Week 4

A little mid-season compost application for some new crops (yes, Wes is wearing shorts)

Hello, everyone!

Everything is rolling along just great, and perhaps *this week* we will vanquish our ever-growing to-do list.  …  Well, we can dream, can’t we?  We look ahead with a little trepidation at this brief heat wave coming our way, with temperatures in the mid-90s on Wednesday and Thursday.  Hopefully, some of our cooler-weather-loving crops will emerge unscathed, or at least not too traumatized.  Other crops will be quite happy about it, no doubt.

I’m still trying to work out the best format for these posts, and so the usual list of veggies will be below, and those highlighted in green will have a recipe below.  We are working on trying to put a recipe page together, so they are all together and hopefully searchable.  There is a search bar in the sidebar here on the blog, so you can always search a veggie to find a recipe.

What to expect in your share this week:

  • Salad Mix
  • Arugula
  • Radishes (normal-sized these days!)
  • Kale
  • Turnips (large and small)
  • Basil
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower
  • Kohlrabi
  • Cabbage (Chinese for Tuesday [see kimchi recipe from last week], Green “regular” for Wednesday)
  • Mustard Greens
  • Tatsoi (similar to spinach) or Komatsuna (spicy) Greens
  • Hopefully the first appearance of the delightful Sugar Snap Pea!

RAW KALE-IN-A-JAR SALAD

This is a very simple and surprisingly addictive way of eating kale.  Don’t fear the raw factor!  It becomes quite tender–just needs to be sliced into thin strips and marinated a bit.  You could even be daring and throw in some of those mustard greens for a spicy element.

Bunch of kale

Nuts of your choice

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Apple cider vinegar

Salt

First, remove the stems from the leaves of the kale.  You probably have your own method, but for those of you unused to this process, make an “ok!” symbol with your dominant hand, then shrink the “o” by sliding your pointer down into the web of your thumb.  Slide this “o” over the stem of a leaf of kale and pull the stem through, ripping the leaf off the stem.  Do this to all the leaves and make a nice, flat pile of them.  Then, grabbing them all as if one, roll them up like a cigar.  Now, slice this “cigar” thinly.  Stuff all the kale confetti into a mason jar (or a tupperware of some sort, if you don’t own any jars)–really pack it in there.  Toss in the nuts.  Now splash with oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and sprinkle with salt.  The amounts of these will vary according to your taste, but my warning is to go easy on the lemon juice, because it can become overpowering.  Then, close the jar, shake it up, and let it sit for twenty minutes or so before eating.  Shake it a couple times, if you can remember, in the meantime.  We threw a few jars of this in Wes’ backpack and enjoyed snacking on it at Gertrude’s Nose in Minnewaska, as we gazed down on the lovely valley we live in.

RAGOUT OF TURNIPS, KOHLRABI AND PEAS (FROM “LOCAL FLAVORS”)

Several of this week’s veggies, combined!  Bam!  Feel free to adapt the recipe to what you have, of course.  Unfortunately, there will be no more spinach from us until fall.

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

6 spring onions or shallots, halved

6 or more small turnips, scrubbed and quartered

2 or 3 kohlrabi, about golf ball sized, peeled and quartered

1 thyme or lemon thyme sprig

sea salt and freshly ground pepper (or, you know, pepper from the ol’ shaker)

1 pound pod peas, shelled (*the peas we may have this week are NOT shelling peas)

a few handfuls baby spinach

dollop creme fraiche

4 large basil leaves, slivered

1.  Melt the butter in a skillet and add the onions, turnips, kohlrabi and thyme.  Add water to cover halfway and a teaspoon of salt.  Simmer while you shuck the peas.

2.  As soon as the vegetables are tender, after 12 to 15 minutes, add the peas and spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted down, a few minutes more.  Stir in the creme fraiche and add the basil.  Taste by itself.  With a starch (puff pastry, ravioli, even buttered toast), it can be offered as a vegetarian main dish.

WHOLE LITTLE CAULIFLOWERS WITH CRISPY BREAD CRUMBS (FROM “LOCAL FLAVORS”)

4 small cauliflowers, about 5 inches across

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon Dijon or coarse mustard

salt

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

1.  Wash the cauliflowers well.  Toast the bread crumbs in the oven or in a skillet until crisp and golden.  Melt the butter.

2.  Steam the cauliflower, the curds facing down in the pot, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.  Set them on individual plates or a platter.  Mix the melted butter with the parsley, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper flakes.  Pour it over the cauliflower, then add the bread crumbs and grate a little cheese over all.

BROCCOLI ON BRUSCHETTA

Broccoli is always wonderful steamed, with a little salt.  If you’re feeling a little adventurous, you could try this–it would taste great with diced kohlrabi in it, too.

1 pound broccoli florets (or however much you have)

salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, one minced, one cut in half lengthwise

several pinches red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon chopped oregano

red wine vinegar

4 slices hearty bread

1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced (I suspect cheddar would do fine as well!)

1.  Thickly peel the broccoli stems.  If longer than a few inches, coarsely chop them.

2.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add salt, then the broccoli.  Cook until tender, about 5 minutes, then scoop into a colander to drain.  Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water.

3.  Warm the tablespoon of oil in a skillet.  Add the broccoli along with a 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water, the minced garlic, pepper flakes and oregano.  Turn with tongs to mix in the garlic, then lower the heat.  Make sure there’s ample liquid in the pan.  Taste for salt, then season with a few drops of good, strong vinegar.

4.  Preheat the broiler.  Toast the bread, then rub it with the halved garlic clove.  Immediately lay the cheese over the top, then broil just until it begins to droop or bubble a little.  Transfer the toasts to plates, then cover them with broccoli and its juices.  Add a few drops of olive oil to each, as well as any remaining pan juices.

Happy eating!

Bryn and Wes

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