Box Flyer

Digital Flyer, Dec. 23rd-Bay Area

Your box contains the following items. 

1/2lb. Mesclun
1lb.  mixed radicchio

1 head escarole or more radicchio
1/2lb. erbette green chard
1/2lb. spigariello
1 bunch radishes 
1 bunch spring onions
1lb. orange carrots
1 head celery 

1 yellow onion

handful rosemary and thyme
3/4lb. dried borlotti beans
2lb. baby yellow potatoes

1 head celery root
Handful limes

1 each moro blood and cara caras

We had a couple of issues in the field today, so if you don’t get a head of escarole, you will receive another 1/2lb. of mixed radicchios. 

The main attraction in this week’s box is nearly all the fixings for a pot of Tuscan borlotti bean soup. You can soak the beans overnight in water, but if you forget or don’t have time, it’s no big deal. I cooked the beans without pre soaking and they turned out fine. In a medium sized pot, fill half way with water and add the beans. Put a little of the thyme and one branch of rosemary, and if you have some extra onions,  chop one up and throw it in as well. Without soaking, they will take over an hour to cook, and you may need to add water before they are done. I like to cook them a little al dente so they can finish in the soup. Once you have the beans simmering, chop the celery, onion, and carrots into little pieces, as small or large as you like.  If you are using bacon or pancetta, cut into one inch pieces, and cook until not quite crispy. Remove and drain most of the fat, leaving some to cook the mirepoix, and for the wonderful flavor it adds to the soup. Cook the mirepoix until it’s somewhat translucent, and add pancetta or bacon and set aside. When the beans are cooked enough, put them in a bowl to use that pot or use another pot for your soup. Add cooked mirepoix, bacon/pancetta, rosemary and thyme, and fill pot about 2/3 with water. Add beans, and some of the liquid into the mix. Bring the soup to a boil and immediately turn down to a simmer. You are finishing the beans, and allowing all the ingredients to meld together. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, and add chopped spigariello or erbette chard at the end, so it doesn’t over cook and turn to mush. Season with good salt, maybe black pepper to taste, and I like to add a little vinegar, sherry or apple cider vinegar are great. When serving, grate some cheese, drizzle some of your best olive oil, and maybe a few croutons in each bowl. 

The limes are from Bernard Ranch, and are great for making a cocktail. I will be putting a few in the box here and there in the next month as we wait for lemons to ripen. These limes are also ripening, meaning they are turning half yellow instead of all green. They will be juicier and more flavorful as they ripen, don’t be caught up in the conventional thinking that a lime has to be green to be good. 

The small yellow potatoes in the box are perfect for salt baking. I’m hoping you have a box of kosher salt handy, so you can completely cover the one layer of potatoes in your pyrex pan or some other equivalent. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes and dig one out to see if it’s done. 

This week’s celery root will pair nicely with last week’s parsnips, if you still have those in your refrigerator. Peel both, and cut into cubes or as you like, then roast on a sheet pan with olive oil, salt and pepper.