One of the advantages (or disadvantages) of having a small CSA farm is growing and tasting new kinds of vegetables – things that I’d seen but ignored because maybe I was a bit intimidated of cooking a vegetable that didn’t come frozen in a bag with the “how to” boiling instructions printed on it’s backside. So my tastes never reached far from plain green beans and shoe peg corn – the Jolly Green Giant kinda stuff. Ho –ho-ho.
Now that I am a farmer of sorts, I am trying stuff that even though it’s most likely old hat to experienced farm market shoppers, it’s new and exciting to me. I am almost embarrassed to say that I am an arugula newbie or that I am just learning how to cook chard. And perhaps it’s just because I’ve been growing it myself, but cabbage doesn’t make me gag like it did when I was a kid.
Tonight I harvested some baby broccoli raab which up until this spring I had never grown before. I think that I seeded it a little too thickly, and could have thinned it a bit more. I hate to thin plants, because it means that some have to go to the great compost cloud in the sky, and I don’t like to exercise that kind of decision power. I like to let things just grow. But anyhow…I sautéed the raab in olive oil with garlic that I had grown last year. It was pretty good! I liked it! I will eat it again! It’s kind of funny that years ago I thought broccoli raab was some kind of rash you might get from playing in the woods….That’s how far I have come.
I am going to try growing a few other things this year – yellow tomatoes, potatoes, and a few new varieties of beans, peppers and edemame. And I am going to try okra once more… little by little I am leaving my vegetable comfort zone to see what I can grow, hoping that the new tastes will be as good or better than the old! Ho-ho-ho!