Your basket this week:
- Green Garlic
- Joi Choi
Arugula is a pungent, peppery salad green. It is wonderful added to a salad, used as a bed of greens or with pasta (see recipe below). It is highly perishable so it is best if used within two or three days. To store rinse the leaves in cool water and dry on a paper towel. Wrap the leaves tightly in plastic or a zip lock bag.
Green Garlic is a spring treat. We simply plan for and harvest some of our garlic young before it has formed a bulb. You can use the whole stem. It has a mild flavor and can be sautéed to use in a variety of dishes. Or it can be pureed and tossed in salad dressings, pesto or hummus.
Joi Choi is a variety of Bok Choi. This traditional stir-fry vegetable from China has mild and crunchy stalks and the leaves that are pleasantly tangy. The stalks and leaves have quite different textures and cooking times, so be sure to give the stems a minute or two to cook before you put the leaves in.
Lettuce is a staple in our basket throughout the season. The four types we grow are: leaf (also called loose-leaf lettuce), Cos (also known as romaine), crisphead and butterhead.
Radishes add a great splash of color to our spring vegetable basket. Their zesty taste is an added treat to any salad. If you will be storing your radishes remove the tops and place in the refrigerator. Remember that the tops are also edible.
Linguine with Arugula, Pine Nuts and Parmesan Cheese
1 pound linguine
1/2 cup olive oil
4 ounces arugula, trimmed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add arugula and stir until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add arugula and toss well. Add 1 cup Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste; toss well. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve immediately, passing additional Parmesan separately.
It can take several seasons as a CSA member to fully appreciate the differences between the spring, summer and fall harvests. For the first four weeks this spring and early summer you will see mostly delicious greens in your baskets. Salad greens such as arugula, mizuna and mustards as well as cooking greens such as kale, chard and bok choi. Additionally, roots such as radishes and turnips round out the earliest baskets. Then usually around week 6 or 7 we start to see the shares grow with the addition of broccoli, fennel, peas, carrots, beets and more. The baskets continue to grow when we add the bounty of late summer and fall. Here is a wonderful exerpt from Barbara Kingsolver’s Stalking the Vegetannual to get a sense of the season to come.
“ To recover an intuitive sense of what will be in season throughout the year, picture an imaginary plant that bears over the course of one growing season all the different vegetable products we can harvest. We’ll call it a vegetannual. Picture its life passing before your eyes like a time-lapse film: first, in the cool early spring, shoots poke up out of the ground. Small leaves appear, then bigger leaves. As the plant grows up into the sunshine and the days grow longer, flower buds will appear, followed by small green fruits. Under midsummer’s warm sun, the fruits grow larger, riper, and more colorful. As days shorten into the autumn, these mature into hard-shelled fruits with appreciable seeds inside. Finally, as the days grow cool, the vegetannual may hoard the sugars its leaves have made, pulling them down into a storage unit of some kind: a tuber, bulb, or root. Plainly, all the vegetables we consume don’t come from the same plant, but each comes from a plant, that’s the point—a plant predestined to begin its life in the spring and die in the fall. (A few, like onions and carrots, are attempting to be biennials but we’ll ignore that for now.) What we choose to eat from each type of vegetable plant must come in its turn—leaves, buds, flowers, green fruits, ripe fruits, hard fruits and seeds—because that is the necessary order of things for an annual plant. For the life of them, they can’t do it differently.“
(from left to right)
Tanya is SIO Farm Manager, Shannon is our new Crew Leader, Scott is our new Field Assistant, Josh is finishing up his last year at SIO as Special Projects Manager. Vanessa and Becky are 2nd year apprentices and Blake, Brian, Nicole and Michael round out our crew as 1st year apprentices. I co-founded SIO in 1993 and now play the role of office manager. You will hear all our voices through this blog and get a chance to meet us at weekly pick-up or work parties.
Community Bulletin Board
Remember this blog is also meant to be a way for you to communicate with fellow CSA members. So please email us any announcements you may have and we will post them on these pages. Also if you have any recipes to share we would love to hear from you.
You will soon see our truck in your neighborhood. Enjoy your vegetables!