It all looks like parsley!

As you might remember, my friend Erin and I joined a CSA last summer.  At first, we were psyched.  We dreamed of discovering new recipes and new vegetables.  We hoped for a fantastic summer of fresh goodness.

What we got were wilted greens, wonky green bell peppers, and corn.  Loads and loads of corn.  We were not impressed.

We were planning to skip the CSA thing this summer until my friend, Tina, let us know that Waltham Fields Community farm had shares available.  Waltham Fields is the holy grail of farm shares around here.  Everyone says they’re the best, but they’re usually sold out.  Sight unseen, all three of us signed up and sent in our checks.  (Erin and I will be sharing a share, while Tina and her hubby have their own.)

Two weeks ago, Tina and I had our first chance to check out the farm.

That would be the farm managers daughter roaming the fields. She was weeding. I hope she knows which ones are weeds!

Wowza. This place is gorgeous. Everywhere we looked, there was another beautiful sight. And, as the name suggests, Waltham Fields Community Farm is a community. I ran into an old friend at orientation. I’m sure that by the end of the summer, I’ll have made a few more.

So inviting! Who wouldn’t want to get their veggies from this place instead of the boring, over-air-conditioned, sticky floored grocery store?

While the farm manager, Amanda, took us on a tour of the fields, pointing out the beauties we could look forward to all summer long, Tina made a discovery.

In the early growing stages, everything looks like parsley.

Seriously, are they growing acres and acres of parsley???

Tina and I would make terrible farmers. At one point, we were pretty sure we had come across a huge field of young corn. Turns out…it was garlic.

Despite our less-than-green thumbs, on the first day of pick-up, Erin, Tina, and I showed up ready to be impressed.

Don’t I have beautiful farmshare friends?

Impressed we were! The farmers had laid out the most wonderful array of fresh vegetables on stands in the barn. Unlike the sad, wilted fare of last summer’s farm share, these beauties were straight from the fields. We were told we could pick seven, with duplicates allowed. Erin and I ran around the barn to check out all our options before we could make a choice.

So much fresh, beautiful produce. How can we possibly choose?

We settled on:

  • two shares of garlic scapes
  • two shares of lettuce
  • one share of kohlrabi
  • one share of kale
  • one share of bok choy

In all, it was a pretty hefty haul.  Plus, we got to wander the garden and pick a small bunch of herbs.  I went for lemon balm.  Does anyone know what to do with lemon balm?

Anyway, we had hoped to all have dinner together, but Erin had to finish up some work.  This was tragic, as it meant that Tina and I lost our kale expert.  After last summer’s sad and wilted kale, I wasn’t sure I liked the stuff.  Neither was Tina.  So, on the way home, I googled “best kale recipe” and came up with this recipe from Bobby Flay.

Try it.  It’s miraculous.  It was even better as leftovers.  I officially like kale.

We also made swordfish kebabs with garlic scape pesto.  The pesto was…alright.  I need to do some more tweaking before sharing it here.

What will I share from this week’s farm share?

Kohlrabi! Officially the world's most photogenic vegetable!

Kohlrabi! Officially the world’s most photogenic vegetable!

Before our newsletter arrived on Monday, I had never heard of kohlrabi. Here’s how Amanda, our farm manager, described it.

Here it is, the alien vegetable with the funny name. It comes in green or purple, but the color is really only skin-deep and there’s no taste difference that we can recognize. After you peel it, it is extremely versatile: Sliced thin in salads or spring rolls, arranged on a crudite plate with your favorite dip, layered with Gruyere and green apple on a simple sandwich, or braised in a savory sauce, this vegetable does it all (see recipes for more ideas).

We picked the purple variety, because it was more festive. Erin made hers right away, sliced thin with apple and a mustard sauce. It sounded fantastic, but since my two loyal readers also read her blog, I figured I should do something different. Hence:

You know how I feel about colors. Colors are good. By that and many other measures, this slaw is great!

Sweet and spicy kohlrabi slaw with carrots and craisins

Serves six
2 fist-sized heads of kohlrabi, peeled and julienned
1 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup craisins
6 oz non-fat plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon hot sauce
salt and pepper

Mix together yogurt, vinegar, sugar, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Add to kohlrabi, carrots, and craisins. Refrigerate overnight before serving. Try not to make embarrassing “yum” noises while eating at your desk the next day.

Yum, yum, yum!

I’ll admit, I only had one kohlrabi bulb. But, I had a bunch of sauce leftover, so I thought you’d be better to just start with two! The kohlrabi has a natural peppery kick, and the sweetness and spice of the sauce really brings it out. Sure, the yogurt turns pink over a day or two, but that’s just part of its charm.

Like Waltham Fields itself, this one is definitely a winner!

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