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[Week 16] Operation Vegetable Revive
Plus: A Favorite Way to Cook Broccoli Rabe
Oh Farm Share Friends,
Last week was a scramble. Due to some scheduling conflicts, I could not get to the CSA pick-up site to grab our vegetables, so a friend kindly dropped them off. When I finally got around to tending to them hours later, I pulled the tomatoes out of the bag, but chucked everything else, still in the bag, in the fridge.
I didn’t open that bag till Saturday, and as you can imagine, when I did, I found some sorry looking items: a floppy head of bok choy…
… and a sad bundle of scallions.
And so I plunged the bok choy into a bowl of cold water…
… and thankfully it perked up very quickly. I’m always surprised by how well this works. You can do this with all sorts of greens such as kale, chard, mustard greens, and others. I drained and dried the greens, then made this Chili Crunch Boy Choy.
The scallions cleaned up nicely, too:
Regarding the scallions, one of you commented recently that your scallions turned brown within a day of storing them in water on the counter. This was a bummer to hear, and I really don’t know what to say except that I have learned over the years that different varieties of herbs and vegetables respond differently to various storage techniques.
For instance: my farm share basil thrives in a glass of water at room temperature. The basil I buy from the store, however, does not: it will shrivel within an hour of being set in a glass of water. I find this type of basil lasts longer in an airtight bag in the fridge.
Recently, I have noticed the scallions are tiring more quickly than earlier in the year, but I still find they hold up best at room temperature in a jar of water. As needed, I trim away scraggly ends:
Overall, I find this method keeps their stalks firmer and crisper than the fridge.
Friends, apologies for never getting out a newsletter last week. I had the last round of edits for my pizza book due on Friday, and, well, as noted, it was a scramble. The good news is that it’s in — like in in. I can’t make any more changes to it, which is both awesome and scary.
This week, I’m so looking forward to receiving broccoli rabe, because I finally learned how to cook it. If any of you have Smitten Kitchen Keepers, turn to page 108. If you don’t, I’ve included a link below to Deb Perelman’s recipe in the book for Broccoli Rabe with Broken Burrata. I love this recipe for many reasons, but namely for the pan-steaming method of cooking the broccoli rabe, which calls for sautéing it (chopped up, stems and all) in olive oil with garlic and pepper flakes, adding water, covering it, and cooking it for two minutes.
You finish it with fresh lemon juice and burrata, and the whole dish is just fantastic. I love not having to blanch the rabe first. I love using the stems. I love how quickly it all comes together. I hope you do, too.
PS: I can’t wait to share my pizza book — Pizza Night — with you! It comes out next April. Here’s a snap of one of my favorites: a white pizza with pistachios, honey, and arugula:
This week I’ll shoot to use the spinach, tatsoi, and bok choy first. I’ll store the scallions on the countertop (in a glass filled with a little bit of water), and I’ll store the tomatoes on the countertop as well.
Week 16 Vegetables
beets → Beet Recipes
cilantro → Herb Recipes
tomatoes → Tomato Recipes
scallions → Scallion Recipes
head lettuce → Salads
spinach → Spinach Recipes
purple tatsoi and bok choi → 15 Bok Choy Recipes
fennel → Fennel Recipes
broccoli rabe → Lots of good ideas in the comments of this post.
tokyo bekana → Tokyo Bekana Recipes (please share your ideas too!)
Find recipes for all the vegetables here → Farm Share Vegetables
8 Recipes to Make This Week
Last weekend, I made a batch of this apple cider vinaigrette, which I used to dress a few salads featuring the arugula, head lettuce, radishes, turnips, and fennel we received. We are not receiving radishes or turnips this week, but one thing I like to do with these roots along with fennel is to shave them thinly on my mandoline, salt them briefly — just a couple of minutes — before adding the greens and the dressing.
I added scallions (of course) to these salads and shaved in some Manchego, too. I’ll likely do this again this week with the lettuce, scallions, and fennel we are receiving.
For the spinach, these Addictive Black Lentils are a favorite:
This recipe for tomato risotto, which I read about on the Amateur Gourmet, looks and sounds wonderful. Tomato season is coming to an end, and I’m determined to try a few new recipes before it passes. This one gets great reviews:
Last night I roasted a head of yellow cauliflower tossed with olive oil and salt, and it was so delicious (and very pretty, too). We are not receiving cauliflower today, but we are receiving more beets, and I feel like the two would go well together: maybe this dip with the roasted cauliflower tumbled atop. I will report back if it’s a success.
This beet and ricotta hummus also looks fantastic. (Thanks, Erinn!) The above dip uses raw beets; this one uses cooked.
Last year when we received Tokyo bekana, and I had no idea what to do with it, one of you (Hi Hope 👋) emailed me saying this:
“I got Tokyo bekana at Union Square last week. It's very tender, more like lettuce than napa. But it is a crucifer and it was chilly, so I cooked it, albeit briefly. What I made was basically this Martha Rose Schulman recipe, with a very reduced cooking time. I combined it with some udon I had and some smoked tofu. Totally delicious.”
I have been making this one-pot chickpea curry with fresh tomatoes — it’s a great way to use up past prime tomatoes.
Fellow Farm Sharers: Please share in the comments links to recipes you are loving for your farm share vegetables! Tips, questions, and suggestions are always welcome, too. Enjoy your vegetables! 🥦🥬🥒🌶🌽🥕 See you next week :)