Kim Hulse

CSA, week 3

Kim Hulse
CSA, week 3

This week's box is full of big, beautiful greens!  

3 whole hearts of romaine, gorgeous red butter leaf, rainbow chard and bunched spinach!  Plus, fava beans, carrots, beets and raspberries!

These tender, first vegetables of late spring and early summer are my favorite to prepare because they require little additional flavoring or preparation.  Really, simplicity is the way to go here.

If you haven't ever tried grilled romaine, now is the time to do it.  It's kind of hard to think about grilling right now with the weather we've had this week, but it's supposed to clear up over the weekend and be especially nice on Sunday for Father's Day.  Grilled romaine is simple and delicious: slice the hearts into halves or quarters lengthwise.  Brush them with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place on the grill until slightly charred.  Serve with your favorite dressing and shavings of parmesan cheese.

A spring delicacy that you may not be familiar with, fava beans are sweet, tender and so tasty.  There is varying information out there about how to prepare them (to peel or not to peel), and the truth is you can go either way.  Start by removing the beans from the pod.  Then, there is a second skin surrounding each individual bean that can be slightly tough and somewhat bitter, depending on the age and size of the beans.  If you are willing to take the time to parboil and peel the beans, I can tell you it's worth it for their bright green color alone.  But, it definitely isn't essential.  When ready to prepare, use them in a myriad of ways: risotto, pasta, sauteed with garlic.  These are also something you can just throw on the grill when you're grilling the romaine - again, brush the whole pods with olive oil and salt and pepper and grill them just like that.  The end result is somewhat like a giant edamame.  Delicious.

My all time favorite beet recipe is also my go to and something my 7-year old daughter says she could eat every day.  Boil the beets until fork tender.  Cool in water, then peel.  The skins should just slip off when rubbed with your hands.  Slice the beets thinly, sprinkle with white balsamic vinegar, a splash of olive oil and coarse sea salt.  We served this dish at our wedding 10 years ago and our guests still rave to us about them.

I love having items like lettuce, carrots, spinach and raspberries around for easy snacking, throwing into smoothies, salads and salad wraps, etc.  There are definitely many wonderful recipes around for these items, but they will probably disappear from my refrigerator before I have a chance to prepare them.

A note about the raspberries: this past week has been wet and cool in our little valley.  For the most part, this weather has been a welcome reprieve from the unseasonably warm spring we've been enjoying, but our early raspberries have not fared as well as most of the cool, rain loving greens.  Unfortunately, flavor is not at it's peak (probably a bit watery and not very sweet) and quality may degrade quickly.  Eat them up as soon as possible, or toss them in the freezer for a smoothie, granola topping, etc.  You can just leave them in their plastic clamshell for freezing!

Hope you have a great week of eating well!