Veggie Box - April 8

Every week we pack fresh vegetables and fruit for subscribers to pick up on Wednesday.  Read more about the Veggie Box subscription program here.

This week's box will contain:

From Manakintowne Specialty Growers

  • French Sorrel
  • Fava Greens
  • Chervil

From Albert's Organics

  • Red Kale
  • Leeks
  • Fennel

From Crowne Orchard via the Local Food Hub

  • Granny Smith Apples

 

This week's recipes and tips:

 

Sorrel Leek Soup

Sorrel is a tart lemony herb that heralds the arrival of spring.  Use the tender, young leaves in salads, and the larger leaves for soups, stews and sauces. Sorrel also complements goat cheese, eggs and poultry. I enjoy making a pesto of sorrel, feta cheese, and pumpkin seeds! Once a common ingredient in soups, stews, salads and sauces, sorrel vanished from use for hundreds of years. Now this delightful, leafy green is finding its way back into kitchens, where its tantalizing flavor and good nutrition can be enjoyed each spring. 

  • 4 leeks
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 potato
  • 1 bunch sorrel
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Trim off the root end of the leeks. Roughly chop the white and light green parts of the leeks and rinse them clean in a colander.

Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium high heat. Add the leeks and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks wilt, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel and chop the potato and add it to the pot. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the leeks and potato are tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse the sorrel clean and chop it. Add to the pot and cook until the sorrel has completely wilted, about 5 minutes.

Whirl the soup in a blender until completely smooth - or use a hand blender. Return to the pot, add the cream if using, and heat gently over low heat. Serve hot with freshly ground black pepper.

 

 

Chervil

Chervil is one of the staples of classic French cooking. Along with chives, tarragon and parsley, it is used as an aromatic seasoning blend called "Fines Herbes." Most frequently it is used to flavor eggs, fish, chicken and light sauces and dressings. It also combines well with mild cheeses and is a tasty addition to herb butters. Chervil is a great accent to seasonal favorites such as salmon, asparagus, new potatoes, baby carrots and salads of baby greens. Its aroma and taste suggest the flavors of tarragon and fennel, although it’s much less potent than the latter. When using chervil as a flavor enhancer, it should be added right before serving. High heat ruins its flavor.

 

Fava Greens Pesto

Snipped from the top of the plant, fava leaves are sweet with a slightly buttery, earthy flavor. They  do taste remarkably like the beans and can be eaten raw or cooked. In a salad or pesto, they provide a nice burst of spring grassiness. Wilted or sautéed like spinach, they can be used in pasta dishes, piled on top of toast, or cooked into a quiche.

  • 2 cups fava leaves, stems removed (if stems are thin and tender, use them as well)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 2
  • Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste

Mince garlic in the food processor. Add the fava leaves, walnuts, salt, and lemon juice. With food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until mixture is smooth and uniform. You will probably need to scrape down the sides. Add parmesan and pulse until mixture is combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately on pasta, pizza, or toast. Store any left over in an airtight container in the refrigerator.