Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fall/Winter CSA Week 8 and Chickpeas with Mustard Greens

It's simply not as much fun harvesting in the month of November.
There, I've said it and that's as much as you'll get out of me in the way of complaints.
It isn't bad in the hoop houses at all, but pulling those lovely small beets and picking kale outside is cool on the hands.

The good news is that there's lots of food, much of it the colour of green. Green is good, especially when there is increasing less of anything fresh to be had that's local in the stores and farmers markets.

I have green. And if you don't and would like it, if you are not in my CSA or unable to get to Bamboo Natural Foods  you are more than welcome to call, email or pop out on Saturdays between now and Christmas and get some green. More mustards than you can imagine as well as chinese greens, chards, kales, collards and a whole lot of arugula. It's good stuff.  I eat it everyday-I do. And I've lived to tell the tale.

I will be open Saturdays between 10 and 2pm before Christmas with the greens, but also preserves, hand knit slippers, a wonderful selection of organic teas, seeds for spring sowing and my breads. 

Sorting beets in the kitchen with help

The CSA baskets today were chock full of greens. Say "hello" to mustard green season! There were many varieties of mustards, as well as choi, arugula, squash and beets with the greens attached.

If Maris, my amazing intern from the summer of 2012 ever reads my blog, he'd be happy to know these beets are now being pulled. Maris planted them late. I mean well into September late.
It was one of those things. There was an empty spot, I had the seed and Maris got it in.
I really didn't know if there would be time, of course it was all out of my hands. 

Those beets aren't big. But they are good and with the nice greens, it's like a two in one veggie deal. The greens are great-make sure you use them!

People often ask me about lettuces for salads at this time of year. I really don't grow a lot of lettuces because I find even the ones that are marketed as winter lettuces don't stand up well to the freeze and thaw cycle. 

I think all the winter greens that are in the baskets make a wonderful and very tasty salad. The mustards are zingy, the arugula peppery and the chinese greens succulent and mild. The kales and chards add a great crunch. Chop some of them up and add a simple vinaigrette for a very tasty salad that's full of flavour.

Or try the following for a satisfying vegan main course.
(From www.blogfatfreevegan)

Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens

I’d say this fits into the category of warm dinner salads, but you could serve it as a side dish to up to four people.


  • 10 ounces mustard greens
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4-6 tablespoons vegetable broth, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained


  1. Remove any large stems from the greens and discard. Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a deep pot or wok, sauté the onion in a tablespoon or two of vegetable broth until mostly faded to pink, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and red pepper and another tablespoon of broth and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the mustard greens, 2 tablespoons of broth, and cook, stirring, until greens are wilted but still bright green, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the salt, if using. Remove greens and onions from pan with a slotted spoon and place in a serving dish, leaving any liquid in pan.
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and agave or sugar to the liquid in the pan (if there is no liquid, add 2 tablespoons of broth). Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by about half. Spoon the chickpeas over the greens and drizzle the sauce over all.
  4. Serve warm, with additional balsamic vinegar at the table.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

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