veggie CSA, no. 4, 2011

Did you know that beets are actually the same species as Swiss Chard? Swiss chard is bred to have big colorful leaves, while beets are bred to have big juicy roots, but you can absolutely eat the root of a chard plant, or the greens of a beet. We at the farm almost never eat chard, just because beet greens are more plentiful and virtually indistinguishable from chard once cooked. For now, we’ll be bunching beets with their tops on, so that each bunch is basically like getting two items in one. For more info and recipes, see our Veggipedia entries on Beets and Chard

Also, we’re giving out green garlic this week to full shares. Garlic plants, as you know from last week’s share, are completely edible. The green garlic plants we’ll give out are not yet fully mature, but you can cut up and mince the stalks and leaves and use any way you’d normally use garlic.

For herbs this week, we are going to roll out lots of mint, since it is kicking butt this year and the rest of the herbs have been struggling to keep up with our harvest schedule. There are lots of fun things to do with mint. You can use them in some cooking dishes, but it also goes good in many cocktails (mojitos, mint julep), or make mint tea, or for the adventurous bake it into chocolate brownies or fudge. See our veggipedia’s Mint page for lots of ideas.

This is our best guess of what will come in the Stone Soup shares this week.

Please remember that sometimes we can’t harvest exactly what we expect!
Lettuce (SE and I split this)
Beets (also split)
Herbs (we only got a bunch of mint… which SE gave to me)
Other bunched item (turned out to be baby turnips again… I told SE to keep them and give them a try)

Oh yay… more mint. NOT! Too much mint in my fridge!

I chopped it finally with some parsley and basil from the garden, used it to top of chickpeas, threw in some extra virgin olive oil and rice vinegar, and finely diced some sweet peppers.

The tops of the beets were separated and quickly wilted in duck broth, and served with udon noodles in a bowl.  I liked the flavor of the beet greens.  But it made my mouth feel really dry, the same way that spinach affects me but to a lesser degree.  The only downside of serving the beet greens in the duck broth was that the flavor of my duck broth became blander (the color was pretty – a little pinkish!).

I should remember to cook my beets.  But now it’s hot so I don’t feel like cooking.  I wonder what will show up in the CSA tomorrow.

The lettuce was so sweet that I was pretty happy to eat it straight.  I also ate some with my chickpea salad.

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