Friday, March 16, 2012

More on the Greens

So, there are a variety of stories on the greens in this week's share. Catalogna is probably the most unusual in this country.  It looks a lot like dandelion greens, and is closely related.  There are different types of catalogna, this one, at this point in the season, has nice thick leaf ribs that are crunchy, with the typical slight bitterness of a chicory, but good, fresh sweetness too.  You can make a typical chicory salad with these greens, but I also like cooking them in bean soups, and they hold up to sautéing as well.

The red, frilly green is a kind of mild mustard called ruby streaks.  It's a great salad ingredient, by itself or in a mix.

This time of year many plants in the brassica family start to go to flower.  Those flower stalks, called raab, are delicious and very nutritious.  The most standard raab is broccoli raab, which is more like a mild mustard than broccoli.  It's the one with broad, light green leaves and small florets.

Slightly darker raab is coming from the arugula right now.  This has a spicy mustard bite and is great in salad, or cooked.

Unusual is Hakurei turnip raab.  You might recognize this from the small white roots I left on.  Because of the timing on this planting the plants are going to flower before sizing up the roots, but the good news is that the leaves and flower stalks are super tasty.

Finally, the kale that we planted last spring, and harvested last summer, all fall and winter, is now creating wonderful raab, and this is the most broccoli like raab we have on the farm.  I don't actually like broccoli that much, but I love this raab which has lots of sweet kale flavor.

With a little luck we'll keep the raab going for the first spring shares which start at the beginning of April.

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