Week#2 (weekly+green); Gorgeous cover crops

Our standing cover crops are beautiful and lively right now.  Look at that undulating motion!  I was briefly hypnotized but able to break away.  When the video ends, go ahead and watch Steve’s instructions how to flatten a CSA box without damaging it.


Here’s the same field, mowed just yesterday.  That is a beautiful, thick layer of straw to incorporate into the soil.  We chopped the straw as the rye was flowering, young & succulent enough that it will break down readily this season, nourishing the soil and future crops.

It was a nice surprise to find crimson clover peeking out of our standing cover crops this spring.  Crimson clover is pretty finicky about when you seed it, and does not usually survive the winter.  Steve seeded a summer cover crop mixture that included this clover.  In fall there was leftover clover seed in the planter, so he just added seed for a winter-hardy cover crop and planted it all together.  He was only trying to clean out the planter.  The heavy snow cover must have helped the crimson clover survive the winter.  It’s an excellent legume, capable of fixing lots of nitrogen, so we’re glad to have it.  Plus it brightens our days with a burst of color.  Beth & Steve

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #2, May 27/28, 2021
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green


Bok choy (left) and Romaine lettuce (right)

Button mushrooms, 12 oz
Asparagus, 0.6 lb
Bok choy, 1 large
Romaine lettuce, 1 large
Spinach, 2 bunches
Salad radishes, 1 medium bunch
Green garlic, 1 bunch
Rhubarb, 3/4 lb

Next week’s box will probably contain shiitake mushrooms, salad turnips, lettuce, some kind of spring greens, scallions and more.

See last week’s newsletter for wash, prep, cook and storage instructions for these crops: asparagus, spinach, salad radishes.  We included an entire section on “How to wash greens efficiently and to maximize storage life.”

Button mushrooms – These organic mushrooms are from Hidden Valley Mushrooms from Wisconsin Dells.  We bring in mushrooms from Mary every spring, because I think they combine so perfectly with our spring vegetables, for salads, quiches, etc.  
Storage: Here are Mary’s suggestions for storing the mushrooms:
– Store separate from leafy greens, which hasten mushroom aging.  
– If storing for more than a few days, remove from the box and refrigerate in a paper bag with holes punched in the side.  Keep dry.  
– Don’t wash to clean, just wipe with a damp cloth.

Asparagus – See last week’s newsletter for info on cleaning and cooking.
Storage: Asparagus is perishable, so eat it as soon as possible.  Store in a paper towel, cloth or paper bag, then wrap loosely in a plastic bag.  The paper bag protects the asparagus tips from direct contact with the plastic bag.  The plastic bag keeps the asparagus from wilting.

Bok choy (large rosette with thick white stems and green leaves) – This Asian green is good for stir-frying or sautéing or in soup.  You can think of the stems and leaves as two separate vegetables.  The stems require longer cooking.  The leaves will cook almost as quickly as spinach.  Bok choy stores well, so feel free to pull off leaves as you need them, or use the whole head at once.  Storage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag or other container.

Romaine lettuce (upright head of lettuce with crisp leaves) – More sturdy and less fragile than our other spring lettuces.  Great for Caesar Salad or lettuce wraps.  If you’re intimidated by the amount of salad greens this week, Ceasar salad is a good option because it shrinks a big head of lettuce and everyone will fight over the leftovers.  Poof, it’s gone.

Green garlic (looks like scallions, tastes like garlic) – Green garlic is young garlic, planted in fall but harvested before bulbs have formed. 
Preparation: Green garlic is more pungent than scallions, so slice thinly and use sparingly when raw.  It mellows when cooked.  Chop and add to any cooked dish that would benefit from garlic.  Use the white bulbs and pale green stems.  Avoid the dark green stems and leaves, as these are fibrous.

RhubarbStorage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag.  FYI, 3/4 lb of rhubarb yields about 2.25 – 2.5 cups when chopped.
Stewed rhubarb:  This is the simplest way to prepare rhubarb.  Chop rhubarb into one inch chunks.  Stir over medium heat with a small amount of water in the bottom of the pan.  The rhubarb will release moisture as it cooks.  Stew until it softens and falls apart.  Sweeten to taste with honey or sugar.  Eat warm on its own, over vanilla ice cream, on pancakes, etc.
Preserve: Rhubarb is so easy to freeze.  Wash, chop and pop it in a freezer bag.  That’s it; no need for blanching.  When baking muffins or cakes, add the frozen rhubarb directly to the batter.

