>Summer Week 1: Red Torpedo Onions & Pea Shoots
>THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
(see end of page for photos)
• Red Torpedo 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.
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