Plenty of Pods!!

This is the week when your veggie bags are less dominated by greens (though they’re still in there!) and more filled with a variety of pods. We started last week with the sugar snap peas (and shelling peas for our mid-week pick up date), and now we’ve got two types of edible pod peas and two varieties of shelling peas, plus some young broad beans. So which are which??

To help you out, we’ve kept the shelling peas in a separate bag from the edible pod peas. The two varieties of shelling peas are interchangeable as far as eating is concerned. Knight (on the left), has broader pods and is our earliest shelling pea. Homesteader, our main crop, has a rounder shape. We picked these for the first time this morning, and they are what you will see most of in the coming weeks.

shelling peas.jpg

As for the edible pod peas, we picked the last of the Sugar Anns (below right, our earliest pea) this morning and did a first run on the Oregon Giant (below left). These are more of a sugar pea, but are delightful in that they can get quite round and mature and still taste wonderful. In our family, these are most often eaten raw, but they are also wonderful lightly steamed or in a stir fry.

edible pod peas.jpg

The other pods this week are Windsor Broad beans. These are commonly used in Middle Eastern cooking, though less well known around here. We picked them a bit smaller than we have in the past and are curious to know which way you prefer them. Please let us know your thoughts! We will be eating ours tonight in a salad from Arab Cooking on a Saskatchewan Homestead.

broad beans

Broad Bean Salad

1 lb. shelled and cooked broad beans

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

4 Tbsp chopped green onions

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp lemon juice

Combine all ingredients well and serve.

basil.jpg

Other new items this week include Swiss chard, perpetual spinach, basil, and purple basil (the latter two are pictured above). The purple basil is new this year, and has a delightful licorice/anise flavour. We’re curious to know what you think. Our green basil is later than usual this year, as it suffered a mild touch of frost about a month back and was looking pretty awful. Fortunately, it now appears to be on the path to recovery.

The Swiss chard and perpetual spinach are a bit tricky to tell apart, but can be used pretty much interchangeably (though my husband, who won’t normally eat Swiss chard, does like perpetual spinach. I think it has a milder flavour.) To help with the distinction, we only planted Bright Lights Swiss chard this year, so most of the stems are red, yellow, or purple. Both of these greens are best lightly cooked.

This week’s orders are rounded out by storage potatoes and carrots, baby beets (with greens), green onions (thinnings of our winter onions), rhubarb (the last for the season, unless anyone would like to request a little more), kale, parsley, summer savory, mint, dill, and coriander. Our second seeding of coriander is hitting its prime and will likely be bolting soon, so let me know if you would like extra next week.

So, how did my family enjoy last week’s order? Once again, it was an unusual week (I guess that’s how summer goes!), as Shawn and our younger son were in Saskatoon for the week, leaving just 3 of us home to enjoy the veggies. Monday evening we had a strawberry spinach salad with rhubarb dressing (recipe below), whole beet skillet (recipe below), potatoes (with dill on the side), and some of the Sugar Ann peas.

For lunch on Tuesday we ate leftover salad, some more peas, half of the radishes, and finely chopped dill with our biscuits and creamy cheese. Supper that night was Farm Meeting at Tom and Judy’s, so I didn’t cook.

Wednesday we drank mint tea (we make this most mornings by putting two sprigs of mint in our teapot, filling it with boiling water, and drinking throughout the day. If it’s very hot, we’ll make another pot at suppertime, as our water filter can’t keep up! I made Monday evening’s leftovers into a soup, which we ate for lunch, along with the rest of the peas and radishes. For supper, we ate about half the kale in a vegetable oven pancake (recipe below), which we ate along with carrot sticks, some shelling peas (not part of Monday’s order, but who can resist?!?), the last of the spinach salad, and a lettuce salad (with parsley, dill, and summer savory).

Thursday for lunch we had egg salad sandwiches with parsley and lettuce. I found the core of the lettuce was spoiling, so a lot went to the chickens. I hope you didn’t have too much spoiling lettuce on your hands! I guess the patch was further past its prime than we had realized. The chickens are enjoying it, and the second seeding should be ready for next week’s orders! For supper we had carrot sticks, potatoes, and refried beans with lettuce, green onions, salsa, and lots of cilantro.

Friday’s breakfast included roasted leftover potatoes, stewed rhubarb and strawberries (3 cups rhubarb, 3 cups strawberries, 1/4 cup honey), and fried eggs. We had leftover soup for lunch, and a supper stir fry of carrots, Oregon Giant peas, green onions, and the rest of the greens and herbs from Monday’s order, with rice and baked paneer on the side.

The leftovers were incorporated into soup for yesterday’s lunch, and for supper Shawn made a spaghetti squash casserole (made with a couple of our last remaining squash from last fall!) to take to a potluck supper.

Items left over: a few potatoes (still!), a head of lettuce, and a few pieces of rhubarb. Items we used more than the order of: carrots, peas, coriander.

Rhubarb dressing

Cook 2 cup chopped rhubarb with 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup vinegar (I used homemade strawberry vinegar) until soft. Drain in sieve and discard pulp (the chickens enjoyed mine!). To 6 Tbsp of this juice, add 3/4 cup oil (I used yogurt instead), 2-3 Tbsp grated onion, 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 tsp salt. Shake in a jar or whisk together.

Whole Beet Skillet

4-6 medium beets with fresh greens

Cut off greens, leaving about an inch of stem on the beets. Place the beets in a saucepan and cover with water. Boil 15-30 minutes, until tender. Drain and immerse in cold water, then slip off skins and slice. In the meantime, cut stems and leaves (separately). Saute stems in 1-2 Tbsp butter until tender. Add greens and saute until bright green and tender. Add sliced beets and heat through. Stir in 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1-2 tsp grated ginger root, and 1-2 tsp honey.

Vegetable Oven Pancake

While oven heats to 400, melt 1 Tbsp butter in a 9″ pie plate. Swirl pan to grease bottom and sides.

Steam 2/3 cup asparagus (or other veggies — I used a couple cups of kale this time) and place in bottom of pie pan.

Blend 3/4 cup milk, 2/3 cup flour, 2 eggs, and 1/4 tsp salt. Pour over veggies and bake until golden brown (20-25 minutes). Top with 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

These 3 recipes are all adapted from Simply in Season.

 

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