As a CSA member of Taproot Farms, I'm so glad I stumbled upon the cooking and food storage tips list below. Learning how to better cook and store the foods from my CSA box, that I've never used before, has made it easier and more exciting for our household. Learning how to cook new foods is my favourite part of being a CSA member. Every Friday, I still feel like it's Christmas when I open up our CSA box, even though I know what's inside.
In my role as Food Community Builder here at HarvestHand, I recently learned that there are three reasons most CSA members tend to leave CSAs
Too much produce
Too little produce
Not the right product mix or lifestyle conflict (they don't really have a habit of cooking or are unable to build one)
Being curious about CSA's and why members leave or how to ensure members stay (ie. CSA member retention), I asked a number of farms with who have over 80% CSA member retention rate, what they do to retain members. What they said and what I learned in a Practical Farmers webinar on CSA retention was consistent, retaining CSA members is all about managing expectations and providing support:
Provide recipes and or storage tips with every delivery (by email typically, in some cases just reminding member's where to find these tips)
Provide a list of the items in the CSA share or box a few days to a week prior to delivery (often by email and on Facebook)
Clearly communicate to potential CSA members that CSA's are for people who like to cook (at sign-up-online and in person)
#1 is Cooking and Storage tips, so here's the most comprehensive store and cooking resource I could find for farms with CSA's in the northern hemisphere.
Arugula is known for its sharp taste. Small, tender greens can be eaten raw and larger greens can be sautéd.
Wash and spin dry before placing in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Best if used within 1 week.
Add small tender greens to lettuce for a spicy addition to salad
Make an arugula salad by adding a soft cheese, dried fruits, grated carrots, and walnuts tossed in your favorite vinaigrette.
Add to sandwiches and omelettes.
Quickly braise or sauté and add to your pasta with grated parmesan.
Add cooked arugula to quiche and lasagna.
In the spring and early summer we harvest beets in bunches with their leafy tops. They are small, tender and come with wonderful edible greens. During the fall & winter you will receive larger beets without tops in your share for storage.
Cut off stems one inch from the crown
Refrigerate the unwashed beet roots
Summer beets will stay in good condition for 2-3 weeks
Wash and spin greens and place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator
Greens are best when eaten within 3 days
Raw beets can be grated into a salad
Scrub the beet clean, no need to peel
Bake the beets to enhance their natural sweetness. Slice the washed and unpeeled beets into ¼ inch thick slices. Arrange slices on a lightly oiled baking pan and season with thyme or tarragon. Add a small amount of water or apple juice and cover with foil. Put in 350° oven for 25 minutes until fork-tender
Beets can also steamed and boiled. Scrub beets clean but leave skins on until after cooking to minimize color and flavor loss. Run whole, cooked beets under cold water and rub off the skins. 1 ½ inch beets take 30 minutes to cook in steam and 15-20 minutes in boiling water. Serve whole, sliced or grated.
Toss grated beets with grated carrots, apples, oil and vinegar dressing. A touch of plain yogurt makes for a wonderful color transformation.
The greens can be steamed, sautéd, and mixed with pasta with cheese.
Bok Choi is a very mild Asian cooking green. It can also be called bak choi or pac choi. It is a cool weather crop and is grown in the spring and fall.
Wrap Bok Choi is a damp towel or put it in a plastic bag and store in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator.
Store for up to one week. Leaves will wilt if allowed to dry out
Separate stalks from main stem and rinse leaves and stem. Pat dry.
For stir-frying separate green leaves from the white stalk. Chop stalks into 1 inch wide diagonal chunks. Cut leaves into small pieces.
The stem needs to be cooked a few minutes longer than the leaves.
Bok Choi makes a great stir-fry. First sauté onions until they begin to soften. Then add the Bok Choi stems, tofu chunks, soy sauce, and grated ginger root. Add the bok choi leaves last. Serve with rice or noodles.
Sauté or steam bok choi and toss with a favorite marinade.
