My favorite day of the week may soon be Thursday. That’s the day when my husband brings home our share of vegetables we get from a cooperative farm we recently joined. The veggies are delivered to his office every week.
The first crop arrived last week, and immediately set me on the path of a culinary adventure. I sautéed beet greens and scallions in olive oil and garlic. I made a salad of fresh lettuce, scallions and arugula. I whipped up a pesto-like puree of basil, parsley, arugula, parmesan cheese, olive oil and garlic scrapes. I sautéed bok choi in olive oil and soy sauce. I seasoned slices of kohlrabi in parmesan, minced garlic and olive oil, then baked them in the oven.
We ate more greens than ever in those few days, and along the way, I learned that arugula isn’t as bad as I thought, garlic can come in the shape of a green curlicue, and the purple grenade I sometimes see at farm stands is an edible root vegetable called kohlrabi, or green turnip. And it was all savory and delicious.
Getting my daughter Samantha to eat greens isn’t always easy, but the novelty of this delivery even intrigued her, and she at least gave the beet greens, arugula and bok choi a try. Her favorite were the scallions.
As my family’s nutritional gatekeeper – a new term I learned this week – I’m thrilled to be serving more greens. Most Americans these days focus on two vegetables: potatoes – often in the form of French fries — and tomatoes – as in pizza sauce and ketchup. It’s tragic that these other greens are overlooked or dismissed. To me, the millions of Americans who don’t eat green vegetables are missing out. Not only do they taste great, but they’re rich in essential nutrients that are so often lacking in the American diet.
Purchasing those greens from a local farm makes it that much better. I know these veggies didn’t travel hundreds or thousands of miles to arrive in my kitchen. And I know they were grown using sustainable farming practices, without depleting the earth’s resources and harming the environment. The fresh flavor proves it. Another perk? I’m supporting a local farm.
So yes, Thursdays may very well be the best day of the week for a while. After all, these weekly bags are like little gifts, filled with unexpected surprises. Best of all, they nourish my family, challenge my cooking skills and satisfy my role as the nutritional gatekeeper.