In your box:
- Summer Squash
Our most exciting addition this week is Edamame, or fresh soybeans. This is the first time we’ve grown them, though I’ve long been hooked on them. These are really time-consuming for harvest, and most large farms would have a combine to quickly strip these small beans from the plant. Instead, we have a Jeremy. Jeremy doesn’t use any gas, though he does require regular doses of Leinenkugels to continue running properly. Our Jeremy works quietly, with his only noise pollution coming from alarming sneezes and a nearly constant stream of whistling.
Edamame are the premature form of soybeans that line the country roads all around the Midwest. Allowed to ripen, they harden and can be used as dry beans, pressed for soymilk, or, most often, fed to livestock. Edamame are pretty much perfect nutritionally, containing all nine amino acids, calcium, iron, zinc, several B vitamins, and isoflavones. On top of all that, they are delicious. To prepare them, bring a small pot of water with a dash of salt to boil. Once it has reached a rolling boil, add the edamame just as they are. Cook for three minutes (more than that makes them mushy) and strain them from the water. They can be eaten warm or refrigerated. Either way, add salt if desired and then consume by squirting the inner beans from the pod into your mouth. The hairy pods are not eaten.
Edamame is extremely popular in Japan and China, where it is often served in bars in place of nuts or pretzels. In this sense, it’s really just a vehicle for salt to make you drink more. It is also known as “beer friend.” If you don’t like them, please note that it was about 90 degrees for the whole time Jeremy was picking these. With this knowledge, try again to like them.
Also this week, we welcome the second plantings of two crops that didn’t do well in the spring but are now coming along nicely: Endive and Kohlrabi. Here’s a refresher:
Visually, kohlrabi is by far the most terrifying vegetable in existence. However, kohlrabi is not the alien being many take it for—it’s a close relative of broccoli and has a good taste. It is believed to be a natural hybrid vegetable of the cabbage family (brassicas) and root vegetables. Its name is the synthesis of these parts: “kohl” meaning cabbage and “rabi” meaning turnip.
While the leaves are edible, the most desired part of the vegetable is the bulb. This is in fact a sort of bloated stem, from which the leaves branch off. Nutritionally, kohlrabi is a good source of vitamins A and C, a decent source of potassium and calcium, and high in fiber.
- After washing, trim away any tough parts of the skin or bruised areas. There is no need to peel the skin after cooking.
- Can be eaten both cooked and raw. Try grating kohlrabi raw into salads.
- Make modified coleslaws: Mix grated kohlrabi and radish, chopped parsley, green onion, and a salad dressing.
- Trick your kids into eating it by peeling it and serving them slices of “apple.”
While were still waiting for lettuce to catch up now that the worst of the summer heat is past us, we’re pleased to have another helping of Endive. Endive is not a true lettuce, and is most closely related to dandelions and radicchio. Its large, frilly leaves are delicious in salads and can also be lightly steamed if it’s a little too chewy for your table.
Coming soon: Broccoli lettuce, & beets, and hopefully some cooler weather.