CSA Week 5

In your share week 5:

Green Beans
Broccoli (most shares; we may substitute for a few of you!)
Cucumbers
Carrots or Baby Turnips
Red Russian Kale or Baby Bok Choy
Green Onions
Sugar Snap Peas
Italian Parsley

Full shares only:

Salad Mix
Cherry Tomatoes

The last couple of weeks’ shares have been a lot of quick, ready to eat things like peas, raspberries, and salad. Today’s share is a bit different, with more things to cook and prepare (though still plenty to snack on!). When I shared the list with the crew yesterday, Sarah said “Looks like stir fry!” Today’s veggies would be great cooked in teriyaki sauce or in a noodle salad.

I know most of you will be happy to see broccoli in your share. Broccoli is a popular vegetable, and its flavor is vastly improved when fresh from the farm. We grow 2 kinds, a standard hybrid type and a non-heading type similar to broccolini. Our first planting of the hybrid is just coming in, but our early broccolini plantings have been weak. We had enough for all the Tuesday shares and hope to have enough for Thursday’s, but if I come up short I will substitute something good and try to get you broccoli soon!

You are probably familiar with using the hybrid type. I usually break up the florets, then peel and chop the stem. It’s great raw or cooked in stir fries, casseroles, or salads. The broccolini may be less familiar, but it’s delicious and can be eaten stem and all. I like it roasted or grilled whole (large pieces can be sliced lengthwise into spears), or it’s good raw, steamed, or stir fried (or substitute it for broccoli in any recipe).

We are just getting into our larger field rotations of green beans and have the first of many for everyone today. We grow 2 types, a French filet variety called Maxibel (these are long, round, and slender) and a Romano type (these are large and flat and often called Italian green beans). The Maxibels are more sweet and tender and are especially good raw, while the Romanos have a wonderful, robust beany flavor that holds up well to grilling and cooking. You can use both in just about any recipe calling for green beans. I love to grill beans whole, especially the Romanos. Toss them in olive oil and cook them over medium low heat for a few minutes a side: yum! You can also eat them raw, slice them into salads, steam them with butter, use them in stir fries, pickle them, or whatever you like. We are careful in our picking, so all the beans you get from me should be at prime eating stage without starchiness or bitterness.

Also new today are green onions (scallions). Some years we have a glut of these, but this year they will be an occasional addition to the shares. Green onions fresh from the farm are extra flavorful, I use both the white parts and the tops either raw or cooked.

Half shares get their turn at baby turnips this week; I will copy from last week’s share notes since I know these are a new vegetable for many! For better or worse, everything loves baby turnips, and there is some insect damage on them even though we kept them under cover. The damage is pretty much all on the surface, they can be peeled if you like.

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.

Our parsley if finally growing properly and we have a lovely bunch for all. 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, so eat it up.

With all this sun our cucumbers have really taken off, and we’ve included a large helping for everyone today. This should be enough to make a cucumber salad or a batch of quick refrigerator pickles. Our cukes are all slicers and don’t hold up well to being canned, but they are good for quick pickles.


Cucumber Salad with Onion, Parsley, and Feta

By Kalyn Denny of Kalyn’s Kitchen blog, this is a great simple cucumber salad. For a vegan version, try adding toasted peanuts and sesame seeds instead of the feta, or add a bit of tahini.

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • 2 T best quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Peel cucumber, leaving some strips of green peel if your cucumbers don’t have thick skins.
  2. Cut into fourths lengthwise and if the cucumber has large seeds, scrape out seeds with the tip of a spoon.
  3. Cut pieces into thinner strips and chop cucumbers into pieces less than 1/2 inch square.
  4. Dice onion into small pieces. (If you prefer a milder onion flavor, soak the onions in cold water for about 10 minutes, then drain well and pat dry.)
  5. Pat Feta cheese dry with a paper towel, then crumble into pieces.
  6. Wash parsley and spin dry or dry with paper towels, then chop coarsely.
  7. In large bowl, combine cucumbers, onions, and parsley.
  8. Whisk together olive oil and lemon juice and stir into vegetable mixture.
  9. Sprinkle feta cheese over and stir gently a few times.
  10.  Season with fresh ground black pepper and serve immediately.
  11. This recipe could be varied endless ways, with tomatoes, olives, capers, blue cheese, mint, and balsamic vinegar being a few things that come to mind as possible substitutions or additions.

Carrot and Snap Pea Sesame Stir Fry

I usually eat our peas raw, but sometimes it’s nice to switch it up.  This is a simple stir fry that is filling and nutritious.  I like to cook the carrots and peas lightly so they are still crunchy. If you like them softer, just cook longer. Baby turnips would be a great substitute for the carrots, and you can easily add other veggies like turnip greens, bok choy, or broccoli. Serves 4 to 6.

Heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a wok or cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add:

            ¾ bunch green onions, chopped

            3 cloves garlic, chopped

            1 tsp mustard seeds

            Salt

Stir and fry 2 or 3 minutes, until green onions wilt.  Add:

            1 bunch carrots, cut into large pieces

Sautee for 7 or 8 minutes, then add:

            1 pound snap peas, strings removed and kept whole or chopped coarsely

Stir and fry 5 minutes, then add:

            2 Tbsp soy sauce

            2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

            juice of 1 lime

            1 tsp honey

Stir and fry 5 more minutes or until cooked to desired tenderness.  Stir in:

            ¼ c toasted sesame seeds

            ¼ bunch green onions, chopped

Serve with brown rice and chopped cilantro (optional).

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