Saturday, August 7, 2010

Week 9: In your share this week

Basil! Is finally here. Regular Italian basil, lemon basil, or Thai basil this week. See “recipes” section for pesto recipe- if you’re like me, you’ll love using lemon basil in pesto; if not, perhaps you’ll love it for other reasons…

Cabbage- the first of the season! Either the small Early Jersey Wakefield (conehead cabbage) or Des Vertus savoy (crinkly-leaf) cabbage. Enjoy cooked or raw. My current favorite slaw recipe is in the recipes section this week.

Potatoes- Caribe (purple skin, white flesh) or Red Gold (red skin, yellow flesh). Try hot buttered potatoes (roasted or boiled) with salt and generous quantities of fresh, chopped Italian parsley.

Beans! It is bean season, and you may see classic green beans, purple beans, "Tongue of Fire" streaked red-yellow beans, or Maxibel (a tiny French "haricot" type bean). Enjoy raw or lightly steamed. The purples will turn green if cooked- even a little. To maintain the purpleness, either steam lightly til just hot, or enjoy raw, perhaps in a marinated bean salad with cucumbers and onions? We may see a lull in beans after this week- the planting we’ve been picking from is slowing down already, and the next succession isn’t quite ready (but be prepared for LOTS of beans in about a month when the pole beans start coming on).

Kale OR Swiss Chard- As David Hambleton from Sisters Hill Farm in western NY once said, “No one can imagine a CSA without kale.” We take him at his word, but try to switch it up with other cooking greens once in a while, like chard, collards (later this fall; they’re so much better after the frost!), turnip and mustard greens, etc. See “recipes” section for my all-time favorite greens recipe.

Carrots- either Sugarsnax (long, skinny orange), Mokum (shorter, fatter orange), or Purple Haze (yes, purple carrots! Stay tuned for more purples and some whites along with the classic orange in the next wave of carrots). We’ve embarked on an alternating week carrot-beet cycle, so next week: beets!

Cucumbers! wow, are there ever cucumbers..... time for non-lettuce salads: pickled or fresh cukes with any combo of other veggies, a simple vinaigrette or bona fide marinade. Three different varieties: Marketmore, a classic dark green slicer, Diva, a smooth-skinned sweet slicer, or Lemon Cukes- small, round, and yellow, still tastes like cucumber, not citrus.

Summer squash/zucchini- time to get out the grill for summer veggies! Either pattypan (“spaceship”) squash, golden or green zucchini, “eightball” (round, dark green) zukes, or yellow crookneck squash. You'll see big zukes later for zucchini bread; for now enjoy the delicate, tender young ones.

Red and/or Sweet white onions- these sweet beauties are mild enough to enjoy raw, but of course can be cooked, grilled, or whatever you need them for.

Garlic- another fresh bulb. Please let us know if you like getting one bulb a week, a bulb every other week, a large quantity all at once, or a bulb or two trickled out at a time- we want to know what works best for you.

Baby Salad Mix – See “Note” about what makes this week’s salad so noteworthy.

Hakurei Turnips- these sweet, mild, tender white roots are about the best thing that’s ever come out of Japan (for me!). They are so mellow, we enjoy them raw, chopped, with or without salt (I recommend with), and in salads. You can of course roast or cook them, and they’re equally delicious that way (but why bother?). Like any turnips, the greens are excellent steamed or lightly sautéed, with a little hot chile oil and vinegar.

Herbs: either Italian flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, or dill.

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