Monday, July 30, 2012

Week 7: Broccoli and other Flowers

I'm getting the Week 7 post out without an original recipe because we had a bit of fun this weekend. My Mom is in town, camping with a friend who she has been close with since the mid 50's! We've been picking blueberries at Gierke Blueberry Farm in Chassell and toasting marshmallows (and also beets and rutabaga - we ARE vegetable farmers) over the camp fire.

We also made it to the Ontonagon County Fair yesterday, which was a blast as always. This year they had a train of sorts made of barrels, pulled by a small tractor. Seda had the opportunity to ride it, more or less making her year.

This is the actual definition of adorable, right?
Don't worry though, we've had time to put together a great share for you this week as well. Among other things, the earlier broccoli variety is starting to come on, and the radicchio has headed up nicely. This week members can expect: Broccoli, Radicchio, Beet Greens, Head Lettuce, Basil, Onions, Kale, A Cucumber or Summer Squash (they're just starting to come in quantities big enough for the shares), Edible Flowers/Herbs, and Tomatoes/Peppers/Eggplant/Etc. from the hoophouse and field.

The beet greens are thinnings from our field beet planting, which will be sizing up in the next few weeks. You'll see a few baby beets attached to your greens. Separate them or cook them all together as you wish. The greens can be used as you used the braising mix from the earlier shares, their flavor is like extra intense chard. If you need some ideas for cooking them, check out this list of 5 recipes that include beet greens.

Radicchio is another bitter green, it always seems to be more popular than the chicory and escarole. I'm not sure if that is because radicchio is slightly more tender than escarole, or simply due to the fact that radicchio is one of the most beautiful greens in existence.

A green in name only: Lovely cream and wine colored radicchio heads.
Radicchio is used as a salad green. Toss it with the head lettuce, some basil leaves and edible flowers. Add some parmesan cheese shavings and dress with a balsamic vinaigrette.

It can also be cooked, as in this eggplant recipe I posted at radicchio time last year or substituted in for escarole in the bitter greens recipe I posted for week five this year.  

This year's edible flowers include: Calendula, Bachelor's Buttons, Dianthus, Queen Anne's Lace, and a few Onion flowers. This week members can choose the flowers or herbs such as thyme, oregano, lemon balm, or mint. Hopefully the flowers will go strong for a few weeks so everyone can get a taste of them. 

The lovely blue bachelor's button is my favorite to look at, but
the weedy, carrot flavored, Queen Anne's Lace is my
favorite to eat.

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