Week of January 26th, 2023
This week we are offering a great menu. As I was looking over the menu, I really enjoyed the nice assortment of fruits and vegetables that are featured in your Box of Good that Alaina and Kelsey selected. I was immediately drawn to the shallots and spinach. Of course, it is not the local farm season for spinach, but when I saw spinach on the menu, my mind drifted off to a cool fall morning in late September a decade or more ago.
We were on “bolt” alert for this crop. It was a variety that often could grow twice the size of normal spinach if the right conditions were present. I was nervous that we would lose the crop if we waited much longer. The leaves were huge, so big I remember my daughter holding up one leaf and she hid her entire face behind it 🙂. Everything had to line up perfectly for this to happen and that Fall season it all lined up.
Bolting is a term used to describe when a plant goes to seed. You see this in a lot of vegetating crops like spinach, chard, kale, etc. A change in weather or prolonged heat can cause stress and because the plant’s primary goal is reproduction at some point it will switch from growing to seed production. When a plant thinks it has enough reserves, it can at any moment start bolting and switch to making seeds. My goal is to help the plant stay in growing mode. Yes, you can often eat plants in the bolting stage, but normally they are getting tougher and can have a bitter taste. This stage is usually called Raab, like Broccoli Raab or Kale Raab.
This week California “non bolting” spinach is on the menu with WA shallots. Here is my take on spinach and shallots. After I had washed the spinach and discarded the stem ends. I would chop it up, add blackberries, raw shallots, thinly sliced, and drizzle with a fruity vinaigrette. Or if I was looking to cook a quick meal, I would sauté the shallots and red pepper with some garlic in some butter or olive oil until they were translucent and then toss in the spinach and wilt it down. Season with salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning and serve ASAP.
Lastly Spinach is great added to soups, smoothies and salads.
Thank you for choosing Box of Good for you and your family.
- Tristan, Joelle, and Alaina and the Box of Good Crew