Toss cooked bok choi with a light coating of toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar
An unusual, medium-sharp flavored green widely grown in Italy. It has edible stems, green leaves, and small broccoli-like buds that open up to yellow flowers. We usually harvest the leaves when they are young & tender before the plant forms the buds.
Spin dry or pat dry greens and place in a plastic bag and refrigerate
Greens will hold their flavor for up to a week
Rinse leaves and pat dry
Remove greens from the larger stems and chop
Chop stems, some people like to pound the stems to make them more tender
2-3 inch pieces take about 5 minutes to steam
Sauté chopped garlic in olive oil for a few minutes and then add the chopped stems and continue to sauté for a few more minutes. Then add the chopped greens and a few tablespoons of water and cover. Cook for 3-5 minutes until greens turn dark green and tender but not mushy.
Mixed steamed or braised broccoli rabe with pasta and serve with grated parmesan cheese.
Keep unwashed, trimming only the large leaves
Store in a perforated, plastic bag in the refrigerator
It will keep fresh for several days
First rinse the broccoli
If necessary, soak upside down in cold, salted water
Broccoli will take 8-15 minutes to steam, 4-8 to blanch. Test for doneness by piercing the stalks with a knife point. The knife will pierce easily, but the broccoli should remain crunchy. If you plan to use it later cool by plunging immediately in cold water. Drain and pat dry.
Steam or blanch broccoli before sautéing or stir-frying
The stalks and stems of the broccoli are edible, too. They cook in the same amount of time if you peel the outer skin. Insert a paring knife blade under the skin at the base and pull up. The skin pulls off easily, breaking off at the buds. Cut stalks into think julienne strips or diagonal slices for soups or sautés.
Combine cooked broccoli with garlic and olive oil, sprinkle with cheese
Add to pizza, quiche, and pasta dishes.
These plants are a real sight to see in the garden. The mini cabbage heads develop above every leaf node on the single stalk. When eaten fresh (within a few days of the harvest) the taste is that of a refined cabbage. We’ve discovered that the leaves, which are pulled off as the sprouts reach maturity, are quite a delicious cooking green on their own. As with many of the fall crops, the flavor of brussel sprouts improves with the first frost.
Keep Brussel Sprouts unwashed in a plastic bag (keep longer on the stalk)
Best if eaten fresh but will last up to one week
Remove any damaged out leaves, trim the base & cut a crosshatch in the core to allow for even cooking.
For steaming, the smaller sprouts will take 5-8 min. & the large ones 8-10 min. Test with the point of a knife, they should be tender but retain a slight crunch. If steamed too long the sprouts will turn grey.
If you are not eating the cooked sprouts right away, cool them off immediately to preserve their color & texture.
Season the steamed sprouts with lemon juice, butter, pepper, or parsley
Sprouts can be steamed until barely tender & then halved lenghtwise & sautéd
Leftover sprouts are a nice addition to stir-fries.
You will receive 4 types of cabbage in your share. Early in the season you will receive arrowhead & baby green cabbage. Mid-season you will receive red cabbage. In the late season we will distribute green cabbage for winter storage. We ship the cabbage with the outer leaves to protect the head from bruising.
Refrigerate cabbage in a hydrator drawer. Do not remove the outer leaves before storage.
Once the cabbage has been cut store in a plastic bag.
Trim off outer wilted leaves & quarter the head. Then remove the core.
For salad or coleslaw thinly slice the cabbage & toss with a vinaigrette or make a creamy dressing with plain yogurt, vinegar, honey, dill, & salt. Add grated carrots or other veggies.
For steaming cut wider slices & cook for 5-6 min. Top with butter or grated cheese.
Sliced cabbage sautes & stir-fries well. Adding sliced onions or apples helps reduce the gaseous
qualities of cabbage.
Finely shredded red cabbage is a colorful addition to green salads.
