Spring and Summer Preparation and Cooking Recommendations

Little Gem Lettuce – A baby romaine that can be halved and eaten as a wedge salad or put on the grill.

Red Russian Kale – Cook similar to other greens, but de-rib and chop rib finely. Another idea is to make kale chips, by coating with olive oil and baking until crisp.

Purple Choi Leaves – to retain the color, these are best eaten in a raw salad. The small tender leaves work well with citrus  and mustard accented dressings.

Salad Turnips – As the name suggests, these taste great sliced, diced or shredded in salads. But they are very versatile. They can also be roasted with herbs, put in a stir fry or pasta, or used in an Indian dish. The greens are quite good, but should be used within a few days. The roots will last in a bag in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

Scallions – Young onions that work well as an addition to salads, stir-fries, tacos, and other lightly cooked meals. Also, can be grilled with a teriyaki glaze alongside shiitakes and/or chicken.

Sugar Ann Snap Peas – These work well sautéed in stir-fried, eaten raw in a salad, tossed in a sesame dressing or used in tempura.

Seascape Strawberries – Not that we really need to make any recommendations for these, but we really enjoy these with vanilla sheep’s milk yogurt and granola. Besides incorporating them into delicious desserts or smoothies, they’re great with gorgonzola or feta in salads. These strawberries are picked ripe and are not a supermarket variety bred for shelf-life, so it would be best to eat these within a few days. Refrigerating or freezing them will extend that period of time. Do not wash until you are ready to eat.  

Cooking Spinach – No need to destem this spinach – we’ve done it for you. It works well as a side with lemon and garlic, used in a variety of Italian dishes, Indian curries, with potatoes in burritos and enchiladas, and that’s just the start of  how spinach’s mild but distinct essence has worked its way into so many dishes.

Pea Shoots – Works well in salads and stir-fries. They have a mild pea flavor, but as crunchy, unique texture that separates them from snap pea pods. It’s a fun way to celebrate the uniqueness of Spring cuisine. We recommend eating these within a few days time.

Baby Orach—a mildly salty but beautiful and tender salad green. Also known as French spinach or mountain spinach; historically it was used in the Mediterranean region before spinach leaves were introduced.

Frisée Endive

—a slightly bitter member of the chicory family. Process like lettuce and eat raw on its own or with lettuce in salad. Compliment its bitter flavor with a mustard or citrus vinaigrette and some salty toppings, such as cured meats (pancetta, bacon, sardines), salty cheeses (gorgonzola, feta), or sun-dried tomatoes.

German Chamomile—snip off the flower heads for a calming, fragrant tea.  Steep ¼ cup flowers in 4 cups of hot water for 5 minutes. Serve hot or chill.

Rapini / Broccoli Raab – Leaves and the small turnip head can be eaten. Thicker stems can be prepared as well if chopped finely. Highly recommended sautéed in a pasta, panini, pizza, polenta or in a simple soup. It is best cooked simply, such as with olive oil, balsamic and red pepper flakes.

Salad Turnip Greens—Can be added to a dish with rapini/broccoli raab.

Arugula— adds a peppery bite to a salad on its own, or can be thrown in with lettuce. Great paired with strawberry, walnut, and gorgonzola or beet and chèvre. Also a golden addition to pizzas or paninis.

Baby Beets – great in a salad or slaw. Also, their sweetness is enhanced by roasting them in the oven!  Bake in aluminum foil at 375º F for around 1 hr. Peels should slip off when cooled (if not, increase cooking time). And don’t throw out those greens!! De-stem the leaves, chop and sauté with some olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, white wine or lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. We enjoy them even better than chard!

Lacinato & Red Chidori Kale - Cook similar to other greens, but de-rib and chop rib finely. It has a nice crinkled texture for holding on to sauces.

Spigariello – Why this isn’t more popular, we don’t know. It can also be described as broccoli leaf. De-rib if the petioles (main leaf stem) are thick, and chop finely. Use it as you would kale. Olive oil, garlic, a little lemon juice or balsamic, maybe some parmesan, and your set for an easy side. Add cannellini beans, mushrooms, sausage, bacon, or pancetta for more of a main course. Can be added to a pasta dish, stir-fry, ribollita, panini, or pizza as well.

