CSA June 15, 2016

This Week’s CSA

Repeats:  Garlic scapes, salad mix, Napa cabbage.

What’s new:

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Strawberries

My oh my these are sweet, and perishable!  Best eaten as soon as possible.  That shouldn’t be a problem.

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Arugula blossoms

Also known as salad rocket, arugula is a member of the mustard family.  These delicate cream-colored blossoms have a spicy, peppery flavor.  They are best stored in the refrigerator and used as a raw application in green or grains salads or as a side garnish.

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Swiss chard

Most greens need to be stemmed before cooking, as the stems are too tough to eat.  Swiss chard is the exception. These rainbow-colored stems have a similar texture to celery and can be used as such.  The light green, gently-lobed leaves can be treated like a mild mustard green.

Chard stems and leaves can be treated as two separate vegetables. The stems can be treated like celery and generally need to be cooked longer. Leaves can be versatile; doing well as a quick sauté, added to soups, savory tarts or braised. Using a knife or your hands, remove the leaf from the stem and cut separately.

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Carrots

Tada!  I seeded these in March and they actually sprouted.  Then I actually weeded them.  Anyone who has ever grown carrots knows that this takes true dedication.  The seedlings are so tiny and fragile.   The weeds so vigorous.  Enjoy.

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German thyme

Bundles of fragrance.  Thyme is a member of the mint family (note the square stem) and is used as a culinary and medicinal herb.  It pairs well with other Mediterranean herbs such as oregano, and rosemary.

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Rhubarb

According to Wikipedia rhubarb root has been used medicinally by the Chinese for thousands of years.  The medicine was then transported along the Silk Road reaching Europe sometime in the 14th century.  It was known as Turkish rhubarb, and later as Russian rhubarb when the trading routes changed.  A very valuable herb, it commanded a greater price than cinnamon, saffron and opium.

Rhubarb leaves are poisonous, and the stalks are quite sour.  In fact eating the stalks did not come into fashion until a cheap source of sugar became available.  And since we still have a cheap source of sugar we still eat rhubarb.   Yes, I know there are a few of you out there that can bite into a raw stem of rhubarb and profess enjoyment, but really you are in the minority.  Most people would only do that when intoxicated or financially bribed.

Calling all foodies!  Do you like to cook?

If anyone has interest in sharing tried and true recipes please pass them along!  I will feature them in the blog.

 

Recipe

Rhubarb Chutney with Apples, Dates and Ginger

1 ¼ cups red wine vinegar

2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons salt
½ pound shallots or red or white onions, thinly sliced
2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled, minced (1/3 cup)
1 pound apples, peeled, ¼ inch diced (2 ½ cups)
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes or other red pepper flakes
1 ½ cups Medjool dates, pitted, 1/3 inch diced
1 1/3 cups raisins, golden or regular
¾ cup light honey
2 pounds rhubarb, sliced into ¾-inch chunks

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, bay leaves, coriander and fennel seeds, cinnamon stick and salt. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes for its flavors to develop.
  2. Put the thinly sliced shallots or onions in a large pan along with the minced ginger, mustard seeds, pepper flakes and vinegar mixture. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the bay leaves. Add the diced apples, dates, raisins and honey. Cover the pan. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the apples are tender.
  4. Stir in the rhubarb. Cover the pan, simmer for 7 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue to cook another 10 minutes until the chutney has thickened.
  5. Rhubarb Chutney can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a month.
  6. Freezing the chutney extends its life to about 6 months.

Thanks to Everyday Healthy Everyday Delicious

 

 

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