CSA Week 6

In your share week 6:

Baby Turnips
Cauliflower
Broccoli or Peas
New Potatoes: Austrian Crescent Fingerlings
Bok Choy
Salad Mix
Basil

Half Shares only:

Radishes

Full Shares only:

Cilantro
Green Onions
Kohlrabi
Bulk basil

August is here and shares are getting big!  We have our first cauliflower today, another of my favorites.  Some of today’s cauliflower has a purplish tint from exposure to the sun, which doesn’t affect the flavor.  I love our cauliflower, especially roasted (cut into florets, tossed in olive oil and salt, and roasted at 400 until it’s soft with crispy edges).  It’s also great raw, made into soup, or steamed and used in salad.  As cauliflower cooks, different flavor profiles emerge.  Raw cauliflower has more of the sulfurous cabbagey flavor, but as it cooks those compounds denature and other, nuttier flavors appear.  So if you (or someone in your family) don’t like cauliflower, you might try roasting it: it’s actually a very different flavor.  Mike never used to like it until he tried it roasted, and now he loves it!

 

Today’s new potatoes are fingerlings.  They have a similar taste and texture to last week’s carolas, and can be used interchangeably.  Many people like fingerlings because their shape makes them easy to prep for cooking, as well as for their buttery flavor.  They are wonderful roasted, boiled, or smashed.  Remember that these new potatoes should be kept in a plastic bag in the fridge.

 

We have more heads of baby bok choy for everyone today.  They have been growing well and have nice juicy stems and green leaves, but you’ll notice a lot of bug damage on them.  We have a few crops that are getting nibbled pretty hard, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting their health and flavor, so I’m still including them in the share.  We’ve dunked the bok choy in cold water, which is a pretty effective way to remove any remaining bugs.  If you’re concerned, you may want to give them another rinse.

 

And that reminds me of a common question: are these vegetables washed?  We rinse many of the veggies that you get, including all the roots and greens, with clean, potable water and store them cold.  Several vegetables don’t get rinsed at all, including all the fruits and all the cole crops (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc).  However, we don’t have a certified facility, and our wash area is covered but is open to the outdoors.  We are very conscientious of food safety, following good practices for hand washing and avoiding contamination.  We never spray our crops with herbicides or insecticides.  We eat most of the veggies without an additional rinse, but we don’t sell them as “washed” and you may want to rinse them at home.

Full shares have the only other new item (coming soon to half shares!): cilantro.  Our cilantro has been slow to get going, but we have several nice patches coming on and will hopefully be including it frequently in the shares.  I use the stems and leaves of the plant, and will be including the flowering stalks later, which are also perfectly good to use.  Add cilantro to raw dishes or at the end of cooking to preserve its aromatic flavor.  Store it in a bag in the fridge.

 

Full shares this week get a full pound of basil, great for making pesto to eat or freeze (half shares coming soon).  When I freeze pesto, I just make my usual recipe and freeze it in small plastic containers.  Many people omit the nuts or cheese and add them after thawing, or some people just grind the basil up in oil and freeze it that way for greater versatility.  Lots of people will freeze the pesto in ice cube trays or muffin tins, then bag it for smaller portion sizes.  Or I’ve seen people spread out a piece of wax paper, dab dollops of pesto in a row, and then roll it up like sausage links.  See last week’s blog post for my favorite pesto recipe!  If you don’t plan to use your basil right away, remember to store it in a bag at room temperature, not in the fridge.  That should give you a week or so to get to it, though it’s best at its freshest.


Grilled Broccoli

This grilled broccoli is dressed simply in tamari, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It results in crisp-tender florets that are beautifully sweet and salty beneath the smoke.  Copied from The New York Times Cooking, and featured in: Fette Sau’s Joe Carroll Writes ‘Feeding The Fire,’ A Worthy Barbecue Primer

3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 head broccoli, approximately 2 pounds, cored and cut into 1-inch florets

Kosher salt, to taste

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

Flaky sea salt (optional)

  1. Build a fire in your grill, leaving about 1/3 of grill free of coals, or set a gas grill to high.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the tamari or soy sauce with the vinegar. Add the olive oil while whisking vigorously. Add the broccoli and toss to coat. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.
  3. Place a grill basket on the grill and add the broccoli to it. Grill, tossing frequently, until the florets are crisp at the edges and tender within, with just a little bit of bite to them, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. If you don’t have a grill basket, lay the florets out on the grill in a single level and use tongs to turn them often. More work, same result.
  4. Transfer the cooked broccoli to a platter, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with parsley and, if using, a pinch or two of flaky sea salt.

Venetian Cauliflower

From David Tanis at The New York Times.  Give commonplace cauliflower an upgrade and it becomes holiday fare. Take a classic Venetian approach by using a mixture of sweet spices. Caramelized onions, saffron and cinnamon build the fragrant foundation, along with fennel and coriander seeds. Currants, golden raisins and pine nuts add complexity.

Featured in: Winter Vegetables For Spring Holidays

  • 1 cauliflower, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • Pinch of saffron, crumbled
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup currants
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

 

  1. Cut cauliflower in half from top to bottom, then remove the core. With a paring knife, cut into very small florets of equal size. Blanch florets in boiling water for 2 minutes. Cool in cold water and drain.
  2. Put olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add saffron, cinnamon, fennel seeds, coriander seeds and red pepper. Season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Add lemon zest, currants, raisins and cauliflower florets. Toss with wooden spoons to distribute. Cover with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes more, until cauliflower is tender. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with pine nuts and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

One thought on “CSA Week 6

  1. I learned years ago from a friend who had a deli & catered, to soak vegetables, especially tight heads like cauliflower & broccoli in cold water with some dissolved salt. That way, even the tiniest bugs or worms that may be deep inside will be killed & float out. Then you don’t have to salt much, if at all, when you cook it or eat it raw.

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