Greens, Greens, Greens

The last distribution for the 2009 season of Upper Meadows Farm’s CSA is loaded with greens. There’s arugula, Hon Tsai Tai, lettuce, Pak Choi, Mizspoona, Yokata-Na, and Green Wave mustard. And there are even more ways to eat them, from soups and salads to main-dish stir-frys and sides. Here are some of my favorites:

Arugula salad with pears. Epicurious gives you several options to combine two of the items in this week’s share, from a salad that combines arugula and pears with Stilton cheese, to an option with the ingredient that I would need on a deserted island, pancetta. The extra ingredient in this latter salad is ricotta salata, which, just like regular ricotta, you can easily make at home. And I think either of these salads would be lovely with a dusting of hickory nuts.

Chinese chicken soup with greens. The Web sites of my favorite Asian cookbooks, “A Spoonful of Ginger” and “Hot Sour Salty Sweet”, are limited and hard to navigate. But both books have excellent chicken soups with greens that can be summed up as follows: Make a big pot of chicken stock, add the coarsely chopped greens of your choice, cooked noodles (I like the thin, mung bean kind), a bit of cooked chicken and a dash of fish sauce. You can build on the pungency of your greens by adding ginger or chile paste, or tamp it down a bit with Chinese black vinegar. Vegetarian? “Washoku”, a Japanese home-style cookbook I have on my shelves, uses a dashi broth with a bit of miso in place of the chicken stock.

Asian greens as a side dish: Cook up more substantial Asian noodles (soba and chow fun are good, as is a noodle I recently discovered that is made from sweet potato starch). Saute the greens lightly in a neutral oil and toss with the noodles and a bit of soy sauce. If you absolutely need a recipe, here’s one from a CSA in Tucson. You could stir fry the greens with gingery sauce.  Easier still: Mark Bittman of the New York Times paired bok choi (Pak Choi in our list) with oyster sauce.

Asian greens in the main course: Take the above, and add protein. Green Your Plate is a wonderful food blog written by a woman who belongs to a midwestern CSA. Earlier this year, she put up a very complete post on Asian greens, and it included several ideas on using them in main courses.

Enough. I’m getting hungry.

Week 22, Final Distribution 2009

Individual Shares, Select 6



Hon Tsai Tai


Mixed Leaf Lettuce

Pak Choi

Baby Leaf Lettuce


Stir-fry mix (baby Kale, Yokata-Na)


EXTRAS: Hickory nuts, Green Wave mustard

Thank you all for participating this year in our CSA!

Please stock up on animal protein. We will have available for purchase, seafood, chicken, and beef all on a first-come, first-served basis. Place your order by clicking on the appropriate link.

Week 21 Shares

Individual shares, select 6



Mixed Baby Lettuce




Pak Choi

Green Wave Mustard

Purple & Red Mustard


Seared Scallops with Bok Choy and Miso

upper-meadows-bok-choi-scallopsThe recipe is from, the Web site for Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines. The bok choi and green onions are from the Week 7 distribution; the scallops are from Leonard’s previous seafood run. Quite quick to make, and quite delicious.

This Week’s Share: Week 7

This Week’s Share:

Individual Shares Choose 6

  • Kale : White Russian or Lacinato
  • Baby Red Onions
  • Greek Oregano
  • Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
  • Bok Choi or Pak Choi- These Chinese cabbages are are mild and sweet and packed with calcium. They are an awesome addition to any stir fry.
  • Blue Hybrid Napa Cabbage
  • Red Deer Tongue or Merlot Lettuce
  • Purslane
  • Escarole

This Week’s Extras: Forellenschluss Lettuce and Flowers

Our Cabbage Patch


Making sauer kraut (old school) slicer, tunker, and crock

Making sauer kraut (old school) slicer, tunker, and crock

If you zoom in on Megan’s greehouse photo from last week, you can see that the first plants sprouting were a cabbage variety called Fun Jen. Not a variety that you’re likely to find in your local supermarket, but as the name would indicate, a happy addition to the dinner table.


Fun Jen is one of 7 varieties of cabbage that I’ve started this year. Like Bok Choi, which I’m also growing, Fun Jen is originally from Asia.  I grow them to add to the spring and summer pantry with sweet tender flavor and loaded with vitamins. But don’t worry, we have plenty of other organic cabbages up our hapily dirty sleeves, including savoy and old reliable green cabbage. About the only kind you aren’t likely to find in your CSA share this year is red cabbage. They make smaller heads and are a bit more finicky.  I really prefer not to devote the field space to them here in zone 5, which is where Upper Meadows is located.      

Cabbage may have gotten a bad name in the American kitchen. About the only time most households see one whole is on St. Patrick’s Day, when it gets boiled to death. But cabbage is prized in much of the rest of the world because they are so high in vitamin C and keep well, pickled or not. Think delicious, sweet summer cole slaw! Scientists have also found that cabbages are high in glutamine, which can reduce inflammation.

As we get ready to harvest, we’ll have more recipes for you to use to enjoy all our different varieties of cabbage. We are looking forward to a bountiful crop this year and expect to hold a time honored Upper Meadows CSA tradition and have a group sauerkraut-making session.