From left to right: Tokyo Turnips, Mustard Greens, Cucumbers, Sweet Potatoes, Thai Basil, Roselle Hibiscus, Zinnia Flowers, Jalapenos
In your share this week will be:
Tokyo Turnips: Couldn’t be more excited to share one of my favorite fall season crops with you guys. These could be the best turnips I’ve ever had. Mild and semi-sweet, these are easily enjoyed roasted or sauteed. One easy preparation: heat the oven to 400, halve or quarter the turnips (no peeling necessary), 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 on top. These should roast approximately 30 minutes, or until tender and lightly golden brown. The greens are also delicious and can be steamed or sauteed.
Mustard Greens: Unless you want your sinuses cleared, be wary of eating these guys raw. Mustard greens pack a punch unless steamed, or sautéed. Once you do cook them though, the spice is adequately neutralized and serves as a wonderful complimentary flavor as a side item or served over a bed of rice. All varieties of Mustard are a rich source of Vitamins A, C & K.
Here’s a great recipe from Epicurious, I would recommend throwing the turnip green tops in the mix here as well!
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 large bunches mustard greens (about 26 ounces total), coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Heat oil in large wide pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until soft, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin seeds, and crushed red pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Add mustard greens to pot in batches (about 1/3 at a time) and stir until each batch begins to wilt before adding next, about 3 minutes per batch. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until greens are very tender, stirring frequently, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in vinegar. (Can be made 3 hours ahead.) Transfer to bowl and serve hot or at room temperature.
Cucumbers: Beyond the cool, tender-crisp flavor, cucumbers contain a high density of phytonutrients that play a key role in providing key antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits as well! We have put a lot of time and labor to be able to provide these cucumbers since the Spring. Succession plantings, mulches and numerous organic spray applications to stave off downy mildew mean that we love this crop a lot and we care about providing it to our members and customers. Enjoy!
Murasaki Sweet Potatoes: Set next to one of our yams, you can see a subtle variation in color. Murasaki Potatoes have a reddish-purple hue and are white fleshed. They do not carry as much moisture as the Covington orange-fleshed potatoes from our past distribution, but these guys can be baked whole, peeled and roasted, boiled, mashed, even sliced or diced for a high-heat sauté. Sweet potatoes are very high in calcium, vitamin C and beneficial amino acids. While not as “creamy”, I find Murasakis have a more complex flavor profile.
Thai Basil: As soon as you smell it you’ll know how to use it in cooking. Thai basil is absolutely essential to stir-fries and curries. Sautee with your Tokyo Turnips or bake with your Murasakis!
Zinnia Flowers: An extra item this week, these flowers will make for a pretty tabletop addition. They will do best in a jar of cool water that is changed out relatively often. Zinnia flowers are also edible! Wash the petals and use as salad or taco garnish, mix in with your pancake batter, or flash fry the intact flower!
Jalapenos: If you like a bit of kick like me, you won’t have a problem finding a use for these peppers in soups, on sandwiches, or finely diced into a black bean and rice dish. If spice isn’t your thing, I’d recommend pickling them to save for a later date and to neutralize a bit of the heat. Here is an excellent recipe from Simply Scratch.