Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May in Full Swing

It is hard to believe that May is coming to a close already!  We have plenty to offer our CSA members this week:  Spring lettuce mix, leeks, green onions, spinach, asparagus and radishes that are super crisp and tender.  We are also often bringing something Asian your way and in terms of greens, one specialty this week is our Tokyo Bekana lettuce head bouquets.  This is like a lettuce head with the delicacy of a tender leaf but is considered a cabbage.  It can be used many ways and is a fun subject for foodie creativity in the kitchen.  Bright and light, almost lime green, with a curl about as slight as its mild peppery cabbage flavor, Tokyo can be used in stir fry, raw salad, on pizza and in soups!

As many of our members and market shoppers have been asking about spinach, this week's feature recipe highlights this familiar yet versatile green, which will be in your weekly box:

(We recommend adding some raw, thinly sliced radish from the CSA box, as a lovely side component.)



http://www.highgroundorganics.com/recipes/lemony-creamed-spinach/

INGREDIENTS:
1 bunch of spinach, large stems removed and then washed
2-3 shallots, peeled and finely diced, or ½ medium onion, peeled and finely diced
1 juicy lemon, preferably Meyer, cut in half
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
salt and pepper to taste
½ pint heavy cream
Butter or grapeseed (or other neutral flavored) oil as needed, whichever you prefer

METHOD:
Heat a 10 inch skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add just barely enough oil or butter to film the bottom.
When this is hot, add the spinach and turn in the butter to coat, and sauté until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and toss to mix.
Use tongs to remove the spinach to a strainer and allow to drain. As soon as feasible, squeeze to remove extra moisture. Use you hands or roll the spinach in paper towels.
While the spinach drains, add a little butter or oil to the pan, heat it up, then add the shallots. Cook until translucent and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper, and then add the thyme. Toss to mix.
Add the cream to the pan and bring to a boil. Be careful it does not boil over-if it looks like it wants to, move the pan off the heat. Lower the heat so the cream simmers vigorously. Squeeze some of the juice from one half the lemon into the cream, catching the seeds in a strainer or your hand. Give a gentle stir and taste. If it seems to need more lemon, add a little at a time until you get the flavor you want.
While the cream reduces, chop the spinach finely. If you have some, squeeze some lemon juice onto the spinach.
When the cream is starting to thicken, add the spinach into the pan, and stir gently to mix it into the sauce. Continue cooking until the cream is thickened and coating the spinach lightly.
Taste for seasoning, and for lemon. The flavor should be bright, but not really tart. If it is not lemony enough, squeeze lemon juice over the whole dish and stir to amalgamate.
The final dish should be sweet and earthy at the same time, with a clean note from the spinach. Try to avoid reducing the cream too much or it will seem cloying.
Serve hot.

Serves: 4

It is a continual honor to be your farmer!  Thank you for your support and community.  It has been really exciting to see our community growing in the Cedar Rapids area now too.

If you have a question about our CSA, as a member or possibly future member, please do not hesitate to email us at:

echocsa@gmail.com

Kindly and ceaselessly,
Your Echo Team
Tokyo Bekana is distinguished for being an extremely loose head and lightweight cabbage, more lettuce-like than cabbage-like in flavor and texture. At harvest age, its tender yet crisp ruffled and expanded lime green leaves are supported by narrow white petioles. Tokyo Bekana cabbage is succulent with mild pepper nuances and a melting quality unique to all cabbage varieties. - See more at: http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Toyko_Bekana_Cabbage_6677.php#sthash.JNMpSC2s.dpuf

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