CSA Week 3: Spring is in Swing

Spring is in full effect now that we are (knock on wood!) out of the cycle of endless rain. This week’s box resembles the first two, but with some new additions; read on!

Clockwise from top: Kale (2 kinds), cilantro, spearmint, garlic scapes, curly-leaf mustard, green-leaf lettuce. Spring onions and garlic in the center.

Red Russian Kale and Giant Green Kale: OK; more kale. We were skeptics at first, years ago, but we are still finding new things to do. Most recent:

Grilled Kale

1 large bunch of kale
1/4 cup olive oil
1 to 6 cloves of garlic, minced (depending on your love of garlic)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix last four ingredients in a bowl. Wash the kale, dry it, and toss it with the oil/garlic/vinegar mix.

Place the kale in a single layer on a medium-hot grill (about 350 deg. F). When it starts to seem crisp (about 2-3 minutes) use tongs to turn the kale. Grill one more minute, then remove to a stack on a plate. Serve alone or with other dishes.

Curly green mustard greens: If you love mustard, you can use this in a salad. We prefer it cooked–either in the traditional “southern style” with pork fat or, more often, wilted in a pan with garlic and olive oil. There is a theme here–garlic and olive oil are good accompaniments to veggies.

Cilantro: Some of you love it. Some of you hate it. If you never want to see it again (some people REALLY hate it) let us know. Bonus points if you guess what goes great with cilantro (hint: it rhymes with “car-lick.”)

Lettuce: This is black-seeded Simpson leaf lettuce; wash it well, use it like other lettuce. Ever had a wilted lettuce salad? Just barely sear it in a hot pan–then serve as usual for a salad.

Green onions: red, yellow, and/or white. We have an assortment of colors; usually in the store you only see baby spring onions in white. The different colors have slightly different flavors (really–try it).

Garlic: Softneck “Teenage” garlic. We’ve been sending you juvenile garlic; this week the garlic is a little further along–almost but not completely full-grown–so we are calling it “teenage” garlic. Like its namesake, it is stronger but hasn’t developed all of its adult character yet. Don’t try to store it for more than a couple of weeks.

“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.”   ~ Alice May Brock, American author, b. 1941

Garlic scapes: You won’t find these at most super markets; every garlic plant doesn’t make a scape, but those that do make only one each, and the scapes are only around for 1-2 weeks. Try these sauteed in butter or olive oil, tossed with the pasta (or spaghetti squash) of your choice. Throw in some pine nuts and you have an amazing meal.

Spearmint: You can actually plant this and it will probably grow–feel free! Give the gift of mint! Use in tea, or make candied mint leaves: wash the leaves, brush them with a 50:50::egg whites:water mix, dip them in sugar, then arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet or drying rack. Let them dry for 24 hours (you can rush this in a Very Slightly Warm oven (~175 degrees F). These keep for a day or so in a jar at room temperature.

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