This Week’s Farmshare Bounty - Just in Time!

How is it that we ran out of nearly everything this week? I'll admit that the amaranth wilted before we had a chance to try it (entirely our fault), but we enjoyed all sorts of salads, veggie skewers, and other fine meals this week (my wife added chard, breadcrumbs, and locally-raised bacon to our pasta tonight and it was fantastic), even eating our way through our entire fruit share.

In any case, we're thrilled that this week's box of fresh foods comes today, partly because our refrigerator is bare, and partly because my mom and step-dad are in town from Florida, and I've been talking up Harmony Valley's CSA. (I've frozen some rhubarb, and cobbler definitely is on the menu.) Here's what we're getting with a photo, descriptions, and ideas for preparation directly from the good folks at Harmony Valley Farm:

  • Salad mix: Try adding fresh fruit or fresh herbs. Or both!
  • Green top red beets: Remove leaves from the root bulb within a day; cut the stems about an inch from the root. If you don't plan on using the greens immediately, loosely wrap in a plastic bag to keep them from drying out and going limp. The leaves are very similar to chard and can be cooked in the same ways.
  • Fennel
  • Purple or white scallions: Use in place of onion in any recipe and reduce cooking time.
  • Fresh garlic: The first bulbs of the year! Unlike the cured garlic bulbs available year-round, fresh garlic is right out of the ground and has not been dried for preservation. If you don't use it right away, store it on your counter to dry. Its fresh flavor is slightly less potent than the concentrated flavor of cured garlic, too.
  • Sugar snap or snow peas: Delicious in a stir fry; remove the strings and cook quickly over high heat, just long enough to blister the skin a little.
  • Strawberries: Slice over yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal.
  • Amaranth: My friends Sharon and Scott made me an awesome veggie quesadilla last weekend, full of chopped amaranth, sautéed summer squash, and scallions. Try it, but don't wear a white shirt.
  • Sweetheart cabbage: A sweet, mild-flavored cabbage whose soft leaves work great for stuffed cabbage rolls.
  • Romaine: Top with sliced steak and blue cheese.
  • Summer squash: Slice or quarter, brush with oil, and cook on the grill.

I'd be remiss if I failed to mention the joy that sugar snap and snow peas have brought into my home these past 2 weeks. The kids are absolutely mad for them, and we've been eating them by the handful. Fortunately, our garden is growing like gangbusters, so there've been enough peas to go around.