It’s September already! School’s in! Wow. Have cover-cropped many sections of gardens for the fall and winter. I “topped” the 2 beds of brussel sprouts. Clipped the growth point and top leaf cluster; thereby stopping the height growth, encouraging the many brussel sprout sprouts to “bulk up”. Cukes are done. Melons, done (were they worth it?) Summer squash squeaking by, almost done. August-September ripening seems slow. The dog keeps running to the neighbors and spending the night.
We could use help cleaning and prepping garlic bulbs. This is nice, sit-down-in-a-circle-work. Good conversation work. Enjoyable work with many hands.
Here’s a picture of putting up summer squash (any size, shape, color, variety). Coarsely grate down until you hit seed clusters (no further). In a colander, press out excess liquids (you can see the print of our serving plate, which pressed this grated squash flat as a pancake, dry as a desert. Almost.) Place serving size quantities into freezer bags or containers for future use.
In Your Crate – Harvest 12:
*swiss chard, bunched with rubber band
*baby kale, loose, bagged
*baby collard, loose, bagged
*ruby streaks, loose, bagged
*arugula, loose, bagged
*As far as “asian greens”, or “specialty greens”, in general: you can certainly eat raw (for example: in your crate this week: swiss chard, baby kale, baby collard, ruby streaks, and arugula). (More info about raw and cooked below). Choose a favorite dressing! I enjoy a creamy dressing, as it helps mellow some of the bite of some of the spicier greens (particularly ruby streaks and arugula). Also, stir-fry, braise, lightly steam. Minimal cooking is our preference. Scramble some eggs, add the greens at the very tail end, barely cook – soooo good and tastey! (Click on the “Recipe Tab” of this blog, browse through and you’ll find lots of good recipe ideas.)
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.”
Let’s go through a few of them. These photos are from this week’s Tuesday harvest! (I’ve linked to Johnny’s Selected Seeds and/or Fedco for excellent, additional pictures and descriptions.)
The Fedco catalog and company are an absolute favorite of ours. Check it out: www.fedcoseeds.com It’s a total black and white newsprint catalog with sound “corporate values”, excellent seed sourcing, foodie descriptions, and real entertainment. Check out their ruby streaks description and it’ll just make it taste better!
As Fedco states, “Few people are indifferent to arugula: most of us love it, a few despise it. Musky green and its piquant blossoms will spice up your salads.”
YES, more kale! If you want greens in your diet, put them in your mouth! Eat – prepare your kale as you would spinach! And if you have “too much”, lightly blanch it and freeze it for soups in the dark winters!
Thick, substantial leaf. Good raw, real chewy!, and cooked… Black-Eyed Peas!
Hope you enjoy. And hope these links, and photos, and ideas help you to better enjoy them.