Thursday, June 16, 2011

Week 6: "Oh, The Things You Can Do With a Farm Share Box"

Check out this great article (with recipes) on NPR about the excitement of cooking from a CSA box, entitled, "Oh, The Things You Can Do With a Farm Share Box".

Beautiful lettuce from Art Heineman, garlic scapes, winter savory herb bundles, mini chinese cabbage, sunflower shoots and a ripening hint of the fruits to come! (photo by Shannon)

Hey there, everyone! This is our 6th CSA box of the season. This week's box has: a bundle of winter savory herb from Michael Pilarski, a head of red iceberg lettuce from Art Heineman (certified organic fields in Tonasket), a bundle of mini Chinese cabbage from 8th Street Greens (it began bolting before it formed heads, but is still good cooking food, the flowers and buds are food too!), a bundle of garlic scapes from 8th Street (tasty savory seed shoots that we trim from the garlic plants, allows garlic to form bigger bulbs and gives us gourmet early garlic flavor for our cooking, or eat raw in a processed dressing or pesto), and either a bag of stir-fry or a handful of sunflower shoots from 8th St... Sunflower shoots are a delicious tender microgreen, a young green that's older than sprouts but not yet a baby green like our salad. Hopefully we succeed for this Thursday, otherwise we'll try again for in a week or two! It's probable that this week's box is a little sparse and you'll all have some credit for later this summer when we have food abundance. Then, you'll get a fat box! How about that watercress guacomole?! Yum!

Where exactly does a scape come from? The top of an almost mature garlic plant.

The super-delicious flowers from a bolted Yukina Savoy plant. This week you have the flowers from a mini Chinese cabbage. 

Savory by Linda Gilbert
Savory: an herb so bold and peppery in its flavor that since the time of the Saxons it has come to denote not only the herb itself, but also a whole segment of cooking. It is synonymous with tasty and flavorful foods. Most commonly used as a seasoning for green vegetables, savory's special affinity is for beans. Use summer savory, with its more delicate flavor, for tender baby green beans, and winter savory to enhance a whole medley of dried beans and lentils. It is no coincidence that the German word for the herb is Bohenkraut, meaning bean herb, as one of the components of the herb naturally aids the digestion of these sometimes problematic legumes.
Winter savory (Satureja montana) The leaves of winter savory are best used for dishes that require long cooking, such as stews, or added to the water when cooking dried beans so that there is enough heat and moisture to break them down. This not only releases the flavorful oils, but also softens the leaves so that they are palatable. Winter savory is often used in stuffing, with vegetables, as a seasoning for fowl, and in making sausages. In fact, it is used today in the commercial preparation of salami.

Asian Bean Salad serves 4 Colorful and filled with lively flavors, this salad is a perfect match with grilled chicken or fish.

1/2 cup Adzuki Beans;4 sprigs Winter Savory; 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced; 1 tablespoon olive oil; 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil; 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar; 1/8 teaspoon Asian chile sauce; 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice; 3 tablespoons celery, chopped
4 tablespoons red onion, chopped; 3 tablespoons red bell peppers, chopped; 3 tablespoons snow peas, blanched and chopped; 1/8 teaspoon black pepper; 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin; 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cover the beans in four times the volume of water and let soak overnight. Drain off the water and place the beans in a pot. Cover with five cups of water, add the salt and garlic. Bring to a boil and cook until the beans are soft but still retain their shape. Remove from heat, drain and rinse briefly with warm water. When drained, place in a mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and toss gently until everything is evenly blended. ~~shannon

Eisa and Copper Kettle cuddle on top of a bale of hay.
photo by Shannon Gilbert 

Iris grabs a good snack: asparagus from her back yard.
photo by Shannon Gilbert

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