Squash Blossoms – We got such a great response to the squash blossoms in the last box that we decided to go through the rows again. This time, though, we hope you’ll try a different recipe than the fried blossoms. We had fried blossoms three times here at the farm, so we understand how you might want to have more of a good thing. But this weekend we made a squash blossom quiche for our weekend bed-and-breakfast guests, and we think the results were terrific! Give it a try with our buckwheat crust and see what you think. We put some great recipes on the Farmer Kriss Pinterest page for squash blossom quesadillas and even squash blossom ice cream!
Basil – We’ve got a mix of Genovese, Thai, Anise and Purple Ruffled for you this week. Use it all together or pick up the individual leaves and taste them out before using. We like the more licorice-flavored types in Thai curries and the sweeter leaves in Italian Caprese Salads and on top of pizza. All mixed, this should be enough for you to put up a nice little stash of pesto in your freezer for the winter. It freezes great. Terrific over zucchini/yellow squash ribbon spaghetti instead of pasta, if you are trying to limit gluten. Lots of recipes on the Farmer Kriss Pinterest Page. Of course, if you haven't yet made the Bourbon Basil Choco Cake, that is a must! Find it on our Box 4 Recipe Blog page.
Tomato (Full Shares Only) – Oh! We had a few early producers. Pretty soon tomato season will be in full swing and we’ll be getting you lots of heirlooms and colored cherries, but here’s a taste of what’s to come…
Bok Choy – This variety is called “Joy Joi” and it is a lovely, tender sort of Chinese cabbage. If you haven’t used it before, it may seem baffling to see so much stalk and so little leaf! But the entire plant, minus the dirty little bottoms at the end of the stems, is edible. Wash, tear leaves from stalks, and chop both stalks and leaves into bite size pieces. Use in stir-fry, soups or sautees, cooking the stems for a few minutes more than the leaves. The leaves should be cooked very lightly. We chop the entire thing finely and lightly dress with sesame oil and vinegar for a lovely slaw. Pairs amazing with chopped peanuts! Please see the Farmer Kriss Pinterest page for more ideas.
Summer Squash/Zucchini – We try to pick these very small and young while they are at their most tender and flavorful. Wonderful raw, lightly sautéed, roasted or baked into egg dishes. We never get sick of squash and zucchini here, in spite of their reputation for being overly prolific, because we rarely let them get big. However, now that we’ve discovered spiralized zucchini pasta, we are tempted to grow some giants. A great way to enjoy pesto without overloading on carbs!
Cucumbers (Full Shares Only) – These are slow to produce in such dry weather. But we had rain last night and we expect to be getting a ton of these to you in the next few weeks.
Scallions - Please please please don’t throw the greens away on these! They are a special Chinese variety of scallion we are trying this year and are bred to have very tender edible stalks as well as roots. I used to use just the whites of scallions, as many American cooks do. But I had the great fortune to live with a Korean roommate for a year and she was just astounded at the way Americans waste the stems of common veggies, like scallions, broccoli and cauliflower. Truly – all of these parts of the plant are edible and delicious! Chop into eggs, soup, or enjoy raw on buttered baguette slices. Growing up, one of my favorite treats out of my parents’ big garden was scallions sliced into the middle of a buttered white bread sandwich. My dad still makes these, though I’ve gotten away from the fluffy white bread.
Chives, Summer Savory, Sage and Thyme – These little baggies of herbs can be stored in the fridge just like we’ve sent them to you. Pick some out to flavor every meal of the day. Summer Savory is something you might not be familiar with, but it is worth getting to know! The leaves are bigger and more spread out than thyme, but they look a bit similar. The taste is spicier, hotter and more assertive. Wonderful on meats, great with your potatoes.
Broccoli and/or Cauliflower - So young, so tender. Use the florets and the stalk. Cut all into bite-size pieces. Our favorite way to enjoy brassica heads these days is the lazy way – chopped and steamed with several shakes of soy sauce in a covered class bowl in the microwave for about 5 minutes. Remove, sprinkle with sesame seeds.
New Potatoes – Yippee! These are so tasty. So good! We’ve been enjoying them in room temperature salads. Boil just barely and dress with pesto or vinegar and chives. The skins are meant to eat, so don’t scrub too hard and don’t peel, please! Try the amazing Spanish Tortilla on the Box 4 Recipe Blog page.
Lemon Balm, Chocolate Mint, Oregano, Lovage – This beautiful bouquet of herbs contains three mint family species – everything with square stems (the basil and thyme you’ve received this week are also mints!). The lovage is the only non-mint herb here and it's a very strong perennial celery. The lemon balm is my current favorite, since I attended an all-day herb seminar this past week and learned that it “increases joy.” I believe it! What a wonderful addition to tea, dressings, baked goods and all squash dished. Many cultures combine mint, oregano and basil in their spice blends and I recommend that this week, too, as in Middle Eastern Tabouli or Thai spring rolls. If you haven't yet made Mint Mojitos (these were a huge hit at the last field-to-table dinner), save your mint for that. Recipe on the Box 4 Recipe Blog.
Flower Bouquets – We haven’t had room for these lately, and it’s a bit squished in the boxes this week, but the flowers in the fields were just so gorgeous we had to bring them to you. The smell that should greet you is the purple Butterfly Bush. Wow. Then we have green and red sedum, yellow yarrow, lilac hosta lilies, indigo vervain and white Queen Anne’s Lace. Enjoy!
Head over to the Box 4 Recipe Blog for some great dishes using these ingredients. And don't forget to peruse the Farmer Kriss Pinterest CSA Recipes and Farmhouse Bar pages.