Sweet cherries, broccoli, peas, beets, and a special cheese
This week the hot weather has really brought on the produce! In fact, this will be our first vegetarian bag of the year. And most exciting, as we usher out strawberries we are welcoming in the sweet cherries!
One notable ingredient this week is a very special, semi-hard bloomy-rind cheese called Charloe. This is from a new creamery that we are working with this year. I’ve known Brian Schlatter for about 4 years now. He was starting his creamery when I was starting my business and we were both fresh out of undergrad. Since then, Brian has traveled the world interning with master cheesemakers in Vermont and Ireland. Today he is creating some of the regions best cheeses, including the Charloe that we are featuring in this week’s bag.
The Charloe has semi-soft interior and gets more firm towards the edges. It is a raw milk cheese. Brian entered this cheese in a competition in California last year, called the Good Food Awards, and out of the hundreds of entries he was awarded a “good food” award. One of the things that makes this cheese very special is the milk that Brian uses. Brian uses 100% grassfed milk. Most grass-grazed dairies use a little bit of grains just to help the cows lactate on a regular schedule. This is because they are using the milk for cheese making and to sell to a handler and need a consistent supply. Brian doesn’t sell his milk on the wholesale market but instead puts it all into cheese. Therefore, he can deal with having a lower yield on the cows.
I think you will truly enjoy this wonderful cheese. I’m not sure yet if we will have extra to sell but if we do, I suggest getting extra. We won’t have this again probably until around Labor day. If we don’t have extra, we do have some of Brian’s other wonderful cheeses for sale this week, including his Flat Rock (a bold, “abundance” style cheese), Burr Oak (his Parm alternative), and his Black Swamp Gouda, which is a wonderful, bold “barny” representation of gouda.
In addition to the cheese, we also have a good selection of produce this week. Lettuce, delicious snow peas, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, and beets with tops (be sure to save the tops and use them as a braising green). Then we have bok choy, a delicious tender Chinese cabbage. This product can be eaten raw in a salad or cooked down. Unfortunately, all of my farmers with bok choy came available this week. As a result, we’ll have two types of bok choy in the bag.
Bok Choy Recipes
Each year I get a few folks baffled by bok choy. Think of it as a tender cabbage or even spinach alternative. Here are some suggested uses:
Salad – Try the baby bok choy (you’ll know which one that is) as a substitute for lettuce in a salad.
Stir Fry – Cut the bok choy, leaves and stem, into shin strips. Stir fry your veggies, adding each appropriately so that no one vegetable is over cooked or under cooked. Toss in the bok choy and cook until wilted. Serve. Option: try stir frying with fresh ginger, sesame seeds, and chili flakes.
Sauted with Bacon – Saute a few slices of bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon but reserve the fat. Save the bacon for later. Soften some onions in the grease and then add a tablespoon of fresh ginger, chopped (option: add some garlic as well). Add the bok choy (chopped roughly) and saute until wilted. Add back the bacon and serve warm.
The recipes above are courtesy of one of our restaurant customers, Chef Matt Anderson at Umami Asian Kitchen in Chagrin Falls. He is always glad to see Bok Choy and takes quite a bit per week.
Summer Week 4:
1 dz eggs
1 head large stem bok choy (thick white stalk, about 18 inches tall)
1 head red leaf lettuce
1 6 oz piece Charloe cheese
1 lb bag snow peas
1 head baby bok choy
1 head broccoli
1 lb sweet cherries
1 bunch beets with tops
1 bunch spinach
2 ct zucchini
Small package plus:
1 head cauliflower
1 bunch green onions
1 quart strawberries (assuming they are available by the end of the week)
1 extra head baby bok choy
1 lb basic salt and pepper pork sausage
Vegetarian Substitutions (same as Small Omnivore this week)
Vegan Substitutions (in place of cheese)
1 head cauliflower
1 quart strawberries
1 bunch green onions