Monday, June 29, 2009

"Oh, I hope not!"

We enjoy the benefits of receiving a Boston Organics box on a weekly or bi-weekly basis - full of organic veggies and fruit, cage-free eggs, and fair trade coffee. But that's not enough! This year I also bought a share in a CSA (since our back 40 square feet is paved with bluestone and can't support much in the way of a garden....) Our Farm School CSA box yields such delights as garlic scapes, kohlrabi, and fresh herbs each week. What is a kohlrabi, you may ask? (I had to Google it, and then Epicurious it to find a recipe for it....) Well, it's kind of like a shiny smooth celery root complete with stalks, but the stalks are more like kale or chard greens, and the root tastes more like a cabbage heart. Ah, the culinary adventures. I used the greens as kale in a kale/potato/cilantro/chorizo soup, and cubed the root part to make a chopped salad (along with apple and fresh baby fennel.) But that's not enough! This week I ALSO went down to the wonderful Union Square farmers' market to get such delights as fresh made that morning mozzarella, small farm chipotle goat cheese, and cranberry lavendar lemonade - not to mention more greenery. I was intrigued by one of the offerings - fava tendrils. As I am a big fan of pea tendrils which are lovely, I bought a bunch and brought it home in one of my wonderful reusable bags, along with a beautiful leafy bunch of baby fennel and some new beets with greens (roasted beet and goat cheese salad coming up!) gPop aka Jim is largely tolerant of such adventurousness. I had to Google fava tendrils too - and maybe I should have KNOWN when Epicurious had no recipes for the fava tendrils. Well, I sauteed them with a little olive oil and garlic - and while the leaves tasted okay, kind of like stringy spinach, the stalks were just about inedible. It turns out that the rainy weather here pretty much ruined the fava crop, so the growers are turning to using the greenery as the fava pods just aren't going to make it. Note to self - trim woody stalks. Second note to self - never buy fava tendrils again!

I had used the baby fennel bulbs in a chopped salad, which left me with a giant bunch of delicate, spidery fennel stems and leaves. I began to wonder aloud if anything could be done with them other than a short trip to the kitchen compost bin. Long-suffering Jim was heard to say "Oh, I hope not!"

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