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use it all!

June 10, 2010

This week in your boxes, you’ll be receiving lots of spring veggies. It SEEMS like it should be summer by now, but alas…  I want to encourage you to USE IT ALL, meaning, use the parts of the veggies you wouldn’t necessarily think of:

Kale – Red Russian and Lacinato (Tuscan). Most recipes call for cutting away the tough middle rib and discarding before using these leafy greens. But try slicing them up and sauteing them with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and some of the spring garlic and onions you’ll be getting… When they’re tender, add the rest of the leafy parts until they’re cooked through. Top the whole thing with a poached farm egg, and there you go! My favorite breakfast!

Radishes and Salad Turnips – don’t forget to eat the greens! These also saute or steam beautifully, or work well chopped up in thin strips and added raw to salads for a little extra kick. Oh and don’t forget to eat the radishes and turnips! This recipe looks interesting: If someone tries making these radish chips, let us know what you think! The turnips are small and tender enough to eat raw, too.

Spring garlic and onion – slice them way up the stem as you would scallions, and use raw or however you would use regular onion or garlic. The spring garlics have a milder flavor than garlic bulbs, so they’re not as potent to eat raw. Or try basting them in olive oil and throwing them whole on the grill until the outside leaves get charred, and the inside gets tender. Whoa!

Nettles – Look for another post dedicated solely to this plant. There are pros and cons to cooking and using this green, but by far the pros outweigh the cons. These will be bagged up for you so you don’t pick them up accidentally. USE THEM WITH CAUTION! Nettles lose their sting when immersed in water, cooked, steeped, etc… but they can be pretty prickly if handled raw. They make tremendous teas, and can be a really good way to get over a hangover… if you’re into that sort of thing.

Herbs – the best way to have these beauties last all week long is to treat them as you would cut flowers… trim the cut end, and stick them in a glass with water and put in the fridge. You’ll find fresh oregano, parsley, mint, fennel, rosemary, chives, sage (try frying these leaves whole until they’re crispy and topping up risotto, soup, mashed potatoes… ice cream… just about anything!).

Spinach, arugula, chard, salad greens – you know what to do. Spinach, arugula and Swiss Chard are great fresh, or sauted, or steamed… and even better when topped up with a little of that goat cheese and some fried spring garlic!

Fresh farm eggs – Jon won me over completely the day he perfected making a poached egg. Here’s his secret:

Put a pot of water to boil (a sauce pot works well). When the water boils, add a teaspoon of white vinegar (Don’t forget the vinegar! You’ll end up with egg drop soup). Turn off the heat and stir it in a circle until you make a whirlpool. Then crack the egg into the center of the whirlpool and watch it go! After about 2 minutes, the white part will have cooked up, but the center is still runny… the tricky part is scooping up the egg with a slotted spoon without breaking it open. This just takes practice. Good thing you have a dozen.

Here’s another secret that I didn’t know until I started keeping chickens. Fresh farm eggs are NOT the best for hard boiling… they’re so fresh, the shell sort of sticks to the whites. So if you’re planning to make deviled eggs… keep them for a week or so before attempting. These eggs should keep unrefrigerated for a few weeks. Longer if you put them in the fridge. Consider that by the time the grocery store stocks eggs, they’re already over a week old, and the eggs in your box were still part of the chicken just a few days ago!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. jon basile permalink*
    June 11, 2010 6:18 am

    Just a few minor things to consider….when poaching a PERFECT egg.

    A. Fill the pot half way with water so it doesn’t take to long to boil, I mean come on you know you’re hungry.

    B. You could turn off the heat after you add vinegar, whirlpool, and gently drop in the eggs. Or you could just turn the heat down real low to simmer. (that’s what I do) it will cook a little faster.

    C. It’s all about timing. Keep a close eye on them!

  2. Polly Basile permalink
    June 15, 2010 11:52 am

    Nadine: Lovely narrative on the boxed goodies for the week…as always it makes my mouth water!
    Jon: Thanks for sharing the secret for poached egg lovers everywhere!
    You guys rock 🙂

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