Tips & Tricks from years of growing & eating
Acorn Squash - Cut in half lengthwise (beware it is difficult to cut, be careful and use a sharp knife), scoop out the seeds, brush with olive oil or put a few pats of butter along the flesh, season with salt, pepper, or any herbs you like (for sweet go with brown sugar and cinnamon). Put squash face up on baking sheet and bake at 350 for ~30 minutes. Done when fork tender. From there I'll just scoop it out and eat it or blend it for a mashed squash. I love adding the squash to soups, it thickens without using cream. I'll blend it all up first and then add, unless I'm doing a bisque type soup in which case the whole thing can be blended with an immersion blender! Can also slice into half moon, coat with olive oil and roast.
Arugula - Salad green with a bit of spice. The spicy flavor is less notable with salad dressing. Also great lightly sauteed in a pasta dish or atop a pizza.
Basil - A favorite summer herb and so versatile. The key to keeping it fresh -store in a jar of water on the counter like you would flowers. Use it towards the end of any cooked dish and its great in salads or on pizza. If you ever need to use some up, make pesto!
Beets - Both the roots and greens are edible. Beets can be roasted or boiled. They are also delicious grated in a salad. You can peel them or just trim, chop, and cook. The skin can be slipped off after cooking. We usually don't peel at all when roasting. The greens can be sauteed like spinach. Store the beets separate from the greens, in a mostly sealed bag in the container and they'll keep for weeks.
Broccolini - A branching type of broccoli that is much more tender. Delicious raw or in a salad. Can also be lightly steamed or sauteed. The stems and leaves are super tasty.
Butternut squash - Cut in half lengthwise (beware it is difficult to cut, be careful and use a sharp knife), scoop out the seeds, brush with olive oil or put a few pats of butter along the flesh, season with salt, pepper, or any herbs you like (for sweet go with brown sugar and cinnamon). Put squash face up on baking sheet and bake at 350 for ~45 minutes. Done when fork tender. From there I'll just scoop it out and eat it or blend it for a mashed squash. I love adding the squash to soups, it thickens without using cream. I'll blend it all up first and then add, unless I'm doing a bisque type soup in which case the whole thing can be blended with an immersion blender! Can also peel and chop in cubes, coat with olive oil and roast.
Caraflex Cabbage - A farmer favorite. Sweet and tender, this green pointy cabbage is delicious raw in a slaw or salad. It's an easy go to in a stir fry as well.
Carrots - Don't need much explanation. Raw in a salad or on their own is great. We'll also saute them in stir fries or roast with other veggies.
Cauliflower - Great raw in a salad or steamed. The best is roasting, though. Chop and roast with olive oil- delicious nutty flavor.
Chervil - Delicate herb with an anise flavor. Nicknamed French parsley. It's very tasty just torn into pieces and eaten on a salad. Also great atop eggs.
Cilantro - Delicious herb that pairs well with Mexican and Asian dishes. Add it to a salad or dip or towards the end of a cooked dish.
Dill - Fresh herb that is nice just chopped in a salad. Pairs well with fish especially salmon. It's also great chopped and added to sour cream or plain yogurt for a veggie dip.
Dandelion Greens - A more bitter green that is a nice addition to other lettuces in a salad. It can also be lightly sauteed like spinach but be careful not to overcook as it can add to the bitterness. In the Chicory family.
Eggplant - Eggplant can just be chopped up and sauteed with other veggies and especially tomato based dishes. They can go well in a stir fry or curry. Or brushing with olive oil and grilling is an option, too! Season as you wish, and salting/draining them is a good idea if you are planning to bread and fry them. Peeling is really optional depending on your texture preference. If you're running out of ideas, baba ganoush is a delicious dip for pita or veggies. Recipe here.
Fennel - Everything is edible including the fronds. Chop the bulb and eat fresh in a salad or slaw. You can also saute, roast, or grill. The fronds can be used like an herb in a salad or when cooking fish or chicken.