Boil cabbage for 5 min with chopped onion & add to mashed potatoes
The early carrots are a smaller, more tender variety and are harvested in bunches with their tops. The late fall and winter carrots are varieties especially chosen for their ability to hold moisture and retain sweetness even after months in cold storage.
Twist off tops & refrigerate carrots in a plastic bag.
For long term storage, pack carrots with moist sand & store in a cool (but not freezing) location.
Scrub carrots under running water. Peeling removes the nutrients located just under the skin.
Eat carrots raw to receive the most nutrients, cut into sticks or grate into many types of salads
Slice & steam for 5-10 min or saute in butter, top with honey for a sweet dish.
Add to soups, stir-fries, stews, & casseroles.
Steam & puree carrots add cream, onions, leeks, freshly grated ginger, or soy sauce for a simple soup.
To roast carrots, cut in large chunks, dot with butter & place in an oven-proof dish. Cover & bake in a 350° oven for 40 min.
You can also simmer the carrots in a stock instead of butter.
Cauliflower does not store well. It can take on a strong odor and flavor.
Refrigerate in a plastic bag. It will keep for about one week.
Soak head in cold, salted water for a few minutes and then rinse
Remove tough outer leaves and cut out core for even cooking. The head can be left whole or cut into pieces
Steam the whole head for 15-20 minutes or 5-10 minutes for florets. Cook until tender but not soft. Stop the cooking process by running under cold water.
Cut up raw florets and serve with dip
Marinate steamed cauliflower in a favorite dressing along or with other veggies. Serve chilled.
Top with a lemon butter sauce or sprinkle with grated cheese.
Use cauliflower puree for a creamy soup base or soup thickener.
CELERIAC (aka celery root
A softball-sized root with a concentrated celery flavor. Celeriac is an excellent storage crop. It is high in carbohydrates, vitamin C, phosphorus, and potassium. It’s hairy, tough exterior hides a delicious and verstile vegetable.
Do not wash celeriac before storing. Place in hydrator drawer in a plastic bag for up to one month.
Celeriac will store for 6-8 months under proper root cellar conditions.
Make a flat cut at both ends to remove roots & top. Then cut down the sides from top to bottom with a sharp knife or peel with a vegetable peeler.
Place peeled celeriac into water or toss with lemon juice to prevent darkening of the flesh.
Add celeriac cubes to soups & stews.
Try raw celeriac strips tossed in your favorite ceramy dressing or use it for dipping.
Grate it raw into salads.
Boil & mash with potatoes
Cut into ¼” slices, lightly coat with oil in a baking pan. Sprinkle with thyme & salt. Add a quarter cup of water or apple juice. Cover with foil & bake at 350° for 25 min. or until tender.
Chard is harvested as a green, leafy vegetable. Chard is in the spinach family but contains no oxalic acid which makes it easier for us to absorb the nutrients from the chard. These greens are high in vitamins A, E, & C and the minerals iron & calcium.
Place chard in a plastic bag in the hydrator drawer of the refridgerator.
Chard is best if eaten within 5 days.
If leaves are large & mature, remove the stem to cook separately.
If the greens are young, cook whole.
Use in place of spinach in most recipes.
Saute the leaves in garlic butter or olive oil & garlic.
Steam large stem pieces for 8-10 min. & leaves for 4-6 min.
Raw baby leaves are great in green salads.
Toss steamed leaves with olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper. OR with seasame oil, rice vinegar or soy sauce.
Collards contain 8 times as much Vitamin A as cabbage & twice as much as broccoli. There is more vitamin C in a serving of Collards than in a glass of orange juice. Collard greens become sweet after frost. Kale and collards can be interchanged in recipes.
Store in a plastic bag in the hydrator drawer in your fridge.
Will keep well for up to 2 weeks, but best when fresh.
Slice out the main rib & slice it into chunks. Slice the leaves into strips.
Saute garlic in olive oil, add sliced collards with a bit of water, cover & braise until collards become bright green, about 10 min. Top with tamari, balsamic vinegar, or toasted sesame oil.
