For this week’s share we’ll be introducing a few new items, a great indication that we’re sitting pretty ahead of some beautiful fall bounty. We’re also happy to announce we have two returning harvest crew members (Erik & Martha) and two new members (Aricel & Ramiro) that will be working very hard to get these veggies from the soil to your kitchen for the duration of the season!
In this week’s share we’ll be including:
Red Russian Kale: This crop is full of vigor and flavor. To prepare, strip the leaves away from the mature stems (these stems are hardy and won’t become any more tender) and be sure to rinse the leaf pieces. you can blanch the leaves in salted water, drain then sauté in most oils (olive oil is my favorite) or butter. Season with olives, garlic, chili flakes, cumin, caraway, fennel, anise, or toasted sesame oil. If you want a stronger flavor, braise Russian Red in a stock! Red Russian is also tender enough to use in kale salad, see the dressing recipe here.
Tokyo Turnips: The way I made these mildly sweet crunchy roots for dinner a few nights was easy enough: heat the oven to 400, peel (optional) and chop the turnips, oil a pan with olive oil, ensure turnips are oiled on both sides, season with sea salt, cracked pepper and if you like a touch of extra sweetness, drizzle a light layer of raw honey atop too. These should roast approximately 30 minutes, or until tender and lightly golden brown. The greens are also delicious and can be steamed or sauteed as a nutrient dense side item.
Mizuna: If the spice of arugula challenges your palette a bit too much, but could still use a mild kick to your salads, Mizuna is an excellent alternative. Perhaps the most mild of the mustards, Mizuna is high in immune-boosting vitamin C, folate, and iron. The taste is excellent, and its hard not to love the aesthetic of its feathery, serrated leaves.
Fava Shoots: The olive-green leaves have a consistency and texture like spinach. The tenderest of leaves may be tossed into a salad. Fava shoots can be processed in a variety of ways: made into a pesto, steamed, folded into an omelette, baked atop a pizza or used in a soup. We tried growing fava beans last fall, and found that we got a much better result harvesting the greens than waiting for the beans. Try these nutty and sweet greens on a sandwich, or in this Fava, Citrus and Feta salad. You can also cook these greens, they pair well with fish and citrus in this recipe for Salmon, Lemon Cream and Wilted Shoots.
French Breakfast Radishes: These radishes are pretty enough to make you look at them lovingly before eating them. Eat them and you’ll know they taste even better than they look. An heirloom introduced in 1879, French Breakfast was the popular market radish of Paris, now more a type than a single variety. It’s tough to confirm these have ever actually been a staple way the French start their day, but French Breakfast Radish has a ring to it. Thinly slice into your Mizuna/Romaine salad with a touch of apple cinder vinegar or balsamic vinaigrette.
Romaine Lettuce: The nutrient benefits of romaine make out to be a pretty impressive list (essential amino acids, proteinaceous, rich in calcium, iron, vitamin A, etc.) and the taste is outstanding. I followed a recommendation to include a washed head of tender romaine to my morning fruit smoothie and it made my day.
Roselle: The tea brewed from the roselle calyces are incredibly vitamin rich and antioxidizing. We recommend boiling your buds in roughly two quarts of water and to let simmer until the burgundy color is drained from the calyces and transferred to your tea batch, somewhere in the range of 25-30 minutes. You can store your roselle buds in the freezer for later use as well! Freeze them whole, and use frozen for your next batch of tea. No need to peel or thaw.
Italian Basil: We’ve found a great link for a wide array of creative uses for your basil that goes beyond the more familiar preparations of pesto and pasta dishes. Try out the great ideas here!