In Your Share (June 30th edition)


IMG_0909Big beautiful fava beans are here!! In the midst of this heat wave it’s hard to remember back to those cold sunny days in February when we planted our fava field. We enjoyed the greens earlier this spring, many beneficial insects enjoyed the striking black and white flowers of early summer and finally the tasty young beans have arrived. Favas are in the legume family – a genus which is incredibly diverse. It includes almost 20,ooo species of flowering plants ranging from annuals (ie. sugar snap peas & green beans) to perennial trees. One of the things that plants in this genus have in common is their ability to fix nitrogen. Many of our cover crops are legumes (ie. clover & vetch). Part of the appeal of using legumes in this way is that they actually contribute valuable nitrogen to our cropping system. When we till them in the nitrogen from the root nodules is released and becomes available for our next round of veggies, ideally reducing out dependence on outside sources of fertilizer. Nitrogen fixation also allows plants to meet their metabolic needs even in stressful conditions. Our favas have definitely not had a stressful life – they’ve had plenty of water, sunshine and fertility which means we should have bountiful harvest of beans this season.

Hope you have had a chance to dig into the specially designated CSA site at Cook With What You Have. Katherine has some interesting ideas & recipes for fava beans and the other veggies in your share this week. Just look along the right hand column and click on your favorite veggies to see all the recipes available.  Check your email for the password to access the site. Hope you’re enjoying your 24/7 access to recipe inspiration!

This week your share may include…

  • Carrots: Getting a little bit bigger & better every week.
  • Chard: I can’t have chard in the share without passing on my grandmothers chard bisque. Some of my other favorite things to do with chard include: sautéed with raisins & pine nuts, white beans & pancetta, fritattas and the list goes on…
  • Fava Beans:  This recipe, Ignacio Mattos’s Grilled Favas, was a revelation for me. I get to enjoy the  fabulous flavor of favas without double peeling?! It also works well under the broiler too, in case you don’t want to grill. Don’t get me wrong, I always manage to spend a few satisfying summer evenings shelling favas and LOVE them that way too. Just nice to have a relatively quick and very tasty alternative.
  • Garlic: Early Chinese Pink is always the first full size heads to form. They’re not completely dried down and just a bit juicier than the usual head of garlic.
  • Kohlrabi: Just peel the bulbs and use them raw for a sweet & crunchy snack. They’re also tasty grated onto salad.
  • Lettuce: Beautiful heads of red romaine lettuce would make a great caesar salad.
  • Spring Onions: The bulb can be used raw, sautéed or pickled. The tops are nice too & can be used just like a green onion.
  • Parsley: Think tabbouleh and also chimichurri sauce,
  • Sumer Squash: First of the season – cute little courgettes!

Coming soon…  new potatoes are just a few weeks away!!