When all the world appears to be in a tumult, and nature itself is feeling the assault of climate change, the seasons retain their essential rhythm. Yes, fall gives us a premonition of winter, but then, winter, will be forced to relent, once again, to the new beginnings of soft greens, longer light, and the sweet air of spring.
I’m posting it to show that every year is so different. The strawberries came in almost 3 weeks earlier this year. I’m hoping we will have broccoli in 2 weeks, but that might be a stretch.
So, for the moment we are stuck with greens and lettuce – and lots of it!!! Just think, in July when it’s 100 degrees, we’ll be wishing for a nice cool salad… but lettuce will be long gone. I had a conversation with a shareholder at the market Wednesday. She asked me a question which recurs every year. How do I cook greens for my family when they don’t really like the bitter taste? I am posting a recipe at the end which I think is the answer. Add sugar and vinegar….that’s the secret (and a little bacon doesn’t hurt either). I’m loading everyone up on turnip greens and collards so if you’re in the mood, you can try it.
Farm News: Our broiler chicks are here and growing. We have had them about 3 weeks now, and they are just getting to be fatties. They have a nice little pasture of grass and clover, lots of bugs and stuff to eat. But mostly they lay around and enjoy the sunshine and eat their non-gmo feed. If you haven’t ordered one and paid your deposit, it’s not too late. If you pre-order you save $1 per pound (they are $5 per pound instead of $6) You will still be able to purchase them if you don’t pre-order. I will send out an e-mail when they are processed, but you will have to pay full price.
Be patient with the greens. We have potatoes, broccoli, beets and carrots coming in a matter of weeks!!
What’s in the bucket this week: Young onions, radishes or baby turnips, radicchio and/or kohlrabi, red leaf and/or bibb lettuce, kale and turnip greens and/or collards, beet greens (great to add to a salad raw, or sauté in olive oil).
So – speaking of bitter, radicchio is your answer. This is a Chicory (class of vegetable) which looks like a miniature red cabbage. Really beautiful and found in most of the commercial lettuce mixes you find. If you don’t prefer a bitter taste, my recommendation is to use it sparingly in a salad with a vinaigrette dressing. If you really want to experience the true bitter flavor, however, grill it or roast it. Cut it in half, brush with olive oil and fresh garlic, and grill it or roast it until the edges start to look crispy. I suggest serving it with potatoes or and a meat – things which are NOT bitter.
And following, the turnip green recipe as promised.
Southern Turnip Greens
Yields 8-12 servings
4 lbs turnip greens- starting weight before washing, trimming and chopping (note: may need to add batches of greens as they are cooking down)
4 ounces smoked bacon
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sorghum syrup
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
6 cups water (note: add water if needed so the liquid meets the surface of the cooked greens in the pot)
Roughly chop raw bacon and render in a large stockpot over low heat for 5 minutes before adding chopped onion. Increase to medium high heat and cook until onions are translucent. Add crushed red pepper, brown sugar, sorghum, vinegar and water and bring to a boil. Add cleaned and chopped greens and simmer for approximately four hours, stirring occasionally and adding extra water if needed. Once greens are fully cooked and tender, taste for seasoning and add salt if desired.