CSA Week 5: We got the beet.

There is a lot of love in this week’s box. It isn’t just that we love veggies, or that kale is showing us a lot of love this year. It’s the beets. We love beets. A few years ago we had the Year of the Beet, in which all of our beets grew to full size and customers got tired of seeing them. This year, three of our plantings of beets were washed out by heavy rains, and what you see this week is most of what survived. We debated leaving them another week in the ground, but they were calling us: “pull me!, pull me!” At least it sounded like they were calling us. Did I mention that we love beets?

We’ve heard rumors that some people dislike beets. To them we say, you might be doing something wrong. Now we aren’t ones to tell you how to cook, but if you hate beets and the only way you’ve had them is boiled or canned, try roasting them. Just cut off the leaves (save those!!) and the tip of the root, wrap each beet in foil, and bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 45 minutes. Let them cool and the skin should slide off. From there you can cut them into chunks and serve with feta cheese and walnuts, put them in a salad, or eat them whole like an apple.

As for the beet greens, they are great raw or cooked. They are, essentially, Swiss chard (chard and beets are different varieties of the same species, Beta vulgaris.) The classic preparation is to saute them in just a little butter with onion and garlic just until they begin to wilt. For example, this recipe (which adds Parmesan cheese).

Enough about beets, though. On to this week’s veggies!

This week's veggies.

Clockwise from top: Lacinato kale, beets, spring garlic, green curly kale, green onions, “salad helper” bundle, basil in the middle.

Lacinato kale (or cabbage!): If you got kale last week, you will have cabbage this week–but for most of you you are getting kale two ways: lacinato (AKA Tuscan) kale and green kale, below. As it warms, try something cool like this cold kale and apple soup.

Green kale: Everyone gets kale this week! Here is one of our favorite recipes; please experiment and share! This is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and can be made oversized to feed a group, tiny to feed one, or ahead of time for an event.

Crustless Quiche with Kale

1/3 cup cooked quinoa
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup feta cheese
1/3 cup parmesan
1/3 cup cheddar
Salt and Pepper to taste

We added:
1 cup chopped Kale
3 chopped mushrooms
1 chopped baby garlic

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a glass pie pan. Mix all ingredients, pour into pan, bake for 45 minutes. We actually baked it for 30 minutes, then turned off the oven and came back to the house an hour later, and it was fine. This is a forgiving recipe–play with it!

Beets: See the top of this blog post for recipe ideas.

Spring onions: Since you are getting these pretty much every week, here is yet another idea for green onions: green onion soup! Great as a starter or as a light meal–just be sure you wash the onions thoroughly to avoid any dirt!

Salad helper bundle: As we mentioned last week, the spring rains this week washed out most of our lettuce. Still, we can’t let the little bit that is left go to waste. These tiny bundles are enough for a salad for one–or to use as a “salad helper”. You can add kale and beet greens to liven them more. Included in the bundle: 1-2 radishes, tiny baby lettuce, spinach.

Basil: Unlike lettuce, our basil is starting to really take off. We included one sprig this week–not enough yet for pesto, but enough to chop and serve over a simple pasta dish, eggs, soup, salad, or in the quiche dish above.

Spring garlic:

Garlic Breath

by Shel Silverstein

Little Seth had garlic breath–
Said hi to his sister and breathed her to death.
Breathed on the grass
And the grass all died.
Breathed on an egg and the egg got fried.
Breathed on the air and the air turned green.
Breathed on the clock and it struck thirteen.
Breathed on the cat and the cat went moo.
Breathed on the cow and the cow gave glue.
Breathed on his brother,
His brother went blind.
Breathed on his mother
And she lost her mind.
Breathed on a top
And made it spin.
Breathed on the house
And the walls caved in.
Breathed on his feet and they ran from Seth,
Just to get away from his garlic breath


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