Notes from the Farm
This week you will find more of the same early summer crops in your box. This is the last hurrah for spinach and many of the mustard greens due to the heat. High temperatures cause these tender greens to “bolt”, sending up a seed stalk. The plant then puts more energy into reproduction; the leaves tend to become more bitter and less succulent.
This Week’s CSA
Spinach: Once again. Last bag until the fall as spinach does not grow well in the heat.
Radishes: They are spicy but oh so pretty. Use them in a salad or a snack on their own.
Salad mix: Lettuce too gets bitter with age and heat. We replant lettuce with regularity, this is our second crop this year. Red deer tongue and a romaine.
Spicy mustard mix: A combination of three mustard greens, Red Frills, Golden Frills and Mizuna. According to the folks at Specialty Produce Red Frill mustard contains two important compounds, sinigrin and gluconasturtiian, which have cancer preventing benefits, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and natural detoxifying properties. This blend definitely has some zip, add it to salads for an extra bite. It also works well lightly sauteed.
Horseradish: Native to eastern Europe, horseradish, a funny-looking root, thrives in our climate. This yellowish-brown root belongs to the same family as turnip, cabbage, and cauliflower. The pungent odor and hot taste of horseradish is related to a substance called sinigrin that creates a volatile oil containing sulphur. The release of these properties only happens when the root is either cut or bruised. Grating horseradish will make your eyes water and nose tingle so if you are sensitive, wear ski goggles while grating.
Horseradish needs to be peeled before using, and make sure to check for a hard and flavorless core that is not worth grating. Horseradish is often served raw but it can also be cooked before eating. If grated, add it towards the end of cooking, as its pungency mellows with heat. If roasting whole, treat it like roasting root vegetables.
Tatsoi: Tatsoi leaves are dark green and spoon-shaped with a mild cabbage flavor. A member of the Chinese cabbage family, tatsoi greens can be added to a salad mix or tossed with sesame oil and rice vinegar for a side salad. The leaves can also be added to a stir fry, wonton filling, or soup. In large shares only.
The following recipes can be made with either the tatsoi, or mustard mix . You could also throw in some of the spinach.
Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens
- 10 ounces mustard greens
- 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 4-6 tablespoons vegetable broth, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Remove any large stems from the greens and discard. Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
- In a deep pot or wok, sauté the onion in a tablespoon or two of vegetable broth until mostly faded to pink, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and red pepper and another tablespoon of broth and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the mustard greens, 2 tablespoons of broth, and cook, stirring, until greens are wilted but still bright green, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the salt, if using. Remove greens and onions from pan with a slotted spoon and place in a serving dish, leaving any liquid in pan.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and agave or sugar to the liquid in the pan (if there is no liquid, add 2 tablespoons of broth). Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by about half. Spoon the chickpeas over the greens and drizzle the sauce over all.
- Serve warm, with additional balsamic vinegar at the table.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 15 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 2
Mustard Greens Recipe
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 pound mustard greens, washed and torn into large pieces
- 2 to 3 Tbsp chicken broth or vegetable broth (vegetarian option)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 In a large sauté pan, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant.
2 Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted. Toss with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.