Week 1 of the CSA season begins!

Asparagus and rhubarb are done for the season, but the next crops are coming on strong in time for the start of the CSA season. This week will feature a wide variety of salad and cooking greens. There will also be scallions, hakurei turnips and sugar snap peas, so that means you'll have the fixings for some nice stir-fries! See below for some fun recipe ideas, including Garden Greens and Goat Cheese Pasta, and Glazed Hakurei Turnips.

This week in the CSA bag:
  • Lettuce
  • Salanova lettuce mix - Salanova is a new type of cut lettuce that is similar to mesclun.
  • Spinach
  • Curly kale
  • Red Russian kale - It tastes like regular kale, but is more tender. The greens can be eaten raw mixed in salad, or you can add to soups, sautee with garlic or shallots, or mix cooked greens into an omelette or quiche.
  • Bok choi
  • Baby bok choi - Both regular and baby bok choi go well in stir-fry. The baby bok choi is also really tasty when grilled.
  • Arugula
  • Mustard greens - These greens are quite spicy, so when eating raw, moderation is key! They become milder when cooked.
  • Hakurei turnips (salad turnips) - These sweet turnips have a nice crisp texture and mild flavor. They are a tasty addition to salads or are a sweet side dish for dinner when roasted.
  • Scallions
  • Radishes (maybe) - Our second radish planting is just now maturing, so you may see cherriette radishes, Easter Egg, or French breakfast varieties in the CSA area.

CSA Pick-your-own crops:
  • Sugar snap peas - We think these need no preparation (they rarely make it to our kitchens before getting devoured), but they are a tasty addition to salads and stir-fries (especially when only very lightly cooked).
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Parsley

Many of these crops will also be available in the store for purchase.

RECIPES:

Garden Greens and Goat Cheese Pasta
from Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food II

This pasta is tasty made with kale, collards, or any greens you have growing in the garden. I will go and cut whatever is ready or use what I brought home from the farmers' market. I like to include something that has a bit of spice, such as broccoli rabe, red mustards, or mature rocket. Many times I will cook more greens than I need and put them in the refrigerator to make a quick pasta another time. (Add the garlic and goat cheese at the time you are going to toss them with the pasta.) This is perfect for those days when dinnertime shows up before you know it.

Preparation

Pull the tough stems away from the leaves of:
1 bunch of kale (lacinato, Red Russian, or Siberian)
Put the stems into the compost bucket and wash the leaves in cool water. Drain. Cook the leaves until tender in boiling salted water. Remove from the water and let cool. Bring the water back to a boil and add:
1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti

While the pasta is cooking, heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and pour in:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Stir in the greens and heat through. Move the greens from the center of the pan and add:
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Allow to cook for a minute and stir into the greens. Taste for salt and add as needed. When the pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Add the drained pasta to the greens with:
1/3 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese
A pinch of dried chile flakes
A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil


Stir the greens, pasta, and goat cheese together. The cheese will melt, making a creamy sauce. Add cooking water as needed to loosen. Taste for salt one last time before serving.

Variation: Depending on how sharp the cheese is, sometimes I add a splash of vinegar to the finished greens.



Glazed Hakurei Turnips
Bon App├ętit | November 2011
by Anita Lo

Ingredients
1 bunch baby hakurei turnips, baby turnips, or red radishes (about 1 pounds), trimmed, greens reserved
1/4 stick unsalted butter
1-2 tablespoons sugar
Kosher salt

Preparation
Place turnips in a large skillet; add water to cover turnips halfway. Add butter, sugar, and a large pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is syrupy and turnips are tender, about 15 minutes. (if turnips are tender before liquid has reduced, use a slotted spoon to transfer turnips to a plate and reduce liquid until syrupy. Return turnips to pan and stir to coat well.) DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm before continuing.

Add turnip greens to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt.