The spring season is just about in full blossom. We’ve had our first major flush of ripe strawberries, are watching our greenhouse melons stretch across the beds, and have begun transplanting flowers in the field in preparation for cut flower season. We’re about to have a wave of “first of the season” crops, and as we move deeper into Spring, we hope you’ll be as excited as we are about the diversity and vibrancy of crops rotating into the shares.
For our Gainesville members, we wanted to let you know we are attending the Haile/441 Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning this week and hope to continue frequenting there over the course of this season.
In your share this week will be:
Curly Kale: This frill leaved, sturdy brassica carries a mild flavor and will tenderize with added acidity (like fresh squeezed lemon) or by hand massaging. Cut away the central ribs of curly kale before you chop or shred the leaves. Our leaves are consistently picked young and tender and cook well braised, steamed, or included in soups. Here is a tantalizing recipe for a kale salad with watermelon radishes, which was in the share last weeks and will be on our market tables!
Kohlrabi: These “German Turnips” bulbs are incredibly tender and can be utilized in braises, soups, and sautees. Be sure to utilize the greens too! They’re delicious and can be eaten raw in salad if they’re young and tender, or sautéed or steamed like mustard greens.
French Breakfast Radish: Crisp with a mildly spicy flavor and stunning color display, these guys can be sauteed, pickled, steamed or sliced raw into a salad. I’ve got to share with you my personal favorite preparation of these guys: a breakfast dish that calls for thinly sliced butter (ghee if you clarify butter yourself) sauteed radishes atop a poached egg with green onions and thyme (use the dill that’s in the share this week instead). Follow the link here.
Romaine Lettuce: Full of phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, green romaine is crisp in texture and carries a slightly mild flavor. Here is a great site detailing romaine’s wide range of health benefits.
Snow Peas: These edible pod peas are excellent raw, steamed or stir-fried. One awesome recipe comes from “The Kitchn” and calls for a quick sesame sautee here.
Strawberries: Yep, they’re here. First real flush of the season and we wanted to share them with you right away. If you’ll be able to hold off from eating them straight out of the bag before you get home, these fruits are excellent in salad mixes, in pastries or tarts, in your ice-cream, or as a vinaigrette base.
Dill: Try it sprinkled on potato salads, in homemade sauerkraut, in creamy salad dressings, with eggs or salmon.
Red Mustards: Eaten raw, the leaves serve a sinus-clearing punch akin to Dijon-style mustard. Washed and tossed in a salad, the peppery pungency tones down. Mature leaves are ideal for juicing, pickling, or for use in stir-fries and soups.
Squash Blossoms: (Family shares only this week) Squash blossoms are edible raw or they can be incorporated into a variety of recipes. You can stuff them, make fritters with them, or include them in soups. Here is an awesome recipe for quesadillas:
Squash Blossom Quesadillas
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
10 squash blossoms
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 sprigs fresh epazote, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 flour tortillas
1/4 pound grated Mexican white cheese
Olive oil, butter or margarine, for cooking
1. Heat a large saute pan with a little oil and saute the onion, garlic, and the roasted poblano pepper for 5 minutes, until the onions have become translucent. Then, add the squash blossoms and deglaze with chicken stock. Add the epazote, and cook for another 5 minutes until squash blossoms have wilted. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool.
2. To compose the quesadilla, lay two of the tortillas on a flat surface. Distribute the cheese equally on both tortillas. Then, spread 1/2 of the squash blossom filling over the cheese. Cover with the other tortillas, place on heated griddle or nonstick saute pan with a little olive oil, butter or margarine, and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. When golden brown on each side, remove and cut into quarters.
Source: Adapted from recipe demonstrated by Aaron Sanchez
of the Food Network’s show, Melting Pot.