This week's CSA farm share included a cornucopia of produce. Since this is my first farm share experience, I am still getting used to the immediate creativity required to do justice to the gorgeous array of vegetables and fruits that I brought home with me. Here's a recap of what was included in this week's share:
1 quart of strawberries
1 bunch of spinach
3 beets with lots of beet greens
1 small bunch of radishes
1 huge head of bok choy
1 container of mixed peas
1 head of lettuce
2 garlic scapes
So here's what I decided to do...
First, I washed everything and put a bowl of strawberries out for everyone to nibble as the day went by.
Then, I began the preparing and chopping phase.
On deck, Roasted Rosemary Beets.
For this dish, I removed the beet greens from the beet, then washed and cleaned them both. I placed the beets on a large square of aluminum foil, drizzled them generously with extra virgin olive oil, added Maine sea salt and coarse ground pepper, and closed them into the foil. I put them in my toaster oven at 350º and let them cook for 30 -40 minutes - more or less depending on the size of the beets. After they had cooled to the touch, I peeled them and began to prepare the beet greens.
I stripped the leaves from the tough red stems and tore them into bite sized pieces. Next, I took the olive oil from the cooked beets (there was about a tablespoon in the foil package after the beets were cooked) which was now infused with lovely red beet juice and the scent of rosemary, and heated it in a large skillet. I added a splash more oil to cover the bottom of the pan. When the oil was shimmering, I dropped in a clove of finely minced garlic, which immediately turned deep red. After about 30 seconds, I added the greens, tossed them in the garlic and oil and cooked over a medium heat until they were wilted and soft, about 2-3 minutes.
I plated the cooked greens with a tiny cairn of beets and a wedge of Humboldt Fog, a tangy, ripened chevre that pairs nicely with the beets.
Roasted Rosemary Beets on a Bed of Garlic Beet Greens with Humboldt Fog Chevre.
Next up, Radish, Snow Pea and Bok Choy Slaw with Lemon Vinaigrette. I julienned the radishes, cut the snow peas on the diagonal into half inch strips, and shredded the inner most leaves of the bok choy, leaving the larger, darker green leaves for my next dish. I added a handful of julienned carrots for more color. For the vinaigrette I mixed the juice of one medium lemon, two tables of rice wine vinegar, and three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. I tossed the slaw with the dressing with a handful of chopped cilantro and served on a few of the innermost, pale green bok choy leaves.
Radish, Snow Pea & Bok Choy Slaw with Lemon Vinaigrette
The final dish of the evening was Bok Choy and Snap Peas in Scented Broth. Because I always have homemade chicken stock in my freezer, I brought some out as a base for this Asian-inspired dish. I thawed about 3 cups of stock into which I added one clove of minced garlic, about a teaspoon of minced ginger, a tablespoon of low-sodium soy sauce, and a few shakes from a bottle of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. This is a Thai sauce made of chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt and, depending on how much you use, imparts a mellow heat when added as a condiment.
When the broth had simmered for about a half hour, I added chopped bok choy and the snap peas, which my fancy friends call mangetout. I let these simmer for about five minutes and served while the vegetables were still crisp but tender and infused with the flavors in the broth.
Bok Choy & Snap Peas in Scented Broth
I saved the spinach for omelets the next morning, and the lettuce for salad at dinner. The garlic scapes will be added to my next pesto. And so, without too much effort, this week's farm share has disappeared before my eyes.
Wonder what we'll get next week...