Fresh Onions - We grow candy onions that you might call a little sweet. Use these however you would normally use onions. Just store them in the fridge as they are not cured, but freshly harvested.
Garlic Scapes - Scapes are shoots from the garlic plan when it goes to seed. The scapes need to be cut so the energy can focus on the bulb. Use all of the scape up to the seed pod. Chop small and saute anytime you want a garlic flavor. It is a bit nutty in flavor, too. Garlic scape pesto is another yummy idea. Store covered in the crisper and it'll last weeks.
Kale - We grow curly and lacinato kale but you can use them the same way. Chop for a salad and marinate or massage with oil to soften. It's also nice to make a kale salad and dress it, store in the fridge to eat thru the week. Saute with oil and garlic and add to pasta or stir fry. Kale chips is another idea - tear in small pieces, coat in olive oil, sprinkle with salt, bake on a banking sheet at 350 for 5-10 minutes- keep an eye on it, should be crispy but not burned.
Lettuce - Easy one! Chop and eat fresh in a salad. Add to sandwiches. Lettuce wraps - stir fry meat, fish, or veggies and wrap up in the leaves.
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Napa Cabbage - A Chinese cabbage. It's great in a slaw, stir fry, or make kimchi!
Parsley - Has a nice bite to it - best to add it at the end of a hot dish or in a salad. Its especially tasty in a tabbouleh or quinoa salad. Here's a few ways to use parsley.
Poblano Peppers - Dark green and flatter than a bell pepper- these are great to roast and stuff. Keep in mind they will be fairly spicy if you cook them with the seeds, and not as much if you de seed them
Radicchio - Also in the chicory family. Green/red leaves. Bitter green. Great chopped in a salad with other greens. So good cut into wedges and grilled or roasted with olive oil and finished with balsamic.
Radishes - Can be a bit spicy. Slice and add to a salad, dip in hummus or veggie dip, or stir fry or roast. The greens are edible - they can be added to a salad or sauteed.
Rosemary / Sage - Great additions to any dish with potatoes, chicken, or pork. Really, I love the flavors and would add to many different savory meals. Also a nice seasoning for winter squash. If you don't use it all right away, hang upside down and let the herbs dry out. Then food process or crush with your fingers and place in a jar. They'll stay good that way for at least 6 months.
Shishito peppers - Delicious sauteed or roasted in olive oil until they blister - then add a little salt and eat the whole pepper. Shishitos are mostly sweet with a great flavor but every now and then you get a spicy one!
Spaghetti Squash - Super easy to make, and makes a great low-carb substitute for pasta (only 10 carbs in a cup!). It can be boiled, roasted, or microwaved - read on about all the methods here. If you half it lengthwise, it will cook a bit faster. My favorite is roasting the 2 halves. After you cut the raw squash, scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Brush with olive oil, salt/pepper, any herbs/spices you like. Then bake at 375, rind side up for about 30 minutes. Once its tender, just scrape out the flesh with a fork. Then add sauce, sauteed veggies/meat, or just eat as is with butter and garlic/spices.
Spring Onions - Sort of like a bulbed scallion. All parts are edible including the green parts. I'll often chop and cook the white and some light green parts and add the tops when the dish is nearly done.
Snow Peas - Pull the string out. These are typically cooked in a stir fry but can be enjoyed raw in a salad too.
Sugar Snap Peas - A true spring delight. Fantastic raw, you can eat the whole pod. They are also delicious in a stir fry/saute.
Summer Squash - Grouping zucchini in here too. Great chopped and sauteed in a pasta or rice dish. Super good on the grill too. Zucchini fritters are a yummy idea. And we always go for zucchini in baked goods too.
Swiss Chard - A delicious cooking green. Chop the stems first and saute them with your onion/garlic. Then cook down the greens. We love it with eggs, pasta, stir fry, just about anything.