Monday, June 18, 2012

CSA Week 2: June 16, 19, 20: the Heat Wave followed by Torrential Rain

In Your Share This Week:

Rhubarb! Remember the rhubarbade we served at the pre-season member meeting? Recipe: super simple. Chop 2-3 cups rhubarb finely. Add a little water, bring to boil, then simmer 5-10 min in a small saucepan. Use an immersion blender OR transfer to blender to blend to a fine, smooth puree. Add sugar, maple, or honey to taste (you're making a concentrate here; it's supposed to taste super strong at this point). Chill, and mix with water (tap or sparkling) at about a 2:1 ratio, or to taste. Serve iced. You can of course combine rhubarb with Ware Farm strawberries for strawberry-rhubarb pie, crisp, or compote, too. Chelsea Hummon recently treated us to a traditional Icelandic Rabarbarakokur (rhubarb cake), which I HIGHLY reccommend:

Lettuce- lovely green leaf, red leaf, mini green romaine, and/or red romaine- these heads (some large and luscious, some little) were supposed to trickle in over the next few weeks, but the heat wave has made them start to bolt, so we harvested most of them while they are still good. This week (and possibly next) you're rich in lettuce! In addition to fresh salads and sandwich-fixins, try lettuce wraps: treat the lettuce leaf like an eggroll wrapper, fill it with things you like to eat, roll it up, and enjoy as finger food.

Baby Salad Mix: You'd think with that much lettuce (big not baby), we'd hold off on the salad mix. But so many people love the baby mix so much that we decided to include a bag of it-- on the smaller size, but salad mix nonetheless. In addition to the four different red and green lettuces in the mix, you'll notice spicy greens, some with pinpoint holes -- flea beetles love plants in the mustard family, which most of our spicy salad components are, and the flea beetles have been ACTIVE the past few weeks. It's just cosmetic damage; the leaves are still tender, perhaps slightly spicier, and "lacy" too. Let me know what you think.

Swiss Chard- rainbow "Bright Lights" variety. Use chard any way you'd use spinach, including sauteed or steamed, in eggs, in lasagna, in spanikopita, etc. My favorite chard recipe: saute onions and garlic in olive oil til tender. Add chopped chard stems (do not discard! they're delicious and beautiful), saute a few minutes. Add chopped leaves, sautet til wilted and shiny, not gray and shapeless. Toss lightly with balsamic vinegar, add toasted pine nuts or walnuts, crumbly feta or goat cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with rice, pasta, or anything else you like.

More Green Garlic- since garlic came on so early this year (scapes), I suspect this may be the end of the green garlic for the season. Use the entire plant, tip to tip, just like fresh garlic (it IS fresh garlic, just with the whole plant attached). Slice through the forming bulb in cross-section to see the cloves just starting to form! pretty cool.

More Garlic Scapes- or garlic "scrapes" as folks are wont to say when they're new to scapes, or vice versa. Again, use just like fresh garlic. Scapes are the flowering stem of the garlic plant; we harvest them to a) eat, and b) encourage the plant to direct growth energy at a bigger bulb, rather than a flowering stalk. So we get two garlic harvests, AND a bigger bulb after all that. Scapes will keep for several weeks in your fridge, in a in airtight plastic bag.

Dill weed and or other herbs - possibly some with flowers! I love dill chopped onto salads, onto eggs, or in soups or lentils. You can also use it for grilling fish or other grillables- the dill flavor seeps into whatever you put on it.

That's it for now- in the upcoming weeks, look for more greens (salad and cooking greens), scallions, Asian greens, more herbs, possibly big beets (not thinnings), radishes, peas, and more. Enjoy those green leafies!

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