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Box Flyer

Digital Flyer, November 17th-Bay Area

Your box contains the following items. 

1/2lb. Mesclun
1/2lb. Red/green little gems
1/2lb. spigariello
2lb. Mixed fingerlings
1lb. Sunchokes
1 bunch red torpedo onions
1 bunch baby leeks
2lb. Loose mixed carrots
1 bunch cliantro
1lb. Mixed peppers
2lb. Brussels sprouts
2-3 sudachi
2 fuyu persimmons

Instead of one yuzu, you are getting 2-3 sudachi citrus. I wasn’t sure I could get them, as their short season is almost over. These are like yuzu, in that they are Japanese citrus that are ready in the fall for a few weeks. But they are more like a small mandarin or lime, with a thin skin and juicy flesh. I wanted you to have the chance to use the sudachi with the Brussels sprouts. 

Brussels sprouts have had quite the renaissance lately, usually served deep fried with a tangy sauce. I will periodically put them in the box from now through February, as they are a very local, healthy green vegetable through the winter. I like boiling them in salted water just like you would boil pasta, but not too long. Maybe 3-5 minutes. You want them al dente so you can cook them again, this time broiled or roasted with slices of lemon, or in this special case, sudachi. There is something to how citrus counteracts the more unpleasant qualities of a brussel sprout. I also like to use bacon or pancetta in this dish, but if you are kosher/halal, or vegetarian, use some onions instead. Take the blanched brussels sprouts and cut them in half lengthwise. Put them on a cookie sheet, roasting pan, with somewhat cooked bacon or pancetta cut into 1 inch pieces. Take the sudachi and cut in half, then slice thinly with a very sharp or serrated knife. You should get many thin half moons about 1/8 inch in diameter. Toss with the Brussels sprouts, bacon or onions. Add some bacon fat or olive oil, salt and pepper. Everything should be spread out to be only one layer, so when you put it under the broiler, or in your oven at 475-500 degrees everything gets golden brown with little black edges quickly and evenly. You don’t want to get distracted at this moment, as you will end up with a pile of black carbon if not careful. Serve immediately. 

I recommend taking some of the potatoes, sunchokes, baby leeks, and carrots, and roasting them all together with some olive oil and white wine. Cover with aluminum foil if you want them to cook more delicately. Don’t use any or take if off half way if you want to get some color in the root veggies. 

You could use the sudachi in a salad by zesting the skin into the olive oil and vinegar. Then squeeze the juice as part of the acid. It’s your one chance to have a sudachi-flavored salad dressing. 

Enjoy!

Martin

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Box Flyer

Digital Flyer, November 11th-Bay Area

Your box contains the following items. 

  • 1/2lb. green & red little gems
  • 1 head each red & lusia radicchio
  • 1/2lb. spinach
  • 2lb. mixed red & yellow potatoes
  • 1 head celery root
  • 1 head cardoons
  • 1 head romanesco
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1lb. mixed peppers
  • 1 bunch French breakfast radishes
  • 1lb. valencias/limes

Yes, it’s been way too long since I last wrote the box flyer. Too many heat waves, smoky days, election freak-outs, irrigation and tractor issues are my excuses. We had a couple of changes from what Monday’s newsletter said was in the box, so that seemed a perfect reason to get back in the habit. Instead of carrots, you have a head of romanesco cauliflower. And, instead of Italian parsley, there’s a bunch of French breakfast radishes. 

Since you’ve been getting lots of potatoes of late, I want to suggest trying to salt bake the smaller round red and yellow ones, with a few ruby crescents or Austrian crescents. After washing them and letting them dry, put them in a pyrex pan, aluminum pan with at least two inch sides, or a ceramic baking dish. Make sure you fill the pan with one layer of potatoes, as close together as possible. Take a box of kosher salt and spread it all over until all you see is white, with the little bumps like moguls on a ski run. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. Feel free to poke a knife or fork in one at 25-30 minutes, and if nicely soft, they are ready. They are not salty cooked this way. They retain much of their moisture and flavor this way. I like to dig them out while hot, dust off most but not all the salt, and have butter, sour cream, aioli, fresh goat cheese to eat with them. You can also slice them in half and toss with chives and butter, or whatever is your favorite potato accompaniment. The salt is reusable many times, so when it cools just put it in a plastic bag for future use. I like to make this dish for friends, as when they see you put all that salt, they might freak out and think you’re trying to kill them, then when they get to eat one they quickly forgive you and understand you’re doing something special.

