CSA Challenge: Box #2

1 Jul

Hi! I hope everyone ate everything up from their first boxes! If you tried any delicious recipes please pass them along to us. If you thought you had some strange things in the last box, box #2 is going to be a great adventure. This week in your boxes you have a few familiar faces. You should recognize the salad turnips, chocolate mint and watercress from the first box, and then you should also be able to identify the snow and snap peas as well as the red head lettuce. The rest of the produce is a little less common; you have elderflower blossoms, lemon balm, milkweed buds, sorrel, romanesco leaves, kohlrabi and garlic scapes. Here’s some information about these crazy things, recipes and video below!!!

You’ve probably seen elderflower blossoms (pictured above) yourself growing on bushes and shrubs and thought nothing of them, but they are edible. The are small, white flowers that bloom in bloom in clusters in late spring. The extract from the blossoms is used to make elderflower syrup and St-Germain (which I recently sampled at a wedding) is also made from elderflowers. We recommend you take these umbels of flowers, dip them in a batter and fry them up for a sweet treat.

Lemon balm obviously has a lemony flavor and it also has a hint of mint. It would be excellent on fruit salad or chopped into green salads. You could muddle it into fruit spritzers just as you would with mint. You could chop it up and add it to scrambled eggs. It is a great compliment to broccoli and asparagus, and you can even use it as a substitute for lemon zest in recipes.

The milkweed buds look like soft miniature heads of broccoli. Saute them up for a very unique treat. You want to cook them until they turn bright green, but avoid cooking them too long or they will become mushy, and you’ll miss out on the excellent texture they have when cooked correctly. If you research milkweed buds you may read that they are very bitter and need to be boiled before they are eaten, this isn’t true! Just saute.

Sorrel has a very tart, but fruity, taste. It would be a refreshing addition to your everyday foods. You can shred it and add it to sandwiches, salads or soups, make omelets with it or combine it with cooked beans or grains.

The romanesco leaves can be cooked as you normally would with bok choy, spinach, kale or swiss chard, and you could combine the romanesco leaves with any of these other greens as well for a tasty mixture. The leaves come from a cauliflower/broccoli-like plant so they retain some of that flavor along with a hint of lemon.

The kohlrabi is the crazy looking veggie with big stems and leaves coming off of it. It has a mild, sweet broccoli/cabbage taste with a crisp texture. Fun fact about the kohlrabi: it is often mistaken for a root vegetable, but the whole crazy thing you have actually grows above ground. It is high in fiber, potassium, vitamins A and C, folic acid and calcium. You can eat it cooked or raw. Try cutting it into sticks for a quick, crunchy snack, grate it onto salads, dice it and add it to salsa, include it in a stir fry or even grill it. The greens from the kohrabi can also be eaten; just prepare them as you would kale or swiss chard.

Last but not least we have the garlic scapes. They are part of the garlic plant, so they do have a strong garlicy-oniony flavor. When garlic is grown, the bulb begins growing underground. As the bulb gets harder, the tendril-like shoots come up through the ground and it is then at the scape stage. The scapes are cut off to let the garlic bulb continue growing. You can eat these cooked or raw as well. Slice them thin for salads, saute for a side dish or add to omelets, quesadillas or tacos. Use them as a garnish for rice, add them to roasted veggies or toss with oil and grill.

Elderflower Blossom Fitters
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder

  1. Whisk together the eggs and milk. Sift in the flour, sugar and baking powder, stirring gently until just incorporated.
  2. Hold the stem of the flower and dip the clusters in the batter. Set into oil heated to 375 degrees for about 4 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Snip the tiny branches connecting the flowers to the stem and allow the fritter to drain on a paper towel.
  3. Drizzle them with cream and lemon or honey or maple syrup or dust them with powdered sugar.

Sauteed Milkweed Buds
milkweed buds
minced garlic
red chile flakes
sesame oil
sea salt

  1. Saute the milkweed buds with garlic and chile flakes for a few minutes, finishing with a bit of sesame oil and salt.

Lemon Balm Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced lemon balm
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2/3 teaspoon agave nectar
8 tablespoons oil

  1.  Mix first 7 ingredients together, then slowly blend in the oil.
  2. Mix well before serving. Also works as a marinade. Makes about 2/3 cup.

