The greens are looking good this week! Across the world, cultures use dark leafy greens in a myriad of creative recipes. This week we have at least two continents represented with Joi Choi from Asia & Cimi di Rapa from Europe. These greens may be worlds apart geographically, but botanically they are closely related. As part of the Brassica genus, both likely decendended from the same 3 ancestral species. Included in this genus are important food crops, oilseed crops and also some frustrating weeds. Even just within the food crops there is an incredible amount of diversity as plants have been selected for edible roots, stems, leaves, buds, flowers and seeds. Most of the brassicas are extremely nutritious and often have antioxidant, anticancer and immune enhancing properties.
You’ll find recipes for greens and everything in your share, at Cook With What You Have. If you’re a CSA member, you will find your password in your most recent email. Enjoy 24/7 access to recipe inspiration!
This week your share may include…
- Joi Choi: A beautiful and tasty brassica, it is classified as a B. rapa var. chinensis. This species also includes a wide variety of other roots & greens from tatsoi to turnips to napa cabbage. This choi is one of my favorites! It has broad white stems that are mild and crunchy with tender dark green leaves. It makes a terrific addition to stir fry or try this Soba Noodle Salad with Choi.
- Fava Beans: Beautiful, early, flavorful and fun! This time of year you don’t have to double peel if you don’t want to. In fact, my favorite way to cook these is whole and in the pod. Try this Fresh Grilled Fava Beans recipe.
- Baby Lettuce Heads: Let the summer salads begin!
- Spring Garlic: Lovely plump fresh garlic bulbs for you in the share today. Left in the field, it will become storage garlic – but it isn’t there yet. Use these in any recipe that calls for regular garlic but since they do not have the dried wrapper around the bulb if needs to be stored in the fridge and eaten sooner rather than later.
- Spring Onions: These are tender and tasty! We call them spring onions to differentiate them from storage onions. This time of year the spring onions have beautiful greens on them which can be used like just like a green onion. You may see red, yellow and white onions – or a mix of all three – in your share this week
- Sweet Pea Microgreens: These little treats make a nice topping for soups, salad or sandwiches.
- Red Round Radish: These are super tasty this time of year. Later in the season they can get pretty spicy, but these just have a little zing to them. Great in salads or as a snack on the crudite plate. Or try this Radish Butter spread.
- Cimi di Rapa:These greens go by many names aka Sessantina Grossa, Spring Raab, Rabe or Rapini and are classified as B. rapa var. rapa. Common throughout the southern Mediterranean, especially in Italy, Spain and Portugal, they are traditionally boiled or sautéed with olive oil and hot pepper and often served as a side alongside pork or over pasta. My sister worked for a summer in Bari, Italy many years ago and I love this simple pasta – Orecciette with Cimi di Rapa – from that region.
Coming soon… Happy Solstice!