Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Blogging CSA --- Week 4

Is it week 4 already? I think so.

Here I am, looking stunning, just after returning home from the weekly veggie pick-up. Farmer Henry brings the goods to a Unitarian church in town. It's 3 miles from our house, and takes us about 15 minutes on our bikes. The ride is a bit grueling for this new rider... the hills! The hills are rough.

What's in that bag, anyway???

This week's share: two heads of lettuce, green onions, wild purslane, broccoli, and 2 bunches of kale.

Here's what Farmer Henry said about purslane in his weekly email:

PURSLANE (Portulaca oleracea) is a long-suffering, much-maligned plant in this country. In 1819, W. Cobbett, in his American Gardener, reported that purslane is “a mischievous weed that Frenchmen and pigs eat when they can get nothing else. Both use it in salad, that is to say, raw.”

But what Frenchmen and pigs know, and many Americans do not, is that this crunchy, succulent was cultivated for thousands of years in India and the Middle East, and has superb nutritional value. It is high in alpha linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid—the “good” oils that most people think are found only in fish. Researchers have found that these oils lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Purslane is also high in vitamin C and vitamin E, and has significant amounts of calcium and potassium.

Purslane is wonderful simply rinsed, chopped coarsely, and thrown into a salad. Its crunchy, succulent stems and small, smooth, fleshy leaves taste lettucy but with higher notes of pepper and a slight lemon taste. They make a great addition to salads, providing a distinct texture, form, and taste. They also provide a refreshing texture and fresh taste when used on sandwiches instead of lettuce. One of my favorite sandwiches is thinly sliced 7-grain bread spread with cream cheese and filled with purslane.

So, basically, it's a weed that tastes lemony. Can't wait to try it.

Because you're dying to know, here's an approximation of what we'll eat this week:
-Green Barley and Kale Gratin from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
-simple pasta with broccoli, garlic, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan
-Caldo Verde --- Weight Watchers soup recipe featuring turkey sausage, kale, and potato
-grilled salmon with green salad
-one night of leftovers
-one whole day of celebratory feasting
Trying to keep it pretty simple this week, as we have a birthday party to throw on Saturday. Unbelievably, it has been almost a year since the magical day of my wonderful homebirth and T's arrival. So, come Thursday, it will be birthday birthday birthday around here. Cooking dinner will be secondary to cleaning house and hanging streamers. But, still, we've got to eat.
Next up, birthday party pictures and sappy reminiscing about my baby's first days. 'Til then, friends.


Colin said...

I'm very sad that I'll be missing out on Theo's first birthday, as I'll be at a wedding in D.C.
But, someday, when he's, like, 3, I'll bring him something cool.

Maiasaura said...

have fun in dc, mr. cow.