Saturday, June 20, 2015

CSA offerings: week 4

Wow, here we are, already in week 4 of the CSA. Whoosh! It feels funny to still be offering spring vegetables after weeks of “summer,” but actually, summer doesn’t start until tomorrow. And anyway, summer vegetables are starting to sneak in. Here's a sneak peek of one:

coming soon to a CSA box near you!
And now, a few highlights from your share this week:

Red romaine lettuce. These beautiful little heads will liven up any salad! There are a few heads of other types left, so if you pick more than one head of lettuce you might get one of those too, but you choose any lettuce at all, you will most likely get at least one red romaine.
More greens! Including kale! For now, I’m trying to offer each pickup spot 2-3 types of cooking greens each week. You might have your choice of spinach, chard, beet greens, and/or small bunches of lacinato kale. And I promise, I’ve been keeping track of who’s offered what, to keep it fair.

Parsley! I love this unassuming herb. Once considered a garnish to brush aside on your plate, it's now coming into its own in our cuisine (thanks to being a centerpiece in many other cuisines for ages). I like to think of parsley almost like a green: unlike many herbs, you can use it by the handful. The plants are still small, though, so for now you'll have to make do with some smaller bunches.

No peas! Darn it, the season was short but so sweet. I was hoping to eke out one more share from the bed, but the pea enation mosaic virus, enemy of every non-resistant pea variety in the land, had its way with our crop. I chose this pea variety for other reasons, but maybe next year I will seek out a pea enation-resistant variety.

Well, I guess that's it for now, so it's on to the recipe! Heartfelt thanks to CSA member Delinda Free, who offered to help me out with recipes. She has a background in commercial cooking, and said she likes improvising with the ingredients at hand. All I know is the meals she's made with her share so far sound delicious! So, without further ado, her recipe:

Lettuce wraps with radishes and cilantro pesto
(recipe from shareholder Delinda Free)

For the pesto:
1 bunch of cilantro
1 good handful flat-leaf parsley 
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
Salt to taste

For the wraps:
Whole lettuce leaves
Radishes, sliced very thin
Salad turnips, sliced very thin 

Clean the cilantro and parsley, and trim off the stem ends.  Put in blender with olive oil, lemon zest, walnuts, and a pinch of salt.  Blend on high speed until creamy.  If pesto is too stiff, add a little more olive oil and blend again.

Wash lettuce and pat dry with a paper towel.  Spread a tablespoon of pesto on the middle of the leaf.  Sprinkle shaved radishes and salad turnips onto the leaf and roll up.  Secure roll with a toothpick if necessary.

These wraps are wonderful with hummus or avocado inside as well!  They make a lovely summer starter course, or a light cooling snack for a hot day.  Enjoy!

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