Your box contains the following items, give or take any subs that may happen as the week goes on.
- 2lb. red little gems and red butter lettuce
- 1/2lb. spigariello
- 3lb. fava beans and a couple of sprigs of rosemary
- 2lb. gold and Chioggia beets
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1 bag mixed carrots
- 3lb. of a combo of mixed citrus & white nectarines/yellow peaches
This week (especially those of you getting a box Wednesday and Friday) we are experiencing a brutal heat wave that makes everything much more difficult. From harvesting at the farms, to packing and getting the produce to the pick up sites or your home, we are taking various precautions to ensure everything remains in good condition. Please be as aware once you receive your produce to do the same, so you can enjoy it as much as you do when the temperature is more normal. The salad and cooking greens should be checked to see if they are warm, or if they need a sprinkle of water before you put them in your refrigerator. Favas, beets, scallions, and carrots should also go in the refrigerator. The fruit does not, especially if you plan to eat it sooner than later, but will ripen much faster at room temperature. I recommend putting the peach and nectarine on your kitchen counter to fully ripen over the next day or three. When it’s fully ripe and soft is when you will most enjoy it.
The cooking green of the week is spigariello, an heirloom Italian kale or broccoli leaf. It’s really a close cousin of both. It wilts quickly, but doesn’t collapse to nothing the way spinach can. It’s great wilted on it’s own, delicate enough this time as a salad green, and also perfect for a minestrone soup.
The favas now are approaching a slight starchy stage, which makes them perfect for fava bean puree. I first had this at a fundraiser where many of us were passing out snacks to the crowd. I had little plates of arugula salad. Chez Panisse had a table with what looked like guacamole on toasts. I was dumbstruck that they would be serving such a thing, but I couldn’t imagine what else it could be. When I tasted it I was awestruck by how wonderful it tasted. Shuck the beans out of their pods and blanch in boiling water for 10-20 seconds. Peel the skin off and put them in your sauté pan. Chop a few cloves of garlic, and throw in a sprig or two of rosemary. Add olive oil and some water. Bring to a simmer, and stir as they cook. You will add more olive oil to this than you thought possible. Also add some water. It will take some time, but eventually the beans will start to break down. You can use a potato masher to speed up the process. Add salt and pepper to taste. To see photos you can go to this link to see how the cooks at Chez Panisse make this, with a more specific recipe. Then you will be ready to serve Tuscan guacamole to your family or friends.
I like to take the carrots, put them on a sheet pan, pyrex pan, or whatever you like to bake with, toss with whole cumin seed and/or fennel seed, olive oil and salt to taste, and roast at high heat until fully cooked. Be careful not to burn them, but to fully cook them so they are like yams. I like to serve with crème fraiche, yoghurt, or sour cream.
The beets are best roasted in a similar pan, but with a taller side, so you can cover them with aluminum foil. Put about 1/3 cup of water in the pan, no seasoning, cover and cook for about 45-60 minutes at 375 degrees. Check them with a knife or fork to see if they are to your desired softness. Let cool, and peel and cut as you like. I like to make a roasted beet salad with olive oil, a good sherry vinegar, orange zest, minced scallions, walnuts, and blue cheese. There are photos of this process on Instagram to understand better how to make a beet dish that will turn the most stubborn beet haters into beet lovers. And with these gold and chioggia beets, there’s no anxiety the next morning in the bathroom. You can find us @martinsfarmtotable for more pictures, and feel free to tag us if you post photos of your creations. We love to see what you’re making!