Add collards to stir fries.
Cucumbers are mainly water and once they are harvested they tend to shrivel very fast (for this reason, most commercial cucumbers are sold waxed). Cucumbers help replenish the fluids & minerals we lose during the hot summer months. Cucumbers can be an effective skin conditioner because they are high in vitamin E. Try rubbing an end slice or a peeling to your face for a refreshing experience.
Store cucumbers in the hydrator drawer of your fridge for up to 1 week.
Sliced cucumbers deteriorate very quickly.
Add cucumber slices to a sandwich.
Use grated cucumbers in raita dressing.
Toss sliced cucumbers with plain yogurt or mayo, fresh dill or dried & salt & pepper.
Toss sliced cucumbers with your favorite vinaigrette dressing.
One of the nightshade, or Solanacea, family of vegetables which also includes peppers, tomatoes and potatoes. These plants like to grow in warm conditions and for this reason we plant them out in a bed prepared with black plastic which traps and holds the warmth in the soil.
Eggplant is best eaten fresh. Best is stored at a cool room temp. & not in the fridge.
Eggplant can be peeled but isn’t necessary, especially with the skinny Asian varieties.
Slice eggplant & lightly salt. Let sit for 10-15 min. the squeeze out excess liquid. This reduces the amount of oil needed to cook the eggplant.
Top pasta with sauteed eggplant.
Grill slices of eggplant with other vegetables.
Dip chunks of eggplant in flour or in eggs & seasoned breadcrumbs. Saute in hot oil until lightly brown. Season with herbs, garlic, grated cheese, etc.
Add to stir fries or pasta sauce.
GARLIC AND GARLIC SCAPES
Garlic scapes form out of the top of the garlic plant in early June. If left on the plant they form small purple bulbils at the tips. Garlic bulbs are harvested in the middle of July and can be stored for use all winter.
Store garlic scapes in a bag in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
Garlic bulbs should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place for quite a few months.
Do not store bulbs in the refrigerator.
Garlic scapes can be chopped up and used just like bulb garlic in any recipe
Use garlic scapes instead of garlic in Basil Pesto
One medium clove of garlic is equal to 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.
Roasting garlic produces a mellower flavor. Cut of tops of garlic bulbs to expose the cloves, brush with olive oil and bake for 1 hour at 350°. Squeeze garlic out of the skins and spread on a good bread.
For garlic butter use ½ cup of softened butter mashed with four minced cloves of garlic
Sauté garlic only until translucent as it will burn quickly and produce a bitter flavor.
Store unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator
Best when eaten within a week
To prepare, break off the top of the bean at the stem end
Best when blanched or steam for 5-10 min
Beans are done when the color begins to brighten & become tender (not soft or mushy)
If you serving the beans cold in a salad, cook them less so they stay crisp
Flavor with butter, lemon juice, sauted onions, or herbed vinaigrette
We deliver basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, thyme, oregano, sage, mint, and lemon balm in your share.
Use it in Italian and other Mediterranean dishes
It goes well in soups and sauces, egg dishes, and with spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, peas, and green beans
Use your extra basil to make pesto sauce
Goes well with tomato-based soups
Adds the extra boost to your fresh summer salsas
The strong pungent flavor goes will with beans or beef
Can be used in salads, soups, fish dishes, sauces, dips, dressings, egg dishes and with many vegetables
Use in potato or onion soups.
Add near the end of cooking to retain flavor
Goes well in breads
One teaspoon of dried parsley is equal to one tablespoon of fresh parsley
Use it in dips, salad dressings, stuffings, sauces, gravies, butters
Use it in soups, chowders, stuffings, fish dishes, tomato juice, in cheeses, with carrots, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, and beets.
