This week your basket contains: potatoes, radishes, raab or purple sprouting broccoli (full shares only), BLUE FENUGREEK, salad mix (spinach and lettuce), cooking greens (kale, turnip thinnings, and bok choy), and TURNIPS
The salad this week is from plants we started in January and February. Having been grown in the hoop houses these greens are particularly succulent, tender, and tasty. These wonderful spring greens call for a light hand when dressing your salad.
Occasionally, we like to try something completely new. Years ago, one of our subscribers suggested growing fenugreek for spring greens. This bitter herb, that looks a bit like clover, can be chopped and added to chapati dough or sprinkled on curries in India. We tried it and found it didn’t like our cool Spring temperatures. Fast forward a decade. We discovered Blue Fenugreek seeds at a Winter Vegetable Sagra. A cousin of the regular fenugreek, this type lives in Europe and is much happier with Oregon’s climate. The seeds are smaller and, most amazingly, smell exactly like maple syrup! The greens are a cross between radicchio and pea greens in flavor, but when you cook them a whiff of maple syrup emerges. In Italy and Eastern Europe, the plant is grown for its seed, which is ground and added to baked goods (rye bread in Italy) and vegetable patties (in Georgia). So we had to devise a recipe that we thought shows off Blue Fenugreek leaves! Of course, throwing it in salad, or using it in Indian dishes is always an option.
FLUFFY PARMESAN BISCUITS WITH BLUE FENUGREEK
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
4-6 Tbsp. chilled butter
¾ cup milk
3 Tbsp. chopped blue fenugreek leaves
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar then cut butter into the mixture, using 2 knives, a pastry cutter or your fingers. When the mixture is sandy, with no pieces of butter larger than a pea, add the grated Parmesan. make a well in the center and add the milk all at once. Stir just until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle finely chopped fenugreek leaves over dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board. Knead gently and quickly, folding over about 8-10 times. Roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin between ¼-1/2” thick. Cut with 1 1/2” biscuit cutter and place on an ungreased baking sheet. You may brush the tops with milk or melted butter. Cook for 12-15 minutes until golden. Adapted from The Joy of Cooking.
Nothing confirms that we are in full-on springtime like having turnips in your baskets! We’ve had people tell us that the recipe below is a family tradition with these first lovely turnips of the year. We grow a Japanese variety called Hakurei which is particularly tasty and not very much like the Swedish turnips we grow in fall.
MORROCAN TURNIP AND CHICKEN STEW
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 small (2 1/2 lb) chickens
3 Tb butter
1 Tb oil
5 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp powdered saffron
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 lb small turnips
2 cups chopped turnip leaves and stems
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper
Rinse chickpeas in water and rub lightly to remove skins; drain and set aside. Cut chickens into quarters, removing wing tips and backbones; put them aside for stock. Melt butter and oil in a casserole and lightly brown chicken on all sides, cooking in two batches if necessary. Slice onions and stir into butter and oil to color. Then add the chickpeas, stock, pepper, ginger, saffron, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add turnips and greens and simmer 20 minutes more. Remove chicken and turnips to a covered warm dish. Boil sauce to reduce, mashing some of the chickpeas against the side of the pan to thicken the sauce; it may take 10-15 minutes to produce a nice thick sauce. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Reheat the chicken and turnips in the sauce and serve. Serves 6 to 8. From The Victory Garden Cookbook.
RHUBARB is ready! We can send along a bunch (approx. 1LB) for only $4 just email to order!