Whatcha Got in your Box?
May 24th, 2011
Woodland Gardens CSA
On a recent phone call as I was traveling, my youngest daughter Clementine told me she ate some of the CSA carrots, “The YELLOW ONES.” I was envious of eating those beauteous things straight from the box… candy from the earth. Made me miss my family and carrots.
I love warm salads, unless its 95 degrees in May, which it has been as of late. But let’s pretend it’s a temperate early evening and you have the grill on and a bunch of carrots ready for the eating.
Grilled Carrots with queso fresco, lime, chile flake and cilantro
Cut the tops of the carrots but as you do this take some scissors and cut about a cup of small nice leaves from the greens… we’ll be adding them to the finished dish. Cut the carrots in half lengthwise and blanche for about two minutes in boiling water. Remove and chill in an ice water bath. Pat dry and then brush them with a bit of olive oil. Season the carrots with a pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper and a little pinch of chile flake. Place on a hot grill and grill for five minutes until they have some nice char and caramelization going on. Place them in a bowl or baking dish and then squeeze the juice of a lime on them, add some chopped cilantro (2 T) and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Add 1/2 cup of small cubed queso fresco and the cut carrot tops and toss. Serve warm.
Bright Lights Chard:
Chard, and this is a repetitive thought, like olive oil and some heavy heat. Cook the stems separately because they take twice as long. You can pickle the stems too if you want; they’re great that way. I just like a simple approach with the leaves though, one involving the biggest pot or pan in your house, a hot burner and some good salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon zest.
Heat the pan over high heat and add the olive oil to the hot pan. Add the chard… it will sizzle dramatically but that’s a good thing. Add a pinch of salt and the pepper. Stir to fully, and quickly cook down the chard. Add the lemon zest. Total cooking time is about three minutes. You just want to cook it down enough to get rid of that tannic, bitter quality and bring out the chards natural sweetness. High heat is the answer.
I adore these turnips. Remember the desiccated misshaped orbs that we used to abhor? These ain’t those. These are like the gobstoppers of great organic farms. More candy of the earth. Can’t…stop…eating…
At Five & Ten we have long done a simple soy braise with them. Here it goes:
Remove the greens about 1/2 an inch above the turnip and reserve for turnips greens another time. Cut each turnip in half from pole to pole… Warm 1 T of unsalted butter over medium heat and add the turnips, cut side down. Cook for five minutes, until the turnips are nicely browned and beginning to get tender. Add two tablespoons of chicken stock and one tablespoon of good soy sauce to the pan. Cover and cook for five minutes. Finish with some chopped scallions.
Pink Beauty Radishes:
Slice thinly. Buy great white bread. Slather with salted butter and finish with some sea salt. Sit on front porch and enjoy life. Heck, its May in Georgia, and its beautiful!
Sweet Cluster Tomatoes:
Let’s make some tomato soup!
pappa di pomodoro
3 cups of diced toasted sourdough boule ( cut into inch by inch cubes, tossed with olive oil and toasted until golden)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced sweet onion
1 leek, cleaned and minced
1 rib celery, minced
1/4 of a large bulb fennel, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
bouquet of thyme, parsley and bay
5 # tomatoes, peeled and seeded and diced
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1/3 cup basil leaves, torn
freshly ground pepper
In soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook until translucent, about ten minutes. Add garlic. Cook two minutes. Don’t burn garlic. Add tomatoes and cook for fifteen minutes. Add stock and bouquet and cook for another 45 minutes.
To finish add basil and toasted bread. Season. Cook out for five minutes and then cool.
Green and Red Butterhead Lettuces
I love the crunch of these heads. Cut them in sixths instead of leafing them. They taste crunchier that way. I would love these with a blonde miso and tarragon vinaigrette. Just think a 3:1 ratio oil to acid and then whisk in some miso and some chopped fresh tarragon from the garden.
Eat from pint. Or read other weeks notes.
Squash Mix: Goldy Zucchini, Yellow Crookneck, Baby Bush, Floridor, Eight Ball, Green Zucchini
Summer comes quickly around here. I remember when my Dad grew zucchini one year and they were about 800 of them, all inedibly about 2 feet long. That man is a great economist but not the greatest gardener. Love him dearly though.
When I see little squash like this I really just want to revel in simplicity again. I want to slice them a little thinly, say 1/4 inch thick and sauté them melted butter with some cracked black pepper and fresh mint. There are hundreds of options to these though so grab those cookbooks!
Tyria or Jade Cucumber
Have you ever sautéed cucumbers like the squash? Its great. Or just chop them up and toss them with some rice vinegar, a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt, some chopped nori and chile. In an hour you’ll have a great side dish!
Grill them up with a steak! I love grilled scallions.