Week 9 of Winter/Spring from Valley Flora!

  • Redleaf Lettuce
  • Baby Pac Choi
  • Bunched Bellezia Arugula
  • Bunched Fava Greens
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Pea Shoots
  • Red Cabbage
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli (final harvest!)
  • Yellow Onions
  • Purple Potatoes
  • Purple Radishes
  • Tetsu Winter Squash

On Rotation:

  • Artichokes

Happy Mayday!

Your "winter" CSA share is listing hard towards "spring" this week, with the arrival of head lettuce from our field tunnels, pac choi, fava greens, young radishes, and a wild-type arugula that is aptly named "Bellezia." As Allen put it as he and Roberto packed the totes yesterday, "we couldn't have fit a single leaf more in there." It's not all fluff, though. Some dense winter goods are still anchoring the bottom of the bin, with purple potatoes, the last of the jumbo yellow onions, a Guiness-book sized Tetsu squash, and purple cabbage. We've been genuinely impressed with this cabbage variety, which got planted last August, was harvested in late March, is storing like a champ, and is still winning cabbage beauty pageants. 

And if you are groaning at the sight of that big kabocha squash, here's some inspiration from a fellow CSA member in Port Orford who was moved to email me last time we put Tetsu in your share:

The oven was on today, so I went ahead and baked the Tetsu whole before I decided for sure what to do with it. Seems that’s a moot point because it is SO DANG GOOD that I keep eating it right out of my refrig container with a spoon! Yumm!! Thanks for the introduction!

Alternatively, you can procrastinate and leave that Tetsu on your counter for another month or two. We've had CSA members eat them a whole year after they were harvested - that's how crazy-long they can store. 

If you want a yummy way to disappear your arugula this week, along with that stash of red beets that I know are piled up in the back of your fridge, I highly recommend some version of this salad from Ottolenghi: Beetroot and Walnut Salad. Danny made it for dinner last night. We didnt' have half the ingredients - cilantro, leeks, tamarind water, pomegranate seeds, walnut oil - but it didn't matter. Skip all the things you don't have and use olive oil instead of the other oils. The main point is that roasting those beets in tin foil, then peeling them, gives them a wonderful, deep flavor. We crumbled some feta on top and doused the arugula (known as "rocket" in the U.K.) with a little more olive oil and reduced balsamic. Wowza.

Also, before I go, you probably need some pointers for those fava greens. Right. Favas are mostly known for their beans (which will be part of the CSA share come early July). But the tender young leaves are a lesser-known delicacy with a wonderfully nutty flavor. I think they shine the most when you lightly sautee them in butter or olive oil with a little salt, but you can also eat them raw as a salad ingredient. Snip the leaves and tender tips from the plant, removing any tough or woody stem. Wash well to remove any field dirt and spin dry. From there, the world is full of fav-ulous possibilities. Here's a creative spin on basil pesto, using fava leaves instead: Fava Greens Pesto. This is a once--a-year-only harvest for us, when we thin our fava bed to make room for the bean-producing plants. So give 'em a try - it'll be your only chance in 2024!