In your share:
New potatoes: Carola
Cucumber or Zucchini
Sugar Snap Peas or Cherry Tomatoes
Full Shares Only:
Komatsuna or Baby bok choy
Potatoes are here! These first potatoes of the year are so special. They are still growing, which means they are extra creamy, the skins are almost nonexistent, and they are actually very high in protein and low in starch. They are also a bit undersized, which means we get lower yields when we pull them this young, but they are worth it. Our potatoes are one of my favorite crops, and unlike any other potatoes I’ve had. They are incredibly flavorful and this week’s carolas have a lovely, creamy texture and buttery flavor that can’t be beat. You can use them just like other potatoes, but expect them to be less starchy. I love them roasted, or carolas make great mashed potatoes. Or add them to soup, or make a potato salad with fresh basil. But however you use them, make sure you can taste them because they are so delicious.
Note that new potatoes have very thin skins and should be stored in the fridge in a bag. Later in the season, we’ll have your more standard cured potatoes that can be stored at room temp, but for now they do much better cold.
The peas you have today are sugar snaps, which are the kind you eat pod and all. I usually just snack on them raw, but you can also cook them or slice them up into salads. Some folks actually got them last week since we didn’t have enough cherry tomatoes for all the full shares.
Returning members have probably been wondering where the peas are. We usually grow lots of sugar snap peas, but this year we’ve had a bit of a perfect storm. We were unable to get seed for our usual variety (there was a big seed failure on the east coast), we had poor germination on the seed we did get, we didn’t have the bed properly prepped in the new field, then the irrigation took longer than I expected and we had a hot spell early on that stressed them out. So this year’s peas are minimal, and these may be the only ones you get. Believe me that we miss them too, but this is part of eating locally and being a CSA member. You share the bounty when we have it, but you share the risk and will miss out on things that do poorly. I’m hoping to make up for the short pea harvest with lots of other tasty things, like tomatoes and cucumbers, both of which are just coming into production and are looking great!
Speaking of cucumbers, most folks have one today (and a few got them last week instead of zucchini). We grow 3 kinds, a long green American slicer type, a shorter green Armenian slicer, and round yellow lemon cucumbers. All three are sweet and refreshing and can be used interchangeably. I mostly snack on them raw (they make a great hiking snack) and added to salads. They aren’t pickling cukes, but you can pickle them if you like. They won’t hold stay crunchy if you can them, but they make a good quick refrigerator pickle chip.
And speaking of bounty, the green onions are a bit out of control this year. There’s always something that we just have copious amounts of, and this year green onions are it. I’m sure some of you are getting sick of them, but they are too nice to leave in the field. If you are feeling stuck, use them as a replacement for onions in just about any recipe. They work great. Or throw on the whole bunch next time you fire up the grill.
The only other new item for some of you is komatsuna. This is an extra tasty leafy green that is similar to bok choy. It is dark green with succulent stems and we sell it bunched. You can use it like kale or bok choy, I like it best steamed but it is also good in a stir fry or salad. Make sure to eat those tasty stems! This is a crop that self seeds easily, so we mostly harvest volunteers anymore. It’s a pretty nice weed to have!
Green Onion Green Goddess Dressing
I provided salad for a friend’s wedding campout, and made this dressing to feed a crowd. It’s strong flavored but super tasty, and I think it would make a great marinade or sauce as well. I usually make dressings in a quart mason jar with my immersion blender, but you could also do this in a food processor or blender.
Combine in a wide mouth quart mason jar (if using immersion blender) or the bowl of a food processor:
1/2 bunch green onions, roughly chopped
1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp honey
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 tsp cayenne powder (or to taste)
Blend until smooth, adding water or extra oil if needed to thin it. Add salt to taste.
Roasted New Potatoes, Fennel, Walla Walla Onions, and Basil
This is a staple meal in our house. It is easy to make and absolutely delicious when made with potatoes fresh out of the ground. Makes a hearty meal by itself or a tasty side dish when served with grilled or roasted meat and a salad. No walla wallas today, try green onions! I’d probably just use the white part. (Serves 3 as a main dish or 6 as a side)
Preheat the oven to 400.
Chop into large pieces and place in a roasting pan or large pyrex baking dish:
2 pounds new potatoes
1 walla walla onion (including greens if it is fresh)
1 bulb fennel
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Bake at 400, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until the potatoes are fully soft, about 25 to 35 minutes depending on the freshness of the potatoes and size of the pieces.
Trim the leaves from, chop and stir in:
½ bunch of basil