July 28, 2009

July 28 veggies (and a suggestion of what to do with them!)

Apologies for weird lighting in the picture... seems the bright white of that gorgeous cabbage and the reds and purples and oranges and greens around it are at odds with one another. But they all work together on your plate!

Here's what you should have in your bag (or, by now, your fridge):

Full share:
  • kale & half a cabbage (Melissa Savoy or Peral White)
  • turnip with greens & onion tops & edible chrysanthemum leaves
  • snow peas, tomato, jalepeno, basil and parsley
  • head of lettuce
  • surprise bag: cukes or zukes or Brussels sprouts or spicy salad greens
Half Share:
  • kale
  • turnip with greens
  • peas or beans or favas
  • tomato, basil, parsley
  • cauliflower
Part of the fun of getting your veggies from a CSA is not knowing what you're going to get each week. Sometimes you end up with vegetables you wouldn't ordinarily buy, and are thrown into "what do I do with this?" mode. I had never tasted Swiss chard until I started getting it from a CSA share years ago. What did I ever do without it?

One dish I've been turning to for using up veggies that might not be part of my usual repertoire is risotto. It's nowhere as difficult to make as people might have you believe, so long as you 1) have all your vegetables chopped and ready to go before you start, and 2) can give the risotto 20 minutes of your undivided attention. Other than that, it's all just stirring. Most current cookbooks have a good risotto recipe (or three, or eight); I use Jamie Oliver's recipe here, swapping in whatever relatively sturdy veggies I have around.

This batch has fava beans, green beans, garlic scapes, cauliflower, broccoli stalks, and basil (which I added near the end). Big ol' pork chop is optional.

Also: if you find that you're not making it through all your delicious kale, there's a great, very detailed tutorial on blanching and freezing the tasty stuff right here. The same method works for turnip greens, beet greens, chard, or any other sturdy braising green. You'll be glad you did it when you dig it out of the freezer come March month!

Happy eating!

July 22, 2009

July 21 veggies

Has it been a whole week already? Look at all the goodness that's been growing all this very hot week at the farm! Your nose probably tipped you off right away to the fact that there's basil in your bag... one of the most wonderful smells there is.

Here's what else you'll find:

::beanie bag: Shweitzer Risen snow peas, fava (or broad) beans, Provider green beans

::full share brassica bag: broccoli (some are slightly flowered, due to our hot weather), cauliflower, kale and/or Swiss chard
::half share brassica bag: broccoli (some are slightly flowered, due to our hot weather) and/or cauliflower, kale and/or Swiss chard, guy lan (Chinese broccoli)

::lettuce: Romaine, curly, speckled butterhead, and red oakleaf are some of this week's varieties

::Garlic, onions and herbs: garlic scapes (flower buds), onion leaves, and a mix of herbs, dill, parsley, and basil. Some of the basil is cinnamon, some lime, and some is good for pesto.

::A bunch of shunguku (edible chrysanthamum for salad) and a surprise tomato or small jalapeno pepper!

The tiny bit of flowering on the broccoli shouldn't make a difference to the taste or texture. You can simply cut the flowered bits off if you like. The stems might want peeling (just with a regular potato peeler) before you cook them, but they will still be delicious.

If you've never cooked fresh fava beans before, you might not know that the beans inside the pods have to be peeled. This isn't difficult at all, and popping the beans out of their tough skins is actually kind of fun. There's a great step-by-step tutorial here, with beautiful photos. You can add fava beans to soups or stews, puree them in dips, add them to risotto or pasta, or just eat them steamed, as a side dish, with a little butter or olive oil and salt. They're plenty good for you, and tasty indeed.

Happy eating!

July 16, 2009

Strawberry Rhubarb Ricotta Tart

Psst... the ricotta-topped fruit tart featured in this week's issue of The Scope features rhubarb from Seed to Spoon! (Plus Witless Bay wild strawberries and homemade ricotta... yum...)

