Yu Choy Sum
Broccoli or Sugar Snap Peas
We had such a productive week even with all the heat and now we are getting to the late Spring point where every week we add new vegetables to our harvest list and new plantings/ successions of Summer crops are being planted. Anyhow it is the beginning of the summer push where there is a never-ending list of things to get done and it is exciting while simultaneously exhausting. The most difficult part is remaining diligent about early hoeing or cultivation of crops and consistent irrigation, both things help the crops thrive and be healthy and save us time down the road. We are just looking ahead and hoping for a bit of rain; but it looking dry out there.
It is garlic scape time. We have this lovely delicacy for only two or three weeks each year and we look forward to them all spring. A longish scape will be equivalent to 1-2 cloves of garlic. You can mash them, mince them, or use in bigger pieces for some garlic punch. The scape would eventually become the flower bud on each garlic plant. By pulling them out, more energy is put into growing the bulb, making for larger garlic in the end. The scape on its own is tender with a little crunch and has a superb garlic flavor without a ton of heat. They will store in a plastic bag for at least 3 weeks, but can also be pickled using the brine for a basic dilly bean recipe and they make amazing additions to any pickle plate. Other options for the scapes are making garlic butter (blend the scapes, mix with softened butter and a little salt, then using wax paper make the butter into a log roll, wrap in plastic wrap, freeze, and use as needed.) or garlic scape pesto. Feel free to use them as a substitute for garlic in recipes, just add more volume than recipe requires, as the scapes are definitely more subtle than a clove of garlic.
The share also includes Yu Choy Sum, similar to rapini or broccoli raab, you can use the stem, leaf, and floret/ flowers; but without the peppery spice. This is a sweet crisp green related to bok choy and it takes very little cooking time. It can be boiled, braised, roasted, or sautéed; but do whatever at a high heat and for a very short time. Check out the recipes below for some delicious Asian dishes. Enjoy the share…..Brian and Autumn
Garlic Scapes & Eggs
This recipe is terrific with garlic scapes, the flower bud that forms on certain types of garlic just before the bulb starts to bulge and divide into cloves.
1 cup chopped spring garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
salt & pepper
Saute the garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes or so, until soft and starting to brown. Add the cheese in an even layer and immediately crack the eggs on top. Fry the eggs over high, sprinkle with salt & pepper, then flip. The bottom should be a slightly charred mass of crispy, salty , garlicky goodness. Cook the yolks easy or hard as desired. Serves two for breakfast with toast and orange juice.
Daikon and Daikon Leaf Salad – Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
1 medium-small daikon
1 TB Sea Salt
2 small or 1 medium Yuzu (or substitute Meyer Lemon)
2 TB Organic Miso
2 TB Organic Rice Vinegar
4 TB Organic Rapeseed Oil
2 TB Slivered Scallions
Slice the daikon into manageable lengths. Cut those pieces in half vertically and slice lengthwise into fine slabs. Lay those slabs flat on the cutting board and slice into fine julienned strands about 1.5 inches long. Put the julienned daikon into a medium-sized bowl as you go. Chop a large handful of the most tender leaves medium -fine and add to the julienned daikon. Sprinkle with the salt and massage in gently. Let sit for 10 minutes. Pare off the yellow zest of a yuzu or meyer lemon with a sharp knife, avoiding the white pith. Stack roughly and slice into fine slivers. Muddle the miso with the vinegar and whisk in the oil until emulsified. Squeeze the daikon and daikon leaves in handfuls and drop into a clean bowl. Toss with the yuzu peel and onion greens. Give the dressing a quick whisk and fold into the daikon right before serving. Ratio: miso:rice vinegar:oil – 1:1:2
Asian Chicken Soup with Greens
For the broth:
1 whole chicken
1 head garlic, peeled and smashed
2-3 scallions, cut into large pieces
½ bunch cilantro, leaves, stems and roots, washed
2 inches ginger root, cut into thick slices
1 Tbsp salt & pepper to taste
For the soup:
4 oz. cellophane rice noodles or egg noodles
½ lb greens (bok choy, mustard greens, pea shoots, spinach)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sweet rice cooking wine or mirin
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, for garnish
Rinse the chicken thoroughly, remove giblet bag and place in a large pot with cold water to cover by 2 inches (around 2 ½ quarts of water). Add garlic, cilantro, scallions, ginger, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer very gently for 1 ½ hours, or until the meat falls off the bone. Remove chicken carefully to a colander and allow it to cool. Strain the stock and skim the fat that rises to the surface. (If you make the stock in advance, refrigerate it overnight and remove the congealed fat the next day. You can also use a special device for separating fat that looks like a big measuring cup with a spout that pours from the bottom). When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull off all the meat and shred it with your fingers. Use a nice handful of the meat for the soup and save the rest for another use (Vietnamese chicken salad, perhaps?).
Meanwhile soak the rice noodles in warm tap water for 15-20 minutes, drain and set aside. If using egg noodles, cook them in boiling water until al dente, drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside. Wash greens and cut into fairly large pieces. Bring the stock to a boil and season with the soy sauce and wine. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Add greens and chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Place a handful of noodles in each soup bowl. Pour soup over noodles and serve garnished with chopped cilantro.
Variations: This soup can easily be made into wonton soup. Get some wonton wrappers from the store (usually sold next to the tofu). For the filling mix together ½ lb ground pork, 2 finely chopped scallions, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp rice wine, salt & pepper. Follow directions on the package to fill them. Boil with the greens in the hot stock until they float.