Baby Carrots – Just like baby beets, we prefer carrots at this stage best because they are so sweet and tender. Once you have had beets and carrots at this age, it is hard to go back to those giant ones at the grocery store. Can be sautéed, eaten in a salad or delicious grilled!

Rainbow Chard – Can be prepared as other leafy greens. De-rib and chop rib finely. We enjoy sautéing chard in some olive oil with some garlic, red pepper flakes, and a dash of lemon. Also makes an easy pasta dish with mushrooms.

Pirat Butterhead Lettuce – Siobhan’s favorite lettuce and she considers herself s lettuce snob. Very delicate, sweet, and buttery. Pairs well with

Summer Savory – An herb with a flavor somewhere between sage and thyme, with a peppery note. Works well as a rub for fowl or pork, or cooked with beans or lentils. Add it to a vinaigrette, or mix into a cheesy omelet.

Squash Blossoms – These are perishable, so get them in a bag in your fridge as soon as you get them and make sure to use them in 1 to 2 days. The male flowers of a squash plant. Classically deep fried and/or stuffed. Can be baked, put on pizza, or basically added to any dish you’d make with summer squash. Stuff with ricotta, chèvre, or any kind of soft cheese of your choice.

Braising Orach – At this age, orach is better braised than eaten raw. Prepare as you would other greens, like chard or kale. Snap off the tough base of the stem. Only needs to be cooked a short amount of time.

Broccoli florettes – Stems and all can be eaten. You may want to halve some of the thicker stems, but don’t discard! Sweet and tender, it truly is the asparagus of broccoli! Best lightly cooked in a stir fry, pasta, or on a pizza.

Garlic scapes – These are the reproductive stems of hard-neck type garlic plants. They have a mild garlic flavor. Can be chopped finely and used as a garlic replacement, or chop roughly and stir fry with pork or beef.

Scallop and Cousa squash – Scallop squash is small and disc like with scalloped edges, also known as patty pan. Cousa squash is pale like the scallop squash, but cylindrical in shape. Both can be stuffed and roasted or used like zucchini, but have a milder, sweeter flavor compared to zucchini.

Zucchini – a summer squash with a slightly bitter note. Can be pickled, sautéed, grilled, roasted, or raw in a slaw. Used in a variety of dishes. We love paring it with black beans—in enchiladas, chili, on black bean burgers, in burritos, tacos, etc. If you have a mandolin slicer, you can make ribbons and use as a noodle substitute.

Kenebec new Potatoes – These are young potatoes before the skins become tough. That’s why they’re a little peely looking, because they’re fragile when we clean them. These tender little tubers are fantastic roasted with thyme and or rosemary (hence why that’s in your crate), in a cream sauce with thyme, sliced thinly on a pesto pizza, paired with mushrooms or bacon, or used in a potato salad.

Cucumber – This is the first variety of cucumber for the season. It has a thinner skin and milder flavor than grocery store cucumbers. Other than on sandwiches, wraps and salads, cucumbers are also good pickled, in salsas, Thai dishes, and sushi. And cucumbers make a tasty addition in juices. They also pair well with sheep’s milk yogurt and goat cheese.

Fennel Bulb – Fennel is easiest sliced raw in a salad or slaw, but can also be roasted. Pairs well with cucumber, fruits (strawberries, apples, orange), with potatoes, beets, and with pork or fish. Like carrots, remove the sprigs to store in your fridge. The sprigs can be used as a garnish or to make a pesto, or mixed into bread dough.

Kohlrabi – A member of the cabbage family, it has a mild sweet flavor and crisp texture that can be eaten cooked or raw. Peel off the tough outer layer, and use grated raw in a kohlslaw or on tacos, boil in a curry, steam and mash with potatoes, or roast alone or with some root vegetables.

Marionberry – A delicious variety of blackberry named after Marion County, Oregon where it was developed. Other than enjoying it alone, they’re fantastic on shortbread with whipped cream, stewed with a little sugar and topped on vanilla ice cream with a bit of honeycomb, or made into a sauce with pork, beef, duck or venison. We only have a small quantity of marionberries this year so we will be rotating who gets them through the upcoming weeks.