In your share this week:
- Salad Mix
- Cilantro/Coriander Flowers
- Bronze Fennel Fronds
- Butter Bib Head Lettuce - last of the season
- Italian Parsley
- French Fillet Beans
Salad Mix is a nice treat this time of year. It was some work to cut and wash up nice (weeds and bugs), but I thought it was worth our time and effort this week while the weather is cooperative.
One thing I really enjoyed about having a fine chef working on our farm for these two previous seasons is how he taught me to look past the obvious. For example, our first planting of cilantro (in greenhouse 2) is in full bloom. A few years ago, this chef became as giddy as a child when he walked by such a site and asked if he could cut some for his restaurant. Of course I obliged, but I asked lots of questions too. WHAT do you do with cilantro flowers? What do they taste like? I know they will eventually turn into coriander seeds, but I had no idea the delicate flowers would be of such value. Rene said the flowers would mostly be used as garnish, but the bunch (leaves, stems, and flowers) can also be cut or chopped fine and added to any meal that would be nice with the subtle hint of cilantro - salads, Mexican dishes, etc. It can be stirred into something like a cream sauce or dressing and also steeped in oil, or added to oil in a pan that you are heating to saute other foods. This is likely a one time treat, so be adventurous and enjoy something a little different.
I've been making some of the most lovely teas. Here's another reminder of my process. I do the same process with the fennel, only Shain likes it with mint.
This week's carrots are from a new "outside" row. Just big enough and so very tasty.
Our crop of French fillet beans is doing VERY well this year, better than I can remember in years. One of my favorite ways to eat these tender beans is with a bit of pesto, either as a dip for raw beans or warmed and served over cooked beans. Fillet beans can be enjoyed so many ways, just remember they are intended to be picked small and cooked quickly (don't let them get mushy). For freezing, break off the tips, emerge in boiling water until they change color (1 or 2 minutes) and then plunge immediately into cold water. Pack tight in freezer bags and it's that easy. They taste amazingly fresh vs. old fashioned canning methods.
Guess I'll just come right out and say this now - As I've mentioned, many crops are doing very well this year, and there are some that have done very poorly. We will have a very small harvest of leeks and onions this year. They haven't grown much at all. Some of the transplants we put in the ground months ago are barely bigger than what they started from. Other crops growing just a foot or two away are doing quite well, so we are guessing something was wrong with the original transplants. That happens sometimes.
Have a great week and ENJOY your veggies!