Add a small amount of thyme to your favorite bread and biscuit doughs
Good with vegetable and rice soups
Use it in pizza and other tomato dishes, omelettes, gravies, beef stew, and lamb dishes
Use it with pork dishes and sausage
It is also good in salad dressings, chowder, stuffings, fish dishes, cheeses, and seasoning blends
Use it in desserts and sweet dishes
Makes a great hot or iced tea
Use it to make a hot tea or a refreshing iced tea in the summer
Other Uses for Herbs
Herbal Teas: Add boiling water to the whole fresh herb (leaves and stem), let it steep for 10-15 minutes and then strain out. Try mint and lemon balm iced for a cool summer drink.
Herbed Oil or Vinegar: over the time the oil or vinegar will take up the qualities for the herb
Herbed Butter: Mix fresh, finely chopped herbs into softened butter, press into a butter dish, refrigerate until it hardens and use as desired. Especially good are parsley and garlic or thyme.
Place on a cookie sheet in one layer and make sure no leaves are touching. Cover with aluminum foil and freeze until frozen.
Slide the leaves into a freezer bag.
When you need the herbs take a pinch or a handful from the bag and throw them into soups, stews, or sauces
Ice-cube Tray Method
Wash and dry herbs completely
Remove leaves from the stem
Pack into ice-cube trays leaving a little bit of space at the top.
Fill the trays with water and cover with aluminum foil
Place in the freezer until frozen
Remove frozen herb cubes from tray and put into a plastic freezer bag
Add ice cube to soups, stews, or sauces.
Wash and dry the herbs completely
Bundle the stems of the herbs together and tie with twine or rubber bands
If you leave the herbs to dry for a couple of weeks you will want to cover it with a paper bag with lots of little holes in it. The bag will prevent dust from landing on your herbs.
Hang the herbs upside down in a warm, dry, and dark place.
Herbs are dry when they crumble easily. Make sure they are completely dry to avoid mold growth. If you have an electric drying machine you can put the herbs in the machine for extra drying right before storage.
Place dried herbs in an airtight container and store away from light in a cupboard or pantry.
Kale is extremely hardy and will take us through the coldest days of fall and early winter. It develops a slight sweet flavor when it goes through a frost. It is a very nutritious veggie, high in vitamins A, C, & the mineral calcium. Kale has the highest protein content of all the cultivated vegetables.
Store in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week
Be sure to wash leaves well as soil sticks in the nooks & crannies on the leaves
Cut out the tough mid-rib
Chopped kale leaves take about 7-10 min to steam & slightly longer to sauté
Toss steamed kale with sautéed garlic & tamari.
Add sautéed kale to mashed potatoes, omelets, quiches, & casseroles.
Leeks differ from onions in developing more of a layered stalk versus a round bulb. They are milder in flavor and tougher in texture than the onion.
Refrigerate leek unwashed with roots attached fro up to two weeks. Wrap tightly in plastic so the flavor isn’t absorbed by other foods.
We grow a wide variety of head lettuce and salad mix.
Place the lettuce in a bath of cold water and swish it around and then spin dry before storing.
Store the lettuce in a plastic bag in the fridge. Storing the lettuce with a paper towel will often keep the lettuce from becoming soggy.
Cut leek almost in half length wise. Dirt collects between the layers so run the leek under lukewarm water to rinse out the dirt. Be sure to move the layers and check for dirt.
Strip off any damaged outer leaves and trim off the roots.
You can use most of the green leaves just trim off the very tips.
Lightly sauté leeks alone or with other veggies.
Add leeks to quiches, egg dishes, casseroles, stews, stocks, and stir-fries.
Add cooked leek to mashed potatoes.
Puree cooked leeks for a soup base.
Because of the long growing season required for onions, they are the first seeds to be started in the greenhouse in late February. We harvest one variety as fresh green onions. These onions will not store well By late August or September we will have the other two varieties pulled up and sun-curing for a few warm, dry days out in the field, before bringing them in to the greenhouse for the final cure. Then they are put in large bins and stored in the barn for distribution. Alisa Craig is the white onion we grow for fresh use. Mercury is a red, storage variety and Gunnison is the firm, yellow-skinned onions we will grow for winter use.
