>Summer Week 1: Red Torpedo Onions & Pea Shoots


(see end of page for photos)

• Red Torpedo Onions
• Mizuna
• Yokatta-Na

Beet Greens
Green Onions

Welcome to the first week of our summer season! At the moment, we are having a hail shower, so it doesn’t seem like summer, but it was sunny just a bit ago.

Usually the summer season begins slowly—mostly greens, and not the huge abundance that comes later in the summer. This season is no different. I know a few of the newbies are concerned that there won’t be much produce. Please, have faith in us. We have so many crops planted, and they are finally growing well. There will be a lot of food, even if it’s a cool, rainy summer. And there will be plenty of variety, no matter what happens. We are ready for anything.

This week we are picking the first of the beautiful Red Torpedo Onions. This an heirloom bulb onion from Italy (in Italian, it goes by the name of Rossa di Tropea or Tropeana Lunga). Even Mike Carpinito visits us to pick up some of these onions. It is a semi-sweet onion that isn’t bracing like a regular red onion. When it matures it really does look like a red torpedo. This time of year you can use the entire onion—use the bulb in a stir-fry, use the greens like green onions. Or, use the entire thing as a vegetable and grill or roast it. They’re delicious, no matter how you use them.

Pea Shoots (click for recipes) are a delicious spring vegetable, biding the time until the peas set their pods. Use them raw as a salad green, or quickly stir-fry them. SPECIAL NOTE: if you cook them, you must cook them as quick as possible. The longer they sit and cook, the tougher they will be!

Mizuna is a very mild member of the mustard family. It is lacy and delicate, and lacks the spiciness or bitterness of many of its cousins. It is best used as a salad green, or as a bed for a grilled steak or fish—something that will quickly wilt it, but not cook it. Cooking shrinks it down to nothing, and there won’t be much flavor either.

Yokatta-na is one of our vegetable experiments for this year. The name is a play-on-words in Japanese, and means something to the effect of “that was a good vegetable, wasn’t it?”. Basically we can simplify it to “good vegetable”, and it’s true! It’s very tasty raw, as a substantial salad, or as a stir-fried or steamed vegetable. It’s also a member of the mustard family, and has a robust flavor, but without the bitter hotness of standard mustard greens.

Pea Shoots
Red Torpedo Onion

6 responses to “>Summer Week 1: Red Torpedo Onions & Pea Shoots

  1. >I love that you posted photos of each of the items! Although I'm familiar with enough of this week's offerings that, through process of elimination, I can determine the others, I know that some weeks there are more than one that will be easily confused for me. Thank you again! 🙂 It's good to be back!

  2. >You're welcome! It only occurred to me yesterday that it might be a good idea to include a visual aid.

  3. >Yummy goodness in the box! 🙂 I've never had mizuna or yakata-na. Here's what I did with the mizuna, it worked out wonderfully. Kale and chard are good subsitutes.Makes 2 main dish servings, but I like it better as a side salad.French Lentil Salad1 cup cooked French lentils1/2 tart apple, cored and chopped1/2 bunch mizuna, roughly choppedA handfull of fresh basil and parsley leaves, chopped fine1 small garlic clove, mincedDressing:3 Tbs. olive oil2 Tbs. dijion mustard1 Tbs. maple syrup (or to taste)1 Tbs. lemon juice (or to taste)salt and pepper to tasteIn a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Taste. Its should be a bit tart, but will mellow in the salad.In a large bowl, combine the lentils, apple, mizuna, fresh herbs and garlic. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to coat. You may have some left over dressing.Serve at room tempurature. Eat leftovers quickly (within 1-2 days) as the greens will wilt.

  4. >I agree that the photos are a nice addition, thank you. The Yokatta Na is a new thing for us but I have found that it goes great in sautes and Asian soups, next will be a stir-fry. I absolutely love the torpedo onions!!!

  5. >I made homemade salsa with the torpedo onions. The rest I made salad for. My daughter loved the mint in her salad. Shelley please continue to include the photo's.

  6. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve visited this site before but after looking at a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m certainly happy I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!|

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