We’ve prepared the soil, planted seeds, watered, weeded time and time again, and now have harvested the fruits of our labor.
Finally, it’s time to EAT!
In his essay “Out of the Kitchen, onto the Couch,” Michael Pollan describes how the average American spends less than 30 minutes a day on food preparation (half as much as the last forty years), while at the same time showing increased interest in a great variety of cooking shows on TV’s Food Network. People who spend an hour watching programs like Top Chef also profess they do not have time to cook!
If you talk to Chris about how he eats his veggies he’ll tell you the same thing, any veggie, any time. His specialty, “veggie mixes” of his own making. And he does make a darn good one, this man of mine.
His advice for your box this week: Rinse and chop various veggies, heat olive oil in frying pan, add veggies and saute’ until tender, salt and pepper to taste, serve over rice or cous cous plain or with the sauce of your choice.
Ask me? Recipes are where it’s at! Maybe I’m a little less freethinking or just don’t want to risk a meal gone bad. Nonetheless, here’s my amateur advice for how to keep your veggies fresh and some ideas for how to cook up your box this week:
(Whatever you do, always rinse vegetables before eating)
Collards– A hardy green with a chewy texture and assertive flavor that mellows with long cooking (not often eaten raw). Wrap in damp paper towel and refrigerate in a sealed plastic bag for a week or more. Remove stalks before cooking. They are the tastiest torn and sauteed with garlic and onion.
Kale– Interchangeable with collard greens, kale is typically cooked before eaten unless they are very young. Stores well in a loosely sealed plastic bag in the fridge for several days. Remove the tough stalk and central vein and chop, or tear leaves before cooking. Boil or steam 4-8 minutes or until bright green in color. Make yourself some kale chips for a healthy snack or maybe even a green smoothie. Apparently the vogue thing right now is to juice ’em!
Zucchini– A type of summer squash that comes in all colors (you received striped Tiger Zucchini today!). No time to cook? Refrigerate in a bag for a minimum of a week or they can be stored pureed or shredded in the freezer for future use. No need to peel them if they’re young and tender. Saute or grill these beauties cut thin into half-moons, flowers and all. Make zucchini bread or serve raw like this with your fresh herbs.
Beets– A root crop with round red or gold flesh. Don’t dispose of the greens as they wilt down beautifully and can be added to stir fries, frittatas, or pasta dishes. Store them like any other green. If you remove the greens beets will store in a plastic bag in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. You can peel and shred raw beets for use in salads. Roast them or saute’ peeled, chopped beets covered, for 10 minutes. Need to disguise them for picky little eaters? Try this recipe for Secret Chocolate Cake and let me know how it is!
Herbs– Store best if you put them in a cup of water in the fridge with a plastic baggie on top. They can be tied together in bunches and hung upside down in a cool, dark place to dry.
Sprouts– Packed full of vitamin C, 10 times the amount of the original bean. Always rinse and dry fully on a towel before refrigerating or else they will rot. Add them to salads or wraps.
Lettuce– Refrigerate for up to 7 days, wrapped in slightly damp paper towel in a plastic bag.
Broccoli– Refrigerate in a loosely sealed plastic bag for several days. Steam in basket over water by covering and cooking 7 minutes or until bright green in color. Use raw in salads, for dipping, or as a pizza topping. Delicious in a breakfast quiche.
Sugarsnap/Snow Peas– Sugarsnap peas have sweet, edible pods and peas. Snow peas are an edible young flat pod with immature peas inside. Use immediately or refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 4 days. Great for munching or added to stir-fries.
Green Beans– Refrigerate in a loosely sealed plastic bag for a few days. Before eating snap off ends of pods by hand or trim with a knife. Best served boiled or steamed for 5 minutes. Dress with butter, lemon, toasted almonds, or Parmesan cheese.
Again, whatever you do, always rinse your veggies well before eating.
We hope you are able to eat with great joy this week, appreciating food for the gift that it is.
In the spirit of community, we want to know what you’re cooking this week! Send your recipes to Psalterfarm@gmail.com or post them in a comment below and we’ll share them.