In This Week’s Box: Rhubarb, Nettles, Russian Kale, Bibb Lettuce, Radishes, Green Garlic and Yellow Finn Potatoes
Well the spring produce is here and we are off on another year of CSA. I was just looking back on our first share from last year, and wow, what a different season it was. Our first boxes had strawberries, carrots, peas and garlic scapes! This long slow spring means that things are coming on at a slower pace this year, but it means that you get to eat a few of the early things that are often passed their prime by the time CSA begins. One of those things is nettles, the highly nutritious green plant that you also may know by the painful things it can do to your legs when taking a walk in the forest. All the sting goes out of it when cooked, so do not fear, but do keep it in mind when you are preparing them and be sure to wear gloves. Nettles are delicious added to soups, or steamed and drizzled with ponzu sauce, really they can be subbed into any recipe that calls for cooked spinach. Another early vegetable that we love is green garlic. Green garlic is just a garlic plant, that if left in the ground would become a head of garlic in July. It is tender and has a mild garlic flavor. We love to include it in any vegetable sauté, but also like it steamed and drizzled with vinaigrette.
Now onto the rhubarb, a classic spring staple. I doubt I have to tell you about the virtues of rhubarb and I’m sure that many of you have favorite ways of preparing it. I love a good strawberry rhubarb pie or crisp, and this year I made my first rhubarb cake, which was simple and delicious, but the best way to enjoy rhubarb, in my opinion, is also the simplest: Roast it and eat it with plain yogurt. My method is simple, I chop the rhubarb (no need to peel it) and toss it with sugar. I like to use somewhere in the range of 3 tablespoons of sugar to a pound of rhubarb. Let that mixture sit until the rhubarb releases some of its juices and then pour it along with said juices into a baking dish and pop it in a 350 degree oven. Roast it until it softens, which is usually somewhere in the range of 20 minutes. Allow it to cool and then spoon it over plain, full fat yogurt and enjoy, it is really heavenly and, I think, acceptable for either breakfast or dessert.
Looking forward to another year of good seasonal eating!
The Calliope Crew