This is the week when the farm starts to really explode with goodness. Everything is growing so fast - crops and weeds alike. It can be a little overwhelming at times, but we are taking it in stride. It's easy to fall a little behind the 'plan' in May, but I'm happy to say that we are pretty much right on track so far this season. I am loving the share we have for you this week and I'm excited about some of the crops we have coming up over the next couple of weeks.
There are a couple of items this week that may be unfamiliar to some of you. First is kohlrabi, a relative of broccoli that forms a sweet and crunchy bulb that tastes somewhere between broccoli and turnip. We love to roast kohlrabi, chop it up for a veggie tray with a hummus or ranch dip, or make a slaw similar to Maria's recipe below. The leaves of the kohlrabi are nice this week and can be used just like kale - maybe mix them with your baby kale and for the quinoa and kale salad recipe? The second unusual item is garlic scapes (pictured below).
Garlic scapes are the flower stalk of the garlic plant and have a tasty mild garlic flavor. Picking the scapes from the plants sends more energy to their bulbs, which means we should have some nice large garlic heads this year. Maria has a couple of garlic scape ideas for you that sound delicious. You can also use the scapes in place of garlic in most recipes. They definitely need a little cook time, but they have a lovely soft texture and flavor once cooked. These are a classic CSA vegetable, because it's something you can't really find anywhere else!
The salad turnips are beautiful this week. I'm so glad we waited to start picking them, because they have sized up very nicely. If you haven't had this type of turnip before, you are in for a treat. They are sweet and delicate - wonderful roasted (maybe combine with your kohlrabi?), perfect raw with a little sprinkle of salt (that's how my kids like to eat them), and yummy when added to a soup or curry. Really, they are a super versatile and surprisingly delicious vegetable.
We don't have enough peas or spinach to give everyone this week, so you will get one or the other. Our spinach was a bit of a disappointment this spring, with poor germination and slow growth. This will probably be the only week for it this spring, but we should have more in the fall. Spinach can be tricky in our climate since it starts to warm up so much in the later part of spring. We haven't done sugar snap peas in the spring for several years for similar reasons, but it looks like our planting is doing really well this year. We were able to get the plants going extra early by starting them in flats and transplanting them out to a bed. The entire pod of these peas is edible, crunchy and super sweet. Eat them raw with the garlic scape dip or throw them into a stir-fry!
White Bean And Garlic Scape Dip
1 cup garlic scapes
2 15-oz cans white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and set out a bowl of ice water. Add the garlic scapes to the pot and boil for 30 seconds. Drain and plunge the scapes into the ice water. Roughly chop most of the scapes and finely chop a few for topping the dip.
Add the garlic scapes, white beans, olive oil, water, and parsley to a food processor (or blender) and process until smooth. Add more water if it's too thick. Taste the dip and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve topped with some garlic scapes, chopped parsley, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
When using garlic scapes, only use the smooth stem part of the scape. Cut them just before they flare out into a bulb and then start to taper down.
Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9), top flower part removed, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until mixed. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Mix in parmesan cheese by hand. Makes about 6 ounces of pesto. Pesto will keep for up to one week in an airtight container in the refrigerator or place in zipper bags and freeze.
Kale and Quinoa Salad
~3 cups cooked quinoa (equals 1 cup dry quinoa)
~10 cups chopped raw kale, stems removed
1 cup dried cranberries
¾ cup slivered almonds
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon of honey
½ teaspoon salt
Mix quinoa, kale, cranberries and almonds in a large bowl. In a separate bowl or jar whisk together dressing ingredients until well combined (make sure honey doesn't stick to the bottom), then pour over quinoa mixture. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
Kohlrabi Slaw with cilantro, jalapeño and lime
6 cups kohlrabi -cut into matchsticks or grated in a food processor -about three x 4 inch bulbs (or you could substitute sliced fennel, apple, jicama, cucumber, or cabbage for part of the kohlrabi for more diversity)
½ cup chopped cilantro (one small bunch)
half of a jalapeno -minced
1/4 cup chopped scallion
orange zest from one orange, and juice
lime zest from one lime, and juice
1/4 Cup olive oil
¼ Cup fresh orange juice ( juice from one orange)
1/8 Cup lime juice plus 1 T (juice from one large lime), more to taste
1/4 Cup honey
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Trim and peel kohlrabi. (I normally have to peel twice to get thru the thick skin). Cut off two ends. Cut in half from top to bottom. Thinly slice, rotate and slice again, making 1/4 inch matchsticks.
Place in large bowl with chopped cilantro, scallions, finely chopped jalapeño (1/2), lime zest and orange zest.
Whisk dressing together in a small bowl. Toss with salad. Refrigerate until serving. Garnish with zest and cilantro. This tastes good the next day too.