Monday, September 21, 2009

week sixteen

It's like spring all over again! We have lots of greens, lettuces, arugula and spinach growing, along with snap peas, carrots, scallions, Brussels sprouts and etc. We're approaching the last month of our first year of CSA here at CV Farm, but there's still lots to look forward to.

This week everyone has tatsoi (full shares have two bunches), an assortment of peppers, habaneros (for those who wanted them), a bag of Blushed Butter lettuce, a winter squash called Green Buttercup, a small bunch of broccoli raab, and an edible bouquet of parsley, a variety of basils, and nasturtium.

For those of you unfamiliar with tatsoi it is (according to recipe czar, because I'm too lazy to explain it) "a dark green Asian salad green that has a spoon like shape, a pleasant and sweet aroma, and flavor like a mild mustard green, similar to bok choi. Tatsoi is generally eaten raw, but may be added to soups at the end of the cooking period. When tatsoi is mixed with other greens it enhances the flavor and nutritional value. Tatsoi may not be available in your regular grocery store. Specialty markets may carry it, or it can be grown from seeds, in warmer climates." I basically treat it like spinach - but don't expect a spinach flavor because it's a bit different.
Broccoli raab (rapini) is a new adventure for all of us! This is the first time I've grown it and the first time I've cooked with it. Let me know what you think.

The Green Buttercup squash can be treated like any winter squash.... roasted in the oven with herbs, butter and brown sugar, or chopped and sauteed with butter, sage and shallots. Friend, CSA member and once-weekly CV Farm slave Julie even made hers into a yummy pumpkin-esque pie.

some other recipes to try this week:
This is a simple recipe I use for stracciatella soup - fast and easy to prepare, and just pair it with a salad for a great fall meal. You can use your parsley, and substitute the tatsoi for spinach.

Broccoli raab is fairly versatile, but here's a simple recipe I tried for broccoli raab saute: heat 2 tspns olive oil over med heat, add 2 medium cloves of garlic sliced very thin and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (or some of your hot peppers), stir for about two minutes (don't let the garlic burn). Add broccoli raab (you can chop into large pieces or cook it as-is... the closer to the top of the stem you are the less bitter the flavor) and cook for about 4 minutes, until tender. Season with salt and pepper (recipe from The Washington Post). And here's a tip I found online - Much of the bitterness can be removed by blanching it (cooking it briefly in boiling water) first. Try bringing a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add broccoli rabe and cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until bright green and crisp-tender.

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