The beets, berries, and blossoms made for an especially beautiful box of food this week. I wanted to spread it all out and take one picture of everything, but one look at my kitchen table covered in daily dross stomped all over that idea.
So here’s the food once again in shifts.
- Red Russian kale
- snow peas
- baby beets
- strawberries (Have you noticed Georgia strawberries are totally superior to Florida strawberries? )
- baby spinach (bone dry and in lovely condition – good job, packers!)
- one large cabbage of undetermined variety (cross between Savoy and Chinese?)
- garlic scapes!
- catmint flowers
- chamomile flowers
- cilantro flowers
- chive flower
- peony petals, Johnny-jump-ups, and one mystery flower
Blossom pack fun
These blossoms are pretty cool. The catmint and chamomile will be herbal tea for me. I’m not sure what will happen to the cilantro, yet. Maybe I’ll make another pad thai and add these guys right at the end. I already added the chive flower to last night’s garlic scape pesto (more below). And I used the rest of the blossoms to make flower syrup for tea or to mix with sparkling water or champagne. I made a half-sized batch following this recipe. Unfortunately, I let it boil too long, and it crystallized before I could strain it. (Not a big problem, though, because I got to eat a couple of candied peony petals. Incredible!) I think if I reheat the jar, it will re-liquefy and I can strain it then. This morning, I just chipped off a little of the sugar for my tea. Very nice, subtle flavor.
Garlic scape pesto and baby beets
Last night we had garlic scape pesto and a salad of lettuce, spinach, and baby beet greens. The lettuce and spinach were especially nice, and we look forward to more salads in the coming days.
Baby beets are so cool. One bunch of baby beets gives you
- roots to roast, chill, and slice,
- baby greens to tear up and use in salads,
- stems you can chop and add to stir-fries or casseroles,
- and a high-quality rubber band.
I wanted to try something else with the garlic scapes other than pesto. But then I ran into this site, which convinced me there was no resisting the pesto. (I also really dig this page because it looks like someone else serves good food on mismatched plates on a plain old kitchen table that is eternally occupied with the stuff of life. Take that Bon Appetit magazine with your spotless, glossy dining rooms!)
My pesto ended up more pine nuts and Romano cheese than garlic scapes, so I tossed in the chive flower bits to give it some extra zing. I also did as my inspiratory blogger did and added some pasta water to the sauce before mixing it with the (drained) pasta. Incredible how creamy this made the sauce. The pasta felt downright decadent without any butter or cream.
And later this week…
I’ll get to see if Red Russian kale is as good with raisins and pine nuts as the Tuscan kale’s been.
If Chris doesn’t eat all the blueberries fresh, I’ll flash freeze them with the strawberries for late-night snacks.
I think I’m going to have to give away at least some of the cabbage. Because its leaves are thinner, I don’t think it will store as well as green cabbage. Better to hand some of it off now so that it all gets used at its peak.
Some kind of stir-fry is in our future. Snow peas, green onion parts, cabbage, and beet stems will play starring roles.
The onion bulbs I’ll store in a wire basket. Hopefully they’ll last a good long time. It’s so nice to have local onions. Which reminds me that Chris asked for burgers this week. That’s why I ordered ground beef from the online store along with sausage and extra strawberries.
So at some point, we’ll have burgers with caramelized onions.