Someone Else's Farm

June 22, 2010

Week 02: List from newsletter

Filed under: pre-pickup — Tags: , , — M @ 17:55 PM

What we’re supposed to get in this Thursday’s box, according to the Best Guess Harvest listing:

  • Asparagus
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Rainbow chard
  • Garlic scapes
  • Lacinato kale
  • Green kale
  • Green royal oak leaf lettuce
  • Green romaine lettuce
  • Tatsoi

Tatsoi is new to me. To quote the newsletter: “It is in the brassica family. You cook and prepare it like you would bok choy.” We have a recipe for browned butter pasta with tatsoi this week: short chunky pasta, butter, tatsoi, sage, parm, maybe some lemon wedges to squeeze over the top. This got me thinking about cabbage and noodles. The classic dish, sometimes known in these parts by the Slavic name haluski, is noodles (wide egg, elbows, or whatever your mother used) boiled until tender and mixed with ordinary green cabbage that’s been cut into pieces (squares, ribbons, something else to match the shape of the pasta), maybe salted and pressed but then again maybe not, and cooked very slowly, for a very long time, in butter (maybe with the grease from some browned sausage, maybe the sausage meat itself gets mixed in with the noodles, or maybe not for a completely meatless dish, depending again on what your mother did or depending on who’s coming over for dinner or maybe depending on whether it’s Lent) until the cabbage is completely soft and brown and sweet. I could make a whole dinner out of that, especially on a cold, snowy, wintry night. But in the recipe in the newsletter, the tatsoi is just barely cooked until it’s slightly wilted. I guess that’s more suitable for a summer day anyway.

Lacinato kale is also known as dinosaur kale, the newsletter sez. To me, kale is kale is kale, lacinato or dinosaur or green or otherwise. It works well in combination with sausage, particularly spicy sausage. And based on the list for this week, I’m going to be exploring all kinds of permutations of kale , with and without sausages. The newsletter says that all kales work well in soups. Saturday looks like the coolest day of the upcoming week, topping out at only 71 °F, with a chance of thunderstorms. Maybe that’ll feel like soup weather. I have a box of chicken broth and a can of white beans ready!

As for the chard, I’m starting to think of it as a slightly gutsier version of spinach. We still have most of the feta cheese I’d gotten for the taco filling. Maybe I’ll make a batch of strudel dough and fill it with cooked and squeezed-dry chard and feta, sort of like a Hungarian-Greek fusion spanakopita strudel. Or maybe I’ll just get lazy and pick up a box of phyllo dough at the supermarket.

I’m happy to see garlic scapes on the list again. The newsletter author did a garlic scape linguini alfredo with shrimp, asparagus, and roasted red peppers. This sounds good. But this Serious Eats post reminded me of Dorie Greenspan’s garlic scape pesto, with parmesan and almonds. The really ironic thing about garlic scapes is that once upon a time, we lived in a house with a large garden. We never planted much in the garden ourselves, but we had volunteer tomato plants (especially the first couple of years we lived there), and horseradish, and catnip after we made the mistake of planting it directly in the ground once, and garlic. And because we had garlic plants, every spring we’d get garlic scapes. And once upon that time, I didn’t have a clue what to do with them, so they just stayed there! I’d always dig up at least some of the garlic bulbs in the fall, but not once did it strike me that the green thingies sprouting up every spring might actually be not only edible but tasty. Of course, those were also the dark days before we had broadband Internet access!

I’m starting to feel a little like the Witch in Sondheim’s Into the Woods: “Greens, greens, and nothing but greens….”

The newsletter also apologized for shorting some boxes on asparagus and strawberries. We were among the latter, apparently, forced down that road when Mother Nature didn’t cooperate. They’re trying to do strawberries in this week’s box for those of us who didn’t get them last time. If that doesn’t work, we’re supposed to get extra broccoli. Should that be the case, we might actually have enough broccoli for more than a small stir-fry.


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