Monday, May 28, 2012

CSA Share Ninja Rescue: rhubarb and broccoli rabe

Rhubarb, in my garden right now
This year, I'm really enjoying the differences in requests for CSA Share Ninja Rescue help that are coming in based on a reader's geographic location. For example, this week we'll be tackling not only rhubarb, which is in season (albeit a short one) in the northeast, but also  broccoli rabe, which is plentiful for a reader in Colorado but generally more of a fall offering here in Vermont.

So keep those requests coming, no matter where you live.

As always, if you need help with a veggie, leave a comment below or send me an email before this coming Friday. Recipes suggestions are posted on Mondays.

On to this week's recipes...


My sister calls it "that stuff that looks like red celery" in the store. Yep, that's it. If you buy it from a store, farm stand or farmers market, you will get stalks only; if you pick your own, be sure to remove the leaves as they are extremely toxic.

Rhubarb is fun in that just a little bit of cooking turns it from super-tart to super-sweet. Its season is short, so snatch it up while you can find it. Don't worry about getting too much -- clean it, chop it and freeze it so you can use it all year long.

Broccoli Rabe

This nifty veg is also called rapini. Under either monniker, think of it as broccoli's snazzier cousin. But with rapini, you eat the tender leaves as well as the little florets. It can be bitter when raw, so you might want to consider quickly blanching it if you're not really cooking it way down in a recipe. 

Perhaps the best thing about broccoli rabe, though, is that it's Tony Bourdain's favorite vegetable. I swear, he said so in an old episode of No Reservations. And if Tony loves it, you know it can't be bad.

Have a great Memorial Day, U.S. readers. Non-U.S. readers: sorry, it's Monday again...

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