CSA Week 4

IMG_0162In your share:

Walla Walla Onion
Broccoli
Green Onion
Lettuce
Kale
Cilantro

 

Full shares only:

Basil or Italian Parsley
Zucchini or Cucumber
Carrots

 

Welcome to July, which is when our harvests really start to pick up.  You’ll likely be seeing new veggies every week in your share this month, and by the end of the month we’ll be getting into our full summer sized shares.

 

Today’s prize is a toss up, but I’d have to give it to the walla wall sweet onion.  These were planted last September and have been sizing up all spring.  Some of them are whoppers, and they’re all delicious and tasty.  They’re great on the grill, with burgers, or wherever you’d normally use an onion.  I don’t usually like raw onions, but these are extra sweet and mild so I like them in tuna salad.  Remember you can eat the greens too!

 

Second place in my book goes to the broccoli.  You’ve either gotten a whopper of a head from our hybrid variety or several looser heads from our non-heading variety.  I’m especially a fan of the non-heading type.  It’s very flavorful and you can use the whole stalk, stems and all.  But I know lots of people prefer the more standard grocery store type of broccoli, and these heads are particularly large and beautiful, and of course fresh!  Freshness makes a huge difference in broccoli’s flavor.

 

Cilantro is new for many of you today, and one of my favorites.  You’re probably familiar with it: you can use it in salsas, salads, curries, beans, soups, and more.  Some people are genetically predisposed to hate cilantro: it tastes like dish soap to them.  I’m sorry if you’re one of those people, and hopefully there’s someone in your family who enjoys it!  Keep cilantro in a bag in the fridge.  I use the whole bunch, stems and all.  It’s flavor gets lost in cooking, so it’s typically added to a dish just before serving.

 

We are trying to get kale for everyone this week, though if you’re on a later pickup day you might find something else in your share instead.  Our kale bed is not happy this year, which is a first for us.  I’ve fertilized it, which helped a bit, and replanted another bed, which should solve the problem in a few weeks.  But in the mean time, this has been an unusually kale free year for the CSA.  You may have our red Russian variety (wide leaves with purple stems), the Tuscan variety (dark, bumpy, elongated leaves), or a new curly type we’re trying.  The Russian is more sweet and tender and the best for eating raw (I usually cook it), the Tuscan is better for soups and braises (many people eat it raw too), and the curly type makes the best chips.  I usually eat the stems, but I devein them if I want more even cooking time and a consistent texture.

 

There’s lots of green onions and lettuce on now, so you have both.  Last night for dinner I grilled a bunch of green onions I had in the fridge along with bok choy and zucchini, and they were delicious!  I trimmed off the roots, tossed the whole bunch with a bit of olive oil and salt, and grilled it over medium low heat with the greens facing the cooler part of the grill.  They cooked quickly, and I’ve found that when grilling greens of any kind it helps to pile them together in a bowl just after grilling so the greens get a bit steamed.  You could probably grill the lettuce, too, though I’ve been sticking with salads for that!

 


Raw Kale Salad

This recipe comes from CSA member Michelle Dragoo, who got it from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite by Melissa Clark. I love kale raw, and Mike actually prefers it raw to cooked. If you can’t get pecorino, freshly grated Parmesan would be a reasonable substitute.

 

Trim and discard the bottom few inches off the stems of 1 bunch kale. Slice into 3/4-inch ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place in a large bowl.

 

Toast 2 thin slices crusty bread until golden brown on both sides and dry throughout. Tear into small pieces and pulse in a food processor until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Or, use 2 handfuls premade bread crumbs.

 

Using a mortar and pestle or a knife, pound or mince into a paste:

½ clove garlic

1/4 teaspoon of salt

Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add:

1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese

3 tablespoons olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

pinch of salt

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

Black pepper

Whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well (the dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat the leaves). Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with the bread crumbs, additional cheese, and a drizzle of oil.


Broccoli Chowder with Corn and Bacon

Broccoli enhances this healthy soup with crunch, while a bit of bacon lends a salty richness.  From marthastewart.com.

  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped

 

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 head broccoli (about 1 pound), cut into bite-size florets, stalks peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup whole milk
  1. In a large pot, cook bacon over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Increase heat to medium. Cook onion, stirring, until it begins to soften, 6 to 8 minutes.

  2. Add flour; cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add broth and potato; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook until potato is tender, about 10 minutes. Add broccoli, corn, thyme, and milk. Cook until broccoli is crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with bacon.

 

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