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Archive for the 'Vegetable Info' Category

Kale and other greens

Kale’s a tough one sometimes, at least for me. Lettuce, I know what to do with.  Chard and spinach, same thing.  Kale and other bitter greens, I think I’ve finally figured them out.

I wash them well (I wash them twice to get all the grit out of the curly leaves).  Then I heat some olive oil up in a large saute pan over low heat, and dump in a ton of sliced garlic–like 3-4 cloves of it minimum.  While that’s heating up, I strip the stems out, rough chop the leaves, throw them in the pan with a couple of pinches of salt, turn up the heat a bit and saute them until very wilted.  Throw a few grinds of pepper over top and eat!

I used to leave the stems in, or chop them as well, like I do with chard, but it finally dawned on me that those were the most bitter part and to strip them out first.  That made all the difference!

Here’s a great step-by-step how to on freezing kale from notmartha.org (a great site if you haven’t seen it). Plus, her tip on how to stripping the stems and chop the leaves is a great one!

How do you all prepare the bitter greens?

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Lettuce Soup

Member Alicia writes:

I made this last night and thought it might be something good to post to the website or email out to everyone since we’ve been getting so much lettuce! Especially for those that aren’t crazy about salads.

Lettuce Soup (from Recipezaar.com)
Ingredients
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 heads lettuce, finely chopped
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 dash nutmeg
salt and pepper

Directions
1. Cook onion in butter till soft.
2. Add lettuce, then flour, then broth.
3. Boil 1 minute, stirring.
4. Pour in blender and add milk, nutmeg, paprika and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Blend for a minute, then return to pot and reheat.

Its not as gross as it sounds, its very similar tasting to a cream of broccoli soup though not as creamy. Went very well with some crusty bread and cheese : )

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Garlic Scape Art

We thought they were too cool looking for the crisper drawer. *alyson bagin

Thanks Alyson!

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How to store your share

Member Sonoko writes:

I just ran across this terrific article about storing fresh produce.  Think it’s something the CSA group might find of interest?

I’ve been referring to an invaluable sheet my first CSA handed out many years ago for storing-your-share details: check it out! — Karina

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Radish Recipe

Member Amy writes:

I have to admit, I’ve never been a radish lover, but I came across this recipe and I think I’m hooked! (Or perhaps it was the fact that these radishes were so fresh and organically grown!) They’re much milder when they’re cooked, so if you love that bite, you might want to stick with raw. If you want to share this link, it’s the last recipe on the bottom of the page (Radishes with Pasta and Radish Greens). http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/veggies/radish1.html Thanks again for this great new experience!

Amy Richardson

Thanks Amy!

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NY Times article on Garlic

Appropriately enough, there was a NYTimes article all about the different types of garlic that are around – including our friend the garlic scape. Here are a couple of excerpts from the article:

Their graceful form gives few clues about their function. Garlic scapes are pencil thin and exuberantly loopy, and emanate a clean and mildly garlicky scent. At the top of each is a tightly closed but bulging bud. I contemplated sticking them in a vase with the peonies, but ultimately realized I’d rather eat them.

Since my cookbook indexes came up empty in a search for scapes, I called my dad for advice. “Garlic scapes?” he said. “Do you mean green garlic?”

He was referring to the tender crop of garlic that also appears in the market in spring, bulbs still attached to their green floppy tops. Having become addicted to their juiciness and musky sweetness, I always make a point to buy plenty when I see them.

But no, I told him, scapes look like curlicue tulip stems.

At the time he didn’t know how to cook them either, so I decided to wing it.

Since the scapes reminded me of extra-long green beans, I treated them as such, cutting them into two-inch lengths, blanching them and tossing them with a lemony vinaigrette.

They had a gently spicy undertone and an exquisitely fresh green, mellow taste. Unlike regular garlic, which needs some kind of vehicle to carry its intense flavor to the mouth, scapes are self-sufficient; vegetable and aromatic all in one. Ever since that first batch, I gleefully buy scapes whenever I can, using them in salads, soups and pesto.

Although they’ve been gaining a following over the last few years, he [Bill Maxwell, of Maxwell Farms in Changewater, N.J.] said, scapes came to market “when someone figured out they could make money from something they were cutting off the garlic plant and getting rid of.”

Peter Hoffman, the chef at Savoy, added, “At some point someone realized the scapes were tender and delicious.” He suggested that I sauté them with other vegetables or soft-shell crabs, or even grill them whole to show off their curves.

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1st Share, 17th June 2008

2008csa1

A photo of my share for the week!

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Escarole

Escarole, and the curly frisee that was the other choice, are members of the chicory family. Other chicories are endive and radicchio. These are hearty greens with a firm texture and slightly bitter taste.

Escarole can be eaten raw in salads, but it is best cooked. Slice into ribbons and cook quickly to retain its edge or saute low and slow with some garlic scapes to sweeten.

escarole

Escarole is famously paired with white beans in soups and casseroles. It can withstand a lot of cooking and a lot of strong flavors.

Frisee (not pictured), should be eaten raw in salds

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Radishes

Radishes are eaten raw. They range in flavor from a mild spice to full-flegged heat, but a radish is always cool and crisp. They are a great way to wake up the palate on hot, humid Jersey days. True believers just rinse and eat like a carrot. The French arrange them in bowls and dip in butter and salt. The English slice them paper thin and put into tea sandwiches. They are excellent sliced into salads or grated into slaws (see kohlrabi post). They are a colorful, spicy addition to a vegetable & dip platter.

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Garlic Scapes

garlic scapes

Welcome to one of the perks of CSA membership. The garlic scape is the top of the garlic plant, sort of like a big chive, but with more garlic flavor. Scapes keep very well in the fridge. Chop them and saute them much like you would use garlic. I have cooked the whole thing slowly in olive oil and they become soft and mellow. You can throw a whole scape into pasta sauce or soup. Experiment and enjoy.

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