Tuesday, August 2, 2011

CSA Share Week 9

Former farm intern Anna Lehr Mueser pitched in with packing this week's share at the farm. (Thanks Anna!) She holds a few bouquets of this week's ultra healthy (and beautiful) amaranth greens.

This week we have our first harvest of tomatoes and eggplant coming in. New also are amaranth greens, which come with a little story:

A few miles down the road from the farm is a roadside peddler named Cookie. He has a lot of junk, often some treasure, and always a friendly smile that readily stretches across his deeply tan face. A long-time resident, he knows our farm, and he knows we’ve got plenty of pigweed. Also called amaranth, to us it’s a rampant but relatively benign weed that grows all over the farm and is edible. In the past we’ve pulled some from the ground and brought it to Cookie to cook up. This year, we actually planted a variety of amaranth greens for our CSA members (leftovers for Cookie).

The cultivated version of amaranth is a lot more cooking friendly than the “weed”, with broad, deeply colored green and purple leaves that pluck easily from the stem. It’s mild like spinach and extremely good for you. Here’s an excerpt about it from Wikipedia.com:

“Amaranth greens, also called Chinese spinach, …are a common leaf vegetable throughout the tropics and in many warm temperate regions. It is very popular in India. They are a very good source of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin, and folate, and dietary minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. Because of its valuable nutrition, some farmers grow amaranth today.” That includes us.

Approach it like you would spinach—in soups, in a stir-fry, wilted in olive oil with a little garlic (served with some grilled meat) on the side or in a sandwich with sautéed onions and cheese. We used the amaranth recently in a black bean burrito with brown rice, diced tomato, and some of the sweet onions in this week’s share sautéed until soft and lightly golden.

In this week’s SHARE:
1 bunch amaranth greens
1 bunch basil
6 1/3 ounces arugula
2 jalapenos
1 bunch beets
1 bunch Swiss chard
2 sweet bulb onions (1 red, 1 white)
1 large Italian eggplant or 2 Japanese eggplant*

*varies with distribution location

1 comment:

Beth said...

Just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed this week's share. We cooked up a feast last night, and had so much fun finding recipes and trying new things. Thank you for all your hard work to bring us these lovely veggies!