The Farm (Shares) Report, 6/21/07 – Freebies

June 23, 2007 psipsina

I went to pick up the veggies by myself this week, since the Red-Haired Boy was working late.  I don’t mind going by myself early in the season, when so many of the vegetables are leafy, but I really appreciate RHB’s help when butternut squash are in season.  (Last year I think we got about 750 pounds of butternut squash.  They keep well – we ate the last one in March, I think.)

This week we got:

  • A giant head of romaine.  Seriously, I’ve seen dogs that were smaller.
  • A giant bunch of baby bok choy.
  • Arugula.
  • Sugar snap peas.
  • Red chard 
  • Beets
  • Japanese turnips

I love getting beets and turnips, because Steve always leaves the greens attached, and it’s like an extra free veggie.  The night we picked up, I made a salad with last week’s leftover lettuce and half the turnips, grated raw.  I used the lazy woman’s method of dressing the salad – toss with some olive oil, toss again with salt, pepper, and vinegar.  It was divine.

When I put away the veggies, I separated the greens from the beets and turnips and stored them separately.  I highly recommend this – remember from high school biology how plant leaves transpire (breathe out water vapor)?  If you leave the greens attached to your veggies, the roots will get all flabby as the greens suck out all the water and transpire it in your fridge.

Last night I realized that freebies were actually a problem this week, since I will be out of town for two days and not eating at home.  We got 9 veggies for the price of 7, so to speak.  What to do with all these lovely greens?

RHB had bought some kielbasa from Whole Foods, so I got out the turnip greens and what I thought was the chard and concocted the following.  I am sorry that I didn’t think to photograph it, it was so wild and beautiful and improbable.

Shocking Scarlet Soup

2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced, pressed, chopped, grated, whatever
a glug or two of olive oil
1 package kielbasa, cut into chunks
boatload of greens of your choice, rinsed thoroughly and chopped
1/2 can or so of diced tomatoes, with juice (left over from a previous recipe)
splash cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
Tabasco or cayenne, to taste

In your largest skillet, sauté garlic in oil briefly (30 seconds or so).  Add kielbasa and stir around a bit.  Add greens, with water from rinsing clinging to leaves.  Cook and stir until greens are wilted and bright green and there’s some liquid in the bottom of the pan.

Now, if you are like me, and you grabbed the beet greens instead of the chard, you’ll notice that the liquid in the pan is a beautiful, if rather unexpected, purplish red.  It’s really OK.

Add the tomatoes with their juice and cook a minute or two, stirring, to warm them through.  Add vinegar and Tabasco or cayenne to taste.

Again, if you used beet greens, the liquid in the pan, which consists of purplish red beet green juice combined with orangey-red tomato juice, is now a shocking and beautiful shade of scarlet, nay, even blood red.  Hooray for you!  It’s not many times you will see that color in food without the aid of artificial colorings.  Enjoy!

In our case, this served two, with the snow peas, steamed, on the side.

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Entry Filed under: community supported agriculture, cooking, csa, farm shares, food, parker farm, recipe, summer

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