Newsletter 4/16/14 – What the heck is Raab?
While the weather has been wet and cold, when asked how the season is going, I can’t help but grin and say, “Great!”. Somehow we have been managing to take advantage of the dry-weather windows as they come, short as they may be. Currently we have salad mix, scallions, pac choi, radishes, Hakurei turnips, beets, carrots, peas, Walla Walla onions, spinach, arugula, chard, kale, and lettuce in the ground. Plus, our new crop of strawberries, as well as over-wintered annuals and perennials are thriving in these gradually increasing spring days. This next week we are planning to get the potatoes in, closely followed by about an acre of brassicas including kales, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kohlrabi. Probably the week after we will get to the alliums, which include leeks, shallots and onions. Whew! Good thing we have so many hands to tackle these big spring planting projects!
This year I will be sending out newsletters on Mondays. So many of you have asked for more notice on share contents and recipes. Although I will do my best to predict what will be in your share there are many factors out of my control and things tend to change around here all the time. So in sending the newsletter out early, the list of items in your share is my best guess, not a guaranteed thing. When you go to pick up your share, I will have the list of what is actually in your share as well as the exact amounts of each item.
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I hope you enjoy your first share of the season!
First of all, what the heck is ‘Raab’? Well, aside from it being my mother’s maiden name (I have to write this in here to make my Mom and Grandmother smile), it is the flower bud of any brassica plant. So that means in the spring when over-wintered cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, or collards plants begin to grow tall with flower buds, we come along and bunch them up because they are so delicious! They have a similar flavor to broccoli- nutty, sweet and tender. You eat the entire stalk, perhaps cutting off the bottom inch if the stems seem tough. I think of them like asparagus, preferring to roast them whole and eat them out of hand. They can also be substituted for kale or other greens in any recipe and are delicious sauteed, steamed, in soups, etc. Raabs come in so many varieties (we currently have five: red Russian kale, Siberian kale, green curly kale, collard, and cabbage) and there are subtle flavor variations between every one. Perhaps a spring goal is to try at least a couple different ones to see what you think!