There is plenty to enjoy this week as you work your way through another delicious box. Lots of greens are testament to the late summer cool weather we’ve had.
Braising Greens (including, collards, chard, kale, mustard)
Tomatoes (either cherry or heirloom)
I don’t know about you, but my fridge is beginning to be packed with extras from weeks past. I usually eat up what is most perishable first and leave some things that have storage potential for later. This has encouraged the accumulation of certain things in my crisper drawer. I really like to make a large pot of soup when I have a variety of veg that I just can’t seem to get onto the table in any other way. My kids have become increasingly picky eaters and will pick out large chunks of things that they find undesirable. I have begun making smaller cuts to have a more uniform soup that is harder to pick apart. The result is rewarding. Its prettier and the kids eat it all! I always start with onions, carrots and celery. Last night I added ground beef and cut it into chunks (this was the only chunky thing in the soup) with the spoon. Garlic, black pepper and a little bit of salt. Then cabbage, green beans, eggplant, herbs. I like to grind up my tomatoes in a blender before adding them to soup so I don’t get the skins floating on the top and the bitter seeds in the soup. I added three blended tomatoes, water, barley and a spoonful of Better than Bouillon (the secret ingredient to making quick and yummy soups). I left on an errand for an hour, and presto! Quick and delicious soup that everyone ate.
Now for the braising greens. What is braising?! It is using dry and hot heat followed by wet and low heat to cook something. In this case you will be braising your greens. I really like to start with either bacon or butter or both (sorry vegans! You could also use olive oil or peanut or raw sesame). Add onions, this is the dry part. Make sure those onions get coated in fat and become translucent, give them a little color. Add black pepper. Use lots of fat, that is the flavor for this dish. Now, while that is cooking, run a knife through your greens and wash them. Extract your greens from the water and put them WET into the pot (oh, this needs to be a pot, not a pan). Reduce the heat and stir to coat greens in fat and onion mixture. Cover to wilt greens, uncover and stir. Let cook for 30-45-60 minutes (depending on greens used and preference, collards take the longest to cook), add salt and pepper to taste.
This is a great way to use up an abundance of greens at once. Since they will cook down, add two or more bunches to your large stew pot. You will be surprised at how many greens you can eat!!
This week’s box contains lots of goodies! There is one item with which many people are unfamiliar, sweet potato greens.
Other items include:
Tomatoes (cherry or heirloom)
Basil (last week)
Beans or Salad Mix
Peppers (The little ones are shishito, larger ones are bell)
Sweet Potato Greens
So what would one do with sweet potato greens? I have stir fried them and put them in soup. But for more information, I turned to the World Wide Web. Cultures across the world use these greens as a source of vitamins and food. Some have suggested adding them to omelettes or quiche. Others have suggested using them for a substitute spinach in recipes like saag paneer. Try them and let us know what you think.
We farmers use the term sweet peppers to refer to any pepper that’s not spicy and, generally, one that has started to turn from green to red, yellow, or orange. When peppers change colors from green they tend to gain a little sweetness, hence “sweet peppers” In this week’s share you’ll receive one of two different varieties of sweet peppers, either cubanelles, long skinny peppers, or shishitos, a small, slender, wrinkled pepper.
You may be more familiar with cubanelles. While both peppers can be eaten fresh, these are going to be the better option. They have thicker walls, are juicier, and sweeter. Cubanelles are also delicious roasted or grilled with just a little olive oil and salt.
Shishitos are common in Japanese cooking, and while considered a sweet pepper you want to be careful, about one on ten has a spicy kick! This is the first year I’ve grown shishitos at Iroquois Ave Farm and I’ve been eating my fair share. My favorite way to prepare them is to roast them in a hot pan until the skin is blistered. This is the recipe I’ve been using: Roasted Shishito Peppers. They’re great just on their own or with a yogurt dipping sauce. Or you can roast them with sesame oil and make a ginger/soy dipping sauce. Either way I hope you enjoy them as much as I have been!
This week, we have an abundant harvest which is sure to require a larger bag for picking up.