Keep the fresh onions in a plastic bag in the fridge. The green leaves can also be used like scallions.
Ideal conditions for storage onions are 40-50F and low humidity, otherwise, if onions are stored with warmth or moisture they will tend to sprout.
For ease in cutting onions, cut a bit off of both ends and cut onions in half from top to bottom. If necessary, cut out the core from the base. Peel skin off with the edge of your knife and lay the cut surface down on the cutting board. Keep the onion intact while you make length-wise slices from one side of the curved onion half to the other. Then rotate the onion a quarter turn and make crosswise slices. If you can manage to hold the form intact you will end up with a uniformly chopped onion.
Many and varied are the dishes seasoned with onions: quiche, soup, stew, grain-based casseroles, and vegetable stir-fry
Save onion skins for the stock pot
Cut a whole onion into quarters and then half the quarters to make wedges. Bake these on an oiled baking pan with a bit of liquid (water, vegetable stock, apple juice) added to prevent sticking. Season with dried thyme or rosemary, cover with foil and bake at 350-400 F for 30 minutes. Alongside the onion wedges, prepare other root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, parsnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes) and bake these together.
Parsnips are one of the umbelifers, the family that includes carrots, parsley, dill, fennel, celery, and Queen Anne’s Lace. Parsnips are notably less dense than carrots and develop their full sweetness after they have gone through a frost. Parsnips contain more vitamin C than a carrot and are high in potassium and vegetable protein.
Trim off tops and refrigerate unwashed in a plastic bag for up to two weeks.
Scrub parsnips with a vegetable brush, peeling isn’t necessary.
Cut parsnips into uniform pieces for even cooking.
Boil 1-inch chunks for 8-10 minutes
Mash cooked parsnips and serve with butter
Combine potatoes, carrots, and parsnips for a root mash
Grate parsnips raw into salads
Curry powder is often used to season parsnips
Roast with other sliced root vegetables
Sauté thin strips with butter
Add to soups and stews
All green peppers are unripe red or other colored peppers. We grow green to red bell peppers and “Italia” peppers, which are long and thin. This variety turns red and sweet quickly and is great for roasting. Peppers are high in iron and vitamins A,C, and E.
Ripe peppers spoil faster than green peppers.
Store in the fridge for up to a week, unwashed
For greatest nutrient retention eat peppers raw
Add raw strips to salads and sandwiches, eat strips with your favorite dip
Roast peppers, place red pepper over hot coals or an open flame on your grill. Toast it, turning often, until the skin is evenly blackened. Place pepper in a brown bag for 10 min. to steam. Skin will peel off easily with a knife.
Marinate and grill peppers.
Potatoes are one of our most popular crops. If eaten with the skin on potatoes are high in potassium. If combined with meat, dairy, or grains they will form a complete protein. Potatoes are a good source of complex carbohydrates.
Refrigerate baby new potatoes if not used within 2-3 days
Most potatoes will hold at room temperature for up to two weeks.
Store potatoes out of the light or skin will turn green.
For long storage, keep potatoes at 45-50 degrees F in a dark, humid place
This is the first root vegetable of the season, offering bright color to your first share. Radishes are in the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage family) having that familiar mustardy bite.
Store radishes for up to 2 weeks in a plastic bag for damp cloth in the fridge.
Slice or grate raw into salads
Do not peel, just scrub clean
Use in soups or stews
Steam radishes for 8-12 minutes until tender but not mushy. Roll in butter and salt and pepper
Use radish green like any other cooking green
Add radishes to stir fries
Rutabagas are a sweet addition to fall crops. They are high in vitamins A, C, and calcium. It is believed to be a cross between a turnip and a cabbage.
