in your crate
peas, snap or snow
scapes (we’re into the millions of these by now, according to Laura M.!)
green onions (final week, for now)
community crate: toscano kale, head lettuce, kohlrabi, happy rich, broccoli, salad mix, green onions, beets
toscano/lacinato/dinosaur leaf kale
One year we grew three types of kale: toscano, winterbor, and red russian. We nearly had a minor rebellion on our hands, a small uprising! Most years since we’ve grown one full-sized kale, one baby (or juvenile) kale. Last year we grew winterbor full-sized, red russian baby or juvie sized.
This passed winter I attended a small farm conference. One presenter sold over $50,000 of kale alone. She was what you could safely call a kale connosieur. She was also very opinionated. She claimed that if we were growing anything other than toscano, we were growing the wrong one. (Some of you out there might think even toscano is the wrong one!) Her opinion was all about taste.
I respectfully disagree. As far as we have found, as have other growers I’ve spoken to (we have no corner on this market), kale does grow a thicker, “tougher” leaf as it grows full-sized. Kale’s taste is definitely at its absolute peak in the cooler weather (early spring, or fall). It gets “sweeter”, and really nice in the cooler months. It’s a cool-loving crop. We do feel that most kales are tastier when smaller, more “baby-like”, or “juvie”. Smaller, younger, more tender leaves. As are many, many, many vegetables. So, therefore, we grow at least on full-sized kale, one baby kale.
recipes/usage : Kale
GREENS – KALE, CHARD, COLLARD, swiss chard, arugula, spinach
Info below gathered from From Asparagus to Zucchini MACSAC. 2004.
fresh, raw “greens”
- wash well in cool water bath to remove fine grit. (spin dry in your salad spinner. dry is good!)
- try a salad mix of varied baby greens with no lettuce at all, or dilute down a pungent blend by tearing in extra lettuce.
- many salad greens taste excellent lightly braised, sauteed, or stir-fried. Watch out! They cook very quickly.
- Use sdalad greens to decorate a platter.
- Toss green salad with dressing at the last minute to avoid sogginess.
- toss salad with your choice of fresh herb leaves, such as basil, cilantro, dill or parsley.
- pile your favorite salad greens into sandwiches, tacos, burritos, or omelets.
- cook and add greens to quiches, lasagna, or other baked goods.
be careful not to overcook. overcooked greens will be mushy, tasteless, and significantly reduced in nutrition.
greens will cook down approx. 1/4 to 1/8 original volume.
boil greens 2-4 minutes, or steam 5-8 minutes, depending on maturity and toughness of greens. watch for the color to brighten; this signals cooking is complete or nearly complete. colors will darken and fade in vibrancy when overcooked.
baby greens are excellent for sauteeing, larger, more mature greens for stir-frying – add them toward the end of the cooking time – anywhere from 2-5 minutes is usually adequate for both.
most greens are interchangable, though pungency does vary.
greens add color, texture and flavor to soups and stews.
serve cooked greens simply. Toss with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Or, toss with sesame oil, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Or, toss with a lemon vinaigrette. Or, top with a pat of butter or totally plain!
mix greens into omelets, quiches, lasagna, and casseroles.
saute pre-cooked greens in garlic butter and onion.
baby greens make an excellent raw salad.
“Most garden greens love cool weather. They grow quickly and will be among the first vegetables of the season in spring and the final leafy ones in the fall.
Their vibrancy and freshness are a gift of flavor and health. Greens are packed with nutrition. Properly prepared, greens offer generous amounts of vitamins A and C, some B vitamins, and folic acid, as well as minerals such as calcium and iron. Greens are very high in dietary fiber and low in calories. In the health world, dark leafy greens also receive attention for their roles in disease prevention.”
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Christine’s Kale Salad
Little did I know how much Christine R. enjoys her kale salads, until one week she was willing to trade her basil (what!?) for kale. My mind was pleasantly blown. To be frank, she has been “forced” into this favorite kale salad by the non-stop frequency of kale coming in your CSA crates. But she now enjoys it so much that she’s “even bought some kale at the grocery store, and it wasn’t as good as yours, Chris”.
Thursday, on the curbside, she explained to Cheryl B. how to make her kale salad. I eaves dropped.
Rip and Tear the leaf off the stem. Chop the leaf very fine. To ease the inherent tough nature of the winterbor kale leaf, Poke and Stab repeatedly with a fork. Pierce it again and again, throughout. (Christine, did I get the sequence correct?)
Dress with your favorite dressing Now. The pokes and stabs will help the dressing “marinate” the leaf, infusing and tenderizing it. (Our girls have really enjoyed Caesar dressing on their winterbor. Me too.) Store in an airtight container in the fridge, you’ve got salads marinating, ready to eat on a moment’s notice.
Salad Greens with John’s Oil and Vinegar Dressing Zephyr Community Farm
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup olive or canola oil
1 tablespoon horseradish mustard
5 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon honey
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
Chop fine, one large handful (approx 10 stems) garlic scapes. Mix all other ingredients (except greens and garlic scapes). Toss scapes, greens, and dressing together. This recipe was inspired by Rob Summerbell. Makes about 3 cups dressing. (source: From Asparagus to Zucchini)
Green Gumbo: or, or “How can we eat all those greens!”
Tuesday, on the curbside, someone asked, “what to do with these greens??” Another shareholder said, “make some green’s gumbo”… So, here you go!
Cooking time: 90 minutes, plus 30 minutes prep.
4 cups vegetable stock
6 Tbs olive oil, or 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp white pepper (optional)
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, diced
2 pounds (about 8 cups) greens, cleaned, stemmed and roughly chopped, of any combination: collard, mustard, beet, kale, chard
1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt
ground black pepper
4 cups cooked basmati rice, made from 1 1/3 cups uncooked rice
Keep the stock warm over low heat in a covered saucepan.
Prepare the roux: In a large pot that will eventually encompass the whole gumbo, heat the fat over high heat just until either the oil smokes or the butter bubbles actively. Lower heat to medium, add flour, stirring til completely blend.
Stand by the pot at least 15 minutes, constantly stirring as it changes color from blond to a shade of burnt orange.
Remove from heat and add onion., bell pepper, and celery ( known as “the trinity” in Creole cookery), plus the garlic. Stir to combine, return to medium heat, and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
Slowly add simmering stock to the roux., while stirring. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low.
Stir in the dried spices and chipotle chile, followed by the greens, which will wilt and shrink. When the greens are wilted, add salt gradually, plus black pepper, then taste and re-season as needed. Cook over medium-low heat for about 40 minutes, until greens reach desired tenderness.
Serve gumbo over rice.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
source: The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook. Kim O’Donnel. 2010.