Hot Diggity

Let’s start out by saying, OOPS! Turns out you got snap peas this week rather than snow peas. The plan was for snow peas, but the cool spring has begun to catch up with us. See, we sowed the two different varieties several weeks apart back in… oh… maybe it was March? Or probably April, I guess. The idea was that they would come ripe several weeks apart, as well. But the first batch got such a slow start (and birds eating the plants set them back, too) that now they’re all coming in at the exact same time. So, since the snap peas are faster to harvest (because they’re climbing rather than bush plants and require far less bending) we went with snap for this week.

They’re snap, not shelling peas. What that means is you can eat the whole thing, pod and all. You can shell them if you want, but it’s a hassle and you wind up throwing away a lot of edible sweetness. Some of the bigger ones may have a string down the seam which is a little tough, but most of these shouldn’t be quite that mature. They’re delicious just to snack on fresh, but don’t leave them out on the counter the way you would with cherries or something because they’ll get soft and floppy after a bit.  Here’s what we’re going to try with them: Toss them with a bit of sesame oil, then roast them. We’ll let you know how it turns out. Sesame and peas just seem like a good combo.

Another flavor that suits peas well is dill. Maybe you could briefly sautee some chopped garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat, throw in peas and salt (and red pepper flakes if you like it hot), then some chopped dill weed at the very end and just take it off the heat immediately. Possibly the garlic and pepper would overwhelm the dill flavor in that scenario, though. Another good thing would be to make a basic white sauce (melt 2 T. butter, add 2 T. flour and toast the flour, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, then whisk in 1 c. milk), salt and pepper it and add a bunch of dill weed (in other words, the leaf, not the seed), then the peas (chopped) and cook ’em briefly. Pour it over a baked potato, or toast, or (this one sounds best to me) roasted new potatoes.

Definitely peel the kohlrabi this week. If the skin was a little tough a couple of weeks ago, it’s tougher now because they’ve only matured (doesn’t your skin get tougher the more you mature?). We heard some good ideas from people after we gave kohlrabi last time – you can just boil it and salt it, or roast it, or eat it raw in dip. Someone told us it tastes like artichoke hearts; others disagree.

Roasting is an excellent choice for many vegetables as it brings out any sweetness they might have and adds layers of flavor you never knew were there. Plus, it’s super easy (as long as you don’t go off and burn them).

Oh, hello, obviously the garlic scapes and the peas would be an excellent combo. I’d say you don’t really want to overcook either, so perhaps throwing them into a bit of hot oil at the same time – and maybe even turning the heat off immediately – would be your best bet.

Though arugula is probably most frequently eaten fresh, it can be cooked with lovely results. Sautee some garlic (we eat a lot of garlic in our house) and scallions, then throw in some roughly chopped fresh tomatoes from the valley. They’ve gotta be good tomatoes or there’s really no point. Whole cherry tomatoes would be good too.  Cook briefly, just enough to get the tomatoes heated through, really, then add arugula and cook just until wilted. Turn off the heat and stir in spinach linguine. Salt and pepper to taste. Parmesan on top? If you feel like it.

Another excellent choice is arugula pesto. Just like basil pesto but use the arugula. And here’s a good idea for the parsley – also pesto! Parsley Pepita Pesto, actually. Personally, though, parsley says tabbouleh (tuh-BOO-lee) to me. It’s a bulgur salad from the middle east and here’s a basic version. Use your imagination and dress it up! It’s perfect for hot days because there’s very little cooking involved and you serve it cold. We’d recommend that you make it the night before so the flavors can blend.

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