CSA week 4June 27, 2012
2012 CSA week 4 June 27th
In The Box
1 bunch Sugarsnax Carrots
2 heads Butter Lettuce
1 1/2 lb Sugar Snap Peas
1 bunch French Breakfast Radish
1 bunch Japanese Turnips
2 lb Fresh Fava Beans
1 lb New Potatoes (German Butterball or Desiree)
1 bunch Broccoli
My apologies for the late and probably brief box note. Our satellite internet connection went down last night and I’ve spent the better part of the morning battling the robots to get it back up. Of course, the rain finally broke so I’m sitting at the computer with sunglasses on (East facing window…I’m not that cool!) going a little bonkers that I’m not in the field with the crew while they’re in a good mood. The last two days of rain soaked harvests have been tough on them. Slogging around in muck boots and raingear is a whole lot easier to handle when it’s not almost July and I dare say the return of the sun has lifted everyone’s spirits.
The first pick of fava beans in the box today (YAY!). Favas and tomatoes are the two crops I most eagerly anticipate eating every year and the brief season they offer us is one that I relish. For me this first pick is serving as a powerful omen, a sign that even given the sometimes uncooperative nature of this valley’s climate, we will get through it (I know, mother, you’re right…again). We’ll do as we always do, adjust, adapt and sometimes just simply believe. Believe in what we do, in the intricately complicated simplicity of it all. Plant, water, care, cultivate, harvest, eat (undoubtedly the best part). I’m ready to eat! Long a seasonal staple in the Mediterranean diet and around the world, fresh fava beans have only recently begun to gain popularity in the U.S. I think our high speed, fast food culture frowns too easily on a vegetable that requires two stages to prep and produces more compost than edible product. I’m a patient man, as a farmer and father it sort of comes with the territory. I’ve waited a year to toss these tasty little green treats in some good olive oil again, the time to shuck and peel them seems insignificant. I hope that after you eat them you’ll feel the same way I do, content with the knowledge that the humble fava bean is only one of the truly great tastes of the season, the best is yet to come.
The new potatoes are a little less plentiful than I’d hoped after the first plantings didn’t fare so well in March’s flooding. Enjoy this tease as we’re probably still two weeks out on the next round.
That’s it, I’m heading outside.
Dave, Lori and ‘the crew’
CROP NOTES AND RECIPES
New Potatoes: True new potatoes are a rare treat. A new potato is not a small potato but a fresh potato harvested from a green, growing potato plant. A somewhat scuffed, frayed appearance to the potato skin is a frequent consequence of harvesting such tender spuds and is unavoidable because the skin has not yet hardened. If left to mature new potatoes would get a little bigger and the skins would get tougher making for typical potatoes that are easier to harvest and ship. Unfortunately for the potato connoisseur the potato, once cured, always loses some of its tender moisture. New potatoes wilt and must be treated like green vegetables and stored in a bag in the fridge. We like to steam them briefly until tender and then dress the hot little potatoes in a little butter, a pinch of salt, and twist of pepper. Do potatoes get any better?
Carrot Storage: Keep carrots in plastic in the fridge. Remove greens as soon as you get home and toss or feed the bunny. the greens slowly take sugars and energy of the root of the carrot.
Fresh Turnip Storage: Remove the greens from the turnips: Eat the greens within 1-2 days. Store both in a plastic bag in the fridge: they can be stored in the same bag. Separating the root from the leaves helps store the root better and longer.
Turnip Tips *Eat turnips raw. Slice or thickly julienne and add to vegetable platter or eat alone with or without dip. (These sweet roots are our kids favorite raw snack right now, just slice thinly and watch them disappear) *Grate raw into salads. *Bake turnips alone for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees, basted with oil, or bake along with other seasonal roots. *Cook turnips with roasting meats. *Mash or scallop turnips, just like you would potatoes. * Dice turnips into soups or stews, and julienne into stir fries.
Fava Beans: To prepare the fava beans for cooking, remove them from their pods. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and fill a large bowl with ice water. Blanch the beans in the boiling water for one to two minutes, until they slip fairly readily from their skins. Transfer the beans with a skimmer or slotted spoon to the ice water. When they’re cool, drain the water and remove the beans from their skins. See this Utube video for a chef demo. (Alright the robots can be helpful, I know) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k33UyOHxtT8&feature=related Once prepped they can be sauteed lightly in a little olive oil and enjoyed as a side or tossed into pasta. Another and some would say easier way to prepare favas is to grill them. The heat of the coals will pop the pods open and split the hulls that wrap each bean. Remove the beans with your fingers and they’re ready. If there’s a bit of char on your fingers from plucking out the beans from the grilled pods, it only helps the flavor.This entry was posted in Box Notes, News from the Field, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink. ← CSA week 3 June 20th, 2012 CSA week 5 July 5th, 2012 →
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