In the Kitchen
Because this is the first box of the season, we’d like to share a few general tips about food storage and safety:
1. Generally, the best way to store greens and leafy things is in the fridge, in some kind of plastic bag or container. Since we try to keep our packaging to a minimum, sometimes you will receive items that need to go in a bag before they go in your fridge. All of the bags you will get from us are compostable, but can be reused at home. When an item has special storage requirements, we’ll let you know. Here is a great on-line resource for how to store many vegetables.
2. Please wash all your produce! We rinse all our veggies before packing them, but you should always wash them again, preferably right before you cook with them or prepare them. If the vegetable will hold up to scrubbing, do that; otherwise it is sufficient to run the vegetable under water and then shake or spin dry.
3. It is best to eat your produce within the week, since vegetables are the most healthful and delicious when they are fresh! We will occasionally offer some tips about freezing or preserving food from your share.
Storage tips for this week:
- Remove the radishes from their tops, and store tops and bottoms separately. This prevents the radishes from getting soft.
- If you like, you can prep your spinach and chard to make it easier to cook or construct salads throughout the week. Submerge in a bowl or sink full of cold water several times, until you don't see any more dirt settling out, dry thoroughly, and store in paper towel-lined bags or a paper towel-lined Ziplock bag in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Eat the pea shoots right away - they will be the most tasty soon after harvest.
- Asparagus does well when you stand it up in a jar or bowl of water, like a bouquet, cover it with a plastic bag, and store it in the fridge.
Cooking tips for this week:
- Baby Red Russian kale can be cooked as you would larger kale leaves, but is also tender enough to be enjoyed raw in salads.
- Bok choi is a vegetable that marries several textures – crisp stems and smooth green leaves. Baby bok choi should be halved or quartered and rinsed thoroughly to prepare for cooking. I then stir-fry it in a little sesame oil and drizzle with soy sauce. You can add onion, leek, or garlic and meat or tofu to the mix – it i s a versatile companion to many other ingredients. You can also add it to soups, or eat it raw in salads - see the recipe below!
- If you are a radish fan, you don't need any advice on how to enjoy them. If you are lukewarm about radishes, try them sliced thinly on Saltine or Ritz crackers, or on buttered bread or toast.
- Green garlic is garlic that has been harvested before maturity. It has a similar, if less pungent, taste to cured garlic. Peel off the dirty or brown layers and use the white and light green portions (up until the leaves begin branching off) as you would regular garlic. Save the tops (you can freeze them) to add to vegetable stock. Green garlic will keep in the fridge, loosely wrapped in plastic, for a few weeks.
- Pea shoots taste like like peas! Toss them in a salad (perhaps with asparagus) or in pasta, or chop/puree with garlic, season with salt and pepper, and mix with a little olive oil or butter for a yummy sandwich spread.