Beets or Carrots
Eggplant or Summer Squash
Celery or Hot Peppers
Grab your share and get cooking!
My youngest daughter is a little bit picky. She likes vegetables but only sometimes. I’m not sure what the secret formula is or if it depends on her mood but I have a plan for sneaking kale into her little body. Potato and Kale Gratin was suggested to me by one of our members. Try it and let us know how it turns out!
Box contents this week include:
Beets or Carrots
Great eats this week from City Commons. I hope you’re not sick of tomatoes yet because we have another dose of cherries and large slicing tomatoes. Also included in this week’s box:
Asian pears, or early apples
Eggplant or Summer squash
The other day, I was heating a large pot of water to boil corn on the cob. While it boiled, I remembered how delicious blanched vegetables can be. So I cut a bunch of of Swiss chard and a small head of cabbage into ribbons threw them into the boiling water, waited until the water came back to a boil and removed them from the water into a bowl of cold water (purists use ice water). (Almost any vegetable can be flash cooked in this way. I love green beans and broccoli blanched too.) Then I tossed the chard and cabbage with a clove of minced garlic, olive oil, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce and red pepper flakes. This was very yummy with rice, tofu and a runny egg. Try the same exact recipe with your green beans this week. Or mix the beans and chard. The resulting vegetables are firm yet deliciously chewy and bright green!
Cool weather has been great for keeping veggies looking good in this last half of summer. This week we present you with a beautiful array of classic vegetables to entice your eyes and mouths.
Basil (Genovese, lemon or holy)
Summer Squash (Patty pan, yellow crookneck or zucchini)
Various Slicing Tomatoes (Mostly heirloom)
I have two quick and easy recipes to share with you. First, cabbage. If you are anything like me, the cabbage is building up a little bit in the fridge. Use several small heads or one large one in this recipe. Cut cabbage into ribbons and place in a glass or ceramic baking pan. Add chopped garlic (or onions), salt and pepper, a quarter cup each olive oil and water. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for an hour or until tender. I love this recipe because you can start it early and do something entirely different for an hour or more while dinner cooks. Serve with almond or green pea rice.
Ok, next the squash. Heat olive oil in pan. Be generous, it’s good for you. Slice squash and leave to brown on the first side. Add chopped garlic and flip squash. Salt and pepper or soy sauce to taste. Let get nice and toasty and eat with toast. Or rice or noodles…
Mid-summer brings you some classic veggies as well as pears! We hope you enjoy the contents of this week’s box.
Beets or carrots
Cucumbers or onions
Cabbage or collard greens
Try making refrigerator pickles with your cucumbers. Slice in rounds. Mix half water, half vinegar, sugar, salt, dill or tarragon or basil, a couple garlic cloves, hot pepper if you like, heat mixture until it boils and sugar and salt are incorporated. Pour over cucumber slices in mason jar, close lid and put into the fridge until you want to eat them!
Simple and delicious.
Kohlrabi can be intimidating looking if you’ve never encountered it before, but it’s actually a very mellow tasting veggie with a cool, crisp flavor that is perfect for these hot days. If you’re looking to experiment it is most similar in taste and texture to a broccoli stem.
The other night I made a quick and easy slaw with shredded kohlrabi and shredded carrot and a basic dressing with about a half cup of mayonnaise, a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and some honey. I then added some salt, pepper, and celery seed to season. If I’d had more ingredients and time I might have added some nuts, cabbage, and/or apple to the mix. My boyfriend likes spicier food in general and added some hot pepper flakes to his serving.
For more information and recipes check out this post on kohlrabi from a couple years ago.
Swiss Chard Pie Another week packs yet more delicious items in your box.
Cucumbers or Zucchini
Swiss Chard again! If you have any left over from last week, combine the quantity to make Swiss Chard Pie. I made it last week and it was amazing!! I wished I could make it for dinner every night for a week. Try roasting the beets and kohlrabi together in the oven. Peal and dice both, toss in olive oil, sea salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Put on baking sheet, roast 30-40 minutes on 400 degrees. Enjoy!