Week 6 CSA from Valley Flora!

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Fava Beans
  • Head Lettuce
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini

On Rotation:

  • Kale
  • Rainbow Chard

New This Week: Fresh Favas and Broccoli

Our heading broccoli is starting to come on strong in the field and should be making a solid appearance in your totes for the next month or so. Most everyone seems to know what they like to do with broccoli, but this is often my go-to prep for broccoli or broccolini: Charred Broccoli. Crispy, salty, olive-oily, and the high heat of the oven brings out the broccoli's natural sugars in perfect balance with the charred bits.

Fava beans, on the other hand, are probably not part of your regular repertoire in the kitchen. Favas are an early summer, one-week phenomenon in your CSA share. Lots of gardeners grow them as a winter or spring cover crop - they fix nitrogen for the soil, provide ample organic matter, and when their fragrant blossoms open in the spring they are a sweet source of nectar for the pollinators. But they feed humans equally well: early in the season when the fava plants are still small we thin our planting and bunch the greens, which are delicious sauteed in butter. But the real harvest comes in early July when the beans fatten up, filling their downy pods and weighing the plants to the ground.

Eating favas can go one of two ways: fast finger food, or a labor of love. If you're short on time, try this recipe for grilling them whole in the pod: Grilled Fava Bean Pods with Chile and Lemon. But if you have time and enjoy some meditative bean shelling, then it's worth the time to coax them out of their pod (the easy part) and then out of their skin (the time consuming part - the beans have an outer skin that is edible but a bit tough, and blanching is a good way to remove it; here's a tutorial). Once you have your beans shelled, the world of fresh fava recipes is at our fingertips. This one sounds particularly mouth-watering to me, and you can use a combo of your sugar snap peas and your favas (you can often find burrata at McKay's): Flatbread with Fava Beans, Cucumbers and Burrata. You can find more gourmet inspiration in Bon Apetit's collection of fresh fava recipes: 18 Fava Bean Recipes.


Knee High by the 4th of July!

If, like me, you keenly anticipate sweet corn season, here's a photo that should make you happy. Bodes well for a good corn season come August...