Week #1. The June Share begins.

Hello everyone!

We are back, with an action-packed box.  There are unexpected strawberries in this box, the result of a mild winter and early spring.  These members receive a box on June 6 (unless they rescheduled):
– Weekly Shares
– BiWeekly/ A group.

If you don’t remember your share type, log in online and look at your scheduled dates under Orders.

Strawberry u-picks.

Keep your fingers crossed – it looks like a good strawberry year.  We doubled our berry field and expect to have lots of u-pick opportunities.  Reservations required, as usual.  I will offer reservation links to these groups, in this order below.  There will probably be just a few hours separating the groups, so watch your emails.
1. 2024 Tipi CSA members – You folks get the first chance to reserve a picking time.  Watch for emails with instructions to place a reservation.
2. 2022 and 2023 Tipi CSA members and our u-pick email list – This is the second group to receive offers to reserve a picking time.  Watch for emails from me.
3. When there are still open reservation slots, I’ll offer them on our U-Pick berry page and on Facebook.

Spinach (left) and komatsuna greens (right).  Both are bundled with a rubber band but you can tell them apart by the stems.  The komatsuna stems are thicker and resemble bok choy stems, which they are related to.  

There will be grit in your produce this week, a side effect of recent rain. We appreciate the rain, but those were intense downpours! 

– Cut your lettuce one and a half inches above the base and you’ll leave a lot of dirt behind.
– Expect to spend extra time cleaning this week’s greens.  Let’s talk about how to do that efficiently.

Cut your lettuce heads at one and a half inches above the base and you’ll leave a lot of dirt behind.

How to wash greens efficiently and to maximize storage life

Washing and drying your lettuce, spinach, and other greens prolongs their storage life.  And they will be ready to use on busy weeknights!  Here’s our approach.  It works.
1.  Fill your sink or a basin halfway with cold tap water.  If you have two sinks, fill one sink partway with cold water.
2.  Chop your lettuce, spinach, escarole or other green to the size you wish.
3.  Dump it into the water and swish around gently but thoroughly.
4.  Working in two batches (for average lettuce head) or more batches (big spinach bunches, Romaine), pull handfuls out of the water and drain in the basket of a salad spinner.
5.  After all the greens have been rinsed one time, dump the water.  Rinse the sink/basin and refill with cold tap water.
6.  Repeat the process.
7.  Spin your greens dry and store in a dry container.  They store much longer when spun dry.

This works because …
– pre-chopping the greens frees soil trapped in the head.
– the large amount of water washes and dilutes away the grit.
– By pulling the greens out of the water, you take advantage of the draining action to pull the grit with it.
– Drying (spinning) the greens before storage reduces spoilage.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #1, June 6, 2024

– Weekly shares
– BiWeekly/ A group

Strawberries, 1 pint
Asparagus, 1 lb
Shiitake mushrooms, 8 oz
Red leaf lettuce
Spinach, 1 bunch
Komatsuna greens, 1 bunch
Salad radishes, 1 bunch
Cilantro, 1 bunch
Green garlic, 1 bunch
Rhubarb, ~1.5 lb

Next week’s box will probably contain strawberries, mushrooms, spinach, lettuce, green garlic, tender cooking greens and more.

Strawberries – Eat soon. This week’s berries look a little rough but are tasty.  They survived many recent storms. We are lucky to get those storms out of the way early in the berry season. We have good weather ahead and the younger berries will be in good shape for the u-picks.
Storage: Refrigerate.

Asparagus – This is my favorite spring treat!  
Prep: Wash your asparagus thoroughly to remove hidden grit.  Submerge in water with the tips pointing down, soak briefly, then swish vigorously and pull out of the water.  The draining action helps pull the grit out of the asparagus tips.  Repeat several times.
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.
Preparation: We snap our asparagus at harvest, rather than cutting.  Therefore, there is no need to snap the stalks to remove fibrous ends.  For the same reason, it is not necessary to peel the asparagus stalks.  It’s OK to trim the cut end a bit.
Cooking:  If your asparagus stalks vary greatly in size, you will want to cook the thicker ones longer.  Put an empty steamer pot over water, and bring the water to a boil.  Add the asparagus.  Cover and steam over medium heat until just tender.  Use two forks or a spatula to turn the asparagus during cooking, rotating the bottom spears to the top.  Drain and serve.  Alternatively, you can lay spears flat in the bottom of a broad pan, with ½ inch of water.  Also excellent broiled or grilled.  Good dressed with vinaigrette, or with lime juice, salt and pepper.

