On to week 2. Spring is the time for leafy greens, commented the farmers at Nichols Farm in their weekly email, and this box and the last were full of them. There are so many ways to prepare greens. Sometimes I cook them Southern-style, with a bit of pork and hot sauce; sometimes they get sautéed with garlic; and this week I prepared a warm mustard green salad with black-eyed peas that definitely will resurface on future menus.
Sadly, this is the last week for asparagus. The farmers stop cutting the plant mid-June to ensure it remains strong for next year. This week’s box contained green garlic, onions, mustard greens, kale, asparagus, butter lettuce, radishes, turnips and Russian Banana fingerling potatoes.
Salmon is one of my favorite proteins, and it fell off the rotation the last couple of weeks. As a result, I thought I’d kick off this week with a slow-cooked salmon with turnips and kale. I riffed on this Bon Appetit recipe, substituting kale for the chard.
As an aside, I’ve made a couple of slow-cooked salmon recipes recently, and the fish always turns out perfectly without too much hovering over it to ensure it doesn’t come out of the pan overdone.
The weekly farmbox often is stocked with items rarely seen in typical grocery stores. Green garlic is one of those. At local farmer’s markets, it also might be labeled spring garlic. It looks similar to green onions with a small garlic bulb at the bottom. It’s immature garlic, and it can be used in recipes that call for mature garlic, scallions, onions, or leeks. However, when substituting green garlic, some experimentation might be necessary because it has a lighter flavor.
I added finely chopped green garlic to fresh ricotta and threw in some parsley and salt and pepper. This made a sauce for penne pasta. I also put together a butter lettuce and radish salad that had a sherry vinaigrette. The pasta was good, but I think that next time, I might cook the garlic slightly beforehand to take the edge off.
Summer days are made for grilling burgers. Sunday's main dish was patty melts with Swiss cheese and grilled onions on rye bread. Because the grill was fired up for the burgers, it was easy to throw the asparagus and spring onions on it, too. The other side dishes were fingerling potato salad and a warm mustard green salad with black-eyed peas and bacon. Both salads were good, but the mustard green salad was fantastic. It was one of those recipes where I couldn’t envision how all the different flavors were going to work together but it turned out delicious in the end. If you’d like to make it, here it is.
Do you have a great green garlic recipe? I’d love to try it.