Thursday, May 20, 2010

2010 CSA Week 1 Newsletter

May 25, 26, & 29

We are having a bustling Spring already. This week marks the start of our CSA deliveries, which will run weekly through the first week of October. Hooray!

Members scheduled to pick up boxes on Wednesday should find us at the Iowa City Farmers Market in stall number 101. If your pick-up day is Saturday in IC, find us in stall number 105-106. Don't forget, good people-- save and return your boxes to us! Also, if for some reason you cannot pick up a box during the CSA season, please let us know in advance. We still plan to donate boxes not picked up at all to the Johnson County Crisis Center Food Bank.

In your box this week:
  • Salad mix. This week's mix contains mostly lettuces. Look for the mix to change according to what's ready on picking days.
  • Asparagus. Early warming events this spring caused our asparagus to get an early start and then feel frost. As a result, we may only have asparagus available for this week's box.
  • Radish. We grow 3 types of spring radish -- French breakfast, Easter egg, and Royal. Which is your favorite?
  • Shallot. These have spent 9 months in cold storage and are still so yummy!
  • Bulb leek. We grow many varieties of leek. This one often turns up in chefs' secret recipes.
  • Head lettuce. Its form is balanced with its function.
  • Green garlic. We aim to provide garlic every week, for your health and pleasure!
  • Bok choy. Derek says, "I eat bok choy every day." Try it as a side dish with breakfast, fresh with minty dressing or lightly sauteed. Or, try the recipe below for Bok Choy Miso.
  • Spearmint. Used fresh or dried hanging upside-down, this mint has so many uses. Infuse it in tea, incorporate it into jellies, chop it and add to dressings and sauces. It adds a sparkle to lemonades!
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Storing radishes: Remove the greens (since they draw out moisture otherwise), and refrigerate in an open plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Try to use within 1-2 days.

Cooking with green garlic: These are new garlic plants that have sent up their shoots but have not yet formed bulbs. They have the characteristic aroma of garlic, but they have a milder taste than mature garlic cloves. You can use the white and pale green parts of the plant (most if not all of what has been provided). Try it sauteed in scrambled eggs or with asparagus. It is also delicious grilled. Incorporate some finely diced pieces into mashed potatoes. Add it to the broth for a delicate spring vegetable soup (pea soup with green garlic is also nice). Green garlic should keep refrigerated about as long as green onions, though if your plants have young bulbs forming on them, those bulbs may keep a bit longer.

Using asparagus: Try to use your asparagus very soon, as it loses sugar and moisture after harvest and goes limp. (Cold storage won't delay this process.) Use it before the butts of the asparagus spears begin to look dry, shriveled, or cracked.

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Bok Choy Miso Soup
1 onion (or same amount of shallot), diced
1 bulb leek, diced
1-2 green garlic plants (whole stalk), diced
2 carrots
1/2 C radish, chopped
1 large or 2-3 small bok choy bunches
4 C water
1/2 C coconut milk
2 T miso paste

Saute the onion, leek and garlic until translucent. Add carrots and radish, then water and coconut milk. Cook until carrots are the texture you prefer. Add the bok choy, chopped horizontally, and cook until it wilts in the soup. Turn off the heat. Pull aside 1 C of the broth, and dissolve into it the miso paste (add a touch of honey if you like, too). Pour the miso broth into the other broth. Enjoy!
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Please contact us if you can't identify something in your box, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!
echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

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