Week 1 ~ The 2012 CSA Share Season

This Week’s Share: Radish Rapini (Raab), Kale, Chard, Endive/Escarole, Green Garlic and Lettuce.

Welcome! Here we go again into a new season of eating. We know how much some of you have missed the ‘big-Greens’, so we were sure not to disappoint! Those of you new to the CSA experience, can quickly learn about some basic spring greens at once. Please remember all your food should be washed prior to preparing and enjoying.

Radish Rapini (raab): Well we had some beautiful looking radish, which decide to bolt in the early heat, so we tried the rapini and found it absolutely delicious! I have added it to my morning-raw-field-salad because it tastes just like a radish, but not too hot. Nor is it bitter as the mustard or turnip rapini’s can get. For those who aren’t familiar with raab or rapini yet, it is the smallish heads of many brassica plants as they are on their way to flowering. Timed right, they resemble miniature broccoli heads, on a soft, succulent stem, down to the snapping point (like fresh asparagus). The base of the stem can be tough and the lower leaves can hold some bitter flavors.

Raab with Toasted Pecan and Raisins  adapted from Greens Glorious Greens!

  • 1/3 cup lightly toasted pecans, coursely chopped
  • 1 pound rapini/raab
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves (or 3 green garlic full shoots)
  • 1/3 cup raisins (or currants)
  • salt to taste
  1. To toast the pecans, place on a cookie sheet and bake at 325F for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Take care not to burn them. Set aside.
  2. Chop off the base of the raab/rapini and discard. With sharp knife coarsely chop the bunch (all stalks) stems and leaves into 1/2 inch pieces. Wash well. Place 2 cups water in a 12-inch skillet with a tight fitting lid. Bring to boil and add the cleaned cut raab. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring occassionlly, until tender, 3-4 minutes. Remove to drain.
  3. Rinse skillet and dry it. Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat, lifting and turning the pan to coat it. Add garlic and raisins and saute’ for up to 1 minute. Careful stirring to prevent stick and burning.
  4. Add precooked raab and stir to combine. Season with sea salt and cover for a 60 seconds until greens reheat and the flavors meld. Serve it hot garnished with toasted pecans.

Kale: Deliciously tender leaves of kale. We are combining spring kale with some beautiful overwintered kale plants for a particularly ideal flavor. Make the ever popular kale chips or add to soups or salads for more subtle flavors.

Chard: Small tender chard leaves of multiple colors. Chard is the green the most like spinach. It is delicious braised with butter or oils and a little sea salt. But some people love it in raw salads as well.

Endive/Escarole:  These greens are a favorite for some, and along with radicchio make up the chicories. They are related to lettuces, but have sturdier leaves and a more hearty, assertive flavor famous for its bitter edge or anchor in a salad. Salty cheese, nuts and sweet flavors are the secrets to making winter/spring salads and greens more interesting.

Green Garlic: Oh how we love green garlic! Garlic is a wonderful vegetable that most people consider an herb. We love to eat every part of it all year long and you can too! This week enjoy the tender young bulbs and shoots, which resemble green onions. The flavor however, is all garlic. Add it to your salad here and your stir-fry there.

Lettuce: Beautiful small to large, great tasting heads arrive on time for your share this week…and hopefully for many more weeks to come 🙂 Have your choice of lovely different butters, red’s and green leaf varieties. The crisp, clean flavors have been very missed through the winter.


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