Part of supporting a CSA program entails riding the highs and lows alongside your farmer. Sometimes this means bountiful harvests and, at less fortunate times, it means bare bones. Fortunately, this week's farm share ended up being a pretty hefty load, so feel free to share the love with friends and neighbors! (Thanks, El Niño!) Or just make a big ol' salad and invite everyone to your house for potluck! My very strong recommendation for this week would be to partner the mizuna with the sorrel, chop them up like you prepare lettuce, and whip together a simple grapefruit dressing to pour on top. Our green mizuna, unlike the Ruby Streak, turned out to be delightfully sweet with just a hint of salty, so take advantage and enjoy "fancy lettuce"!
The new kid on the block this week is our hearty broccoli greens (pictured bottom, center), an often overlooked harvest. If you're thinking, Gosh, Farmer Becca, what on EARTH am I going to make with broccoli greens of all things!?, fear not! Broccoli greens are just like collard greens, so that's a good place to start. Some other ideas include...
Delicious Three Green Soup by Bon Apétit (just replace the collards with, yup, broccolis)
OR Baked Falafel Wrap, YUM!
Or pick your own adventure with these helpful tips!
However, perhaps you happen to be a broccoli green veteran and you're reading this post thinking, Gosh, Farmer Becca, didn't you even know that broccoli greens were already last year's kale? It's so 2015 pfft. Well, I say hats off to you, human! You happen to be way ahead of the game because the unfortunate reality of our current food system is that plenty of not only delicious food, but nutritious food ends up thrown away on the daily. Our standards for what we consider "acceptable" produce were certainly not dictated by farmers. For example, we love our traditional crowns of broccoli (which are the flowering part of the plant to make next year's seeds), but we would scoff if a grocery store tried to sell us a flowering bunch of mustards. We'll pay $3/pound for organic carrots, and unassumingly throw away half of the plant... half of the dollar value placed on that produce. Granted, I love a good compost pile as much as the next farmer, but not at the expense of throwing away perfectly good food if we can help it!
So, today I submit a challenge to whomever may come across this little blog: Begin to eat the WHOLE plant, from flower to root, not just what society defines as acceptable produce! It's a more compassionate attitude for not only the farm, but your wallet, too!
Here's a starter cheat sheet:
Greens: Broccoli, Romanesco, Kohlrabi, Carrot Tops, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Celery, Cabbage, Fennel, Beet/Turnip/Radish greens
Stems: Swiss Chard, Bok Choi & Pok Choi, Kale, Collards, Broccoli Greens
Flowers: Mustards, Arugula (tastes like peanuts!), Broccoli, Fennel, Dill
Peels: Citrus (for pickling, zest, or candying)
And here are some extra starter recipes:
Carrot top pesto is one of my favorite spring dishes (Pro-tip: swap pecans for pine nuts)
Candied grapefruit peel is also super delish
Good luck on your new food adventure and buen provecho!