We are having some pretty nice days here lately. The weather is truly perfect. We are still needing to irrigate to keep the veggies growing, but at least the temperatures and humidity have dropped. I'm feeling fairly caught up on farm work and more veggies are starting to come on as we move into summer. There are always some disappointing crops (this year's spring broccoli and peas haven't fared so well), but some pleasant surprises too (the fava beans, pictured above, did better this year so we have enough for everyone this week). Three crops that are looking particularly promising right now: 1) bell peppers - these guys are loving the dry, warm weather and are just starting to bloom and form small peppers. I'm hoping to have these earlier than usual this year. 2) cabbage - we have two types of spring cabbages (regular round heads and pointy heads) and they are both looking pretty nice. We should be able start giving these next week. 3) onions - we are growing four types of onions this year and they are all looking very healthy. Fresh sweet onions should start appearing in shares next week! Other exciting developments: the cherry tomatoes are starting to ripen up and the first round of carrots should be ready to start harvesting in a week or two :)
Fresh fava beans are a special item that most of you may not have prepared before. This is a nice post about how to shell and prepare these beans: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-pick-clean-and-prepare-84710. Fava beans do really well in cooler climates like the pacific northwest or Britain, so we don't get an awesome yield from these plants around here. We have enough to give everyone a little over a pound, which should be enough to give you a taste of these delicious meaty beans. They would be perfect in the salad recipe Maria has below, or in a oily pasta dish, or the link above has links to a few more recipe ideas. I think the fennel bulbs could easily be used with the fava beans either in a salad or pasta preparation. Let us know if you find a recipe that you love for this crop! FYI, the post above recommends that you peel the waxy coating off of the beans before using in recipes, but some folks like to keep the outer shell on for texture. The outer coating is edible, so maybe try the beans both ways before you take the time to peel all of them. The shelling and peeling could be a fun kid activity :)
This is the last week for spring kohlrabi. This veggie keeps for a long time in your crisper drawer if you have a lot of it and don't want to eat more right away. Just remove the leaves for longer term storage. If you are getting broccoli this week you could cook the kohlrabi in with whatever you are doing with the broccoli (both would be great in the kohlrabi recipe below). These two veggies have similar flavors and complement each other well. We leave some of the leaves on our fresh broccoli and these can be used just like kale or the kohlrabi leaves as in the recipe below.
Have a great week everyone!
Recipes from Maria:
Kohlrabi Stir Fry (using kohlrabi bulb and leaves)
1 tablespoon avocado oil or vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced, about 1/4 inch thick
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 small bell pepper, cut into strips
1.5 pounds kohlrabi (Remove stems/leaves. Peel kohlrabi, cut into chunks and remove core, if necessary. Then, cut into thin strips. You'll want about 3 small kohlrabi (and reserve about 3 cups of leaves)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup unsalted vegetable broth
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 pencil chili, thinly sliced (or your favourite chili or use chili flakes, to taste)
peanuts or cashews
thinly sliced green onion
Add oil to a wok on medium high heat.
Note: I like to regularly stir once the ingredients are added so nothing burns or sticks.
Once hot, add onion, carrot, garlic and ginger. Stir and cook 2 to 3 minutes.
Add bell pepper and cook 2 minutes.
Add kohlrabi and cook 3 minutes.
Note: If you like your veggies more tender, you can cook a little longer.
Add kohlrabi leaves and cook 1 to 2 minutes.
Combine cornstarch with water and mix. Whisk into broth and add soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Whisk to incorporate everything.
Pour sauce into wok and bring to simmer for 2 minutes or so.
Stir in sliced chili. Garnish, if desired.
Stir fry recipes come together quickly! Prep anything before you start cooking.
The veggies here still have a little bite (which I love). If you want them more tender, simply cook a little longer.
The kohlrabi greens were used in this stir fry, so don’t toss ’em! You’ll likely have more leaves than you will need here. That’s ok. Reserve the unused leaves for another use! They’re also great in soups or simply sauteed.
Middle Eastern Fresh Fava Bean Salad
1 pound fresh fava beans (3-1/4 cups)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped tomato
3 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons capers, drained
InstructionsIn a medium saucepan cook beans, uncovered, in boiling water about 10 minutes or until tender; drain. Let cool.In a large bowl whisk together oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic. Stir in cooled beans, cucumber, tomato, and parsley. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Divide bean mixture among 6 salad plates. Top each serving with feta cheese and capers. Makes 6 servings.