June 1 marked the first CSA visit for the season. Make that the first CSA visit ever for my husband and me. Last summer, when we decided to join, we also promised that in 2009, we wouldn't plant much in our backyard garden...a tomato plant or two, some basil, and maybe a few other herbs. And some dill. And fennel. And then, I decided that square-foot gardening was the way to go, which gave me so many little spaces to plant. So, I planned spaces for the aforementioned veggies, plus chard, red cabbage, and carrots, eggplant, peppers, onions, and potatoes. Yup. Just a few things to keep us busy. But, enough about our garden. I'll get to those tasties later.
The CSA is right around the corner from our house. At the end of the weekend, we receive an email newsletter that more than hints at what we can expect to pick up during the week. Last week's email (and actually, the one we just got this afternoon) went something like this...
Blah, blah, blah. Some other interesting stuff about the farm, etc. And here's what you'll be getting this week: Lettuce greens, cooking greens, scallions, more greens, other greens with names you've never heard of, and some turnips.
Ok, so, we're getting greens. Lucky for me, my husband (but not my dog) loves almost all veggies (more on that later in the summer). We also decided to split our farm share with another couple, so I wasn't too afraid of what we'd do with all this dark leafy goodness. After breaking out the index cards and labeling each with a vegetable name, we pored over our cookbooks to find recipes that called for the veggies we knew we'd be getting. We included on each index card the page number, recipe name, and book title. That way, once we got a veggie in the house, we'd only have to look at one card that's filled with ideas for eating/canning/freezing it. We also included the date that we knew we'd receive the vegetable, in hopes that next year, we'll know what's coming way ahead of time. (Chalk it up to my control-freak ways to make sure I'm prepared)
We made it through our first week of veggie heaven without breaking a sweat! Here's a recipe I used to eat up those greens:
Wok'd Greens with Ginger and Tamari
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
(all measurements are guesstimates. Change to your taste.)
a wok, or a large fry pan of sorts
sesame oil - 1 Tbsp.
tamari or soy sauce - to taste
fresh ginger, peeled and chopped-1 Tbsp.
mix of cooking greens- 2 very generous handfuls, chopped. (I used radish tops, mizuna, tatsoi, and komatsuna.) I promise. I'll measure more accurately next week. But remember, greens cook WAY down, so don't be shy. Just grab some more!
one large celery stalk, chopped
1/2 small can of water chestnuts, drained, and quartered
scallion greens, chopped to approx. 1/4 inch thick- 1/4 cup.
Add oil to wok and heat on med high heat. I like to add the ginger right away, so it heats up with the oil. Stir ginger and oil, mixing the flavors, until everything is hot, but not smokey, about 1 minute. Add in veggies and celery and stir-fry (keep the heat up! if you don't you'll just steam the poor greens and everything will be watery). Toss in water chestnuts and give the greens a few shots of Tamari or Soy Sauce, continuing to stir-fry. Add scallions last. You know it's going to be delicious when you get the fragrant combination of the ginger and scallions...Or you taste it right from the wok. Yum! Divvy up and serve.
*I made this side dish twice last week. The second time, I added some chili-paste for a kick. But watch out, a little spice goes a long way in greens!