¼ c olive oil

1 ½ tsp maple syrup

2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs (I usually use garlic chives or fresh basil)

Whisk together lemon juice and salt.  Add olive oil and whisk until well combined.  Whisk in maple syrup.  Stir in herbs.

Cauliflower Salad with Olives and Capers

From Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food, this is a simple salad making good use of cauliflower.  An alternative to boiling the cauliflower would be to roast it: cut it into smallish pieces, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at 400, stirring occasionally, until the outside starts to caramelize. 

Break apart or cut into small florets:

            1 head cauliflower

Cook until just done in salted boiling water.  Drain and let cool.

Stir together in a large bowl:

            Juice of 1 lemon

            Salt and pepper

Whisk in:

            3 Tbsp olive oil

Add the cauliflower and toss with the dressing.  Taste and add salt and lemon as needed.  Add:

            ¼ c pitted olives, coarsely chopped

            2 Tbsp chopped parsley or basil

            1 Tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped

Toss gently.

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