July 15, 2009

More veggies (and sorry about the late list)

Apologies to all for the lateness of the list. I'm sure you've figured out most of what's in your bag of veggies for this week, but, just in case, here you go:

Full share
bag of salad greens (mizuna, lettuce, red mustard, arugua) with edible chrysanthymums
Melissa savoy cabbage
garlic scapes and spring onions
herbs (dill, pepper grass, cress) and carrots
one of the following: guay lan, green beans, cauliflower, or beet(s)

Half share
bag of salad greens (mizuna, lettuce, red mustard)
garlic scapes
one of the following: guay lan, savoy cabbage, or cauliflower

If you've never had garlic scapes before, they're the long, curly, green stalky things, and they're delicious:

They're great sliced up and served as a side dish - they're a little like garlicky green beans. I like to cut them into 2-inch lengths, blanch them (that is, drop them in some boiling water for a minute, then dunk them in cold water to stop them cooking any further) and add them to an Asian-style noodle salad with some matchstick carrots, green onions, and a sesame oil and rice vinegar dressing. There's some good reading on garlic scapes here, here, and here.

Happy eating!

July 14, 2009

Savoy Cabbage Salad

Made from S2S veggies! Click the photo to go to the recipe.

July 7, 2009

The veggies are here!

Welcome to July, Seed to Spoon farm-share friends!

So, as I type this up, the weather isn’t exactly hollering, “summer picnic time.” It’s a bummer of a way to start the season. But you know what might make everyone feel better? A big bowl of freshly stir-fried organic veggies, that’s what. Or perhaps a big salad?

In your hands this week you’ll find an array of delicious greenery to grace your dishes and fill your bellies:

the last of the sweet, delicious Hakurai turnips – enjoy them now, because there won’t be any more until next year!

a bag of salad greens (lettuce, arugula, herbs)

bag of sturdy stir-fry/steaming greens (Swiss chard, kale, spinach, turnip tops)

rhubarb – another crop whose time is ticking, so enjoy it while you can!

spring onion tops

half a Melissa Savoy cabbage OR bag of broccoli sprouts/guay lan (Asian sprouting broccoli)

a beet OR a few baby carrots

If the bags seem a little light, don’t worry – it’s still very early in the season, and the fields and greenhouses are bursting with growing vegetables that will be making their way home with you in the coming weeks.

Since it’s still a little wet and chilly out there, maybe you ought to take some of your new tasty veggies and put together a nice grainy salad for some serious fortification. Pick out your favourite whole grains, or combination of grains: maybe barley, bulghar, wheat berries, amaranth, or my top combo, brown rice and quinoa. Cook them according to package instructions to make about 3 cups. If you’re combining grains, cook them separately, or else you might end up with one very mushy grain and one undercooked one.

I’d hesitate to call this a recipe, but here’s what I do.

Combine: 3 cups cooked grains (cooled slightly)

1 large handful of favourite nuts and seeds (raw cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, soy nuts, toasted pine nuts, whatever is on hand)

1 handful of raisins

Make a vinaigrette of:

1 part vinegar (red wine, apple cider, rice)

2 parts oil (olive, canola, grapeseed, vegetable, or a combination)

salt and pepper to taste

Shake this up in a bottle and douse your grains/seeds/raisins liberally. Set the bowl in the fridge to cool completely.

When the grains have cooled, add in a big handful of each of the following:

spring onion tops, finely chopped

finely sliced Savoy cabbage, broccoli or sprouts (whichever one you found in your bag)

finely chopped spinach leaves

one diced apple, some grated carrot, thinly sliced red onion, whatever else you might have laying about

Stir to combine, add some more salt and pepper or vinaigrette as desired. Serve over a great tangle of salad greens and enjoy.

This salad keeps for days and days in the fridge, so you could just keep munching on it all week. It’s also easily increased if you have a bunch of people to feed.

If you’re looking for more ideas for eating up those cooking greens (Swiss chard, kale, spinach, turnip greens), there are a couple of tasty pasta recipes over at the Scope site:

Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Feta

Pasta with Fresh Green Veggies and Goat Cheese

Also, did you know that, in the Mediterranean, spanikopita is usually made with greens that are more like Swiss chard than like spinach? Why not substitute your mixed cooking greens for spinach in your favourite spanikopita recipe?

Enjoy your veggies, and see you soon!