One of the questions I most dread to hear from our CSA members is “What do you do with this vegetable?” It is an innocuous enough inquiry and yet it always makes me cringe. One of the dirty secrets of non conventional farming is that it doesn’t leave the farmer much time to be creative in the kitchen. I’m ashamed to admit that I probably eat Ants on a log for dinner 2 or 3 times a week, without the ants...or the log. So you can see how, coming from a culinary background that celebrates eating peanut butter off of a spoon or canned tuna with hot sauce (served in the can naturally), I feel a bit under qualified to offer any gourmet tips for preparing the veggies that we grow. Luckily for me so many of our vegetables recommend themselves for eating raw. I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 favorite underrated vegetable for raw snacking.
1) Pickling Cucumbers- Not just great pickled these guys make a great snack for fresh eating. Few foods can match the pickling cuke for refreshment or crunch. Although a bit insipid pickling cukes have a great mild “green” flavor that I can’t get enough.
2) Kohlrabi- Young red kohlrabi are an especially delicious raw treat. I like to think of these sweet and slightly spicy goodies as “cabbage apples”. When picked at an early stage kohlrabi is tender enough to eat skin and all.
3) Broccoli Stalk- Although literally as well as figuratively overshadowed by the tightly packed crown of buds it supports, broccoli stalk is actually superior in flavor. The tough outer skin easily peals back from the tender, sweet, and juicy stalk. Once you try it you may never go back to eating the crown again.
4) Garlic Scapes- Definitely a taste that requires acquiring, garlic scapes are well worth the effort. Slightly sweet and deeply savory, scapes have a certain addictive quality once you begin eating them raw.
5) “Bulls horn” type peppers such as Carmen, Oranos or Jimmy Nardello- Although not technically considered snack peppers, these varieties have fantastic raw eating qualities. Medium thick fleshed, crunchy and exceptionally sweet, these colored peppers make for very satisfying snacking
In other CSA news, we will be offering pickling cucumbers for whole sale in bulk to our members this week so if you have any great pickling recipes please bring em’ in for our recipe board. Thanks and have a great week.
What’s in the share: Lettuce, escarole, Alisa Craig onions, tomatoes, peppers, summer squash and zucchini, cucumbers, watermelon, Chieftain Potatoes, chard, beets, carrots, greens PYO herbs, beans, flowers, cherry tomatoes
What’s new: PYO hot peppers and husk cherries