Recipes

Grilled Romaine with Tahini Dressing and Super-Seedy Crunch

Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

1/4 cup smooth tahini
3 tablespoons water, more as needed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 green garlic bulb or 1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, more for sprinkling
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pepitas
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
1 large head romaine
Fresh black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make the Tahini Dressing: In a small bowl, stir together the tahini, water, lemon juice, sesame oil, green garlic, maple syrup, and sea salt. If the dressing is too thick, add water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, to thin it to your desired consistency.
  3. Make the Super-Seedy Crunch: Place the sunflower seeds, pepitas, and sesame seeds on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the 1/4 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Toss to coat, and spread the seeds in an even layer. Bake for 5-7 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned.
  4. Grill the romaine: Preheat a grill or grill pan to high heat. Carefully slice the romaine in half lengthwise. Then, slice each half in half lengthwise again, keeping the core intact. Drizzle the romaine wedges with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Grill for 1-2 minutes on the first cut side, 1-2 minutes on the second cut side, and 1 minute on the back, until lightly charred.
  5. Serve the grilled romaine wedges with generous drizzles of the Tahini Dressing and plenty of the Super-Seedy Crunch.

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Mushroom Miso Soup with Bok Choy and Green Garlic

If you’ve never worked with miso before, you can find it in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores. Once you add it to the soup, be sure to keep it at a very low simmer. Boiling miso can destroy its beneficial enzymes.

Serves 4-6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or neutral oil, such as avocado oil
12 oz button mushrooms, sliced
2 stalks green garlic, white and light green parts, sliced
1 large bok choy, sliced, stems and leaves divided
2 tablespoons tamari, more for serving
6 cups water
1/3 cup white miso paste
6 oz soba noodles, optional
Toasted sesame oil, optional, for drizzling
7 oz tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook without stirring for 2 minutes. Stir, then cook for another 2 minutes without stirring (this helps brown the mushrooms). Add the green garlic and sliced bok choy stems and cook for 2 minutes more, until softened.
  2. Stir in the tamari, followed by the water. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Place the miso in a medium bowl. Uncover the pot and scoop 1/2 cup of the hot broth into the bowl with the miso. Whisk vigorously to form a smooth paste. Reduce the heat to low, and stir the miso mixture into the pot.
  4. If desired, cook the soba noodles in a large pot of unsalted water according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water and toss with a drizzle of sesame oil to prevent sticking.
  5. Add the sliced bok choy leaves and the tofu to the soup, and stir over low heat until the leaves wilt. Stir in the rice vinegar and turn off the heat.
  6. Portion the soba noodles into bowls and top with the soup. Serve with more tamari to taste.


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Photo by Jack Mathews

Baked Ziti from Love & Lemons

This comforting pasta has a full pound of spinach hiding inside it!  There are no herbs in the box this week, so feel free to skip the parsley or basil for garnish, or top with minced green garlic.
Vegetarian

radish salad recipes
Photo by Jack Mathews

Radish Salad from Love & Lemons

This recipe will let you use your radishes three ways: you’ll roast some, leave some raw, and dollop a nutty radish green pesto on top! If you like, you can skip the mint and make the radish green pesto with half radish greens and half spinach instead of basil.
Vegan, gluten-free

Shaved asparagus pizza
Photo by Smitten Kitchen

Shaved Asparagus Pizza from Smitten Kitchen

Deb describes this pizza as “tangled and grassy, bubbly and lightly charred, and accented with mild bites of scallion.”  How good does that sound?  To use the box produce, replace the scallion with thinly sliced green garlic.
Vegetarian

Spinach quinoa salad
Photo by Cookie+Kate

Sun-Dried Tomato, Spinach, and Quinoa Salad from Cookie+Kate

Quinoa and sliced almonds make this salad nice and hearty, so it’d be a great one to pack for lunch!
Vegan, gluten-free

Fork resting on a plate of savory chickpea pancakes
Photo by Minimalist Baker

Savory Chickpea Pancakes with Leeks and Mushrooms from Minimalist Baker

These crepe-like pancakes are made with chickpea flour, so they’re high in protein and fiber.  Make them for an easy dinner or lunch!   You can replace leeks with green garlic, using the white bulbs and pale green green stems (but not the fibrous, dark green leaves).
Vegan, gluten-free

Almond rhubarb picnic bars
Photo by Smitten Kitchen

Almond Rhubarb Picnic Bars from Smitten Kitchen

Have you ever seen rhubarb look so pretty?  It’s layered over a sweet almond filling and a buttery crust.  If you weren’t already planning a picnic for this weekend, I hope you are now!
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