In Your Share This Week:
PEAS!! Snow peas and/or sugarsnap peas- Snow peas are the large, flat-podded peapods (eat the whole thing- peas AND pod), delicious in stirfry with garlic and sesame oil (see Recipes). Sugarsnaps are the fat, crispy ones (also to be eaten whole- the pods are even juicier than the peas themselves) that are so sweet they probably won’t even make it home, let alone into a recipe)
PAC CHOI (a.k.a. Bok Choy)- the crisp, juicy Asian cousin of cabbage, pac choi can be used fresh or cooked. I love to eat the raw midribs dipped in hummous or other garlicky dipping sauce. Our neighbors at Leelanau Cultured Veggies often add pac choi to their kim chee to supplement the Chinese cabbage. It’s perhaps best enjoyed in a simple stirfry with garlic, ginger, and your favorite source of spicy heat (see Recipes), served with rice or rice noodles. This particular batch got hit hard by flea beetles (remember them? The little monsters that ravaged your turnip greens earlier this spring….) so the leaves are….lacy. Don’t worry- it doesn’t make them any less tasty, but they may not store as long as usual, so how about a stir-fry soon?
LETTUCE- the first week of mature heads, not baby mix- you may see Black Seeded Simpson (light green, crinkly leaf lettuce), Italianischer (great big, funky deer tongue-type lettuce that resembles a sea anemone), Red Sails (traditional red leaf), or Skyphos (red butterhead). We’ve taken a poll at the farm, and it’s unanimous- your farmers all prefer big lettuce to baby mix! So in addition to the mesclun you’ve come to love, we hope you’ll also cultivate an appreciation for all the beautiful textures and colors of big lettuces this season.
SCALLIONS- we’ve been waiting all spring, and now it’s summer, and scallions are finally here! Did you know you can eat the entire green section? Some folks I know only use the white and toss the green- I think you’ll find these so fresh and tender you’ll wish there were even more green! We hope to keep you in scallions for the rest of the season. See Recipes for my favorite peanut sauce with scallions.
CILANTRO- the first of the season. While we often associate cilantro with hot –season crops like tomatoes and peppers, i.e. salsa, cilantro actually grows much better in cooler weather and also pairs well with anything remotely Asian or Indian. Try tossing it in with your spicy peanut noodles or on a salad with bean sprouts and lime juice.
And just when you thought you were off the hook… more GARLIC SCAPES. I’m pretty sure this is the last week for these; the plants are just about done producing scapes (they only make one each, but instead of coming on all at once, they’ve been trickling in over the past few weeks, and this is the fattest scape harvest yet). Luckily for us, these store really well in a plastic bag in the fridge if you can’t use them all at once. Has anyone tried the scape tempura recipe from the first week’s newsletter?
Optional Extra: Purslane! Remember this succulent beauty from last year? Also called verdolagas, purslane is popular is Mexican cooking, and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. It has a subtle lemony flavor and a juicy, succulent leaf and stem, all of which can be used. Did you know that purslane is the best land-based source of Omega-3 fatty acids? After seafood, fishes, and seaweed, purslane is your friend in good health.