Will store at room temperature for up to a week
Store in the fridge for up to a month
Scrub rutabagas with a vegetable brush and trim off the tops and roots
Peel off the rough outer skin
Grate raw into salads
Make a winter coleslaw with grated rutabaga, celeriac, carrot, diakon, and an apple with chopped parsley and a lemon/oil dressing.
Steam 1-inch chunks for 30 min. Serve with butter and salt and pepper.
Mash with potatoes
Roast with other root vegetables
Scallions are a nice addition to the early shares in the spring. They can be eaten raw or added at the last minute to cooked dishes. They have a much milder flavor than onions.
Pat dry and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator
The white and green parts of the stem are both edible.
Cut off the root tips and discard.
Chop into fine pieces and add to salads, dips, and salad dressings
Sprinkle onto finished stir-fries or soups
Add to omelets and quiches.
Spinach is a nutritious green, although the nutrients are hard to absorb due to the oxalic acid found in the green. It is high in vitamins A and C. Vitamins are best retained with little or no cooking.
Dunk spinach in a cold water bath and then spin dry
Store in a damp towel in a plastic bag for up to 1 week.
Steam spinach for 5-8 minutes
2-3 lbs of spinach cooks down to 2 cups
Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, diced garlic, fresh basil leaves, and feta cheese for a salad
Toss tender raw leaves into pasta
Add spinach to quiche, lasagna, or other baked dishes
Substitute spinach for chard in other recipes
SUGAR SNAP PEAS
Eat these peas in the pods. They are best just after they are harvested before the sugars turn into starch. They are a good source of vitamins A, C, K, and the B’s, along with being high in vegetable protein, carbohydrates, and fiber.
Use as soon as possible. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for 3-4 days. Storing peas will cause them to lose some of their sweetness and crispness.
Snap peas need stringing. Snap of the stem tip and pull downward to remove the string
Cook quickly, no more than 2 minutes. Add butter or serve plain.
Add to stir fries or chilled marinated vinaigrette style salads.
SUMMER SQUASH: ZUCCHINI AND YELLOW SQUASH
Tastiest when fresh and relatively small sized. They dehydrate rapidly. Summer squash is easily digested, nourishing and cooling, perfect for July and August. They are also a good source of vitamins and calcium.
Summer squash dehydrates quickly. Store in the hydrator drawer of your fridge for a few days.
Try raw summer squash cut into stick with your favorite dip or in salads.
Cut into chunks add to summer soups and pasta sauce.
Grill thick slices for 3-4 minutes over hot coals, then 5-8 minutes on the side of the grill. Baste with marinade.
Sauté onions in butter or oil, add summer squash and sugar snap peas. Then top with parmesan cheese and serve over pasta.
Stuff patty pan squash with buttered fresh bread crumbs sautéed with garlic and fresh herbs. Heat through and serve.
To remove excess water and prevent soggy, cooked dishes: Lightly salt the grated or thinly sliced squash. Place in a colander and let stand for 30 minutes. Some water will exude during the resting period. Much more will come out when squeezed or patted with paper towels. If you wish, rinse to remove the salt.
Sweet corn is best the day you pick it up. If you wait a few days it becomes starchy and less sweet. Corn combined with most beans or dairy forms a complete protein.
Refrigerate immediately with the husks on. Use as soon as possible.
You might find a worm or two in your ears. Just cut out the damaged parts, the rest of the ear is still good.
Steam corn in 1-2 inches of water for 6-10 minutes or drop ears into boiling water for 4-7 minutes.
Roast unhusked corn ears in the oven or grill for about 20 minutes. Soak corn in water before grilling.
Older corn can be cut off the ear and used in chowders, salads, baked dishes, etc.
Mix corn kernels with red peppers and sweet onions. Toss with lemon juice, oil, and your favorite fresh herbs. Marinate for one hour before serving.
We cure our sweet potatoes in the greenhouse for a few weeks to improve their sweet flavor and their ability to store.