Shiitake mushrooms – These are from Hidden Valley Mushrooms, the same people who grow button mushrooms for us.  I love shiitakes cooked with spinach or other greens.  Shiitakes must be cooked.  A small subset of people can have a toxic reaction to raw or undercooked shiitakes.  Once cooked, they are harmless.  And tasty!  Lightly sauté in butter and add to any dish.  We use ours in frittatas, as well as sautéed and mixed into pasta salad or any dish.  Sautéed shiitakes and spinach are a great topping for pizza or rice bowls, e.g. bibimbap.
Storage, general: Refrigerate in a dry paper bag, but not in your crisper drawer with other vegetables, especially brassicas.  It’s OK to put a loose plastic bag over the paper bag but don’t close.  Mushrooms are perishable so use soon.

Lettuce – The lettuce very tender so handle gently.  
Storage:  Refrigerate in a bag or other container.

Spinach – This spinach is OK for salads but probably better cooked.
Storage: Refrigerate in a bag or other container.

Komatsuna greens (bundle of dark green leafy heads.  See photo) – This is our favorite spring cooking green.  They are similar to mustard greens but with great flavor and are more mild than mustard greens.  We’ve enjoyed learning to grow them over the past few seasons.  
Preparation: Use in any recipe that calls for mustard greens or bok choy.  Use both leaves and stems.
Storage:  Cover and refrigerate.

Salad radishes – These are so good right now; tender, crisp and not too spicy.  They are great in salads or thinly sliced on sandwiches.  A few years ago, I was served open-faced radish and butter sandwiches on toast and was impressed with how tasty they were.  Use good quality butter.
Storage: Cover and refrigerate.

Cilantro (small bunch, fragrant leaves) – Used in both Mexican and some Asian cuisines.  Good to season stir-fries, salad dressing, salsa, etc.
Storage: Cover and refrigerate.

Green garlic (looks like scallions, tastes like garlic) – Last fall, we planted garlic cloves that grew into the stalks we harvested this week.  If left to grow until mid-summer, the slim white bulb on this week’s garlic will divide and form the usual cluster of cloves in a garlic bulb.
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, 1.75 lb of rhubarb yields 5 – 5.5 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.
Storage:  Refrigerate.
Preserve: Rhubarb is extremely 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.


Spanakopita spirals

Spanakopita Spirals with Flaky Phyllo Dough

From Well Seasoned Studio
Rolling the phyllo and filling into cigars and then spiraling them is a fun alternative to the more traditional layered spinach cheese pie. You can bake the rolls in a heat-proof skillet as shown here, or I recommend a 9 x 13 metal pan, lined with parchment. If there’s not quite enough spinach in the box, sub in a few leaves of the Komatsuna. And a little green garlic to season in place of the fresh oregano would also be nice.
Radish salsa

Radish Salsa

From The Live-In Kitchen
Here’s a quick, fresh salsa using the radishes and cilantro in this week’s box. You can sub some green garlic for the clove of garlic called for, and if you don’t have a fresh jalapeño, try using jarred pickled jalapeños or canned chipotle chile to add some heat to your salsa.

The following two rhubarb recipes, one savory and one sweet, each only use a small amount of rhubarb – so you can easily make both with what’s in the box!
rhubarb salad dressing

Rhubarb Dressing (part of Rhubarb Salad with Little Gems, Hazelnuts & Parmesan recipe)

From Justine Snacks
The rhubarb dressing pictured is one component of Justine Doiron’s salad, but possibly the most versatile. Doiron’s full salad recipe calls for hazelnuts, Parmesan cheese, little gem lettuce, and strawberries. I used the blender method to make the dressing and poured it over a salad of leaf lettuce, Parmesan, and a few almonds, and I’m sure it was just as tasty.
swirled rhubarb

Swirled Rhubarb Bars Recipe

From King Arthur Baking
These bars are like a butterscotch brownie with tart rhubarb jam swirled in – that is, delicious. The recipe says to melt the butter in the same pot you made the rhubarb jam in, but I don’t think doing this imparts an additional essence of rhubarb into the bars, and you still end up with the same number of pots to wash!
asparagus with sauce gribiche

Asparagus with Sauce Gribiche

From Girl on the Range
Sauce gribiche is a traditional French sauce that compliments asparagus and just about any other green vegetable. The recipe provides instructions for grilling the asparagus but you could also roast it in the oven or even steam it before adding the sauce.
chicken shiitake stirfry

Chicken Shiitake Mushrooms Stir Fry

From Oh Snap! Let’s Eat!
This quick chicken and mushroom stir fry can be made with boneless chicken breast or thighs, or you could omit the meat and use tofu.
indian spiced chick peas and greens

Indian Spiced Chickpeas and Greens

From The Curious Chickpea
This vegan curry can be made with any greens including the Komatsuna in the box, and you could add some of the spinach as well. The recipe allows you to adjust the heat level to your taste, too.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© Copyright Tipi Produce
14706 W. Ahara Rd., Evansville, WI 53536
608-882-6196 (phone/fax), email hidden; JavaScript is required