Hooray, the first share of the season! I have been chatting with so many Root Radical CSA members this week who have been literally jumping with excitement to be getting their first shares. After a long winter of heavy stews and root veggies, it comes as such a joy and relief to get a big share of fresh greens and spring foods. I’m jumping with excitement along with the rest of you!
June has started off a bit…chilly. So I wanted to put together a celebratory meal (yay spring, yay fresh veggies!) that reflects the hope of the coming hot months, but is still warm and hearty during this cooler weather. So here it is! Sautéed sesame mustard greens and bok choy (sweet and mildly spicy), steak, fried mushrooms, jasmine rice, and a rhubarb mint mocktail (easily made into a cocktail!) to wash it all down. After picking up the CSA share, along with an order of ground beef and sirloin steak from DoubleJay Farms (yes, you can pick up organic beef* at the same time as getting your veg!) I whipped together this meal in no time. The rhubarb mint mocktail is refreshing and light, the greens** spicy and sweet, and the steak juicy and flavourful. All together, a perfect early spring meal to get us through this warm/cool shoulder season.
*Did you know you can cook frozen steak, with an absolutely delicious result? Simply sear, season, and place in a 300 degree oven for 12-25 minutes (depending on the thickness of your meat, and how well-done you like it).
** Didn’t get mustard greens or bok choy? No need to fret! This recipe can be used with kale and spinach as well!
Rhubarb Mint Mocktail
Mint and rhubarb are some of the first edibles to come up in the spring – so celebrate this warmer weather with a lively combination in a refreshing and colourful drink. This mocktail (can be a cocktail if you add a splash of rum/gin/vodka) is easy to prep, and is sure to delight people of all ages. This recipe is adapted from Canadian Living in their June 2008 issue.
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp lime zest optional
Rhubarb Mint Mocktail
- 10 mint leaves
- 1/4 cup rhubarb syrup see recipe above
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime
- ice cubes
- sparkling water or ginger ale
Place water, sugar, and rhubarb in a pot on medium heat, and bring to a simmer.
Once rhubarb is fully cooked (about 20-25 minutes) remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve.
Allow to cool, and store in an airtight container/mason jar in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Rhubarb Mint Mocktail
In a cocktail shaker (or a mason jar) shake mint leaves with ice cubes until muddled and fragrant.
Add rhubarb syrup and lime juice. Shake.
Divide between 2-3 glasses and top up with sparkling water or ginger ale and ice if desired.
Garnish with a lime wedge and fresh mint leaf.
Don’t toss the stewed rhubarb you strained to make the syrup! It is absolutely perfect with an unsweetened tangy yogurt for a simple dessert or breakfast.
Sweet and Spicy Sautéed Greens
This is a truly delightful dish. Like wow delicious mustard greens. Cooking the mustard greens and bok choy tempers the spice and allows more sweetness to come out. The sesame, ginger, and chili lend layers of complimentary spiciness, while the honey still keeps it gently sweet. This is SO GOOD and very quick to make. I plan on enjoying bags and bags of mustard greens and bok choy this way.
- 1 whole bok choy
- 2-3 handfuls mixed mustard greens
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp tapioca starch
- 1 pinch chili flakes or to taste
- 1 inch grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
Start by preparing the sauce: mix all ingredients (other than the bok choy and mustard greens) in a small jar and set aside.
Trim the stems from the bok choy and cut them into approximately 1 inch pieces.
Heat a pan over medium heat and add cooking oil (a neutral oil is preferable, but coconut oil would also work). Add bok choy stems and saute until slightly translucent.
Add bok choy greens and allow to cook for about 30-60 seconds before adding the mustard greens. Stir until slightly wilted and then add the sauce. Allow to to cook for another minute or two. Toss in the sesame seeds and serve immediately.