The crisper overfloweth

I understand we’ve received three weeks in a row of certain vegetables.  Some of them (maybe collards?) are things with strong smells or unfamiliar flavors.  Others are just coming in volume, week after week.  This passes, as the summer heat causes things to bolt, mature, and wither, and so we just learn to love them in their season — too soon they will be gone.

This week, I’m going to cheat a bit and direct you to a college friend’s farm blog in Virginia.  Lisa of Frog Bottom Farm has a great rundown on collards, and I challenge you to try a couple of her ideas.  I think the turnip greens, and probably the mustard, would substitute well for all but the longest cooking methods.

I’m going to cheat again by directing you to a Mark Bittman article on slaw salads in the New York Times from 2011.  The recipe of interest for what is probably building up in your fridge is the Kohlrabi-Sesame Slaw, but as we head towards summer we should also see Asian radishes, lots of choy-type cabbages, and a few beets that overwintered and are growing again.  A little chopping (OK, a lot) on delivery day and you have a side salad that only improves in flavor all week.

Another item you’re going to be inundated with, if you don’t use several stalks a day with your greens, is young garlic.  They’re basically the garlicky version of green onions — not as strong as garlic, but stronger than scallions.  Use them as a cross between the two, and you’re set for soups, sautees, stir-fries, and sauces.  Add them to your simple skillet greens, your omelets, your asparagus, and your pilafs / fried rices.  Replace the basil in pesto and you can use up a large amount of them all at once, and this can be frozen or keep in the fridge for many weeks.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, I will repost a favored link on the blanching and freezing of greens (almost everything except lettuce).  Piles of mustard building up?  Spinach you can’t use this week?  They’ll keep in the freezer, and you can add them to soups or serve as pot greens (with ham and potatoes?) later in the summer without any loss of quality.