What to expect in your CSA box this week: Strawberries, Lettuce Mix, Spinach, Kale, Carrots, Snow Peas, Shelling Peas, Turnips, Broccoli, and scallions.
New this week are Turnips. Last week we had Turnip greens, which were seeds strictly used for growing the greens and not the root vegetable you are getting this week (although you can eat the green tops just as you would turnip greens). Turnips are commonly prepared by means of roasting
This past weekend rains cooperated and held off long enough for us to finish the daunting task of prepping and planting the last four beds for okra and peppers. We also saved a small square for neck pumpkins!!!
Now that almost all planting is done- the efforts in the garden move to what I call “Maintenance Mode” with an emphasis on weeding, succession planting, fertilizing, keeping a watchful eye for bugs, and enjoying all the fruits from our previous labors. We utilize our land intensively but sustainably. So once a crop has completed its life cycle by either going to seed/flower (spinach, broccoli raab) or the vegetables have been pulled from the ground (eg. radish) we prep the beds for another crop. So begins succession planting….. The radish bed prepped and planted with red beets… the turnip greens and broccoli raab will make way for more carrots.
Mashed Turnips and Potatoes With Turnip Greens
2 bunches turnips with greens attached (1 3/4 to 2 pounds, including greens)
1 pound russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
Salt to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
2/3 cup low-fat milk, or as needed
Freshly ground pepper
1. Cut away the greens from the turnips. Peel the turnips and quarter if they’re large; cut in half if they’re small. Stem the greens and wash in 2 changes of water. Discard the stems.
2. Combine the turnips and potatoes in a steamer set above 2 inches of boiling water. Steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the steamer and transfer to a bowl. Cover the bowl tightly and leave for 5 to 10 minutes so that the vegetables continue to steam and dry out.
3. Fill the bottom of the steamer with water and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste and add the greens. Blanch for 2 to 4 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a bowl of cold water using a slotted spoon or skimmer, then drain and squeeze out excess water. Chop fine. Drain the water from the saucepan, rinse and dry.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in the saucepan and add the leek and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until leeks are tender and translucent but not colored. Add the milk to the saucepan, bring to a simmer and remove from the heat.
5. Using a potato masher, a fork or a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mash the potatoes and turnips while still hot. Add the turnip greens and combine well. Beat in the hot milk and the additional tablespoon of olive oil if desired, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, right away, or transfer to a buttered or oiled baking dish and heat through in a low oven when ready to serve.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish.