Tuesday, March 20, 2012

(It's really) Spring CSA-week 2

Must be spring-the crocuses are out.

It's officially spring!

I love spring. But today was a tad bit more summer-like than spring like.

I should have been cozy and comfy in my corduroy pants while picking your greens in the hoop house.
But I was hot. Sweaty, stinky and frizzy- haired hot.

Weird weather we're having.

It is most definitely affecting the crops. I must say I am enchanted by the delightful smell in the hoop houses. Perfume-y. What's that, you say?
It is in fact the sweet smell of crops flowering and going to seed.

About a month ahead of time.

Some of todays offerings-a sea of green!
It's hard to say how much longer some of the winter crops can hold on. Happily though, some spring ones are coming up right behind them.

In todays baskets there were many greens. Are you turning green yet?

Several varieties of arugula, escarole, many varieties of mustard greens, chinese greens and garlic greens.

If you bite into the garlic thinking it's scallions, you'll be in for a wee surprise.
If I had left these immature garlic plants, they would turn into a good solid head of garlic, each and every one.
But we need the garlic flavour as long in the season as possible. So for now, it's fresh green garlic, then it will just be the greens, sans the bulb, then the scapes, then the garlic bulbs themselves.
Garlic. The plant that keeps on giving!

You'll notice several varieties of the mustards have tiny broccoli like heads.
Well, I guess we all have heads, some of us bigger than others.
The broccoli you see in the store is quite simply a seed head which, if left on the plant, will produce flowers, then seeds.
Other plants follow this cycle as well.
So years ago, it made sense to me to harvest these plants in the same manner. Chinese greens are superb for this purpose, with a nice thick crunchy stem, and small tight seed head.
This is how I have harvested the Ching Chang Choy that is in your baskets.
Delish in a stir fry!

Here's a good recipe for using up the tangy arugula....enjoy!

(from Simply Recipes Website)

Arugula Pesto Recipe


  • 2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup of shelled walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


1 Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.
2 Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown, or heat in a microwave on high heat for a minute or two until you get that roasted flavor. In our microwave it takes 2 minutes.
3a Food processor method (the fast way): Combine the arugula, salt, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
3b Mortar and pestle method: Combine the nuts, salt and garlic in a mortar. With the pestle, grind until smooth. Add the cheese and olive oil, grind again until smooth. Finely chop the arugula and add it to the mortar. Grind up with the other ingredients until smooth.
Because the pesto is so dependent on the individual ingredients, and the strength of the ingredients depends on the season or variety, test it and add more of the ingredients to taste.
Serve with pasta, over freshly roasted potatoes, or as a sauce for pizza.

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