Greetings everyone and welcome to Week 2 of our CSA program. I trust you all had a great 4th of July week, and hopefully many of you were able to make it out to the pea patch for our first harvest event of the season. In this week’s share you’ll notice we have broccoli, one of those versatile vegetables that can be enjoyed in so many ways. Of course cooked broccoli is delicious served with a light drizzle of olive oil and a little coarse salt, or simply buttered and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, but sometimes we need to branch out. One way to do that is to try the “Broccoli with Orange-Ginger Dressing” which you will find in the Recipe Section. I found it to be a tasty side dish served with grilled chicken.
I’d like to go over a simple way to cook the broccoli stalks and florets together. This information was gleaned from the book “Vegetables Every Day”, by Jack Bishop. He points out that while thick stalks need to be boiled in order to cook through, the tender florets may become mushy when cooked this way. The method which follows allows them to cook perfectly in the same pan.
To prepare, rinse the broccoli under cool running water, separating the stalks from the florets with a sharp knife. The woody ends of the stalks should be cut off. With a paring knife, trim away 1/8 inch of the outer peel from stalks, revealing the pale green flesh beneath the skin. Next cut the peeled stalks in half lengthwise and then into bite-sized pieces. The florets can be cut into smaller sections with a paring knife, taking care while doing it to avoid crumbling the tender green tops.
A pasta pot with a steamer insert will be perfect for this method; however, any deep, wide pot with a lid and a collapsible steamer basket will also work.
1 large bunch of Broccoli
1. After following prep guidelines above, arrange the florets in a steamer insert or basket.
2. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a deep, wide pot. Add the stalks and salt to taste to the simmering water.
3. Carefully lower the basket with the florets into the pot, making sure it rests above water.
4. Cover and simmer until the broccoli is just tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
5. Drain well and season to your taste, or consider trying the “Broccoli with Ginger-Orange Dressing” recipe I used this week.
What did you do with your kale from Week 1? I simply made a huge batch of kale chips, to add to our snack foods over the 4th. They were devoured! This week I plan on using the Red kale in a salad, combined with the lettuce leaves I’m harvesting from the Buttercrunch lettuce I planted from Week 1.