The head of celery root needs to have all the brown skin cut away, until all you see is the white flesh. I like to cut half inch circles, then cut the disks into half inch cubes. You can do the same with some potatoes, and roast them all together in a roasting pan in the oven. Olive oil, salt, pepper, and let the flavor of the celery root shine all on its own.

Cardoons are in the artichoke family, but you cook and eat the stalks like they were celery. Cut the base of the head so all the stalks are free and you can wash the dirt and critters that often hang out at the base of the plant. The bottom 7-9 inches is usually the best part, with the top of the stalks being more stringy. Cut into 4-5 inch pieces, boil in lots of water with salt and a little vinegar or a lemon or lime cut in two. I like to squeeze the juice then throw in the lemon halves to flavor the cardoons. They should be soft in 12-20 minutes, depending on how thick or tender the stalks are. This is just like you would cook artichokes. When they are done let them cool. You can slice them into 1/8-1/4 inch slices, and use them in pastas, mix them into a potato salad, or deep fried like artichokes. Here’s a link to give you a visual and more descriptions of how to prepare them. 

https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-clean-cardoons-2394986

Romanesco is an arguably better tasting cauliflower. I like to snap off the spirals from the center, and sauté them with peppers and onions. Olive oil, salt and pepper is all you need. Don’t cook them too long, as they retain their flavor with a little firmness. 

Since we are now into the fall/winter chicory season, you should consider making a blue cheese lemon zest vinaigrette with your red and lusia radicchios. Zest a lemon into a small container, then put about ¼-1/3 cup olive oil. If you have the time, let it sit for 10-20 minutes so the olive oil can absorb some of the lemon flavor. Then add red wine vinegar and lemons juice in equal parts, and salt and pepper. Crumble the blue cheese and whisk until it’s to your desired smoothness. You may want to add more olive oil, or more cheese, depending on how big your pile of radicchio is. Croutons or toasted walnuts are a nice addition as you are tossing everything together.

Enjoy!

Martin

Categories
Box Flyer

Digital Flyer, August 5th-Bay Area

Your box contains the following items, give or take any subs. 

  • 1lb. red/green little gems
  • 1/2lb. mesclun
  • 1/2lb. broccoli di cicco or spigariello
  • 1 basket mixed medley cherry tomatoes
  • 2lb. mixed summer squash
  • handful mint leaves
  • handful Genovese basil 
  • 1/2lb. yellow romano pole beans
  • 1lb. walla walla  onions
  • 1lb. Valencia oranges
  • 1 dapple dandy pluot
  • 1 white nectarine

Here’s a recipe for mixed summer squash soup, as I help you not get tired of all the squash in your box each week. You can use the walla walla onions, but I’d recommend using a regular yellow onion, cut into half inch pieces, and the two pounds mixed squash, cut in half lengthwise, then into half inch pieces. Sweat the onions and squash in a pot with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, but don’t brown. Add your liquid of choice, about a quart of chicken stock, veggie stock, or plain water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or so. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup to your desired smoothness. Add salt and black or white pepper to taste, and a teaspoon or so of white wine vinegar, or lemon juice. When serving, add torn or sliced basil leaves, and you can also add sliced squash blossoms into the bowl. Now you have three very different ways of preparing summer squash: soup, shaved raw salad, and grilled and tossed in a basil pesto sauce. 

This week there’s yellow romano beans in the box. The last few weeks saw bluelake beans. We will have off and on various varieties of snap beans. My favorite and simplest way to cook and serve beans like these is to blanch them in salted, boiling water for 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the beans, and your desired tenderness, then toss them into a bowl that has some olive oil (you can also add a little butter if you like) with a clove or two garlic that’s been finely minced. If the beans cool down before serving,  put the bowl on top of the pot of water you cooked them in, bring it back to boil, and use it as a way to heat up the beans without cooking them any more. 

