CSA Week 5

CSA veggies on the grill on the rooftop harlem NYC

Week 5

June 27, 2012


We’ve got some variety this week. And some more greens. But think of

this as the start of a shift towards non-leafy vegetables. Of course,

not completely away from those good old salad greens and the summer

standards, chard and kale. We’ll have a few more cut salad greens in

the next few weeks, and after that we’ll keep one or two heads of

lettuce coming a week so you’ll have something light to much on. We

went overboard while choosing lettuce varieties this year, so you’ll

get something different each week.

For a farmer In the midst of winter, the day that seed catalogs arrive

for the coming spring season brings spring itself, melting away the

hardships, aches, and worries of the previous growing year. Around

November I usually feel like quitting for good, but those glossy and

enticing photobooks fill my mailbox around the beginning of the year,

and I start thinking of all the new and wonderful varieties I can try

for the coming season. So six months ago I was leafing through the

Seed Saver’s Exchange catalog, checking out some new lettuce

possibilities, and I stumble upon this GORGEOUS looking oakleaf

lettuce, all bright red and brilliant. Even better, it supposedly held

its deep red color and mild flavor in the heat. It’s name was

“Mascara,” and I immediately added it to our purchase list.

Mid-summer has past, and I now know how this variety earned its

namesake. When I saw it in the catalog, I could only think of how

stunning it looked. In the field, it looks alright. I’ll just say I

have not been blown away. Clearly this lettuce had some make-up

applied before it’s photo was taken and it appeared in all those

winter magazines. But I know the truth – it’s just another lettuce. I

feel like I’m the paparazzi revealing one of those “5 Celebrities

Spotted Without Makeup! Photos you won’t believe!!!” stories…Not to

be too negative: Mascara still holds its own in flavor, and is

probably above average in looks. It’s what’s on the inside that



OK, here’s what you’ll find in this week’s share:


Spring Mix (bag of mixed greens)

Lettuce, mizuna, ruby streaks, and tat soi, great for salads or juicing

Arugula (bag of stand oval and wavy light green leaves)

Great for salad, sauteing, or making into pesto

Head Lettuce

Two red types this week: “Mascara”, lighter red and more frilly, and

“Merlot Oak Leaf”, darker

Baby beets and beet greens (bunch of red or golden roots with leaves attached)

Perhaps you know this, but beet greens (the leaves growing out of the

beets themselves) are quite edible. In fact, they are the exact same

species of plant as swiss chard. Try pulling up one of those plants

and you will not find a beet. It’s kind of like a toy poodle and a

great dane. Except you can eat both of their leaves. The variety we’re

giving you this week is grown particularly for its greens, but we

tried to harvest them at a time when you’ll get a little beet in there

as well. Bigger beets are on their way…Cook the greens as you would

chard, steaming is probably best, though many people add these to

their salads as well


Scallions (bunch of skinny onion-looking things)



Early green cabbage – we’ll have some larger different types for you

in the fall. Please excuse the occasional bug or slug in these. We try

to select insect free produce to deliver, but sometimes it really is

impossible to tell whether or not something is inside of a produce

item. Cabbage falls into that category of vegetables that we would

have to dissect to remove all of the insects. And we don’t think you

want dissected cabbage.


Purple-top Turnips (or turnip, depending on how big)

Now THESE are turnips. Before we were just giving you salad turnips.

They can be used in much the same way, though I usually eat them

cooked rather than raw. The biggest one we harvested today weighed out

at 2.9 pounds. Wowza. Try the mashed turnips recipe below, not too

different than mashed potatoes.


Basil and Sage (Small leaves of herbs, both in same bag)

Basil is a darker green and the leaves look more glossy. Sage has

longer, oval, oblong leaves that are more textured. You have enough

basil to make a small pesto, and Abby Paloma even added some Sage to

the last one she made, which was delicious. Otherwise chop and add to

a salad dressing (example below) or garnish salad with either of these



Summer Squash (green zucchini and/or yellow squash) (Nathan Love and

Curious Pictures)


Sugar Snap Peas (Park Slope and Golden Drum)

Mother – I gave you extra spring mix in place of either of these items

for some good smoothie greens.



Mashed Turnips with Cream and Crispy Scallions (adapted from Asparagus

to Zucchini)


1 ½ pounds turnips, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 T butter, divided

8 thinly sliced scallions

½ cup heavy cream

1/8 t ground or grated nutmeg

salt and pepper

1-3 t minced Italian parsley


Place chopped turnips in a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil

and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well and puree turnips

in a food processor or mash them with a hand held masher. Heat 2 T of

the butter in a small skillet, add scallions, and cook until tender

and golden brown. Remove from skillet. Combine the cream and remaining

1 T of butter; bring to a simmer and stir into the pureed turnips.

Season with nutmeg, add salt and pepper. Serve garnished with

scallions and parsley.


Basil Lover’s Salad Dressing from www.farmfreshliving.com


1 garlic clove, finely minced

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Juice from 1 fresh lemon

1 small tomato diced

3 tablespoons basil chopped

1/4 cup virgin organic olive oil


In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients except olive

oil, salt and pepper. Slowly incorporate olive oil into other

ingredients by pouring in a steady stream. Blend for 30 seconds. Add

sea salt and fresh pepper to taste.


Cabbage and Beet Slaw from www.epicurious.com



2 medium beets, trimmed (most of the beets we gave you I would

consider small. Try including all of them in this recipe)

4 cups thinly sliced cabbage

1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons grated orange peel

1 teaspoon honey

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

Shredded fresh basil or chopped fresh parsley



Preheat oven to 375°F. Wrap beets in foil. Bake until tender when

pierced with knife, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool. Peel beets. Cut into 2 x

1/4 x 1/4-inch strips. Place in medium bowl.

Place cabbage in large bowl. Combine cider vinegar, Dijon mustard,

grated orange peel and honey in small bowl. Gradually beat in oil. Add

caraway seeds. Pour enough dressing over beets to coat. Pour remaining

dressing over cabbage and mix. Season both salads with salt and


Arrange cabbage around edge of platter. Mound beets in center. Garnish

with basil and serve.