Still waiting for summer but in the meantime we are appreciating the moisture and good conditions for leafy greens at Wind Whipped Farm. Fortunately, Stillmeadow and Parry Bay Sheep Farms were able to start cutting and baling some of their hay last week. While it has not been good conditions for hay this spring they report that their wheat crop is doing well with this weather and is off to a good start.
We have added several suggestions to the recipes page for preparing radishes, collards, mixed greens, fennel, chard and kale, as well as links to the Parry Bay Sheep Farm website where you can find recipes featuring some of their meats.
This week’s featured item in the Veggie Box is Mâche (Valerianella locusta). It is also known as corn salad, lamb’s lettuce, fetticus, field salad, nut lettuce, doucette, boursette and rapunzel. Wind Whipped Farm grows two varieties, “Jade” and “VIT”. Mâche is an annual plant that thrives in cooler weather, making it an ideal spring or fall salad green. Mâche is the first crop that was direct seeded at Wind Whipped Farm in early april. It grows relatively slowly and requires a few rounds of hand weeding for it to overcome weed pressure, but it is well worth the extra work because its delicate nutty flavor is a unique seasonal treat.
Mâche grows in a rosette and so it easily accumulates a bit of grit at the bottom of the rosette. You can use scissors to cut the bottom of the rosette (where the root or stem is attached), keeping only the leaves to prevent an undersireably crunchy salad. However, leaving the mâche whole makes for a nice presentation. In both cases, rinse thoroughly in cold water before spinning.
Mâche is typically used fresh, often in salads, but there are a few recipes that involve either heating or cooking the rosettes. Although the simplest vinaigrettes bring out mâche’s subtle nuttyness we suggest you check out the following mâche recipes for more elaborate options.