For this third week of October, we’ve got a delicious array of produce that will challenge you to stay at home and find your inner chef. With some “first of the season” crops, we’re sure you’ll enjoy these tastes of early fall. As we move deeper into October and towards November, we’re continuing to work hard with cultivation and planting out those items we can’t wait to bring to our members in the weeks ahead, including: Watermelon Radishes, Red and Oak Leaf Lettuces, Kale, Kohlrabi, Purple Mustards, Napa Cabbage, a variety of Choys, Chard and Sweet Potatoes (we’ve got some in the curing process now) among many other items!
Arugula: Fast-growing and flavorful, arugula is very diverse as a dish item. From use as a salad base, a topping for sandwiches or soups, or a peppery addition to your morning eggs, arugula rarely seems like it doesn’t belong. This week we’re recommending for a very accessible pesto recipe. You can follow the link here.
Lettuce: This first lettuce crop of the season come from our highest value soil beneath our shade house for a fertile head start! We dare you to match this crisp flavor against anything you’ve gotten in a store. Chop and dress for use in a classic Caesar, layer into a sandwich or use it in place of a flour tortilla for a healthier wrap alternative!
Daikon: This mild-flavored radish (usually characterized by fast-growing leaves and a long white napiform root) is native to Southeast or continental East Asia. Daikon is harvested and consumed throughout the region and has become practically indispensable to the culinary cultures of many countries including Japan, Korea, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, among others. Whether pickled, roasted, or shaved into a soup or salad as garnish, these radishes always leave their mark on a dish. Follow the jump here for a list of recipe recommendations and uses for this versatile root. We recently simmered them in chicken broth with ginger until tender – they make a great alternative to potatoes in many soups and are less starchy. Don’t forget to eat your greens! Chop and cook your Radish Greens along with your Mustard Greens.
Fuyu Persimmon: This non-astringent variety of persimmon fruit is picked at a firm, crispy consistency and is delicately sweet when eaten straight as you would an apple or a pear. We recommend you try it while light orange/tan, crunchy and firm, to taste the difference from the Saijos last week. Try it sliced on a salad, or lightly grilled and served alongside a savory entree. If you let them ripen until they have a darker shade of orange, they will soften and can be used to bake bread and/or pies! Eaten as is, processed into a jam or baked, the sweetness of these Fuyus always comes through.
Cucumbers: The cukes from our latest planting are filled out and very vibrant. We have a single bed of yellow-skinned, smaller “salt & pepper” cucumbers mixed in with the crop of traditional “slicing” cukes, these yellow fruits carry a slightly more mild note, and a deliciously crisp. Thinly slice into a salad, use them for juicing or eat them raw with some hummus, you can’t beat our cucumbers as a healthy snack! Our cucumbers don’t have any wax applied to them, so don’t be afraid to eat the skins.
Mustard Greens: The cholesterol-lowering ability of steamed mustard greens is second only to steamed collard greens and steamed kale in a recent study of cruciferous vegetables and their ability to bind bile acids in the digestive tract. As an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), and manganese, mustards are increasingly looked upon as a comprehensive health benefit provider. Health benefits aside, anybody lucky enough to have a grandmother that makes southern food like mine does knows how delicious braised or steamed mustard greens are over a bed of rice and lima beans. For a great dressing on all greens, try Ume Plum Vinegar.
Bok Choy: This brassica, also known as Chinese Cabbage, came out of our shadehouse block and is a welcome addition to any stir-fry mix. Here’s a simple, delicious recipe for a bok choy’s inclusion in a garlic based stir- fry! Bok Choy has tender-crisp stems, eat both the leaves and the white/light green stalks. Make sure to separate each leaf from the bunch and clean the inner stalk, where sand tends to hide. Bok Choy pairs well with fish, ginger, garlic and any stir-fry dish.