Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wed/Thurs - Week # 3




Hi,

It's hard to believe, but our third week is already upon us. I don't know about you, but I think this last week we really started to find our rhythm for the season in terms of putting this all together. I get a full share myself, and I think I am just getting used to cooking/eating all of the produce every week. This week we have a lot of new items for you to enjoy. Every share has green cabbage, garlic scapes, a bag of loose-leaf lettuce, snow peas, and red kale. In addition, our full shares have fava beans, squash blossoms, romaine, and summer squash (one of either green/yellow zucchini or yellow crookneck squash).

As you already know, it is getting hot and sunny outside; which means our spring produce is quickly turning to summer. As always, we can never be sure of how things will turn out, but I'm pretty certain we will not include a grain again, and there will be a lot more vegetables mixed in with all those greens. In the coming weeks, we should have a lot more summer squash for you (at least 4 different varieties), several varieties of beans, more herbs, and of course--tomatoes and peppers (both in many different varieties).

I think you will really enjoy the red kale this week; it's slightly more tender and has even more nutrinional value than green kale; which is handily one of the healthiest foods around. I don't know about all of you, but I REALLY enjoy the garlic scapes.  I imagine many of you already know what to do with cabbage, but I hope we can get some good recipes for that on the blog soon, so please send them in. It can be sauteed, stir-fried, braised, used in soups, as a wrapper, shredded into coleslaw, or fermented into sauerkraut. When cooked just enough, cabbage should be slightly sweet and not smell 'cabbagy" --that means it's overcooked a bit. If you aren't acquainted with snow peas, they have a slightly sweet, deliciously green flavor to them. They can be boiled, sauteed, stir-fried, or eaten as is; just make sure to cut the tip off and remove the tough string that runs along the side. Snow peas are also best eaten as fresh as possible, as they will lose their sweetness quickly.

In our full shares this week we have added some squash blossoms; which are another special springtime item with a very short season. They are the flowers of summer squash plants (zucchini, patty pans, crookneck), and have a tender, sweet, green flavor to them. They are a very popular item with the restuarants we sell to, and can be prepared in a number of ways, but stuffing seems to be the most popular. We have also included some fava beans; which is another special item our restaurant buyers are very excited about. Fava beans can be eaten all throughout their development, but these young beans have a fairly strong and unique, sweet, sour, almost flowery taste that I think you will really enjoy. Before eating them, remove the beans from the shell, and then remove another layer from each bean. You can do this to them raw, but if you cook (steam, boil) them for a little bit, the inner shell will come off easier. Eat them raw or cooked (boiled, stir-fried, sauteed) in salads, dips, soups, with pasta, or any number of ways. There is also some kind of summer squash, either a yellow/green zucchini or yellow crookneck squash in each large share. Summer squash can be used in any number of dishes and prepared almost any way you can imagine as well.

Please remember to return your bags. You can just leave them in an empty box, or if your location does not have any boxes, just put the bags inside each other as orderly as you can. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.

Enjoy!

-Mark


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