Lemon Balm Chicken Cups
1 cup cooked chicken
1/2 cup mayo, plain yogurt, salad dressing or oil
1/4 cup diced celery
fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons minced lemon balm
whole lemon balm leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
lettuce for serving

  1. Mix all ingredients together. Chill before serving inside lettuce cups (radicchio works beautifully!). Garnish with lemon balm leaves.

Lemon Balm Tea
1 tablespoon fresh chopped lemon balm
slice of fresh ginger
teaspoon honey

  1. Steep the lemon balm in a mug of boiling water for 15 minutes.
  2. Add fresh ginger and honey.

Sorrel and Goat Cheese Quiche
2-3 cups sorrel, coarsely chopped
a few scallions, chopped (you could also substitute some garlic scapes here)
3-4 ounces of goat cheese
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Spread goat cheese in the bottom of a pie crust. Cover with chopped sorrel and scallions.
  2. Beat together eggs, salt and milk. Pour over the greens. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes; until top is golden brown.

Chickpeas with Sorrel
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (or substitue some garlic scapes)
large pinch ground cumin
1/2 dried red chili pepper, crumbled (or red chili flakes)
kosher salt
2/3 cup (or large handful) of shredded sorrel
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed

  1. In a medium pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and cumin and stir. Sprinkle chili pepper on top and season with salt. Cook until onion is soft but not brown, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Stir in sorrel, then chickpeas; cook until chickpeas are heated through.

Southern Romanseco Greens
1 bunch kale
1 bunch romanseco leaves
1 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup cubed ham
2 1/2 cups water
salt and pepper
balsamic vinegar

  1. Tear greens into large pieces. Add to a pot of boiling water. Let boil for 6 minutes. Drain and rinse.
  2. While greens are boiling, preheat a skillet with olive oil, add onion and garlic and saute until onions are slightly brown. Add jalapeno peppers and cook an additional minute.
  3. Put the onions in a slow cooker, and add the greens, ham, crushed red pepper and water.
  4. Cook on high for 4 hours. Serve with balsamic vinegar.

Romanseco Chips
1 bunch romanseco leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 300. Rinse and dry the leaves. Cut into large pieces, toss with oil and salt.
  2. Arrange pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes or until crisp.

Grilled Kohlrabi
1 kohlrabi
sea salt
olive oil

  1. Slice or chop kohlrabi, and toss in a bowl with oil. Sprinkle with salt, and wrap in aluminum foil.
  2. Place on the grill and cook 10-12 minutes.

Sauteed Kohlrabi and Watercress
1 pound of small kohlrabi bulbs
1 bunch watercress
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  1. Peel kohlrabi and cut into 2-inch long julienne strips.
  2. In a skillet, heat oil over moderately high heat. Saute kolhrabi, stirring, until crisp-tender, 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add lemon juice and saute, stirring, 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and stir in watercress. Season with salt and pepper.

Garlic Scapes Pesto
1 cup garlic scapes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/3 cup walnuts
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmigiano
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

  1. Place walnuts and scapes in food processor and process until well combined and somewhat smooth.
  2. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until well integrated. Scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add parmigiano, salt and pepper.

Grilled Garlic Scapes
a tangle of garlic scapes
olive oil
lemon juice
sea salt

  1. Toss the scapes with oil. Lay them on a hot grill. Grill until soft in some spots, a little charred in others.
  2. Remove from grill. Drizzle on lemon juice and sprinkle with sea salt.
Mulberry Muffins (we didn’t actually have any mulberries in the box, but we wanted to share this delicious recipe with you)
1 cup bisquick
1 cup almond flour
2/3 rice milk (or other milk of your choice)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mulberries
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1 egg

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and line 12 muffins cups with paper liners.
  2. Combine bisquick and almond flour in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk rice milk, vanilla, agave, oil and egg together in a medium bowl. Pour wet ingredients in dry and combine.
  4. Fold the berries in. Spoon into lined muffin tins. Bake for 25 minutes.
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