I’ve been enjoying the challenge of a CSA share. Each week it’s a surprise what will be delivered, and it’s always fun to try to come up with new ways to use the ingredients. I was out of town for week 2, so I don’t have a picture. So for weeks two and three I received:
- Lettuce: some green and some romaine which I’ve used for salads
- Napa Cabbage: I used the first bunch in Sesame Noodles*
- Radishes: I’ve just snacked on these raw
- Chives: I’ve been adding chives to any and all egg dishes, and added the blossoms to some vinegar to make chive vinegar (but I haven’t used it yet)
- Snow Peas: These are yellow and purple varieties, very fun and great in dip
- Beets: I made a roasted beet salad* that I absolutely adored! Hope I get more beets so I can make it again! The beet greens I sautéed and served with the farm-fresh eggs.
- Arugula: I used this in my beet salad – so much spicier than store bought, really full of flavor
- Kale: I used some of this in a pesto pasta*
- Green Onions: I used some as garnish for Sesame Noodles, and used some in a Green Goddess Dressing*
*Recipes coming soon!
I’ve also continued to get Lemon Balm, but have just been adding leaves to iced tea. I tried making a salad dressing with some, but wasn’t impressed with the results.
As you can see the CSA is keeping me busy with lots of new ideas in the kitchen. It’s a challenge to keep up with it all, but I’m enjoying working with ingredients I wouldn’t normally pick out. It’s also fun to be a bit more involved in the process. I’ve been so jaded with store-bought greens that to have to wash each lettuce leaf is definitely putting me more in touch with my food. I think this would be a fun thing to do with city kids to get them more aware of the growing process. It’s also fun to have little discoveries like with the arugula; it doesn’t look anything like the arugula I’ve bought at the store, and when I tried a leaf (thank goodness I tried it before making a whole salad with it), it was SO much spicier than store-bought baby arugula, so I added some milder greens to the salad to spread out the spicy. It’s a fun process, but definitely takes time and creativity.
4 thoughts on “CSA weeks 2 & 3”
Well, roasted beets in anything is good by me, but what about beet borscht? Kinda like Jewish/Eastern European gazpacho? And snow peas are fun, if you have the time and inclination, to stuff as a party appetizer with goat cheese and tiny minced veggies, dressed with a sprinkling of turmeric or paprika, yum!
I’ve never tried Beet Borscht, our family has only done the Mennonite-style borscht with beef and cabbage.
Those snow peas sound awesome, but I can’t imagine how long that would take to stuff them all!
This is the simplest online recipe for a pure beet borscht I could find: http://www.jewishrecipes.org/recipes/soup/beet-borscht.html, but I start by sauteing white or yellow onions that have been very thinly sliced until just golden – the number of onions depends on your taste, maybe 1 onion per 4 beets – and then adding some finely mined garlic – maybe 1 clove per 4 beets for a fairly mild garlic flavor, more if desired – and I shred the beets, not dice them. I’ve been known to use roast beets as opposed to boiling them, and I’ve used a good tomato-less vegetable broth for a slightly richer flavor. I do also add a touch of sugar as my bubby did to get a mostly sour, but sweet & sour flavor.
Certainly you can make a delicious, more complex beet borscht by adding roasted or sauteed shredded carrots and celeriac. Some people put potatoes in their borscht, but that changes the texture in a manner I do not like. The end product for me is a lovely light, “clear” though opaque deep purplish-red broth with lots of beets that provide an almost al dente toothsomeness to the mouthful. I might have to make some!
Stuffing the peas is a TV watching kind of activity the night before the party. If you’re like me when I cook for a crowd, I’m on my feet (as you well know!) for many hours during the day or two preceding, and by the end I’m really tired but too wound up to go to sleep. So I keep something like the peas as a last activity. I’ve made the stuffing during some of that frenetic activity and brought it to slightly less than room temp before I start. I string the peas and break them all open, and then it’s pretty mindless to fill them with a spoon and close them slightly, laying them right out on the serving platter. They get covered with plastic wrap and put in the fridge. One beauty of these little babies is that even if they stay out on a buffet table for a few hours, the goat cheese only gets lovelier as it warms up a bit, providing it’s not hot out.
Share this as you like!
I forgot – dill – fresh, in the borscht, and definitely if you have fresh lemons, lemon instead of vinegar.