We are already onto week two of this CSA season! This week's CSA share will include: purple top turnips, swiss chard, green onions, radishes, Chioggia beets, cilantro and Nancy butterhead lettuce. We love this last variety of lettuce, it is smooth and buttery with a delectable taste and crisp texture.
There are two veggies we are really excited about this week: Chioggia beets and Easter Egg radishes.
Here's the deal with Chioggia beets: Pronounced kee-OH-gee-uh, this variety of beet looks straight out of a Dr. Seuss book! It is hot pink on the outside and when sliced open has beautiful pink and white stripes. It is an Italian heritage beet, named after the coastal town, Chioggia located near Venice. It is also known as the Candy Cane beet or Bullseye beet. The flesh is very tender, mild and sweet, quite similar to regular beets although it doesn’t ‘bleed’ as much so you don’t have to worry about bright red juice staining your fingers and clothes. Chioggia beets can be prepared the same as any other beet: steamed, sautéed, roasted or pickled. The skin can be bitter, but peeling fixes that (just boil them until fork tender, rinse under cool water and the skins will slide right off). Sadly the fantastical stripes fade when cooked, but adding a splash of lime or white vinegar to the water when boiling can help maintain the color. Personally, we love them raw; they add a beautiful pop of color to salads!
The radishes are sweet and spicy Easter Egg radishes! A classic way to eat Easter Egg radishes is plain with a sprinkling of salt. The French serve radishes sliced on bread with butter and salt. With their sharp, peppery taste, radishes are delicious as a contrast to creamy cheeses. They add great color to veggie platters and fantastic crunch and zing when added to tacos and sandwiches. If they are too spicy for you, try peeling them that will make them milder. For an extra punch of flavor to salads, soups, stews and stir-fries add them grated. Radish greens are also perfectly edible, and they can be used in salads and other dishes to add a fresh, peppery flavor.
You should eat the radishes relatively soon, or they will become bitter. Small radishes can be stored for up to one week in the refrigerator wrapped loosely in a plastic bag with a dry paper towel with the tops removed (large radishes will last up to two weeks). The tops should be stored separately the same way you would lettuce.
Look for these veggies at our stand or in your CSA share: