DIGGING DEEPER

In Your Share (Jan 8, 2018 edition)

Happy New Year!! We are pleased to ring in the first share of 2018 with lots of fresh healthy veggies including this beautiful Variegata di Chioggio radicchio!! Over the years we have grown many kinds of radicchio and it has often been a challenging crop for us. Sometimes we didn’t get high quality seeds, other times the varieties were just not well adapted to our climate or maybe didn’t have the right planting dates or field conditions. Suffice it to say we are very happy with this particular radicchio (thank you Adaptive Seeds) and definitely plan to grow it again next year!! It is incredibly beautiful, very productive and super tasty. It has a nice balance of bitter and sweet. The bitter flavors are stronger when raw so if you like that use it in salad with a bold flavored dressing. To tone down the bitter and bolster the sweetness shred the leaves, soak them in ice water for 30 min or more, then cook the greens. There are several recipe tips below and you’ll find even more amazing recipes for radicchio and everything else in your share are available to members at Cook With What You Have. If you joined our Winter CSA you will find your password in the member email. Enjoy 24/7 access to recipe inspiration!

If you are not yet a member, it is easy to sign up for a pro-rated Winter Spring CSA Share online. And you’ll get one of our big sturdy organic cotton tote bags if you sign up in January!!

This week your share may include…

  • Carrots: Sweet winter carrots – yum!
  • Collards: Gotta love those greens!
  • Garlic: I usually sauté garlic with onions as the base for any number of culinary adventures. This week I made a nice garlic aioli which was tasty with roasted root veggies and makes a nice base for creamy salad dressing. Yum!
  • Kohlrabi: Peel, cut into apple slice wedges and take it with you for a snack. Sweet enough to eat by itself and also tasty with humus or dips. Or try one of the 2 dozen recipes at Cook With What You Have.
  • Onions: Yellow storage onions this week.
  • Potatoes: This red variety is tasty roasted alone or with other root crops.
  • Radicchio, Variegata di Chioggia: This beautiful radicchio is no wall flower – it is a nice combo of bitter and sweet flavors. The radicchio’s bitterness is due to intybin, which stimulates the appetite and digestive system, and acts as a tonic for the blood and liver. You can temper radicchio’s bitter edge by soaking it in ice water or cooking it or serving it with sour things (vinegar, citrus juice, sour cream, salami), salty things (salt, olives, capers), or fatty things (oils, butter, cheeses, bacon) since all these methods help reduce the bitter compounds. If you want to highlight radicchio’s bright and bitter flavor try it with sweet (sugar, fruits, jams) or pungent (mustard, anchovies, blue cheese, black pepper) foods.
  • Black Radish: The dark leathery skin of this radish is part of what makes it a terrific winter vegetable – this rough & tough skin protects it from the vagaries of the weather & keeps nibbling field mice at bay. This vegetable was first cultivated in the eastern Mediterranean has since been used in Indian, Egyptian & Chinese cuisine and in a variety of health tonics. Definitely peel this one, then try it roasted, mashed, or in slaw.
  • Rutabaga: This gnarly looking root vegetable is believed to be the result of a long ago cross between a turnip and a cabbage. Botanically the turnip & rutabaga are distinctly different – more on that here. In the kitchen, these two related species are often used interchangeably.  After peeling the outer layer off try it roasted, mashed, or in slaw.
  • Winter Squash, Mariana di Chioggia: This squash is from Chioggia (pronounced kee-OH-gee-uh) one of the most famous vegetable growing regions in Italy. Our favorite radicchio (see above) and one of our best summer beets also hail from this town near Venice.  The squash has a characteristic bumpy exterior that starts out greenish-grey in color & ripens to orange in storage. It supposedly earned the nickname of Zucca Barucca, or pumpkin with warts. Although there is an alternative story that links it to the Hebrew word baruch which translates to Holy Squash. Take your pick of translations, in some ways they are both true – warty on the outside and divine flavor on the inside. The sweet brilliant orange flesh is traditionally used for pasta fillings (such as tortelli or cappellacci) but it also makes a tasty roasted squash.

Coming soon… Lovely Leeks!