CSA Week 3
You may have these things in your box: chard, lettuce, kale, beets, peas? Red Mustard? Garlic scapes? Summer squash? 😊
If you get your CSA in a box, vs a bag, PLEASE return your undamaged box at the next pickup. They are designed to open and close repeatedly without tearing or ripping.
Strawberries are such a short season and you just never know what you are going to get from year to year. Some years we can pick over an extended time, but often you have a first week of light picking, then two weeks of heavy picking, when there are tons, and then they start to peter out and tend to be small. It takes longer to fill a basket and then it is pretty well over. So, while the berries are pretty much done, we are still picking peas…so hopefully you’ll see them again. I did have a member tell me they remembered my advice about trying to chew one up and if you can’t then it is an English shelling pea. Solid advice.
More lettuce, kale, chard, and beets – don’t forget they come in all colors – so ask if you are not sure what you’ve got.
Some members will see red mustard greens this week, and some may see summer squashes.
We grow a lot of summer squash…
Summer squash encompasses any and all the tender skinned squashes harvested in the summer and is not suitable for storage…so you could pick a small green pumpkin in July, cook it up and call it a summer squash. Not knowing what the harvest will look like for squashes this week, I will cover a few of the varieties we grow:
- Yellow Straight Neck- a yellow variety
- Cousa- a pale green Middle eastern type
- Zucchini- we grow several dark green varieties like Elite
- Golden Zucchini- it’s zucchini, but golden-yellow
- Patty Pan- pale green scalloped type – a little like a flying saucer
- Romanesco- a medium speckled dark green variety that is deeply ridged the length of the fruit
- Scallopini- yellow or green, scalloped “flying saucers”
All the squashes are interchangeable in recipes, though some lend themselves to grilling or stuffing more than others.
I have been cutting mustard from Faith’s garden in the back yard and tossing it into everything from salad, stir fry and scrambled eggs. I love its mustardy bite! The whole plant is edible, stems and all.
Sautéed Mustard Greens
Rinse leaves, let them stay wet, chop loosely. Add a splash of olive oil to skillet over medium-high heat, toss in a couple crushed garlic cloves and pinch of red pepper flakes, cook until garlic starts to brown, to infuse with flavor, then discard the garlic. Add in the mustard and sprinkle with salt. Cover and cook until tender (a couple of minutes), drizzle with balsamic and enjoy! Looks A LOT like the chard recipe I posted in last week’s letter 😉
What to do with Chard?
Lisa tells me she struggles with using up the Swiss chard. It’s funny because it is one thing the kids bring in and simply want steamed and dressed with butter and vinegar. But, I am big on frittata and probably make more chard frittata than any other kind… though, as I have said in the past, frittata is a go-to food around here because it is quick and so versatile.
Set oven to 400® Wash and shake dry your chard bunch. Chop into 1” pieces, keeping the stems mostly separate. In a large oven-safe skillet, heat 2 Tb of oil, if you have a chopped onion or lots of minced garlic, toss in and when starting to soften, add chopped chard stems, sauté about 5 minutes, pile all the chopped greens on top, cover and let cook. Check and stir around from time to time.
Meanwhile, beat 6 eggs with s&p to taste and a cup of milk. Feel free to add your favorite herbs that are lying around.
Making sure the chard looks nice and tender, smooth it out in the pan, sprinkle with 1 cup cheese (shredded cheddar or swiss, grated Parm, feta crumbles…), pour eggs over top and let cook on the stove top for a few minutes. Then pop into the oven, make a salad, check the frittata in 10 minutes to see if it is set. It’s done when it is puffy and nothing is jiggling when you shake the pan. I serve mine out of the pan (because I don’t want to get another dish dirty) and always drape the handle with a dishtowel or oven mitt to remind those serving themselves not to grab the scorching hot handle.
I have several frittata recipes on our website.
If you find yourself swimming in greens and hope to enjoy them later, blanch your greens for 2 minutes, drain thoroughly and pack in freezer bags/containers. This works with chard, kale and beet greens. I use mine for calzones in the winter.
Check out my blog for lots of ideas, picture and recipes. Simply click the in the upper right of our website and type in whatever you are looking for, i.e. “zucchini recipe” Look up kale chips and kale pesto on the blog!
We are still planting every day, and harvesting every day too! Yesterday we finally had enough plastic laid to plant lots of cucurbits and the field looks awesome! Glenn got the first batch of Mirai planted and will do another planting next week. What’s Mirai? It is a gourmet yellow sweet corn we LOVE! OK, I love all the corn, but Mirai is a little unique. Still no GMO, if you were wondering J We have several Herons in various farm ponds enjoying the booming amphibian population. Yesterday when I was checking out the newly planted squashes, I was visited by a darling pair of Northern Yellowthroat, and multiple sets of Bluebirds and Tree Swallows. Did I mention the Kingbird is nesting on top of the utility pole in our yard?
Eat well, Geneviève Stillman
Next week: lettuces, chard, kale, summer squashes…
Northern Yellowthroat male (courtesy of Wikipedia)