I’ve been enjoying cherry tomatoes sliced in half, with walla walla onions sliced and added to the tomatoes, with sherry vinegar, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper to taste. I like to let it sit for a few minutes so the vinegar can bring all the flavors together. Have you noticed the best tasting salad is the last handful you left in the bowl that you end up eating before doing the dishes at the end of the meal? Time for all the flavors to meld together really makes a difference.

Enjoy!

Martin

Categories
Box Flyer

Digital Flyer, July 29th-Bay Area

Your box contains the following items, give or take subs that may happen as the week goes on.

  • red little gems
  • mesclun
  • broccoli di cicco
  • agretti
  • mixed medley cherry tomatoes
  • mixed summer squash
  • handful mint leaves
  • handful Genovese basil 
  • 1 green gyspy pepper
  • bluelake beans
  • red and white pearl onions
  • Valencia oranges
  • 2 pieces flavor grenade pluot/black splendor plum

We have a couple of new items this week, with the most unusual being agretti. This plant is loved in Italy, where many of the more unusual vegetables are from that find their way into your box. Yes, agretti looks like a weird version of pine needles (though it’s not like pine needles in any meaningful way), and I suggest taking a little piece of it and tasting it just so you know what it’s like raw. Like many of the cooking greens you’ve been getting these last few months, I recommend blanching it in salted boiling water, for 4-6 minutes. Then you can make a pasta with it, or just toss it with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon and eat it like spinach. Here’s a link to help  you understand how to cook agretti. 

https://honest-food.net/agretti/

I’m including a handful of mint leaves so you can make a shaved raw squash salad, if you so desire. Best if you have a mandolin to make thin slices, but you can also use the blade side of your cheese grater, or a potato peeler. Add a little bit of olive oil, and lemon juice or white wine/champagne vinegar, chili flakes and mint leaves torn or cut up, and salt to taste. The salt will cause the water to come out of the squash, so go easy on the olive oil and acid, to keep it from getting too watery and soggy. This is a lovely and super easy and quick dish to make. You can also cut the squash in half lengthwise, grill it on both sides, then cut into large chunks and toss with a simple basil pesto with almonds and the handful of basil leaves in the box.

Enjoy!

Martin

Categories
Box Flyer

Digital Flyer, July 15th-Bay Area

Your box contains the following items, give or take any subs. 

  • 1lb. green little gems
  • 1/2lb. mesclun
  • 1lb. broccoli di cicco/spigariello/green chard
  • one large head romanesco cauliflower
  • 1 big bunch scallions
  • 1 head celery
  • 1lb. rainbow carrots
  • 1lb. mixed citrus
  • 2 pieces yellow peach and white or yellow nectarine

This week’s signature item is one very large head of romanesco from Lakeside Organic Gardens in Watsonville. I thought I could get smaller heads, and you would have gotten two of those like the initial newsletter said, but they didn’t have enough of those so instead you get the big one. Think of it like regular white cauliflower, but better. You can cut it into the little florets that reflect their individual conical shapes, or quarter the head and roast the pieces like roasting white cauliflower. I like to make pasta a la palina, a Sicilian recipe for spaghetti with, in this case, romanesco, ½ cup golden and dark raisins (soak them in hot water to soften and plump them up), 1/3 cup pine nuts or almonds, 1 medium onion, pinch of saffron, 2-3 cloves garlic, 3-5 anchovies, chili flakes, marjoram or oregano, parsley, parmesan or pecorino cheese grated, and bread crumbs. Start with the onions in the pan, then add garlic, saffron, marjoram or oregano, anchovies, romanesco florets, and cook at medium heat. Add the nuts and raisins, chili flakes, a few minutes later. You should be boiling your noodles while doing this. Add pasta to the pan with the sauce, and add a ladle of pasta water to simmer the whole thing together for a couple of minutes. Serve with parsley, bread crumbs, and grated cheese. 

