Monday, July 1, 2013

2013: Go!

We are finally ready and set to go for CSA harvest this season, and the first share has shaped up nicely. It's early season favorites with a few new twists.

Before I forget, for those of you that are Pinterest users (pinners? pintys?), Wintergreen Farm is now on Pinterest. I'll pin recipes from this blog (and countless others of course) onto boards categorized by veggie. I'm just getting started with it, so please be patient. I think right now I have about 20 pins, but I'll add as I can. Hopefully it will help everyone use up the shares!

The first share will include: Beets, Kohlrabi, French Breakfast Radishes, Braising Mix, Salad Mix, Spring Onions, Parsley or Sorrel, and a choice of oregano, mint, or lemon balm.

Returning members are all familiar with these items, so I'll start with the new items to keep everyone interested ;)

First, this year's braising mix has a few additions. Along with the Asian greens (like mizuna, senposai, yokatta na, and more) you will see dandelion greens and orach.

Technically these are not dandelions, they are an
Italian chicory. They are definitely bitter, though not
as bitter as wild dandelions. The midribs are a touch sweet.

This is what they look like to ground beetles and ants.
I'm pretty into the dandelions :)

And this is orach. It ranges from purple to pale green and
it tastes like a cross between spinach and chard, which
are both relatives. If it looks familiar, that's because it
is essentially cultivated lamb's quarters.
For those of you new to braising mix, it's just what it sounds like, a mix of greens meant for cooking. If you check out the Pinterest link, the board called braising mix (not exactly a secret code, is it?) has a handful of ideas for you. You can use your braising mix in any recipe that calls for spinach or kale. It's also awesome in smoothies.

The salad mix also has a new item, though it is a one time addition. Along with the standard spicy mix of mustard and arugula, the salad mix will have spinach and mache (also called corn salad). Mache only grows in cool weather, so we may see it again if weather permits this fall, but we won't see it for the rest of July and August.

Little lovely mache.
We're also trying out a new kind of mustard. It tastes similar to our standard mustard green variety, Red Giant, but it's so much cuter. You'll see both of them in the salad mix this year.

Standard Red Giant mustard in the foreground. Adorable Scarlet Frills in the back.

Those of you that are new members may also be new to kohlrabi and sorrel. Again, they each have their own board on pinterest, if you're into that sort of thing.

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family. The part you eat is a swollen stem (the leaves are tasty too - like slightly tender kale) that tastes much like broccoli stems. It can be cooked or eaten raw, but either way it should be peeled first - the peel is very tough.

If you've never seen kohlrabi growing, it's kind of
hard to imagine. This is what it looks like in the field.
The other day we grilled some sliced kohlrabi after seasoning it with a bit of lemon
juice and salt. We left them on for about half the time it took
to cook the pork. Very yum.

Sorrel is a tart green that can be eaten cooked or raw. If you want to go with raw, the easiest thing to do is just slice it up and add it to salad. It's also nice in smoothies. It goes particularly well with apples. Cooked, it turns a little greyish and very soft, almost like a thick sauce. It's good with eggs and dairy. We like it as an omelet filling, especially with goat cheese.

Sorrel in the field

Of course, the share has many self explanatory vegetables as well. I'm choosing to highlight a few of those for this week's recipe.

Omelet with Beets and Scallions

A couple days ago Scott walked into the kitchen with two freshly harvested beets and asked me to make a beet omelet. To be honest, I thought it sounded like a kind of icky idea, but it turned out great. This quantity was just right for lunch for the three of us.
  • Butter, about a half tablespoon
  • Two small/medium beets (slightly larger than golf ball size) with greens
  • 2-3 spring onions, sliced (both green and white portions)
  • 8 large eggs, beaten
  • about 1/3 cup grated cheese (I used colby jack)
Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium/low heat. Slice the beets (we NEVER peel beets - it's a hassle and you lose nutritional value) into rounds just under a quarter inch thick, then chop them roughly. Chop 4 - 6 of the leaves as well and set them aside.

When the butter is melted, add the chopped beets and onions (but not the beet greens) to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beets are just tender. Spread the beets and onions evenly in the bottom of the pan and pour the eggs over them.

Cook, lifting the edges to allow raw egg to run underneath as needed, until the eggs are almost entirely set. When just a thin layer of uncooked egg remains on the surface of the omelet, mound the chopped beet greens and shredded cheese in the center of the eggs.

Like this
Then attempt to fold the omelet in half without breaking the whole thing into several large chunks (perhaps you are better at this than I am). Flip if needed to cook the remaining egg, then turn it out onto a plate.

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