Farm Happenings at Farmer Joe's Gardens
Back to Farm Happenings at Farmer Joe's Gardens

[CSA Update] Welcome to week 15

Posted on June 14th, 2022 by Ida DeFrancesco

One can only eat so many salads. Having a bounty of fresh greens like kale, chard, collards, and lettuce can be overwhelming.

We don't want to leaf you hanging!

We have been planting and harvesting lettuce for four generations. When I began the CSA in 2010, it changed how we farm. I focused the baskets on making meals.

After going through your own favorite recipes - anyone can get burned out by the third week. Here are some of my favorite tips for managing these wonderful, sweet, and tender greens.

Most of the early greens are interchangeable in recipes. Kale, chard, and collards can alternate in most recipes. Lettuces that are tender and leafy vs. the tight heads can switch for each other as long as you are not relying on their structure (making lettuce cup tacos works with romaine and butter crunch, but not as well with oak leaf for example).

Make a go-to vinaigrette from the ingredients you have in your pantry as you usually do - but try something different with new seeds, nuts, or adding a fresh herb (you may have a few to choose from if you have been selecting the plants hint). Crusty bits of bread or walnuts drizzled with salt and olive oil in a pan for just a minute give an excellent addition to greens.

Greens tend to be eaten raw, but they can make lovely soups, additions to a risotto, or saved for later by dehydrating.

Wash your lettuce the day you get your share. Wash in plenty of cold water and lay it out in a more-or-less single layer on cotton dishtowels. Gently roll up the towel(s) and store them in an unsealed plastic bag. It will keep well for 5 -6 days, and you just saved yourself prep time.

Wash the robust greens like kale, collards, and chard before you are going to use them. Keep them in a closed container in your fridge. They can be frozen for use later by cleaning them and then blanching them for 2 minutes. Transfer from the boiling water directly into an ice bath. Spin off the excess water and transfer them to a freezer bag and keep them handy in the freezer.

I keep a mason jar with red wine vinegar inside my fridge door. I keep onions, stems from collards, stems from chard, and stems from kale to add a crunchy pickled addition to a dish without much effort.

If you have some extra fruit like your strawberries, tossing in a few over the greens brightens up a dish. Including feta, goat cheese, or mini chunks of creamy cheese are delicious too.