The day has finally arrived, farmily! At long last, the Sown & Grown CSA returns for our Fall 2015 season. I enjoyed a beautiful, misty morning harvesting buckets of fresh greens and herbs for your culinary enjoyment this week. I even snuck in a little, colorful surprise for y'all to try out! I'd love to see what y'all make with your shares. If you find yourself so inspired, send me your recipes with a photo of the dish, and I'll post it in the next edition of The Harvest Dispatch!
Enjoy the bounty, check out the harvest info below for culinary tips, and happy cooking, y'all!
Mizuna Mustard Greens
These tender greens pack a hint of spice in their peppery flavor, but they won't burn your mouth! Eat them stem and all! My recommendation would be to try it fresh in a salad with a light vinaigrette to bring out its subtle flavors, or be extra daring and make a Mizuna pesto! You can also sauté it with your favorite veggies to give the dish a little extra flair. Either way, you can't go wrong with this one!
Thai Red Roselle, aka Jamaican Sorrel
This delicious summer green has a bold citrus flavor that will really brighten up a dish. I prefer it fresh, but its lemon flavor does nicely wilted under a plate of grilled fish or chicken with lemongrass or basil. I personally enjoy shredding it up in a fresh watermelon salad with a little chevre, olive oil, and salt & pepper!
Assorted Spicy Greens: Southern Curled & Red Mustards, Wild Roquette Arugula
Within this bunch are varieties that do great in dishes both raw and cooked. Enjoy a little heat in your meal? Then keep it raw in a salad, on top of pizza, or in a pasta! Prefer to cut the heat a bit? No problemo. Cooking these guys with a little vinegar or citric acid (orange juice is especially tasty) will help out! Soy sauce is great for this too... I like the Bragg's Liquid Amino version, personally.
Moringa Tree Greens
Moringa is one of my favorite plants to grow and eat! It's such a delicate beauty on the stem, but make no mistake, those leaves pack a nutrient power-punch. It's a surprisingly excellent source of protein as well as calcium, iron, manganese, and vitamins A B & C. I'll add moringa to any salad, scramble it with eggs in the morning, or sometimes make a moringa-pineapple smoothie with apple juice, cilantro, and a pinch of cayenne to push me through a long afternoon.
Assorted Thai and Italian Sweet Basils
Sweet basil is always wonderful fresh in salads, on pizza, in a sandwich, or with pasta. I personally love these varieties in some homemade phở or ratatouille; the unique sweetness rounds out the savory flavors of each dish. Pulverize the leaves with pecans, salt, pepper, and olive oil for a Texan take on Italian pesto (get really creative and throw some of that Mizuna in, too! see above).
IMPORTANT: Basil is extremely temperature sensitive. DO NOT STORE BASIL IN YOUR FRIDGE. Instead, place it in a jar with some cool water on your kitchen counter. Change the water once a day. She'll be much happier!
Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit
You've got just enough cactus fruit to taste this time around, but there may be more to come another day! I've been chowin' down on the fresh fruit myself (mind the seeds), but there are so many ways to enjoy prickly pear... like adding it to a smoothie, salad, OR making a really stellar prickly-pear-mojito. (I know, WOW. I haven't yet tried that one, so let me know.) Check this video out to see how to prepare it, and enjoy!
It's always best to keep your greens humid so that they don't lose their water content and wilt. Depending on your space constraints, I recommend placing the ends of the stems either in a jar of water in the fridge or wrapped in a moist towel, with a loose plastic bag to cover, in the fridge. (EXCEPT BASIL! NO BASIL IN THE FRIDGE!) To liven up older greens for a fresh salad, cut the ends off and let them rest in a bowl of water with just a splash of vinegar (apple cider or white/red wine vinegar work great). Remember, though, shares are always harvested fresh the morning of CSA pick-ups and washed & prepped with love and care. You're in good hands!