Tag Archive for sauce

When The Garden Gives You Lots Of Greens…

… start a vegetable weekly subscription and make Mongolian-style sauce (lots and lots of it!)

I certainly grow more than we can eat – and we eat lots of veggies! Yet I don’t grow enough for selling at a Farmer’s Market or to a restaurant. But even with all the preserving I do, it’s too much just for us. And let’s face it: some things don’t preserve that well anyway (lettuce sauerkraut, anyone?). Or I have no need to preserve them, because I’ll be growing them through the cold months. Why preserve when you can eat fresh? You know: the mâche, arugula, mustards, lettuces, onions, kale, turnips, spinach, Swiss Chard, and other greens.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Find a few people who don’t have a garden, are interested in super fresh food, and are willing to receive whatever I grow. That’s what a girl does.

So my mini (or rather “nano”) subscription scheme started last year. I am not a professional grower, so I do not want to commit for the entire “growing” season, and I want to give myself, and my clients, a way out if  I can’t sustain it – or if they don’t like it. So I offer the  subscription in 7 to 8 weeks increment (Spring, early summer, high summer, fall) and only to a handful of clients. A chef’s CSA.

So far so good.  We are in week 2 of spring, and that’s what my Thursday subscriber got today:

csa-2010-spring-week-2-005

Lovely Lemony Sorrel

There are indubitable signs of springs out there (besides the 2 minutes of additional daily daytime we are getting now).

For once, the snowdrops are nodding their tiny white bells in the still blustery gusts of wind and then, then!, yellow IS swelling the buds of the early daffodils. But for the ever hopeful kitchen gardener, a much surer sign that spring is coming is what’s budding, swelling, germinating, pushing up or otherwise showing signs of life in the vegetable garden.

Is there something fresh I can sink my teeth in – or at least wake up my taste buds (pun intended) with? Something green? With a little bite? Something… live? I have talked about reliable mache growing outside in winter, but a few other denizens that grow happily enough in a cold frame provide fresh taste at this time of the year: spinach, cutting celery, parsley, arugula, and sorrel are among them. They do not need a cold frame per se, but the protection provided by a cold frame allows them to send forth new leaves much earlier than their unprotected brethren, left totally outside in what is otherwise a generally bleak landscape at this time of the year.

sorrel-2008-04-057

Sorrel might be less well known on the list, so let’s talk about it, a little, shall we? Read more