Sunday, June 14, 2015

CSA offerings: week 3

Last week, I introduced Jester, the speckled leaf lettuce from Wild Garden Seed. I've never grown this variety before, and when I wrote last week I hadn't tasted it yet either. Now that I have, I need say just a bit more about it, because I LOVE it! Here's why: I think it has all the best qualities of iceberg lettuce! There's a reason why iceberg is the most popular lettuce in America. It's dense, crunchy, juicy, and sweet. But unlike iceberg, Jester is also beautiful, and although I will never claim to be a nutritionist, I suspect that since it was grown in healthy soils with only natural fertility and lots of love, it's better for you than iceberg too. I hope you'll give it a try!

beautiful Jester
not to be outdone: beautiful romaine
Another thing I'm excited about this week is herbs! Cilantro and dill add a flavor punch to so many dishes. With dill, try something like Warm Beet Salad with Dill. (The beet greens would work great here, roasted whole, with the roots still on. The beets are small enough that they should be done before the leaves turn too crisp.) Or try Beets with Creamy Yogurt-Dill Sauce, substituting steamed or sauteed beet greens (again, with roots still on) for the boiled beets. Both recipes would also make good use of our spring onions. Or, if you're not a huge beet or beet green fan, here's a dill recipe of a different sort: Sauteed Radishes and Sugar Snaps with Dill.

mighty beet green brigade
 (Speaking of beet greens, not everyone is getting the option of beet greens this week, but if you haven't gotten them already you'll have your chance another week! They're just very slow to harvest. As a consolation prize, you beet-green-deprived folk can choose another delicious and beautiful green, chard!)
dancing chard
OK, on to cilantro! Cilantro would be great in a salad; just mix it with the salad greens, or try this recipe for cilantro-lime dressing. I think it adds a fresh, summery taste to crunchy lettuce leaves. Or, make up a burrito or taco bar: turnips, radishes, lettuce, and cilantro are all great toppings for custom-made burritos. Quick pickled turnip or radish (or both!) would make it extra-zesty. Here's just one example.

I hope these ideas help get your creative (and salivary) juices flowing. Happy cooking!

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