Farm Share has started

One of the exciting things that happened last week that didn’t
have anything to do with Early Music was that my farm share
started delivering.

Of course, I had less time for cooking and spent more time
eating out than usual last week, so I haven’t done much with it except eat
a lot of salads for lunch. But the band is coming over tonight,
and I have dinner with friends on Thursday and the party on Sunday, so I’m sure I’ll start getting rid
of all those bags in the refrigerator faster than I have been.

Here’s some of the email they sent me last week before I picked
up the share:

Spinach, one pound. We’ve had a warm spring, and this first spinach is big! The flavor is outstanding, and you can eat it stem and all. The spinach, like just about all of our produce, is washed once by us. You will likely want to wash it again, to remove that last of our fine sandy loam topsoil from the leaves.

Salad mix, 1/2 pound. Our mesclun is a mix of lettuces, tat soi, mizuna, baby red kale, and a handful of other mild greens. We washed it twice, but it will want another washing. The key to keeping the mesclun and other greens fresh all week is to store the greens dry. You can pat them dry with a towel, or, better yet, wash and spin them dry with a salad spinner, then store in a sealed plastic bag or plastic container.

Lettuce, 2 heads. We grow a dozen or so head lettuce varieties over the course of the season. The butterheads are especially delicious this time of year (my 10 year old niece, a picky eater, had 3 helpings of “really good” salad last night). We’ve included one butterhead and one leaf lettuce today.

Radishes A crunchy addition to salads, we grow these only in spring. Their grand size is evidence of the warm spring. I just found a recipe for Sauteed Radishes with Radish Greens or Arugula in the Farmer John’s Cookbook. Basically, sautee quartered radishes and the greens in butter, lemon, salt and pepper. Sounds interesting…

Bok Choy Also known as Pak Choi, this Asian cooking green is lovely sautéed, in stir-fries and soups. Store it loosely wrapped in a plsatic bag in the fridge, so the outer leaves don’t wilt. To prepare, pull or cut the stalks away from the base. Cut the stalks in crescents like celery. The leaves will only need brief cooking time, so add them at the very end. See the recipe below.

Arugula This green is slightly peppery, and very tender today. We grow it under row covers, to protect the leaves from nibbling beetles. Try in salads or on sandwiches. The snappy taste will mellow if you slightly wilt the arugula.

Salad Turnips These “Hakurai” turnips are like a sweet radish, and are delicious raw in salads, grated or chopped. We also like them sauteed with greens. Unlike the more traditonal fall turnip, these Hakurai are too watery for roasts or stews – I find they get mushy.

Coming Soon: Strawberries.

I had Hakurai turnips in the farm share last fall, and I didn’t
think of eating them raw, so I braised them in white wine, and it
was good, but I’ll probably try them in a salad this time.

This is making me hungry, so I’m going to go cream the spinach
and have it on toast.

The last I heard, there were still a few shares left, so if you
live in this part of the world (Boston area or Winchester, New Hampshire) and this sounds interesting, go to
the Picadilly Farm
and sign up.

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