Celery soup is normally a winter thing, but we are still a couple of weeks away from the beginning of tomato season, and with all the foggy weather this week, maybe celery soup can find a home in July. I like to make mine with chicken stock and to not puree it. I like to throw in a few carrots, a potato, onion, with some dill at the end. Save the blanched leaves in the heart to scatter in the bowl before serving. 

Also, celery is one of the three key parts of mirepoix, a French word (happy Bastille Day!) describing the fundamental base of so many dishes in French cooking: chopped celery, onion and carrots, cooked slowly in oil or butter. 

Enjoy!

Martin

Categories
Box Flyer

Digital Flyer, July 8th-Bay Area

Your box contains the following items, give or take any subs as the week goes on.. 

  • 1 large head green romaine
  • 1/2lb. mesclun and arugula
  • 1lb. broccoli di cicco, spigariello
  • 2lb. fresh cranberry beans
  • 1 bunch walla walla and red torpedo spring onions
  • 1 bunch mixed carrots
  • 1/2lb. small padron peppers, with 2 medium hot padrons
  • 1lb. mixed citrus
  • 2 pieces yellow peaches/ white or yellow nectarines 

We initially told you there’d be a head of celery in the box, but that was before we found so many padron peppers on the new plants, that we decided to put 1/2lb. in the box instead. They are from Galicia, Spain, and are ubiquitously known there as pimientos de padron. These are small ones, before they grow up to be really hot peppers. You also should have about two peppers that are 3 inches long or a little more. These are the hot ones. Treat them as you would a jalapeno, or serrano pepper.  The small ones are best fried at high heat with a small amount of olive oil in your frying pan. They cook really quickly, 3-4 minutes at most. Let them get a little brown or black on one side, then toss in the pan a few times. Remove, sprinkle with your best salt, and eat while hot. They are a wonderful starter item. They are also great to put into other dishes after frying. I like to toss them into my scrambled eggs in the morning. If you like to cut corn off the cob, and sauté in butter, then toss a few of the cooked peppers into your corn. Remember to cut off the tough but small stem before.  Please beware that occasionally a small one will be hotter than the rest, maybe one out of ten or fifteen. We will be putting these in the box regularly until the fall. This link will show you how they should be cooked and how they should look when done. 

https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/05/spanish-style-padron-peppers-how-to-cook.html

The other signature item in your box this week, fresh cranberry beans, are from Louie Iacopi. Whether it’s been his English peas, favas, or more recently his bluelake beans, we all benefited from his Half Moon Bay farming successes. But I consider his fresh shelling beans to be a wonderful luxury, and I hope you will appreciate them as well. They need to be shelled from the pod, just like English peas. Put them in a pot of water, about twice as much water as beans, with a few garlic cloves cut up coarsely, a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and a generous amount of salt, as though you were cooking pasta. Feel free to add your favorite dried herb as well. Oregano, marjoram, thyme all work well. Fresh herbs also work well. Bring to a boil then turn down to a medium simmer, and cook until soft but not too mushy. About 20-30 minutes, depending on heat, amount of water, etc. When done you can add parsley, diced onions, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes. More olive oil and a little vinegar to make a bean salad. 

Here’s David Lebovitz explaining with photos much of what I’ve said here.

https://www.davidlebovitz.com/fresh-shelling/

Enjoy,
Martin

Categories
Box Flyer

Digital Flyer, June 17th-Bay Area

Your box contains the following items, give or take any subs. 

  • 2lb. green romaine/red butter lettuce/red little gems
  • 1/2lb. mesclun
  • 1/2lb. spigariello
  • 1lb. spring onions
  • 2lb. English peas
  • 1 medium leek
  • handful mint 
  • 1 bunch orange carrots
  • 2lb. mixed citrus
  • 1lb. white peach and donut peach

This week’s box is a reprise of the box from a month ago, as we wait for the summer produce to kick into gear. It gives you a chance to make one of my all time favorite pastas, which can easily be vegetarian.

I also suggest you slice your stone fruit, chop a few almonds, mince some spring onion, toss with the mesclun salad greens, and add some fresh goat cheese, and enjoy many of the ingredients we offer, all in one salad bowl.

The signature items of the week are english peas and a leek, with a handful of mint leaves, giving you the opportunity to make a favorite pasta dish, spaghetti with peas and ricotta. I ate this dish at Romans in Brooklyn a few years ago, and I had to know how to make it at home, cooking various versions for myself over a few pea seasons. I asked Dave Gould, the former chef of Romans, to write out the recipe for our benefit. 

I guess this is a Romans classic creation, though we rarely did the same exact thing twice, so now it’s a Martin’s country kitchen creation.

Start by shelling all of your peas. The pods can get smashed, almost bruising as you go, into a stockpot. If you’re vegetarian, fill the pot with water until it comes 3/4 of the way up the peas, so they are not fully submerged. Pea pod broth can be really delicious, but it must be concentrated, i.e. not watered down. Put in a clove or 2 (the spice), a tiny shard of cinnamon stick, leek tops trimmed of any discoloration, and a small handful of either dry porcini or dry morel mushrooms. And if you’re not vegetarian, substitute the water with good chicken broth.  

Bring to a rigorous boil over a high flame, skimming any foam that rises as you go. You should find at this point that the pea pods have wilted and are now barely submerged. Simmer over a very low flame for 5 minutes, drop in a few sprigs of mint, then leave to cool for 10 minutes, at which point it is ready to strain. You will need 1 cup of broth per person and the rest can be held for various future purposes.  

To build the sauce, slice the white leek bottoms (about 1T per person) thinly and sweat gently in a mixture of butter and olive oil, with a few cracks of black pepper and a few leaves of sage or basil. When very soft, but not colored, add the necessary amount of broth per person. Bring to a boil and season fully with salt. Boil spaghetti in unseasoned water until it is about 6 minutes away from being finished, and add it to the sauce along with all of the peas that you desire. Everything should simmer gently in the liquid, practically submerged until the last minute or two, so you will need to periodically add pasta water and taste consistently for seasoning.  

Ideally you can eyeball that when the noodles are cooked there will be about 1/2 cup of broth left in the pot per person. Turn the flame off and add a heaping tablespoon of ricotta per person, the light green leek middles, sliced thinly, a few torn mint leaves and a small squeeze of lemon juice. Stir aggressively, but quickly, so as to not agitate the ricotta too much. The idea is that it remains clumpy and turns your broth milky and rich.  

Divide evenly amongst soup bowls and shower with freshly grated pecorino cheese, black pepper and good green olive oil.  

Enjoy!

Martin

Categories
Box Flyer

Digital Flyer, June 10th-Bay Area

Your box contains the following items, give our take any subs that happen as the week goes on. 

  • 2lb. green romaine/red butter lettuce/red little gems
  • 1/2lb. mesclun
  • 1/2lb. erbette chard
  • 1/2lb. bull’s blood beet tops
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 2 heads fennel
  • 1 bunch baby white turnips
  • 1 bunch rainbow carrots
  • 1 large tarocco blood orange 
  • 1lb. mixed citrus
  • 1lb. white/yellow peaches/yellow nectarines

This week we have a greens heavy box. We have large heads of green romaine, and lots of red butter lettuce, with the last of a large planting of red little gems. For more delicate salad needs, there’s the half pound of mesclun mix, which is made up of mizuna, arugula, frilly red mustard, upland cress, chervil, chrysanthemum leaves, and lettuces. For salad ideas, remember to zest your citrus, lemon or orange, into olive oil, to give you a bright citrus flavored vinaigrette. If you like fruit in your salad, try slicing some of your peach or nectarine into your salad after it’s all made. 

 Cooking greens are erbette chard, a flat leafed, thin-stemmed chard from Italy, as well as a half pound of bull’s blood beet tops, both from the Soledad farm. The bull’s blood beet tops will turn whatever you mix with them a beautiful red color. At least I like that color. That’s a good reason to cook them separately from the erbette chard. While it’s green, it is different from the other green chard you’ve been getting. It is thin stemmed, with a more delicate leaf, similar to spinach. It also has a more mild flavor. I like to cut it crosswise into one inch strips, and sauté it with garlic and olive oil. Maybe a splash of white wine or water to wilt it down at the end. Then serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.

