Yesterday, I picked up our very first CSA drop from Poplar Ridge Farms and met one of our central drop hosts, Chris. Together, we were trying to sort through the abundance of vegetables in the box and decipher what they all were. You should have heard us. “Is it chard? Kale? Collards?” “I think that’s spinach.” “I know there’s arugula in there, it’s spicy.” “What’s this purple stuff?” I was embarrassed to not recognize many of them at first glance (what kind of master gardener am I really?), so I decided to take the haul home, remove it from the bags and box and lay it all out on the counter for a closer look (and for this photograph). When my husband looked in the trunk of my car, he asked, “Where’s the cornucopia that goes with it?” Funny man. (He actually gets credit for the photo because I kept blurring the shot.)
At any rate, after getting over the initial shock of the sheer quantity and thinking through what we would do with all of these vegetables for just two people (considering I still had veggies from the Matthews Farmer’s Market to get through), I began to rinse and spin because I had to get these fresh vegetables processed and into the fridge. I tasted a few leaves; had to slice open a radish to indeed prove it was a radish and not a beet, some of them were so large. After consulting the members-only newsletter for the one purple item that I was puzzled about, I put 2+2 together and determined that this is what our first load consisted of:
- Red Garnet Mustard Greens – this was the purple item that puzzled us (I think!)
- Turnip Greens
- Siberian Kale
- Strawberries – 2 containers
- Lovage & cilantro – lovage looks a lot like flat leaf parsley and can be used similarly to parsley and celery, but has a stronger taste.
So, now I know you’re going to ask what will I do with all these vegetables? Well, first off, I divided up the arugula and mustard greens for sharing. I already grow my own arugula. Will try to share the turnip greens, but they don’t seem popular. As one friend put it, “I’m new to greens.” That says it all.
Collards with Tasso Ham
I consulted with Natalie from Grateful Growers Farm, and she suggested cooking collards with tasso ham. I’ve adapted a recipe.
- 1/4 lb. tasso ham, diced
- 1 lb. collard greens chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 3 Tbs water
Saute garlic in 2 Tbs olive oil for 1-2 min. Add tasso ham and brown. Remove tasso ham from pan. Add collards to pan with 3 Tbs water and cook until just wilted. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Add back tasso ham and mix through. Serve.
Wash and spin about 2 lbs kale and place in a large bowl. Add 3 Tbs olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Pour the kale into a 13×9 baking pan. Roast at 400 degrees, tossing the kale every 2 minutes. Should take about 5 minutes to wilt down. After roasting, squeeze fresh lemon juice from a half lemon over the kale and toss.
If you have a bunch of extra radishes like I do, you can roast them, instead of leaving them for salads. Here’s a link to a recipe for a Seared Radish Crostini from the NY Times. Or, you can try my recipe below.
- 3 bunches radishes
- 4 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs butter – melted
- 1 lemon – zested and juiced
- sea salt to taste
- goat cheese, crumbled
- parsley, for garnish
Cut the radishes in half. Make sure they’re dry. Coat in oil and butter. Roast in a pan at 450 degrees until crisp-tender, about 15 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice on top. Garnish with sea salt, goat cheese crumbles, lemon zest and chopped parsley.