The evolving summer season… it starts with leaves, followed by roots, then the shoots, eventually flowers and finally fruits. This is how plants grow and your CSA share reflects that essential seasonal progression. This time of year – relatively early in the summer season – we’re growing, harvesting and eating lots of greens, roots & shoots. It’s an opportunity to celebrate salad, herbs and vitamin rich dark leafy cooking greens. It’s when fresh crunchy root crops like radish, hakuri turnip and carrots (coming soon!) are at their peak. Kohlrabi, fennel, onions & garlic are technically not roots, but a swelling of the stem. These are not far behind the true roots and we’re already picking the immature bulbs in the form of green garlic and spring onions. The first flower buds include crops as diverse as garlic scapes and broccoli. The early fruit crops are often legumes – peas, favas & soon green beans. Just another way to understand and appreciate the veggies in your share!
Hope you have had a chance to dig into the specially designated CSA site at Cook With What You Have. Katherine has taken all the recipe packets from past years and turned them into a fabulous searchable archive of tips, techniques and ideas. Check your email for the password to access the site. This will provide all of our members with 24 hour access to recipes and inspiration!
This week your share may include…
- Beets: First of the summer season! The little roots can be boiled or steamed then sliced onto salad. Beet greens can be cooked just like chard or spinach. There are more than a dozen great recipes and tips for using beets in the CSA section of Cook With What You Have.
- Choi: Big beautiful heads again this week. Have you tried the Soba Noodle Salad recipe with choi and lots of garlic? Yum!
- Garlic Scapes: These tender & curly whips are actually immature garlic flower stalks. They can be chopped up, sautéed and used in almost any dish that calls for regular garlic. I like to coat them with a bit of olive oil, lightly salt them and roast a pile on a cookie sheet under the broiler. Let them wilt and start to caramelize then put them on the table and watch them disappear. They have a nice roasted garlic flavor and make fun finger food.
- Kale: Spring kale is very tender and tasty. It doesn’t need to be cooked for long at all and also makes a great raw kale salad.
- Mizuna: These frilly greens are mild enough to be added to salad or lightly sautéed. We might also have a few bunches of a red variety called Ruby Streaks in the mix.
- Spring Onions: Fresh spring onions are here! They have a nice little bulb and the tops can be used just like a green onion.
- Italian Parsley: I’m a big fan of this Italian parsley – at our house we use tons of it for everything from clam linguini to tabbouleh. Often herbs are used sparingly, but I think of parsley more like the greens and don’t hesitate to add heaps of it when cooking.
- Sugar Snap Peas: You can eat the whole thing! Both the shell & peas inside are sweet & crunchy – I usually just eat them raw, but they also work well lightly sautéed.
- Turnip: This is peak season for these mild & crunchy Hakuri salad turnips. I usually eat the turnips raw and sauté the greens with a bit of salt & olive oil – simple & tasty!
Coming soon… butter lettuce & fresh fava beans!!