Box Flyer

Digital Flyer, April 29th-Bay Area

Here’s my description of the contents of your box, and some suggestions on how to prepare them.

Please note that substitutions are common and when we run out of an item, we replace it with another item we offer or increase the volume of the other items in the box.

This week:

Mesclun/salad mix: Just so you know, mesclun is French for mixed salad. Sounds fancy, but it’s just salad mix. It needs to be washed and spun. It has arugula, frilly red mustard, mizuna,  and mixed lettuces. The other half of your salad bag is filled with green and red little gems

The bag of cooking greens is half filled with broccoli di cicco, and the other half is fava leaves. This will be your last time getting them, as the plants are maturing, and warm to hot days we are experiencing will quickly change their flavor in a not so nice way. Best to pull the leaves off  their tough stems, wash and use in pasta. I recommend making a pasta dish with the fava leaves, some spring onions and green garlic. Consider tearing some of the mint leaves into the pasta right before you serve it, so it’s essentially raw, wilting with the heat of the pasta. There’s something special about mint as an accent to favas and peas. Also consider zesting a lemon into the pasta. 

Fava beans are the signature item this week. With two pounds in the box, you will have enough to make a full dish, as opposed to merely decorating the plate with them. The classic Italian dish of shucked and peeled favas with shaved pecorino, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and fresh cracked black pepper is what I recommend. First take all the beans out of their pods. You can blanch them in boiling water for 5-10 seconds at the most, then immediately put them in cold water. This makes the skin super easy to peel. But it also slightly cooks the inside part of the bean, which is less than ideal for the perfect fava salad. If you have the patience, peel the skin off with your fingernails, splitting the bean into the two halves as you go. Watch as your little bowl slowly fills with the shucked and peeled favas. Good music and a glass of Chianti will make the task more pleasant. I found a good link online to demonstrate this process.

With your bunch of mint is a handful of flowering parsley and flowering red celery. These are like a pungent herb, which you can put into a pasta, or even make a pesto. The leaves and buds have their own unique flavor. Feel free to add some mint to your pesto, and use walnuts or almonds as the nut addition.

The mixed citrus will be a selection from the following: red grapefruit, oro blanco grapefruit, navel oranges, tangelos, blood oranges, lemons, gold nugget mandarins, avocado, all grown by Bernard Ranch in Riverside. He does not wax or otherwise polish his citrus, and since it’s also not coated with a fungicide, like almost all citrus you might otherwise buy, it is quicker to spoil, despite the fact that it’s picked each week, and is thus fresher than what you’d otherwise find in markets. So, please use the fruit sooner than later.