We finally got some cold weather over the weekend to make this unseasonably warm December feel a bit more like winter. If you’re planning on cooking at home over the holidays, we’ve got a fantastic box for you and the family!
In the share this week we will be including:
Chard: Within the same subspecies as beetroot, this leafy green has long been a staple in Mediterranean fare, with thick multi-colored stalks and vitamin and mineral dense leaves. Very young, tender leaves may be includied in salads, but the mature leaves and the stalks are more often cooked; a sautee or steaming will lessen any bitterness and both can be the base of an excellent soup. Chop the stem into small, short pieces to add a crunchy bit to your tender greens.
Sweet Potatoes: This week we will be including the white fleshed”O’Henry” cultivar in the share. You really can’t say enough about the health benefits of sweet potatoes, they’re loaded with vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamins C, B6 and E, as well as potassium. O’ Henrys are incredibly sweet with a creamy texture, they make an excellent “mashing” potato and a perfect side for a holiday feast.
Green Cabbage: When we’re pulling in bins of Napa, red and green cabbage from the field, we know we’re right around the corner from slaw and sauerkraut season. These gorgeous heads (softball sized and larger) may be roasted, steamed, or braised and carry an excellent subtle sweetness. Here’s a very simple recipe for a sautee that makes an excellent side item.
Dill: Believed to originate in the Mediterranean, West Africa and Southern Russia, fresh dill is the tangy kick to any pickling recipe, salad dressings, or seafood dish. Dill is unique in that the both the leaves and seeds of the plant are used as a seasoning. The fern like leaves give off a very sweet aroma as well as taste.
Fava Shoots: Snipped from the top of the bean producing plant, fava leaves are sweet with a slightly buttery, earthy flavor and may be eaten raw or cooked. Remove the leaves from the stem, as the stem can be a bit chewy. Looking for some more interesting applications for fava, I found this NYT blog post detailing a fava shoot pesto. I’m planning on using it over the holiday break. Follow the link here.
Sunchokes: The tubers of the Jerusalem Artichoke plant (a species of sunflower native to eastern North America) have historically been foraged and cultivated by various Native American tribes, who traded the crop as a commodity long before colonists sent the crop back across the Atlantic and naturalized it in Europe. Closely resembling ginger root in appearance, sunchoke root may best be enjoyed roasted or sauteed in a skillet. Sunchokes contain a concentrated amount of the carbohydrate inulin, which aides in pre-digestive action in the body. You don’t need to peel sunchokes, just use a soft brush to clean them and rinse in water.
Bok Choi: Choi is a delicious member of the cabbage family and is an absolute necessity in any stir-fry preparation with some scallions, turmeric, ginger, and broccoli. Choi’s nutrient profile is best preserved by steaming both the thick stalks and leaves.
Broccoli: The particular cultivar we planted this season has produced some incredibly tender, flavorful shoots. Follow the link here for a great site with over 50 different broccoli preparation ideas!
Tokyo Turnips: Tokyos carry a crunchy, juicy bitter-sweet flavor when eaten raw and a buttery-sweet delicate flavor when roasted or steamed. You can also cook them in vegetable or miso soups, or throw them in a stir fry! Note: Any root vegetable like turnips or carrots will store better if you remove the leaves from the roots. Store both greens and turnip roots in a moist towel/cloth bag or a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
We wish you and your families a wonderful Winter Solstice and Happy Holidays!