Store in a cool dark place for about a month
Do not wash until just before you use them
Scrub well before cooking
The skin is edible so you don’t need to peel them
Bake sweet potatoes whole at 350° until soft when pricked with a fork. Split open and add a pat of butter
Slice sweet potatoes into chunks and toss with olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Roast at 350° for about 45 minutes. Add chunks of potatoes and carrots for a winter root bake.
Chop sweet potatoes into very small cubes. Heat butter in a sauté pan and add sweet potatoes. Add cinnamon and ginger and sauté until soft and tender. Serve with rice.
Sweet potatoes go well with butter, cinnamon, orange, ginger, brown sugar, maple syrup, pecans, and walnuts.
Tatsoi is a very mild Asian green that can be eaten in salads or sautéd. It is a nice replacement for spinach as it doesn’t have that sharp bite like spinach. We have found it to be a favorite with kids because of its mild flavor.
Wash and spin dry before storing in a plastic bag in the refrigerator
Best if used with-in one week.
Small, tender leaves can be added to salad mix for extra flavor
Add to your sandwich, burrito, or omelette.
Sauté with garlic for 2-5 minutes and add to pasta with grated cheese.
Add at the last couple of minutes to your stir-fry
To braise sauté garlic for 2-3 minutes then add tatsoi and a few tablespoons of water. Cover and cook for 2-5 minutes. Watch for the green color to brighten. If cooked much longer the greens will be mushy.
Toss braised or sautéd tatsoi with sesame oil, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Srinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
Tomatoes are second in popularity only to potatoes in the United States. We grow small salad tomatoes, cherry, plum, and heirloom varieties.
Hold tomatoes at room temperature for up to 1 week
Cut tomatoes deteriorate quickly
Not fully ripe tomatoes will continue to ripen stored out of the sun at room temperature
Make sauces, salsas, and purees for winter eating.
Sauté, bake, broil, grill, or eat them raw
Slice tomatoes and arrange on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil or a vinaigrette, chopped fresh basil or parsley and salt and pepper.
Add tomato chunks to summer soups and pasta sauces
Sauté plum tomatoes and add to an omelet
Hollow-out partially, stuff and bake or grill
Roast halved tomatoes on a lightly oiled baking pan in a 250„a oven for 3 hours (season with minced garlic and fresh, chopped basil before you pop them in the oven)
SPRING (BABY) TURNIPS
Turnips are in the brassica (cabbage) family. They are one of the most ancient and globally used vegetables. The baby turnips in the spring are sweet and their greens are tender and delicious. Both the root and the greens are good sources of vitamins and minerals.
Store turnips unwashed in plastic bag in the fridge for 1-2 weeks
Store the greens separately in a damp cloth or a plastic bag. Use as soon as possible
Scrub turnips with a vegetable brush. No need to peel
Grate raw into salads and slaws
Steam 1-inch slices for 12-15 minutes
Bake turnips for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees F basted with butter
Roast along with roasting meats
Saute garlic in olive oil, then add thin slices or turnips, when the turnips are almost done, add the turnip greens. Saute until greens are bright green but not mushy. Serve with tamari.
Dice turnips and add to soups or stews or stir-fry
Mash turnips like potatoes
Use turnip greens as you would other cooking greens
Winter squash has 10 times more vitamin A than summer squash. Winter squash varieties are mostly interchangeable in recipes. Although the many different types of winter squash look quite different on the outside, their flesh is quite similar.
Winter squash will store at room temperature for at least a month
Store for several months in a cool (50-55 degrees) and dry location
1 lb of trimmed raw squash equals 2 cups cooked squash
Boil or steam 1-2 cubes for 15-20 minutes. You can peel before or after cooking, but let it cool first.
Mash cooked squash with butter
Add chunks to stews and soups
Cut in half carefully lengthwise, scoop out the seeds. Place flesh down in a baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30- 60 minutes depending on size.
Butternut squash are a good substitute for pumpkins in pie
Add butter and maple syrup or brown sugar to bake squash