This has been a good spring for volunteer and early-seeded greens, and we are delighted to have so many available for you this early in the season.
In fact, the sorrel is already on its way out; the plants have begun to bolt so we will not be picking it again unless someone is especially fond of it (and if this is the case, let us know and we will gladly send a few leaves your way).
The orach is growing like a weed (not surprising, given its close relation to lamb’s quarters). We are now at the stage of harvesting the tops of plants and individual leaves. The leaves are much larger and less tender. We would normally cook them at this stage, though if you still find them tender enough for a salad, by all means go ahead and continue to enjoy them this way. Judy asked that I share one of my favourite spring orach recipes with you, as she is very fond of the dish. I have included it below.
We don’t have a large amount of spinach (pictured above) this year, but we hope you will enjoy what is available. These leaves are so delectable that I wouldn’t dream of cooking them myself. We have been enjoying our share in a spinach salad, whose recipe I have also included below.
Lettuce, on the other hand, is coming in abundantly in various parts of the garden. We have begun thinning the biggest volunteer patch, and this is what we are sending this week. You can consider this an introduction to salad season and look forward to much more lettuce in the weeks to come.
Along with those greens, we have included some early herbs: coriander and dill, as well as a taste of basil that we have pinched off to encourage our plants to grow dense and bushy.
We have also included some early multiplier onions for you to use as green onions, rhubarb, and asparagus.
It looks like this will be a wet week for the gardens. We are thankful that we were able to get orders picked this weekend (albeit a day late for North Battleford) and hoping that the sun comes out to dry things out by next weekend. Once it does, we can tell that we will be busy pulling weeds! The moisture does not discriminate between what we have seeded (which is coming up beautifully with this extra burst of heat and water) and what we have not…
Baked Orach, Beans, and Feta Cheese
1 lb broad beans (or other dried beans)
2 1/4 lbs fresh greens
4 oz. Feta (or cottage cheese)
1 cup yogurt
4 green onions, chopped
a few cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
3 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (I use dried or canned tomatoes, though the latter can make the dish a bit soupy)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
Soak the beans overnight, drain, and boil in fresh water until soft. Wash and chop the greens and place them in a colander to drain. Combine the feta and yogurt, then mix with greens, green onion, onion, garlic, and dill. Mix well. Spread half on the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan. Cover it with the beans, then spread on the remaining spinach mixture. Cover with a layer of tomatoes, then sprinkle on the cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle on the bread crumbs. Bake, uncovered, 90 minutes at 350 degrees. Let stand 15-20 minutes before serving.
Tantalizing Spinach Salad
1 lb paneer, tofu, or cooked chicken cut into 1” cubes
Place in a bowl and marinade with:
1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar (I use homemade strawberry vinegar)
1 Tbsp Braggs
2 Tbsp miso
1 1/2 tsp honey
1/2 cup olive oil
3 stalks green onions, chopped
4 cups spinach, washed and chopped
Combine just before eating.