The first share of the spring season includes: Arugula, Bok Choy, Dill, Red Leaf Lettuce, Scallions, Snow Peas, Murasaki Sweet Potatoes, Tokyo Turnips and Strawberries!
Spring has finally arrived and I would like to start off the season by thanking our 40 returning members and extending a big “Welcome” to the thirty-two new members trying out our CSA program for the very first time. Here’s a little something you should know for your first share of the season:
You can rest assured all of our produce is freshly picked and free of any harmful pesticides and chemicals. We do wash most of our produce prior to picking but it doesn’t hurt to give it another rinse in your kitchen sink when you are ready to eat it. We pride ourselves on Strawberries as they are grown organically, in the straw. Little known fact: Strawberries got their name from the mulch in which they were traditionally grown in, straw! We use the traditional method of mulching with straw because it provides protection, and it’s better for the environment than the black plastic alternative. These particular Strawberries you are enjoying were planted with love by our dedicated CSA members and volunteers last October. Four different varieties were planted in rows of straw for your enjoyment on over an acre and a half.
Our Strawberries are picked straight out of the field into clamshells so you can enjoy them fresh, right out of your share however, giving them a good rinse will ensure you don’t have any sandy surprises.
Red Leaf Lettuce- Great for salads and on sandwiches. Hold off on washing until you are ready to use it. Most fruits and vegetables have a natural protective coating and washing delicate greens like this variety, reduces it’s shelf life and enhances bacterial growth.
Tokyo Turnips: No, these are not white radishes. they are a smaller, mild, turnip with hints of nutty, sweet, earthy flavors. These mini pearl like turnips can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. When cooked, they are tender, and buttery. Aside from the roots, the bright green tops are edible and can be prepared just like any other greens, make sure to give them a good washing before you toss them in a salad or sautee them. A favorite way to cook these tender turnips is simply with a little butter and sugar try this recipe: Caramelized Tokyo Turnips
Scallions/green onions- Beautiful aren’t they? These bright green shoots add flair to any dish. Sprinkle on top of soups, casseroles or a stir fry. Wrap the ends (white stems) in a damp paper towel and store them in a plastic bag in your produce drawer. If they are a little past their prime you don’t have to throw them out, just cut off the last inch of each onion (the white part with the roots) and plant it in your garden or a pot on your windowsill and your onions will regrow themselves.
Spicy Arugula- This peppery green is great on top of pizza, in pasta, scrambled eggs or toss it in a leafy green salad to add a little pizazz. The intense nature of this green requires just a small amount for a lot of flavor. Soft creamy cheeses will help dilute the flavor a bit, which makes pairing this green with goat cheese a go to for many arugula fans. Store it in a plastic bag with a dry paper towel for maximum freshness.
Strawberry, Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad
- Arugula- washed and spun dry
- Organic strawberries, ½ pound- washed and sliced
- 2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
- 2 Tbsp nuts of your choice
- Salt & pepper
- Lemon vinaigrette, to taste
Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 Tbsp raw honey
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Generous pinch of salt, small pinch of pepper
Place greens in a large bowl. Top with remaining ingredients and a tiny pinch of salt & pepper. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss before serving. Add grilled chicken or tofu cubes to make this salad an entire meal.
Snow Peas- Deliciously sweet and crispy, fresh from the field. Eat them raw for a quick little snack or throw them in a stir fry with the bok choy and turnips from your share.
Bok Choy- A staple in oriental dishes, also known as chinese cabbage. You may recognize it cooked in soups, stir frys and noodle dishes. It’s bright green ‘soup spoon’ shaped leaves cook quickly in 3-5 minutes, just sautee with some garlic, salt and pepper. A little new found tip of mine: chop up the white stems and use as you would celery. It has a similar crunchy texture, with less chewy fiber and more flavor. Yum!
Dill- A favorite herb amongst seafood enthusiasts. It’s as delicate as most herbs are, so it’s shelf life is about a week if stored correctly. Store it dill with a paper towel in a plastic bag in the fridge to keep it freshest. If you can’t use it up within a week try preserving it in some olive oil and freezing it in convenient little cubes-perfect for sauteeing veggies for the future. Follow the directions for frozen herb cubes at Thekitchn.Com
Make some Dill & Herb Butter, It’s quick, easy, and the butter will stay fresh in the refrigerator for several weeks providing you a tasty, herbalicious alternative to sautée your weekly share of vegetables in, or to butter your biscuits with.
Murasaki Sweet Potatoes- These crimson colored sweet potatoes with a nutty flavor have a pleasant white flesh. Cook them as you would any other sweet potato, roasted, steamed, or mashed. They are more starchy than the traditional orange sweet potato so you may need to add extra cream or butter if you are looking for more creamy whipped potatoes.
-Have fun and don’t be afraid to get creative because remember…
there’s no wrong way to eat a vegetable 😉 -Shani