Backyard Bounty all-Tasmanian Vegie box: 12th November

This week’s boxes feature heaps of lovely leafies from Grown for Taste and York Town Organics! It can be tricky to grow mature lettuces during the cooler months of the year – the only whole-head lettuce we’re really able to get through the winter is Southern Fields’ baby cos – but this week we’ve got delicious whole frise lettuce heads in $20, $30 and $40 boxes. Packaging in plastic – and obviously refrigeration – dramatically increases the life of lettuce, but the same result can be achieved by simply cutting through your whole lettuce just above the stem, removing any tough central parts and giving it a wash and dry before packing it into a reusable airtight container in the fridge. You may find that the lettuce exudes a bit of white “sap” when cut – this is perfectly normal, and in fact the word lettuce derives from the latin “lact” (part of the common word lactose) meaning milk, because of this milky sap. However, it is best to wash this off before packing it away.

Cooking greens are often a bit more suitable for growing during the cooler months, but with careful planning they can be grown effectively during spring – this week we’ve also got organic baby kale from York Town organics and beetroot leaves – which are strongly related to silverbeet and can be cooked in a similar way, although may benefit from a slightly longer cook. When cooking hardier greens like kale and silverbeet, it’s often good to give them a quick blanch in boiling salted water – the salt draws out the bitter oxalic acid in the leaf into the water and also provides some seasoning into the bargain.