I hope you’re ready to eat salad! This spring as you know has been pretty cold and wet, so some of the crops such as peas and beets are a little behind schedule. But the greens are happy! Next week should bring the first of the peas and fennel.
In your share this week:
garlic chives – 1 bunch
garlic scapes – 1 small bunch
broccoli raab – ~0.4 lbs
arugula: ~0.6 lbs
head lettuce: 2 heads (red oakleaf and a blushed butterhead)
mixed cut lettuce: ~0.4 lbs
giant red mustard greens: ~1 lb
rainbow swiss chard: ~1 lb
spinach: ~0.8 lbs
french breakfast radish: ~1 lb
hakurei salad turnip: ~2 lb
optional tomato plant start
What’s this with the salad turnip? Yes, you can eat it raw, as in on your salad. They are sweet and juicy and delicious. Of course you can cook them as well as their greens. But my choice is to slice them up into a salad like a radish.
Garlic “scapes” (or “whistles”) come from hardneck garlic. They would be the flower if left alone, but we take them off to encourage larger bulbs. Cook them like green garlic – they are a mild garlic flavor great for sautees and the like. This is probably the only scapes you’ll see from us all year. But the garlic chives will be back I’m sure.
Broccoli raab can be cooked like a mild braising green. It doesn’t take long to get tender. You can enjoy it raw as well, but I prefer it cooked.
Here’s some general info on braising greens (e.g. the mustard greens, chard, and broccoli raab from this week’s share) – courtesy of Angelic Organics:
A bunch of cooking greens is strikingly distinct from a bag of salad. Most cooking greens are big. Kale and chard leaves, for example, might grow to be longer than your forearm. A side dish of greens always rounds out a meal, and, in main dishes, a few tender ribbons of greens curled among vegetables enhances a meal.
Cut beet and turnip greens from their roots; store roots separately. Keep dry, unwashed greens in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. Thicker greens will keep for up to two weeks, but tender ones like spinach and beet greens should be eaten within a week.
Just prior to use, swish leaves in a large basin of lukewarm water until grit settles to the bottom. It’s fine to leave the stems on small baby greens, but many greens (choi, chard, collards, kale) have thick stems that cook more slowly than the leaves. Fold each leaf in half and slice out the stem. To use the stems in your dish, slice them 1/4 inch long and begin cooking them before you add the greens.
Simple Cooked Greens
Cooking greens in oil or butter over high heat until they are just wilted is a great way to give them an added richness while preserving their fresh taste and delicate texture. Wilted greens mix well with almost anything. They add sophistication to cooked grain or pasta. Topped with grated cheese, a cream sauce, or toasted nuts, they make a complete side dish; dressed with a vinaigrette they become a delicious warm salad. Wilted greens also make a great bed for any meat. They are also wonderful served on their own, simple and elegant, as in this recipe. If you are using greens with hearty stems, such as Swiss chard, cut out the stems, chop them, and sauté them before cooking the leaves to give them enough time to cook. Angelic Organics Kitchen.
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves) (optional)
1 pound greens, rinsed, torn or chopped into bite-size pieces
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1. Heat the butter or olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the garlic; sauté for 1 minute.
2. Add the greens immediately after rinsing them, with the water still clinging to the leaves. Cover; cook for 1 minute. (If you are using heartier greens, such as kale or collard greens, add a cup of water to the skillet. Cover; cook for 5 minutes.)
3. Uncover the skillet, add salt to taste (this will ensure the greens stay a bright green), and give the greens a good flip and stir. Cover the skillet again and continue cooking the greens until they are bright green, tender, and wilted to your taste. (For spinach this will be only another minute or two, for Swiss chard 3 to 5 minutes, and for kale or collard greens, depending on their maturity, this could be up to 20 minutes. Be sure to add more water if it boils away.) Season with pepper and olive oil to taste.