Sorrel and green garlic pesto

Helena, our membership coordinator, collected a tasty recipe from the blog Local Milk.  Scroll down a little ways, it is the garlic scape and sorrel pesto.  I’m going to adapt it to what we actually have in our boxes, because the garlic scapes are a couple of weeks out.  It is a fairly basic pesto recipe, with sorrel replacing the basil.  I’m picturing this slathered onto chicken breasts, tossed with pasta and asparagus, or smeared on crusty dark bread.  I adjusted it down for the smaller bunches of sorrel, but bump it up if you’re a large or medium share and have a lot of it to use.

Sorrel and Green Garlic pesto

1/2 cup chopped green garlic (roots and tough green ends discarded)
1 cup chopped sorrel
scant 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
scant 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
juice of a quarter lemon
1/4 cup good olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Run the garlic, sorrel, pine nuts, Parmesan, and lemon juice quickly through a food processor to form a rough paste.  Add the olive oil slowly, pulsing until it is as smooth as you’d like.  Taste, season, and serve.  Pestos can be frozen in small portions for later use in sauces, soups, and dips.

** Helpful hint:  this is a good way to use up your green garlic all in a go — freeze it and save it for later.  I have made arugula pesto in the same way, which is spicy and sharp.

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.