We have been members of the Farm Direct Co-op for years now. The whole family eagerly awaits June when we start to get our share of local farm fresh produce and cheese every week. No more picking through fruit that 1000 other people at Stop and Shop have touched (ick when you think about it) No more lousy lettuce that doesn’t last a week. Just farm fresh goodness…that some of the time, I have no idea what to do with.
Now strawberries and shelling peas are a no brainer…wash and hull for the former, shell and steam for the later…but garlic scapes and pea shoots??? I am determined this year to use everything we receive in our share so I thought I’d share some of the farm goodness for June.
Week 1…June 11
The first few weeks are usually smaller shares and a lot of greens until the season really kicks in here in New England. This week we had lettuce, strawberries, salad turnips, scallions, broccoli and rhubarb. How things shook out…
Lettuce – salad
Strawberries – eaten out of hand and in strawberry rhubarb crumble
Salad turnips – sliced and added to green salad, nice added crunch and slightly peppery taste but not as sharp as radishes.
Scallions – guacamole, salmon, various other dishes
broccoli – steamed and forced upon my children in the name of healthy eating
Rhubarb – 1/2 in this week’s strawberry crumble, 1/2 saved for another one a few weeks later.
Week 2 … June 18
Beets – boiled, chilled, and made into beet and goat cheese salad
Swiss Chard – sauteed with garlic scapes for dinner
Strawberries – eaten up
Fennel – had to wait patiently in the crisper until I found something to do with it last week…salmon with cabbage and fennel. Kind of not my fave since I don’t like licorice but recipe turned out great!
Garlic scapes – the tops of the growing garlic plant, they get minced and used anywhere you want a little garlic flavor, sauteed over pasta, into pesto, tossed into salads or potato salad…they keep a long time in the fridge.
Tomatoes – *sigh* yum first fresh local tomatoes that look and smell like tomatoes !! Sliced up and eaten plain or tossed into salad.
Cheeses this week: Goat and Feta… part of the goat went into the beet and goat cheese salad and the Feta is still awaiting it’s ultimate fate.
Week 3…June 25th
A light week this week (that’s how it goes sometimes, we’ve had a LOT of rain this June and the farmers were struggling with the weather)
Strawberries – eaten out of hand and made into 2nd Strawberry Rhubarb crumble with leftover rhubarb from week 1.
Pea Shoots – ????
Kale – Tried Ree Drummond’s Panfried Kale recipe, and I don’t think it cooked long enough because the leaves were still kind of tough, and I didn’t have fresh garlic so I used dehydrated minced garlic…will definitely try this again.
Chinese cabbage – ??? Half of this appeared in last weeks Salmon/Cabbage/Fennel dish, half is still in the fridge with the great possibility of coleslaw in the future even if it’s the chinese variety of cabbage and not the big round green cabbage I usually buy. We’ll see
Kohlrabi – ??? OK I admit, a veggie that I have picked up and then languishes in the fridge for so long, it ends up getting tossed out months later (ick i know). Not so this year! With the help of my two veggie cookbooks, I sliced some to use to dip hummus…interesting and crunchy but not sure kids will go for it. I also chopped up the rest and added it to boiling potatoes to mash all together. It gave a nice flavor to the potatoes but I have a lousy potato masher right now so there were chunks of it in the potatoes which did not go over very well.
Cheese: Carriage Barn Cheddar … snuggled nicely in the cheese drawer awaiting a quiet evening to dig into it whilst enjoying a bottle of wine with hubby.
Week 4… July 2
Oh boy! Hopefully the beginning of the big hauls at the Farm Co-op!
Strawberries – eaten out of hand and also in strawberry shortcake
Cherries – washed and eaten – yum!
Beets – stored in fridge until after vacation…probably more cold beet/ goat cheese salad, although I’ve never made beet soup…
Cucumbers – sliced up to nibble on and tossed into salad. Have one lone small pickle I think could be for pickling left.
Purple sweet pepper – I didn’t even know these came purple!! sliced up into salad, some leftover for addt’l recipes.
English Shelling Peas – shelled, steamed and eaten up with a touch of butter and salt
Zucchini and summer squash – made into zucchini cakes (which freeze really well, and re-heat nicely in the oven if you make a double batch)
Pea Shoots – ??? I admit I was a little stymied by these but a quick internet search yielded an entire website devoted to the lovely pea shoot!! (www.peashoots.com, who knew!) So pea shoot pesto was the order of the day, what we didn’t use, I froze. It was definitely pea-like but had a more delicate flavor than pesto made with basil…needless to say, the girls had plain pasta that night!
My original intention was to share this goodness weekly instead of monthly and hopefully in July I’ll be able to make that happen! The two cookbooks that I’ve gotten through my farm co-op and I’ve found really helpful in cooking and storing veggies are:
From Asparagus to Zucchini: A guide to cooking farm fresh seasonal produce by the Fair Share CSA Coalition. I love this book, it’s organized alphabetically by veggie (or fruit) and gives really good directions for storing the produce, something I definitely need to know more about.
Farm Fresh and Fast Cookbook by the Fair Share CSA Coalition … I just got my hands on this one and I love how it’s organized and the recipes will appeal to my not-veggie-loving-girls!
Happy cooking everyone!