The featured items of the week are two heads of fennel, and one tarocco blood orange, from Rising C Ranch in Reedley, CA. It’s unusual for a blood orange to be so good at this time of year, but when I tried one of these last week, it tasted as good or better than any blood orange I’ve tried this season. Included in the box are two heads of fennel, so you can make a shaved fennel and tarocco blood orange salad. If you have a mandolin, that’s best to shave the fennel. I like it as thin as you can get it. To prepare the blood orange, use a serrated knife if you’re not a serious knife person, as you need a super sharp chef’s knife to successfully cut all the skin off. Cut off about half an inch of the top and bottom of the orange. After placing the one cut end down on your cutting board, carefully cut the skin off the flesh from top to bottom, trying to get as little of the flesh as possible. Then cut slices crosswise. You can quarter those slices to mix with your fennel. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes I like to add some fresh onion, so thinly slicing some scallions is an option. 

I know I’ve been giving you a lot of carrots lately. Here’s a pickling recipe from Tartine Bakery in SF that will help you mix it up a little.  https://www.7×7.com/secret-recipe-tartines-spicy-pickled-carrots-1787333732.html

Enjoy!

Martin

Categories
Box Flyer

Digital Flyer, June 3rd-Bay Area

Your box this week contains the following items, give or take any subs as the week goes on. 

  • red butter lettuce and red little gems
  • mesclun mix
  • green chard
  • broccoli rabe leaves
  • spring onions
  • flowering coriander
  • French breakfast radishes
  • chantenay carrots
  • mixed citrus 
  • white/yellow peaches

We are back with a heat wave. Please take care to refrigerate all the salad and cooking greens as soon as possible. The radishes, spring onions, and bouquet of flowering coriander also would like to stay cold. I recommend putting the peaches 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.

We put an extra dose of salad and cooking greens in the box this week because we have a lot in the field, but also because I find them soothing and refreshing in times like these. 

The broccoli rabe leaves are a favorite of mine, as it means orecchiette pasta with rabe and sweet Italian sausage. This dish is from Southern Italy, and your Tuscan friends will sneer at the idea of this being a respectable pasta. That’s partly because of its history. It was originally a pasta dish for poor people, with scraps of pasta dough, wild mustard greens foraged from the fields, and throw away scraps of pork as the main ingredients, made by and for the servants. You can make a refined version that tastes hardy and I think delicious. When  you first boil your pasta water, blanch all the rabe leaves quickly, 20-30 seconds, then set aside. Take 1-2 sweet Italian sausages, and squeeze out the meat from the casing into your sauté pan, so that it’s in ¾ inch chunks. Cook with medium high heat, so you get a nice browning. Put your dried orecchiette pasta shells in the salted, boiling water. At the last minute, add to the sausage 3-4 cloves chopped garlic, extra fennel seed if you have some handy (I personally think there’s never enough in the sausage, so l like to add some more), chili flakes, and the rabe leaves. Add more olive oil, and white wine if you have some handy. You can squeeze a half of a lemon for acidity, and add some pasta water to make it slightly soupy. When the pasta is done add it to the sauce, and let it simmer for another minute or two. Serve with some grated romano/pecorino cheese. 

Chantenay carrots are a French variety that I like a lot. They are a more dense or meaty carrot, and not just because they are fat and short. Roasted, sauteed, steamed, they will need a little more time to cook but they have a lovely mouth feel and flavor. I hope you enjoy them. 

I said this before, but the best thing to do with the flowering coriander is to put some chopped up in the pot of rice before you cook it. I like to also add a couple of cloves of garlic, and a tablespoon of butter, in addition to the green coriander. Also use as a marinade for chicken or pork. 

Enjoy!

Martin

Categories
Box Flyer

Digital Flyer, May 26th-Bay Area

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. 

http://leitesculinaria.com/45630/recipes-fava-bean-puree.html

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!

Enjoy!

Martin