I mentioned recently that our CSA farm share has started up again. Have I properly conveyed how happy this makes me? I worry about this, you know. Of course I love the idea of buying directly from the grower, cutting out the middleman. I love the fact that the food we get is fresh, picked very close to the time I pick it up. This makes all the difference in terms of ingredient quality. The flavor difference between a just-picked tomato and a tomato from the supermarket is astounding. I love the fact that the food we get is extremely local, grown for the most part in Dorchester. Not only are we supporting an urban farm, the money we spend on our food is staying in the local community. All of this is well and good - this is how we're "supposed" to feel after all, and while I'm reluctant to feed into a lot of the moralizing that takes place around food in this country it's all valid. None of it is enough to really "sell" me on the idea of a farm share. In reality, I love having a farm share because it's an awful lot like Christmas every week during the harvest season. Every week I drive somewhere to pick up my box and every week I open the box with that same little thrill of excitement that I used to get as a little girl coming down the stairs on Christmas morning. Of course, just like sometimes the pretty boxes were filled with underwear - a horrifying thing for any young girl to have to open in front of her parents, even if it is what she needed - sometimes the items in the box are less than thrilling. I picked up my first farm share of the season and one of the surprises in store for me was turnips.
Ordinarily this would not be the end of the world. I quite like turnips and these were a variety that I could certainly use raw if I didn't feel like cooking. The problem is that I still have a whole box full of turnips vaguely cellared in my basement. I did not need turnips, and I was feeling exceptionally unenthusiastic about trying to find a recipe for which I could use yet more turnips. My disappointment lasted only a few seconds, though. These were perfectly good turnips in and of themselves, and they had with them their greens. Turnip greens are one of my favorite foods, and none of my "windfall" turnips included their greens. I used the roots themselves in a vegetable soup which I'll post later, and I used the greens in a rice side dish for dinner.
I was a little worried at first that the onions had been overcooked, but I needn't have been concerned. If the greens had a little bitterness to them it was mitigated by the tasty onions. The garlic scape in this dish turned out absolutely perfect, too.
Rice with Turnip Greens (serves 8; approx. $0.43/serving)
2 cups brown basmati rice
4 cups water
2 onions, chopped
1 bunch hakurei turnip greens, washed and chopped
1 garlic scape, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Squeeze of lemon juice
- Large saute pan
- Medium saucepan with a glass lid
- Bring the water to a boil in the medium saucepan.
- Add the rice. Return to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and cook over very low heat until all the water is absorbed. This is best achieved in a pan with a glass lid - cooking times vary and if you can see when the rice is done you're less likely to let it burn. At least, I'm less likely to let it burn.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in the saute pan.
- Add the onions and garlic scape. Cook until the onions are browned.
- Add the turnip greens. There should still be some water clinging to them from washing; if not, throw a splash of water in. Saute until tender.
- When the rice is ready, transfer it to a serving bowl. Mix in the mixture from the greens pan and toss to combine.
- Squeeze a little lemon juice over the dish just before serving; it really brightens up the flavor.