IN THE BOX THIS WEEK
MIXED KALE BAG
MIZUNA SALAD GREENS
RED RAIN MUSTARD
BABY FRENCH BREAKFAST RADISHES
RED LEAF LETTUCE
SNAP PEAS! (Remember, we reuse the clamshells from the peas, so bring them back with your box next week!)
I hope everyone is ready for the chard glut to begin again. (That was the joke about greens in our CSA last year J) Here at 26th Street we love our greens in the spring; it is only a matter of time before all the summer vegetables come on and the greens slowly creep out of season. These greens are so good for you and there are loads of recipes available. If you find one you really like, share it with us! The new greens this week are vivid choi- bright pink stems and mustard or turnip like greens and red rain mustard dark purple leaves. Last week you got either chard or kale so one of those is new as well. The mustard and vivid choi greens work great with last week’s recipe, Asian greens with Soy and Sesame, and the first week’s recipe birds in a nest. But I would encourage you to eat them raw in a salad. You don’t have to make a salad with just the mustard greens but try adding the red rain leaves to give that romaine lettuce some color and more texture if you run out of the red leaf lettuce. If you or your spouse doesn’t like them try chopping them up thinly and slipping them in to that salad, you might like it.
Another new item in the box is garlic scapes. These twisty, curly spears from hard-neck garlic are the plants attempt at seed head production. If these were left on the plant, the plant would put less energy into the garlic bulb below ground, and more into the seed head. They are potent with garlic flavor, but delicious raw or cooked.
You might be wondering what is all in this mixed kale bag, well there are four varieties of kale: Lacinato, Winter Red, Redbor, and a green curly Kale called Ripbor. We grow four different varieties because we don’t want to rely on just one, and they offer all offer different textures and flavors. We also like to trial new types of kale to see if one produces more or comes on early or produces longer into the winter, so by growing a variety of kales we can guarantee that we have kale for the entire season. Look forward to redbor in the fall, that’s when the “red” really comes out (after frost).
I wanted to mention some tricks for keeping all these greens in the fridge. Number one is moisture, you have to keep these greens in a bag, it can be a grocery bag, it can be a produce bag, it can be a Back Alley bread bag but it has to be plastic. Save the ones we give you; just rinse them out and dry on a dish rack. I prefer something clear so I can see what it is without opening it but whatever works as long as it is plastic. And, say you leave a kale bunch out on the counter or back in the fridge and it is all wimpy and soft, don’t throw it out. Here is a trick to save it: cut a quarter inch off the bottom of the stems and place upright into a quart with cold water like a bouquet of flowers, you will be surprised at what happens after an hour or two. They will be crisp and like new. I am always astonished at how long these greens can last in the fridge, we still have arugula from three weeks ago and there isn’t a single brown leaf. Don’t be afraid of a little wilt either, as long as there isn’t yellowing on the leaf throw it into a dish and you wouldn’t know the difference.
We pulled up some turnips and beets yesterday which are starting to take shape, so those we hope to see next week, as well as more peas! See you tonight!
WHITE BEAN AND GARLIC SCAPES DIP
1/3 cup sliced garlic scapes (3 to 4)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, more to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling.
1. In a food processor, process garlic scapes with lemon juice, salt and pepper until finely chopped. Add cannellini beans and process to a rough purée.
2. With motor running, slowly drizzle olive oil through feed tube and process until fairly smooth. Pulse in 2 or 3 tablespoons water, or more, until mixture is the consistency of a dip. Add more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice, if desired.
3. Spread out dip on a plate, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with more salt.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups.